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Talking budgeting and how to save money on food with Dan & Steph

With the cost of living growing increasingly difficult, budgeting has never been more crucial. Creating a plan for how to save money on food shopping in Australia can help you save and stay ahead of the curve, so MyBudget founder Tammy Barton sat down with 2013 My Kitchen Rules winners Dan and Steph to discuss all things budget meal planning in Australia.

Why budgeting is so important

Money, whether we like it or not, is interconnected with almost all aspects of our lives. We need money to pay our rent or mortgage, to pay for our kids’ sports programs, school fees, to go out and socialise with friends, to buy food… I could go on. So because of this, the way in which we manage our money has a big impact on the way our life turns out.

I’ve been working in the finance industry for over 20 years (that makes me feel old!). I have been privileged to meet with a wide range of people to talk about their lives, goals and worries, and how money interconnects with all of this.

Without any doubt, meeting with thousands of people and listening and setting up budgets to reflect what people want out of their life has taught me more about money and real life than anything I learnt when I was studying. I’ve seen first-hand how money can cause real headache, but I have also seen how it transforms lives by facilitating people to live the lives they want to lead (& provide security and fulfilment).

Budgeting is really the only way you can obtain full visibility of your finances – and understand what you can, and maybe can’t, afford. Putting a budget together is a fabulous start, although it is also taking action and sticking to your budget. This can be quite hard without the right systems and support, but not impossible!

How to save money on food shopping in Australia

Buying food is the second biggest expense in Australian household budgets, just after the cost of putting a roof over your head. But food is also one of the budget items you can have some control over by choosing how to shop and what to shop for. You can make savings by buying in bulk but also buying items on special or direct from growers and then storing it all properly. Actually, creating a budget and working out what you can spend will help you exercise more control over this expense too.

It might surprise people to learn that food is also an enormous portion of our household waste. One in every five bags of groceries end up in the bin and it’s costing us billions of dollars every year. How much better would that money be in our pockets rather than in our rubbish bins.

We need to be smarter about how we shop, how we cook and how we store our food if we want to save money in the kitchen. It’s also good for the environment to reduce food waste—win-win!

Online shopping save money in both the kitchen AND in petrol

At MyBudget, we recommend online shopping for groceries instead of going to the store. There is less bill shock at the end as you know exactly what is going into the cart in real-time, it reduces the temptation to impulse shop and you can browse the specials to help you plan your meals for the week. With the price of petrol putting additional pressure on budgets, there is the added bonus that you don’t have to drive to the shop if you opt for home delivery—another win-win!

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Substitution is the key to savings

We are really seeing the cost of some items increasing at a rapid rate, especially if growing areas have been hit by floods or the price of petrol is causing transport to become more expensive. If this is the case, then consider swapping those ingredients for cheaper alternatives. Meat can be swapped for other sources of protein such as beans, rice or oats which are easier to store and can be just as nutritious.

As you can see, thinking ahead and shopping cleverly is key for how to save money on food in Australia. Dan and Steph’s recipes provides some easy-to-make recipes in a way that won’t break the budget. And if you’d like to learn more about creating a budget, contact MyBudget on 1300 300 922 or enquire online.

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This article has been prepared for information purposes only, and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.