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 £350 total for the month of March.
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 £150-£200 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 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.
I love to film for my Youtube channel that Bulk shop, normally from Sainsburys which is my shop of choice right now as we receive extra discount there due to my husband’s work benefits. This discount allows it to be cheaper than the other supermarkets for us.
You can check out our latest video shopping large haul below.
However if I was not able to get items cheaper at Sainsburys, we would normally use Aldi 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.
// What’s in store for us this month?
We have a few family events coming up, particular as Easter will be at the end of March this year so we will probably only plan for 5 meals in the meal planner leaving 2 other dinners to be either from the freezer or eating out/gatherings.
My husband is also planning a trip solo for a few days, so likely we will eat less or perhaps even eat with my parents those few nights.
My goal is also to use up as much of our freezer stored food and cupboards as we can, as I’ve noticed our store cupboards are still very full from Christmas spending and time to make the most of it or donate it to our local Food bank.
Click on photo image below to download your FREE Monthly and Weekly Meal Plan template to help your family and budget.
Links to some of the recipes mentioned on our Meal Plan can be found on my Pinterest board here:
IKEA Meatballs, Gravy and Chips
// 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.
You will see me use it 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 March 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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