to think the price of shopping is getting rediculous?

(168 Posts)
Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 15:48:17

Especially tuna. Noticed a pack of 4 was nearly £9 in my local supermarket. I use a lot of tuna and it used to be a cheap meal (pasta, tuna and veg).
Bread is crazily expensive. It's hard to keep costs down for shopping now.

Dawndonna Sat 02-Feb-13 15:50:53

Yes, food prices are ridiculous. Apparently it's due to fuel prices as well as everything else. There are five of us, and it can be damn hard to budget. I've just spent £157.00 in one of the major supermarkets. Ouch!

noisytoys Sat 02-Feb-13 15:53:01

Yes food is expensive. Some days the adults tell the kids we aren't hungry, feed them and have plain pasta when they are in bed. There isn't much more we can cut back on sad

Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 15:54:04

That sounds really hard noisy. Could you use a food bank?

Startail Sat 02-Feb-13 15:54:34

Very my bills are £100+ when they used to be £70-80

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 02-Feb-13 15:57:51

Food is big business. The profits supermarkets make are obscene.

ChippyMinton Sat 02-Feb-13 16:02:11

Have you tried all the usual advice about dropping down a brand, changing supermarkets, shopping in markets etc etc?
If you have time to do your shopping in a variety of places, you can save loads.

Backinthebox Sat 02-Feb-13 16:03:00

The price of food has gone up a lot. I really do feel sorry for people who have difficult decisions to make, like noisytoys though.

The price of fuel is one factor (as is fertiliser,) but the other factors include the weather in recent years. For the last few years wet summers have meant it has been really difficult to get the harvest in, meaning that sometimes the grain rots on the stalk in the field. Lots of root crops - potatoes, sugar beet, etc also rotted in the ground because the farmers couldn't get their equipment on the fields to harvest them. There have also been a few dry springs - remember the threats of hosepipe bans last year? confused This means the plants are late to get growing, too. I buy hay in for my horses, and the cost of hay has gone from about £2.50 a bale to £6 a bale in just 3 years - it is all to do with the poor growing conditions, and it is reflected in human food prices too, though not is such a stark way. Obviously the price of animal forage going up impacts on the cost of meat too. As a result of our poor harvests Britain has been trying to buy food in from abroad, but a drought in America has affected the main grain-growing region of the world in a different way.

I don't have any suggestions, but can't see the price of food going down any time soon. Such basics are being badly affected. (Obviously Tesco keeps making a profit though!)

Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 16:03:15

Yeah I probably do need to start shopping around Chippy. Have dropped to basic brands for a lot of stuff but refuse to do this for tuna and bread!

MimikosPanda Sat 02-Feb-13 16:07:00

Shopping around is the answer, unfortunately you do need the luxury of time to be able to do it though. Despite planning and shopping around our budget has had to go up too.

Dawndonna Sat 02-Feb-13 16:09:46

We make our own bread, it does work out cheaper, and own brand tuna is fine, we use it loads. In fact I won't buy John West on principal.

GrendelsMum Sat 02-Feb-13 16:14:31

The problem with tuna specifically is that its becoming increasingly rare due to overfishing, with some tuna species now endangered. So its probably not surprising thing that its no longer a cheap eat in the way it used to be.

BUT there are cheap tinned fish you can find to replace it. We've swapped from cooking tuna bake to Sicilian-style spaghetti with sardines, which is cheaper and tastier. And have you taken a look at frozen fish? Also potentially very good value.

Virgil Sat 02-Feb-13 16:15:21

I agree that the prices are just going to keep rising. I was reading an interesting blog the other day about stockpiling foods that are on offer to keep costs down for longer. Will try to find it and link. The woman doing it basically never bought anything full price which was extreme but I can certainly see the sense in bulk buying the things you use frequently when they are on offer.

chanie44 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:15:34

I know this wont help anyone immediately, but its really easy to grow your own fruit and veg.

I grow potatoes, tomatoes, salad leaves, spring onions. The pound shops are starting to get their supplies in now

I grow in pots on the patio. I'll never be self sufficient, but every little helps.

Mandy2003 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:16:24

Pack of 4 John West or Princes £3.00 in the Co-op this weekend only!

redwellybluewelly Sat 02-Feb-13 16:16:56

We're trying hard to cut back because we simply can't afford to keep spending what we were. Meal planning helps but whats really made a difference is getting fruit and veg from the greengrocers, co-op and actually reducing portion size.

The real pisser is that farmers aren't getting anymore, supermarkets are simply profiting.

redwellybluewelly Sat 02-Feb-13 16:17:54

Oh and we bake our own bread and as of this year growing our own veg again

Mspontipine Sat 02-Feb-13 16:22:16

Aldi tinned tuna in brine is around 50-60p and I found that really nice - all their fish is (inc frozen)

I remember when naice tuna was 30p a tin. Am I that old shock

Sugarice Sat 02-Feb-13 16:23:11

I went to Sainsburys earlier for a piece of beef for tomorrow... £20-23 for a joint.

I didn't buy it, lamb was on special offer so I bought that instead.

The prices are going up, my bill is generally £150 a week and I fear it'll get worse.

BandersnatchCummerbund Sat 02-Feb-13 16:24:35

I am an organic, free range etc. etc. kind of person wherever possible but I do sometimes buy Tesco Value tuna flakes because I looked at the ingredients and honestly couldn't see any difference between those and the others - and if you're putting it into things it doesn't make much of a difference whether it's flakes or chunks. I think they're less than 30p a can - you need a standard Tesco (not Tesco Express) and they'll be on the bottom shelf. Agree about looking into different fish like sardines and mackerel too - I don't think you're supposed to eat tuna more than a couple of times a week anyway (mercury deposits or something) so possibly sardines better anyway.

specialsubject Sat 02-Feb-13 16:28:15

all these comments are entirely valid, but....

£9 for four tins of tuna? Quick check - Tesco 75p a tin, same at Sainsburys.

where on earth are you shopping?

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 16:30:47

I've just got back from asda. It wasn't that much - what I do is go for mostly things on offer, so, walk down the middle aisle and get what's in the end bits iyswim...marga, £1, rice sachets, £1, 12 actimel, £2...etc. There are ALLWAYS things on just have to get what is! Makes it a bit of an adventure.

cantspel Sat 02-Feb-13 16:31:08

£20 for a joint of beef? How many are you feeding and what cut were you looking at?

I bought a joint of silverside this morning in asda. Enough for roast tomorrow for 4 for Just over £7.

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 16:31:22

allways? sorry. Baby on lap...

cantspel Sat 02-Feb-13 16:32:07

roast for 5 not 4

ConferencePear Sat 02-Feb-13 16:32:15

I keep saying it and maybe in the end someone will notice -
we cannot keep building on fields and expect the price of food to do anything other than go up.

Bluemonkeyspots Sat 02-Feb-13 16:33:15

I was £91 in aldi yesterday!

I did not even think that was possible.

Best part is I have hardly anything in for dinner this week, we will scrape by but should have much more.

that will teach me to take dd's annoying friend with me who stressed me out so much I was chucking anything in the trolley

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Feb-13 16:37:01

YABU if you're paying £9 for 4 cans of tuna.... shock Really important to get more savvy with shopping around, switching to cheaper brands, home-cooking rather than using processed foods etc. Cut my January food budget by 20% by cutting right back on meat, ditching imported stuff and serving lots of home-made soup!!!

RooneyMara Sat 02-Feb-13 16:39:08

I too am puzzled by how four tins of tuna can cost £9...where is that? Is the problem that people are used to buying more expensive food and find it hard to switch to stuff that costs less?

Like if you are used to Hobbs and have to buy from Primark? I can understand that. I just never spent much on food I guess, it's not my thing.

My local Asda had me really annoyed this week.

One, just one, brand of Icing sugar. No big packs either. So no choice and no value bigger pack. Not to mention things that I buy every week doing 40p jumps in price.

I am going to the butchers and the market for veg this week. If I have to pay ridiculous amounts I would rather it went local than to a huge company.

Don't Asda etc put the price of things like tuna up so that next week they can tell you it's half price at £4.49?

pigletmania Sat 02-Feb-13 16:41:48

It's is ludicrous £4 for lean mince, over £1 fora loaf of bread, Tina is no longer cheap food anymore. The government tell you t eat 5 fruit and veg a day but the prce of fruit n veg is so exensive compared to junk food, which always seems on offer. Permenantly dirt cheap

Sugarice Sat 02-Feb-13 16:42:26

cantspel I feed 5, the dh and 3 teenage boys who eat for England grin plus I like leftovers for a meal Monday.

Their beef wasn't that dear a few week's ago, not sure what cut it was, once I saw the price I backed off!

Theicingontop Sat 02-Feb-13 16:43:14

Tesco seem to alternate their tuna half-price promotions from brand to brand, but usually you can pick up a four-pack for £4. Or, you can buy the brand just above value, and it tastes exactly the same. <ate some tesco brand tuna yesterday>

My food shopping, for three of us, is £40 per week, which actually includes non-food items like washing up liquid and soap. I budget to the last slice of ham, and have weekly food plans spanning into next month. We make our own deodorant with potash alum (a few quid on ebay) and water.

You have to be clever and alter your habits if you want to stay afloat these days.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 02-Feb-13 16:43:21

Tesco sometimes have 4 cans of tuna for £9, it's just before they do a 'brilliant offer' of 'half price tuna' £4.50 (Still more expensive than Iceland, Asda etc!).

Varya Sat 02-Feb-13 16:43:27

I use Lidl more and more as food is becoming a luxury and we are being ripped off left right and centre. Co-op battered fish was £3 today down on offer from £4.79. 4 pieces of fish and will make home made potato wedges in oven to go with them as the fish bakes. Tonight is bangers in tomato sauce with sauted veg plus mixed beans/pulses and garlic bread. Make as much as I can from scratch and watch prices carefully.

wonderstuff Sat 02-Feb-13 16:44:16

I've spent about £160 over last few days, food and nappies for 10 days. I remember when I was a student I thought a frugal shop was when the total number of items was greater than the cost in pounds.. I think my shop has doubled in price in last 4 years, shame my salary hasn't.

But I am fortunate I can afford to feed my family without making any major sacrifices. A few years ago I was eating lots of preprared food, I started cooking from scratch to save money when I first had children and I eat so much better now.

careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 16:45:45

I was in M & S the other day and they had pretty small bags of prepack veg for £1.99! I've seen those in Tesco for 99p
I try to put good food on the table but you have to have a bit of creative thinking these days to stay in the budget.
I agree with buying own brand but above value and do this as much as possible.

Isityouorme Sat 02-Feb-13 16:46:59

I am also finding the quality of some foods going downhill. Meat from my Tesco is awful and I feel like I am eating chicken with extra added water and antibiotics to make it bigger. Their cheese is also very rubbery. I try and plan food according to what is on sale.

Buzzardbird Sat 02-Feb-13 16:48:21

Pretty sure the op was talking about fresh tuna. (pack of 4 tuna steaks?) Anyway you can buy fresh tuna steaks in Aldi (where nothing costs that much) so op just needs to adjust her supermarket loyalty

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 16:53:12

OP where are you looking at tuna for that price?

Waitrose own brand is £5 for 4 tins and that is not on offer. John West is £8 in there and there is no difference between them.

cantspel silverside needs pot roasting doesn't it? I either get topside or top rump, and a piece big enough to do Sunday, cold Monday and then some left for sandwiches through the week. A piece big enough to do that will be £20+ but does 2 days dinner plus about 3 days of lunches for 4 of us.

IrnBruChew Sat 02-Feb-13 16:54:52

A joint of meat for 20 odd quid? Could you smoke it?

cantspel Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:06

Sugarice My asda silverside is just over a kilo in weight and is priced at £7 per kilo.

Plenty to feed five (2 adults, 2 teens and a pensioner). i wont have enough left for monday but should make a couple of sandwiches.

For £20 or more i would be expecting tbone or fillet which will always cost more.

What i did notice was expensive were the roasting potatoes. A small bag was £2.40 and wont even do 2 meals. But i can get a large bag in lidl for £3.57 but will mean a trip into town during the week.

cantspel Sat 02-Feb-13 17:09:52

No i wont pot roast it. i will rub it will olive oil, wrap it in foil and roast it on a low heat for a hour or so. Comes out lovely and moist and tender.

It will only be crewy if you try cooking it too quickly.

Sugarice Sat 02-Feb-13 17:13:33

cantspel agree about the potatoes going up too, I noticed that last week.

I would love a vegetable plot in our garden, pity I'm not green fingered grin

cantspel Sat 02-Feb-13 17:19:02

I did grow potatoes last year but they all got blight so it was a waste of time. And a waste of money buying the bags to grow them in.

I love my garden too much to want to give up my flower beds for runner beans and cabbage. Plus a bunch of roses cost alot more than a frozen bag of peas.

BarcelonaBabes Sat 02-Feb-13 17:29:15

I think there should be legislation to mean that supermarkets cannot make over a certain percentage in profits on healthy food. Yes we would pay for it as junk food would be more expensive, but basics and healthy food should be affordable IMO.

LeeCoakley Sat 02-Feb-13 17:44:14

Our local supermarket (Budgens) had Napoli tinned tomatoes for £1.23 today. I thought it was priced wrongly but no! AND they said they price-checked with Tesco. I'm sure last week in Tesco I only paid about 60p. I've found that for the last year I have to check the price of everything I buy because it's never the same each week. I only buy meat, cheese, washing powder, dishwasher tabs, teabags, mayonnaise and other stuff if it is on offer. Dried pasta this week was 99p when last week it was 78p. Soon it will be over £1. Ridiculous! And as for lean mince, don't get me started on the price of that! Yes, and bread! Eeek! Oh and peppers - that's another, 89p each <faints>

BarcelonaBabes Sat 02-Feb-13 17:47:52

I buy Asda Smartprice peppers; I think a pack is £1.50 and you get 5 peppers per pack for that, usually a mix of red and green, which suits us. For bread, I go to Asda once a week on a weekday at about 11am and buy a week's supply of reduced loaves for 40p each and then freeze them. Smartprice pasta is a lot less than 99p, and tastes no different to branded or supermarket premium range pasta.

QOD Sat 02-Feb-13 17:51:50

Tuna in my tesco is £7.99 for 4 John West, occasionally on offer for £4

LeeCoakley Sat 02-Feb-13 17:53:00

Wish we had an Asda nearby. Morrisons is my supermarket of choice. When I visit my mum we go and get her shopping from there and there are always fantastic offers on. Meat is lovely and reasonably priced, ditto bread and cakes.

inchoccyheaven Sat 02-Feb-13 17:58:21

I always use to shop in sainsburys but when Lidl was built here switched to that. Now I go around Sainsburys resenting their prices if I have to buy there if I can't go to Lidl. especially for fruit and veg. sainsburys thinks offering 2 lots of fruit for £3 is a bargain when it is so much cheaper in Lidl and quality is just the same.

Theas18 Sat 02-Feb-13 17:58:50

Said it before and I'll say it again-try aldi or lidl.
I smile every time pretty much.

Fully trolley load £70 .usual shop £50 or so.

Stocked up in the large held prove hunts at xmas-less than a tenner a go and feed 4-5 of us for 2 roast dinners and a hash/soup/pasta meal.

I'm a life long savvy shopper. I wonder what purple who have a weekly shopping bill of over £100 buy, but then I go to tesco and buy coffee and decaf tea (there are just a few things we doubt like in aldi) and see a large box of cereal could be £3 rather than £1 to £1.50 and I fan myself in horror at the realisation!

delilahlilah Sat 02-Feb-13 17:59:08

MSE is great for tips on cutting the price of your shop. There are loads of things you can do. You can almost always get away with cheap cuts of meat just by slow cooking them. Frozen mixed peppers / chopped onions can work out cheaper, depending on circumstances as you have no waste.
Risotto is another cheap dish you can make from very little / left overs.

Shopping in the evening and looking for reduced items can help or the other extreme, shopping online and sticking to a list. If you do the latter, my supermarket helps you find cheaper alternatives etc.

Buying pasta in bulk will save so much.

500g penne in asda is 95p. Sometimes on offer but usually that. 3kg of fusilli is £3.50 (but is down to £2.87 atm) so thats only 0.58p per 500g.

Meglet Sat 02-Feb-13 17:59:54

I've noticed potatoes too. I swear they used to be £1 a bag for the cheapy basics ones in Sainsburys, fine for me as I'm not fussy about spuds. I don't think Sainsburys even stock a basics potato bag anymore, I haven't spotted one in months. I assume all the wet summers have knackered the potato crop.

Butter was 65p when DS was born 6yrs ago. Basic butter is £1.10 now.

I buy the massive bag of pasta from Asda it is about the size of a carrier bag.
Cost is around 3.20 and 2.99 when on offer.
Coop have started a special weekend deal last week it was huge boxes of Diaz for a fiver. This week it's tuna at unde 3.00 I think.
Supermarkets are being very sly. I used to buy two packs of large bridge rolls for 1.50. Today I noticed they had halved the size of the rolls and ifyouwanted large ones there were only 4 in a pack and you couldn't buy two packs for 1.50.
Potatoes are very spensive now. Drives me mad.

We get everything from Aldi. Did our weekly shop today and it was less than £20 (bear in mind I will need to buy more bread and milk, and we already had a few bits in the freezer/cupboard).

Tuna is 55p a tin in there and it's no different to anywhere else.

Their "specially selected" bread is lovely as well and it's only 70p odd for a multigrain wholemeal loaf.

MrsGeologist Sat 02-Feb-13 18:12:37

This summer has fucked over crops so much that my local tesco actually had a notice above the onions saying that due to the bad weather, all the onions were shite (I'm paraphrasing).

If I'm careful I can shop for four on ~£60 a week, but it isn't the easiest thing in the world, and I'll often skip lunch (only occasionally eat breakfast) DH only really has one (very big) meal a day and a snack (toast usually) as well.

We've never been big eaters, so the skipping meals isn't difficult.

Osmiornica Sat 02-Feb-13 18:14:32

"I know this wont help anyone immediately, but its really easy to grow your own fruit and veg.
I grow potatoes, tomatoes, salad leaves, spring onions. The pound shops are starting to get their supplies in now"

It isn't that simple. I have an allotment and grow other things in my back garden too but the last couple of years have been very unproductive for different reasons - floods and lack of sun last year meant no tomatoes and very little in the way of root veg as well. Spuds were awful - even the farms around here suffered. I've spent hours and hours a week for nothing pretty much.

Altinkum Sat 02-Feb-13 18:20:20

I don't find it expensive tbh, I get my princes tuna, in home bargains for 59p a tin.

I make homemade bread etc. buy from the farmers markets which includes meat, veg and fruit.
Fish I buy straight from Newcastle Quay

Ladyflip Sat 02-Feb-13 18:25:52

I've posted this on the frugal February thread but I'm always amazed that people, particularly families, buy their potatoes in a supermarket.

We always buy them by the sack (available from local agricultural merchants, but also check farm shops and local markets). They cost about £10 for 25kg, which is £2 more expensive than last year but is still a lot cheaper than a supermarket. I checked Tesco this week and their cheapest potatoes were 73p a kilo.

Because the spuds are dirty and kept in a brown paper sack, they keep very well. It takes us about 6 weeks to eat a sack once it is opened. You get a variety of sizes in the sack so sometimes it feels like you are peeling more but it's worth it!

Pixel Sat 02-Feb-13 18:27:04

All our allotments had potato blight last year too and none of the soft fruit did very well apart from raspberries for some reason.
The previous year it was tomato blight and everybody's leeks just died overnight. We've given up on sweetcorn as the badgers always get it before we do, and we were told when we took over our plot that no-one bothers to grow parsnips as they just won't grow here. We have tried various methods in a bid to prove the oldies wrong but have had no success.
We do get a lot of food from our allotment, I'm still getting leeks/greens/sprouts etc over the winter but it's quite hard to predict what you will get in any given season. It's a lot of work but there's no doubt the food tastes better. I can barely face a shop-bought tomato nowadays.

I get our spuds in a big bag from the farm shop. Last year it was £5. This year it's £8.99.

natwebb79 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:30:04

We swapped Tesco for Aldi 2 weeks ago. Won't go back to Tesco! We're amazed at the difference in our food bill for pretty much the same products. Probably knocked £40 off a fortnightly shop.

ELR Sat 02-Feb-13 18:30:41

Cutting down on meat will help with reducing your shopping bill. Try adding half meat and half lentils and tinned pulses to stews and mince dishes ect

We very rarely have roast dinner so don't need to buy joints of meat which can be expensive. If we do have roast it's usually chicken which can be used for several meals.

Make a big batch of meat/veg sauce to use three ways then bake some potatoes scoop out the flesh to top a third of the mixture, for a shepards pie which you can freeze for later in the week. Then use the skins to make crispy potato skins by roasting them in the oven. Then the remaining two thirds of the sauce spice up with a little chilli powder and serve half of the sauce with the skins and a little sour cream for a quick lunch or tea, and the remaining sauce use for a fun night with tacos and the trimmings.

Ladyflip Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:03

northernlurker Your potatoes are cheaper! I presume you are where your name indicates and that is probably why?

ledkr Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:34

When will someone come on this thread and say they feed six for twelve pounds ? grin
I'm also struggling to keep it under a hundred but we eat well and three of us take packed lunches so effectively that's for four people three meals a day so I take heart from that.

Ruprekt Sat 02-Feb-13 18:34:27

I shop at night and EVERYTHING in my fridge and freezer is reduced.

Milk, cheese, bread, meat, vegetables.

We have some odd concoctions but it is worth it.

Having monkfish tonight that was £29 per kilo down to £4 per kilo and I bought it for £2.

You have to be a bit savvy but I refuse to pay full price.

Varya Sat 02-Feb-13 18:35:32

My DH can get to the local street market and buys the veg/fruit there. Much cheaper than in the major food stores. Downsize portions now, as we used to eat more than we really needed. Friends laugh at me for shopping around and say they choose all they need and don't worry about what it costs. They live on a different planet from most of us!

colleysmill Sat 02-Feb-13 18:37:00

I'm a lidl lover for the majority of things these days.

Someone mentioned up thread about a butcher - if it wasn't for our local butcher I'd probably stop buying meat but he does a cracking deal (400g each of mince, Bacon, sausages, stewing steak and 2 huge chicken breasts) for a tenner. Can't praise it enough.

colleysmill Sat 02-Feb-13 18:41:17

I agree though last year was rubbish for grow your own - our tomatoes did ok and surprisingly.our potatoes but virtually no courgettes (usually loads) and the peas and beans finished really early. We managed one lonely tiddler of a pumpkin sad

Onwards and upwards though!

careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 18:42:11

the issue with the "horseburgers" though has made me really nervous about buying food and especially cheap meat. Its not so much eating horse its not knowing whats in it
Our farm shop is pricey but you know its been raised on the land and butchered on site - they don't butcher off site and its the peace of mind of knowing what you're buying/eating.

Virgil Sat 02-Feb-13 18:42:15

For those who eat lots of pasta, tesco value penne is 39p for 500g or spaghetti is 37p for 500g. It's honestly absolutely fine. I can't tell the difference between that and the branded stuff.

HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Feb-13 18:45:37

People are food snobs though - I'll rephrase some people are food snobs.

Anyone who shops in M&S or Waitrose needs their noodle probing, quite vigorously. There is plenty of snobbery within MN about Lidl, which always makes me laugh as the billboard outside ours declares it MNs favourite supermarket!

I wander all over, usually at peak yellow label times, I rarely buy full priced meat. Veg/frui/salad always comes from Lidl or the Turkish supermarket opposite. Big Asda for bulk stuff like loo rolls or pasta. I have no idea why I use Morrisons, probably because its the closest! Co-op when Im on a baking splurge!

MoreBeta Sat 02-Feb-13 18:51:43

This might sound esoteric, arcane and nothing to do with ordinary day to day living but the rise in food prices is a very real inflation that affects lower paid people very acutely and is largely unacknowledged by Govt and central bankers (eg Bank of England).

In a panic, central banks printed vast amounts of money after the financial crisis to save the banks and fund the Govt deficits. This fed directly into much higher fuel and basic food commodity prices. It has led to ordinary people in Western countries facing a constantly falling living standard and revolutions in Africa and Middle East.

What central bankers did to save the banks fed into fuel and food price inflation directly but it did not cause wage inflation - hence ordinary people struggle to make ends meet. Fuel and food prices went up while wages contined falling or are static at best.

Rich people who did benefit from holding or trading fiancial assets like shares and bonds and property that went back up in price as a result of central bank action have gone on a huge spending binge buying luxury goods and multi million pound houses in London and other global cities.

It really is tearing society apart but central bankers and Govt officals are tone deaf to this issue because they all directly benefited or are on index linked salaries and pensions.

LeeCoakley Sat 02-Feb-13 18:53:09

It's not fair! No Lidl, Aldi, Asda, farm shops or even a greengrocer within a reasonable driving distance! Our 'farmer's market' once a month is really expensive and only exists as a showcase for localish produce - no bargains whatsoever! We have a butcher but v.expensive. It's Tesco, Sainsbury's or Waitrose here sad

JumpingJackSprat Sat 02-Feb-13 19:03:14

yanbu. ive been to the farm shop today and got two generous pork belly slices, 2.5lb mince and 6 fresh sausages for £11 ... thats going to make about 7 or 8 worth of meals ( amongst all of us as theres only 2 of us + dss) all british meat which is important to me for welfare reasons. if i bought the same british meat in the supermarket it would probably be a few £ more but this is all local and fresh non processed food. their veg is around the same price as the supermarket but seeing as they grew most of it themselves or is from local farmers id rather they had my money. eggs from the local farm cost 1.80 a dozen. i work full time so i go at weekends or at lunchtimes but it is more inconvenient than just getting everything at the supermarket but you really can taste the difference.

happybubblebrain Sat 02-Feb-13 19:03:41

Food is expensive but it isn't rising as fast as gas and electric. Last February my quarterly gas bill was £228, this year it's £318, that is ridiculous, we only have 5 radiators that are hardly ever on. I've been turning the hearing down/off more this year than ever. I'm changing suppliers as fast as I can. Food is something you can cut back on and shop around for to get good deals but energy suppliers have us by the throat.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 19:32:12

Sorry I dissapeared. I went out.
The tuna was at Sainsbury's. It was £8 something. The same when I went to Tescos (about 20p cheaper in Tescos but still £8 something).

I sometimes go to Morrisons and they have it on offer more often but not at the moment.

Places tend to have Princesses on offer and not John West. Princesses taste is too salty. I only like John West. I really hate cheap tuna. It sounds daft but it's too fishy!!

0blio Sat 02-Feb-13 19:43:46

I can't praise Aldi enough for their quality and low prices. Some of their specials this week (39p) are a big bag of carrots, or 3 large onions, or a large head of broccoli. I plan my weekly menus around their 5 a day special offers.

I also love Sainsbury's basic range.

determinedma Sat 02-Feb-13 19:45:19

We get our meat once a week at local market and save a small fortune. The rest is bought in Aldi with a few bits and pieces in Asda. Was shocked today though at a very small bag of baby potatoes at £1.20!
Can't remember last time I did a full roast, even at market prices. We have chicken or mince in various reincarnations with sometimes pork chops.

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-13 19:45:25

There are plenty of places that don't have an Aldi.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 19:46:33

Must go to Aldi!

There should be more Aldis....I genuinely don't know what we would do if we didn't have one. We can both cook, which is great, but I know for a fact we wouldn't eat as well if not for Aldi. Our weekly food budget is around £30-£35 for 3 of us (two adults, one toddler)

Buzzardbird Sat 02-Feb-13 20:24:31

Aldi had Savoy cabbage, carrots, broccoli and a couple of others things at 39p today. Get yee to Aldi op

I have to stick to a budget of £50 or under for 5 of us thats 2 adults, a teenage Ds, 2 younger children as well as 2 cats.
I cook everything from scratch, I have a freezer that has 2 gammon joints of over 1kilo each (on offer just after new year was 1 huge joint on half price offer for a fiver in sainsburys) also gammon steaks, high meat content cumberland sausage(these are from an out of town butcher) also chicken fillets, chicken legs,lamb steaks and steak mince all bought on reduced as well as 2 medium sized chickens bought as part of a 5 for a£15 offer on at booths.
I buy as much veg as possible from same out of town market as the butchers I go to, example of prices- 5 peppers £1, big head of broccoli, huge turnip, big bag of brussel sprouts £1.43 total price, as well as 10 satsumas £1, 2 punnets of grapes or strawberries £1.50.
I always check aldis super 6, this week was 1kilo carrots, broccoli head, beetroot, pack of onions, parsnips or lemons all at a price of 39p a pack.
I like the rathbones bread from morrisons for 70p a loaf but I do also check the local tesco for anything reduced or on offer most days when I finish work on a late shift.
Oh yes and I buy a bacon joint for about £2.50 for a 1lb joint that cook and slice and put into an airtight container this is instead of buying 200g of ham off the deli that would cost more than that.
Can you tell I read all the frugal and credit crunch threads.

I don't have a choice - I live way out in the sticks, and only Asda deliver here. Closest 'big' supermarket is 1.5 hours drive, nearest shop is 15 minutes drive, and a teeny co-op (very expensive IMO).

I normally do two Asda orders a month, at about £100 a time, for 2 adults and a baby.

We are now switching a lot of things to shop-brands, but have found some switches to be counter-productive. I wish we lived in a town!

Myliferocks Sat 02-Feb-13 21:00:48

I tend to buy the same things every week when I do our food shop. I used to be able to feed the 7 of us for under £100 pounds but these days it is more likely to be between £100-£130 and that's with meal planning and buying the cheaper brands.
It's getting more difficult each week to keep the price down.
We have a Lidls where we live but it doesn't stock enough to do a full weekly shop there.

Purple2012 Sat 02-Feb-13 21:07:22

I buy packs of cheap frozen veg, a load of sausages, chicken etc and a big 25kg bag of potatoes every few months and make sausage casserole and chicken casserole etc. I buy some decent chicken and some value chicken to bulk it out. Then I freeze it.

I do the same with fish - some decent and some value and make a load of fish pies. I also bulk them out with peas a d sweetcorn. If I still have potatoes left I make a load of mash and freeze it. It warms up fine in the microwave.

I go to the 99p shop for cereal bars and get crisps there or at Iceland.

I get 4 pints of milk at lidl or Iceland and freeze it.

If I see non perishables on offer I bulk buy so it lasts months.

The only thing I spend a lot on is fruit really. I eat a lot of fruit but still try to get the stuff on offer.

It is time consuming but worth it.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 02-Feb-13 21:10:45

I dont find it expensive really.I buy things like a bag of pasta for 30p, 3 mince for a tenner,cheap potatoes etc.

Did a full shop yesterday for 62 quid and that included a bottle of fake baileys.More than enough food for the 4 of us for week for that price.

AnnaRack Sat 02-Feb-13 21:27:50

IIlovesunflowers - i stopped buying tuna a year or so ago when it got really expensive. Now i use mackerel, sardines or pilchards, just as nice and cheaper.
Farmfoods have 3 packs of 3 salmon steaks (frozen) fpr £10. Not normally a fanbut they are good for frozen fish.

Antipag Sat 02-Feb-13 21:27:56

I am amazed that people are able to feed their family and buy all the things households need like laundry detergent, washing up liquid etc for such a little amount. We don't have a Lidl or Aldi here, just Tesco and Morrisons, I cook from scratch but buy value wherever possible (usually excepting meat) and we eat veggie three nights a week (lentils, pulses, quorn etc) and I can't ind a way to get the food shop under £300 a month for three of us. I shop around between the two supermarkets wherever possible but we don't have a local butcher or green grocer so can't save there. I don't drive and return bus fare to the next big town is £6! Not really feasible when you have a two year old in tow to manage a weeks shopping on a bus. We have recently moved to this house (for the decreased rent) so hopefully I can establish a vegetable garden to try and grow my own but I am not a green fingered soul so who knows!

AnnaRack Sat 02-Feb-13 21:30:15

Iceland has 6 free range eggs £1, 4 pints milk £1, bread £1.

Virgil Sat 02-Feb-13 21:33:23

It can be done Antipag but you do end up eating the same things all the time. You also need a good store cupboard.

I buy the three packs of meat for a tenner in tesco and our meals are always based around these. Each pack lasts two meals for four of us. I bulk out everything with lentils, oats, carrot etc and we eat a lot of pasta and jacket potatoes.

I bake cakes and biscuits rather than buying them. Much cheaper if you use basics flour and bulk buy butter when its on offer.

ChestyLeRoux Sat 02-Feb-13 21:34:05

Washing up liquids only about 60p, a large pack of washing tablets is 3.69 in asda will last us about 6 weeks for the 4 of us. A large bottle of comfort says 85 washes on it I buy when on offer at asda for 3 quid.Those types of things dont really add more than a couple of pounds at most to your bill ime.

Virgil Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:16

Tescos wholemeal loaf is 79p. (Not the value range ) and its fine.

AudrinaAdare Sat 02-Feb-13 23:21:18

Dirt helps keep potatoes for longer LadyFlip?

I wish you had been these today when we were held up at the checkout by an older lady sending her two packaged potatoes back to be changed because, "that one looks a bit dirty"

DH's hmm face was a sight to see! grin

Is anyone else thinking of buying a few extra tins each week? I scoffed at my Dad's Y2K Zombie Plan but it's looking attractive...

MrsKeithRichards Sat 02-Feb-13 23:35:49

I've been called a liar several times on these threads but we (2 adults, 2dc) spend £50 a week and that includes toiletries, dishwasher stuff, washing stuff etc. It's perfectly doable, I'm sure there are ways of spending less.

MrsKeith, we are similar at £60 inc baby milk and nappies.

It can be done. I meal plan like a crazy lady.

Blondie1984 Sat 02-Feb-13 23:40:20

I've found that experimenting with pulses has helped me cut some of my bills-I will do half the amount of meat and make up the rest with beans or lentils - or have no meat at all
Ive also started stocking up on things I use regularly when they are on an offer -like cereal, pasta etc. If its meat or fish then I portion it up and put it in the freezer.....

ladymariner Sat 02-Feb-13 23:41:50

My friends sister bought a beef Wellington in M&S at Christmas and paid ££55 for it!!!!! I kid you's a different world, I tell you shock

HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Feb-13 23:42:28

It can be done, but you really have to have your wits about you and your eye out for a bargain.

I tend to do one mega shop on pay day of all the heavy duty stuff like loo rolls (2 packs of 16 so thats a fortune) cleaning fluids, toilettries and so forth plus any tins, packs of pasta, rice, sacks of spuds so thats the thick end of 200 quid.

milk, bread, is bought daily.

fruit/veg weekly

meat daily, I am your reduced shelf hover-er and I will clean a shelf out and freeze it, often getting a months worth at a time - but we are utter carnivores

ladymariner Sat 02-Feb-13 23:43:54

I, on the other hand, am an ardent Aldi/Lidl fan.....I've saved loads since switching to them. Their large chickens are massive, £4.69 each, and we get a roast dinner from it, then pick it and get another 2 meals from the rest of the meat such as a curry and a chicken pasta bake.

cheddarcheeselover Sat 02-Feb-13 23:45:37

We spend £60-£80 a week for four o us, including all cleaning and toiletries.
Shop online so its easy to compare prices, and always buy the things that are on offer, and bulk buy things on offer that keep/can be frozen. We also meal plan to the last slice of ham, so there's no waste. We eat well though imo.
next weeks plan is tues- make HUGE pot of bolognaise with mince and split it into 3, so on tues we have spag bol, on wed it gets turned into chilli and on thurs it's a lasagne. fri chicken stir fry, sat sausages, sun roast chicken, which on monday will be turned into a double potion of curry, half into the freezer for another week.
careful meal planning has cut our bill alot.

We are carnivores in a big way too Holly.

Its so hard to keep the costs down with meat, but the slow cooker helps with cheap joints.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Feb-13 23:53:54

Remember some prices are artificially inflated so that they can be cut for a "special offer" at a later date. Maybe why the tuna was so expensive, OP?

cheddarcheeselover Sat 02-Feb-13 23:54:41

oh and we buy value tuna!

bubbles1231 Sat 02-Feb-13 23:55:14

I've starting shopping at Aldi am saving £30 per week. Tesco shops used to cost £100, it's £70 at Aldi.
Ther are some things that Aldi don't do, so we have compiled a short list of those. TBH we can do without them anyway
We to get meat locally, and don't eat much of it, but bulk out with veg.
We have hens so that gives us a regular eggy meal. Cost of hen food has skyrocketed lately but still cheaper than buying eggs.
As has dog food (up from £26 a bag to £31 for 15kg) .Our local feed merchant is offering their own brand dog food for £9 per 15kg. It's for working dogs but the analysis is identical to what we use already.

ouryve Sat 02-Feb-13 23:56:09

Where the hell do you shop that Tuna is £2.25 a tin?

JollyRedGiant Sat 02-Feb-13 23:57:34

My shopping is always more expensive in Tesco than Morrisons. I did a month shopping in Tesco for every shop and noticed a huge difference in our bank balance.

Now I just go to Tesco once a month to pick up things I can't get in Morrisons.

FreePeaceSweet Sun 03-Feb-13 00:06:21

I switched to Aldi about a year ago. Our fortnightly shop was around £80 (no meat and certain other items as we buy in bulk from Costco). I have no problem with the fruit and veg as I just tend to buy whatever 6 items are on for 39p. I have noticed the cereals have jumped up in price drastically. For instance their version of Special K which tastes identical was 99p this time last year. Now its £1.49. Still cheaper than Kelloggs at £2.09 but I noticed Aldi's version is 500g whereas Kelloggs is 600g so really not that much in it. I love Aldi and prefer a lot of their stuff over big brands (seriously, try the Choco biscuit bars. They are amazing and you get 9 for £2. I have to hide them from the kids and dh). But I think Aldi are now relying on their reputation as a high quality yet cheap as chips store rather than still supplying huge discounts on essential items. Things like continental cheese and meats cannot be beaten. No chance. But milk, yogurt, sugar and eggs are no cheaper than the big four. We spent over £100 last week for the first time ever and we were consciously avoiding luxury items and things like pistachios, dips, and bread sticks. Aldi works out cheaper overall but not by much. Our old shopping bill was around the £100 so it is gradually creeping up. sad

JollyRedGiant Sun 03-Feb-13 00:07:46

Actually I have some free time this week so I might do Lidl and Morrisons one after the other on Wednesday. Hard work with a 21mo though.

ouryve Sun 03-Feb-13 00:12:33

As for crops, last summer - I had unlimited strawberries, until the wasps found them (used a fortune in netting to keep the birds off), about 2lb of only just ripe tomatoes from my plastic greenhouse around Halloween (factor the cost of the now knackered by wind, snow and HDNL drivers greenhouse into that) unlimited thyme, sage & rosemary (first winter that's not died so I've had to start again), a few ropey leeks planted the year before, which finally got big enough to be worth digging up, just before they flowered, 2 teeny tiny summer squashes (I usually get loads of squashes and courgettes), 600g of blueberries (had to re-pot both plants at a cost of £3 for a bag of ericaceous compost) and 5 sodding kg of backbreakingcurrants.

So the moral of that is, if you want to leave off the land, so long as you can bend over and pick them for several hours a week, throughout July, and had a primary school aged slave to help you, plant a blackcurrant bush.

ouryve Sun 03-Feb-13 00:14:54

live off blush

whateveritakes Sun 03-Feb-13 00:20:51

Still don't get why processed crap is so much cheaper. Those burgers had ingredients from all over the EU, made somewhere else with somebody's labour and a tonne of packaging yet they are much cheaper than buying plain British mince to make your own. How?

Processed crap uses poorer quality meat. Sometimes even mechanically recovered meat. Bulks things out with fillers, and relies on additives for flavour instead of the food itself.

fuzzypicklehead Sun 03-Feb-13 07:24:33

The Moneysaving Expert forums are great for pointing out glitches, price errors, and bargains. I always check there before I physically walk into a shop, as there are random bits you can stock up on for nearly nothing. (Once I picked up stacks of custard pots for the kids lunches and a pricing glitch meant I paid about 1p each.)

Also, doing your online shop through the Mysupermarket website usually saves me 20-25% on my weekly shop (even after delivery costs) by telling me when I can pick up a better deal.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 07:37:06

A lot of things do contribute to food prices, not just supermarket greed.

Firstly we can all see the price of petrol rising, that reflects the cost of oil. Planes boats cars = shipping. So the manufacturers and freighters have to bear those costs also.

Secondly harvests - a few years ago it rained a lot in South America so coffee went through the roof. Ok you could have bought lesser brands grown elsewhere in the world but to me coffee is a luxury, I want to drink nice coffee.

Wheat at the moment is through the roof due to poor harvests. As my baker said to me, I can buy substandard German flour or I can continue to import Canadia, do you want nice bread or not? he had a point. Nice bread is another thing I insist on - I don't buy value bread, or freeze bread, bread must be fresh and always kept at room temperature - t'is Hollys Law! but wheat prices also impact on pasta

Ground nut (peanut) is used in most cooking processes - again most of this is grown in Africa, dependent upon where, you are faced with crop failure, civil wars and so forth - thus the price is reflected.

Rice, again, tends to come from countries that experience vast changes in weather conditions - the bulb of Africa, South America and Thailand. labout is cheap but shipping isnt.

Even looking at animals - you have to feed them - price of feed is reflected. Also to maintain herds you need vets, drugs, innoculations, shipping licences.

A large proportion of our meat is slaughtered in France. Again there is a large proportion of abatoirs in France that are halal - there is a big EU trade in halal meat. Again, the majority of meat in schools, hospitals, public sector canteens has come via this route. It is more labour intensive

Moominsarehippos Sun 03-Feb-13 07:38:50

We spent almost double DOUBLE this week buying food (not luxuries, booze, etc). It doesn't add up! I bought some meat/fish to replenish the (small) freezer but that couldn't have accounted for it. I know I will still need to pick bits up during the week too.

Just had the gas bill (over 4x the price of the last one - ok its been cooooold), and the phone bill (I never use the sodding thing!).

Every thing has just gone up so much and I am earning so much less now - no bonus, raise, pension arrrrrrr... Not a happy bunny!

mademred Sun 03-Feb-13 08:33:07

We have started using farm foods for frozen foods, also pick up 18 loo rolls for £4, not bad qaulity either.we are slowly trying their own brands and to be honest its nice.only use asdas little angel nappies, and only try and get the offers in each shop if they are a good deal.

Well, I just did our bi-weekly Asda delivery, and it cost me £111 (including delivery charge). That includes baby milk (can't wait till he can drink cows milk!), loo rolls, laundry liquid etc.

When I was younger, I use to raid the shelves in the evenings, when prices had just been cut. Remember getting a huge beef steak for about £2.00. It's a great way to fill your freezer. You can even freeze crossaints and doughnuts - just warm them in a low oven for a few minutes to freshen them up!

nkf Sun 03-Feb-13 09:03:27

I think you might be over shopping. That is some pricey tuna you have there. The credit crunch threads on MN are brilliant for ideas on how to get the most for your money. One thing I have found is using the freezer more. I never throw food out any more and I'm ashamed to say that I used to. Fruit and veg can be very cheap.

Titchyboomboom Sun 03-Feb-13 09:34:59

My top tips which work for us (possibly not anyone else!)

Shop at Aldi
Shop at lidl
Grow veg (one year I had 20 tomato plants in pots which made a ton of sauce, onions, parsnips, lettuce, salad, potatoes, herbs to give food flavour) I only have a small gravel garden with pots and raised beds but started growing with carol kleins book and never looked back. Also nowhere near self sufficient but a start
Shop offers and almost out of date and freeze / make up a meal out of it. I like co op late at night for reductions

I don't tend to buy many brands or frozen food, but love fresh and tinned. Frozen convenience seems crazily expensive

sarahtigh Sun 03-Feb-13 10:10:21

i shop mainly at ASDA but buy meat from butchers much cheaper go to aldi / farm foods about once a month and top up weekly in co-op/village shop for milk as ASDA too far away to make saving economical

we spend about £80 a week all in for myself DH and DD but that also includes cleaning stuff washing powder shampoo etc ( it would be less if DH did not eat crisps and chocolate bars so much he loves his snacks)

food prices have gone up due to failed harvests increasing fuel prices etc

most people spend 10-15 % of take home pay on food, however in 1930's etc most people would have needed to spend over 50% on food, so though it is now more than past few years as a percentage of pay it is still a lot lot lower than ever before in history

if you do not want cheaper tuna think of something else instead, make sure you do not waste food, how much do you throw away?

nearly all meat and fruit veg is cheaper in fruit/veg/ butchers shops

Virgil Sun 03-Feb-13 10:11:24

As well as bulk buying stuff on special offer (although I do appreciate you have to have the cash for that), its well worth buying a store cupboard item each week. It's so much easier to make cheap meals if you have bits in the cupboard like pearl barley, lentils, plain and sr flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices, herbs, tomato purée etc etc. Once the store cupboard is nice and full buy an extra tin of something each week eg an extra tin of tomatoes, kidney beans or chick peas, a bag of value pasta or some risotto rice. It also helps to have some complete emergency meals in the cupboard eg basics chicken noodles which you wouldn't want to eat unless you had to but they are 13p so well worth having a few packets in the back of the cupboard. Im sure my full larder is why I can do a full shop for 4 for £50.

The £30-5 I mentioned was FOOD budget so didn't include other things like nappies (although that stuff is still peanuts in Aldis). We do a lot of batch cooking and freeze portions of what's left after dinner. That way a coupe of nights a week we just raid the freezer. It helps us get through our "skint week"

McNo Sun 03-Feb-13 11:07:05

I have swapped asda for farmfoods. Was really worried the food would be poor quality but had vouchers posted through the letterbox with £5 off of £50 and £10 off £100. This month i have spent £120 and about £80 in asda on other bits i cant get in farmfoods. I usually spend £80 in asda per week so a good saving.

Try the sirloin steaks and pork chops. They are very nice grin

Yanbu, it's very worrying that in a yet the cost of a typical shop has increased by atleast £30 moreshock
And in a week where i need shampoo/cleaning products that adds on a considerable amount.

I have to use own shop brands of most stuff, most are ok, but the cheap bread leaves alot to be desired and tbh i end up going for the supermarkets more expensive £1 loaf.
But kingsmill etc cost around £1.35-1.65 shock, very shocking as is the cost of tuna also. I either buy when on offer or buy the value brand, its hardly noticebal in a nice sauce or on jacket potato.

Potatoes have also skyrocketed in price, as have cucumbers-99p in Tescoshock
I wonder what price the poor farmers recieve thoughhmmsad

If i had a car i would go to the local farmshop, its inaccesible by pedestrians.

I dread to think of how much my shop will be in another yrs time, particularly worrying considering the cuts the government are makingsad, tough times ahead

Year not yet, bloody typos on phone

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 11:20:00

Wonders where the closest agricultural market is to Putney hmm.

It is going up and up. We don't have to scrimp but Asda works out at about £30-£40pw less than Sainsburys. I don't understand why anyone would pay more for the sake of paying more. Can't really shop around much because I work full time and am time poor but if it were the other way round and I was time rich and money poor I reckon I could slice £150 pcm of the food budget.

I walk through Waitrose on my way home every night and pick up reduced stuff for the freezer when I see it. This week I have got 6 Aberdeen Angus burgers reduced from 1.49 ea to 31p ea and two boeuf stroganoffs reduced from £6.99 to £1.55 ea. I have since Xmas picked up a whole salmon for £9 (2.5kilo) and two free range chickens reduced from 11.99 to 2.55. Pick it up when I see it and bung it in the freezer.

nkf Sun 03-Feb-13 11:21:13

That tip about buying an extra tin of something useful every week is a good one. Thank you for that. And value pasta which I resisted for so long is actually fine. It tastes just like well, um, pasta. Someone on my storecupboard thread gave it the thumbs up. And they were right.

nkf Sun 03-Feb-13 11:22:28

I also second frozen veg. Nothing is wasted. I can't remember the last time I threw food in the bin.

trixymalixy Sun 03-Feb-13 11:25:38

I buy the tesco value tuna chunks. They are absolutely fine. Never ever buy tina flakes though, they are absolutely vile.

I buy frozen vege to nfc, stores for ages, tastes better and is much better for you as no vitamins are lost as it is frozen when very freshsmile

Corn on the cobs much, much cheaper from the frozen section.
And value chicken is just as good as good as the quality stuff, just chop the fat off

Dawndonna Sun 03-Feb-13 11:42:35

married there used to be a market behind where Waitrose is which Nanny and I used to go to. I guess it's long gone.
I'm lucky, we have a good market here, but we're very rural and the market and local greengrocer buy from the local allotment holders, so things are very fresh, local and cheap. I spend around £20 per week on fresh fruit and veg for five, considering we have two veggies in the house, and three that take fruit in their lunchboxes five days a week, I think that's pretty good.
I'm limited on supermarkets. The big names are five to ten miles away, so for nipping in stuff, it's the Co op, quite pricey.
However, one of the things we do is have our milk delivered. We worked out that it saved us around twenty quid a week. The reason, we're not going into the supermarket daily to pick up milk and therefore not picking up other stuff just because it's there. So although the milk is ten pounds a week, it's saving us in the long run.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 12:08:53

YANBU. I am lucky we don't have to watch every penny with our food shopping (I think that's because unlike most people we know on similar incomes, we don't have a car which obviously take up a huge amount of money) but we do try and save where we can.

We get loads of value range stuff that is absolutely fine. I would love to be a savvy shop-arounder but due to health problems and aforementioned lack of car, it's just not possible, so it's Tesco online all the way right now.

Quick question for the grow-your-own crew if I may smile - those grow bag things, can you reuse them for a few years or do the nutrients deplete too much? Our first year we did reasonably well, but the second year was utterly pointless. We don't have a garden BTW, so no compost bin etc. I really don't feel it's worth doing this year due to lack of time/energy.

Moominsarehippos Sun 03-Feb-13 12:15:57

I worry about the quality of Value/own brand stuff after horsegate. God knows what they put in the processed food or spray on the fruit and veg.

I make our own bread because the others prefer it (I love a crunch baguette myself) and we don't get through much meat (just one carnivore) or fish (2 fish eaters). I try the buy the best quality - some cheap things are a waste of money (bacon that disappears with all the water added or chopped toms that are all juice!). I shop around for certain foods/brands and it does take a chunk of the week!

I should shop on-line but prefer to pick fruit and veg myself.

Dawndonna Sun 03-Feb-13 12:23:03

A grow bag should only be used for one season.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 14:03:49

Oh I remember Lacy Road market. I have been in Putney since the early 80's. I was referring to the lady who got her spuds from the local agricultural wholesaler grin.

There's still a good market in Kingston which is a third of the price of the supermarkets. If I could shop daily I think I'd use the markets more but I find their stuff doesn't lasts up to six days and it ends up costing me more when I have tried. Not sure if the same problem exists outside London. Wonder if the North End Road street market still exists.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 14:06:10

Do you remember De'Ath's where you could get keys cut and stuff? That's long gone too - and the dress shop on the corner near the station and the old fashioned Italian restaurant - La Forchetta. And the curtain shop - can't remember its name but they made lovely curtains for my first flat and house for half the price of John Lewis.

Apolgies for hijacking blush

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 15:38:00

Thanks dawn. Will get rid then - we don't have the money to replace them anyway and frankly they just look a mess! blush

If we get a bigger place one day with a proper garden then we plan to devote a good amount of space to growing food, but ATM it's just not worth it.

sarahtigh Sun 03-Feb-13 17:15:11

tomatoes if not grown outside with cost of plant and grow bag etc can mount up, it is best to grow the more expensive veg in a small plot like peas beans beetroot courgettes and salad a packet of £2 seeds will keep you in lettuce from end of may to october etc rather than potatoes onions and carrots though with larger plot that is possible too

Ladyflip Sun 03-Feb-13 17:17:22

Sorry married. I appreciate (but sometimes forgetblush) that not everyone lives out in the sticks with their closest shop being a branch of Mole Valley Farmers . But the flip side of that is we don't have access to cheap Indian or Chinese wholesalers, or a whole raft of supermarkets, which are also often recommended on these threads, but which I'm sure can't be too hard to find if you live in London.

I did have a look for you but the best I could come up with was the wholesale market at Covent Garden grin

I mention it because in market towns there is often a branch of countrywide, or mole valley or similar where sacks of potatoes can be purchased at considerably lower prices than you would pay in a supermarket. For example, a lady I work with drove from one town to another and passed said branch of Mole Valley but still bought her potatoes in Asda at much greater cost because she didn't know.

And yes, audina potatoes do keep much better in dirt because (as you probably know) they go green when exposed to light. So in order to keep British potatoes from harvest in summer to now, they are kept in the dark, and dirty.

Sorry all if I have offended.

dizzydo Sun 03-Feb-13 17:26:18

Married north end rd mkt is still there but a lot of very cheap stalls with produce that only lasts for a day or so. Fri and Saturday best time to go tho v busy then.

Southeastdweller Sun 03-Feb-13 17:27:21

I was thinking about this thread earlier when I was in Sainsbury's. Haven't bought tuna for ages but noticed today a small own brand was £1.39 - I'm sure just a few years ago it used to be about 80p? John West tuna 60p more expensive.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 17:31:43

Oh you didn't offend. It was just funny - and Dawn and I both know Putney and are sometimes a bit tongue in cheek about stuff that nobody else gets. Apologies.

Two Mnetters from different ends of the country with a bit of shared of history.

I forget too that not everyone lives a five minute walk from M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, etc., and can hop on a tube and be in Central London in 20 minutes. smile.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 17:32:36

Oh and BTW large tins of tuna were £4 for four in Asda this afternoon.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 17:34:14

dizzydo North End Road Market was ever thus. Put me off markets really - and that's going back to 1980 shock

MissVerinder Sun 03-Feb-13 17:45:44

Can I just point out that yesterday in Morrisons, I noticed that their value cheese comes in 2 sizes- Bigger chunk and smaller chunk.

Ok so far, but I also noticed that bigger chunk value cheese was about 30p per kilo cheaper than smaller chunk value cheese. Why? It was the same cheese, for crying out loud!

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 17:46:24

Back on tina .... 4 tins of John West were £3.30 in the co-op this afternoon.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 03-Feb-13 18:04:36

"In a panic, central banks printed vast amounts of money after the financial crisis to save the banks and fund the Govt deficits. This fed directly into much higher fuel and basic food commodity prices."

Why did printing money feed into higher fuel and commodity prices Beta?

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 18:06:31

I sent DH looking for tuna in the coop and they didn't have any today sad

Re: the value cheese. It's quite normal for bigger packs to be cheaper per kilo, in lots of products and within same brand etc. I guess due to different packaging to product ratio etc. It's annoying though as sometimes I feel pressured, in a way, to buy the bigger one as it is better value - but then, if you aren't going to use that amount, it's not really saving money because it might go off if it's a perishable product.

MrsPennyapple Sun 03-Feb-13 18:13:08

We also grow some of our own veg, but having done it for a couple of years now, we've learned that unless you REALLY LOVE doing it, it's not worth growing stuff that's cheap to buy anyway. Someone else already mentioned buying a sack of potatoes, that costs about £7 around here, and they are far better than what we grew last year. Onions are only about £1 for five or six, so it really isn't worth the time, effort and garden space growing them ourselves. However, we like leeks and they are often £1 each or more in the supermarket (no decent grocer here). We must have saved ourselves £50 just through growing leeks this year. And I'm using more of the green part, rather than throwing it out - I hate to think of how much food I've wasted by doing that.

The rest of the groceries are difficult as we have no Aldi / Lidl etc here. I am starting to compare prices more between the two supermarkets we do have, but it's difficult when the prices change week by week.

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Feb-13 18:54:42

Mrs Pennyapple - I totally agree. We've got one of Bob Flowerdew's books and he says if you're limited in space and time, only grow stuff that's expensive to buy - soft fruit, salad crops, fennel, aubergines, asparagus, rhubarb - or tastes much better fresh, like tomatoes.

Pixel Sun 03-Feb-13 19:24:31

A large proportion of our meat is slaughtered in France. Again there is a large proportion of abatoirs in France that are halal - there is a big EU trade in halal meat. Again, the majority of meat in schools, hospitals, public sector canteens has come via this route. It is more labour intensive

Oh great. I don't agree with Halal slaughter and am already incensed that food is not labelled as such so that I can avoid it, it's pushing the prices up as well. Talk about adding insult to injury.

marriedinwhite Sun 03-Feb-13 19:47:01

They would never have done the same with Kosher - my family had to go to quite significant lengths to get kosher stuff - apart from limited resources within about 5 miles - that meant coming to London (80 miles). hmm Wonders why that is. And I agree I don't need to eat Halal meat either.

Mehrida Sun 03-Feb-13 20:14:15

I got stung for tuna as well. We only have a Tesco Metro.

Just to let OP know she's not alone!

andubelievedthat Sun 03-Feb-13 20:21:43

ICeland and"poundland>thank the lord! ,And you are skint when toilet paper is the newspaper ! esp. one picked up on the bus, i.e. Metro

nkf Sun 03-Feb-13 21:06:48

Growing your own veg is very expensive. You are basically growing meals for slugs and squirrels.

Schnullerbacke Sun 03-Feb-13 21:50:58

Great thread!

I read the other day that cheese can be made to last longer if you add a cube of sugar to it. It will absorb the extra moisure and thus keeps the cheese for longer. Sugar cube should be changed every day.

Dereksmalls Sun 03-Feb-13 21:53:44

I never pay full price for anything, bulk buy madly when staples are discounted and use the freezer much more. I bought some reduced peppers yesterday, chopped them up and lobbed them in the freezer the second I got home. Have started doing that with chillies too, takes the heat out of them a bit but they are always available when I need them.

I very rarely stick to a shopping list if what I need isn't reduced, it has to be an absolute essential for that. My main shops are Aldi and Waitrose (freezer is full of reduced price free range pork from the offer last week), I was in Lidl the other day but left without buying anything when I realised I was still going to have to go to Aldi - the only things Lidl is better for is goat's cheese and chocolate raisins.

My kitchen cupboards took like those of a mad woman though, with my huge piles of spelt pasta (reduced at the Ethical Supermarket) and Belvita biscuits...

sarahtigh Sun 03-Feb-13 21:55:24

it is not worth growing potatoes carrots onions etc they are always relatively cheap but raspberries normally £2 for about 250g can be trained along a fence easily blackberries can be picked for free probably within walking distance of everyone as abundant in city waste ground too and they freeze quite well, rhubarb is worth growing and salad

tomatoes taste better but you can only effectively grow 5 sprays bunches per plant so by the time you factor grow bags etc not really cheaper but they do taste about 10 times better so do strawberries though pick your own then making jam/ freezing is probably as good

RafflesWay Sun 03-Feb-13 22:01:24

In fairness to many MN's who have massive grocery bills I think much of it is due to London and Home Counties uplift pricing. For those of us North of Watford I feel we are muck luckier! We are very comfortable but have always been thrifty!! I use Home Bargains once a month to bulk shop for household goods - their Nicky quilted toilet rolls are superb! Aldi unbeatable for fruit and veg, dishwasher tabs and washing powder without compromising quality. Then today we went into Tesco and literally stripped their reduced meat section. Large packs of extra lean steak mince, turkey mince and two fab sirloin steaks - all at half price! Chest freezer best investment ever as I always bulk buy when things are on offer. I bulk buy most things when on offer such as coke, kenco coffee etc. My shopping bills average around £100 per week but we eat extremely well and that includes wine for the weekends and most household goods. However, I don't think I would be able to shop quite so economically if I lived down south as prices most definitely higher there even for same supermarkets so do bear this in mind when criticizing other posters.

acsec Sun 03-Feb-13 22:05:07

I shop in Lidl, I find everywhere else much too expensive.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Feb-13 10:16:01

Even Tescos prices have really jumped (see what I did there?). I saw lots of (non own branded) things today that were quite a bit dearer than Sainsburys.

fridgepants Mon 04-Feb-13 14:33:21

My closest supermarket (as in one which doesn't require a walk through a park for 20 mins, not ideal for Feb) is a Tesco Metro. It is rubbish. They frequently run out of things, and they only stock the most expensive of ranges or the bigger sizes eg. when I wanted medium free range eggs, I could only get large or a more expensive branded version.

Also annoying: supermarkets taking out their sliced meat counters. It used to be 70p for 100g salami. Now I can only buy plastic-packed sliced salami, in smaller quantities, for about £1.25. Expensive and a waste of plastic.

colleysmill Mon 04-Feb-13 18:31:39

Anyone else who shops in lidl notice the 3p price rise in bread this weekend? Valve loaf here risen (ha ha!) to 50p.

I remember the days when Tesco valve bread was 17p - and its not that long ago really.

Mind you I still love my lidl wink

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