Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget (in Australia)

You might know that living costs in Australia are pretty high and grocery shopping can get a bit difficult when you don’t want to spend too much but still want to eat healthy.

First of all you should know two things: 1. Your body is a gift and you should care very well for it, to make you thrive and feel amazing – that’s worth a bit more money and 2. Food in Germany is very inexpensive so it’s kinda unfair to compare it.

But luckily it is possible to eat very healthy and wholesome here in Australia without spending a lot because there are a few tricks, tips and specials to look for!

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If you are interested in my go-to cheap, quick and healthy dinner meals I eat a lot here, check out this blog post!

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Prices

To give you an idea of what price range we are talking about, I wrote down how much I spend on what at the grocery store. When you see the prices you will realise that not everything is extremely expensive here, but some things are – that’s why you need to shop wisely and I will give you tips on how to do so.

I obviously always tried to find the cheapest deals and best offers. Usually, that are the brands that are owned by the grocery store itself, but it also happens quite often that you find great deals like half price or 25% off and most grocery stores also reduce the prices when the food is about to pass the best-before date.

Also, the prices change during the season, depending on where in Australia you are and if you shop in the city centre, in a suburb or in the Outback. My prices list is just there to give you an idea.

  • Kilogram of peas: 2,90$ – 4,50$ (1,90 – 2,90€)
  • Kilogram of apples: 4,50$ – 6$ (2,90 – 3,80€)
  • Can of any beans/lentils: 0,80$ (0,50€)
  • Corn cakes: 1,80$ (1,20€)
  • 200g of hummus: 2$ (1,30€)
  • 4 small whole wheat buns: 2,50$ (1,60€)
  • Green/red pesto: 4$ (2,50€)
  • sourdough bread: 5$ (3,30€)
  • 120g of fresh baby spinach: 3$ (2€)
  • Kilogram of carrots: 1$ (0,65€)
  • 500g frozen veggies (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower): 5$ (3,30€)
  • Kilogramm of frozen veggies (carrot, peas): 1,60$ (1€)

Now that I am actually converting the prices into Euro, I am realising once more that the food isn’t really that much more expensive. I would say overall it’s the same or only slightly more expensive because some products are actually cheaper and some are pricier. But it also depends on what products you are up for (see below for meat and dairy part).

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12$ for this huge box of 2nd choice strawberries that tasted amazing!

Fresh fruits and veggies

If you want to find amazing and fairly cheap fresh produce, you need to go to the markets. Usually there is a market every Saturday/Sunday in most cities and towns and some, like Melbourne the Queen Victoria Market or Sydney the Peddy’s Market, even have a daily/almost daily market.

When you are on a hunt for super cheap deals, you will even find food bags with “not so pretty/not so fresh” produce at some market stalls that are even cheaper and some stalls also do deals like 3 bags of different products of your choice for 5$ and 5 bags for 7$ etc.

It’s also a great idea to go to the market at around 1 hour before they close because then they oftentimes lower the prices or do special deals.

Especially in Brisbane, the market prices were so much cheaper than at the supermarket. A kilogram of bananas at Woolworth or Coles was 4,50$ and on the market, we got them for 2$ per kilo and they were actually ripe which makes it even nicer.

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When you stay in Hostels, you can also be lucky to find some good stuff in the Free Food Shelve that someone left behind – like these amazing blueberries!

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Meat and Dairy

Meat and dairy products like cheese or yogurt are super expensive here in Australia. As I don’t buy that, I didn’t realise it at first but my cousin visited me and complained about the prices a lot :D

  • 1kg of plain Greek style yogurt: 9$ (5,50€)
  • 500g mince meat: 6,50$ (4,20€)
  • 125g ham: 3$ (2€)
  • 250g cheddar: 4,20$ (2,70€)

Of course you can find some cheap deals but usually, the prices are really crazy – so it’s better to eat vegan guys!

I always don’t understand how (and why) the people in the hostel afford all that meat and dairy they eat… but probably they just got to the point where they don’t care because they just want to eat it :D Very glad that I don’t have these cravings and now that I shop for myself and only have the food I want to buy, I eat so much healthier and so much cleaner (more wholefoods instead of processed food) because I don’t want to afford the vegan substitutes (even tho I crave them sometimes :D )

Also, it’s crazy that the Aussie’s just looove to BBQ and do it all the time even though the prices are so high…

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Vegan substitutes

In the supermarket, you can find a lot of great vegan options like cheese, burger patties, a lot of different almond or coconut yogurts, many kinds of vegan milk, ice cream and even complete meals.

I would say the prices are pretty similar to Germany. Products like that are always a bit pricier, but not like crazy.

  • 4 vegan sausages: 6$ (3,80€)
  • 500g coconut yoghurt: 6$ – 8$ (3,80€ – 5€)
  • 4 burger patties: 3,50$ (2,20€)
  • 300g tofu: 3$ (it’s cheaper at the Asian market! – 4$ for 800g)
  • 500g coconut Ice Cream: 6$ (at Aldi! or around 10$ at Coles)
  • 500g falafel: 5$ (3,20€)
  • 1l almond milk: 1,50$ (0.90€)

I think especially the price for the coconut yoghurt is extremely good! Cheaper than in Germany and they also have so many more options, brands and flavours. Even Coles has their own one now, but the other brands taste better :P

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Eating out

Is another great thing as a vegan here in Australia! There are so many options, most places offer vegan meals and especially in the bigger cities and towns, you find a ton of awesome restaurants/bistros/cafés that have vegan and healthy (or not healthy) food. So many things I want to try, so many options, so much great stuff and the best: it is not more expensive than eating out in general as eating out is pretty expensive anyways :D

But! It doesn’t has to be suuuper expensive if you look for good lunch deals, go to bistros instead of real restaurants or take the takeaway option (it’s only sometimes cheaper).

In the beginning, I was very afraid of going out and spending a lot of money on eating out and I tried to avoid it, but I know that it makes me happy, I want to enjoy my time here and for me good food is worth it!

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If you want to see more of What I Eat here in Australia, head to my Melbourne or Perth What I Eat in a Day blog post! Or follow me on Instagram and watch my stories :)


What food-related blog posts or videos would you be interested in? Please tell me in the comments!

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Minimal and Eco-Friendly Travel Toiletry Bag – What I took with me to Australia

My backpack currently weights around 12kg and I try to avoid every additional gram, as it is already hard to carry so much with me around, especially when I need to walk for longer.

Sometimes I see girls having even huger backpacks and I am very lucky that I choose to only take a 50l backpack with me. Because if you have more space, you take more with you.

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When it comes to my toiletry bag I also wanted to stay as minimalistic as possible. I tried to avoid everything that runs out quickly, has a big container and I realised, that it is so much more convenient to have eco-friendly (and zero waste) cosmetic products.

 

It’s not just better for the earth to stop using products in plastic containers, it is also cheaper (in long term, because the products last a lot longer) and a lot smaller and lighter which makes it awesome for travelling!

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Anzeige/PR-Sample // The toothbrush I use is from hydrophil, a German brand that sells bamboo toothbrushes and some other hygiene products. The toothpaste is just the cheapest one from Coles that I got because I run out of mine from home.

A zero-waste substitute for the toothpaste would be dental-taps you can get at bulk stores. You just chew on one them and use them with water and they are super small, light and plastic free.

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I also have a small packaging of tooth floss with me. There are also zero waste options available in bulk stores that I want to try out when I run out of mine.

As a deodorant, I use the deo cream from Wokenseifen that I really like and recommend, and that I filled into a very small container because I don’t need a whole package of it.

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For creams and moisturizer, I have a face cream from lavera that is natural, vegan and cruelty-free.

The body moisturizer I use is shea butter that I filled in an old container at the bulk store. It is super handy because you only need a very small amount as it is super rich and you can easily apply it by rubbing it a bit in your hands so that it melts.

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Anzeige/PR-Sample // One product that saves me so so much money and weight is my soap bar from Duschbrocken. It is a body wash and shampoo in one and because it is all natural and contains many oils, I don’t need to use conditioner as well. I also use it to wash my face and the best thing: it still has almost the same size as two months ago, even though I used it so much!

I already tried out a few different soap bars and I’ve heard from friends who’ve been experimenting with them and I never had (or have heard) of any better product than this. (And I don’t get paid or anything to say this – I just got the product for free to test, nothing more)

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I am super lucky that I don’t have to carry 4 bottles with me and save so much space and weight with this little soap bar in its metal container!

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My shaver is probably a little bit heavier than a usual plastic one, but it saves me a lot of money and the planet a lot of plastic waste, so it’s worth it! The first purchase is more expensive, but I don’t have to buy new shaving heads that are much more expensive in the long term.

I paid 18€ for my shaver and 30 razor blades and they will last me for a long time. When you compare a plastic shaver you pay around 10€ for the shaver and maybe 2-3 shaving heads and then need to pay around 5€ for new heads.

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I also carry a hairbrush with me. At first, I only had a comb because I thought that would be enough, but with the wind, salt and sand it is definitely necessary to have a proper brush.

Because I don’t want to spend money on going to the hairdresser, but still want my hair to stay healthy and not look frizzy and dead, I have my own hair scissors with me and occasionally cut my ends a bit. This keeps them so much healthier (the sun is drying them out so bad!) and I save money and length (cause I can cut less than a hairdresser would).

In the little red container, I filled some coconut oil and use it as a moisturizer for my ends once or twice a week.

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For female hygiene products, I have my menstrual cup with me. This is another great example, how much money you can save with eco-friendly products. It costs around 15-20€ and lasts you for years and years. Tampons and napkins however can be super expensive and in some countries, you will have a hard time to even find them.

Also, they are so much better for your body because they don’t contain bleaching chemicals and other nasty stuff you don’t want to put inside your body.

I still have a few tampons and napkins with me if I don’t have the possibility to clean the cup.

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I don’t need and want to wear makeup on a daily basis and if I am going out with friends, I usually find a friend who borrows me her mascara and concealer, so I only took my eyebrow pencil with me. That’s the only thing I really care about if I don’t want to look like I just woke up: eyebrows.

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And the last few small items I carry in my beauty bag are hair ties, nail file and scissors and cotton buds.

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Something that doesn’t fit into my toiletrie bag, but that I still want to mention is my sunscreen. I use this one in SPF 30 or 50 that I brought from Germany which is from Jean&Len. You can get them in most drugstores and they are vegan, cruelty free and have less chemicals in them.

Sadly sunscreen has really toxic ingredients to make it work, but we still need it to protect our skin. This brand is already a lot better than conventional sunscreen and it still has a very nice texture without being too thick and making you white, which is important as well :D

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So this is all I have with me – not zero waste, not completely eco-friendly, but  I try my best and hope to inspire you to swap you plastic toothbrush or shaver and made small steps every day to save our earth from downing in plastic!

If you want to read more about plastic, my thoughts and some amazing pictures, have a look at my blog post We Drown in Plastic.



*Disclaimer: This blog post includes two PR-Sample (as marked), but I still only mention them because I think the products are great and worth sharing with you. I only do PR-Samples (or Advertisings) if I truly support the companies!

Celebrating New Year’s in Sydney – Watching the Fireworks at the Harbour at Campbells Cove

This year was a very special New Year’s Eve because we started the year with fireworks at the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney!

You might have seen the famous fireworks on TV several times already because they show them every year. Not just because Sydney is the first big City celebrating into the new year every year, but also because the scenery of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House makes an amazing location.

I was not just lucky enough to have my family over for three weeks in Australia and not having to be without them for Christmas, but we also got to end our road trip from Cairns south to Sydney on New Year’s Eve to see the fireworks at the harbour.

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Our New Year’s Eve Day

We already arrived in Sydney on the 30th and stayed the last night in our camper at Burwood Park where it wasn’t prohibited to stay overnight.

The next morning we checked into our rooms in Burwood at Boronia Lodge, left our camper and went straight into the city centre. Luckily Burwood is only 20 minutes away from the city centre.

We had lunch in the city and walked to The Rocks where we had tickets for a cordoned area with a great view over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera that where FREE! You only need to be quick.

All the areas with the best views are cordoned for New Year’s. For some, you have to pay lot’s of money (the cheapest were around 400$ including food), for the Campbells Cove you just need to be quick to get the tickets (we already got them in September).

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The view from the Botanical Garden over the Harbour is amazing, but the tickets for that venue that includes a dinner where crazy!

After we checked how the land lies because we didn’t know how many people are going to be there / if the view would only be good from specific places that you need to save early etc. we went to get an afternoon snack and some sandwiches for dinner to take away as there weren’t that many food options on the venue area.

From around 4pm we started waiting… because we didn’t have that much information about how the afternoon/evening in Sydney will take place, we had to be there early and wait a lot – but you will be lucky enough to have some more knowledge after reading my blog post and you can improve from our mistakes/experiences!

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Unfortunately, it started raining very hard at around 7pm and we couldn’t stay seated. Luckily there was a bridge on our venue location where everyone looked for shelter from the rain and storm. We also were very lucky that it was still warm because we were not prepared at all and only improvised a rain cape from a garbage bag that kept us dry and warm.

At 9pm there was the first fireworks for the kids which was already amazing and some families also left afterwards.

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We had a few more rain showers and at around 22pm it started to get fuller because they close the gates for the area at 22.30pm. But there was still enough space to sit down and walk around comfortably.

From our place, we could see that that the streets leading to the Harbour through the Rocks where packed. Like really packed. So we were very thankful for our safe space and also the bridge saved us a lot.

All the hours of waiting were very exhausting because there wasn’t a lot of distraction and if we would have known how things work before, we for sure wouldn’t have arrived that early.

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Then it was FINALLY 12pm and the amazing firework started. The firework locations are spread over the whole water area in Sydney and there are no private fireworks allowed (obviously), but the Harbour and Opera view, of course, is the prettiest. It’s just a great show and location!

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After the fireworks, EVERYONE is trying to get to the tram stations as quick as possible and you can’t believe how many people are there. All the streets are packed with people walking in the same direction. It is insane and you can only be thankful that glass bottles and alcohol is prohibited – otherwise, it wouldn’t work out as relaxed!

You can’t really do something to get home quick. It’s just not possible. Everything is crowded and even though there are lots of trams departing they can’t bundle off these millions of humans fast.

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There are lot’s of places you can celebrate the New Year in Sydney with amazing views: rooftop bars, restaurants, at the botanical garden or from a boat – it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend :D

Things you need to know before

  • get lots of information and tickets for the events/locations at sydneynewyearseve
  • in the whole city centre area, glass bottles and alcohol are prohibited and the police (that is very present the whole evening) is allowed to check your bags
  • the streets of the CBD, as well as the Harbour Bridge, are blocked for vehicles from the afternoon on until late at night
  • around 2 million people watch the fireworks at the harbour in Syndey (even more than in New York!) and they all want to leave after the show – don’t even think about getting a taxi/uber or the tram at Circular Quay right away (as long as you don’t stand next to the station while watching the fireworks. When you are close to the Harbour, everyone else behind you will get there before)
  • restaurants and bars might close earlier to prepare for their evening dinners (prebooked way in advance and pretty expensive)

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Celebrating at Campbells Cove

  • more info!
  • they start selling the tickets about in September and you need to be really quick. You can sign up for their e-mail newsletter and be the first to tell when they start selling
  • arrive by tram and walk to the Campbells Cove from Circular Quay – driving by car is just way too stressful when everyone wants to go home and also lots of streets are closed
  • when the weather is supposed to be bad/rainy, lot’s of people that got tickets look for different options or only arrive at around 22pm, but when the weather is good the venue is reaching its capacity at around 5pm, they close the entry at 22.30pm
  • they say they have food and drinks for sale, but there were only 2 stalls and you are allowed to bring your own food and unalcoholic drinks
  • take reusable non-glass bottles to refill so you don’t have to buy their expensive water
  • take blankets, card games, snacks, jackets to survive all the waiting
  • don’t arrive too late (besides that you won’t get a good place) but it also will be hard to get through the crowds to the entry of the venue

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It was an amazing experience and I would never want to miss it, but I have to say that it was also very exhausting and I would not want to do it the same way every year. I am more a person for a chilled dinner with friends and watching the fireworks from distance.

What was your craziest New Year’s experience? How do you like to celebrate the new year? How did you this year? Would you like to see Sydney’s fireworks for New Year’s one day?