how do you plan/do household shopping?

(26 Posts)
redstrawberries101 Tue 19-Jan-16 15:34:13

Interested to hear how others plan their food shopping. I know it makes sense to plan at the beginning of the week but just wondered exactly how this worked out.

Do you have a food plan for the month? Week 1, week 2 etc or do you just sit one evening and plan for the week coming up?

Do you do this for all shopping or just fruit/veg/meat?

What about things like condiments, tinned foods etc (things that have long dates)

What about the non food items? Cleaning products, toiletries etc

If you shop at different places then do you just alternate?

Look forward to hearing your replies!

annielostit Tue 19-Jan-16 16:36:55

Interested in this as I'm pretty shit at this these days.
Buy my household stuff in b&m monthly.
Meat when needed from a butcher, usually weekly. Then it goes pear shaped.
I buy basics from aldi or lidl - butter cheese bread milk salt etc.
Other stuff I get from m&s.fruit, veg & nice fish.

Akire Tue 19-Jan-16 16:43:54

Helpful to keep notes of what normal price of items is to see if really is a bargain. Eg kitchen roll is normally £3 for 6 rolls. Then it will go up to £4.50 for a few weeks before look it's reduced to £3! If you try keep enough stock for a few weeks it means your not having to buy it at £4.50 but wait until it drops.

Dosnt always work but helps check prices and how much you have left so it's it's been "low" for a month you know it's due a increase and shop accordingly.

BonesyBones Tue 19-Jan-16 16:47:47

I'm lazy and do almost all shopping online with Tesco. I order on a Sunday for delivery Monday. Gather the family Sunday night and ask what they want that week, making a list of ingredients as I go.

Check it off against what we already have in, and order. Then add basics, milk, bread, nappies, eggs, salad stuff, fruit cat food/litter etc.

On the last Sunday of the month I do a cupboard shop so tins of soup/beans/Spaghetti//tomatoes etc along with pasta, dried pulses, rice, passata and tinned fruit, noodles, crisps, biscuits, chocolate.

On this Sunday I also add cleaning products (bleach, antibacterial spray, cloths and sponges, dishwasher tabs, laundry liquid etc) and toiletries to last the month. The first week of the month I do the freezer so stock up on any meat offers, frozen veg etc.

At any given time we have at least 3 options available for that nights meal, and several breakfast/lunch options. There's always something quick available such as tuna pasta or a frozen pizza in case something comes up or we can't be bothered with cooking.

Mostly though we just stick to the meals we've agreed on (no strict set days though). I always buy a few wee extras for 18 month old DS if we're having something he hasn't tried yet, in case he doesn't like it.

VimFuego101 Tue 19-Jan-16 16:48:00

I have an index of regular meals that we've eaten and liked, just for inspiration (and a pinterest board). I write a menu plan and shopping list on a Friday and shop on a Saturday. I get everything food-wise from the same shop although I really should try and go to Aldi for fruit and veg/cereal/snacks as it would save some money. Occasionally I try a new recipe if I see something I like on Pinterest/Facebook and it gets added to my index/list and goes into the regular rotation if it's good. I've just signed up to try one of those meal delivery services as I'm bored of menu planning and cooking - I don't plan to use it every week but I'm hoping it'll give me some new ideas.

I do Amazon subscribe and save for most of my household supplies as it's cheaper.

Ragwort Tue 19-Jan-16 16:57:24

I don't really plan - I tend to go shopping 3-4 times a week blush - but I quite like supermarket shopping; I have a vague plan in my head but I can never understand strict menu planning - what if you have a load of left overs, what if one of you is out & doesn't need a meal, what if you have planned a stew and the weather is boiling hot, what if you find some excellent bargains/special offers etc etc.

I go to a couple of different supermarkets regularly to see what looks good and decide from there.

Sorry, not a very helpful answer but it works for me ! [rin]

TeapotTam Tue 19-Jan-16 18:11:57

I do a shopping list on my phone or in the kitchen on a notepad, whenever I think we'll need some more of that soon I write it down. I shop online every other week which definitely helps me not to buy stuff we don't need. I freeze a lot so it doesn't go off but we'll do a top up shop every now and then for things like milk or fresh fruit or if I've forgotten anything.

Whenever I actually go to the supermarket I come back with tons of shit we don't need so I try and avoid it! grin

SerenityReynolds Tue 19-Jan-16 18:22:16

We sit down at some point on Sunday and plan what we'll have each night the following week. I then do an online shop based on that, checking if we already have ingredients in the freezer/cupboard as I go. We also try to plan meals that will use up stuff not used from earlier in the week. We top up on bread/milk and buy most fruit and veg during the week as needed. Store cupboard/cleaning stuff/toiletries I add to my weekly online shop as I notice we need them.

BBC Good Food website is great - you can put in an ingredient and it will suggest recipes.

confusedandemployed Tue 19-Jan-16 18:28:07

Chalkboard - write things we are low on / out of. This usually takes care of cleaning stuff and cupboard stuff.
Meal plan for week on Sun
Transfer both of these to shopping list.
Quick sweep of kitchen to make sure we have everything for the list.
Always buy bread, milk, fruit, veg, butter, yoghurts and a couple of treat puds for DD.

I do 1 weekly shop in Lidl and visit butchers and fishmonger as needed. Top ups for bread and milk.

JemimaMuddleDuck Tue 19-Jan-16 19:33:23

Every few weeks I go to ALDI and LIDL to stock up on tea bags, cereal, tins, etc.

After dinner, I plan what we are going to eat tomorrow based on what is in the cupboards/fridge/freezer. I work close to a small town so have the choice of a large supermarket and two smaller ones plus two butchers. I also pass another supermarket on the way home! I usually only need to buy a couple of things a day (if that). Sounds like a faff but it gives me a walk at lunchtime and means that our food is always fresh and we rarely chuck anything out. On a Friday I normally buy for the weekend.

I find it hard to do the weekly/monthly planning thing as there is only two of us.

redstrawberries101 Tue 19-Jan-16 19:38:32

Ragwort your post made me laugh as it reminded me of me lol!

People always talk about saving money by planning shopping, but way I understand it is that if nothing is going to waste then it doesn't really matter and you wouldn't save anything?

I don't mind bulk buying but I do find the idea of regularly visiting different shops quite daunting and sometimes just give in and shop for everything in Asda.

I tend to just go shopping when I think we are low in stock but that sometimes means we either have lots of choices or little choice of meals at any given time.

Ragwort Tue 19-Jan-16 20:12:27

Melvali grin - glad you are like me!

I look at the meal plan threads and it always seems full of 'proper' meals IYKWIM - I am sure we save more money because tonight for example we ate left over turkey from Christmas made into a sort of stew (not as bad as it sounds grin) - tomorrow I am out with friends so DH and DS are planning a 'tapas' style meal - based around some incredibly cheap parma ham on the reduced aisle yesterday in our supermarket and a few other bits they can find in the fridge ............ you can't really write that sort of thing in a plan can you?

Silvertap Wed 20-Jan-16 13:02:14

I plan to use leftovers too. Twice a week I do a massive spag Bol or curry of which we eat half and freeze half. Twice a week I eat one of my previously homemade meals. Roast on a Sunday, bubble and squeak or risotto on Monday. The 7th meal j tend to do a salad in the summer and egg on toast in winter.

KathyBeale Wed 20-Jan-16 13:11:36

I reckon meal planning and online shopping saves us as much as £200 a month. Just because I'm not tempted by all the other stuff in the supermarket!

I plan for leftovers (we normally take them for lunch but also freeze for another evening meal), nights out, weather etc. I plan weekly/10 days at a time and stick mostly to tried and tested favourites with one or two new dishes.

If we run out of things like teabags/toothpaste/washing up liquid I put it on a list on the fridge and add it to the weekly shop.

I don't have time to shop in lots of places. I normally just do Ocado (I've tried all the online shops and Ocado came out top because it rarely substitutes and it's always on time) though I occasionally go to Tesco if I want to save some cash.

ifonly4 Thu 21-Jan-16 14:24:22

I don't have a plan at all with and cook something I/we fancy or haven't had for a while and am good at keeping an eye on things that need using up. Also, sometimes we'll have something like salmon if fish is fancied, other times I'll look for a cheaper option with something like tuna from Lidl. I have two local supermarkets in walking distance so have got to know my prices really well and tend to pop in to each a couple of times a week. If I'm in town and can carry extra, places like Wilko/Savers tend to sell cleaning/toiletry products cheaper so pick up what I can then. Our grocery shop tends to come in at £45/50 a week.

BarbaraofSeville Fri 22-Jan-16 11:32:04

Do you have a food plan for the month? Week 1, week 2 etc or do you just sit one evening and plan for the week coming up?

Not really. I have a vast and disorganised spreadsheet of ideas and I keep recipes in Pepperplate and Evernote as I am trying to get away from scraps of paper torn out of magazines. I have also signed up to eatyourbooks in an attempt to use my vast collection of recipe books without having to look through them all to find a recipe I can't remember where I saw. I can search it for recipes for butternut squash for example if I have one that needs using.

I try to have an idea about what the next 3 or so meals I will cook, so I know if any ingredients are needed - I choose based on what I fancy to eat and anything DP has suggested, or anything that needs using up. If anything is needed they go on the list and will be bought next time. I pass Aldi on the way home from work so go on average once or twice a week for anything fresh needed and to stock up on store cupboard stuff.

I also probably visit another supermarket once a month on average to stock up on the few bits that we don't like or can't get in Aldi. I also go to a farm shop about once every month or two for fresh meat for the freezer. Sounds like a lot of supermarket visits, but the Aldi hardly takes any time and I think it's quicker and certainly a lot cheaper than a regular weekly shop to one particular supermarket. Also because going twice a week means that don't have to keep fresh stuff too long and worry about useby dates.

What about things like condiments, tinned foods etc (things that have long dates) What about the non food items? Cleaning products, toiletries etc

Almost all of these come from Aldi and I tend to shop for the store cupboard. I am lucky that we have just had a new big kitchen built and keep stocks of tinned pulses, tomatoes, rice, pasta etc and have a floor to ceiling cupboard with about 10 shelves just for stuff like this. if we run out it goes on the list to be bought next time.

hairylittlegoblin Fri 22-Jan-16 11:41:37

DH and I have rolling shift patterns over a 6 week period with each of us out on different nights etc. In a fit of organisation last year I came up with a 6 week meal plan which I added to our Google calendar.

I then did shopping lists for each of the weeks and a list of essentials that needed checking each week. Those are saved to the calendar too.

So once a week whenever I have a spare 20 minutes or so I pull up the shopping lists and do an online shop. I do it through my supermarket.com which usually saves me a bit overall.

It's early days but I know we're saving money on the previous system (me wandering around co op after school run trying to think of something to cook before a night shift that didn't involve chips) and it feels a lot easier which is great.

I loathe food shopping.

SquidgeyMidgey Tue 26-Jan-16 18:55:16

I have 2 deliveries a week, on a Monday and on a Friday, to keep up topped up with fresh stuff. I plan dinners and weekend lunches and order what I need for those as well as whatever has run out and been put on the list. It's supremely lazy getting it all delivered but swinging a trolley round a supermarket winds me up something rotten.

WhoisLucasHood Tue 26-Jan-16 19:01:09

I do a meal plan on the calendar for 2-4 weeks. For the shopping list. I have a great app called out of milk. It keeps a pantry list of most bought that you can categorise for easy shopping. I go through the cupboards, fridge and freezer and tick the items needed which transfers to the shopping list.

CaptainWarbeck Wed 27-Jan-16 01:24:36

We do fortnightly food planning and buying. I use the app 'copy me that' to store all the recipes for meals we like/want to try, and sit down with that and DH to plan what we want.

We do fish once a week and one freezer meal and the rest is cooked from scratch. All ingredients from the meals get put on to one list and then we add in fridge food like yoghurts, hummus, fruit etc for lunch.

I tend to whip round the cupboards to see if we need top ups of anything tins/cleaning/toilet roll/toiletries etc and add that to the list. This stuff gets bought in bulk usually on offers so we have to do restocks less frequently.

I keep meaning to write a master list of boring stuff to check off against whether we need like cling film, toilet duck, toothpaste etc but haven't got round to it.

I would get our food delivered but we're in Oz and the websites and delivery are rubbish compared to UK so we just go in and get it ourselves. We spend more this way though. If only there was a good app I'd order it while the baby was asleep on me.

Then a written list gets stuck to the fridge of that fortnight's meals so when we're hungry and devoid of inspiration we can pick something off that and know the ingredients will be in already. Works okay for us and we save money by not wasting so much food. If there's a meal I can make double of then I will, and put half in the freezer.

rageagainsttheBIL Sat 30-Jan-16 08:35:30

We use Evernote to plan our shopping list - we write down that week's meals bearing in mind what we have to use up then work out what extra we have to buy eg what's not in cupboard or fridge. So the majority of that is fruit and veg, dairy products and bread.

The good thing about using Evernote is we can easily refer back to previous weeks for meal inspiration, and also have a Pinterest board if we are stuck.

We resolutely stick to the list, and do 3 big ships a month mostly in Sainsbury's. I walk round with my iPad ticking things off like a massive wanker... grin

I buy products I know we will use repeatedly on bulk when they're on special offer, and will go to B&M, Wilkos, Asda, health food shop or the local Asian supermarket to stock up on things that are much cheaper or only available there, things like cleaning products and pulses, plus things I'm fussy about like milk. We do top up or grocery shops at our brilliant local grocers.

We save a bit of money by sticking to a list, but the best thing is reducing waste and not being tempted to buy unhealthy stuff especially if it has a yellow sticker!

rageagainsttheBIL Sat 30-Jan-16 08:43:24

Shops not ships!

Oh worth adding we rarely buy any majorly processed food which I think saves us a lot of money. Eg we buy oats not cereal, plain yoghurt, make our own bread, hummus, pasta sauces, soups, juices, smoothies etc. Frozen fruit and veg are great for this too. Obviously it helps if you like cooking and are extremely unfussy eaters!

Paulat2112 Tue 02-Feb-16 14:24:56

I go shopping on a tuesday morning. On a monday night i have a look through my cupboards, fridge and freezer and see what meals i can make from what i already have. Then i will write my meal plan for the week adding in the meals i may already be able to make. Then on a separate piece of paper i then write down every i need from the supermarket to make those meals.

I also know that every week i toilet roll, kitchen roll, etc and i buy other household items when needed (washing up liquid, scourers, softener etc all last for several weeks).

Our meals are not set in stone and i tend to look online before i go shopping to see what offers are on in the supermarket so i can factor them into my meal plan if they are a good deal. We easily swap meals about the week, but i keep meals that require more work for the weekends or days when we don't have anything on at night. We don't have leftovers because i cook pretty much exactly what we need so we don't really have them. If we had one portion it could be frozen or eaten for lunch the next day smile

PuppyMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 14:34:37

No meal planning - buy everything I can in Aldi and if they don't sell it, I get it from B&M Bargains and if THEY don't sell it, then I'll do Tesco/Boots (it's usually toiletry type stuff only that I can't get from Aldi, also Belevita Breakfast Biscuits grin).

PuppyMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 14:36:16

Oh yes, and kitty litter and Fairy wash powder comes from Costco as and when needed.

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