Monthly food shopping bill - couple

We eat well, lots of veg and salad....but with the joint account needing to be bailed out again, we've just been looking at our outgoings and it turns out that my other half's 'top up' shopping is costing as much as all of our other shopping, which I do 90% of.

We shop between Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury's depending on what we need to get...and I accept that we eat well and want to eat well....but I think the amount being spent is ridiculous.

Other than fishcakes to put in the oven, pretty much all the food is made from scratch....so this isn't the cost of ready meals mounting up.

This month it was £900 total!  You could have knocked me over with a feather!  It doesn't include booze......

Very intersted on what other people are spending.
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  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,432
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    £900 would be our food bill for 3 months.  I shop at Sainsbury's and a local butcher, and cook from scratch....
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,245
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    I suppose the question is whether your top up shops are necessary or more impulse/nice to have. 
    There’s only me and I don’t buy processed meals and consider I eat well. I spend about £80 a month (including the odd bottle of wine) but am about to up it slightly because of cost of living. I could go cheaper but I don’t need to so I’m not going to. 
    I am now stretching meals more with pulses so  I’m having smaller meat portions which has helped and also makes me feel virtuous. :D
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  • elsien said:
    I suppose the question is whether your top up shops are necessary or more impulse/nice to have. 

    I have a view on that....but I'm trying to avoid arguments.  I have no issue with eating as much as we want....but I still don't think the amount going out is reasonable.
  • I'm trying to be more mindful of my grocery shop now. Over the summer for a family of 5 my weekly shop seemed to vary around £130-150 a week maybe an extra £10 in the week for bread milk etc. That does include cleaning bits etc and clearly too many treats! 

    Now, we are down to 3, 2 adults 1 teen and really hoping to get my weekly shop under £100. I do cook mostly from scratch, I buy lots of fruit and veg. I find I've got to £20-25 just in the veg aisle in the past. 

    I'm going to shop and cook smarter, think I should probably log to see how I progress and work out how to improve too.
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  • I can't complain too much...I'm a lazy / terrible cook and my partner does most of that.  But the current spend - apparently £150 of that is Amazon household stuff, seems crazy to me.
  • We tend to do a 'build your own hamper' thing on musclefood for our meats, we usually pick the £75 option.
    Really nice quality meat too. Then we split it all down and freeze it.

    As a couple, it probably takes a good month & half to get through, with the odd treat shop pizza or something now and then.

    Our other staples are veg and microwave rice to have with the meat. Odd top up shops are mainly for milk and salad for the pets.

    We probably spend £250-300ish a month.
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  • Your bill is roughly what I would spend over six months, including cleaning products and toiletries, for me as a single person, if I ignore entertaining. Entertaining can add quite a lot to the bill, if I account for that it could be quite a bit higher, doing a joint of beef as a roast with all the trimmings and makena desert as well that can easily be £30+ on it's own.
  • nyermen
    nyermen Posts: 1,080
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    edited 23 September 2023 at 11:07AM
    Family of 3 (including one toddler).   I now in my budgeting split out my receipts into "essential" and "luxury" (anything that is not a meal - eg. my wife's squirty cream for her coffees, etc etc) just for insight purposes.  I also split out non-meal food for our toddler too, as things for him quickly add up.  Even top up stuff gets split out.

    This is just a tip/thought as unfortunately, we were away for a week this month, and this is the first month I did this, so everything is less than normal so sharing my breakdown numbers this month won't be useful.  As an insight though, we used to spend about £400 a month on shopping between the three of us before I started this breakdown.  Takeaways etc were separate and my wife generally buys my toddler's snacks.  Should add that he gets breakfast and lunch at nursery mon-fri included in the fees.
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  • dealyboy
    dealyboy Posts: 1,674
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    roadweary said:
    We eat well, lots of veg and salad....but with the joint account needing to be bailed out again, we've just been looking at our outgoings and it turns out that my other half's 'top up' shopping is costing as much as all of our other shopping, which I do 90% of.

    We shop between Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury's depending on what we need to get...and I accept that we eat well and want to eat well....but I think the amount being spent is ridiculous.

    Other than fishcakes to put in the oven, pretty much all the food is made from scratch....so this isn't the cost of ready meals mounting up.

    This month it was £900 total!  You could have knocked me over with a feather!  It doesn't include booze......

    Very intersted on what other people are spending.
    Hi @roadweary .........
    As others have said £900 in a month for a couple's food shopping is much higher than many of us would spend, there must be some missing factor.

    So you mostly cook, eat healthily and don't drink alcohol. I presume this does not include takeaways, nor other household essentials, nor clothes. If I had to guess I would say £200 per month max.

    As you have together reviewed your 'outgoings', what are these 'top ups'? Have you audited the combined receipts?
  • @dealyboy - I've found out it does include household essentials...but it's still too much.  We're collecting receipts now...

    I've also discovered a £25 a month Nespresso subscription with another £25 on capsules.....and I guess it only takes a few things like that to build up to hundreds....but yes, I'm going to look at the receipts going forward.

    Unpicking anything in hindsight is likely to cause friction....and hey, no point worrying about the past...
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