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£18 a Week Food Budget Shopping List UK

£18 a Week Food Budget Shopping List UK

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Including a budget shopping list and meal planner

We all know that feeding a family of four is expensive, but it’s not impossible to get the weekly shop cheap, or down to just £18.

Don’t be fooled, just because this is a budget weekly menu, doesn’t mean that it lacks yummy food that the whole family will love. There’s no yellow stickers or any reduced items used, just a normal shop without the thrills, as a lot of the meals are made from scratch.

To be completely transparent, I don’t think anyone can shop for £18 every single week. You’re always going to need cleaning products, shampoo, or toothpaste, so have a weekly budget of £35 but normally spend that.

For more tips on buying food on a budget, have a look at:

The Ultimate £1 Per Head Budget Meal Planning List – This is our biggest list of £1 a head family meals that you can use to save money.

21 Budget Family Meals and a £16 Aldi Meal Plan – It’s not easy to find budget meals that your whole family will eat. This includes a meal plan and food ideas.

21 Cheap Meals for a Week for a Family – Sometimes you just need some budget recipes that help you fill up your meal plan.

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Saving money tips

If you are struggling and trying to save money then we have some great money-saving tips for you. Living on a tight budget doesn’t have to be boring!

Here are our top 5 tips for feeding your kids on a very small budget.

Use cashback sites

This counts for anything you buy online.

Have a look at:

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Plan your meals

Write down what you want to eat this week. That means 7 days of meals. Your food shop doesn’t have to be expensive.

Don’t forget to plan a few simple or quick meals for the days you’re going to be in late or when the kids have a club.

Keeping it simple will help you stick to your plan.

As you fill in your dinners for the week, start writing your shopping list.

Using a weekly meal plan sheet like mine below helps to break down your list into easy to read chunks.

You can even break it down further into sections like produce, meats, refrigerated, frozen, etc.

If you’re struggling to meal plan then use ours here from our Resource Vault.

Kitchen Staples

Before you even start meal planning, check what you have already. Do you have any kitchen staples that you could use to bulk out any meals or use on days you’re late home?

Is there anything in your freezer you could eat to bring this week’s shopping list down?

The same goes for vegetables and side dishes. Spending a few minutes checking the freezer, fridge and cupboards can save you money later on

Shop for your freezer

Freezer food is great when you just want a small portion of something.

We buy all our meat frozen, vegetables and even some fruit. That way we only take out what we need and it stops it from going off.

Leftovers are key

Many of us don’t like the idea of spending hours in the kitchen and you really don’t have too. Everytime you cook something make two and stick one in the freezer.

It works out cheaper as you are using the electric anyway and when you are hungry and can’t be bothered to cook you have a healthy meal just waiting to be warned up.

Our other tips are:

  1. Shop in discount supermarkets. Don’t be loyal, as it doesn’t pay off.
  2. To get the bill down further, bulk out curries with beans, or spaghetti bolognese with grated vegetables.
  3. Buy own brand items. They cost a lot less but don’t last that much different.
  4. Grow your own vegetables if you can. This can save you buying what you need. Spices are really easy to grow if you are a beginner. Chilis, mint, and sage are great starters.
  5. Make sure you own a slow cooker, blender, freezer bags, and Tupperware. You can pick all these up cheaply second-hand on Facebook or Gumtree.
  6. Try cheapest cuts of meats, especially if they are destined for the slow cooker.

All these are simple steps to help you build an emergency fund, pay off debts like credit cards and car title loans, or save towards that mega holiday.

Beginner grocery list on a budget

If you are looking for family-friendly meals that are a little bit different then have a look at Spicentice. They send you packets of spices that can help liven up your mealtimes. What we love the best about Spicentice though is that the packets include an exact shopping list and easy to follow instructions. You can then use them over and over again.

They are great to use if you are new to cooking from scratch or if you are looking to get your family eating new budget-friendly meals and have no clue where to start.

We tried them at the start of this year and loved them. We got stuck in a food rut and they helped by giving us ideas while keeping our food budget really low.

If you’d like to try Spicentice yourself then make sure you use our link here with our code LASAVE20 to get 20% off every purchase.*

We started using Spicentice and have cooked these amazing meals below:

Spaghetti Meatball Recipe For 73p a Head

Easy Chicken Fajita Recipe: A Family Meal for 94p a Person

Chinese Chicken Curry For Just £1.54 For 4

Really Easy Homemade Beef Burgers For Under £1 a Head

The Best Southern Fried Chicken Recipe For Under £1 a Head

Chicken Tikka Masala Curry For Under £4 a Head

The Best Katsu Curry Recipe For Under £1 a Head

The Best Firecracker Chicken For Just 99p a Head

£18 a week food budget

This is an example of a budget weekly shop at Aldi. We are assuming that you have some store cupboard in.

Our full lists of kitchen staples are here but we like to make sure that we always have in:

All Spice

Baking powder

Mixed spice


Chilli flakes

Chilli sauce


Dried coriander


Curry powder

Dried ginger






Vanilla extract


These are the staples we generally can’t live without!

Weekly shopping list for family of 4

Here’s an example of one of our budget meal plans. Use it to start saving your family money.

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

(This shop was done at Aldi and correct at time of publishing.)

Cheap groceries list

All these meals can be prepped before hand or frozen. Some of the meals may contain a few kitchen staples like rice, pasta or herbs.


Breakfast – porridge with fruit

Lunch – tomato soup & bread

Dinner – homemade ham & cheese pizza

We make our own base by combining 7g of dried yeast, a small teaspoon of caster sugar, 230ml of warm water (not hot) 345g plain flour and a pinch of salt. No need to wait for it to raise either. Just roll it out and start adding your toppings.


Breakfast – overnight oats

We do this by combining 120ml of soya milk, 120g yogurt, 100g oats, 40g mixed frozen fruit. Cover it up before you go to bed and enjoy in the morning. Great for an on the go breakfast.

Lunch – cheese omelette

Really quick to mix together. We chuck two eggs, handful cheese and a dash of milk in a bowl then mix. Get the frying pan hot and cook till full-formed. This will make one portion.

Dinner – jacket potato, cheese, beans

We put our potatoes in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour. Start by stabbing them the whole way around. This lets the hot air out. Cover them in sunflower oil with a pinch of salt over the skin. This makes them crisp up nicely in the oven.


Breakfast – porridge with fruit

Lunch – ham sandwich

Dinner – tomato pasta

We use dry wholemeal pasta with our basic tomato sauce. We use a can of tinned tomatoes, three tablespoons of puree, garlic and a teaspoon of sugar. You can add any vegetables you like to this and it works.


Breakfast – overnight oats

Lunch – cheese on toast

Dinner –sweet potato curry

Boil the potatoes first so they are soft. Cook the chicken breasts in chucks. Try it together with onion, garlic and ginger. Add coconut milk and about 100ml of water. Add more if the mixture looks dry. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes. Mash the sweet potatoes into the sauce before serving if your kids don’t like lumps.

We serve ours with rice and home-made naan which are made with 7g dried yeast, 300g plain flour, teaspoon baking powder, 30g butter and around 150ml of natural yogurt. You may need a bit more if the mixture comes up a bit dry.

Roll it out into small portions, as flat as possible. Fry them for a few minutes either side in a dry, very hot frying pan.


Breakfast – porridge with fruit

Lunch – boiled egg & toast

Dinner – fish cakes, mash & beans

We use two frozen cod fillets. Chop them into small chunks. Add 100ml milk, 450g boiled potatoes, grated cheese, 75g frozen sweetcorn and one or two eggs, depending on how dry the mixture is.

Mash the potatoes, add the rest of the ingredients (not egg) and shape into 6 or so patties. Make sure the mash is cool or the patties will full apart when you are trying to make them.

Add the egg to a separate bowl and dip the fish cakes into the egg then into the flour on both sides. Add to a baking tray and stick in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Fry these when ready in a hot pan with oil in till they are golden. It should take about 6 minutes on either side.


Breakfast – overnight oats

Lunch – crackers & cheese

Dinner – gammon, eggs & homemade chips

We make homemade chips by cutting up about 400g of potatoes into chip shapes. Boil them for 12 minutes and leave to cool or run under cold water.

Either deep fat fry or fill a pan with oil and get it hot. Do not leave it as it can spit. Using a sieve or somethign like it, part cook the chips in the oil. Normally about 7 minutes in till a bit of colour is shown.

Put them on some paper towel to drain off the oil while you cook the rest the same way.

Turn up the heat and re-cook the chips again but this time for about 3 minutes each or in till they have a good colour. Remember to drain the oil off them.


Breakfast – porridge with fruit

Lunch – leftover curry

Dinner – cheese & gammon pasta bake

We use our leftover gammon or any meat from our roast. Cook the pasta as per the instructions.

Use a white sauce. We homemade our with 40g butter, 30g flour, 450ml milk. Add the butter to a pan and let it melt. Add the flour and keep stirring. It goes into a kind of lump almost. Slowly at the milk and keep stirring. Do not stop!

We use a whisk and keep adding the milk and stirring. It will get thicker. You can add cheese at this point and keep stirring in till you are happy. I make sure that it sticks to a spoon and gloops off before I turn the heat down.

Pour it into the pasta, add the gammon and more cheese. Add it all to a heat-proof dish and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes on 180 degrees fan.

More recipe ideas

If you’re looking for more recipe ideas then have a look at:

31 Aldi Slow Cooker Recipes For The Whole Family

101 Aldi Recipes That Will Give You Dinner Ideas For Tonight

27 Leftover Lamb Recipes That Are Family Friendly

Try and make use of whatever is on the Aldi Super Six or the Lidi equivalent. Swap and change fruit and vegetables according to what’s on offer.

I really hope this has helped give you inspiration on how you can make a budget weekly menu for your family.

Laura x

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more family friendly budget recipes or meal plan ideas, then head over to the budget food section here on Savings 4 Savvy Mums where you’ll find over 30 cheap posts dedicated to helping you cook and shop wiser for less. There’s enough tips to help you save over £300 a month! You could also pop over and follow my family food Pinterest boards for lots more ideas on how to eat well and spend less; Family Meal Plans on a Budget, Budget Family MealsBudget Slimming World Recipes for Families

Love this post? Then why not save it to Pinterest so you can easily find it later. 

This is an £18 a week food budget shopping list for families in the UK. This includes a budget meal plan and shopping list by Laura at Savings 4 Savvy Mums

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Wednesday 7th of August 2019

Tried to download the free printable meal planner but it says the page is missing? Did you remove it?


Sunday 11th of August 2019

Hi Abby it works for me. It's part of the Resource Vault so you do need to sign in with the email that was first sent.


Sunday 7th of October 2018

Just wondering how you have porridge and fruit without buying oats and fruit. And do you make porridge with water, otherwise how do you make porridge for four four times a week?


Friday 12th of October 2018

Hi Suzi as I said in the post, porridge is a staple item and fruit is on the list. Thanks for reading x


Thursday 23rd of August 2018

£18 for mostly processed food. If your family isn't eating healthy mostly then this budget is for you. If you prefer organic meat, fruits , veggies , non-dairy milk, eco friendly supplies then it would be way too high.

Payday Loans

Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Great post and some good tips. £18 shopping list, what a saving!


Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Thank you x

rosie jones

Sunday 19th of August 2018

Interesting but I see on your menu there are no vegetables or fruit? Not a very healthy meal plan for the week, unsustainable really


Tuesday 21st of August 2018

True in a way but like I said in the post, this isn't for every week. On the weeks I'm struggling I use this. Hope it helped anyway.