Food shopping is one cost we all have in common; whether you’re a single professional or family of four, everyone under your roof needs to eat. It’s also one of your expenses that not only seems to vary from week to week, but that keeps seeming to climb no matter how careful your are with your budget.
Here are a few statistics to help you gauge exactly how much you should be spending on your weekly food bill (according to the UK averages), and a few ways to help you save a few more pennies.
Looking at the statistics
According to UK government statistics, an average of 10.6% of all total household costs were spent on food in 2017/18. For the lowest earning 20% of households though, this figure went up to 15.2%. On average, food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose by 3% over 2017/18 (this is slightly higher than the 2.7% rate of inflation).
The average expenditure on food and drink, per person per week across the UK is £45.31. Of this, £31.39 is spent on food for the household, and £13.92 is spent eating out.
Disregarding the amount spent on eating out, and multiplying the figure spent on household food costs, you can create an estimated monthly budget figure. According to the statistics, you should therefore be spending roughly £125 per head, per month on household food costs.
So what should my budget be?
Based on the statistics provided, this means that if you are:
- a single professional you should be looking at a weekly budget of £31.39, or monthly budget of £125.
- a family of four (taking into account the age of your children and the amount of food they consume), should be looking at a weekly budget of around £125, or a monthly budget of roughly £500.
Ways to save on food
If these numbers sounds alarmingly high then don’t worry, there are a number of ways in which you can work on bringing your costs down to within your budget.
1.Plan a weekly menu
This may sound a little restrictive, but planning a menu a week ahead of time actually minimises waste and allows you to double up on ingredients, therefore cutting costs. It also allows to better plan the nutritional value of each meal, allowing you to make sure you get the full range of what your body needs.
2. Eat out less
If you need extra money in your food budget then one way of increasing it is to find that money from elsewhere. If you spend money on eating out then stay home more often and channel that money into your food shopping.
3. Shop around
If you’re strapped for time this can be difficult, but shopping at different stores is a good way to save money. Many stores price their food differently, and you can often find the same produce for better value elsewhere.
4. Keep your list up to date
Adding items to your shopping list as they run out will stop you hovering in the food aisle wondering if you have that particular item at home. By always knowing exactly what it is you need to buy, you can stop expensive “doubling up” or panic buying.