This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Smaller shops v weekly big shops?(26 Posts)
Does anyone find they spend less doing a couple of smaller shops each week rather than one big shop? I feel I splurge on a big shop and get loads then things aren't as fresh keeping them for a week, and I'm wondering if it would be better doing two smaller shops so it's all a bit fresher, with meal planning too to try and save some money. Or probably being in the shops more often will mean I might buy stuff I wouldn't if I wasn't in. Just trying to get a handle of money and biggest outgoing from my money is food shops!
For me I find meal planning is key and I always plan how to use leftovers.
I try to.shop every 10 days, only picking up salad, milk and bread locally if needed. (I have frozen veg and fruit for the main food for the latter part of the meal plan).
Imo shopping less and from a list is key.
No, but I meal plan and shop online with a list, and stick to it. The only thing I might pick up mid week is milk if we run out. Meat is from the butcher and goes in the freezer, taking out what I need in the morning. Veggies get used based on how long they last, but most last a week other than salad leaves.
I live ten miles from the nearest supermarket, so I only shop once a week. I make a meal plan and only buy what I need. Fresh vegetables last at least a week in the fridge easily, ditto salad stuff provided you buy a whole lettuce and use it by removing whole leaves at a time from the outside, not cutting into the stem. I never buy bags of ready mixed salad, they turn slimy very quickly.
Fruit lasts a week in the fruit bowl. Bilberries and brambles for my porridge last ten days in the fridge.
Milk lasts ten days, but our village shop does have it if I (very rarely) run out. I buy fresh fish and meat, freezing it as required.
I find planning menus in advance stops me buying junk food, snacks, or excess items that get wasted.
I have very little food waste other than eggshells, peelings and bones.
No I find the opposite. With online shopping I stick to the list whereas if I pop to the coop I always spot things on special offer and end up buying things we don't really need
I pay a monthly delivery saver and get two smaller shops during the week and do find I spend less that way. I was always running out of milk and fruit etc midweek and popped to the shops and ended up spending loads of money. Now I’m not doing any top up shops at all.
I’m going to try smaller shops for a few months. Today I bought my weekly shop for £29 for a family of six knowing what I have in the freezer and cupboards. I did buy some things not on my list - like reduced eggs that don’t got off this week but yellow stickered anyway. Reduced bread and crumpets.
But the real test is making sure I can manage a planned week like this, if not you have to offset petrol / bus etc unless the shops are on your normal route.
Anyway I feel extremely smug now and determined to make evening dinners for around £1.50 per head
Let’s see how smug I feel once the freeze is completely empty 😅
I'm trying to switch to smaller shops for fresher fruit and vegetables. When I do big shops I need top ups or fruit and veg and come out £150 down.
I think going more often can be better, especially if you can go at mark-down time and vary your meal plan accordingly.
However, you do then have to be super disciplined about what you get and using or freezing it straight away. It still needs a strict list too eg meat and veg for stir fry could be got for half the price, but if you then impulse buy luxury yogurts then you've lost that saving...
I know online shopping is a big favourite here but it always ramps my bills way up. I budget better when I can physically see what is in the trolley.
Didn't realise you were wanting more than once a week. I am aiming for weekly to 10day rather than every 3 weeks. Once a week is often enough.
We do a really big shop once a month. This always incorporates all cleaning stuff, toilet rolls, dog food, tinned store food stuff as well as perishable fruit, veg, salad stuff needed at the time. We refill freezer at the same time with chicken portions, fish ext. This means we only need a refill of fresh stuff on a weekly basis. After trial and error we find this works best for us.
I shop daily, having decided what we are having for dinner according to who's going to be at home (3 teenage sons). There's no way I can do that in advance and loads of food would then go off and be thrown out.
All sorts of things come in to play, like your working ours, like how close the supermarket is - or if you are going to local / corner shop, however I'd say going once is likely to mean spending less for most people, as you can't get drawn in, seeing things you just buy 'as well as' whatever it is you went in for.
By 'splurging', does that mean you chuck 'extra' things in whilst you are there ?
I don't meal plan in advance of getting to the supermarket, as I look carefully at dates, and work from there - so I might take advantage of the 'reduced' food for tonight's meal, and still know I'm okay to pick up that fish which is BB 2 days away, as the mince and the gammon both have long dates on them. Then I know Thursday is a really busy night so don't buy a 'main' for that night as we all grab ourselves something on toast or some eggs or something... etc ... so there isn't waste.
I shop at Ocado twice a week. I live in a big conurbation so there's no worry about extra delivery miles. It means I waste less food as less goes off. I meal plan so I don't spend a huge amount. It means my food is always pretty fresh too.
Definitely a happy medium for me.
It sounds like you’ve got storage issues if foods going off.
I do a monthly shop for meat & freeze it all then I just need veg, milk & bread each week. I bulk buy tinned/jarred items etc & have alerts set up on my supermarket.com for branded goods that dh likes, loo roll etc.
I’m buying an extra freezer though so I can freeze bread etc & batch cook.
I go daily, before the afternoon school pick up. I'm making a note of spends. This way I know what we need, and I cook what I fancy for that day.
We are a family of 8
Smaller shops cost me more. That's because we shop at the little local supermarket where prices are higher than in a big supermarket or online shop that we use for a big weekly shop.
Meal planning is what saves us money. We've fallen out of the habit recently and it's.definitely cost us more not being as organised.
I really need to try cutting down on our food bills, I seem to spend a fortune. 4 adults here. I don't buy cigarettes or alcohol. Or ready meals. We cook mainly from scratch. But we go through food like no ones business.
I've never meal planned and I don't know how effective it would be as I never know who is in for dinner, could be just me and dh, or the four of us, or four plus girlfriends... Bloody nightmare, and before I get shouted at, I've told them to let me know in advance, but that hardly ever works.
I put £350 into a separate account after payday and that's my food budget for the month. Sometimes I get weekly deliveries and sometimes every two weeks with top ups in between.
We definitely spent less when I did most of the cooking - I did a meal plan for five or so meals, assuming a couple of meals out, and shopped for it. DH took over the cooking when I was sick and going through cancer treatment which was great but now I am better and we share the cooking we spend a lot of money because nobody is really "in charge" of meals so we shop for a couple of days at a time. If you are trying to budget meal planning really is the way to go.
Morgan that's a good idea. I have tried that before but didn't stick to it!
Yes I definitely put extra things when I'm in, my local supermarket is a big Tesco, so I end up putting toys in, books, extra goodies! Actually may try ALDI for a while, was in yesterday and was impressed, although of course I bought stuff from the middle aisles too!!
we shop twice a week as don't have a car.
agree with pp - food plan is where you save money.
although we sometimes plan around the oops shelf in the supermarket.
I'm finding that I'm spending less by stretching my weekly shop to every 10 days, I've a large freezer and keep bread and milk in there, and frozen veg and fruit.