Food shopping - driving me to drink

(49 Posts)
LaCiccolina Sat 20-Oct-12 19:54:56

We shop on Ocado by the week. We stopped in tescos because we ended up getting stuff we fancied than stuff we needed. I do that less online it seems. Im really struggling still though to get the weekly shop to £100 and a bit. Its a flipping bad week if its £150. It worries me as they price check like they all do so Im less willing to believe they are inordinately expensive than others anymore.

DH says the 'normal' 4 person family spends £89(!) a week. HOW? Im plainly doing it all wrong. Ive thought about some questions which might help me work out where Im going wrong and wondered if anyone else had some bright ideas? This is the last major bill I need to get under control. And well Im struggling!

Do you shop online or IRL? I prefer online as per above and that they deliver quite well usually. Im not fussed who really, just DH picked Ocado and I havent altered it.
One stop shop or multiple? One stop shop for me, dont you waste petrol shooting all over to Aldi/Lidl/Asda/Sainsburys to get stuff?
Mostly fresh / mostly frozen? Mostly fresh - Is this why? Do others focus on frozen more???
Roast on sunday? Yes usually chicken, if Im feeling fancy, lamb or pork. Avoid beef now often as rather dear.....
Cheap end or 'Finest'? I like the basic brands ends generally but depends I spose on what it is....
How many times meat eaten in the week? DH doesnt think its a meal unless has meat in it. Fish is a starter or in his eyes a treat but not to be eaten very often. Id be happy with either FIsh or meatless but fish is also expensive and Im not cooking twice on anything. I try to focus again on mince and cheaper stuff though. But do others not eat meat much in the week?
Are cleaning products/bog roll etc included in this magical £89 do you reckon? I cant believe they are....willing to be corrected.
Recipe follower? Rarely can afford to. More of a make it up and chuck it in type. Ive got rudimentary cooking skills. No Chef but not beginner.
Wine drinker? Yup but ive switched to boxed coz it seemed cheaper as buy less often. Wine suddenly seems to be £5+ a bottle. DH likes a few beers at weekend. Rarely touch spirits.
Fizzy drinks / desserts? FDs yes, just one pack coke cans usually. Rarely do desserts. Couple of yogurts for kids and jellies etc but I dont keep a stock pile.

I freeze/eat left overs. Generally have to as im a visual cook so usually do too much pasta etc anyway. I eat all areas on the chicken so Im not a Jamie Oliver waster by not turning the bird over type. Winter is easier with casseroles etc. I really just dont get why. Ive even bought a chalkboard so I remember what meals I planned at the start so we eat the right stuff and dont waste anything. Its improved alot since then but still fluctuates.

Or is food really that much more expensive now? Im at a loss.....

LFCisTarkaDahl Sat 20-Oct-12 19:58:08

There's a very simple answer to your self flagellating thesis.

Get the dick to do the shopping.

£89, my arse. Sure, if you want to eat lentils or baked potatoes every day (we do, so it is about £89) grin

LFCisTarkaDahl Sat 20-Oct-12 20:00:10

Yes, I get all my shopping from Ocado. I only buy what's on offer, we eat a lot of baked potatoes, 5 for 99p, quorn shit (2 of us are veggies), loads of their essentials range - bread rolls for packed lunches.

Convert Sat 20-Oct-12 20:00:18

No help from here, this is exactly what I struggle with. We spend a fucking fortune on food shopping. I do like nice things to eat and I'm not exactly a cook everything from scratch kind of person but everything just seems so fucking expensive lately! I nip in to get bread and milk and a couple of things and spend 40 quid!

serin Sat 20-Oct-12 22:23:29

Get thi to Aldi smile

We halved our Ocado bill by defecting.

Also we buy toilet rolls in industrial quantities from Home bargains.

if you don't mind me saying, DH does sound a bit like a caveman, have you ever thought of sending him out rabbiting?

Caerlaverock Sat 20-Oct-12 22:25:43

Aldi and lidl, you could do 89 easily but only with some veggie options. And yes that includes everything

nkf Sat 20-Oct-12 22:30:25

I think you are doing really well. It's basically £25 per person. You can probably do cheaper in Aldi but you are not going crazy at all.

Ruprekt Sat 20-Oct-12 22:37:19

Try meal planning and shop from the list.

Or get your H to do the shopping including lots of meat, wine and beer for £89! He will get a shock!

I think I am lucky as DH enjoys soup for his dinner in the evening and he likes meatless meals too.

Aldi is good and you will get lots of things there for £89. Try it and see.

babylily Sat 20-Oct-12 22:38:17

We spend 90 in aldi as a mainly veggie family of 5. Including necessary wine I must add. The average family expenditures quoted almost never include stuff like toiletries or cleaning products.
Every few weeks I do Sainsbury online instead to buy branded bits and things aldi don't stock like veggie sausages. Always spend at least 110 without wine.:-D

DameEnidsOrange Sat 20-Oct-12 22:38:46

I meal plan around the 3 for £10 meats - this week we have a chicken for roast dinner tomorrow and a there will be a few bits left to rustle up some pasta / risotto thing for Monday night. The other 2 things in the offer are mince and stewing steak - the mince will do a cottage pie and the other a stew.

I could probably stretch it to two family meals by bulking out, instead I portion up any extra and DH takes to work for lunch.

If it makes you feel better our bill for 4 is usually £150ish too

Cathycat Sat 20-Oct-12 23:10:06

We spend between £50 to £100 on shopping (inc everything - cleaning, toiletries, cat food, the odd garden plant, wine). It depends on whether there is much in the house in the first place. We are a family of 6. 5 of us have packed lunches, my daughter has dinners. We have meat or fish with 6 out of 7 evening meals but never have starters or puddings. We just are never that hungry to want it. I shop at aldi and buy cat food and coffee at morrisons. I buy lots of potatoes, bread, pasta, spaghetti, which is cheap but filling but add nice things to them. DH makes a lot of food from scratch.

Cathycat Sat 20-Oct-12 23:11:46

Saying all that even aldi is getting more expensive!

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 20-Oct-12 23:41:23

I cannot see where the government's inflation figures come from.
2.2% my fucking food bill has gone up nearer 20%

ATourchOfInsanity Sat 20-Oct-12 23:46:50

I've taken to doing less meat every week as that seems to be the biggest spend - plus I remember reading you only need week a couple of times a week really...and am trying to pretend this is part of my logic.
DD however gets more meat as I think she is growing and needs more protein. So not sure how that works with a family! Mind you, veggies do it and some of the mince knock offs are really cheap and quite edible. Just getting accustomed to it tbh.
I think it's time to make your own wine. We are all going to need more of it with the price hikes the gov are ensuring supermarkets pass on (something about no bottle being under 4 quid or offers on BOGOF on wine? didn't read article as sounded too depressing )

ILoveOnionRings Sat 20-Oct-12 23:51:44

Our shopping bill escalated to average £120 a week and there is only 3 of us!! Used to shop very loyally at Tescos every Friday but now this loyalty is out of the window. Do a big shop at Tesco or Sainsburys once a month and then Aldi the rest of the month. Cut the shopping by at east £140 a month.

When I have popped into Tesco / Sainsburys I have found myself telling DH we are not buying that here it is xxx price in Aldi.

I admit I was a shopping snob but no longer - I am an Aldi shopper and I am loving it, new winter boots already chosen.

ILoveOnionRings Sat 20-Oct-12 23:54:11

PS I always judge how successful my shopping has been by the number of items bought per pound spent eg £50 = 50 items. If I have more or equal items per pound then I have done well.

forevergreek Sun 21-Oct-12 00:01:59

We shop for less than £89 a week at Waitrose ( more like £60 but eat lunch out if that makes a difference)

Meat a couple of days
Fish a couple
Veggie a couple

Only buy fresh organic meat and fish ( mainly online shop, sometimes butchers). And mainly organic or most other things

We don't really snack, don't drink, no fizzy drinks, no pets.
We buy v little toiletries as have an Eco egg for washing ( £20, last 3 years min, then just buy refils for £7 for next 3 years supply), and use vinegar/ lemon/ bicarbonate soda for cleaning as don't like chemicals. So mainly just loo roll/ toothpaste etc as needed.

We mainly buy fresh meat/ fish/ fruit and veg and a few store ingredients but not much else. Freezer contains ice cream and frozen leftovers

Waitrose is expensive! They price match but only for brands and brands are expensive. They also don't do a value range only an own-brand range. Brand name cereals are really expensive so if you buy them they might cost a lot?

Asda/Aldi are the cheapest.

Lots of value things are fine and cheap - lots of threads on here about them. We shop in Morrisons and we buy value tinned toms, biscuits, beans, pasta, um and lots more that I can't remember off the top of my head!

We buy cleaning products from B&M or Home Bargains, they are much much cheaper than the supermarket. £2 for 6 rolls of paper towel, £3 for 18 loo rolls and they are good quality. Makes a huge difference to how much we spend every month. That said, we live near lots of those shops and it is very easy for us to get to them, if it was out the way I am not if it would be worth it in terms of petrol etc.

However, I don't think your spending seems excessive and if you are happy and can afford it then no worries. Make your DH do it if he is unhappy!

forevergreek Sun 21-Oct-12 09:05:33

Also we rarely eat expensive cereals. Mainly porridge , occasionally eggs.

Waitrose isn't any more expensive than others, it honestly just depends on what you buy. I have done my online shop through my supermarket comparison site and 98% of the time Waitrose or ocado come out cheapest. Tesco is always the most expensive and sainsburys often close but still dearer.

jenduck Sun 21-Oct-12 09:25:41

My family consists of me, DH, DS1 (3.10) & DS2 (1.5). I cater for all of us, all week except Tuesday when DC are at my Mum's & so fed there & she makes us an evening meal too (I heart my Mum!)

My monthly spend on groceries (can't do weekly as I don't do a weekly shop, just shop as & when) is between £100 & £200 (did an Excel sheet for a few months & this is what it showed). This includes nappies, toilet roll, cleaning stuff, cat food.

I shop in-store, mainly at Tesco, but I also get other bits from Sainsbury's (I like Basics cornflakes & tea), Farm Foods (85p for 4 pints milk) & Co-op (yellow sticker stuff) if passing, so I don't use extra diesel this way.

We have meat probably 5 evening meals out of 7 & we are able to do this by buying our meat late at night, when the stores are trying to sell off meat with an 'expiry' date of that day (it can just go in the freezer). I also buy Value range pretty much everything except loo roll & bread and find it perfectly adequate. We don't tend to buy alcohol in this.

MamaGeekChic Sun 21-Oct-12 09:38:21

We spend between £40-60 per week between M&S, Aldi and the shithole that is ASDA:

M&S- 3 meat/fish for £10, there is always enough in this to make 5/6 dinners, then get 2* readymeals for £6 (eg cottage pie/chicken pie) or the roast for £6 offer... really depends what offers are on but we normally spend £16 (sometimes just £10 if we have a lot in the freezer) and leave with the main bits of all dinners for the week.

Aldi- All basics; bread, milk, biscuits, crisps, fruit, veg, cordial, ice-cream, eggs, butter, cold meat, cheese, yoguhrts, wine, dishwasher tabs, garlic bread, tinned tomatoes/sweetcorn, loo roll... usually spend £25-30

ASDA- any branded stuff we can't compromise on and can't get at aldi, tomato ketchup, fabric softener, sometimes a couple of fresh pizzas, beans. Never more than £10, sometimes we don't need to go at all.

130 to 150 for 2 adults, 4 dcs. No top ups (unless its a treat type thing) and dh buys meat separately. Tesco online.

Nat38 Sun 21-Oct-12 09:46:32

My shopping bill is always just under £100 per week, that for 1 adult, 2 children & 1 cat!! If I can get it to just under £90 I`ve done well!!
I shop at Tesco, some own brand, some value brand & some branded stuff. This includes food, cat supplies, cleaning stuff & toiletries. I always have to get more milk in the week-we get through loads for cereals(breakfast & supper!) & for milkshakes.
The last couple of weeks it`s been over £100 but only because I`ve popped a couple of stocking filler christmas presents in aswell!!

LaCiccolina Sun 21-Oct-12 09:48:55

Wow. This is fab. Thanks. A) I don't feel nearly so bloody stupid. B) I don't seem to b as far out of normal as I thought. Some great ideas too thank you!!!!

parsnipcake Sun 21-Oct-12 10:02:36

I go to aldi once a week for things that are considerably cheaper than ocado - cereal, bread, salami and sliced meat, chocolate, some fruit and veg mainly. We also love their bacon and steak ( which I slice after cooking so it goes further). I spend about £50. Then I do an ocado for about £100. There are 2 adults, 4 teens and a baby. I meal plan and have a rule of £8 of meat in a meal - I just serve more potatoes or rice etc if the portion seems small. I can't abide big supermarkets and always end up with loads of crap in my trolley. I think aldi specially selected easily matches waitrose for quality.

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