Grocery shopping is the one thing that I struggle with balancing. Up until recently our food shopping bill was creeping up to near £200 a week – shocking! We were wasting food, making daily trips to Tesco and spending far too much. The thing about Tesco is, I went in for a few essentials and came out £50 lighter every time as I was picking up things that were not necessary and were on offer. I got sucked into ‘oh that’s a good deal, I’ll pick it up’ and before I knew it I had a trolley full of crap.
Even though I plan our meals I don’t plan for things like lunches, snacks and household products. But something in me snapped about a month and a half ago I thought enough is enough, we cannot carry on spending this ridiculous amount of money on food shopping. So, I started to look at what we needed each week, which shops were cheaper for things than others and I also said to Mr K we need to set a budget each week. Our budget for food/household shopping is now £100 per week, this includes the odd treat and top up shops.
I still plan our meals and also write a list of things we need like laundry, kitchen, bathroom and cleaning products. I buy these at Home Bargains once a month as this is the cheapest shop for such things. I shop in Aldi once a week (on a Monday) and get our week’s worth of meals, lunches, packed lunches, breakfasts, snacks (some) and drinks. I like to buy chicken from Tesco though and also Charlie’s snacks as he loves the Bear paws and yoyos which Aldi do not stock.
Since I switched to shopping at Aldi I have reduced our bill from £200 to around £46 (on average) a week. The difference in our spending habits is extremely noticeable and I use the remaining money from the budget for little top ups such as milk, bread and eggs. I also budget around £20 for the weekend as we do like to eat out or get a takeaway and this covers it so we aren’t dipping into another pot. We no longer have food wastage and nothing goes off. I did find it hard to shop in Aldi at first as I wasn’t used to the products and got annoyed that I couldn’t find certain brands but I have adapted my food shop and now absolutely love shopping in there, it is such good value for money and the food is really fresh and lasts. I do have moments where I nip to Tesco for the odd essential but this always comes out of the budget that has been set.