This was the headline on A Current Affair last night. I watched with interest, thinking "wow, $75. I wonder how they do it. I'm sure to learn something I didn't know".
I learned nothing new :( And what I learned is that this family use no meat and that their morning and afternoon teas both include cakes. Not so healthy and doubly disappointing. The $75 also, obviously didn't include the few cleaning items that I buy, or bandaids & panadol! I was pleased to see that ACA had a nutritionist or someone saying that having no meat might save money now but would result in health & medical bills later. For myself, I know this to be true. We ate 50% vegetarian a few years back because we just couldn't afford more meat, but I didn't know that I should've added more legumes to our diet. My iron levels suffered. So it was either buy meat, or buy iron pills...which then block you up.
Us meat eaters can still eat cheaper than most people think is possible. You just adjust the cuts of meat you use to suit your budget. I made Lamb Shank & Vegie soup last night using lamb neck rosettes. They were $4.99/kg and had heaps more flavour than the shanks, because of the neck bones. There was still enough meat to get a good serving each. Whenever I need to buy chicken fillets, I use chicken thigh cutlets. They still have the bone in and it's a pain to cut it out, but the savings are so worth it. The difference in price is about $8/kg!!!!
A friend of mine made us a beautiful lunch the other day, of vegetables & chickpeas in a tomato based sauce over cheesy polenta. I loved it so much I had to ask for the recipe the other day. My kids wouldn't eat it, but I can make that for a healthy lunch for myself. For those whose kids don't mind 'wretched evil beanies' (ie legumes) it would be perfect!
What I learned last night is that we're doing pretty well...for a meat eating family. I generally spend about $100-$130 each week. For some reason, the last month has been around $110. We have all enjoyed the meals we've eaten and they included a wide variety of styles. I've been under my budget :). If you're spending a lot more and want to save money....eat along with us. There's enough menu plans here now for you to go through and pick out what you like. Try a couple of vegetarian meals each week. Two or so each week will be good for your health and your budget ;)