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Weekly Food Shop

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Si N. Tiffick, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    It had definitely risen in price. I used to spend £40-50 for our weekly shop (for 1 adult and 1 child, including household stuff like toilet rolls, shampoo, washing powder etc and usually some bits and bobs for school eg this week 6 rolls of tinfoil, 6 rolls of sticky tape and a dozen cheapo bogrolls for a construction project) but now it's regularly over £60. That includes fish from the local fishmonger and butcher's meat. I don't buy alcohol either...it's amazing how it mounts up.
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    It should be possible to eat on £50 for the two plus the two year old, especially if you're happy to eat veggie meals 4 days out of 7.. When Mrs909 extended her maternity leave we were on a tight budget for a while.
    Planning is absolutely key. Work around what you've got and use this, along with using up leftovers effectively. It's obvious to suggest that if you buy a chicken then use the leftovers for other meals but even down to if you buy a punnet of mushrooms and use half of it for one meal then make sure you plan to use the rest up in another meal.
    This is what we did, which worked:
    1. Plan all of your meals for a week, including lunches and breakfasts, taking into account what you've got in the fridge, freezer and storecupboard.
    2. Write a shopping list for EVERY ingredient you will need throughout the week. Don't forget things like milk, bread and teabags - buying a big bottle of milk will save having to nip to the shop later in the weekand spending more money on other things
    3. Use the website mysupermarket.co.uk to enter the items - it will tell you which supermarket is cheapest (normally Tesco) and will also tell you how much it will cost. It will also tell you if there are any special offers on or a cheaper alternative brand.
    4. When you go shopping, DO NOT BUY THINGS THAT ARE NOT ON THE LIST. Do not err, do not buy things that take your fancy. The only times you should break this rule is if you see something non-perishable that's on offer as a bulk item, if it's an item you use a lot of. Pasta, or tinned goods, for example.

    We did this and managed fine. Between this and making the best of cheaper cuts of meat we were spending quite a bit less than £50 a week on food
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    The cost of food has risen astronomically over the past few years, and in truth, we rarely get any explanations why.
    As it is a basic requirement, I think that we ought to be told on a daily basis about the things that influence the cost of the food we buy.
    I remember reading a comment from a polititian who said you could learn all you need to know about the economy by listening to the BBC's Farming Today programme, but you'd have to set your alarm clock earlier than you do to catch it.
    We've moved into a culture where nobody ever really know what things cost any more unless you buy them from butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers.
    Special offers, 3 or £10 deals and four for £12 all confuse us. Do we have the time and inclination to work out how good these deals are? The supermarket has this time to work out how good it wil be for them, but do you?
  4. Thanks nick - lots of helpful advice. I love a bit of planning but my OH feels that it fuels my control freak side!
    I tend not to do special offers as generally I think they cause a fair bit of wastage, unless you plan ahead like nick says. I shop at a mixture of market, supermarket and asian supermarkets for things like pulses and spices (we use lots as lentils need a fair bit of flavour to make them edible in my opinion!), and a local butcher/fish van. Perhaps it's my chocolate habit that's pushing us over the edge! I do also find it a struggle to keep my husband from going hungry - he is hatefully thin and tall and seems to need about double the portion size of most people I know!
    [quoteuser="modelmaker"]I remember reading a comment from a polititian who said you could learn all you need to know about the economy by listening to the BBC's Farming Today programme, but you'd have to set your alarm clock earlier than you do to catch it.[/quote]
    Occasionally catch it if the boy is having an early start, but it is mixed with the sagas of the Large family and the Gruffalo so doesn't get my full attention! I did hear somewhere on R4 that as an example, carrots had gone up in price quite considerably over the last 3 years - a bit random, but then again I rend to hear bits and pieces throughout the day...
  5. Don't British supermarkets show the unit price on the shelf? I know exactly what my food costs and which product is thus better value for money (usually shown as the kilo or 100g price).
    Also, I would disagree that no explanations are given - they are there to read if you care to look.
    Anyway - I do more or less what Nick does.
    Family of 3 (1 adult, 1 teen, 1 pre-teen), weekly shop around 40 € so just over 30 quid.
    I do think food is more expensive in the UK than here, though (as you all know as I started a whole thread about it).

  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    Yes they do, but the difficuly is that we've stopped asking for food by weight and now accept pack prices.
  7. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    It still tells you the price per kilo / litre / whatever so you can compare easily.
  8. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I would say it's all about comparing prices. Pre-packed fruit and veg is often more expensive than buying loose and then you can buy just what you need. Compare price per kilo on meat, too, then you can take advantage of any offers. My OH has just ordered a whole loin of pork and a whole shoulder for less than 2€ kilo. We'll chop it into manageable pieces and roasts and will also have a huge rack of ribs with plenty of meat on, too. Even the shouder bones will be frozen and used for flavouring a cassoulet/bean stew/soup.
    In the same vein, take advantage of special offers on non perishables. We bulk buy when there's a BOGOF or 3 for 2 on things like coffee, pasta, tins and toiletries. Worth checking out Aldi, too !
  9. Our Aldi are great for fruit, veg and dry staples.
    We live quite rurally and have friends with veg gardens/ fruit trees who tend to give us some of their bumper harvests, plus we have local veg growers who sell weekly from the pub carpark or to our door. Its so cheap. You do usually end up with 2kg of onions or a motherload of carrots. But I just hang the onions in old tights in a dry place, and prepare the carrots etc and freeze them.
    I also tend to, say making bolognaise sauce, cook enough for two meals then either freeze the second portion or make next days tea with it, e.g. cottage pie so all I need to do is to warm it up.
    I do most of my shopping at sainsburys and probably spend £70 every 3ish weeks there. I just buy stuff and freeze it. We are two adults. (I must admit to buying a microwave recently, with us both out working, if you forget to get something out to defrost for tea, it is a god send. Plus Jacket Potatoes in 5 mins...brill).
    When we were students in London, we used to spend £25/£30 a week our friends would spend £70 per week on less food. I think you just need to be sneaky.
    Of course, not yet having kids, it means we can spend a bit each week on take-outs/alcohol instead of nappies.
    My guilty pleasure is the thrifty cooking pages on the mumsnet forums - those women know how to do food and meal planning on a budget. There are some amazingly great ideas featured.
  10. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I get taken shopping once a week....one week to Lidls and the next to Morrisons.
    I find Lidls great for bulk-buying things like loo-paper and kitchen towels - they regularly have them on 'offer'. Laundry and Washining-Up essentials I get there too. Food-wise, I find their veggie tins are good value for money - esecially the green beans (I have a mild addiction to green beans!)
    When I go to Morrisons I make a list and stick to it....mostly! Sometimes they have some bargains at the meat counter that are too good to miss!
    I get a veg box - and they are well worth checking out (some of them are cheaer than going to the suermarket - esecially if you consider the etrol/bus-fare!) .....and I check the contents online on a Friday and make a plan of meals for the coming week based on that.
    To 'make every penny do the work of two' I minimise waste in food.....milk on the turn, means scones or soda bread...a few spoons of mash left over will be fishcakes or sausage patties or similar the next day..a spoonful of curry leftover becomes the filling for a toasted sandwich....and the last few dry/wilting veggies become soup.
    Meat is not an 'everday' meal....and mince is eked out with veggies or lentils et.c. Most of my curries are vegetarian meals - and none the worse for lack of meat!
    And I can't leave without mentioning the slow-cooker! Economical to run and makes the most of cheaper cuts of meat!

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