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What do you spend a week and what are your staples in your cupboard ? X

Home Eding Mama of 2 gorgeous boys! Trying to live magically on this wild and crazy earth.

It changes every week really, theoretically we spend about £60, but we have to play around with that if we need other things (like a spare tyre!), and it all depends on what we have in…I try to look at what meals we can make with what we have already, and then make a shopping list of what we need. Ideally we would be buying organic but right now that’s not within our budget, and we find ourselves shopping in Aldi or Lidl most weeks.

Very basic staples from the cupboard would be plain flour, bread flour and yeast, pasta, rice, oats, red lentils, chopped tomatoes, maybe some tins of beans or tuna, alongside some fresh fruit, potatoes, ideally some fresh veg but in an emergency a bag of frozen mixed veg, bag of fresh carrots essential (can make bread, cake, and soups and stews!). Cheese also. Theres probably more things….

I have actually been reading the Martin Lewis ‘Old Style’ forum, which reflects our approach a lot, and have gleaned some good advice from there.

HTH xx

It is hideous…I desperately need to rein it in but my attempts to meal plan are about as useless as my attempts to declutter.  I would love to say £100 but would think it is £150 for five of us including everything (toilet roll etc)

D&D how do you do it !! I am seriously trying not to overspend but like Greeneve I am useless at meal planning, I do ok for a week or so and then it all goes to pot and I emergency buy, we have a VERY hectic life and I really need to knuckle down and plan properly.

D&D do you plan every week or have the same meals etc? x

Home Eding Mama of 2 gorgeous boys! Trying to live magically on this wild and crazy earth.

I find it hard! But necessity dictates really. I’m finding ithelps to have a few standby meals for emergency ‘we got in really late and nobody can be bothered to cook’ times. I do meal plan, I make a list of 8 potential meals that we can have, on the days were at home, I make sure I cook the things which take more prep or time, leaving the simpler meals for days we go out. This, and the standby meals, helps enormously. On days we’re at home I also bake things we can use for lunches, such as scones or soups, pastry things, muffins etc. But it is hard and its taken us years to get into this flow xx

I try to keep it under £50 per week, but it doesn’t always (usually!) work. that is with a mixture of Lidl, local greengrocer and a few others. I find the key to keeping the shopping bill down is to meal plan, but more importantly to only go to the shops once a week or so, as I find I pop in for a loaf of bread and come out having spent half the weeks budget if I’m not careful! so a good shopping list of everything that we will need for a week is essential, and enough space in the freezer for a weeks worth of bread..

store cupboard basics- plain flour, baking powder, bicarb or yeast, pasta, rice, baked beans, tinned tomatoes, some sort of oil for cooking (currently olive oil and rape seed oil), a good range of spices, garlic, jar pesto ideally noodles, lentils, oats, cereal for dh and dd. in the fridge I like to always have milk, cheese (at least a strong cheddar, ideally feta and mozzarella as well), yogurt, butter or marg, eggs. in the freezer peas, sweetcorn, green beans, something quick that can be cooked from the freezer like fish fingers for when i come home from work and haven’t planned anything. Also fresh fruit in the fruit bowl. theres more in the cupboards, but that would be an essentials list for us.

As said I also try to meal plan but also like to have at least a couple of options for when we come home late and havn’t planned anything (hence things like baked beans, pesto and fish fingers gives some frexability). also with meal planning, have ingredients that can make a range of dishes, so you are not tied to a certain dish on a certain night helps

I think if you’re lucky enough not to have a fussy family then you could get the cost quite low. Unfortunately for us, we have 3 pretty fussy eaters in this family. Me and ds2 are the only ones who eat most things. DH, DS1 and DD are all very picky to the extent that they’ll flatly refuse to eat things which then go in the bin and then they go and make themselves something else later so it’s easier and cheaper to cook them what they will eat. But our budget is £100 a week (for 5 of us plus… um… lots of pets) but often it will go over by £50, sometimes more. Clothes/shoes etc have to come out of this amount too but we do get most clothes from boot fairs/charity shops and shoes are few and far between. 

If the family ate things like stews/soups/rice/pasta dishes and home made flour based snacks I don’t think we’d have much of a problem keeping costs low. But they all want specific branded items so it’s out of my control really. Was MUCH cheaper when the big two were smaller, (plus dh worked long hours so he cooked his own cheap rubbish once they were in bed) but they’ve all got worse with age and dh is now here for his evening meal and i refuse to let him eat his cheap junk food in front of the kids so he has to make do with the same old food over and over as there’s only so much fresh stuff he’ll eat! (Do I sound stressed with the whole meal time/shopping thing!!???) xxx

My boys and DH are really very easy to feed it’s really my lack of planning that lets me down every time.
I have all these wonderful ideas of food and then when it gets to cooking them something crops up/I never have enough time/the boys need driving somewhere/work becomes manic/one of the dogs are sick if you get where I am coming from ..................

My staples are always bread flour in fact any type of flour, yeast, pasta etc
Eggs (we have our own hens) cheese, fruit and veg by the ton.

I must make MORE effort x

Home Eding Mama of 2 gorgeous boys! Trying to live magically on this wild and crazy earth.

Ok…so there are clearly a few of us on here with good intentions, the want to spend less and the organisational and self-discipline skills of a flea wink
What about a bit of peer nudging one another along?  Autumn creeping up so may be a good time to embrace cheap stew/soup type stuff ...

I spend far too much on our weekly shop too, and need to start planning and sticking to it as I’m useless - I do exactly what you just said above, My Legacy!
We try to swap between shopping at lidl and an ocado shop for the organic stuff/ special flour (GF), but I actually manage to spend too much in Lidl as I’m terrible at ignoring the middle aisle non food temptations. Wish Lidl did delivery!! I think we spend something in the region of £150 a week for 6 of us, and I need it down to more like £100 or less ideally.

Staples for us are rice, oats, pasta (for the girls), cheese, chorizo (we make a lot of meals with this in as the girls will eat pretty much anything with it in!), tinned chickpeas and beans, eggs, milk, apples and bananas, and coconut oil - we use it to cook with and as butter type spread.

Mummy to 4 little pixies: Seren (feb 08), Merri (may 09), Nerys (june 11) & Lyra (April 13) My sister’s amazing bead shop

We also spend around £100 weekly for 5 ( 2 adults 3 kids). I always order online and get everything delivered. This way I don’t waste my time traipsing around shops with 3 kids and being tempted to buy things we don’t really need. I make a list throughout the week, noting down what I have used up/ is nearly finished and will order once a week. We have bread in freezer for the week, similar staples as most. One thing I hardly hardly ever buy is sweets/ crisps/ junk food so that keeps costs down as well. What increases out costs is mainly the vast amount of fresh fruit and veg we eat. I cook all meals and do not uses refund made sauces etc but make all my own- also helping with costs. I don’t eat meat - but dh and kids do occasionally so moderating costs. I frequently make stews/ dal and rice / soups etc which provides several evening meals / lunches. I always have brocolli / green beans/ mushrooms/ carrots as they will go in pasta dishes as well as rice and noodle dishes. I do not have a meal planner but as the above ingredients are so versatile I tend to make many dishes out of them during the week. Also I anything is left over at the end of the week they go in a stew! I still do throw away food very occasionally but this tends to be salads that have been overlooked and hidden in the back of the fridge. Feeling very guilty for that! Having said that my kids will have to eat what I make, there is no alternative and if they don’t like it tough cookie- they’ll have to wait until the next meal ( as they are always allowed to eat fruit it never really works out that way, they just tai the fruit bowl an hour later but I don’t mind that too much) xx

so I guess £20-25 per person per week is about average reading this thread?  Would you say?

I spend between £150-£200 a week for a family of six (2 adults 4 children) red face
I meal plan most weeks but my plans are often fairly elaborate as I love cooking wink
I buy a huge amount of fresh fruit and vegetables wholesale every week(thats usually about £40-£50 of the budget!) and then other staples will be rice,pasta,noodles,,quinoa,oats ,dry beans and lentils (I replace as I use things)tins of tomatoes,jars of olives,creamed coconut…..gosh,this list could go on and on…cashews almonds,dates,raisins….We are vegatarian and DD1 and I are vegan (but eat eggs).x

Mummy to 4

I really struggle to work this out as I buy my food in so many different places!  My veg is delivered from a local farm co-op its £10 a week for the basic bag, I usually top it up to about £13 or £14.  I spend about £10 a week in a deli on cheese (we eat very little meat, I am vege the rest of the family eat meat) and about an average of £10 a week in the health food shop where I buy some groceries and lots of items in bulk like rice, pasta, pulses.  I also buy groceries in bulk through Suma when friends are placing an order things like dried fruit and seeds, every three of four months.  My flour and oats comes from a local mill again in bulk, 12.5kg bags, which I buy once every six months or so.  What I can’t buy in those places comes from the supermarket where my spend varies from £30 to £60 depending on what we need.  Most of what I buy is organic.

I am a meal planner, I plan all my lunches and teas for a seven day period and shop for those meals.  I rarely if ever go shopping in between unless I forget to put something on my list!  We do have a small shop in our village but I don’t really use it that much, the shops I use are in a town eleven miles a way.  I started planning my meals when my youngest was a baby as I really struggled to get the meals on the table.  I now sit down once a week and plan our week ahead including the meals it takes about an hour but it is time well spent.  The menu is planned around the veg in my veg bag.

DH shopped last night and spent £105.00 but goodness knows what on !!
I must admit I am horrified at food prices the majority of the time.
We use a local butcher, grow a lot of veg and buy fruit from a very reasonable greengrocer but still we end up spending !! Meal planning religiously must be my new ‘must do’ x

Home Eding Mama of 2 gorgeous boys! Trying to live magically on this wild and crazy earth.

I have the same problem as sustainablemum in that I can’t get everything in one place.  I get meat and fish from Abel and Cole, store cupboard bits from suma and then the rest from ocado…though lidl do the cheapest organic bananas, carrots and onions but I can’t decide if the saving is worth the time it takes to make a separate trip and the fuel!  Asda organic cucumbers are the cheapest but their organic range is so limited I would still have to shop elsewhere, so again, not cost efficient.  I did try totally boycotting Tesco for a while but then realised it was futile and, again, their organic range and prices lured me back.  So for me it is not just trying to meal plan but shop plan!
Though when I look at what we actually seem to eat the numbers don’t add up!  The kids do eat huge quantities of fresh fruit and veg - I buy 10 cucumbers a week - but suma special offers and new products get me every time!

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