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How much should we spend on the weekly shop?

(17 Posts)
JessJess3908 Sun 07-Jun-09 20:56:44

Money is tight - I need to decide on a budget and stick to it. We are me, DP and our 9mo BLW DD. We don't have a car and there is only a Sainsbury's or a Tesco Metro in walking distance. How much should I expect our weekly shop to come to?

isittooearlyforgin Sun 07-Jun-09 21:00:51

hi there! was a thread about this a little while ago. some people managed incredibly well on £50 or so by not eating meat every night, making own bread, buying value brands etc. I've always been a bit rubbish at budgeting and over £100 a week on the four of us, but since a friend suggested deciding in advance what I should cook on each night and making a shopping list with those ingredients, bill has been cut to £70 which for me, I think is pretty good going and do not feel as if we are loosing out.

JessJess3908 Sun 07-Jun-09 21:15:45

Cheers - was it this one?

I think my biggest problem is that I don't know how much I am spending. Tomorrow I resolve to take the money out in cash, put it in a separate little purse and see how long i can make it last.

isittooearlyforgin Sun 07-Jun-09 21:21:33

yes it was! think that is a very good plan. its so easy with cards to whip them out isn't it? doesn't feel like real money (until the end of the month that is!)

pippylongstockings Sun 07-Jun-09 21:30:57

I agree if you are on a budget - have a housekeeping weekly amount that you keep in cash is a really helpful way of keeping a control.

Weekly food pplanners really help for me - but it's the weekly fresh stuff like fruit, veg, bread and milk that catch me unawares. Suddenly spending another £15-£25 during the week.

LoveBeingAMummy Mon 08-Jun-09 08:02:54

I agree its those I'll just nip and get x that adds an extra £20, plus doing the weekly shop a day or two earl each week.

Am going to lok at the other thread!

Laugs Mon 08-Jun-09 08:32:39

Hi JessJess,
We're in a similar situation to you - it's me, Dh and 25 yr old with no car. We have a Tesco about half an hour walk away and local greengrocers.

I'm not sure how BLW works - does she eat the same as you? When DD was 9 months I think I was just making meals for 2 really and carving off a bit of each of our plates to put on to hers. It's definitely cheaper if you're all eating the same, but that will come in time if not already.

I'd estimate we spend about £40 a week. We have 'proper' meals probably 5 nights a week, then one night something like pizza and salad and another night something like poached eggs and beans on toast. I normally do a shop on sunday or monday and buy food for about 4 days plus some non-perishable stuff- this is all I can carry and the fresh food goes off after that. I've only just realised that I need to use the fresh food (veg in particular) for the week's earlier meals so it doesn't go off, so I'm definitely still learning at budgeting too! This shop normally costs around £25. Then I take out a tenner and use this later on in the week to get any extra fruit or veg locally once we've run out. DH probably spends another £5 picking up bread and milk or extra bits on his way home.
Oh, this pays for all of mine and DD's meals, but DH buys lunch at work in a subsidised canteen = £2ish per day. So we probably spend £50 a week on food.

Plonketyplonk Mon 08-Jun-09 08:58:15

I go to the market and spend about £20/week on fruit and veg, £10 at the butcher, about a fiver on cheese, and possibly something on fish. We seem to still manage to spend a lot at the supermarket on household stuff, tea, coffee alcohol and bics. There are 4 of us.

JessJess3908 Mon 08-Jun-09 15:01:34

Yes Laugs - she eats mostly the same as us so I don't have to buy jars of babyfood. Do you have a 25yr old or a 2.5yr old?!

My new household kitty is in action - withdrew £50 today but only spent £25 so we'll see how far that gets me. Saved a fair few quid buying basics everything and downgrading to portugese rose, hope DP likes it wink

Laugs Mon 08-Jun-09 15:09:32

Oops, yes 2.5 yr old! Good luck with it all.

isittooearlyforgin Mon 08-Jun-09 22:05:30

downgrading to portuguese rose sounds good to me!!

CherryChoc Mon 08-Jun-09 22:58:52

I can't drive and refuse to go shopping with DP as it causes too many arguments. We also have a BLW 8mo! I tend to do our weekly shopping with Tesco online, I know it costs for delivery but I always order a few days in advance so that it keeps it down, usually it's about £3.50 which is definitely worth it for the money and stress we save (by not impulse-buying, mainly, but also being able to compare brands, special offers etc)

I meal-plan as I do the shop. I first go onto the website and book my delivery slot, then my first port of call is the special offers section, I see what there is on offer and plan around that (I have a list of meals which I add to every time we try something new and like it, also a list of stuff to try which is recipes etc I find) Then I go round each section for the other ingredients of the meals, and finally non-food things and storecupboard items. I don't really mealplan for lunches, I just have a list (again!) with lots of different lunch ideas and I make sure I have enough e.g. eggs, tins etc to make lunch a few times.

You can also have a different approach - do a big online shop once a month to stock up your storecupboard. This is all the non-perishable things like tins, pasta (we buy pasta in huge bulk bags), flour, drinks, frozen things (including buying fresh meat/poultry to freeze) as well as heavy non-food items like washing powder, nappies etc. Then each week all you have to buy is meat/fish, eggs, dairy, bread, veg etc - less to carry and you can make a few short trips a week if you want to keep everything nice and fresh. I keep meaning to do this instead of how we shop now as I think it would encourage me to shop at local shops etc more.

Also, always make bigger proportions than you need, if the meal is freezable (e.g. spaghetti bolognese) - if the meal isn't freezable (shepherd's pie?) see if there is anything you can cook extra of (mince with onions & garlic is a good staple) that you can then freeze to use as a base for another meal when you're pushed for time/tired. And start serving up smaller portions, but have seconds if you are still hungry. With the extras saved in the freezer you always have an alternative on nights you can't face cooking (also, you might want to deliberately meal-plan in a couple of "lazy cooking" nights a week so you don't end up with wasted food if you don't eat it) - a couple more tips on not wasting food, go through the fridge every day (when you are cooking dinner is a good time) and take note of the dates/condition of the food, for snacks remind your family that the yoghurts (or whatever) need eating by X date, for things that need to be cooked as a dinner plan the next few days (ie the chicken needs to be cooked by friday, the mince by thursday, so we'd better have the mince tomorrow, etc) - if you have food too close to it's date and not enough time to eat it, freeze it now before you forget. Leftovers can be kept and frozen/chilled as a spare meal for your DD if you are having something unsuitable, or used in e.g. an omelette. For your DD don't worry if things are mixed together (e.g. chili and rice) or have ketchup/gravy on them - she won't mind eating them cold/reheated, and a tiny bit of ketchup won't harm her.

Start with a high budget (£75?) and aim to bring it down. If you are doing the once-monthly online storecupboard restock, it's probably best to have a monthly budget - say start with £325, if £75 was your weekly bill and spend £150 on storecupboard things, leaving you around £40 a week to spend on fresh food, which should be plenty.

Sorry have rambled - Of course I must admit, this is all my very well-thought out intention but we spend far more than we should do and I am useless at remembering to follow my own advice! It would work though, if you stuck to it, and we'd be eating a lot better too.

MrsBonJovi Mon 08-Jun-09 23:25:14

Cherrychoc Some brillant advice. Did you know you can normally find free delivery codes online at moneysavingexpert?

isittooearlyforgin Tue 09-Jun-09 15:13:34

also if you are a supermarket tart you can make saving. Start on line shopping with one supermarket then switch to another after a while and then again. Soon the first supermarkets notice your loss of custom and send enticing money off your shopping bill vouchers.

JessJess3908 Tue 09-Jun-09 15:59:55

THank you Cherrychoc. I have always been put off doing my shopping online because of delivery charges, I'd never thought that I may be able to save more than I'd spend on delivery by going to a different supermarket.

I can thoroughly recommend the rose wink It did taste a little like tizer at first but after a couple of glasses DP and I were contemplating openign the other bottle... only it wasn't in the meal plan so I told him we couldn't grin

Sparklytwinkletoes Tue 09-Jun-09 16:07:34

Hi, I've just been made redundant and started going to do the shopping myself instead of online, in an attempt to save a few quid on delivery. Instead, I've found that I've spent LOADS more and that I had no real concept of what the total value was of the goods in my basket until I got to the till. A couple of £100 plus shockers and I'm going back to my online shopping - as said above, booking delivery at £3.50 is far better than the extra £20 - £30 I was spending!

CherryChoc Tue 09-Jun-09 18:43:19

BonJovi yep, I am a MSE regular (or used to be anyway) thanks

I think (though not sure, maybe someone can verify?) that the "local" supermarkets are usually more expensive on the same products than the larger stores, so you might save money that way as well.

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