Eating Cheap in Australia

International students and backpackers often find themselves short of a few dollars when they arrive in Australia. You may have arrived from a place where a hearty street food meal can cost less than a dollar, so when you land in Australia the cost of food can become a bit of a shock to your wallet!

Being a student myself only a few years ago, I know how this feels and would like to share with you five great tips to save on meals while still eating well in Australia.

  1. Cheap Tuesdays are an Australian phenomenon and most pubs, cafes and restaurants have great buy-one-get-one-free or discounted steak dinners on a Tuesday evening. A great chance to get out and about, get to know your new neighbourhood and sample a tasty delicious meal!
  2. Try your luck with a traditional meat raffle at your local RSL Club on a Friday. If you and your mates put in a few dollars you could go home with a big tray of steaks and sausages! Beer is often a dollar or two cheaper at the RSL's too so you can justify having a couple of beers while you wait for your lucky ticket to be drawn!
  3. Look for the specials. When the supermarket has specials on mince, chicken, pasta, cheese and other bulk items, buy a little more and store it in the freezer or pantry. If you are sharing an apartment, get everyone to chip in and you will have tasty ingredients for weeks!
  4. Take your lunch to work. This will save you up to $10 a day by the time you have bought a coffee and a sausage roll. Make a large lasagne, portion it up and put it in the freezer; you'll have a filling lunch that saves you money and sees you through to dinner time.
  5. Late night shopping. Get to the supermarket later at night just before closing. Bread, milk, and cooked BBQ chickens that can’t be sold the next day are often at rock bottom prices. If you're sharing an apartment, all chip in and for just a few dollars you can put together an excellent meal for next to nothing.

Eating well and cheaply is achievable in Australia, giving you and your flatmates a chance to save those dollars. Who wants to spend their hard earned cash on over-priced groceries when you could be saving to your travelling adventure, pair of new jeans or just going out with your friends.

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