£20 a Week in London Shopping List
Last week I announced I was doing a new challenge of only spending £20 a week shopping for food in London.
After doing my reverse finances – looking at how much I spent, and what I spent it on, in a month period, I discovered I spent £250-300 a month on food and this was a great chunk of my salary after rent, bills and travel.
It was time to make a change.
I changed multiple things:
- Where I shopped
- Starting meal planning
- Took my own lunch to work
- Set strict shopping lists
First off, I stopped shopping at Tescos and Sainsburys, particularly Express and Local stores – where the prices are ramped up slightly.
I went to Lidl’s. I’ll admit to being a snob so this hurt my snobby self-esteem for a while until I discovered how much I could buy under a budget. For the time being, I’m happy. Although I maintain it is still one of the worst places to shop in London – the crowds, the queues and the speed at which the cashiers put your food through is impossible.
This was one week’s shopping list, with prices.
- Simply Spaghetti – 20p
- Tomato & Basil pasta sauce – 55p
- Steak pies (double pack) – 49p
- Strawberry and blackberry yoghurt breakfast biscuits x5 – 99p
- Spring onions – 48p
- Beef mince – £1.49
- Baking Potatoes x3 – 66p
- Mars treat pack x13 – £2.19
- Twix treat pack x13 – £2.19 (both treat packs were supposed to be 99p! They lied!!)
- Makeup wipes – £1.99 (should have gone own-brand, or stuck with micellar water)
- Yoghurts x4 – £1.09
- Baby button mushrooms – 74p
- Orange juice 2 litres – £1.35
Total = £14.17
Aside from the overpriced chocolates – seriously these were supposed to be 99p per bag (snacks and lunches for 2 weeks!) – that was a pretty good haul.
I did forget a few things so I popped into my local Tescos express – with a strict shopping list – the following day, and only bought the items on that list:
- Orange Juice (1 litre) – 90p (I get through this!)
- Milk – 65p
- Table Salt – 40p
- Plain Flour – 69p
Total = £2.64
Total budget spent = £16.81
Remaining budget = £3.19
What I already had
- A dozen eggs leftover from the previous week’s £20 budget
- Red onions
- Frozen Chicken breasts
- Sandwich bread
- Condiments (mayonnaise, butter, mustard)
- Herbs/spices (including garlic, turmeric, paprika, pepper and chives)
- Tomato soup cans x2
- Tuna cans x2
- Baked beans can
- Canned new potatoes
- Penne pasta
- Hot chocolate
The meal plans for this week include:
- Mushroom Omelette – for dinner
- Spaghetti Bolognese – dinner, but leftovers for lunch the following day
- Potato salad – for lunch
- Ham & Mustard sandwiches – for lunch
- Loaded potato skins with bacon and spring onions – for dinner
- Chicken, mash potato and mushroom sauce – for dinner
- Scrambled eggs – for dinner and/or weekend breakfast
- Steak pies (pretty large!) – for dinner or weekend lunch
- Breakfast biscuits – for breakfast (obvs!)
- Yoghurts – for snacks and/or breakfast
- Tuna jacket potato – for lunch or dinner
- Tomato soup – for lunch
- Poached eggs, bacon and beans – for dinner (I love a brinner!)
And that will get me through.
I still have £3.19 left in my budget but I expect this will go on drinks – I get through orange juice pretty quickly – and any extras I might want to change up in the week. Maybe some leeks for a potato and leek soup instead of loaded potato skins, or some more bread or ham for sandwiches. Cheap things for under £1.
If I can stick to this plan and not spend over £20 a week I’m only spending a maximum of £80 per paycheck on food which is a ridiculous amount less than before!
Let’s see how this goes.