Monday, 17 February 2014

Our Weekly Food Shop including a Meal Plan and Hints and Tips!

Since joining the Great British Budget we have been making a conscious effort to reduce our spending and one major outgoing is the weekly food shops. We have always been quite good with finding deals and buying economy products where possible but find we run out of food towards the end of the week and in the past that's where the take away menu's have snuck in! 

In order to cut back on take away's and make our food shop last longer we decided we needed to think more about the meals we are making. So here is our breakdown of our food shop, a meal plan and how we plan to make it stretch further. 

Ted hunting down a bargain!
Where to shop

Our weekly shop yesterday took place in Asda because I wanted to get Ted a few items of clothing (that's for another post). We find Asda a hell of a lot cheaper than Tesco and a lot less stressful as it is a smaller store. Also with being a smaller store there is less rubbish to distract you from your plans!

We would love to go to Aldi for our food shop but with both our local ones being either in the centre of town or quite a drive away its not as easy to get to as Asda which is just down the road but I do intend to go once or twice to compare prices.

Planning and checking store cupboards

Before we went shopping we checked out what we had at home, not quite as regimented as a stock check, more a browse and a mental note.

This consisted of plenty of essentials like frozen veg, butter, cheese, herbs and spices, pasta, rice, cereal, flour, eggs, sugar washing liquid/powder, loo rolls etc. That way we knew what we didn't need to buy. 

Some weeks the shop may come to more if these things run out but touch wood none of it has ever totally ran out at the same time! We also freeze bread and items like Naan Bread, Hot Cross Buns and English Muffins before they go stale to use later.

Our plan was to make meals big enough for leftovers, therefore solving the lunches dilemma we face every week. Joe normally resorts to running to the local Sainsbury's on his lunch break for microwave pizza's and I will normally have either a ready meal or 'something' on toast at work.

So how much did we spend...the important question...

Our shopping consisted of...(* = Special Offers)

Milk (Green and Blue)
*2 Packs of Sausages for £5
A whole Chicken
Stewing Beef
*Microwave Pizza's
*Crispy Pancakes
Garlic Bread
*Fish Fingers
*Oven Chips
*6 Light Hot Chocolates (8p each!)
2 Packs of Noodles
*Baby Food Sachet
*Del Simon Juice
*Pepsi Max
*Dental Floss
2 Packs Baby Wipes (Asda Own)
Pizza Base Mix
2 Passata Cartons
*Fructis Hair Mousse
*Lemon Juice
*Hula Hoops Multipack
Dumplings Mix
Swede and Carrot Cubes
*3 cans of Baked Beans

We decided to avoid the 3 for £10 meat deal and go for the sausages, chicken and beef which came to under £12 for all 4 and the sausages were much better quality than the ones in the deal. We did buy some junk food for those days when cooking a big meal is too much and they can just be popped in the oven.

Our meals for the week

We don't believe in set meals for set days so as long as we know what meals we are having for the week then we know what we can choose from.

  • Roast Chicken with roast potatoes and veg
  • Chicken Curry and rice (with the leftovers) and a Naan bread from the freezer!
  • Beef and Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
  • Spicy Sausage Pasta
  • Sausage and Mash
  • Frozen Stuff (Normally Crispy pancakes or fishfingers with Chips and Peas)
  • Homemade Pizza's
Ted normally eats either what we eat or I throw together a vegetable curry, macaroni cheese or if I am in a hurry some fish cakes peas and sweetcorn. All depends on what kind of day we have had. 

Lunches will be either leftovers, noodles or jacket potatoes and beans. Ted's lunches when he is at home are normally a sandwich, fruit and yoghurt with raisins and cereal as snacks.

Its not all strict

Its so important to include a few treats when your trying not to get a take away. All it takes is for there to be nothing exciting in the cupboards and I spy Joe logging on to Just Eat! So we have some crisps and a few items of junk food to suppress the cravings! 

Bargain Midweek Finds

Once a week, mainly as something to do, I will pop to Waitrose on an evening to browse for orange stickers. Despite their general food being overpriced, Waitrose really reduce their stock when its close to its best before date. We often get really cheap bread or meat to pop in the freezer and most excitingly I got a Key Lime Pie for 85p the other day reduced from £3.50 so my work colleagues got a little treat for a Friday! 

We even get special offers with our advantage card including a free hot drink with each visit so its nice to pop in for a few bits and get a yummy latte.

Pointers for future

I am not going to tell you our food shop was perfect. Having looked back on it we didn't need the frozen chips as we could have made our own from the potatoes. That is something to remember for next time but when they are £1.25 sometimes it just makes life a little bit easier.

So there you have it...our weekly shop! I hope I have given you some good tips for reducing your spend and most importantly planning ahead so as not to buy the same things over and over again.

 I would love to know ways you reduce your shop and out of curiousity how much your shop comes to.


  1. Thanks for posting Jade - looks like you got some great bargains!

    We hope you're enjoying the Great British Budget challenge!

  2. I think you did well. I like the sound of the spicy sausage pasta :-) Thank you for sharing with #ThriftyThursday

  3. An interesting read, thanks for sharing #thriftythursday


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