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Brisbane on the Cheap: A Bargain Hunter's Guide to Brisbane (Part 1)

Home > Brisbane > Family | Fashion | Food and Wine | Restaurants | Shopping
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published September 10th 2012
Your guide to the best of Brisbane's bargains
Brisbane on the Cheap: A Bargain Hunter's Guide to Brisbane (Part 1)

Just like everyone else in these straitened economic times, we love a bargain here at Weekend Notes. You'll find articles on cheap groceries, cheap Tuesdays, bargain date ideas, budget restaurants, cheap parking and more. Brisbane is a paradise for bargain hunters and cheapskates if you know where to look. In fact there's so much on offer it it will need a series of articles to fit it all in.

You'll get the lowdown on low prices from food to flowers, meat to movies and everything in between. Part 1 deals with cheap groceries, meat, eating out and fashion. Watch out for the next instalment, which will cover entertainment options. How low can you go in Brisbane? With your help we're on a mission to find out. Please share any of your suggestions in the Comments section.

Cheap Groceries

It can be difficult to feed a family, pay the bills and balance the budget but there are a number of places where you can buy discount groceries in Brisbane. The Grocery Club at Rocklea describes itself as "Queensland's only genuine grocery clearance warehouse" and they claim that the savings on fridge and freezer stock can be as much as 80% off regular supermarket prices. They also have fortnightly specials that are advertised online.

The Golden Circle Factory Outlet at Capalaba doesn't just offer discounted canned fruit and vegetables. They also stock brands like Kelloggs, McCain and Cadbury. They are open 7 days a week.

Golden Circle Factory Outlet. Image from their Facebook page.

Sara Lee sells "not quite perfect" ice cream, cakes and other frozen goodies at discount prices through their outlet stores. Brisbane outlet stores are located at Oxley, Daisy Hill and Capalaba. It's great for entertaining or just stocking up the freezer and I dare you to spot what's "not quite perfect" about the products.

Battlers Supermarket at 29 Mary Street, Kingston, sells a range of discounted groceries that are past their "best before" date or near their "use by" date. They also have a large and delicious range of baked goods (cakes, pastries and pies) at special prices. You need to become a Food Club member at a cost of $20 per year to take advantage of these discounts.

Cheap Meat

Brisbane's Super Butcher has stores at Birkdale, Eagle Farm, Oxenford, Yatala, Waterford, and Ashmore on the Gold Coast. You can shop at their stores or online where the advertised prices include home delivery. You can buy in bulk or as little as you need. The website even offers some tasty recipes.

Barbequed T-Bone steak. Image from Super Butcher Facebook page.

Pattons Big Gun has three Brisbane locations - Underwood, Victoria Point and Aspley, as well as one store at Ashmore on the Gold Coast. they sell the usual meat products as well as smallgoods, seafood and pet food. Their grocery range includes favourites from New Zealand and South Africa for pining ex-pats. Like Super Butcher, you will also find recipes on their website.

I can personally vouch for P and L Fresh Meats at Oxley. Fresh meat, excellent service, bargains galore and value-for-money specials. As well as the usual meat offerings, here you can buy huge 3Kg fresh chickens and an assortment of cheap soft drinks, juice and some other limited grocery offerings. They don't have a website but can be contacted on (07) 3372 8856.

Eating Out on the Cheap

Pubs are a great source of quality eating at bargain basement prices. The Chalk Hotel at Woolloongabba offers all day, every day $11.90 rump steaks with chips and salad.

Fortitude Valley's The Elephant and Wheelbarrow has a number of bargains. Try 241lunches from Monday to Saturday, $2 burgers on Sunday afternoons or Supersized Meal Deals which includes $1 tacos on Tuesdays.

The Exchange Hotel also has $1 tacos on Thursday nights as well as $10 lunch deals from Monday to Friday and $10 dinner deals from Monday to Wednesday.

Exchange Hotel
The Exchange Hotel. Image from

The Paddington Tavern has a traditional roast lunch 7 days a week for only $7.95 or 2 For 1 meals on Tightass Tuesdays.

Cheap lunches are also available in suburbia including the $10 Lunch Menus at Wynnum Tavern, the Prince of Wales Hotel, Nundah, Springfield Tavern and Oxley Tavern.

Try your local RSL or sports club for inexpensive and hearty dining. If you live in the western suburbs I recommend Sherwood Australian Football Club at Chelmer. The club, which was inundated during the Brisbane floods has made a full, and stylish recovery. Their changing bistro menu includes such club-grub favourites as home-made lasagne, sweet and sour and roasts. Telephone 3379 5528 for more information.

Sherwood Australian Football Club. Image from their website.

The Music Kafe in West End has $8 all day brekkies (until 5pm) on weekends and public holidays and a host of other scrumptious specials.

Menya Mappen Noodle Bar at Sunnybank has $5 noodle meals.

See Debra Lidster's article here for some cheap daily eating out specials.

Cheap Fashion

The obvious place to shop for discounted fashion and accessories is DFO, but I've found that shopping success can be very much a hit-and-miss affair. There are 2 DFOs in Brisbane, one at Brisbane Airport and one at suburban Jindalee.

Trade Secret has thirteen Queensland stores, most of them in South-east Queensland. You can use their handy store locator to find the one nearest to you. They claim to have prices that are 60% less than other stores because they "deal directly with top brands from all over the world".

Australian company Rivers has a host of clearance stores throughout Queensland. Use their store locator to find your nearest one. Apart from their every day cheaper prices Rivers also have great bargains with their popular 4 day sales. You can't miss their advertisements on television.

And don't forget that Brisbane is a paradise for second-hand and op shopping. See here for The Best Vintage and Retro Shops in Paddington or here for Northside Op Shops.

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Why? Because everybody loves a bargain.
Where: All around Brisbane
Cost: Cheap as chips.
Your Comment
RSL in Morningside is good for a cheap dinner out
by Jane Street (score: 2|438) 2716 days ago
The Cinema Cafe in Oxford St Bulimba does $20 meal + glass of wine on Tues/Wed/Thurs night, and the food is FABULOUS! It's a very wellkept secret that is well worth trying out.
by tracy (score: 0|2) 2715 days ago
For awesome value Furniture that is also unique and great quality, check out The Home Warehouse, Newstead! Amazing store...
by charl (score: 0|2) 2713 days ago
Pattons is no longer at Victoria Point
by graha (score: 0|2) 1604 days ago
A good day out at the Mount Crosby Bowls Club. $10 Sunday spit roast ($5 for kids) with roast vegies and lovely fresh salads. Served from midday till there's none left.
Free Bare foot bowls included.
Great day out!
Ph: 32010140 during opening hours
by marea (score: 0|2) 1036 days ago
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