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    • Jaffapig
    • By Jaffapig 28th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    • 78Posts
    • 76Thanks
    How much do you spend on food per month?
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 18, 6:29 PM
    How much do you spend on food per month? 28th Oct 18 at 6:29 PM
    Hi all. Just curious how much you'd expect a couple with no children to spend on food a month?

    I know we spend too much. £200 approx on groceries in our latest credit card bill (where all our grocery shopping goes for simplicity) and this doesn't include that both of us very regularly buy our lunch at work (not included on credit card bill). This does include our toiletries and a bit for the pets as well but seeing as we always buy 90p shampoo etc I think the bulk of this bill is down to food.

    I know we need to shape up and it would help the fiance's debt repayments if we could both get our act together on this front (especially the buying lunches!). And tbh I have been feeling a deep lack of mojo for a long time - perhaps it could be something for me to throw my energy towards.
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    • Jaffapig
    • By Jaffapig 3rd Nov 18, 1:53 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Iíll try to answer a few replies in one (apologies for all the exclamation marks throughout I got excited!)

    - Re: Aldi/Lidl Ė this is probably blasphemy on this board but I absolutely hate shopping in these supermarkets due to their cramped aisles and the fact a loved one used to work in one and they were awful employers. I donít feel like I can get everything I need from them and I really dislike the quality of some products. Having said that Ė some products are totally fine and I enjoy browsing the "aisle of s***" as I affectionately call it, I enjoy the variety of unexpected goods in there!
    However whatís really swung it for me is just yesterday I discovered I can get an endless supply of old cardboard boxes/trays that I can use as disposable guinea pig beds which will be handy for keeping them warm this Winter! Since Iím not quite so shameless as to go in weekly and just nick boxes Iíll have to buy something. I think I will bite the bullet and do a part shop in our local Aldi and the rest in Tesco. Both are on my way home from work so itís hardly an inconvenience from that respect.

    - Good idea on the cafetiere for soups. Fortunately I donít like coffee and am not one of these Starbucks-frequenting types so no money spent there

    - I am too scared to do a spending diary on food! I am actually quite uptight about money as my partner will tell you but groceries is my major blindspot. Everything else is itemised on a spreadsheet except groceries/home purchases which are simply marked Ďcredit cardí and doesnít go into any further detail than that! But we need to face up to it now Ė canít coast along like this with the lunches in particular forever. Now we've just bought a house the home purchase are adding a bit to the credit card bill each month so the food needs to be reigned in. I am going to do a meal plan today. I have done this in the past but usually fall down by week 2 to be honest.

    - Included in the meal plan will be that butternut curry recipe, thank you!

    - Lovely butter/fruit and veg exchange you have going there Jackie

    - Have just moved to a house of our very own and it has a little greenhouse and a perfect spot for a veg patch. As a minimum I just want to grow some of the veg I give to the guinea pigs so I can stop buying so much for them (lettuce and cucumber to start)

    - I am a bit gutted as I collected a huge number of blackcurrants from a bush in our old house and froze them but our fridge freezer died (only 2months old!) and we lost everything in the freezer and the meat in the fridge. Berries had gone all mushy and everything somehow got covered in defrosted raw chicken fluid (almost as if the chicken had exploded!). It was fixed just yesterday (only 4 weeks without!)

    - I would love to get better at freezing leftover bits in a useful form for later (e.g. breadcrumbs). Iím not very smart at this atm.

    - Katiepants Ė what youíre doing sounds in line with what Iíd be aiming for, except will be Tesco instead of Morrisons. Also I have been ordering a veg box but had to cancel that due to being wasteful and loosing the fridge to store them in. When I can get our act together I may start that up again. I donít mind paying a bit more for nice veg if itís all used up.

    - What does y/s stand for please?

    - Right, time to make my meal plan!
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 3rd Nov 18, 2:52 PM
    • 12,486 Posts
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    YS - yellow sticker. Most supermarkets put the discounted prices on yellow stickers. But Lidl use orange and Waitrose red.

    A pal of mine jokes that her daughter was nearly a grown woman before she realised that it was possible to get groceries without yellow stickers.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • Jaffapig
    • By Jaffapig 3rd Nov 18, 3:00 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Haha thank you. I see, my guineas get a fair bit of that to
    • csarina2
    • By csarina2 3rd Nov 18, 5:03 PM
    • 2,493 Posts
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    There are two of us and I spend between £120 - £140 a month, menu plan, cook from scratch, the only outside meal we may have is fish and chips at Sainsbobs for a treat. We are retired so I do have the time to cook. I make my own bread and we vary lunches, soup with toast and either yogurt or fruit for afters, bean, eggs or cheese on toast, sandwiches today we had egg mayo, tomorrow it will be cheese and beetroot, Monday HM soup. I shop mostly at Aldi,things I cannot get there come from Morrison. Very rarely shop at Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury.

    We eat well, some meat, fish ,eggs ,cheese, plenty of veg and fruit.

    A Sample menu for a day, breakfast weetbisks with skimmed milk, large coffee, on Sunday we have fruit, croissant with jam and coffee.

    Lunch a round of egg mayo sandwiches, either fruit or yogurt and a glass of milk. Supper tomorrow is Sunday so Half shoulder of lamb, roast potato's, cauliflower, carrot and green beans, A fruit crumble for dessert with custard.

    On Monday I will cut the remaining meat off the shoulder, we will have some with salad for supper and the remainder will be frozen against a meal later or used in sandwiches.

    We do buy one or two luxuries, but for many years my spend was £100 a month which is around £25.00 a week. I do keep a decent store cupboard, we live 'out in the sticks' so bad weather means we eat out of the freezer. I always have veggies either tinned or frozen and keep a stock of strong flour for bread. I also keep 2 cartons of UHT milk in the cupboard so although we do not have milk in tea or coffee, we do have enough to cope in an emergency for a few days at least. I also have 6 wiltshire farm food meals in the freezer, so if I am unwell OH can at least get himself a hot meal.

    I also keep in powdered potato, its fine if you put a dob of butter and a bit of milk and some seasoning in before adding the water. I use it in soup as well to thicken it.

    Eating out at lunchtime will shove you food bill up a lot, making sandwiches or a salad up fpr lunch will save you money. Soup can be put in a wide necked flask, and I used to take all in one stew to work in a flask as well. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by csarina2; 03-11-2018 at 5:22 PM.
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 20th Jan 19, 8:08 AM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    My mistake is having groceries delivered then visiting the shop for one item but buying 10! I'm rubbish at meal planning. Going to work on it though

    • Mr_Singleton
    • By Mr_Singleton 20th Jan 19, 9:53 AM
    • 1,244 Posts
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    It’s interesting to note how frequently these sorts of posts come up. Have to wonder how useful they are as there are so many variables.

    A strapping bloke living in a city compared to an old lady living in the middle of nowhere with only small convenience shops to hand.

    Personally, this morning for breakfast I had some porridge with fruit which was cheap as chip but I had £22 of quality takeaway sushi for lunch yesterday.

    Some people would be surprised to see I spent £6 on a loaf of bread yet these same people would happily buy a rip-off supermarket sandwich meal deal for lunch.

    So, I don’t think what you spend on food particularly matters as long as your mindful on what your spending/eating.
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 20th Jan 19, 10:26 AM
    • 16,654 Posts
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    Mr Singleton indeed it is being mindful of things that will save you money.

    I am mindful that I can make a big pot of delicious home made carrot and coriander soup for around 50p which gives me at least 4-5 lunches with the addition of some soft cheese and crackers, as opposed to a tin of the same which maybe would do one meal for 75p.

    I do sometimes treat myself in Sainsburys whenever they have aberdeen angus steak on offer (once in a blue moon ) as I do enjoy them but I certainly wouldn't pay £28-32 per kilo for it .reduced to around £18.00 kilo I will buy some ,even more if its yellow stickered and reduced as it will get portioned up and popped into my freezer for when I want a nice treat.
    I do spend about a third of my budget on fruit and veg but I don't eat bread at all and the only time I buy butter is to make shortbread with at Christmas I buy crackers and basic low fat cream cheese and top the crackers with sliced tomatoes /cucumber to eat with my soup at lunchtime I eat veggie about 1-2 times a week and can just as easily enjoy a veggie curry or lasagne as a meat one The secret is using lots of herbs and spices and I have a weakness for sweet chilli sauce and garlic

    I do enjoy spicy food and hate 'beige' food I only use UHT milk as fresh milk goes off before its all used up and I will make a 2pint rice pud in the slow cooker with a watered down tin of evaporated milk which does me for puddings for several days with either custard on top or a dab of jam and some diced up fruit.

    I haven't spent very much this month as I am trying to eat down my freezer for defrosting but I will food shop tomorrow which will last me for at least 10-12 days if not more as bad weather is likely shortly. I eat at my DDs at least twice a week (I do bake cakes and biscuits in exchange )and I also have one night a week at the pub qiz where we get a small meal included in the price (£2.00) a bargain for a nice night out with my team

    As i am retired I don't have to think about lunches out or coffees I have a perfectly good percolator in my house anyway.

    But its different strokes for different folks and no doubt my diet wouldn't suit everyone .But being mindful of what you already have in the cupboard and not wasting anything helps .After all it was bought to eat and not just throw away

    JackieO xx
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    2019 January £ 41.45 in total spent this month Feb £38.95 spentMarch food spend so far £24.90
    • Gemfire
    • By Gemfire 3rd Apr 19, 8:36 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Going back to the post, I do not think 50 a week is bad, but the lunches will really add up... Iíd look at that first?

    But anyway for just food we have a weekly £60 and that includes, all good and drink, toiletries, cleaning etc for family of 2 adults, 1 child and a baby. My way to staying on budget there about- plan meals,x 7 for the week and x2 ďnicerĒ weekend lunches. Take list to supermarket and only buy on that list, plus one ďdate breakfastĒ for mid week ie nicer breakfast with husband whilst children still asleep!
    - batch cook. We grow some veggies so batch cook for freezer to use up gluts. Weíll have a batch cook day occasionnally but also try to have one of the planned weekly meals stretch in to a small batch cook. We have a large stock of those Chinese foil trays with card lids, you can get cheap online I think from wholesaler.
    - buy cheap brands and food, apart from some things that we care about, eg free range chicken. I think most people have something which they want to spend more on, fine, but compromise elsewhere.
    - for meat, itís a personal thing I think but we like to buy less but good frerange/outdoor bred, and also joint it ourselves. Eg we never buy breast fillets, but a whole free range chicken, and use breasts one day and rest another eg in a curry or pie.
    - for veg, grow some of our own (if you can/can be bothered as a bit of a faff!) for large batch cooks we go to market to buy pound a bowl, and generally buy just simple apple/pears/bananas and we eat a lot of carrots and broccoli! We also get a couple of carrier bags of blackberries in autumn for the freezer which are great for baking, putting in daughters porridge, or pancakes and last through the winter until we have some own strawberries/raspberries.
    - supermarkets, Iím not a massive fan of Aldi/Lidl because not as helpful with little kids and donít have everything, so I shop around and have loyalty cards with tesco/sainsbury and try and save points for Xmas time when shop will blow the budget a bit. I also use ďscan as you shopĒ so I can see how much my trolley is adding up and I try and put things back if itís stretching too far.
    - I cook a lot from scratch but thatís complimented by the occasional ďfreezerĒ meal of fishfibgers (pollack, not cod) and peas, so food taste good, healthy but also cheap. This is where batch cooking saves us as full time working parents getting in at 6pm we just pop batch cook meal in oven.
    - we donít drink alcohol, but go through quite a lot of squash! But if you include alcohol in your budget again £50 is looking quite good.
    - lunches are simple. My husband has a peanut butter sandwich every day! I couldnít do that, have a nice salad Iíve made, or if at home some soup. But on weekend weíll treat ourself to a nicer lunch, eg this weekend having bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, and Sunday having pizzas.

    - we never eat out unless itís a speciL occassion eg birthday. We try instead to have slightly nicer food at home for some of our meals, so I guess our £60 budget could be squeezed a bit more, but we have those occasional meals planned which are that little bit more interesting to compensate. Frankly eating out with children zaps half the fun out of it anyway for me!

    Sorry for essay! Entertaining myself whilst dealing with a grumpy baby!
    • Gemfire
    • By Gemfire 3rd Apr 19, 8:41 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Ps Jackieo I loved reading your response. Some great little nuggets of wisdom, thanks for sharing.
    • t14cy t
    • By t14cy t 4th Apr 19, 1:22 PM
    • 720 Posts
    • 6,761 Thanks
    t14cy t
    im a food hoarder!! I confess, I love it when every cupboard, fridge and freezer is full to capacity!! im a big user of coupons and ys goods. its just the 2 of us at home now, 3 big dogs, 15 ex battery hens and 2 ducks. on average we spend £70 a week on everything!! im pretty sure if we got really skint we could life of the supplies for months!!
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 4th Apr 19, 1:39 PM
    • 10,953 Posts
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    Another variable is if you have a restricted diet for any reason. For instance, I don't buy meat or fish, as I'm vegetarian, and my DH, bless him, is happy to eat the same food as me (otherwise he'd have to cook for himself, as I can't even handle meat or fish to cook it for someone else).

    I do keep the cupboards and freezer well stocked; I have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and my DH has Parkinson's disease, so if we were to have a period where we were both too poorly to shop, we could still eat.
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • Sayschezza
    • By Sayschezza 4th Apr 19, 3:51 PM
    • 410 Posts
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    I do 2 delivered shops per month from MrS as that's my preferred smk of choice. I usually spend about £70ish each time and rarely shop in between. OH buys bread and milk as I can't store either between shops. He would also buy anything else I ask him to if I am running out and it's needed before the next big shop but it's rare this happens. BTW he never takes the money for what he buys.
    I don't meal plan but instead I have building blocks so we always have the ingredients to hand to make favourite meals. Ie. Freezer holds beef and gammon joints, chicken breasts (OH won't eat dark meat), sausages, mince, braising steak and fish. Also vegetables, garlic bread etc. You get the picture I am sure. Cupboards likewise so all I do for my order is to top up anything we have depleted since the last order. I mostly cook including soups etc but if we eat out or have the occasional take away OH pays.
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    • Mistral001
    • By Mistral001 9th Apr 19, 7:08 PM
    • 3,607 Posts
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    My local Tesco's have reduced price food (yellow sticker). They keep reducing the price, Dutch auction style. Very little moves off the shelves until the items are down to about 20% or even 10% of their original price and then they fly off the shelves.

    No matter what way I try to time it there seems to be the same people who get there before me and end up filling their trolleys leaving the rest of with very little. My theory is that there is a staff insider who tips them off when the final reduction is just about to be made, but maybe I have been watching too many conspiracy theory TV programmes.
    Last edited by Mistral001; 09-04-2019 at 7:11 PM.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 9th Apr 19, 7:17 PM
    • 11,834 Posts
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    Enough that we don't go hungry

    Enough that the freezer will give a few meals if Im feeling broke

    Enough that we eat a pretty balanced diet

    I have found that Ive been pushed towards cheaper meats to keep the budget down to the £35, more sausages, mince , stewing beef dishes for example, which isn't really healthy or sustainable. I do try to do a meat free day and still try a vegan meal now and then, but as mum is getting older and more picky about what she will eat, Im constrained a lot

    I have to admit Im no longer finding it easy to keep to a healthy ( in my mind ) diet for less then £45 a week for 3 and possibly more

    I used to say £35 a week on average for 3 adults but that is slowly changing, food prices are rising, pack sizes getting smaller, and reductions not worth picking up as a whole
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • kimplus8
    • By kimplus8 9th Apr 19, 7:33 PM
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    We are a family of 9 and I budget £150 per week for our food/groceries shop, however, I rarely spend that much on food. I usually have money left over that goes into my savings. I think I spend around £400-£430 per month.
    Dave Ramsey and Martin Lewis are my Money Saving Heros.
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 10th Apr 19, 7:29 AM
    • 15,429 Posts
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    Agree Suki, food prices are definitely going up and not by a couple of pence a time either.
    • Poppy1984
    • By Poppy1984 15th Apr 19, 4:58 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    I love posts like this! I know a lot of people say what's the point as everyone's different or there's already umpteen threads like this. But I have to say I find these threads so so useful for ideas and yes there may be others similar but they go out of date as prices change so I hope people keep posting them.
    I budget £50 a week there's 2 of us. That includes all food, toiletries and Huss cleaning products. I try to stay under if possible some weeks I manage some weeks I find it a stretch. I'm always looking for tips and ideas on how to stretch the pennies further for groceries.
    I shop in Aldi mainly but will pop in the other shops for the things I can't get from Aldi. I cook from scratch and batch cook often but DS has hallow legs and is a very picky eater so I know I could spend less if he would eat better but never mind!
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