Backpacker traveling around Australia reveals tips for eating on a budget

With the cost of living crisis looming over our heads, many have found it increasingly difficult to feed themselves each week.

While most people in Australia have a weekly grocery bill of $104, this thrifty traveler has managed to keep her food costs to around $21 a week, a staggering $83 below the national average.

Dominique Nutall left her home in Manchester, UK, in 2018 on what was meant to be a year-long Australian adventure.

But four years later, the British traveler is still here after falling in love with the country and has now packed her bags to explore the country in a van with her Australian boyfriend, Jesse.

Dominique is now gaining a following on TikTok after sharing how she keeps her grocery bills incredibly cheap while traveling, with some meals costing less than 80 cents.

She said the couple’s weekly grocery bill is always under $50, and the couple can usually eat for about $3.30 a head, a day.

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“How often we go grocery shopping totally depends on what our plans are,” Dominique told

“For example, if we go camping in the bush for a week, we will only go grocery shopping once that week.

“Each store is usually under $50, and that includes personal items like toilet paper and toothpaste.

“At our average weekly grocery store we buy cheap staples like bread, milk, canned tomatoes, beans, burritos, eggs, lentils, coconut milk and pasta.

“We also stock up on fresh produce such as potatoes, carrots, onions and apples.

“We do all the meals in our truck, unless it’s a very special occasion. We have a 2 burner gas hob and a box full of kitchen utensils.”

Dominique is currently sharing a 5-part TikTok series on eating cheap on the go, with some meals costing as little as 80 cents.

Some of their cheaper meals include French onion fries, pesto pasta, lentil dahl, fried rice and chicken wraps.

“One of my top tips for someone who wants to eat on a budget is to always buy items on sale and always check which brand is the cheapest.” she said.

“Giving up meat, or at least reducing the amount you eat, will save you a lot of money. Plant-based proteins, like lentils or beans, are cheap and plentiful.

“You need to learn the ‘reduction time’ of your local supermarket, for example, we always knew the time when our local store is marking things down.

“If you have the capacity, I recommend buying frozen vegetables, they are much cheaper than fresh.

“Self-discipline is really important, it can be difficult at first not to eat at a restaurant or buy coffee, but it will save you a lot in the long run.”

Dominique said she currently has no plans to return to the UK and wants to make her Australian adventure last as long as she can, all while saving some money.

“I love Australia, I feel at home,” he said.

“I came here as an 18-year-old in 2018, and I was only meant to stay for a year, but I kept extending.

“I met my Australian partner a couple of years ago on the East Coast and we decided to buy a van together and start traveling.

“Of course, we have not been able to travel non-stop, we take breaks to fill our bank accounts. We stop in cities to complete work stints for a few months at a time.

“Then we hit the road again to start a new adventure.

“To budget the money for our trip, we both spent a lot of time saving, saving for a good six months before we set off on our travels.

“It’s cheaper than people think, living in a van you don’t pay bills or rent like in a house. I would really recommend it to anyone thinking of doing it.”


Coffee 30c each = 60c

Toast and Vegemite 30c each = 60c

Chicken wrap $1.72 each = $3.44

Lentil Dahl for dinner $1 each = $2

Average price each day for two = $6.64.

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