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Speed Shopping

October 18, 2011

Urgh – my cold has developed to that horrid blocked nose, snotty stage. I didn’t feel too bad yesterday, so I managed to get through yoga with only a couple of tissue breaks. I think running club might be off the menu this evening though …. achoo! I would have loved to have had a sofa day today, but I’m on a course for my professional qualification all week, so I can’t really give it a miss.

Anyway, moving on from feeling sorry for myself, I thought I’d give a bit of an update on how I’m doing with the Big Budget Challenge. The challenge is the idea of Laura at Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish, so click on the link below to check out how you can get involved if you want to join in.


The challenge is actually more difficult than I thought it would be in some respects. However, I am doing really well with my grocery budget. I decided only to buy the essentials each week and try to use up the tins and packets that are stuffed in my kitchen cupboards. In order to try and spend as little as possible I’ve made speed shopping into an Olympic sport. My yoga class takes place next door to a Morrison’s supermarket and over the past few weeks I’ve been turning up 20 minutes early so that I can run around the shop quickly to get what I need. 

I find that having a limited time to shop really helps me to keep within budget because I don’t have time to browse and buy things that I don’t really need or aren’t essential. The downside is that I do sometimes forget a few things because I never make a list. Another money saving tip is to order home shopping rather than actually going into the shop where you might be tempted. However, you will be charged a delivery charge that could be spent on something else yummy.

Yesterday’s supermarket sweep resulted in this haul:


I didn’t have to buy much fruit because of all the free apples and pears I have. I treated myself to the Dorset muesli (I had switched to an own brand version) and the Innocent OJ because they were on special offer. All this came to about £22, which isn’t bad considering I had to buy washing tabs which always bumps up the bill.

I’ve also cut down my organic veggie box delivery to once a fortnight instead of once a week because I was struggling to eat all the veggies. I was building my own carrot mountain in the cellar!

The bit I’ve found difficult is sticking to my personal budget of £50. I’ve never really tracked my spending before, so I didn’t have much of a clue how much I spend on what. I’m surprised at how much money goes on quite trivial things that I’d never thought about before. I’ve had to buy things like ring binders and pens, shampoo, hair ties etc. I also enjoy eating out at the weekend and a budget of £50 doesn’t go very far. I’m not going to change the budget, but I will have to accept that I’m going to go over budget this month and try to keep it to a minimum.

I’ve been loving eating lots of beans that I’ve bought dried and cooked up. I did have a bit of a disaster with my chickpeas last night though when I managed to leave them simmering all night – oops! They had boiled dry by the morning, but surprisingly it wasn’t a huge disaster.


The burnt bits were actually quite tasty!

Do you have any tricks to help you spend less when you go food shopping?

What was the last stupid / forgetful thing that you did?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2011 5:21 pm

    Looks like a great haul!
    I love innocent orange juice 🙂
    What I do to avoid overspending in the supermarket is to plan most of the week’s meals in advance and to have a list of everything I need and NOT to deviate from said list 😛

  2. October 18, 2011 5:32 pm

    Hmm I always need more helpful food tips, but I’d say trying to buy some staple, cheap foods that add substance to things like my stir fry–pasta, rice, beans. Aka, Yum. Kind of. 🙂

  3. October 18, 2011 5:55 pm

    I hope you feel better soon snot face (hehe meant in an endearing way of course!)

    Best tip is to make a shopping list and stick to it. Planning, preparation and more planning! x

  4. October 18, 2011 7:36 pm

    Sarah, do you have a crock pot or slow cooker? That’s the best way I’ve found to cook beans. Here, most bags of beans have the directions on the back. If you buy them in bulk, just contact me and I’ll explain how to do it. So simple!

  5. October 18, 2011 7:53 pm

    Thanks for the update! It sounds like your doing well but I can relate to the £50 budget just disappearing. My £50 for next month isn’t going to last me 5 minutes! Hope your cold gets better soon, sounds like you should enjoy a nice evening in the warm rather than running, especially with this wind!

  6. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    October 18, 2011 8:40 pm

    What a great challenge– something that I should definitely consider doing. I spend WAY too much at the grocery store every time, no matter what. I’m especially guilty of the whole “browsing & buying” thing. haha

  7. October 18, 2011 8:55 pm

    We always order online because if I go into a shop I will spend double! But online it keeps a tally and so I delete things I dont need, or dont see the offers and things and cant get tempted. 🙂

  8. October 18, 2011 9:10 pm

    Online shopping definitely helps me because I’m not tempted… also, I live so far out in the sticks, it costs less for delivery than it would in petrol to get there!
    I also always buy loose fruit and veg rather than in pre-packed boxes because it’s so much cheaper – they’re sneaky in that they’ll put a big reduced sign on a packet of something but the loose ones are still much less per kilo.
    And I boiled my carrot and swede mash dry twice last week 🙂

  9. October 18, 2011 9:58 pm

    I do stupid and forgetful things on an hourly basis 🙂

    Canned beans are cheap but cooking your own is even cheaper, so that’s a great money saving trick! I’ve been making my own beans a lot lately. Even better because I can flavor them however I like!

  10. Errign permalink
    October 18, 2011 10:26 pm

    I go with a strict list & I make sure at the end of my shop that I’ve gotten everything I need to cut down on another trip to get something I forgot, resulting in impulse purchases. I also make a quick trip through my cart and remove anything unnecessary. I also consider what’s at home to be used up (for example, if I’ve got loads of brown rice at home, I’ll skip buying pasta, or something like that).

  11. October 18, 2011 11:51 pm

    The only tip I can think of to spend less is to avoid going down the isles where you know you’re going to pick up everything good. For me, that is the “natural / health” isle, where I pretty much browse for ages and pick up everything!
    That or try the sticking strictly to the list idea… which I think is way too hard 😉

  12. October 19, 2011 9:29 am

    I’m ill at the minute too, and exercising is just hideous! I ran a half marathon on Sunday and was having to blow my nose every few minutes…so annoying!! Hope you feel better soon!

  13. October 19, 2011 1:25 pm

    Great tips for sticking to a budget. It looks like you are doing really well with only buying the essentials. I hope you feel better soon.


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