Worried about the cost of food?


Hello Dear Reader,

I went to Lidl today and rising food costs are really concerning me. I can cook, we’re not fussed by what we eat and I try to feed us to get good nutrition for our money. The big price hikes are in good healthy food and that worries me for a lot of families. A tiny pack of stewing beef was four pounds and would just feed the two of us. I went straight to the reduced section and as I was there just as the store opened got a few affordable bargains. I bought a whole chicken for £2.70, and ten chicken drumsticks for £1.30 and reduced pork medallions, reduced sausages that at full price were £1.89 for six! A family would need maybe three packs? How is it that even sausages are expensive ?

I am also really concerned about the cost of fresh fruit and veg such as salad and apples. I paid £2.25 for six apples and that’s in Lidl which is cheaper than most.

I do stretch my budget so far that it squeaks. I buy frozen chicken normally and frozen cheap and sustainable fish like pollock. I buy frozen fruit like strawberries, raspberries and tinned fruit like apples. I defrost them and eat them with natural yogurt. I buy frozen vegetables and tinned veggies such as mushy peas and mushrooms. I also get plenty of protein from tinned fish and eggs and make dished like fish cakes and frittata. We also have plenty of meatfree days and I don’t know how any one can afford to eat it every day.


I also shop around in all the discount stores like Farmfoods, Lidl and Aldi and when I get there go straight for the reduced section and pop it in the freezer when I get home. The tuna and sweet corn is for sandwiches and for supper with baked potatoes. 

However, not all families will eat anything and not everyone will eat tinned or frozen and expecting people to simply change is really not easy. I wish there were cooking shows on TV that dealt with these genuine concerns as I’m sure families are just not coping. 

Over to you, what food worries do you have? What do you do to keep to your budget? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

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43 thoughts on “Worried about the cost of food?

  1. I have no idea how families do it! We’re pretty lucky that my husband is on a good wage but I know we’ve been spending far to much money on food when we really should be saving for a house, it’s mostly out of convenience I have to admit! I’m setting myself a £20 a week food challenge while I’m on my no spend challenge and I’m going to try and stuck to getting my fruit and veg from whatever the deals are at also / Lidl and keeping my freezer topped up with yellow labels

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  2. Yes , I do worry about the price of food, very much so. I do not eat meat so buy lentils soya mince and beans, I like nuts but they are expensive so have to be a treat, i buy meat for the men but not very often and make it go a long way. Fruit, good grief, grapes are so expensive and as you say,apples too, bananas are better and we too use frozen and tinned. My eldest son is a one parent family with two teenage boys, he is in the RAF but struggles and cooks from scratch ,lots of filling pasta and cheap cuts of meat. I feel for the young parents making an effort, my son is lucky, he has a good job, my other two are not so and both have health problems and have had benefit cuts, luckily we can help when things are tough, but what about those who aren’t so lucky? We also continue to support the local food bank a wonderful service but what a sorry state that they are needed. I shall be using my vote wisely!

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  3. I have noticed a huge price increase in food recently too. Items aren’t just increasing by a few pence either, they are increasing by a lot! I bought apples and bananas in Tesco this week for 49p a bag. Hubby is still out of work so we are having to shop very carefully, buying as many reduced to clear items as possible. Thank goodness we know how to cook.

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  4. You are absolutely right food prices are a nightmare. Also right than it’s such a shame there aren’t
    More sensible cooking programmes on tv. Just simple basic everyday cooking. My daughter got gcse food technology and apart from apple strudel wasn’t taught anything useful! Lots of studying packet design though?!

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  5. Hi Froogs, fresh fruit and veggies can be very expensive if you buy them from the major supermarkets, ALDI are a bit better but lately we have been buying our fruit and veggies from the markets, checking all the stalls first to see who has the Best Buy, then buying. Meat wise we try to have only two or three meals of meat a week, with the rest of dinners being fish or prawns (caught by hubby and son) and a couple of veggie meals. We aren’t that fussed either with what we eat as long as it is tasty and filling. Apart from offal, there isn’t much we won’t eat. We are careful with leftovers as well and make sure everything is used up. Have a lovely week.
    Fi

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  6. I really like your idea for food programs that address current issues in food costs. Here in the US produce costs, like lettuce and broccoli, have been high due to flooding in CA. We can also be affected by issues with Mexico… never mind “The Fence” LOL

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  7. I think the price of food is rising. I try to make it stretch, so unsmoked gammon joint from Aldi (2.69) did my son and I for a hot meal today, cold with salad and mash tomorrow and in a pasta the next day. I eat lentils a lot (he won’t) and I buy reduced bread (23 pence a large loaf in our local Tesco), apples seem to be really expensive at the moment, I am filling up on green veg like savoy cabbage. Veg is better for you than fruit and it is cheaper.

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  8. I have just watched the Scottish Parliamentary Leaders Debate. I was so sad to hear a nurse stating that she has to go to the food bank to feed her family.She was very brave and gave the First Minister an earful. It’s a real struggle for some parents with rising food and fuel costs. Free school meals are so important and can make all the difference to mums trying to stretch limited budgets in all directions. Politicians should hang their heads in shame.

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  9. When the cooking shows are ready for TV, the food crisis will be over.We got some Jamie Oliver shows here: he was showing how to avoid wasting fresh produce. he was going into peoples homes to show them how to do reduce food waste. I found this online: http://www.jamieoliver.com/food-waste/#Ab6xZWXPMecwI82P.97. You are doing the best thing you can through your blog too. Hope, you are doing some gardening to grow few things for yourself.

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  10. Here is Australia food is much dearer than in the UK. My top tip for anyone wanting to cut the cost is to grow some of your food. It can cost $3.50 for a lettuce – even if you eat only one a week, that is costing you $182 per year just for lettuce! The same goes for things like herbs, they are about $3.00 a bunch and often some gets wasted. Most people don’t have the space or desire to produce a lot of their own food, but anyone can grow some lettuce and herbs, even if it’s done in pots on the balcony.

    The cheapest loaf of organic bread I can buy is $6.95 and the one I prefer (locally baked and not wrapped in plastic) is $7.80. When my kids were younger I baked all of our organic bread saving about $700 a year!

    I guess one final thing is don’t waste any food – I am still guilty of having a few bits and bobs uneaten in the fridge at the end of the week and really trying to use my freezer more to make sure this doesn’t happen.

    Madeleine.x

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    • You are so right Madeleine, food is so expensive in AU now, bread and fresh fruit and veggies particularly. I keep a couple of chickens and have turned much of our small back yard to veggie and herb gardens. I have been baking our bread for about five years now, it’s just a matter of getting into the habit. We moved here from the UK nearly 30 years ago and really notice the difference in the cost of living.

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  11. Do you know what country the Lidl apples are from? I bought apples recently & they were tasteless. It really helps to eat fruit & veg that are local & in season. I also make my own yoghurt, which is surprisingly easy.

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  12. Totally agree. As I’ve said before, we avoid grains and most pulses as they seem to upset members of our family in various ways. This has increased our food budget over the last year but to combat this we:

    1. Buy frozen veg and tinned fish.
    2. Use seasonal food (lots of greens just now!).
    3. Eat more veg than fruit (this is a new one this week).
    4. Accept free food (fish and eggs).
    5. Are willing to eat anything.
    6. Eat leftovers (and my children know that they will get food back if they don’t finish it and then a little later decide that they are hungry – this helps with fussy eating too!).
    7. Grow our own and pick from the hedgerows (I’m going to collect wild garlic this week).
    8. Eat a little protein and fat (lard, butter, coconut oil, avocado etc.) with each meal as this staves off hunger for longer.
    9. Have a sweet treat on a Sunday.

    This diet seems to be good for our finances and our bodies although my 6 year old does complain that we eat a lot of veg!

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  13. I do most of my food shop in Aldi and have noticed how the prices have been creeping up lately, I overheard one man say just that to his wife on Friday as he was looking at the cooked meats.
    Although I don’t go in Tesco or Asda very often they do always seem to have what I would call junk food on offer, you can’t blame those on a really strict budget and those with many more mouths to feed to not go for the more unhealthy options when they are so cheap. They really should not have done away with Home Economics as a lesson at school!

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  14. Yes, as a working mum of a large family the rising cost of food worries me, particularly as I find myself as a single parent. Thankfully I was taught how to cook from scratch by my mother and grandmothers and my own interest has helped. One of the best cook books I have ever had is an Farmhouse cookbook that accompanied a TV series years ago. It has everything in it from how to cook offal, fish and pastry dishes to how to make potato wine. It’s a treasure trove of useful filling recipes.

    I do bake as much as possible. This weekend alone has seen 3 batches of muffins, a fruit loaf and a Victoria sponge done but with growing children it doesn’t stay in the tin for long.

    I do try and grow as much as I can given the limitations of time. I have soft fruit bushes/canes as things like raspberries are way too expensive to buy in any quantity to feed the whole family so growing them is the best option. I buy the 83p for a bag of 6 apples in Tesco and usually only buy apples, oranges and bananas unless there is a good offer on. Other fruit I find is too expensive. I do buy frozen veg. I try to keep to the food budget but really struggle to do so especially in school holidays.

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  15. I’ve started using money saving apps on my phone since food costs have skyrocketed. Don’t know if they have these across the pond for you—but I use Ibotta (a cash-back app) and the Walmart Savings Catcher when I can. It really comes in handy!

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  16. Hi, like you all the pinch is starting to bite, I have always been a big fan of store only brands, like Morrison’s “savers” and the reduced section is my best friend, I have always grown some veg and fruit at home, I have about 10 pots of potatoes on the go at the moment and my current bushes are doing well, but when you have 3 hungry teenagers to feed its hard work.I have found that giving my family a 2 course meal every night helps me cut portion size but still fills them up, I must admit it is a struggle to come in from work and start cooking from scratch but I’ve got organised and a lot of it I have cooked ahead of time.I do a monthly bake up of pudding to freeze and a selection of cookies I can cook off from the freezer whilst the oven is on at tea time. It feels like ressesion time again not that I think we have recovered from the last one. Cheers

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  17. I was fortunate to be in England at the beginning of this year. some food prices were less and others comparable but I didn’t get the chance to go to a supermarket other than those small places in the train stations in London or those I walked by. Australian price frighten me. For example the cheapest way to buy avocado at present is to buy 2 for $5. I become frustrated because they are grown up the road. I no longer buy our preferred bananas as they are often over $7 a kilo. OUr food is mix of frozen, fresh, dried and canned. Last night my vegan daughter ate with us and it was $6 for 6 Linda Mc Cartney sausages. Today I thought I would buy some sausages from the local butcher so we would all be eating similar meals and the sausages were $15 a kilo.

    I thank the Lord that so far we are managing but I run out of pension every single fortnight and I do try to be cautious.

    Good luck everyone.

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    • Hi Suzan
      Sorry, I seem to comment on your posts (I think because I’m in oz too) 🙂
      I have discovered my Woolworths has $7 avocados for $7 or $8 – they are in the section with the odd veg or sometimes they have them in a container with the kids fruit and veg. It’s still expensive but at least I can have avocado occasionally.
      I wonder if your Woolworths has them?

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  18. Your quite right its all very worrying. I try to work with weekly special offers to keep the price down. I really can,t believe the price of apples, they are so expensive. I work for a retail store and more and more people are coming for the end of day sell off. I do this, and I can tell you its a bun fight. I totally agree about tin foods. They are a great staple and I am using them more and more.

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  19. I am Australian by birth but have lived in England for years with my English husband and we have recently returned to the UK after four weeks in Sydney.

    I am the opposite to Suzan – I find fresh fruit and vegetables in England incredibly expensive when compared to Australia but the frozen variety are much cheaper and far superior in quality to those you can get in Aust.

    I find the fresh produce that is cheap in England to be of poor quality.

    Fish is so much cheaper here than in Australia and we are not meat eaters so don’t feel the pinch there.

    Chicken is about the same but there is more variety here and you can buy small frozen free range chickens everywhere which I have never seen in Australia.

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  20. I use price-matching at Walmart to keep down food costs. I got bananas there for $.39/lb., Cherries for $1.99/lb. Those fruits should have been $.59/lb and $4.99, respectively. I actually will ration the cherries to seven each day and also share with my friend who will come on Thursday. Oh, the $1.74 head of lettuce was matched to another store. I paid $.89 for a huge, beautiful head of lettuce.

    I use coupons only on things I will use ordinarily.

    I go to a food giveaway once a month. There is no means test, so people with money go there, too. I always get white rice and pinto beans. I hate both. This last time, I got a can or corn and one of green beans. Plus, I received two beautiful tomatoes and six huge potatoes. The tomatoes will go with the lettuce of three meals. The potatoes will be six meals, plus I have carrots to cook with the potatoes. I also got two free onions that will probably cooked with the potatoes and carrots.

    Chicken legs, ten pounds were so cheap. I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts for me because it is the only part I will eat. When I buy these parts, I cook the whole package at once and then frozen individually for convenience and cost savings. I can use the crockpot or oven just once for all this meat.

    I dehydrate Vidalia onions, celery, and bell peppers to use during the year. I only buy these at their lowest sale price. So, I save money and never waste these vegetables.

    Canned tuna and canned salmon are bought on sale. We love both, so no problem being in a can.

    Most weeks, I only buy apples, bananas, and milk. When I do spend more, it is during weeks when I buy greatly reduced.

    Frozen fruit/berries are great for lasting a long time and I can eat small portions to make them last. Of course, if I just gobbled down all the wonderful frozen fruit, there would be weeks without.

    My hen gives me about five eggs each week, so I do not spend on those. I don’t even spend money for her food.

    I do eat protein three times each day. Otherwise, I could not move. I don’t think food prices are too high.

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  21. I shop every week in Lidl and stock up on reduced meat,poultry and fish when available and fill up my freezer.I then menu plan from what I have bought.
    I also by meat from Morrisons when they have offers on.
    I frequently buy pork shoulder joints,3kg at about £8 when there is an offer,and this easily feeds 5 of us at two meals and anything left I freeze.
    As for apples I buy loose Braeburns from Lidl at £1.90 a kilo.
    My children love kiwi fruit and again at Lidl about 19pence each.

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  22. I’ve just moved to Cornwall from Kent ‘the garden of England’. Last autumn I saw lots of gardens littered with wind fall apples and pears, all left to rot. Fruits, blackberries and the like, all left to shrivel up on bushes….such a shame. Moving on…I bought a packet of gammon pieces from Bodmin B&M for £1.99 (800g). This will, I think, yield me 4 good gammon steaks, ‘bacon and egg’ for 2 adults which we’ve just had. Reduced Asda FR eggs @ 40p for 15 (!). I just butterflied out a large piece to make it thinner and called it bacon. I’ve easily got another 3 meals (like Sue) I’ll make ham and pasta, ham omelette and ham something else. I’m also doing well with my farm foods frozen veg and meat. Last night was sausages. 50% extra from Iceland served with FF veg. Some mushrooms, mixed peppers, onion and green beans stir fried with a portion of left over rice. One portion of rice made enough to feed 2 happily. I hate waste and I don’t mind eating the same thing as leftovers. Who said we had to eat a different meal every day? And I’ve bought my sons up to cook from scratch too. Best wishes, Rose x

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  23. i will only buy the cheese which is on offer for £2 or 2.50, cereals that are reduced to around the £2 mark, I will chop and change what I have to what the specials are, I do shop at Tescos because I get free delivery saver, by collecting all my points throughout the year I get delivery for free for the whole year saving on petrol, time and the hassle of being in the supermarket, checkouts people etc. I always check the hot links site when I do an online shop, there is envariably a coupon I wouldn’t have got if I went to Tescos, this week I got a 3.99 !! box of cereal for free just for putting a code in. This meant I could take one of our normal boxes off thus saving more. I have noticed there are not half as many specials and reductions as there used to be last year. Because I do it online, I will keep within pennies to my budget too which is great. I do have a b and m down the road and some things are cheaper there same with Home bargains and farmfoods, I do stock up from these from time to time, especially nicky toilet rolls which are the cheapest ive found that I like the quality of. I do see these programmes sometimes, saying I have no money and we see the biggest walkers 24 pack crisps in the background, we buy a 6 pack whatevers looks nice for around 89p but rarely over a £1.

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  24. Mmmh I don’t know about the price of apples (we have lots of trees and few boxes of fruit left from last year) but couldn’t that be connected to the fact that they are really out of season right now?! I don’t buy meat either, and the veg and grains I usually buy, cost the same (a lot) as always. I sometimes go to aldi/lidl for rice cakes and tomato sauce and cheese and those are stable here in CH too.

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      • Oh thats why people buy unseasonal fruit in the UK!!! In Switzerland the price doubles and the quality halves when out of season. I just spoke to an apple farmer, the longer they are stored the more expensive they are (for generating costs)

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  25. Hi Froogs,
    I’ve been following your blog for years and it’s great. Love the no nonsense approach! First timer for commenting but I think it’s an issue across the board. I’m Australian but have also lived in the UK and have to agree that food is much more expensive here in Oz, fresh produce is more plentiful year round here but you pay a premium for it. We have seen massive increases in groceries the last few years but wages haven’t adjusted to match. I like to still strive to eat as healthily as possible whilst being conscious of the budget.

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  26. Look for Yellow Stickers. Find out when and where your local supermarkets do their markdowns. I work and its always after work so they are available.

    This last week I paid £1 for 5 items , all very good quality meat, each pack down to 20p…………….I got diced turkey thigh , turkey mince, organic chicken thighs and 2 packs of of Porky Whites chuck steak burgers…..basically £13 worth of meat for £1.

    Tonight the burgers are on the BBQ, in buns I paid 5p for 6 .

    Rinty

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  27. Yes! We are currently a family of 5 which is 2 adults and THREE teens. It’s really hard to keep the grocery bill down. Last week alone I think I spent $300 😦
    and it seems like our local stores have less good deals each week

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  28. Hello, Here in US, midwest area, prices are going up too and on same items–
    . Fresh produce and meat. The price of fuel is about $2.18 per gallon, so that isn’t the problem, but selling corn to make fuel could be keeping feed prices high. I know our rabbit and chicken feed has gone up. We have a dozen hens, and get 12 amazing xl eggs every day. I share with family and sell rest to neighbors, which pays the hen’s feed cost. The rabbits would give several litters of 8 kits a year, but haven’t been breeding them often, as hubby doesn’t like butchering as much as he said he could. We did raise a dozen roosters for fryers this year.Those birds and the hens were from eggs I incubated last fall.
    I do grow lettuce, herbs, aloe, tomatoes, peppers and flowers in pots on my sun porch.
    We shop for staples at Aldi. Their prices are still the best here. We also have a bäkery outlet closeby. They sell bread, muffins, bagels. buns, etc…. at very low prices. The chickens get some of our bread if any goes stale. I also bake from scratch, artisan loaves with my herbs, muffins, cakes, etc to use up eggs.
    The best money saver in my house is to cook for several meals twice a week, and not to waste anything. Meal planning is most important.
    The hens and bunnies live in our back yard and waste is composted for garden, lawn and flower beds. Every little bit helps. I’m not gardening outside this year due to having a big surgery and long recovery, so will miss that. Not working and being home to putter in kitchen and yard has been a money saver too.

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  29. I live in Arkansas in the US. I spend about $150 a week on groceries. I will be the first to admit we are wasteful in this country. My husband grew up poor with a mother that had to stretch every thing to feed her 5 kids. I find that he must have bigger meals and is quicker to throw things out than I am. It’s quite odd to me as I will make jam out of fruit that is past it’s prime. Anyway, I love reading your blog and it really makes me think about how we live here.

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  30. Hi! I’m from the US and the problem with frozen fruit here is that it’s more expensive than fresh! I looked at a small bag of strawberries and it was $3.99 (USD) and the fresh ones were $1.99 so that doesn’t work for most of us here. I buy berries when they are in season and then after that, I just do without. I guess it’s different in the UK or it seems to be. No frozen food here is cheaper than fresh, at least where I live.

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    • I noticed that too in Switzerland. Frozen is not much heaper (if at all) than fresh. It’s often much more convenient though!

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  31. its petrifying.in our house I feel the weight of it everyday.im now to the point of cutting whole parts out of meals.slashing down the shopping until I want to cry.money feels like a weight on my shoulders everyday.im lone earner and not lucky with much from that.i hear many people saying in conversations they aren’t managing and sadly they still earn double I do!and I shrink back in sadness.
    its a very tough old world.

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