Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Working out a food budget

Dawn of Doing It For Ourselves has blogged today about her monthly food shop - thanks for that, Dawn. 

I know each of us has different circumstances....there's no way our monthly food budget could ever be around £20, I would struggle with £20 per week.  We have a normal size garden so cannot keep any livestock, which means we have to buy meat and dairy stuff.  We did briefly consider keeping chickens (we have the space for up to 6) but after working out pros and cons we discounted it - there were far more cons than pros.

We are growing as much produce as we can, however, this is only our 3rd year of doing it seriously and we are still on a learning curve, working out what works in our soil/climate/area and what doesn't, what we need more (or less) of, what isn't worth growing in future due to poor yield or too much work involved to grow it.  We are aiming for eating seasonally but also growing enough storable or freezable produce to keep us going all year round, we'll get there eventually, I'm sure.

For the next few weeks I am going to monitor our shopping, seeing how I get on with writing (and keeping to) a shopping list each week and working out if we can go for longer than a week without shopping (better planning, in other words).  I'll keep all receipts and in a few weeks hopefully I'll have a better idea of a monthly shopping figure.



8 comments:

  1. You can only do what you can do. My garden has been on a swerve from disaster to glut in various veg, I have almost as many peas as Birdseye. The fruit has been amazing and I expect to eat Rhubarb something till Easter at least. I used to be at roughly the same place as Dawn, it was how I grew up, but could not do it now. In all honesty I probably could if I wanted to, or had to, but am doing so many other things. One of the reasons to move was to cut down the amount of time that I had to spend in the garden, I could not eat all the produce so was giving at least half of it away.

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  2. great idea, will interested in seeing how it develops, if nothing else it will highlight areas that you could address, before we made the big move, I was working in town and therefor the temptation was just to pop into the shops thus of course resulted in buying what we really didnt need now I visit the shops so little I dont have an inclination to buy just want the chore over and done with :-)

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  3. I will be doing the same from the 1st of Sept, have you tried approved foods? x

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  4. Don't waste space growing loads which is cheap to buy, we try and use our limited space to grow the more costly items.

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  5. Keeping goats is more expensive than buying milk if you count in everything. Keeping chickens is more expensive than buying eggs unless you can sell enough eggs to cover the costs. Animal feed isn't cheap nor are vet bills, neither are all the "machinery" and things you need to be 'self sufficient'. I'm having to buy fruit and veg that we never used to buy but my food bills are no more than they were before because of being able to access Aldi and bargains at Asda and no longer baking cakes etc.

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  6. Doesn't it feel like sometimes it's almost a competition as to who can spend the least?! I would struggle to stick to £20 a week. I maybe could this week now my freezers are full etc but sometimes life is too short to worry over a penny or two!
    Having said that, I definitely am in need of tightening the belt in both sense! Maybe a Spend Less September is on the cards for me too!

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  7. ( just spent £76 in Asda! - loads of stuff I didn't 'NEED'!!)

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  8. Every one has a passion I guess, travel is mine so I certainly don't have the time or the inclination to be self sufficient although I do admire all those that do. I can't even keep my hanging baskets flourishing we are away so much. We eat very little meat and always cook from scratch and shop within our means and we do like to eat well but slogging away producing all our own food etc is more than a full time job and that's not my idea of enjoying my retirement my back would be in two lol

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Thank you for your comments, I love reading them!