I’m a girl on a budget, and some weeks, only have £20 left over for the food shop. Feeding a family of four is expensive, but it’s not impossible to get the weekly shop cheap, or down to just £18.
I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper anyway, but without using yellow stickers or ANY reduced items, I walked out with a family food shopping bill of only £18.
Obviously, we don’t shop like this every week. Sometimes we need cleaning products, shampoo or toothpaste, so set ourselves a weekly £40 budget, but rarely need anywhere near that.
My cupboard essentials
I had a think about what meals we were going to eat that week and planned my shop around them. My kids are quite fussy, so, to be honest, we don’t eat anything that wild anyway.
I checked my cupboards, and was lucky to have a few of my staples in; chopped tomatoes, puree, a bag of rice, some pasta and flour, to name just a few. I always keep these topped up, but I don’t need to buy them every single week.
So I stick to my list rigorously. Nothing goes in that trolley that hasn’t been written down. I start in the meat aisle first, as I want to make sure my most expensive item is there, the gammon because if not, the meal plan will have to be rejigged to make room for something else, maybe a bag of frozen chicken or two lots of mince.
Then I fill up with everything else, remembering that we still want a bit of variety in our food, even if the kids hate it!
What I brought:
Tomato soup 0.40
4x tins of beans 0.99
4x Sweet Potatoes 0.95
2x kid’s yogurts 1.49
Fish cakes 1.15
Coconut milk 0.79
4x Potatoes 0.95
2x Butter 0.75
For breakfast, we either had porridge with fruit, toast or scrambled egg.
Lunch – tomato soup & bread
Dinner – homemade ham & cheese pizza
Lunch – cheese omelette
Dinner – jacket potato, cheese, beans
Lunch – ham sandwich
Dinner – tomato pasta
Lunch – cheese on toast
Dinner –sweet potato curry
Lunch – boiled egg & toast
Dinner – fish cakes, mash & beans
Lunch – crackers & cheese
Dinner – gammon, eggs & homemade chips
Lunch – leftover curry
Dinner – cheese & gammon pasta bake
Menu Planning for me is the hardest, but the most important part of eating on a budget. It gives you a plan you can use to help you buy food more wisely and stop you staring in the fridge for 5 minutes trying to think what to make for dinner tonight. This happens more then I would like… So I designed a little menu planner that works best for me and I thought I would share it. Enjoy!
I try and make use of whatever is on the Aldi Super Six or the Lidi equivalent. The week I shopped, plums and onions were on, but the following week it was blueberries and pears, so we swap and change depending on that too, and freeze whatever fruit we don’t use.
My Five Top Tips to Achieve a £18 Shop
1.Meal plan and think about buying foods that can be used in multiple recipes.
2. Shop in discount supermarkets. Don’t be loyal, as it doesn’t pay off.
3. To get the bill down further, bulk out curries with beans, or spaghetti bolognese with grated vegetables.
4. Try different meats, especially if they are destined for the slow cooker.
5. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables. You can take as much as you need, with no waste, and it’s cheaper!