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What do you spend on food per week?

Posted by Vanessa 
What do you spend on food per week?
April 24, 2015 11:18PM
What would be considered an average spend on food per week in NZ?

Its just me and the kids, we don't eat extravagantly BUT I feel like Im always spending spending spending. I must admit, I don't do one big shop, I don't write menu/meal plans, I shop when I need to and do gravitate towards shops like Nosh/Farro especially as they are on my way home from work. When I do go there however, I refuse to pay inflated prices for the same thing at the supermarket.

How do you shop? Do you stick to a budget? Do you plan out your week? Are you frugal? Are you extravagant? Do you buy the same every week? Do you pay attention to the flyers through the mail box?

I would love to get an insight into your food habits...

Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 12:53AM
I am currently doing smaller shops, as our normal numbers of four now varies, as the children bring their parners for dinner or are out and about not eating at home. So dinners vary from six max or two least. I do mentaly think of what meals I might cook and shop accordingly, but know I will need to pick up a few bits towards end of week to see us through if need be. Just on food I probably spend $ 170 approx. I buy what brands we like apposed to what is the best buy,especially on things like cheese. Meat I buy what ever is on special, but do tend to cook vegetarian a few nights a week. I shop mainly at supermarkets for convenience, I do flick through thr flyers and if something is a really good special I may go and get. This works for us, although kids complain there is nothing in the cupboards! But I just got annoyed that we were wasting so much food.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 01:35AM
Vanessa Wrote:
> What would be considered an average spend on food
> per week in NZ?


This indicates just under $200 pw in 2013

> I feel like Im always spending
> spending spending. I must admit, I don't do one
> big shop, I don't write menu/meal plans, I shop
> when I need to and do gravitate towards shops like
> Nosh/Farro especially as they are on my way home
> from work.

I think you've answered your own question - impulse shopping and no planning = overspending

> How do you shop?

We don't do a big supermarket shop, in fact we buy very little food from the supermarket, mainly cheese, yoghurt, milk and cream plus cleaning products. We buy free range eggs and veges from a small high quality greengrocer in Balmoral, meat from a small high quality suburban butcher, The Aussie Butcher, and sometimes from Farro, bulk nuts, dried fruit, spices and cheese from Gilmours, other foods from In**an and, Chinese and Thai food markets. Fish from the fish market or occasionally New World

>Do you stick to a budget?

No, but we do look out for specials, particularly with meat.

> Do you > plan out your week?

More or less. i make an effort to use what is in the garden and meats that are on special, and make a particular efort to ensure we have a wide variety of foods over a week..

> Are you frugal? Are you
> extravagant?

Neither, but probably on the extravangant side .

> Do you buy the same every week?


> Do > you pay attention to the flyers through the mail > box?

Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 02:29AM
assuming two kids, so three people?.....170 per week seems pretty good to me. It cant always be about every $..if its easier to go Nosh to pick up a few things than finding your way around a busy supermarket in peak time when you have kids, then so be it.

I think you will find you are making things work better than most.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 03:14AM
We spend around $250 to feed three adults (but that includes pet food and cleaning products, i.e. my whole grocery spend, not just food).

I have a notebook in which I write a meal plan each week, vital with two of us doing shift work, and our son unable to do much more than heat something in the microwave. So on one side of the page is the meal plan and then on the matching page I write the shopping list, so that I'm only buying what I need. I then write in what I've spent on groceries as I go I go to our local butcher for ethical meat, and often have to visit two or even three supermarkets to get what I want. I then try not to go to the supermarket again, only calling in to get fresh milk, or sometimes to stock up on fruit or veges. I'd got into a habit of doing a weekly shop that would be up around $300 and then going in almost daily to get bits and pieces, adding up to $30 each time. So doing this has significantly reduced our spending.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 07:14AM
Hi Vanessa I do read the flyers that arrive from Countdown but I only buy their specials as their regular prices are far to expensive compared to Paknsave . I think what Griz has advised you about the menu on one page and the shopping list on the other is excellent.If you could try it for a week I am sure you would save money and also allow for a top up of vegetables mid week.You have a long weekend good time to take time to plan.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 11:43AM
I spend $120/week and currently feed 4 adults, a teen and a six year old for dinner but only 2 adults and a teen for breakfast and lunch. The $120 includes cat food and some cleaning products but not the cost of getting our sheep butchered for the freezer. We also have our own eggs, lots of vegetables and some fruit.
I always plan the meals for the week depending on what is in the garden, what needs using up and what is on special and I make a shopping list. There are 3 supermarkets on the way home and I sometimes visit several depending what specials they have. I only buy things on special that I regularly use.
I would definitely describe myself as frugal but I don't always buy the cheapest brand.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2015 11:44AM by PennyG.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 25, 2015 12:35PM
I now feel like the biggest spendthrift in town and have no idea how we would live much cheaper.
I cook for 2 adults and 3 kids, but often extras pop in and even without work purchases (recipe testing etc....) I am sure we would spend about $500 a week.
Dinner tonight for fresh fish and calamari tubes that I sliced and fried was about $30 as we had 2 extras and that is excluding vegetables.
I don't think I am crazy extravagant but if I buy a leg of lamb on special that is about $27 and then with vegetables that would be a $30 dinner that yes we get some cold meat for sandwiches from but still a $30 meal.
The nights we have mince and vegetarian would balance that out but I still think our dinner average would be about $20....
Even the apples and pears that I bought today were about $8 per bag and we will eat through them within a day or so...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2015 12:58AM by helen.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 12:02AM
There are two of us now but on a Sat nite our daughter and family come over for a roast meal (5 xtra). I would spend approx $120 a week. I only do one shop and if I run out of something too bad it waits till the next shop. Dont know why I still do this but when younger and 2 small kids and not much money that was the rule. I buy specials and look carefully on the shelves for the best value.Meat I buy on special and it goes into the deep freeze. I wont buy fruit at high prices but always have a variety of cheaper fruit. We eat well with a variety of meals . Fish once a week and Sunday nite scrap meal. We have a vege garden well stocked. Never do a meal plan but wish at times I was motivated to do one.
Our supermarket has a cafe so after the weekly shop its a coffee and muffin!
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 03:27AM
Noleen, what exactly do you eat? We eat meat only two or three times/week, and I try to make everything do double duty where possible. Roast chicken for dinner, cold chicken sandwiches the next day, soup made from bones, that kind of thing. I just can't imagine getting my food budget much lower than I have, and I'd love to know how you do it!
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 05:58AM
Griz Wrote:
> Noleen, what exactly do you eat?

I'm interested too Noleen. We probably spend around $250 - 280 pw for two adults, and although that includes regular entertaining we 're certainly not buying expensive cuts of meat all the time. Fish is the most expensive protein we buy but that's not even weekly and often our fish is squid or trevally, not snapper and Hapuka.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 07:22AM
To explain further about myself. My husband and I are retired (late 60s) we find that we definately dont eat the large meals that we use to. I am also diabetic so need to be careful.
Meat: We never have been big meat eaters. Altho we have meat most night. I look thro the meat packets and often find 2 pieces of lamb, pork etc for $5-$6. I buy boneless chicken breasts but we only have one breast between us. I often stuff the breast and then slice it or do a stir fry. Often I get 2 boneless breasts $5-$7. I rarely buy sausages but if I do we just have 2 sausages each and the remaining 2 sausages which I have cooked next day I make a casserole with it and the sausages are sliced, with an addition of tomotoes, capsicum etc it is enough for us. I buy roasts when they are on special.
We are lucky to have a fishmonger come to us and I buy one piece of fish that have 2 fillets on it so I just divide that so we have 1 piece each(hope you can understand that) I buy tarakihi and I get it between $3-$5. Or I buy a fish soup mix for $7 or smoked fish for $5
Vegetables we just have one small pototoe each often baked or roasted. We grow most of the rest. Have 4 pumpkins in garage for winter. Have 50 leeks growing.
We eat well with a varied diet but rarely have dessert unless the children come. I love cooking and try different things. If we go out for lunch which we often do then I wont cook a big meal at night.
Hope that explains it. Easy Peasy!!
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 08:16AM
We spend $250 per week for 2 adults, 2 children and one dog. My big grocery shop is fortnightly and I go to the fruit and vege shop 2-3 times a week depending on how much has been eaten already. Other shops as required.

I buy from all over the place but combine the trips to shops with sports practices etc to save on fuel. Meat from homekill, Hellers factory shop, Mad Butcher, Verkerks factory shop or supermarket if its on special. We have meat with every dinner and I cook 6 nights a week. We have our own eggs and a large vege garden but that is only just going to start hitting production. Bread is from Couplands or I bake my own. We also have a local Kosco store now which has some great items much cheaper than the supermarket (although I'm finding Bin Inn even better again lately).

I try to avoid paying full price for regular items at the supermarket by scanning the mailers. Items like coffee and ezi yo yoghurt sachets which we go through lots of - if I see it on special I grab a few, even if we have plenty. 5kg bags of flour and sugar, large bottles of oils/vinegar etc. I have two deep freezers and use them both if I'm fully stocked up. Preserving in summer when produce is plentiful (bottled fruit, relish, chutney, jam, gherkins).

Lately I find I'm becoming more and more frugal. I walk around the supermarket muttering to myself and putting things back lol. Have stopped buying expensive cereals and stick to the basics now. Not one for brands usually and will look for the basic brands mostly. Can't wait til Pak n Save is opened here and that will make a big difference to the grocery bill.

Have just started doing a menu plan again - more for my sanity with the after school activities we have. That has also helped stop me buying random things at the fruit and vege shop which inevitably end up fed to the chickens or the worms! If definitely does help to keep my costs down if I plan my meals and focus more on what is already here.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 10:05AM
Our grocery bill averages $186 per week. (It's all on computersmiling smiley )Mostly for 2 adults with some home entertaining and staying guests.
That does not include wine, which is mostly purchased directly from the various vineyards but it does include almost all normal household items such as cleaning materials and toiletries. About 90% is at one supermarket but I sometimes go to places such as Nosh and The Gourmet Trader for special items. We also like to go to a local Farmers Market.
I look at the flyers and if will stock up on items we regularly use if they are on special. I keep a running list (the back of an envelope...I have a stack of them on the bench by the phone) of items we need to buy or replace and about 90% on that is our shop for the week.
My husband eats more than I do and he likes good coffee. I have a favourite brand of tea that is more expensive than most of the other teas there and am always glad when I see it at a special price. I mentally plan meals for the week but I don't feel bad if I suddenly decide I want Snapper instead of chicken.
When the children were home I made things such as yoghurt. I don't have the storage space to buy large bags of anything.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 12:53PM
I probably only spend $60 - $70 per week on groceries. I live on my own, and mainly eat simple meals, very rarely have dessert, but still eat well. I look for specials at the supermarket; I look for larger packs of meat and repack them in portions to suit me. Every now and then I go to the local butcher and spend $50-ish on meat, which, once again, I repack and freeze.

Cleaning items are a very big expense, so some of them I make myself. It works out a great deal cheaper than buying them.

I do occasionally treat myself to a nice piece of steak, just for a change.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 26, 2015 11:31PM
Really interesting and YES did answer my own question with the lack of planning and just popping into gourmet supermarkets.

Im not extravagant with the things I choose although I would never buy budget if the taste and nutrition was compromised.

My main issue is - whats for dinner tonight and therefore dropping in to nosh/farro and picking up dinner, a few chicken franks or kebabs for the kids or a hot cooked chicken and walking out spending about $60 on things I don't really need BUT think at the time are good value.

I would LOVE to shop daily for dinner, browsing the markets, the garden and selecting delicious things for the meal that evening - clearly thats not going to happen for a LONG time and to be honest my kids don't appreciate it all anyway.

Just talking about it highlights my need to be more organised. Something I did recently was unsubscribe to about 25 emails so Im not wasting my time plowing through all the spam. That felt great.
Now to tackle the shopping...

Happy wet Anzac day holiday everyone.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 27, 2015 01:22AM
We would spend in the $250 to $300 region.

We eat in mostly including lunch. I rarely throw out food, and try to base meals around specials, seasonal produce and getting a variety of foods. I do purchase some convenience items, but mostly we cook from scratch. I buy the odd risotto in a pouch for DH lunch at work on busy mornings ( there is no cafe near by), and we entertain regularly but normally on a shared basis.

I know I could spend less but it is a trade off with time, convenience, quality and supporting producers I like.

There are some good lessons in this thread though, thanks for starting it!
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 27, 2015 02:14AM
I tried to work out how much I spend in food and I think it's roughly $180 a week for 2 adults and 1 child plus a once weekly meal for my parents. This is all meals including 2 packed lunches a day, my husband works from home and reheats something at home. This includes cleaning products. I've been trying to keep the grocery bill down to $150 a week - but not sure I usually make that.

I love to cook and I love to cook a variety of things from all around the world. I would say we eat very well. A little too well perhaps since my husband and I need to loose about 10 kgs! I don't cook the same things very often I like lots of variety and cooking new and different things.

I tend to spend about 30-40 a week in fresh produce I buy organic milk at $7 a 2 ltr, free range eggs and pork/bacon. I sometimes buy my meat from the supermarket, sometimes from the butcher depending on how busy I am. I don't buy expensive cuts typically.
We eat vegetarian meals 2-3 times a week and I try to make meals that will give leftovers for another meal or for lunches the next day.
We have porridge or wholegrain toast for breakfast (sometimes I'll make pancakes,waffles etc) I no longer buy cereals they cost a fortune!
I bake for the lunches, and make homemade salads, dressings, etc I don't really use any packaged foods or spice mixes.
I often make pita, lndian breads and tortillas so I don't have to buy these. We have a vege garden and I grow the more expensive veges usually like cos lettuce, fennel, kohlrabi, spinach, celeriac and heirloom varieties of things. I have those cool looking chiogga beets in my garden at the moment as well as the usual bullsblood ones. I have all the herbs I need growing in the garden or in pots.
My pantry is very well stocked with spices and grains, nuts, pulses, noodles, dried goods, baking ingredients which I replace as I use them up. I always keep a good number of canned beans canned chillies and tomatoes in the cupboard as well and there are always frozen veges, chillies, lemon grass, curry leaves and fruit in my freezer. I have a big selection of sauces etc like sriracha, mirin, soy sauce, Gochujang, fish sauce etc so I can make dishes from just about anywhere. I buy these kinds of things from the asian and lndian shops because they are a bazillion times cheaper.
I always have curry pastes and spices to make curries since they are a wonderfully tasty way to use all manner of meat and veges.
I keep all the leftovers and make sure I can use them up in some way in another meal. I freeze bones for stock until I have enough of them along with celery tops , bits of leeks etc.
I freeze brown bananas for smoothies and banana cake and any sad looking fruit gets poached and added to porridge in the mornings.
I buy things on special but at the same time if I see something I really want to cook with - I will buy it as long as it's not outrageous. This week we had fish tacos + mandarin salsa and chipotle mayo because the fish was cheap.
On a good week I try to plan my meals out and shop from the pantry/fridge as much as possible using up things that need to be used.
For example this week the meal plan is butternut and blackbean enchiladas + salad, Salmon with miso glaze + veges. Paneer matar + rice ( this is seriously the cheapest meal ever) Shakshuka + crusty bread, Chicken noodle soup and toast, tofu and vegetable scramble + homemade pitas. Bobotije + yellow rice and veges. Leftovers + a batch of zuchinni fritters, and tuna/avocado on toast, eggs and roast vege salads will be lunch for myself and husband. Son will have a fairly typical kids packed lunch. Desserts will generally only be fruit and yoghurt
I know I could easily shave more off my grocery bill and probably should.
Haha I didn't realise this was so long .. obviously this is a topic close to my heart smiling smiley

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2015 10:00AM by Sunday.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 27, 2015 09:01AM
Sunday I too make sure I have a big range of spices and tinned toms on hand, and the curry paste mixes, as you mentioned you can "use up" a lot of bits n peices up with these.
I have also found I am a much better cook when I have limited ingredients. Meals that I consider frugel and my family like, and use alot of herbs spices and what veggies you have on hand are

Vegetable chilli
Singapore noodles containing lots of veggies
Vegetable paella
Risotto usually mushroom, I have found an asian store that sells dried porcini mushrooms at a much cheaper rate than the supermarkets.
Home made falafels can be used in wraps, salads, or burger patties. I use dried chickpeas which I soak myself.
Split pea soup this has so.... Little ingredients but very tasty
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 27, 2015 09:59AM
Karen I agree, soups are wonderful aren't they? We have at least one meal a week in winter ( usually a lunch) that is soup based. I was lucky enough this year to be handed three large supermarket bags full of wild mushrooms. We had one batch of soup and I've frozen (duxelles) the rest to use in casseroles and soups.
I often wish I had a proper freezer. I used to have a large chest freezer but when my older kids left home I didn't really have a need for it. Things seem to be getting dearer though and I wish I had it back now!
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
April 30, 2015 04:46AM
Obviously this is a thread that lots of people are interested in - we must be all trying to save money!

I've just moved my family (partner + 2 kids) into my parents house whilst we renovate our house and my mum (who loves specials!) is doing the shopping and she is planning to spend $250 per week on all 6 of us, excluding nappies, alcohol or individual tolietries.

When we were living at our house we probably spent $300 per week on the four of it will be interesting to see if as a family of 6, we just make meals go further.
Re: What do you spend on food per week?
May 05, 2015 03:44AM
Yes saving money but Im wanting to be more mindful of spending it wisely.

I hate it that the good stuff costs so much such as European cheeses and good yoghurts, as well as small goods. I usually buy a block of Tasty cheese BUT would love to buy a variety of European cheeses but one small block of 50-100grams is often the same price as 1 KG!

I know I need to eat less of it and appreciate it more but its really hard to resist and ends up being eaten in one sitting - usually after dinner!

I really need to plan plan plan and pre make some meals in advance.
Just commenting and reading posts like this give me motivation to be better organized.
Ha Ha watch this space!

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