Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 3#…

I am definitely getting into the hang of this now and every purchase I make becomes a minor challenge.  Firstly I notice the price,  then I check out if there is a similar product but cheaper, then I debate if I really need it.  It is a bit like mirror, signal, manoeuvre when driving a car.

So how did I do this week?

The General Spend

On Monday morning on my way to work I took out £10 again from the cash point and this is how I spent it during the week.

2 Birthday cards for my mum and mum-in-law – from Clintons Cards   2 x £2 = £4.00 (plus two reward stamps).  I really must get down to making some cards – huge savings here to be made.

A packet of coloured paper parcel string for gift wrapping from The Works    £0.99p

1 bag organic carrots   £1.30

1 bag organic onions   £1.00

1 courgette    £0.38

1 pack of 2 Ice Cube trays from Poundworld   £1.00 (more about these later)

A total spend of   £8.67 plus 4 Sainsbury’s Reward points

So I have £1.33 left for the weekend.

I also had my Hot Chocolate treat (£1.79 plus 2 Reward points) before I started the weekly shop tonight bought with my Sainsbury’s Gift card.  Only £3.91 left on this now.

If you remember I would normally withdraw £20-£30 each week and buy most of my lunches.  I now take my lunch and so I have made savings here of £10 – £20.

The Weekly Shop

This week I had to take into account a possible visit from my daughter and her husband (I say possible as it will be weather dependent!) and a trip to Shrewsbury to see my mum-in-law and celebrate her 89th birthday (again weather dependent).  So extra quantities if my daughter comes and a birthday cake to make and a picnic or packed lunch for our trip.

This is what my shopping list looked like.

The planned items

Fruit and VegThe Veg

1 box 250g organic White Mushrooms

1 box 300g Portabella Mushrooms

1 bunch organic Spring Onions

1 bunch organic Leeks

1 packet of 3 Courgettes

1 pkt organic Watercress, rocket and spinach leaves

1 organic swede

1 pack of 6 organic Tomatoes

1 pack organic Beetroot


2 large Multi-seeded loaves

1 white organic Bloomer

3 for 2 Rolls (for travel picnic)

Dairy and Fridge ItemsThe Dairy

2 x 4pts Organic Milk

1 Organic Soya Milk

1 x 1k Organic Low Fat Natural Yoghurt

6 Organic eggs

1 small Coleslaw

These were on offerOffers

Store cupboard items


1 Tin Organic Baked Beans

1 tin Creamed Mushrooms

1 tin Organic Sweetcorn

1 pkt Espresso Ground Coffee

Bought especially for Recipes

Recipe items 2

1 jar Wholegrain Mustard

1 Bottle Soy Sauce

1 jar Marmite (since when did this go up to £1.70?)

1 Ready roll Puff Pastry

1 Filo Pastry

1 pack Seedmix

1 pot Organic Half Fat Creme Fraiche

1 Organic Feta Cheese

1 carton Double Cream for birthday cake reduced to £0.49

The unplanned but on offer

Offers 2

2 Bran Flakes reduced by 99p each

3 boxes of Tacos Shells on offer 3 for 2 saving £1.54

The Grand Total

£53.37 less a coupon for £2 off (given to me by a colleague at work) and total discounts of £2.52 = a total of £48.85

I had a coupon for double Reward points

Previous balance 1394

Points earned 100

Bag re-use 4

Bonus points  100

New points balance 1598 worth £7.99

So to recap

39 items this week cost me £48.85 with all the discounts and vouchers and I earned 204 points.

I worked out the extra ingredients to cover the food for my daughters visit is £11.94.

My hubby had to get a bag of potatoes from the tiny Sainsbury’s beneath his office in Leeds due to the panic buying tonight at the store I was in – cost £1.90.  The shelves had almost been stripped bare of bread, potatoes and milk because of the threatening snow!  So added to my spend this increased to £50.75, however I am going to try to make this shop last longer.

My aim is to stay under £40 for all the food shopping which includes adding any fresh veg during the week. Last week I spent in total £43.44 (main shop plus fresh veg during the week). My shop before would have been closer to £80 on a bad week and did not really include my lunches but would have included a magazine or two!!

This week I checked out my basics for offers and found that only the Bran Flakes were reduced so bought another two boxes.  The Tacos are not really basics but they do store well and provide an easy meal during the week filled with a chilli or lentil bolognese type mixture.

Having to provide meals for more people certainly has increased my spend this week but I am looking forward to trying out some new more gourmet recipes.  Perhaps I should mention that my daughters husband is a professional chef and so I always work myself up into a panic whenever I have to cook for them!

I picked out a couple of recipes to make when (if) my daughter comes,  one is a Mushroom Stroganoff with Mustard and Chive Mash and the other is a Spring Onion and Watercress Quiche.  I might use the mushrooms to make a Mushroom Strudel instead hence the Filo pastry.  The Puff Pastry is for the Freezer.  I had to invest in one or two items to make the recipes, like the soy sauce and mustard but they are things that I can use in other meals.

I was very pleased with myself for staying clear of the magazines and came up with a brilliant idea to satisfy my addiction that costs me nothing – but this will be another post.

How are you doing with your Low / No spend ?


11 thoughts on “Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 3#…

  1. anexactinglife

    You are being thoughtful about the groceries and that’s what counts most. You choose quality ingredients, too. Good for you, taking lunches to work. Hope all goes well after the snow!

  2. ournewlifeinthecountry

    This all shows how well you are thinking about what you are buying in a really good way. Making good use of offers and making sure that what you buy will actually be used, it’s all very good.

    Have you ever thought that as a chef your son-in-law would really like just a simple home cooked dinner rather than a fancy dish of the kind he would put together himself at work!! Just a thought, and whatever you do don’t panic about cooking for him, I bet he really appreciates it when anyone else makes him something for a change, that’s what Jamie Oliver said in an interview recently 🙂

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      That is very encouraging about Jamie. My son-in-law isn’t a fussy eater but he does like his steak and I always feel that our plain veggie meals might be too plain. Unfortunately he cannot eat tomatoes so my easy Lasagne, Ratatouille, Bean Stew and Broccoli bake are all out. He does like our Nut Roast and Curry but we have already eaten those this week so I have decided on Mushrooms and they can be quite tasty. I am going off to prepare now rather than panic!!

  3. Anny

    I’ve blow my target grocery budget this week, but it was all spent of required foods, none on what I’d think of as treats and there is an element of me stocking up a little in case the snow lingers. I’ve noticed before that one ‘cheap’ week will often be followed by a slightly dearer one, but I think that’s just the way our consumption is phased. What will be interesting, is to see if the whole month comes in near to target.

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      I find the worst thing is not knowing what the supermarket will have on offer and for how long and if I don’t make use of it this time how long it will be before the offer comes along again. What I cannot work out is if it is a false economy or not – that is why I am only sticking to the staples for offers or things we eat regularly so that I do not buy something we don’t get around to using for ages as that becomes dead money in the cupboards. Good luck with your targets and keep us posted.

  4. Sarah

    Our food bill is usually around £40-£50 per week for the two of us, the majority of our shopping is done in Aldi which is much smaller than the bigger supermarkets so it is much quicker to do the shopping and you aren’t tempted by special offers to buy more than you need. It’s interesting seeing what you are buying. What do you do with the creamed mushrooms?

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      Creamed Mushrooms are a standby like Baked Beans we sometimes have them on toast or Bruchetta for a quick Saturday lunch. They also work in Vol-au-Vents for parties etc.
      I am going to check out Aldi and Lidl one day to see what they have. Not sure if we have an Aldi if it is the other side of town it would not be worth the petrol money for me.


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