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S: 13st12lb G: 9st5lb

I was just wondering, do any of you find that buying all the healthy food and special ingredients for SW is rather expensive? Is there a way to do it more cheaply:confused:

I really want to start but I have 3 children and a baby on the way and our food bills seem, to be so high already (and will soon be higher as a family of 6), if I start adding in things like Mullers etc it will increase it even more, and I can't really afford to do that!!

I would love to hear some tips on keeping the cost down:)

Mel x
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I want to be fitter again
S: 11st8lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.1 Loss: 0st8lb(4.94%)
hello and welcome
slimming world can be as cheap as you want it to be. if you can get to a green grocer or market for your fruit and veg then that will be a good saving. There is a section at the top of the forum which is called Where the bargains are at and anything else thats useful. It is always worth looking on here. Some of the healthy extra fibre bars like Alpen and Oatibix are often available at pound shops. I find grren days really a lot cheaper. lots of rice, pasta jacket potatoes ,baked beans, eggs etc. Aldi or Lidls are good for cheaper low fat cheese, some breakfast cereals etc. it really doesn't have to be expensive and you don't need fancy ingredients to make a good meal xx


Silver Member
S: 13st7.5lb C: 13st0.0lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 26.1 Loss: 0st7.5lb(3.96%)
Unfortunately eating healthy is more expensive than eating rubbish. I could get a frozen pizza and a frozen bag of chips for a couple of quid and feed the family. Try doing a dinner with meat and veg for that price!!!!! Its shocking what we pay for fruit and veg I think
S: 13st12lb G: 9st5lb
Thanks for the replies.....I think our groceries cost more because I hate going shopping and therefore tend to just do a weekly online shop! I know I probably miss out on reduced stuff like this but being a busy student mum I don't get a lot of spare time anyway, well I don't get any actually...and I definitely don't want to spend it trapsing round shops. I also find I spend more if I go out shopping as I get sucked in by all the offers of things I don't even need:rolleyes:

I find that eating junk food is cheaper, as it always seems to be on offer. Fruit and veg on the other hand is barely on offer and when it is it may be for a week or two then back up to normal price!

I will have access to the website for a short while as I will join a class, but probably won't be able to afford to go for more than a month or so.

I will definitely be keeping up on here and looking out for cheap meals and snacks to make that are syn free/low syn.....doesn't help that I am a complete crisp addict:cry:

Mel x
S: 9st11lb C: 8st9lb G: 8st9lb BMI: 22.1 Loss: 1st2lb(11.68%)
To keep the costs down I buy mullers or activia whichever is on special offer at the time, but in the new mag I noticed Morrisons own low fat vanilla yoghurt is free, & they are cheaper than mullers etc.

I also use a lot of rice, pasta & couscous which works out reasonably priced.

I buy frozen fruit which stops any waste, but I get it from Aldi & Farmfoods. Frozen peas, corn, cauliflower etc I get frozen as this is more economical.

I only buy fruit/veg which is in season, and I buy bogoff's.:)
S: 13st12lb G: 9st5lb
Unfortunately eating healthy is more expensive than eating rubbish. I could get a frozen pizza and a frozen bag of chips for a couple of quid and feed the family. Try doing a dinner with meat and veg for that price!!!!! Its shocking what we pay for fruit and veg I think
Crossed posts:p I agree 100%, It makes me so mad:mad:


Strutting her stuff
S: 17st12lb C: 10st7lb BMI: 22.3 Loss: 7st5lb(41.2%)
Slimming World can be as expensive or inexpensive as you need it to be! If you want to buy premium products or ready meals then it will be more expensive but it doesn't have to be. You don't have to buy special ingredients and try to think of healthy foods as investing in your and your family's future well-being.

There are some basic good household practices will help keep the costs down:
  • plan your meals for the week, make a shopping list and get only for the ingredients you need to make them
  • start by looking at what you have in the cupboard/freezer already and choose meal options that will use them up
  • cook your meals from scratch as pre-prepared sauces will be more expensive and you'll know exactly what has gone into them
  • plan to use leftovers for other meals or for lunch the next day eg if you are cooking rice for dinner one day, make extra, throw in some leftover veggies and a fat-free dressing and you have lunch for day two
  • cook one meal for the whole family not different ones
  • seasonal fruit and veg is always cheaper so plan your meals around what it available
  • take advantage of special offers - most supermarkets do cut price fruit and veg each week - and shop around to get the best prices. Check out offers and prices on comparison websites.
  • try out the 'discount' supermarkets like lidl or aldi. Not everything is cheaper but many things are such as tinned tomatoes, pulses etc
  • check out local shops such as greengrocers and butchers because supermarkets are not always the cheapest option
  • frozen fruit and veg can be cheaper than fresh and a good alternative
  • go green rather than red as meat is more expensive
  • if doing EE then bulk out your meals with cheaper ingredients such as pulses, lentils, meat-free mince so you use less meat
  • if buying meat go for cheaper cuts and invest in a slow cooker. Or buy joints and whole chickens that can be used across several meals rather than packs of chicken breasts
  • beans, lentils and pulses are all good sources of protein and much cheaper than fish and meat
  • batch cook meals taking advantage of special offers and freeze portions so they are ready for use
  • go for shop own-brands rather than premium brands as they are usually just as good and a lot cheaper
  • you don't have to buy mullerlights. There are several supermarket versions that are also syn free or other brands that are on special offer such as activia or shape zero
  • know where your supermarket puts the things that are nearly out-of-date. You can sometimes pick up bargains on things like meats
  • if you have storage then big bags of staples like pasta and rice can save money in the long-term - asda are selling 2 x 3kg bags of pasta for £3 at the moment
  • invest in a water filter rather than buy expensive bottled water
  • have breakfast at home so you're not tempted to eat on the go
  • if you and/or your husband work, take lunch with you rather than buying out
  • make your own versions of favourite family takeaway meals - save on the £s and the lbs
  • and don't shop when you are hungry!


A sucker for a key change
Hi redmel,

I am in the same position with regard to money being tight and having a family of 5 to feed (but I'm not pregnant with my fourth lol). I found it expensive at first as I was wanting to try loads of different of recipes that added a lot to my shopping bill, but I am more selective now and making choices on cost (and sometimes speed). It takes a few weeks to get a fully established store cupboard with all the basics, but after that it gets easier.

I have found that I am a bit more selective with my choice of meals now, I.e. we may have only one or two of the more expensive meals a week (by that I mean a meal that costs more than £3.50ish for all of us). I mix the expensive meals up with cheaper ones. For example, we have pasta at least three times a week (e.g. spag bol, spag carbonara (very quick and very cheap) and lasagna with SW chips) and maybe a root vegetable stew (Iceland do a particularly good casserole veg bag for £1) with one can of tinned steak to add a bit of protein (looks gross in the can, but is gorgeous when heated through (although we do play hunt the meat hehehe)).

Red days are the most expensive and green days don't suit me as I bloat up if I have too many carbs, so extra easy is the happy medium (I just limit my pasta intake to avoid bloating). It means that as a family we can have a good variety of meals that the children mostly like. My husband and older daughter (aged 17) are happy to try most things, and I am finding that my younger children are broadening their tastes (they are 4 and 5 but still consider spag bol and pizza their favourite meals lol). However, they don't turn their noses up at curries anymore Woohoo.

If we have a chicken meal, I often buy the skinless boneless thighs instead of breast meat which makes it a lot cheaper. We rarely have sausages as I'm sure you know already, sausages for slightly bigger families adds up to an expensive meal. And as I am sure many would tell you, sauces in jars not only use up pointless syns, they are more expensive than making sauces from scratch.

Also as Brightonrosie rightly said, shopping around makes a big difference and buying veg and fruit frozen makes a massive difference too (the supermarket offers are getting better for fresh fruit). I switch supermarkets a lot to pick up my favourites from each store. Although I often have to do a quick guerilla type shop on my way home from work!!!!

I don't buy mullers as I think they are too expensive, but I do treat myself to a 500g tub of fat free greek yoghurt each week (about 80p) and add splenda to taste mixed with defrosted cherries (nom nom nom) or I mix in a little lemon curd plus a little splenda to make a lemon yoghurt (orgasmic). I buy more eggs and bacon than I used to (there seems to be a constant offer on bacon in Morrisons) and I buy the odd tub of cottage cheese to make a SW quiche, but other than that I don't find any real difference to my shopping bill (about £70 to £80 including all the household stuff, but with more effort I could reduce that further).

Sorry for the long ramble (I don't usually), but I can sympathise with your situation!! The biggest benefit after me losing weight is that everyone of us is having the recommended 'five-a-day'! Which as a mother makes me feel better!!!!!!!!!!!!


I want to be fitter again
S: 11st8lb C: 11st0lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.1 Loss: 0st8lb(4.94%)
Hi redmel,

If we have a chicken meal, I often buy the skinless boneless thighs instead of breast meat which makes it a lot cheaper.

Buying whole chickens and jointing them yourself is even cheaper. Tescos often do 2 fresh chickens for a fiver x


Naughty Fridge Picker
S: 17st9lb C: 17st6lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 40.6 Loss: 0st3lb(1.21%)
I buy all my fruit and veg as the 'value' sort, so for eg instead of paying £2 for potatoes I am paying 99p and I buy all my fruit value as well, saves me loads. I even discovered they did value plums this week for 84p! They were lovely, just needed to ripen a little. I hate frozen veg except for peas and sweetcorn I always think it tastes soggy.

I recently discovered the local farm shop did 25kg of deseree potatoes for £3.80, and then 30 free range large eggs for £3.30, which is a bargain. Some markets do veg very cheap and friend of mine gets her carrots by the sackload for £5 and swears she never has wastage.

Lidl is cheap for some meat, and so is Aldi.

I feed a family of five (and 4 cats and 2 dogs) for about £100-£110 a week and it hasn't really changed since I have been on SW, as were not spending money on takeaways or the odd fiver here and there on 'popping' down to the shop to buy chocolate etc lol In fact of you take that into account I am saving money really. The kids eat everything we eat, so I dont cook different meals for different people.
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Silver Member
S: 13st7lb C: 10st6lb G: 9st4lb BMI: 26.7 Loss: 3st1lb(22.75%)
Just adding my 2cents. Do you eat out often? I suspect maybe not as you have such a blooming and growing family. Personally I have found myself preparing meals earlier and not eating fast food at all, this has saved me over the month far more than the cost of junk food.

Another thing is are you buying food for yourself then different food for your OH and kids? Try making everyone enjoy the lovely slimming world recipes and really get into the flow. Many people blame price of healthy foods for their bad eating habits but many cheap junk foods have appetite enhancing properties and can leave you hungry only an hour later.

Sounds like you really want this to work so as was said earlier in the post look on the threads about best places for cheap gets :)
S: 13st12lb G: 9st5lb
Thank you so much for all your excellent advice, I really do want this to work. I tend to be 'fairly' strict with mealtimes and we do all eat the same meals, however if there is something the kids particularly HATE then I will either not cook it or at least cook it less often, thankfully they love curry as I am addicted!!

I will have to try and find the time/energy to shop about a bit and we do have a farm shop not too far away so I may go and have a look around and compare prices to those of the supermarkets.

I can't wait to get started properly as I do have a good few stone to lose, I am trying to eat reasonably well atm although not always managing.

I will have to wait until the baby is here until I join group, so until then I will try and get into the swing of things by sorting out my storecupboard etc...

Mel x


Gold Member
S: 11st6lb C: 11st1lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 26.6 Loss: 0st5lb(3.13%)
I will have to wait until the baby is here until I join group, so until then I will try and get into the swing of things by sorting out my storecupboard etc...
I THINK (might be wrong!) that SW is free if your pregnant. Its fine to do during pregnancy and although you wont be loosing you will get a great start for when the baby comes as its super healthy.

On the cost note I really think SW is very affordable, we were talking about this in group, it might be different for you but in our house its like 'oh theres not much moneythis week lets sit in and have a drink instead of going out' which can lead to my bf getting a big bar of chocolate etc. or a pizza whereas when im SWing i make and cook a lot more things from scratch and spend a lot less on food especially when eating basics like beans, pasta, rice etc. of course different for me since we dont have a family we do go out more but for me SW is definately worth the £5 a week (once ive bought raffle tickets)

You can also check with your GP to see if you can do SW by referal although you have to be of a ceratin BMI to start with.
I recently discovered the local farm shop did 25kg of deseree potatoes for £3.80, and then 30 free range large eggs for £3.30, which is a bargain. Some markets do veg very cheap and friend of mine gets her carrots by the sackload for £5 and swears she never has wastage.

A really useful reminder about getting eggs from a farm....simples...but I had forgot and use lots of eggs and they cost so much!
I do find I spend a lot but thats my choice I suppose....I eat lots of fruit and stuff like melons and pineapple which aren't always cheap!
Great thread with some good tips on how to cut down which I really ought to do ! Especially as this is a lifetime commitment really for me!
Thanks everyone!


Silver Member
S: 19st3lb C: 16st11.5lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 35.8 Loss: 2st5.5lb(12.45%)
I have four kids (two grown up boys who eat for England!) a teenager and a 5 year old, so my shopping bill is pretty high already. The first couple of weeks I did SW it added about £25 to my weekly bill because I was buying everything I read about that would be good to make meals - Quark, fat free fromage frais, yoghurt, vlf this, that & the other. I've now been an SW member for 5 weeks and have found it a lot cheaper the past few weeks. A local butcher sells stewing steak in bulk (5lbs) which works out about half the price of the supermarkets. I portion it up into meals & freeze it. I also buy cheap pasta & either mix it with tuna or bacon bits (again from the butcher, who sells a HUGE pack for £1.99) & make some low syn sauce. Some more cheap meals are egg, SW chips & beans, quiche, frittata & omelets. So that's the meals taken care of.

For snacks I buy Mugshots (which are usually on offer & work out about 35p each) & Low sugar jelly (about 50p for 2 jellies, enough to make a pint each). The Muller Lights are often on offer. My lot try to pinch them but I'm strict about them. I buy yoghurts for the family & I tell them if mum's not allowed their crisps & chocolate bars then they're not allowed mum's diet yoghurts! If I have the time to get to the market on Sunday afternoons, a lot of their fruit & veg is reduced right down (eg a big basket of mushrooms for £1) but I must be honest, I usually pay the supermarket's over-inflated prices because I'm lazy :eek:


Never gets tired of SW!
G: 10st10lb
Going back to whether healthy eating is expensive, well it definitely can be but as others have said with careful planning it really doesn't have to be, especially if buying in bulk which I'm sure you would need to be doing anyway with a large family! Speaking from personal experience (and admittedly with no kids to provide for, just one big kid- my dh!) I definitely spend less now! We used to eat out and get takeaways a lot more, and that was on top of the weekly shop, some of which would end up in the bin, because I wasn't planning or cooking anywhere near as much! We'd often opt to eat out so it would lead to things getting wasted!! I would also regularly stop at the local Tesco Express on my way to work and buy about £10 worth each time- sandwich, ready meal, chocolate, crisps, and anything that tickled my fancy! Now I hardly ever do this because I plan my work food and take in currys, casseroles, risottos, pasta, salad, fish pie, baked beans for toast, lots of fruit and some yogurt. I admit I'm spending on Healthy Extras and lots of fruit and veg, but I shop for the bargains and regularly buy fruit and veg from Lidl or Aldi which are always cheap and great quality!!X
** It can be annoying an when you dnt shop around for deals you pay over the odds, so thats why people turn to processed/junk food and thats why we have weight problems, id rather save on other things n spend that lil extra on shopin in order to become slim, Just think of the money we'll save on those slim clothes because we wont be charged for bigger size! :D

the reason that junk food is cheaper is because it can be mass produced, got no goodies its all whey, bulkers etc,

A farmer can't produce the same amount of food that quick! its just nature!!


Full Member
G: 11st7lb
Really, useful advise. I usually shop about but have got a bit lazy lately. Going to put some of your ideas into practise, planning meals for the week will be the best as I buy food and then stick it in the freezer.
When i forst started SW I thought it was going to be much more expensive, like stocking up on all the herbs & spices etc, but then over the weeks it has evened out again.

I buy my meat from the mobile meat man mainly, buy in bulk & freeze & then just top up on offers in supermarkets. Fish - again wholesale & freeze.

Vegetables & Fruit is expensive but if you shop around alittle you can get bargains. Morrisions have there 30p offers each week & aldi do something, supersix or something where they have 6 different types of fruit & veg at 49p each, so again bargains!

I also tend to bulk make my meals so that our evening meal has enough for lunch the next day. I understand that may not be possible for you with a larger family to feed but if your cooking pasta dishes etc then it could be.

I also buy which yogurts are on offer :)
S: 18st0lb C: 17st9lb G: 10st6lb BMI: 41.1 Loss: 0st5lb(1.98%)
i only buy yoghurts when on special, i'm on esa and get £90 a week to live on!!

it can be pricy if you dont watch what you are doing, also use mysupermaket.com if doing online shopping will bring down ur total cost plus you can use online syn lists to get ur syns down 2!

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