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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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!

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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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

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?