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Really struggle with food shopping...

(53 Posts)
daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 13:50:55

Hi in our house there is me, dh, dd1.5, 1 cat and each week I try and get food for under £100 but I always fall short, it now really depresses me- am I asking for too much without having to buy crap?

We shop in asda, rarely spend more than £4 an eve meal and have very few luxuries. I order online so I can tweak it and tbh fuel would cost more than delivery does and food
arrives on a tues morning as i work Monday and don't ever have time to do it at wknd. I write a meal plan and follow a strict list so am I going wrong somewhere?

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 22-Sep-13 15:29:38

You should be able to manage well on that! Are you buying anything processed or anything ready made? In that I include soft drinks, desserts, bisuits or pies/quiches?

We shop for me, DH and two DDs of 9 and 5 on about 60 to 70 pounds per week.

We don't eat meat daily...probably about twice a week...we buy one chicken from which we also make a curry. That's two meals....we buy rice, lentils and pasta...cheapest brands. A lot of fruit and veg...but plain things, apples, oranges, bannanas, cucumber, potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots and some lettuce...eggs...butter and olive oil...we make our own bread, cakes and biscuits and perhaps buy one tub of icecream a week and perhaps one pack of bacon.

I do buy peanut butter and cheese too....for packed lunches..and coffee and tea and milk. We stock up now and then on herbs and spices, oil etc.

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 22-Sep-13 15:30:18

We buy more veg than I mentioned but can't think right now! We have a lot of veggie soups and currys and things like baked potatoes with veggie chilli or sometimes just cheese and salad.

bacon Sun 22-Sep-13 16:41:52

Mine is £140pw but that includes lots of packed lunches lots of great fruit, veg and salads costs a lot too. While we dont eat out so IMO is better than many friends who spend little but eat out a lot. Also my husband has a manual job and does a lot of fitness so there is an enormous amount of food consumed. In that are taste the difference, fish, not much meat as I buy this on-line or farmers markets, squashes, cream, nuts, bread and lots of cereals. No booze either.

I def believe in bulk buying and batch freezing - if a huge bolognaise is made it could be one meal a week for a month.

Watch yoghurt - keep to one fruit and one natural and make up your own. No cans of pop just squash, no pasties/sausage rolls etc just proper food. Don't believe your getting great deals on certain products think about it.

Do you really not have any time to pop to Aldi to pick up veg/essentials/loo roll/washing powder??? In town centres there is usually a market where foods are much fresher and half the price of supermarkets.

If that figure includes loo roll, cleaning products, washing powder, toiletries then is it that bad? £100pw isnt excessive IMO.

Ruprekt Sun 22-Sep-13 16:48:19

Do you meal plan or have meat every day? It seems a lot to me esp shopping at Asda.

Meal plan could be as follows

Breakfasts: porridge, toast n jam, cereal

Lunches: salads and finger foods for ds.


1. Jacket potatoes, salad and fillings
2. Roast chicken & veg
3. Chicken risotto
4. Soup with crusty bread
5. Spag bol
6. Salmon with couscous and veggies
7. Fish, chips n peas

If you shop for meals, it is less likely to will buy random things.


Loo roll
Cleaning spray
Washing up liquid

Or try and make your food shop last 10 days, not 7. smilesmile

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:54:00

Bacon - my dh is the same he has practically 2 lunches every day plus protein shakes

No I do have no time to pop out (I pretty much work 7 days a week) but I do buy mostly budget brands. I do buy coca cola (dh won't drink cheaper hmm but he does work bloody hard), buy 1 of each biscuits, cakes, crisps, fruit

Don't really cook from scratch as I feel it can be more expensive and I was getting fed up with food poisoning confused but I don't buy ready meals as I think they suck

Yes this includes all household essentials so maybe it's not that bad?

cupcake78 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:55:45

Does this include all household cleaners, toiletries, nappies etc and packed lunches?

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:03

Cupcake - yes includes nappies, toiletries, household essentials

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:23

And packed lunches!

cupcake78 Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:25

I find snacks are very expensive! Biscuits, cakes etc are much cheaper to make yourself.

I don't think its too bad if it includes everything and your not actually cutting back on anything.

ArbitraryUsername Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:53

If you copy and paste your weekly shopping list, I'm sure we'll find places to cut costs. grin

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Sep-13 17:04:22

I shop for 3/4 of us and usually spend around £50-£60.

Weetbix or toast for breakfast with jam or honey and coffee and muselie which I mix with porridge to make it go further
lunch wraps with cucumber and cream cheese cherry tomato
I have tuscan bean soup for lunch, a great big pot which I freeze some and eat through the week.

I make bread 5 times a week in the machine so get flour and yeast which is probably cheaper than buying bread as it works out at 50p per loaf

Chickpea curry and rice
Thai curry and rice
rissoto with smoked haddock or kedgeree
pasta and pesto with creme frachie
three egg omelette with mushrooms and salad
saturday lunch is fish finger sardines
jacket spuds and sweet potato with beans or tuna and mayo

I usually have plenty of apples banana and melon and pineapple

I get milk delivered and I buy soya milk as I prefer it.

what are you buying op each week?

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 22-Sep-13 17:17:56

TBH it sounds about right if not very reasonable to me. Especially if you are working and don't have time to shop around. I think that isn't always factored in on Mnet. I can't do a direct comparison with Asda because I go once a month to stock up on tins and pasta, squash, toiletries, etc. because they are cheaper although actually I don't think laundry and cleaning stuff is particularly good value at Asda -a there are much better offers in Sainsburys/Waitrose.

I have two teenagers OP and reckon I spend about £180 and believe me that isn't on fillet steak and salmon. The quantitities we get through are positively industrial especially things like loo roll, shower gel, shampoo, persil, etc. Admittedly I do buy a couple of bottles of wine and a dozen beers but justify that on the basis that we have a takeawy once a flood.

There will be more along shortly to tell you how to get 10 meals off a 1.5 kg chicken which should be used for flavouring and how to slow cook whilst you milk your goat. If they do I really take my hat off to them because I couldn't. I once did a challenge the feed us for £50 because of a Mnet thread and at the end the dc were begging me for something interesting and I thought I did quite well really.

SaltySeaBird Sun 22-Sep-13 17:25:47

That sounds like a lot, I shop for two plus 12 mo DC and spend about £40-45 on an online shop with a further £10 used for top ups during the week. That excludes nappies as I bulk buy from Amazon on a subscription.

Meal planning is pretty essential. On the three days I work we have a slow cooker meal. I don't feel I scrimp and save, I could get our shopping cheaper if I needed to, that's just what we happen to spend.

Breakfast is cereal most days or scrambled egg on a slice of toast.

Lunch is a sandwich and piece of fruit normally, sometimes soup or pasta salad.

Dinner is fairly varied but things like a chilli or vegetable curry. We normally get our five a day and don't eat anything processed as both me and DH enjoy cooking. We only drink water as a cold drink as neither of us like squash or fizzy drinks but DH does eat quite a few biscuits (we aren't food saints).

If we fancy a bottle of wine or DH buys a few beers that comes out a separate budget!

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:06:30

Ok here's my shop list copied and pasted

7 evening meals
3 dd meals (F, Sa, Su)
2 desserts (sometimes)
2 wknd breakfast and lunches (baguettes and filler)
1 seeded thick loaf
1 sandwich filling
1 block cheese
4 pastas for dh lunch
4 dh lunch snack
4 dh lunch desserts, 4 me lunch desserts
1 multi bag crisps
1 Dd fruit/snacks/crisps
1 pack biscuit
1 cake bars
1 choc bisc bars
4 cola
2 squash
3 Sweets
1 or 2 Savoury snacks/crisps
7 Milkshakes (for dh weight gain)
4pt milk
1 Cereal/preserves (sometimes )
1 loo roll
1 kitchen roll
1 cat food
2 baby wipes
1 nappies
plus any household items which prob get 1-2 a week ( inc bin bag, j cloths, butter, condiments, sponges, bath stuff, cat litter, foil, ice, hand soap, cleaning wipes)

ivykaty44 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:10:16

what are your 7 evening meals? That would be the bulk of your shopping list what are you buying to make your evening meals with?

Artandco Sun 22-Sep-13 18:19:03

It sounds a lot if you can't get any lower, I have just done a food shop at ocado for £53. Here's the list. Many organic products. We will spend another £20 in butchers/ fishmongers on fresh meat and fish. So around £70. We don't buy cola/ crisps/ biscuits etc etc

2 Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce essential Waitrose £0.70
1 Biona Organic Haricot Beans £0.99
1 Biona Organic Rye & Sunflower Seed Bread £1.69
1 Jamie Oliver Conchigliette Mini Shells £1.90
1 Ocado Fairtrade Bananas £1.03
1 Organic Carrots Waitrose £0.95
2 Organic Spaghetti Waitrose £2.10
1 Plain Large Tortilla Wraps essential Waitrose £1.20

1 Divo 24 Month Parmigiano Reggiano by Aldo Zilli £3.99
1 Fivemiletown Creamery Ballyoak £1.99
1 Golfera Classic Golfetta £0.00
1 Golfera Classic Prosciutto di Parma £3.40
1 Italian Style 12" Four Seasons Pizza Waitrose £4.00
1 Jazz Tray Pack Apples Waitrose £2.00
1 Milano Salami Waitrose £2.19
1 Mull of Kintyre Extra Mature £3.79
1 Normandy Natural Fromage Frais Full Fat Waitrose £0.65
1 Ocado Flat Mushrooms £1.10
1 Ocado Large Free Range Eggs £1.68
1 Ocado Parsnips £1.09
1 Ocado Trimmed Leeks £1.00
1 Organic Houmous Waitrose £1.25
1 Perfectly Ripe Hayward Kiwi Fruit Waitrose £1.69
2 Rachel's Organic Forbidden Fruits Cherry Yoghurt £1.23
2 Rachel's Organic Low Fat Vanilla Yoghurt £1.07
1 Small Red Peppers Waitrose £1.55
1 Soft Creamy Full Fat Soft Cheese essential Waitrose £0.90
1 Soured Cream essential Waitrose £0.68
1 Watts Farms Spinach £1.32
1 Wholegood Organic Courgette £1.76
2 Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style Yogurt with Honey £3.00
1 Yeo Valley Organic Semi-Skimmed Milk £1.00

1 Essential French Fries Waitrose £1.00

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:19:12

Actually my 7 meals make up the minority of the list - this week we are having tacos with leftover mince I froze, fish n chips, quiche salad, homemade chicken curry, pizza, pasta n sauce, ham egg n chips smile

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:34:14

Artandco- so what meals do you get from that sounds lovely and healthy

As far as I can see you have a lot of snacks and the desserts at lunch are something extra. I don't think you are spending loads but if you need to cut down then those should be the first to go.

Our asda shop this week came in at £69 and that included £15 of kids clothes in the sale and DD2s formula at £7.99. So that's £46 for DP, me, a 4.5 yo and 10mo.

Our dinners this week are

Burgers in baps.
Chicken fajitas.
Spaghetti bolognaise.
Lentil soup.
Chips egg and beans.

This is a cheap week which is why we are having pizzas and chips egg and beans. Usually we spend the entire £70 on food and cleaning stuff.

Cooking from scratch is definitely cheaper, but why do you keep getting food poisoning?

Artandco Sun 22-Sep-13 18:44:32

Daisy - I'm not 100% as have other basics in house but probably soups for every day as lunch/ starter in eve. Mixed bean salads ( will add veg or fish once I get), homemade quiche, probably chicken and mushroom/ veg pie, pasta with sauce, an eve of cheese/ salami etc, plus a few dishes of just meat/ fish with veg, some fajitas .. I don't meal plan but this is an average week. Breakfast is usually porridge or granola with yogurt.

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:48:13

I'm such a terrible cook it scares me. I can do ANYTHING with an egg so have an egg based meal once a week. My mum never cooked and I do try but my cooking makes me sick and on thurs I made a meal where I was sick all night, until there was nothing left to give shock not sure why either

What was the meal on thurs?

daisydee43 Sun 22-Sep-13 18:53:26

I did lamb koftas

Artandco Sun 22-Sep-13 18:53:34

Try looking on bbc good food. I tend to just look up a recipe based on ingredients I have in and go from there. My parents are also awful cooks so my and dh try and test a new recipe every few weeks to increase what we can cook. We also work late so anything that takes longer than 30 mins doesn't get cooked in the week

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