food

"Life-changing" chilli oil and bulk peanut butter: A 25-year-old's $100 weekly grocery shop.


What's in my trolley is Mamamia's look into the weekly grocery shop of Australian women. From food to everyday essentials, here's a peek at what different people are putting in their trolleys. This week, Sydneysider Eleanor shares her week in meals, snacks and her first out-of-home food shop.

I moved out of my family home this week and into the big wide world of ‘adulthood’. While most people look forward to the newfound freedom of living independently, one of the main things I was excited about was… grocery shopping.

Anyway, on the weekend I uploaded an Instagram Story to mark this milestone - doing my first proper grocery shop, that is.

Image: Supplied. 

It really felt like such a novelty. But I was quickly brought back down to reality in my dm's:

The responses from friends. Image: Supplied. 

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Yes, the thrill will probably wear off eventually. But I really do love to meander the aisles of a grocery store, looking at the products and seeing what takes my fancy.

I live with a roommate but we’re both doing our own grocery shopping, except for a few key staples that we’ll share (oils, spices etc.) She’s a vegetarian, so it’s easier for us to just do our own thing.

Side note: Here's what it's like shopping in a relationship vs. single. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

The suburb I moved into has a Woolworths, Coles, an Aldi AND a Harris Farm so I’m really spoilt for choice. I’m a Coles gal at heart but I did also check out Woolworths and Aldi, just to suss them out.

All up I spent $104.00, which I know will be more than usual but it was an introductory shop so I had to get a couple of bulk things (hello 2L soy sauce and 650g of peanut butter!)

This is what my grocery shop looked like:

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And here are some of the things I bought:

Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Block

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Dark chocolate is the only constant in my life right now.

Just kidding, but I always have a square or two after dinner every night with some tea - it’s a little routine that winds me down and gets me ready for bed. I love the bitterness of this dark chocolate, anything less than 78 per cent is a no from me!

I’ll also only buy Lindt chocolate when it’s on special because otherwise it’s around $4.50 for one packet. This day they had a two for $6 deal, winning!

Bega Simply Nuts Crunchy Peanut Butter

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I love this peanut butter because it comes in a jumbo 650g size which is perfect for me and my morning smoothies! Adding this to your smoothies thickens them and makes them more creamy. My go-to recipe is inspired by the Barry’s Bootcamp Fuel Bar PB+J Smoothie recipe (yes I tried it once for $11 then Googled the recipe online to make at home).

This is what I use to make it:

  • 1 cup mixed berries

  • 2 tbs peanut butter

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein

  • 1 cup almond milk

  •  Ice to taste

Edgell Edamame Bean Cans

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I love edamame as they’re super versatile to use in meals (think stir-fries and salads) but they also make a great quick snack. 

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Top tip: throw some olive oil and garlic powder on them and toss them into your Airfryer at 200 degrees for 8-10 mins for a crunchy and delish snack! You could also do this in the oven.

I’ve only ever seen frozen edamame before so was keen to try these new cans as they’re ready to eat. Also, they’re a great hiking snack if you’re not a fan of canned tuna.

Laoganma Chilli Sauce With Diced Chicken

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I’ve been trying to find a place to discuss this magical chilli sauce - it really deserves its own article - but I’ll weave it in here!

This brand of chilli sauce has cult status in China, and for good reason. It’s deeply savoury, slightly spicy (if you get the mild one) and has a lasting umami flavour.

You can literally put it on ANYTHING as a condiment (meat/chicken/fish) or use it when cooking noodles, soups or curries. I also love to spoon some onto my scrambled eggs to feel a tiny bit ~fancy~. 

I also make a sauce using this mixed with peanut butter and soy sauce (it becomes like a spicy satay and is great for dipping veggies into!) The possibilities are endless.

It’s so moreish I would say I go through a jar a week. You can find it in the international aisle of Coles/Woolies or any other Asian grocer. If diced chicken in your chilli sauce isn’t for you, they also have other variations like blackbean and peanut.

Trust me, it’s life changing. 

Almond Breeze Almond Milk and Coles Barista Almond Milk

Almond milk is a staple in my diet and I love these two types. I use the Vanilla Almond Breeze for my smoothies as well as on cereal as the subtle flavour makes your breakfast taste 10 times better than plain almond milk. 

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I also buy the barista one because if you’ve ever tried normal almond milk in your coffee you’ll know the funky curdling thing that it does is not yum.

Mcguigan Zero Alcohol Sparkling

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I’ve been alcohol-free for about a year now but I still love the taste of wine and the feeling of celebrating when popping a bottle of bubbles. I love that Woolies and Coles have an expanding alcohol-free section to cater to this growing trend away from booze!

This isn’t a usual weekly grocery purchase but we were celebrating moving out so the occasion called for some sparkling. It tastes like the real deal!

Noshu 99% Sugar Free Pancake Shake Mix

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I love to make pancakes on the weekend but also want to keep my sugar intake to a minimum so Noshu pancakes are a total saviour. These ones are super light and fluffy and easy to make - you just add butter and water. They also come in a buttermilk or high-protein variety. 

Ayam Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce Light

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Another chilli sauce, surprise surprise! This is another great sugar-free option that’s lighter than usual sweet chilli sauce but still has the same taste. I use this as a dip but really anything goes with this!

Coles Italian Grana Padano 250g

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Not sure if parmesan needs any explanation but I thought I’d mention it because I eat so damn much of it. I like the Coles brand because it’s not too pricey but still better quality than other parmesans they have.

Table Of Plenty Dried Spices Dukkah Pistachio

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I bought this Dukkah to tide me over until I find a good bulk supply of it at a spice shop. I love to use this as a hack to make a tasty meal instead of using a mix of multiple different spices. It’s particularly good on top of baked salmon, which I’ll then break up and flake over a salad or veggies.

Sukin Volumising Shampoo, Volumising Conditioner and Thickening Spritz

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I also realised I hadn’t bought any shampoo or conditioner for the new house, so picked up these Sukin goodies that I’ve been meaning to try for a while. They’ll look super luxe in our new bathroom, too!

Keen to share your grocery shop? Send us an email at [email protected] with the subject line "What's in my trolley" for your chance to be featured.

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