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How do I get my weekly shop right?

(12 Posts)
sisterelephant Thu 12-Jun-14 22:34:34


Please could you wise mn'ers offer me some tips and advice?

We are family of 3 and I am struggling to manage our weekly food/household shop. We have a weekly budget of about £50 per week and I feel like we're running out of things every single day.

I do a 'main' shop where I'd spend about £25-£30 for dinners and nappies, baby essentials etc., then I'll put the £15-20 aside for fresh stuff like milk, bread, veg, fruit etc., but I always run out of money just when we need things like soap, toothpaste, body cream etc.

As sods law has it, we never run out of every thing at the same time, so I'm always having to buy something everyday. I've tried only buying when we run out and I've tried buying before we run out, but I'm still constantly spending. I'd love to just do a monumental shop and buy every single thing we need so I can just top up, but there's no way we can afford a £100+ shopping spree.

I'm clueless in managing money, and I keep trying diff things but I always come up short.

Please help if you can, how do people do it?

Furball Fri 13-Jun-14 06:18:55

Do you meal plan? That helps massively and a shopping list? - only buy what YOU need, not what the supermarkets think you need.

I have a shopping list in the kitchen and anything that is nearly running out gets written down. then I do a weeks meal plan and only buy the foods I need.

Milk - I buy cravendale, (£2 for 4 pints) yes it's a little more expensive but it has a really long date on, so I can buy 12 pints for the week, so no nipping to the shop to get milk and ending up with a basket full or little things I don't need.

Furball Fri 13-Jun-14 06:22:24

similar thread here which might be of interest smile

KiaOraOAotearoa Fri 13-Jun-14 06:37:20

Where do you shop?

In my weekly budget I have a 'spare' £5 (that's how much I am allowing) for offers. So, if the toothpaste is BOGOF, I'll get a couple, even if I have got another spare at home. Same with soap, shower gel etc.
i keep my spare toiletries in a little basket in the airing cupboard. Once every couple of months I tidy that cupboard and have a look at the 'stock levels' and bear that in mind.

I think the secret is buying in bulk/discounted. And menu planning. And a bit of creativity in cooking, substituting stuff rather than running to the shop. Sometimes that means having beans on toast for that night, rather than nipping to the shops.

carlywurly Fri 13-Jun-14 06:48:22

I do my main food shop in tesco or sainsburys and another top up shop in pound land for cleaning bits, packed lunch bits and basic toiletries. It is saving me a fortune and the brands I buy are exactly the same as those in tesco.

For £10 you can stock up on toothbrushes, loo rolls, tooth paste, shower gel, hand wash, bin bags etc etc. I even pick up books for the dcs.

Worth a try smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 13-Jun-14 09:35:40

I think the short answer is that £50/week for essential food/toiletries/cleaning products for three people is not enough money. How did you arrive at £50/week and can you save money elsewhere by changing your priorities? Better deal on the utility bills? Less discretionary spending on non-essentials? Fewer clothes? Use the car less? Even if you can only find an extra £10/week it'll make a difference

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 13-Jun-14 19:57:36

Meal planning saves lots of money. I like products that are multipurpose eg plain white bubble bath as handwash and a bubble bath and using multipurpose cleaner for everything rather than buying a kitchen cleaner, a bathroom cleaner, a floor cleaner. Vinegar acts as fabric softener & polishes the stainless steels sinks & descales the kettle.

You get the idea. I really don't see the need for endless products.

sisterelephant Sat 14-Jun-14 14:08:48

Thanks all for your advice.

We do meal plan and that's the easy part as I buy what we need but it's the extra little bits that are annoying! I use multipurpose cleaners for everything!

We shop mainly in Iceland, savers and asda, so I think we are as cheap as we can get.

cogito we have stripped back as much as we can so that's the most we can get, we have to make it stretch.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Jun-14 15:49:30

Have you got an aldi? I find it cheaper than Asda.

Grumpyoldblonde Sun 15-Jun-14 13:14:34

can you cut back another part of the budget? I could buy just food for £50 a week, but no way include nappies, toiletries and cleaning products, it just is not enough money sadly to cover everything. We are 3 and I spend around £150 a week, I look out for offers, use coupons and so on but still easily spend this, although we do drink alcohol, (rather too much) and we have to buy cat food.
I agree though that lots of cleaning products are not necessary, bottle of bleach and vinegar do the job, also halving the amount of washing powder, no difference to the cleanliness. Basics for shower gel, toothpaste and handsoap are just fine, also shampoo as it just rinses straight off, cconditioner (for me) is far more important.
On the whole though I just don't think £50 for everything is doable, I really hope someone can prove me wrong though and I can also take tips!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 16-Jun-14 01:38:53

Firstly I feed three of use for on average £55 per week. The only fresh stuff I buy mid week is bread. Today I bought milk in Sainsburys with a date of 25/06/14, fruit keeps fresh in my bowl for over 7 days and I keep veggies in the fridge.
I buy basics range for nearly everything accept bread, sausages and pasta as I am a coeliac. You have to menu plan for your life and stick to it. There is no room for treats etc. You to observe all the toothpaste , loo till etc so you are not buying it on the hoof and try to buy when I special.

sisterelephant Tue 17-Jun-14 12:35:16

Thanks again all.

There is no lidle near me and I tried aldi bit didn't find it much cheaper? Plus I live on the top floor of a flat with no lift so the £1 delivery charge is more than worth it.

I wish I had £150 per week to spend! I'd defo find something to spend it on, but we £50 is all we physically have.

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