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How much to budget for weekly shop?
Never budgeted before :/


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38 replies to this topic

#1 SophieBear

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

So I'm going on Maternity Leave at the end of March and I am trying to work out how long I can take based on my savings and paid Parental Leave from the Govt.

So my question is, how much do think would be a reasonable amount to budget for the weekly shop?

We have DH (who eats a fair bit), myself, baby, a medium sized dog and two cats.

I'm based in Adelaide so not Aldi, any tips on where to buy in bulk?

This is going to sound terrible but, since moving into this house (3 years) I have never done a weekly grocery shop  unsure.gif We go as we need to!  wwhistle.gif whoops...

#2 PatG

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

You probably need to keep all of your receipts for a few weeks and then review them.  Add up how much you really spent, then if you think you need to cut back work out how much wasn't really needed, excessive treats etc.  it varies so much from family to family depending on income, cooking habits, do you eat out at lot, take lunch to work etc.  I think there was a thread a while back where people put how much they spend if you want a look at the variety.

#3 Bluenomi

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

How long is a piece of string?

It can vary a lot depending on your eating habits. I'd start buy doing a few weekly shops and see what it comes to. That will give you a starting point and then you can see if you need to cut back on things.

#4 Suz01

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

I spend about $180 a week (DH, DD 2yrs, me, and DS) both still in nappies
We go through a box a fortnight with DD $30 and same for DS. I get bulk no name wipes $10 a wk. When I have to get cleaning and toiletries its more like a $250 shop for that wk once a month.

DH doesn't leave any leftovers and he eats like a horse.

We get mince, chicken breasts, sausages, steak, a roast and rotate expensive items like salmon every couple of wks.

Bulk of our bill is meat vege and nappies. I suggest going onto Coles online and do a shop without purchasing to give s rough guide on cost.

#5 rosie28

Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:59 AM

You should be able to do it for $150 a week, but I'd be tracking all spending (not just groceries) for the next two months if I was you - then you'll know what you actually spend, and you'll be able to identify where you overspend (hopefully you don't!) and where you're doing well.

#6 missjoads1234

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

We have 5 in our house (with another - one or two?  ffear.gif) on his/her way. We have $250 set aside every week for food, twins in nappies, petrol for two cars and formula. We also have 2 cats and a dog.  

Its really difficult but totally doable. We buy Aldi nappies (my girls have been in cloth but we've recently switched) shop there as well, buy our formula in bulk. Actually we buy alot in bulk now i think about it!!

Try using this website to buy baby food/nappies in bulk :

Go Toddler

We meal plan every week as well. Saves in the long run.

For your size family i would think $100 in food a week is ample.

#7 MummySmiles

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

Purchase your meat from the central markets and divide it up and freeze. So much cheaper!

#8 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:03 AM

I don't know how anyone here is getting decent food for $150/week. Our weekly grocery budget is $300, for me, DH, two kids and a cat.

#9 SophieBear

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE (PatG @ 09/01/2013, 10:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You probably need to keep all of your receipts for a few weeks and then review them.


Good idea. I understand each family is different. I am trying to keep my meal costs down.


QUOTE (missjoads1234 @ 09/01/2013, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have 5 in our house (with another - one or two?  ffear.gif) on his/her way. We have $250 set aside every week for food, twins in nappies, petrol for two cars and formula. We also have 2 cats and a dog.  

Its really difficult but totally doable. We buy Aldi nappies (my girls have been in cloth but we've recently switched) shop there as well, buy our formula in bulk. Actually we buy alot in bulk now i think about it!!

Try using this website to buy baby food/nappies in bulk :

Go Toddler

We meal plan every week as well. Saves in the long run.

For your size family i would think $100 in food a week is ample.


Thanks! And congrats on your addition (or two).
I was hoping for around $100.00 per week but was unsure whether this is unrealistic.

We're planning on using MCN's and Terry nappies to keep the price down. Everything I can save will be counted as extra time home.

Good idea Ann! Do you think the Central Markets would be the best priced?

#10 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 09/01/2013, 09:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How long is a piece of string?

It can vary a lot depending on your eating habits. I'd start buy doing a few weekly shops and see what it comes to. That will give you a starting point and then you can see if you need to cut back on things.


I agree. Also don't forget to add in the extra top-up trips for bread and milk etc.  

As for where you can save money, once again, it depends on the individual family.  It depends how enthusiastic you are, and what you are willing to DIY vs convenience.  A few of the big swaps I have made to save us money:

- eat less meat
- cloth instead of disposables (cheap cloth, not expensive MCN)
- make a lot of food from scratch.  Eg I make our own yogurt, ricotta, toasted muesli (that stuff is ridiculous to buy pre-made), pizza bases, and shop seasonally.  
- shop for pantry staples in bulk at a local outlet (Golden Circle factory outlet)
- white vinegar and bi-carb for most cleaning jobs

#11 PatG

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Grocery costs. Thread is here.

#12 Holidayromp

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE (missjoads1234 @ 09/01/2013, 11:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Try using this website to buy baby food/nappies in bulk :

Go Toddler


I have been to this website before and have just reviewed it - it is very expensive compared to what you can get locally.

Aldi nappies are good for a budget nappy so are Comfi Bots at Coles and you can get really good budget wipes at Aldi as you can at Coles.  However I do prefer Huggies as they don't sag. I find that no matter how little or how much DS does in the cheap nappy it hangs and sways and we have to change him more often than what we have to with Huggies.  Atm Coles has huggies on special for $30.00 a carton.

#13 Carmen02

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE (Bluenomi @ 09/01/2013, 07:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How long is a piece of string?

It can vary a lot depending on your eating habits. I'd start buy doing a few weekly shops and see what it comes to. That will give you a starting point and then you can see if you need to cut back on things.


I agree, do a few shops to see how you go. We are a family of 5 with 2 cats, a 2yr old in nappies, both boys on strict diets (costly food!) and we aim for 400 a week

#14 missjoads1234

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE
I have been to this website before and have just reviewed it - it is very expensive compared to what you can get locally.


Ive only found some things to be dear, others when bought in bulk are cheaper. Esp their food and snacks for babies.

#15 Sue Heck

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

Food Cents

That is really good site to look at for food budgeting. It has a few recipes and how to compare costs.
I would say the best budgeting tool I use is to meal plan and keep my shopping days to once a week and try and stick to the list. Everybody is different in what works best for their family.

When I had very young children I used inline shopping although it cost more it was worth my sanity. It depends on what your baby is like.

#16 Ianthe

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (SCARFACE CLAW @ 09/01/2013, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know how anyone here is getting decent food for $150/week. Our weekly grocery budget is $300, for me, DH, two kids and a cat.


$300 seems really high to me. That would be a big shop for me and it is me, 5 kids (one's a teenage boy), a dog and two cats.

OP the best advice I can give is to cook with in season produce and bulk buy meat on special.

#17 MrsLexiK

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (SCARFACE CLAW @ 09/01/2013, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know how anyone here is getting decent food for $150/week. Our weekly grocery budget is $300, for me, DH, two kids and a cat.

Well the most I ever spend is $150 (unless buying crap) many weeks it is under $100. We eat damn good too! I buy my meat from a wholesale place or the butcher (i will admit i get a discount at the butcher but that is the only reason i go to it for) or aldi with turkey coming from woollies. I don't buy packet stuff like pasta sauce or stir fry sauce or marinades I buy the bottles and make my own. I may buy the odd packet of pasta but generally I buy the slim pasta stuff which is $$.  I buy fruit and veg from the fruit and veg store or even from the local farm. Eggs are free range. It really isn't that hard when you are not buying processed crap. When I buy meat it is roughly $60 but that lasts easily 2 weeks.

#18 ~THE~MAGICIAN~

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

It will depend entirely on your eating habits.

Do you entertain much?
Do you bake?
Do you snack between meals?
Do you/your DH take lunch to work?
Do you eat dessert most nights?
Are you vegetarian?

I can shop for $150 a week if I stay away from prepackaged products. Adding those items to the mix are a real killer.



#19 noonehere

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

We spend on average $210 a fortnight including meat, nappys and pet food.

Buy in bulk pack from butcher once a month
Buy in bulk pet biscuits
Use colesonline for the rest so i can see it tally up as i go.

#20 frozie

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE (SCARFACE CLAW @ 09/01/2013, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know how anyone here is getting decent food for $150/week. Our weekly grocery budget is $300, for me, DH, two kids and a cat.


That would be a huge shop for us.  We are a family of 5 with one cat.  I put aside $500 a month and usually have between $50 - $100 left over.  We get all our meats in bulk from the butcher, our veg (and whatever seasonal fruit they have) are bought from a local farm, other fruit from the fruit shop and staples are from Woolies.  I also buy a fair bit of different flours, nuts, etc through a local co-op every 3 months.  We don't buy all the prepackaged stuff which saves heaps.  It also helps that the kids are loving to help out with the making of snack type foods and the breads.  Keeps them entertained and helps me at the same time.

#21 Apageintime

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

We spend about $200 a fortnight for me, DH and 2 cats.

We eat vegetarian mainly though, and don't use a lot of chemicals for cleaning (just bicarb and vinegar mostly) so I think thats why our shops are so cheap.

#22 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

Campbells Cash n Carry in Kent Town is the only place I know of in Adelaide that sells in bulk and I think you need to have a business/abn to sign up and possibly a joining fee.
There are a LOT of fruit/vegie markets that sell cheap though, not sure where you are located but there is a huge barn up south and markets at Gepps Cross, also Central markets and there is a guy atm near Hindmarsh with a stall, we went there last week and got strawberries or $1 a punnet, lettuces $1, a dozen eggs for a $1.

Edited by lifehacker, 09 January 2013 - 11:17 AM.


#23 doubting thomas

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

We would be over $350 a week easily. AM trying to cut back but cant see where except for food that ends up being given to the dogs for dinner if its past the use-by. Dont eat out much and that includes breakfast lunch and dinner for 3 adults and 3 kids plus 3 dogs and cats

#24 PatG

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:31 AM



If you include the cost of meals we ate out, bought lunches plus groceries including cleaning products, dishwasher tablets, toilet paper, toiletries etc my DH and I spent an average of $93 per week last year. We are not vegetarian and do use standard supermarket cleaning products.  Just food based groceries was $64 per week.  No pets, no children.

I think we need to eat out less  original.gif

#25 clm1982

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Its always better to over-estimate than under-estimate. I would allocate about $200 a week.

We are currently family of 2 adults, 1 toddler and 1 dog and baby on the way about the same time as yours. I get about $200 a week to spend on food, dont usually spend over this. Generally includes everything like nappies, wipes, food, cleaning stuff.

Im in Adelaide too, there are plenty of Fruit and Veg markets popping up around the place that are cheaper, you would need to shop around to get a better deal but $100 a week probably isnt enough you would be skimping and making alot from scratch etc. If your going with dispoables then try the cheaper brands you dont need huggies, i found woolworths select brand or snugglers fairly good at only $20 a box.




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