An Australian mum has revealed how she feeds her family-of-five for as little as $3.70 a head without compromising on nutrition or flavour.
Lee Dias, 38, from the south coast of New South Wales feeds herself, her husband, their five-year-old daughter and one-year-old twins for just $160 a week.
She shares her top tips on grocery budgeting to her 23,000 Instagram followers with her delicious recipes including sweet potatoes with chicken schnitzel, potato salad, lemon chicken noodle bowls and honey pepper BBQ pork steaks.
Lee Dias, 38, from the south coast of New South Wales feeds herself, her husband, their five-year-old daughter and one-year-old twins for just $160 a week. Pictured: Spinach, Ricotta & Sweet Potato Lasagne costing $2.15 per serving
1. Don’t shop every week
Ms Dias’ ‘biggest budgeting tip’ is to avoid visiting the supermarket every week and buy items that are on special.
‘Try buy multiple items when they are on sale and keep a little stockpile at home to get you through until it goes on sale again,’ she said.
‘If something you use goes on half-price-sale, buy a few. It can take a little time to build a stock pile, but doing a little each week will help build that pantry and freezer stock.’
2. Use less meat
Ms Dias also opts to use less meat to feed her family, which she says is better for their health, budget and the environment.
‘We love our food, and love meat, so we just reduce the amount in each meal,’ she said.
For example, rather than buying chicken thighs and cooking the entire packet, she divides the amount into smaller servings then freezes it for another date.
Lee shares her top tips on grocery budgeting to her 23,000 Instagram followers. Pictured: Chicken schnitzel with $10.45 total for four lunches
3. Try new recipes and prepare meals using similar ingredients
As the price of groceries is skyrocketing due to inflation, Ms Dias suggests trying new recipes using similar ingredients.
‘It reduces wastage if you don’t need the whole pack for one recipe, and it can reduce the grocery bill by buying things in bulk,’ she said.
The family enjoy Vietnamese-style foods, including roast vegetable cous cous, topped with a seasoned chicken thigh, and lemon mayonnaise.
Like thousands of other families, Ms Dias is worried about the rising cost of living.
When her family expanded from three to five, she decided to become a stay-at-home mum, reducing the income to one salary.
‘The biggest hit for us recently has been the rise in mortgage repayments, soaring fuel prices, and grocery price increases,’ she said.
‘I am having to rely on the freezer and pantry stockpile more and more, but as I do that, it will slowly run down, without me having the ability to shop the specials to keep it at a good sustainable level.
‘If it continues, I’ll need to explore different meal options, and reduce the grocery bill more and more to get by.’
A report recently found almost all (98 per cent) Aussie grocery shoppers have noticed an increase in the overall cost of items like petrol, groceries and household bills compared to previous years, with over four in five (81 per cent) concerned about the affordability of living costs in the next year.
In fact, Aussies are most worried about grocery affordability (51 per cent) second only to petrol (59 per cent).
Surprisingly, only one in 10 (9 per cent) of Australians have switched supermarkets as a strategy to save money despite statistics showing shopping at multiple stores is the best method for saving.