Dietitian Susie Burrell has revealed her budget grocery shopping secrets, and how she never spends over $50 by employing a few handy tricks.
The Sydney qualified nutritionist and expert said supermarkets are hard-wired to make us spend more than we want to, but you need to go in with a plan in order to stop yourself from going off track.
‘I always tell families they need to have four go-to meals per week that their family like, perhaps one meat dish, one mince dish, one fish and one plant-based meal,’ Susie told financial advisor Canna Campbell.
‘Never shop per recipe as when you’re buying little extras like chive that you only need once, that is when your bill really adds up.’
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Dietitian Susie Burrell (pictured) has revealed her budget grocery shopping secrets, and how she never spends over $50 by employing a few handy tricks
Susie said she always starts by thinking about how much she wants to spend on protein that week and goes for things like turkey mince as it’s cheaper (her shop pictured)
‘I always tell families they need to have four go-to meals per week, perhaps one meat dish, one mince dish, one fish and one plant-based meal,’ Susie told financial advisor Canna Campbell (both pictured)
START WITH PROTEIN
Susie said she always starts by thinking about how much she wants to spend on protein that week:
‘Admittedly, this $50 guide has been put together with an individual in mind rather than a family, but it can give you a simple platform to spend a lot less, particularly on staple items,’ she told Canna.
Susie said protein is where the bulk of most people’s money disappears, so you need to think about how much meat, fish and chicken you want that week.
Even just making one night of the week a plant-based meal can save you upwards of $10 per meal.
For example, a simple tomato sauce pasta with some cheese for your children can cost just $5 and this can often easily double up as lunch the next day.
‘I like chicken and turkey mince as it’s only around $5 per serve, it’s protein rich and delicious,’ Susie said.
She also said you could opt to buy mince in bulk when it’s on special and then freeze it for a later date.
Susie said you shouldn’t fear packaged food as things like tinned tuna and tinned salmon can be popular with kids (her shopping basket pictured)
DON’T FEAR PACKAGED FOOD
What are Susie’s top tips?
* Buy long-life milk as it lasts longer and is often cheaper.
* Bulk up mince with tinned legumes for an extra protein hit.
* Freeze bread to keep it to last longer.
* Start with your protein as meat will always be the most expensive part of your shop and go from there.
* Never shop per recipe as this is where your bill adds up; instead go for budget staples that can be used in a multitude of ways.
* Set four go-to recipes per week: ideally a meat dish, a mince dish, a fish dish and a plant-based meal.
* Cook once and eat twice, particularly with protein to get more bang for your buck.
Susie’s next tip is that you don’t avoid packaged food because it’s unhealthy, but rather shop the packaged aisles carefully.
‘Packaged fish may be a little bit more processed, but you can get a meal with it for just $6,’ she said.
‘Tinned salmon and tuna are among my kids’ favourite foods and it’s really easy to make budget dishes with them, some rice or pasta and frozen veggies.’
ALWAYS HAVE AN EGG-BASED MEAL
Susie likes to incorporate at least one egg-based meal per week, because four eggs cost just $2.
This could be a breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast, a lunch of poached eggs and avocado or a dinner of shakshuka.
‘Eggs are high in protein, too, which makes them super healthy,’ Susie said.
SHOP VEGETABLES CAREFULLY
When it comes to vegetables, the rule should be in season as much as possible.
‘In season veggies from a local producer or market will always be cheaper than the supermarket, as supermarkets always up the price of their products,’ Susie said.
‘Staples like a bag of carrots can cost as little as $2 and can last two weeks. You just need to store them correctly.’
The dietitian recommends you wrap your leafy greens in a tea towel as this helps to keep them fresh, and keep onions and potatoes in a cool, dark place to protect any antioxidants.
‘You also shouldn’t fear frozen vegetables, as they have just as much nutrition as fresh,’ Susie said.
‘Just be careful about how you cook them, it’s best to steam or microwave them rather than boil them to within an inch of their life.’
The dietitian recommends that you always cook once eat twice, particularly with protein sources to get more bang for your buck (one of her family meals pictured)
PLAN FOUR MEALS PER WEEK
Susie recommends that you plan four basic meals per week: one mince-based, one meat-based, one fish-based and one plant-based.
Having staples like kidney beans that can be used across these meals will mean you save money:
‘At this time of year, I encourage families to have three or four go-to meals per week and then spend a little bit more if you need to on a beautiful steak on a Friday night,’ Susie said.
‘Kids like basic meals, they don’t all need to be super fancy.’