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  • FIRST POST
    • ceegee
    • By ceegee 14th Aug 18, 10:43 AM
    • 842Posts
    • 618Thanks
    ceegee
    45 per week housekeeping
    • #1
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:43 AM
    45 per week housekeeping 14th Aug 18 at 10:43 AM
    I budget for everything, always have done. I currently have 45 per week for food, toiletries, toilet rolls, detergent and other cleaning stuff. I would very much appreciate it to know if people think this should be:

    a) plenty
    b) enough/adequate
    c) challenging

    We are 2 adults with no pets.

    Whilst I managed fine at first, I am now finding that, after 6 months of it, it is becoming increasingly difficult. Do I just need to re-double my efforts or am I on a hiding to nothing?

    I am aware that I have not given my circumstances, but it was more a question of how do-able is 45 per week for all food, cleaning, washing etc. If anyone could spare a moment to post their thoughts, I really would be grateful.
    Thank you!

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 09-01-2019 at 11:26 AM.
    "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........"
Page 1
    • carrielovesfanta
    • By carrielovesfanta 14th Aug 18, 10:50 AM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 16,187 Thanks
    carrielovesfanta
    • #2
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:50 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:50 AM
    I budget for everything, always have done. I currently have 45 per week for food, toiletries, toilet rolls, detergent and other cleaning stuff. I would very much appreciate it to know if people think this should be:

    a) plenty
    b) enough/adequate
    c) challenging

    We are 2 adults with no pets.

    Whilst I managed fine at first, I am now finding that, after 6 months of it, it is becoming increasingly difficult. Do I just need to re-double my efforts or am I on a hiding to nothing?

    I am aware that I have not given my circumstances, but it was more a question of how do-able is 45 per week for all food, cleaning, washing etc. If anyone could spare a moment to post their thoughts, I really would be grateful.
    Thank you!
    Originally posted by ceegee

    We are in the same household as you. I think that 45 is doable, but you have to really want to do it and it may not give you a lot of variety.


    My weekly shop is approx. 30-35 but that's without veg and meat from the butcher. All in all, I have about 200 a month budgeted for food (we have chosen to eat organic veg and meat so our costs are a bit higher).


    What do you find is tripping you up? Lack of cheap recipes? Not able to meal plan? Meal style/ingredient preferences?
    LBM 11/06/2010: DFD 30/04/2013
    Total repaid: 10,490.31

    SAVINGS: 8000
    Car final lump sum: 0/6113
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 14th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • 3,934 Posts
    • 2,507 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #3
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:56 AM
    What is your lifestyle ? Do you eat out at lunchtime / evenings; have take aways ?

    We are a pensioner two person household (plus two cats) - dont eat out, takewaway once a month and would think 45 is rather tight - occassionally OK but a delivery shop every 6 weeks ago pushes us well over budget.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • campbell19925
    • By campbell19925 14th Aug 18, 10:57 AM
    • 146 Posts
    • 189 Thanks
    campbell19925
    • #4
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:57 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Aug 18, 10:57 AM
    We spend 40 at Aldi per week for 2 of us and don't need anything else.

    That does breakfast, lunch and dinners all week + toilet paper, cleaning stuff etc.

    It is by no means skimping on anything either, chicken, meat, halloumi, wraps etc etc so it's very doable.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 14th Aug 18, 11:21 AM
    • 21,766 Posts
    • 58,911 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:21 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:21 AM
    I budget for everything, always have done. I currently have 45 per week for food, toiletries, toilet rolls, detergent and other cleaning stuff. I would very much appreciate it to know if people think this should be:

    a) plenty
    b) enough/adequate
    c) challenging

    We are 2 adults with no pets.

    Whilst I managed fine at first, I am now finding that, after 6 months of it, it is becoming increasingly difficult. Do I just need to re-double my efforts or am I on a hiding to nothing?

    I am aware that I have not given my circumstances, but it was more a question of how do-able is 45 per week for all food, cleaning, washing etc. If anyone could spare a moment to post their thoughts, I really would be grateful.
    Thank you!
    Originally posted by ceegee
    It really is a 'how long is a piece of string?' question without context.

    Family A could do it.
    Family B couldn't.
    • Why is it becoming 'increasingly difficult'?
    • Because prices have risen?
    • Because you're getting bored with what you're eating?
    • Where do you shop?
    • Have you done Martin's downsize challenge?
    • Do you drink alcohol?
    • Do you menu plan?
    • Do you batch cook?
    • Do you make your own lunches or buy them out?
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Aug 18, 11:28 AM
    • 5,169 Posts
    • 31,819 Thanks
    caronc
    • #6
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:28 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:28 AM
    My budget for all of the above for just me is 30 per week and I live well on that. I see this as an annual "pot" rather than a defined amount per week. In the winter when I eat more soups, stews etc. I spend less on food but find the warmer months I spend more but it balances itself out over the year. Without compromising or changing what I eat too much I could trim 5 off of that but any less would mean for me some significant changes but would be doable if I needed to (or wanted to enough). 45 for two sounds tight to me but not so tight that it's really challenging. I suppose it depends on what is driving your budget, if that is the most you can spend then you need to eat what fits within that amount which may mean changing what you cook & eat and where you buy it. If it's choice as you want to use money on other things then an extra 5 a week or allowing an increased spend say once a month might give some wriggle room.

    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 14th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    • 4,304 Posts
    • 29,678 Thanks
    tessie bear
    • #7
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    id find it tight to do business with that amount but my ideas would be
    $ meal plan
    $ use leftovers
    $ shop the yellow stickers
    $ buy in bulk such as sack of pots if u think u will use them
    $ cook cheap meals such as quiche have beans on toast once a week
    $ waste nowt

    don't be down heartened if u get a lot of posts along the lines I could do a lot more with a l ot less sometimes the people who post this sort of thing are very short on detail xx
    on the brink...
    • ceegee
    • By ceegee 14th Aug 18, 12:01 PM
    • 842 Posts
    • 618 Thanks
    ceegee
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 18, 12:01 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 18, 12:01 PM
    Thank you all for your ideas, much food for thought there, excuse the pun!

    No alcohol, no takeaways, no eating out. If I need to buy something "over and above" such as tights, it leaves me struggling. I have no budget for things like clothes and haircuts, if I did, we wouldn't have even the 45 for housekeeping!

    I think that the constant struggle gets on top of me sometimes. Sometimes I remember the well groomed and well dressed woman that I used to be and it does make me feel down sometimes.

    I know it might seem that I am being a bit cagey about my circumstances, I don't want to appear that way, it's just that, at the age of 62 and having worked from age 15 until 61, I now find my self in a rotten situation. I shall take all suggestions on board and re -double my efforts.

    Many thanks for the thoughts and kindness! !!!55357;!!!56397;
    "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........"
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 14th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
    • 21,766 Posts
    • 58,911 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #9
    • 14th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
    Thank you all for your ideas, much food for thought there, excuse the pun!

    No alcohol, no takeaways, no eating out. If I need to buy something "over and above" such as tights, it leaves me struggling. I have no budget for things like clothes and haircuts, if I did, we wouldn't have even the 45 for housekeeping!

    I think that the constant struggle gets on top of me sometimes. Sometimes I remember the well groomed and well dressed woman that I used to be and it does make me feel down sometimes.

    I know it might seem that I am being a bit cagey about my circumstances, I don't want to appear that way, it's just that, at the age of 62 and having worked from age 15 until 61, I now find my self in a rotten situation. I shall take all suggestions on board and re -double my efforts.

    Many thanks for the thoughts and kindness! !!!55357;!!!56397;
    Originally posted by ceegee
    People won't judge.

    If we knew what and how you cooked, where you shop and what you buy, what you like to eat and don't like to eat you'd have answers & advice tailored for you.

    It really doesn't matter what other people's budget is and whether they find it easy or hard to manage on a certain amount.
    The fact is that you are finding it difficult.
    It may be that posters can help.
    • zaax
    • By zaax 14th Aug 18, 12:21 PM
    • 1,864 Posts
    • 739 Thanks
    zaax
    were do you shop?
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
    • campbell19925
    • By campbell19925 14th Aug 18, 12:23 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 189 Thanks
    campbell19925
    Thank you all for your ideas, much food for thought there, excuse the pun!

    No alcohol, no takeaways, no eating out. If I need to buy something "over and above" such as tights, it leaves me struggling. I have no budget for things like clothes and haircuts, if I did, we wouldn't have even the 45 for housekeeping!

    I think that the constant struggle gets on top of me sometimes. Sometimes I remember the well groomed and well dressed woman that I used to be and it does make me feel down sometimes.

    I know it might seem that I am being a bit cagey about my circumstances, I don't want to appear that way, it's just that, at the age of 62 and having worked from age 15 until 61, I now find my self in a rotten situation. I shall take all suggestions on board and re -double my efforts.

    Many thanks for the thoughts and kindness! !!!55357;!!!56397;
    Originally posted by ceegee
    Do you like rice?

    Aldi does the best rice for 29p. Boil water + rice. I use it as a staple at least 3 meals a week!
    12 chicken thighs for 1.99, there are some bargains in Aldi. Where do you shop?
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 14th Aug 18, 12:48 PM
    • 17,561 Posts
    • 49,177 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Have you got access to a garden you could grow some food in?
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 14th Aug 18, 1:02 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 1,527 Thanks
    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    Thank you all for your ideas, much food for thought there, excuse the pun!

    No alcohol, no takeaways, no eating out. If I need to buy something "over and above" such as tights, it leaves me struggling. I have no budget for things like clothes and haircuts, if I did, we wouldn't have even the 45 for housekeeping!

    I think that the constant struggle gets on top of me sometimes. Sometimes I remember the well groomed and well dressed woman that I used to be and it does make me feel down sometimes.

    I know it might seem that I am being a bit cagey about my circumstances, I don't want to appear that way, it's just that, at the age of 62 and having worked from age 15 until 61, I now find my self in a rotten situation. I shall take all suggestions on board and re -double my efforts.

    Many thanks for the thoughts and kindness! !!!55357;!!!56397;
    Originally posted by ceegee
    That's really sad to here. You've picked the best place to come to. If you give us a little more details I'm sure there will be lots of help from the lovely people on this board x
    • barole
    • By barole 14th Aug 18, 1:07 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    barole
    Hi Ceegee,

    I am a bit of a lurker, but your dilemma is striking a chord with me. I have been looking at ways to trim costs. I think your budget is doable, but of course constantly counting the pennies can be relentless.

    I shop mostly at Lid@l and keep a close eye on their upcoming offers via their online leaflets.

    I have switched to their uht milk, I think it tastes fine and having plenty in the cupboard stops me needing to pop to the shops for more milk.

    I try to use my freezer more. Having frozen veg, bread, leftovers, etc reduces wastage.

    I am also eating a lot less meat.

    I find I can meal plan and that helps. There are lots of links on this site plus the wonderful Girl called Jack that make great suggestions.

    I now have a garden and have started to grow some simple fruit and veg, but I am not sure how moneysavingexpert this is!

    What I find I miss are "treat" items, ice cream, chocolate, cake etc.

    As others have suggested, where you shop can make a difference, and I often use mySupermarket.com to compare and look up prices.

    Although I really like Lid@l, I find that they do not have many yellow sticker items, so sometimes visit bigger supermarkets to see what they have.

    In my city we have the wonderful Junk Food Project which sells fresh food that has reached its sell by date at vastly reduced prices.

    I think that variety helps.

    I shall be watching your thread with interest, and wish you well!
    • pumpkin89
    • By pumpkin89 14th Aug 18, 1:09 PM
    • 185 Posts
    • 360 Thanks
    pumpkin89
    We are also 2 adults and no pets. My gut reaction would be option d) almost impossible, but if anyone knows how to make it happen, it will be the people on here!

    I think it could get harder over time as your stockpile gets diminished (most people have more already in the house than they realise). Also, living on a tight budget can actually have some novelty value for a time, before it starts to feel restrictive.
    • natlie
    • By natlie 14th Aug 18, 1:10 PM
    • 1,249 Posts
    • 5,589 Thanks
    natlie
    Thank you all for your ideas, much food for thought there, excuse the pun!

    No alcohol, no takeaways, no eating out. If I need to buy something "over and above" such as tights, it leaves me struggling. I have no budget for things like clothes and haircuts, if I did, we wouldn't have even the 45 for housekeeping!

    I think that the constant struggle gets on top of me sometimes. Sometimes I remember the well groomed and well dressed woman that I used to be and it does make me feel down sometimes.

    I know it might seem that I am being a bit cagey about my circumstances, I don't want to appear that way, it's just that, at the age of 62 and having worked from age 15 until 61, I now find my self in a rotten situation. I shall take all suggestions on board and re -double my efforts.

    Many thanks for the thoughts and kindness! !!!55357;!!!56397;
    Originally posted by ceegee
    Hi I am doing this on 67 a week for a family of 5 - its really hard and I have no budget for haircuts, or even hair dye at the moment - this is my fault as I have taken on too much debt, but working my way out of it. We eat a largely vegan diet, its ok for us as the family enjoy my cooking. People often say vegan diets are more expensive but I can buy 800g of cooked beans for 1 whilst 500g of mince is 3.75 I suggest maybe looking for some new tasty, basic meals with no meat just occasionally - it will really help I even make my own oat milk costs me 19p a litre

    I don buy clothes - except for the children, if I do really need somethign new I have to sell something to cover the cost

    Nat
    Debt: 33,400
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 14th Aug 18, 1:14 PM
    • 10,944 Posts
    • 120,348 Thanks
    LameWolf
    I find it easier to budget monthly, as we buy cheese, eggs and honey at the monthly farmers market, which means a lot of our 220 per month allowance is spent on the first Sunday of the month. Just done a quick calculation, and that equates to about 50 a week allowance. I usually come in well under at the end of the month though.

    That's for 2 adults, eating vegetarian, excluding any alcohol (which is, let's face it, a "luxury"), no takeaways, and no clothing/haircuts etc., it's purely food and household cleaning budget.

    Apart from the farmers market, I shop first at @ldi, then Morries for the stuff I can't get at @ldi, and finally at Tosspots for anything the other 2 don't stock. I buy my F&V on the market stall in Central MK - they usually have good large packs of various produce for 1 a pop.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • allybee101
    • By allybee101 14th Aug 18, 1:17 PM
    • 733 Posts
    • 5,276 Thanks
    allybee101
    caronc made an excellent point about viewing your weekly pot as an annual, or perhaps a monthly budget if it's easier. If you spread that money slightly wider you might be able to make your cash go further.
    You'll need to make sure you have some space in your cupboards/freezer.


    For example, if your shopping list is exactly/nearly the same each week you might be missing out on special offers.
    If you're buying a packet of chicken each week you might pay 4 for 3 weeks and get a special offer for 3 one week. However if you bought four weeks worth of chicken when the special offer is on, and freeze 3 of them then you've saved 3.


    Same applies for the reduced/yellow sticker strategy - if you are spreading your money across a few weeks it might give you more leeway to stock up on a pile of reduced items to freeze for another day.


    Could you swap out some meals for more simple things like egg or beans on toast/crumpets, soups etc which can be filling and cheap.


    Are you buying fruit and veg seasonally? Frozen veg is as nutritious as fresh and invariably cheaper.


    When it comes to winter slow cooked casseroles, stews etc can be bulked out with veg, oats, pulses. This might be the time of year when you can put aside a little bit of your budget to supplement the weeks when you need something fancier.




    Apologies if any of this is stating the obvious, it might come in handy for someone.
    There are heaps of resources on here on the food boards for affordable meals- maybe spend a few hours trawling the boards for recipe inspiration.
    Are you meal planning? Do you find that you have many leftovers at the end of the week?
    "Does it spark joy?" - Marie Kondo

    "Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." Napoleon Hill
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 14th Aug 18, 1:29 PM
    • 2,929 Posts
    • 7,849 Thanks
    melanzana
    So sorry to hear of your difficulties (and those of others too).

    OP turn it around a bit, have you any way of increasing your income? Can you for example take in a lodger, or anything like that? Probably not, as you may have thought of that already.

    Anyway, for now, think of the essentials.

    Cleaning stuff can be boiled down to a bottle of bleach and baking soda, and vinegar/wash up liquid mix. Halve your washing tabs, use vinegar for rinsing in the washing machine. Aldi is good for toilet rolls.

    I don't eat much meat/bread at all, but am not veggie. Eggs, Greek yogurt, soup, porridge, weetabix and spuds/veg are very filling.

    I'm not fussy about what I eat, as long as it's not junk and fills me up!

    best of luck.
    • C J
    • By C J 14th Aug 18, 1:59 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 7,089 Thanks
    C J
    Hello ceegee

    If you have a freezer, I think it can be helpful to menu plan for two (or even three) weeks in advance as this gives you the chance to bulk cook and/or freeze leftovers. I have found that writing out a fortnightly menu plan ensures I don't freeze a meal and then forget about it (which I have been known to do, repeatedly!).

    It also helps if you and your partner don't mind eating the same thing two or more days in a row - if I am on a tight budget, I don't have the luxury (money or time wise) of cooking something different every single day. So for instance last Sunday I slow roasted a half leg of lamb (8 in Aldi) and it fed us for a lovely roast dinner, then the remaining meat was stripped with most of it being added to lots of veg for a shepherd's pie which has produced six portions (two for last night, four for the freezer to have over the next two weeks) plus enough spare bits of meat to make a big lamb and rice pilaff which will make four portions.

    There will probably be enough for me to take some of the above in to work for lunches too.

    We try and eat non-meat meals twice a week, fish once a week, cook everything from scratch and don't waste anything.

    If you have an Aldi near you, I would highly recommend it. It's good quality and the prices take some beating, imo.

    I do grow quite a bit of fruit and veg, salad and herbs myself, and I also have my own chickens but can easily feed two adults, two cats and a big hungry dog for 50 a week without trying too hard.

    Can you (and do you) cook?
    Last edited by C J; 14-08-2018 at 2:02 PM.
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