What does food have to do with money? Quite a bit, actually. When it comes to budgeting - food can eat up a considerable slice of the family pie, especially for those with a focus on eating healthy food.
To understand more about how our food purchases affect our financial health, we sat down with customer George Bayley, General Manager of enableMe Canterbury. Bayley shared his thoughts on why a service like Green Dinner Table can help families save money.
“For families that want to stay on track financially, meal planning is a necessity,” said George Bayley. “That’s because all the little ‘emergency’ trips to the supermarket and takeaways really add up. You’re less tempted when you know what’s for dinner.”
He challenged us to crunch the numbers. So we did.
We compared how much it would cost to buy all the ingredients to make the meals in our Five Night Family Plan at the supermarket.
|Supermarket Price||Green Dinner Table’s Five Night Family Plan|
|Organic beetroot, tabouleh and orange with fresh turmeric tahini and dukkah||$33.40||–|
|Roast ratatouille with preserved lemon and organic quinoa||$45.40|
|Tempeh bánh mì with sriracha pâté and pickled vegetables||$43.80|
|Cauliflower steaks with garlic lentils, baby kale and herb yoghurt||$29.20|
* Items were predominantly priced using Countdown’s online store. For ingredients, that are larger than the amount supplied by Green Dinner Table (like yoghurt), we used the 100g price. Keep in mind if you bought these items from a supermarket, you would have to purchase the full item.
Other ways you save
It’s not just the price-per-price comparison that saves you money. Once you factor in leftovers for lunches and the reduced temptation to get takeaways, your savings can increase exponentially.
The cost of groceries for a two parent household with two children is on average over $330+ per week. And this doesn’t account for money spent at restaurants, cafes or bars. In fact, Kiwis are spending more of their food budget on takeaways and fast food.
In New Zealand, we spend more than a quarter of our income on restaurant and ready-to-eat foods. So, if you’re earning the average wage of $49,000, you could be spending $246 a week on takeaways or other restaurant meals. Lunches alone could run you between $30 to $50 a week.
“We love that we can help people stay on track financially,” said Cole Stacey, co-director. “It just goes to show that you don’t need to break the piggy bank to eat well.”
Spend more time doing what matters
In New Zealand, we spend nearly five and a half hours a week doing the household shopping (according to OECD figures). Then we need to add in the time it takes to plan what to eat and the time it takes to make it.
Research shows that the more time you spend preparing food, the better your diet (i.e., you eat more vegetables, salads, and fruits). Whereas spending less than an hour a day on food prep was associated with more money wasted on takeaways and fast food.
Sure you can get meal plans online and they can help save time, but they can be upwards of $100 per week and only get part of the job done. With Green Dinner Table, you get everything you need, so you can spend less time planning and prepping meals, and more time doing what you love – without compromising your health.
Think about all the things you’d have time for if you weren’t spending the time on planning healthy meals or stressing about them. An extra hour for the gym, to play with your kids in the park, to join friends for drinks … whatever you love to do, you’ll have more time for it.
Make meal times less stressful
Imagine never having to face the dreaded, ‘What’s for dinner?’ conversation again. After a long day of work or watching the children, the last thing most of us want to do is come up with a healthy, delicious meal.
“My favourite thing is that I come home, look at the fridge, and I know what we’re having for dinner,” said Tom Riley, co-director. “Plus, we have everything we need to make it.”
The clear, step-by-step instructions are designed to make it easy for anyone to get out the chopping board and get started. A few of our clients have told us that thanks to Green Dinner Table’s recipes, they (or their partner – and in some cases, even their children) are more comfortable in the kitchen. This can mean that more people are helping with dinnertime.
Don’t forget the yum factor
It’s easy to build confidence in the kitchen when your meals are delicious! “We never expect you to compromise on taste for a plant-based meal,” said Tom. “Can you afford not to? Give us a try and see for yourself.”