How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

cheap groceries

Recently, we have been spending quite  a lot on groceries. I feel like we’re going well over budget on a recurrent basis. This obviously will not do when we’re trying to be sensible with money, generally frugal, and as wise as possible with all spending, and investing the savings we make out of that process. Luckily for us, I happened upon a fab website, which I was really surprised to not have come across previously – Thrifty Lesley. I only happened upon her website by chance, through an article on cheap recipes. It had associated links and one of them was to Lesley’s site.

The Plan – How to Cut Your Grocery bill in half?!

We’re attempting to cut our grocery bill in half! Yes, it’s a bit of a challenge, but I think we can get close. I will not include food for our son, as he has certain requirements which don’t really fit in with Lesley’s meal plans and recipes, but hopefully he can try out some of the stuff we’ll be doing over the next few weeks.

how to cut your grocery bill in half
A week’s worth of food for £11.15 – sort of.

Today I went and bought all the ingredients we need for week one – everything to make every recipe in Lesley’s first meal plan. I had some of the stuff already, so I spent a bit less than was stated. The other thing I did was to buy the cheapest/kg items, rather than the smaller packets that Lesley’s site suggests. I realise that this will make the weekly list slightly more expensive, but that just means I will have some food left over to use for subsequent weeks. Plus, if I can get my son to eat some of it, then all the better, as the plans are based on two adults, not any kids included.

The Thrify Lesley site has 9 weeks’ worth of meal plans, so we are starting with all the recipes for week one tomorrow, on Monday 3rd August. The plans include three meals per day as well as some ‘cakey extras’ as Lesley calls them, to fill any hunger gaps and snack times we might need. I must admit, I loved the sound of this, even though I don’t have a sweet tooth!

What to Do with the Saved Money?

Well obviously, we love investing in P2P and dividend-paying stocks, so that is one place where saved money gets invested. However, we have also recently had an enormous car repair bill, which we were sort of expecting, but it meant having to liquidate some shares. As you may remember, selling shares was part of our revised plan of what to do with a our general cash flow and savings pots for various irregular e.g. annual expenses such as car insurance and MOTs etc. So I recently sold my entire investment in Ford – not too sorry as I was being taxed 15% on this one anyway. I’ve held this share for many years and received decent quarterly dividends too. I also sold a small position in Vodafone – I wasn’t really keen to sell, but it made up the exact amount we needed for the car, so bye-bye Vodafone it was.

Hopefully we can start buying back into some new stocks with the money we will be saving on the grocery bill challenge. I am certainly hoping so. I have a long list of potential stocks to buy every month, so it’s always fun to research and choose what I think will be profitable.

What do you think to the challenge, can we cut our bill in half? What do you spend on groceries per adult? Let me know, leave a comment below.

10 Comments

  1. My first thought was gardening :). But I guess you have other idea as you’re in the city… hence different approach.

    I cook/prepare every meals, even make my own yogurt so I don’t have to buy prepackage ones. Summer is great! I tend to save the dry food for the winter – beans and legumes. I also don’t want to eat frozen seafood in the summer – shrimp and other seafood (I’d eat fresh water fish for the summer). Basically, eating fruits, veggies, and protein that are available seasonally will also cut a lot of money.

    I’d rather eat really well, than cutting corner, as I only have 1 body to take care.
    vivianne recently posted…What Am I to Do After Reaching Financial Freedom?My Profile

    1. We do a small amount of gardening, but we don’t have enough time to do as much as I’d like us to do. We have an allotment with immature fruit trees, small fruit bushes, and a small vegetable patch.

      I think your way of eating sounds very good and healthy!

  2. We had our first dinner from the meal plan last night, and not only was it a good start on the way to decresing our grocery bill, but it tasted really good. Let’s see how far we can drop our grocery bill, with these excellent recipes!

    T

    1. Thanks Tawcan. I do agree. We never had a meal plan before, but we never wasted anything. We did spend a fair amount on food though, so hopefully this new attempt at slashing our grocery bill in half by using the meal plans and recipes from Lesley will really help us to be focussed a lot more. I think the key to it in her case, is that she bases a week’s worth of recipes around a few core ingredients, and then changes them from week to week. You then don’t buy several ingredients all the time, like we have been doing forever.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate it.

      Cheers

  3. Hey M

    Good luck with cutting your grocery bill down by 50% – planning is key, so you don’t do those random shops (like DD did) which just ramp up the costs.

    Since I started tracking my own groceries, I’ve cut mine down by about a third on average and I probably eat a lot better than I used to as I take more notice what I’m putting into my trolley and think twice about adding snacks!

    Thanks for sharing the Thrifty Lesley link – some decent recipes there I could try.

    I don’t cook in bulk as much as I used to so I should start again to reduce my costs further.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and see you soon!
    weenie recently posted…July Savings, plus other stuffMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the support. D² is right, those random shops kill the budget every time. The other thing I find is shopping for bargains also kills the budget because I end up buying things just because they’re on offer. I do use them, but often it takes ages because I freeze everything and then use it gradually. We’re currently trying to eat through our freezer and cupboards a little, as things have become slightly overcrowded shall we say!

      Cheers and see you in two weeks

  4. We noticed our shopping bill spike a little in July. Though this was after a very thrifty June!

    It is one of those expenses which can easily catch up on you. For example, our July total was shunted higher by two “small” shops to pick up some bread. As a result, we bought other bits and pieces until–all told between the two additional shops–we have spent £30. That is pretty much an entire additional week’s budget!

    In general, though we are pretty good. Interesting to see Thrifty Lesley’s site. I have never come across that before. Will have a look around some time!

    Good luck with keeping your bill low!
    Dividend Drive recently posted…My Weekly Worthies: On Here, Over There (and Over To You)–1 August 2015My Profile

    1. Yes, I was also surprised by finding the site. Given the amount of frugal sites I’ve been reading, I was wondering why I’ve never come across hers before. Perhaps her SEO is not working very well?

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