How do I cut down on my weekly food bill - its ridiculous the amount Im spening

(42 Posts)
hulahoopsilove Thu 24-Oct-13 11:35:16

there are 3 of us me, hubby and DS age 8. Im doing SW so Im eating alot of fresh veg, fruit, salad stuff plus my DS love vegs and cucumber (go through 2 cucumbers a weeksmile)

Im spending average £80 in supermarket (Morisons, or Asda) then another £20 in local shops (sainsburys) in the week so over £100 a week on 3 of us!!! Crazy dont you think?

SparklyFucker Thu 24-Oct-13 12:13:27

Quality fruit and veg is expensive, I assume you mean things like out of season berries or exotic fruits like pineapples and melons, and bagged salad leaves? Things like apples bananas, grapes, cucumber, frozen peas, carrots, sweetcorn, whole lettuces, radishes, beetroot etc are not very expensive.

Can you give us a btter idea of your weekly breakdown so we can give some targetted ideas?

fuzzpig Thu 24-Oct-13 12:19:52

Agree fresh stuff is expensive. Worth it sometimes as things like fresh exotic fruit/berries really make me and DD happy (there's a reason mum used to call me fruitbat grin)

But it's worth supplementing with frozen fruit (eg for smoothies) and veg to bulk out meals more cheaply. And tinned fruit is good if you get in juice not syrup

Mrspebble Thu 24-Oct-13 12:25:21

Could you cut meat out on two night a week.. Veggie pasta etc.

I would go to a local market and buy seasonal veg or bulk out meals with carrots etc.

Are you wasting food? Could you go for non branded cereal etc. grow rocket leaves at home.

Aldi and lidl do super six deals .. They are brilliant. I also use frozen peppers for hot meals.

Shenanagins Thu 24-Oct-13 12:25:33

Have you tried making soup? It is very cheap and a good way to get your quota of veggies.

Mrsambition Thu 24-Oct-13 12:57:57

Yep that's a lot. I second the frozen fruit & veg options, they are just as good & much cheaper. Try own brands, much cheaper & also just as good. I substitute lots if things and my lot never noticed.

Also reduce the amount if meat your using or the type your buying (we did). I mostly buy sausages, bacon & frying steak each week & occasionally chicken. These are much cheaper & are very versatile.

No junk food it's racks up the bill & leaves no room for temptation if your changing your diet habits.. That's a winner for me.

Freeze lots, meal plan & never throw away food that's left over. Use it the next day! My bill is tiny every week now. Hope that helps smile

hulahoopsilove Thu 24-Oct-13 12:59:53

no Im not buying out of season fruit/produce....its more veg rather than fruit atm... for instance my DS doesnt really like meat but adores veg and as Im on SW diet where veges are super free foods we are getting through loads. Also Ive noticed that with DS and hubby both having packed lunches everyday again this takes a fair amount of the bill up eg. rolls/bread or wraps, yogharts, crisps, veg sticks, choc bar

I buy and get through lots of carrots, brocolli, butternut squash, cauliflower, corgettes a week plus I must admit we do have meat every evening ie chicken (I buy free range rather than the "cheap" supermarket version) and I buy steak mince as again dont want to compremise on chep meat.

I think perhaps I need to: Use what is in my freeze and cupboards, meal plan more and ONLY buy what I need for these meals.

A do buy non-branded cereal already and supermarket own brand a fair bit.

hulahoopsilove Thu 24-Oct-13 13:02:36

gosh so sorry for awful spelling, am rushing!
*cheap meat
*Compromise

I buy lots of different types of veges as DS really does enjoy and eats them all as doesnt really like meat much

ivykaty44 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:03:40

lidl or aldi fruit and veg is usually much cheaper than the larger chains.

take the amount out in cash that you need and take that with you smile if it goes over you will need to put something back.

I freezer & store cupboard eat the last week in the month and avoid the supermarket.

lentils are a good buy with a few veg in the back of the fridge you can make a lovely dhal

AnySunbathingFucker Thu 24-Oct-13 13:04:06

Try Aldi instead?

ivykaty44 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:07:03

yogharts, crisps, stop them - you should only be having crisps once or twice a week at most and same with yogurt, it is high sugar food.

Make a fruit cake instead of the yogurt, crisps and chocolate bar
easy fruit cake yes it has sugar and fat but it is not three items filled with sugar and fat and salt and additives and preservatives

sonlypuppyfat Thu 24-Oct-13 13:08:33

It all depends on how much time you have got to do your shopping.I go all over the place, I mix up Aldi, Farmfoods and Lidl and sometimes Asda I find I have cut down a lot on my food bill and we eat very well homecooked meal everyday and a hot pudding or nice icecream. There is 5 of us two big teenagers I bet I spend a little over £100 I could probably do a lot less but I like a full fridge and cupboard.

ilovemountains Thu 24-Oct-13 13:09:19

I spend more than that, as do most of my.friends. Food prices have gone up massively. So no, what you are spending I don't think is crazy.

ilovemountains Thu 24-Oct-13 13:10:14

Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium.

PinkBerryGuy Thu 24-Oct-13 13:11:59

I think you should meal plan and go to Lidl, there is 5 of us, 2 adults, 1 12 yr old, 1 9 yr old and a 7 month old and we spend £40 on "big shop" then maybe anoth 5-£10 on emergency milk or bread through the week.

We do meal plan though and buy just what we need. Also, Lidl custard creams, big pack for 35p.... they're bloody gorgeous as well. ; )

littlegem12 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:12:37

Aldi meat is all red tractor so deffo to British standards and cheap.
Second what others have said about freezing and frozen veg very good.
I think every family needs egg an chips night (with fry light on a green day in your case) and jacket potato night atm mrspebble has a good point 2 nights vegetarian is like saving on a weeks worth of meat cost every month.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 24-Oct-13 13:13:34

I don't think that's a lot, we spend proportionately more for 4 of us - our bill is about £140 for a main shop and then a top up of between £15 and £30 depending on what is needed.

If you can't afford it though then obviously you need to cut back somehow.

Can you look at some cheaper cuts of meat? I use chicken thighs and pig cheeks regularly

ivykaty44 Thu 24-Oct-13 13:16:27

watercress in with lettuce in a sandwich is a very good source of calcium and it doesn't have added sugar

hulahoopsilove Thu 24-Oct-13 13:17:05

I am going to go to Aldi tomorrow I think as I dont have a lidl near me. Im going to go through the freezer today also and plan meals with what I have in there, also my cupboard which isnt alot midn you.

As my DS doesnt drink milk, eat cheese and isnt a great meat eater I always give him yogharts as a boost of calcium and protein

If you don't want to compromise on the quality of your meat, perhaps compromise on how often you eat it -- try switching to every other night for a week and see how it goes.

Also the BBC have a good seasonal food calculator so you can see exactly what should be cheapest:

www.bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar/all

CambridgeBlue Thu 24-Oct-13 13:21:15

I really sympathise with this - there are also 3 of us (but I've got an 11 year old DD) and I am loosely following WW so try to eat as healthily as possible. I budget about £70 a week (that's for a very basic shop with very few 'treats' and all household stuff) but nearly always go over - I know I could probably save if I shopped around but who has the time?!

It seems to me that to tick the magic boxes of cheap, nutritious/diet friendly and something that everyone will eat it is just about impossible! Stuff that's better for you e.g. lean mince is much pricier and the amount I spend on fruit and veg is ridiculous.

I'm always at a loss re lunch boxes too - I don't want to any of us to eat too much high fat/sugar stuff but I don't have time to bake that often and really run out of ideas. I don't think the occasional treat is a problem but I do tend to resort to yoghurts or crisps more often than I should.

hulahoopsilove Thu 24-Oct-13 13:21:50

I always though frozen veg was expensive?

Thanks for advice though really helpful and thought provoking, I do think what I currently spend is alot for 3 of us. Def going to try 2 nights no meat...am thinking veg curry (gosh veges again Im obsessed!!) or omlette and jacket pot using leftover cheese etc... and maybe beans and eggs on toast or something

Artandco Thu 24-Oct-13 13:25:53

Yogurt, crisps, choc bar in lunch... That's just snacks to me and not lunch. Sandwich, fruit/ veg, and yogurt should be fine.

We spend that so I don't think it's much especially if getting free range/ organic meat etc

Babelange Thu 24-Oct-13 13:28:15

I think it sounds a lot if you are not including cleaning products, toiletries or alcohol. Goodness, your 8 year old sounds like he has an appetite! Do you given him lots of choice on his plate?

The only thing that helped me was making sure that stocks ran down completely before shopping; literally these days you can open the fridge the day before the shopping comes and find virtually nothing to eat (usually meaning pasta for supper), whereas come shopping day it will be stuffed to the gunnels!

I make one cake/bake/flapjack to last the week and buy the 'on offer' chocolate bars (eg. Rocky Road, Kit Kats) for pack-ups. I never buy 'ordinary' biscuits. Apples & bananas and the odd lemon are regular purchases - I then buy 1 other 'exotic' fruit for a weekend pudding eg. a pineapple, mango, depending on what's in season.

Also, barring a pint of milk or the missing magic ingredient for a certain dish (eg. sour cream, herbs), there should be absolutely no topping up - it's too tempting!

Thatsinteresting Thu 24-Oct-13 13:28:47

Look at your portion control of expensive food. We vegetarian so for us a meat substitute sausage costs a lot (when on offer 6 for £1.50) compared to meat sausages. We're a family of 2 adults and 2 yound dc but 4 sausages will feed us. I cook them, cut into thirds making 12 pieces then put 2 pieces in 6 individual Yorkshire puggings. 2 for each adult, 1 for each child.

SW teaches good healthy eating habits so unless your dh does a very manual job don't let him snd your ds continue with your old eating patterns. Cut out the cridps and chocolate everyday. My dh has sandwiches, a yogurt and 3 pieces of fruit. Dd has 1 piece of fruit, some salad or corn on the cob (Buy frozen, cook that morning), a roll, yougurt and a tiny homemade treat. Chocolate brownies, jam tarts, gingerbread men, cookies and jellies. Just a couple of mouthfuls to round off her meal (I'd rather she didn't have this but I feel bad knowing she's sat with children having crisps and biscuits everyday).

Apples, oranges, bananas, pears, carrots, frozen veg are all cheap. Courgettes are middling and butternut squash is, comparatively, expensive. Give up a whole evening to doing some meal planning. It'll take ages but you'll get better at it and see the results of your bill coming down straight away.

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