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!

My Everyday Breakfast – Cheap, Easy, Healthy, Vegan & Delicious

Today I want to show you my go-to breakfast that I have almost every day here in Australia because it is healthy, cheap, quick & easy to make, super delicious and keeps you full for long.

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Sometimes I have the unhealthy (but also delicious) free breakfast at the hostels like pancakes or toast with peanut butter and jam, but I try to stay away from it and make my own healthy bowl of oats.

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This recipe is nothing special, I just want to share how I make it with you as you were super interested in my cheap, easy and healthy dinner recipes for backpackers. This time it’s all about the breakfast porridge, but I still hope you enjoy it and I’ll for sure share more cheap but healthy recipes with you soon!

 

Some days, when I sleep in and work out afterwards this oatmeal is my breakfast and lunch that I have at around noon. Other days, I eat this and still have lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner (for example when I traveled with my cousin).

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I don’t exactly measure the amount that I eat. It depends on how hungry I am, what time it is and what my plans for the day are, so this recipe is more about the idea and not the exact amounts that I have as it varies daily.

Ingredients

  • quick oats (around 1 cup)
  • water (around 2 cups)
  • flax seed flour (around 1 tsp)
  • cinnamon (around 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple/pear
  • nuts, seeds, raisins, (granola)

What to do

  1. mix the oats with water, the flax seed flour and cinnamon in a pot and cut the banana in thick slices into it
  2. Slowly bring to a boil and stir often
  3. Let it simmer and soak up the water on low heat until it has the consistency that you like (I like it very thin, so sometimes I even add more water)
  4. Pour into a bowl, cut the apple on top and add your nuts, seeds, raisins (or other toppings you like/have)

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Nuts are very expensive here in Australia. That’s why I buy these nut and fruit mixtures with raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts. Still very expensive (500g for around 6$) but it’s worth it in my opinion because it is super delicious and very healthy and nutritious.

I also don’t cook with oil here and my only other resource of healthy fat is Avocado (and the fat I have when I eat out/ buy food), so the nuts are great to get the good fat in.

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Until 2 weeks ago I haven’t had to buy oats at all because I always find packages in the free food shelve which is super handy. They are not very expensive, but it’s still better to get them for free :D The flax seed flour is also from the free food shelve (I know! I am so lucky with that!) and I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise.

At home, I usually used half water, half plant milk for my oatmeal but it is cheaper that way and it still tastes very creamy. When you let your oats allow to sit in the water for long and take your time to cook the porridge, the water will kind of turn into oatmilk anyways.

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The banana is the key to this recipe as it gives the porridge the sweetness and without it, it is not even half as delicious! The apple or pear is not as important but still gives the cold freshness, crunchyness, fruityness and deliciousness to the bowl. You can also have other fruit instead obviously, but usually apples or pears are the cheapest here.

 

Once I found Chrunchy Peanut Granola on Sale at Woolworths which was super delicious to have as a topping, but usually, it is very expensive when you don’t want to have the unhealthy ones with a lot of sugar.

 

 

So this is all you need to know about my daily backpacker breakfast in Australia! It obviously varies sometimes with what I get cheap at the store/market, but that’s the usual – very simple, but delicious and healthy!

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What is your go-to Breakfast?

Cheap, Healthy, Vegan – Dinner Recipes for Healthy Backpackers on a Budget

Back home it was my goal to stay healthy and fit while still enjoying myself on my travels. I also wanted to go completely vegan when I am solo travelling through Australia because I knew I would have to cook for myself anyway and there wouldn’t be cheese or any cooked meals by my mom that could disturb me from staying vegan…

In reality, it sometimes is a bit hard, because some hostels offer free breakfast like pancakes or you want to try something new, but I managed to be mostly vegan and cook only vegan myself.

In this blog post, I want to share a few recipes that I have been loving and re-cooking a lot in the past two months of travelling as they are healthy, nutritious, quick to make, vegan and still very cheap. I hope you like the inspiration of some yummy meals that are not just great for backpackers, but for everyone who wants to have some quick and easy wholesome meals!

Cheesy Vegan Pasta

What you need: pasta of your choice, classic hummus, garlic, onion, salt, broccoli (or other veggies of your liking), nutritional yeast (*optional, I was lucky to find that in the free food shelve of a hostel, I wouldn’t have bought it as it is pretty expensive)

How to: boil the pasta with added salt in the water, simmer your broccoli florets in lightly salted water, chop the onion and garlic into small pieces and let them boil in a bit of pasta water, then add two big scoops of hummus and make a creamy sauce, then add the pasta and broccoli and nutritional yeast to make it even more cheesy – but it also tastes great without it.

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I also made that sauce with spinach and chopped tomatoes instead of the broccoli and that’s delicious as well!

Wraps à la whatever you fancy

Wraps were the go-to meal for me and my travel buddy Meike that I met on the Great Ocean Road Tour. We literally had them every day when we didn’t eat out. Super healthy, quick, easy to prepare for several days and you can fill them with whatever you love.

We always bought the green spinach wraps (they have them everywhere here) and always added hummus and fresh spinach. Everything else varied from what we wanted / what was on sale in the stores: tofu fried with soy sauce, veggie pan with onion, zucchini, mushrooms, paprika, sweet corn, beans, chickpeas… sometimes we added fresh tomatoes or paprika, as well as avocado.

There are so many options! We always looked what we could get cheap and made a big batch of the filling and stored it in food boxes for several days to heat up every night and just add some of the fresh ingredients… eh voilà! Quick & easy dinner or lunch.

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Veggies & Beans in Tomato Sauce

Another dish that I frequently eat because it is super healthy, easy, quick and cheap is frozen veggies (I love the mix of carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and peas) with mixed beans, just kidney beans or even baked beans (they already have the tomato sauce which is handy), I chop up some onion and season everything with whatever I find in the hostel or just salt and I love adding nutritional yeast to it as well.

This is a yummy dish with fewer carbs which is great, but I oftentimes eat avocado toast/corn cakes with it or it also tastes amazing to add some baked potatoes (or rice) to keep you full for longer.

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A great snack that I love to have on hand is carrots with hummus. I snack on them all the time! Hummus is only 2$ for 200g and you get 1kg of carrots for around 1$ so it’s super cheap.

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Vegan Bolognese

Another great pasta dish is Bolognese but made with lots of onion, carrot and scrambled tofu. The cheapest way to get tofu is at the Asian market. You can either use already seasoned tomato sauce or spice it yourself if you have herbs like basil, oregano and paprika on hand.

Ingredients: pasta of your choice, onion and garlic, salt & pepper, carrot, tofu, soy sauce and tomato sauce, olive oil and other herbs (*optional)

Instruction: boil the pasta in salt water, chop up the onion and garlic and fry it with olive oil in a pan, add the carrots and a splash of water and let it simmer until slightly soft, cut the tofu into small pieces and drizzle soy sauce to give it taste, add the tofu and tomato sauce (+ a little more water if needed) and taste with salt, pepper and other herbs

Super delicious and great to prepare for several meals in advance. You can also add bell pepper, fresh tomatoes or spinach to make it even healthier!

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We also used leftover „pasta sauce“ as a wrap filling with capsicum, fresh spinach, hummus and tomato chutney.


What do you think about these kinds of blog posts? Do you prefer fancy food posts with pretty pictures or these easy going quick & easy recipes? Do you have ideas for me what to eat that is cheap and still healthy?