October has not turned out to be a good reflection of our usual housekeeping budget where the food shopping is concerned. I can’t report any real thriftiness on my part but we continue to eat well and plan what we eat which is one of the best ways to save money.
As always you have to factor in the out of the ordinary expenditure and from my records the average weekly spend has increased over this month due to a number of reasons:-
- Brexit is certainly having an effect on the prices now and inflation is beginning to bite hard. Many items are going up by 50p a time or shrinking in size to compensate.
- This month in particular I have increased the amount of fruit I am eating – OH has been preparing some wonderful mixed fruit salads to go with my plain no fat yoghurt at breakfast. As we all know fruit, especially the soft fruits like blueberries and raspberries, are expensive but so good health-wise. I always eat an apple a day for my morning break at work as well so I think my vitamin C quota is well covered each day and I shouldn’t need to take any supplements.
- When we went to help my daughter move she had no means of cooking or chilling food so was managing buying one meal at a time for a few days. We had just returned from holiday and had no food in our house either so I grabbed a basketful of ready-made lunch items on the way at Marks and Spencers at the Wetherby services – their selection of sandwiches being better than the local Co-op. This cost me over £16 for the four of us with a chocolate eclair each and a bag of crisps.
- I have been using this month to stock up on basic items like toilet rolls ready for Christmas. I always plan ahead to get these now as I don’t want to be thinking about the basic necessities close to Christmas when I need to be thinking more about shopping for meals and entertaining.
- I have been buying the ingredients for the cake, nut roast and food gifts – they are generally found in the baking goods aisle which is always a costly place to be.
- My lunches which I used to buy at the local Bakehouse are now all made at home so I have to factor in the extra cost of this into the weekly shop but this is balanced by the saving to my weekly personal miscellaneous spending which is virtually at zero now.
- Due to time constraints with our decorating program my weekly visits to the supermarket have not been on the same day and I noticed that sometimes my weekly shop has been done less than a week after the previous one.
I read online that for Yorkshire and Humberside a weekly shop is on average £47.30 for a family – we eat organic foods mostly so you can add a further 10% to that figure, however I do buy mostly Sainsbury’s own cheaper brands rather than other well-known ones. although there are only two of us sometimes a weekly shop costs as much as buying for a family of four because you cannot buy smaller sizes or the smaller sizes are more expensive to buy.
I admit we have a few expensive items such as unfiltered organic virgin olive oil and organic free range eggs, but we do not eat meat or fish so these are a good source of the Omega 3. A packet of lentils or chick peas is quite low-cost at only 60p and a staple diet for us together with brown rice we then buy a heap of veg to go with these and usually meet the required 5 a day at any one meal.
I like to buy good quality unprocessed whole-foods in an attempt to keep us as healthy as possible and I think I do get value for the money I spend although I would like it to be more around £50 a week mark rather than the £70 average it has crept up to because of the reasons I explained above – so plenty of work still to be done in the coming months to bring this back down.
On the positive side – I spend very little on my mobile phone a £10 recent top-up making that £10 for the year to date as I had a free £10 when I switched to Vodaphone pay as you go.
I don’t pay for all day parking on a Thursday now as I am only working Monday to Wednesday – a saving of £16 to £20 a month – and I don’t have the petrol cost on top either – however, I have lost a whole day’s pay which more than covered these but I will be using the extra time I have gained wisely to save money in other areas too.
- I have bought as many items as I can when on offer, reduced or I have a coupon.
- I continue to plan out a menu to avoid food waste – we have very little food waste now – I stopped buying those cartons of chilled coleslaw and salad stuff as once opened they only last a couple of days and I found the last little bit never got used.
- I have about £106 in Sainsbury’s reward points to spend at Christmas.
- I tried some new recipes – one or two will make it into my tried and tested section of my binder
- I managed to skip the magazines most weeks buying none in August and September and only two health and food related ones in October
- Making my own Christmas cake and Nut roast
- Adding basic items to my weekly shop to stock up for Christmas
- Making a Christmas menu plan so I don’t over buy or over spend on food that will not be eaten
- Using the Waitrose £12 off a £60 spend
- Clean out the freezer – use this month to plan weekly menus to use up food in there.
- Use the £106 reward points on the double up event for drink and Christmas requirements
- Use remainder against food bill
- Fill car up with petrol using 9p off litre voucher