The Mum Network

How does your weekly grocery bill compare to this……

In December last year I noticed our grocery bills were starting to climb around the $600 per week mark. I know that 5 kids is a lot but it was starting  to get ridiculous. I started to think I was paying too much for mostly crap that went in their mouths and out their bums. Perhaps I’m over simplifying it but that’s how I saw it. There had to be a cheaper way.

I’d always been a fan of Aldi but our local Aldi was a good 15 minute drive, too far for me to be bothered most of the time when the local Coles was 2 minutes from home. Then a miracle happened. Aldi opened at our local shopping centre just before Christmas. I vowed to make the switch as I knew via very secret women’s business that most Aldi products were actually made by all the brands you buy in Coles and Woolies with just different packaging and a slightly altered recipes. Fact.

The difference in cost was extraordinary. We went from $600 per week in groceries to $250 per week. Massive savings. My sister thinks I’m an Aldi Groupie as I’ve become one of those brand advocates, a little like a Nurtimetics or Amway consultant who tries to convert their friends. Yes, I am that pathetic.

After being an Aldi convert for three months now, I have to say, I’m getting a little bored. The food is fine but the lack of choice means it’s the SAME THING over and over again as there’s only so many ways you can serve up their whole chickens before the kids are saying “chicken AGAIN Mum?” So last week I popped up to Coles, in my PJ’s of course, to grab some bread and milk. $155 later I was remembering why I don’t dare enter Coles. I didn’t need 2 packs of Hot Cross Buns for $7 BECAUSE NO ONE IN MY HOUSE EATS THEM. I didn’t need the 5 x 2L packs of OMO Liquid for $7.99 each that I bought because they were on special. But I bought them anyway. The 2 for 1 thing gets me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I’m a supermarket’s dream shopper. New product? Yep, I’ll take that. Cous Cous on special – for shiz, I’m up for it. Weet Bix on special for $4.50 – DAMN Yes, a $0.50 saving, I’ll take 5 thanks (I hate bloody Weet-Bix).  Anyone else do this?  This is the reason I cannot enter Coles more than once a month.

I have long held the belief that larger families don’t actually spend MORE on groceries. Let’s face it, everyone has a finite amount of money to spend on food each week so stretching a little bit of pasta a bit further is a much better option than spending an extra $200 per week. So I asked my beautiful friends from all over the world to give me an idea of what they’re spending on groceries each week. Here are the very scientific results from the survey:

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 2.34.59 PM

Given I’m not a mathematician, actuary, scientist or researcher, I have decided to draw my own conclusions from these results:

  1. The average cost to a ‘person’ in this group is $67 per week so if you’re spending more than that, time to look at your buying or eating habits.
  2. It’s no cheaper to buy groceries in Australia than it is in the USA or New Zealand.
  3. Larger families tend to stretch the dollar further than most and get more bang for their buck.
  4. We all need lessons from the two mums who are managing to feed their kids for $30 per person per week.
  5. Once your kids become adults and still live and eat at home, you’re screwed (see Family R who are spending $600 per week on groceries)
  6. Not many people shop at Aldi (I now feel like a mega tight arse)
  7. Babies are actually cheaper to feed than big kids and teens EVEN with the cost of nappies so try not to get too down about the cost of nappies, it’s only going to get worse from here.
  8. Most people I know have 3 kids.

Yes people, that’s about as mathematically advanced as I want to get today.

How much per week are you spending on groceries? What does it work out per person? Was this useful to you or did your brain get confused with all the numbers too? 

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