What's a typical day's food?

RachelS Forumite Posts: 213 Forumite
Many apologies if this has been covered...if so I thank you for the time it takes to remove it!

I am STRUGGLING to stick with my grocery budget (240 a month for 2 adults, 2 toddlers and 2 cats, including nappies, toiletries and cleaning products).

I don't have a car or much spare time at the min, only available supermarkets Sainsburys (and Waitrose, but let's not go there, eh? :p).

I am willing to up budget to 300 if it's impossible but want to give it my best shot...and am going way over.

I am looking at the cheap recipe threads and have got lots of ideas, but what I really want to know is...for those of you who've been doing it a long time, is it a constant struggle to stick to? Or does it become easier?

And...what does a typical day's food look like (ie everything), for someone on a similar budget to me? If it isn't too much trouble to post that is.

Thanks a lot guys, it's so much appreciated.


  • patchwork_cat
    patchwork_cat Forumite Posts: 5,874 Forumite
    Have you joined the grocery challenge sticky at top of board?
  • RachelS
    RachelS Forumite Posts: 213 Forumite
    I decided to join for July in the hope of getting some motivation to stick with it
  • rachbc
    rachbc Forumite Posts: 4,461 Forumite
    You budget is similar to mine - but I have 1 teen and 1 preschooler to feed

    week days

    breakfast for me and kids (dh doesn't do breakfast) - aldi cereal (shreddies, bite size shredded wheat or crispies), homemade granola or porridge with milk, small glass of juice for kids, tea for me

    lunch - dh, and ds - aldi 'oven bottom muffin' with either home roast ham, left over roast meats, or aldi deli meats amd salad, piece of fruit. DS sometimes take a yoghurt or soemthing from the cake tin - he likes a small lunch then has a snack when he gets homef rom school. Dd takes 1 sice bread sarnie with ham, cream cheese or peanut butter, veg sticks, fruit, yog and occassional something from the cake tin. I take soup or left overs or some veggie/ bean thing I have batch cooked as I don't like sarnies!

    Snacks - homemade flapjacks, muffin, etc etc (limited to the batch I make once a week - when they are gone they are gone) toast, crumpets, teacakes, pitta and fruit (all available to help themselves)

    Dinner - generally all eat together - today will be lo roast beef from weekend (huge piece whoospied at lidl) with a big salad and saute pots. Mon was spag bol (bought 3kg of mince half price at the butchers) last night ds was out - dd had fishfingers, mash and peas early and dh and I had lo rice, stir fried with brocolli, mushrooms and whoospied king prawns (bought on late night trip to sainsbury local), tomorrow pasta arrabiata (bacon bought a huge amount when reduced to 50p at asda) and salad, friday green curry with king prawns (bought when 33% then additional 25% of voucher from ocado - a 6.99 bag actually cost me £3 and will last 3 meals).

    As you can see form my notes I have no shop loyalty, by everything where its cheapest, stock up on bargains, forage for whoopsies - and due to this we eat well on a limited budget
    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • RachelS
    RachelS Forumite Posts: 213 Forumite
    Thanks so much Rach! That all looks do-able. I really like the idea of making one lot of baking. I used to bake a lot, but DH would eat it all straight away (this was before we had kids!), so I gave up. If I go with the 'I'll make one lot and when it's gone, it's gone' thing, that will work better I think. Thanks again.
  • jamsandwhich
    jamsandwhich Forumite Posts: 659 Forumite
    The only thing I can recommend is to either try and keep some budget aside for buying store cupboard/freezer items in bulk when whoopsied or on offer or be prepared to add to the budget if it is too good to pass up.

    I love the Co-op truly irresistable garlic bread and margherita pizza (to add our own toppings to) - I got eight GB @ 50p each and six pizzas @ half price one evening along with half price laundry powder and some other bargains/stuff we needed and using a £3 off a £30 spend tillspit.

    It is worth collecting tillspits/money off coupons for Tesco/Sainsbury's and spend and saves to use to stock up with items when on offer as then you seem to get so much more for your money - I have a loft full of flash/washing up liquid/toilet rolls/wipes from when Tesco had things on for £1 whcih combined with extra pointers and some sepnd and saves I had.

    If you get free papers with leaflets have a look for up and coming supermarket offers - we get a weekly paper which usually has a leaflet in once a week or fortnightly with all the supermarket offers, I then see what vouchers I have and shop accordingly.

    Failing any vouchers - shop wisely :)
  • culpepper
    culpepper Forumite Posts: 4,076 Forumite
    Breakfasts Oats and dried fruit with milk or water hot or cold / toast and Home made jam or marmalade/ egg and soldiers/home made yoghurt and fruit

    lunches Sandwiches of cheese and marmite/onion/tomato, marmite ,homemade sardine/tuna/chicken paste , toasted sandwiches with a filling (can be saved from last nights tea), eggs

    Dinners pasta,home made pizza ,rice dish ,baked spuds and filling, chips with a meat or fish content and veg. We usually would use 8oz -1lb of the meat or fish for 4 adults .

    Snacks in the past were home made cakes,biscuits etc and fruit.

    Bread is home made.

    We sometimes have soup at the weekend or a freezer pot luck day where portions that were surplus have been put away till needed.
    I save the less interesting bits of veg and scraps of meat in the freezer for curry or stew.

    You can bulk out pet food with scraps. Ours never got treat foods as well as their ordinary meals which meant they ate what was given when it was offered. When our cat was older,he had tinned food and I just took advantage of any reduced or sale offers to stock up when they were available.

    Sometimes you have to be creative. Look at what you have in and work from there.
    Toasted sandwiches can double as pasties or turn overs depending on the filling.
    A bag of flour can become pancakes,pasta,pizza,biscuits,cake,thickening for stew etc...

    It does get easier because you remember what works and the possibilities become more numerous.
  • Butterfly_Brain
    Butterfly_Brain Forumite Posts: 8,862
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Post of the Month
    edited 29 June 2011 at 3:04PM
    Always meal plan and use what you have first before buying more ...you will be surprised by just how much you actually have in that can easily be turned into a meal.

    Breakfasts HM yoghurt and fruit, HM granola, porridge with fruit, HM museli

    It seems expensive but I buy joints of meat (Beef, gammon, pork) when on offer and roast then slice or cube them up and put into the freezer this way one joint makes at least three meals (sliced and warmed in gravy as a roast, or for stews, pies, pasta meals, curry, pasties, pancake fillings or for sandwiches)
    Buy whole chickens instead of portions, you can either portion it yourself or roast and use the left overs and the carcass can be used to make a tasty soup.
    Which it wouldn't if I just served it up on a Sunday it would probably only do one or two meals then (DH loves his meat)

    Try and plan so that whatever you cook one day can be made into a tasy meal for the next day.

    Have you tried offal?

    Ox tongue tastes just like dry steak, hearts are lovely sliced and cooked in gravy or roasted whole with stuffing, lambs liver with onions and mash, chicken livers are really cheap and tasty too.

    Have soup and pudding night once a week.....very filling when served with HM bread (Not so much with shop bought pap)

    HM stuffed pancakes are lovely and HFW has a HM crispy pancake recipe on his site.

    HM pizza is easier to make than you think

    Bake your own bread, grow your own veg get some chickens if you have room (sadly my garden is not big enough)

    Take the kids foraging for blackberries, damsons, rose hips and hazlenuts, you may be lucky enough to find sweet cherry or apple trees = free food :D you can freeze the fruit or make jams, cordials, pies etc.

    Batch bake cakes (can be frozen) and biscuits so you always have some on hand when the family gets a snack attack

    I hope this gives you a few ideas x
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones that let in the light
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. Member #35 Butterfly Brain + OH - Foraging Fixers
    Not Buying it 2015!
  • patchwork_cat
    patchwork_cat Forumite Posts: 5,874 Forumite
    In your sig you have library fine 100- how did you manage to get £100 library fines?
  • RachelS
    RachelS Forumite Posts: 213 Forumite
    Thanks so much for your ideas, all. There's a lot of food for thought there and lots of ideas I'm going to try.

    Patchwork, I was really ill for a few months this year, OH took over a lot, he said he returned the library books but in reality he lost them. Enough said :S.
  • cheerfulness4
    cheerfulness4 Forumite Posts: 2,874
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Rachels you could also try online websites such as Approved Foods which sell short dated foods. Very good for some bargains and might help with your lack of a car.

    Sainsburys do have a good range of Basics which I've tried many of and I found their 'damaged section' was particularly cheap, never been across when the reduced items are about as don't live too near.

    Shame if you can't get near a supermarket at teatimes or Sunday afternoon for the reductions because they REALLY stretch the budget and mean lovely food for miserly amounts. :) Saving money does become addictive though and extremely satisfying. There are so many tips from folk on here who will just want you to suceed. ;)
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