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To think that £200 a week for a family of 4 is doable?

(164 Posts)
Bluebridge Tue 22-Aug-17 14:15:35

So I've become a sahm due to the cost of/ lack of flexible childcare. We are 2 adults and 2 young dc.

We obviously checked the figures before I became a sahm but some things have changed and now we are left with £200 a week after bills except food. I'm having a panic but this is fine isn't it!?

RibenaMonsoon Tue 22-Aug-17 14:17:33

I get by on less than half that. It's definitely doable. I had to take a step back and rethink where I buy my groceries. I usually just pick up whatever I fancied and didn't really look too much at the price. I don't do that now grin

whifflesqueak Tue 22-Aug-17 14:19:53

That's about what we lived one when I was a sahm, except that was before bills.

Perfectly doable.

5rivers7hills Tue 22-Aug-17 14:20:07

That is exceedingly tight I think. Not much wiggle room.

What about new clothes? Having some sort of holiday? What if the boiler breaks? Days out ever? Dental treatment?

Can you pick up some evening or weekend hours whilst your partner cares for the children?

Bluebridge Tue 22-Aug-17 14:20:12

@ribena grocery shopping is my biggest concern, my approach used to be similar to yours grin. I meal plan now and try to keep costs down that way.

Bluebridge Tue 22-Aug-17 14:24:50

Evening and weekend work isn't an option due to dhs job and lack of childcare.

I'm just trying to think of the lack of holidays as short term really. Days out I'm hoping would be covered in the weekly budget.

Tips on keeping grocery shopping down would be great.

safariboot Tue 22-Aug-17 14:27:39

Reasonable if that £200 doesn't have to cover travel expenses. As mentioned it leaves very little for any unexpected costs, so you'll want either decent savings or access to decent credit.

Could be very difficult if bus passes, train season tickets, or lots of fuel has to come out of that £200.

Sn0tnose Tue 22-Aug-17 14:27:58

Yes, it's completely doable and done by many people. I've not done it with two children, but have done it over six months for four adults. It's just a case of being organised.

If you're really panicking, there are sites on FB with meal plans and tips for getting the most out of your shopping. Have a look at 'Feed Your Family For About £20 a Week' and 'Feed Your Family On About £20 a Week'. It used to be just the one page, but the admins fell out and now there's two pages.

becotide Tue 22-Aug-17 14:28:00

lts fine. You will have plenty, especially if you use Aldi or Lidl - even Morrison's is competative. Don't use Ocado, and tbh athough Sainsbury's and Tesco CAN be quite cheap, personally I don'd have the self control to shop somewhere so big - there's too much choice and it's too easy to just pop this and that in the trolley and before I realise, I've racked up £120.

So Lidl and Aldi are the way to go. It pays not to be too rigid about your meal plan, and instead to keep a loose idea of 7 protein foods, 7 carb foods, 7 days worth of fruit and vg, 7 breakfast, 7 lunches etcetc. This is because you might find you can't find all the things you want in a smaller shop, such as aparticular cut of beef or a particular type of fish. You can make massive savings thtough, I typically spend £55 for a generous week's shop for 3 "adult" eaters and a small dog.

Bluebridge Tue 22-Aug-17 14:32:58

Thanks, I gave Aldi a go before and found the fruit and veg didn't last very long. Would I be better going twice a week instead of doing a big weekly shop?

Transport costs are minimal fortunately.

Unexpected expenses are my biggest concern and Christmas. Luckily the dc are young enough not to need expensive things.

Monr0e Tue 22-Aug-17 14:37:02

I am currently a full time student and have a budget of £100 a week to cover food and fuel. I can generally stick to it. I meal plan and shop in Aldi mainly. We are 2 adults and a 7 year old and constantly growing 11 year old.

littlemisssweetness Tue 22-Aug-17 14:38:59

Yup easily doable!

Monr0e Tue 22-Aug-17 14:39:18

I have never had any problems with good from Aldi. Always found the fresh fruit and veg lasts ages. Although when meal planning I'll plan for meals that use up most of the fresh stuff at the beginning of the week then batch cook or use frozen for the end of the week.

littlemisssweetness Tue 22-Aug-17 14:40:37

Use online shopping to avoid getting things you don't actually need- my supermarket is a good website as it allows you to compare prices between supermarkets

dontbesillyhenry Tue 22-Aug-17 14:44:39

Another time on MN I feel like I live in an alternative universe. Yes it's plenty ffs

Gran22 Tue 22-Aug-17 14:48:04

Soup is a great spinner out of veg. We use mainly carrots, leeks, swede, occasionally potatoes, with chicken or veg stock. Made nice and chunky, its cheap and filling with crusty bread and makes a nice change from sandwiches for lunch. I'm an Aldi and Lidl fan for a lot of shopping, although not everything.

Hastalapasta Tue 22-Aug-17 14:53:43

Do able, also use points in big supermarkets, Tesco vouchers can be switched for rail cards, pizza express vouchers, days out etc.

4691IrradiatedHaggis Tue 22-Aug-17 14:54:10

£200 a WEEK after bills and minimal transport cuts is "tight" with "not much wiggle room?" [shocked]
It's like a parallel universe on here sometimes. That's loads to have spare, you can easily feed a family of 4 with that and have tons of money left over!

blacksax Tue 22-Aug-17 14:56:48

£200 a week is more than enough, if you plan sensibly and don't buy fillet steaks and salmon fillets and lamb chops all the time, but make the most of cheaper alternatives. Start checking the price of absolutely everything - don't just grab a bag of apples, look at all the different varieties and make sure you aren't buying the dearest one, for instance.

(and don't shop at Waitrose) grin

Wheressummergone Tue 22-Aug-17 14:56:54


I think I live in that alternative universe with you hmm

£200 a week? More than enough, I feed 2 adults & 2 children on £50 a week including nappies. That leaves £150 for entertainment & fuel.

Batch cooking (increase meal size & save left over for lunch etc) buy reduced & freeze it, use leftovers for soup etc.

Google free things to do in my area, parks, nice walks, season tickets for farms etc, I pay £83 for the season for me as DD is under 3 so doesn't pay & this is as much entry as you like- it would be £10 a time otherwise.

impossible Tue 22-Aug-17 14:59:23

Very manageable - food is easily doable under £80. We manage on less than £200 per week (for 4) and make sure we are stocked up with rice, tins etc. If we have a crisis - boiler break down for instance - we live on what's already in the kitchen cupboards. We manage small treats too and a bit of entertainment for dcs. Not luxurious and seldom eat out but perfectly manageable.

BendydickCuminsnatch Tue 22-Aug-17 15:04:27

That's great! Our budget is £100 personal spending and £60 for kids activities, toys etc. One 2 year old though. I never use all of it.

BendydickCuminsnatch Tue 22-Aug-17 15:05:23

Oh that's including food? I'd deffo still be able to do that, spend about £80 per week on food (Sainsburys).

InDubiousBattle Tue 22-Aug-17 15:08:58

I'm a SAHM with two pre school dc. We have around £1200-300 per month after bills but has to include food. We're comfortable but not flush. We shop at Aldi, don't run at car and have at weeks uk holiday a year. We eat out reasonably often (but at cheap places)and don't worry about clothes and stuff for the dc. I've started buying for Christmas already as i've seen some bargains. I think £200 a week is doable but how tight it feels will depend on what you're used to.

Slimthistime Tue 22-Aug-17 15:10:30

It's loads, don't worry.

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