/ How much do you spend on food each month?

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John_Hat - on 24 Nov 2012
Like the title, really.

Looking for the figure per normal size adult, so if you need to add two kids together to get one adult (or, depending on the kid and the appetite, divide in two to get one adult) then you get the idea.

Reason for all this: Trying to work out whether our monthly food bill is (1) normal, (2) excessive, or (3) insane. I'm guessing for somewhere between (2) and (3).

By the way, I'm excluding restaurants and takeaways. If I added them on I might start crying.
vark - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
About 150 per month for 2 adults and 2 kids
vark - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to vark:
Week not month!
simon c on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Myself and Karin, works out about 100 -150 per person for the month, extras are an occasional takeaway at around 26, which mght be twice a month.
John_Hat - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to vark:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> About 150 per week for 2 adults and 2 kids

So 150/week, 600/month, 4 people, 150-200 each.

Hmmn.

It occurs to me that although I meant to put our expenditure in the OP, I forgot. Hence on the basis its rude to ask people for something you've not provided yourself our average over last year is 175 per person - been as high as 260, as low as 125....

I thought that was a lot, by the sounds of it its possibly not as bad as I thought...
vark - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
By coincidence I was working our spend out today. I thought It was alot but on reflection 5 per person per day doesn't seem to bad. It doesnt include school dinners for the kids but otherwise is reasonably accurate.
John_Hat - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to vark:

I guess I put it in context of how much I used to spend when I was on the dole, where a fiver a week was about the level. OK, it was Kwik Save multi-packs of bugers, fish fingers, and bread, so not exactly nutritious, and we eat *much* better now, but still apeared a helluva lot (175pp) to me!
ebygomm - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Budget averages out at 70 per week for two, including non food stuff like toiletries, cleaning products etc
ianstevens - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: About 15 a week, just for me. But then I do eat like crap, so...
RockAngel on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: for me and teenage son who eats a lot, its about 35 a week. he's learnt to eat whats in front of him or he goes hungry
Ciro - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

I was actually thinking about this the other day, as I want to start putting some cash away to take some time out in a year or two for an extended climbing trip, so I'm trying to work out exactly where my money goes. Turns out I spend quite a bit on food.

During the week I reckon I've been spending on average about 15 a day, on the way to the climbing on a friday night I usually spend around 30 in the supermarket, but still go for a pub meal saturday night, say 15, comes to 120 a week.
Blue Straggler - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

I tried the 10 a week thing espoused by some UKC posters on here, a few years back (this included beer - the rule was "no more than 10 spent on things you eat or drink"). It was surprisingly tolerable, which was an enlightening process and reassuring in terms of thinking "what if..." but it was pointless pursuing the discipline when the tight budget was unnecessary (for my part, I kept blowing the "saved" money on plastic toys anyway!)

To address the OP, I'll guesstimate 90-110 per month (singleton living alone). This might be cheaper if I were vegetarian. I eat reasonably well (I try to make a point of cooking a meal for myself every night, with occasional planning to cook in bulk and spread it out over the month. I do pick up supermarked "clearout" bargains about three times a month. I don't have high standards or exotic tastes, but I do have a quality base line.
lost1977 - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

at the moment i would guesstimate about 50 a week but i am on a diet and on the dole. never much junk but i do like quality ingredients
Philip on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to lost1977:

250/month for 2 adults but that's all shopping including tissues, cleaning products, etc, we rarely eat out and have packed lunches so there's little other food costs.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: I'm one of those incredibly sad people who sits with a calculator at the end of each month and adds up all their food receipts then staples them together and stores them, to one day form a massive food spending spreadsheet.

Including household products but not cigarettes and alcohol my spending used to be 15-20 per week, that's all home cooked food and no "junk". I've been enjoying food too much at the moment and have averaged about 25-30 per week, although I've cooked a big feast for a few people once every one or two weeks which if taken out would take me to about 20-25 per week.

A lot of food has gone up over the last year and I've noticed it a lot as I tend to buy the exact same things every month apart from different fruit/veg/meat. I'll have to go back at some point and chart the price changes in a range of common products, sounds like a fun weekend task...
jacobfinn on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: Could you post what you get for your 15- 25 a week? I'm curious to see how far your money goes and what you eat. If you have the receipts it should be easy!

I don't think it's possible to eat a balanced diet for that little, unless you buy no "crap" - chocolate, biscuits, crisps etc.

There is a huge range in prices between the supermarkets. I have four near to me - Sainsbury give you the least for your money; Tesco are next but because their fuel is generally the cheapest I use their club card vouchers to get money off; Asda is the cheapest but lowest quality and Morrison's has the best balance between cost, quantity and quality.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to jacobfinn: We're going back about 3 years here so I've just got the figures for that far back, student days and I had better things to do than hoard receipts, unlike now...

As you say crisps and biscuits/chocolate cost loads, I've not bought crisps in year, bought one packet of gold bars this year and that's been it in the biscuit line. I maybe get a chocolate bar a month at the moment (if that) but at uni I didn't buy any. I ate pretty well back then, not a massive amount of meat but I hit the butcher up once a week and spent about 5 which did me a few bacon butties and 3-4 meals worth of meat. I was a bit of a foodie back then so I didn't buy things like custard or bread and just made them, quite a lot of vegetarian curries and that sort of thing. You can live quite healthily on 10 a week eating nothing but veggie curries.

The deals were always better back then as well, I remember getting 20Kg of potatoes for 44p. I remember a few weeks where tesco had obviously been buying too much broccoli and it seemed to be endlessly reduced to 20p, fry that up with some garlic, buy a bag of 13p value pasta and you've got 2 filling meals for about 20p a portion. Porridge for breakfast and bread/soup/beans on toast etc. for lunches and snacks. It's not rocket science to keep your budget down but if you add a 50p bag of crisps, 70p can of coke and an 80p chocolate bar to that you've just blown your budget without actually feeding yourself. Have a takeaway one night a week and before you know it you're spending 30 a week and you're eating like shit.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: That was meant to be "not bought crisps in years" by the way.
Oh and the gold bars were awesome but why are they so small now?
Ben Sharp - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: Noodles used to be a staple as well, onion stir fry found it's way onto the menu quite often. Onion, ginger, garlic, chilli and soy sauce with the noodles from a pack of value supernoodles.
SARS on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to jacobfinn:

< 150 per month for myself. I eat like a king almost every night - lots of Chinese & Japanese cuisine.

Buy very little in the way of junk, and I get lunch through my work. Usually buy a coffee on the weekends, but otherwise don't bother as we have good coffee for free at the office.

Eat out once or twice a month. Used to eat out every night when I lived in Japan, but I find UK restaurants in general to be overly expensive for the quality and there's not much healthy stuff available.
andic - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

two of us spend abt 50-60 quid a week in supermkt (mostly food) and probably about a tenner a week on other bits (replenishing things milk, eggs, chinese supermarket etc).

it was more but now that we plan a weekly menu which has helped cut the amount of waste (food and money). id say we eat very well
dave frost - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: It seems everyone has been thinking the same, me too. Here's a few quick things.

Note firstly that we don't buy meet or veg from the supermarket. Meat we normally buy only as half animal, and veg from the local farm shop - this works out cheaper.

for 2 adults (and 2 cats) we spent 200 in the supermarket last month, and bought too much so have plenty left over this month. I expect we will spend about 150 this month. I expect we will normally spend about 20 per month on veg, and about 30 on meat.

I suppose in general this equates to 200 per month all in.

Some other notes: i work in an office and don't buy sandwiches, they're expensive. We don't have any fizzy drinks, we don't eat sweets/crisps/crap as its also expensive.

This excludes booze. We share a bottle of wine about 4 or (max 5 nights a week. We don't drink any booze 2 or 3 nights a week. Soa lso add in 100 for booze.

The supermarket prixes seem to have gone through the roof in the past few years.

Cheers
dave
Ava Adore - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Do what I do and just nip to the supermarket (preferably at a time when they reduce fresh items) as and when you need stuff. Then you have NO idea how much you spend. :-)
Sebastian Fontleroy - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
>
> I tried the 10 a week thing espoused by some UKC posters on here, a few years back (this included beer - the rule was "no more than 10 spent on things you eat or drink"). It was surprisingly tolerable, which was an enlightening process and reassuring in terms of thinking "what if..." but it was pointless pursuing the discipline when the tight budget was unnecessary (for my part, I kept blowing the "saved" money on plastic toys anyway!)
>
> To address the OP, I'll guesstimate 90-110 per month (singleton living alone). This might be cheaper if I were vegetarian. I eat reasonably well (I try to make a point of cooking a meal for myself every night, with occasional planning to cook in bulk and spread it out over the month. I do pick up supermarked "clearout" bargains about three times a month. I don't have high standards or exotic tastes, but I do have a quality base line.

Hi, just out out of interest, what was the 10 a week thing?

Me and my significant other spend about 50 a week between us. We don't eat meat which tends to keep it down a tad.
misterb - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
around 350 a month for two people , 6 a day each for 3 square meals doesn't seem too bad a figure , i would add a few quid on for booze though as 300 is just for food.
jwhereat - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Poor student - think I spend about 10 -15 pounds on food a week. Aldi opposite the uni is a god send.

Plan meals with a house mate and always end up with a freezer full of food for when we get lazy
Moondancer - on 25 Nov 2012
Probably about 40-50/week for 2 people, so let's say 80-100/month per person.

We're both vegetarians, so that brings the cost down a bit. I try to shop at Lidl regularly and buy a lot of fruit and veg relatively cheaply at my local market stall. However, now that we can afford it we also buy a lot of products (especially dairy) from a nearby organic store, so that contributes quite a bit to our bill.
hokkyokusei - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Normally my food shopping comes to about 70/week, but that includes a variable amount of alcohol. There's just me usually, but if my kids (teenage boys) come round it goes up a lot.

However, last month (10th October to 9th November) I restricted myself to 31 for 31 days. No meat, no alcohol, lots of making things from scratch. Wasn't easy, but wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Worked out about 2500kcal/day.
Simon Wells - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

2 adults, 1 toddler, wife veggie I eat a little meat. Until recently that included food for our 28kg dog who is sadly no longer with us.

240 per month, 60 per week, we cook all our food from scratch, even bread.

Interestingly my wife is the main carer for her Dad, so does his shopping at the same time, 79 years old and lives on his own and on average he spends more on food than we do!
Bobling - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Simon Wells:

2 adults one toddler. C. 300 per month for all food and other household goods that one buys from the supermarkets. We could cut back more if we needed to but it would be no fun at all, as it is we do spend time trying considering the quality/expense equation on most items. I'm quite proud I can look at my spreadsheet and tell you all that as six months ago my reply would have been "No idea"
ads.ukclimbing.com
EeeByGum - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Between 50 and 70 a week depending on things like razor blades, washing powder and other occasional sundries. Food only usually comes to about 40 - 50 but we do religiously plan meals before each shop. That is for two adults and one small child.
Helen R on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Because I'm overseas, the amount we spend isn't really comparable, but goodness, food seems cheap in the UK compared to NZ.

We would struggle to have enough to eat on the lower end of the budgets you're describing unless it was with no meat and hardly any fruit and veg or dairy.
Helen R on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Helen R:

PS If ben b appears to tell me how cheap everything is at the Dunedin farmer's market, I shall lob something in his direction....But not cheese, it's too expensive.
daveyji - on 26 Nov 2012
I reckon we spend around 400 per month for 2 adults. Fruit is ridiculously expensive now, 4 pears for 2. Outrageous.
I do shop in wait rose and m&s and only buy organic so that bumps the price up but I would rather pay more than waste parts of my day in one of the other supermarkets.
browndog33 - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Main shop for two adults and an 11 year old is about 70 per week (included toiletries etc), although a few visits to the local co-op are also needed too @ ~10/ visit.
Mark.
jkarran - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

No idea! Somewhere in the 200-350 bracket I guess.
jk
Neil Williams - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to daveyji:

"I do shop in wait rose and m&s and only buy organic so that bumps the price up but I would rather pay more than waste parts of my day in one of the other supermarkets."

Fine, then pay more :)

But if you don't want to "waste parts of" your "day in" "supermarkets", why not consider online ordering and delivery?

If that were from Tesco or Sainsbury's you'd likely save a packet.

Neil
Camm on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
Single Male, living at home so get some meals provided, about 150 a month, probably 250 with take aways.
vark - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply
>
> If that were from Tesco or Sainsbury's you'd likely save a packet.

Not necessarily. We recently changed from sainsburys to ocado and there was no real difference on like-for-like shopping.

The problem is going into the shop and being tempted by the goodies on the shelves. Even popping into Waitrose for a pint of milk often ends in a spend of 50 on things I didn't know I needed.
Jim C - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
Whatever ours is,it is too much, as I see a LOT of waste, with things getting thrown out if it passes a 'Best Before' date even just by a few days.
'Use By' dates are a bit different, but they still err too much on the very safe side for my liking. (It's what your nose is for)

Also too many packets/prepared meals run away with loads of money, buying fresh and cooking from scratch should be much cheaper, particularly if you make in bulk and freeze.

My wife does none of these, as she does tells me to do it myself, and I'm too lazy.
gethin_allen on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to vark:
"Even popping into Waitrose for a pint of milk often ends in a spend of 50 on things I didn't know I needed"

Obviously you have for too much cash or no self control.

We probably spend about 35 per person per week plus a take away or meal out every now and then, plus a couple of on milk at the corner shop.
Sometimes a bit more if there are good deals on things that can be frozen.
daveyji - on 26 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
There's also the ethical sourcing issue. The shops I use have a much better record re ethical sourcing, paying fair rates for produce and sustain ability than tesco and the other chains.
Oh and produce quality.

I would rather pay more and support the more ethical shops. Also I'm not organised to do on line shopping. I prefer to wander round and grab what I fancy at the time.
Ally Smith on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to daveyji:

Free work canteen, so only spend roughly 40/wk on additional food.

When i was a student and living on "going out of date" specials by going to the supermarket just before closing, my budget was 15/wk.

After rent, diesel is by far and away my biggest expense each month
Ava Adore - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

This month I have a lot of time on my hands so am cooking proper food. I seem to be spending a lot more than normal.
andy - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to vark: same - 150 a week for 2+2
Graham Mck on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Purely on food (excluding all other groceries, cleaning products etc etc)then about 280-320 pcm for 2+1
Oujmik - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Groceries for me and the gf typically come to around 80 p/w of which I'd think the vast majority is food. There are a few 'luxury' and 'niche' items that we buy regularly which really push the spend up.

We don't get take-aways or go out to eat or drink, so that covers everything for the whole week. But still, it's far more than the 10 challenge.
Frank4short - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp:

> Have a takeaway one night a week and before you know it you're spending 30 a week and you're eating like shit.

I, and I'm sure probably most of the people posting on here, would hardly describe having 1 takeaway a week as eating like shit. Plus I can't help but feel there's a massive difference between eating healthily, and in this case I specifically mean getting the minimum nutritional requirements, and eating well. Granted plenty of people don't have enough money to comfortably do the latter but I sometimes feel these types threads often end up being a group of people boasting about how little they can live off of and still get their minimum nutritional requirements.

As to the OP's question myself and the wife probably live off of about 4-500 a month between us. Though we try to eat well usually buying high quality meat and produce that probably adds about 30-50% on to what it might have been had we decided to only do it using cheaper produce. As to be honest eating should be one of life's great joys and life is too short to eat badly, IF you can afford not to.
johncook - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: Single, meat eating male, who does all his own shopping and cooking (Can't get anyone to do it for me) I always look at the short dated stuff and offers, then continue with the rest of the shop, adjusting the requirements around what is on offer. Don't drink in the house. Rarely have take aways. Current monthly spending on food approx 90. That gets me a good breakfast, a 'snack' lunch and a good and varied main meal. I like all styles of food, and find that I rarely repeat a recipe in a month. This is working so well I am putting on weight despite climbing indoors or out 4/5 times a week and exercising as well.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: 400-600 per month.
estivoautumnal - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Not including restaurants gives a very skewed figure. I guess we average around 400-600 a month (2 people) on eating out but nothing even close to that on food at home. If we ate more at home we'd spend more.
Are you including wine?
whispering nic - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
2 adults, 5 and 3 yr old plus baby, around 80-&90 per week not inc booze or very occasional chippy/takeaway. We eat fairly well having said that. Maybe another 10-15 per week for occasional milk/sarnie/bread/coffee purchases...
ice.solo - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

40,000 yen a month for 2 for a bit of international perspective. and we eat out quite a bit, a good amount goes on coffee but no booze and we have a healthy allowance for excess.
John_Hat - on 28 Nov 2012
Thank you all so much. That's been a really useful thread for me and has both encouraged me that we're probably not as far away from "normal" as I thought, and also shown that we could probably cut down a bit if we needed to.

The background behind this is that the evil twins of my payroll department and HMRC have royally screwed up my tax, leaving me with a huge backlog, which HMRC are going to start abstracting from my pay packet, leaving us quite a bit worse off on a monthly basis, hence we are looking at what is possible to cut down on.

We've already cut bills down to what is basically a minimum, and after that our main expenditure is food, and I've always thought our food bill is a little extravagant.

Don't get me wrong, we're not on the breadline, so we're not bulk-buy-no-frills-range-at-Kwiksave land, but there's a difference between using your available funds wisely and not, and if we can drop the food spend then any pain will be at least more bearable, and we won't have to make as many sacrifices elsewhere in our lives.

Many thanks for the responses. I'll keep reading the thread in case there are any late entrants!
FrankBooth - on 28 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:
about 1200 i think, for six of us (2 adults, 4 kids)
includes booze though (4 bottles of okay wine/week)
Carolyn - on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

Around 100/week, 2 adults, 2 kids (4&7). That includes some booze, and a fair amount of meat. It's certainly be possible to cut back with a little care but not too much hardship. We mainly cook from scratch (ish), only with convenience stuff if I've bought it when it's been reduced right down.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to John_Hat: 125 a week for 2 adults and 1 toddler
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 29 Nov 2012
In reply to Game of Conkers: Hang on, that is the supermarket shop...so includes cleaning products etc.and doesn't include dog who is 50 a month (yes I know, but he likes the expensive stuff)

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