Irish Food

This Week’s Groceries

While the days have passed in a blur of exciting things like interviews and book launches, the daily chores still have to be done. I know that many people wonder what we eat every week and how I manage the budget. I’ve already been out shopping today and here is what I have bought for the week ahead. I’m also sharing my meal plan for next week so you can see how it can be done.

This Week’s Groceries:

8 Bananas€1.24
Vac Pack Beetroot€0.79
1kg baby potatoes€0.99
Mixed Peppers€1.79
Mixed Chillis€0.65
Whole Ginger€0.79
6L Milk€4.38
2 blocks unsalted butter€2.98
2 blocks regular butter€4.38
Wok Spices€0.99
6 eggs€1.99
2 boxes Cereal€2.98
1kg Oats€1.39
2 packs cream crackers€0.78
Orange Juice€1.45
Sliced Pan€0.89

Before going to the supermarket, I nipped by my local craft butcher, Browne’s of Balbriggan, and picked up my meat for the week as well. A medium chicken, 1lb of quality stewing steak and 1lb of turkey mince set me back €14 for the week ahead.

That brings my food for this week to a total of €60.53.

As our food budget is €70 for the week, that leaves me with €9.47 for other items during the week ahead. I suspect I’m going to need to buy more bananas and milk at some stage, maybe some bread too. This gives me leeway if I need to pick up any of these items and if anything is left over, then I’ll roll it into next week’s food shop and get some extra store cupboard ingredients.

This week I’ve invested in butter, it will freeze if I don’t want to keep it in the fridge; I used up my butter stores baking for Thursday night so needed to replenish my stock. I also bought some parmesan, which will last a week or three providing I am careful with how it’s stored in the fridge. The wok spices which I discovered a few weeks back in my local supermarket are organic and taste amazing sprinkled on top of a salad or in a stir fry. I’ll get a good few weeks out of this jar.  Tea is probably the only item that I buy branded, everything else on this shopping list is own brand. A box will do us for 2 weeks so I don’t need to buy it again for a fortnight.

My store cupboard has plenty of baking materials including eggs, some root vegetables (carrots and potatoes), dried goods including beans and corn, frozen fruit & vegetables, fish chunks and chicken stock.

I’ll vary the breakfasts between porridge, cereal with milk or something with eggs – either pancakes or a simple boiled egg and toast. For lunches, we’ll have crackers and cheese, toasted sandwiches, pasta salad, soup and soda scones.

Dinner Meal Plan

  1. Roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings
  2. Omelette with potato wedges and spicy green beans
  3. Beef Ragu with roasted vegetables and spaghetti
  4. Chicken Stuffing Bake
  5. Fishcakes with roasted vegetable sauce
  6. Turkey Dumpling Broth
  7. Homemade Baked Beans with mash

Snacks & Treats

The kids love popcorn and it’s really easy to make so we will have that as a healthy snack at least 3 times during the week. As you can see, there was a packet of biscuits in the trolley (thanks hubby) so I’m sure they’ll get eaten at some stage. I have plenty of materials for baking in the house and that means we’ll have scones or a soda bread once or twice, along with some cake or treat to be baked & ultimately end up here on the blog too! There are bananas, raisins and other dried fruit in the cupboard – we all love snacking on these.

I stopped buying crisps and nuts a while back. I am trying really hard to be careful about the amount of salt we eat so they’re now off the shopping list. In saying that if I did buy crisps I know they would disappear in a flash!

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

    Congratulations on the book Caitriona, I’m looking forward to getting a copy. I love a bargain too and have recently started saving a whole lot more by switching supermarkets, I’m wondering if you have a buget for other “shopping” items ie shampoo, surface spray, etc, and if you’ve any recommendations in that category as well? Love the post, as always.

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Thanks Una.
      Yes I have an additional small budget for toiletries and cleaning materials. The 2 year old is still in nappies so I have to allow for that too. My overall grocery budget for the week is €90 including refuse charges.
      For shampoos etc we all have sensitive skin so the prices can be very expensive if you use specialist creams/potions. We use emulsifying ointment softened with hot water which is cheap enough and then a plain shampoo. For surface sprays I have cheap spray bottles I got in the pound shop. You can either fill them with a watered down cleaning agent or a combination of lemon and vinegar. Whichever you prefer!

  • CatherineAnn Minnock

    Have you got a recipe for those home-made baked beans? I’m a fan of the idea but hate them from a tin, so I’d love to do my own.
    Saw your contributions in the Lidl brochure, brilliant!
    Also, I was wondering, since the likes of Aldi and Lidl have become more popular in the past few years, have you always shopped in these places (assuming by the prices you do!) or did you previously shop in the more expensive supermarkets? Had to pressure my mum for 2 years to switch to Aldi but now she’d never go back!

    • Wholesome Ireland

      For the homemade baked beans – here is my recipe.
      No I’ve not always shopped in the German supermarkets and I still don’t shop there all the time. I shop where ever and however it’s the most convenient and cheap. So for example if it’s cheaper to get what I want by going to the grocer and the butcher then that’s what I do! 🙂

      • CatherineAnn Minnock

        Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try it this week 🙂
        That’s a very smart way to be, wish I had time to shop round in grocers’ etc.

        • Wholesome Ireland

          Oh I don’t have the time at all. The grocery shop and the butcher’s are very close. I only ever shop in 1 supermarket per week, it just depends where the special offers are!

  • David Kelly

    Catriona, looking at your list of groceries, I wondered if you grow any of your own stuff such as herbs, vegetables, chillies etc to help supplement things?

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Sorry David I’m only spotting this now. I do grow my own food but my shopping budget allows for only eating from the supermarket shelf. In reality my average supermarket spend is less than the magic €70 for food. However I’m really privileged to be able to do that and I understand that most of my readers don’t grow or rear their own. Which is why the prices for meals, and what I buy is calculated on a shopping basis only. 🙂

  • belles

    Just discovered your blog after seeing you earlier on rte. I’m curious about the wok spices – what shop do you buy them in and do they contain any/much salt as I am trying to cut back too. Thanks

    • Wholesome Ireland

      Hi Belles, I got them in Lidl, they’re an organic spice blend and it’s in their Vitasia range. They are low in salt but do contain some salt. I’d highly recommend the Goodalls range of spice rubs and mixes if you’re on a low salt diet as they are all salt free so a far better option for you. I’ve tried them all and find them excellent.

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