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Help me reduce my shopping bill

(26 Posts)
Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 10:24:46

In our house we have me, DH and DD (10 months) and "D"Cat grin. I can't seem to reduce our food shopping bill from an average of £90 per week. This includes all meals/lunches for all of us and cat food/nappies/formula/washing stuff etc. Except for one meal where we will usually once a week get a takeaway/go for a pub lunch.
Is this a reasonable amount? Am I wishing for too much to reduce this?
We usually get a bottle of wine a week (I'm not drinking as pg but DH likes the occasional glass).
This week spent £66 in Tesco and then £33 in Aldi (but did buy 3 bottles of wine as they are cheaper in there and go less often).
I have only bought one meat item (whole chicken) to do us for 2 main meals. The rest of our meals will be veggie/tuna pasta bake.
We usually eat a main meal for dinner together - Dd eats what we have most of the time.
Any bright ideas?

Ilovelampandchair Thu 09-Nov-17 10:29:24

I'd easily feed your family very very well for £60/month. Including everything.

Baby shouldn't need too crazy much formula at this point.

I bet you're buying brands if you're spending £90? Don't do that for more than 1 or 2 special items you're sure are better. Many own brands are half price and actually taste nicer if not the same.

You need to meal plan and not waste food.

Are you buying a lot of snacks?? Don't. Not good for you and expensive.

Cleaning products for the house. All you need are own brand toilet bleach, washing powder, dishwasher tabs and maybe a multipurpose floor cleaner.

Use what you have in the cupboards for your meal plan before planning more new stuff.

Ilovelampandchair Thu 09-Nov-17 10:31:09

Oh and drop the wine if he can bear to joint you abstaining. If he really enjoys it, buy a box of something well recommended and on sale at M&S or Tesco etc. (6 for price of 5 etc).

Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 10:46:05

Can you give me some ideas of meal plans that would last for £60/month? That would be amazing. We tend to spend about £20/week on fruit and veg then £10 on other essentials (bread/milk/eggs/butter/cheese) then £5-10 on meat. £5 on snacks (mainly for husbands packed lunch/baby when out and about) formula is £7 every 2 weeks or so. Cat food about £16/month.wine £5, cleaning products/toilet roll/toiletries/washing powder etc £10/month. Nappies and wipes £10/month. Then the rest goes on actual stuff to make meals (spices/pasta/rice/chopped toms etc) and then things like breakfast cereal, toast toppings etc etc.

Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 10:57:27

Anyone else any ideas?

LemonysSnicket Thu 09-Nov-17 11:02:57

I spend £120 a week easilynon just DP and me. blush
Although we do have a couple of mates who frequently pop round and happen to be there for tea angry so I guess I'm feeding 3 about twice a week ( if you've ever seen a 6'8 man pack away a meal you will understand my horror).
All I could suggest is packs of frozen chopped peppers and onions etc are often cheaper than fresh for the amount you get. Also buy less brands if you do that.

Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 11:31:51

We don't buy much branded (except for cat food as he is a prince!). We bought marmite, hula hoops and kitkats this week as our only branded items. All we're on offer.

Ilovelampandchair Thu 09-Nov-17 11:47:36

Sorry! £60/week! It was a typo! But still saves you well over £100/monthsmile

Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 11:54:56

So what would you do for meals for the week for £60? I think sometimes I struggle for ideas and end up doing the same things a lot or just buying fish or something to go with potatoes/veg which is quite an expensive way to make meals

Ilovelampandchair Thu 09-Nov-17 12:06:25

I feed DH and I, 3 small kids, cat, and nanny and I lunch daily (I work full time from home) and all household stuff for about £90/week. This weeks meal plan is below:

- Thai basil beef and rice
- Parmesan lamb cutlets, potato gratin and asparagus
- Calamari with egg fried rice (with peas)
- Ham/cheese omelette, homemade chips and broccoli
- Chicken curry and rice
- Asian veggie stir fry and coconut rice
- roast pork (had it in freezer!) roast carrots and parsnips, roast potatoes
- Sticky Asian chicken, rice, tenderstem broccoli

Lunches are things like quiche and salad, omelettes, toasties, filled wraps, soup etc.

Kids eat stew, carrot and lentil soup, savoury pancakes, gammon and veg etc. I've 1 child still in nappies. Bulk buy cat food. Bulk buy dishwasher tabs and washing powder.

Occasionally I need an extra few litres of milk at the end of the week.

Every week I buy:

Milk
Bread
Cheese
Ham and cold meats
Butter
Large quantity of apples, bananas and grapes, sometimes plums and strawberries
Yogurts (mostly large tub of Greek and some individual packs for kids)
All ingredients for meal plan
Some cheap biscuits (rich tea etc)
Crackers
Potatoes
Wraps
Salad items (lettuce, spring onions, tomatoes, avocados)
Kids meals stuff (carrots, celery, steak pieces, chicken breast in breadcrumbs, gammon)
Anything we've run out of: mayo, honey, frozen peas, pasta, etc.
Pancakes and croissants for the freezer to use as treats/snacks for the kids.

I check if we need nappies, wipes, toilet roll, kitchen roll, washing powder, dishwasher tabs, toilet cleaner, washing up liquid, cat food, tinfoil etc. but that's different every week.

It really doesn't come to more than £100 unless you buy things ready made or branded. We make everything from scratch which helps.

Dizzybacon Thu 09-Nov-17 13:24:31

Watching this thread with interest.

Me and DH total spend is about £125 a week (eating out / take away is on top) with no kids but two cats.

I would love a meal plan where the spend is only £60 a month

Dizzybacon Thu 09-Nov-17 13:26:06

Have to add, DH is a 6'3 17st bodybuilder eating 4 chicken breasts a day!

Eolian Thu 09-Nov-17 13:29:18

The answer for me is to shop in Aldi and only buy a couple of things elsewhere if I have to. My weekly shop in Aldi is about £70-80 for two adults and two pre-teen dc. If I shop in Tesco or Sainsbury's it's more like £90-100. I don't plan particularly deliberately cheap meals, it's just that Aldi is cheaper and also has fewer luxury versions or extras to tempt me.

Smarshian Thu 09-Nov-17 13:35:37

We have just moved house and Aldi is now a bit of a pain to get to. I've also started online shopping as dragging my pregnant self and my dd to the shops just seems like too much effort grin. I did find it a bit cheaper when I used to shop there though so maybe I need to make the effort.

Rattysparklebum Thu 09-Nov-17 13:41:18

I try to make curries, stews and chilli’s at this time of year, pack them out with loads of extra veg and save enough for tomorrow’s lunch, I also try to make soup once a week, I can rustle up a damn good tomato* soup in 20 minutes with just an onion, couple of tins of tomatoes and seasoning, easily get 4 portions for less than £1.
*other varieties are availablewink

milkmoustache Thu 09-Nov-17 17:33:29

And try to have a takeaway just once a fortnight, or less if you can stand it. There are lots of good recipes around for takeaways.

Namethecat Thu 09-Nov-17 17:40:58

Before you go shopping look in your cupboards/freezer and try to plan a meal from there. Anything not already at home goes on a list. Once you have that then look to see if you need non food items. Check things such as cereal,flour,etc and then here is the secret to saving money. Only buy from your list ! No tempting offers, no new smell washing powder/ conditioner. Zilch. Nada. Zero. 100% guarantee you will save money.

AdoraBell Thu 09-Nov-17 18:12:51

I spend about that on 4 adults.

Do you meal plan? Are you buying lots of branded items and do you look for offers?

chorusline79 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:34:49

I’ve used a website called the resourceful cook before to meal plan, and you can search meal plans according to weekly budget. I quite liked it as it can also put the items into a shopping list for you - might be worth a look for recipe ideas and you have choices of menus etc

VanGoghsLeftEar Thu 09-Nov-17 19:49:54

We have a lot of home made stews, soups and casseroles. On Ocado they sometimes do a three meat items for a tenner, perfect for our requirements. We buy a lot of own brand stuff, including household stuff. We go for offers on everything so I'll only buy shampoo and conditioner on offer. We never buy jars of sauce, all from scratch. If you can stretch the meat, make double and freeze half. We use frozen veg because we found, as we are only three, we were wasting a lot of fresh veg. We also make pasta from tinned tuna or sardines, add a tin of tomatoes and chilli, salt pepper, jarred capers, dinner for a couple of quid.

Coolaschmoola Thu 09-Nov-17 21:25:28

Between £40 and £60 a week for me, DH, DD and the cat.

dementedma Thu 09-Nov-17 21:38:23

I meal plan and cook pretty much everythung from scratch but am sick to death of the same old meals. Teen ds refuses to eat vegetables and doesnt like rice which limits things so we eat too much meat. Meals for next week are:
meatballs and tagliatelli
Chicken curry and rice
fish pie
Sausage casserole
Tuna pasta bake
Egg, chips and beans.

All very boring.

dementedma Thu 09-Nov-17 21:39:45

Should add that on the curry and rice night, ds gets a chippy tea. Friday night treat

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 10-Nov-17 08:47:56

I can only tell you what works for me.

Cleaning products, all smartprice or own brand Waitrose or sainsburys because I hate the idea of animal testing. All purpose cleaner watered down 50:50 water in a spray, dishwasher powder not tabs, white vinegar from Aldi for limescale & as fabric softener, soda crystals for dw maintanance wash, make my own laundry gloop to wash clothes in, plain caustic soda for cleaning sink traps.

Meat, fish, dairy all Waitrose online. They do good meat offers & a loyalty card that gives you 20% off a selection of items. They honour the 20% if the item goes on promo too. I do a three week meal plan & freeze everything in portions. They send me regular £10 off a £100 spend.

Frozen/Grocery stuff, don't buy much but what I do buy is Aldi/lidl. Their Mayo is nicer than Waitrose & the breads better too. I make my own stoneground whole meal loaf for me. Dh is a white sliced man.

Lunches. Sandwiches for Dh & a vegan soup based on lentils or pulses for me. I use Jack monroes recipes a lot. Its all store cupboard stuff so I always have lunch in. I could live on her spicy lentil soup.

Cakes are made using vegan recipes, very cheap to do & again all store cupboard ingredients. Homemade rice pudding on the hob, quick & filling. Much easier than using an oven. Suet puddings are divine, cheap & cook in a slowcooker.

Tea. Tesco smartprice. I buy a 1000 bags at a time as Dh drinks tea more than coffee. A relative commented on my lovely tea once & asked what it was. When I said Tesco smartprice the cup was put down.

Coffee. Aldi whole bean. I've tried everything from illy to Waitrose own brand & always return to Aldi.

Potatoes. 54lb bag from farm shop is £6 & lasts 4 months. It's my staple carb. You can get huge sacks of rice online, or pasta in the supermarket. Same for polenta, cous cous etc. We used to buy microwave rice, now I buy Tilda in home bargains for £1.

I have monitoring apps on my phone & iPad, they pay out in Amazon vouchers which I use for the cats food. My last three weeks supply of gourmet was £4 using vouchers. I do online surveys at night with valued opinions & use that for Amazon vouchers too. I have mobile xpressions & Ipsos media cell on my phone.

A weekly meal plan is;

Eggs & toast for breakfast for me, Dh skips.
Soup/sandwiches lunch.

Dinner;
Pork joint, roast potatoes in beef dripping, marrowfat peas cooked from dry in the slow cooker, home made Yorkshire pudding. Gravy.

Chicken curry, egg fried rice & naan.

COD & chips. Home made mushy peas.

Doner Kebab, salad & chips.

Cottage pie & veg. I sprinkle gravy powder over fried beef mince to make the sauce.

Sausage dinner. Mash & veg with frozen home made Yorkies.

Beef joint, all trimmings.

Burger, chips, beans or salad.

Whole roast chicken, all trimmings.

I've found home made breadcrumb stuffing, yorkshires made with 50:50 milk to water & sr flour, roast potatoes made with lard or dripping, marrowfat peas cooked from dried not tinned all so much more filling than what you can buy pre-prepared. I do big meals so there's no snacking.

Anyway that's what I do. This weeks food for us is £30 & d cat is about £1.30.

Redken24 Fri 10-Nov-17 08:49:50

We buy a 10kg bag of James wellbeloved for 40 lasts about 6/7 months.

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