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    • lilly81
    • By lilly81 15th May 17, 11:44 AM
    • 582Posts
    • 2,293Thanks
    help! I need to reduce my 200 per month food bill
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 11:44 AM
    help! I need to reduce my 200 per month food bill 15th May 17 at 11:44 AM
    I am trying (unsuccessfully) to reduce our 200 per month food bill.
    This is for myself, my partner who is lactose free and our son who is dairy free.
    We drink redbush (rooisbos) tea (it's caffine free and tasty without milk)
    My partner loves cheese but is lactose intolerant so has Babybels and Lactose free cheese. He works a manual job so has a huge appitite!
    My son is 3 and is dairy free- he has soya milk in his porridge
    We all use dairy free spread instead of margerine
    Our nearest supermarkets are aldi (2 min walk away), co op (5 minute walk away), tesco & morrisons are about 10 minutes drive away.

    I am looking for tips to help me meal plan, reduce our overall food bill and to eat healthy

    Many thanks

    I'm looking for
    Debt 03/08/08 4805.26
    Debt free date 23rd march 2009

    Make 2018 in 2018 challenge
    45.08 /2018
Page 1
    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 15th May 17, 12:20 PM
    • 4,173 Posts
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    • #2
    • 15th May 17, 12:20 PM
    • #2
    • 15th May 17, 12:20 PM
    Okay, So a few questions? Do you throw food away because of lack of plans?
    I assume you have to provide food (lunch box) for your OH? I'm sure babybels aren't quite enough!
    Are you buying special lactose free foods which can be expensive?

    Click on the above link. It is from The Vegan Society. What it is is a list of supermarkets where their products are not intended to be for vegans but are actually okay for vegans and therefore automatically milk and all forms free.

    Hope that makes sense.

    It really does help to plan what you are going to eat, and make it realistic. Don't say okay Monday we will have shepards pie and buy mince when you are more likely to have beans on toast.
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 15th May 17, 12:34 PM
    • 3,907 Posts
    • 7,269 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th May 17, 12:34 PM
    • #3
    • 15th May 17, 12:34 PM
    I always look out for the dairy free spreads when in the supermarket. I expect tesco have them. Every now and then there are 1 a 500g tub offers (in sains) so tesco and morries probably do similar.. You just have to look every time you are there,then when you see them,stock up. That can save up to 60 pence a tub. Vitalite is dairy free which is handy as not everywhere seems to do 'free from' type spreads.
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 15th May 17, 2:10 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 465 Thanks
    • #4
    • 15th May 17, 2:10 PM
    • #4
    • 15th May 17, 2:10 PM
    Is your partner who is lactose free and our son who is dairy free like this on medical grounds (and I do mean genuine medical grounds) or is this a lifestyle choice? if it is the latter then decide your level of need in regard to making savings .
    • oldtractor
    • By oldtractor 15th May 17, 2:21 PM
    • 2,198 Posts
    • 14,992 Thanks
    • #5
    • 15th May 17, 2:21 PM
    • #5
    • 15th May 17, 2:21 PM
    meal plan and write a shopping list. include cheap simple meals 3 or 4 times a week. eg beans on toast jacket potato with beans homemade veg and lentil soup omelettes all these are cheap and easy to prepare. if you have a more sophisticated meal once or twice a week then you will look forwardto it and it will help you keep to a meal plan. don't buy expensive extras like fresh herbs. dried onesare usuall y cheaper. see what you can substitute for something else. eg porridge for breakfast or bolied eggs instead of expensive muselli
    Trying for 10 a day
    • hanb
    • By hanb 15th May 17, 4:08 PM
    • 437 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    • #6
    • 15th May 17, 4:08 PM
    • #6
    • 15th May 17, 4:08 PM
    I can't really help so much with the budget other than echoing others (meal plan, no top up shops etc) but I'm also lactose intolerant and avoid it. Lots of cheese is naturally lactose free or really low lactose parmesan and cheddar for example!

    Here's a list but if you just google it there's other sites.

    The key is to look at the 'sugars' on the label. That's the lactose so if it's a trace amount, you're good to go. That would stop the need for the expensive lactofree cheese

    I can also eat proper butter although if your son can't that might not be an option but just in case

    200 a month doesn't seem that bad for 3 people though. Especially when 2 have specific requirements!
    • lilly81
    • By lilly81 15th May 17, 6:56 PM
    • 582 Posts
    • 2,293 Thanks
    • #7
    • 15th May 17, 6:56 PM
    • #7
    • 15th May 17, 6:56 PM
    Thank you for all the replies
    My OH is lactose intolerent and it would cost a fortune in toilet paper if he had some lactose
    My son is dairy free on medical grounds.
    Best dairy free find so far is tesco chocolate bourbons!
    I didnt know about hard cheese, will be looking at the cheese in tesco tomorrow
    Debt 03/08/08 4805.26
    Debt free date 23rd march 2009

    Make 2018 in 2018 challenge
    45.08 /2018
    • maman
    • By maman 15th May 17, 7:05 PM
    • 17,887 Posts
    • 107,127 Thanks
    • #8
    • 15th May 17, 7:05 PM
    • #8
    • 15th May 17, 7:05 PM
    My Aldi seems to be increasing the range of free from items.

    Are you able to buy much there? I find shopping mostly in Aldi saves a lot.

    I'd agree that cheap filling meals are the way to go so lots of mash and pasta. Tomato based sauces and plenty of beans should be safe health wise. Meat tends to be the most expensive item so keep the meat portions small and get protein from eggs and pulses.
    • 2childmum
    • By 2childmum 15th May 17, 7:49 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 2,180 Thanks
    • #9
    • 15th May 17, 7:49 PM
    • #9
    • 15th May 17, 7:49 PM
    i echo the post about lots of cheese being lactose free or very low. Just check the amount of sugar - I find anything less that 0.5% sugars is absolutely find - most cheddars are ok, as are quite a lot of other cheese. Butter I find I'm fine with too - although I don't eat a lot of it. I use lactose free milk in tea/coffee, but cook with soya as it's cheaper - but you will need to do that with your son anyway. I hardly ever buy free from stuff - just check labels a lot!
    May spend - 291.40/320.00
    June spend - 106.40/320.00
    • leonnaise
    • By leonnaise 16th May 17, 10:56 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Feel your pain!
    Just a quick one, if you ever buy nut milks, shop around as quite often one of the major brands is on offer for a 1 a bottle or Aldi usually have it too at that price.

    Feel your pain as have to have dairy and gluten free, best way to keep the pennies is to cook from scratch where possible and only resort to the free from section for staples and must haves (eg: pasta) Also its worth checking the labels on regular products as I've found main stream brands that don't advertise their free from status are cheaper than those that do
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 16th May 17, 7:30 PM
    • 3,907 Posts
    • 7,269 Thanks
    You could look at making nut milks yourself. There are lots of youtube tutorials. Soy milk is very cheap to make.
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 17th May 17, 9:13 AM
    • 543 Posts
    • 1,392 Thanks
    How much of a cook are you?

    Having had a think, it's yours sons dietary needs that you have to cater for most as he needs to be dairy free, you husband can eat hard cheese - aged cheddar and even some blue cheese and emmental

    I would look at vegan recipes so you know you are going to be dairy free, and then adjust to include fish and meat.

    Lunches for DH I would make wraps, no spread required, use hummus or mayo, pack with salad and whatever

    I love tinned fish, sardines, mackerel , kippers, tuna and not so much salmon. All cheap and all very versatile. Sardines and mackerel I find taste a lot moorish if mixed with a drop of balsamic vinegar and spread on toast. With a salad they can be a pretty substantial meal. Kippers and a poached egg, one of my favourite and both tuna and salmon make for great fish cakes

    Reduced price fish is snapped up here. Fish fingers are just fingers of fish dipped in egg and crumbs and either shallow fried or baked. Most oily fish needs nothing more then grilling

    I meal plan around the special offers on meat and veg and whatever I can buy ys. I have even been known to stand in tescos looking up recipes online to see what I can make with what I find ys before deciding to buy. No point in buying something ys if you need to buy a whole host of ingredients to go with it unless those ingredients can be used elsewhere before they go off

    Shopping in season helps keep costs down. Frozen fruit and veg, even tinned, is perfectly acceptable. I personally don't like fruit but I like tinned fruit. Tinned fruit and frozen make perfectly good desserts, crumble pies and flan toppings

    The Jack Munroe site is legend on here for cheap vegan meals. Have a read through the GC thread for more inspiration

    Is this 200 a month for everything? Cleaning etc? If so, down brand. Lidl and I suspect Aldi own brand is superb. I shop mainly at Lidl and I've only been disappointed with their tinned fish, everything else has been a perfectly acceptable swap. This week I needed ketchup, 55p own brand compared to 1.60 Heinz. At that price it will be fine lol. Their loo roll is very good value, soft enough and doesn't tear. DH finds their razor blades and shaving foam perform nearly as well as Gillette

    Other places to shop are B&M, fruit and veg markets, Iceland, even your local butcher.
    It takes a while but you soon get to know the price of everything you want to buy, you get to learn where is the cheapest and how much an item has gone up by and you do slowly but surely get your shopping bills down.
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