Control Your Grocery Budget

control your grocery budget

I always seem to go over on my grocery budget, but reading about fellow blogger’s decision to go back to a cash system reminded me that I never went over in the days I ran cash! So… we have also moved back to a cash system. I am losing out on a bit of cashback from the credit card, but I will gain more in terms of not overspending. It’s good to be self-disciplined.

So, there are two adults and a very small child. I have a veg box and fruit bag for £23.20 per week and about £100 extra for other grocery, so basically am trying to achieve £200 per month. This also includes money we spend on dinners when we’re entertaining e.g. hosting a BBQ or having a few people over for dinner.

We started on the 25th of July, and so far we are UNDER budget, YAY!

Update: 14th Aug ’14

We are still on target, thank God, even after my other half went and bought things that weren’t on our shopping list… still have £45 ’til the 25th August. Let’s see how we do when we come back from shopping tonight, eh?!

Update 15th Aug ’14

Got back from Tesco last night, having got £41.86 worth of food and a small bit of household stuff, BUT I got loads of discounts and coupons and vouchers, so the final receipt came to 31.96. Pretty happy with the ca. 25% off!!! This food will last at least a week, plus we still have about £15 left for the last 10 days until payday.

BONUS: we got 2p/L off our next petrol purchase. I did not know you got this, I thought you had to spend £50 or more in one transaction, but you only have to spend £50 or more across a month to receive fuel discounts! Plus we get an extra 3% off the fuel with the Santander 123 credit card. WIN!

Photo credit: dan/


  1. Hi!

    We need to reign in the food budget this year so glad I came across this! The cash based budget is a good one and is pretty foolproof. If all else fails I will be giving this method a try but so far in January we are doing much better. We’ve budgeted £250 for 2 adults no kids, which should be easily do-able, our main splurging is just when we have people over for dinner but we eat very frugally the rest of the time.
    theFIREstarter recently posted…Brain Dump II – There’s Some Things You Should Know About theFIREstarterMy Profile

    1. Hey man, thanks for visiting. £250 is definitely more than enough for two adults. Our budget is £230 for two adults and a ravenous baby. We entertain quite often, but try to do it using slow cookers and hearty meals (cheap and enjoyable, why not?!) so it keeps the money down.

      Check out Laura, from No More Spending. She is always keeping her grocery budget under £250!

      Keep up the good work. Pressure cookers and slow cookers are the way forward!


  2. Thanks Sam! Yes, i try to build our meals around which veg we have, then it means I’m concentrating on a healthy and diverse set of vitamins and minerals. BTW, love your website ☺

  3. £200 pounds doesn’t seem expensive at all for you guys! Glad to see you guys are cutting back on groceries. Not only is it good for your wallet, but for your health too. Keep it up!

    Thanks, Sam

  4. I’ve done a comparison a few times between the veg box and what it costs in the supermarket. The veg box is organic and seasonal, so I can’t always compare exactly, but just checked through and my veg box for this week would have cost about £21.30 – BUT that was not for any organic veg, just generic vegetables. My veg box costs £23.20 which includes 3Kg of apples. Also, this doesn’t factor in the cost of going to the supermarkets in terms of time or money. It’s quite far away from me, there is a Waitrose closer to me, but that is always more expensive. I would have to take a taxi or drive or take the bus, so that is £2-4 on top of the cost of the veg, plus takes a lot more time. I buy my other food (meat, fish, flours, oils, butter, etc.) from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi – you would think Aldi is always cheapest, but it isn’t! Carrots are 30% more expensive at Aldi for example.

    We also grow a very small amount at home e.g. lettuces and tomatoes so that helps in the Summer months expecially.

    1. Seems like the veg box is the way to go then!

      Aldi in Belgium is awesome, except for fresh vegetables. While they are cheap (I’m not sure they’re the cheapest though), they lack in the quality department. Much prefer vegetables from Lidl!

    2. I know, I do love Aldi, but as you say sometimes the quality isn’t as high as you’d want it to be. My Dad always says Lidl is better, but we don’t have one that near to us unfortunately.

  5. £200 for two adults and a small child doesn’t seem outrageous to me, actually!

    Are you sure that the fruit and vegetables box isn’t more expensive than just buying the individual foods yourself? Maybe that’s one area where you can save a bit!

    Good luck on staying within your budget!

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