How to reduce your supermarket spend 


Hello Dear Reader,

It’s about now that some families have to rein in their spending after Christmas. People often face a new year with financial good intentions and look to reduce their supermarket spending. I don’t profess to be any kind of help, I just share what I do. I aim each week to spend £30 on food, toiletries and cleaning products. My costs average that amount per week across the year. Sometimes, it’s less and sometimes more.

When you’re next in the supermarket, have a go at a little game I play to amuse myself. I watch the person in front of me load their shopping through the till and I guess what meals they’re having. Sometimes, a lot of money will be rung up and I won’t have seen any meals at all. I don’t load much onto the till but I know I have seven days worth of three meals a day, either at home or in front of me. 

I keep my spending to a limit by having a set (see above, it can change) budget. I also have a day a week that’s on toast or in a jacket. I don’t want to cook every day. It might be beans on toast, or eggs on toast, or beans and cheese in a jacket potato. We can all have a really cheap meal once a week. 

We don’t eat out very often, this year we’ve been to a restaurant twice in France and never in the UK so we eat something ‘nice’ now and then. Now and then isn’t every week, but often enough that we don’t feel deprived. We had nice cheese and a bottle of Port over Christmas and we have steak on New Year’s Eve. We didn’t use to do this but feel we can afford to relax the budget every now and then. 

I know what things cost and how much I’m spending on each meal. It’s just a bit of simple mental arithmetic and a pen. I keep my receipt by pinning it on a board in the kitchen and then work out the cost per portion. Here’s an example, we eat 50g of ham each in a salad, and two boiled eggs in a salad. I then know it costs us. It might seem odd to you that I buy sliced cheese, but that’s just enough for our sandwiches for the week and I can’t pick or have extra thick sandwich with extra cheese. Like I said, I don’t profess to be any help, I just share what I do. 

We have a Sunday roast every week, usually pork or beef brisket and we eat Sunday lunch and I plate four meals and we eat the same again on Monday. However, I’m not adverse to eating the same again on Tuesday……as you can tell, we’re not fussy. 

Over the next few days, I’ll share not so much hints but what we do to save money on our supermarket shopping. I know lots of lovely readers will have handy hints and ideas too.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

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30 thoughts on “How to reduce your supermarket spend 

  1. I love your posts on how to save money on groceries. I’m vegetarian but it’s still very helpful to me. Love your blog, it’s one of my favorites.

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  2. Even though the specifics are different and the seasons, I like reading a fellow travellers ideas , it keeps me motivated. We have always been careful, and managed to pay off two mortgages on a low wage, we shop specials and cook from scratch, freeze and reheat like you, and this Christmas season our treat has been fresh prawns with salad 3 times. I told my husband yesterdays meal was the last time until we go on our cruise to the south pacific in April (already paid for), when he will eat prawns every night for 2 weeks. We don’t starve, and like you, we have the odd cheaper meal, but isn’t it worth it!

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  3. You have inspired me to come out of hiding (from Christmas) and write a shopping list. Time to get back into school and work routines, a good thing in my book. I hope you both enjoy your steaks and I wish you a very Happy thrifty New Year .

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  4. I’m going to try and be more mindful of what i buy when i go shopping this coming year and meal plan, that;s my biggest failing, not planning. I don’t spend an awful lot but i would be hard pressed to feed three of us with just £30, (I do toiletry and cleaning supply shopping once a month so they are never featured in my weekly shop) but i still average 50 -60 £.
    I do have to say however that we would not eat the meat i see in your post, it looks too fatty for our tastes, we like lean meat and I suppose that costs more, we also eat a lot of chicken. We are also partial to a jacket spud and beans on toast, nothing wrong with that.
    My question would be how do you go about setting up your meal plan? Do you rotate meals weekly / fortnightly / monthly, i would be interested in any tips because i’ve become so disorganised lately and anything that will save me time would be great!.

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    • On the contrary, we buy meat with fat purposefully. Years of eating in France we know that meat with a percentage of fat has more flavor, it renders down when cooking. We buy rub eye steak, or entrecôte as the French would call it with the fat in the middle. It’s a matter of personal taste. We choose to eat less processed food.

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    • I do my meat shopping via Musclefood – good quality lean meat home delivered at very good prices (no not on commission – just a huge fan of the company). My monthly order gives me evening meals for a month and leftovers. 😉

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  5. Thank you for reminding us to be frugal. There are adverts on tv all day about the need to spend which isn’t a need at all. I am planning to be much more frugal this year. Please keep up the good work, kitx

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  6. I have been thinking about meal planning. I work full time and have two 15 yr old girls and have decided to plan meals for Monday to Friday (1 fish, 2 meat and 2 veg) and eat the same every week term time. This way the girls will each cook two every week leaving me the other plus weekend meals that can vary. Maybe boring but I am happy to eat the same week in week out. I love the simplicity of that. Keeps the shopping list simple. Just need to decide on the meals and head down to Aldi before Monday! This routine might also mean I can get to bed earlier weekdays for a read – my main resolution for 2017.

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  7. Because food is so expensive in Australia I do now roughly meal plan and it included a lot of beans and rice, we don’t eat meat and my meal plans aren’t set in stone, but they are close enough to keep me focussed.

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  8. I’ve decided to cut down my grocery bills by not buying processed rubbish, & eating porridge for breakfast. I’m challenging myself to £200 a month for 3 of us (4 when my daughter is home). This week I got leftover parsnips & carrots from Sainsburys for pennies & froze 4 batches of delicious soup. Also made clementine cakes with fruit being sold off cheap after Christmas. I plan to shop early on Monday as it’s the day after New Year’s Day & there are usually bargains to be had 😊😊. I find that cutting grocery bills is the best way of saving a lot of money.

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  9. There’s just the two of us like you, so we very often have left overs or freeze 1/2 of our meal to eat at a later date. For example last night we had a meal of steamed potatoes, sausages, and sprouts cooked with a little bacon and onion. Today’s lunch was the leftovers chopped up and heated in the frying pan, served with come cranberry sauce left from Christmas. It’s not rocket science, and it makes me sad that often people have no idea how to budget, shop, cook and freeze or use leftovers. When I first left home it was a matter of putting my few skills to work, and learning as I went along, there was no money for take away or eating out and if I didn’t make a meal I didn’t get one.

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  10. Groceries are my downfall, and I know I’d struggle to feed my family on $60 a week as groceries are expensive here… this is the year I’m going to try to be more consistent with frugality as opposed to fits and starts xx

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  11. I’m going vegan for January so hoping to save some money, eat a bit more healthily and lose a few pounds. Going forward from Feb am intending to eat a lot less meat. We usually do meat free Mondays so will be looking to sneak a couple more meatless dinners in during the week. However with 4 big lads and a stroppy, picky teenage daughter to feed it will be a challenge. Will look forward to any of your vegan meal ideas in the new year. Last bacon sandwich for a month coming up! Happy New Year x

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  12. Welcome back, I’ve got all meals ready for next week baking tomorrow, so the pack ups will be full, I have unpredictable shifts everywhere week so I plan ahead and it keeps some sort of asseblanc.Have a quiet new year wishing you well xxxx

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  13. Love following your blog, really inspirational. Can I ask with your meal plans do you find you lose weight as I need to lose weight and all the various fads and clubs don’t work for me, however your meals appeal to me and I think it’s all about portion size, just interested

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  14. I’m really looking forward to your hints on reducing my food spend. I cook from scratch, batch cook and eat all leftovers but I would love to reduce our hefty food bill. My husband will be working a short week for the next few months and the food bill is something I would like to work on. We have a freezer full of food leftover from Christmas (I love packing away a little bit of everything we cook over Christmas) which should carry us into January.

    Wishing you all a happy and frugal new year!
    Nx

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  15. I have filled my freezer with reduced items, which will last us for a good couple of months. Have found Lidls have good reductions, on many thing we like, even bought a leg of lamb and pork last week cooked both and sliced when cold. I now have fifteen bags of cooked meat in the freezer too. I keep all fresh fruit and veg in the fridge to make them last longer too. So ready to start the new year without purchasing food.

    Julie xxxxx

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  16. Thanks for this blog!!I like to ask you we are 5 persons at home how cam I calculate the amount of money weekly and we have euros as currency thanks

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  17. Dear Froogs,

    A helpful series of articles, if i may say. Am I correct in thinking that you have been able to reduce your weekly food and sundries budget over time from £50 to the £30 which you give above? If so, I would be interested to know what you have done. Have your main purchases reduced over time or have you refined your methods? Shirley Goode reckoned on £20 a week for two.

    I see that food prices are expected to rise in 2017. Let’s see

    Many thanks.

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