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The hardest challenge yet

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The hardest challenge yet

edited 24 November 2019 at 6:18PM in Old Style MoneySaving
341 replies 33.4K views
elantanelantan Forumite
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edited 24 November 2019 at 6:18PM in Old Style MoneySaving
Hi all,

so I started on the DFW board, slowly making the changes to get on top of our finances. Then I graduated to the MFW board and started working on that part of the plan. Were now mortgage free and any debt we have is under control 0% finance etc.

Were now aiming for F.I.R.E and in the whole it's going slowly but in the right direction. However, the one area throughout all of these changes that I just cant get a grip of is money spent on food, takeaways and alcohol.

I first approached this board in March/ April time and I've been trying to get on top of it since then but here i am sitting down once again noting how much weve spent this month and I'm pulling the hair out of my head.

I've been keeping a tally every month since April and on average were spending £800 a month for 2 adults on food shopping takeaways and alcohol.

I've tried menu planning I've been buying yellow stickers food, I've tried the whole one takeaway a month but were still averaging on £800. It is harder as my husband does say yeah we need to do it and I'm just gonna eat stuff from farm foods but then he doesn't follow through, and when I say look that's 800 again this month he just shrugs his shoulders and goes well we can afford it. Maybe we can just about afford it if we dont spend money on anything else, but we certainly wont be able to afford it when we retire and the biggest conversation that my husband talks about is how much he hates his work and wants to retire, I've tried explaining to him getting on top of our spending is vital to retiring, but it doesn't seem to sink in.

I am not innocent either, I enjoy eating organic grass fed meats and organic veg etc, I prefer to eat as healthy as I can.

Something has to change so I'm gonna try and work through this here and hopefully with the help from all you wonderful people.

I fully understand and accept that many would love to be able to spend 800 a month on food etc for 2 people or even 5 people and I fully understand how lucky I am, but the truth is it isnt sustainable and it isnt how I want to live, i want to retire early and this is what's stopping us.

Anyway i hope you choose to join me on this journey of discovery and feel free to offer encouragement and positive advice

Cheers

El
march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
"what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
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Replies

  • edited 24 November 2019 at 6:28PM
    elantanelantan Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2019 at 6:28PM
    With that in mind husband is making pepper soup for work tomorrow, he is working I am on my day off so have to take the car in for its mot then get the train into the city to pick up some paperwork, I will take a flask of soup in with me, husband intends on having hot dogs and soup for work tomorrow.

    Dinner tomorrow night hasn't been decided yet, I spose I should deff have a meal plan organised for the week
    march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
    "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
  • pattypan4pattypan4 Forumite
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    What are you striving for elantan?. You are mortgage free and I assume debt free. Life is very short, enjoy it
  • elantanelantan Forumite
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    pattypan4 wrote: »
    What are you striving for elantan?. You are mortgage free and I assume debt free. Life is very short, enjoy it

    Hi pattypan,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

    were working towards retiring early, but if we carry on spending the way we are we wont be able to afford to retire, I want to spend less on food etc but I dont want to be overly frugal unless I need to be.

    we do occasionally have to put food in the bin but its maybe 2 sprigs of spring onions or 1 or 2 carrots etc, so we dont waste too much food. But maybe starting by wasting no food might be a good area to start ?

    I spose it might help to know what the average two person household spends on groceries takeaways and alcohol ?
    march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
    "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
  • edited 24 November 2019 at 9:03PM
    SiebrieSiebrie Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2019 at 9:03PM
    Could you maybe break down the ingredients, takeaways and alcohol? If you are spending 400 on alcohol, you either drink expensive brands or you have a problem; and either trying out different brands, cutting down, or AA is in order.

    What kind of takeaways do you eat, and how often? Do you reheat the leftovers the next day? Have them for lunch or dinner? Is there a soecific day you always have takeaway? Maybe there should be?

    Do you eat oldfashioned fare? Meat and two veg, the staples? Veg that has been around for a long time to feed people, like cabbages and beans? I have set myself a maximum price per kilo for fruit, veg, and meat; anything over that price has to have a good reason to end up in my basket, for instance a birthday.

    Do you entertain a lot? If you do, maybe it should have its own budget?
    Wombabeluba 2020! € 110,24 = £ 61.09
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  • edited 24 November 2019 at 10:06PM
    elantanelantan Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2019 at 10:06PM
    Hi Siebrie thanks for the reply,

    Takeaway wise, we tend to have one on a Saturday we would have Chinese, maybe chicken and sweetcorn soup, spare ribs and salt and chilli chicken with rice, we dont tend to have any left overs but if we do then use we eat them the next day, we also have Indian food so that would be pakora and a curry with rice and a naan, we try to keep to eating a restaurant to once a month and that could be a Chinese, Indian or carvery, always having a lunchtime/ pre theatre menu.

    Alcohol wise, 1 bottle of wine approx £12 and a couple of beers a week, I would also have maybe a bottle of pernod or baileys over the course of the month we share the wine ( husband has two glasses I usually have 1) and husband drinks the beer, he will maybe once a month or so get two bottles of wine in a week instead of 1, he would then have maybe 3 glasses of wine one night but not beer, then he would have the beer and a wee glass of wine another night

    We eat a variety of different food meat and two veg or home made Chinese or indian food ( my husband is a great cook) I prefer his food to the take away but once a week we have a break from cooking. we tend to have soup most days for lunch with maybe a salad. eggs are a staple for breakfast.

    we spend approx 250 a month on take away and alcohol sometimes more on the take away, and occasionally if we are going out with friends and paying pub prices more on alcohol as well.

    we spend more on eating out when we are away in our caravan or on holiday and the same with alcohol as we are paying pub prices.

    hope that helps
    march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
    "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
  • elantanelantan Forumite
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    This months big spends were on Avacado oil, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts along with a few other things, my supplies had ran out so decided to stock up, till then I was at a spend of £500 for the month including butcher meat, so was happy
    march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
    "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
  • -taff-taff Forumite
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    Sounds like you're not meal planning and you're not batch cooking.
    Have you done a complete month of both of these? If you had, you would be either not have to have had a takeaway at all or you would have budgeted for it.
  • elantanelantan Forumite
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    we do budget for takeaways, but your totally right in that I havnt done a months meal plan, I tend to do one or two weeks and then get caught up with shifts at work, we do batch cook but not as often as we should, weekends are our free time and were usually busy doing stuff... but I think over winter that will need to change :)
    march 2011-july2019 8 years and 4 months ... or 100 months and counting
    "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.... enjoy the adventure" " to my own self be true"
  • BlackcatsBlackcats Forumite
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    Hi Elantan, I'm also planning for early retirement and trying to be more careful and thoughtful with my spending. I'd love to read along with your journey. What's your timeframe for retirement?
    My downfall is eating out - friends and family tend to socialise by eating out. If I'm honest I'm fed up of spending quite a bit of money on restaurant food that is often mediocre. I've done better with my food shopping, buying sensibly and using leftovers or freezing but a careful week of food shopping can be wiped out by one meal out.
  • CamomileCamomile Forumite
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    I've been Money Tipped!
    Where do you normally shop and what are you buying? Branded or unbranded? Have you got any farmers markets nearby? What’s your storage capacity(cupboards and freezer)? Difficult to see where to make a dent without breaking down your shopping habits a bit more.
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