Food budget for 2 adults and a 1 year old?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
24 replies 2.8K views


  • tessie_beartessie_bear Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
    hi...there is some good advice on here....a way to get the more expensive meat might be to have a look in supermarket at reduction times and stash in freezer....i would have a chat to him as well and explain how difficult it is to buy that sort of stuff...see if u can afford a comprimise somewhere

    i thought your meal plan sounded alright...there is a meal plan thread on here that is really interesting...people post what they are having and will post recipes if u ask

    there is a wicked recipe index at the front of grocery challenge that might help u with ideas..
    good luck tess
    onwards and upwards
  • Mini_BearMini_Bear Forumite
    604 Posts
    Will your DH eat soups and sandwiches? - does your weekly spend include lunches?
    My boyf was a fussy eater, i taught him how to cook basic things and now he makes more of an effort to try things. its very easy if you are asked wat u want to turn your nose up but if they are the one doin the cookin the soon appreciate the effort you go to.
    i do the weekly shop but every couple of months i am too busy and ask boyf to do it. he soon gets a shock wen he spends a fortune and comes back with a trolley full of cake and yogurts and no actual food!
    a £50 spend a week to include toilettries and nappies is pretty good - some weeks we spend more (ie if we have dinner parties) and then sum weeks we spend less (just before pay day!!)
  • edited 1 June 2009 at 7:05PM
    bobblebotbobblebot Forumite
    155 Posts
    edited 1 June 2009 at 7:05PM
    Well my main advice would be to use vouchers when you can. I collected 2 morrisons £5 off a £30 shop vouchers form the sun every day-so I now get £10 off £60 shopping at tesco for next 6 weeks. Collect tesco points too so you can claim deals etc. Look out for offers, asda at moment 2 x 3kg bags of pasta for £3 or 2kg basmati rice or one of each for £3. Stock up on things like these when can.

    Try and find you local asioan supermarket, I go to one in Longsight, Manchester and it is amazing. I geta whole tray of red peppers (25 large peppers) for £2. They are not as pretty as tesco's but excellent in cooking and sauces etc. Cook them/slice them or freeze them whole and they will keep. Massive net bag of onions about 50-60 £3, again I chop them and freeze about 80% and use when needed. They also sell massive 20kg bags of rice. The spices so are so cheap. Well worth a monthly visit to bulk buy and freeze.

    I also go every 2-3 weeks to farm foods as I get regular vouchers for £2.50 off £25 and £5 off £50. Milk is cheap £1 for 2 ltr, eggs cheap, sandwich ham, crisps forkids lunchbox and jars of sauces. Good quality fishfingers 30 for £2 are also a good buy as well as cans of diet coke and coke 5 for £1. I get whatever we eat and is a bargain.

    Local markets as well as the asian supermarkets are also good for good quality and cheap priced meat. On my local market I can get a chicken, leg of lamb and a small beef joint for £5, or 2 packs of steak/pork fillet/lamp chops for £5. Asian market does 2 chickens for £4 or whole or half lambs etc and will cut as you want. The meat is lovely.

    Tesco's etc are handy but I only really use these when I use vouchers and get their special offers. Rarely will I pay full price for anything if I go. I also go later in evenings to get bargain. I have had quite a few 10p beef joints and quality meat by doing this. Also 5p yoghurts and drastically reduced cookies and bread.
  • Claire_xxClaire_xx Forumite
    23 Posts
    Your really not a bad Mum, not at all. I bet 90% of us feel like we eat quick and easy food at some point!!:A
    minnie123 wrote: »
    This is embarassing because I am a rubbish cook and bad buyer and not a very healthy eater so this is roughly some of what I bought at last weeks shop :

    Tuna steaks
    Chicken Breasts
    Uncle Bens sweet & sour sauce jar
    Frozen cod fillets
    Frozen chips
    Chicken kebab skewers (chilled ready meal)
    Potato Waffles
    Pepsi Max
    Then obviously the usual milk, bread, cereals, baby food, nappies, biscuits and choc for OH, washing powder and cleaning stuff etc...

    Meals I made were :

    1) Tuna steak with salad & boiled potatoes
    2) Sweet & Sour Chicken & Chips
    3) Bangers & Mash
    4) Chicken Skewers (OH) Jacket potatoe & beans (Me)
    5)Waffles, sausages, bacon & Beans
    6) Battered fish, mash & peas

    I feel like such an unhealthy lazy person, I used to want to cook but as OH never wants to eat anything I have cooked or doesn't appreciate it I don't anymore. Also I have not long been back at work since being on maternity leave and am finding I am so tired at teatime I can't be bothered - some weeks we have been known to have 2 takeaways.

    I am so embarrased - I don't wanna be a bad mom!!
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
    70.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    What I do is mentally calculate each meal as I am shopping. The maximum I will spend on one meal is £1 and that'd have to be special. Exceptionally I will spend a maximum of £2.30 (if I am having a treat and buying a ready made pizza).

    Start to think how much each meal is costing you and if you can cut that back a bit.

    e.g. if I am trying to do a cheap chilli, I might leave out a pepper if they're 50p each. You say on your meal list you had sausages/bacon, could you have done with just sausages? How many sausages each was that, 2 or 3? I'd never use more than 2 sausages on their own.

    Things I don't buy because they're expensive:
    - meat
    - alcohol
    - ready made meals costing more than 80p each
    - cakes/crisps
    - Pepsi Max when it's full price (currently BOGOF at Somerfield, so 12 cans for £2.93)

    So think about each item in your basket, do you NEED it for the meal? can you replace it with a cheaper brand? are your portions large?

    I have no freezer and yet still I have a 0 waste policy. I think about the dates of everything I buy - and I make sure I can use it all up before the dates, even if it means putting things back.
  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    You don't have to eat a whole joint of meat or chicken just because you've cooked it either. When dh is away, quite often I will cook a chicken or a pork joint, then slice it into meal sized portions and freeze it.

    If you do this at the weekend, then during the week you can defrost the meat for the next night's dinner overnight. Brisket and silverside done in the slow cooker is lovely too.
  • MamaeMamae Forumite
    107 Posts
    minnie123 wrote: »
    What kinds of things do you have for dinner - out of interest?

    Ok here goes:
    I can make a roast chicken last 3 meals, (rubber chicken as I've seen it posted here as you make it stretch!), leftover chicken can be made into pies, curries, rissotos, stirfry and soup. Stock made from carcass.
    Lentil curry is a cheap midweek meal. My OH is not fussy so thinks this makes it easier. My girls have the same I just dont add chilli powder to theirs.
    All meals are bulked out with veg - as someone here as already said! V.healthy as well
    I use leftovers whenever I can - their is a great thread on here somewhere
    Lasagne/spag bog/chilli/cottage pie - no help to you if you can't convince your OH to eat them :confused:
    Brisket is a cut of beef which cooks lovely in a slow cooker, is cheaper, can be served like roast beef and freezes well in the gravy for any leftovers
    Pasta!!!! Pasta bake a favourite in our house
    HM pizza - a favourite in our house as well
    Jacket pots
    Fish pie - I use the pollock from lidls
    Casseroles and stews (in winter) - in slow cooker - bulked out with veg and pulses
    Stuffed veg in summer - normally large mushrooms, peppers or courgettes
    The girls will sometimes have fishfingers or chickenburgers however I don't buy much convenience food
    We don't buy crisps, biscuits, chocolates or sweets. I will make cakes or biscuits once or twice a week but they don't expect them.
    The kids don't really snack inbetween meals - I find they eat all their meals this way. They do have pudding, but most of the time that is fruit or yogurt. Occasionally icecream. The odd HM cake or biscuit. Raisans or sultanas. Baked apples are popular!! I do make the odd crumble but we grow rhubarb so that makes it nice and cheap.
    Gammon, our butcher does gammon knuckles which are cheap and have a lot of meat on them, I get a dinner and enough for sandwiches the next day.
    If I make something like a lamb curry i will use only a small amount of meat (say 1/2 neck fillet) and bulk it out with veg.
    Hope this helps!
    Don't be a sheep, be a shepard!
  • TrigglesTriggles Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    We have 3 adults and 2 toddlers in our house, and generally spend about £50-60 per week on groceries. We buy a lot of store brand or basics foods, which helps a great deal (unless of course, an item is on sale which takes it to equal or less than the basics price).

    We do have a few meals that are cheap and easy, that are pretty much staples at our house.
    - mince (browned), add tinned baked beans, put over rice, and top with shredded cheese (our 2yo is quite fussy, but loves this, so it's often a once-a-week meal as I know he will eat it!)
    - spag bol (we currently put one store brand & one basics brand jar together of bolonaise sauce, although I'm looking at using tinned tomatoes and making my own sauce)
    - roast chicken, use the carcass the next day for soup with dumplings, then the leftover chicken for chicken/mushroom pie or sandwiches (just a thought - we stopped using leftover chicken meat for the soup and only use the carcass for the stock now - with veggies in it and dumplings, nobody missed the chicken LOL, so we save the actual leftover meat for other dishes)
    - homemade pizza, sometimes with some bits of ham and a tin of basics pineapple on it
    - breakfast for tea - cheese omelettes, toast, basics bacon or sausages

    DH used to be somewhat fussy about food, but when we saw how much money we could save, he decided he couoldn't afford to be that fussy and is now much more open to trying new things. Although he still doesn't like salad, and avoids it like the plague! :rotfl:
    MSE mum of DS(7), and DS(4) (and 2 adult DCs as well!)
    DFW Long haul supporters No 210
    :snow_grin Christmas 2013 is coming soon!!! :xmastree:
  • cuddlymarmcuddlymarm Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts

    Please don't all shout at me at once but can I just mention that if a little one turns his / her nose up at home cooked food if you don't offer anything else instead and reoffer a few minutes later they may eat it. I know mums that feel that their littlie is going to starve and immedietely offer something else that they know they like. Some kids don't like new things and are reluctant to try. I'm not saying make mealtimes a battle and don;t try to force kiddies to eat things they really don't like just that some kids get really fussy because they are allowed to get away with it.

    I have got kids by the way and was told by a doctor that no healthy child will ever starve itself

    January NST 2/16
  • TayeTaye Forumite
    473 Posts
    No child "doesn't like home cooked food" the thing is "children prefer junk food" i know very very few kids who don't my kids would live of pizza if i let them.

    If you offer homecooked and they turn thier nose up at it, it's because they "know" mummy/daddy will back down eventually and give them something else.

    your child is playing mind games with you and winning, i know we like to think that they are too young to understand such things but they are clever little monsters.

    My youngest at 6 months old learned to vomit on command, seriously if i left the room he would sit thier choak and gag till he litterally threw up, i used to be terrified i was convinced there was something "wrong" with him, it wasn't till the health visitor pointed out that the ONLY time it happened was when i left the room and that it stopped as soon as i came back to him i realised she was right.

    Put an end to the games stop buying the junk he/she will not let themselves starve.. it might be a stressful/upsetting few days for yourself while you watch as the scream/cry and protest.

    I was convinced my baby was going to choak on his own vomit, even after i realised the pattern. It was 18months till i was brave enough to "actually" leave him to get on with it and force him to learn that mummy could not be with him 200% of the time. It was a very stressful 2 days i used to cry listening to him vomiting from the other room as he tried to get my attention but after a week it stopped and things finally settled down.

    OH's are the same ... no-one hates anything but steak they just prefere steak... hell i prefer steak but i can't afford it execpt for an occasional treat.

    Have you tried sitting down and explaining that you SIMPLY CAN NOT AFFORD IT!!! is he "on board" with the money saving, if he's not perhaps it's time to give him the budget for a month and see how he does.

    I don't know what the finanacial/home situation is like, it's much easier to get the OH on board if the financial situation is dire i guess but if it was my OH i'd give him and the baby spag bol, if they turn there nose up, let them starve :P
    This months aim :- Stick to food Budget / find £100 for my car insurance
    May GC :- £250/£234.55 :T:A:T
    June GC :- £150/£127.37:eek:
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