The cost of feeding a child

How much does it cost to raise a child? To be honest, if we knew in advance I think it might put a lot of people off having children. But children are priceless, aren’t they?

If, however, you do want to know how much it will cost to bring a new life into the world – or how much your existing children are costing you to keep, you might want to take a look at Natwest’s Cost of Raising a Child Calculator which breaks down the costs by age group and also by things like food, transport and clothing (although not hobbies, which regular readers will know is a particularly big cost for me!).

The calculator estimates it costs £40 a week to feed an 8-12 year old and £50 a week to feed a 13-17 year old. So they challenged me to find out how much it costs to feed my 13 year old son. Would it be more, less or about the same? My initial thought was it would be more, as we have expensive tastes. But then I realised it’s just me with the Green & Black’s habit. My son is a boy of simple tastes – he likes bread, cereals and pizza. But there is only one way to be sure how much it costs to feed him – add it up!

Now I’m not going to bore you with the detail of exactly what he ate over the course of seven days, but this is Tuesday’s meals, a fairly typical day of eating in the life of my son:

Breakfast: 4 Oatibix with skimmed milk and sugar, cup of skimmed milk.

Lunch: Cheese sandwich, 2 Tuc biscuits, banana and Coco Pop bar.

Tea: Tesco baguette pizza, 2 potato waffles, half a tin of beans, KitKat.

Snacks: Apple, Mars bar, slice of toast, cup of skimmed milk.

That adds up to £3.76, which would put him well below average.

During the week he had one school dinner and one McDonalds, which is pretty standard (not always McDonalds, but usually one lunch out somewhere fairly cheap during the week!).

But what about weekends when we have more treats?

So I added up the entire week and it came to just £29.30, with his cheapest day being £2.98 and his most expensive being £5.63.

So, in my experience, the cost of feeding my teenage son is a lot cheaper than the cost calculated by Natwest, but I know there will be weeks, such as when we’re on holiday, when it could end up a lot more expensive. I also know that he’s only 13 and in the next few years his appetite will grow dramatically!

How much does it cost to feed your kids? Are they cheaper or more expensive that the Natwest Cost of Raising a Child Calculator?

I was given a supermarket voucher for the purposes of this post. All views are my own.

PicMonkey costoffeedingCollage

Author: Sarah Mummy

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10 Comments

  1. Wow you are doing well – I reckon my 6 year old eats that x

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    • Thanks very much. He does eat quite cheap food! He’s a vegetarian and has a lot of carbohydrates which are all quite cheap. x

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  2. It was a useful exercise, although something I’m not keen to do myself. 🙂 I’m sure meat adds a lot to our weekly food bill!

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    • I was surprised at how little it cost to feed him, but I guess meat does make quite a difference!

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  3. Our snacks seem to be a lot more expensive than yours and we get through a lot of fruit which is expensive.

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    • I’m the big fruit eater in our house – apples and bananas are pretty cheap though. Toast, Custard Creams and Coco Pops make pretty cheap snacks! I would be happy to pay more if he would eat a more balanced diet.

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  4. That is much cheaper then I would expect. Our girls are still very little, so they get what we eat most of the time, so our huge portions are getting smaller while their small portions are getting bigger. Daddy M is a big meat eater, so that is a HUGE expense on our weekly food shop.

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    • It was certainly cheaper than I expected. I remember those days of sharing food, now long gone! I’m sure meat would make it a lot more expensive.

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  5. Really interesting post. My kids are shocking eaters and would live on a few slices of toast each day if they could. But, the amount I spend on food which they reject and I throw away….. I don’t even want to know! x

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  6. That is really interesting. I dread to think how much I spend on food for my lot as they all have hearty appetites. That sounds like a very reasonable cost to me.

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