Shopping to feed an army
Shopping to feed six on a budget can be challenging. My family all prefer lamb over beef and in Australia lamb is the more expensive of the two. Some weeks by a lot, some weeks by not so much! Then then are red peppers (capsicum) which can vary in price unbelievably. Likewise bananas.
For our meat, vegetables and fruit we shop almost exclusively at the Queen Victoria Market. PRICE! Bananas at the QVM were $1.20 a kilo today (up 20 cents from the last few weeks). At Coles bananas are $2.98 a kilo (probably up there this week too). When we buy about 5 kilos of bananas, that price difference makes a difference!
Meat is considerably cheaper at the market too. I paid $18 a kilo for some lamb chops in the supermarket the other day – at the market I got lamb chops for $9.99 a kilo. When we can eat 2 kilos of chops in a meal, it makes the trip to the market well worth it!
I snapped all the shots here on my phone during today’s foraging foray. The fruit and vegetable shots were taken in the organic area of the market. Not an area we can afford to shop in, unfortunately. Let’s do a little price comparison: look at the $19.50 a kilo price on the organic red capsicums in the top shot. We paid $4 a kilo for our non-organic red capsicums. Given we buy quite a lot of this particular vegetable the price of $19.50 a kilo is not a happening thing! Those $15 a kilo mushrooms are a little expensive too.
There is an apple for every taste! We like Pink Lady apples in this house. At $2.50 a kilo for the non-organic variety, rather than the $4.99 a kilo ones above! Clearly they are popular, as the box is nearly empty compared to the neighbouring varieties.
There is always plenty of seafood and I love the bright red of the fresh chillies.
We bought prawns for the Nigerian dish we make on a regular basis, but I didn’t buy chillies. One day I will!
Then it was on to actually buy the meat. We did remarkably well today, getting all our meat for the week for $76, if I exclude the prawns from the bill! Six people can chew through a LOT of meat. We ended up with a leg of lamb, 2 kgs of chops, 2 kgs of diced lamb and 2 kgs of minced beef.
The kids love honey-soy chicken drumettes and we can get those for $5 a kilo (as we buy 2 kilos) at the market – already marinated! Chicken seems to be pre-prepared in a variety of ways. We tried the lemon pepper pieces once, but they weren’t a popular choice, not even with me and I usually like lemon pepper dishes. Mr O is not a big chicken fan, but he likes the honey-soy…… and KFC, of all things!
More fruit and vegetables: the selection is extensive!
We have this great little car fridge to keep the meat cool on the trip home. It plugs into what used to be the cigarette lighter in cars until cigarette lighters were banned. I’m not sure what those little outlets are called now!
Now, this last shot has nothing to do with food. Let’s call this “Road Art”. Is this Road Art or a way to give a driver a heart attack? I drive under this big yellow “Road Art” structure twice a day, every day. Invariably I find myself thinking I do hope the darn thing doesn’t fall down!
How do you shop for your family? What savings do you manage to make on the weekly food bill? I’ve noticed bread is very variable in price. I can buy loaves for $1 at Coles or pay $6 for the fancy breads. We end up compromising somewhere in the middle!