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Re-prioritise I need help to change my supermarket budget for next year.

(37 Posts)
2006hildy Sun 02-Dec-12 11:20:14

This is what I have spent in the last 32 days on four people. Please crit it, shoot me down. Re-prioritise for me I need help to change my supermarket budget for next year. I could probably do with advice as to where to buy all this stuff too eg market, meat wholesaler ect. I can see now I was definitely spending on what I like rather than what I should. Sometimes you need people to point out the bleeding obvious. I definitely will be reorganising my lifestyle choices. That’s why I started my spreadsheet and hopefully in 12 months time it will look a whole lot more sensible.
meat 98.6
fruit & veg36.54
butter &oil27.59
cheese & eggs12.85

As always cutting back not cutting out.

ivykaty44 Sun 02-Dec-12 22:18:26

489 total

111 on sweets, chocolate, crisps, biccies and pudding

36 spent on fruit and vegetables

could you up the fruit and vegetables spend to fill up on as they are cheaper than the sweets, chocolate etc?

Thus then reducing the sweets and choc etc spending

Gentleness Sun 02-Dec-12 22:28:20

Portion size - I forgot to mention that. We are cutting down on that, partly for cost and partly for health and partly because I was just making it up before I started checking out nutritional guides!

Narked Sun 02-Dec-12 22:36:08

I was a bit surprised at the fruit and veg cost.

2006hildy Tue 04-Dec-12 11:31:45

Rationing improved the nation’s health looks like a bit of rationing on my food budget will dramatically improve my family’s health too. I ‘m so pleased I have done my spreadsheet so that it shows us where I have gone wrong. I can’t wait. Writing it all down for a month has already set me on the path to better financial management.
Where is the best nutritional guide as to how much a family of four should really be eating?
What’s the best website for telling you what is the best seasonal food?
Next where to find all the bargains to reduce my budget as well? I think I really need to find a good butcher that delivers. Is there one national chain that is really good. It just feels like a complicated minefield shopping at different places with special offers ect. I like to keep things simple. Does that mean I should trust the market and Aldi and Lidl.
I want help getting what I need as cheaply as possible.
As always cutting back not cutting out.

swanthingafteranother Tue 04-Dec-12 12:43:12

I think that if it were as simple as that, we would be all be shopping there wink
The whole point is that supermarkets tend to have some items which lose them money, and some that make large profits. They count on people getting confused and buying everything from same place hmm So some people will use Aldi/Lidl for some items but be aware that not everything from there is priced competitively.

Another tip someone gave me (a lady of 55, single working mother of three who used her freezer a lot) was the minute you see something on special offer, stock up on it. So it could be tins of tomatoes, sacks of onions, roasting joints. She said she spent a portion of Sats batching cooking for freezer too. Now that is counsel of perfection but if you go to some local(often ethnic) veg shops on high street you can often find large sacks of onions for example which work out a great deal cheaper than any supermarket, as long as you have a cool place to keep them. Bread from my corner shop (Polish bread that is) is much cheaper than from Morrisons, but Morrisons would be much cheaper for just about everything else, except veg. Just an example. A butcher can fill your freezer often more cheaply than any supermarket meat offers because you are cutting out middleman. But all this takes a bit of effort, and it may be that time is money in your case.

educatingarti Tue 04-Dec-12 13:01:53

I changed to Aldi a while back. I've found it really great for most things. Their washing tablets and dishwasher tablets are just as good as branded versions. They have things like their version of "not from concentrate" orange juice which is about £1 cheaper than Tropicana. I think it isn't quite as sweet to the taste but perfectly good. Medium free range eggs are 99p. The only thing I bought and have really hated so far is their "quixo" stock cubes. Some of their stuff does taste different to named and other supermarket brands (eg baked beans and ketchup) - not worse in my opinion, just different - but your ASD son may find this hard - you can only try I guess.

If it were me I would get what you can in Aldi each week (you won't be able to get everything) and even without special offers if will prove a lot cheaper than buying similar stuff from another supermarket. You will need to be very restrained about the special home and garden and clothing etc offers in the central isles as if you aren't careful you can end up spending on these when you didn't plan to - though some stuff is very good value there too! Shopping in Aldi takes a bit of getting used to as they price things in big banners acrosst he top of shelves rather than by each item and the stores really aren't as light and bright and inviting as some other supermarkets, but I think the savigns are so worth it and you do get used to it after a few months. Now I wouldn't want to do my main shop elsewhere.
You could maybe do an online shop from say Asda for the rest of the things you need.

Cut out nearly all crisps, biscuits cakes and sweets for the adults (occasional small treat allowed) and as much as possible for your children given that your ASD son may not tolerate this too much and your other child may want them given that his brother is getting them. Substitute with fruit and yoghurt for deserts. It may be that even if your ASD son will only eat brand name crisps, your other child will eat the Aldi version so you can still save here.

I think I'd go bananas if I tried to find every single bargain from many different sources, but doing as much as possible of my shop in Aldi gives me really significant reductions. Obviously if you see or hear about a fantastic bargain you can still go for that.

You say your husband "likes meat". Look up online what the healthy portion size of meat is and how often a week is healthy to eat say red meat etc. Show this to your DH and tell him suggest he will should keep within these guidelines. If he doesn't have issues like ASD he should be able to see the sense in it and adapt to the change. If he makes a fuss, he can try doing the budgeting, shopping and cooking!

ChristmasTreegles Tue 04-Dec-12 13:22:40

Another way to cut back on meat costs is to make stews/soups or casseroles. The meat is in smaller pieces and it can be bulked up with veg with nobody noticing the difference.

If you're going to change brands, such as crisps, try to start by putting the crisps in a bowl when he eats them now, so that when the brand changes, he won't have the bag as a tip-off. Sounds ridiculous, but DS2 notices the branding/logo immediately (he fascinated with them), so that's when he sees a change.

The biggest down side to shopping around and comparing prices is that you're very aware of all the prices of things you generally buy in the supermarket, so when they mark up the price, you notice it immediately. Annoys me to no end to see how the prices have gone up recently! hmm

ivykaty44 Tue 04-Dec-12 18:03:32

Up your lentil soup, tuscan bean soup, black eye bean chilli (use black eye beans instead of mince meat your dahl intake and chickpea curry intake and this alone will reduce your meat bill. Google any of theabove and there are plenty of recipes - beans and lentils are both very very healthy and cheaper than meat by half

You can make big pots of all three of the above and eat at lunch heated up or evening meal - meaning your ds can eat something he is comfortable with and you will still reduce your budget without effecting your ds.

AdoraJingleBells Wed 05-Dec-12 11:14:11

I found a good portion calculator on

I was quite surprised at the difference between OH's expectations (he's not in a job where he uses tons of energy) and what an adult actually needs.

If DS can't accept meals like the soups and stews suggested could you cut back gradually by slicing chicken so that you use 4 breasts/thighs for a family meal, fe, instead of 6?

2006hildy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:55:02

This is my plan and actually has not worked out so far as I am not strict on myself.

I have far too much "stock" everywhere. Spent £652 in January for a family of four! Included alcohol, toiletries, everything. Too many bargains -especially expensive meat. February is going to be eating out of freezer and cupboards month with a low spend attitude for fresh stuff.

Loosely Meal plan around the meat in the freezer which is bought on special offer or whoopsies.

Make best use of Aldi Super Six and Lidl weekend offers as they are over the road from each other.

Use to order months worth of cheaper food compared to Aldi and Lidl and will always look for deals especially, cheese, shampoo, conditioner, coffee, Wash Tablets, Clothes softener, Toilet Rolls, Kitchen Rolls, Tooth Paste if they are a Savvy buy.

Used to use Costco for toilet paper and washing powder but cheaper in Aldi or Asda.

Will batch cook especially Spag Bol and use the freezer for everything I can't keep fresh any longer.

Use a list for fresh stuff such as bread, milk, veg, fruit, lunch.

I also use as many coupons as I can, and if I can combine them with special offers,

The more you shop the more you are likely to spend due to impulse buys - this is definitely me and have found I spend more on "offers" so trying to stick to my regime of : Aldi Super Six and Lidl weekend offers, Use

If there are any other tips to keep costs down do let us all know, thanks.

MrsHoarder Sat 09-Feb-13 20:23:33

If you have an impluse problem when in the shops (no need to have a whole freezer of whoopies) then try ordering your food online so you have to stick to the list. You can alternate this with Weeks of going to aldi, but you need to chill a bit about what you buy. There will be loo roll to buy next week too

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 12-Feb-13 18:17:10

For various reasons (snow being the main one), I only went to the supermarket once last month. I was able to buy bread and milk locally but apart from that we just worked our way through the fridge, freezer and store cupboard.

Each day, I kept thinking there couldn't possibly be anything else I could chuck together to make a meal and each day I'd find something else lurking at the back of the fridge/freezer/cupboard!!

It was quite an eye-opener. I realised that I can create a meal out of random ingredients when I have to and also, I threw out a lot less than normal because I wasn't constantly topping up with new food bargains.

I had a big food delivery last weekend and whilst the fridge/freezer/cupboards are still full over a week later, I seem to have slipped back into my old ways of not being able to think of what to make for tea each night.

So, I am stopping myself from shopping as often as I usually do in an attempt to save money and waste less. If I run out of a couple of things, I normally pop to the shop and come out with half a dozen extra things because they were a bargain or because they caught my attention, whereas, when I ran out of cheese last month, I just opened one of the 10 tins of tuna that I had stashed in the cupboard and had that in a sandwich instead.

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