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Help me cut down my food shop

(34 Posts)
Talulaley Wed 10-Feb-16 08:45:32

I'm a single mum, one dd14, very little disposable income. Also a dog and 2 cats.. I'm spending far too much on food. There's a Tesco express nearby and I seem to be there every day, doing a top up shop.

Dd is veggie and I'm not, we eat a lot of salad, wraps, stir fry, a roast with bf at the weekend ..

I can get to aldi and lidl, but still need to go elsewhere for cat food and other things, e.g dd life's refried beans in her wraps, or Quorn chicken dippers occasionally ..

I drink lactofree milk and only have goats cheese.

Wuffleflump Wed 10-Feb-16 12:12:47

The Tesco express probably doesn't help. I live near both an express and a full size store, and the express can be more expensive even for the same item. Add to that the reduced range means some of the bargains won't be available.

Do you plan meals? Bulk online shopping would be a start.

Pointlessfan Wed 10-Feb-16 12:16:03

Could you order pet food in bulk from somewhere like Pets at Home? Do a big shop once a month in Aldi/Lidl for tins, wraps etc that won't go off or can be frozen and then just buy fresh stuff each week?

Talulaley Wed 10-Feb-16 13:05:49

Yes I think Tesco express is more expensive sometimes. But it's very handy for fresh salad..

I'll try doing a monthly shop at aldi - I hate doing a big shop there, but I know it is much cheaper.

ijustwannadance Wed 10-Feb-16 13:14:23

Tesco express tend not to stock the cheap options. Partly due to lack of space but mostly as they know if they only stock a more expensive option the customer will have no choice other than to buy it for convenience.

starry0ne Wed 10-Feb-16 13:20:04

I think you need to meal plan and do a smaller shop weekly..

Do a list and stick to it ...

pussinwellyboots Wed 10-Feb-16 13:25:28

What about growing your own salad leaves, especially as we ( optimistically) head into warmer months. Packet of mixed salad leaves, small bag of compost and some pots that will fit on a windowsill. Plant pots a couple of weeks apart and cut the mini leaves when ready. Much cheaper and tastier than tesco pre washed salad ( and if you're not in the shop then you will spend less money!)

TychosNose Wed 10-Feb-16 13:34:07

You definitely need to do a meal plan and shop for that in a proper supermarket once a week. Doesn't even need to be Aldi to make a saving on the tesco express prices.

Most salad stuff will last all week in the fridge but I guess things like avocados might need to be replenished midweek. Unless you're buying ready prepared salads which don't last and are obviously the expensive option.

I know it's tempting but just don't even think about nipping into tesco express. Since I moved to a village, miles away from decent food shops, I spend loads less on top up shops.

Talulaley Wed 10-Feb-16 19:53:19

Thanks. I have been buying ready prepared salad blush because it's easy. Lettuce always seems to go limp anyway.

I haven't been meal planning. Our circumstances changed recently and I'm still adjusting. I need to work out what we like to eat.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Feb-16 20:05:38

DD is now 14. Why don't you try getting her to do some of the shopping and preparing/cooking what she buys? (Give her some money for purchases.) She might enjoy it and it would certainly be good practise for her. smile

Pointlessfan Wed 10-Feb-16 20:06:34

Put some kitchen roll in an airtight container and empty the salad out of the bag into it, keep it in the fridge. It lasts much longer that way as does washed, chopped lettuce or fresh herbs.

Allalonenow Wed 10-Feb-16 20:18:40

I agree that the prepared salads will be costing you a lot, especially at a smaller convenience store.

Try rocket for a leaf with a long shelf life.

Make homemade salads such as potato and mayonnaise, mixed bean with tinned beans, spicy cous-cous and tinned chickpea, tomato and green peppers.
They will also fill you up a bit more than leafy salad.

Make soup with vegetable stock and any salad leaves, veg that is a bit faded. Add rice, pulses/beans/pasta to make it more filling. Serve with bread or home made cheese scones for a filling meal

If DD eats eggs, make vegetable quiche for a cheap meal. Also vegetable curry is cheap and filling.

Talulaley Thu 11-Feb-16 01:46:07

I don't think dd shopping and cooking is going to save me money shock

Thanks for the tip about the kitchen paper, I'll try that.

We don't eat soup much. I do bake a quiche every now and again.

Does anyone have a recipe for falafel? Dd loves them, but they are quite expensive.

cozietoesie Thu 11-Feb-16 07:09:46

I'd keep it (gently) in mind. She might have hitherto undiscovered talents !

Soup, by the way, is a doddle. Fast, easy, cheap, can be done well in advance and great for using up bits and bobs from the fridge or vegetable store. It's well worth a try - for the taste alone.

smile

Heatherbell1978 Thu 11-Feb-16 07:25:46

Do a meal plan and buy food online. Honestly, by buying just what you need on an online shop rather than browsing the aisles can save you a fortune. We do a weekly Tesco shop online and pay £6 a month direct debit which gives unlimited deliveries anytime. We spend £65 a week (3 of us) and top up with milk etc during the week. Could get that £65 down more though.

NoahVale Thu 11-Feb-16 07:26:27

do you cook with lentils much? or beans, butter, kidney etc.? there are some fabulous recipes to be found. cheap too

enderwoman Thu 11-Feb-16 07:34:58

Lactose free milk from the Polish section is about 30% cheaper than Lactofree.

I would go to a large supermarket rather than Tesco Express. There's more choice in brand and also more deals to be had. Again, check the ethnic food aisle for deals.

Bagged salads are cheaper in Aldi than Tesco and so are wraps.

Do you know about the site Muscle Food? Their meat is excellent quality, freeze well and good value.

Baconyum Thu 11-Feb-16 07:51:27

Is what you've said you eat all you eat as it seems limited nutritionally as well as financially.

I'm in a similar situation except I'm veggie dd isn't (but is happy to eat veggie depending what I'm making, she loves stir fry, chilli, bolognese, curry and casseroles made with soya/quorn)

Guessing you're working so time poor too?

If so soup is as pp said dead easy and cheap and home made is very tasty. I've currently got butternut squash, sweet potato soup in freezer we've been having for lunches over half term. The only tinned soup dd will eat is heinz cream of tomato! Tesco currently/have recently started stocking butternut squash, sweet potato, diced onion etc in freezers also fruit for smoothies. Which are perfect for soups. Great also for disguising disliked vegies! I just throw in whatever needs used up! So great for reducing waste too as veg that is just past its best and not off but not ideal for other dishes is fine in soup.

Ditto casseroles its how I sneak greens into my red meat hating dd!

Have you a slow cooker? Great for casseroles, curries, chilli batch cook and freeze portions and then you have your own 'ready meals' instead of buying from the very expensive express (I bet you end up not just buying salad). Specially good for pulse and bean recipes. Wraps are cheaper bought in bulk and frozen (greaseproof paper between wraps if the ones you buy tend to stick together.)

Cous cous is quick, cheap, nutritious accompaniment to curries and stir fries.

Passata works as a base for most sauces. Again very cheap.

As for keeping salad leaves fresher longer - cut potato or some dried rice in Tupperware with them!

gingerdad Thu 11-Feb-16 07:53:46

Aldi's goats cheese is a favourite in our house.

Meal planning is the way forward and involve DD in the whole process. Are DDs cook at least once a week. We take it in turns. They are 13/15.

JapanNextYear Thu 11-Feb-16 07:57:56

Grow your own salad. Window sill, compost, container with drainage holes and packet of seed. V little outlay. You can cut them and they grow again three or four times. If you google there are loads of vids showing you how to do it.

I grow salad all year.

cozietoesie Thu 11-Feb-16 08:08:56

The only problem (PROBLEM??) with home made eg soups and casseroles is that they taste so darned good that they rather spoil you for anything 'bought in'.

The taste! smile

Baconyum Thu 11-Feb-16 10:19:28

Cozie so true! My dd is definitely spoilt in that way and regularly turns her nose up at the idea of bought ready meals, pot noodles and similar that some of her peers seem to live on shock

specialsubject Thu 11-Feb-16 13:32:40

wrong time of year for salad. Learn to eat seasonally. Prepared leaves are one of the most wasteful things going. Growing your own would be great.

Aldi's prices seem to reflect seasonal availability, so be guided by that. You obviously can't shop for veg once a month thouugh.

the animals can eat what they are given, feed them cheap pet food.

maybebabybee Thu 11-Feb-16 13:36:24

It's often a false economy to feed pets cheap food actually. One, they get through the cheap stuff a lot quicker. Two, if it's not good for them they end up with health issues which cost more in the long run.

Talulaley Thu 11-Feb-16 13:44:20

I feed my pets the best cheap food I've been able to find. I agree that feeding the cheapest can be a false economy.

We eat a lot of salad, neither of us like winter veg much and I suffer with ibs, which is aggravated by pulses and cabbages etc. I will look into growing my own leaves though, although I am very short of space - tiny kitchen!

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