Update on cutting food bills in February

Using up panettone in bread and butter pudding

Now that we’re half way through February, I had a quick zip round the kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer to check what food we’ve eaten and what stores are left.

I started this month keen to spend less while eating more healthily, and use up assorted ingredients that have been lingering around a bit too long.

Here’s a quick summary of how it’s gone.


On the shopping side, I spent rather more than intended in the first week (as blogged here).
However I did manage to rein in my spending slightly more during the second week, despite resorting to frozen pizzas on Friday night and five assorted cousins coming over for lunch on Saturday.

Week 1 food shopping summary
Food bought: £68.55
Food left on 15 Feb: £19.87

Week 2 food shopping summary
Food bought: £28.37
Food left on 15 Feb: £12.75

Running total after 2 weeks
Food bought: £96.92
Food left on 15 Feb: £32.61

So after two weeks, our food spending for a family of four averages out just under £49 a week, which is definitely lower than the £60 a week we spent during January.

Of that, we’ve only eaten around £32 worth a week, topping up the food we already had in the house.


Using up Quorn chicken fillets and puff pastry from the freezer

Here’s the progress on the abandoned ingredients I was keen to use up:

1. couple of massive turkey drumsticks, frozen since Christmas Made turkey and mushrooms in a creamy mustard sauce, as blogged here


2. few left over brussel sprouts Used in slightly strange bacon, brussel sprout and broad bean spaghetti and parsnips, also lingering since Christmas Went into winter veg soup 

3. part of a jar of mincemeat (are you beginning to sense a Christmas theme?)


4. a panettone (yup, still on Christmas) Made bread and butter pudding for the visitors this weekend

5. the remains of the Quorn mountain Used the bag of Quorn chicken fillets in puff pastry pie and Quorn chicken salad, still need to use up some Quorn chicken pieces and a couple of Quorn sausages.

6. couple of tubs of chicken stock stashed at the back of the freezer Waiting for risotto inspiration

7. basmati rice bought from Morrisons, which just doesn’t cook the same as the Sainsbury’s version

8. an abandoned cut price celeriac, bought with the best of intentions Used as smashed celeriac to accompany roasted red peppers with feta and cherry tomatoes, as blogged here (and I’ve now included the photo)

9. a tin of potatoes from nearly a year ago

10. untouched bag of yellow split peas, bought to make dahl and soup.


So I’ve made dents in half the list, but still have to get cracking on the rest. I reckon if I do some kind of curry, I could even use up the tinned potatoes, some of the split peas and some of the rice in one fell swoop.

Not much left in the fridge

Looking round the kitchen, the shelves seem pretty sparse and it feels like we have very little food left.

We’ve eaten all the ham, decimated the fruit and only have a few slices of bread and a single egg left. Packaged food intended for the children, like yogurt tubes, multipack crisps and cereal, is nearly all gone.

However, doing the stock take this morning made we realise we do have the ingredients for multiple meals with only limited top up shopping.

Hopefully in the midst of half term havoc I’ll be able to post tomorrow about the potential store cupboard meals.

Anyone else managing to cut back on their food costs?

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  1. 16th February 2016 / 7:26 am

    My plans have gone slightly awry, with friends staying over the weekend and decorating a room that means the kitchen is full of stuff that should be somewhere else.
    Hoping to get it all finished and put away in the next day or two so I can see what I've got and make a menu…

    • 17th February 2016 / 10:31 am

      Life has a habit of intervening sometimes! The decorating sounds exciting, good luck getting it all done and dusted, and back to normal in the kitchen.

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