Part 2 Grocery experiment – Miss 18’s week
Good Afternoon! I hope this finds you well! If you haven’t caught up on my previous blog, this might not make sense so be sure to check it out HERE!
Miss 18 (who was Miss 17, 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 (full cream cows milk)
- 1kg rice of choice (brown)
- 1kg pasta of choice (dinosaur!)
- 1 x bread or 1 x breakfast cereal (dark rye bread)
- 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 ( 8 green tea bags and 6 coffees – not in photo)
Did you have a plan or list for grocery shopping?
The day before grocery shopping, I wrote a plan of what meals I would like to make and then wrote a list of what ingredients I would need. Also, what extra foods and snacks I would buy if I had enough money within my budget.
Did you meal plan and did you stick to it?
I made a meal plan for all of my breakfasts and dinners eg. 7 breakfast ideas and 7 dinner ideas. Lunches I prefer a bit more snack type food, so I made sure I had enough ingredients but didn’t’ overly plan them. I then decided each meal at the time what I felt like eating and made that. Knowing my personality, I stuck with my overall meal plan as I thought I would.
What were some of your meals?
Toast with avocado and tomato, home-made sweet potato fries with mashed avocado and camembert, chicken schnitzel and salad, banana and blueberry smoothie, ‘CBC’ chicken and steamed vegetables, kind of ‘burrito bowl’ with mince, rice, salad, sour cream.
Did you get more or less than you expected you could get?
I was surprised that I was able to buy more food than I expected. I prioritised buying ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinners and was happy when I then had leftover money and could go back around and buy some snacks (I bought dark chocolate, popcorn and coconut water).
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 fairly easy as I had tried to prepare and figure out prices the day before grocery shopping, however I did need to keep count and add up along the way to make sure I wasn’t buying and spending too much. I think it would be really easy to go way over budget if I wasn’t planned.
Ideally how much more money would you have liked and what extra things would you have purchased?
I feel as though I was able to purchase quite a good amount of food for my weekly meals, I actually had a few things left over. I never went hungry! I think that only an extra $10-$20 would leave me feeling really comfortable with my shopping and I would have then been able to buy more fruit, veg and nuts.
Do you think that you could realistically live on this budget?
Yes. I think it could get difficult to think of new dinner ideas on this budget each week but once I thought of maybe 10 or so ideas, I would be happy to rotate them. If I did this all the time, I would also look into buying and cooking bulk when I can.
Did you learn anything whilst on this budget?
I learnt how easy it can be for people to choose the unhealthy and cheaper options such as two-minute noodles and cheap frozen meals. I learnt that although healthy eating is typically seen as overly expensive, if you meal prep and look at all your food options as well as looking at what is in season and on sale, it really isn’t all that difficult.
Did you learn anything about cooking on this budget?
I learnt that a little bit can go a long way. When you’re cooking for yourself, ingredients can last a while and can be used for multiple different meals. For example I bought one cucumber and a large sweet potato, and both lasted me for multiple meals throughout the week.
Did you eat in a way that you like to eat? Or did you have to compromise due to the budget?
My food for the week I really enjoyed, and it was all food that I would choose to buy and eat on a regular basis. I would have liked a bit more fruit and veg at times (for example baby cucumbers to snack on) and nuts and good dried fruit can be expensive to buy a lot of. Sometimes I compromised with brands (choosing the cheaper option) but at no time did I feel hungry or that I was missing out on fullness or nutrition because of the budget.
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