The key for our household when grocery shopping and stocking up the larder is keeping hubby away from the task!
He has a super sweet tooth and doesn't do shopping lists or budgets.
We spent on average €60 a week when doing our grocery shopping. This would usually be dividend equally between food and household products such as toilet paper, nappies and detergent.
I have narrowed my larder essentials down to three items; strong flour, sugar and oatmeal.
From the flour, it is the bases for bread, pancakes, pasta, pastry, pizza, buns and bases for soups and sauces.
From the sugar, it is the bases for jams, chutneys and home brew.
From the oatmeal, it is our breakfast staple of porridge.
We do purchases of course a large variety of other products but never dairy or meat in a supermarket.
As we produce so much fresh food, it is very important that we can store it for again. The deep freeze is very important to us for this, as well as bottling jams and chutneys.
I do think the biggest change needed is a change of attitude towards food. We did at one time, decide what we fancied to eat and then buy it, cook it or both.
Now we ( mainly me! ) go for a walk in the garden, count the eggs brought in that day, check out the meat in the freezer and have a look at the larder. Then we know we have the ingredient for x number of different meal choices and we decide on one then.
At the moment, it's any meal that uses plenty of courgettes, tomatoes and new potatoes.
We could get the grocery costs down much lower, but again we are not frugal!
We like to treat ourselves, eat out occasionally, have cheat nights every now and again and most importantly eat healthy proteins and fats instead of cheap carbohydrates.
Another factor to be considered is that we send about €10 a week on rolled oats for the animals. Which is a food cost, as it helps produce the eggs, milk and bacon.
In summary, we feed two adults and three children for about €40 a week plus another €30 on household products, due to a considerable investment of our time.
I find everything boils down to choosing between time or money.
You can sell your time for a wage but then have no time to be more self reliant and therefore you would need to spend your wage.
If only we could have time and money!