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    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 9:12 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 51Thanks
    Bracelovers
    2 people food budget help please
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:12 PM
    2 people food budget help please 9th Apr 18 at 9:12 PM
    Hi money savers,

    Long story short. Financially we are tight. I lost my job and have had to take a job with far less hours and hourly pay. I'm tracking our spending and we currently spend £50 a week on food.

    There is just 2 of us, we have a roast on a Sunday and I use whatever is left for the following days, we have no takeaways neither of us drink alcohol (with any regularity).

    What would you expect a couple to spend on food per week? I do batch cook and use all leftovers, we will be growing vegetables to help reduce our spending but atm the garden is very much a working progress. We purchased our house in Mid December and I lost my job end of December.

    Any advice on saving will be very much appreciated
Page 1
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 9th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 5,758 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    Hi

    Sorry to hear about your job situation. I bet you could buy food for £30 a week for two. Depends what you eat and where you shop. I'd recommend lidl and Aldi. Also, if you are working less you may be able to take advantage of yellow sticker times at supermarkets.batch cooking and meal planning both help too.

    I hope your job situation improves soon though.

    Bexster
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 9:46 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:46 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:46 PM
    Meat eaters, I've started a job in sainsburys 12 hours a week and yellow stickers aren't as good as I thought they would be have started shopping at lidl. I'm trying to do 2 meals with no meat a week and we are already eating basics range of food except for coffee and surf washing powder (don't buy cleaning products).
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 9th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • 1,381 Posts
    • 7,127 Thanks
    MandM90
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    Cutting down meat a little might help, maybe try some meat free recipes e.g. Paupers Pasties


    What are you currently eating each week other than the roast? Roast what? We may be able to help you with some lower cost alternatives.

    Do you currently by the cheapest brand available? How much are you spending on drinks (i.e. juice), snacks and cleaning products? Could they be pushing up your bill? Also, do you have anything in that you could use to streeetch out your budget this month to give you a bit of breathing room?

    I'm sorry you've lost your job, but you're in the right place!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Marriages & Family,
    Old Style, Mortgage Free Wannabe, Green & Ethical
    boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    Washing powder large box approx every 3 months cost £10

    Roast chicken normally £4 or pork £6

    Large pack mince £2 expect 4-6 meals done in slow cooker and frozen.

    Fridays always fish battered or fish cakes £1.50 per week

    Eggs 15-30 per for night £4

    Snacks homemade buns/cake.

    Veg normally frozen so no waste. Also use spuds for everything no pre cut chips etc

    Cleaning products - white vinegar and washing up liquid or lemon juice.

    Freezer stock currently half pack mini chicken fillets, frozen veg, some bread, small portion chicken curry.

    Have one tin kidney beans, spices stock cubes etc.

    Tomorrow will be the left over chicken if dh doesn't eat for lunch.
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    We do consume a considerable amount of milk for 2 people considering we don't eat cereal 4-6 pints every 3 days. Tea and coffee lovers
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 10:08 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:08 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:08 PM
    And cheese but had lent so none for 40 days and nights - have some left from easter Sunday still
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 9th Apr 18, 10:09 PM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 5,758 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:09 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:09 PM
    Hello

    Sainsburys one of the most expensive IMHO. Do you meal plan? Washing powder will take a chunk out of your weekly budget for sure. I agree with MandM90, what you roast will have an impact on cost. Do you take lunches to work both of you? Meals can be padded out with beans etc to stretch the meat.

    I hope Lidl is helping. It certainly should compared to sainsburys.

    Bexster
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 10:19 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:19 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:19 PM
    I don't shop at sainsburys I work there. I am topping up on milk bread etc when required but don't buy my weekly food shop for there. Currently shopping at lidl once a fortnight. Meal plan is weekly roast dinner, then left overs, fish Friday eggs once a week at least, mince meal normally does a couple of days (use oats and beans). Toiletries come of of this but I don't wear make up and the only brand is lynx deo for himself.

    I try not to top up, (only buy essentials) although my baking cupboard is quite full atm.

    Will be food shopping this week.

    We don't buy food for lunch at work we eat at home as we work odd shifts and have the option to do that. Same for drinks out.
    • Bracelovers
    • By Bracelovers 9th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Bracelovers
    I do buy 2 blocks of butter a week though.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 9th Apr 18, 10:33 PM
    • 11,197 Posts
    • 29,928 Thanks
    suki1964
    Soap powder - I have to buy persil as Im allergic to everything else, its always on offer for £5 a 45 wash, lasts me months as I only use half a scoop, supermarket brands are a lot cheaper as long as you buy at special offer time and they come around every few weeks

    I shop in lidl, my average spend is £35 a week for 3 adults. I don't have to buy eggs as we have hens. We don't eat fruit , I just get bananas or a bag of apples for DH lunch box so thats a big saving I know

    When I go into lidl I head straight for the £2/£3 weekly offers on the meat and fish. They will be the basis of my meal plan - I plan when I see whats available

    These are the offers I had to choose from this weekhttps://www.lidl-ni.co.uk/en/super-savers.htm

    As you can see, its a lot of pork this week, doesn't matter, Ill buy and stick in the freezer to spread around the month so we don't get too bored. And Ill change how I cook things, the turkey - half would be in a pie with lots of leeks ( its called leek and turkey pie, not turkey and leek for a reason ), the other half would be a stir fry or curry. I would even cut the chops into strips to make into a Chinese pork and spring onions or sweet and sour - two chops easily feed three of us

    Then I have a rummage in the reduced section, usually pick up a pack of sausages or a pack of cooked meat. Cooked meat like turkey is fine for a roast dinner for two - just warm it in gravy and serve with piles of veg and if really hungry make a bit of stuffing or yorkies

    I also buy the supersaver veg. Might not use it right away but when its so cheap, it gets bought. It all gets used eventually, even if I do end up making a soup ( which I will be making tomorrow with half a broccoli, plenty of stem, very little florets but its good for soup )

    Red lentils, butter beans, etc are cheap and are great for padding dishes out. A fav dish here is a sausage casserole, one or two sausages each ( Ill even use reduced priced cocktail sausages for this dish) tin of butter beans and a tin of tomatoes, herbs and spices, served on brown rice - its a rib sticker yet costs pennies

    You can shave a good lot of your grocery bill with a bit of thought.

    In the meantime, have you said in work that you are available for any overtime going? I remember when I worked for JS, there was always OT as the evening staff would often not show up

    Good luck
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 9th Apr 18, 10:36 PM
    • 11,197 Posts
    • 29,928 Thanks
    suki1964
    I do buy 2 blocks of butter a week though.
    Originally posted by Bracelovers
    Butter is £1.19 for 1/2LB in lidls, I buy two packs a week as well

    Cheese, check price per Kilo before buying. The special offer may not be the cheapest.

    How comes so much milk?? 4 pints on tea and coffee seems a lot
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • juliesname
    • By juliesname 9th Apr 18, 10:43 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 353 Thanks
    juliesname
    Sorry to hear about your job situation, hope it improves soon.

    Chicken - have you tried buying chicken thighs instead of a whole one? Pork - slow roast shoulder? For your leftovers meals, could you add various pulses to stretch them a bit further? Cooking bacon, cheese, eggs can be cheap 'stretchers' too - if you're used to lots of meat I'd suggest using a little for flavour and making it go further with cheaper ingredients.

    As regards veg, look out for special offers - there's just been a bit of a price war between lidl/aldi/tesco which might work out cheaper than the frozen ones. Which shops do you have access to? If there's an outdoor market nearby you might find veg cheap there, and the discounters farmfoods/heron/b&m/poundshops can be good value - try making a note of the prices you usually pay and have a wander round anywhere else that's nearby.

    Julie.
    • Mrs Salad Dodger
    • By Mrs Salad Dodger 9th Apr 18, 10:47 PM
    • 908 Posts
    • 10,548 Thanks
    Mrs Salad Dodger
    Bracelovers,

    Home made pizzas/savoury flans? If you have plenty of ingredients in your baking cupboard perhaps you could make puff or shortcrust pastry - use a smear of tomato paste & then anything you like eg cooked onions, minced silverskin onions, chopped up bits of your roast meat, grated cheese. Can I also point you towards the ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ thread. There are some great ideas on there!

    My DH & I also use copious amounts of milk for tea/coffee!

    I know you said you use beans to bulk out meals, but do you have any pulses like lentils etc? One tip, always grate your cheese it seems to go further - but do not ask me how

    Good luck

    MrsSD
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    • 20,548 Posts
    • 55,249 Thanks
    Pollycat
    OP
    Maybe hop over to the Debt free wannabe board and post a SOA (statement of affairs).
    You'll get lots of advice about cutting your expenditure in all areas, not just food.
    You don't have to be in debt to post on there.
    It's a very supportive board.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Apr 18, 6:56 AM
    • 16,417 Posts
    • 45,443 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    LAUNDRY GLOOP
    Grate a bar of cheap soap (own brand stuff). Add 4 litres of boiling water to it. Take off the heat and stir in half a cup of washing soda crystals. Once it's cooled down somewhat (takes a couple of hours or so) then decant into suitable containers.

    I still make that myself to use instead of commercial detergent and it's much cheaper. I'm quite gobsmacked by how much packets of detergent are.

    I have a huge preserving pan that I find the right size for that much liquid - but I'm guessing you could make shift with a couple of the largest saucepans you have instead.
    ****************
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Apr 18, 8:26 AM
    • 63,816 Posts
    • 373,674 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    £10/week/person is easily doable if you open your purse and there's a few coins and that's your lot.

    You can eat a varied diet for £10 and still feel you're getting treats and goodies.

    Any more than that and you're making an active "choice" to spend more. This means that, somewhere, you're choosing to "overspend" by £30/week more than you need to.

    Look at:
    - the costs of individual items and if you can buy similar items cheaper
    - is there any waste at all?
    - portion sizes.

    Cutting back is really a perpetual beady eye over what you've eaten, how much that actually cost you and the £value of any waste.

    If you mentally set a budget of "£3/day between you" and compare that against the cost of each day's food you'll start to see what you are spending your money on and can then actively choose to stop buying that item, or source something different/cheaper. You can break that budget, but you have to be comparing what you spent with something.

    e.g. I could have an organic baked potato, topped with cream, butter and chives.... or I can have a cheaper potato topped with 1/3rd of a tin of own brand baked beans.

    Analyse, choose, decide, reduce.

    e.g. I could buy a bag of Walkers crisps every day at the shop for 50p, or I could buy a six pack once a week for £1 and "go without" one day.

    Know the cost of everything you put into your basket as you're putting it in - and think how adding that ingredient into your dishes might be making them more expensive than required ... and consider putting it back on the shelf. e.g. peppers in a chilli, do you really need them, they're a bit pricey.

    Question, query and justify everything you pick up.
    • MandM90
    • By MandM90 10th Apr 18, 9:54 AM
    • 1,381 Posts
    • 7,127 Thanks
    MandM90
    Hi Bracelovers,

    I'm finding it unclear from your list above how you're managing to hit £50 a week - we're a family of three with two cats and quite often manage to get our shop in at under £30. Why don't you take a snap of your receipt next time you go shopping for us to have a look and give you some ideas?

    How long does the chicken last you? With some extra frozen veg to pad out and doing 'rubber chicken' you should be able to make it last 3-4 days e.g. roast on first day (slices of breast each), sandwiches on Monday with more breast, legs and wings lobbed in a curry with lentils for Mon dinner and Tues lunch, then boil up bones and scraps with more veggies for soup on Tues eve and Weds lunch.

    Have you had a look at some of the recipes on this board? There are some reaaaally cheap ones. We also do beans on toast for supper once a week. Super cheap, filling, yummy and QUICK!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Marriages & Family,
    Old Style, Mortgage Free Wannabe, Green & Ethical
    boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 10th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 4,081 Posts
    • 13,871 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    You sound organised and up for cooking from scratch, so half way there.

    If you and your partner both like soup, that is a cheap and filling way to get a lot of meals out of whatever veg are on offer. You can make it as spicy as you like; if you do like spicy food invest in a packet of chilli seeds and grow them on sunny windowsills and you can always make cheap meals more interesting. I hope you find the garden good stress relief too.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • Katapolt
    • By Katapolt 10th Apr 18, 10:44 AM
    • 225 Posts
    • 286 Thanks
    Katapolt
    Struggle to see how you hit £50 a week a Lidl.. especially with what you've said so far.

    I do a shop every week at Aldi and for 2 of us its in the region of £35 every week, with no top up shops unless we have a change of plans (and more guests!)

    we have a roast every week, but will buy fresh mince (1kg usually) and this will make about 4-5 meals. We bulk everything out with veg - have it maybe twice in a week and freeze the rest for another day.

    decide on meals for the week, and only buy what you need for them. i thought my shop of £35 a week was too much, until i realised what the big supermarkets cost!

    good luck, i know it can be daunting but the own brand items are just as tasty.
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