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.