£100 a week for family of 6?
diege · 21/02/2019 09:41
Is this possible? I'm on a very tight budget owing to some very different life events and have budgeted £100 a week for food/household products for myself and 6 children. This doesn't include school meals/packed lunch budget which is a separate 'pot'. I'll take a packed lunch to work for myself and all children other than my eldest who is at home recovering from radiotherapy are at School. It doesn't seem a lot but on the other hand it must be possible surely?
diege · 21/02/2019 09:42
Sorry, that should read 'family of 7' - myself and 6 Kids (3 teens, 3 aged between 5 and 9).
jinglewithbellson · 21/02/2019 09:49
If it's just for grocery shopping and not school lunches then yes totally do able I'd say.
We are 5 (4 adult portions and one child)
My slow cooker is my best friend.
Butter chicken tonight with rice probably cost me about £5-6 and the portions are a good size.
I aim for three slow cooker meals a week and then maybe gammon egg and chips one night and if it's or pizzas.
We shop in Aldi. The meat is always great and staples are good prices.
I acquired an under counter freezer which is in the workshop and I use it for extra milk bread butter and meats meaning we shop every fortnight now not weekly and honestly in two months of doing so and meal planning we have cut our shopping from £90-£110 per week to £70 a week and mine all have pack ups Aswell for school.
There's certain things I will only buy in Tesco like washing liquid and comfort and shower gels/soap.
We've even bought a filter coffee machine and ground coffee from Aldi to save in the fancy coffees I tend to buy and that's saved a lot.
diege · 21/02/2019 09:55
Thank you Jingle, that's what I wanted to hear!
The idea of one pot dishes is a good one. I don't have a slow cooker but can modify- maybe making a dish for the next evening the night before and storing in the fridge (I'm out of the house with work mon-thurs 6.30 to 6). I think part of the problem for me is not driving (had to abandon lessons for now recently due to cost) hence making multiple trips to the shops in the evening as can't physically carry much home on foot...And so the spend per visit creeps up!
jinglewithbellson · 21/02/2019 11:14
@diege it's a shame Aldi don't do delivery as shopping there really has cut our bills.
Before we swapped to Aldi we were Tesco people and spent a good £100-£120 a week and that was a few years ago now.
I sometimes get the veg meat etc put together in the dish and put it in the fridge ready. It just gets put in the base and turned in low before I leg it out the door in the mornings and jobs done
We've also cut down on snacks
Found ourselves providing an endless supply of crap snacks till I decide there would be a certain amount a week and if it all got eaten before the next shop then tough. Well that's saved us a fortune and the fruits starting to get eaten more now which is cheap in Aldi.
When we were kids we didn't have a massive choice of cereals bread things,bagels,brioche etc for breakfast Aswell as different meats cheeses and spreads for lunches and a nearly different meal each like my lot were getting and then it dawned on us that nobody will starve and get if they're hungry they will eat what's provided
diege · 21/02/2019 11:43
Yes the snacks!!!! I misguidedly thought home baking would be the answer for the inevitable raid on biscuits etc but they just hoover down that too and then open the digestives The teens are home hours before me so may have to start hiding the stuff. I like your idea about 'when it's gone it's gone' and more fruit rather than cheap packets of biscuits. I do one internet shop a month (Iceland) with free delivery so I'll maybe tie this in more obviously with meal planning and try and limit the daily 'top up' shop!
Ps. I think home delivery would be the death of Aldi - the revenue they get from middle aisle impulse purchases must be the immense
jinglewithbellson · 21/02/2019 12:30
I also thought home baking was a fab idea. Even bought myself a proper mixer
Anyway they scoffed it quicker than I could make it and I realised my only day off during the week was spent making cake instead of being in a nice cafe somewhere eating it so binnedthe idea
The once it's gone it's gone worked when we were kids and constantly topping up with an endless supply just makes them expectant to be honest.
It's like watching the wild animals foraging for food in my kitchen.
One of the biggest mistakes I was making was thinking my giant American fridge freezer needed to look full at all times resulting in lots of throwing out of yogurts and fridge snacks.
I spent two weeks after Xmas making a list of the stuff I had to throw out with the cost next to it and stuck it on the fridge for all to see.
In two weeks alone we threw away around £25 worth of fruit veg and bread/bakery items or sandwich meat that had been opened and then discarded for the next packet.
Auntiepatricia · 21/02/2019 12:40
Yes, very doable. I buy lots of very nice things for family if 6, though no teens so they will need more cals than my lot. Don’t buy much cleaning products, you really don’t need more than a £1 bottle of bleach and £1 bottle of disinfectant for emergencies once every couple of months. That’s all I get. Make sure to bulk buy shampoo and conditioner that’s on a deal.
For food, lots of bread (50p/loaf) and freeze a couple and cheap biscuits for snacks. Loads of apples, bananas and easy peelers can be bought cheap. Then meal plan using cheap but filling recipes. Huge block of cheap cheddar, big piece of ham to boil and leave in fridge for sandwiches. Lots of own brand cereals.
Large roast chicken dinner
Cottage pie bulked out with lentils
Lasagne bulked out with lentils
Soup and bread night (minestrone made with fried bacon bits, carrots, tin of haricot beans, celery, 2-3 tins tomatoes and stock)
Omelettes and chips and peas
Beef stroganoff and rice
flowersaremyfave · 21/02/2019 12:43
We're a family of 7, myself, hubby, 3 teens aged between 14-17, 4 & 2 year old. I spend between £80-100 a week on shopping. I shop at Aldi and Iceland. It's doable 😊
BathtubBaby · 21/02/2019 12:55
We're a family of 2 adults and 4 children and a large dog , we meal plan and don't waste and some weeks can get our food shop to £65 although it's usually between £85 and £100 , never more than £100 though unless is Christmas. Some cheap meals we have often are
Spanish chicken , baked potato and broccoli
Warm baguettes and veg soup
Roast chicken dinner
Sausage casserole and mash with veg
Aubergine pasta (Jamie Oliver recipe)
Chicken thighs with rice / chips / baked potato and veg
Lunches are things like
Beans on toast
Scrambled eggs and toast
Toasties / paninis with salad
Baked potato with fillings
Asda own brand cereal
Porridge with frozen berries / honey
Plain yoghurt with banana / honey
Toast and fruit
I do buy snacks but not a lot and when they've gone I don't buy more. I always have boiled eggs , cheese , sliced meat and fruit as well as biscuits and crisps for them to eat. The bigger two sometimes have the mini pizzas from Asda as a snack too.
Following this thread with interest as we're stuck in a bit of a rut food wise!
StepMuggins · 21/02/2019 13:13
6 kids here too!
I normally spend about £90 a week. I try to shop in ALDI but mostly forget half of what I need so usually do an online ASDA shop so that I can keep an eye on the money totting up.
I very rarely cook things to require individual portions like a chicken breast per person, I find it more cost effective to stick with one pan things! We like turkey mince a lot and 800g is about £3.50 I think so I make a lot with that.
Big hits here tend to be;
- chicken or sausage casserole with dumplings and mashed potatoes
- chicken curry with rice/chips
- spaghetti bolognese (I don’t pile the meat on top of pasta, I stir it all in in one pot and then load with cheese)
- chicken and leek pie with roast potatoes
- stir fry (I don’t buy sauce packets, I use a bit of chilli and garlic and then add a spray of soy at the end)
- chilli con carne with rice
- Pasta bake good for cheap days!
I’m so sad that I actually get a bit of a buzz of meal planning and food shopping. Kids go to breakfast club on school days so we tend to buy cereal for the weekends, though I know it doesn’t necessarily work out very cheap. Milk is the killer!
flowersaremyfave · 21/02/2019 13:44
@StepMuggins yep about the milk 🙈 we go through 8 pints a day!
stayathomer · 21/02/2019 13:53
Two adults and four kids here but yes, would say totally doable. Obviously there's the odd dodgy week where washing powder, dishwasher tablets and staples all run out together but otherwise it's not a bad amount of money, especially if leaving out school lunches!
diege · 21/02/2019 15:33
Thank you so much for all the fab ideas -I've been inspired and it's good to know that others manage with similar numbers. Milk, cereal and toilet rolls the killer here
Will definitely limit the snacks- Also try to get them to drink water or cordial- have hit into the habit of fresh juice, albeit the cheapie long life stuff.
Will have a proper read thro hi some of the recipe ideas later!
Gingerkittykat · 22/02/2019 00:29
Can you base one meal a week on pulses, it cuts the cost right down and gives you more to spend on something nicer one day.
My favourite is tarka dal (I use the Jamie Oliver recipe, but dozens of variations). It costs around £1 to make a huge pot which you can serve with rice or bread.
Raver84 · 22/02/2019 07:19
2 adults and 4 children here we get by on 80 to 90 per week in aldi very easily and could even cut back further. We have a big roast chicken on Sunday loads of veg and potatoes then usual family meals in The week like pasta, jackets, fajitas, fish and veg etc. My tip is use a lot of frozen veg including frozen onions and mushrooms for recipes, have one freezer meal a week like pizza and chips, one veggie night a week such as omelette. Aldis frozen fish are lovely. We don't have any ready type meals other than the odd pizza of fish fingers meal. make a lot of pasta sauce with tins of tomatoes as the base which is cheap. I also get all cleaning products in aldi they are all good quality except the washing powder I have to use pwrsil and one of mine seems allergic to every other brand.
pineapplebryanbrown · 02/06/2019 01:50
I've switched to cheapest store brand uht milk at 55p a litre. The fresh stuff was just so expensive. I've more or less stopped buying cleaning stuff, just bleach and store brand cif does for everything. The toilet roll situation is ridiculous though - my mum used to ration us and I understand why now!
Stillneedwillpower · 02/06/2019 03:07
It would be worth investing in a slow cooker as they're really useful, and mean you can put something on in the morning and it's ready when you get home at night.
Many have a 'stay warm' option which keeps the food warm until everyone's eaten (if you need to have staggered mealtimes).
They're not expensive; the smaller ones range from £10 upwards and this one is the same size as mine and will easily feed 10+ ppl if filled to near the top.
It's £19.99 from Argos and would easily be big enough to feed 7 www.argos.co.uk/product/6992679
It would save money in the long term as you'd be using less electricity, and less pots and pans would mean less washing up, etc, too.
They're not just for stews and casseroles; you can also make things like meatloaf, curry, lasagne, porridge, pot roasts, honey mustard chicken thighs,etc, pulled pork/beef,etc, soups and even puddings.
Wrt, sticking to a budget, I find meal planning and making a shopping list (& sticking to it) are the best things to do.
I find pasta, sauces, tinned beans, tomatoes, etc, are often cheaper in the 'world food' aisles than elsewhere in the shop.
Eg, in Morrison's 4 × tins of 400g kidney beans for £1 in world food aisle, but 60p each in tinned veg aisle.
I try to combine/reuse ingredients so that I can use leftovers in the next meal, etc, so for roast chicken the carcass and scraps would be used the next day to make chicken soup/stew. Eg, pack of 3 courgettes: 2 used for courgetti in one meal and then 1 grated along with onion and potatoes to make vegetable rosti/fritters for another day (cheap, tasty and filling... even my veggie hating dd loves these).
I tend to use whatever veg needs using up (including broccoli and cauliflower stalks), as well as a few potatoes.
Bulking mince dishes out with red lentils, which you can hardly taste keeps coats down, so 500g pack of minced beef with 200g red lentils, etc, would be easily enough to feed 7 if made into a chilli con carne or Bolognese sauce or cottage pie , etc.
Also adding grated or finely diced veg to such dishes keeps costs down whilst bulking the meal out so it feeds more ppl.
Also swapping minced beef to minced pork or turkey, which is cheaper, often works well and doesn't change much in the way of taste. Even using 50/50 would help.
Try buying cheaper brands for a week or 2 to see if you prefer them/can get used to them as that'll save money long term. My dd was convinced she only liked Heinz ketchup, so to test her I bought Morrison's own brand and poured it into the empty Heinz bottle and she never even noticed! But when I later offered her the bit left in the Morrison's bottle, it 'tasted horrid!' Funny how she'd had no complaints when it was in the branded bottle, lol. She now has Morrison's ketchup!
Aldi's cleaning products are just as good as the brands, so I'd recommend them.
Stillneedwillpower · 02/06/2019 03:49
For my veggie fritters, the 'recipe' varies on quantities of each veg and I don't always use potatoes, but they're cheap and filling!
I grate 1-2 potatoes, 1or 2 courgettes, 1-2 onions, 2-4 carrots, any stalks left over from broccoli or cauliflower. I squeeze out as much liquid as I can from the grated veg.
Then I add 1 beaten egg, salt and pepper, some spices (eg,paprika) and enough flour to bind it all together.
I then fry it in batches making each 'rosti' about 4-5" in diameter and quite thin.
We usually just have that with some ketchup, but sometimes I'll fry some eggs and/or bacon to go with it if anyone's really hungry.
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any veg, in any quantity, as long as you can grate it. You can, of course, just use potatoes and onion to make potato rosti/fritters.
Dahl is tasty, cheap and filling.
I'll often cook roasted tray bakes, which consists of diced potatoes, chopped mixture of whatever veg we've got (eg, peppers, onion, mushrooms, aubergine, carrot, etc), sprayed with oil, sprinkled with herbs and spices (varies which I use) and baked in the oven.
We usually just have that, but sometimes I might add some chopped up chicken and/or bacon or sausage to cook with it, or I might crumble some feta cheese over it and bake it all together.
The possibilities are endless. Occasionally, about 15 mins before it's done, I'll crack 1-2 eggs per person over it and let them bake in the oven too.
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