Lap of Australia; how often do we shop for food?

As I sit here in the Innes National Park, and think about what’s in our fridge, I chuckle. We’re down to almost nothing, and have been extending our travels a day or two to see just a little bit more of this amazing region, but its crunch time; we need to head back to civilisation to re-stock.

It’s been nearly two weeks, and we’re running low on water, fruit, sandwich meat, cheese and pretty much anything that is not kept in a freezer. We’ve become pretty good at adapting to travel, and whilst we never intended to get to this, its a result of not stopping in any major towns to pick extra food up!

Platter food for dinner
We shop as little as possible, and love the first meal after re-stocking

We bulk shop

We love to spend time away from the crowds, and generally head into a major centre to do a big shop every 2 – 3 weeks. We’ll buy a heap of meat, and everything that we need to live off grid for that time frame, and then do some minor shops in between as needed.

Sarah feeling overwhelmed at packing everything in
Every major shop is a big exercise, and takes a fair bit of effort to fit everything in

If we can get milk and bread easily, we’ll usually stop at any smaller towns and grab that, along with the usual bakery stops and any fruit or vegetables that we need.

We like to support the smaller, local towns, but inevitably put our own pockets first, and don’t tend to spend big on food in the small, expensive towns unless we need to.

In Victoria, we drove an extra 30 minutes into Stawell to spend $430 on food, fill up with fuel and get water as Halls Gap was hugely expensive, and they didn’t have a lot of what we wanted to get.

At home, our shopping was primarily done at the Spud Shed, with Woolworths used to top anything else up. On the road, Aldi and Woolworths seem to be split about 50/50 depending on what is available, and Sarah’s really good at buying items that are on special, and saving money in that regard.

Shopping at Tom Price
Sarah is awesome at saving money buying food on special, in bulk where possible

Fresh food needs regular shopping intervals

No matter what your setup, there is a need to pop in and top up with fresh food on a fairly regular basis. We can get a couple of weeks out of our fridge at best before we start to run low on the items we eat often; tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, sandwich meat, fruit and some vegetables.

We tend to do this about once a week, or sometimes a little more often if we are going past somewhere suitable, and if we run low we just manage, and always have powdered milk and frozen bread on hand.

Powdered milk
We avoid powdered milk if we can, but its a last resort if needed

2 weeks is a good interval, but we can go longer

Our major shops tend to be around 2 weeks apart, but we’ve pushed it much longer than that depending on where we are, and what we’re doing. In the Flinders Ranges we did 3 weeks with only minor stocking up at Wilpena Pound, and managed just fine.

Our 82L freezer, plus 6L in the car fridge is usually very full after a big shop, and we play tetris for the first few days after filling our 79L of fridge space.

Our Reconn R2 pantry holds an incredible amount of food, and anything light weight, or that we’d use for lunches goes in the Dmax drawers next to the fridge. This works well for us, and we can travel well, eat healthy and tasty food whilst not spending mega money on food on our travels.

How often do you go food shopping when travelling Australia? Does it work well for you?

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