Australians can more than halve their grocery bill by sticking to a dietitian’s ‘ultimate shopping list’ that costs just $50 a week.
Susie Burrell appeared on Sunrise to show consumers how to save by shopping strategically this winter without compromising on taste or nutrition.
The Sydney nutritionist revealed products that have the same nutritional value, fresh or frozen, and the cheap cuts of meat that offer bucketfuls of flavour.
She said price is the only difference between frozen fruit and vegetables and their off-the-shelf counterparts, with fresh spinach costing four times more and fresh raspberries almost six times more expensive.
Ms Burrell said you can claw back big money on your butcher’s bill by swapping whole joints of meat for minced beef, pork or chicken, which all taste delicious in pasta, lasagne or burgers.
She also recommended tinned foods that provide plenty of vitamins and minerals for an affordable price, with cans of tuna, lentils and beans – all rich in B vitamins which fuel the body and repair damaged cells – costing as little as 80c in most leading supermarkets.
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Sydney dietitian Susie Burrell, who says swapping fresh fruit for frozen and beef mince for chicken doesn’t mean compromising on taste or nutrition
What shopping smart can save you
Fresh raspberries (500g) – $22
Fresh salmon fillets (4) – $18
Fresh spinach (280g) – $5
Fresh full cream milk – $1.29
Butterflied beef steaks (2) – $17.10
Total cost: $63.39
Frozen berries (500g) – $4
Frozen salmon fish cakes (6) – $5
Frozen spinach (250g) – 95c
Long-life UHT full cream milk – $1.25
Beef mince (500g) – $6
Total cost: $17.20
Total savings: $46.19
Source: Susie Burrell
Ms Burrell said the biggest savings can be made on protein-rich products like meat and dairy, which tend to be the most expensive items in the supermarket.
She suggested stocking up on cheap but tasty cans of tuna, which cost as little as 80c, and swapping expensive racks or shoulders of meat for mince, which starts from as little as $6 per 500 grams.
Ms Burrell said at least one of your daily meals should be built around eggs, an affordable yet versatile staple which work well in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Minced chicken (left) and beef (right) costs as little as $6 per 500g, and works well in a wide variety of dishes from pasta to burgers
Fresh and usually expensive seafood can be substituted with frozen fish, which has the same vitamins and minerals for less than a third of the price.
Fro context, six frozen salmon fish cakes cost $5 at Woolworths while four fresh Tasmanian salmon fillets cost $18.
Ms Burrell said it’s also a good idea to switch fresh for long-life milk, which is nutritionally equivalent, stays fresh for longer and comes in slightly cheaper at around $1.25 per litre.
Choosing frozen fish (left) and long-life milk (right) over their fresh counterparts can save you big money on your weekly shop
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
For the cheapest, highest quality fruit and vegetables, Ms Burrell said you should always shop seasonally, sticking to fresh produce which has been grown and harvested at the optimum time.
Bananas, grapefruit, kiwis and mandarins are in season throughout June and some of July in Australia, along with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and pumpkin.
Ms Burrell recommended shopping for fresh produce at local farmers’ markets which often offer lucrative deals if you buy in bulk.
She also suggested swapping fresh berries for frozen, assuring shoppers that the nutritional value is exactly the same for a fraction of the cost.
How to buy seasonally and save money on fresh food this winter
Buying fruit and vegetables in season usually means they’ll be cheaper and better quality than out-of-season produce – you just need to know when to buy them. Use this guide to shop smart and save money on fresh produce this winter and spring.
Fruit: Apples, banana, grapefruit, grapes and kiwi
Vegetables: Broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, mushrooms, potato and pumpkin
Fruit: Banana, grapefruit, kiwi and mandarin
Vegetables: Broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, potato and pumpkin
Fruit: Banana, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin and orange
Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, mushrooms and potato
Fruit: Banana, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin and orange
Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and silverbeet
Fruit: Banana, grapefruit, lemon and orange
Vegetables: Artichoke, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach
Fruit: Banana, grapefruit and lemon
Vegetables: Artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, leek, mushrooms and spinach
Source: Healthy Kids New South Wales
Ms Burrell (pictured) says shopping seasonally for fruit and vegetables that have just been harvested will reduce your grocery bill while keeping flavour in your meals
A 500 gram bag of frozen mixed berries costs $4, while a 125 gram punnet of fresh raspberries costs $5.50 at Woolworths.
‘Having some frozen berries…means you’ve got something to sweeten up your yoghurt or breakfast cereal, and they’ll keep so potentially you can hold them over several shops,’ she told Sunrise.
The same is true for leafy greens like kale and spinach. A 250 gram box of frozen spinach costs 95 cents at Woolworths versus $5 for a fresh bag.
Frozen mixed berries (pictured) cost $4 per 500g bag at Woolworths, against $5 per 125g punnet of fresh raspberries
Ms Burrell recommend stocking up on tinned foods like tuna (left) and lentils (right), cheap and nutritious staples which cost as little as 80c per can
The secret to saving on bread, potatoes and other carbohydrates is to buy in bulk, according to Ms Burrell.
She advised stocking up on bags of oats and tins of beans and lentils which cost anywhere from 80 cents to a $1 in most leading supermarkets.
It’s also a good idea to buy bread towards the end the day when stock is usually reduced, then freeze whatever’s not needed to be thawed and used at a later date.