Food budget for 2 adults and a 1 year old?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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minnie123minnie123 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
I have been having a bit of a stress today, I have been doing a spreadsheet of all income and expenditure since January and it seems we overspend by £400 nearly every month. I am looking at areas to cut down and it seems we spend about £350 - £400 monthly on groceries. What do you think is an appropriate amount to spend monthly for 2 adults and a 1 year old?

Also any tips on how to shop better - I thought about starting to do online shopping as it adds it up and I can restrict myself easier and cut things out. I never realise how much my trolley adds up to when I go round the supermarket.

It also doesn't help having an extremely fussy OH who won't eat most things. He won't eat pasta, tomatoes, cheese, pastry, spicy food, most fish. He likes things that are expensive like steak and roast beef & lamb etc... drives me mental. I would cook up a lasagne or spag bol or chilli that you can do cheaply and spread over a couple of meals but he won't eat any of it.

Help..
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  • lil_melil_me Forumite
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    Make the cheaper more healthy stuff for you and little one, let him make his own. Might change his tune a little bit, know my OH was a bit less fussy when I just said 'help yourself'. It's more important that the little one has a good diet, he can't make these fussy choices and of course you can have healthier options too. Another thing worth doing might be to buy cuts of meat when they are cheaper/reduced stickered/on offer and cook it all, then have it in portions ready for him to use or just frozen ready to defrost/cook.

    Might be better putting down what you buy and what you make from it.
    One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
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  • minnie123minnie123 Forumite
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    My little boy is hard to feed too I wanted to make him all homemade food but he never really liked it and hardly ate any. I used jars sometimes and he loved them. I made a chicked casserole the other day and mashed some up for him and he wouldn't eat it and my mum made us a roast dinner the other day and he wouldn't have any of that either - he doesn't like mummys cooking.
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  • minnie123minnie123 Forumite
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    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
    Salad
    Potatoes
    Chicken Breasts
    Uncle Bens sweet & sour sauce jar
    Sausages
    Bacon
    Frozen cod fillets
    Frozen chips
    Chicken kebab skewers (chilled ready meal)
    Potato Waffles
    Beans
    Yoghurts
    Pepsi Max
    Squash
    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
    7) CHINESE TAKEAWAY

    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!!
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  • MamaeMamae Forumite
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    We were in the same boat about 2 years ago. I got the food budget down from about £400 a month to about £200-£250 a month.:D You might have to inform you're other half that he either gets a second job or might have to try cheaper options then steak!!:rotfl:
    Also I would shop online, I do mine monthly and go through the whole list before ordering to check I only have things on I really need. Meal plan so that you don't over order on the shopping. Check out the food in the reduced section of the supermarket - might find some steak reduced and bung it straight into the freezer until you want to use it. Try value and supermarket own versions of what you already use, you might not notice the difference or even prefer the cheaper option. If you're husband likes chicken you can make a roast chicken last for three meals, roast first day, pie/curry the next and chicken soup made with carcass on the third. Bulk out meals with veggies and use up leftovers (great thread on here about using leftovers).
    Good luck! We managed to pay off a huge overdraft just by cutting back and not wasting food.:j
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  • Lynn11Lynn11 Forumite
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    We are roughly the same, 2 adults and a 2yr old which eats most of what we eat. We tend to spend about £220-£250 a month (this includes toiletries, nappies etc) and we do eat meat, fish, chicken etc most nights. I was looking at reducing our grocery spend and when I spoke to folk on here they were spending very little but they do not eat any meat or fish etc, so hence the reason why we are slightly higher spend. I also look at the reduced section and if you see some nice meat, fish etc buy and store in freezer for that month to eat. As you say try to give your child a balanced diet, but bear in mind in the next year or so they will test you and love and go off certain foods but you learn to deal with this (I have, my daughter does not eat mince), but loved it about 10mths ago.
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  • minnie123minnie123 Forumite
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    I think I need to def start doing online shopping so I can limit myself to say £50 weekly and see how that goes. I also need to look at ideas of meals I can cook that will feed us all cheaply - is there a thread on here with good recipe ideas. I have got a slow cooker and would like to try using that more so far I can only do beef or chicken casserole in it (I can't do spag bol or chilli cos OH won't eat it) I might try a mild chicken curry maybe test him - anyone got a good recipe?
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  • Bitsy_BeansBitsy_Beans Forumite
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    How does your H feel about the overspend? If he's not into saving money he's not going to want to try new things (and I am the worlds worst when it comes to change!). Someone once suggested on here that life was easier OS way if they got their H's to think it was their idea in the first place! Not sure if that would work with yours.
    Use your SC to cook stuff for you. You can always batch cook and freeze the extra portions.
    Definately meal plan - that way you only buy what you need for that week.
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  • MamaeMamae Forumite
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    Like lynn11 I should have said that our grocery budget of £200 - £250 per month includeds toiletries and nappies and is for 2 adults and 2 children. Good luck!
    Don't be a sheep, be a shepard!
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  • minnie123minnie123 Forumite
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    Mamae wrote: »
    Like lynn11 I should have said that our grocery budget of £200 - £250 per month includeds toiletries and nappies and is for 2 adults and 2 children. Good luck!

    What kinds of things do you have for dinner - out of interest?
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  • OrkneyStarOrkneyStar Forumite
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    We are two adults and a DS (2 this month).
    The ways I have found which help to reduce the spending are:
    1. Give DS same as us unless it is something he really does not like, then its stand by's such as sausages or mac cheese.
    2. Bulk out main meals with lots of veg and less meat (cheaper and healthier).
    3. Buy reduced bread (and anything else you can find) if you can get to shops later on at reduction time.
    4. Meal plan and incorporate all leftovers....eg one night have a HM pizza with bits and bobs of leftovers for topping.
    5. Make HM wedges instead of chips (easy peasy).
    6. Stock up on DS treats/toiletries when they are on offer.
    7. Use real nappies (even borrow some or try freecycle).
    8. Make DS HM porridge for brekkie, all sorts of fresh/dried fruit etc can be added.
    hth
    I have got to say some people have very low budgets and it can look impressive but some of the meal plans leave a lot to be desired (before anyone jumps on me I am not saying everyone on a low budget eats badly!).
    I'd think if you can get everyting under £50 per week you are doing well.
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