How to feed your family for £100 a week


by Henrietta Richman |
Published on

Sponsored by FSCS

Feeding a bunch of hungry mouths week in week out is no easy feat – and if you’re not organised, you can easily spend a ridiculous amount of money on food without realising it. Here are eight tips to help you bring in your food spend at a maximum of £100 per week.

1. Plan ahead

‘Plan each meal for the next seven days’ probably isn’t one of the million tasks on your to-do list. But it should be! Take the hour you’d normally spend watching Bake Off and use it to think about what meals you need to prepare in the days ahead. Go through each recipe you’re planning to make and write a list of ingredients you need and don’t already have in the fridge/larder, before hitting the shops. Going to the supermarket just once a week and only buying the items on your list will save you time in the long run (you won’t waste time wandering up and down the aisles after work wondering what to cook for dinner), and will also save you money if you force yourself to stick to your list (step away from the non-essential biscuits/booze on offer!). Aim to spend no more than £80 on this initial shop so that you have £20 left for anything essentials you may need to pick up during the week.

2. Be supermarket-savvy

Get to know your local store inside out – find out what time it puts out its end-of-day offers and try to shop at that time. Look out for items that can be frozen, such as meat or fresh soups. It’s also worth checking out any loyalty schemes the supermarket may have – these vary from money-off coupons, to giving you the option of choosing a certain number of items that you can regularly buy at a cheaper price when you use your loyalty card.

3. Cut your food bills

Sticking to offers, buying in bulk, using wholesale clearance websites such as]( and using a shopping basket comparison website such as can save on your weekly reckons its users save an average of 30 per cent on their weekly shop. The average weekly food bill in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics, is about £59. So in theory, this could come down to around £40. For store cupboard items such as tea, coffee, cereal, dried beans and pasta, consider buying in bulk to save using websites such as - if you have the space to store it all.

3. Bulk up

Filling food doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy food – when planning your week’s menu, bring down the cost of an expensive meat dish by using less meat and substituting grains or pulses – think Moroccan-style chicken with lentils or a beef and bean hotpot. These dishes are cheap, healthy and super-filling. Plus, padding out the dish with pulses will make the piece of meat that you use go further and feed more people.

5. Waste not, want not

There’s a reason why the zero-waste food trend has taken off – sustainability issues aside, using up everything in your fridge, skin and all, is a huge money saver. Roast a chicken for dinner and use the leftovers for your packed lunch the next day. Boil the carcass to make stock and then freeze it to use later in the week as the base for a soup. Or use any bananas on their last legs to make a banana bread that will be perfect for lunch boxes or as an after-school snack.

6. Set yourself a cooking challenge

When thinking about your meal planner, use the food that you currently have in your fridge and larder to inform which dishes you decide to cook. Got a load of random ingredients that won’t work together? Put them into Google together with the word ‘recipes’ and you’d be surprised what you might find. Figs and feta? Fine! Chicken and chickpeas? No problem! The less food you throw away, the more money you’ll save.

7. Buy new-season items

No, we’re not talking about autumn’s must-have camel coat. When it comes to keeping food costs low, sticking to fruit and veg that are in season is key. These will be cheaper and you’ll get more of them for your money. So, if mushrooms are in, then think mushroom risotto, stuffed mushrooms, mushroom soup, etc, spread over the course of the week.

8. Turn your back on brands

Forget about your favourite brands and start buying supermarket-own items (let’s face it, if your life depended on it, would you be able to tell a branded tin of chopped tomatoes from a non-branded one by taste alone? Neither could we). This is an easy way to shave money off your weekly shop without cutting anything out.

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