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ok so I spend £80 on food a week and everyone was shocked. but can't seem to cut down my food costs. anyone help?

(65 Posts)
cleoowen Thu 15-Aug-13 13:35:53

As the title days. Just did big food shop for new month (our finances run from 16 th to 16th) can anyone tell Me where going wrong. This was a massive shop and would expect it to last longer than a week. I got carried away on yoghurts I know.

Bananas x6 81p
Half cucumber 40p
Peppers x2 packs £1
Spinach 1.75
Grapes 0.670 kg 2.26
Lemons x5 1.50
Broccoli 1
Nectarines family pack 2.00
Frozen mixed fruit for ds 1.39
Pears x4 2.50
Onions x3 1.00
Kiwi for ds 30
Twin sweetcorn 1.00
Streddies 3.39
Frusli bars 1.98
6 frozen salmon 10.00
Frozen prawns 2.50
Card 4.00
Stripes of beef
X2 packs of beef 7.00 each
Wrapping paper 1.20
tesco cereal 1.99
Smoked salmon x 5
Beef 7.00
Tomatoes x3 tinned 0.34 value ones
Red pesto 80p
Bread rolls 70p
12 crumpets 80p
Frozen fish fillets 2
Alpro yoghurt for ds1.25
Milk 1.39
X8 value chicken 6.16
500g beef mince x2 8.00
Soft cheese 1.10
Tomatoes puree 71p
Petits filous x2 pack of 4 2.00
Shortbread tub 2.00 having friends over
Fresh bread 1.60
Frozen mango chunks for ds 1.99
X4 tins of tuna chunks 4.40
Worcester sauce 1.19
5kg potatoes 4.00
Cocoa powder for baking 2.28
Pasta sauce x2 3.00
Pasta 95p
Bacon 16 rashes 4
Flake deserts 4 for 3.00
Pork pies x2 3.00
Finest yoghurts 4 for 3.00
Pesto 80p
Vanilla frosting for baking 2.25
Marshmallow for baking 1.30
Bacon lardons 1.50
Caster sugar 78p
Vanilla essence 99p
Pate 65p
Total 139.95
All Traci value or tesco own apart from yoghurts,pesto,
I know there's lots of yoghurts and lunch stuff as trying to encourage dh to take lunch to work to save money and he's very fussy. Any other savings that could be made?

Crumbed ham from deli 3.31
Rice chrispies

Pootles2010 Thu 15-Aug-13 13:37:12

Well I think you need to start with your meal plan first. How many are in your family?

cleoowen Thu 15-Aug-13 13:38:44

Oh smoked salmon 3.75
Stripes of beef 4.00

Cravingdairy Thu 15-Aug-13 13:53:38

There is a lot of meat and fish, can you stretch it a bit - adding more veg to casseroles etc? Most of us could stand to eat less meat. I don't see much veg at all, have you stocks in the freezer? Or are the family not big fans?

Thatsinteresting Thu 15-Aug-13 14:01:45

Do you have a plan for this food or are you just throwing in what you fancy or is on offer? Our house is vegetarian do my view is skewed but you seem to have a lot of meat/fish for one week. Swap flake desserts for a value cheesecake £1.80 (?) or cookies ftom bakery (£1.50), couple of value biscuits 40p or make some cheap brownies. There's lots of options. You could make pasta sauce (tin tomatoes, onion, herbs, garlic total 50p). It depends on how much time and money you have. Convenience costs money. If you spend time meal planning and always cook from scratch you will save money but it does take time. You could try picking some cheaper alternatives and eating a few more mest free meals.

WetGrass Thu 15-Aug-13 14:07:16

Half cucumber 40p half?
Grapes 0.670 kg 2.26 i don't think much of grapes - sugary filler really - and don't keep well
Nectarines family pack 2.00 luxury
Pears x4 2.50 on a budget, apples are cheaper
Frusli bars 1.98 luxury
Frozen prawns 2.50 luxury
Card 4.00 luxury. Buy cards in bulk, or get blanks and get DC to decorate them with guidance
Stripes of beef
X2 packs of beef 7.00 each there is a lot of meat here...
Smoked salmon luxury
Red pesto 80p pesto is just flavored salt, really....
X8 value chicken 6.16 save money below - but spare yourself value chicken. I presume not whole chicken- which cut?
500g beef mince x2 8.00 cheapeer frozen
Petits filous x2 pack of 4 2.00 - branded sugary filler food. &yoghurt is healthier than fromage frais
Shortbread tub 2.00 having friends over shirtbread is particularly cheap & easy to make from scratch... I'd say £1 homemade
Frozen mango chunks for ds 1.99 its expensive - but obviously nice & better value than fresh
Pasta sauce x2 3.00 too much. Home made in SC with 30p tins of tomato is the way to go
Pasta 95p value? What quantity ?
Pork pies x2 3.00 junk food
Finest yoghurts 4 for 3.00 yeah! Optional, for sure
Vanilla frosting for baking 2.25 this is a rip off- homemade cheaper & nicer - or dab on melted chocolate & top with a smartie
Marshmallow for baking 1.30 mini ones? This seems a bit overpriced
Bacon lardons 1.50 just cut up bacon. Foreign name =markup

MumnGran Thu 15-Aug-13 14:19:38

When you say "everyone was shocked", if it is OK within your budget, then stop comparing it to other people.....who may make economies you don't need to, or equally may pay a lot more for some items than you would be prepared to.

FWIW I don't see much wrong with your list. My bills were up around this figure when 2DCs were at home, and that was quite some years ago. I see some items on your list which will extend into future weeks, and if you are someone who uses pre-bought frostings because you don't really bake, and you can afford it ....fine. I don't see the cleaning/laundry products which always added a chunk more onto my bills, but you may have excluded those or just be fully stocked already.

If you are looking to save money because you need/want to economise, then do as others have suggested and write the meal list first so you only shop for those items. Going 'off piste' is what racks up shopping bills ....the big retailers know exactly how to manipulate people into over spending!!

Leopoldina Thu 15-Aug-13 14:23:46

substitute half the meat there for more vegetables (you have v little fresh on there) and canned beans / pulses. Healthier meals and much cheaper.

NotAroundTheEyes Thu 15-Aug-13 14:28:16

If you can afford it, where's the problem? Up to you what you spend!

If you can't afford it there are some pretty profligate items there.

For eg salmon is a treat if you're on a budget (or if you're not!) - mackerel is cheaper for instance.

Kidsarekarma Thu 15-Aug-13 15:02:51

Are you near an Aldi? Because everything on your list (where available) is cheaper there.

And £4 for a card is very expensive. Card factory has lovely cards, wrapping paper, etc for a fraction if the cost of anywhere else.

treaclesoda Thu 15-Aug-13 15:06:59

how many people are you shopping for?

DelayedActionMouseMaker Thu 15-Aug-13 15:11:59

You eat about as much meat and fish in a week as our family of four does in a month, so I think you could cut costs hugely there!

DelayedActionMouseMaker Thu 15-Aug-13 15:15:19

But we spend £100 a week on food (including toiletries and cleaning stuff and washing powder etc) so I don't think your budget is huge tbh. We buy a lot of fresh fruit and veg, which isn't cheap, and have meat, but only once or twice a week and buy good quality cuts, the best we can afford. But that's cause I'm jittery about the hormones that are pumped into livestock.

cleoowen Thu 15-Aug-13 15:51:07

Thanks guys will take all tips on board. I try and cool as much as I can from stretch but pasta sauces are when I can't be bothered to cook and have no leftovers. There is a lot of meat which will last longer than a week but could def bulk out with more veg like suggested.

Cooking for me a dh and ds who's 8 months old. Pork pies and salmon are for dh as I am trying to encourage him to take his own lunch and he's fussy. A ham and cheese sandwich isn't good enough for him.

No veg or cleaning products as we have both and actually it was going off so thought would start buying it as and when need it rather than throwing stuff away.

Don't meal plan but took a list and had idea of what going to make for the week.

Lots of meat as have made a huge beef casserole today for tea, dhs lunch and to puree for ds. Trying to batch cook more to save money too. We do both like our meat so will try and bulk out with veg and beans like suggested.

Want ds to experience lots of different tastes in early days of weaning that's why lots of fruit plus I am trying to keep weight down so snack on it instead,of sugary stuff.

Suppose got a lot for that price.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 15-Aug-13 15:51:35

Do you have a plan for the prawns, lemons, salmon and smoked salmon, and grapes? They seem like luxury items to me.

Also pears, kiwi and nectarines are expensive fruit unless they are reduced.

But, more importantly, who was shocked by your £80 spend? What is your budget?

cleoowen Thu 15-Aug-13 15:51:52

P.s that's the point of my thread can't afford it and want to cut back on food costs.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 15-Aug-13 15:52:30

Sorry. X posted with you there.

cleoowen Thu 15-Aug-13 15:56:27

Majorie I don't have a budget as such but would prefer to spend between 250 and 300 rather than 350 a month. Salmon is for dh. Prawns are for curry,sandwiches or risotto. Grapes for me and ds. Lemons I like in my drink as trying to avoid drinking squash to,be healthy.

I don't compare myself to others but know they spend less and seem to have a fridge full of food every time we go around. It was a thread on MN that people were shocked at 80 pound food budget someone else put on.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 15-Aug-13 16:01:37

Ah. I understand. I think it might help if you know exactly what meal or event you are buying something for.

When I was shopping on a tight budget for a big family I cooked like a student. Only cooked really plain things like spag bol that became lasagne and chilli con carne over the next two days, or sausages, or a roast that stretched over at least two days, and so on. Really plain dull stuff. Loads of veg to pad it out. No puddings. Really basic fruit bowl ie apples and bananas.I tried not to buy anything out of season and I tried not to buy anything ready-made.

I'm not saying that's what you should do, just chucking in my two pen'orth.

treaclesoda Thu 15-Aug-13 16:04:38

Does your DH have access to a microwave at work? We find it cheaper to just make a little bit extra at mealtimes and then for DH to take leftovers to work for lunch. If we have loads left over, we freeze it in portions. DH also likes it because he gets fed up with the same things all the time, and this gives a bit more variety.

Silverfoxballs Thu 15-Aug-13 16:07:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mum2Fergus Thu 15-Aug-13 16:11:20

I've been managing in £50pw for DP, DS and myself for nearly a year now - started initially to pull together last few K of house deposit. But I'm in the way of the budget now so stick to it now we've bought the house!

First I'd suggest proper meal planning. Note down everything in fridge, freezer and cupboards and plan as many meals as you can from what you already have...use fresh/fridge items up first (when I did this I didn't need to buy anything other than milk, bread and veg for nearly a month!!

Looking at your list, Id try to cutback on meat...and look to start bulk buying where you can (your pasta for example)...

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 15-Aug-13 16:11:41

1) Meal plan

2) Shop at Aldi/Lidl.

3) Do a yearly list of cards you will 100% definitely need, then add on general small child cards and a selection of badges with ages on as appropriate.

piprabbit Thu 15-Aug-13 16:19:26

We don't have a fridge full of food most of the time.
On a Friday night it is pretty stuffed, but by the time we get to Wednesday night it is almost empty. We have next to no food waste and are pretty good at planning meals, so as the meals are eaten the fridge gets emptier.

How much food do you throw away?
And if you are a real meat eating family it will pay you to find out what time of day your local supermarket marks down their meat and shop then. We had a huge beef rib joint on Sunday, usually £17 but DH got it for £5. It made a big Sunday dinner plus 3 x sandwiches for lunches on Monday/Tuesday.

happybubblebrain Thu 15-Aug-13 16:23:49

Your bill would have been under £100 if you'd bought it at Aldis.

Vanilla frosting for baking £2.25 - make your own, much cheaper.

Frusli bars £1.98 - too expensive, either stock up when they are on offer, make your own or buy cheaper brands.

Streddies 3.39 - far too expensive, at least 3 times what I would be prepard to spend, look harder for special offers. Buy whatever cereal is on offer that week.

Pears x4 2.50 - ridiculous, they would be about 59p in Aldis some weeks.

6 frozen salmon 10.00 - crazy.

500g beef mince x2 8.00- buy Quorn, when it's on special offer and mix with tinned lentils, about 50p a tin.

Fresh bread 1.60 - I've never paid more than £1 for a loaf of bread and I never will.

Card 4.00 - in Card Factory you can buy 10 cards for £1, that's 10p a card. For something that will end up in the bin in a couple of weeks.

I could go on, but I'm probably being annoying now.

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