Monday, 2 September 2013

£50 quid for food for a month

 So, as you can imagine, weddings, children going to university and new wellingtons all require money. I cannot grow money, I've tried its just so unhelpful - plant a penny and you just get a muddy penny. So inspired by a few keen frugal chums - I've decided to challenge myself to mainly eat out of the cupboards during September and tightened our grocery budget to £50. Given the depth and variety in the stripey stores I'm sure we'll manage some interesting combinations.
We've loads in the freezers and the cupboards, lots of veggies in the tunnels at work (shh don't tell anyone) and so I'm hoping that we'll eek our way through the month - giving me the rest of our normal food budget of £200/month to spend on trips away OR wellingtons OR we'll blow it all on bonios for the hounds. 
Did you know Scotland issues its own money and has three issuing banks? Its quite fun looking to see which bank your money is from, well when you actually HAVE any money.
So you'll surely hear a lot about this spendthrift this month.
I'm sure we can survive on £50 this month for fresh bits and bobs like milk and some fruit, to stave away the scurvy.
Today's menu was -
The last banana (!)
Raw porridge with nuts, seeds and coconut shavings - with some Hazelnut milk
Cheese sandwich for elevenes or second breakfast if you like
Reduced chicken thighs for lunch with beetroot and spinach
First tea - soup and bread
Second tea - home made cheats sushi - with small bits of frozen fish from the freezer - a little goes a long way
(I generally repeat all meals, pays to be SURE you've eaten)
I love sushi. Especially when its cheap and home made.
End of Day 2 - No spends - £50 still intact.
I'm heading over to the work polytunnels tomorrow - to increase the courgette and tomato mountain at home. These might be useful for swapping for other ingredients.
You know just in case we run out.
A girl can dream, who'd have known a few illicit fishboxes could produce so many courgettes?
Really - not me. And, I really should have known better to plant four plants.

Oh and if you're keen for a wee neb at tomorrows tea - have a peek here at

This Wee Lass Eats

In my virtual scoffing arena.

So its 'winter' comfort food - its been a soggy day here, hardly salad weather.

And which me luck.

If you've any handy hints and tips to stop me blowing the budget - please leave me a link to your patch!

Or why not join in?

Edited to add, so we didn't make the £50 but what it did do was help me reassess my spending and curb those impulse spends. Sometimes trying something different works. My monthly spends are now nearer to £100 a month for a 2/3 household (all food, pet food and toiletries) - and I'm taking cash out to help me really stand there with my money in my hand. Its really helped me. So thank you all for the inspiration!


  1. Replies
    1. My issue will be NOT shopping - we've more than enough to eat :) but I'm a self confessed food hoarder :)

      Thanks for the luck!

  2. Stay focussed, and you'll be great! I like the repeat meals - I do that with lunch and dinner, two small ones :)

    1. I do graze a lot and a pal suggested smaller meals more often. Seemed to be a win win :)

      I will stay focussed :) I promise!

      I'm trying to tackle my own issues around food/hoarding/etc more than waste - I generally don't waste any food but my hoarding issues are widely known.
      Like the food stores in the garage :)

  3. I like the repeating meals system, sounds better than snacking. Adding potatoes and/or lentils, canellini beans etc is my secret weapon for stretching a meal for 2 into a meal for 4... Good luck!

    1. Hey Janet.
      All good weapons there.

      I use a fair bit of soy mince too - if I'm ever cooking real meat I always lob a handful in to soak up the excess juices - I can't actually say I like 'straight' mince/meat now.

      And lots and lots of home grown veggies :)

      I'll give the beans a shot though - I don't use too many beans normally the family aren't keen although I love them.

      The beef balls stretched to 6 meal portions with the addition of a handy courgette and five tomatoes. :)

  4. I'm adding courgette to everything at the moment. Lentils and onions is a quick, easy and cheap meal. With maybe a grilled tomato if have loads about the place.

    1. Oh that does sound good CJ! Lentils are a firm favourite here as is porridge :)

  5. Just reseaching for my new monthly budget and came across this post on your site. I havn't a clue how much we spend on food currently as my partner and I currently live seperate and often share meals with eachother and housemates. Not sure I could quite go down to £50 though! However I love the fact you have second breakfast and second dinner and just have smaller meal portions for them (I'm guessing). Jenni x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    1. Hi there when I first took some advice on money/food budgets etc someone told me to just keep my receipts for a month - for everything and I found out I was spending far more than I thought.

      Thesedays aside the odd blip we manage to eat comfortably for the month on under 200 for 2/4 of us and 2 dogs - all household toiletries and toiletries.

      I have started a wee food blog to put some of our cheaper grub on there (as well as the treaty eating out) we just love food in this house!

      Last month came in at around 86 which was over due to impulse buying and a few unexpected things - but a really good effort and interesting change in behaviour. I'm trying for 100 for October (aside the wedding food - which we have a budget of £500 of for 100 people)

      I love second breakfasts and teas. I'd love to tell you that I have smaller portions (ahem blushes here) I eat ravenously. Living by the sea, working outside, having two dogs to walk and being very very fidgety means I eat a lot.

      I use the environment as my excuse!

      Goodluck on your journey so lovely to see you on here.

      Have you looked at the many frugal living blogs that are around

      And visited MSE

      Money Saving Expert is a mine of good frugal eating and meal planning info!

      Goodluck xx