Frugal Challenge: Setting the challenge

“I cant believe food costs money” – Megan Boyle

Its no secret that Mr Fire and I like our food, we also spend a fair bit of money on it too. After one of our hour long countryside walks we decided to set ourselves a challenge. What if we could eat well and save a bit of money off the food bill in the process? This is our our Frugal Food Challenge was born. Challenging yourself to spend less on food is nothing new and it certainly isn’t our original idea, but to us its rather scary. We regularly overspend on food and we have always put this down to lumping all our other household expenses in with food (such as toiletries, DIY equipment..)

From next month I’m going to start splitting out food and other household expenses to see if we really are overspending on food.

Why do we want to do this challenge?

  1. To see how much we actually spend on just food a week
    As I mentioned above, we do lump several things into our “food budget” which distorts the actual figure of what we spend on food


  2. To see how much we actually eat in a week.
    There is only 2.5 of us in the house so it would be a good starting point to see what we are eating and if we need to clean our diet up a bit.


  3. To avoid food wastage.
    We always have something in our cupboards which is a good thing with us living so far away from any shops. The only things we should really be “stockpiling” is staples that don’t spoil such as pasta, rice, tinned goods.


  4. To see if there is any room to reduce our food bill
    We may well be wasting our energy focusing on trying to reduce the food bill if there really is no room for improvement. If this is the case then I thing we should change the challenge to reducing our household goods spending instead.

    Blog Format

Over this month I will be tracking exactly what we eat and how much it costs to see where we can save money.

How do you reduce your spending?


18 thoughts on “Frugal Challenge: Setting the challenge

  1. tuppennysfireplace

    I’ve just started my May Money Focus for similar reasons. I love supermarket shopping (sad I know) and have 4 supermarkets within 2 miles plus smaller food shops and a Home Bargains. Reducing my shopping to twice a week and only 1 shop each time is a serious challenge for me!

    Try eating fruit and veg in season as this will reduce your bill. E.g. I only ever eat strawberries in June/July when they are in season and you are buying British strawberries. Any other country and you are paying a premium for the air miles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mrs Fu

    With eight of us I have to be really tight on food shopping and try to keep cost per head as low as I can, but I must admit I haven’t ever written down what I spend weekly on food – it’s lumped in with the other weekly purchases like cleaning stuff, etc. I shop every couple of days so there’s no waste. I carry a list of things the children like to eat (it’s basically a long list of meals I make regularly) and when I’m shopping I check offers to see what might be the cheapest meals to make (for them) that week and also look out for staples that are on offer. Cereal is always value brand (Tesco’s cornflakes are under 50p for 500g) and own brand pasta is always cheap so that’s an economical meal. I make my own bread and pizza bases, so they might have one or two pasta dishes per week and a couple of meals that are really economical like jacket potatoes, omelette, pizza or beans on toast. Mr Fu and I live on salads in summer and spicy stews in winter, which I make huge batches of then freeze for other days. Our biggest splurge on food is the weekly Saturday takeaway but this is in lieu of us going out and I really need a meal per week that I’ve not cooked myself. I don’t live near enough to a costco to warrant joining but I hear good things about it. My staple shops for food are Lidl, Aldi, Tesco and M&S (yes, really – they do some good offers/reductions. Up until last week their butter was cheaper than Tesco). I also love Home Bargains for non-perishables, etc.


    1. Hi Mrs Fu.
      Thanks for your comment and the good advice! We shop at Aldi too and check Asda for the reductions but i admit i find the mad scramble over trying to grab the bargains at Asda rather stressful. I’m going to start making my own pizza’s and bread hopefully. Do you use a bread maker?


  3. smlsave

    I too lump all my grocery shopping into one figure…keep meaning to separate it into more sections to see what we actually eat too but have never gotten round to it.
    Let us know how you get on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ari's Bitchin' Kitchen

    Thank you for this post. Just to add to what you’ve said, the data from the Office for National Statistics shows that, on average, for every fiver you spend, 1 of it goes through your tummy. Out of the average £554.20 we spend every week, £58.00 are headed towards food and non-alcoholic drinks costs plus £39.00 on takeaways, restaurant meals, drinks and canteens! Surely, most people would be able to easily cut the bills only by changing habits a little bit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. there could be, but I just cut up the fruit and veggies in small enough pieces that I can use them in the blender for smoothies. I generally have a small bag of cut up apples and avocados since those tend to go bad the quickest in our home. and when I have more, I just add to the same bag. our freezer can get full with all our goodies and we start making smoothies! i even will freeze lettuce.


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