My blog over the past year has mainly been dedicated to green issues, Independent shopping and DIY and the underlying theme of these topics along with my support for small businesses and my belief in a greener life is general thrifty living. As I have now left my job at the pub and are currently unemployed I can see the focus of my posts shifting towards a more frugal stance paired with eco and independent living rather then the other way around.
Other then standard household bills, rent, tax etc the main thing you need and should spend your money on is food. For me it is the most important ‘thing’ in life, (along with beer possibly) and I refuse to scrimp on having delicious meals. I also know my food bill is the main way that I can cut my expenses but that doesn’t mean I have to rely on processed food that supermarkets discount to cheaper then fresh fruit and vegetable. The average food bill in Britain a week is £76 (I presume this is for 2 adults 2 children, and this figure is from a year ago as couldn’t find any recent figures online, so probably has gone up to at least £80 if not more). I would say that the average food bill for 2 adults must be around the £40- £50 mark. At the moment me and H need to get our food bill to about £20-£25 a week and its definitely doable without eating just pasta and toast, so here’s how.`
The first thing to do is prepare before you do any shopping, so here is my quick bullet pointed guide to how I plan our meals and decide what we need to buy for the week.
- Open your cupboard and see what you’ve got, firstly to make sure you don’t buy something you already have and secondly because you might be able to make a meal out of something already.
- Check your fridge and see what fresh ingredients you have left. Either a) make something from your remaining cupboard and fridge ingredients b) make sure your next few days meals use the leftover fresh within them so you don’t waste food or money most importantly
- Create a meal plan. Keep your budget in mind, know if anyone in the house won’t be in one night, If people need lunches for work.
- Focus on food. The main way I reduce my bill is having non or little meat products so veg based meals is the way forward, use store cupboard staples in each meal (more on this later in the series but basically grains, pulses and flavourings) Aim to buy in each weekly shop one flavour item and one bulk staple (this will help you build up a good kitchen larder)
- Stick to your list– if you have a list you will focus on finding the items rather then looking at every single offer in a supermarket.
So that’s how I think about my shopping and the meals I will make for the next week, so I hope it helps you if your looking to reduce you’re food bill. I am going to carry on this as a series and next time look at where to shop when on a budget.