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Help! Weekly shopping bill woes

(10 Posts)
Thingiebob Tue 19-Jul-11 23:32:17

I'm trying to get my weekly shopping bill down and followed all the lovely budgeting tips mentioned on here. I have,

Switched mainly to value products at the supermarket
Started meal planning
Eating cheaper meals
Cooking from scratch and batch cooking
Looking for deals
Buying reduced price foods
Used MySupermarket

Yet I still can't seem to get my monthly shopping bill below £390!
There is me, DH and 18 month old DD. I've included nappies, household goods and toiletries in that amount.

All these Mners who talk about getting their shopping down to £50 a week - how on earth do you do it?! And can I have your shopping list and meal plans!

I would love to get it down lower but not entirely sure how to do it. Is it possible? Is £390 a month a lot? This doesn't include alcohol as we don't really drink that much. Hardly any 'treats' or expensive cuts of meat.

Where am I going wrong?

How much do you spend on a monthly basis? Sorry if this has been done to death.

debka Wed 20-Jul-11 07:17:05

There's me, DH, a 2yo and 5mo (ebf). Both babies wear washable nappies but disposables at night and when away. I also cook for my mum and dad 5x a week.

Our shopping bills are £60-£70 a week, so maximum £280 a month.

I bake all my own cakes, we grow some of our own veg (not a lot though), only eat meat 3/4 times a week and that would be one chicken, for example, and a small pack of mince.

nannyl Wed 20-Jul-11 08:57:35

I have a bread machine and make our own bread.

Its much cheaper and much much nicer.

Also i dont buy fruit and veg from a supermarket at all.... i dont even enter that section. I go to my local market once a week where its much much cheaper, fresher, better quality and always local when in season.
I get my eggs there too.... 6 for £1.... local, freerange and bigger and better than any supermarket!

Personally im lucky to not be on a tight budget but OH likes meat (or fish) every main meal hmm.... i do sneak in at least 1 vegetarian meal a week though, occasionaly 2!

Also do you have a local Co-Op? ours often has meat reduced which i freeze for later

We normally drink water, which i keep in a jug in the fridge with 1/4 on a sliced lemon in it. And make new water every 3rd day, (ie wash up and add more lemon) otherwise i just top it up.

take a look at sainsbury feed family all week for £50 for inspiration.

I also make my own cakes / cookies, and i only buy 'value' biscuits (which are fine IMO)

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 20-Jul-11 10:37:50

I don't think £90-100/week for two adults and a baby in nappies is unreasonable if you are including all the non-foods as well. You're not buying lunches, takeaways or eating out on top, I take it? My tips on top of what you're already doing would be

- eat vegetarian 50% of the time. Eggs, pulses and so forth are cheaper than meat
- Eat seasonally or locally. British foods rather than imported ones. Local farms if you have access to them.
- Soup with bread is a meal.

Thingiebob Wed 20-Jul-11 13:27:05

Hi

Thanks for your responses. No we are not buying lunches on top. My DH comes home for lunch.

We do eat meat for most meals but it tends to be cheap such as sausages, mince, and gammon. We also have a Sunday dinner with a cheap chicken which is lunch and stirfry/curry the following day.
It doesn't help that my DH eats very little carbohydrates so no bread/potato/pasta etc.
I do so does my daughter.

I think I may need to look at some meal plans and try out Aldi as I have one near me.

What's good in Aldi?

Billie8 Tue 26-Jul-11 08:10:50

Its so easy to overspend on food, especially if you dont plan what your going to buy before you get to the supermarket. Me and DH were desperate to get our food shopping down but didnt want it to mean we couldnt buy fresh fruit/veg or eat meat so ive started buying in bulk. PJ Martinelli have an online meat ordering service, great value and they deliver! So simple and means I have to do less shopping around for bargains, a real time saver when looking after two young DDs smile

bacon Tue 26-Jul-11 12:45:10

Its no good comparing food bills unless you compare lifestyles. Many people may spend £50pw on food but does that include breakfast, good healthy packed lunches, tea and weekend food. What many people dont say is that they mainly eat out a relatives or friends on the weekends. Hubby eats out for lunch etc the weekly takeaway. You cant replenish a store cupboard on £50pw either.

As for Aldi its fine for many items but you are limited and some of it isnt very good so you need to find out from previous threads whats good however, I would question if you make a massive saving.

Please dont think cos its cheap its good value - watch weights and sizes, poor quality etc. You put in you get out, crappy ingredients wouldnt produce a good outcome.

I spend £120pw minimum. No way can I cut this down as we get through lots of bread (some homemade) pints of milk, tons of cereal, coffee (cant skimp sorry) tons of veg and fruit, hi-juice squash, yoghurts, homemade cakes, tinned tuna, salmon, toms. Our evening meal is very healthy and substantial.

If you are going to cook from scratch you need to get a good store cupboard and that costs. Different flours, various pasta, coucous, noodles, rice, tins of toms, pulses, beans, soups.

Belly pork, pork shoulder, chicken thighs, lamb shoulder, lamb neck, lamb mince, beef mince, beef shin/brisket/slow roast. Value frozen white fish, pollock (fab like cod) whiting. all these are cheaper cuts - if you have a good butcher or farmers markets look for deals there.

Eggs at farmgate def not cheap eggs complete waste of time, tasteless and not great for baking. Good laying chickens produce good nutricious eggs.

As for cleaning products just buy a normal one and pop it in a spray gun with water - just as good you dont need endless products, hot water and elbow grease! Toilettaries again places like home bargins, wilkinson are great for these. Even ALdi's have a fab selection and the cheap bars of soap are good. I use the facial mosituriser which is amazing.

I'll still be surprised if you cook everyday that you can get it below £70 I could never, I think now £100 pw is acceptable especially if you want tasty food with substance, low carb, nutriants.

ChrissasMissis Tue 26-Jul-11 16:24:42

I agree with bacon about the store cupboard thing. Building up a good selection of "store cupboard" items is a really good idea. I plan weekly menus around what I know I have and think of ways to use it up. We have a weekly budget of £75 and that includes buying nappies, formula and my lunches (am currently SAHM - Daddy can spring for his own lunches!) and order from Ocado. When planning menus, I begin by scanning over their "offers" section and work out what I can make with the items that are discounted. I have also learned to be very creative with leftovers...

livvylouis Tue 26-Jul-11 18:38:52

We spend between £50-£60 per week for me dh, dd 6, ds 4 and a tiny dog. This includes all household cleaning products, food, toiletries and nappies ( 1 per night for ds). It can be done, but dont get me wrong it is very hard. We eat very little meat (non for me, i'm veggie) and I have to meal plan. We eat a varied healthy diet, no processed junk. We never have takeaways or lunches out.
The secret for me is shop around, go to local markets, buy whats in season, cook from scratch, be inventive with your food.
Bacon is right not everyone can do it, you may not have the time to cook everything from scratch, or you may not be near a good market.
Good luck smile

ivykaty44 Tue 26-Jul-11 20:09:18

I don't have to buy nappies each week

But I feed three if us well for #50 per week average - some weeks it is #30 and others #50.

i do make my own bread and buy the flour in 12.5kg bags for #8.50 per bag - this lasts me for 3 months making around 4-5 loaves of bread per week and a pizza base per week.

I make a tomato, cucumber and onion salad for most meals, it goes in a glass bowl and is placed on the table to help yourself - this works well with most meals as an add on to fill out, rice if serving also gets placed on the table to help yourself and any left over is made into egg fry rice with, sweetcorn, peas and prawns for the following night and served with yet another salad.

I shop at lidl first and then go to sainsbury for anything I can't get at lidl - in reality I can get most food from lidl and only need to go to sainsbury every other week.

We have porridge, toast and jam or weetbix (own brand) on offer for breakfast, sometime I make pancakes at breakfast or for a pudding. Lunch is sarnies with marmite or cream cheese, fruit and I get a large tub of yogurt from lidl for 1.55 which is lovely, then water to go with lunch. I use reusable pots for yogurt and jelly if we are having jeely with fruit in it.

Dinner will be a curry of fish, chicken served with pitta bread toasted and rice and salad, or cottage pie with vegtables, salad. Chicken casserole or dahl with rice and yogurt salad. I have been making an onion flan each week as onions are cheap and I make my own cheese pastry in the FP - its a cheap flan and delicious with a mixture of salad stuff - cous cous and beetroot, tomato and onion with cucumber and then red pepper and rice - this will last two nights and the second night I don't need to cook. Or dd likee the flan served with new potato and baked beans.

ice cream in the freezer is a good pud as a standby with some tinned fruit. Don't cook large main melas all the time, use fruit as a base for a pudding and if cooking apples are on offer a crumble is easy enough to make.

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