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*Budgeting in Sydney*

(20 Posts)
redvelvetpoppy Fri 29-Jul-11 02:30:17


have trailed DH to Sydney & am a SAHM at least until visa/childcare for DS 3 sorted. It's been a pricey move & tensions are running high over the weekly domestic budget...have suggested to DH that maybe he'd like to do the shop to see that it's not me going wild with the cash.

Does anyone mind sharing how much they spend a week on the food/house/toiletries? And where they shop?

Cheers smile

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 02:38:10

I'm in Adelaide, so not quite the same, but I think groceries don't vary that much state to state?

Two adults, one toddler almost 3yo, we eat a fair amount of meat but I only shop at local butchers/vegetable stores, cook from scratch and try quite hard to manage the budget. $200/week. That includes cleaning products and toiletries, but no nappies/formula/etc.

vigglewiggle Fri 29-Jul-11 04:06:53

I know what you mean!

We are in Melbourne. Only here for a couple of months, but I'm shocked at the cost of living. I went to the local Market today to try to shop more economically, but I still spent a fortune.

I've started doing packed lunches on days out after I got stung for £20 for 2 bog-standard sandwiches 2 bags of crisps and 2 drinks!

I will watch this thread with interest.

bubbleandbubble Fri 29-Jul-11 04:06:59

We arrived in Sydney a year ago and I am still constantly amazed at how expensive everything is, especially food. We have had many similar discussions about the grocery bill! I normally spend about $1200 a month, which is for all food, cleaning stuff etc for 5 of us. I too cook from scratch pretty much all the time (mostly as ready meals are not great here), and make packed lunch for everyone including DH. I try to shop around as much as I can but it is still a constant battle not to overspend.

We just got back from 3 weeks in the UK and it was so nice to shop without checking every single price, and there was just so much more variety. Never thought I would miss Tesco but I really do!

ifink Fri 29-Jul-11 04:11:36

Hi there! I'm in Brisbane and not been here that long to suss out where the bargains are yet! I spent 175 AUD in Coles at the start of the week which includes all toiletries, nappies, dishwasher tabs etc etc have 2 dc btw. I then spent 40 bucks in the local fruit/veg shop and another 35 in the butcher. I got some extras today which was 26 bucks...just milk, lettuce, a few veg which is very pricey for not a lot! I think you can reduce your household goods bills by shopping around and going to big discount pharmacies or kmart....easier said than done when you have to drag the kids with you !

Eralc Fri 29-Jul-11 04:15:09

4 of us, including a 3 year old and a baby, and we struggle to keep it down to $200 a week - I have to be really careful to get it down that low, and shop around for meat and veggies (and not buy bananas!) We cook pretty much everything from scratch, and I'm not doing a great line in soups to make sure we don't waste any of the leftover veg at the end of a week.

We buy bog standard groceries in Woolworths/Coles (they're much of a muchness), friut in the local Fruiteze, and meat at the Butchers (if we have time - otherwise just at the supermarket). At the moment I'm trying to work out if I have time to bake my own bread, as I reckon we could save a bit there - bread is sooo extortionate!

bunnygirl80 Fri 29-Jul-11 04:28:17

We're in Sydney and I'm too lazy to shop around so we just get most stuff in Coles. There's me, DH and 8mo DS to shop for and we spend around $200 a week, sometimes more if we need to do a big shop and restock the pantry.

bubbleandbubble Fri 29-Jul-11 04:36:22

I also cook huge batches of things (bolognese, stew, soup etc) and try to make cakes etc myself too, which I also freeze for lunches ( more useful when it's stinking hot). I try and keep up on where the offers are and stock up, so it's a mixture of Coles, Harris Farm, local fruit markets, Aussie Farmers Direct (online although not a patch on Ocado but has a different ethos). Our local butcher is pretty posh and therefore pricey. Aldi can be good but it's pretty hit and miss in my opinion. Big W, Kmart etc are good for stocking up on washing powder etc.

The other thing is that you become more aware of what's in season and therefore cheap to buy, so no bananas right now!

Arfishy Fri 29-Jul-11 04:57:24

You have to be careful here with prices changing seasonally, so watch the prices of vegetables - what was very cheap last month might be extortionate this month. So pay attention to what is seasonal and don't buy the imported fruit/veg - it's very expensive. I got out of the habit of flinging stuff into my basket without care UK-style pretty sharpish as the prices do fluctuate so wildly.

Processed and packaged stuff is a lot more expensive here too so it makes sense to keep things as natural as possible and bulk buy/menu plan.

Have a look at the website - they have a 'feed a family of 4 for $21' challenge and loads of savings advice (there is a members section, but loads of free information too on the downloads page).

You could also send DH to an RSL to win the family meat at one of their weekly raffles (he's guaranteed to come home with some grin).

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 05:28:36

Eralc, I find that unless you buy the really big sacks of bread flour, the smaller bread mixes still work out to $3 a loaf or so. That's not counting the power, time, etc. Coles is flogging basic bread for $1 recently, no way that baking your own will be cheaper than that (although very possibly nicer).

redvelvetpoppy Fri 29-Jul-11 05:34:44

$200 blush - am going wrong somewhere!!

Have always been quite good at meal planning & cooking from scratch - being making a lot of soups too! Which is where DH's exasperation came from...HMMM think part of the problem is myself & DS are still in tourist mode, wandering around, having coffees/ice creams but we are feeling a bit at a loose end still.....

Thanks so much for your replies, it's given me lots to work with smile

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 05:40:51

Ah, but that's your entertainment budget not your grocery budget, surely? Is it actually the groceries that are the issue, or the overall spending pattern?

redvelvetpoppy Fri 29-Jul-11 06:13:32

The tense discussions were about grocery shopping as he is getting fed up of soups/vegetarian meals but as of last night DH wants our entertainment to come out of the same budget too so I guess spending on the whole confused

I definitely wouldn't have gone out for a coffee or juice everyday in the UK but that comes to $4 which I don't see as too bad as I no longer have nights out/magazines etc, my social world is a childfriendly daytime one

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 29-Jul-11 06:15:32

How much are you spending on just the groceries?

dollydoodledo Fri 29-Jul-11 13:51:47

Sydney, 2 adults 3 children = $200 per week (more when buying nappies) that is us planning meals for the week, budgeting and checking specials. Good to know others are finding it expensive, my partner used to do the weekly shop and we recently switched to see if it made any difference (I stick to whats on the list and cook the family meals) but it was the same. We will return to Europe next year (UK or Norway) and it's good to know that cost of living in UK is less than here as he says we can't go to England if we have as little disposable income as we do here (I want England, he wants Norway, very hard to argue for England when just relying on headlines in the paper about how grim it is!)

MovingAndScared Sat 30-Jul-11 14:46:45

sorry just jumping in but I thought Norway was very very expensive - way more than UK - we spend about 70 -80 pound per week 2 adults 2 children in the UK at supermarket
if you have a job then the UK isn't that grim in my view

Bubbaluv Sat 30-Jul-11 23:07:19

2 adults and 2 pre-school children and I spend over $400 per week without blinking! Then again I'm not much of a bargain shopper (obviously!) and our local shops are pretty pricey.
I didn't think I was buying anything extravagant though, so am very impressed by families who spend half what I spend !

dollydoodledo Sun 31-Jul-11 02:41:52

Thank you Moving smile Norway is very expensive, but wages are high so kind of evens out, and family life balance is good - you can leave work at 4 (mums or dads) to pick up from daycare and no one cares (I guess you know all this if you lived there, sorry!) I haven't been in UK for 10 yrs, left after uni so haven't lived there with a family, very hard to convince my (Norwegian) partner that we could make it work, he keeps sending me links to 'daily mail' articles going on about how everything is rubbish. I will stand my ground but feels like I've got a mountain to climb and that I have a lot of responsibility to make it work if we ever got there, particularly when partner will have a negative attitude to start with ... ho hum <thinks back to when life was less hard work!!!>

AllThreeWays Sun 31-Jul-11 06:27:33

Family of DP and I plus DS visits every fortnight for 4 nights.
I spend around $500 per month.
$200 in ALDI as a bulk shop, tins, toilet paper, washing powder, dry goods etc.
Then I buy about $50 per week of fruit veg and bread.
I buy meat in bulk and freeze in portions, the best place for meat is those bulk meat warehouses when you have to shop in the fridge.
Yes to everyone who says keep an eye on whats in season. Mandarins and apples are cheap at the moment, bananas are extortionate.

sunnydelight Tue 02-Aug-11 06:13:00

Food is expensive here - the most important thing to remember (as has already been said) is to buy seasonally. We still laugh about the day DH spent $20 on a bag of tomatoes shortly after we arrived - his recipe called for fresh tomatoes and it never occurred to him to actually check the price per kilo. Meat is the one thing I actually find cheaper for the quality which is just as well as I have big kids and they are seriously carnivorous, but you should always buy it from the butcher. I buy half rumps that are $8-10 per kilo so for $20-25 I either get a yummy roast and enough cold meat for sandwiches, or steak for dinner a couple of night plus enough scraps for Thai curry or a stir fry (and the real scraps for the dog!). Chickens are $7 each whole at my butcher's - they're over $10 in Woolies. Chicken once a week means I always have fresh homemade stock for rissotto etc. Premium mince is $16 for 2 kilos which makes a lot of spag bol / lasagne/chilli/meatballs/shepherd's pie etc. and it's so lean I often have to add oil.

Fruit and veg are always cheaper from the fruit and veg shop. I bake a lot (I never buy biscuits or cakes), and DH likes to potter in the garden so grows herbs and some veg. I couldn't believe that on my last trip to the UK in May I was wandering round Marks & Spencer's food hall thinking how cheap the food was!!! When I lived in the UK it was an occasional treat. I still think that eating out is cheaper here though, not for fine dining but if you are happy with the local BYO Thai or Chinese you can have a night out without breaking the bank.

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