Is £50 a week on food for a family of 3 doable?

(25 Posts)
Slh122 Thu 16-Jan-14 17:21:20

I start my mat leave tomorrow and baby is due at the end of the month.
We have no pets, so it will just be me, DP and DS.
I meal plan every evening meal already and every couple of months we do a big Costco shop where we buy multipacks of fruit juice, squash, crisps, tinned tomatoes, baked beans etc.
I know you can get nappies cheaply in places like Aldi and Lidl, and all our cleaning stuff and toiletries come from places like B&M and Home Bargains.
So the £50 a week would be purely on food. Is this doable with a child?

OP’s posts: |
vintagesewingmachine Thu 16-Jan-14 19:07:15

I am upset if I spend over £50 a week on food for four of us, DH, DD8, DS6 and me. It is totally within the bounds of possibility if you use Aldi and Lidl and cook properly. If you choose not to BF, your costs will be more until your child can go on to cow's milk but we have nutritious, homemade food which my children love for very little money. Check out Good Food, frugal queen and various other frugal living websites for fab recipes on a shoestring. Good Luck!!

Mum2Fergus Thu 16-Jan-14 19:29:26

Totally doable so long as you stay organised. Recommend Mortgage Free in Three site too...

Slh122 Thu 16-Jan-14 22:09:03

Thanks, will check out those sites smile
I'm planning on breastfeeding if I can, so hoping that will also contribute to keeping costs down.

OP’s posts: |
delasi Thu 16-Jan-14 22:10:48

Yes smile

We buy plenty of fresh food (some extra always hanging around), plus drinks, tinned/dried goods, frozen bits, for me, DH and 13mo DS for around £50/week. To be precise, it is up to £55 if I find that I have to top up on milk and bread. The £50 already includes a mammoth amount of whole milk, bread and eggs, between DH and DS alone they get through tonnes of the stuff! Also includes luxury bits (naice tomatoes, proper butter, organic fruit box, nice yoghurts for DS, that sort of thing). We have mostly the essential range and offers and then the other stuff that we like to get that costs a little extra. We shop online at Ocado.

The biggest spend is if you buy formula. When DS was on formula our groceries still cost around the same - he eats quite a bit of food! - but I would have a contingency of an extra £10-15/month (ie about 2 tins' worth) whilst still heavily dependent on formula, particularly when they have a growth spurt.

If you look on the budgeting thread (Juggling January...) there are lots of good tips to keep costs down, for groceries and also other bits. Personally my biggest advice is to always look at the per kg or per gram price, not the pack price, you'd be surprised how much you could save if you're not already doing this. Also be prepared to switch meats/fish and ingredients depending on what is on offer or what is cheaper - eg we have turkey thigh mince, tried it mainly on GP advice, preferred the taste, then realised it's actually cheaper than beef mince too - £6.38/kg, better when on offer, compared with an average minimum of £8/kg for standard beef mince. We eat dark meat when it comes to chicken and shoulder/shoulder steaks for pork. Frozen veg is very handy, usually very fresh, and often works out cheaper.

SoonToBeSix Sat 18-Jan-14 22:09:45

Yes I spend £60 - £70 family of six with toiletries etc and two in nappies.

eastmidlandsnightnanny Sun 19-Jan-14 07:49:14

Sign up to all baby productsgroups such as pampers n food groups hipp organic even baby milk ones n all send u coupons n samples n the supermarket ones as well send u xtra vouchers n can get good deals when combine with supermarket offers at the time.

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EirikurNoromaour Sun 19-Jan-14 07:57:02

If you shop at Aldi, definitely.

Chunderella Sun 19-Jan-14 10:02:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zgaze Sun 19-Jan-14 10:08:01

Yes I do slightly less than that for a family of four, one in nappies. But I shop solely in Aldi and Lidl (both of which I love) with a small top up trip to Asda every month or so. DH and I are low carbing as well, if we weren't then I could probably trim it down a bit more. We have absolutely no luxuries or treats ever though.

DownstairsMixUp Sun 19-Jan-14 10:20:58

Yes I manage it even in overpriced Tesco with plenty of food. Try and test value brands, some of them really are nice! Personal recommendations are the biscuits, orange juice, crisps and chocolate chip cake bars

Artandco Sun 19-Jan-14 10:26:42

Have you considered reusable wipes/ nappies? Can buy second hand also. £200 would get you enough of nappies and wipes/ accessories to last until not needed, even better if you have any other children as can use again. Sometime great birth- potty on eBay for say £50. Would mean that you wouldn't have to add to weekly costs.

Also remember babies/ young children really don't need any toiletries/ cosmetics. Plain water is much better for their skin, and maybe a baby shampoo once they have hair. We have also saved a fortune on not buying many cleaning products anymore as I didn't like chemicals with children. So just a Eco cleaner, and toilet cleaner really.

We also have an Eco egg. £20 and lasts 3 years of washes for average family. No need to buy any more washing detergent. Saves fortune. I am so pleased with results. We only use a small bit of fabri conditioner for scent

We shop in Waitrose/ ocado and shop for around £60 a week for 4 of us. We only really buy whole ingredients like fruits/ veg/ meat/ fish/ carbs/ dairy. I think this keeps bills down. We never buy 'snacks', squash, individual things ie yogurts, would just buy a large tub of Greek and add fruit/ honey/ vanilla ourselves. Usually only by porridge as a cereal which I think saves a fortune.

We are actually in a position where we could spend more but doing the above means this is all it really comes to. It leaves us with spare money to actually do nice things as a family rather than just eat more crap and do nothing.

Having children has made is much more careful about what we buy, mainly because of wanting them to have a healthy diet without many additives etc which are added to so much nowadays

BobbyGentry Sun 19-Jan-14 10:32:51

The cheap-family-meals website is a good site for meals on a budget smile
www.cheap-family-recipes.org.uk/planners.html?opt=rcost

AntoinetteCosway Sun 19-Jan-14 11:13:02

There are three of us and I spend £45-50 in Aldi weekly. That includes nappies and cleaning stuff but not other toiletries. Totally doable smile

Thebluedog Tue 21-Jan-14 18:28:53

As others have said Aldi or Lidl. And ALWAYS make a lust and stick to it, this in itself, has saved me loads. My weekly shop costs around 35 quid with top ups of milk, bread and fruit. As long as I go with a list I'm fine, without will see me spending 20 quid more confused

Flossiechops Wed 22-Jan-14 20:07:01

To chip in too, I have just switched my weekly shop to Aldi (3 weeks now). My most expensive weeks shop = £37. I am stunned as my Tesco shop is always 60-80 a week. We have not noticed a shred of difference in food quality. That's for 2 adults & 2 dc aged 10 & 9. I have had to 'let go' of branded food but my god what a revelation!

BackforGood Wed 22-Jan-14 20:16:02

Easily - in effect you'll only be feeding 2 of you. Even if breastfeeding doesn't work out for you, you have Child Benefit to offset the cost of formula and nappies (which are pretty much the only costs whilst you are on maternity leave - unless you are intending to take a really long one ?)

My food shop this week was £52 and I'm feeding 5, and our children eat adult sized meals plus my 17 yr old has extra meals inbetween meals.

milk Sat 25-Jan-14 13:57:44

Me, DH, 33mo, and 15mo just spent £27.88 for a weeks food shopping smile

milk Sat 25-Jan-14 13:58:04

(plus nappies and wipes)

Nahmate Sat 25-Jan-14 19:10:59

I did my first trip to lidls this afternoon. £39.42 for me,dh and 3dc (+ one on the way)

I was pleasantly surprised - shop would of been cheaper if I was by myself...

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 25-Jan-14 19:15:57

It's always cheaper if you go alone. Dh & I go together once a year and its usually traumatic enough to put me off for another year.

Ruprekt Sat 25-Jan-14 19:19:01

And do a stock check on your freezer.

TheVeryBusySpider Sat 25-Jan-14 19:22:18

I second shopping at Aldi. We've cut our shopping bill from £80 per week to £55 per week on average for four of us. I don't feel like we are skimping on anything either, we eat more fresh fruit and veg than we use to and I cook a few more more meals from scratch. We always chuck a couple of bars of chocolate in the trolley as well smile

Nahmate Sat 25-Jan-14 20:00:00

fluffy I know exactly where your coming from! I'm not repeating todays episode again. I felt like throttling dh this afternoon.

Missred Sat 01-Feb-14 11:12:04

3 adults here, I can do a weekly shop for under£50. Perhaps a monthly home bargains shop as well to bulk buy household and toiletries as well (usually comes to about £15). We don't eat a lot of meat, which I think helps, I always shop a weekly menu but build in some flexibility if I see something going at a very good price. The really expensive item for us is washing powder, so I only buy this when it's on offer and then bulk buy. All in all I can run around £200 per month. Note however this only works if I avoid taking DH with me!

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