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How much do you spend on a regular family food shopping trip?
How much do you spend on a regular family food shopping trip?
Blogs » Mummy Blogger

Budget Management - How do you shop?

Internet shop or real-time shop? Paula Battle on the highs and lows of both options…

How do you manage the budget for your monthly food shop? Do you even 'manage' it at all? Over the last few years we've gone through the motions of working out our monthly spend on food. It's a rough equation but works out at about £100 per person, per month.

As a family of five we're spending around £500 a month on food, and that doesn't necessarily include incidentals like the packets of minstrels that just fall onto the counter when I'm buying fuel, or the train station purchases of tea and an expensively wrapped biscuit - I really must start carrying a thermos and a Wagon Wheel.

At one time the Internet shop was considered the Holy Grail in this house. You ordered and paid in advance, knew when it was going to arrive and only had to make five or six revisions to the order before it was delivered and you realised that you'd forgotten the milk and all of the essentials for the children's packed lunches.

Over time, not only did we realise that the Internet shop wasn't really saving anything in the way of money or time, it was also creating a tremendous amount of wasted food. No matter how careful we thought we were being in terms of ordering enough for a meal for every day and not over stocking the fridge or freezer it was impossible to get through a week without something being wasted or going out of date.

If you consider that 8.3 million tonnes of food is being wasted by the UK population on an annual basis, this means that the average family is throwing away £680 in uneaten food* - and apart from the obvious environmental ramifications, that's a monumental travesty!

Much as I love the idea of a well-stocked fridge bursting with tempting morsels, the reality for us is that it works better to spread the load. It suits my current routine to shop on a daily or thereabouts basis, using the cash I have in my purse to purchase the food I need for that day and the next. There's something about shopping with cash that makes you think twice about how much you're spending - handing over the folding stuff is so much more painful that wielding a little piece of plastic. Apart from anything else it makes it easier to manage our cashflow - and of course our fridge no longer resembles an EU food mountain.

*Figures provided by the Love Food Hate Waste site

Monday, 24th January 2011

Tags:   Budgeting  /  online shopping  /  food shopping  /  parenting  /  monthly budget  /  cash  /  wasting food  /  cashflow
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