Saving on my weekly shop

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  • Ames
    Ames Posts: 18,459 Forumite
    I'd say use a slow cooker, they're fantastic and you can get gorgeous meals from cheap cuts of meat.

    Also, bulk things like chilli and bolognese out with lentils or even oats, it'll go a lot further without a change in taste.

    SJ1, fruit juice has a high sugar content, it's healthier to dilute it with water, that'll save you a bit.

    Some people find that shopping online helps, you aren't tempted by the offers, or by stuff you suddenly fancy when you see it.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
  • InDeepDebt
    InDeepDebt Posts: 240 Forumite
    Many thanks for all the additional posts.

    Been trawling through the Old Style MoneySaving thread and will be using some of the recipes on there.

    As mentioned earlier, we are away for the next 10 days but will be money saving from two fronts when we get back. First is to try to cook from scratch more and to freeze away. We do have a slow cooker which we use occasionally - probably twice a month one month, but then not at all the next. We've also got a steamer (£10 basic jobbie) which we use often.

    We do rely on convenience foods slightly. For example, fish fingers, chips and peas are a regular for a school night. We usually get the fish fingers and chips when on offer (aren't they always). Will see if a freezer shop will save here - even though we intend to cut down on these type of foods.

    I'll have to work out our exact spend for a month now and post back later to show how we're doing. Hopefully a lot better than now.

    Jim
  • YORKSHIRELASS
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,292 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Hi Jim

    We cut our food bill down from about £450 a month to about £300 (we have two kids 9 and 11 so similar age to yours). I have tried to get it lower but having done this for about a year I know £300 a month is about right for us. The £300 includes everything, food, packed lunches, toiletries, cleaning etc. We could do better if we ate vegetarian more often but I am never going to convince the rest of the family on that.

    You have to be quite determined to do this and be quite open minded about buying cheaper brands. Personally I find the less often I shop the less I spend. I get 2 big online Tesco deliveries a month and try and do without non-essential things in between. Be very wary about offers, they are designed to get you to spend more money and I find I do better actually ignoring them most of the time.

    I have also dramatically cut my spending on cleaning products. A lot of cleaning products are expensive and unnecessary, hot soapy water and a bit of elbow grease is perfectly adequate a lot of the time. I do use bleach sparingly as well.

    Oh and meal planning is essential. You need to know every morning what you are having for tea that night and everyone in the family needs to eat the same. This does make a real difference.

    Good luck, I would suggest trying to get your spending down in stages, see if you can reduce it by £50 a month rather than trying to do it all in one go.
  • SJ1
    SJ1 Posts: 270 Forumite
    Thanks for the posts. I don't dilute it, have tried it but my kids are used to the stronger taste and have spotted it! I have just bought more squash so we can have a mix, i.e. squash at lunch and juice at dinner.

    I don't have a slow cooker. Funny I was discussing this with someone on this with someone else on this site recently. She had said it was handy but you have to put it on in the morning and I leave at 7am most mornings to get to work so just not going to fit that in. Do love stews though, might look at it for Fri when I leave kids off and weekends.

    Also I have a v small freezer so wondering if it's worth buying a small one to fit under the stairs - no room in the kitchen. At mo my very small over the top of the fridge, reezer has two loaves of bread, fish fingers and smileys and peas for kids for emergencies, ice cubes and 4 ice lollies and that is about all that fits in it!

    Do buy online but do feel that you miss out on offers sometimes this way. Went into Sains on way home and they were doing half price fairy dish tabs, toilet rolls, buy two save about £3 and buy one get one free on shower gel. Would have missed those online I think as its harder to spot.

    Is it mysupermarket that lists the deals?

    SJ
  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker Name Dropper First Anniversary
    SJ1 - slowcooker - you could get one of those timers you'd use for holiday lights and plug the slow cooker in that. Prepare it all the night before and put in the fridge. Take it out when you get up and ready it all but set the timer for in a couple of hours time as you shouldn't put the cold "inner" on the heating element. Alternatively mix it all and put in a bowl. Pour in the room temp "inner" and turn on when you leave at 7 am :)

    Def worth trying to get a small freezer :)

    Can you save without Aldi and Lidl? Oh goodness yes! :)

    You say on the monday you had roast chicken? Ok... When we have roast chicken I can always get 3 meals out of it... how I hear you say? Well... it's a rubber chicken... I stretch it!

    And this is how: Monday - roast chicken - give everyone minutely less meat than normal - they'll never notice if you dish it up without showing them :) Tuesday - chicken curry. Pick all the remnant bits of chicken of the carcass - you'll be amazed at just how much meat there is hiding about the bones that normally get missed. Wednesday - Chicken soup. Use the bones, make sure there is no skin as this will make it look grubby and bung the bones in the slowcooker with a good mix of veg (onion, carrot, celery, spud, parsnip, you name it) and serve with some home made dumplings.
    So that chuckchuck has now seen you through 3 days. The veg for the roast can be saved in the fridge and used in the soup and curry if you do a bit more than normal and then all you really need is some rice for the curry and bread for the soup and flour and herbs and butter for the dumplings.
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's! :)

    My DFW Diary - blah- mildly funny stuff about my journey
  • SJ1
    SJ1 Posts: 270 Forumite
    Hi MrsTine

    I managed two with the chicken noodle soup tonight, hubby was v hungry as missed lunch and had that and spag bol as well! Enough of the spag left over so froze that. I do sometimes do a pie or chicken and asparagus risotto which cooks in the oven and is pretty cheap to make. Like the idea for the slow cooker to put ingredients in the fridge. Think that might be worth a go. Hadn't considered doing a stock in the slow cooker, that would be good as tired sometimes to do this.

    Thanks for the hints!

    SJ:)
  • kittiej
    kittiej Posts: 2,564 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Do you actually shop a month at a time or weekly?

    I shop once a month - £100.00 and then use the £50 to 'top up'. Admittedly I start at ASDA, then to Lidl's and finish in Farmfoods. :) I get other bits and bobs from B&M.
    Karma - the consequences of ones acts."It's OK to falter otherwise how will you know what success feels like?"1 debt v 100 days £2000
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,568 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Just a few thoughts:
    • Cheapest juice I'm aware of is Farmfoods (59p a litre) and Asda Smartprice which is a bit less (I think 57p).
    • I'd definitely get a slow cooker. Crockpot is about £13 in Robert Dyas at the moment. I use mine mainly for batch cooking, boiling gammon and making soup but I still think it's well worth it.
    • DEFINITELY get another freezer. Frozen veg is very healthy, economical and easy. I bought frozen sliced leeks today for £1 a kg. Fresh is almost twice that price and I don't have to clean them and there's no waste. Plus, of course, HM ready meals.
    • try HM potato wedges instead of chips. Potatoes are cheap enough and wedges much healthier.
  • I get robinsons no added sugar cordial from home and bargain it is 59p or two for £1 (just the standard size bottle). I also get Pepsi there 79p (2 litres)
  • I have to say Aldi/Lidl although I can't do an entire weekly shop there, saves me masses of money compared to if I was to shop entirely at Tesco/Sainsburys. Just their fruit/veg, milk and cooked meats such as ham, garlic sausage etc, toiletries and alcohol is vastly cheaper. I do tend to go overboard in Lidl when things like Robinsons squash is down to 50p per bottle (i bought 60 bottles recently on this offer - well, there are 5 of us!) Just stocked up on 48 cans of Branston baked beans at 25p per can as well - compulsive shopper???? I hear you ask, no, I like to make the most of a bargain until it is next on offer and I have lots of storage space!

    Aldi do amazing frozen potato wedges for 69p - a bag twice the size of a McCain one and 1/3 of the price (Lidl ones are carp though!) I used to be a complete supermarket snob and lived in Tesco or Sainsburys, spending on average £120 per week (plus topping up during the week) - I now spend about £60 per week (unless there are serious bargains to be had such as the Robinsons squash, when I then make full use of the deal!!!)
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