Saving for travel series: Tips for food shopping! part 1 18

Travelling cost money, it doesn’t matter how you do it, whether it’s camping or staying in luxury hotels, you will need some money!

Lots of people think they can’t save for travel, it’s out of their reach. But if I, as a single mum, can do it so can you!

In this monthly series, I will give you tips on how to save in everyday life for your travelling goal!

This month I am talking about saving on your food shopping!

Food takes up a big chunk of your budget, so it is a good place to start to make cut backs if you want to save for travel.

The internet is full of inspiration for this, people who love to be frugal and are into simple living always seem to start with looking at your grocery shopping habits. So head to google for more info!

My food budget is an area that I constantly look at and monitor, and over time I have cut back my expenditure to $100 per week on grocery’s (including cleaning products, but that’s another post!) for my family of 6.

Here are a few ways I do this:


Nearly every week when meal planning, the kids suggest a meal of tacos or some other kind of wrap for dinner! Its easy, cheap and they can make their own!!

Meal planning:

My number one tip….is to plan your meals! Meal planning is the most important step in saving money at the grocery store.It means that your not thinking about what you want to cook and solves the problem of dashing out to the shops in the arvo and potentially buying more then you need! I have meal planned in many ways over the years, I have had 4 meal plans that rotate over a month, I have planned for each meal over a fortnight period and I am presently working on a weekly meal plan where I have dinners organised but not on specific day to serve them. This is working out great at the moment as I can cook according to who will be present for dinner. I have also started involving the kids more in meal planning, asking them to contribute any ideas for meals that they have, they love that they an input and don’t complain about what is being served to them! We also try to plan at least one vegetarian meal, one egg based meal and one pasta meal to help cut down costs.

shopping list

My shopping list is always visible so i can keep track!

Grocery list

Writing a grocery list goes hand in hand with a meal plan. I begin writing my list at the beginning of the week from the plan and add any other incidentals. Before adding it to the list I check that it is needed and the list stays on the wall so I can add anything else that we might need as the week progresses. When shopping day comes I follow the list to the letter, it isn’t often that I buy anything that’s not on the list, and before I leave the shops I double check that I have everything.


Using my calculator on my phone helps me keep track of my spending!


Calculate the items you buy along the way. I use my calculator on my phone to add up the items I put into the trolley so that I know I that I am going to meet budget and I don’t have any shocks when the shop keeper tells me the total! If it looks like I might go over budget than i work out if it is necessary, if there is an alternative or we can do without this week. If I am going to be under budget I try to resist the urge to spend it, and either put it away for next week or put it into savings!

fairy bread

Fairy bread is a cheap treat! and you can get additive free sprinkles if you want it to be a bit healthier!

Make simple meals from scratch / non packaged food

Making your meals from scratch and sticking away from prepackaged food, saves you heaps of money. Its at this point that I have to mention…. i’m a terrible cook!, over the years I have worked hard to develop a repertoire of simple meals. Its amazing what recipes you can find on google, just make sure you put the word “simple” in front of what you want to find! I now hardly ever use jars of sauces,tinned food or prepackaged frozen items. I also don’t buy the kids any prepackaged school foods (like muesli bars, dippy biscuits, packaged cheese etc), I make muffins, popcorn, biscuits and they take fruit and sandwiches. Sometimes they will get pretzels or corn chips as a treat, but these are always purchased in a large bag and divided up. I also stick to making one meal for dinner, my youngest doesn’t eat certain meats for ethical reasons, so she will instead have an egg as a substitute for the meat, I respect her ideals but if I start making meals for everyone in the houses desires than I would be in the kitchen all night, and my food shopping budget would go through the roof!


So there is 4 tips to start you on saving money through your food shop!

I have more tips to share on this area, so keep tuned next month for part 2!


How do you save at the grocery store? 

Safe Travels



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18 thoughts on “Saving for travel series: Tips for food shopping! part 1

  • Kristie

    Great post! I love that you’re so real about your budget! Very inspiring!! Helping me believe that travel can be a major part of life for my family even while on a tight budget! Looking forward to reading more!

    • Post author

      Thank you Kristie! I appreciate your kind words! Keeping to a strict budget always works for us if we keep in mind our goal of travel… I always think that it is very hard to save if you don’t have a goal and aren’t rewarded at the end!

  • Deborah

    Meal planning is a great idea. When my brother and SIL got married (25+yrs ago) we laughed at them as they used to sit down with these Women’s Weekly cookbooks and plan out a fortnight’s menu. Then they’d do their shopping list and go grocery shopping.

    They both worked and it meant they never had to make a dinner decision at the end of the day. They took the meat out to defrost before going to work… but if they weren’t in the mood they’d do takeaway etc.

    It wasn’t until years later as I pondered the dinner decision each and every night I realised the planning is such a great idea!

    • Post author

      Yeah I used to think the same way, until I had a few kids and then realised that I had better get a bit more organised if I wasn’t going to spend every afternoon at the grocery store!!!

  • Denyse

    This a great post reminding us that menu planning and shopping go hand in hand. When we had family at home, and I was working, I would menu plan too. Thanks for linking up over at Denyse Whelan Blogs for Life This Week on Mondays.

  • Julie

    I love the idea of planning out meals ahead of time. I used to be a virtual assistant to a woman who ran a meal planning service. Do you prep all your weekly meals at once or do you cook them each day?

    • Post author

      Sometimes I prepare ahead of time but I mostly cook on the day, or even in the morning before work! A meal planning service sounds interesting! Thanks for your comment!

  • Rachel G

    Planning ahead of time what I want to make, and then being very strategic and using up all of my ingredients efficiently to make the most filling meals, is my best strategy. Our fridge is almost empty right now, but yesterday I whipped up delicious filling omelets for lunch with a tomato, an onion, a couple eggs, and the last of the cheese block. 🙂

    • Post author

      Oh I love that you do that too! I am the same with my leftovers (going to be writing about that next month!) Its amazing what type of meal you can make when you are a little creative!

  • Jess

    I follow you on Instagram and absolutely seeing your posts and reading your blog posts 🙂 I was thinking a good idea for a blog post would be working out exactly how much $$ you need for a trip. This is one area that confuses me when I try to plan any holidays!! (unless you’ve already covered it on another post!) Thanks, and happy adventuring!!

    • Post author

      Thanks for you kind words Jess!! How much to save for a trip is a great question, and something I will definitely look into for a post! thanks again!