food budget
life

Food On A Budget

So right now, I’m doing food on a budget. How does that look? And can you even get any good food for as little as $50 a fortnight (or $25 a week!!)? 

Lockdowns have caused funds to dwindle (especially mine, where my day job is school photography. Not an essential service apparently). So I’m trying to be more thrifty with my funds and stick to a food budget.

There are some fortnights where I only spend $30 for food, and others where I spend $70. So I’ve shared my ‘Penny Pinching Budgeter’ example (coins for visual), and a ‘Super Budgeter’ example. (use superman type logo for this one)

Also, I should mention that planning your meals in advance, can really help reduce your expected costs. If you know what kind of food you like to make (and that you’re going to actually stick to your shopping list), it becomes pretty clear, pretty quickly what you will need to grab on your next shopping day!

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Some basic things to remember on saving money include

  • Avoid brand names that are expensive (the homebrand stuff is either just as good, or better on your money belt anyways. You’ll learn to appreciate the slightly different taste if you’re an avid foodie).
  • Who says your grocery trip has to be exclusively at ONE store? Going to a few different places (like that discount grocery place alongside your normal supermarket) can drastically make a difference. When money counts, it pays to do a few extra steps on shopping day.
  • Cut out on those luxuries this time, so you can grab them next time. It’s okay to skip a week of chippies, chocolate bikkies, or that special drink of yours.
  • Be creative with the limited choices you have. It’s easy to use Bolognese sauce JUST for spaghetti, but have you ever looked into the various recipes and options you can do with it? There are so many choices if you’re just willing to get a bit more creative!

Super Budgeter ($60-70 P/F for 1 person)

    • Tier 1 Essentials. These guys are the things you need every week, and use all the time:
      Milk, bread, eggs, cheese, toilet paper.
    • Tier 2 Essentials.
      Pasta, rice, sauces, fresh veggies (like lettuce, cucumber, carrots etc), potatoes, frozen veggies.
    • Tier 3 Essentials. This is your meat section. Meat can be pricy, so if you’re willing to go without a whole bunch of meat (or be a bit more particular), your bills will decrease quite a bit!
      Chicken, mince, ham.
    • Tier 4 Essentials. This is your cleaning and sanitary stuff. If you needed things like toothpaste, try grabbing those long lasting ones that only cost an extra buck or two.
      Dishwashing tablets/liquid, laundry liquid, shampoo, conditioner.
    • Miscellaneous. This is the stuff that you add to the cart when you’ve collected those essential
      Bagels, donuts, 2 minute noodles, Tacos, Pizzas, chips, drinks, fruit.

Shopping at places like Aldi, or discount grocery stores, I can easily hit this $60-70 mark for a fortnight (one person only though guys… keep that in mind!).

Penny Pinching Budgeter ($20-30 P/F for 1 person)

    • Tier 1 Essential.
      Milk, bread, eggs, cheese, toilet paper.
    • Tier 2 Essentials.
      Pasta, rice, sauces, frozen veggies, potatoes.
    • Tier 3 Essentials.
      Chicken, mince.
    • Tier 4 Essentials.
      Laundry liquid, dishwashing tablets/liquids
    • Miscellaneous.
      There ain’t none baby!

This can be harder to achieve, and you have to be a bit more brutal with your choices. Giving up a LOT for this price point. When you’re down to the wire for money though, sometimes all you can survive on is rice and beans (so to speak)!

These examples were just some of the ways that I try to be thriftier on a food budget when the money isn’t rolling in. They’re easily adjustable if you wanted to try them, but I always try to keep in mind that the more I look at those chip and cookie rows, the more I’ll want to grab some from them.

 


What foods do you think you could live without if you had to? Share with us in the comments below.

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