There’s no hiding from it, the cost of many food staples has risen at what feels like an extortionate rate in recent months.
New data collected by Deakin University has shown that lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes have jumped significantly in price.
However, some food items have actually remained steady or cost less than in previous months. Find out what they are below…
Food items that have risen and dropped in price in recent months
The cost of living is putting pressure financially on many Australian families.
28 specific grocery items have been monitored by researchers from Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation.
They found that lettuce has jumped 150% in recent months, going from $2 to $5.
Broccoli has risen 72%, going from $6.90 a kilo to now $11.90. Meanwhile, tomatoes have increased by 25%. Spaghetti has risen by 13%, potatoes by 12% and milk by 9%.
“We’re actually calling this a food price crisis,” Dr Zorbas from the university told ABC News.
“On average, fruit and veg prices have gone up 7 per cent. Other foods, core stuff we eat on a day-to-day basis like bread, have also gone up 10 per cent.
“We’ve been monitoring prices for five years and they haven’t changed until the 2021/22 period.”
Alarmingly, due to global fuel prices and the effects of flooding along Australia’s east coast, prices are said to rise even more.
Food items that have gone down in price
Meanwhile, data has also shown that some food items have actually remained steady or gone down in price.
Bananas and oranges are now less expensive, dropping 28% and 17% respectively. Canned bean mixes are also 5% cheaper, apples are around $4.50 per kilo, which is the same as they were last year. They were selling for $5.50 in 2020.
What’s more, the price of carrots, eggs, red onions and sweet corn has remained stable.
It’s no secret that the cost of living has steadily increased and Aussie families are feeling the pinch. With supermarket prices skyrocketing of late, it’s all too easy for the weekly grocery budget to blow out!
What’s more, there’s a common misconception that eating healthily is more expensive, so the idea of taking care of your health AND budget can seem somewhat daunting.
The truth is, you don’t need to cut out any of these foods that are soaring in price, there are ways you can maximise how you use them and even alternative ways to get your vital nutrients.
That’s exactly where the Healthy Mummy can help! As part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge we design meal plans and recipes for you that are not only healthy and delicious but also budget-friendly.
No making separate meals for your family either, these recipes are seriously tasty and will satisfy hungry men and fussy kids alike!
In fact, the Healthy Mummy App has heaps of budget and family-friendly recipes that cost under $2.50 per serve, even with the current inflated grocery prices!
We have chosen some recipes from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge below to show you how YUMMY and healthy budget food can be for you and the whole family!
Get a Sneak Peek of 10 Delicious Healthy Meals under $2.30!
1. Chicken and Chorizo Enchiladas – $2.12 per serve
This is one of those meals that ticks all the boxes! It’s family-friendly, easy to make and at just 260 cals per serve is a great option if you’re watching your weight. Plus these enchiladas are super tasty.
2. Chicken and Mushroom Filo Parcels – 0.85 per serve
Filo pastry is a great ingredient to keep on hand in the freezer. It’s a healthier pastry option too as it contains no fat. This recipe is really versatile as you can add in your own flavour combinations depending on what you have available.
Serves 1, 389 calories per serve
- cooking oil spray
- 1/4 brown onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 100g chicken breast fillet
- 1 tsp plain wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
- 2 tbsp liquid chicken stock, salt reduced
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 dried thyme leaves
- 4 sheets filo pastry
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180c
- Spray a non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add diced chicken to the pan and brown for 3o seconds, then sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, mushrooms and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Unroll filo and place 2 sheets (per serve) on a bench with a short side closest to you. Spray with a bit of cooking oil spray, top with the other two sheets and spray again. Spoon chicken mixture about a third of the way up the filo, fold up from the bottom and fold in the sides then roll to enclose.
- Place parcel on a lined baking tray, spray once more with cooking oil spray and top with half the sesame seeds. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve with the salad leaves dressed with lemon juice, remaining sesame seeds salt and pepper.
3. Bolognese Bake – $2.15 per serve
A twist on the classic spag bol, this family and budget-friendly dinner makes for a comforting mid-week meal. It’s a great recipe to prep ahead and just pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Tuna Green Bean Salad – $1.89 per serve
Nothing beats the trusty tin of tuna to keep on hand for budget-friendly meals. This salad takes no time to throw together, is packed with flavour and has just 317 calories per serve.
5. Satay Fried Rice with Egg – $2.09 per serve
This delicious recipe will rival any Thai takeaway. It’s seriously yummy and surprisingly easy to make. Top tip: precook the rice and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Not only will this save you time, by using firmed-up cold rice, keeps the rice from sticking together and getting mushy.
6. Pumpkin Chickpea Burgers $2.02
Having a meat-free meal every week is a great way to save some cash and is good for your health too. Like tinned tuna, tinned chickpeas are a really good budget staple to keep in the pantry. This recipe is super tasty and has just 362 calories per serve.
7. Cheesy Broccoli Bites – $0.95
These make a lovely little snack or side dish to some lean protein for a main meal. They are also a sneaky and effective way of getting more veggies into the kid’s diet!
8. Slow Cooker Ragu – $1.69
Slow cookers are a great way of getting the most out of budget ingredients plus it takes all the heavy lifting out of this lovely and family-friendly dinner. This comforting and versatile ragu is really popular with kids too. Serve it with pasta or use it as part of other recipes like lasagna or with mash.
9. Pepperoni Potato Pizza Bake – $2.15 per serve
This family-friendly potato bake is inspired by the flavours of a pizza and uses minimal and budget ingredients. It’s only 380 cals per serve and is really easy to prepare.
10. Baked Chicken Spaghetti – $2.25 per serve
Just when you thought pasta couldn’t get any simpler. This delicious Baked Chicken Spaghetti is so easy, high in protein and just 369 calories per serve.
Serves 6, 369 calories per serve
- 250 grams wholemeal spaghetti
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 500 grams of lean chicken mince
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 3 cups tomato passata
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup reduced-fat reduced-mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
- Cook spaghetti according to packet directions until al dente. Preheat oven to 180c.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. Use a wooden spoon to break up any lumps.
- Add dried herbs and tomato passata and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and sinner for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.
- Add spaghetti to the sauce and toss to combine together well.
- Pour spaghetti and sauce into a baking dish and sprinkle over the mozzarella. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and is golden and bubbling.
- Divide between six bowls and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves to serve.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
10 top tips to eat healthily on a budget
1. Make a meal plan
YES, it’s true, we are still talking about meal planning. That’s because it’s the NUMBER ONE way to save money on your groceries week to week.
Knowing what you are going to eat for each meal and snack means you will know exactly what you need to buy. So nothing gets forgotten, and nothing goes to waste.
2. Shop less often (and go online)
The fewer times you hit the supermarket the better. How often do you pop to the shop to pick up one or two things, and walk out with an armful of groceries? It’s too tempting to overspend.
So do your best to do one big shop per week, either online or in person. And always use your shopping list from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge so you don’t forget anything. Shopping online is great as you can see your total spending before you commit to it.
3. Double up
It takes just as much effort to cook a double batch as it does to cook a single one – so always double up! So if you’re cooking this delicious Choc-Hazelnut Freezer Pie, make two and freeze one!
Or if you’re cooking up the Simple Chicken Curry, freeze the second batch in single serves for your lunch or in one tub as a family-sized portion.
Knowing you have snacks and meals on hand is a great way to lose weight on a budget, as you won’t be tempted by a raspberry muffin at the café or a chicken madras from the takeaway.
4. Use economical ingredients
Make the most of kitchen staples to bulk out your meals – think frozen peas, tinned chickpeas, oats, eggs, rice and tuna. Go through the kitchen and find ingredients that need to be used up.
Then jump on the recipe hub of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and find something that you’d like to cook (ideally with ingredients you already have on hand).
5. Switch up ingredients
If one of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipes asks you to use a specific ingredient that you don’t have, feel free to mix and match to what you do have (or what’s cheaper).
For instance, you can dollop sour cream on your soup, but if you don’t have any, some Greek yoghurt will work too. If a stir fry calls for chicken breast, you can easily use chicken thighs or some tofu instead to save money.
6. Put meals on repeat
We offer tons of variety on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, but that doesn’t mean you have to prepare three brand new meals and three different snacks each and every day. Lots of the mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge choose to alternate between just two breakfasts across the week for instance, and that’s perfect for them.
Many mums will make extra of their dinner (like these Baked Sweet Potatoes With Spinach & Feta from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge to eat for lunch the next day rather than making something from scratch. Make the plans work for you and your lifestyle.
Get more budget-friendly recipes in our free recipe pack. Everything works out to be $2.50/serve or LESS!
8. Reduce processed foods
It’s so easy to fill your trolley with boxes of food that claim to be ‘natural’ which in fact are anything but. By reducing the amount of processed food in your trolley, you’ll save money as well as calories and additives.
It’s easy to make your own muesli bars and slices for your own snacks (that can work well for lunch boxes too). Make your own simple sauces for stir fry and pasta rather than buying them in a jar or sachet (they’re often ¼ sugar by the way).
9. Keep it simple
It’s perfectly fine (and delicious) to have some boiled eggs and toast soldiers for dinner sometimes. Having a few cheap and cheerful meals up your sleeve can save you a TON of cash (and calories), as it means you won’t feel tempted to order a pizza or eat out when you’re tired and hungry.
10. Take full advantage of the Healthy Mummy App
In the Healthy Mummy App, home to the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge all portion sizes, shopping list and nutrition are taken care of for you plus meals are budget and family-friendly.
Staples to keep in your cupboard:
- Tinned legumes
- Stock cubes
- Sweet potatoes
Learn more about nutrition and how to budget your meals with the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
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● Nutritionist & chef designed weekly meal plans
● Over 500 different Personal Trainer crafted at-home workouts
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