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    • plainandsimple
    • By plainandsimple 29th Sep 16, 9:18 AM
    • 31Posts
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    plainandsimple
    How Much Do You Budget For Groceries?
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 16, 9:18 AM
    How Much Do You Budget For Groceries? 29th Sep 16 at 9:18 AM
    Looking for some guidance, please. I'd like to find out what other households budget for and spend on groceries and household items each month. For the last 8 months or so we've been going over budget.

    We've not increased our food budget for a few years, and I really don't know if we're not budgeting enough or if there's another problem with it. I know food costs have risen, but I cook all our meals from scratch (we perhaps buy something processed like a pizza a couple of times a year).

    I grew up in a thrifty house and can turn about anything into a meal. I make my own stock and know how to stretch a chicken. We eat a lot of homemade soups and stews. I've never thought our per meal costs are expensive, and we only eat meat once or twice a week. We eat lots of pulses and veg and it's usually porridge for breakfast. My husband takes a packed lunch to work every day. I work at home and look after our son, so we eat lunch at home. Our lunch is leftovers or a sandwich.

    Our household is me, my husband and our 12 month old. We budget £200 per month and that's for food, toiletries and cleaning products. I use one cleaning product for everything. So, is our budget too low or should I be able to make that work? What do you spend for your household and what types of meals do you make?



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    Last edited by MSE Jessica; 11-10-2016 at 2:23 PM.
Page 3
    • quackers82
    • By quackers82 10th Oct 16, 1:05 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    quackers82
    I budget £250 a month for all food/drink and cleaning products, single, only my self to feed.

    Mainly shop at Asda, a few things from Sainsbury's. I refuse to ever go Aldi again, tried it once and some of the most disgusting tasting things ever come from there, coupled with not stocking half the products i want. I binned most of what i bought and a few times was over the bin spitting the Aldi stuff out. The place is just not worth the hassle.

    To name but a few things i remember, their Cheese String knock offs tasted vile, spat them out. Their Thai curry sauces has bit's in it Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco are all smooth and bit less, their Monster munch knock offs don't have the flavour evenly on the crisps, so 1 end will be bland and the other will be overpowering. Same with the knock off quavers.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 16, 2:44 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I budget £250 a month for all food/drink and cleaning products, single, only my self to feed.

    Mainly shop at Asda, a few things from Sainsbury's. I refuse to ever go Aldi again, tried it once and some of the most disgusting tasting things ever come from there, coupled with not stocking half the products i want. I binned most of what i bought and a few times was over the bin spitting the Aldi stuff out. The place is just not worth the hassle.

    To name but a few things i remember, their Cheese String knock offs tasted vile, spat them out. Their Thai curry sauces has bit's in it Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco are all smooth and bit less, their Monster munch knock offs don't have the flavour evenly on the crisps, so 1 end will be bland and the other will be overpowering. Same with the knock off quavers.
    Originally posted by quackers82
    Can honestly say I've never had that experience with Aldi stuff, but then again I buy actual food there, and cook with it...
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    • hohum
    • By hohum 10th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • 469 Posts
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    hohum
    I think location makes a difference to your spend, plus how you categorise it.We are two adults, in a northern city. We meal plan and cook from scratch quite a lot, but are meat heavy (working on reducing that). Our average monthly spend is £165 per month. I don't include pet food, alcoholic drinks at home or household/ cleaning items in that figure. Snacks bought whilst not at home are in our spending money. We get most veg from a local market which is soooooo cheap, and then supermarket on top of that. Boyfriend buys a fair proportion of ready meals when at home, so there's that he slips within grocery budget too. We don't buy much branded stuff, and there's things I'd happily eat more of that we don't because of cost (steak, avocado, smoked salmon ). OTH, food is a priority and I like cooking, so it's important to me to have variety and interest in what we eat.
    • DrWatson1
    • By DrWatson1 10th Oct 16, 3:54 PM
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    DrWatson1
    I have to say I'm surprised by some of the comments here about Aldi. In my experience, their fruit and veg is fine - better than Asda, and not quite as good as Sainsbury's.

    Some of their own brand stuff is a bit hit-and-miss - Nachos and Gold Label coffee are excellent, chocolate digestives....not so much!

    But for everyday fruit, veg and meat, I would challenge anyone to "taste the difference" in a blind taste test.
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 10th Oct 16, 3:58 PM
    • 1,848 Posts
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    chelseablue
    I have to say I'm surprised by some of the comments here about Aldi. In my experience, their fruit and veg is fine - better than Asda, and not quite as good as Sainsbury's.

    Some of their own brand stuff is a bit hit-and-miss - Nachos and Gold Label coffee are excellent, chocolate digestives....not so much!

    But for everyday fruit, veg and meat, I would challenge anyone to "taste the difference" in a blind taste test.
    Originally posted by DrWatson1
    I agree


    Used to shop in Asda but when we moved our new town doesn't have an Asda (nearest one is 14 miles away)


    So have switched to Aldi and must say so far there's only been one thing where my partner has said "I wouldn't eat that again"


    I actually prefer Aldi, I must just be cheap
    Baby Boy born May 2014

    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 10th Oct 16, 4:14 PM
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    suki1964
    <<<<<wishes she had an Aldi in the country
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • LuckyPenny
    • By LuckyPenny 12th Oct 16, 2:39 AM
    • 464 Posts
    • 3,101 Thanks
    LuckyPenny
    I spend about £280 a month, we're 2 adults and one child (age 11). I'm happy with this, a year ago we were spending in excess of £400 per month. I do a weekly shop at Aldi with a shopping list - I do look at the meat and veg/fruit offers before I go. I then get any branded foods, toiletries, cleaning stuff from either Home Bargains or Poundland. I've started to buy some toiletries from Aldi, and they have been good even with sensitive skin. I then go to Morrisons for any remaining branded things that I can't get at any of the above!

    I don't always cook from scratch, I work full time and I'm often worn out when I get home and want to spend time with the family. We all have packed lunches, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes soup or sometimes leftovers. We have cereals, eggs, porridge for breakfast. Evening meals are a wide variety of fresh meat, veg and we usually have a pudding of some description even if it's just a yoghurt or a peice of fruit. We usually have a treat meal once a week, which is usually a ready meal and usually curry with poppdoms and paratha bread. On payday we usually get a takeaway, this is extra to the amount above.


    Well hope that helps.
    Last edited by LuckyPenny; 12-10-2016 at 2:46 AM.
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    • paddyposh
    • By paddyposh 12th Oct 16, 8:45 AM
    • 291 Posts
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    paddyposh
    Two of us, usually £100 a month. We use Aldi.
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 12th Oct 16, 9:25 AM
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    MrsTinks
    My DD chomps down on the Aldi and Lidl quaver versions without any complaint, clearly she has no taste... (mind you I knew that already )

    Thai sauce - again I don't like Thai, but if I make it I do it from scratch so it's not been a issue for me

    Cheese strings... WHO BUYS THESE??? Even my 7 year old won't eat the premium ones! She spat THOSE out LOL She does like babybel though - then again so do I so I guess I can live with that

    Seriously though - if you buy Aldi ready food expecting it to taste the same as a ready meal or prepped meal from Sainsbury or Tesco then you will always be disappointed because all things aside they will have different recipes - same as Tesco, Asda, M&S etc don't use the same recipe for their tomato and basil pasta sauce...

    Ultimately it's about making savings - if you're going to bin what you buy then it's not saving. However if you want into Aldo or Lidl with the attitude that you want it to taste EXACTLY like x brand then you might as well not bother

    We have a lidl that I try to avoid because they have a bakery bit in there and I have NO will power - they also do stollen bites (don't like the Aldi or even posh brand ones...) and frankly it's not good for my diet.
    For fruit and veg I do like both, for chicken kievs we love the lidl fresh ones, don't like the frozen version. Fresh meat is good, and their fresh pasta and sauce is fine too. I also stock up on some of their premium stuff when they have offers - like I have a fair few duck breasts hiding in my freezer at the moment - I do love duck!
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    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 12th Oct 16, 9:49 AM
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    determined new ms
    I agree it is a matter of finding what works where. I know s**nsbury's value teabags are almost as good as the pyramid variety. I never buy sweetner in a1di as it's horrible! There is a degree of testing things out in different ranges to work out what works for you. I can personally vouch for L1dl's thai green curry (the fresh version not the frozen). I think it's about £1.50 a meal. I love thai food so try often to have 1 of these in the freezer for a day when I want thai food. At £1.50 v £15 (for take out, minimum) it's the lesser of 2 evils
    Debt to Bank of oh Mum: £4200/£5700
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    • Healthinmind
    • By Healthinmind 12th Oct 16, 1:17 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Healthinmind
    We are two adults and a cat. I am hyper sensitive with inflammatory conditions, and have to have a mostly unprocessed, fresh cooked balanced variety of food to reduce pain and stiffness and prevent intolerant reactions. I budget £130 a week, to include all household items, toiletries, groceries, snack treats, packed lunches, any lazy day ready meals, and wine (essential for the mind!). Even this is hard to stick to, so I am really surprised at how little you all seem to be able to spend, I buy just what we need on a daily basis. When I need to replace face cream and hair stuff I go for a natural brand that serves me well, but this has to be an additional expense. I guess the wine is roughly £30.00 of our weekly budget, and that's going for the half price and other bargains. And no, we can't give up the wine, that is too sad and I am no angel
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 1:55 PM
    • 6,327 Posts
    • 35,065 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    We are two adults and a cat. I am hyper sensitive with inflammatory conditions, and have to have a mostly unprocessed, fresh cooked balanced variety of food to reduce pain and stiffness and prevent intolerant reactions. I budget £130 a week, to include all household items, toiletries, groceries, snack treats, packed lunches, any lazy day ready meals, and wine (essential for the mind!). Even this is hard to stick to, so I am really surprised at how little you all seem to be able to spend, I buy just what we need on a daily basis. When I need to replace face cream and hair stuff I go for a natural brand that serves me well, but this has to be an additional expense. I guess the wine is roughly £30.00 of our weekly budget, and that's going for the half price and other bargains. And no, we can't give up the wine, that is too sad and I am no angel
    Originally posted by Healthinmind
    £130 per week? wow - I can't honestly imagine spending that much - genuinely I can't imagine what I'd buy. On the flip side, toiletry stuff we buy for ourselves in any event, we don't buy processed foods at all, really, other than things like sausages which I guess count as processed in theory - never ready meals though, we like neither the taste notr the ingredients that go into most of them. Our alcohol consumption is a long way below that too - I barely spend £30 on wine in a year, never mind a week!

    Just goes to show how different everyone's budget is I guess - and let's face it, if you have no debts, and owe nobody anything, then nobody should criticise the way you choose to spend your money.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 1:59 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    I agree it is a matter of finding what works where. I know s**nsbury's value teabags are almost as good as the pyramid variety. I never buy sweetner in a1di as it's horrible! There is a degree of testing things out in different ranges to work out what works for you. I can personally vouch for L1dl's thai green curry (the fresh version not the frozen). I think it's about £1.50 a meal. I love thai food so try often to have 1 of these in the freezer for a day when I want thai food. At £1.50 v £15 (for take out, minimum) it's the lesser of 2 evils
    Originally posted by determined new ms
    They are! While T's ones are VILE!

    I think making foods "roll over" is a bit of a key thing for us - so Friday night's tea was a fry-up - I bought a pack of Aldi sausages for this - £1.39 and very tasty, but only needed 4 of the 6. I grilled the lot, and the other two were thinly sliced into a tomato sauce with lots of veg last night. Cheap, healthy and very tasty indeed. Chicken does the same - will do a roast at a weekend, something like spanish chicken or chicken & mushroom lasagne for another main meal, then the pickings and the carcass (cooked down for stock) will get turned into risotto for a third.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Moonlustie
    • By Moonlustie 13th Oct 16, 3:42 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Moonlustie
    I don't have a set budget but look at spending around £30-£40 per week. Like someone else, I switched to Aldi last year and it's made a big difference, cutting my food bill in half. I also cook from scratch and try not to buy anything pre-prepared/processed - my bill is small because I live on my own.
    • keithtmoir
    • By keithtmoir 13th Oct 16, 6:28 PM
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    keithtmoir
    we spend about £70 a week on all our shopping we eat meat and always have steak once a week. I don't know how people can eat well on such limited budgets. We are 2 cats 1 dog and 3 adults we do include all our booze in that budget as well. I work on eating for £5 a head per day apart from the days we have steak. We make our lunches for work off this as well.
    • darwins_mum
    • By darwins_mum 14th Oct 16, 12:39 PM
    • 442 Posts
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    darwins_mum
    I have to say I'm surprised by some of the comments here about Aldi. In my experience, their fruit and veg is fine - better than Asda, and not quite as good as Sainsbury's.

    Some of their own brand stuff is a bit hit-and-miss - Nachos and Gold Label coffee are excellent, chocolate digestives....not so much!

    But for everyday fruit, veg and meat, I would challenge anyone to "taste the difference" in a blind taste test.
    Originally posted by DrWatson1
    Totally with you on that one Dr. I love their fruit and veg. I make my own fruit and vegetable juice most days and it works well for me. I find that it goes off quicker than produce from Sainsbury, but the trick is to use it quickly. I have had chicken from there and found it satisfactory.
    I converted my Dad to Aldi last year and halved his shopping bill!
    Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task
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    • darwins_mum
    • By darwins_mum 14th Oct 16, 12:49 PM
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    darwins_mum
    I have enjoyed reading the posts, thanks for sharing. I am going to reduce my shopping spends to 15 pounds a week for 1 person. I will be at home, so will be doing lots of cooking from scratch. mainly veggie meals made from whatever is in the cupboard and in the freezer. I have an abundance of cleaning and toiletries, so no need to buy any for at least a month.
    I have recently been a bit wasteful - buying stuff and letting it sit in the cupboard/fridge until out of date and then throwing it out. I hate wasting food - it really is a waste of money.
    Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task
    Crazy Clothing Challenge 2015 £48.58/£200
    • darwins_mum
    • By darwins_mum 14th Oct 16, 12:53 PM
    • 442 Posts
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    darwins_mum
    Cost cutting exercise
    I have enjoyed reading the posts, thanks for sharing. I am going to reduce my shopping spends to 15 pounds a week for 1 person. I will be at home, so will be doing lots of cooking from scratch. mainly veggie meals made from whatever is in the cupboard and in the freezer. I have an abundance of cleaning and toiletries, so no need to buy any for at least a month.
    I have recently been a bit wasteful - buying stuff and letting it sit in the cupboard/fridge until out of date and then throwing it out. I hate wasting food - it really is a waste of money.
    Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task
    Crazy Clothing Challenge 2015 £48.58/£200
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 14th Oct 16, 9:17 PM
    • 5,558 Posts
    • 29,474 Thanks
    determined new ms
    I have enjoyed reading the posts, thanks for sharing. I am going to reduce my shopping spends to 15 pounds a week for 1 person. I will be at home, so will be doing lots of cooking from scratch. mainly veggie meals made from whatever is in the cupboard and in the freezer. I have an abundance of cleaning and toiletries, so no need to buy any for at least a month.
    I have recently been a bit wasteful - buying stuff and letting it sit in the cupboard/fridge until out of date and then throwing it out. I hate wasting food - it really is a waste of money.
    Originally posted by darwins_mum
    If you're going to do this I think it's doable but would recommend doing 1 monthly shop. That way you can make use of bulk buying and cooking & freezing.

    I totally do get where people are coming from re thinking that spending a low amount isn't possible to eat well but honestly I have to respectfully disagree.

    What we have eaten this week (geek alert!)

    Today:
    B: toast for breakfast
    L: baked beans on toast for lo, a home made twinks biscuit, a yogurt and a apple (foraged); me a bit skewed today as I had a ms restuarant assignment so free fast food snacks an apple & a satsuma. Not sure what oh did...
    D: lo ate at the child minders, I've not been hungry

    yesterday:
    B: toast again!
    L: lo - sausage roll, yogurt, fruit, twink, olives & gherkin (it's her favourite!), me parsnip soup, hm roll, banana, apple & twink. oh lo goulash from previous night
    D: home made ham and split pea soup

    Wed:
    B: porridge with stewed apples & cinnamon
    L: lo & me curried lentil, parsnip & apple soup with hm roll & fruit/yogurt (a biscuit for afternoon snacks...) cracker & fruit for lo for morning snack
    D: beef goulash, mash & hm grown runner beans and pattipan. Ice cream for desert (for those who wanted it)

    Can't really remember any further back! Tomorrow we will be having spaghetti bolognaise (I will make a double portion and freeze one for in the week). Sunday we will have roast pork with potatoes, stuffing, yorkshires and home grown veg. Likely I'll knock up a apple something (as have so many - tis the season...). I usually make a cake/muffins every other week & freeze half so we have a sweet something with lunches or when we fancy.

    I'll grant you we don't have steak every week - my oh would love that. we usually have about £15pm for either a takeaway or a few different night with something that feels like a treat. So it might be steaks one week and a p1zza express pizza (from a SM)

    Personally I love quite simple meals but oh prefers a much heavier meat diet so we both have to make compromises around this
    Debt to Bank of oh Mum: £4200/£5700
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    • Healthinmind
    • By Healthinmind 15th Oct 16, 1:54 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Healthinmind
    Economising on proper food intake also means economising on health. We need a variety of minerals and vitamins to be in good mental and physical health. Without that we can't work well and we need to generate an income....for rather longer these days!
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