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AIBU to think I should be able to spend less then £75 week on food?

(100 Posts)
writingmouse Fri 09-Jan-15 17:34:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youareallbonkers Fri 09-Jan-15 17:38:21

No, it should be easily doable. What are you buying?

Delphine31 Fri 09-Jan-15 17:41:09

I would be surprised if you could manage much lower than £75, given the inclusion of the non-food items there which all tend to be quite pricey.

I would have thought that if you went much lower than £75 you would jeopardise your ability to include decent fresh food in the budget.

If you can afford to spend a bit up front, you may be able to make savings by buying jumbo bags of rice/pasta that end up a bit cheaper per gram.

When I'm trying to cut back, I write a menu for the week based on what I already have in the freezer/cupboards and only buy the extra items required to make those meals, plus fruit and basic store cupboard ingredients to whip up some cheap biscuits or something for treats.

kinkyfuckery Fri 09-Jan-15 17:44:00

Do you have a Poundland/Home Bargains for non-food items?

londonrach Fri 09-Jan-15 17:44:30

Poundshop, wilkinsons for shampoo, toilet and cleaning stuff. I like toilet duck which is £1 in the poundshop. 3 meats for £10. This can last longer than 3 dats if you choose for example the chicken etc. Avoid waitrose for veg as its overpriced, use morrison for that. I managed on £20-£30 per week for two people but think without lidl id struggle. I hate pasta so used alot of bugler wheat. Good luck x

Gautami Fri 09-Jan-15 17:44:49

Can you post your last food bill?

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 09-Jan-15 17:46:25

Yes it is possible, but you need work hard. I do all grocery shopping for two adults and one ten year old including pet food, toiletries and cleaning products for £50 per week averaged over a month. I cook from scratch all the time with fresh fruit and vegetables. You need to menu plan, use cheap cuts of meat and buy when things are on offer.
Roast chicken should give three of you at least three if not four meals
Roast chicken
Chicken rissotto
Chicken pasta bake

Anomaly Fri 09-Jan-15 17:46:29

I think £75 is great to be honest especially if you're including pet food.

We've cut back by no longer giving the kids much in the way of treats pudding is fruit or yoghurt. Snacks are fruit.

Shakirasma Fri 09-Jan-15 17:47:38

Is there really no aldi or lidless you could get to.

Our house consists of 3 adults and 2 children and my usual £115 per week shop at asda now costs me about £70 per week at aldi, including all household, toiletries and pet food.

That's for good quality fresh food. Any extra travel costs would be outweighed by savings.

BlackeyedSantaStuckUpAChimney Fri 09-Jan-15 17:50:12

have you done the obvious things like moving down one product level (eg brand to supermarket own?)

eat less meat? buy a whole chicken rather than portions. which fish do you buy, is there a cheaper version?

can you feeze when offers are on?

morrisons is a bit tricky. they have started going down in price, some things are cheaper than aldi and others more expensive.

Pensionerpeep Fri 09-Jan-15 17:50:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HighwayDragon Fri 09-Jan-15 17:51:12

What on earth are you buying?! I spend 40-50 a week on 2 adults 1dc and a cat.

Royalsighness Fri 09-Jan-15 17:51:24

Maybe try amazon for non food items, they are always really expensive at places like waitrose, Morrisons and sainsburys. Not sure if they even sell them in Iceland. I know it's a cliche but I try and cook atleast 3 vegetarian dinners a week using things like lentils, beans and chickpeas.Gordon Ramsay has some really good lentil recipes. It's a shame you don't live by a lidl or Aldi because I shop at lidl and manage to spend about 40 quid a week now feeding me, DH and DS. Home bargains is good for cleaning products or any pound shops.

Royalsighness Fri 09-Jan-15 17:52:21

I use washing up liquid and water for cleaning but didn't want to sound like a slattern! grin

balia Fri 09-Jan-15 17:52:42

If you need to, you can definitely get it down to less than £75. Are you meal planning?

MinceSpy Fri 09-Jan-15 17:54:34

If you work then you may simply not have the time to go to various shops. I think you are doing really well to produce 21 breakfasts, 21 dinners, 5 lunches, 6 weekend lunches and all household and pet extras for £75 a week. That's 57 meals.

Guiltismymaster Fri 09-Jan-15 17:55:24

I live in Aber, miles from any Asdas or Tescos but Asda will deliver for £1!

Royalsighness Fri 09-Jan-15 17:55:39

Wilkinsons is another good place! And yes I agree the veg from Aldi is lovely! And the meat from Lidl is brilliant and you can get 3 freshly baked crossaints for a pound, this is a luxury item for me but it's much cheaper than anywhere else!

XiCi Fri 09-Jan-15 18:02:14

Another one that thinks you are doing really well to get all lunches, dinners, toiletries, cleaning stuff and pet food for £75. That is really impressive.
If you have a home bargains near you that will probably cut down the cost of the toiletries and cleaning stuff
I think if you cut down your food bill any more you would probably be seriously compromising the quality of the food.
You're doing really well. Expect a load of posters that miraculously feed a family of 5 on £20 a week and make a chicken last 5 days though

ChristmasMoaner1 Fri 09-Jan-15 18:02:33

Can't you do an asda online shop? Then you'll be able to see it all listed on the screen and how much it comes to. I find asda cheaper than Morrison's.

My asda shop is about £80/90 for 2 adult and 2 toddlers but it covers nappies, wipes, any medicines needed, cat and guinea pig food, all toiletries, all cleaning products, breakfast, lunch and dinner for 6 days for all of us.

Gautami Fri 09-Jan-15 18:07:22

I cant get 4 meals out of one chicken even if it is a big one. 3 at the most.

I do all my shopping at Sainsbury's for about 45 a week for 4 of us. Then on top I get a big fruit and veg box from Abel & Cole for 20 or 26.

Here's what works for me:
Meal plan
and use all leftovers
No snacks
Batch of home-made cakes/crumble/pie each week (use up leftover fruit)
Big pan of soup from leftover veg.
only have meat twice a week. I get good quality meat, cheap when in season and freeze, from Abel & Cole or local butcher.
Use cleaning products and toiletries sparingly.

writingmouse Fri 09-Jan-15 18:15:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mammanat222 Fri 09-Jan-15 18:20:09

There is always deals on cleaning stuff? I buy whatever is a quid (currently Flash with bleach. Or else use own brand) and I certainly don't get through a bottle a week even though I use it daily?

Use own brand laundry stuff.

Pet stuff can be cheaper online.

Agree about having veggie meals a few times a week. When we're skint I do cheap meals a few times a week (jacket spud / omelette and salad / veggie pasta bake)

As for household toiletries - what do you need to buy weekly? Other than loo roll?

Gautami Fri 09-Jan-15 18:20:14

Do you have a woodyard near you? you can sometimes get free wood shavings from them.

I use this stuff for the GP's. a 30 litre bag lasts about a month.

AmyElliotDunne Fri 09-Jan-15 18:21:28

I spend about twice that for me and 3 DCs, so I'm not really qualified to give much advice, but I manage to do that without any planning or consideration. I imagine if I meal-planned and bought things with a bit more thought I could get it down to £100 though.

I haven't ever managed to cut my bills as low as you would like to, but I do try to save money where I can and I agree about the bulk buying, I get rice in 5kg sacks as they save about 30% per kg. I also shop at Costco every couple of months, where I have to buy 2 massive bottles of ketchup at a time and huge bags of raisins, 12 cans of tomatoes etc. but it means I don't buy them again for months, so it evens out.

I buy beans from B&M or poundland type shops where Branston beans (which I prefer to Heinz and which my local Tesco seem to have discontinued) are often £1.50 for 4 cans, rather than the standard £2.50 ish for Heinz. FWIW I've tried own brand beans and they're horrible!

Tesco ketchup is also nicer than Heinz, so when I run out of my gargantuan bottles I will buy that.

However, basics like pasta don't really matter if they are value brand or not, so one of Martin Lewis' top tips is to try the brand level below the one you usually buy.

For pasta I just looked on Tescos at Linguine to see what the differences are:

Premium branded (Filotea £15 per kg)
Supermarket Finest/posh version (Finest £3.40 per kg)
Normal branded (De Cecco £3.10 per kg)
Supermarket own brand (£1.78 per kg)
Supermarket pretend brand (They used to have Trattoria Verde, but it seems to have disappeared, replaced by Don Mario - no linguine but pasta twists £1.00 per kg)
Value (no linguine but spaghetti 60p per kg)

It's all still flour and water, but varies so much, mainly due to packaging. I admit that sometimes posh pasta does have a slightly different taste/texture, but not enough to warrant a £15/kg price tag!

While I'm sure you're not buying that top end stuff on £75 a week, it just shows how much prices vary and Waitrose will probably be at the high end of that. However, I find that the higher prices in Waitrose stop me buying as many impulse purchases, while Tescos assault me with BOGOFs and 'Only £1' deals all over the place, so I come out having spent much more than I intended to.

Breakfast cereals are expensive and not brilliant for you, porridge however, is both cheap and healthy. It's also a good way to use up last weeks squishy bananas and bruised apples if you chop/grate them into it. Otherwise a square of dark chocolate or Nutella mixed in is always welcome.

Dinner-wise, baked potatoes (put something else in the oven to make the most of the electricity being used), stew & dumplings, curries etc can all make the meat go further with lots of veg included.

Risotto is a good way to use a bit of leftover roast chicken for example. I make stock from the carcass when I can be arsed, but otherwise, a stock cube and some dried mushrooms (+ soaking liquid) add lots of flavour.

Similarly puddings, making a cake is super cheap and much nicer than a bought one, homemade rice pudding (buy any old short grain rice, whether for risotto/paella or rice pudding) uses only a couple of tbs of rice and sugar plus a pint of milk (I use half water to make the milk go further and a splash of cream to add the creaminess back in at the end), so the whole thing costs less than a can of Ambrosia, but you get twice as much and it is so much better.

Sorry if these are all obvious suggestions, but thought I'd share some of my ideas in case they can help!

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