Food & Drink

High price of groceries - how do you keep the cost down?

Food & Drink

Posted by: Marlene

16th May 2021 02:17pm

Prices of groceries here in north Queensland are so high, does anyone have any tips on how do you keep the cost down?

Comments 42

  • 31st Jan 2022 07:02pm

I try to have meat alternatives and enjoy to ‘scrappy’ tea on the weekend like an egg toastie or scrambled eggs and tomatoes on toast. As some others have said, I don’t buy tomatoes or Avis in bulk because they would perish so regular small shops are better for me. Hope this helped … it isn’t easy and with adult children still at home it’s challenging to keep the costs down.

  • 16th Jun 2021 06:45pm

We buy groceries and cook everything from scratch and NEVER waste any food in the house. I always prefer to eat leftovers over the week and use that as a variety option to have a change within the week and also avoid wastage.
We never buy in bulk because we realise that sometimes we do not use the product and when it expires we have to throw it out so now we only buy what is necessary and just enough to use. We also write a shopping list and follow that strictly so we do not buy anything which is not needed.

  • 15th Jun 2021 08:30pm

The single best way to reduce food cost is to cook from scratch at home. It's MUCH more expensive to buy ready made meals
So, assuming you can cook, here are some other tips:

Plan your week's menu. Have a good idea of portion sizes and how much you'll need per meal

Matthew Jackman
  • 29th May 2021 09:28pm

I usually go to cheaper supermarkets, such as Aldi. This happens to be convenient for me, as it is only a 10 minute walk.

Elizabeth 31231703
  • 29th May 2021 06:53pm

I always look up for half price and use gift cards from surveys like cafe study.

Bianca 31233679
  • 29th May 2021 03:40pm

I’m lucky I live within kilometres of a coles, Woolworths,Spudshed & IGA
So either one will have specials each week
I usually buy in bulk then freeze
It’s the only way I could survive with eating healthy meals

aunty gran
  • 29th May 2021 03:33pm

Prices everywhere are high. I bulk up meals with more veggies and will add legumes to meat casserole dishes which makes them go further. I make all my own soup, "a bottom of the fridge soup" with any left over veggies. I very rarely buy premade sauces as it is just as easy and much cheaper to make your own. I buy in bulk flour sugar and rice and of course toilet paper and washing powder as it works out much cheaper. Always compare the grams on the packages when shopping. If there are items on special that l know l will use l will purchase more.
It is very hard to try to make your shopping cheaper but it is a worthwhile challenge.

  • 28th May 2021 08:56pm

The prices in nsw are also very high so I shop around for some of the things that I need like 48 toilet rolls $12

Liz Tate
  • 28th May 2021 02:14pm

Meal plan meal plan. And look for bargains through online or catalogs each to see how has what cheapest

  • 28th May 2021 11:15am

I usually do shopping in multiple places depending what is cheapest where. And buy mostly on special items and store if there is a very good deal.

  • 28th May 2021 11:09am

Hi Marlene. I think everyone has a different tactic or approach to saving money. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH your local shops. I know North QLD would be different but I shop around for the absolute bargains. I shop at the Fresh & Save Morayfield and Aldi the most. Don't be afraid to shop outside the major shops such as Coles or Woolworths, their price of meat and vegetables is just ridiculous at times. I'm never there to get the marked down stuff and I would rather get it cheaper and fresher somewhere else. I subscribed to the online catalog for Fresh and Save and IGA Drakes, they are two places where the meat is ALWAYS ALWAYS CHEAPER. Today I got chicken legs for $2 a kilo and a 5kg bag of potatoes for $2 from Fresh and Save. I also, like others, believe in the power of the slow cooker and stew which is always a traditional money saver. Sausages and Chicken are always cheaper and we have quite a few meals with that ingredients. With stew leftovers, I thicken it up and make pies with puff pastry for the next night or freeze into meals. Sorry, I could bang on for ages about this topic.

  • 28th May 2021 11:13am
Hi Marlene. I think everyone has a different tactic or approach to saving money. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH your local shops. I know North QLD would be different but I shop around for the...

I just read that you only have an IGA and a Woolworths. That's hard when you are in a place for limited choice as you are stuck paying higher prices. Would meal deliveries work out cheaper such as Marley Spoon or Light and Easy, I don't know how much they are, I know my mother in law uses them as she is just alone and gets better value and less wastage.

  • 27th May 2021 07:12pm

more planting areas

  • 27th May 2021 06:40pm

grow your own fruit and veggies

  • 27th May 2021 05:37pm

I shop at both Aldi and Coles. Not only does this give me a greater choice but it helps with keeping the cost down.

  • 27th May 2021 05:13pm

I read the labels for price per 100g or 100ml etc.
Shop around at different stores if you have that option too as everywhere will have different sales (usually advertised online so you can check before going out)Use the rewards cards offered if you shop at major chains as you get money back/free items for no effort

  • 26th May 2021 12:34pm

I look at both the Coles and Woolworths catalogues, do up a list of what is on special to keep costs down on pantry items. I try to visit the local markets for fruit and vegetables, as it is much cheaper and the quality is better.

  • 25th May 2021 11:54pm

Buy in bulk and spend more money on fresh produce rather than packaged food, you don't need all the soft drinks, sweets and treats to survive, in fact you will feel healthier if you eat more fruit and veggies. Go to farmers markets towards the end to pick up mark downs.

  • 25th May 2021 07:15pm

i don't buy meat much but still have the traditional Roast of day and then use that for the rest of the week. i did splash out the other weekend and bought some lamb chops and chuck steak and made casseroles and stew about 5 serves for me to freeze, i can then add mash or rice to make them a bigger meal. i also look at the price per whatever, though of course this is only good for non perishable goods, no good me buying a bag of carrots or something and then by time i get to them they are not even fit to make a stock with .

  • 25th May 2021 05:59pm

I only buy fruit and vegetables that are in season as they are generally cheaper.
I bought a slow cooker from target for $25 and been making pumpkin soup, stews as stewing meat is cheaper.. it is only the two of us so I can freeze some for another night.
Same applies with mince and a big bag of potatoes and carrots I make a big batch of cottage pie,and spaghetti, spaghetti and pasta is cheap to buy .
Mac and cheese is also good. I buy the cheese in a kilo block works out cheaper. As for drinks I just drink tap water or buy a 4 litre bottle of cordial to add flavour.
I also buy the home brand 2 minute noodles in different flavours great for a cold winters day.
I hope these suggestions help.
I also only depend on a Centrelink payment and rent .

  • 25th May 2021 05:55pm

I have changed my ccoking techniques in recent years due to rising grocery costs but not increase in income. I use cheaper cuts of meats and use slow cooker to prepare

  • 25th May 2021 04:27pm

I live in Victoria and rely on an Aged Pension from Centrelink, I have no other income so I agree grocery prices are high no matter where you live. I keep my costs down by making a list, either on my phone or on paper, or what I require and then only go down the aisles in the supermarket that contain the items I need. Going down every aisle 'just in case' is guaranteed to have you spot 'a bargain' that is hard to resist! I don't shop when I'm hungry or tired either, again both things lower my resolve to only buy what I need. I find that by buying only fresh or minimally processed foods is far cheaper than buying tinned foods as well.

  • 25th May 2021 04:08pm

I always buy, 6 or more items when 1/2 price can save 10 - 20 dollars a shop

  • 25th May 2021 03:28pm

Carrots, potatoes, frozen vegetables.

  • 25th May 2021 02:28pm

Try to plan meals based on cheaper seasonal or 'sale' items & always stick to your shopping list. Be prepared! Add items that you know you will need in the coming weeks & when they're on sale, you can purchase them.

  • 25th May 2021 02:15pm

Some of my savings are achieved by:
Eating more vegetarian meals
Using salt and spices to flavour food and DIY sauces where possible
Shop the specials
Asian grocers and markets are cheaper than supermarkets
TheCheapskatesClub (Cath Armstrong) has some excellent videos on YouTube. She is all about saving money and stretching what we already have. She is one of the best and most relatable experts I've seen on budgeting especially for groceries.

  • 28th May 2021 09:05pm
Some of my savings are achieved by:
Eating more vegetarian meals
Using salt and spices to flavour food and DIY sauces where possible
Shop the specials
Asian grocers and markets are...

Another good place to go to save money on fuel is the independent service stations and if you want rice grate up a cauliflower it is much healthier for you also buy in bulk

  • 25th May 2021 01:48pm

Some of the generic or home brand products are just as good as the well-known brands. They are usually quite a lot cheaper too. It may be worth trying some of them.

  • 25th May 2021 01:48pm

Get some chickens and grow what you can at home. You can also find out about eating weeds, as they are free, healthy and taste great. Cook from scratch, at home. Aldi has cheaper eats, you can even get food items at the reject shop. Buy plain label, cheaper brands as they are usually the same quality any way. Try imperfect fruit and veg or second bite items. Buy direct from farmers.

  • 24th May 2021 10:30pm

I cook meals and snacks at home rather than spending money on going out and takeaway food. We do have a treat of takeaway for dinner once a month and having takeaway less often makes it a special family time. I also shop at Aldi for meat as the quality seems to be much better than Coles and Woolworths and also cheaper.

  • 24th May 2021 05:25pm

Think the prices are rising everywhere and getting very expensive. Just buying what you need and therefore avoiding waste helps.

  • 24th May 2021 02:29pm

Live in a small Country Town and the food prices seem to be rising each week. Very hard to manage when on an Age Pension

  • 24th May 2021 02:16pm

I buy from the Farmer's Market every Sunday. The prices are less than half of the supermarkets and you know the money is going back to the farmers. Not 'A Grade' fruit and vegetables, but very fresh, flavoursome and edible.

  • 24th May 2021 01:36pm

Hi! My Woolies has some markdowns with close use by date near the deli & bakery. I look for those. Always buy by the cheapest unit price when grocery shopping... Woolies home brand to me ...peanut butter, cereal etc. ..are just as good as buying the Kraft or Uncle Toby's etc. brand. Buy in bulk & freeze what I don't need immediately. 👍😘

  • 24th May 2021 11:31am

Try and grow some of your own if possible

  • 24th May 2021 11:05am

I shop on a regular basis in the late afternoons or early evening when some things are marked down, this helps me keep my food shopping lower

Elizabeth 31231703
  • 24th May 2021 12:16am

Buy during half price,

  • 21st May 2021 08:41pm

Usually I grow lettuce, cucumbers and tomato in my backyard, also during winter I save water when raining into a big tank or containers to be used in summer to water my veggie plants.

  • 21st May 2021 03:31pm

It may be annoying but go to local shops for specific products. Meaning local market for fruit and veg, or local butcher for meat. If you have the time, it is possible to get the best price by sourcing outside of the supermarket chains. Otherwise i guess

  • 20th May 2021 01:28pm

We only have a iga and woolworths here and both are expensive and woolworths veggies are not very fresh . Luckily we have a few farmers who sell locally so we look forward when they have stuff to sell

  • 20th May 2021 12:44pm

The same thing is happening on the Gold Coast, the only thing we are doing is checking specials online before shopping and doing more at Aldi as they seem to be the cheapest overall. We are waiting for Costco to open in this area and then will purchase a membership and our local extended family can join us for bulk shopping.

  • 19th May 2021 03:25pm

They brushed into making the vaccine I will not be getting it done and I am not going to die for the goverments gain for trial and error

Help Caféstudy members by responding to their questions, or ask your own in Café Chat, and you will get the chance of earning extra rewards. Caféstudy will match these and donate equally to our two chosen Australian charities.

Australian Marine Conservation Society are an independent charity, staffed by a committed group of scientists, educators and passionate advocates who have defended Australia’s oceans for over 50 years.
Reach Out
ReachOut is the most accessed online mental health service for young people and their parents in Australia. Their trusted self-help information, peer-support program and referral tools save lives by helping young people be well and stay well. The information they offer parents makes it easier for them to help their teenagers, too.
Challenge Challenge is a not-for-profit organisation that supports children and families living with cancer, 365 days a year.

Our support is free and immediate, helping to lighten the cancer journey by addressing the practical, social, and emotional needs of all our members.