Monthly food shopping bill - couple



  • roadweary
    roadweary Posts: 219 Forumite
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    edited 26 September 2023 at 9:54AM
    maman said:
    Obviously, if the £150 lasts for the week then you'll have made a drastic improvement but I'm amazed how you manage to spend that much on food for 2 people. 

    Would you give us an indication of what sort of typical meals you're having? 🤔
    I think that's gonna take some analysis....but my partner is into super healthy 'eat the rainbow' type stuff.  So for example last night was a very varied salad including avocado, pomegranate seeds, leaves, tomatoes, toasted seeds (she toasted them), prawns.....she had some meat....I had one of my fishcakes with it.....oh and some of those pop in the over crispy potato slices..
  • We spend about £100 a week on our shop for a family of 4 (all adults). That's food shopping, toiletries, cleaning products etc. The kids will often go out to eat though or buy themselves something "different" to cook at home. 

    We were spending £60-£80 a week until prices - and children's appetites - increased! 
    If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -Thomas Jefferson 1802
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,583 Forumite
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    I think the most important thing you can do @roadweary is to try to get your partner on board with the need to cut down the food bill.

    We eat loads of vegetables and it's perfectly possible to eat the rainbow without expensive items like pomegranate seeds. Aldi's bags of wonky peppers are an example. And delicious though they may be, there's nothing colourful about avocados. 🤣

  • Hello @roadweary 😀 We eat organic or grass fed meat and poultry, wild game, wild fish (mostly frozen and canned) and organic veg when we can find it. My budget for food, basic toiletries and cleaning stuff is £600 pcm for two people. We don't drink alcohol and if we have fish & chips, husband pays for that. 

    In days of yore, cooking from scratch was cheap. When I look at old cookbooks, things like ox cheeks and monkfish were really really cheap. There's no way that I can cook a fish pie for 99p, but manufacturers add fillers and way more potato than fish. Really, it's pretty shocking how ultra-processed convenience food has become the norm. 

    @maman mentions Aldi wonky peppers. Lunch today was soup, made in my Tefal soupmaker with a can of organic chopped tomatoes, some celery and yellow pepper plus a dash of crème fraîche at the end. Takes roughly 28 mins and washes itself up. Wonky veg, yellow sticker veg and veg salvaged from the fridge can all be used. Doesn't use much electricity and soups can be frozen (add crème fraîche, soured cream or cream after reheating, don't freeze those).

    Bendy carrots can be left in cold water for a couple of hours and they will absorb water and firm up enough to be used in a soup. 

    Another useful low energy consumption gadget is a slow cooker. Not just for stews ! Have a look at a recipe book. The Hamlyn one is good and Martina Slajerova has written a slow cooker recipe book for people on low carb and keto diets. If you trawl through the recipe section of the B&M website, eventually you will find a slow cooker 'fry up' which you can do overnight, to have for breakfast. 

  • That's a good tip about reviving bendy carrots, I didn't know that :) 
    The second man to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, Bobby Leach, survived the fall but later died as a result of slipping on a piece of orange peel.
  • Like @MrsStepford, we prefer to eat organic or wild, especially for meat/fish/dairy.  We also buy a wide variety of fruit and veg, including the more expensive/exotic things such as pomegranate.  We spend about £700 per month and sticking to this involves quite a bit of effort in terms of price tracking, comparing between retailers, stocking up on promotions etc.

    It's not surprising that you are spending £900 per month with a bit less analysis and planning.  If you want to cut that down, you need to sit down with your partner and decide together where you are willing to make compromises.

    It's often stated as fact that cooking from scratch is cheaper, but in my experience it's more expensive than ready meals if you are cooking freely (using whatever ingredients you fancy, trying out recipes from magazines etc.) - it might be worth seeking out some budget recipes that you like the look of, but you do have to stick to them (it's very easy to throw in a few extra ingredients which can really ramp up the cost).
  • For a family of 4, 2 adults, 2 teens, so 4 adult meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, with occasional take aways/lunches out. We spend around £90 a week max, with 3 cats, toiletries snd cleaning stuff.

    We eat loads of veg, pulses, meat etc. I'm quite fascinated to know what you eat! 

    We cook from scratch most days, salads, soups etc for lunch. Porridge with dried fruit for breakfast, or supermarket own cereals.  Dinner tonight was noodles with steak and stirfry, other nights, home made pizza, chicken curry, pesto pasta. Veg is added to everything.

    I place an order online, and try to avoid top up shopping, unless it's discounted bread/eggs/basics.

    I guess, if i had £900 to spend on groceries, I would at least look to try spend it in your small indie shops, at least it's helping your neighbor's etc out.

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  • Having lived with with a spendthrift in years gone by (we're divorced now!) the only solution is to present them with the evidence that their spending is affecting both your finances. And hope that makes him change. 

    It didn't change my ex. I resorted to giving him 'pocket money'. He could only spend the cash that was in his jar each week. Not a long term solution, more a teaching aid. It didn't work. 

    My ex's spending damaged our marriage. He'd spend, I'd tighten our supermarket shop to accommodate it. It wasn't fun. And then I found out he'd got a credit card to get round the spending limits I'd imposed - and it was over £10k in debt....

    Did I mention that we're divorced now?

    Good luck x
  • Miser1964
    Miser1964 Posts: 283 Forumite
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    edited 29 September 2023 at 11:28PM
    Have you considered online shopping at Sainsburys to an agreed list to avoid/reduce the 'top up' shopping?

    There's also the option of the meal delivery services such as Gousto or the more up-market / organic equivalents such as Green Chef or Able & Cole which provide all the ingredients for home cooking at a set price.
  • sarah1972
    sarah1972 Posts: 18,897 Senior Ambassador
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    Miser1964 said:
    Have you considered online shopping at Sainsburys to an agreed list to avoid/reduce the 'top up' shopping?

    There's also the option of the meal delivery services such as Gousto or the more up-market / organic equivalents such as Green Chef or Able & Cole which provide all the ingredients for home cooking at a set price.
    If the op wants to save money, online shopping at Asda would help a lot more than Sainsburys. I find them really expensive 
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