Thursday, 1 February 2018

January shopping spend

I kept all our receipts for shopping this month and added them up yesterday, it's thrown up some interesting stuff - both good and not so much.  The last time we did a 'big' shop was on the 18 December, I did 2 small top up shops during the rest of the month, but those haven't been counted in this month's spends.  I've calculated our previous average monthly shopping spend by taking the average weekly amount (we used to go shopping more or less weekly), multiplying it by 52 and then dividing by 12, to give a calendar month amount.  Our idea is to do a 'big' shop once a (calendar) month from now on, with only small top up shops mainly of fresh fruit and veg when necessary.  I'll write a list and try to stick to it each time we go.  

First the good...on adding up the shopping receipts, the total came to nearly £114 less than we would have spent last year - I'm very pleased with that.  The not so good....we went shopping 8, yes eight, times in January - I know it was a long month but, even so, that's a bit shocking.  3 of those times were planned 'we must go as we've run out of' trips, the other 5 were a case of us being out and about anyway and deciding to nip into the supermarket as we were close by and needed a few things.  I did have a list each time as I keep a notebook in my bag on which I jot down things we need.  I've drawn a few conclusions from this:-

1.  We didn't plan well enough for the big shop and didn't buy enough of things like milk, butter (which can both be frozen, after all) and eggs.  Thinking about it, I do quite a lot of baking anyway but did more this month, making cakes for friends and neighbours, so used more of all those, plus OH hasn't been sleeping too well recently and had a cup of hot milk before bed a few times.

2.  4 times I did stick to my list....the other times we got a few extras - ok, mostly they were things we normally buy anyway that were on a good discount so, although we didn't need them right then, it was worth getting them to put away.  A couple of times, though....well ok, 3 times....we bought cakes or crisps or chocolate.  Treat things that we didn't actually need but bought just because we were there and fancied them when we saw them!

3.  I am addicted to shopping!  (tongue in cheek).  And once in the shop, we are too easily tempted to buy other things that aren't on our list.  So we do need to cut down on the amount of times we go.

Therefore, when doing the next big shop (which will be next week), I need to buy enough milk and butter for the whole month.  I buy 15 eggs at a time, I use them in baking, we have a quiche or frittata or eggs for breakfast at least once weekly, the dog has scrambled egg once or twice a week and I usually put a couple of eggs in the dog food I make around every 10 days.  So we usually get through at least a dozen, if not more, weekly.  However, there are a few smallholdings with hens nearby who sell eggs, so I don't need to go to the supermarket just for eggs.  We do like fresh green veg and fruit so have to buy those until we can start growing our own again.

So, plan to buy enough to last us a month - including things like chocolate and crisps, which we need to portion up and ration, and hide out of sight - if we leave them lying around in the kitchen, they'll all get eaten too quickly.  If I need more eggs we'll get them from a local smallholding.  Try to ensure we only need to go to the supermarket for veg & fruit, perhaps every 10 days or so, and don't look at anything else whilst in there!  Actually, I could investigate to see if there's a farm shop selling veg nearby....I don't know of any, but there may be if I google.  A farm shop, particularly if it's a small one, will mean a lot less stock so less temptation to buy other things.


  1. Portion up home made cakes and freeze, same with all sweets and chocolates. You have to wait then and usually, the urge has gone?

  2. We have gone the other way, we found doing a big monthly shop did not work for us, we do go big about every six weeks, to stock up on rice, pasta ect. Most of the time we have been using our local Co-op, we watch prices, and get mainly fruit, veg and dairy. We do have a local market on Wednesdays but the fruit and veg don't look that good.

  3. Yes, I agree with DC above. I used to waste so much but now I portion everything up into the freezer, even portions of bread - about 3 slices per bag as only hubby eats it at weekends or for the odd sarnie if we take out a packed lunch. I just need to remember to remove an item for thawing if I'm relying on it for that day.

  4. I had a baking month but managed to stash some away in the freezer. I shop weekly, with a list, and am only too happy to buy things on a good offer if it means future saving.

  5. I'm very impressed with your careful analysis. Good luck with the planned changes - you sound very motivated so I am sure it will go well.
    J x

  6. I'm due to do a shop for the outside freezer as I don't like running it half full. Then I just do a small weekly top up shop for the usual things like bread, milk, butter and eggs plus anything I may have run out of.
    This seems to suit us better than doing a monthly shop.

  7. I've just recently started on line shopping with Tesco and have saved money (approx £20) per week by not walking round and picking up the extras - it costs £7.00 per month for the delivery costs on their super saver scheme - less than it would cost in petrol to keep going to the shops each week plus I save time not wandering round the shop which means extra time for sewing 😊😊 I spent time putting a message on saying that everything needs to be well in advance and I check it at the door - haven't had to send anything back yet and if there have been any substitutes they've always been in my favour with a better quality product at no extra cost (I am the queen of own brands) - the first months deliveries are free too - thought it might be of interest to you xx


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