Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 6#…

OMG I fear that overnight I have become an empty trolley stalker.  I am finding that I cannot pass those rows of neatly parked trollies at the supermarket without my eyes quickly scanning them up and down for coupons that might have been left inside.

People do walk away and leave their coupons…I know unthinkable isn’t it!  All those lovely money off offers and additional points.  I tell myself I am just helping Mr Sainsbury to keep his trolley bays tidy by scooping them up and relieving them of any potential litter.  So far I have had a few additional reward points and one of their Brand Match money back coupons.  In fact I feel disappointed if I do not find any ‘left overs’ when I go to collect my trolley.

But worse still as I drive away and pass each trolley bay on the way out of the car park I feel my head turning to quickly scan all the empty trollies.  I feel sure that if I had spotted coupons left in them I would have to stop the car and go and and collect them!  Can I be put away for this??

My shopping trip last Thursday was another learning curve and in hindsight (which is always a wonderful thing) it wasn’t a very well planned shop although it was intended to be.  Somewhere along the way I think I over planned and bought too much forgetting that some nights I needed to allow more for eating up leftovers, as well as having something suitable to eat with the left overs and it became I race to eat up fresh foods before they became past their best.

I had intended back in January that I would use up some of the items in my cupboards and when I came to review my list this week I noticed I had got so far then stopped.  I think this had probably something to do with my meal planning and the fact that once I get my nose in a cookery book for ideas I start planning to make loads of new meals.

But overall not a bad week – we had some really nice meals although as you will see in a minute as you read on not a particularly cheap week.

The General Spend

Out of my £10.00 this week I bought a newspaper to cut out the memoriam notice we put in to remember my dad’s passing away.  I also bought extra potatoes and leeks to make more soup to take to Scotland and I had my hot choc treat.

  • Local newspaper for sad add – £0.55p
  • Potatoes and Leeks for a simple Soup –  £5.00
  • Pre-shop hot – choc pleasure – £1.79

Balance left for weekend £2.66

The Weekly Shop

With the success of last weeks shop following my meal plan I set off down the aisles with some confidence this week.  My list was fairly short and included mostly fresh fruit and veg but once again I had to decide which and how many of the items I found on offer to buy.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the offers, some items seem to be on permanent offer and others come and go.  There are items on my list which I am hoping will be on offer soon because until they are and I can stock up I am having to pay full price – such a let down.

I also had to plan with our trip to Scotland at the weekend in mind.  We often eat on the journey or get a drink and a bun and these add up over the course of the weekend.  So I took homemade cake this time and made sandwiches for the return journey on Sunday rather than buying lunch.  I made a large pan of Leek and Potato soup with added Butter Beans for protein on Friday which was our tea before setting off and our Saturday lunch with the fresh rolls.   I was quite pleased with myself that I noticed the Pizza on offer and this became our Saturday night evening meal only £1.87.   So although I am saving some money on not eating out I do have to spend a little more in the supermarket.  This is the same for my lunches at work – I am still making my own rather than buying lunch but it does add to the food bill.


The Offers

  • 2 x 4 pints organic milk  2 for £3.00 saving  £0.58p
  • 2 cartons Soya milk  2 for £2.00 saving £0.78p
  • 2 x 4 pots fromage frais  2 for £2 saving £1.00
  • 2 Butter  2 for £5.00 saving £1.00
  • 2 organic wholemeal loves 2 for £1.50 saving £0.30p
  • 2 x 3 rolls  3 for 2   £1.60 saving £0.80p
  • 2 cartons tomato passata 2 for £1.50 saving £0.40p
  • Pizza on offer at £1.87p
  • 2 x Large Ecover washing up liquid on offer at £1.50p each

Fruit and Veg

Fruit and Veg

  • 1 bag organic carrots  £1.30
  • 1 bag organic apples  £2.50
  • 1 bunch organic leeks  £2.00
  • 1 5k bag organic potatoes  £2.45
  • 1 bunch organic celery  £1.20
  • 1 x 3 courgettes  £1.75
  • 1 head broccoli  £1.10
  • 2 bananas  £0.24
  • 1 box organic white mushrooms  £1.28
  • 1 bunch Spring onions  £0.85
  • 1 box cherry tomatoes  £1.50
  • 12 Brussels sprouts  £0.53
  • Half Swede  £0.47
  • 1 pack organic beetroot  ££1.00

Store Cupboard

The Store Cupboard

  • 1 jar Manuka 10+ honey  £12.99
  • 1 Carton organic green lentils
  • 1 carton organic chickpeas
  • 1 bag Popchips introductory offer £1.00
  • 1 bag organic porridge oats  £1.59
  • 1 bag wholewheat Penne  £1.05
  • 1 klarge multi-seeded loaf  £1.40 (this has increased in price by 5p)




  • 1 carton natural organic yoghurt   £2.50
  • 1 Jarlsbrrg cheese  £1.98
  • 1 small tub coleslaw  £0.55
  • 6 large organic eggs  £2.10
  • 2 x small organic yoghurts £0.90
  • 1 bag frozen organic garden peas  £2.20



  • 1 pair Marigold gloves £2.15


Total  spent

50 items Total spend £71.63

Reward points earned 142

Bonus points coupon  120

Bag re-use 5

Total Points 2416 worth £12.08

So to recap

You have probably noticed that I have gone over my £50 limit – I noticed too!!

I am finding it hard to stock up on the basic items and take advantage of the offers whilst keeping under the £50.  My downfall this week appears to be the items on offer that were not on my list to buy that came to £9 50, as well as the Manuka honey which was the dearest item at £12.99 but well worth it as I use it for medicinal purposes.  Then there are the rubber gloves at £2.15 (ouch!).  I used to get cheap ones from Wilkinsons but then they began to make them thinner and slimmer and in the end they cost more to keep replacing them as I would quickly pull holes in them trying to get them off.  So now I get the thicker ones that last longer and I can use in the garden if I spring a hole.

So that is £22.64 more than intended and had I not bought these items I would have been within my £50 limit.

Looking at the amount of veg I bought this time I realise that I need to look more closely at my menu planning otherwise I end up with a lot of bits and pieces that are liable to go off before I can use them.  With better planning I think I will be able to actually buy less allowing me a little more leeway to spend on the offers.

With my new insights it will be interesting to see if I can keep within budget on my next shopping trip.






5 thoughts on “Reducing the Spending…the weekly shop 6#…

  1. ournewlifeinthecountry

    I’m loving so much how ‘aware’ you are of your reasons for buying things and taking advantage of offers at the same time.

    It’s not the end of the world to go over the budget, I mean how often will you be buying Manuka honey, so really if that is not until next month or two months time then it could easily have it’s cost spread over those weeks/months budget too and will bring this particular shop down in price. Sometimes it’s things that will actually last us for months that cost the most at the time and that is where a yearly or quarterly budget can make it slightly easier.

    I’ve noticed too that rubber gloves are getting poorer in quality if you go for the cheaper ones, better to do as you do to pay a little bit more up front and have some that last. Don’t forget the old trick of saving the one without a hole to pair up in the future with another odd one (turned inside out a left hand becomes a right hand and vice versa), although having some ready for in the garden is never a bad idea 🙂

    Sue xx

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      You are so right about the Manuka honey – before this my last purchase must have been over a year ago, we use it for sore throats and colds but I haven’t had one for over a year perhaps even longer, but I have given it to my hubby and mum and daughter with startling results in that time and the reason why I had now run out. Perhaps I will start and charge by the spoonful!
      I am going to look at a quarterly budget next though this has been a good exercise doing it weekly to establish exactly how much I spend and where the money is going. I will carry on until the end of March and then budget for 3 months at the beginning of April. Keep the advice coming – having such useful comments from other interested bloggers is like having my own personal tutors to suggest other ways of thinking about things.

  2. anexactinglife

    I am all in favour of stocking up on sale items that you are going to use anyway. Why pay more later? I just try to average out my grocery budget over the year. I used to buy too much fresh produce, but now we eat leftovers a lot more, and don’t mind 🙂

    1. wherethejourneytakesme Post author

      I am looking at buying the fresh as I need it and maybe leaving part of my budget for the week as cash in an envelope for this purpose. I have also given a great deal of thought to Thrift Deluxe idea earlier about planning meals to use the fresh soft veg first then moving onto roots as they keep longer and then tinned or frozen after that and a use up day at the end. Somehow though I have got to tie this in with eating seasonally. Well one step at a time I think!


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