Do you know how much you spend on food each week. I thought I did, but maybe I was wrong.
I was watching TV the other night and they said that families can’t eat healthy and on a budget, and that an apple cost 30p which surprised me. We eat quite healthy, I cook from scratch and I feel we eat well without spending a fortune, but I don’t know the exact cost of what I eat so I decided to cost out every meal and every snack for a week.
I should like to point out I’m doing this exercise for myself, and sharing the information as it might interest to someone, I’m not trying to tell anyone how much they should spend on food or what they should eat. What I have found is by writing it down I can see where I could make savings, and that eating out just once in the week can be a third of my weekly spend, that’s shocking.
I mostly shop at Aldi (it’s nearest), going elsewhere for the things I can’t get there, we eat mainly a plant based diet with meat once or twice a week , and usually fish once a week. I cook most things from scratch since the heart scare, that way I know how much fat we are eating.
So how much is the average spend on food per person per week? Websites say you can eat healthily on as little as £12, another site said £14 and one said £16. I looked at several forums and people were saying they spend £20 to £25 per person per week on food.
So here’s my weekly menu, I didn’t cost in spices as I buy in bulk and the actual cost must be very little in a meal.
porridge with linseeds, apple and honey
7 breakfasts- either porridge or branflakes with milk, and some of the following, linseeds, sunflower seeds, honey, apple pear or banana = £2.83
6 suppers- ( can’t sleep if I’m hungry) branflakes and milk = 96p
instant coffee for the week=75p
Treats, half bag wine gums, half bottle of wine = £2.78
homemade soup for lunch
- leek & broccoli soup, ciabatta roll, fruit yogurt = 81p
- beans on toast =38p
- egg on toast= 22p
- leek broccoli soup, slice seeded bread = 37p
- carrot lentil bacon soup, seeded roll= 52p
- lunch out ( lamb dinner special with veg and glass of wine) = £10. 95
- carrot lentil bacon soup, an orange = 43p
homemade chicken dhansak ( no pineapple)
- chicken dhansak, poppadom, brown rice £1.57
- mushroom leek walnut pasta 92p
- beef tagine, cous cous £1.41
- leek mushroom bacon pasta £1.10
- cauliflower and vegetable korma, poppadom 65p
- beans on toast 38p
- baked potato, coleslaw, mackerel fillet 60p
Grand total for the week= £27.63
Total for the week if I hadn’t eaten out, lunch replaced with an average day £17.14
This has been an interesting exercise, I thought I was spending more each week, and of course I did, you can’t buy one egg or one poppadom, but I still have fruit and veg in the fridge, and I have food in the freezer and larder, and it will all get eaten.
I can see that eating out really adds a lot to the weekly budget, but I can still have my half bottle of wine and some treats without spending a fortune. This week was slightly unusual, we ate more meat than usual as on ‘beef tagine’ day we had a visitor, and we went out to lunch another day.
I can see where I can save money if I want to, some apples are 34p but others are 11p, chicken breasts could be replaced with thigh meat, and I could have made a vege tagine and not used beef. Bacon rashers could be replaced with offcuts, or good old fashioned bacon bones for making soup. I could make my own seeded rolls, but I’d probably eat more if I did! I reckon I could save another £1.28p on food and another £2.50 if I didn’t have the wine making a total of £13.36, I think that is amazing, but life’s too short not to have the odd treat now and then.
And another thing I learned by writing everything down, I haven’t snacked between meals, that has to be good I wonder if I have lost any weight, I doubt it!