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Anyone want to join me on a cheap food month challenge?

(254 Posts)
BasinHaircut Thu 26-Apr-18 12:33:03

We are spending about £300 a month on groceries (including cleaning/toiletries etc). Want to keep it under £200 for the next 4 weeks if possible. Only 3 of us and I’ve just done a big bulk cook for DS (4) so mainly just me and DH. To cover all meals except we are invited to 2 BBQs in May so won’t need food for those.

Frogletmamma Thu 26-Apr-18 12:37:23

I'll give it a go! We normally spend £400 for the 3 of us but could do with acheap month. Spent £9 today-will keep track...Does this include takeaways/meals out?

WhatCanIDoNowPlease Thu 26-Apr-18 12:43:06

I'm in. When are you starting? Two adults here with a fairly well stocked kitchen.

PrimalLass Thu 26-Apr-18 12:44:55

Me. Have told the kids that if we are to go on holiday in July then we need to not spend that money in May and June.

PrimalLass Thu 26-Apr-18 12:46:16

I'll be starting tomorrow on pay day. Will get a Tesco delivery. Have to meal plan, which I never do. I also want to get both freezers emptied and defrosted. Sadly there are not many meals in there.

BasinHaircut Thu 26-Apr-18 16:21:56


Technically I’m stocked up till Sunday so my first shop will be Monday and that will be the start of my 4 weeks.

I’m not including meals out/takeaways, but I’m not planning any either! (Famous last words). If we do, these will have to come out of our ‘personal spends’.

We have overspent this past month to the tune of £230 on god knows what. We don’t have anything to show for it.

I’m going to do a cupboard/freezer audit tomorrow night and I’ve already been thinking about cheap meals. Reckon an omelette night and jacket potato night each week could bring the costs right down.

SluttyButty Thu 26-Apr-18 16:35:50

I e been doing this for a couple of weeks already. I now make a vat of tomato sauce that is dirt cheap to make and then use it in a couple of different meals in the week and freeze the rest for the following week.
Also make a really cheap meal with new potatoes and chorizo, onions and peppers added too. And a big frittata lasts two adults two meals as well.

I'm actually really enjoying frugal shopping, it's making me think outside the box on how to use up what's in the fridge.

PrimalLass Thu 26-Apr-18 19:07:38

I love cooking from the random things we have left.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 26-Apr-18 19:27:20

I love a bit of frugal cooking etc but I seem to be constantly buying fruit. I can’t have frozen, dried or tinned due to sulphite allergy so I’m stuck with fresh. It’s really adding up.

Butty Where do you get your tomatoes from?.

BasinHaircut Thu 26-Apr-18 22:54:02

It’s annoying because I know I can be frugal and we don’t have any food waste, but I’ve taken my eye off the ball and costs have started creeping up. It’s chucking those extras in the trolley and cramming shit in the cupboards. I do like to buy lots of fresh veg too and could probably cut it down a bit to be fair.

Orangecake123 Fri 27-Apr-18 12:30:11

I would recommend making your own soup. I make it most days now and often enough for two days using lentils, carrots, onions and peppers.

ndo4000 Fri 27-Apr-18 12:35:54

I could do with doing this too. 5 of us plus dog and I reckon we spend about £60 a week on tesco order and then another £10-20 on 'bits' over the week? Not massively out of control, but it would be nice to have some money at the end of the month!!!!

Tesco's comes on Tuesday, so going to count 4 weeks from then.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 27-Apr-18 13:37:08

I'm going into Morrisons tm for their wonky veg and fruit & maybe aldi super six.

I use cooking on a bootstrap for soups usually & I bought some gram flour to make poppadoms. Then I watched a YouTube video on making them and realised just how hard it is so I'll make bhaji instead grin.

I have loads of spices bought cheap in the ethnic aisle & it's so much cheaper to make your own fajita or curry spices.

PrimalLass Fri 27-Apr-18 13:38:00

I wish my shopping bill was that low. I just did a Tesco order that was £150, hoping it lasts 2 weeks.

SluttyButty Fri 27-Apr-18 14:11:20

Fluffy I use tinned tomatoes in my sauce, the really cheap basic Aldi ones, 4 tins to be precise and that with meatballs in fed 4 of us last night, so my husband and I and two dc 18 &13. We have enough for at least two more portions left.

Prima I find Tesco is horrendously expensive. Even Asda prices have shot up so we're now doing Aldi on a Saturday morning with any odds and sods we can't get in there, in either Morrison's or Asda.

Karigan1 Fri 27-Apr-18 14:14:50

Yes. I do. Good bills are stupid here this month!

Sarahplane Fri 27-Apr-18 14:28:36

can I join too please. We could really do with keeping our food costs down.

Emelene Fri 27-Apr-18 14:33:36

Me too! We are trying to be frugal with food this month. smile I've had one success this week - daal (spicy Indian lentil dish - easy to make) with a mini naan. Delicious, healthy and cheap - it's going to be a regular dish in our house! smile

ndo4000 Fri 27-Apr-18 14:42:51

@Emelene do you have a recipe for your daal? Mine always comes out a bit bland? Also did you try to feed it to kids? I'd love mine to eat something cheap & easy like that!

SluttyButty Fri 27-Apr-18 15:10:11

Oh god I love daal. I bought a bag of mung beans in the Asian section a couple of weeks ago. It's sooooo cheap to make.

PrimalLass Fri 27-Apr-18 15:14:43

We don't have an Aldi nearby and I'm not convinced that by the time I drive there, do the shop, get back, etc., that it is much cheaper. I get paid hourly (self-employed) so cost out my time in my head when doing things like that. Plus the meat goes off really quickly.

BasinHaircut Fri 27-Apr-18 16:31:47

I tried to make daal a couple of times but I find lentils gritty and really don’t enjoy them.

Might do a soup that’s not a bad shout. Trying to stay off the bread though and you can’t have soup without a big chunky piece of bread! grin

Emelene Fri 27-Apr-18 18:00:00


I used Jack Monroe's recipe from her first cookbook, there's a copy here:

Though I must say I do like to experiment with spices and throw in a bit more if it's bland. smile It was just for me and hubby.

Notreallyhappy Fri 27-Apr-18 18:17:59

Might I join in... spending far too much on shite (m&s/tesco) when I know I can get on in discount small. Probably 500+ without meals out for 3x adults shocking.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 27-Apr-18 18:20:54

My mother made crunchy risotto once and swore blind it was meant to be crunchy.

It's not crunchy.

Yellow split peas make a really nice soup, not from Waitrose though. For some reason there's are minging.

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