Sunday, March 21, 2010

CHALLENGE>$150 p/w for your family's food. WE CAN DO IT!

So Last Thursday I did my "montlhy" food shop.  When I say monthly I mean 6-8 week shop.  If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be shopping on a montlhy basis i would have said "Bahahahahahaha.....yeah right!!!"
It has taken me a while to get it right......firstly, to get my head around it, next to get myself organised and thirdly to work a strategy to make it work.
For the past 6 months Ive done works....and I LOVE IT!
Let me explain how I do it.....
Originally, when I would shop...(back in the early days of marrage and no kids), It would be a weekly occurance.  I would spend about $150 per week, plus all those 'extras' that you either forget to get in the shop or the extra bread and milk you need through the week.

Then when my babies came along shopping was a bit of a hit and miss affair.  I would shoot out to the shops when I could and prbably get $50-$100 worth of groceries at a time.  Not very economical at all!!!!  But I 'thought' I had no choice as anyone with kids would know, you just gotta take each day as it happens.
Anyway....this sort of shopping became a bit of a habit and had stuck.
Personally I hated it as I like to know what Im cooking for the week ahead of time, and be organised was hard to break the habit.
It wasnt until my husband sat me down and was almost in tears over the amount of money we waste esp on food.
I felt so bad as i knew exactly what he was talking about.  I had to work out a plan.  My children are now getting older and easier to work with when out.
I googled and searched for ways to save and be more organised... thats when I discovered
This site is an absolute livesaver.   It showed me ways to be able to do a shop and be organised AND SAVE MONEY!!!!!! 

Anyway...long story short, I now spend $900 for 6 weeks worth of groceries.  That equals $150 per week.  That is including Fruit and veg, fresh, free range meat, bread and milk everything you need to eat.  Also, I found the more times you enter a supermarket you wastew money.  Im one of those impulse buyers.  I run through the store grabbing things as I 'may' need them or think 'wow..thats a bragain, im gonna grab that while I see it" Bad, bad, bad, bad!!!!!!!
To break it down here is how I do it....

$900 for 6 weeks food shopping!
ALDI pantry basics such as canned items eg, toms, sauces, flours, salt/pepper, spices, stock, bread crumbs, pastas, tortillas, rice, noodles etc.
 Its also good to get a few frozen items such as pastry etc.
For my washing powder I spend about $70 and buy a huge big box and this last approx 6 months.
I also purchase my milk in UHT form.  I purchase 2 cases of this, one of normal milk and one of Soy milk as I prefere this. UHT is no different health wise than fresh fact it is in ways better.  For my bread I purchase flours etc and make my own....soooo much better than store baught.  We NEVER run out of bread and running to the service station for $5 milk and $6 bread....which adds up!!
Meat from A bulk meat place that sells the most amazing quality, hormone free, organic meats.  Chicken, beef, lamb, kebabs, risoles, sausages pretty much anything you want, they got.  I buy this in bulk, devide in to meal size portions and freeze.  We have actually purchase a 2nd hand up right deep freezer off eBay to put to extra meat in.  This meat last for months.  TOTAL=$200-$250
For my fruit and veg, yes...I get them fresh on a weekly basis.  Instead of stepping foot into a supermarket, (which inevitably means spending way mor money than intended) I was going to the weekly farmers markets.  I love this....however I found that beacuse there was always soooo many yummy things that I love at the farmers markets...again I was over spending *sigh*  So now I make the farmers markets a treat....only going when I have the extra cash to splurge on yummies.
What my alternative is to fresh fruit and vegs is getting them delivered.  For $45 a week my little fruit and veg man deliveres market fresh goodies to my door every Friday morning...Everything our family needs for the week. This ensures me that I wont go over budget.  I was a little weary doing this at first as I thought that I will get yucky stuff thats not fresh and I wont eat....quite the opposite. 
You can go online choose what you DONT want and request things you especially want and you got it.  Perfect.  The veg and fruit are also from the farmers i get the same high quality that I wanted.
So each week this is     TOTAL=$45 p/week ($200)

It is hard going the day of shop.  You are absolutly wreaked at the end of it but it is well worth it.  Shopping once every 6 weeks or so is a great idea IMO.
I cook alot of my own biscuits and cakes.  I make my own bread.  if you stock up on things like tinned toms, stocks, spices, fruits etc you can make pretty much anything out of your cupboard. 

Oh, also, your pantry, fridge and freezer looks like a supermarket at the end of it so is a good idea to clean out the pantry as well as an extra cupboard for extra storage space.
I also make sure my hubby is available for this one day to help.  When your in ALDI with a trolly that is about to topple and the speed you need at the checkout....its comforting to know you have another person there to help out.
Like I said...this one day every 6 weeks or so is full, packing, unpacking, weighing meat, wrapping, packing meat, storing, finding spots, driving around...but it is good.  You feel so prepared and organised at the end of it.
What I like to do too is when you are getting to the end of it...nearing the end of the 6 weeks try and stretch it out and extra week, try to get 7 weeks or more if you can....after all at the end of the day it all saves money.
Here is a pic of my loaded pantry after our monster shop...


  1. Thanks for the great tips. I'm definitely going to check out that butcher. Unfortunately that fruit & vege place doesn't deliver as far north as logan. i'll have to see if there's something similar locally. i've managed to cut back my shopping trips to fortnightly. i think your amazing to be able to stretch out your shopping trips so far.

  2. Oh Thanks Tina....Not sure it's amazing...just planning, planning and more planning. I just buy the basics and every week still work out a meal plan with whats in the pantry and fringe/ far so good. 2 weeks is good too....You should be proud.:0D

  3. Google 'wild soap nuts' and buy em...way cheaper then $70 and they are totally organic and chemical free....totally reccomend them!

  4. Great post - I enjoyed that read! I'm also a once-a-monther and LOVE IT.