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  1. #21
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    Our family...2 adults, 2 kids (4 and 5 years), 3 cats, 1 dog and 4 chickens, we spend about $200/week.

    I spend between $50 and $100 at coles or woolies per week, About $80/week at the markets on fruit and veg and about $100/MONTH on meat.

    I buy meat in bulk and portion it and freeze it, i buy staples (flour, sugar, butter, rice, pasta, canned tomatoes etc) and make most of my stuff from scratch rather than buy pre-made, processed stuff...IMO this is where alot of wasted money goes.

    Start making cakes/cookies/school lunch snacks rather than buying them. Make soups/stocks, used canned tomatoes and herbs for sauce bases rather than buying jarred ones.

    If you have a little space out the back, set up a herb garden, parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary. This will save heaps on buying jarred sauces etc.

  2. #22
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    2 adults, 2 kids and 1 cat - we spend $160-$180 per week. My only secret is minimal packets, cook and bake from scratch, lots of fresh foods.

  3. #23
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    uploadfromtaptalk1403740361209.jpg that's my months dinner menu. I have just cut my budget down to roughly $150 a week for 2 adults and 2 children (4 &6) I have been making home made snacks for the kids. If you have a bigger budget to start with, stock up on staples that will last you a while then it will be easier to spend less.

  4. #24
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    The green are my busy nights so either DO cooks or I need something in the slow cooker or a fast meal. Mondays are my shopping night so mostly east meals then. Every second weekend I don't have the kids so I don't cook which saves money.

  5. #25
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    The biggest money-saving change I made a few years ago was to sit down once a week and do a meal plan for us. We were throwing away so much fresh food prior to that because we'd buy a little bit of this and a little bit of that thinking we'd eat it and then wouldn't get around to it so it would spoil/go to waste. We also had a lot of stuff in the freezer that we'd be continually adding to and then forget we had it, so it wouldn't get used and we'd forget what it was.

    So when I do the meal plan, I choose every dinner meal for that week, look up the recipes, check the fridge/freezer/pantry to see if there is anything left from the week before that needs to be used up and only put what I need to buy for those specific dishes on the shopping list. I am a bit looser for breakfast and lunch planning but always check to make sure we've got enough bread, cheese, eggs, ham, tinned tuna/salmon, etc. I will often cook up big batches of things during the week - soups, casseroles, etc - and freeze them in single portions. This is saving us a fortune in terms of not buying lunch when going to work.

    For us, we spend on average $60-70 at Coles/Woolies, $80-90 at the green grocer, $60-70 at the butcher and $30 at the fish monger. That's for two adults plus a hungry 13yo every second week.

    We eat stacks of fresh fruit and vegetables and a fair bit of meat/fish because my husband is gluten free so our diet has naturally skewed that way. I've also got an amazing stockpile of dried grains and beans, which cost hardly anything to buy but save a fortune when compared to buying rehydrated tinned cannellini beans, lentils, etc. You just have to be prepared to do a bit of extra prep with them. It's a trade-off sometimes between convenience and cost.

    The PP's idea of a herb garden is great and a massive money-saver. We do that too, growing all the basics that we use regularly - parsley, oregano, rosemary, bay, thyme, chives, mint, coriander, chillies - plus lettuce. Slimey lettuce was something that used to get thrown out at the end of each week but now I can go out to the garden and just pick a few leaves as I need them. Works a treat! And lettuce grows incredibly quickly. If you also plant beetroot, chard and spinach you've got your own mixed salad leaves.

    When you think about it, each of those fresh herb packs are $2-3 each and you often end up throwing most of them out because they go off before you can use it all. If you invest in some pots and/or good soil and then pay $2-3 per plant, you'll be reaping the rewards for much longer. It is also a good experience for the kids, depending on how old they are, to be able to grow stuff and then eat it.
    Last edited by Cat74; 26-06-2014 at 10:13.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat74 View Post
    The biggest money-saving change I made a few years ago was to sit down once a week and do a meal plan for us. We were throwing away so much fresh food prior to that because we'd buy a little bit of this and a little bit of that thinking we'd eat it and then wouldn't get around to it so it would spoil/go to waste. We also had a lot of stuff in the freezer that we'd be continually adding to and then forget we had it, so it wouldn't get used and we'd forget what it was.

    So when I do the meal plan, I choose every dinner meal for that week, look up the recipes, check the fridge/freezer/pantry to see if there is anything left from the week before that needs to be used up and only put what I need to buy for those specific dishes on the shopping list. I am a bit looser for breakfast and lunch planning but always check to make sure we've got enough bread, cheese, eggs, ham, tinned tuna/salmon, etc. I will often cook up big batches of things during the week - soups, casseroles, etc - and freeze them in single portions. This is saving us a fortune in terms of not buying lunch when going to work.

    For us, we spend on average $60-70 at Coles/Woolies, $80-90 at the green grocer, $60-70 at the butcher and $30 at the fish monger. That's for two adults plus a hungry 13yo every second week.

    We eat stacks of fresh fruit and vegetables and a fair bit of meat/fish because my husband is gluten free so our diet has naturally skewed that way. I've also got an amazing stockpile of dried grains and beans, which cost hardly anything to buy but save a fortune when compared to buying rehydrated tinned cannellini beans, lentils, etc. You just have to be prepared to do a bit of extra prep with them. It's a trade-off sometimes between convenience and cost.

    The PP's idea of a herb garden is great and a massive money-saver. We do that too, growing all the basics that we use regularly - parsley, oregano, rosemary, bay, thyme, chives, mint, coriander, chillies - plus lettuce. Slimey lettuce was something that used to get thrown out at the end of each week but now I can go out to the garden and just pick a few leaves as I need them. Works a treat! And lettuce grows incredibly quickly. If you also plant beetroot, chard and spinach you've got your own mixed salad leaves.

    When you think about it, each of those fresh herb packs are $2-3 each and you often end up throwing most of them out because they go off before you can use it all. If you invest in some pots and/or good soil and then pay $2-3 per plant, you'll be reaping the rewards for much longer. It is also a good experience for the kids, depending on how old they are, to be able to grow stuff and then eat it.
    This is all such good, sensible advice which I really must take. Especially the meal planning. I was home yesterday and cooked up a few batches of things, mainly to freeze for when bub comes. But I also threw out so much fridge stuff, including a couple of unopened things that were past use-by e.g. a $5 tub of ricotta cheese. So wasteful!!

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankyoldcow View Post
    @Cat74 Where do you get your dried beans and grains from? What are your tips for prepping? Is it possible to soak and precook a huge batch and freeze them?
    Not sure where you're based but here in Brisbane there is a wonderful Indian grocer and also an Italian grocer On Balaclava St at Woolloongabba. We go there every six months to replenish our stocks of grains and spices. They are also good for big economical bags of rice, flour, almond meal, etc.

    They sell various-sized bags. For spices, a 200g bag might cost us $2-6 (depending on what it is) versus $3-4 for a 30g Masterfoods jar. For grains, 1kg lentils or beans are only a few $ (max. $10). Quinoa is a big saving 500g = $5-6 instead of $10-11 at Coles.

    For prepping lentils and quinoa, it's similar to the absorption method of cooking rice. 1 cup grains to 2 cups water. Keep checking the texture, you don't want them too soft. Quinoa should always be rinsed thoroughly at least three times as there is some kind of coating/toxin on the outer shell which ruins the taste and, over time, can actually cause allergies if not rinsed thoroughly off. I think this is why a lot of people who try preparing it at home don't like the taste.

    With DH being GF we use quinoa instead of cous cous, freekah, etc. And quinoa flakes (which don't need any prep) are a good substitute for breadcrumbs.

    For prepping beans, and this is where I might lose you because it is a fair bit of effort, they should be placed in a container, covered with water and soaked overnight. It's good if you can change the water a couple of times too as it goes a bit yuck with the stuff that leaches out of the bean skins. They then need to be cooked in fresh water for around 45 minutes prior to adding to a dish. But often if you're using beans in a soup the recipe will tell you the best way to prepare them. They taste so much better than the canned ones!

    You can definitely cook up a big batch and freeze them but it's not something I've done as our freezer space is at a premium. You can also cook them up a few days in advance and keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
    Last edited by Cat74; 26-06-2014 at 11:14.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Cat74 For This Useful Post:

    HappyBovinexx  (26-06-2014)

  9. #28
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    @crankyoldcow, that's no good that you've had a health scare!

    If the beans are too old, or haven't been stored properly, it can mean they dry out too much and are then very difficult to soften. I keep mine in air-tight glass jars with the rubber seals (like pickling jars). A teeny bit of baking soda in the cooking liquid can help soften them. You can also try salt but I tend not to do that because you generally end up adding salt to the final dish you're making - and don't want to over-do it.

    Both of those places - All Foods India and Pennisi Cuisine - have a great range of pulses.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Cat74 For This Useful Post:

    HappyBovinexx  (26-06-2014)

  11. #29
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    This post makes me aware of how crap DP and I's food spending is. We spend $150 a week just on ourselves then out of laziness get takeaway at least 3 nights a week
    Definitely something thats going to change
    💜 DD1 aka Peanut 💜 Due 28.10.14

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankyoldcow View Post
    @Cat74 Where do you get your dried beans and grains from? What are your tips for prepping? Is it possible to soak and precook a huge batch and freeze them?
    That's exactly what I do with chickpeas. Soak them overnight then wash thoroughly and cook till soft. Then once cooled I put them in zip lock bags and freeze them. Sooo easy to use because you don't need to defrost them before hand just heat up a saucepan or small pot


 

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