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 on a Hot Summer Day #19

Summer is the best time for fresh healthy food. So much variety, lots of garden produce and local produce, the prices are affordable and because of the heat you just want to eat fresh food.

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Right now I am soo addicted to watermelon. I could literally eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a snack. I mean, what can I say – it’s sweet, fruity and so refreshing!

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In Portugal, I fell in love with grapefruit because they taste so sour-sweet and fresh.

Peaches, Nectarines, Mangoes and all kinds of Berries are some more favorites that I can’t get enough of! Fruit is all I crave at the moment and I can not understand how people do a keto or low carb diet and not eat fruit in summer. I would not be okay with that. I love fruit just way too much!

How about you? Do you eat lots of fruit at the moment or do you try to get away from all the fruit sugar? 

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The last few weeks after our trip to Portugal I tried to eat very clean, vegan and healthy because I didn’t eat that well on vacation (lots of white bread and cheese) and I did okay. Not as I hoped, but I ate out with friends a lot (basically all vegan at least) but still bread and cheese here and there and the last days I also craved chocolate every night… But I also tell myself that I won’t have access to a lot of the food I can eat now when I am in Australia cause I need to buy cheap – so I let myself have it all now :D

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My breakfast still looks pretty much the same: some porridge, lots of fruit and sometimes a bit vegan lupin mango yogurt. I often have an extra bowl of watermelon or other fruit on the side as well.

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Then for lunchtime, I sometimes have more fruit, a big salad with garden tomatoes and cucumbers or a wrap depending on how late I ate breakfast and how hungry I am. I really like to have cold food for lunch because at 36°C it’s just too much to cook something or eat warm food and wraps and salads are a great way to get some greens in as well!

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Now that we super many tomatoes from our garden we love to roast thick slices in a pan on both sides an then put it on a bread with hummus. Or you can also put some feta cheese on top and wait one more minute until it gets warm as well. Tastes freaking amazing and I can highly recommend making these hot tomatoes to top your bread.

Sometimes we have some tofu with it or some fresh cucumber and chives from the garden.

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As I already mentioned I craved chocolate after dinner and I let myself enjoy some vegan chocolate. It’s not healthy and clean at all, but I still want to be honest with you.

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Luckily I bought silken tofu today at the Asia market and now I can make my healthy vegan chocolate dessert mousse again to have something chocolaty but still healthy when I crave it.

Quick Healthy Vegan Chocolate Dessert

Yesterday I showed you my Chocolate Dessert on Insta-Stories and because I got some questions on how to make it and what’s in it, I thought I would quickly post the recipe on here.

This will also be my first English recipe on my blog and I hope I will find the time to translate them all one day, but this for sure won’t happen in the next year. At least you can use the Google Translate option in my sidebar and hopefully still understand what I am talking about :D

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A while ago I found Silken Tofu at the Asia market and wanted to test this Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse Dessert with it. It’s not only super delicious, chocolaty and creamy but still healthy and protein-rich, it’s also made in only 10 Minutes and with only 5 ingredients.

(The silken tofu can also be found in organic stores or maybe even big supermarkets.)

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For 2 big portions, you will need
  • 300g silken tofu
  • 50g dark vegan chocolate (60%)
  • 2-3 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch vanilla extract
  • toppings of choice (dark chocolate flakes, berries, coconut flakes, banana slices…)

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How to make it
  1. Cut the tofu block in small pieces and mix it with a blender or kitchen mixer on high speed for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate on low heat in a pot on the stove – be careful to not burn it!
  3. Add the melted chocolate and the other ingredients and blend them together.
  4. Taste test if you want your dessert to be more chocolaty or sweeter. If you’re happy with the result add your toppings of choice and enjoy!

This Chocolate Mousse is perfect to satisfy your chocolate cravings in a healthy way!

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I am pretty sure it is possible to make any kind of flavored dessert with the silken tofu like berry, peanut butter or lime and I am definitely going to test more recipes with it. Silken tofu can also be used in vegan cheesecakes or chocolate mousse tarts.

How do you like my first recipe in the English language? Will you try this dessert yourself? Are you interested in more healthy snack recipes?