Eating cheaply - Meal plans, where and what to buy

As requested over here by @dbu @ma0 @Patron, here’s two of my GF’s meal plans for a very cheap 6-day week of eating (we usually went to see family on Sunday and ate a sandwich in the train on Sat evening). It’s in German only, sorry about that.

  • Everything is meant for two people, so our budget for the week is 2*30 CHF in those plans. On the left side you can see also Total and Übrig (left over money) so you can splurge a bit more on snacks if you want to.
  • There’s two plans: the orange and the green one. Left side: what/where to buy and how much it costs. Right side: dishes and what they use.
    • Art of Food, at Sternen Oerlikon. Indian(?) bulk store for dried beans/chickpeas/peas/… and super cheap spices (1 kg for ~10 CHF).
    • Asia-Store, at Bahnhof Oerlikon. Not very cheap for most things, but one or two things are cheapest there.
  • At the time we were intermittent fasting (skipping breakfast). In-budget options would be:
    • A cheap muesli with yoghurt or milk.
    • millet and oatmeal with yoghurt or milk
  • We cook in the evening and use leftovers, salad, and bread with cheese and/or spices for lunch. Works better during COVID where we’re not out of the house often.
  • Amounts are rarely bought in the exact quantities listed. Usually more in bulk, e.g. rice from the Asia Store is bought in a 10kg bag.
  • It’s also worth to look at discounts at Migros. Occasionally you can stock up on something for 20% off. New discounts start every Tuesday, and you can subscribe to their newsletter. Sometimes their rice is cheaper than at Asia Store, but can be bought out rather quickly.


If you want a specific product (Beer, Washing Powder, Tofu, sugar) and you’re somewhat flexible in when/where you buy it, you could check for special deals.

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Funny, seems like you also live in Örlikon. I will have to try the receipt though

I don’t know how much you pay for rice, but Jasmine rice is frequently offered at ~8chf per 5kg at Denner. I’ve never found a cheaper Jasmine rice elsewhere and sometimes I even check in Germany.

Great ideas - thanks for the insights!

One kilo of bread for every luch seems a bit excessive. Joking aside, pretty cool menu. Kudos for making your own Burger buns and the avocado egg sandwhich w/o egg.

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avocado egg sandwhich w/o egg

They’re probably using the 3 eggs left over after buying 7 and using 4 for dinner on Wednesday.

In general, I’m impressed. In no way tempted to follow suit, but still impressed.


This is indeed impressive, it looks like a very healthy diet and lots of variation (every day something new!). She seems to be talented and very creative to find all these variations.

We usually cook for 3 days so not a lot of variation during a week and pay much more (weekly grocery spending of around 150-200 CHF). Okay we also often include meat but it’s not like we eat everyday a filet. I’m definitely doing something wrong :frowning:

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Yep, that’s it.

I’ll let her know. She will be thrilled :grin:

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How do you conserve half an avocado from monday to saturday?

Also, do I under stand that correctly: she bakes your own sandwich bread (with the flour)? :astonished:

According to the plan, it seems so. Maybe they have a bread machine.

Impressive… i would just miss… food and the joy it brings.


Conserve the kernel of your avocado and put some lemon juice on it :wink:

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Huh, the menus sound tastier and more varied than what most people eat.
I do think that the shopping list implies that they always buy the cheapest option (e.g. Cheese for below 10CHF/kg) – which would be boring to me after a while. But even if they bought more expensive products their weekly food would still be impressively cheap.


Keep the kernel in (very important!), then close off the inside as tightly as possible with a waxed cloth (self-made as well :grin:). You might have to cut off the top 0.5mm on Saturday. Since I put Avocado-mush (just scrape it out with a knife) and not solid pieces into the sandwiches it doesn’t matter if it’s not in pristine condition any more.

Yep, most of the time even with lye(?) to make it into pretzel bread. No machine. Otherwise we buy these

Migros has a different cheese (or two) on discount every week. But to be fair, we often don’t go with those exact plans since our budget works out well enough and we catch up in the budget by visiting family, so we can be a bit less considerate, and there’s also some left over budget in those plans.

Honestly, we both enjoy those meals. I love Udon noodles, anything resembling a rösti, spicy curry, and who doesn’t like burger?

Just bought a bunch of tofu at 6 CHF/kg thanks to that :smiley:


I love burgers, but not with these veggie patties. I tried many different ones, for me their are just disgusting, but to each their own, if you like them, that’s great!

And really impressive food plan/budget and kudos to your girlfriend for cooking all this for you, she’s a keeper :wink:


I just happened to stumble upon this article (from today) on a very popular German news site:

90 cent curry from leftover vegetables

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I’ve discovered those veggie burgers from Denner, and I always find them 50%, and oh boy…
They have such an amazing meat texture and are full of flavour. Never tasted any other like those before.
Ofc perhaps as I do my own buns, my own mayo (for example basil, garlic, soya) and nice topping combo (for example blue cheese, pears and honey) they taste even better than standard boring one.


I also make my own buns and sauces most of the time.

Never tried those, but there’s also no Denner close to where I live.
I always get high quality beef from the local butcher, not really mustachian, but tastes absolutely amazing.

More about grocery shopping than eating: Aldi has started a delivery service. (only in Zurich at the moment and the choice is VERY limited). Delivery fees are similar to other shops and I just tried it because I am stuck at home due to a child with COVID.
I was never tempted to pay Coop prices and then CHF 9 on top. Aldi is further away so the 4.90/7.90 Lieferkosten is a better investment.
My best friend was a heavy le shop-user, telling me he’d finish his online shopping trip quicker than I’d walk through the shop (the online shop remembers what I bought last time etc). In the case of aldi this argument holds no water at all, but I hope it gets better and especially Lidl starts to deliver.

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