How much is 'enough' for food shop for a family of 4??

(47 Posts)
SandyChick Thu 31-Jan-13 20:07:16

Just been watching martin lewis and he's given me the kick up the bum to sort finances out.

We do well when it comes to shopping around for insurance, broadband etc. The only thing we have room for manoeuvre is out weekly food shop.

We are 2 adults, 6 year old and a 10 month old. I currently shop at sainsburys. I tend to buy their own brand. I spend around £400 per month which also includes cleaning stuff, cat food, cat litter, nappies etc. I basically buy everything from sainsburys. We have milk delivered.

I have tried in the past to cut down but we always end up going to our local shop for 'treats' during the week.

So, how much is enough for a family of 4 to spend on their weekly food shop without feeling like your really missing out?

jenduck Thu 31-Jan-13 21:22:41

We are a family of 4 (me, DH, DS1 (4) & DS2 (21mo) with a cat, too. We spend between £100 & 200 per month on groceries including nappies, cleaning stuff, cat food - everything. (I know because I write it all down). Actually, it does not include alcohol, on which we spend about £70 3 times per year, on a day trip to France.

This is done through a mixture of buying lots of Tesco Value items & lots of yellow-stickered items (75% off or more). We also don't really buy more than we need & don't throw food out. We don't feel like we're missing out as we often have Finest items & treats from my yellow sticker trawls.

RedPencils Thu 31-Jan-13 21:31:41

I spend about £100 per month for 2 adults and 10 yr DTs. Mostly at Aldi with top up at Asda. We do have a lot of meat though and a treats.

forevergreek Fri 01-Feb-13 10:55:48

Around £60 a week ocado. We have no pets and rarely buy cleaning products ( use an Eco egg for washing clothes, hot water and Vinegar/ lemon juice for cleaning)

gerbilsarefun Fri 01-Feb-13 11:18:54

Around £60 for a shop in Aldi, which can last 2 weeks for meals. In between I need to buy milk, bread, crisps (my 2 can eat crisps faster than walkers can make them shockwink) and other basics. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 dds 14 & 11.

sunnyday123 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:11:02

I spend about £80 per week for 2 adults and 2 kids tesco or asda.I have tried Aldi etc but even then I only get it to £6o-70! How do you manage a month on £100 (genuine question?)

IceBergJam Mon 04-Feb-13 12:19:22

I keep looking at my food shop, because we need to cut back. I think I am doing some wrong from the responses on here.

Over a month, we have two weeks with DH, Me, and DD 14M, and two weeks with DH, Me, 14M, 18 & 16 YO.

Dog & Cat

When there is just 3 of us, we spend about £80. When there are five about £130. Two teens are extremely fussy so its hard to budget with them.

So about £420 a month. We dont really drink, and then we get takeouts / eat out on top of that. We must cut back because the nursey fees now take a large portion of our budget.

We spend £40-£50 per week in Aldi for DH, DS1 (4YO), DS2 (6MO) and myself. We have cut back on wine for health and money reasons, so only buy one bottle of wine a week.

Usually about £60-£80 in asda or tesco (I don't have to buy nappies/washing powder/toilet rolls etc every week) but it'd be more than that if I actually bought enough bread, milk, cereal, squash and fruit to last hmm I never seem to buy enough of those so we have to top up at our very expensive corner shop during the week (£2 for a single can of tuna, anyone?) I shouldn't really, should bite the bullet and get it all in one shop!

I've shopped at most supermarkets and find Sainsbury's to be one of the most expensive. I know you said you buy their value range but honestly, even when I really tried I still ended up spending £20 more than I would anywhere else. If you haven't tried aldi or lidl I would really recommend giving them a go.

Or asda, if you can be disclipined and not be distracted/bedazzled by the zillions of products and offers like I usually am. Shopping list? What shopping list? Fuck the mince, they have chocolate filled crepes on offer!!! hmm

Fayrazzled Mon 04-Feb-13 12:41:58

I wish I could get my food shopping down to £400 a month. £600 is my current target. Honestly, I don't know how you guys do it. I meal plan and use the my supermarket website to choose which supermarket is the cheapest to buy from (although I won't use Tesco but it doesn't matter as they are never the cheapest). No Aldi or Lidl within half an hour of here so fuel costs would be an issue driving there.

Fayrazzled Mon 04-Feb-13 12:43:11

Oh and I do cook from scratch every night. We get through loads of fresh fruit though and that's expensive.

momb Mon 04-Feb-13 12:47:58

I spend 100 per fortnight at the supermarket, than milk topup locally, plus a 'treats shop' if I'm passing an aldi or lidl maybe once a month. I guess about 300-350 per month, including rabbit food, cleaning stuff (but not wine), toiletries, for DP and myself plus 2 DDs (school age/teen) all week and another 3SDDs every weekend. This includes packed lunches and socialising food (we have guests a lot).
If you spend money at the local shop on treats because you have cut them out, then make some treats and keep them in a tin in the kitchen. Or try the cheaper stores for treats: all our girls prefer aldi crisps to main supermarket ones, and they are 1/3 the price of branded.
Are you cooking yourself or using more pre-prepared food? It does work out a lot cheaper to buy the ingredients and do batch cooking than paying for someone else to prepare it for you.

IceBergJam Mon 04-Feb-13 13:15:45

We tend to cook from scratch, but the teens only eat food with meat in it and little veg. Not sure how to make that cheap. Chicken breasts are so expensive!

Family of 4 here, me, DP, DD1 (4) and DD2 (12 weeks). DD2 is formula fed. And a dog.

We have a budget of £70 per week if we need it but most weeks we get by on £60 inc formula, nappies, toiletries, cleaning products and dog food. I alternate those items (except formula) so its usually £40 on food for all breakfasts, lunches and dinners, £8 on formula and £10 on anything else.

We eat meat with every meal, but it might only be some bacon or chorizo. I meal plan, cook from scratch and buy own brand but not always the value ranges. We rarely feel deprived.

If I was working full time it would be impossible to do it this cheap.

jenduck Mon 04-Feb-13 19:54:38

sunnyday I'm not sure if your question was directed at me, but I'll answer it anyway! The months I spend £100 or thereabouts are usually months when I already have a well-stocked freezer & have cat food & nappies to hand, as well. Then the months when I have to stock up on these things are more like £200 months.

For me, it really is all about buying bargains when you see them & having ample storage (we have 2 full-sized freezers & a large understairs cupboard). So, for example, my freezers are now running low (well, except 6 loaves of bread DH got for 14p each for Kingsmill!), so I will go to Tesco one evening this week & be prepared to hang around for an hour or more to get 75%+ off meat, fruit & veg & bakery items. I may even have to go a couple of times, but I'm confident I will get enough of each to last me the best part of a month. I am lucky that DH is home in time for me to do this this week, but were he not, I would just take the DSes (4 & 21mo) with me & put them to bed later (they can always nap the next day & are both excellent sleepers anyway).

Also, I pop into the co-op/martins whenever I am in the vicinity, whether or not I need anything. I often pick up 6-packs of yoghurts for 10p or 4 pints of milk for 30p, which I freeze.

Lastly, my motto is not to meal plan & buy ingredients for that, but to buy what is cheap & then make a meal out of what I have.

higgle Wed 06-Feb-13 14:33:04

I work full time and haven't got the energy to hang about waiting for mark downs. I do make sure I have enought money in the system to take full advantage of 2 for 1 or big reductions on things we use all the time - ketchup, mayo, Quorn products ( usually an offer on them) that way there is often a week when I have very little to buy except fruit and veg.

ChestyLeRoux Wed 06-Feb-13 14:34:48

About 60 a week with nappies.I do the lot in asda.

noisytoys Mon 11-Feb-13 09:16:37

We spend £80 a month on a Sainsburys basics home delivery and £10 a week on top ups of milk, bread etc from Lidl. We are potty training DD now because we can't afford nappies anymore. We don't go without anything we need and we are all happy smile

Consils Mon 11-Feb-13 09:24:50

Someone on mumsnet had a 2 week meal plan for a family of four for about £35 per week. Does anyone have a link to that thread?

SandyChick Mon 11-Feb-13 21:30:58

Bumping for consils - If like to see the meal plan.

I'm thinking of doing a weekly meal plan then doing a massive batch of each meal to freeze so in theory I should have a few weeks worth of meals sorted. It might be a but repetitive but hopefully it will cut the cost of food shop and time in spend cooking smile

jenduck Tue 12-Feb-13 09:14:07

I think that was BoffinMum but not sure how you find the thread or attract her attention [slightly dim smiley needed]

1stMrsFrugal Tue 12-Feb-13 20:45:05

It's on her blog Austerity Housekeeping

bacon Wed 13-Feb-13 18:20:29

I'd be more conservative at £120 pw. Taking into account I do packed lunches and everything is of good quality, I bake and cook from scratch. We dont have takeaways and hardly eat out (only very occassionally), most weeks thats 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 teas. I have home bred lamb and sometimes beef in freezer. I buy plenty of fish. May include 2 bottles of good wine so could be a bit more. £17 per day for 4 is perfectly acceptable.

I wouldnt skip on food, quality and nutrition is paramount. My cleaner spends £170 on rubbish. I have to add we have hardly any food waste. I dont buy magazines, crisps, pop, readymades, dog food or nappies.

I cant quite see how you can live on £50pw and food is going up and will definitely next year. If you are eating a good balanced diet, no waste and no cr@p then no one should be ashamed at what they spend I have friends who eat out all weekend so they can justify spending £200 a weekend at restaurants.

whatyoulookinat Wed 13-Feb-13 18:25:38

2 adults & 3dcs. We spend about £80 per week & make most meals from scratch. We don't really have puddings, just yogurts/ fruit & buy alot of own brand including a few Sainsburys basics.

Doshusallie Wed 13-Feb-13 18:31:17

I spend between £500-600 a month. I shop at tescos and lidl. We throw nothing away. 4 of us, dh, me, 2 dses, 6 and 8. During the week the only meals the boys eat at home is breakfast so I am paying school meals in top of that. I do buy a lot of meat, but no idea why I spend so much to be honest yes I do it's gin

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