Monthly food shop!

(15 Posts)
cuckoowith2 Mon 30-Jul-18 10:58:45

Hi all,

So we never have a lot of spare money and I'm fed up of running out of money in the first 2 weeks of the month and then scraping by! I'm rubbish and meal planning and having stuff in for dinners...... anyone got any tips on how to do a monthly meal plan and shop.... that doesn't cost a fortune.... there are 5 of us to feed kids are 5, 4 and 18 months


OP’s posts: |
NorthernSpirit Mon 30-Jul-18 11:07:56

Plan all meals for the week and shop with a list. Don’t buy anything not on the list.

Where are you shopping? My OH and I work FT and have 2 good salaries coming in and we shop in Aldi. The meat is excellent quality and I don’t need to shop in fancy Waitrose and pay more.

A slow cooker is a godsend. You can cook cheap cuts of meat with no effort.

Nicpem1982 Mon 30-Jul-18 11:14:41

I've just gone through this with my niece who's trying to help her mom out.

Yesterday we did a table of breakfasts, lunches and dinners along with snacks and treats, made her a strict list and spoke about portion sizes.

We do a bi monthly food audit and use up any residual items such as packet flavouring etc to ensure there's nothing rolling around at the back of the cupboard going out of date.

We also alternate potato, rice, pasta, grain bread as a base through the week to ensure variety through the week and add a couple of veggie meals to keep the cost of meat down

afatalflaw Mon 30-Jul-18 11:35:34

I'm trying to do this. We are family of four with children 7 and 10. Last month spent ages planning meals for every day, plus packed lunches, snacks etc. Somehow found it really hard to stick to.

This month I am trying a different method. Planned a week's meals and have done an online shop of two weeks worth of packet/ freezer stuff so no waste, plus toilet rolls etc. Have also added in a few things I know we always get through and stuff like pickles etc so can always at least have a sandwich available. Will have to top up with fresh stuff but hopefully will mean it will all be used and I can choose for myself so get freshest/ cheapest

Hoping to have some money left after 2nd week to do another store cupboard shop.

Another thing I do is buy some beef mince, pork mince and chicken and make portions or burgers meatballs and chicken goujons to freeze. They tend to last me more than a month and I always have something the children will eat on hand so don't spend money grabbing something quick but expensive.

I like expensive instant coffee too so always buy when it is on offer and keep in cupboard. Currently have about 5 and have three more on order - saved £7.50 on those alone!

cuckoowith2 Mon 30-Jul-18 20:33:42

Thanks for all the replies ladies... I'm really useless at this as I'm frazzled 80% of the time anyway with the kids and anything that requires any more brain power I just can't muster the energy for! Me and hubby are going to sit down tonight and think up some meals and then I'm going to try and tackle the food shop!

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Tue 31-Jul-18 13:37:35

There's a Facebook group called feed your family for £20 a week, try that because they've done all the hard work for us.

mrsoutnumbered Tue 31-Jul-18 18:03:03

I find it really hard to do a good shop for a full month, I think you probably need a big freezer which I don't have!

I try to get all the sundries and toiletries once a month, so that I only have to order food the other weeks. So I'll get laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toilet roll, toiletries and nappies/wipes. The rest of the month I meal plan.


nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Tue 31-Jul-18 18:23:10

The key is shopping around.

I do a monthly Iceland order for chips/burgers/cocktail sausages/popcorn chicken/chicken fillets. Frozen veg. And my wash powder is massive from there and only £10 (last 2-3 months) the sausages and chicken are good for lunches.

Weekly Lidl - spent around £40-50. Make a list and stick to it.

Monthly savers shop for all toiletries, damp boxes, fabric conditioner, surcare, stain remover.

I make sure I plan crappy easy dinners for when we are busy or on Fridays when I'm tired. I always have pasta 30p and jar of pesto £1 in cupboard. Plus hot dogs, tin spaghetti, beans, frozen veg. So I can throw meals together.

I buy reduced meat when it's silly prices then freeze (whole chicken for £1, packs of sausages/mince for 50p) dh works in a shop and brings home bread/meat that's getting chucked we always have a loaf in the freezer.

I order a sack of 25kg potatoes from the greengrocer for £10 which is cheaper than supermarkets, taste better and I always have a meal in!

HootOnABoat Tue 31-Jul-18 18:25:15

I think a month is a bit ambitious if you're working full time, maybe try a week or a fortnight?

Think about logistics - e.g. have spaghetti Bolognese one night but make a bit too much, then use the leftovers for the base for a shepherd's pie, etc.

Don't overcomplicate meals, not everything has to be elaborate. Jacket potato with baked beans is fine (but only Branstons wink) as a meal, as is egg fried rice. Save up scraps of vegetables and have a stir fry one day or use in a soup.

cuckoowith2 Fri 03-Aug-18 14:21:27

Thanks for all the advice! I did my meal plan for the rest of this month. Got lots of meat that in offer to freeze including a couple of whole chickens and joints of meat as hoping to get a course of dinners out of those! I will just need to top up with fruit/cheese/ham etc. Doesn't help that it's the holiday so the kids are constantly snacking and are currently eating me out of house and Home! 🙄 I shall update on how it goes! I definitely need to do more shopping around for toiletries and washing/cleaning products. Next month I think I'm going to try getting all that from b an m or home bargains. But the kids will be back at school by then so it won't feel like such a chore! Feeling quite pleased with myself so far, fingers crossed it works out for us! 🙂

OP’s posts: |
cuckoowith2 Fri 03-Aug-18 14:22:10

Excuse all the typos 🙄

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Mon 06-Aug-18 14:22:55

If you see chicken shears buy them, you can joint a whole chicken and it's much cheaper than buying portions. Like 2/3rd cheaper.

YouTube will show you how to do it properly.

SandysMam Thu 09-Aug-18 07:16:24

Just out of interest OP, what is your monthly budget. I find having a monthly budget rather than a weekly much easier to stick to particularly if doing a huge shop at the start of this month, then getting rest of budget out in cash for top ups. Means I don’t use the card at all in any shop...will not get it out so am much more mindful about how I spend. I often have enough loo roll etc to last 2 months which is fab.
My Best Buy is Lidl Formil Bio washing liquid. £2.99 for 50 washes and honestly find it as good as persil which I used for years at £10 for the same. I also only use half measure for lightly soiled and still great results...couldn’t do that with liquid tabs.

SandysMam Thu 09-Aug-18 07:17:23

Sorry...missed a ? from the first line! Meant to say what is your monthly budget?

Unescorted Thu 09-Aug-18 07:35:04

Have a well stocked store cupboard. Replace as you use things up. Then you don't need to meal plan as such. I count how many meals we need and get the months meat for that. It is normally cheaper by the kg to buy larger joints and cut them or mince them at home. Non food groceries just scale up. Some dairy doesn't last a whole month so we get that as needed.
Cooking everything from basics is key...the bag of flour is cake, bread, pancakes, waffles, tortilla wraps, crispy coatings, thickner for gravy etc. The more things a single item does the less planning ahead you need do.

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