Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Budgetting - groceries

As usual, at the beginning of each year I will reassess our budget to include changes.  For example, my daughter is going to senior school and we promised we'd get her a mobile phone for when she does.  She is the only one in her year who doesn't have one and throughout this year has been very mature about that, not giving in to peer pressure.  So there's an extra monthly expense.  Not much, but it all adds up.  The insurances need to be reassessed as I have an additional insurance to take out for Annie, so that needs to come from somewhere.  Also oil has gone up since 12 months ago and I think our budget still covers it, but I will check to be safe.


A big one that can easily spiral out of control is groceries as per my previous post.  Last year, on average I went over our (£250 a month) budget by £15 a month.  Some people spend that on coffee each week so it won't seem a lot to them, but taking into consideration what we are trying to achieve (self sufficiency and 1 dependent wage only) then again it all adds up.  However I am really pleased that we got anywhere near the budget and that I think, is the home raised meat, fruit and veg earning its keep.  So if we do even more this year, we should be able to meet the new budget.


2018's grocery cash budget is £2650 which works out at ~£220 a month.  However I expect to spend more in February-April before we reap rewards of this growing season and then at the end of the year as things tail off.  In the height of summer, I hope to have this down to a minimal amount.  Throughout January we are eating from the freezer for the teas, which I will need to top up with fresh veg etc but for the main expensive part (meat?) will be from the freezer.


The grocery budget also includes household items which I think I said - so shampoo, laundry liquid, bleach, toothpaste etc.


Vouchers and freebies will not come out of the budget - let's call that luck.


Now remember, I have 2 young kids who have packed lunches every day and who I won't see go short for things they like (they aren't demanding, this is my decision).  So sometimes, there's things on the list that are not necessities, but if they fancy having their friends round and eating junk a few times then that's fine with me.  To be fair, they very rarely ask to do this, but I'm just making my point.  I also have a huge husband who eats almost as much as my horse!  Ste and I are taking lunches to work, usually soup, salad or left overs.


I am updating my standard shopping list for each week with items that go into the packed lunches including fruit, wrap/bread/croissant and filling, yoghurts, a treat, pepperoni or equivalent, a drink, cheese (if they feel like it).  This may be the actual item, or the ingredients to make them (like the bread and treat). 


Once January is through and we've made a dent in the freezer, I will then look at batch cooking again and doubling up on what I am cooking to make one for the freezer.


I plan on giving weekly updates with grocery/eating out spends.


As is customary on long text posts, here's a cute photo :)







6 comments:

  1. What we spend a week really does vary on the time of the year like you guys. we normally spend about £70 a week but then don't buy meat or many veg, makes me wonder what we do buy that costs so much!

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    1. I think my technical issue with comments has righted itself now as I’ve just managed to post on Louise’s blog, so here we go!
      It’s funny Kev as it kind of turns into a challenge that I don’t want to lose. What can I make, grow (beg, steal or borrow) to keep our costs down. I hate lining the big cats pockets in the supermarket and the thought of the potential extra crap that goes in our bodies from anything we buy from there makes me shudder! I’m hoping that combined with the freezer and early harvests that this year will be the one other years have to content with

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  2. I just went "ahhhh!" when I saw the photo. :)
    Groceries are a big one here too. We rarely buy any meat at all, mostly shrimp of fish, but dairy is a big expense every week because I insist on organic. Raw milk is a hot topoc here but looking for a local place that raises on pasture (but not certified organic) might be in the future. It's easy enough to pasturize at home

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    1. She’s gorgeous isn’t she and there will be a lot more where they came from (just to prewarn you lol). My grocery budgeting post is the post with the most views since my blog begans. What does that tell you?
      We need to eat more fish so I think I’ll try and use the stuff we have in the freezer first. Thanks for the reminder! Interesting re the raw milk, we had some delivered for a while as you can’t buy it close enough but of course we were charged an arm and a leg for delivery. One day we may have our own! We’re hoping to get quail this year so I might be coming to you for advice 😀

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  3. We dont have a grocery budget any more as we produce most of what we need, when we first started out, I looked at what a on the shopping list and what we could produce from it ourselves, its hard work and time consuming sometimes but then I dont have to cater for children hats off to those that do :-)

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    1. That’s an amazing state to be in and I bet you’re proud. We hope to be the same as soon as it possible. We’re also doing the same, looking at our meals and deciding if they’re something we’ll continue to eat long term. If so, can we grow it ourselves or adapt it to what we can grow ourselves. Catering for the kids is incorporated into all of that and they are fabulous really. It’s working full time that means we can’t go at the pace we could otherwise, though thinking about it, it doesn’t stop us trying. Haha!

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