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$250 on grocery to last a fortnight...


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#1 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:12 AM

Hi all

Looking for some tips and advice on a $250 grocery budget. Items are to last a fortnight (until next pay). We had a sudden big expense, so the grocery bill had to be paired back. We usually spend $400 a fortnight. This includes meat, veggies, fruit, pantry items, toilet paper, paper towels etc.

There is DH, me and DS11. DH and DS are big eaters. Any budget recipes we can do? We also have a slow cooker.

Thank you!

#2 Caribou

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:38 AM

Slow cookers are defintely your friend!

Try pasta? You can bulk it up with frozen veggies which can be cheaper than fresh, that can be a very cheap option.


Otherwise you may need to tell DH and DS for a fortnight they’re eating less to stretch the budget. They can’t demand more food. And your DH should be the most understanding of all.

#3 Renovators delight

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:38 AM

What shopping options are available to you?
eg Aldi? Costco? Butcher? Greengrocer?

I would suggest shopping at Aldi for the basic household items you must have for the fortnight, if you won't run out of paper towels don't buy any.

If you have a Costco membership, go and get a 3kg mince or other bulk packs of meat and break them up into 500g lots in the freezer for the fortnight.

Chicken wings and mince would be my go-to meat options. Unfortunately not everyone in my house likes chicken wings, but bulk packs of chicken breast, or skin-on chicken breast from a butcher can be affordable. 24 pack of BBQ sausages from Coles/Woolies are also cheap.

Frozen own-brand veggies - you can get 500g packets of broccoli and cauliflower for $2 or $2.50 from Coles/Woolies.

Only buy seasonal fruit and veg. You don't need a $4 zucchini or a $6 kilo bag of apples.

#4 MarigoldMadge

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:38 AM

What's your pantry situation like? I recently gave it a big clean, and think we could last a week on pantry items alone, with a bit of basic veg like garlic, onions, potatoes, carrots, frozen peas and pumpkin to pad things out.

Dahl
Tuna/soup/pasta bake
Risotto with roast veggies
Pasta with lemon/chilli/capers/croutons

#5 Crazyone26989

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:39 AM

 pinkandgold, on 10 January 2019 - 06:12 AM, said:

Hi all

Looking for some tips and advice on a $250 grocery budget. Items are to last a fortnight (until next pay). We had a sudden big expense, so the grocery bill had to be paired back. We usually spend $400 a fortnight. This includes meat, veggies, fruit, pantry items, toilet paper, paper towels etc.

There is DH, me and DS11. DH and DS are big eaters. Any budget recipes we can do? We also have a slow cooker.

Thank you!

I normally spend between $150 and $200 a fortnight for DH and I and he's a big eater. How much I spend depends on how much I feel like splurging.

I always buy toilet paper in large packs - minimum 12 pack - but that may not work for you this fortnight.

Try to buy no name brands this fortnight for pantry items but always check the unit price as occasionally brand name is cheaper if there is a sale on.

Check for meat that is on sale and buy sausages and mince. Cheap chuck steak is good for slow cooked stews. I like to make chilli with beans added to fill it out. The recipe below makes HEAPS.

https://www.jamieoli...illi-con-carne/

Lasagne is also good: https://www.recipetineats.com/lasagna/

Meal planning helps the most with saving money so if you need to buy celery for one recipe, try to use it in another recipe

ETA I find Mexican tacos or enchiladas are great for money saving if I make the tortillas and I have cumin, paprika and chilli powder already in the cupboard.

Tortillas https://www.tasteofh...made-tortillas/

Enchiladas - fresh herbs are waaaay cheaper at most Asian grocery stores so I only buy coriander there. If you don't have garlic and onion powder you can leave it out!
https://www.recipeti...eef-enchiladas/

Edited by Crazyone26989, 10 January 2019 - 06:46 AM.


#6 Hands Up

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:41 AM

Mince.

Low meat pasta sauces (carbonara).

Chicken thighs.

Run down supplies and unearth sauces ex from the bback of the cupboard.

Lots of vegetables in meals.

No treats or snacks.

#7 Dianalynch

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:57 AM

Eat toasted sandwiches for dinner a couple of nights, to cut down on expensive meat meals. Will your family eat baked beans on toast, or scrambled eggs on toast? A few dinners like this will stretch your budget.

Also do a stocktake of what you have, base meals around what's in your pantry/fridge/freezer, and don't buy any household supplies you won't run out of.

Porridge using home brand rolled oats is a very cheap breakfast. Healthy too.

#8 Hands Up

Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:59 AM

Ps Aldi will be your friend if you are near one. I think I save close to $50 per week when I shop there.

#9 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:16 AM

Thanks so much everyone, you've given awesome advice! We have an Aldi/Woolies/Coles nearby and usually shop at Aldi.

It's the meat part that worries me but I will look for vegetarian recipes.

I also just remembered DS has a few friends over for dinner tomorrow night ... Can I serve them a sausage sizzle for dinner? Would that suffice or would their parents be annoyed I served a "cheap meal"? Any budget friendly dinner suggestions for kids?

#10 Riotproof

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:18 AM

I would stocktake your pantry and freezer first. Then I’d buy a small fresh shop.
If you post the list of things you have, i’m Sure we can help.

#11 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:25 AM

Do you have any markets or anything to get the meat from?  
Coles and Woolies mince is the worst :sick:

Instead of a sausage sizzle you could do American style hot dogs?  Teenagers love that sort of thing.

#12 Sancti-claws

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:25 AM

I find buying meat in bulk and freezing in meal portions excellent - in fact, I often scrimp a little on the portions and make more packs!

(edited to add due to above comment - buying from a decent butcher means that you can do the above as you do get better quality meat - my family is in the beef industry and what is sought by the supermarkets starts behind the eight-ball)

Leftover nights are awesome - I meal plan for the week, but if there are more leftovers in the fridge I either move everything back or take a meal off the list - more for next week...


If I roast and there are leftovers, they go into the freezer for a pie night at some other point.

I often cook double/triple quantities and freeze future meals in either family or individual sizes.

Having your husband become a certain religion that features vegan foods while you embrace the 5:2 plan has done WONDERS for our food budget :D

Buy dried legumes and cook up bulk in the slowcooker and freeze off menu portions of them.

Live out of your pantry a bit - do a clean up of the pantry and see what you have and plan around that.

Signed by someone who is on a very tight budget that is tighter than usual at the moment (and who is mourning the months worth of food that had to be turfed when the freezer carked it)

Edited by Sancti-claws, 10 January 2019 - 07:26 AM.


#13 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:32 AM

From top of my head, in the pantry there is:

• 1 can lentils
• 2 cans diced tomato
• 2 cans coconut cream
• 1 can coconut milk
• 2 cans kidney beans
• packet marinades (sweet and sour sauce, chili con carne)
• garlic cloves
• a couple of brown onions
• a carton on chicken stock

Running dangerously low on fresh milk, there is only a packet of beef mince in the freezer, we have about 6 eggs, 2 apples, 2 navel oranges, a tub of plain Greek yoghurt (but expiry is in a few days), a loaf of bread .

We are good on the seasoning front.

There could be a few items I've forgotten but that's pretty much it.

 WannabeMasterchef, on 10 January 2019 - 07:25 AM, said:

Do you have any markets or anything to get the meat from?  
Coles and Woolies mince is the worst :sick:

Instead of a sausage sizzle you could do American style hot dogs?  Teenagers love that sort of thing.

Good idea!

#14 just roses

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:32 AM

I bulk out mince with chickpeas and veggies (carrot and broccoli) that I whizz up and add. So 500g of mince, plus passata, a can of chickpeas and a whole lot of veggies isn't only healthier, but it goes a lot further than just 500g mince and sauce.

#15 rowd

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:38 AM

Homemade pizzas are cheap and teens would love them.

Meals I like to do when trying to reduce our budget for a week are:

Big roast chicken - roast one night with veges etc, use leftovers for quesadillas, pies, fried rice, salad, sandwiches - usually one big chicken will last 3 nights and couple of lunches.

Mac and cheese or pasta bake with whatever vegetables are in season.

Vege tacos - roast pumpkin/cauli/sweet potato, anything works really.

Stuffed baked potatoes

Vege based curries - you could add a little bit of chicken or beef.

Good luck!

#16 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:39 AM

Any pantry staples I should add to my grocery list that are needed for a variety of recipes?

#17 Caribou

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:40 AM

Dominos pizzas are pretty cheap, aren’t they like from $4 - $8 Takeaway?
Don’t worry what parents think, do what’s best for you.

#18 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:40 AM

Really good meal suggestions ... Thanks everyone!

#19 EsmeLennox

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:41 AM

 pinkandgold, on 10 January 2019 - 07:16 AM, said:

Thanks so much everyone, you've given awesome advice! We have an Aldi/Woolies/Coles nearby and usually shop at Aldi.

It's the meat part that worries me but I will look for vegetarian recipes.

I also just remembered DS has a few friends over for dinner tomorrow night ... Can I serve them a sausage sizzle for dinner? Would that suffice or would their parents be annoyed I served a "cheap meal"? Any budget friendly dinner suggestions for kids?

A sausage sizzle is my meal of choice when feeding a hoard of hungry kids. If their parents are annoyed, well, stiff sh*t really.

Popcorn is cheap for kids to snack on, not as in the pre-prepped microwave popcorn, but buying a bag of kernels and popping yourself. You can do it in a pot on the stove if you don’t have a popcorn maker.

#20 just roses

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:41 AM

Do you have any creamed corn? My kids love corn and ham fritters. I've still got cut up ham in the freezer from Christmas. It's just a few eggs, a can of creamed corn (your big eaters might need two cans), some ham or bacon and add flour until you get the right consistency. Serve with relish of some kind and salad.

#21 just roses

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:42 AM

My kids would come home raving about a sausage sizzle at a friend's place! But if it were me, I'd probably just get Dominos pizzas. The value ones are only $5.50 each, and less effort than snags!

#22 Jane Jetson

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:45 AM

Have a look at the Cooking on a Bootstrap blog - the author is in the UK but there's some good stuff in there, that even this house's fussy eater (me!) likes.

Good if you're trying to eat less meat, too.

https://cookingonabootstrap.com/

#23 BeStill

Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:49 AM

- Home made pizza x 2
- Sausage sizzle for the friends
- Sausage casserole (using garlic and tinned tomato’s and some frozen veg, served with rice or pasta). - Toasted sandwiches for dinner one night (ham,cheese etc or even left over mince)
- Breakfast dinner (eggs,bacon, mushrooms etc)
- Stuffed jacket potato’s (i’d make a Mexican mince with the beans etc and top with cheese/sour cream and avocado)
- big spag bol bulked out with beans and frozen veg, should do 2 meals and could be used in jaffles or baked potatoes
- fried rice with chicken, eggs and frozen veg
- 2min noodles with some added bacon/chicken and frozen 3 veg make an easy lunch or quick dinner
- frittata (mostly eggs, veg and some bacon or chicken or tinned salmon).
- Roast chicken (surprisingly cheap to buy a whole chicken, left over can be added to other things
- Tuna bake with pasta & veg
- Slow cooker with gravy meat

Cheap meats/proteins include eggs, bulk chicken breast or thigh, whole chickens, mince, tinned tuna, gravy beef etc

#24 lozoodle

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:06 AM

Get loads of beans and chickpeas and lentils etc, you can bulk stuff up really well with that and cut down the meat so any meat you buy in bulk will go further.

Yes to slow cooker, you can make nice stuff with cheaper cuts the way

#25 Mollycoddle

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:09 AM

Mince, mince, mince!  Tacos, burgers, spaghetti bol.

I also second doing as much of your shop as you can at Aldi then getting only what you can't get there at Woolies/Coles.

SNAP Renovators Delight, the wings are a goer too :)

Edited by Mollycoddle, 10 January 2019 - 08:10 AM.





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