Cutting Food Spend

37
Posted 30th OctEdited by:"shnp"
Hi there,

I allocate £80 for my partner and I on our food spend each week. This is usually delivered from Tesco (I am an additional £6.99 for 'Delivery Saver' each month). I often do 'top up' shops and these can be £12 - £18 once or twice. It is out of control and I am looking to cut it down. Sometimes I go to M&S for the Fuller for Longer meals or southern fried chicken (three packets for £10 which I like with some salad). I like Walkers Baked Crisps, fruit that is already ripe (not the cheaper 'ripen at home') and lower calorie icecream such as Halo Top. I like those 'chicken in the foil tray' type meals you get from Tesco - usually 2 for £6.

I eat a lot of ready meals - I have lost 10 stone and I like easily being able to scan barcodes for MyFitnessPal. I like to know exactly how many calories I am consuming. This is important to me. I don't really want to be cooking from scratch. I don't mind basic stuff such as making an omelette or some pasta.

I have decided to try Aldi or Lidl for the first time. I have both where I live. Which is best? My goal is to cut my shopping to £50 per week which should be doable. There are no children or pets.

Can anyone give some advice, perhaps those who go to Aldi or Lidl frequently? Maybe there are particular items that you think I should buy? I suppose one adamant request is that my partner uses oat milk.

Thank you for your help in advance.
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shnp30/10/2019 12:13

Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What …Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What types of things are you eating?



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wow! £100+ per week for 2 is ridiculous. We spend £40-£45 per week for two adults but we always cook meals as much cheaper and healthier than ready meals. The delivery each week is free from tesco as our clubcard vouchers easily cover an annual delivery saver pass.

£40 a week covers food and household items e.g toothpaste etc and a bottle of rum each week

So, food costs us about £10-£15 per week each (£1 per main meal on average)

why dont you want to cook from scratch. Takes about 30 minutes to cook a bolognaise and I make 10 portions at once so really cheap and very quick evening meals when I cant be bothered to cook from scratch. Same for a chilli, lasagne, curries etc
Edited by: "chocci" 30th Oct
37 Comments
wow! £100+ per week for 2 is ridiculous. We spend £40-£45 per week for two adults but we always cook meals as much cheaper and healthier than ready meals. The delivery each week is free from tesco as our clubcard vouchers easily cover an annual delivery saver pass.

£40 a week covers food and household items e.g toothpaste etc and a bottle of rum each week

So, food costs us about £10-£15 per week each (£1 per main meal on average)

why dont you want to cook from scratch. Takes about 30 minutes to cook a bolognaise and I make 10 portions at once so really cheap and very quick evening meals when I cant be bothered to cook from scratch. Same for a chilli, lasagne, curries etc
Edited by: "chocci" 30th Oct
chocci30/10/2019 12:11

wow! £100+ per week for 2 is ridiculous. We spend £40-£45 per week for two …wow! £100+ per week for 2 is ridiculous. We spend £40-£45 per week for two adults but we always cook meals as much cheaper and healthier than ready meals. The delivery each week is free from tesco as our clubcard vouchers easily cover an annual delivery saver pass.£40 a week covers food and household items e.g toothpaste etc and a bottle of rum each week So, food costs us about £10-£15 per week each (£1 per main meal on average)



Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What types of things are you eating?
The best way to save money would be if you plan what you want to have. Some of aldi's & Lidl's fresh meats don't last very long but I tend to get the chicken from there and even freezing that for a later date. Sometimes they have offers on fruit/veg which might bring down the cost a little but with the shopping being done there it will tend to be a static amount. But even with top-up shops it will still be cheaper. One thing to look at is if they've got a price per portion or per KG etc as sometimes buying the bigger packs works out more than buying smaller packs.
shnp30/10/2019 12:13

Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What …Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What types of things are you eating?


last night was chicken jalfrezi for 2 (basmati rice = 20p, chicken = 150p (250g), luxury jalfrezi sauce was 80p from lidl, frozen sliced peppers = 20p. total £2.70 for 2 so over budget
We splash out weekly when we have a roast beef dinner @ £2 each
most frozen vegetables are far cheaper than fresh (and probably fresher) but only some are nice (Broccoli, cauliflower, fine green beans, sprouts)
tonight is southern fried chicken thighs / drums and salad and a few chippies (about £1 each)
Edited by: "chocci" 30th Oct
shnp30/10/2019 12:13

Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What …Wow I don't know how you do that. We average £3 per main meal. What types of things are you eating?



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fanpages30/10/2019 12:19

[Image]


Just laughed at this. But the first food that popped into my head afterwards was chocolate dust!
Get a tabletop halogen oven, you'll be much more likely to use it than firing up the big oven, then buy frozen.
Alternatively a crock pot (slow cooker) if you want something waiting for you when you get home
Also, use the tesco android app to shop as that shows you exactly what you have ordered before that is on offer. Stock up when items that keep are half price. Saves a fortune but you need big cupboards to store it all
esar30/10/2019 12:22

Get a tabletop halogen oven, you'll be much more likely to use it than …Get a tabletop halogen oven, you'll be much more likely to use it than firing up the big oven, then buy frozen.Alternatively a crock pot (slow cooker) if you want something waiting for you when you get home


+1 for a halogen. Our main oven rarely gets used these days
chocci30/10/2019 12:24

+1 for a halogen. Our main oven rarely gets used these days


Yeah Halogen ovens are good! But also a +1 to slow cookers! Throw some food in and by the time you get home its there waiting for you. Plus slightly healthier (depending what you make) compared to ready meals.
Do a casserole, bolognese, chilli con carne, soup and stew.
Make double what you normally would and freeze half of it and you will near enough be sorted for the following week as well.
there's about 15 different meals alone just in one of my cupboards that are all very cheap and quick to make (practically everything was bought when on offer)

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Kudos for the 10 stone weight loss!! Some really interesting comments here, other than my mortgage, good and eating out is our biggest expense by far!
Iceland be your best bet they have slimming world and weight watchers ready meals or try the food wharehouse that more of bulk buying which might be better
Firstly congratulations on your weight loss. That is some achievement. Eating ready meals though is a very expensive way of eating. Most recipes these days do also have a calorie count on them so you can work out how much you're consuming. BBC good food is my go to site for recipes. I do my main shop in lidl and I find it way cheaper than tesco. Their super weekend buys are very good value. My advice would be buy in bulk, cook from scratch, plan meals in advance to avoid waste and try cheaper brands. It isn't as hard as you might think once you get into the swing of it and much cheaper
Breakfast foods (cereal, bread, etc.) are surprisingly expensive. Porridge is healthier and dirt cheap (buy the 1 kg bags, not the individual packets). I pour a bit into a bowl and add just enough water to cover then microwave for 3 minutes (I like very, very thick porridge. If you like it runny, just add more water). A spoonful of brown sugar and a splash of milk and you are sorted.

As much as you like the convenience of scanning barcodes for calories, etc. You are paying a LOT more for it. Cooking from scratch is so much cheaper.

Also, if you have a Morrisons in your area, I find they have the best meat offers, particularly if you want to treat yourself to a roast.
evil-ice30/10/2019 13:33

Breakfast foods (cereal, bread, etc.) are surprisingly expensive. Porridge …Breakfast foods (cereal, bread, etc.) are surprisingly expensive. Porridge is healthier and dirt cheap (buy the 1 kg bags, not the individual packets). I pour a bit into a bowl and add just enough water to cover then microwave for 3 minutes (I like very, very thick porridge. If you like it runny, just add more water). A spoonful of brown sugar and a splash of milk and you are sorted.As much as you like the convenience of scanning barcodes for calories, etc. You are paying a LOT more for it. Cooking from scratch is so much cheaper.Also, if you have a Morrisons in your area, I find they have the best meat offers, particularly if you want to treat yourself to a roast.


Thank you. I buy oat so simple sachets. I use scales to weigh everything though. So I could just add 27g from a big bag of oats and add 160ml milk like I normally do?
shnp30/10/2019 14:03

Thank you. I buy oat so simple sachets. I use scales to weigh everything …Thank you. I buy oat so simple sachets. I use scales to weigh everything though. So I could just add 27g from a big bag of oats and add 160ml milk like I normally do?


Exactly this
Thank you for all the pragmatic advice folks. I have decided to try this for the next four weeks - the £50 budget.

I am going to look at BBC Good Food tonight and have some ideas for tomorrow.

I really like Linda McCartney sausages (especially the onion and rosemary ones). Tesco have them on offer for £1 for 6 and sometimes I have all six for my dinner with some ketchup (it's under 400kcal and filling). Do Aldi / Lidl have a lot of similar things or is it quite restrictive? I don't want to end up going to multiple retailers.
shnp30/10/2019 15:11

Thank you for all the pragmatic advice folks. I have decided to try this …Thank you for all the pragmatic advice folks. I have decided to try this for the next four weeks - the £50 budget.I am going to look at BBC Good Food tonight and have some ideas for tomorrow.I really like Linda McCartney sausages (especially the onion and rosemary ones). Tesco have them on offer for £1 for 6 and sometimes I have all six for my dinner with some ketchup (it's under 400kcal and filling). Do Aldi / Lidl have a lot of similar things or is it quite restrictive? I don't want to end up going to multiple retailers.


6 sausages and ketchup. Classy
I do a week shop for 6 people for £110 at Iceland.
Cook from scratch, go to Aldi. I spend £60 a week tops and we have lovely meals and loads of fresh fruit and veg. Their own brand stuff is mostly as good or better than premium brands in my opinion. They also have vegetation and gluten free items too.

I would add that we used to shop in Tesco or Sainsbury’s and with only two of us it was usually £120-130 a week for food shopping.
Edited by: "cmdr_elito" 30th Oct
Wow, well done on the weight loss! I'm am aldi fan, good value and good quality. The best way to save will be to cook from scratch and batch cook. What app are you using, my husband tracks everything he's eaten and uses an app where he can put in food we've prepared easily, don't know what it's called though :/
Check out a program on TV call eat well for less. It's comical sometime but does give you some insight to how common what you're doing is!
darlodge30/10/2019 17:43

Check out a program on TV call eat well for less. It's comical sometime …Check out a program on TV call eat well for less. It's comical sometime but does give you some insight to how common what you're doing is!


Thank you! What channel is it on? I shall watch now.
cmdr_elito30/10/2019 16:37

Cook from scratch, go to Aldi. I spend £60 a week tops and we have lovely …Cook from scratch, go to Aldi. I spend £60 a week tops and we have lovely meals and loads of fresh fruit and veg. Their own brand stuff is mostly as good or better than premium brands in my opinion. They also have vegetation and gluten free items too.I would add that we used to shop in Tesco or Sainsbury’s and with only two of us it was usually £120-130 a week for food shopping.


£120-£130?!?
I get 10% off with my staff discount but our weekly shop for 5 (3 adults and 2 kids) is around £80
darlodge30/10/2019 17:43

Check out a program on TV call eat well for less. It's comical sometime …Check out a program on TV call eat well for less. It's comical sometime but does give you some insight to how common what you're doing is!



shnp30/10/2019 17:50

Thank you! What channel is it on? I shall watch now.



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shnp30/10/2019 15:11

Thank you for all the pragmatic advice folks. I have decided to try this …Thank you for all the pragmatic advice folks. I have decided to try this for the next four weeks - the £50 budget.I am going to look at BBC Good Food tonight and have some ideas for tomorrow.I really like Linda McCartney sausages (especially the onion and rosemary ones). Tesco have them on offer for £1 for 6 and sometimes I have all six for my dinner with some ketchup (it's under 400kcal and filling). Do Aldi / Lidl have a lot of similar things or is it quite restrictive? I don't want to end up going to multiple retailers.


Ignore the snide remarks, if you have lost that amount of weight you must be doing something right. It's a fantastic achievement.

The picture of a kitchen cupboard above is just pure junk food, jars of stuff containing lots of salt, sugar and addatives is not healthy eating....especially Bisto in jars and tinned soup!

Have a look at a few slimming world meals, they have a few good chilli and Bolognese meals which are really good, you can buy all you need in Aldi and Lidl.

I buy lots of things from Aldi which will help you, they have a number of "fake" slimming world ready meals if it helps. Turkey mince is really good if you have not tried it. Yes I believe you can get the milk you need.

They stock lots of things to help you, I'd just pop in for a look, grab a couple of things to try?

You can get cereal bars and things in Aldi to help. I love M&S fruit, but am happy to eat lots that Aldi have on offer.

Well done, good luck on your journey.
Edited by: "cideristhefuture" 30th Oct
cideristhefuture30/10/2019 20:28

Ignore the snide remarks, if you have lost that amount of weight you must …Ignore the snide remarks, if you have lost that amount of weight you must be doing something right. It's a fantastic achievement. The picture of a kitchen cupboard above is just pure junk food, jars of stuff containing lots of salt, sugar and addatives is not healthy eating....especially Bisto in jars and tinned soup!Have a look at a few slimming world meals, they have a few good chilli and Bolognese meals which are really good, you can buy all you need in Aldi and Lidl.I buy lots of things from Aldi which will help you, they have a number of "fake" slimming world ready meals if it helps. Turkey mince is really good if you have not tried it. Yes I believe you can get the milk you need. They stock lots of things to help you, I'd just pop in for a look, grab a couple of things to try?You can get cereal bars and things in Aldi to help.Well done, good luck on your journey.


Irony overload. Slimming world ready meals and cereal bars, joker

The op eats 6 sausages with ketchup. I doubt he's going to make his own gravy, curry sauces. Fool
Edited by: "chocci" 30th Oct
chocci30/10/2019 20:30

Irony overload. Slimming world ready meals and cereal bars, jokerThe op …Irony overload. Slimming world ready meals and cereal bars, jokerThe op eats 6 sausages with ketchup. I doubt he's going to make his own gravy, curry sauces. Fool


Well your doubts are unfounded. Don’t be so judgemental. I have the sausages because they are low in calories but high in protein and easy and convenient to make. It’s a once off when I need something easy.
Edited by: "shnp" 30th Oct
shnp30/10/2019 20:38

Well your doubts are unfounded. Don’t be so judgemental. I have the s …Well your doubts are unfounded. Don’t be so judgemental. I have the sausages because they are low in calories but high in protein and easy and convenient to make. It’s a once off when I need something easy.


She can't help herself! Just dont eat what's in her cupboard.... lol. Also resorts to calling people names!

Linda McCartney are recommend for helping people to lose weight.... wise choices.

You are example to us all for how well you have done.

Iceland have a range of Slimming world meals, all salt, sugar and fat controlled, the Currys are really good..... we are not all perfect and not all have time to scratch cook. I've used the M&S foods in the past, it's good to change if you get a bit stuck.
Edited by: "cideristhefuture" 30th Oct
i find tesco not very value for money and their stuff doesn't even taste nice. if you are looking to cut your shopping bill then i would suggest asda if you are looking for a big drop or morrisons if you don't want to compromise on the quality of the food.

ready made meals are very bad value and also very unhealthy as they add all sorts of unhealthy stuff into the meals to make them taste nice. we have them all the time but we are aware of this. you should try to cook the meals yourself from scratch as that is healthier and will be more cost effective. not that we are doing this, but again that is our choice.

i know a lot of people like lidl and aldi. i haven't been to aldi but i don't like food from lidl. nothing to do with snobbery, i just don't like their food. you may like them though as it is personal choice. they are certainly cheaper than the bigger supermarkets.

avoid m&s if you are cost conscious as their food is expensive, although they are high quality food. hubby is a lot more choosy with his food than me so i go to m&s to get food for him and the bill is quite high even if you only pick up a few items. if you do like high quality food then i would say waitrose is better value than m&s food.
shnp30/10/2019 20:38

Well your doubts are unfounded. Don’t be so judgemental. I have the s …Well your doubts are unfounded. Don’t be so judgemental. I have the sausages because they are low in calories but high in protein and easy and convenient to make. It’s a once off when I need something easy.


Lighten up, I was messing with you mate.
One really big saving would be to buy a whole chicken rather than chicken in a foil tray or chicken breasts. I will only buy free range chicken because of welfare issues which means it is a luxury rather than a staple. I can get a whole free range chicken from lidl for less than the cost of two breast portions. You can either cook the thing whole and make it last a couple of meals, or joint it and freeze the extra. You can make loads of dishes with a bit of left over chicken.
I have one go to recipe which is ridiculously easy to make and very variable as well as very low in calories.bbcgoodfood.com/rec…ata
You can pretty much fling in any old stuff that you have past it's best in the fridge and it tastes good cold for lunch the next day. I am a thousand miles away from being a good cook but even I can't mess this one up.
mutley130/10/2019 20:52

i find tesco not very value for money and their stuff doesn't even taste …i find tesco not very value for money and their stuff doesn't even taste nice. if you are looking to cut your shopping bill then i would suggest asda if you are looking for a big drop or morrisons if you don't want to compromise on the quality of the food.ready made meals are very bad value and also very unhealthy as they add all sorts of unhealthy stuff into the meals to make them taste nice. we have them all the time but we are aware of this. you should try to cook the meals yourself from scratch as that is healthier and will be more cost effective. not that we are doing this, but again that is our choice.i know a lot of people like lidl and aldi. i haven't been to aldi but i don't like food from lidl. nothing to do with snobbery, i just don't like their food. you may like them though as it is personal choice. they are certainly cheaper than the bigger supermarkets.avoid m&s if you are cost conscious as their food is expensive, although they are high quality food. hubby is a lot more choosy with his food than me so i go to m&s to get food for him and the bill is quite high even if you only pick up a few items. if you do like high quality food then i would say waitrose is better value than m&s food.


Great advice. You're a veritable fountain of information.
Guys gonna go to Aldi tomorrow and do my shop. But I am seeing that the reviews of the chicken are awful. Is Lidl better for meat? In the retail park there is a B&M, and The Food Warehouse and a Tesco a bit further along.

I am gonna make: Spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne, a beef stew and a chicken curry (mayflower mix which I get from B&M?).
I went to Aldi and spent £75 . I didn’t like it. Some items had no clear price and some items have appeared more expensive on my receipt that what the ticket said (I was home before I realised). The time doing the physical shop, checking out etc was a lot. I thinking shopping online is worth it. I think I will give ASDA a try and can make sure I don’t go over my limit.
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