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    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 11th Mar 17, 9:12 PM
    • 50Posts
    • 26Thanks
    Still on top of it
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 9:12 PM
    Still on top of it 11th Mar 17 at 9:12 PM
    I had some great advice here last year and am still following all the posts!!! Pleased to say I am OUT of my overdraft still it has been almost 6 months now , I have started a seperate account so I have some savings starting to build up so I'm not living month to month, I have booked a trip to euro Disney which I have CASH for (btw it's a trip with work on the bus so 400 no expensive flights etc)!
    I feel so much better. December 2019 is our debt free date if we can keep this up!!!

    One area that's hard budgeting for is food shopping. You can go but then you just need to go again and it's never ending.
    Any tips on that?
Page 1
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 12th Mar 17, 8:28 AM
    • 6,807 Posts
    • 39,789 Thanks
    determined new ms
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 8:28 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 8:28 AM
    spend some time on the old style board. Loads of tips for reducing grocery spends. I've worked really hard over the last year to bring our gc spends down and we're now at a very frugal level. Biggest things to help was initially going shopping fornightly. I found the more I went there the more I spent. Write a full shopping list, basing it around ingredients you already have, sticking to the list and only going off the list if it was something yellow stickered that I knew I could freeze and use. Bulk buying beans and pulse, making everything. Like wraps are so easy, cheap and delicious to make a freeze well. They cost about 2p to make!

    It has taken a lot of time and effort to bring down our grocery bill but I work part time so have more time on my hands

    well done for sticking with your df plan!
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 3016.55/Roadkill 8.73
    Wombling 2018 145.73/RK 0.04
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 12th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,750 Thanks
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    Start with a meal plan - and I echo DNMS, check your cupboards and freezer properly for everything you have. I list everything and use that as the start to my meal plan. Then write my shopping list as I meal plan so I know I have all the ingredients for each dish. I live close to three big supermarkets and I have managed to cut my shopping trips down to once a week on the whole. Goodluck, HTH.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • LabRatty
    • By LabRatty 12th Mar 17, 6:49 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 6:49 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 6:49 PM
    1. Where do you shop? If you haven't already, try Lidl/Aldi. Good quality and cheap.
    2. Don't food shop when you're hungry
    3. Other than basics, shop once a week only. If you're short of an ingredient, substitute.

    Sounds as if you're doing really well!

    All the best,
    Save In 2018 #109
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th Mar 17, 11:06 AM
    • 8,623 Posts
    • 45,386 Thanks
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 11:06 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Mar 17, 11:06 AM
    To a large extent what's been said about - however I tackle it like this:

    1) A full audit of cupboards, freezer, fridge and stores. Knowing what you have, to start with, is key. Make a list of anything you find that's needing used up - whether that's a slightly sad looking bag of carrots, or a jar of something that you know's been opened for a while.

    2) Meal plan - but start off by incorporating the things that need used first. So if you have a bag of sad carrots, consider making Jack Monroe's carrot & kidney bean burgers. A surfeit of cheese that's in danger of turning blue - macaroni cheese. Get the idea? Your plan should start off by focusing on the things you have - and then your shopping list is born out of that... Remember to include packed lunches on your plan as well.

    3) Shopping list - first up, write in the stuff that you know you'll need, but won't be part of the meal plan. So milk, for example, and fruit as snacks. The go through the meal plan day by day - and add to the list the things you don't have in - but also give some thought to how those are going to be used up going forwards. If you're buying mushrooms for a stir fry on Monday for example, wednesday's chicken & pea risotto might want to become chicken and mushroom. It's a moveable feast - that's the whole idea - the trick is to make it work for you, and to break the "habit buying" that leads to waste.

    4) the shop - first up if you're currently shopping at Tesco or Sainsburys there's probably a decent saving to be made on some things by using Aldi or Lidl. This is where knowing what you pay for things comes in. Learn what your target prices are for particular products so you KNOW when an offer is good. If you know taking OH or a child with you leads to extras being bought on impulse then go on your own, simple. If you're the guilty party for extra spending, get OH to do it. If you're both as bad as each other try an online shop.

    Something that can be useful is to keen an eye on Aldi & Lidl's specials on fruit and veg - and then adjust your meal planning to take account. Aldi's recent S6 offers on stew type veggies made sure there was going to be a casserole on my plan last week, for example, and also that cauliflower cheese would feature. The rest of the cauli made a side-veg for another meal, the leeks have been used in risotto, and the remaining carrots, swede and onions will be being done as roasted veg next week. Your aim is to use EVERYTHING you buy - THAT is what saves you money.

    Set a budget too - we have 150 for food per month, that's for two of us - but rarely spend that. (That budget also includes the stuff we buy as part of the regular weekly shop - so cleaning stuff etc).

    I'm assuming that you don't enjoy spending time in the supermarket any more than I do - and using the method above has the huge advantage that it can leave you shopping once a week and that's it - done! Remember to use your freezer for things like bread too - or try freecycle for a bread maker - ours is in use several times a week and the bread is FAR nicer than the supermarket white mush! Works out cheaper too - last time I priced it up it was less than 50p for a loaf, or 8 rolls.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/853.32 (12/02/18)
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    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 17th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    I do make shopping lists & ive changed to Lidl/or Aldi and a mix of farmfoods and home bargains depending on what I need!!!
    I do now stick within a budget of 250 per month for food shopping so that's good! There's 3 of us! I'll maybe check my cupboards more before hitting the shops -it's usually around the 50/60 mark a week!
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 18th Mar 17, 5:52 PM
    • 5,738 Posts
    • 25,326 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Mar 17, 5:52 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Mar 17, 5:52 PM

    It sounds like you have done really well so far.

    I agree with making a meal plan.

    I once (a few years ago) managed to get our shopping bill down to 250 a month for family of 6. I stuck with it for about 6 months but then we started slipping back in to old habits. The best way I found was to write a list of 30/31 meals, write how many pints of milk you will use for a month, how many loaves of bread, bags of crisps, cereal bars or whatever else you buy. I then did a massive monthly shop of everything. I even froze the bread and milk for the month... The only thing I needed was a bit of fruit or fresh veg each week (although I mainly used frozen) I kept 5 a week for just this.

    The worst thing is needing to go the shop for a pint of milk as it will always cost a tenner!

    I will be doing similar again, but as much out out of lack of time as money saving.... At the time I was able to go to Aldi for as much of the monthly shop as possible and each week for the fruit and veg. I don't think I will get it that low again as I will be online ordering the bulk and using the local Co op/Tesco for the few weekly fresh bits.

    I also made sure there was a mixture of 'posh' meals, 'normal' meals and real 'budget' meals. That way we never felt too deprived as there was the odd gammon steak or posh pie to look forward to in among the vast sea of budget meals.

    Good Luck x
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

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