£18 shopping for a family of four

How To Do a Weekly Shop For Just £18

I’m a girl on a budget, and some weeks, only have £20 left over for the food shop. Feeding a family of four is expensive, but it’s not impossible to get the weekly shop cheap, or down to just £18.

I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper anyway, but without using yellow stickers or ANY reduced items, I walked out with a family food shopping bill of only £18.

Obviously, we don’t shop like this every week. Sometimes we need cleaning products, shampoo or toothpaste, so set ourselves a weekly £40 budget, but rarely need anywhere near that.

My cupboard essentials

I had a think about what meals we were going to eat that week and planned my shop around them. My kids are quite fussy, so, to be honest, we don’t eat anything that wild anyway.

I checked my cupboards, and was lucky to have a few of my staples in; chopped tomatoes, puree, a bag of rice, some pasta and flour, to name just a few. I always keep these topped up, but I don’t need to buy them every single week.

The Shop

So I stick to my list rigorously. Nothing goes in that trolley that hasn’t been written down. I start in the meat aisle first, as I want to make sure my most expensive item is there, the gammon because if not, the meal plan will have to be rejigged to make room for something else, maybe a bag of frozen chicken or two lots of mince.

Then I fill up with everything else, remembering that we still want a bit of variety in our food, even if the kids hate it!

This is how to reduce your grocery bill to £18 a week with a family of four by Laura at Savings 4 savvy Mums.

What I brought:

Save, Money, Shopping, Under eighteen pound

Milk 0.99

Tomato soup 0.40

4x tins of beans 0.99

Bread 0.45

Ham 0.69

Cheese 1.49

Eggs 1.19

4x Sweet Potatoes 0.95

Crackers 0.40

Gammon 2.65

2x kid’s yogurts 1.49

Fish cakes 1.15

Coconut milk 0.79

4x Potatoes 0.95

Passata 0.35

2x Butter 0.75

Plums 0.49

Onions 0.85

Total: £17.55

 For breakfast, we either had porridge with fruit, toast or scrambled egg.

Meal Plan


Lunch – tomato soup & bread

Dinner – homemade ham & cheese pizza


Lunch – cheese omelette

Dinner – jacket potato, cheese, beans


Lunch – ham sandwich

Dinner – tomato pasta


Lunch – cheese on toast

Dinner –sweet potato curry


Lunch – boiled egg & toast

Dinner – fish cakes, mash & beans


Lunch – crackers & cheese

Dinner – gammon, eggs & homemade chips


Lunch – leftover curry

Dinner – cheese & gammon pasta bake

Menu Planning for me is the hardest, but the most important part of eating on a budget. It gives you a plan you can use to help you buy food more wisely and stop you staring in the fridge for 5 minutes trying to think what to make for dinner tonight. This happens more then I would like… So I designed a little menu planner that works best for me and I thought I would share it. Enjoy!

Click HERE to download my complete £18 meal planner and shopping list.

Click HERE to download my plain meal planner and shopping list.

 If the kids were still hungry, they’d have a yogurt, or we would make breakfast muffins with anything left over including any frozen fruit from the week before.

I try and make use of whatever is on the Aldi Super Six or the Lidi equivalent. The week I shopped, plums and onions were on, but the following week it was blueberries and pears, so we swap and change depending on that too, and freeze whatever fruit we don’t use.

My Five Top Tips to Achieve a £18 Shop

1.Meal plan and think about buying foods that can be used in multiple recipes.

2. Shop in discount supermarkets. Don’t be loyal, as it doesn’t pay off.

3. To get the bill down further, bulk out curries with beans, or spaghetti bolognese with grated vegetables.

4. Try different meats, especially if they are destined for the slow cooker.

5. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables. You can take as much as you need, with no waste, and it’s cheaper!

Image Map


  1. This is a great post! I switched to doing my main shop at Aldi (just picking up obscure things they don’t have afterward elsewhere) after I tried it one week and a £60 shop (Asda) became a £20 shop for the same amount/more! :O It really doesn’t pay off to stick to certain supermarkets out of habit/loyalty etc! xx #fortheloveofblog

  2. Wow this is seriously impressive, I’m not sure that we could stick to £18 a week, we’ve just spent £20 on take-away! But for anyone on a budget this is a good starting point. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  3. Amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever had a shopping bill that low before. I need to get more careful about what I buy. I do all our food shopping online, and it’s way too easy to keep adding food to the car with a tick of a button! #MarvMondays

  4. £18 – I’m impressed!! Some great tips shared. My mum keeps telling me shop at Aldi/Lidl as she has saved so much doing that – I shop at ASDA, which isn’t terribly expensive, but I do think I could be saving more at one of the cheaper supermarkets. #marvmondays

  5. You do amazingly well. I think focusing on a list and sticking to a meal plan must really help with this xx #mravmondays

  6. It’s amazing what can be done with a bit of planning isn’t it?! We very often see bills of between £20-25 (we eat a lot of fruit so that adds in a few £’s) and a little more when we need extras like cleaning bits. Now that I’ve seen it can be done I’ll never go back to the £60-£90 a week shops we used to do!! I also bulk out meals with lots of veg and beans, and our main meals always do both of us adults work lunches the next day, usually with another pirtion or two to stick in the freezer! Great post xx #MarvMondays

  7. Writing a list is the biggest winner I’ve found – I easily spend double the amount when I just walk around willy nilly! These are great tips – thank you! #MarvMondays

  8. Always keen to save on the dreaded shop!! We have a rolling 7 week meal plan to fit in with Hubs random shifts. It makes it so much easier taking away the feared what’s for dinner question but also I love planning and only buying what is needed. It’s very satisfying! #marvmondays

  9. Great tips. I really need to cut my weekly shopping down. I think its all in the preparation – which I never do. Then I end up walking around tesco throwing any old thing in the trolly.. not a good idea… #MarvMondays

  10. Genius. And it’s so nice to see other people eating less fussy food. I often think we are a bit strange because we don’t go through fancy recipes week after week. It’s reassuring to see we’re not. I also have a shopping budget of £40 a week and very rarely go over it. If you really really want to, it is possible to shop for less. #MarvMondays

  11. This is fantastic! The lowest I’ve had my Aldi shopping is around £40 and I thought that was good going haha. (Just so you know Aldi has 12 kids yogurts for 84p and my fussy eaters eat them without a fight. Not much of a saving from the ones your buying already but every little helps!)

    1. Author

      Amazing Angela thank you! I’ll have to take a look. They are so fussy at the moment and to be honest we’re stuck in a bit of a rut. I’m hoping when they get older they won’t be this bad!! They used to eat so much stuff as babies!!!

  12. Hi loved your post but got to ask how much cheese do you get for £1-49 as you use it 5 times for a family of 4. It must go a lot further than mine. As for butter for 79p it’s £1-40 at Lidl at the moment. So well done

    1. Author

      Hi Sue, we use all of it so its a 400g block. I weight it as I use it and grate it to try and get as much as possible. x

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