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Help cutting down the food bill

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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2011 at 9:06am
SMS are you meal planning?

I try & do a couple of meals a week that are budget. Like if we have a roast chicken then DH makes a soup & puts in a few meatballs & I will do some toasties.

I make pasta & pizza weekly. So can have a couple of meat free meals without feeling deprived.
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sarasal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sarasal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 April 2011 at 7:10pm
For 2 adults, 1 toddler, we spend $100-$150 a week on food.
We are vegetarians so no meat makes it cheaper - vege sources of protein cost practically nothing if you cook from scratch, eg beans, lentils, chickpeas to make hummus, falafel, bean burgers, soup etc. Even buying canned chili beans etc is cheap compared with meat.

We don't buy any cleaning products or cosmetics besides laundry detergent, toothpaste and soap. I use re-usable microfibre cloths for cleaning, with a little baking soda, salt or vinegar if necessary. I wash my hair with 1 Tbsp baking soda dissolved in a cup of water (it works great, no frizz and gets tangles out). I use a mooncup which saves heaps on tampons - they're about $28 on trademe and last for years.
We have a small vege garden of the easy stuff to grow - we still have to buy veges but we grow all our own herbs, salad stuff, beetroot, peas, beans, silver beet, pak choi, strawberries, rhubarb.
I avoid buying processed food as much as possible - like jars of sauce, those are really expensive. I used to make all my own bread using the breadmaker, that saves heaps.
We still buy quite a few luxuries, as DH is a food snob and insists on good coffee, imported muscovado sugar, lots of herbal teas, real maple syrup, good chocolate, free range eggs and he'd have a fit if I used cheap soy sauce or cooking oil. So we don't spend much, but we could cut back quite a bit more if we had to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote _SMS_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2011 at 5:23pm
Arhhhhh my bill is getting back up there again. Time to re read this post.

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heaf3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heaf3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 April 2011 at 10:56am
we just spend just over $200 this fortnight on groceries, and that is expensive for us (just DH & I). we have been trying to reduce what we are spending and buy better food for the price. and not buying as much junk food, that really hikes up the bill.

one thing I will say is SOUP!! I bought a bacon hock the other day, a really good sized one for $7. I made pea and ham soup. All i needed was the bacon hock, water, half a pack of green split peas and half a pack of yellow split peas, a carrot (grated) and an onion. This made dinner, plus enough soup to put two more dinners worth in the freezer for both of us, and then two smaller portions for either lunches or for one person's dinner. This cost me a total of about $10, so was a super cheap dinner, and really yummy!

Or if you don't like pea and ham then vege soup with the bacon hock is also really good, don't even have to have many veges, just whatever you have floating around. potato, pumpkin, leek, onion, silverbeet, capsicum, etc. add some soup mix and some stock and you are away laughing.

same with chicken soup. mum makes an amazing chicken soup, i asked her the other day what she puts in it, and all she does is boil up a chicken carcass (usually from the day before's roast) then take the meat off the bones. when making the soup she just reheats the stock, throws in some salt & pepper, some chives or spring onions and a packet of cream of chicken soup. and it is sooo yummy!

eta:
the beef casserole in the Edmonds cookbook is really yummy too. I made it the other week, and it says to use (from memory) 1kg of beef (like chuck steak) but all we had was just under 500g. This made enough for dinner and i also got to put some in the freezer surprisingly enough! Just had it with mashed potatoes and some spinach and was really filling. Not much to it either, just beef, onion, carrot and beef stock pretty much. So if you get beef on special would be a nice cheapish dinner.

pumpkins are great too because ATM they are so cheap, i got a huge one the other day for $1.99 from P&S. They last long if you store them properly too, so you can stock up while they are so cheap. You can also freeze them really easily, just cut them up into whatever sized pieces you want and pop in a plastic bag in the freezer. Great for roasting, not so good for boiling as they tend to go a lil mushy.

Edited by heaf3
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InthemiddleMummy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote InthemiddleMummy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2011 at 9:20pm
has anyone else read/done the $21 challenge just got it out of the library and just starting to get the grasp of it spent $85 this week , but thats better than $250+, see how it goes next week. 2 kidies 1 cat me & dh to feed.
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2011 at 9:57pm
Originally posted by Girls Rock Girls Rock wrote:

has anyone else read/done the $21 challenge just got it out of the library and just starting to get the grasp of it spent $85 this week , but thats better than $250+, see how it goes next week. 2 kidies 1 cat me & dh to feed.


I was looking at it, but can not get my head around it unless to are well stocked up so the $21 a week would be if you have all meals planned & all the ingredients...so then it would not be impossible to do.

DH & I sat down & redid the food budget today & I was shocked at how much I could spend compared to what I do spend.
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 9:53am
I need to drop the food bill down as saving for other stuff & we waste a lot on food.

I find the kids are eating more & getting a bit fussy.

I am going to do 2 cheap meals a week, like home made pizza & soup & toasties.

We are cutting down meat portions & buying seasonally veg or frozen.

I spend way more than I budget for & after doing a basic list & pricing I was shocked to see how much I could save.

We are going to write down where every cent goes this fortnight so we can see where we can save & where we waste.

I am also buying a $20 card at PnS & putting it away for xmas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 2:11pm
I am alwas conflicted about buying the free range ethical stuff and the cheap stuff. I refuse to buy cage eggs for example or imported pork. I also refuse to buy ordinary mince and buy premium instead. To me i can buy a smaller pack cause it has less fat. the same with sausages - i dont buy flavoured sausages as they are fatty and not as good for you. i think that is about all the meat we eat now - mince and sausages lol! oh and bacon cause all the kids and the husband like that. That is getting expensive as a meal though by the time you use half a dozen eggs etc. Oh and i was shocked at the price of a bacon hock the other day...!!! it was way over priced compared to last year.

i have almost stopped buying biscuits for the kids now because i bake more. i havent attempted many biscuits though as i havent been very good at them in the past but i have found a recipe i am dying to try out that seems very economical. It makes 120 biscuits and you can freeze the dough.

link to biscuit recipe


just worried about the amount of butter it uses.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AandCsmum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 2:22pm
Jazzy, I think it's more of a "we have a bill this week & crap need the shopping money", so you challenge yourself to look at your cupboards and make the weeks meals out of that & then limit yourself to $21 of food at the supermarket, I'm pretty sure that doesn't include stuff like toilet paper. Plus it's a good way of getting rid of some of the stuff lurking at the back of the pantry for a while.

Today I only spent $38 and that is cause I have all my flour/yeast for bread so that dropped the shop down, I went to a different shop & got two G/F loaves for the price of one at the supermarket. I didn't need to buy things like pasta as we already had those. I've probably forgotten lots & couldn't buy our oatmilk or cocoa cause PnS didn't have them so I need to do another shop somewhere else which will mean I'll probably spend another $40, but I got out $20 so hopefully can limit myself to that???
Kel


A = 01.02.04   &   C = 16.01.09   &   G = 30.03.12
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 3:31pm
Bizzy thanks for that bikkie recipe, I am after a good one & will try it this week.
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by AandCsmum AandCsmum wrote:

Jazzy, I think it's more of a "we have a bill this week & crap need the shopping money", so you challenge yourself to look at your cupboards and make the weeks meals out of that & then limit yourself to $21 of food at the supermarket, I'm pretty sure that doesn't include stuff like toilet paper. Plus it's a good way of getting rid of some of the stuff lurking at the back of the pantry for a while.


that's what I was thinking...but if you shop fortnightly & plan all meals & get everything on your list then you could even save the $21 the next week as you would need nothing.

I was talking to a friend today about my costings for the 2 week meal plan & everything including non food items came to $255, I usually budget $400 & way over spend. There is no junk or snacky foods on my list & all in season or cheap veg/fruit. Also $100 meat for 2 weeks but can cut that down as a couple of meals will be meat free or soup made form roast chicken.

I won't know till I shop this week if my plan works or is realistic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 July 2011 at 3:57pm
Let me know how the biscuits turn out!

I wish i was more organised. I strugled to think of meals for a fortnight but it is such a good way to do things. My problem is that my husband gets paid monthly. I put the mortgage in a separate account as soon as he gets paid so that is out of the way and the power and phone etc goes out monthly but the every day expenses i am crap at! If it wasnt for WFF we would be stuffed!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugglebug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2011 at 2:15pm
This is something I constantly struggle with but I have found buying rolled oats is awesome, buy a big bag of them like 1kg then use them for porridge and to make biscuits/slice/muesli bars etc. I also make a batch of muffins every week, just banana muffins or berry muffins with no butter, so that we have things to snack on rather than buying biscuits in the shopping and usually I have all the ingredients at home sometimes just need to get oil. I also find having some meat free dinners eg home made fish cakes with a can of tuna, soup and bread, or a pasta bake or risotto or something, is helpful. I also buy the 1kg mince on special when it is and split it to make a few dinners. But baking has definitely been saving me money lately, sometimes you have to spend a bit to get the startup ingredients but I find once you have them you can make a lot with them. Buying things like mixed berries, dried apricots etc is also good because although they can sometimes be pricy you can use them in baking, to make smoothies, to put with yoghurt etc.
Me 28, DH 29
DS born 20 Nov 2010 (4 years old)
#2 due October 7
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snugglebug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2011 at 2:16pm
And we always add up as we go and if we go over budget we have to put things back or take it from our own spending money for the week. And I always write the list from the catalogue so we can get the good specials.

With baby food I try and buy extra carrots, potatoes, apples, etc and then use them for baby to snack or for meals and I save a little chicken or mince from meals we're having to make something for him, saves a lot on baby food
Me 28, DH 29
DS born 20 Nov 2010 (4 years old)
#2 due October 7
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AandCsmum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2011 at 2:29pm
I think that's a pretty good effort Jazzy, $125 I think would be what we would realistically spend if we bought meat each week.
Kel


A = 01.02.04   &   C = 16.01.09   &   G = 30.03.12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SMoody Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2011 at 4:56pm
Bizzy for the fortnight plan. Start out with week one. Just as you make things put it on a list of meals. Then when you have all your favourites down put it into a fortnight plan thing.

I also cant think of a fortnight meal plan but when I started to write things down on what I actually make then you got your meal plan right there.

I agree on the bacon hock prices. It is freaking expensive. Soy milk for me and Andrew is coming out dear as well. And add on top of that all the colorant free things for medicines, sweets etc. (I know sweets not necessary but when the kids go to parties I have to swop out and that works out quite dear).

I think prices have generally increased quite a bit. We get paid monthly and put out $1000 per month for all food, included in this is gifts for other kids parties, eating out (if we want) and all bits of extra stuff for school when it comes up. I would say we spent about $750 to $850 now on food.

Bake bread is working me out a lot cheaper. Just flour, oil, salt water and yeast. And the kids and hubby eat so much less as it is more filling.

We do currenlty: One fish night (mostly salmon and that can work out expensive but not giving it up), soup night, take away type night (we make at home, pizza, burgers, dumplings, sushi or anything the kids request), pasta night, chicken night stew or caserole/curry type thing, Meat and veg type meal and then whatever we want to experiment with or try out.

Thai green curry can work out real cheap. One can coconut milk, curry paste, chicken, green beans on rice. And that can stretch to two nights.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote myfullhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2011 at 7:33pm
Originally posted by Bizzy Bizzy wrote:

Oh and i was shocked at the price of a bacon hock the other day...!!! it was way over priced compared to last year.

Our local butcher is an independant and makes (???) alot of the meat he sells so smokes his own bacon. I usually buy a bacon end from him instead of a hock for my soups and he often only charges me a few dollars.
I find too that his meat is alot better than the supermarket or chain butchers, there is not a drop of fat in his mince so I tend to buy alot less, for 2 adults and 2 kids I try to stick to about 300g meat or 6 sausages per meal, it is more than enough for us and cuts the bills down
Lindsey


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote InthemiddleMummy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2011 at 4:50pm
I certainly havent kept within the $21 limit. I spent $75 at supermarket, $4 on free range eggs, $12 milk, bread $4.50 at differnt cheaper places, so all up that is far beter than the usual $250-$300 I spent, so yah now I can go and buy the $169 cell phone I need as my phone has no sound and I can only txt on it and its a right pain. Next week I hope to spend under $100, so have more money for in the school holidays the following week.

can someone post a good receipe for the butter free muffins, does it have oil? Sounds good.

I am coeliac, so need lotsa gf food which is more expensive too. bread I like is $7.65 a loaf, but I manage to make it last a week just for me, get subsidy for pasta.flour so that helps
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2011 at 8:51am
I have lost count of what I have spent so far...but way more than I wanted too. Hoping next week will only have to stock up on a few items.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2011 at 11:34am
Bizzy I made the biscuits, everyone loved them. I froze some & baked during the week. Don't think I will do it again as want to cut out cookies in the house, lol...
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