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Stretch your budget: 7 in 10 Victorians report taking action to cut grocery costs

19/07/2023

Cancer Council Victoria’s LiveLighter® program is sharing tips to help families stretch their grocery budget, after the latest annual Shape of Australia survey* found 7 in 10 Victorian adults had taken action to reduce the cost of their food bill.

When asked what actions they are taking or intend to take to cut back costs, nearly 1 in 4 Victorian adults surveyed reported buying less fresh meat, while 1 in 10 said buying less fresh fruit and vegetables, and nearly 1 in 6 reported eating less or skipping meals.  

LiveLighter® has now launched free, online resources, tips and tasty recipes on its Boost Your Budget pages to support Victorians to make healthy snacks and meals while saving money.

LiveLighter® Victoria’s Campaign Manager and Accredited Dietitian, Dr Sherly Li’s message to Victorians is that with the right approach and tools it’s possible to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet on any budget.

“While some Victorians may be feeling the pinch of rising costs of living, these budget-friendly resources include tasty, clever meal ideas using grocery staples such as eggs, beans and lentils, rice and frozen vegetables, and offer low-cost breakfast and lunch,” Ms Li said.

“We know cooking at home is a great way to save money and eat well, so we have aimed for easy-to-prepare meals with cheap and easy-to-get ingredients.”

“Before you head out to the shops, take a few minutes each week to make a meal plan for your family and then write out a shopping list and stick to it. Buying only what you need is a great way to save time, money and cut down food waste by sharing ingredients across meals and bulking up leftovers.”

Another tip is comparing supermarket items by checking the unit cost of products on the shelf.

“Look for the price per 100g or kilo, or per litre for liquids, on the price label on supermarket shelves. This is called unit pricing and helps shoppers compare similar products in different sized packs to pick the best value for money option,” Ms Li suggests.

“Getting your 5 serves of vegies a day shouldn’t be unaffordable. Why not use frozen or tinned veg or beans to make your grocery budget go further – they're just as nourishing and are a wallet-friendly addition to your pantry staples.

“And if you’re opting for fresh produce, choose fruits or veg that are in-season as they are often cheaper and in greater supply.

“Look for further savings by choosing cheaper cuts of meat or try jazzing up your protein intake by adding variety to meals with cheaper alternatives like eggs, beans, legumes, tofu or tinned tuna.”

Visit livelighter.com.au/eating-well/boost-your-budget for tips, practical resources and tasty recipes to eat healthy on a budget. Download the 4-week challenge to boost your budget with the free savings tracker and shopping list to get started.

-ENDS-

*Survey findings from Shape of Australia 2022 Survey. Cancer Council Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer. Report prepared by Elizaveta Ilchenko and Belinda Morley.

Have you taken action to reduce the cost of your food bills this year? (VIC) (n=576)

Yes 

71.0% 

No 

18.2% 

No but I plan to 

9.0% 

Unsure 

1.9% 

What actions are you taking, or do you intend to take? (VIC) (n=451)

Eating out less and preparing more food at home 

56.7% 

Planning meals in advance 

46.5% 

Buying less fresh meat 

22.4% 

Buying less fresh fruit and vegetables 

11.7% 

Cutting down on snack foods 

52.4% 

Choosing more canned and frozen fruit and vegetables 

21.8% 

Choosing cheaper versions of your usual foods 

53.7% 

Eating less or skipping meals 

15.5% 

Shopping at different stores 

44.3% 

 

About LiveLighter®: 

LiveLighter® is a public health education campaign which encourages Australians to lead healthier lives by making positive changes to what they eat and drink and being more active. livelighter.com.au has plenty of tools, resources and information to help Australians make simple changes today to live a healthier life. 

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