10 budget foods to keep in your pantry PLUS which supermarket offers the best savings

Grab these ten great value foods to give your pantry, and your meals, a quick and nutritious boost! Plus 10 recipes using budget pantry staples.
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Grab these ten great value foods to give your pantry, and your meals, a quick and nutritious boost!

What’s more, with grocery prices fluctuating week to week, we have pounded the pavement to find out where you’ll get cheapest options on these staple items!

We visited  Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA and Foodworks for a thorough Supermarket comparison to see which chain offers the most savings on these 10 pantry basics where possible we got own brands for a fair comparison but these aren’t always readily available at independent stores IGA and Foodworks.

Prices are based on costings on 3 April 2024.

We’ve also put together some great recipes using these 10 healthier and budget pantry staples. They are all from The Healthy Mummy app and 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges – so if you like them and want more recipes, we have thousands of family and budget-friendly recipes here. 

We are big fans of meal prepping at The Healthy Mummy and think it can be the key to a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you follow these tips, your pantry and kitchen will be stocked and ready to prep like a pro!

10 foods to keep in your pantry for low-cost, nutritious, no-fuss meals

There are some things that you just need to keep in your pantry for a range of recipes or those last-minute meals. We’ve checked the prices of these pantry staples with Australia’s most popular grocery stores and given you some healthy recipes you can use these items in.

Please note, these prices are calculated as of April 2024. Prices may vary over time!

1. Canned fish – 95 g tuna in springwater. Best price ALDI but only by 1c!

Canned Fish$1.09$1.10$1.10$2.71$1.79

Choose brine or springwater versions of salmon or tuna, and add to green salad, frittata or pasta sauce for a good dose of Omega 3 fatty acids, heart-healthy nutrients and protein.

Try Family Friendly Healthy Tuna Mornay – Get the recipe here

2. Brown rice 1 kg – Best price Aldi by 1c!

Brown Rice $2.49$2.50$2.50$4.30$3.67

Choose this over white rice, as it has a better fibre load to help your digestive system.

Try this Budget Friendly Asian Chicken with Brown Rice and Broccoli  – Perfect for Bulk Cooking!  Get the recipe here

3. Eggs 12 free range 700 g – best price Aldi

Eggs            $5.19$5.60$5.60$5.75$7.49

Sooo budget friendly and so good for you; with protein, heart-healthy fat and only 70 calories each. Use them in omelettes, scramble them or bake them in frittata.

Try Foolproof  Spinach and Feta Frittata – Get the recipe here

4. Sweet potato 1 kg – Best price Aldi at $2.99

Sweet Potato$2.99$4.50$4.50$4$4.99

Packed full of fibre, and beta-carotene, they are thought to be one of the most nutritious foods around.

Mash with garlic and milk, or bake with paprika or cinnamon for a yum potato chip-style snack.

Try Sweet Potato and Pesto Rice Salad – Get the recipe here

5. Bananas 1 kg – Best price Coles

Top 10 budget busters for your food shop
Banana’s$3.99$0.72 (per banana)$0.68 (per banana)$0.72 (per banana)$4.99

The fastest of food – even come in their own packaging! They’re sweet but not jammed full of calories, and full of potassium, vitamins and minerals.

Try this Quick and Easy Banana Breakfast Bowl – Get the recipe here

6. Tinned tomatoes – 400 g – best price Coles

Tinned Tomato’s$1.39$1.10$1.00$1.70$1.79

Cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant – plus loads of vitamins A and C.

Combine them with tinned fish, fresh veggies and wholemeal pasta for a fast, easy and healthy dinner option.

Try this delicious Italian Tomato and Spinach Risotto – Get the recipe here

7. Lentils – 400 g tin – Best price ALDI at $0.95


Buy them dried or ready-cooked in tins, depending on how you want to use them.

They are low in fat, super filling, packed with protein and other vitamins and are supremely versatile.

Pop them in curries, fry them with onions or whiz them up to make tasty and filling dips and spreads.

Try Budget-Friendly Lentil Shepherds Pie – Get the recipe here

8. Tinned beans  400 g tin – Best price ALDI at $0.95

Tinned Beans$0.95$1.00$1.00$1.95$1.80

Beans of all varieties are packed with fibre and protein, so they’re super filling.

Being low on the glycaemic index means they release energy slowly over a period of time, keeping you fuller for longer.

Mash beans as an alternative to mashed potatoes, toss them into salads, cook them in soups or stews, add them to mince and stir them into casseroles.

Try Healthy Homemade Baked Beans – Get the recipe here

9. Wholemeal pasta – 500g Coles best price but no wholemeal in ALDI or Foodworks, only gluten-free as the closest comparison

Wholemeal Pasta – Spaghetti$3.99 (Gluten Free)$1.95$1.65$2.30$3.95 (Gluten Free)

Contains three times the fibre of any other pasta – so fills you up faster and keeps you fuller for longer, so you can eat less and still feel full, therefore helping you to lose weight.

Try this Chicken and Chorizo Pasta – Get the recipe here 

10. Frozen blueberries 500 g – Best price ALDI at $5.69

Frozen Blueberries$5.69$6.20$6.20$6.20$10.79

Low in fat and calories; you can eat them cooked or uncooked, put them into cereals, desserts, smoothies or salads or blend them up and make ice-blocks for a sweet, icy treat.

Try these Blueberry bites-  just 54 cals! Get the recipe here

Please note, these prices are calculated as of April 2024. Prices may vary over time!

HEALTHY MUMMY DID IT AGAIN! What happened when we bought the same 10 items from 6 different supermarkets, 3 years later

See how this Mum followed the 3 pot Meal Plan and pulls off this incredible meal prep!

Mum credits meal prepping for maintaining her weight and saving her thousands


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