How to save $50 on your grocery bill and still eat tasty, nutritious meals

5 tips to help you save

Putting all this together, here are five key tips to keep in mind when planning food for your household:

1. Have a food budget

Total food budget dollars will be influenced by how many people you need to feed, their age and your household income. A rough rule of thumb is it shouldn’t cost more than one-third of your total household disposable income.

Allocate target amounts in your budget for both core, nutritious foods and discretionary foods and drinks (soft drinks, chips, biscuits, cakes, lollies, pies, pastries and deli meats) and on foods away from home (coffees, fast food, pubs, clubs, bottle shops and restaurants).

2. Plan your meals each week

Make a weekly plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Write a matching grocery list. Check the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what you already have or whether any ingredients can be swapped to save a purchase.

3. Pack your lunch

Buy a lunch box and pack it the night before. Put it in the fridge so you can grab and go in the morning. For ideas, see our $5 make-at-home lunches.

If your mornings are too busy, pack in breakfast foods too.

4. Cook more meals at home

Cooking more meals at home might include cheaper and healthier versions of some of your take-out favourites such as pizza and burgers.

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A study from the United States found those who cooked more at home spent half the amount of money on food eaten away from home than those who cooked infrequently. They also spent 17 per cent less on food overall.

Interestingly, both groups spent the same on groceries, suggesting that infrequent home cookers either wasted more food, ate more, or both.

5. Cook double batches

Cook greater quantities of meals like curries, soups and casseroles, and either freeze them or have the same meal twice.

For those needing to shop on a significantly restricted budget, we’ve developed a $60 a week meal plan on our No Money No Time website. This free resource contains a meal plan with inexpensive recipes, designed to meet key nutrients needed for health.

If you need help getting food right now, try the Ask Izzy website. By submitting your postcode, it shows support services, such as free meals, near you.


The authors acknowledge the assistance of Hannah McCormick and Ilyse Jones from the No Money No Time Project team in preparing this article.

This article was written by Clare Collins, Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle and Megan Whatnall, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here.