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#1 chloe_belle

Posted 17 March 2020 - 08:52 PM

I am looking for your best tips on how you keep your grocery shopping costs down and manage to eat well! Also what do most people spend on their groceries a week for a family of 2-3?

We are a family of 2 adults and a baby and now that I am on maternity leave I am trying to be more conscious of our spending.

Thankyou

#2 kimasa

Posted 18 March 2020 - 09:24 AM

We are 2 adults and  6yr old. Our grocery budget is $150 per fortnight. I withdraw it in cash and only use cash in supermarkets because I will stick to that much easier than if I was using a card.

I shop around. I'm not a "get everything all in one place" person because I would end up with half the amount of food for the same price that way. A lot of it is getting to know whats around you. Small independent grocers, greengrocers, butchers and so on. There's a Sri Lankan grocer near me that has excellent prices and a greengrocer that really only sells "mis-shapen" produce.

At the moment that's all out the window though because everyone's lost their minds.

#3 chloe_belle

Posted 18 March 2020 - 04:52 PM

View Postkimasa, on 18 March 2020 - 09:24 AM, said:

We are 2 adults and  6yr old. Our grocery budget is $150 per fortnight. I withdraw it in cash and only use cash in supermarkets because I will stick to that much easier than if I was using a card.

I shop around. I'm not a "get everything all in one place" person because I would end up with half the amount of food for the same price that way. A lot of it is getting to know whats around you. Small independent grocers, greengrocers, butchers and so on. There's a Sri Lankan grocer near me that has excellent prices and a greengrocer that really only sells "mis-shapen" produce.

At the moment that's all out the window though because everyone's lost their minds.


Wow! I obviously have a lot to learn! What kinds of meals do you have? Does that spend include lunches and weekend meals?

#4 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 18 March 2020 - 05:21 PM

We also have 7 & 9 year olds as well as a baby but I find you dont really need to buy them too many special baby foods.   I just steamed veggies and chopped them up really well then added pasta etc.

Using seasonal veggies and fruit I reckon makes a big difference.

Noodle dishes with egg and tofu are quick and cheap.

#5 kimasa

Posted 18 March 2020 - 06:02 PM

View Postchloe_belle, on 18 March 2020 - 04:52 PM, said:




Wow! I obviously have a lot to learn! What kinds of meals do you have? Does that spend include lunches and weekend meals?

Yes, it's week long, with the exception of the one lunch order per week for my daughter at school.

What we have varies really heavily, to be honest and is based around "orange stickers" (reduced to clear) and specials. One thing that is pretty consistent is roast chicken, a whole small chicken is usually around $5-$6 and it goes so far.

This week capsicum is featuring quite heavily because our local greengrocer had the half green half red ones for 80c a kilo.

An example of how we eat in a day:

Me:
Breakfast:
Lactose free yoghurt (25% off at Coles once every 4 weeks) with pumpkin seeds, and stewed frozen berries.
Black coffee.
Snack:
Green tea (which I didn't pay for because it was from the kitchen at work)
Lunch:
Leftover beef and mushroom casserole (I freeze leftovers in single portion containers to grab for work lunch, from memory this was chuck steak with one of those fancy mushroom packs from Woolworths marked down, there was some spinach or kale in there too, something green, I don't remember what I put in exactly)
Snack:
Black coffee
Dinner:
Green vegetable curry with jasmine rice (capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, carrots- I think that was all, DH made it)
White wine (Aldi, woo!)

Will probably have a cup of green tea before bed.

DH:
Breakfast:
Coffee only because he doesn't like eating breakfast
Lunch:
Going on the empty container that is currently on the kitchen bench, he took the chicken drumsticks with ratatouille from the freezer
(He probably had coffee and biscuits at work as his work provide them)
Dinner:
Same as me

He will probably have tea later too

DD:
Breakfast:
Two egg, cheese and tomato omelette
Glass of rice milk (because we've run out of regular so she's stuck with my lactose intolerant options until I cross paths with some cows milk in the empty supermarket, lucky for me she's not fussy)
Crunch and sip:
Apple ($5 for a 4kg bag at the farm near us!)
Recess:
Yoghurt (Coles brand in a tub)
Lunch:
Cheese, lettuce, carrot and capsicum wrap (no bread on the shelves either, but there were wraps luckily, she prefers a sandwich, but she doesn't have a choice at the moment)
Popcorn
Snack:
Whatever after school care were serving
Dinner:
Same as us, minus the wine of course
Dessert:
A favourite chocolate (my in laws bought her a jumbo box for Christmas, she's allowed one after dinner, she's nearing the end of it now)

I'm lucky, I've got an easy eater.

We're not huge eaters, and I wouldn't call our diets perfect (and my dietician is always on me about my coffee consumption, today was a good day TBH) but they're not the worst.

#6 Dianalynch

Posted 18 March 2020 - 06:24 PM

first consider where you shop - are you currently a coles/woolworths shopper, or already an aldi (if you live close enough to Aldi) / local fruit store shopper?

to cut our spend I went from colesworth to aldi and i couldn't believe what a difference it made, it was a third cheaper.

we are also mostly vegetarian, so things like lentil vegie bolognese, tofu vegie stir fry, mushroom risotto, etc are cheaper than many meat dishes

we currently spend $250-$275 a week on groceries, which is high for us family of 4 includes all breakfasts , lunches and 5-6 dinners, i'm working a lot so i'm taking shortcuts and going to colesworth more. the more we cook from scratch and shop at aldi the more we save

#7 Kallie88

Posted 18 March 2020 - 07:14 PM

My current budget is $70 a week at woolies, $45 at fruitastic (fresh, seasonal fruit and veg delivery service in vic). And often $80-100 at aldi once a month. When we need meat (I haven't really bought any yet this year) I get bulk packs from a butcher that delivers from gippsland ($150 to $200 a pack depending on what meat) and forgo everything except essentials for that week. We are 2 adults and 3 kids 4yo and under

#8 chloe_belle

Posted 18 March 2020 - 09:53 PM

View Postkimasa, on 18 March 2020 - 06:02 PM, said:

Yes, it's week long, with the exception of the one lunch order per week for my daughter at school.

What we have varies really heavily, to be honest and is based around "orange stickers" (reduced to clear) and specials. One thing that is pretty consistent is roast chicken, a whole small chicken is usually around $5-$6 and it goes so far.

This week capsicum is featuring quite heavily because our local greengrocer had the half green half red ones for 80c a kilo.

An example of how we eat in a day:

Me:
Breakfast:
Lactose free yoghurt (25% off at Coles once every 4 weeks) with pumpkin seeds, and stewed frozen berries.
Black coffee.
Snack:
Green tea (which I didn't pay for because it was from the kitchen at work)
Lunch:
Leftover beef and mushroom casserole (I freeze leftovers in single portion containers to grab for work lunch, from memory this was chuck steak with one of those fancy mushroom packs from Woolworths marked down, there was some spinach or kale in there too, something green, I don't remember what I put in exactly)
Snack:
Black coffee
Dinner:
Green vegetable curry with jasmine rice (capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, green beans, carrots- I think that was all, DH made it)
White wine (Aldi, woo!)

Will probably have a cup of green tea before bed.

DH:
Breakfast:
Coffee only because he doesn't like eating breakfast
Lunch:
Going on the empty container that is currently on the kitchen bench, he took the chicken drumsticks with ratatouille from the freezer
(He probably had coffee and biscuits at work as his work provide them)
Dinner:
Same as me

He will probably have tea later too

DD:
Breakfast:
Two egg, cheese and tomato omelette
Glass of rice milk (because we've run out of regular so she's stuck with my lactose intolerant options until I cross paths with some cows milk in the empty supermarket, lucky for me she's not fussy)
Crunch and sip:
Apple ($5 for a 4kg bag at the farm near us!)
Recess:
Yoghurt (Coles brand in a tub)
Lunch:
Cheese, lettuce, carrot and capsicum wrap (no bread on the shelves either, but there were wraps luckily, she prefers a sandwich, but she doesn't have a choice at the moment)
Popcorn
Snack:
Whatever after school care were serving
Dinner:
Same as us, minus the wine of course
Dessert:
A favourite chocolate (my in laws bought her a jumbo box for Christmas, she's allowed one after dinner, she's nearing the end of it now)

I'm lucky, I've got an easy eater.

We're not huge eaters, and I wouldn't call our diets perfect (and my dietician is always on me about my coffee consumption, today was a good day TBH) but they're not the worst.

Thankyou! That's a great insight. Do you eat much meat?

#9 chloe_belle

Posted 18 March 2020 - 09:57 PM

View PostDianalynch, on 18 March 2020 - 06:24 PM, said:

first consider where you shop - are you currently a coles/woolworths shopper, or already an aldi (if you live close enough to Aldi) / local fruit store shopper?

to cut our spend I went from colesworth to aldi and i couldn't believe what a difference it made, it was a third cheaper.

we are also mostly vegetarian, so things like lentil vegie bolognese, tofu vegie stir fry, mushroom risotto, etc are cheaper than many meat dishes

we currently spend $250-$275 a week on groceries, which is high for us family of 4 includes all breakfasts , lunches and 5-6 dinners, i'm working a lot so i'm taking shortcuts and going to colesworth more. the more we cook from scratch and shop at aldi the more we save

I think that might be where our costs are adding up- meat. I have started shopping at Aldi but haven't noticed a huge difference. I am finding because they don't have everything I need I am going to Aldi and doing a pretty big shop and then getting the things they don't have at Woolworths and that ends up being quite a significant shop also! I definitely need to be more disciplined and stick to my list and I do have a tendency to over buy

#10 Sancti-claws

Posted 18 March 2020 - 10:37 PM

View Postkimasa, on 18 March 2020 - 06:02 PM, said:

This week capsicum is featuring quite heavily because our local greengrocer had the half green half red ones for 80c a kilo.
Where the heck are you getting 80c a kilo capsicums?

They are upwards of $10 a kilo here, and they are grown in the area and we didn't have bushfires!!!

That aside, our budget is abysmal and blown to smithereens at the moment.

#11 kimasa

Posted 19 March 2020 - 06:24 AM

View PostSancti-claws, on 18 March 2020 - 10:37 PM, said:


Where the heck are you getting 80c a kilo capsicums?

They are upwards of $10 a kilo here, and they are grown in the area and we didn't have bushfires!!!

That aside, our budget is abysmal and blown to smithereens at the moment.

Local greengrocer that sells the rejects. It was basically a big cardboard bin of ones that are half red and half green, as in not half half of the container, the actual capsicum was in between ripening stages. Supermarkets won't sell them like that.

#12 kimasa

Posted 19 March 2020 - 06:26 AM

View Postchloe_belle, on 18 March 2020 - 09:53 PM, said:



Thankyou! That's a great insight. Do you eat much meat?

Yes, probably chicken more than others just due to prices.

I have malabsorption syndrome and can't eat any legumes among other things, so a vegetarian diet isn't healthy for me.

#13 SummerStar

Posted 19 March 2020 - 06:30 AM

I budget $500 a fortnight for a family of 7, five adults, one teen and one child. We manage on that I meal plan and buy only whah we need for meals.

#14 chloe_belle

Posted 19 March 2020 - 11:34 AM

View PostSummerStar, on 19 March 2020 - 06:30 AM, said:

I budget $500 a fortnight for a family of 7, five adults, one teen and one child. We manage on that I meal plan and buy only whah we need for meals.


Can I ask what your meal plan looks like?

#15 SummerStar

Posted 19 March 2020 - 12:05 PM

I do a pasta one night, usually with 1/3 pack Mince and bulked out with tomatoes and mushrooms, so a 500g Mince pack lasts 3 meals. I do a fair bit of chicken, I divide packs up in to two breasts and chop that up adding it to other stuff. My weeks are all different I use instagram and the tasty app for recipes then I buy just the ingredients on the recipe. Often those where not much is used I'll find a recipe to use more of it.

If we get take away or go out for something different the last meal of the week becomes the first meal for the following week so one less I have to plan and buy for. I also shop online so there's no impulse buying I have to search for the items I need to add to cart.

#16 CrankyM

Posted 19 March 2020 - 12:50 PM

I spend about $300/fortnight I think. Maybe $350. 2 children, 2 adults though my 11yr old eats as much as an adult easily.

We get 18-20kg of veg delivered from a farm direct company. That covers a fortnight and cost me $72. We usually have vege leftover on the Sunday.

We also ONLY have a woolies/coles here so I do the shopping there. There are cheaper alternatives. Also the butcher in town charges twice what the big supermarkets do. We occasionally buy sausages from them but not often

I normally buy
2 kg of mince
2 kg chicken breast
Sausages sometimes.
4 can corn kernels
4 cans beans
4 pkts torillas
2 loaves bread
2kg cheese
500g salami
200g ham
20L milk
Maybe a dozen eggs if our chickens are not laying
tub of butter
1kg flour
1-2 kg apples or pears
2 jars pasta sauce
2 pkts pasta or 2 pkts noodles (I swap depending on what is in the cupboard)
3 boxes of ceral (usually $4-5/box)
7 cans cat food
2L yoghurt
Stock powder
Maybe a bag of onions as we use more then come in the box

Every 3 months or so I buy 2kg of lentils and/or split green peas. When it's on special I buy a big tin of olive oil, washing detergent, and dishwashing tablets. Also coffee and tea and rice.

Milk we actually usually buy every couple of days (2x3L).

Menu planning does help some people save money, every time I do it, I end up spending more money. Instead I have a number of recipes that use similar ingredients.

And example of our current weeks food is:
Breakfast - kid ate ceral and milk. Neither DH or I eat breakfast
Lunch - Savory Muffins and fruit for kids, I had a salad and Yoghurt, DH took leftovers
Dinner
Mon
Pumpkin, Caluiflower and lamb curry with coconut rice
Tue
Leftovers
Wed
Vegetarian enchiladas (Black beans, butternut pumpkin, corn kernels, onion and capsican with spices and some passata.)
Thu
Green chicken pasta (Chicken, butternut pumpkin, silverbeet, brocaali tossed in pesto with pasta)
Fri
Home made pizza
Sat
Fish and steamed veg, with home made hashbrowns (Kids and DH are going fishing so it will be whatever they catch and they will only eat potato as hashbrowns)
Sun
Breakfast or brunch will usually involve eggs and maybe bacon if DH bought some (I rarely buy it).
Noodle soup of some variety.

Edited by CrankyM, 19 March 2020 - 12:52 PM.


#17 born.a.girl

Posted 19 March 2020 - 12:54 PM

View Postkimasa, on 19 March 2020 - 06:24 AM, said:

Local greengrocer that sells the rejects. It was basically a big cardboard bin of ones that are half red and half green, as in not half half of the container, the actual capsicum was in between ripening stages. Supermarkets won't sell them like that.

It's all a moot point now, with people buying anything, but we've started buying the Coles 'I'm perfect' (clever name) for some of their things.

Shame they're in bags (which we can at least recycle back at Coles) but the produce takes me back to my childhood where fruit and veg looked like that.

So far we've had pears, carrots, mango, amongst others.

#18 CrankyM

Posted 19 March 2020 - 01:19 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 19 March 2020 - 12:54 PM, said:

It's all a moot point now, with people buying anything, but we've started buying the Coles 'I'm perfect' (clever name) for some of their things.
.

I buy the woolies version, from the Odd Bunch. I'm not a fan of their fruit, but I always buy their carrots and the bags of capsicans are fabulous (About $6 for 1kg). As we eat a lot of mexican type food we eat a lot of capsicans.

Edited by CrankyM, 19 March 2020 - 01:19 PM.


#19 born.a.girl

Posted 19 March 2020 - 01:30 PM

View PostCrankyM, on 19 March 2020 - 01:19 PM, said:

I buy the woolies version, from the Odd Bunch. I'm not a fan of their fruit, but I always buy their carrots and the bags of capsicans are fabulous (About $6 for 1kg). As we eat a lot of mexican type food we eat a lot of capsicans.

That's a great name, too.

I suspect there'll be a lot of inconsistency with the offerings, given the nature of the product. What we've had has been fine.  I did put the apples straight in the fridge which I'd not normally do.   The oranges look half green but taste as they should.

Unfortunately in our small shopping strip we have a Woolworths, then when Coles opened across the road, we immediately lost the bakery, and the fruit shop.

Our nearest market hasn't hugely impressed me, unlike some other markets. With both of the big ones within walking distance, and anything small a suburb away, it's too easy to just get the f & v at the time of the shopping, so I'm glad at least this is happening.

#20 Sancti-claws

Posted 19 March 2020 - 10:01 PM

View PostCrankyM, on 19 March 2020 - 01:19 PM, said:

I buy the woolies version, from the Odd Bunch. I'm not a fan of their fruit, but I always buy their carrots and the bags of capsicans are fabulous (About $6 for 1kg). As we eat a lot of mexican type food we eat a lot of capsicans.
Again with the cheap capsicums!!!  We live in an area where we grow them and send them to market - why are our capsicums (even those in the local fruit shops) dearer?

Dying of capsicum envy here.

#21 CrankyM

Posted 19 March 2020 - 10:25 PM

Sancti they are not always available but yes I was shocked when I saw them. I used to spend 12-20 on capsicums every fortnight lol. They are small and weird looking with the odd big one but taste great still. The odd bunch often do small odd shaped avos in a 1kg bag too.

#22 Sancti-claws

Posted 20 March 2020 - 05:50 AM

Oh - I often buy Odd Bunch stuff - and our F&V used to always have boxes of seconds in a variety of things (actually got a box of capsicums for $5.00 last year - ah, the good old days)

I think I have discovered my new favourite Asian shop - I live in a small town that has surprisingly 4 Asian shops - I had previous shopped at the other 3 but for some reason never this one HOWEVER it was the only one with Chana Dal yesterday (the others had plenty of other dals so I think it was more a supply issue than a panic buying one).

Now is truly the time for expanding your cooking horizons - plenty of variety on the shelves!

#23 chloe_belle

Posted 22 March 2020 - 11:38 PM

View PostCrankyM, on 19 March 2020 - 12:50 PM, said:

I spend about $300/fortnight I think. Maybe $350. 2 children, 2 adults though my 11yr old eats as much as an adult easily.

We get 18-20kg of veg delivered from a farm direct company. That covers a fortnight and cost me $72. We usually have vege leftover on the Sunday.

We also ONLY have a woolies/coles here so I do the shopping there. There are cheaper alternatives. Also the butcher in town charges twice what the big supermarkets do. We occasionally buy sausages from them but not often

I normally buy
2 kg of mince
2 kg chicken breast
Sausages sometimes.
4 can corn kernels
4 cans beans
4 pkts torillas
2 loaves bread
2kg cheese
500g salami
200g ham
20L milk
Maybe a dozen eggs if our chickens are not laying
tub of butter
1kg flour
1-2 kg apples or pears
2 jars pasta sauce
2 pkts pasta or 2 pkts noodles (I swap depending on what is in the cupboard)
3 boxes of ceral (usually $4-5/box)
7 cans cat food
2L yoghurt
Stock powder
Maybe a bag of onions as we use more then come in the box

Every 3 months or so I buy 2kg of lentils and/or split green peas. When it's on special I buy a big tin of olive oil, washing detergent, and dishwashing tablets. Also coffee and tea and rice.

Milk we actually usually buy every couple of days (2x3L).

Menu planning does help some people save money, every time I do it, I end up spending more money. Instead I have a number of recipes that use similar ingredients.

And example of our current weeks food is:
Breakfast - kid ate ceral and milk. Neither DH or I eat breakfast
Lunch - Savory Muffins and fruit for kids, I had a salad and Yoghurt, DH took leftovers
Dinner
Mon
Pumpkin, Caluiflower and lamb curry with coconut rice
Tue
Leftovers
Wed
Vegetarian enchiladas (Black beans, butternut pumpkin, corn kernels, onion and capsican with spices and some passata.)
Thu
Green chicken pasta (Chicken, butternut pumpkin, silverbeet, brocaali tossed in pesto with pasta)
Fri
Home made pizza
Sat
Fish and steamed veg, with home made hashbrowns (Kids and DH are going fishing so it will be whatever they catch and they will only eat potato as hashbrowns)
Sun
Breakfast or brunch will usually involve eggs and maybe bacon if DH bought some (I rarely buy it).
Noodle soup of some variety.

Thankyou that’s so helpful! It looks like you eat really well with varied meals. I am definitely going to look into either a discount fruit and vegetable store or some kind of farm direct service. We do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables so that is one way we could start saving straight away




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