How does our family eat well on roughly £60 a week as a family of four?
Food Budgeting can be the one area of anyone’s household budget that can run away with them and really add up quickly.
I swear by Meal Planning in order to eat healthy as a family but also to make sure we live within our household food budget each month, allowing us extra money for treats as a family instead.
Want to know why I Meal plan for my family of 4 each week?
Check out this post here.
When you are food shopping on a budget, thinking about what you want to eat and whether you can afford it when you go to the shops can be stressful and time-consuming.
That’s why I personally LOVE seeing what other families put on their meal plans and what products they choose when they shop at places like Aldi, Lidl, Costco and normal UK Supermarkets like Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco to name a few.
// Our Monthly Shopping Budget
This month our goal for food shopping is to keep within £300 total for the month and this includes extra money outside of food for the household items such as cleaning items.
I break this down into one large “Bulk shop” for the month of all my main ingredients that can be frozen or last the month in the cupboard/fridge happily (approximately £100-£150 of budget allocated), then a weekly top up shop of £35-£40 for perishable items such as fresh fruit, milk, bread, some extra top up items for each week.
I also usually only plan FIVE Main meals for us as a family each week.
I find that when I do this it allows freedom to eat out at the weekend if we want, or have a freezer based quick dinner if we are rushed suddenly for time and some flexibility.
If you are needing to follow a tighter budget of course, you can plan 7 meals a week.
You can check out our latest video shopping large haul below.
We would normally use Aldi or Sainsburys for our large shop and weekly top ups.
We also have a separate budget of £50 for our 2 rescue cats that are in our home where we purchase their food and cat litter from Costco.
Here is an example Vlog of our Meal Planning and shopping:
My TOP TIPS for creating and sticking to a food budget:
- Track what you actually spend for a month to see how much you actually are using for food every month as a first pass. If you feel this is too much, or you had too much waste of food at the end of every week that you absolutely could not freeze or use later – then use this information to plan an actual food budget amount that is realistic. If you have food intolerances and other considerations then naturally you might have a higher food bill every month than a vegan family potentially.
- Budget per month, but plan per week – there are 7 days a week with usually the same activities most weeks, so use your money to plan around the meals that give you the best results for your sanity during the week. I keep our food budget consistent as very little usually changes during a week unless it is a special occasion.
- Name your priorities and plan for them – if you wish to get organic meat and dairy within your food plan, include it and budget for it.
- Don’t eat out much during the month as sometimes you have a change of plan or even change of special occasion. I plan for between 5 to 6 dinners a week (one being a freezer
- We eat similar meals throughout the month, changing really for seasonality and specific occasions.
- Go through your fridge & Freezer regularly and create a list before you meal plan for a new week.
- Learn to love your double portions of your favourite meals. Whenever I make a slow cooker meal I always ask myself can I make double and throw the extra portions into the freezer for a quick and healthy meal another week saving time and efforts.
- Don’t be duped by discount offers – I’ve had to learn that our Costco bulk shopping didn’t always offer value for money and sometimes the offers at the supermarket don’t make sense either.
I’m a huge fan of my slow cooker, so if you fancy checking out some of our family’s favourite recipes – enjoy this video:
New to Meal Planning or stuck for ideas?
Click on photo image below to download your FREE Monthly and Weekly Meal Plan template to help your family and budget.
You will see that I use a combination of Themes and dinner suggestions, planning for roughly 5 meals only a week.
This month I am upping that to 7 full nights planned to give this a go to see if I like it better instead over the summer months, when we are together more as a family.
I’m incorporating theme nights into our meal plan this month, to see if that makes planning easier outside of using my Meal Plan Randomizer tool.
My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.
Never eat the same meals over and over again with my help!
You simply click on the recipe title and it takes you straight to the website page you need for the recipe.
Use it and love it with your family too!
// Still stuck for Ideas on what to make your family?
I was fed up thinking of the same meals over and over again, so I created the AutoPilot Meal Planner spreadsheet which randomizes your favourite meals for you to simply copy onto your weekly meal plan with the click of a button.
You can pick up your own version of the spreadsheet here through my Etsy Store, and even find out how it works and how to use it here.
BRAND NEW – My Meal Planning Guide gives you a full month (31 different suggestions) of themes and then over 185+ recipe links in one bundle.
You will see me use both these products on many of my shopping and meal planning Youtube videos on my channel.
// Why do we budget our shopping in this way?
Our family is working towards the goal of becoming financially free and secure over the next few years, and so we want to make sure our spending habits are as healthy as they can be.
Like any family our money is hard earned and precious to us, so it is my job in particular to make sure we only purchase what we will actually use and enjoy.
Don’t let this budget and meal planning fool you!
The key to the system I developed is that there is plenty of fun money to treat ourselves, but we also make sure we put money towards our future each month as well.
Interested in finding out how I budget our whole household?
Watch out for my monthly Family Budget and Goals update – brand new video series on my Youtube channel where I will share with you how we did against our budgets this month and how we are doing towards out financial goals.
I’m passionate about others working towards financial freedom and security too, so feel free to Click below to find out more!
Not enough money left over each month or barely enough to last you post the few few weeks?
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