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the great food shopping budget challenge!

(48 Posts)
Stargazing Mon 16-Jun-08 15:17:35

a few big expenses have forced me to take a look at whee we can cut back a bit... we spend, on average, £100 a week at the supermarket. There's me, dh, 22 mo dd and 6 mo ds. We eat very healthily - lots of fresh stuff, lots of organic, not much meat etc etc - but fruit & veg sure do add up, esp when you're buying all the organic stuff and have a penchant for things like mangoes and raspberries, rather than good old apples and pears.

So I have set myself a challenge - to cut our weekly expenditure in half. Who thinks I can do it? My husband doesn't!! I'm going to start by ditching Sainsbury in favour of Lidl and start simplifying our food choices - we can still be healthy without being gourmet, right???

Feel free to post advice, tips and words of encouragement!

Twiglett Mon 16-Jun-08 15:18:36

i have a fruit fiend for a child ... I visited Lidl with much trepidation for the first time last week ... mangoes are 45p each shock grin

Stargazing Mon 16-Jun-08 15:26:45

thanks Twiglett! so it's a good place to shop? you were happy?

witchandchips Mon 16-Jun-08 15:36:38

have you time to get fruit and veg from green grocers or farmers market?- Much cheaper than supermarkets and you save money because you are more restricted to products that are in season. you also just buy what you need and so end up throwing away less.

pick your own might be a winner for dd as well

Twiglett Mon 16-Jun-08 15:48:25

LOL at 'farmers' markets' being cheaper .. not round here they aren't grin in fact I think you pay a premium there

they don't take credit cards star .. which was a bit surprising and I hadn't been ready for .. and tbh last week was expensive because we entertained a couple of times

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 15:51:02

You can do it I have and do. Netto cuts my costs in half for tins, tuna, beans and their fruit and veg is good quality and low cost. I also shop at local grocer and butcher and get the rest at the main supermarket. I get own brand cleaning products you can pick up washing powder for around a £1. Think about what you cook so you can make more out of it. We have cheap night when we have sardines on toast or poached egg. Organic is a waste of money unless it's local. There are less nutrients the longer it is left. I also grow my own onions, toms, lettuces, cabbages and garlic. We get eggs from farms too.

MascaraOHara Mon 16-Jun-08 15:52:08

our farmers market is so expensive I stopped going.

I go to a normal market and have reduced my fruit and verg down to ~4.50 a week

LadyOfWaffle Mon 16-Jun-08 15:52:25

Be honest with yourself how much you use and how much rots away before you get a chance and has to be thrown. Or gets frozen then freezer burnt so has to be thrown away. Sometimes as much as 10-20% of our food doesn't get eaten, things like chicken at the back of the fridge and by the time you remember about it it's out of date etc.

MascaraOHara Mon 16-Jun-08 15:52:55

so Twig.. what is the verdict on Lidl/netto?

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 15:53:38

green grocers are definitely cheaper than supermarkets I saved ab.out a tenner on my shop, 5 close every week so you should support them. My local butcher makes delicious burgers and they are only 40p each made with fresh local ingredients

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 15:54:47

Take cash don't pay by card that keeps you on budget.

Minum Mon 16-Jun-08 15:56:20

I've tried all sorts of different local shops and markets, and still found Tesco the cheapest (we dont have a Lidl for miles).

I am working hard on cutting down waste, meal planning and buying meat, veg and dairy only. Making home made cake for packed lunches has helped. Also buying frozen veg and meat has kept down the bill, and less waste.

Trouble is, I can blow all the careful planning and shopping by popping into Waitrose for "something nice", which I will really watch very carefully from now on.

LadyOfWaffle Mon 16-Jun-08 15:58:23

Also things like when you buy a packet of say steak, don't do what I do and 'use up the packet' (ie. 5 peices for 3 people), buy smaller packet of mince for cottage pies etc. and bulk up with veg things like that.

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 16:09:10

Absolutely, you can't beat good ol toad in the hole

witchandchips Mon 16-Jun-08 16:09:39

also plan to use leftovers in your menu planning and shopping, rather than just put left overs in fridge to be eaten when shopping runs out and they've either gone off or you've no veg to eat with them!

so chicken then risotto, lamb then stir fry, baked potatoes ham + salad, then ham and bean stew

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 16:09:57

Fish pie, chicken pie, corned beef hash

TheProvincialLady Mon 16-Jun-08 16:12:53

Buying at the market (not farmers marker!) is definitely much cheaper than the supermarket. You need to get out of that mango/raspberries habit, unless they are in season, because they are expensive and not very environmentally friendly if they are flown in from round the world. And I bet they aren't all that full of vitamins either, by the time they have got here.

Stargazing Mon 16-Jun-08 16:23:31

oh god. But I am so addicted to raspberries. The other thing is that I am vegan, wheat-free blah blah - which means that most of my stuff comes from the health food store - not cheap!

rebelmum1 Mon 16-Jun-08 16:26:30

You can get frozen raspberries, ee if your vegan you can stock up on lentils, cheap as chips and plenty of dried beans and pulses. I did a vegan diet for a while(was actually vegetarian but am intolerant to dairy and wheat)and I saved a fortune.

Mercy Mon 16-Jun-08 16:28:24

Agree that farmer's markets are outrageously expensive (where I live anyway - £2.50 for a loaf of bread anyone?)

We generally stick to organic dairy products, free range/organic eggs and chicken. We try to buy only UK grown fruit and veg or Fairtrade.

If you have an Asian or African or sim. grocer nearby you can get mangoes, melons etc much cheaper there (check the seasons though)

Mercy Mon 16-Jun-08 16:30:41

I didn't see your post re being vegan - some health food stores can be very expensive so try an Asian grocers for similar products.

deanychip Mon 16-Jun-08 16:30:51

i have done this and now spend about £32 per week, one week in the month though, i spend maybe £50 due to washing powders etc.

dont buy organic, cant afford it.

meal plan on a Sunday

shop on a Monday evening. buy bread on offer and feeze it to last the week, buy 2/3 loaves (always wholemeal)We all take packed luches to school/work.

buyONLY what is on the list.

make double of everything and freeze half and use as meals the following week.

Fruits & veg keep in the fridge so they dont go off and last the week, also have frozen veg, vvv handy to bulk up cooking.

BUy maybe one packet of buiscuits as a treat but they must last the week.

Dont buy any alcohol/crisps/crap/pop or cordials.
mainly go for shop brand stuff, very rarely do i get well known brands.
loo rolls etc, the very cheap shops own brand, you are only flushing them away...tis like watching a £5 note floating away if you spend any more!

We go blackberrying in sEpt, get as many as we possibly can then freeze them in batches for use over the winter months, fab in porridge, crumbles and yoghurts, bursting with goodness and free!

im growing some strawberries and toms this summer, so we will have our own, kids love doing this.

try the money saver,com web site by Maartin Lewis, tis brill with loads of tips.

as money is short, every time i go to Tescos i buy £1 stamps and have a book now with about £59 in it, this will pay for our food shopping at Christmas, also have my club card vouchers so i wont have the money to find then.

mankymummy Mon 16-Jun-08 16:31:15

LIDL is good for things like huge jars of peppers in oil, you get about 10 times the amount you would get buying fresh and they are fine for sticking in spag bol etc.

sarah293 Mon 16-Jun-08 16:35:35

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sarah293 Mon 16-Jun-08 16:36:58

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