(You can read the Preamble here, which explains all the different categories and how we budget, and what is and isn’t included).
How did our grocery spend look for August, September and October last year?
In August I was still off work for the summer. We were very much under budget that month. We spent £89.59 out of a budgeted £130 this month. So £40.41 under.
Getting food from the reduced aisle (hell-o, 4-pack of bread rolls for 8p!), Foodprint, Olio and Shopmium all played their part in keeping costs down.
Our meat spend was low for this month, £6.20. Largely attributed to that we were still eating a lot of the food my sister gave us, and finding reduced food when going grocery shopping. As it was so warm we also at a lot more cold food such as salads, so lowering our spend on meat, while our fruit and vegetable spend was a healthy £12.81. Even more than the snack category, which is a bonus.
Again, diary comes out as the category we spent the most on in August at £19.51. A lot of cereal (with milk), tea-drinking (with milk) and cheese eating is to blame.
August 2018 was a mixed bag for us. We got to travel to Wales and Stonebridge City Farm. But Husband did not feel very well for some of the month. And we got our letter to say that Husband’s PIP hearing would be taking place in the beginning of September.
It’s either the famine or the feast.
Even with Skintember going on, we still managed to spend £150.90 on groceries that month. £20.90 over budget! Gah!
So how does it break down?
One glaring category here is the dairy one. Good grief. £26.48. When going through the itemised spreadsheet I can see that a lot of our dairy was bought at full-price with a order I placed through Sainsbury’s as I had a voucher to use up.
Meat was also high at £33.69, again due to buying a large order in from the shops. And we’d finished what my sister and her family had very kindly given us.
We continued to use up and get as much out of the toiletries at home before buying new ones, this meant that we only spent £0.50 on personal care in September. Why yes, I have a huge stash, why do you ask?
I think September went over for a variety of reasons. We’d not spent a huge amount on food the month before, in fact we were £40 below budget that month, so had to stock up on different stuff. Pet care was quite high for September as we had the food order delivered with several bags of cat litter to keep us going.
We attended Husband’s PIP tribunal hearing that month and had an agonising wait for their decision for that, which impacted our mood and what we ate. Note the snacks category:(
Plus even though we were on Skintember, I still had to keep up appearances so as to not worry Husband, and had to buy food.
To help costs I did spend a lot of the Tesco and Sainsbury’s gift cards I have accrued from earning rewards from surveys. Normally I save them for birthdays and Christmas but needs must.
Ah, back to normality. In October 2018 we spent £65.38, so we were £64.62 under budget that month. That’s over half our grocery budget we didn’t spend!
October’s grocery budget spend was sponsored by visiting Foodprint, getting food from Sharing Sherwood, stopping colleagues from throwing food in the bin and volunteering to take it home, and getting reduced bargains and deals from Olio and Shopmium.
October was still a very tight month for us. Austober was in full swing for all four weeks, and we mostly lived on the food we had bought the previous month. This is reflected in our spends for this month. Very little was spent on any of the categories – with the exception of dairy. Of course. Can’t do without milk, now can we?
Bakery is very low this month, but looking at the itemised sheet I can see that we got quite a few loaves for 15p each, which helped bring the cost down.
We did not spend a lot on meat, as we were still using up what I bought the previous month, supplemented by some reduced food. I was hoping to fill our freezer again with the food my sister purchased and gifted us, but that went right out the window when I was forced to throw it away.
Looking at August, September and October combined, it doesn’t look too bad. If you squint. In total we spent £305.85 on groceries those three months, and that equals a very manageable £25.48 a week for us both and the Cat.