Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Could you and your family of 5 live comfortably on £175 a week

(40 Posts)
Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:12:17

After all bills are paid but excludes food shopping ?

This is the budget I have left to feed myself DP 2 teenage sons and a 5 year old

I struggle every month

Is this doable or am I being unrealistic

goralka Sat 08-Dec-12 15:15:07

are you just buying food with this?

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:16:59

Yes just food and any treats like the cinema .

All bills are paid including Christmas

goralka Sat 08-Dec-12 15:20:28

well I would have thought it was realistic - teenage boys can really pack it away.
If you are going over-budget, perhaps make a weeks menu and shop around that?

InMySpareTime Sat 08-Dec-12 15:39:56

Yes, 4 of us spend £40-£50 a week on food and treats, we eat well, lots of scratch cooking. We don't really snack, cinema 3-4 times a year. Perfectly doable if you have some cooking skills. Can the teenagers help cook, given a small budget? I did this with DS and he now has a good understanding of how to cook cheap, tasty meals (a useful life skill).

Ragwort Sat 08-Dec-12 15:45:44

Do you really mean just food and 'treats' - what sort of treats, how often do you go to the cinema etc? What other sorts of things are you spending your money on? Do you have to buy school lunches or meals out?

We eat and drink very well on £100 a week. But to me the cinema is a huge extravagence and we very rarely go as a family; DH did take DS to see the recent James Bond but if you are taking teenagers to the cinema every couple of weeks I can imagine that really adds up.

wannabedomesticgoddess Sat 08-Dec-12 15:50:18

Our family of fours weekly grocery budget is £70 per week. That includes toiletries and baby milk.

If we had £175 per week after all bills and xmas I would consider us very well off.

What "treats" are you getting with that? How often do you eat out?

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:56:17

We maybe eat out as a family once every couple of months . The same with cinema that's every couple of months or every 3 months .

We may get a takeaway once a month

I eat out with friends every 2 or 3 months

That as far as treats probably go . I may give the elder 2 a tenner once a month or something

wannabedomesticgoddess Sat 08-Dec-12 15:58:24

Do you meal plan? How much is your weekly shop usually?

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 16:01:10

Well I normally spend the months budget within the first 2 weeks ! I don't meal plan as much as I'd like by the start of week 3 I have absolutely no money left and have to ask DP for more

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 16:02:57

The money is normally spent on food then wine then more food . I don't even think I'm being extravagant with it

wannabedomesticgoddess Sat 08-Dec-12 16:08:35

So you are spending around £700 in two weeks. On food. shock

Where do you shop?

If you really want to reduce the bill you are going to have to look at what exactly you are spending it on and see where you can cut back.

Do you throw a lot of food out?

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 16:11:45

I don't throw away huge amounts . £700.00 on food for 2 weeks. It can't be .

I'll have to start taking note of where the money is going . I have no clue

Asinine Sat 08-Dec-12 16:14:24

That's £7 a day each, surely that's loads? What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, typical evening meal? What do you drink? Where do you shop ?

Need more info to be able to help.

wannabedomesticgoddess Sat 08-Dec-12 16:17:41

I think you need to meal plan. Write a shopping list, and stick to it.

Would you say you are bad with money? Could you get your DP to only give you a weeks money at a time until you have mastered the art of budgeting and restraint?

I would also recommend writing down every single penny you spend and what it was for, for a whole week. That way you can see in black and white where the money is going!

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 16:20:33

That should be plenty to go at with a bit of meal-planning, taking advantage of special offers and choosing inexpensive ingredients. Home-cook rather than use prepared foods. Eat out less. Drink less wine. As you have teenagers, keep copious amounts of dirt-cheap things like bread, bananas and apples for them to snack on.... saves them nibbling through the expensive stuff!!!

AcidTurkishBath Sat 08-Dec-12 16:22:09

You spend £350 a week on food and wine? I'd say that was extravagant. Where do you shop that is so expensive?

CanonFodder Sat 08-Dec-12 16:25:57

We are a family of 4 and spend £175 a week which covers food, petrol for two cars and extras, and we often still have some left over.
Food shop includes all toiletries, often extra little bits of clothes eg pants and socks/ hair bobbles, wellies for the kids and about once a month a DVD for the kids and one for us. (usually from the£3 section) with popcorn and snacks for family movie night. Oh and the food Includes lunch for DH, ds and I every day too. We eat quality food, mostly home cooked and have the occasional bottle of wine or beer.
Eminently doable IMO. You must be eating steak every night to spend the months budget in 2weeks! grin

CanonFodder Sat 08-Dec-12 16:28:12

Oh and we shop at Sainsburys. Where do you shop? I don't think that makes a huge difference tbh, unless it's at Harrods!! we used to shop at Waitrose and spent about the same, because there were not as many extra non food items to be tempted by!! smile

QueenofNightmares Sat 08-Dec-12 16:29:33

There are 3 of us and we spend £40 a week at most. Can I recommend you join the Grocery Challenge over here? You start by cutting your budget by a small amount and work at it going down further each month smile

titchy Sat 08-Dec-12 16:34:46

Blimey you must be buying all your food from Fortnum and Mason!!!! £125 a week on food should be plenty, leaving you plenty for treats.

Big pan of bolognaise sauce shouldn't cost more than a few quid (say £2 on mince, £1 on tinned tomatoes, £1 on purée, carrot onio.n garlic , plus another pound on a bag of pasta and that's a meal for a fiver. A loaf of bread plus marg and ham and tomatoes between you for sandwich lunch maybe £3, cereal an milk for five maybe £2 a day plus another fiver a day for tea, biscuits and fruit comes to £15 for three meals, tea, biscuits and fruit. So for a week that's £105. Add a tenner toiletries and household stuff and another tenner for a slightly more expensive meal like Sunday roast and you should be easily able to manage!!!

ilovexmastime Sat 08-Dec-12 16:37:47

I was going to say no way when I saw the thread title, but when I read that it was just for food and treats I changed my mind. We could easily do it.

Cahohohootz Sat 08-Dec-12 16:51:11

I agree with other posters.

You need to write down where you spend your money. Try to do it for a few weeks and see what you find.

bubbles1231 Sat 08-Dec-12 16:54:54

family of 4 here. spend £100 per week at tesco, but £70 if we shop at aldi.

Shinyshoes1 Sat 08-Dec-12 18:21:34

Thanks guys I'll have to seriously look at ways to cut back . I only shop at tesco but admittedly I spend a good portion of the budget on wine.
I buy sausage rolls , scotch eggs , satays, fresh deli counter meat and other snacky bits for the kids , but I should just give them bananas and bread etc until dinner time.

I get paid at the end of the month , already I have just £20.00 left :-(( ( although cos of it being Christmas I get wages early this month )

I've got to seriously look at my spending , it's not like I'm being frivolous , I'm walking around with holes in my shoes :-/

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: