Tuesday, 13 September 2016

More on the food budget

Thank you once again for all the comments and suggestions.....no news to report, but we have been proactive in trying to come up with a list of all our options.  Putting it all down in writing will I think help a lot to clarify things and clear our heads....my head in particular has been filled with a whirling mass of thoughts and ideas, none of which I can think about clearly as they're all so clouded by everything else in there. 

Anyway, for the past few weeks we have been thinking about the food budget.  Keeping on top of the freezer and cupboard inventories by deleting things as they're used and adding new things bought or meals made and frozen has been a huge help, as has ticking off meals from the menu plan I made, and adding more to that.  I have also stuck to writing a shopping list every week, which I think is almost certainly the best way to keep the spending down. 

We normally do our shopping in Mr S****burys, simply because we like it - out of the 3 supermarkets in our local town (the others are M****sons and A**a) it's the nicest shopping experience (if food shopping can be said to be nice!), we like their wide range of products and they're pretty good quality.  M****sons is ok, it's cheaper on quite a few things, although not all by any means, but their shelf edge labelling leaves a lot to be desired - the labels are often missing or in the wrong places.  A**a I don't really like at all....it's generally far too busy for one thing, seems to have far more shoppers with noisy children in tow, and the staff aren't as polite! (apologies to any readers who might work there, that's just our experience of our local store).  It's also not that big, so doesn't have as wide a range of products.

The week before last we tried L**l, last week it was A*di.  I wasn't that impressed with L**l, A*di was better, although it was MUCH busier - a result of their massive TV ad campaign, I guess.  But we found with both of those it just wasn't possible to get all of our shopping....they may both be pretty cheap, but are a lot smaller than the big supermarkets and with very limited ranges (I notice they both have loads of crap sugary stuff though, cereals, sweets and cakes!).  So both times we had to also go to one of the bigger supermarkets to get what we needed.

So we've come to the conclusion that it's not worth doing our shopping in either of those.....having to then go on to another store to get other stuff is not cost or time effective.  I think we will continue to do most of our weekly shops in S****burys, but perhaps try to extend the time between shops to fortnightly.  And for dry goods that I generally buy in bulk once every couple of months or so, I'll check online first to find out where they're being sold the cheapest.

Now I have a clearer idea of what we need to buy and where we will be shopping (and how often), I can start thinking about when to begin with our new monthly food budget, and how much to set it at.  We've got a holiday coming up very soon, followed by relatives coming to stay, so it may be best to start after that.


  1. I dislike A**a as well, there is less floor space and it's always untidy. Plus often when you purchase items the packaging is smaller, so cheaper it might be, but you don't so much for your money.

  2. Are we not allowed to mention these Supermarkets in full? Just wondering. My HG HATES the one beginning with A ending in A and the one beginning with M because of the clientele wandering around in their pjs.
    I love the posh ones the best!

  3. I shop at my local supermarket always. It's the only one I shop at...I like it, and I like the staff. They're always welcoming, friendly and helpful.

    It suits me and my needs. I can see no good reason to drive up and down off the mountain to the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast. I don't like large shopping centres etc. I like the village atmosphere and attitude of here on Tamborine Mountain.

  4. 80% of our shopping is in Lidl, followed by a main supermarket for the few items we can't get in Lidl. We prefer Lidl to Aldi. We usually take about 20 minutes in each.

  5. As I am totally idle at heart I shop in my nearest town and use Tesco, it is a smaller branch but clean, tidy and has the friendliest staff you could find. I used to go to Lidl but the store is being rebuilt, bigger and better, which probably means better choice and bigger cost. I also slip into Home Bargains, Poundstretcher and Farm Foods for a few things. No hardship as they are all in the same spot and share a carpark.
    I do like Sainsbury and Waitrose but will not travel any further than forced. I can be out and back in within 90 minutes at the longest.


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