Menu Concepts Blog

Eating Well on a Budget.

I have had a few clients this month discuss concerns that while they are trying to eat well, it is blowing out their weekly shopping budget. As I know a lot of you may still be a bit tight financially after the Christmas spending, I have put together a list of my favourite budget friendly tips to eating well. I have also added in one of my favourite autumn soups that is super delicious, healthy and easy on the budget.

1. Make friends with your freezer. Not only can this help with budgeting but also saves a load of time. Cook meals in bulk, then freeze leftover portions for later on. Soups, stews, rice dishes and meat all freeze really well. 

2.  When shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables, look for what is in season as it is usually cheaper at the supermarket. Coming into Autumn, have a look out these fruit and veg and compare prices… Getting our 2 + 5 a day does not have to blow the budget.

 3. Have a meat free day. Why not try jumping on board 'Meat free Mondays' it is a wonderful opportunity to save money, increase your vegetable and fibre intake as well as help out the environment a little bit. Try adding tofu, lentils or legumes to your dishes in place of meat.

4. Natural wholefoods are always better, so why not substitute some packaged foods for unprocessed whole foods. There is usually less added salt and sugar and lower in kjs.

  • Why not opt out of buying nut bars and have a small handful (30g) of raw unsalted nuts instead?
  • Try using dried beans and legumes over canned if time permits
  • Why not buy a large bag of oats opposed to buying a box of single serve portions? Not only do the sachets cost a lot more they can be loaded with up to 17g of sugar per serve.


Autumn Stew

Serves 8

Cost per serve $1.15

  • Freezes well
  • In season
  • Meat free
  • Whole foods


  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cup dried beans (soaked overnight and rinsed)
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ head of cauliflower
  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup silver beet
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 8 cups water
  • desired spices form cupboard
  • fresh herbs or cheese to serve


1.Dice all vegetables into desired sizes
2.In a heavy based saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until soft
3.Add vegetables and brown
4.Add beans, desired spices and water
5.Bring to the boil, then reduce heat at cook until beans are soft
6.Serve with any herbs or cheese as garnish or cool to room temperature and freeze.

Ashleigh Henwood

Written by : Ashleigh Henwood

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