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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Food Photography – Tips & Inspiration

Since I started my blog I really got into food photography. I fell in love with the process of cooking and baking, preparing, arranging, taking the picture at the end and of course: eating it afterwards.

Today I would like to share some inspiration, tips and things I learned through the process.

I am totally aware that I am not a pro at all, not even very good. I’m only a beginner trying my best, but I already learned a few things that I want to share with you. Maybe you want to start taking pretty pictures of your meals as well and sometimes it’s easier to learn from someone like me instead of someone that already has a lot of equipment, knowledge and practice and who can’t relate to the difficulties of a beginner.

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Equipment

My Camera. I shoot with a Sony Alpha 6000* a system camera that takes amazing pictures while being very small and light – perfect for my travels and everything I wanted. It captures the colours very beautifully and blurs the backround nicely.

My Lens. I still only have the 16-50 mm lens that came with my camera because it works very well for what I need and I didn’t want to spend more money. Maybe in the future but for now I have to work with what I got.

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The two pictures above are taken with my iPhone 6s

Phone. Your phone is also capable to take some great food pic’s. But I find that it isn’t possible to take good pictures in different angles – it just looks weird. But from above and 45° angle looks decent.

I don’t have anything else that I use for my food photography. No light, no tripod (that I use), no background/ underground. I only use what I can find at home: window light, wood floor, white table, kitchen cloth, cardigans, scarfs…

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I once bought this grey plate, but I’ve only used it once or twice because the colour doesn’t make the food look very good…
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But I always use the same plate in pink! Both from IKEA

Ceramic. I did invest in some beautiful plates and bowls cause I really enjoy cute pottery and it’s nice to switch and vary them with different colours and meals. I always find lovely ceramic at IKEA and it’s affordable too.

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Porridge

I think the easiest meal to style and photograph is porridge. Just mix some oats with hot water or plant milk and some extras (here are some porridge recipe inspirations if you need!). You can’t really make something wrong and it’s also super quick and without much effort.

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very liquidy porridge – on purpouse

Tip #1 Make your porridge pretty thick rather than too liquidy (put more plant milk in after taking the pictures when you want to eat) because that way your toppings won’t sink into the porridge. Unless that’s the look you go for obviously – can look very cool as well.

 

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I used a pullover and a sushi roll pad for the background

Nice Cream

…is pretty easy as well, but you have to be quick so that it doesn’t melt away and your toppings drown!

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Tip #2 Get creative with your toppings. It’s always so much fun to choose and cut the fruit and then carefully place it where you’d like it to go without making it look to perfect (most of the time – exact lines can look great too!). Then look for small grains/seeds to add. Maybe even some flowers to top it off? The variety makes food pictures often look super interesting and eye-catching. But don’t overdo it! Too much stuff can look very confusing and extreme. Of course, minimalistic styling can look amazing as well – just try out what you like best!

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simple and pretty- but nothing special

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Examples of toppings
  • fruit/veggies used in the meal or as an extra
  • seeds, nuts, granola, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate drops
  • hearbs
  • leaves or flowers
  • cutlery
  • drizzled syrup

The green-yellow-blue colour palette.

Tip #3 Stick to a colour palette. Especially when you use a lot of different ingredients it can look unappealing when you have too many colours that don’t fit to each other well. I would say 2-3 colours are enough for most pictures. A colourful food styling can look lovely, but the colours have to work with each other well.

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I went for orange and green – just like the ingredients
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This is by far the prettiest bowl of oats I ever made. Simple but beautiful!

 

Tip #4 Leave the skin/ the greenery on. It might feel weird to put strawberries with their greens on your food – but it looks so pretty. Same with Mango, when you fold it over after cutting or cherries.

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Bright strong colours, but they harmony pretty well with each other so that it works fine. 

 

Tip #5 Stick to natural colours and stay away from bright colours (unless it’s the food itself of course). It just doesn’t fit well in my eyes.

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No need a lot of effort. Just some greens, veggies, a few sesame seeds and chopsticks on the side. 

 

Tip #6 Don’t overdo it with the styling. It’s in matters of taste, but I personally don’t like it when food pictures are loaded with too much food, ingredients, toppings etc. I’m more the basic and minimalistic kind.

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Tip #7 Movement or „just-about-to-eat“ pictures can bring your food photography to the next level. I’m just starting to experiment with it myself, but I love the look and it’s even more eye-catching than just a pretty bowl of oats or a stack of pancakes.

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Examples for movement in pictures
  • Cutlery digging into the bowl of oats, stabbing into a piece of pancake, rolling up some spaghetti or laying on the plate
  • pouring chocolate sauce or maple syrup over pancakes/waffles, pouring milk into a bowl of granola, coffee poured in a cup or smoothie in a jaw
  • hands holding the bowl of oats or the plate with pancakes into the frame, holding the cutlery or jaw
  • syrup, sauce, melting ice cream, berry jam dripping from pancakes or waffles

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Tip #8 Don’t just focus on the bowl/plate itself, the scenery is just as important. Of course, you can leave it very plain and basic to put the focus on the food, but most of the time some little details in the background are essential for great pictures.

Underground & Background

It looks super beautiful when you have many different varieties of wood floor, plain coloured floor, marble floor etc. but I just didn’t take the time and effort to make some square meters of under-/background myself. Here are some DIY tutorials on how to make them yourself (1 and 2). I am for sure going to do that when I’ll be back from my travels and start getting into food photography more again! It makes your pictures look much more professional and put together, but until then just look for different floors or tables in your home or…

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this picture is taken in my bed
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My grey cardigan as the underground

Use kitchen cloth, bed linen or clothes as an underground or detail in your picture. Kitchen clothes are obvious, but it can also look great to take foot pictures in your bed or use cardigans and scarfs as an extra.

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newspaper and a drink
Examples of details
  • kitchen cloth, blanket, clothes
  • cutlery
  • kitchen tools
  • fruits, veggies, ingredients (separate or in a small bowl)
  • seeds, nuts, granola scrattered
  • flowers, greens, leaves
  • drinks (tea, hot chocolate, smoothie, juice, coffee)
  • news paper
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baking tray 

 

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two plates on a grey t-shirt

 

Tip #9 Have two or three plates/bowls with the meal and not only one. Style them similar but not same so you have a bigger variety and more possibilities to picture them. For example one in the foreground, the other blurred in the back or both next to each other/ behind each other as if you would want to eat with another person sitting in front of you.

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Pancakes

Stacks of pancakes are a bit harder to capture because they tend to look crooked and the angle can be unflattering. But it’s so fun to style (and eat!) them so I love to experiment around and try different things.

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Got inspired to make bigger and thinner „Crêpes“ and roll them up on Instagram, so that’s what I did

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Putting banana between the pancakes or cutting pieces out – so many great ideas to incorporate into your own pictures.

Tip #11 Take the idea of a food picture you like and recreate it. I promise you it won’t look the same and copied in the end, but when you do this you start to look exactly at how it’s done. How the setting, food, toppings and details are arranged to make it look good in the end. You’ll learn and understand a lot in this process!

I really like to get my Inspiration from Pinterest – have a look at my food photography board!

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I hope you enjoyed this post! I really tried to show what I’ve already learned and I am super excited to experiment around more and get better! 

Do you like food photography? Are you hungry now? And do you take pictures of your meals as well?

Healthy Vegan Lunch Box Ideas | Meal Prep Pt. 2

Kantinen-Essen schmeckt nicht, ist zu ungesund und nicht abwechslungsreich, gesundes Mittag to go wollt ihr euch nicht täglich leisten, aber ihr hättet trotzdem gern ein leckeres Essen? Dann solltet ihr definitiv damit beginnen euch selbst etwas zuzubereiten und mitzunehmen.

Im ersten Teil meiner Meal Prep Reihe habe ich bereits viele Gründe dafür genannt, warum auch ihr damit anfangen sollte, habe erklärt, was man dafür braucht und meine Tipps mit euch geteilt.

Jetzt soll es mit vielen tollen Rezepten und Meal Prep Ideen für eure gesunde Lunch Box weitergehen!

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Nudeln gehen immer!

Und es gibt soo viele Variationen, da wird das Mittag nie langweilig!

Nudelsalat Mediterran

Dieser Salat funktioniert in so vielen verschiedenen Kombinationen und kann nach belieben und nach dem, was der Kühlschrank/Vorratsschrank hergibt, variiert werden. Unten habe ich euch meine liebsten Zutaten hingeschrieben. Mit was esst ihr Nudelsalat am liebsten?

Zutaten: Penne, Rucola, getrocknete eingelegte Tomaten, Pinienkerne, frische Tomaten, Olivenöl, Weißwein Essig, Salz & Pfeffer, evtl. zusätzlich Avocado oder Mozzarella

Zubereitung: Nudeln mit etwas Salz kochen, Pinienkerne in einer Pfanne anrösten, alle ausgewählten Zutaten kleinschneiden und untermischen und Nudelsalat mit Olivenöl, Essig, Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken

Super schmecken dazu auch vegane Klöpse, wenn ihr sowas gerne esst! :)

Nudeln

…kann man in so vielen verschiedenen Varianten zubereiten. Ich fasse euch meine hier kurz zusammen:

  • mit Tomatensauce und Zucchini reingeschnippelt. Wir verwenden immer Dosentomaten und würzen diese dann mit Zwiebel, Knoblauch, italienischen Gewürzen, Salz & Pfeffer und braten Zucchini dazu an.
  • cremige Tomaten-Kokos-Sauce! Tomatensauce wie in vorheriger Variation angerührt und mit etwas Kokosmilch (dem dicken) aus der Dose cremig gerührt. Schmeckt so so gut, richtig cremig und so geschmackvoll!
  • Spinat-Pasta! Ich liebe Spinat unheimlich sehr und der passt nicht nur in eine Lasagne sondern auch zu Penne. Blattspinat mit Zwiebel und Knoblauch angebraten, mit Brühwürfel und Muskat gewürzt, etwas Pflanzensahne /-Milch untergerührt und angebratene Pinienkerne

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  • meine Falafel Bolognese lässt sich auch wunderbar schnell zubereiten und ist ideal zum mitnehmen!
  • Wir sind auch totale Fans von der Kombination aus Pack Choi, Pilzen und Brokkoli (oder grüner Spargel in der Spargelzeit), in Zwiebel und Gemüsebrühe kurz gedünstet und dazu Nudeln

Welche Nudeln ihr verwendet ist natürlich eure Sache, aber ich esse am liebsten Penne, weil sich Spaghetti beim mitnehmen so verknoten :D Im oberen linken Bild habe ich Linsen-Nudeln ausprobiert, die waren auch unheimlich lecker!! Kann ich total empfehlen, weil sie auch super gesund sind und viele Proteine haben. Leider sind sie sehr teuer…

Am besten schmecken Nudeln natürlich warm! Deswegen kann ich euch nur total empfehlen in eine gute Thermosbox zu investieren. So teuer sind die nicht und es ist einfach viel leckerer warmes Mittag zu haben und nicht immer eine Mikrowelle zu benutzen. Meine Boxen habe ich euch im ersten Beitrag zur Meal Prep Reihe vorgestellt.

Wenn ihr eure Nudeln in einer Warmhaltebox mitnehmt, kann ich euch empfehlen sie nur in der Sauce kurz aufkochen zu lassen und noch fast roh abzufüllen. Sie ziehen in der Box so durch, dass sie trotzdem relativ weich sind. Und ihr braucht auch immer etwas mehr Sauce als wenn ihr es sofort essen würdet, weil die Nudeln die Flüssigkeit aufsaugen.

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Suppen

Suppen sind so einfach vorzubereiten, morgens warm zu machen, abzufüllen und sich Mittags damit aufzuwärmen. Ich liebe es total eine schöne cremige Kürbissuppe mitzunehmen. Super gesund, macht schön satt und wärmt!

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Salat

Wenn wir frischen Salat zu Hause haben, nehme ich auch super gerne eine Box voll als Beilage mit zur Schule. Ein bisschen mehr Grünzeug auf dem Speiseplan kann nicht schaden und in der Schul-/ Arbeitszeit isst man leider meist viel zu wenig davon.

Feldsalat, Kopfsalat, Babyspinat, Chicoree, Mangold, Rucola – wird abends klein geschnitten und gewaschen, dazu noch Paprika oder Tomate und morgens mache ich noch einen großen Löffel Hummus als Dressing dazu. Das wird dann erst in der Schule untergerührt und somit bleibt der Salat auch schön knackig. Geht super schnell und mit wenig Aufwand :)

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Wraps

…sind ebenfalls super simpel, schnell und ohne Kochen am Abend vorbereitet und mitgenommen. Variabel zu befüllen sind sie auch und schmecken einfach super!

Ihr braucht:

  • Wrapteig – gibt es im Supermarkt zu kaufen, leider immer mit Weizenmehl… wenn ihr welche mit Dinkel-/Roggen kennt, schreibt mir unbedingt!
  • Aufstrich – veganer Aufstricht, Hummus, wonach euch beliebt
  • Gemüse – Salat, Tomate, Gurke, Paprika, passt alles super rein!
  • Zusatz – Falafel, Tofu, vegane Klöpse, Avocado, Gewürzgurken, Kidney Bohnen… es gibt so viele Möglichkeiten
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Auberginen Aufstrich, veganer Pattie, Paprika, Gurke, Tomate, Gewürzgurke und oben drauf noch Salat
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Hummus, Rucola, Paprika, Räuchertofu, Avocado – so eine leckere Kombo!

Ich hoffe sehr, dass ich euch in diesem Beitrag eine Inspiration für eure Lunch Boxen geben konnte! Was ich mitnehme, könnt ihr auch in meinen What I Eat in a Day Post’s mitverfolgen oder ihr folgt meinem Food Account auf Instagram, auf dem ich euch in meiner Story viel zeige :)

Was esst ihr zum Mittag auf Arbeit oder in der Schule am liebsten? Welche Rezepte möchtet ihr von meinen gerne mal testen? Oder welche könnt ihr mir unheimlich empfehlen?