It wasn’t until one evening, when I was sat happily on the sofa watching an episode of Eat Well For Less, that it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea how much we were spending on food each month.The next morning I got out my calculator collected my receipts, logged into my online banking account and set to work.
Although I had a fairly good idea of how much we were spending on the dreaded weekly shop (after all – I was the one handing over the cash/card) I had never taken into account all the top up shops, impulse purchases, last minute dashes – when you realise halfway through a recipe that you are missing one or more of the essential ingredients or those late night trips for sweets, treats, snacks, a little tipple that both myself and my husband were making (come on we all do it!).
When I finally managed to add it up, I nearly fell off my chair! Yes , my calculator was working correctly – we were spending £500.00+ a month (£6,000.00+ per year) on food for 2 adults and a 2 year old – RIDICULOUS!
Until this moment I had always considered myself to be a savvy shopper – often opting for supermarket own brands or products that were on offer – but I had been kidding no one but myself. After being brought back down to earth with a thump I decided my shopping habits needed to change, now and drastically.
Now, instead of aimlessly wandering the aisles throwing anything that looks vaguely interesting into my trolley, I do a rough meal plan and go armed with a list!
I have also changed from a weekly shop to a monthly one, often preferring smaller stores such as Lidl, as this helps to reduce the temptation for impulse purchases. My monthly shop usually costs around £100.00 and consists of all the store cupboard essentials, pasta, rice, noodles, pitta’s, tortilla wraps, naans, tinned food, cereal, everything for baking, dried fruit, condiments, cleaning products, drinks, frozen food, cheese, crackers, meat, yoghurts, pickles, chutneys, olives nuts, snacks, nappies, wet wipes as well as a weeks’ worth of fruit, vegetables.
I then supplement my monthly shop with a weekly/bi-weekly veg box. There are loads of companies out there that do veg boxes. The one that I use is called Local Farm Box. I really like them because they offer a wide variety of high quality products from local suppliers. In addition to the usual fruit and veg they do bread (the granary is really good!), cakes, scones, bread, rolls, cheese, eggs, milk, cream, butter, jams, chutneys, herbs, meat and the list goes on.
They are very accommodating. If there is anything in your seasonal box that you don’t like they allow substitutions or, if you’re a fuss ass like me, you can pick exactly what you want and make up your own box.
On top of this they offer free next day delivery on orders placed by 12! If you know that you are going to be out you can leave instructions for the box to be delivered to a neighbour, get it delivered to work or left in a safe place, so you don’t even have to be in.
Getting a box delivered to my door is great as it means that I don’t have to face the temptations of the supermarket and it only takes a few minutes to place an order. I can also sleep safe in the knowledge that I am doing my bit for the environment as the orders are delivered in cardboard boxes, which can be flattened and reused, paper bags with plastic packaging being kept to a minimum.
I am not going to lie, there have been a couple of occasions where I have had issues, such as receiving incorrect quantities or short dated milk, but they have always been sorted very quickly. As the saying goes it’s not what happens it’s how it’s dealt with that counts and they’ve always been great.
All in all, I would highly recommend Local Farm Box – and that’s not just because they offer a 20% discount for referring a friend (so feel free to mention my name)!
If you want to give them a try just visit: Local Farm Box