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Spending too much on food

(23 Posts)
sniffle12 Sun 23-Apr-17 14:53:49

I'm in two minds. After a run today I fancied a salad for the protein and vitamins.

Went to Tesco, bought spinach, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, dressing, chicken, and a bread roll for croutons. Also bought some strawberries and plain yoghurt for later as they're back in season and looked delicious!

All this came to £13 - for lunch (albeit for two of us with some of the veg left over for another day) and my first thought was 'God I spend too much on food.'

But then I immediately thought that if I'm going to 'waste' money on anything, it might as well be good quality food that's going to hopefully prolong my life and enjoyment thereof, rather than clothes or something which I could equally waste money on. I also think food (especially fresh salad and fresh meat) are just plain expensive at the moment.

What do you think? Do you feel that you spend too much on food, or do you think it's worth spending a bit of money for your health?

BackforGood Sun 23-Apr-17 15:01:02

Surely it all depends on your budget?

I think, in general, you will spend a lot more if you go out specifically for one meal, rather than organising a weekly shop.

Thecontentedcat Sun 23-Apr-17 15:06:50

Our food budget has gone up recently, fresh fruit and veg is definitely more expensive. We are switching to frozen veg where we can, and eating more pulses instead of meat too, to try and cut back. I think inflation is biting.

Devorak Sun 23-Apr-17 15:07:03

On one hand, you correct that spending money on healthy eating is value for money.

On the other it sounds like a lot and I never rate strawberries (esp. from the supermarket). I bet the dressing was expensive and a false economy as you can easily make it yourself. I've never liked spinach as a raw vegetable and wilted doesn't go with the other ingredients. I'd use chicken or avocado in a salad (although again, they're always disappointing from supermarkets).

It sounds like an expensive mis-match of ingredients. A lettuce, tomato, cucumber and chicken salad with a little extra virgin would be a lovely chicken garden salad and significantly less.

UppityHumpty Sun 23-Apr-17 15:10:33

I bought the same things the other day in huge quantities for £20 from CostCo for the month for 3 of us. Bought all the fruit and veg as loose or frozen, bought the chicken frozen.

Oysterbabe Sun 23-Apr-17 15:21:00

If you're living within your means then it doesn't matter.

haveacupoftea Sun 23-Apr-17 15:24:11

Every time I go shopping I think what would Greg Wallace make of what I'm putting in my trolley blush I hear his voice in my head shouting at me when I go for a BOGOF of something I neither need nor want. Saves me a fortune!

Cagliostro Sun 23-Apr-17 15:29:40

I agree that it's worth spending money on decent healthy food (within reason and not leaving you short elsewhere)

SleepFreeZone Sun 23-Apr-17 15:42:25

If you can afford to eat like this then enjoy the food!

BahHumbygge Sun 23-Apr-17 16:03:14

Dressing - get a empty jar, glug of olive oil, glug of wine or cider vinegar. Add your choice of the following - lemon juice, honey, mustard, herbs, seasoning, crushed garlic. Shake together. You've probably 'earned' over a pound in less than a minute using your own ingredients over ready made. And healthier, with no emulsifiers or additives.

Do you have any outside space at all? In the tiniest patio you can grow spinach in pots, tomatoes in hanging baskets, you can even grow land cress on a windowsill.

I've bought 3 avocados for a pound on a market stall recently, which has lower price markups than the big supermarkets.

But if the ingredients last over several meals, then £13 isn't so bad, just try and look out for special offers and adjust your meal plan accordingly.

jimijack Sun 23-Apr-17 16:08:28

I did when I shopped at Asda and Tesco, I don't now that I shop at Aldi.
We have dropped our food shopping spend by 2/3.

I often fill the trolley to the top then get to the till and the final cost and want to say to the checkout person "are you sure it's not more than that?"
It's such excellent value.

ImperialBlether Sun 23-Apr-17 16:09:56

Do you have a Lidl near you? You would have found it a lot cheaper there.

AtleastitsnotMonday Sun 23-Apr-17 16:25:59

I think it all depends on whether you can afford it. Personally I can afford it and therefore don't begrudge paying out for the food I enjoy. However if buying such things was putting me into debt or meaning I couldn't do or buy something else then I would have to adjust. Like others have pointed out there are ways of having a similar meal at a significantly reduced price if you wanted or needed to. But I do also agree that food prices have gone up a fair bit of late. Also I think you really need to factor in what you have left over, I would probably think that the £13 shop would probably leave a similar amount for 2 people to have a very similar meal again.

Pinkheart5915 Sun 23-Apr-17 18:53:11

people's budget and priorities play a big part. Me and dh are lucky in that we can afford to spend what we like on shopping, and quality of food is important to us. I personally don't feel we spend too much

Meat ( only eat it once a week) always from the butcher, imo supermarket meat never tastes as good.

Fish, we get from the fish van that comes to our village once a week

Most fruit/veg comes from farm shop or farmers market, we also grow some veg & strawberries ourselves. I think this veg/fruit is much better quality than a supermarket

sonyaya Sun 23-Apr-17 19:12:48

If you can afford it, anything that promotes your health such as nutritious food is never a waste

sniffle12 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:23:19

I guess it helps balance it out that I've now just bought a reduced ready meal for £1.50 haha blush

I have been to Aldi/Lidl before and also couldn't believe the final price, I guess my only reservation is why it's so cheap - is it just because the fruit/veg is just a bit smaller/wonkier (which I don't mind) or is it because it's pesticided to the limit/exploiting farmers? (Not that I'm under any illusions that Tesco's standard range isnt probably that to an extent sad)

When I eat meat I do also tend to only buy the free range stuff, since discovering that you can get 2 quite reasonably sized free range breasts from Tesco for £3.50 or less if you root through the shelf for the cheapest packs. Which I'm guessing Aldi, Lidl and co don't offer?

DonaldStott Sun 23-Apr-17 19:28:44

You can get a free range chicken from lidl for abt 4 quid odd. You would be buying the whole chicken, but you could use it over a couple of meals and I am a proper northern mum grin I use the bones to make a stock and save for another meal.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sun 23-Apr-17 19:28:51

If it was down to me, we'd be on Jack Monroe recipes every night of the week. Luckily for us DH does the food shopping out of his money. I don't ask him how much it costs cos I don't want to know grin
DH would definitely have bought that salad and I would have eaten it.

Rainydayspending Sun 23-Apr-17 19:29:45

The fresh salads are essentials foodwise! YANBU to spend there over luxuries such as ice cream or convenience foods.

CottonSock Sun 23-Apr-17 19:31:59

Some meals cost more than others, you probably don't spend that on each meal

BlueSofaPinkLamp Sun 23-Apr-17 19:48:22

I'm like that, I spend a fortune on organic fresh fruit and veg and decent quality meat because we can afford it and therefore I feel like there is no downside to buying better quality and plenty of it.

This week alone we have got through about 10 punnets of fresh berries and I've had to do veg, fruit and salad top up shops 3 or 4 times at about £20 each time!

BahHumbygge Sun 23-Apr-17 20:14:16

You can get massive bags of frozen berries in Lidl (1kg) for not much more than a couple of quid... much cheaper than those punnets of fresh berries and little difference in nutrition.

BlueSofaPinkLamp Sun 23-Apr-17 20:30:10

But the taste difference is huge, frozen berries don't compare to fresh at all I find. I do however always have a bag of frozen berries in the freezer for adding to porridge or smoothies etc

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