Shopper reveals the methods they use to feed a family of three with £40 a week

There are multiple ways of saving money on food shopping but many of them require a huge amount of research and effort. Running from shop to shop to seek the best sales or scouring deals online can be a laborious task. Many may simply not have the time for all of that, especially if it only ends up saving them a few pounds a month. Many shoppers will likely just want to buy specific ingredients for meals that will be both nutritious and affordable.


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In 2019, a Mumsnet user reached out to the community to see what could be possible.

Mumsnet user “MediumBags” asked out loud if it was possible to feed a family of five for 23 days on £120.

The niche figures highlight that many families may be working with specific budgets that require thought out preparation.

As “MediumBags” admitted: “It’s a long way to payday! I see lots of pasta in my future!”

Despite their worries, other users detailed that their choices may not be so limited.

User “stucknoue” detailed that curries, bolognese and couscous are good options for struggling budgets. Rice can also be bought in bulk for as low as £5.

“Formerbabe” detailed buying whole a chicken and splitting it into multiple portions could also save huge amounts of money.

However, the most useful advice came from a user with specific meal plans.

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Many people swear by bulk cooking, detailing that cooking in batches will end up being cheaper than cooking individual portions in the long run.

That belief was shared by Mumsnet user “chillychicken” who detailed that they feed their family of three on £40 a week by utilising their freezer.

As they shared: “I feed 3 of us on £40 a week so I think it would be very tight, however, most of our meals serve us twice, if that makes sense? I have 2 freezers so batch cook or buy big packs and freeze.”

They went on to share some specific recipes that are great for bulk cooking: “Sausage casserole. Bulk with chickpeas, red lentils, baked beans, tinned tomatoes. Cut the sausages up and you’ll find you use less sausages per head than you would if they were whole. Serve with rice.”


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Utilising frozen ingredients will also help as they detailed: “Frozen fish to make a fish pie. Don’t use prawns (or buy the tiny ones as they’re cheap) and it’s a pretty cheap and tasty meal.

“Cottage pie. Bulk with lentils, frozen peas and frozen carrots.” Curries once again popped up as a good option as they continued:

“Curry. Use a jar if you don’t have spices. Again bulk with lentils, and do a mix of chicken, veg and potato. Buy chicken legs/thighs, much cheaper than breast.”

Preparation, when it comes to cooking, will pay off in the long run as utilising ingredients effectively will remove the need to buy more food.

As “chillychicken” confirms in their final tips: “If you normally have Weetabix, etc – buy store brand rather than branded.

“Meal plan today for the whole 23 days. Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

“Don’t deviate. Before meal planning, go through every cupboard, the fridge & freezer and write a list of what you already have.”

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