£30 a week challenge

Due to ongoing financial difficulties, that don’t seem to be easing on a permanent basis, it has become necessary to tighten my belt another few notches. The big kids have been told they can only take one extracurricular activity this year, which I still can’t afford.  (My daughter chose to drop ballet and keep girl scouts guides, my son chose to drop streetdance and go back to swimming) On top of this I have slashed my grocery budget by 75%. Meaning, I will be feeding my family of 5 on a budget of £30 a week for the entire year.  Holiday celebrations will be downplayed, eating out will be scrapped and mostly we’ll just sit around the house watching tv reading, doing homework and playing board games as a family all year.

I am always surprised at how easy it is to feed my family on just £30 a week. The problem is sticking with it. Not buying that £1.40 bottle of soda. Or that delicious £2.80 fruit tart. It requires effort, creativity and determination. You can make simple salads and buy canned (and fresh!) fruit easily on a budget that small. You can even have fresh fish, meat and desserts. It’s just a bit tougher than throwing down £100 during two hours at the grocery store, buying full price, “best quality”, food.

So, week one. I made a list of everything in the kitchen, figured out what I could make with it and then created a dinner menu and shopping list.

My menu for the week looks like this:

Cauliflower Cheese with a side  of canned peaches

Macaroni and Cheese with a side  of salad

Potato Soup

Leftover party food for game night

Roast Pork

Toad in a hole with a side of veg

Quiche with pasta

I already had the majority of ingredients in the kitchen, plus breakfast items, most stuff for the kids lunches and basics. So, all I needed from the grocery store was cheese, lettuce, yogurts for kids lunches, fruit and some pasta packets. Total cost: £6.84  Obviously every week won’t be so easy, but it can be done. My only concern is managing it for an entire year.  The savings won’t be apparent at first as overdue bills are paid and other things I’ve been avoiding are dealt with but, with any luck I can start seeing some savings accumulate soon.


Stay tuned for weekly updates of my progress as I try to feed my family healthy, filling meals on £30 a week and finally start saving money.

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