My weekly grocery trip wouldn’t be the same without the involuntary gasp I do at the checkout when the total comes up. No matter how many times I see the tally tick over $200, it always shocks me. We were doing okay with one bubbalicious, but having one more mouth to feed seems to have increased our spend a lot. Recently, I discovered the cheaper option of pre-paying for online grocery delivery (10 deliveries for $69) which meant I could justify the extra expense and I could see more easily where all the mula was going.
Of course there’s always the big cost of meat, but we have cut down on our portions and now we spend less on that. Our new healthier lifestyle means we need platefuls of vegetables and mostly snack on fruit, so roughly half the grocery bill goes on fruit and vegetables – around $100. Once I realised this, I thought there must be a better way. Separate stops at fruit and vege stores was a big miss – the prices seemed very similar, give or take a little.
Then on Mother’s Day, Tim took me to the Auckland Markets at Stonefields, not a romantic day out for some, but my idea of heaven with all that junky bric-a-brac. There I noticed the fruit and vegetables seemed really cheap. I’d ruled out shopping at markets before because they are all in the weekends and I hate doing chores in the weekends.
I’d picked Dr Libby Weaver’s cookbook Real Food Chef as my Mother’s Day present and even though I wanted to make every single recipe, I realised a lot of the ingredients are quite costly. When you are using coconut oil, lots of raw nuts, almond milk and fancy flour, it’s really easy to blow your budget. If I wanted to take the family towards a clean eating lifestyle, I’d have to ‘trim the fat’ on the weekly groceries for sure!
And that’s how I ended up back at the Auckland Markets yesterday morning (with both kids because I’m an idiot/sucker for punishment) buying my weekly F&V and writing down how much everything cost so I could share it with you wonderful people. Was it cheaper? I took out $100 and came home rolling in bank notes. A slight exaggeration, but I did get my whole week’s F&V for $53. Here’s a chart to show you how much everything cost at the market, compared to the supermarket on the same day. (Only tomatoes and mangoes were more expensive at the market).
* Please note that there might have been cheaper options throughout the markets. I did this shop with a toddler who was acting like a runaway prisoner and a baby having a serious case of the cranky pants, so I bloody hotfooted it around like I’d stolen something.
Royal Gala Apples
$2 each ($1.50 for hard ones)
$2.50 for bag of six small ones
2 for $5
$3.30/120g Spinach Greens
2 for $3.50