Irish Food,  Opinion

One Week’s Groceries

I’m regularly asked how I manage this €70 food budget I have. I figure now is as good a time as any to show you what one week’s groceries comprises in this house.  Actually it’s what I have to buy this week.

I break down the budget into separate categories. What I spend depends on what is on offer, and if I can substitute food in/out for what is on special I will.  The categories relate to where the food is in the supermarket to make things easier for me to find and shop.


  • 1lb of minced meat
  • 1 medium chicken
  • 1lb of stewing meat


  • 8L full fat milk
  • 18 eggs
  • 1L buttermilk
  • 300g cheddar
  • 1 dozen yoghurts
  • 2 lbs of butter

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

  • Large bunch of bananas
  • 1 bag of eating apples
  • 1 other fruit choice (depending on offers)
  • 1 bag of carrots
  • 1 bag of white onions
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 white cabbage
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 10kg bag of spuds

Store Cupboard

  • 1kg caster sugar
  • 2kg plain flour
  • 1kg coarse wholemeal flour
  • 2 sliced pans for sandwiches
  • 2 boxes of sugarfree cereal (this is normally an own brand version of weetabix)
  • 300g dried fruit
  • 2 L of fruit cordial

In my store cupboard I have loads of dried herbs, spices, beans, oats, rice and pasta, not forgetting yeast and bread soda for baking. In my freezer I have some frozen homemade tomato sauce, a bag of frozen peas, a bag of frozen sweetcorn, some frozen berries (from berry picking in the Autumn) and chicken stock.

I have to emphasise this is not what we eat in one week, but this is my list for this week.

As we are a household with small children I operate the path of least resistance when it comes to breakfasts and fuel for school.  At the moment most breakfasts are of cereal or toast. Lunches are based around sandwiches and bread. The dinners for the week ahead are based on the meat that I’ve bought.

The main meals for the next 7 days in no particular order will be as follows:

  1. Burgers with chips and salad (will include coleslaw, I’m drooling)
  2. Meatballs with Pasta
  3. Roast Chicken Dinner
  4. Chicken Fried Rice (made with leftover roast chicken)
  5. Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry (made with the stewing meat)
  6. Spanish Style Chickpea Stew (also with some stewing meat)
  7. Quiche (with roasted root veg on the side)

I’ll also get some chicken stock as a base to make a vegetable soup which will serve a couple of lunches.

For treats during the week I’ll bake some muffins and or flapjacks (handy for lunchboxes), if the family is really lucky there may be a cake or some biscuits from the oven too.

The shopping list above is a wishlist. If anything is too expensive this week then I’ll substitute it for something that is cheaper. I always check to see what is marked down first and then fill the trolley afterwards.

If you have any questions, just ask!

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Una Jordan

    Goodness, my list is practically identical. More tins, perhaps, but even your freezer contents sound like mine. I have to laugh, I’ve run out of inspiration for my leftover frozen blackberries, having made a mountain of chutney from them in October. Any ideas? Love the post, as usual!!

  • Nono

    I would have similar types of dinners too Caitriona. I find that a pound of meat does 2 to 3 dinners at least so I would use my slow cooker a lot during the week (+ added bonus to not have to cook in the evening!) This turns any cheap and nasty cut into the most succulent and tender meat!

  • Life On Balance

    I could never get my head around meal planning – do you have any tips on how I could approach this?

  • kathryn

    It’s gradually building up the store cupboard that is so critical isn’t it – ready for the weeks when you have to draw down. We’ve got a lot more careful since we moved to retirement income though it couldn’t be described as even remotely tight thank goodness, but since there were new glasses X 2, a fill of oil and some not-covered-by-VHI consultants I was very glad of the freezer and store cupboards. Not to mention salads and spring veg from the garden. Total grocery bill this month was less than €100 for two of us because of the stores. And about the same for three cats, one of which is allergic to dried food so they all get the canned stuff!

  • Noelle

    Hi Caitríona, Seems like a good plan for main meals but what do you use for lunch / sandwich fillings ? I have 2 girls so I guess I’m always on the lookout for new ideas to keep some variety. I’ve recently found a great butcher who does great deals on real good quality meat which helps a lot (mince, stewing beef, chicken fillets). Really helpful post – thank you!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Noelle,
      The 5 year old has sandwiches for school and will have cheese or cheese and salami (if it’s in the budget) in his sambos. I give him this because I know he will eat it and it will fill him up enough until he gets home from school. The 2 year old and I have a fine time eating soup, pancakes, omelettes and many more lovely dishes during the week!

  • Janice

    Love this post!!!! Anychance you could post the recipe for the spanish style chickpea stew? I’m going to mirror your list this week and see how I get on – our grocery bill is unreal!!! I just love your blog..please take a huge virtual hug!!!!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Ah thank you Janice, much appreciated. The recipe is actually in my book so I can’t publish it! Eeek I’m sorry I posted it now as loads of people are asking for it.

  • Jazzygal

    Such a healthy shopping list. You put me to shame!
    There are going to be serious changes around here……!!

  • Tommy

    I don’t know if I could manage without the ‘real’ Weetabix! 😀 Have you considered something like a fish pie? I was thinking of making one if it wasn’t too expensive 🙂

  • Hannah

    Hi, Iove your blog and budgeting tips. I was hoping to get your opinion on what you think is a realistic weekly grocery shopping figure for a couple living in Dublin. My boyfriend doesn’t eat beef or fish or eggs which I always find makes my shopping a lot more difficult.

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Hannah
      I’m not sure what type of budget you’re on. In short, it’s easier to figure out what you have to spend on food first. I’m in Dublin and as you can see mine is very low. There’s nothing wrong with spending more than this either if you have the money to spare. thanks for dropping by!

  • amberjane

    I have followed your blog for awhile and love it – it has helped a great deal since my husband was made redundant and it is comforting to have the advice of another Irish Mam going through the same thing. I think we have similar shopping lists too 🙂

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Amberjane thank you for dropping by. I’m sorry to read your husband has been made redundant. From personal experience I know how devastating it is. Us Irish Mams have to stick together! x

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