Part 2 Grocery experiment – Miss 16’s week

by | Jul 20, 2020 | 0 comments

Good Morning friends, I hope this finds you all well, keeping warm and coping OK if you are in places around Australia that still have big restrictions with Covid-19. Sorry for the delay with sharing Miss 16’s grocery week update, school holidays have me juggling as usual and hubby had his first holiday from work in a year and a half so it was nice to do some family outings together. If you missed what I am talking about, you can catch up on the experiment HERE and Miss 18’s week HERE. I hope you have enjoyed this, I know the girls enjoyed doing it, only the other day they were discussing what they could do ‘next’ … if you have any ideas, let me know! 

Miss 16 (who was Miss 15, 6 weeks ago when we actually did this!) was kind enough to answer some questions I asked about her week with $70.

The basics I offered (not within this $70) was the following … in brackets is what she chose:

  • 1 litre milk of choice (almond milk)
  • 1kg rice of choice (brown)
  • 1kg pasta of choice (wholemeal spirals)
  • 1 x bread or 1 x breakfast cereal (oats)
  • 1 x oil or 1 x butter (sunflower oil)
  • 1/2kg flour of choice (rice four)
  • 3 x herbs / spices (paprika, parsley and cinnamon)
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (rapadura – not in photo)
  • 14 x tea bags / coffees ( 10 green tea bags and 4 turmeric tea bags – not in photo)

Did you have a plan or list for grocery shopping?

I did. I wrote a list of things I knew I would want and then I sat down with Mum to get some ideas of main meals and to help me put the list together to make sure I didn’t forget anything. 

Did you meal plan and did you stick to it?

Yes. I have the same thing for breakfast every morning so that was easy. I wrote a list of meal ideas for lunches and dinners and then just made whatever I felt like from the list at the time. 

What were some of your meals?

I had oats with almond butter, seeds and dates for breakfast each morning. I did hommus pasta, roast sweet potato topped with salad, savoury rice with vegetables and vegetable patties. Lunches were a bit more like snack food, cheese, carrot sticks, crackers, eggs. 

Did you get more or less than you expected you could get?

I don’t eat large meals so I actually got a lot more than I thought I would. I’m also pescatarian (vegetarian but will eat seafood) so I think I might have saved some money because I didn’t buy meat. 

Was grocery shopping on a budget an easy process or did you have to be quite planned and conscious of your spending whilst shopping?

It was easy because I had my list and stuck to that. It would have been a lot harder and confusing if I didn’t have that list and I just wandered around. At the end I had about $20 left so I could go back and get a couple more things like dark chocolate and almond munch nuts that weren’t on my list. I could see how you could easily spend a lot more though if you weren’t prepared. 

Ideally how much more money would you have liked and what extra things would you have purchased?

Maybe another $20 as I could have bought a much bigger variety of fruit, salad and vegetables. 

Do you think that you could realistically live on this budget?

Yes I do. Especially because I had quite a lot left over at the end of the week – I had lots of rice, pasta, milk, oil and oats left. I didn’t use my flour at all and even had some carrots and frozen vegetables and eggs left at the end of the week. 

Did you learn anything whilst on this budget? Did you learn anything about cooking on this budget?

I learnt lots. Like to look at the price per 100g to see if it is better value, not just the price tag. I learnt that it is helpful to take 10 minutes to look online for specials first and that buying things in season is better value. I learnt that not all medjool dates are the same. Cheaper ones don’t stay as soft in the fridge. I also learnt some things with cooking like being more confidant with basics, like cooking rice without asking Mum ‘how long’ all the time and I really learnt how to improvise with meals and how easy it is to put good food together without much fuss. 

Did you eat in a way that you like to eat? Or did you have to compromise due to the budget?

I ate how I like to eat and didn’t really feel like I had to compromise much and never went hungry. As I said before though, I think it would have been nice to have a bigger variety of some things like fruit and vegetables but I know when people really have to be on a tight budget, lots of variety is something they can’t always have and so maybe this is something we take for granted. 

Take Care of You,

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