Saving money on your food bill

Want to save money on groceries and eat healthier at the same time? It can be done. Try these simple tips to save on food.

Pack your lunch

Have you ever added up how much you spend every week on school and work lunches? It can be pretty shocking. When it comes to lunches, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You can make sandwiches and salads at home for half the cost of eating at a café or deli, while cooking a little more at dinner time and having the leftovers for lunch is a great way to save both money and time. For cost comparisons and more lunch tips check out this FOODcents page.

Eat less meat

Meat is often the most expensive ingredient in a dish. Use a bit less meat and bulk out meals with beans and veggies instead, or try a tasty vegetarian alternative. Tweak just three meals a week this way and you can reduce your food shopping bill by more than $900 a year.

When youre cooking thisSwap thisFor thisAnd save this!
Lasagne500g beef mince500g pumpkin$4
Stir-fry2 chicken breasts6 eggs or 300g tofu$6
Curry500g lamb2 cans chickpeas$8
Savings$18 per week
$936 per year

Buy bigger packets

Individually portioned foods such as boxes of dried fruit, small yoghurts and pre-wrapped crackers might be convenient but they are also more expensive. Compare the price per 100g or per kilo between the small and large version to see the difference. Make your own mini-packs by putting individual serves into reusable containers – that way you save money while also reducing the amount of packaging. Just make sure you’re not buying more than you can eat before the expiry date. Wasting food is wasting money.

Stop the waste

Try these quick tips if you’re sick of having food go off before you get a chance to eat it:

  • Plan your meals for the week and buy only what you need.
  • Check the fridge, freezer and pantry before you go shopping to avoid doubling up.
  • Buy canned and frozen fruit and vegetables – they won’t go slimy before you get to them.
  • Organise your fridge so that you can see foods that need to be eaten.

Buy homebrand

Most supermarkets carry their own versions of many basic products. These are usually cheaper because the supermarket doesn’t spend money on fancy packaging or special advertising. Read the labels to compare the products and give them a whirl, and start saving money on your groceries from your very next shop.



Anne Finch

Anne Finch is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with a passion for food. She works at the Cancer Council WA on a range of programs like FOODcents to help people eat well and be healthy. Likes: Developing cheap, tasty, healthy recipes. Her current mission is inventing a veggie burger that doesn't fall apart! Dislikes: people giving out dodgy health and diet advice on the internet.


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