Advice on budgeting for food?

Hi Mums, I’m struggling with food shopping ( family of 5). I want to do the shopping in one go, And I do, but I feel like we run out quickly and we’re going back to the supermarket every day. I feel when I do the shopping that I get enough and costs a fair bit, it’s like all we spend our money on is food!! Any advice, please? Be nice


I make a list of meals
Then make a list of what you have
Then a list of what you need left to make your meals
And then a list for desserts
And drinks

Plan all your meals out based on what’s on sale from the store circular, write everything down so you don’t forget anything. Be sure to include snacks.

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We make a weekly meal plan then write down all the ingredients we need to make those meals. We try to buy seasonal vegetables to keep costs down. Then add the other items you need to the list. It works really well.

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What items do you find yourself going back for?
If it’s items to complete a meal then you’re probably not shopping for whole meals, write out your recipes and the ingredients you’ll need before you go shopping, meal plan.
If you’re going back for snacks then maybe 1 limit the number of snacks the kids get every day 2 maybe you’re not buying enough snacks to begin with and they’re eating them all in one day.
Again make a list of daily snacks and then how much you’ll need.

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Shop at aldi if you have one and check go grocery if you have one of those


All in one go isn’t a good idea. To much food just sitting around and getting eatin bc it’s there. I do bi weekly and make a meal plan (not that each day shit I’m terrible at that) but things that I know everyone will want even if it’s 2x in that 2 weeks. I go through and find out what snacks and lunch my kids need. Also it sucks but check adds sometimes it extremely cost efficient to go to multiple stores to fill your grocery list.

I meal plan 10 meals ish and what i see that were out of and it does well i do have to go back and need things that dont last long after a week or so.and i have 5 kids and another one on the way and its my partner and i

I feel ya! Family of 6, 2 adults 4 kids. I try to buy mostly generic food and I try to keep to meals I tend to shop sales as well to help with budget I keep a good stock up on canned goods, frozen mixed veggies, and Mac n cheese. I dont spend a lot of time making a dinner plan or anything I just know what we usually eat in a week. We go once a week. I always keep chicken in the freezer. Also if you have a store like daily deals shop them too specially for snack foods. We try to keep fruit around that doesn’t expire quickly. Bananas are awesome I make pancakes out of the brown ones and always buy them green we always have 2 bundles. Snack food goes quick at our house. Once gone for the week gotta suffer till next week lol

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Meal plan and grocery pick up, that way I don’t get distracted by anything I don’t need at the store.
An app (Walmart for example) saves your shopping list and when you are ready to check out just do so.

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I only order online to prevent impulse buying and check my cabinets and plan around that. Also we both work and our kids go to a sitter and I prep all of our food so we aren’t buying freezer meals which add up quick. It’s a little more work but worth it.

If you have an Aldi nearby, they really are a money saver. Meal planning, buying what’s on sale, buying meat in bulk and freezing in smaller portions are all good ideas. Also, making things like pancakes, waffles and biscuits from scratch are super cheap and make a lot.


Meal plans are great but get the kids involved. Also using what you have instead of what your buying. Stich it up for example if you making wings and fries and don’t have fries Substitute for side kicks

Shop amazon pantry to stock up on essentials

Sit down. Make a meal plan. If you shop for a week or two weeks or a month. Write down 7 days…14 days…30 days…
Worth of meals.
When you do this…plan to use leftovers. Have a leftover night once a week.
Make something you can easily transform into something.

Write down ALL the ingredients you need.
Go through your cabinets/pantry/freezer. Mark out what you do have.

Then make a list of snacks. Buy those in bulk and separate into ziploc bags.


Meal plan based on what you have already on hand and shop for only what you don’t have. We go to Costco once a month and buy in bulk our staple items. I shop weekly for perishable items.

I hear you…feeding kids costed more than I ever could have imagined! I planned meals to the letter, lunches, snacks…it was pretty regulated when it came to food for awhile there in our house (we had 5 teens living in the house at one point). I had the dinner ingredients in the pantry and the snack stuff in a cupboard so I always knew I would have what I needed to make dinners with. I did big shopping twice a month and then stopped at the store a couple times a week for basics.

Try coupons. When I was really into coupons a few years ago I would save $50 to $100 a week. I went food shopping every week. Also tell your family that this is all and it needs to last. You can also get bins with each name in it and divide up the snacks so they can control how much they eat and when there out there out until the next time you refill.

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Have you tried meal planning as a family? I do this with my family. We all sit at the table and pick out the meals for the week. I do the whole months shopping in one go. We are also a family of 5 and I know how expensive food can be. This was what I stated doing to save money. Snacks I let the kids make three choices each of sale snack items. It gives them a choice and say, but it also helps to cut down on costs. Hope this helps


Follow the sales. I often find myself at 2 different grocery stores. One might have a great price on meat and I’ll go to another for staples.

I meal plan according to what I have and what’s on sale that week. I also buy and freeze in bulk.

I write a menu for a week at a time. Include snacks and a full 7 days (that way you’ll have left overs at some point or get a quick, easy meal for an unexpected late night. Have a white board or notepad somewhere where you can write things you run out of throughout the week and add your ingredients to that list so you don’t forget anything!

I do a monthly shopping and spend 400-500, family of 4 with 2 extra kids all weekend every weekend, and that is most of my meats and panty staples. Then I go once a week the other 3 weeks and grab extra produce and milk (we go through an absolutely INSANE amount of milk) that’s usually 30-40 as there is always something I forgot to grab or ran out of. We eat a lot of the same meals so I have a pretty good idea of what to grab each time. I also buy my meat in bulk and separate it into freezer bags which makes it a little cheaper.

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Divide the money you spend on groceries by 4 and only shop once a week if you can’t afford a membership

This won’t work for everyone, but I take advantage of the stores that.mark
meat down the day before it expires and I put it in the freezer. You have to be careful that the meat isn’t discolored or have an “off” odor. I’ve done this for years and haven’t killed anybody yet


I buy in bulk but I plan my meals out a month in advance. I also prep my dinners for 30 days. My kids know they get 3 snacks a day and no more. I buy all the ingredients that I don’t have in my pantry or fridge/freezer. My kids help with meal planning. We pull popsicle sticks out that have the names of recipes we love. I also include at least one dinner for take out or delivery. I don’t make enough food for leftovers because they go to waste in my house.

If you always have left overs but not enough for everyone save until the weekend if you can safely and then on Saturday have a must go meal meaning all left overs will be used for your meal.

Go threw the sales adds. Any stores have savings card sign up they usually have digital coupons. I only buy meat when it’s on sale . I stock up when stuff is on sale even if u don’t need it . I do one big trip first week of the month then go maybe once a week for anything we need or on sale. Shop at Aldi’s if u have one or Kroger or Meijer . I spend between 300-400 a month. Check out doller tree too

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We are a family of 8 and it’s hard but you need to try and buy in bulk Sam’s club or Costco I buy 10lbs of chicken and 10 lbs of beef and I ziplock and freeze it I get can chicken for soups chicken and dumplings and we eat a lot of fish we by cases of can vegetables and we hunt so deer meat sticks our freezer in the winter

It was a pain at first but I literally sat down with a pen and notebook paper and wrote out ALL the meals that work for my family, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks… I keep those meals in a semi regular rotation and leave room for new recipes to try.
Anyway, I make my “menus” every 2 weeks, I write down EVERYTHING needed and check off what I already have.
I always watch my Publix app for the BOGO deals and sales. And I love doing grocery pickup, it’s keeps me from getting distracted in the store.

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Learn to make gravy it stretches meals. I make two pound meat loaf and half- 2/3 for a meal and add gravy with the rest for sos on toast or over potatoes. Also old fashion cooking seems to cost less

We meal plan for suppers and I spend one day and meal prep two weeks of dinners so they are oven or slow cooker ready than I have no waste . And than for dairy and fresh items I do once a week shopping and snacks I buy in bulk for the month . I also try to hit up sales or dollar days when I see them . With a family of 6 and a full dayhome we spend about $1000 monthly but supper I find are the most expensive so with planning those it helps us save

I have this issue too! I have recently started to meal plan and it has helped. Another issue I find is storage space. Even planning ahead, I do have to go to the grocery store almost daily for milk and bread. (5-6 of us in the house). I really try to focus on buying only essentials on these trips.

We use to buy bread in bulk seal them good and freeze them. Then when we defrost we just toast. I also always buys extra ingredients to bake bread at home which saves alot of money. Because you get more loafs out baking then buying especially for a big family. We buy big bag of carrots ,pumpkin ,beans (hard veggies) cut them up in different styles and sizes portion them for 1 pack one meal and freeze. We take fruit 1 L cream can of condence milk and then a can of Coco. You grind that together and you have a very creamy 2L ice cream. You can change the fruit out for nuts or you can change Coco dosage for sweeter or more bitter ice cream. But then we make 3 buckets and it helps through the month for sweetness instead of buying treats. You can also buy tea or fruit juice (not with fruit pieces as it may spoil ) pour into little cups and freeze like on the go lollies you can even freeze yogurt in cups.

Idk what grocery stores you have, but we have Smiths and I save a butt ton on groceries using their rewards card. Every time I go, I save $10 to $40. Sometimes we get 5x the amount of fuel points too. Most grocery stores have a reward card.

I shop once a week and spend about $150 at most. I meal plan and make cheaper dinners. Like, there’s a thousand different meals you can make with pasta, beef, turkey, potatos!

I make a meal plan for the entire month. I use coupons and rebate apps and I watch the sales. And make my lists according to what is cheaper at which grocery store. We also utilize our local food pantries. Also, any time I go into a grocery store I always hit the clearance/ discounted areas first. You never know what you’ll find there!

Write down a food plan for the week and also bulk buy do a mega shop on payday get large bag pasta multi pack of beans large sack of spuds that sort of stuff so then you will only need fresh stuff throughout the month, have a on going shopping list so as soon as you think of something or run low on something out it on the list so nothing is forgotten, also do brand swaps if you find little ones are munching on snacks by cheaper treats ( use vouchers for like farmfoods and make sure you are utilising bonus cards like nectar card (which also links up on eBay if you use that) keep track of sales and shop around I always bounce around farmfoods and Morrisons one week for mega buy and then Aldi weekly for fresh and maybe Sainsbury and Iceland’s throughout the month if needed

I plan my meals and buy purely for those meals, snacks, deserts. If they are complaining in between I remind then what time the next meal or snack (usually fruit) is and make them wait until then. It helps with routine, I also offer the best behaved child each week (we have 7) the choice to choose Saturdays meal choices which gives incentive to be good as they get their favourite meals and desserts:)

I know the feeling. Ive got 2 teens and a 12 year old. I know the pain.
What if you were you to do a bigger shopping trip once a month, and then once a week do a smaller one once a week, for odds and ends that you might need in a run of a week. Or maybe alternate going yo the store with your other half.

I write a new weekly menu out every weekend and write down everything I would need from that menu ,I have never got any other extras that would then go to waste , I buy bits like dippers ,fish fingers , pizza just incase someone moans about what is to eat that night ,then they can have shit out the freezer ,(thats my words to them ) :rofl:

I think I’ll join this page… you guys are so encouraging!
I’m an Aldi Nerd. My friend manages a GO grocery, and they post meat deals on there. I love our local meat market… I drop like $100 at a time on meat and smoke/cook/freeze it on the weekends. I feed my family of 5, plus 3 or 4 extras on the regular, noting that the extra kiddos usually just snack in the afternoons until they are picked up… but I have an instant pot… you literally chuck everything in and by the time you’ve got your cutting board washed and dishes out, poof! Food is done! LOL.
Aldi is my jam. I literally itemized everything and it was the same price on almost everything as Walmart, but the convenience of not having to go to Walmart worked out better than the few items that had a big price difference. My husband is a cop, so I don’t have a lot of time without my girls… I like to make an extensive list and go alone every chance I can, so I dont forget anything. (Happy planner makes little checklists that fit in their planners, and they are dry-erase.

Meal planning really really helps. I also found a salvage grocery store where the prices are insanely low (I just got 20 lbs. of bacon for $20 through them). I look for the manager’s specials and clearance and watch for sales on everything…and I refuse to buy junk food. My SO does but thats on him and out of his money not mine lol. I get creative with my leftovers and I will freeze them if i can’t. I was used to feeding a family of 6 and went to a family of 3 so i still have some habits that are hard to let go lol. I miss my big deep freezer!!!

I buy my meat, bread, and milk in bulk. I find we sales are going on, rewards program, and I try to use coupons as well. I meal plan for a week, so I only get what I need for those meals.

We are also a family of five we tend to shop for two weeks at a time and I always plan it budget it make sure that I have every ingredient for it then to top it off I also make a secondary plan to have two backup meals during those two weeks that way I’m not going to the store all the time

Meal planning, 3 meals and 3 snacks.
A lot of cooking from scratch. Stay away from prepared foods.
Keep recipes simple. Learn to make two or three meals from one large roast. Lots of side dishes to fill up on .

We’re a family of 4 with a 5th on the way and we recently cut our grocery bill from $220 a week to $70-$100 weekly!
We found youtubers that make cheap but relatively healthy meals. (Look up $5 dinners.) There’s almost always leftovers too which we save in individual portioned sized freezer bags and eat them for future lunches/dinners. Simplified snacks and kid’s lunches too. Just gotta figure out what will work with your family’s needs.

I plan out what meals we will have beforehand, buy in bulk and try to make food from scratch. Look through adds I use an app for my flyers at the stores around me. Look up meals under $5, pinterest has a ton.

The staples you run out of quickly buy doubles or even triple of (eggs, milk, bread) and anything else you need to make a quick run to the store for, forget about it. Make due, google a substitute item for whatever youre missing or make something else. Try to avoid middle if shopping trip, trips. Avoid freezer box foods and box cereals or limit to specifics and don’t budge on how much you get each trip.