How a dietitian buys a week’s worth of healthy food for $50
WHO doesn't want to save a few dollars if they can in this day and age?
For many of us, the amount we spend on food each week is one of our biggest expenses, even for just the basics.
So, imagine if you could spend as little as $50 a week on groceries each week. Well it is possible and while it may not be the most exciting of meals that you will be eating, the extra money in your bank account will really add up.
In addition, with far fewer unnecessary items in your shopping trolley, your weight is also likely to benefit, since we tend to eat the volumes of food that we purchase.
This weekly menu was developed using food items found at a mainstream (not discount) supermarket. In turn this means you could possibly even do better money wise with cheaper brands or using foods with a poorer nutritional profile.
Eggs - $5 for cage free barn laid eggs
12 eggs means six meals including two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner. Not only are eggs extremely nutritious but they are a relatively cheap source of high quality protein.
Tuna - 2 x 95g cans - $2.00
Another high quality protein for lunch sandwiches that can regularly be found heavily discounted.
Mince - 500g turkey, chicken OR low grade beef mince $7.00
Whether you choose lower grade beef or pork mince or lean chicken or turkey mince, you can find 500g mince for $7 or less at supermarkets. 500g of mince easily makes 2 dinner meals with lunch leftovers, especially when you bulk the mince up with extra vegetables or legumes such as lentils or kidney beans.
Lentils - $2.80 for 200g
Lentils are a superfood when it comes to budget eating. Not only can they be added to minced meat but also made into patties and soup and a single packet will give you at least 3-4 serves.
Bread - multigrain loaf $3.00
You can find loaves of bread for a little as a dollar but a standard wholemeal or multigrain loaf allows you several lunch sandwiches as well as toast for breakfast several days each week will cost around $3.00.
Chicken Tenderloins - $7.00 for 500g
You can generally find stir fry beef or chicken tenderloins for around $7 at major supermarkets which in turn can be used for two dinners and as a sandwich topping.
Fruit 1kg - $3.00/kg
Today apples and peaches were both available for this price, which would give you 4-5 pieces of fruit for snacks through the week.
Carrots - 1kg bag - $1.20
Buying fresh produce in season means you can get some great bargains like a whole bag of carrots for just over a dollar. In turn these can be added to smoothies, mince dishes and served as vegetable sides to chicken and fish meals.
Frozen vegetables - $3.00
For as little as $1.70 you can find bags of frozen vegetables which can be added to soups, casseroles and mince dishes.
Potatoes - $2.00/kg
This means that 3-4 potatoes will cost less than $2.00 and can be enjoyed with meals or as a light lunch served with tuna or leftover mince.
Cheese - $3.50 for 200g
One of the more expensive items, a block of cheese could be considered more of a luxury item but can be used to flavour frittatas, patties and soups and also used to make cheese on toast for breakfast or enjoyed with fruit for a quick snack on the go.
Frozen fish - $7
At the supermarket there were several types of frozen fish that were less than $7 and got this you could also find a relatively healthy grilled fish option that could be enjoyed with potatoes and vegetables on two different occasions.
Milk - $1.20 for 1L of long life
For tea, coffee or even a quick breakfast smoothie.
Frozen berries - $4.00 for 500g
Another more luxury item, berries can be added to milk for smoothies and often found on sale much cheaper than this when in season.
Here's a sample menu that uses these items:
- Eggs or cheese on toast
- Berry or fruit smoothie
- Tuna, egg or chicken sandwich
- Leftover soup
- Leftover mince and vegetables
- Stuffed potato
- Mince and vegetables or meat loaf
- Fish and vegetables
- Chicken and vegetables
- Fruit, cheese, milk
** Please note - this menu does not include household staples such as flour, stock, spreads and sauces that may be added to dishes depending on the recipe.