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What's your average family grocery spend in Ireland?

(60 Posts)
AgesAndAges Thu 19-Sep-19 19:25:22

I'm always interested in these threads but I find it's hard to equate UK spends to Irish as the prices vary.

We are a family of 2 adults and 3 small kids. I normally shop in Tesco though I've found they have gotten very expensive recently. Our shop was always €90-€120 before, but these days I'm finding it difficult to keep below €140. That covers all meals, school lunches, dh's lunch most days, toiletries and earning products. Oh and nappies wipes for the youngest.

Am I realistic to think I could do it for less? I cook from scratch most days and have a small repertoire of very cheap meals that I mix in with dearer ones. I'd like to be more frugal without scrimping.

I used to shop in Lidl but found it wasn't
too much cheaper than Tesco and I couldn't order online or do click and collect so switched to tesco for convenience. I sometimes shop in SV and find them the most expensive, but their produce is aways fantastic and they are the only company who deliver to our address so it's a toss up.

How much do other Irish families spend?

OP’s posts: |
FurryDogMother Thu 19-Sep-19 19:47:20

We (2 adults, 2 dogs and a cat) spend between €90 and €100 a week at Tesco for absolutely everything (cleaning stuff, loo rolls etc + food). There's always 'extra' food (meat, veg and so on) in the freezer. We're in the middle of nowhere, so my husband does a click and collect (no deliveries available to us) on his way home from work - going to Lidl or similar would cost extra in petrol. The only thing we top up on is milk if he forgets to put it in the fridge (I don't use milk) and it goes off. Our weekly budget is including one or two Christmas items at the moment (cranberry sauce, bread sauce mix etc.) so that doesn't all happen at once. We could probably bring our weekly spend down to around €70 if we had to.

Whoseagooddoggiethen Thu 19-Sep-19 19:57:19

Im disastrous to be honest. I go to shop for milk and spend 40 euro. Im a stocker upper though. Recently tassimo pods were selling 3 packs for 10 instead of 5.99 a pack so i bought 18 packs! Same when fairy liquitabs etc on offer. IF i was to average it out it COULD be 90 per week for one adult, two preteens and three pets. I shop between alsi and dublin meat company.

AgesAndAges Thu 19-Sep-19 20:11:28

Interesting answers. Before we had kids, our weekly shop was always €70-80, but I cooked from scratch less and bought more expensive meats and branded stuff.

Whose DH is terrible for that, send him in for bread and he comes out with €50 worth of random nothing 🙈

Need to start picking up Christmas bits and bobs too, though I try to save clubcard vouchers through the year to cover a lot of it.

OP’s posts: |
Byebyebyebyebye Thu 19-Sep-19 20:15:47

I usually spend anywhere from 60-80 a week. Sometimes less. Family of 4 (two dc age 6 and 4) I meal plan and portion plan. I shop in lidl...I don’t go near tesco!!

AgesAndAges Thu 19-Sep-19 20:23:27

That's really good bye! What kind of meals do you typically eat? We like big portions, for example, if we were having pasta or rice, we would use a whole 500g to feed all of us. Or a kilo of potatoes. And if we were having chicken thighs, we need a whole kilo pack of them to fill us too.

OP’s posts: |
Byebyebyebyebye Thu 19-Sep-19 20:42:40

I have posted this before under a different username actually 😂
So for that week I had the following meals;
1.Honey and soy salmon with rice and veggies (a mix of carrots,green beans and sugar snaps)
2.Sausage casserole (main ingredients are sausages, potatoes, carrot, swede and butternut squash(which were at home)tinned tomatoes and veg stock(at home)
3.Spring chicken (nigella Lawson recipe; main ingredients are chicken, celery, leeks, smoked bacon rashers, and cider) I already had frozen peas for it at home and dried tarragon
4.Prawns I cooked in a tomato based sauce with 1/3 of each red/yellow pepper, green beans and broccoli. And had with cous cous (which we had at home)
5. Bacon pasta which is basically pasta with bacon and peppers, broccoli in a white sauce made from flour, salt pepper and milk.
6. Fish fingers with baby potatoes, baby corn, frozen peas, carrots and broccoli. Etc
7. Stir fry chicken with whatever veggies are left in the fridge, served with egg noodles.

My advice is to possibly start with a “BIG” shop of staples such as
Rice, cous cous, pasta
And items such as chopped ginger, chopped garlic, soy sauce, and then you top up as you go along. It’s very rare that I run out of pasta and rice in the same week to be honest. So I usually only need 2-3 “staples” every 2 weeks. I don’t cook too much although I sometimes seem to have a bit leftover for my lunch at work (for example the casserole, pasta and the spring chicken in that menu.We don’t eat HUGE portions but I bulk some things out with lentils and we eat a good bit of veggies too. Hope this helps. I definitely think meal/portion planning and reducing waste is the way forward! I have VERY little food waste.

chartreuse Thu 19-Sep-19 20:51:06

I spend around 200-250 a week, although I am feeding 6 adults/teens. My main shop is usually Tesco then I top up with bread from SV (their bread is the best) and random bits from local shops. I used to buy treats from M&S on Fridays but I'm trying to stop that as it's impossible to leave without a basket of things you didn't intend to buy when you went in. I went to Dunnes recently, I never usually shop there, and I was very surprised, it was lovely. Might try a big shop there but I love the self scan thing at Tesco, saves so much time!

Outsomnia Thu 19-Sep-19 20:51:57

Was visiting in Ireland recently. The food costs are a little higher than UK. Family used Aldi a lot. Great food, (few branded), and the checkout bill compared to other multiples was much lower in comparison.

But Dunnes (another Irish based supermarket) have either a five euro or ten euro discount on your next shop depending on whether you spend 25E or 50E first off. Don't know how they do it, unless they raise the prices of everything in store to compensate.

Anyway I found the quality of food in Ireland was really good. Just to say. Others might disagree of course.

Byebyebyebyebye Thu 19-Sep-19 20:59:26

As someone who lived in the uk for years!! Yes @Outsomnia I find the food quality here FAR better! It’s sad really.

Thirder Thu 19-Sep-19 21:05:16

I eember that after a few years in London, coming home and being able to taste the food!
It's not that UK supermarket food wasn't good, but maybe the city dulls your taste senses or something. But OMG, a sliced pan with real butter and real ham tasted amazing!

AgesAndAges Thu 19-Sep-19 21:14:47

Ooh thanks for the receipt bye, very helpful! I'm impressed that you managed to get a fab variety of fruit in (plus the cider grin ). Will have to compare to my own receipts and see what's different.

Outsomnia funny you should say that, we were in the UK recently and shipped in Asda and I found it quite expensive compared to home! But may have just been the type of stuff we were buying.

I like Dunnes but our local shop is a nightmare to get around. They have a great range of food but I do find them quite expensive and think they deffo raise the prices of branded items to be able to keep offering €10 off €50 vouchers.

I find SuperValu the best for vouchers, they're always sending me money off coupons. But it's so hard to keep the price of a shop down with them, and their range of food isn't the best.

Our Aldi is the cheapest, but the fruit/veg/bread goes mouldy after 2-3 days so no good to me sad

OP’s posts: |
Outsomnia Thu 19-Sep-19 21:17:04

I have never enjoyed a white bread combo of mature Irish cheese and Tayto cheese and onion crisps ever. I salivate now for this. And this thread is not helping me!

The ham is so lovely, the beef is to die for and so tasty. Fish is gorgeous.

Must go back very soon.

turkeyboots Thu 19-Sep-19 21:21:42

I spend about 100 a week in Dunnes. The vouchers are really good. No SuperValu anywhere near, but have a decent Lidl. I find Tesco really expensive, I seem to spend twice as much on half the shopping.

Outsomnia Thu 19-Sep-19 21:27:51

I meant to say I have never enjoyed a mature cheddar and Tayto crisp sandwich BETTER! So gorgeous.
Sorry, my fingers can trip over the keyboard now and then!

Whoseagooddoggiethen Thu 19-Sep-19 22:53:33

I hate Dunnes. I will literally shop anywhere else. I love aldi and lidl but right beside a big tesco. My pets are food snobs and only dine on whiskas for one and perfect 10 for the others. Boys eat so much fruit n veg so all i spend on meat is me cos unless its something from a chicken fillet they wont eat it. I buy natural goods and cook from scratch but the price of fruitn veg here is mad. I agree we do eat far superior foods to the uk though.

Whoseagooddoggiethen Thu 19-Sep-19 22:55:39

Tayto on fresh white brennans bread crunched up is best if you have lathered on laughing cow spreadable cheese first. To die for.

DramaAlpaca Thu 19-Sep-19 23:28:56

Food quality is far superior in Ireland, without a doubt, especially meat & dairy produce. Though I do miss the variety of cheeses you get in the UK. Grocery shopping is more expensive here certainly.

I shop mainly in Supervalu as it's the only one locally & find it good. If I venture further afield I go to Aldi, Lidl or Dunnes if I've got a voucher that's still in date. Tesco is very expensive I think.

I'm not sure what I spend on average, I tend to shop every few days with a big shop around once a month.

Superlooper Thu 19-Sep-19 23:36:50

Lots of top up shops here so I have no idea! Must track it some time. Really depends what you are buying, there's a massive price difference, say, between blueberries and apples. And carrots and snack peppers. And branded cleaning products and own brand cleaning products. And the treat stuff can be expensive- chocolate, cake, alcohol. Maybe put up a receipt? It does seem quite high if every is from scratch. But then it is all your meals plus nappies so may be not

AnOojamaflip Thu 19-Sep-19 23:42:57

About 80-100 (2 adults, 2 teenagers).

Big shop would usually be 80, then 20ish top up of bread, cheese, etc stuff that teenagers inhale!!

mawi Thu 19-Sep-19 23:44:11

I shop in Dunnes first and use my €10 of €50 voucher. Bill usually comes in below €55 so that's €45 and then I head to aldi and spend between €10 & €15 on fruit, veg & cereal. And then I keep another €20 for top ups that we never use the whole €20 unless we have a takeaway. So approx €75. That's 2 adults, 1 teen and 1 tween, 1 dog. I meal plan but it's not stuck to if I find a bargain the meal plan changes. Dunnes at 7pm has meat greatly reduced.

HappyBumbleBee Thu 19-Sep-19 23:48:32

I'd say we spend around €100/120 a week....sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less. 2 adults, 2 adult sons and a teenager. Usually do a big shop at Lidl every other week and Tesco's in between for top up on bread butter milk etc x

7Days Thu 19-Sep-19 23:57:43

I'm an aldi fan. I'd spend a good 100 in there every week and another 40 ish at least topping up locally. Were a family of 5, 3 kids under 12. Also That Bloody Cat meows for the good stuff.
This includes alcohol as well as we'd easily open a few beers every second or 3 rd evening.

I can and do cut it during lean times. I'm trying not to use much plastic so theres less convenience stuff and more mega paper sacks of spuds. Everyone of them is so damn fussy.

While were all hear has anyone good meal ideas or tips?

AgesAndAges Fri 20-Sep-19 09:53:53

I'm surprised and a little intrigued at all the Dunnes lovers, I have to say I have always found them almost on par with SV for expense. Might have to give them another try to see.

I do always meal plan and mostly manage to stick to my list (thanks to online shopping) As pp suggested, I also have a well stocked store cupboard with rice/pasta/couscous etc.

Will post last week's receipt and meal plan later.

OP’s posts: |
BiddyPop Fri 20-Sep-19 10:24:33

In our area, we have a reasonable SV, a Tesco express, a Dunnes express, 3 Lidls, an Aldi, and a short drive to a (was good when SQ but crap now SV) larger SV beside a smallish M&S, a large Tesco and a large Dunnes (3 different directions to those larger ones). And also a few good deli's and butchers, and 1 veg shop and 2 decent fish shops. And there's a larger M&S near my office.

I alternate between the local SV (most weeks realistically) and local Dunnes for most of my weekly shopping, but get a fair amount in Lidl and the independent shops as well. Local Tesco is handy to get milk or emergency bits on the way home from school after work (I collect teenage DD after her sports on my way home - and she's often "starving"!).

I occasionally go to the larger Dunnes to do a pantry stores refill big shop. And I occasionally use one of the others if it suits where I am and what I need to do.

Generally, I had been managing on a budget of €700/month up to the middle of last year, when I upped it to €750 - I have just recently upped it again to €800 per month.

I am reasonably happy with that figure because I do track my spending, and the annual average does work out at that. Some months I am working through the stores I have and the garden is producing veg so I spend less. Other months, work is bananas so convenience takes priority, the stores have been run down, or there are big events that need extras (or I see lots of special offers on things I use anyway and do a big extra stocking up - particularly the extra €10 off 6 bottles of wine when there are other specials on wine we like, or 20% back in loyalty card on wine, and I build my stocks for entertaining at Christmas etc).

The grocery budget includes cleaning materials, alcohol, food for home, I often get a bag of food in M&S for my office desk (milk (for fridge), fruit, nuts and dried fruit, some crisps) and snacks to have in the car for teenage DD to not go into hormonal meltdown when she is starving!

I try to cook from scratch but life has got too hectic recently so I spend on good quality sauces etc (like Bombay Pantry fresh curry sauces to add to freshly cooked chicken and throw in some frozen peas for veg). I do batch cook when I can so there are some curries and shepherd's pies and lasagnas in the freezer, as well as chicken breasts, mince beef, meatballs, good sausages etc. And tastes do change - so DD has become more interested in a well-filled bagel as an evening meal rather than a substantial dinner (there is lots of salad in it and some meat) but is also looking for eggs for breakfast some mornings when it used to be daily cereal - eggs with some ham, cheese and tomato are good energy for her, so I try to make sure I have those ingredients in always.

This weeks mealplan:
Sunday - DH and DD had a frozen pizza (as I was away travelling for work)
Monday - DH and DD had fresh pasta toretellini and a fresh sauce (I was home at midnight)
Tuesday - DD had a bagel while DH and I had burger and chips later (we were both out at different meetings and weren't home until after 9)
Wed - DD had a pizza, while DH and I had pasta with chicken and mushrooms in a cream/wine sauce (DH had another late meeting so I cooked after I'd finished some work at home)
Thurs - DH and DD got a schnitzel thing in Lidl en route home (I was out at a work thing) forgetting there was chicken and a curry sauce in the fridge
Fri - we are all home, and we are all having the chicken curry tonight planned for last night (all well in date still)
Sat - might BBQ if weather holds
Sun - not a clue yet

This is a particularly bad week.
I used to make Monday's dinner (a curry sauce, bolognaise sauce, chilli, lasagna, fish pie etc) on Sunday afternoons when I was in the kitchen anyway making a roast dinner - but DD hates roasts and we are now busy with other things, so it's less frequent. But I do occasionally - the "Monday" dinner is a double batch and the second half is frozen for another time.

But an average good week would be:
Mon - Chilli con carne (hopefully made over the weekend to just reheat)
Tues - chicken fajitas with plenty of salad bits and veg - still fresh things from weekend shopping
Wed - simple fish curry or chicken stirfry or a meal from freezer
Thurs - something quick for DD (before evening activity) and then a chop and potatoes type dinner for DH and I (meat from freezer)
Fri - something simple to put together or from freezer to reheat or an M&S ready meal or a takeaway

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