Monthly shopping bill for a family of 3

(41 Posts)
gastonthebabyshusher Wed 10-Oct-12 18:29:29

We have just had an offer accepted on a lovely family home and are doubling our mortgage. Which is really scary!!! So for probably the first time I'm going to have to stick to a budget rigidly. So just out of interest I wondered what you think I should be planning to spend on food and household goods each month. At the moment we are really silly and spend waaaay too much in the supermarkets.
It's just DH and I and DD who is 2.

timetopost Wed 10-Oct-12 19:19:42

there was a really interesting thread on here recently (but I can't find it now), it gave info on the spend per head / per week. Obviously it varies depending on circumstances, but I recall there was a wide range of spend.

We are a family of 3, and our average is £34 per head per week. This time last year I wouldn't have had a clue what our average spend was, but I've been using eReconcile on my iPad, so I now know what our supermarket / food shop is costing us.

derekthehamster Wed 10-Oct-12 19:21:30

£200 -£250/ month

I have a 9 yr old, dh and me.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:47:12

Just shop at Aldi and it'll be fine.

gastonthebabyshusher Wed 10-Oct-12 20:07:12

Thanks ladies, I will check out the ereconcile app! I had originally thought about £100 pw with a couple of weekend treats. So hopefully that'll be ok.

countydurhamlass Wed 10-Oct-12 20:51:19

we spend about £200-£300 per month (usually closer to £200). We buy our tinned items, biscuits,jams,marmalade, washing up liquid, kitchen roll, pasta, rice, minced beef (Really nice and only £2.49 for 800g - its much better tasting than the other supermarket brands), some of our cereals and flour from Aldi, toilet rolls, soap powder and fresh stuff as we go from morrisons or tesco (They are the closest). i am a bit fussy when it comes to some things such as softner and soap powder but only buy them when they are on offer and so stock up a little, also ds is fussy with his cereal and we go through a box of weetabix minis a week at £2.90 a box. one of our big expenses is ds's packed lunches because we buy him fruit shoot drinks and sandwhich meats/cheese etc for his lunches so probably adds on another £40-£50 a month to what we would spend if he wasnt at school. i have started baking at the weekend- cakes, scones and biscuits, pizza, bread which saves money and is healthier than the shop bought ones

Mum2Fergus Thu 11-Oct-12 09:48:11

I budget £430pm (or £100pw) for DP and DS who is 3...that is to cover everything except household bills and petrol. If I underspend I dont roll over, it goes into savings ac.

We spend £100 every 2 weeks on 2 adults and a (very hungry) 20 month old. That includes nappies and wipes (albeit very cheap asda ones) kitchen and toilet roll. I very occasionally top up cleaning supplies from wilko at around 80p per spray and that total excludes bread, milk and salad. I do an online asda shop every 2 weeks and meal plan religiously. I think you'll be fine with £100 a week, I'd be able to feed another couple of people on that!

nannyl Thu 11-Oct-12 21:37:33

£200 - £250 (prob nearer £250 a month)

but we have either a take away or eat at MILs once a week, so thats 6 main meals (cooked from scratch) a week, + all our lunches + toiletries + cleaning etc etc (but no wipes / nappies / formula, as i BF / use cloth)

shop with ocado once a week and top up at the co-op. We eat meat with almost every meal, and eat a lot of organic food.
The only frozen food i buy is peas, and ice cream!

2 of us (OH eats like a horse) and 1year old DD

Catrin Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:18

Pre separating, we spent whatever we wanted to spend. Now, I spend (for me and dd) about £160 a month. I think that you just cut your cloth according to your means and if you have less, you buy less.

MummifiedBonkeyMollocks Thu 11-Oct-12 23:02:09

I spend £60 a week on 2 adults and ds (4) .

I could bring that down another £15 if I was really tight.

Plan plan plan!

Blu Thu 11-Oct-12 23:09:56

£100 per week????

We manage on about £65 a week incl wine, proper coffee and no 'value' goods, for 2 adults and an 11 yo. I could get it down more if we planned, had more veggie / pulse based meals, etc.

Inneedofbrandy Thu 11-Oct-12 23:14:08

Me dd (7) ds (5) about £30 plus £12 f&v box. About every 6/7 weeks I don't do a shop and use everything up. Sometimes I do a big shop just because I love seeing my cupboards full but that's every 3 months or so, will include 1k rice 1k pasta and 20 tins of chickpeas LOL. Washing powder I buy whatever's on offer when needed and buy the largest amount there is, same as toilet roll ect.

racingheart Mon 15-Oct-12 19:52:26

I'm with Blu. About £70-80 pw for family of 4, three of them with massive appetites, and that includes lunches for everyone, as DH & I work from home and DC don't have school dinners. That's since meal planning. Used to be another £40 a week more than that when I just bought stuff randomly. We throw far less away now.

Doesn't include DH's wine though.

BettyBum Tue 16-Oct-12 11:58:30

You would think I worked for Aldi the way I go on about it, (I don't).

However, a few weeks ago we were spending about £90 a week for family of four at Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda etc, we were not loyal to a particular supermarket.

Then bloke at works starts RAVING about Aldi. He has good taste, eats and travels well. So I try it...


Seriously. Nothing would get me to do my weekly shopping anywhere else.

My weekly shop now costs me £60 a week on average and I love it. There is nothing I don't like. The only downside is that there are a couple of bits I can't get, for example, balti curry paste. This is not enough to dissuade me though, not when I consider the saving.

Just wish I had the guts to put that saving away!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 16-Oct-12 12:03:18

Homebargains and poundland and poundworld are worth a look for curry sauces and pastes. Or an asian supermarket.

If DH has branded stuff now he says "it wasnt as good as the usual one we have" eg he had Pataks tikka sauce instead of aldi tikka. Same with baked beans.

Doesnt stop him moaning about the lack of brands to his family. Git.

MrsHoarder Tue 16-Oct-12 12:12:08

About £200. I do better when I meal plan rather than just go to the shops, and don't deny us any treats (aside from alcohol). Can I suggest though that if you need to cut your weekly shop to the bone you will struggle to pay the mortgage should anything go wrong. Or does this budget include contingency fund saving etc?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 16-Oct-12 12:21:21

About 125 a week, so 500 a month for the 4 of us. I've recently reduced this from 600+!

This includes personal hygiene, cleaning products etc. All pack lunches, snacks, coffee shop stops are include in this.

One thing that came out in the other thread someone mentioned is that some of those who had low spends were not including their lunches as they were bought, and their kids had school dinners which they didn't include, they had a takeaway night etc. It makes a huge difference.

So that's around 84 meals a week not including snacks. So mine works out £1.48 per person per meal.

vroomvroommum Tue 16-Oct-12 21:07:40

Thanks everyone, I have done 1 shop since starting the thread and managed to keep it to £75 by sticking to the list, and without changing any brands. However this didn't include cleaning stuff but did include a little alcohol. So I figure I won't struggle too much sticking to the budget.
Mrs hoarder we are also budgeting an equal amount for savings and another £200 for contingencies. also when DD starts school in a couple of years we will get back a reasonable sum per month from our childcare bill.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 16-Oct-12 22:15:10

Yeah alcohol does knock the bill up grin

I want to try to get mine down another 100 a month. What I've found helpful is figuring out exactly how much milk, bread, pet food etc we use a week so that Im not popping to the local shop for top ups too often.

It also really varies depending on your shopping options. I have no aldi etc near me, no farmers markets, green grocers etc so everything comes from the local supermarket. I do get it delivered which costs around 20 a month which i include in my budget but i also save petrol and a lot of time so i think that is very worth it. Also online i can plan better.

vroomvroommum Wed 17-Oct-12 11:41:01

I think I am going to go down the delivery route as it cuts down my ridiculous propensity for impulse buys grin but will try and do it fortnightly rather than weekly and just pop into Tesco metro on the other week for a top up of fresh veg, bread, and milk. I'm also trying to compile a list of 2 night dinners so that i only have to cook every other day and I figure that this will also help with the planning. Think I'll start a thread so I can steal a load of lovely new recipes from you fabulous lot. Easier in the winter to do as its more stews, soups and casseroles.

My weekly budget is £45 a week for DH, me, 3yo bottomless pit DD and a 9mo. That includes nappies and dairy substitutes. I shop at Lidl, Tesco and the local grocer and butcher.

As someone said upthread, you cope with what you have.

GodisaDJ Wed 17-Oct-12 12:14:08

bettybum they actually has curry paste in our Aldi this week! I was so happy as it would have meant a separate trip to tesco etc; you can drop on sometimes with the branded stuff. They've had Coca Cola for a few weeks too.

OP - we spend approx £45-55 a week (DP, me and DD 14 months who eats loads!) and I agree with the other posters, plan plan plan your meals.

I only converted to Aldi about 4 months ago and I've saved about £25-30 a week by going there, and started saving more recently when I started meal plans

Pootles2010 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:48:55

I think the only rubbish thing that Aldi do is sanitary towels. Honestly. I'd rather use a moon cup then theirs...

BettyBum Thu 18-Oct-12 20:57:17

Godisadj ooh I'll look out for that!

I get on ok with the sanitary towels but should buy another MC really as I threw my old one out...

Adversecamber Fri 19-Oct-12 21:52:35

I spend about £90 a week , there are 3 of us but DS eats as much as an adult. That includes lunches for DH and I as we take lunches from home but not the £12 ish quid for DS school dinners. It also includes all toiletries and washing powder.

I shop in almost all the supermarkets, I pass them on the way home from work so no extra petrol money. I did used to buy organic everything but after a bill of £140 for one weeks shopping I stopped. I do still buy organic milk and carrots. I never meal plan and look to see what is on offer.

Top tips. Aldi face cream and own make dark chocolate digestive biscuits, Tesco value face wipes and baby wipes and the Sainsburys basics fair trade tea bags.

cloggs142 Fri 19-Oct-12 22:03:48

i have lived on £50 a week for the past year and a half or so, that includes food for me and dp and 18month pld ds. nappies electric, the lot. its not ideal, but it really can be done! in a better situatin now, so spend a bit more, but always always under 10o including electric....and a bottle or two of red ;)

Goldenjubilee10 Sat 20-Oct-12 17:58:24

I spend £100 a week for dh, myself and 3 ds's (17, 15 and 6). Teenaged boys eat a huge amount. This includes toiletries, cleaning stuff and dog food (lab).
It doesn't include the children's lunches.

I go to the supermarkets in the evening once things have been reduced which saves a fortune.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 07-Nov-12 14:03:16

We budget £100 per week (two adults and a toddler) for all food, toiletries, cleaning products, nappies... everything you can get in a supermarket, I guess!

Just started withdrawing that amount in cash to help budget. There will be some left over this week grin which will go straight into savings.

Obviously doing something wrong (ahem, waitrose addiction) so will read the thread for motivational tips now, as would like to get it to £75. (looks like £85-90 this week).

QueenofNightmares Wed 07-Nov-12 14:19:45

Around £35 a week for myself DH and DD9. I will shop everywhere and thankfully no one in the house is very fussy everything is cooked from scratch as much as possible and all snacks are home made. Its bloody hard work though and certainly not for everyone.

DragonMamma Wed 07-Nov-12 15:10:32

Far too much imo - I spend around £100 a week for me, DH, a fussy 5 yo and an 'eat me out of house and home' 18mo. That doesn't include nappies or baby milk (which we get on script and nappies we bulk buy when they are on offer).

I'm not sure how to get it down, I broke my foot last week so haven't been able to go and buy anything as I can't walk so I have noticed a difference but DH is where all the money goes, he works a pretty manual job and so likes a decent sized lunch box with a chocolate biscuit and a bar of chocolate, a yogurt as well as all the other stuff like crisps and sandwich. Then he likes dessert after his meal, even if it's just an individual trifle or a Rolo dessert.

I cook from scratch for the most part so I'm not sure why it's so high? I try and do online shopping and when I get to the basket stage I don't seem to have a lot for my money but it's never ever less than £85?! And then I need bread and milk top ups at least 2/3 times a week. We eat meats most days as I'm not sure of how to cook with pulses and make them tasty and filling.

I did use to shop in Aldi but mine isn't massive so I found I got bored quickly as there wasn't a lot of selection.

Tips anybody?!

DragonMamma Wed 07-Nov-12 15:12:07

Could somebody give me an idea of what I could do in the way of homemade snacks? I'm not the worlds best baker and am far better with savoury but I wouldn't mind giving things a go to see how they went down.

I only have a few cake tins and a loaf tin though so possibly a false economy to buy all the tools and then find out it's a non starter?!

QueenofNightmares Wed 07-Nov-12 18:49:02

DragonMamma I don't have much equipment myself I work around that smile Try something fail proof like Chocolate muffins or cookies. I posted this cookie recipe on another thread they are amazing lovely soft and chewy.

125g/4oz Butter
100g/3 1/2oz Caster sugar
100g/3 1/2oz Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g/8oz SR flour
100g/3 1/2oz Chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugar then add the egg and vanilla extract mixing again.

Add the flour and chocolate chips, mix well and shape into a long log shape. Chill dough for 2 hours (I freeze at this point)

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4

Slice dough into individual cookies. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes from chilled or 10-12 minutes if frozen.

Remove from the oven and let them rest for 2-3 minutes they should be soft and will firm up when they're cooling.

Try not to eat them all at once.

I don't bother with brown and caster sugar just caster. You can also replace 50g of the flour with the same amount of cocoa to make even more chocolaty.

Master the basics i.e a good cookie/biscuit recipe, a simple cake, muffins and tray bake then move on if you feel you can. GoodFood website has an amazing selection of tray bakes including a cherry mallow one which is amazing!

Mum2Fergus Wed 07-Nov-12 20:40:43

£100pw for DP, DS who is 3, and I. That covers everything but house/car bills and expenses. Notice a real difference now DS potty trained, so trying to save a bit more.

SufferingLampreys Wed 07-Nov-12 21:04:36

About 400-450 (so 100? A week) for six of us
Including all groceries and animal feed (dog,chickens, rabbits) and night time nappies, non nuclear family birthday presents etc

SufferingLampreys Wed 07-Nov-12 21:08:45

Sorry wandered from the op

losingtrust Tue 04-Dec-12 00:13:26

I spend about £200 per month for me and DS (12), DD (8) but DS starting to eat alot. That includes lunches. I shop online mainly so I can plan carefully what I buy and shop at Ocado online £120 per month budget (2 shops per month). For the rest I pop into Aldi if I need milk etc.

proundmummy122 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:33:53

We spend about 50/60 a week and we buy all organic stuff mostly shop in sainsburys there is me and partner and my 2 year old DD smile x

I spend about 70 pw for me, dh, boy (5), girl (4 soon) and baby girl. That includes toiletries, household type stuff and formula and nappies (still waiting for my real nappies to arrive). We don't buy alcohol but that's more that we don't drink v often rather than can't afford. We shop in Asda and buy a mix of basic and shop own and brand products. Once every month I don't shop at all except milk, bread, and packed lunch stuff and obv baby bits and we eat what's left in the cupboards/freezer. We don't do that between Nov and Feb though in case of snow as we are rural highlands and whentthe snow comes we are generally snowed in for a few weeks dreading it this year with a new baby

Oh yes and we also have dog so that figure includes dog food and treats. And a hamster. That too grin

Loveweekends10 Fri 14-Dec-12 01:35:53

We shop at aldi. 4 of us and we spend £70 per week.

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