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!

1.PNG

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

img_2158

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).

IMG_0543
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.

img_2089
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!

img_1349

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…

sixg9477

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

img_1839 (24)

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!

IMG_9524

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!

Advertisements

What I Eat in Perth – Jackfruit Toasty, Easy Selfmade Sushi + Healthy Vegan Brownie Recipe

Once more I am impressed by how many great vegan options there are in Australia. Food shopping and eating out is so fun here because nearly everyone has vegan or at least vegetarian options on their menu.

As I had a very nice kitchen most of my time in Western Australia (I stayed at the City Perth Backpackers), I really enjoyed cooking something for dinner every day. I also got to enjoy some yummy food at the market in Fremantle and I am planning to go to ‚The Lord of the Fries‘ before I leave.

In my hostel, I also met two other veggie girls (one is completely vegan, the other mostly) and I had two lovely vegan picnics with Eugene from Korea which was so much fun!

My breakfast usually looked something like this. If you want to know how I make my healthy filling and delicious oats, head to this blog post!

IMG_9375

But some days I also can’t resist just getting the free breakfast from the hostel, even though it isn’t a very healthy option – it just tastes very good… Peanut butter and strawberry jam on warm toast with a cup of tea. It’s also super delicious to mash some banana on a peanut butter toast :P

UNTC2439IMG_9518

Right next to the market in Fremantle there is a vegan café called ‚Chick pea – vegan café‘ that sells some awesome vegan food. I think their menu changes, but when I was there they had lasagne, pumpkin gnocchi, different quiches, wraps and some sweets & treats and these amazing turmeric waffle toasts with tomato and cashew cheese. Super cheesy, flavourful and delicious!

I really try to get a lot of vitamins in each day, while still staying on a budget. But sometimes you just crave some freshly pressed juice and in comparison to fresh smoothie/juice prices in Germany, they are fairly cheap (around 7$ = 4,50€).

The left one is a green apple & celery juice and the right is carrot, beetroot, celery and kale.

IMG_9177

Every Friday evening there is a Food Market in the city centre with many food stalls to choose from. I got some vegan Marroccanean tajine with lots of veggies and rice underneath and it tasted so so good!

Healthy Vegan Protein-rich Brownie

I really miss baking and testing yummy healthy recipes, but one day me and some friends had nothing to do, so I decided to bake some healthy black bean brownies with them. They turned out super yummy and because there is a bulk food store in the city, we could only buy however much we needed which was great (otherwise it just doesn’t make sense to buy huge amounts that you will never need).

Ingredients

  • 1 can of black beans
  • a lot of soaked dates (we probably had about 25 because we only had the cheap ones that aren’t that sweet)
  • 3/4 cup of plant-based milk
  • 1/3 cup of flour (we used self-raising flour to skip the baking powder/soda, otherwise just add 1/2 tsp of each)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • optional: 1/2 cup crushed almonds & 3/4 cup of dark choc chips

How to

  1. Soak the dates in hot water
  2. If you have a blender mix everything (besides the almonds and choc chips) very well and add the almonds and choc chips afterwards and stir them into the dough
  3. If you don’t have a blender (like us) mash the soaked dates & mash the beans very well with a fork and then add everything else and mix to a dough
  4. Bake at around 170 degrees for around 20 minutes, let it cool a bit and then cut and eat (they taste amazing when still warm)

IMG_0963

I found 3 packages of this gluten free cacao porridge in the free food shelve and had that mixed into my normal oats (as one package would never be enough for me :D ). Also, the oranges here taste amazing – so sweet and juicy! So I had one before my oats for a few days.

This jackfruit sandwich was heavenly! Toasted so perfectly (how is this even possible?!) and seasoned very well. Props to Milk Belly Café in Fremantle for this amazing vegan option!

When you have leftover rice and walk into an Asian store to find nori paper – you make sushi! Even though this was just normal rice and I didn’t have a bamboo mat to help me roll, they turned out so so good! I filled them with warm tofu in soy sauce, avocado (of course) and some fresh baby spinach for the greens.

IMG_1042.jpg

As I only had a little bit of rice and still some nori left, I just used couscous instead to make sushi and it was still pretty good.

IMG_1049

Eugene and I took our food to the Kings Park to have a lovely picnic with the best view you can have in Perth. Besides the couscous sushi, we also had some mango, naan bread with hummus and tomato and rice with veggies and tofu.

IMG_9356

In Perth, there is a vegetarian Indian all-you-can-eat restaurant called ‚Annalakshmi‘ which is located at Victoria Quay where you pay however much you want. I’ve been there twice and their food is super good. A little bit spicy, but healthy and so so filling.

KHYL7171

I found a fairly cheap pineapple at the Golden Choice Market in Subiaco and it was amazing with my porridge. Super sweet, juicy and delicious when it gets warm in your oats.

AFNW8811

IMG_1102

Another evening, Eugene and I met at Monger Lake for another picnic. There was a summer festival going on that day as well, so we had our own food first and got some dessert afterwards at the food stalls (which also had a lot of vegan options).

We had an amazing fruit salad with cherries, mango, strawberries, orange and blackberries, some spring rolls, pasta with veggies and tomato sauce and fried rice with tofu sausage.

IVQB3237

And later I got a strawberry-passionfruit popsicle while we listened to Christmas music at the summer festival.


As this blog post is already super long, I am going to make another post sharing some healthy one-pot meals with you that are cheap, vegan and easy to make. Check out my first one here!

 

 

What I Eat in a Day in Melbourne as a Backpacker on a Budget #1

Now that I am travelling I want to show you what I eat as a (mostly) healthy, (mostly) vegan Backpacker on a budget in Australia!

I hope you are excited for some super easy, cheap and quick recipes and meals as I don’t want to spend too much time or money cooking (and I also don’t have the nicest kitchens in the hostels). But I still try to mostly eat homemade food as eating out is crazily expensive. If I do eat out, I like to go to cute little healthy cafés that offer vegan food and I’m okay spending more money there, rather than finding the cheapest takeaway pizza in town :D

IMG_5855

The prices

The first hostel I stayed in offered free tea, coffee, rice and pasta as well as free pancakes in the morning, so I tried to use that to save money.

Besides what I was thinking, the food in the supermarket isn’t that much more expensive than in Germany. Some things obviously are, especially produce that have to get shipped from far away. I tried to mostly shop my produce at the market (for example the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne) as they offer cheaper products that aren’t as fresh anymore or at the end of the day.

IMG_5805

Here is a list of the food I bought and how much I spend on them:
  • 12 tomatoes                                2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 2 red bell peppers                     2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 5 bananas                                   1 $         0,70 €                 market
  • Hummus                                     3 $         1,80€                  market
  • Salt                                               2 $         1,50 €                 Coles
  • Olive ciabatta                             4 $         2,50 €                Coles
  • Olive Hummus                          5 $          3 €                     Coles
  • Canned Kidney Beans           0,75$        0,50 €                Coles
  • Soy sauce                                    4 $         2,50 €                 Coles

Next time I definitely should buy my soy sauce as well as tofu for example at an Asian supermarket. They are very popular here (because there are also a lot of Asian people living in Australia) and it’s a lot cheaper there.

IMG_5907
Some prices look crazy at first, but 12$ are actually 7,50€ which is the same price as in Germany for the vegan B&J… but I’m for sure going to try all the flavours when my parents visit me :P

Day 1

This wasn’t actually my first day in Melbourne, but the first day that I took pictures of my food – just to clarify that!

IMG_5865

As I already said, my first hostel offered free pancakes with maple syrup every morning. I wasn’t really happy about that on one hand, because I planned on trying to eat completely vegan, but on the other hand, they were yummy, free and quick to eat before leaving the hostel to explore…

IMG_5842

At the market, I bought this amazing self-made hummus and 4 little loaves of bread (there is no English name for „Brötchen“! :D ) and I dipped two into the hummus for lunch.

IMG_5798

The first meal that I cooked at the hostel was this easy rice & veggie dish. I cooked rice with some salt, mixed the veggies under after the rice was nearly finished and added some veggie broth. That’s it! Not super great, but cheap, healthy and easy.

IMG_5908

Day 2

Another day I slept in until 10:30am and there were no more pancakes. I cooked rice with more water than usual and „overcooked“ it to make it very creamy and sticky rice/porridge texture. Then I added lots of cinnamon, mashed banana, apple, raisins and some nuts.

It might seem weird to try to save money on something inexpensive like oats, but as cheaper you eat on most days, as more often you can spend more money on going out! :D

IMG_6146

Because I had a late breakfast, I just had two oranges as a snack and ate dinner early.

IMG_6147

A combination I just recently discovered is pasta with a hummus sauce and veggies. That’s what happens when you are a backpacker: you can’t buy a large variety of food otherwise it will go bad and you have to use it up before you leave a place – so you have to get creative and buy food that works in many meals.

So I just cooked some free pasta from the hostel, mashed some kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, olive hummus, fresh baby spinach and veggie broth and heated it up.

Throwing different ingredients together and making it a delicious meal!

 

IMG_6142.jpg

Day 3

I was very lucky, that my AuPair family that I’m going to stay with in May came to visit Melbourne and we were able to meet each other.

And I was even more lucky, that we went to a café to have breakfast that probably has the best ever Avo smash toast in whole Australia! Only ate this one until now, but I can’t imagine that it can get any better (and my AuPair mom agrees in that and she has already eaten many Avo toasts!)

Sadly I forgot to ask for a vegan version as I was a bit nervous that morning, but it was so yummy and so much variety in one dish – lots of mashed avo, good bread, tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese & poached egg.

VCSPE7809

That day I got gifted Kombucha on the streets as a sample. It wasn’t really a great flavour, but in general, I really like Kombucha.

 

The amazing breakfast kept me full for long, so I had another early and big dinner. Leftover rice with veggies where I only added some pak choi and soy sauce as well as fresh capsicum on the side. As a dessert, I had some sweet rice with applesauce and raisins.


You can also always follow me on Instagram to see what I am up to, where I am, what I’m doing or what I eat! 


Another part of what I eat in Melbourne will follow soon! Including another great breakfast with my AuPair mom and way to much eating out as there are so many awesome vegan places here in Melbourne! :D