Eat Well for Less Recap - Episode Two

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something oddly comforting about buying things you don’t need. And it’s even more comforting to know that there are so many people around the country who do the same.

On last night’s episode of Eat Well for Less, I saw the financial impact impulse buying has on Aussie households and that some people still buy bottled water from the supermarket - I’m serious.

After becoming new parents to baby Hunter, Greg and Danielle Marshall found themselves falling “back into convenience” foods, weekly takeaway meals and consistent impulse buying at the supermarket.

As hosts Leila McKinnon and Ben O'Donoghue spied on their weekly grocery shop, the Marshalls added 13 different beverages to their trolley, despite already having a fridge filled with drinks at home. Once they reached the checkout, their total grocery spend was $454.44, a $298 difference from the national average of $156.

Fair enough if they had just come back from a two month holiday and needed to refill the pantry and fridge, right? But in reality, the Marshalls already had $2,000 worth of groceries in the pantry, $40 worth of frozen berries in the freezer and 50 cans of Pepsi in the second fridge.

And while this amount of food wouldn’t be such an issue if the household consisted of the Cheaper By The Dozen cast, the fact that there are only two adults and a baby to feed was a sign for an intervention.

RELATED: Eat Well for Less Recap - Episode One

“These guys need help, they’re just hemorrhaging cash,” said O'Donoghue.

So to resuscitate the family budget, hosts McKinnon and O'Donoghue replaced some of their big branded favourites for home brand alternatives to prove just how much they could save within a week by making simple swaps.

After a week of drinking tap water and eating non-branded tuna, the Marshalls had managed to save $275 a week on groceries, or $10,700 a year and ditching the cans of Coke for a cheaper alternative, saved them an additional $424 a year.

Next up were Bondi flatmates Claudia, Hailey and Catherine. Saying these girls were addicted to Uber Eats would be a bigger understatement than saying that the Royal Wedding was a low key event.

In the past twelve months, Claudia alone spent $8000 on Uber Eats and a painful $1,560 on delivery charges while the entire household spent $19,000 on takeaway food.

Not only did the girls have a draining takeaway addiction, the food they didn’t cook with was regularly thrown in the bin.

To change their ways, the girls were asked to delete all food delivery apps and start cooking from home. So it was goodbye to their cafe-made avo on toast and hello to budget-friendly ingredients.

Within the week, the flatmates were able to create ‘Instagram worthy’ meals, find dead cheap alternatives to their favourite desserts and discover that wine from a cask isn’t that bad.

If they kept this up for a year, the girls would save a massive $16,365 simply by cooking from home and purchasing cheaper items.

Homemade chicken burgers would save them $18.93 per burger, or $2,890 a year, while going cardboard with their wine would keep an extra $1,212 in their pockets.

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If you’ve made it this far into the story, get ready, because I’m about to drop some mind-blowing facts about why your grocery bill could be slowly increasing, which were delivered by none other than the money-man himself, Ross Greenwood.

How to beat supermarket psychology:

  • Keep your eyes on the prize - Have you noticed that your everyday items, like milk and bread are right at the back of the store? That’s because supermarkets want you to make impulse purchases along the way, which 81% of Aussie shoppers do.

  • Seriously, keep your eyes on the prize - Something else you might not have noticed is that items that are the most expensive are at the eyeline of an average female shopper, with the bargains being hidden on the bottom shelf.
  • Stay trolley alert - Even if the size of your grocery bill isn’t getting bigger, trolley space definitely is, so resist the urge to fill it from top to bottom.

Ready to get your budget in tip top shape? Our Life and Money hub can help you tackle anything from grocery bills to weddings and travel.