Last night was the final episode of Eat Well for Less which I loved. As I've mentioned before I've learnt a lot about these things over the last 10 years however there are so many people out there that would get an awakening from this show.
There was a young family with a one year old and a share house with 3 single girls. We all know about the $30 or $50 food challenge where you shop from your pantry or freezer first and only buy the necessities like milk, bread, fruit and maybe a small amount of meat. If you are spending $250 a week and only spend $50 you can put that $200 towards the mortgage, credit card debt or a bills account. The young family had approximately $2,000 worth of groceries in their pantry and the freezer was similar. They had 8 bags of frozen berries of all different sorts. A single friend of mine used to buy 2 tins of this and 2 tins of that which were her regular items only to look in her pantry and it could have 8 or 10 tins of any one item and living alone you don't need this much particularly when you are at the supermarket 2-3 times a week anyway. We can all get into the trap of buying a few things when they are on special and that's okay but some of the tins in the pantry ended up having to be thrown out because of the expiry date because you use what's in front of you rather than at the back of the cupboard. In the end you don't save yourself any money.
One of the single girls was buying a box of $50 T2 licorice and they swapped it for a $15 box and she thought it was the same tea. As I don't drink tea I didn't know you can buy a $50 box of the but there you go. She was shocked at the difference in price and was going to switch to the cheaper version.
One of the things about the "young people" these days everything is done through an app and the Uber Eats got a run for their money. They ordered $28 burgers and had them delivered when they were 2 km from the shop. Walking there and getting it would save $5 on each delivery. They showed them how to make a chicken burger and chips at home for $4.50 and it looked great and the girls loved it and are going to cut back on the Uber Eats. One girl was ordering the burger 4-5 times a week. Oh to be young and carefree however when they explained how much money they were eating in take out in a year between the 3 of them they were shocked.
The young family would get take away chicken and chips a couple of times a week which as new parents and a busy first time Mum with a toddler you can't leave alone for a minute the exhaustion sets in and take away seems like it solves all the problems. Take away is fine on occasions but not as the norm. The host showed them how to butterfly a chicken with herbs and spices and cook it on the BBQ along with cobs of corn and they made a batch of home made coleslaw.
I think one of the biggest take things we need to do is only buy what we need to eat for the week or fortnight depending upon how regularly you shop. When I was single I used to shop once a month for canned goods, meat and only buy milk and fruit and veggies weekly. I had a pretty good system and I would always cook a meal for 4 and portion it out. One meal that night and one for the next night and 2 for the freezer. I always had fresh prepared portioned food in my freezer so when I came home from work I could eat take away from my freezer. On the nights I would cook I would have my 10 rice crackers and a diet coke listen to the news and then start cooking. I always shopped for food even living alone.
Apparently the cost of food in Australia is one of the highest in the world in front of New York, London and Hong Kong which is crazy when you think about it. We have great growing conditions, lots of space and great soil.
I think there should be more educational shows like this as all the participants were shocked and delighted that they could reduce their food budget without going without too much just changing brands and giving some things up regularly like take away and soft drinks etc.