Cost of eating in Australia for 6 weeks?

I may be going on a trip to OZ for around 6 weeks, and I was trying to estimate my total munching costs. I would have full kitchen available. I was thinking 400$ would do. Figuring a .80 OZ - US exhange rate, it seems reasonable.

I think you can do it, if you are pretty careful. Most food prices in Australia are higher than in the US, so you won’t be eating many luxuries. It also depends on where you buy food: it can be a lot more expensive in remote country towns than in the capital cities.

Eat in the local pubs. Great local food and beer at reasonable prices.

Some states (particularly New South Wales) also have registered clubs, where guests from out of town (and Tennessee is definitely out of town) can have lunch or dinner, usually pretty cheaply. They make their money from “poker machines” (gambling machines), but there’s no obligation to play the machines if you visit them. However, with a budget of about 12 AUD per day, I don’t think you could afford to eat there every day.

Agreed, depending on where you live. The costs compared to where I live (Philadelphia) I felt food was twice a expensive. About the same price as NYC, and about 2/3 the price of Las Vegas (after exchange rates).

When food shopping you’ll have to constantly second guess any purchase, it’s possible a familiar product could be an import and more expensive.

You mention a full kitchen. Do you intend to eat a lot of meals at your accommodation? Would you be happy with cereal and toast for breakfast? A home-made cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch? If you’re prepared to stock up on staples initially it may be possible. But I’d agree with Giles. You’ll need to be careful and you won’t have any margin for error. At an exchange rate of 0.80, US$400 = AUD$500. Spread over 42 days, that’s AUD$11.90 per diem allowance for all meals. If you try eating out anywhere in most cities that’s going to cover one meal at best.

I eat fairly simply, and all of it bought at Woolies, probably $80-100 per week. So doable, but nothing fancy.

This is what I was going to say. USD$400 for a family of 3 or 4, for six weeks in Australia? Not a bloody chance, sorry. As Cuncator says, that’s about $12 a day, which will barely get you a Footlong sandwich and drink from Subway.

Eating out here is expensive, but I will share some advice with you:


(And I don’t want to turn this into another “Tipping” thread; please, if you want to debate this, have the courtesy to open another thread and allow this discussion to continue on its original track. Ta.)

I’d be budgeting about $300 a week, and that’s assuming you’re going to Woolies or Coles a lot as well.

Almost everything here is appreciably more expensive than in the US. You’ve been warned. :wink:

We spend about $210 per week on a family of two adults and two children under 5. That covers meals and other household items in a remote town.

I see no mention of him bringing a family with him, so I think $400 for the month is probably fine, though maybe he should boost it to $500 just to be sure.

I don’t eat very much at all, so I am atypical, but I spend possibly $50 a week on my own meals, if that.

What I have eaten this week (roughly):

Breakfast: Couple of Weet Bix, a cup or so of of tinned fruit, milk and a cup of tea. About $1.

Lunch: On Monday I go to Aldi round the corner from work and buy sealed sandwiches or wraps. Sandwiches are $3, wraps $4. This week I got corned beef and mustard with salad, egg and lettuce and ham, cheese and tomato. One each day so far $3 per day.

Dinner: Monday I was out and had fish and chips (about $5.50) in Glebe. Yesterday I had a salad with a tin of Stag chili and some grated cheese all on toast. About $5 I guess - $3 odd for the chili and the other stuff was sitting around. Tonight I made a risotto with tuna, sundried tomatoes and olives. Again I guess $5 - just a handful of arborio rice, had vegetable stock and sundried tomatoes and olives in the fridge and only needed a few. The tuna was a small tin that you can always get one brand or another for $1 - I buy a dozen or so every once in a while.

Tomorrow I am going out with a mate for dinner so again usual breakfast, $3 sandwich for lunch and I think the roast with vegetables at the club will be about $7.50. So more expensive at $11.50 but the other days are under $10.

If you pay attention there are plenty of cheap places to eat - most registered clubs, many pubs have weekly specials (I can think of a $3 pasta place on Wednesdays, I know of $5 steak places, today a restaurant in Parramatta had $1 schnitzels), every big shopping centre has a food court where after 5 all the day’s food is sold off cheap. At Parramatta you can buy 3 Chinese meals for $10 at 5pm every day except Thursday and half price pies and pastries. It is no problem getting good Asian food most places in Sydney at perfectly affordable prices.

We are going out for someone’s birthday lunch on Friday so I will fill up with a Laksa and probably just steam some veges for dinner. Again about $10 all up.

So in total about $50 for a week in which I will eat out 3 times which is unusual.

I used to live on delicious Vietnamese rolls when I stayed regularly at Mascot in Sydney. They cost $2.50 and easily did for a lunch or light dinner.

We’ve all heard of the Big Mac Index. Is there a such thing as a Ramen Noodles Index?

Here in SE Michigan, they go for $0.25, but you can snag 'em for $0.10 during sale.

What do they go for in Australia?

I don’t think there’s any need for debate: while you can tip waiters in Australia, it’s not expected. In fact, you don’t need to tip anyone (which is why Australians often have trouble adjusting to the US): at most, just round up. So if a taxi fare is $19.50, give the driver a $20 note and tell him or her to keep the change.

And, on the subject of taxis, if you are travelling by yourself, it’s expected that you will sit in the front seat of the taxi next to the driver.

Another fine example. Available in pork or chicken. Unfortunately you need two people to share three rolls to make a meal.

Yeah, it’s just me fellas, although I can go out to eat with other people since we’ll have a group thing put together. But I get a full kitchen and I can live on pasta, canned veggies, and soup for dinner. Lunch is sandwich or two with whatever-lunchmeat and maybe a piece of fruit. Breakfast, if I eat it at all, is small. (I like breakfast, but I don’t eat it very often.) I may increase my reserve, but it’s not a huge deal. I just wanted to a rough idea.

I would be staying not too far from Brisbane, if that’s any help. Can someone explain these “registered clubs”?

BTW, aside from the beach (and I hope to see the Great Barrier Reef! Yay!), is there anything specifically I should look into while I’m there? A trip to Ayer’s Rock? I’ll have a day or two in Sydney if I get to go, as well (I’m not an Opera Fan, so while I might stop by jsut to see the odd-looking House, it ain’t my thing.)

Clubs Queensland. Registered clubs are governed by state laws, so vary a bit between states.

You must be as thin as a rake! Those sound like almost starvation rations to me. Cereal + fruit + Aldi sandwich + modest sounding risotto, and that’s it? That’s what, about 300 + 100 + 500 + 700 = 1600 calories.

As Giles noted, common examples are the local RSL club (Returned Servicemen’s League - usually referred to as the “services” club), or the local bowling club or other such group. Most put on a cheap “roast of the day” or “mixed grill” at dinner time. It may not be cordon bleu, but it’s reasonable and filling.

It’s certainly worth seeing, but note that it’s a long way from Brisbane: several hours’ flying time, assuming you can get there directly from Brisbane.

Maybe this will help. This is the online ordering site for Coles (national chain of supermarkets). Enter the postcode (zip) of the suburb you’re going to be staying in because prices vary depending on your locality. Order what you’d like to buy and see how much it costs. If you’re only going to be eating home cooking, and you’re not planning on subsisting solely on caviar and wagyu steak, you should be able to meet your budget pretty easily.