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Those of you with 5 (or so) children how much do you spend on food a month?

(14 Posts)
sparklesandwine Tue 15-Sep-09 22:35:56

There are 7 of us - 2 adults and 5 DC ages 11,7,4,3 and 10mths

We currently spend around £500 month on all food, toiletries, nappies, wipes etc but seriously want to cut our budget where we can

so how much do you spend and how do you keep costs down?

I sporadically meal plan and am just about to start doing it again

4andnotout Tue 15-Sep-09 22:43:03

We spend around £50 a week on groceries for a family of 6, we buy a lot of bogof's on non perishables especially cleaning products. Nappies and wipes are all washables, we buy reduced fruit and veg or from the local market, cheaps luches like french toast or beans or toast which fill them up until tea time so that they don't pick. We only use brand names if they are on offer.

sparklesandwine Tue 15-Sep-09 22:56:12

I used to use our local market but found the stuff went off really quickly so was infact wasting money!!

I was thinking of looking into the fruit/veg boxes and also meat boxes to see how they would be as if i didn't really go into the supeermarket i wouldn't be tempted to spend more

sparklesandwine Tue 15-Sep-09 22:57:01

I actually think we spend more than £500 as dp does most of the shopping so i'm not actually sure blush

sparklesandwine Wed 16-Sep-09 09:15:00


thefabfour Fri 18-Sep-09 16:34:47

About £600-700 per month for four DC and 2 adults. This includes all cleaning products as well as food and the (very) occasional takeaway. It dosen't include, however, school dinners for my eldest DC or lunch for DH.

I use all own brand supermarket food and cook from scratch- very little convenience food (we can't afford it!!)

Would love to cut this down.

4andnotout- does your £50 a week include household items?

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 16:42:50


I shop at wholesalers for quite a bit - save quite a lot there e.g. bread (£1.60 2 loaves), milk (£1.40 for 6 pts)
I use an Indian grocery store for dhals, fruit, and veg.
I buy meat from a farm.

We don't eat meat every day of the week. I try not to throw anything away, and have a combination of very cheap and more expensive meals. I do like my gourmet ingredients, but balance it with cheap meals like dhals and vegetable curries. I don't do ready meals and seldom do ready made sauces.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 16:43:55

I also have a ginourmouse american fridge freezer in our utility room and buy lots of reduced stuff even if to stick in the freezer, or things on offer when I can.

sparklesandwine Sat 19-Sep-09 17:05:46

£300-400 sounds really good for the month!

chopstheduck wholesellers sounds like a good idea actually, which one do you use a local one or something like Bookers?

I sat down the other day and went though a load of threads on here and got meal ideas then put the ones we would like onto a list, with the idea being that i look at what i have in (or need to get in) and choose things off the list from there

I have also bought a white board for the kitchen and will be sitting down on a sunday to write the meal plans down for the week on this - fingers crossed we will save some by doing this!

DP went shopping today and spent £150 so i shall see how long i can make it last!

Ceolas Sun 20-Sep-09 20:57:49

Number 5 is a baby atm, but we spend around £100 a week. This includes all toiletries and household stuff. I could probably do it for slightly less. We do eat well and have a few treats.

Meal planning is vital or I'd spend way more. The most valuable life skill my mum taught me!

LongStory Sun 20-Sep-09 23:14:44

I have 5 children (9, 7, 4, baby twins) and we spend £150 ish a week on food, drink and all supermarket items. About £20 on just baby food (which is shocking but they won't eat anything I puree apart from garlic mushrooms!). Also we have loads of visitors and DH works at home, so need to be well-stocked up. We eat good quality organic etc - whenever I try to cut corners on the food we end up eating out or getting takeaways.

On my main criteria, though, TIME, I can be out of the door and back from the supermarket with a car load within one hour, and get by for a week!

Booette Sun 20-Sep-09 23:36:11

There are 7 of us (DH & I, plus 5 DC's aged 10, 7, twins of 5 and 2) We spend between £80 and £100 on our weekly shop, depending on where we shop. We try and buy as much value/basics/smart price stuff as possible. I do menu-plan sometimes, but we generally know what we want, so just stock up as we wander round.

ChopsTheDuck Mon 21-Sep-09 07:56:03

the whiteboard on the fridge will help you no end! I have lists stuck to the fridge for the meal plans and lists on my pc of exactly what we have in the freezer.

I use costco as there are several branches nearish to us. We got membership based on my dp's occupation, they do accept applications from a wide range of people now.

I also include eating up leftovers on the meal plan. 2n, we will have the leftover pizzas from sat night, will reheat them in the oven, and make some fresh salad and potato wedges to go with them. tomo, will be the leftovers from last night, which was dosa (pancakes) and idly - very cheap indian meal. Will make fresh dosa and idly from leftover batter, and have pot filling, sambhar and chutney int he fridge.

stressedHEmum Tue 22-Sep-09 16:58:02

I spend between £300 and £400 a month, usually. There are 7 of us, 5 kids are 19, 16, 12,10 and 6. Very occassionally it is a bit more than that if I stock up on anything.
It was more like £500 this month as it is pickling/jam making season and because I needed to stock back up on bread flour.

We get an organic fruit and veg box every week, I buy organic as much as possible (helps with behaviour of my AS boys,) also fairtrade as far as possible. I buy things like toilet roll in bulk from, also soap powder, when I don't make my own. I make my own cleaning stuff, do all my own baking, cook everything from scratch. usually kids only eat meat about once, maybe 2ce a week (I am veggie, OH very fussy,) and not as a main feature of a meal, more as a flavouring. We eat beans and pulses regularly and a lot of meals are based round what comes in my box. Meat comes either from a local farm or from in the form of a pie and casserole box every couple of months. I also have to buy dri nites for 6 year old and 4 or 5 bottles of wine grin

Before we switched back to organic, when things were really bad last year, I was spending between £50 and £60 a week on everything. We ate beans most days then and drank ordinary squash. This is the main reason that we went back to organic, the squash was sending my youngest loopy and really affecting his behaviour. My bill is a lot higher now, because we go through about a5 bottles of Belvior or Rocks a week and it costs a fortune.

I do meal plan quite strictly and try to control snacking, although, exceppt for DS3, the kids aren't really snackers.

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