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My #thriftyfamily money saving tip: shop for food with a shopping list, a menu and a calculator

Editor’s note: Today I’ve teamed up with Scottish Friendly to share one of my money saving tips as part of #thriftyfamily. Hope you enjoy it!

There was a time when we spent over £500 per month on food.

It went like that:

  • We went to the supermarket;
  • We bought food-stuff for £100 or over;
  • We looked at the ingredients;
  • We didn’t know what to cook;
  • We either went back to the supermarket and bought ready cooked meals or went to a restaurant.

Weekly repeat!

Then we hit trouble; it came in the form of £100,000 consumer debt.

Things had to change.

This is when I worked out the #thriftyfamily money saving trick I’m sharing with you today.

Yes, it is true:

You can save with a shopping list;

You can save even more with a shopping list and a menu;

With a shopping list, a menu and a calculator you are really rocking it!

Using this saving tip we slashed out food budget by more than half. And we eat much healthier and better diet than before.

How does it work?

By menu planning for the weak ahead we know exactly what we’ll eat every evening (okay, sometimes we swap).

Using the menu, and checking what we already have in the house, we make a shopping list of the ingredients to buy. This way we throw away hardly any food and this was a very large problem before; I mean a landfill large!

I use the calculator to see the cost of what I put in the shopping trolley as I go along. This way, I am reminded all the time to compare prices, to make decisions and to leave alone all the shiny, tempting stuff that we are not going to use over the week.

So here it is:

shopping list + weekly menu + calculator = enormous saving

Go on, try it! You can leave a comment to thank me later.

Oh, and we did pay off all of this debt in three years.

Finally, a big thank you to Scottish Friendly for insisting on me making a video: it turned out to be great fun.

5 thoughts on “My #thriftyfamily money saving tip: shop for food with a shopping list, a menu and a calculator”

  1. Since I began menu planning and using my pantry stock wisely I’ve kept my grocery bill at what I consider to be a reasonable amount. I also shop regularly at Whole Paycheck so that’s saying something!

  2. My wife and I do menu planning together. Not only does she use a list for shopping, but I use lists for all our shopping. It disciplines your shopping. I even start our lists days or weeks ahead to make our shopping effective. We even do specialized shopping by getting our groceries at one market, fruits and vegetables at a ranch market and household items at Target or Costco. I also use Costco for certain grocery items.

    • @Krant: We use Costco for certain items as well. We buy our coffee beans there – the best and cheapest ones are there. Also, our Costco stocks meat from local farm so it’s high quality but not as expesive as at our friendly butcher’s. We freeze meat in fact.


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