., The Motherhood

75 Quid – 7 days – Family Of 4: Shopping On A Tight Budget

So I’ve worked out that when we go down to one income next month, we’ll have a weekly food shop budget of £75. That will be for all meals, baby paraphernalia, cat food and sundries such as loo roll and washing tablets.

Seventy five quid sounds alright doesn’t it? I mean that’s £10.71 a day between us or £18.75 per person for the week. Remember when Ian Duncan Smith said he could live off £53 a week in benefits and that was all in – not just a food shop?  What a fucking cock womble.

For some, £75 for a family of four is unimaginable. Goodbye pesto, asparagus tips and craft beers!

For others, £75 for a family of four is a bloody dream. Hello less frozen food and more fresh meat and veg.

This a great analogy actually for the village we live in, depending on which direction you walk – would depend on which response you get.

I mean we weren’t exactly having a culinary adventure when we had two incomes but there was always room for a bottle of wine or a little take away. But now those days are gone and it’s time to think about what is essential and what isn’t.

So I’ve done this today based on Asda’s prices. I don’t always shop at Asda, often I go to Aldi or Morrisions but I think Asda is a great representation of a ‘budget’ supermarket. Plus they do the online shop and I could mock this up on my phone quite easily.

I am in no way pimping out Asda or working with them via this post.

Ok, so let me break this down for you. We are a family of four comprising of two adults, one 4 year old and one 8 month old baby. Finley has school dinners and they are free because of his age (fuck you Theresa) so I only need to give him a hot meal two days a week and seven cold teas. The 8 month old is currently on three bottles plus three meals a day and she can eat many of our meals whizzed up but not all of them.

We also have 3 cats.

And anyone who says “well don’t have cats then” can fuck right off because two of them we’ve had for a decade (when we were younger and had disposable income) and the other wandered into our kitchen a starving flea ridden kitten. What am I supposed to do? Get rid of them?

Not on your nelly.

The list enables me to cook the following dinners: Jackets Potatoes, Tuna & Salad/ Spaghetti Bolognese/ Chicken Stir Fry/ Chicken Roast Dinner/ Fresh Pasta Dish/ Beef Casserole/ Friday night treat Pizzas. These are all lesser versions of what I would have cooked previously – there would have been more fresh ingredients and less pre-made sauces/frozen and so on. It includes lunches (sandwiches), fruit for snacks and breakfasts for the week. It also includes a weeks allowance for laundry/ toiletries, nappies etc.

Everything on the list is non brand and the supermarkets own – unless stated otherwise.

Staple Essentials

Milk 6pt £1.50

Bread 2 loaves £1.00

Cheese 750g £3.90

Eggs FR Doz. £1.85

Ham 420g £1.79

Bananas x 10 £1.50

Apples x 10 £1.80

Grapes punnet £1.35

Weetabix 24pk £1.29

Generic Cereal Box £1.00

Kids Value Yoghurts x 12 = 0.80

Evening Meals

Baking Potatoes x 4 £0.70

Tuna in Brine x 1 can £0.89

Cucumber £0.50

Red Pepper £0.55

Mince 12% Fat 500g £2.41

Spaghetti £0.45

Bolognese sauce jar £0.75

Garlic Bread £1.00

Stir Fry Meal Deal (veg/noodles/sauce) £2.70

Chicken Breast 1kg (approx 5) £5.79

Frozen Roast Potatoes £0.95

Tinned Peas £0.40

Tinned Sweetcorn £0.39

Frozen Yorkshire Puddings £0.85

Fresh Pasta £1.38

Fresh Pasta Sauce £1.40

Spinach £0.80

Diced Beef 400g £2.89

Onion x 1 £0.30

Stock Cube £0.05

Carrots x 2 £0.14

Bag New Potatoes £0.80

Fresh Pizzas x 2 £3.74


Nappies 5 per day x 7 = 35 x 0.05 = £1.75

Powdered Milk 1/2 carton a week (£9) = £4.50

Baby Wipes x 2 = £1.04

Baby Food Pouches x 5 x 0.52 = £2.60

Fruit Pots pk4 = 1.45


1/2 bag of Purina = £7.00

Wet Food Pouches = £5.00

Misc Sundries

Washing Tabs x 9 washes = 1.35

Fabric Softner 1/2 bottle = 0.50

Misc Cleaning (scourers/bleach/ anti-bac/ blacks sacks) £3.50

Misc Toiletries (shampoo/ deodrant/ tampons etc) £2.50


Immiatation Chocolate Bars pk 6 = £0.85

Digestive Biscuits = £0.33

Bottle of Lemonade = £0.35

Grand Total = £79.53

So I’ve come in £4.53 over budget – clearly our downfall are the cats and the baby! If it wasn’t for them we would be spending £23.34 less.

So to come in on budget I’ll have to lose the ‘luxury’ items, plus a few non meal essentials – yorkshire puddings, garlic bread, spinach and swap the chicken breast for thighs. But it can be done!

And thank god that it can be done. Whilst I might think that this is a bit of a hardship or lament having to be frugal – at least I can do it. At least I can feed a family of four, for a week on £75. Some people don’t have that luxury.



photo credit: J D Mack Money via photopin (license)

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  1. sarahmumzilla says:

    I’m another one recommending checking out Jack Monroe recipes – excellent budget cooking there. Thanks for linking up to a #blogginggoodtime

  2. It’s so hard when food is going up all the time to stick to a budget without putting more back each week. (Mutter … Tories .. Mutter). Good luck!

  3. I love that you’ve shared your list and prices. I always end up shouting at the TV when they have shows about cooking on a budget – “you sit on a throne of lies Jamie Oliver, you cannot buy scallops in that volume for £5!” or words to that effect. When I was on maternity, I cooked a lot from Cooking on a Bootstrap. You geniunely can feed yourself for a week on £30-£40 with planning if you need to. It’s certainly helpful to know how to when you’ve lots of nappies and things to buy. Great post. #ABloggingGoodTime

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