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household food budgeting ???

(22 Posts)
meddie Wed 08-May-13 01:22:08

meal plan and cook from scratch is the biggest way to cut grocery costs.
beans and pulses to replace meat. (kidney bean and mushroom are lovely in enchilada's)
frozen chicken portions are way cheaper than fresh. I can buy a 1kg bag of chicken breasts for £3.99 and that does about 4 meals for me and daughter. just take individual portions out in the morning and they are defrosted ready for the evening.
Batch cook. a basic sauce of mince onions peppers, tinned tomato can be used as the base for chilli, spag bol etc
value range for basics like pasta,rice,tinned tomatoes, kidney beans.
You really wont notice the difference and they are often a fraction of the cost of the branded pasta etc.
compare price per kg on fruit and veg. often the multi packs are not always the cheapest.

I have found this http://www.cheap-family-recipes.org.uk/index.html to be a fab website. I don't follow either of the food plans exactly t the letter but I punch their recipes for a few meals a week and they've saved me a fortune! I've also started boiling a chicken (£5 tesco one) and making three meals and a soup out of it to freeze ie curry, chic pie and sweet sour.
This also has some different recipe ideas http://www.netmums.com/family-food/family-recipes/budget-recipes

We spend £25 a week in Aldi, plus £18 a week on school dinners (term time), plus £10 a week between the local butchers and greengrocers (I like to support local businesses, and they are good and cheapsmile).
I have leftover dinners for lunches, DH makes packed lunches (which is counted in the Aldi shop above, costs about £3-5 a week).
That's for two adults, 2DCs. Includes all cleaning stuff and sundries.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Sat 04-May-13 19:50:58

My lunch is quite simple to put together. Ham or cheese sandwich or a simple salad. Unfortunately the kids are a bit more demanding smile

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 19:45:36

I used to feel like that MTS, but I've timed myself and I can make 4 good packed lunches in less than 10 mins. That's less than 1 hour a week, to save around £40 per week (packed lunches for 2 adults and 2 children here)

I don't know about you, but I'd take a job that paid over £40 an hour like shot grin

MTSCostcoChickenFan Sat 04-May-13 19:33:36

I was surprised to read in another thread that some posters spend at least £150 pw just on food so not including loo rolls, nappies etc, for a family of four etc.

I was beginning to think I was one tight fisted murver until I came across this thread. Sanity has been restored.

We spend between £40-£45 pw on food. I haven't got the time (or energy) to do a packed lunch every day for the kids so on top of that we spend another £35 on school lunches. Bit silly I know since school lunch for two cost almost as much as home cooked food for the whole family.

So £80 pw on food or £60 if only I could be bothered to do packed lunches.

As for household stuff we bulk buy loo rolls, cleaning stuff etc which last for months so I've no idea what that averages out to pw or pm.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 18:38:18

River Cottage Veg Everyday changed our lives. I now do a roast on a Sunday, use left overs for curry/soup spag bol etc for as long as they last (add lentils to make it go further, no-one even knows they're there ) then for the rest of the week we eat fab HFW vegetarian food. Really tasty, filling and healthy. Even confirmed carnivore DH loves it.

I spend about £60-£70 per week for four of us, including a bottomless 12 yo DS. I don't buy anything processed/packaged, ever and everyone takes a packed lunch. Most of the shopping is done in Lidl.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 04-May-13 18:28:33

Winter lentil stews. blush

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 04-May-13 18:28:09

I've never had a problem with aldi veg, I bought waitrose carrots once, it went all soft the next day.

If you make soups freeze carot slices or pieces on a tray and store them in a ziplock bag, you can do the same with onions. I'd imagine most root veg like parsnips and sweet potato would freeze like this too.

It makes roasted veg a doddle. The only veg I buy fresh are potatoes, salad stuff and root veg for winter lentils.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 02-May-13 18:00:14

Me and teenage son. I spend around £40 a week (sometimes a little more if we need washing powder).

Organic chicken legs
Potatoes (last 2 weeks)
Carrots/peas/broccoli/apples/oranges/bananas (last 2/3 weeks so I buy 2 different ones every week)
2 milk
Bread
Cheese (lasts 2 weeks at least)
Juice
Pasta (1 bag lasts a month)
Pesto (lasts a month)
Bacon
2 cans of beans/spaghetti (we don't eat the whole can per meal so they last a couple of days)
Sausages (we eat 2 each so the remainder end up in the pasta)
Yogurts
Something fishy (mackerel/can of tuna/smoked salmon if it's cheap)

I shop in Waitrose, mainly basics stuff as it's as nice as the branded but cheaper.

specialsubject Thu 02-May-13 17:52:16

fruit and veg should NOT last a long time. Plan your meals. Don't worry about the horse meat thing, no-one was actually harmed and it has now been stopped anyway. Buying own brand is sense, not scrimping - except for a few things such as instant coffee. Remember; if the bottle is the same shape, the contents are the same thing.

£450 a month on household stuff is a LOT, even allowing for nappies etc. Too much cleaning?

gruffalocake Thu 02-May-13 17:39:27

I'm finding a two week plan and shop is working for me. I am bulk cooking in the first week so I make double of whatever I am cooking and pop it in the freezer for the following week. I freeze milk and bread. I still have £20 for top ups of fresh bits but it seems to be helping with te budget. I spend £100 on the 2 week shop so works out at £60 a week for two adults and 2 under 4s.
I didn't get on with aldi at all. Some things tasted awful and I wasn't convinced about the meat which I prefer to buy on offer from waitrose or sainsburys. It's all about getting offers on decent food rather than buying cheap stuff nobody wants to eat!
It sounds like you are on 400/450 a month. I reckon you could shave £100 off that without going completely lentil stewy!

KindleMum Thu 25-Apr-13 14:47:02

rocky - when you try aldi again, I really recommend inputting the receipt into tesco when you get home to price compare. When we did our very first Aldi shop about a month ago, I hated it, came out thinking meh, won't do that again. But as a comparison exercise I took the receipt and created the same shopping basket on Sainsburys and realised I'd spent 50% of what I'd have spent in Sainsburys. I've done that every week since and it's motivated me to keep using Aldi as I know exactly what I'm saving. It really helps to crystallise the figure. 4 weeks on, I'm converted. I now prefer not having to compare several special offers to work out which tins of tomatoes are best value, not having to listen to music and announcements, not being offered strange coupons and vouchers to disguise the fact that the prices are high.

We now do the weekly shop at Aldi and plan on a monthly top up elsewhere for the few things we want that Aldi don't sell. If you buy the Mirror or Record today, it has a £5 off £40 spend voucher for Aldi.

thank you for all your budget advice , we will give aldi's a try i have always been scepticle as the few times i have shopped there i have found the fruuit and veg didn't last as long as from tesco where we generally do our shop or asda ! but we will definatly give it another chance !

our tesco shop (as it is the closest and biggest to us ) comes to £250 at the beginning of the months inc toiletries , cleaning products cat supplies nappies wipes ect and around 50 per week on fruit, veg ,milk fridge stuff .... and anytime we try to cut this budget we end up running out of food and money if it is not budgetted in..

we dont buy the expensive stuff but not completly own brand but scrimp where we can although i do worry about buying the cheapest ranges because of the whole horses meat problems ....

KindleMum Tue 23-Apr-13 14:12:28

We've recently swapped from Sainsbury to Aldi. Each week I've put what I bought at Aldi into the Sainsbury website and each time my Aldi shop has been 55- 65% of what the same shop would have been at Sainsbury. And quality is good. I'm hooked.

specialsubject Tue 23-Apr-13 13:59:29

to check the obvious;

- own brand wherever possible. tinned tomatoes at 31 p or at 89p?
- waste NOTHING; the only food that should be composted/binned is peelings. If you are scraping uneaten food off plates, serve less.
- a freezer is your friend; e.g. Tesco seeded wholemeal bread for 89-99p a loaf, 4 pints milk for £1 - both freeze well and allow you to stock up.

Eat seasonally and via what is on offer.

Two adults and a 4 yo here (and a baby but shes ff).

We spent upto £70 per week inc nappies and formula and all toiletries/cleaning products.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:18

Family of two and we spend around £70/week on all groceries including food, toiletries and cleaning products. I like us to eat well so we don't skimp but we don't eat out much or get takeaways which I've noticed others sort of gloss over or 'forget' when talking about budgets smile If I have to save money I a) plan meals ahead so that there is no waste, b) make plenty of soup, omelettes and vegetarian meals and c) avoid ready-made foods like the plague.

jenduck Tue 23-Apr-13 10:08:45

We are a family of 4 (me, DH, DS4 & DS2) plus cat (so slightly larger family, but small children) & we spend between £100 & £200 per month on groceries including cat food, cleaning products, toiletries, nappies etc. The amount spent varies depending on what I already have in - so this month, the freezers are full with meat & fish, plus we have plenty of pasta, rice & drinks, so we should really only spend on fruit & veg, milk, yoghurts etc, so it will be a low spend month. I don't do a regular shop, just pop in when we need something.

The best way I have found of keeping costs down is to go to the supermarket (Tesco for me as is closest) in the evening, a couple of times a month, at around 7-8pm for our local store. This is when meat/fish/cooked meats etc get marked down to 20-25% of their original price, fruit & veg & bakery bits usually go for 10% of their original price. Most of this can then be frozen & constitutes the bulk of my food shopping for a month & so I only have to to up for items mentioned above.

It can be a pain to do it this way, especially if I have to take 2 young children with me, but I think it's worth it as it saves me hundreds of pounds a month.

Another helpful thing about doing things this way is that I rarely spend more than £20-£30 in one go, so I always get the till spits for money off next shop or more points if you spend £20, so then I can buy any toiletries etc with that.

I have also recently discovered Farm Foods for basics - milk, 2 x 4pts for £1.60, large sack of pots for £3, bread 2 for £1.50 (I think - good if I can't get it reduced!) and so on.

Toasttoppers Tue 23-Apr-13 10:02:38

One dc left at home but he is almost a teen so its like feeding an extra hungry adult. We spend about 70 a week because I swapped and get about 75% of my food at Aldi.

I actually don't meal plan but see what is on offer. I have always cooked pretty much from scratch. Elder child is a DD she never ate like DS. As you have a boy prepare for fridge raiding on a scale that I had no idea existed, he is not remotely fat at all. Two brioche for breakfast, school lunch, the equivalent of another lunch at about 4pm afer school and then dinner at 7pm. Interspersed with whining about what can he eat.

Get thee to Aldi, free range chicken £4.99 does us a roast and then a stew that is bulked up with loads of veg.

madamecake Tue 23-Apr-13 09:52:50

We found we made the biggest reduction by switching supermarket (from sainsburys to aldi), and then by meal planning so only buying exactly what we need.
For me, DH and a toddler, our weekly shop comes to £50, with roughly another £10 during the week for top ups of bread, milk etc. This includes cleaning products etc, but not nappies and wipes.

I was wondering how much the average one child family spends on food per month/week ..??

dp and i find we are spending a lot on our supermarket budget each mont we have had a bit of a money reduction recently and thought that this was something we could cut back on but are finding that we are running out of food and budget at the end of the month and are struggling to stay healthy as a result ..

we have just started growing fruit and veg in the garden with ds but will b a while before they flower (if they live that long blush

any advise on cutting costs and a rough idea of what others spend would be useful??

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