“Nothing that has value, real value, has no cost. Not freedom, not food, not shelter, not healthcare” Dean Kamen
Mr Fire and I have been trying out something a little different to reduce the food bill. It all started one painstaking day when we both sat down with all our receipts. We
itemized and compared every item that we bought to see where all our overspends go. We were fairly surprised to find out that we spend a really decent amount on the basics, fruit, veg, dairy.
We don’t buy lots of chocolate or crisps. There was a fair bit spent on alcohol (expensive = gin for me, frequent = beer for Mr Fire) and the other surprise was meat. We don’t consume a huge amount of meat in my opinion, but buying 500g of chicken was setting us back £5. We also purchase minced lamb or beef for burgers and spaghetti recipes.
How could we cut back on meat? Alcohol was easier. Mr Fire was very noble and gave up beer and has instead started working towards brewing his own. I will make a bottle of Gin last ALOT longer and we both will only drink at most once a week. Its going really well actually and we don’t really miss it since we are so shattered by bedtime anyway!
Meat was slightly trickier. We already shop at a budget supermarket. After asking around we decided to try out buying up the reduced items from a named supermarket at the end of the day. This proved tricky since Mr Fire works late and the competition was fierce. The majority of the times we tried the meat was either all gone or it wasn’t much cheaper than what we would have paid.
Lucky for us one day at Mr Fire’s work, someone mentioned to him about The Company Shop. Its only for members of the Emergency Services so we were able to join up. The shop has all food from major supermarkets that sells food that is close to its sell by date much cheaper than normal retail price.
Once inside on our first visit, I was expecting floor to ceiling bargains cuts of meat so I was very disappointed. After a grounding talk with Mr Fire, we set off on the hunt again. I was amazed to find not just meat but all kinds of other items that were close to there sell by date but some were not for another 3 months,
There wasn’t any meat but we found some spread cheese, cooking sauces and oats all with more than half price off!
Our second trip was more fruitful (or should that be meatful?) as they had 1kg of chicken for £2 so we bought the max you are allowed (6 packs per person) so our freezer is currently stuffed full of chicken!
Has it helped our food bill? I think it has. We have been trying it out for the past two months and our bill is slowly dropping.
I’m also going to start separating our household spends from our food bill. Its very misleading for us to look at “food” when its toothpaste and mouthwash.
How do you reduce your food bill?