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Help! Food bill is ridiculous!

(29 Posts)
Hobby2014 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:00:12

So I watched that eat for less program last week.
We don't have a budget for food. So thought I'd add up what I spent recently. So between 29th December & 29th January..... It came to over £600. I was gobsmacked.

We have that delivery saver thing with Tesco so just order whenever we want, as much or as little as we want. Obviously we order too much. There's only me, DH and 6 month old ds and his formula isn't even available to order online so I can't even blame the high bill on him..

So, I'm trying not to spend as much. So far in feb I've only spent £10 on fresh stuff at Asda. As we obviously have stock of loads that has kept us going.

So, now to my question.
We don't buy any Tesco everyday value stuff. Comparing prices just now, I can see some stuff is ridiculously cheaper! So plan to swap a few things over. Well a lot of things.

Any recommendations on what value food tastes ok and what I should avoid?

I'm not sure I could swap meat. Does anyone eat cheao meat? Is it ok?

Also what about toiletries & cleaning stuff? Value washing up liquid, shower gel, fabric conditioner etc?

Any other help on how to reduce food bill would be lovely. DH likes meat & doesn't like beans/pulses ie a chilli can't have kidney beans in it. I also need to lose a lot of weight, about 4 stone, so need reasonable low fat/calorie/sugar foods. Rather than cheap, stodgy food to fill us up.


when I say 'food' bill I mean 'everything' bill - food, toiletries, cleaning, baby stuff etc

Hobby2014 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:03:03

Not sure if I should have put this in credit crunch?

Fairylea Sun 08-Feb-15 22:03:51

Lots of very good tips here smile

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Sun 08-Feb-15 22:06:23

It depends on what you've been buying. Loose fruit/veg or bagged? Lots of BYGOF/3 for 2? Ready meals? Chicken portions? Are you able to write down your weekly grocery list so that we can take a look and see where you can make savings?

gamerchick Sun 08-Feb-15 22:12:49

Yes could you list what you usually get?

CurlyWurlyCake Sun 08-Feb-15 22:15:21

I've recently started looking at my food (everything) shopping, it's high although we are a family of 5.

I have to shop in Asda, it's local and I was in a bad habit of shopping every day for every meal.

I'm trying to meal plan which should stop me having 17 tins of chopped tomatoes in my cupboard.

I'm placing marking...

LineRunner Sun 08-Feb-15 22:18:18

Go to Lidl or Aldi for meat. I learnt that on MN.

I bought a £10 slab of beef on Friday and fed four of us a roast on Friday night, made Chinese beef for seven on Saturday out of what was left, and a sandwich today. And it tasted wonderful.

MN Magic beef!

Good value products I find are tinned tomatoes, beans, noodles, frozen chicken, bacon and cheese.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 08-Feb-15 22:20:44

Yeah, I have similar meat-loving DH. And as an ex-veggie, I'm not prepared to reduce quality/welfare of meat. So = high food bill.

You could cut your alcohol spend, if that's included in there?

Value washing up liquid- no, you'll need half the bottle to clean a mug.

We don't use fabric conditioner and seem to have adequately presentable and non-stinky clothes, though, so there's a potential saving.

Probably half your problem is not having a budget - at the start of the week, write down how much you want to spend, cross it off as you spend it, and stop spending when it's gone. Even if you do need just one more teensy top-up shop grin

Pixa Sun 08-Feb-15 22:25:09

We had quite an expensive food bill (DH is a pescetarian, so we buy a lot of quorn, yet I am a meat eater).

We have moved to once a month cooking which has reduced our wastage and food bill by lots. We have found it helps us to be more organised and has also helped us to lose weight. I thoroughly recommend it if you can find a day to prepare all your meals. smile

Hobby2014 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:25:46

Ok this is not going to make sense but here goes.... This is the sort of things we buy, if this is what you mean!

Salad stuff
Mushrooms onions peppers
Cheese milk eggs
Yoghurts, rice puddings
Bread/pittas/garlic bread

Plain fresh chicken/beef/lamb/ mince to make curries/casseroles/pasta bakes/chilli/sheperds pie etc

Mixture of chopped toms/herbs and jars/sachets for above. So some things are from scratch others from a jar.

Plain Pasta/rice/potatoes

Frozen peas/sweetcorn
Breaded chicken
Fish fingers/cod cakes

Diet coke its my only vice
Don't smoke. Don't drink alcohol.

Cleaning stuff I tend to go with a Tesco brand.
Toiletries I tend to buy what's on offer, but not Tesco branded shampoo/conditioner/shower gel/toothpaste/shaving gel.

Toilet roll/kitchen roll/tissues Tesco brand.
Nappies Tesco brand. Baby toiletries Tesco brand.

I think a lot of money is spend on fresh meat/salad stuff/fruit/veg/Muller corners & rices (am going to stop buying these from a loosing weight point of view-so much sugar!)

Lottiesmama312 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:26:03

We are also a family of 3 and spend on average £70 a week, things that save me money :

- buying big bags of onions and potatoes from the local farm shop, they last for weeks and are so much more economical!
- buy in season from local farm shop/supermarket, so right now we are eating lots of root veg, leeks and leafy greens! Normally cheaper to eat veg and fruit like this.
- base meals on what foods are on offer
- do two or three non meat nights a week
- soup, is a great cheap meal to cook. I cook up a batch of soup once or twice a week to have for lunch in the week or on the weekend
- for breakfasts oats are cheap and make a great breakfast, cheaper than fancy cereals! We also have pancakes once or twice a week, which is another filling and inexpensive breakfast!
- pizza, I make my own dough and find if cheaper than buying a ready made premium pizza!

In terms of value products - tinned tomatoes and tinned peaches are great! grin

Hobby2014 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:29:25

I don't buy any sort of cake/chocolate/crisps/biscuits.
Yoghurts / fruit are my sweet thing.
DH doesn't really snack.
I'm on ML so need all my meals. DH only dinner. Ds doesn't count yet grin.
I also buy tuna/Mayo/soups/beans for lunches.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 08-Feb-15 22:31:18

How much of the fresh stuff do you end up chucking away?

Laquitar Sun 08-Feb-15 22:32:35

Your bill is very high so look at it to see what you dont really need.

Like the previous poster we don't use fabric conditioner at all. We use
vinegar for cleaning, eco spray,
bleach for the toilet. No extra cleaning products.
Do you buy lots of expensive juice?
Water is fine.
Snacks? Buy multiple pack of snacks, only have one on weekend.

Budget friendly and diet friendly protein: eggs.

I don't buy value meat or tinned tuna,
or bread, the rest of value is fine imo.

LineRunner Sun 08-Feb-15 22:35:04

That's a huge bill for what you're buying.

Do you eat it all? Chuck loads out?

slugseatlettuce Sun 08-Feb-15 22:35:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gamerchick Sun 08-Feb-15 22:43:17

Well diet coke is 14 quid for 54 cans in farm foods if you can get to one. Meats are a good deal in there as well.

How much fresh do you throw away?

gamerchick Sun 08-Feb-15 22:45:43

As for bulking put. . A handful of red lentils in a chilli is undetectable by my lot but it does the job portion size wise.

eveylikesv Sun 08-Feb-15 22:46:11

Do you have a butcher or a greengrocer nearby? Often works out much cheaper than supermarket and the quality is much better. I usually stock up on meat and fish when it's on special and then portion and freeze. Our bill is also big but that's likely due to how expensive things are...Our weekly shop is around £45-50 and we don't buy any luxuries, ready meals or lots of meat.

Lovelydiscusfish Sun 08-Feb-15 22:49:01

Fruit and veg is very cheap from Lidl.
Various Tesco Value products are fine. Pasta, for example.

Violetta007 Sun 08-Feb-15 22:49:56

I would probably try going half and half with beans/pulses and meat in things like cottage pie. See if he notices.

thetroubleis Sun 08-Feb-15 22:50:30

I was subbed Tesco Value wash powder (£2.50 30 washes) instead of my usual (depending on offers surf £9ish 45 washes) and it's just as good. Plus I do at least 2 full loads a day so I get through it quick and it seems to last just as long as the 45 wash box...

And it smells like cherry blossom.

Fairylea Sun 08-Feb-15 22:54:07

Tesco value washing powder is great ... I agree with trouble. We also love their value nappies - £1.40 for 20!

DrownedGirl Sun 08-Feb-15 22:55:15

Tesco value ham is fine
Value clothes liquid
Value or daisy dishwasher tablets
Value flour
Value toothpaste and hand wash
Value Jaffa cakes
Value carrots
Frozen cauli/broccoli is good

debbriana Sun 08-Feb-15 23:35:58

Always buy loose bananas, broccoli, and other vegetables. They cost half the price to the prepackaged ones.

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