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Average Food Budget for a family of 4

Average food budget for family of four

Feeding a family of four on a budget? No problem. We’ve got you covered with a simple breakdown of how much you should spend to feed a family of four, plus an example shopping list to help you get started saving on groceries.

How much should I budget for four people?

Four-person households across Aotearoa spend, on average, $208.50 on food every week ($832 per month) (excluding beverages and restaurant meals), according to Stats NZ.

Interestingly, this is somewhat less than what the University of Otago (UoO) estimates as a minimum weekly food cost.

  • The Department of Human Nutrition at UoO outlines that a family of four, consisting of two adults, one 10-year-old child and one 4-year old child, would need to spend roughly $216 per week ($864 per month) to ensure basic dietary and nutritional needs are met.
  • For a more moderate spend, incorporating a great variety of meat, fish and produce, UoO estimates a family of four would spend $275.50 ($1,100 per month).
  • A more liberal shop including convenience and imported foods, as well as out-of-season produce, would cost a family of four around $330.50 ($1,322 per month).


What can I buy with these budgets?

We’ve used the $208.50 average from Stats NZ to make a basic weekly grocery shopping list to give you an idea of what foods you could buy with your budget.
When you’re shopping for kids, it’s also a good idea to have lots of variety, and this budget allows for that. Mix up your proteins night to night various lean options like chicken, premium beef mince, and lean pork and beef steaks.

Get recipe inspiration with our Budget Meal Planners

When you’re cooking for four people, your best bet is to plan your meals a week in advance and do plenty of meal prep. 

Shopping list for a family of 4

Shopping for a whole family can be a real mission, but we’re here to make it easier. Check out our example four-person shopping list. We’ve designed this around an average budget for four people, and loaded it with lots of healthy proteins, fruit and veg and dairy.

Download the list and take it with you to the supermarket. Or use it as inspiration to make your own.

*All prices are indicative only, and may vary according to seasonality, sales and demand. Product, price and limits may vary between stores.

Download the shopping list for 4 people.

Looking for more ways to save?

Check out our tips on food budgeting or take a look at our other food budget guides.