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    • Desperadoo
    • By Desperadoo 29th Jun 17, 11:12 PM
    • 29Posts
    • 55Thanks
    First week of new grocery budget
    • #1
    • 29th Jun 17, 11:12 PM
    First week of new grocery budget 29th Jun 17 at 11:12 PM
    Hope onto post here

    We are 3 adults ( daughter lived at home and does pay housekeeping. ) Desperate times for us at the minutes and from tomorrow (payday) going to try working to a budget for groceries.

    This will Include all food, cleaning products and any treats foe grandchildren

    After bills paid etc we will have 120 per week...i know we can live within this but need tips on best way to keep track. We usually pay for all groceries by contavtless card and his like it's not real money.

    All advice appreciated
    Last edited by Desperadoo; 01-07-2017 at 4:43 PM.
Page 3
    • Desperadoo
    • By Desperadoo 6th Jul 17, 10:18 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Thanks everyone for the many to quote but a few things.

    The 8.00 item...i had a lot of detail work a few weeks ago and the 8.00 item where packs of the metal brushes to clean in between....need 3 different ones ( gum problems , long story ) and although got one packet in B&M they did not have the other 2 sizes, checked poundshop, Superdrug and Boots and ended up paying 4 a packet for the other 2 sizes I needed. Found out afterwards i could have got them in Home Bargains for 59p a packet but had already opened them !!! that was the one shop I didn't try as it would have meant getting in car and driving to it and was trying to do everything in town as I was already parked there . We live and learn :-(

    Looking at the receipts for last weeks there are things i could have done without buying and this week will be better. I have been busy, last few days but going to go through freezer at weekend and see what meals are in there.

    I usually shop in Asda and know i need to shop around, we live in a town which has Lidl, Iceland, Asda, BM and Home Bargains ( don't usually buy food stuff in last 2 places )

    I do cook most stuff fresh and yesterday for example paid 4.50 for chicken fillets for dinner ( in lidl ) day before was 4.00 for mince ( from asda as only buy 5% fat ) . I think I will try iceland frozen chicken and mince but not to sure about the mince i tried frozen mince years ago and it was disgusting .

    Our biggest problem is fruit, we go through so much as we snack a lot on it . I try to buy whatever the offers are in Asda but hubby only like one type of apple which ate 2.00 for 4 and daughter a certain yoghurt at 3.00 packet. She does usually buy her own for work but i like to have a few at home for her also .

    I remember years ago when we had not much money , i didn't work for 10 years and money was really tight out grocery bill was limited to about 80 and we managed.

    The good thing is i usually go out for lunch 3/4 times a week, and coffee shop every day when in town, maybe 5 times a week ...sometimes lunch then coffee later in same day . In last week I have been for lunch ONCE and coffee NONE. Lunch was paid half by me and half by hubby so cost me 6.00 . In reality I have saved a fortune this week by not going out to eat or drink , To be honest have not even missed it .

    Tomorrow is going to be a challenge, I have a meeting after work and will be in restaurant , lasting about 2-3 hours and lunch involved. I could probably get away with just coffee but I am one of these people when I go out i feel I need to offer to pay. Last one of these meeting a few weeks ago cost me 18.00.

    I am sure your all sick hearing me moan this week and thanks to you all. I actually cried myself to sleep last night wishing i would not wake up this morning over it all. We have holiday booked and paid for for october, already have most of the spending money changed into currency for when there and holiday clothes bought. I actually feel like not going !!!
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 6th Jul 17, 12:33 PM
    • 334 Posts
    • 2,861 Thanks
    i personally wouldn't buy frozen mince, from experience the amount of water that's in it makes it cook away to nothing and is rather tasteless. do asda do the 3 for 10 for mince like I think tesclos do? it might be worth in that respect shopping for some things for the month (if incomings allow) if not I like lidles mince. also have you tried bulking mince recipes out with red lentils or tinned beans? you just need to use a slightly stronger stock (in a bol or shep pie eg), but there are lots of different types of tinned beans on one offer or another.
    I would only advise using dried beans if you had a pressure cooker or you're prepared to cook them in a mega-batch and then freeze them in old marg tubs of something. this is cos the cost of cooking them can make them more expensive than tinned.
    herbs and spices btw are often lots cheaper in the worldfood aisle, just decant them in old screw top jars and keep in a dark place. tho only buy the mega-sized bags if you're going to use them often cos they can go a bit stale, I still use them like that tho, I just use a bit more. the little pots in herb section are stupidly expensive I find. some spices and tomato puree can make the blandest bean stew delicious.
    re chicken... do you have a sharp knife and/or poultry shears? a chicken is fairly simple to joint yourself, it just takes a bit of practise (there are lots of online tutorials for it). a lot of the time buying a whole chicken is cheaper than joints, esp boobs which are usually a premium price. I freeze and save the offcuts for making stock (either in pressure cooker or slow cooker) with saved frozen veg peelings, offcuts etc, but again I know this isn't for everyone.
    buying everyone at work lunch????? are you the manager? if not... don't! if you are, arrange the meeting at work and use office supplies. take enough for your coffee with you and 'forget' your purse if they think you're tight then that's tough on them, they shouldn't be seeing you as a soft touch to get lunch. cheeky s**s
    I know all about dental costs, was told I have beginnings of gum disease a few months ago and treatment and new dental supplies cost a fortune. luckily I found the toothpaste etc dentists recommended on the wilco site all on special offer so managed to stock up a bit. am back there in a couple of weeks (probably for more treatment) and I need a new night guard so I know the bill is going to be over 200!
    I think a good cry at times is good to get the stress out of your system, but please try not to get overwhelmed. there are lots of lovely people here for you, whether it's to offer advice and tips or even that'll give moral support and send hugs when you need them.
    one final thought, I used to do my budget by the week as was weekly paid and on a rubbish 7 hour contract and always found things a bit tight, but on weeks I had a few extra pounds I either stocked up on non-perishables or, as I ended up doing, saving it up so I could start shopping monthly.
    I find if I shop monthly I can take advantage on offers. eg weekly budget one tin of something for 50p but buying for the month i'd get said tin on and offer at say 1.60 for 4 thereby saving money.
    whatever you decide it has to work for you and your family, be manageable and not stress you too much. you've made a fab start and it can only get easier once you start getting used to it. try to think of it as a challenge rather than a drudge chore.
    lots of big hugs

    cor! that was a long message, but had to get it out of my head while I thought of it all, I only have a tiny peanut brain.
    gc 2017 1841.27.
    2018 jan 124.69/130 feb 157.97/150 mar 221.33/200
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 6th Jul 17, 2:50 PM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 7,894 Thanks
    I do think that the very hardest thing is not being able to offer to pay or 'treat' people, but if you have done that before, sit back and rest on your laurels!
    I hope your daughter can understand that maybe a particular yoghourt needs to come from 'treat 'budget. Or - try making your own (search in these forums or google). You don't need special equipment, I used to make all of our yoghourt when I was feeding a family (not really worth while now as there's only me to eat it!).
    You can make it just as you like it, using cheaper UHT or dried milk (you can thicken it by using a bit more dried milk powder), then you can add whatever you like.
    Is there a market in your town? Try buying some fruit & veg, to see what it is like. I am aware that some market traders are poor quality, but definitely worth a try.
    I would also look at the butchers. They can appear more expensive, but a small amount of tasty meat can be stretched. My examples:
    Yesterday we had lamb koftas made with minced lamb (can't tell you the price, as I got the butcher to break up a back for me so I could have the fillets, and he minced all the remains for me, I made the koftas up and put them in the freezer for BBQs. Only 150g meat between 2 of us, but barbecued peppers and onions so there was plenty of veg to go in the pitta breads.
    Today we shall have steak - that is carefully trimmed skirt steak, 2.14 for 200g which will do 3 of us. Marinaded, then cut into strips and flash fried.
    I bought 500g of porkribs as well for the BBQ which will do 3: they cost 3.88.
    Now I will sit back and watch MSEers demolish me for my extravagance (there is always someone whose butcher is cheaper) !
    I know that not all of these tips will work for you, the trick is to find what does.
    • Ginmonster
    • By Ginmonster 6th Jul 17, 2:56 PM
    • 305 Posts
    • 4,035 Thanks
    JackyAnn - I'm a leaf tea drinker too. It tastes so much better! I can recommend buying 1kg bags from Ringtons. It works out loads cheaper than buying it in smaller bags. I buy it online but depending on where you live they have tea vans that do regular deliveries.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 6th Jul 17, 6:33 PM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 7,894 Thanks
    Thanks ginmonster (one of the few spirit I don't like!) I shall have a look.
    DH thinks (correctly!) that I should point out that for most appetites, 200g skirt would do 2 people - I still think it good value!
    • Any
    • By Any 6th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    • 7,571 Posts
    • 8,012 Thanks
    Aldi does a lovely 5% fat mince.
    I never buy any frozen meat, mince, chicken or anything.
    Only frozem white fish for curry and frozen prawns (I am a prawnaholic!!)

    Sweetie there is no reason for one to cry themselves to sleep! Onwards and upwards!
    You will manage.
    Think how fortunate we are to worry about fit into 100 budget, it's not like there are no money at all.
    People have to manage on literally nothing and they do still get up in the morning.
    Holiday paid for, why not want to go? That is the reward!
    Some days are better, some days are worst...but think of the relax once you get to your holiday!

    Take it as a game-don't stress over it.
    And when the money for the week run out-no one yet died of a diet of beans on toast!!

    Perhaps setting yourself small goals to start with might be an idea? "Today I will fit into a tenner".
    "Today I will go at 6pm to shop and see what yellow sticker bargains there are". It is funny how happy I can get for a good bargain. Or maybe sad!!!65533;!!!65533;!!!65533;!!!65533;

    Someone mentioned Egg&chips&beans is not the best meal ever but fills you up-actually my OH thinks it's the best thing ever.
    He would have never been fed that as a child (his mother is chef) and I don't consider it a proper meal (my father is a chef), but he loves it so much it is ridiculous !!!65533;!!!65533;
    • Any
    • By Any 6th Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • 7,571 Posts
    • 8,012 Thanks
    Also Aldi's super 6 for veggies and fruit is fantastic. I always look online what they have on and plan a trip if I am really interested.

    Today they had Galia melon for 69p and I picked up 2 massive avocados for 70p each.
    Grapes are a lot cheaper there.
    Leeks and salad always cheaper, without a fail

    Tesco has the farm stuff on offers too-flat peaches this week for 49p-sweet as sugar!
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 7th Jul 17, 7:48 AM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 7,894 Thanks
    I remember a post on here ages ago saying that a fixation with always having 'real meals' added a lot to the grocery budget, and suggested that each week should have the following evening meals:
    one soup & sandwich
    one jacket potato & cheese
    one egg & chips
    one gathering of the left-overs

    I do think that if you are feeding teenagers or those doing heavy manual work, it makes a big difference.
    I mostly gets eggs from the farm, so hadn't realised a trick that one of my sons showed me: buy small eggs from the supermarket, which are usually much cheaper, and fry 3 in a small pan, all together - looks really nice.
    • cuddlymarm
    • By cuddlymarm 7th Jul 17, 8:30 AM
    • 1,089 Posts
    • 4,935 Thanks
    Hi Desperadoo
    You are doing wonderfully so try to stop feeling guilty about spending all the time.
    You've booked and paid for your holiday so maybe put a countdown on your phone or calendar. We all need something to look forward to.
    Meat wise I look for offers of things that we use. So if mince is on offer buy a couple of packs and freeze. I don't buy much frozen meat, but most of my fresh shop goes straight into the freezer. Bigger packs get split so I never buy food for just one week.
    Also we eat quite a few pasta or rice type meals where I portion of meat added to veggies, sauce etc will do the two of us.
    Over time I build up a stock of food so if I have a particularly skint week or don't have time to shop I can manage for a few days without spending anything.
    I hope this has helped a little
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 7th Jul 17, 2:27 PM
    • 15,737 Posts
    • 133,665 Thanks
    Hi desperadoo I have PM'd you hope you got it OK

    cheers JackieO xx
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    2018 Food spend so far this year Three months totals 96.53 April 8.98 . this morning short shop was 5.62 only bought essentials
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 9th Jul 17, 7:52 AM
    • 3,331 Posts
    • 7,894 Thanks
    Hope you're OK. I thought I would share one of my very favourite recipes - very adaptable, made with stuff you often have around, and fairly cheap.

    Funny thing is, that when I first learned it, in France over 50 years ago, it wasn't cheap to make here: peppers were almost unheard of, other than tins in Italian delis, and tinned tomatoes were not as cheap as now. I'll give the basics, but there are variations from all parts of the world where tomatoes & peppers were traditionally plentiful.

    This will do about 2:

    Chop & gently fry an onion (med-large)
    Add a chopped pepper, any colour and continue to soften. You can use wrinkly peppers for this!
    Add a tin of tomatoes, chopped, and boil until there's no liquid left

    Now I turn off the heat (or down very low) and pour in seasoned eggs, and scramble them into the mixture. You can see that this is a softer version of Spanish omelette, heavier on the veg than on the eggs.

    Some leave the heat on low, make indentations, crack eggs in, and let them poach in the mixture (add chillis, and you have huevas rancheros)
    Serve with bread, and if liked, any odd bits of bacon, ham, sausage, that you have.
    I sometimes take those little bacon off cuts that are very cheap, fry them at the very beginning, and cook them in the mixture.
    You can use a pastry shell, put the mix in, crack in the eggs, and heat through in the oven, makes a lovely looking flan
    I also enjoy serving the basic mix alongside egg & chips
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