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Sophie spends 1,200 euros a month on groceries: “To avoid getting ripped off, I look more at the price per kilo”

In our “In the Fridge” section, readers share with us how they eat and how much it costs them each month. For this first episode we go to Sophie, 41 years old, married and mother of four children.

Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are. For our brand new section simply titled “ In the fridge From… », readers of all ages and with different incomes, opens the door to children’s kitchens and their refrigerators.

Organization, budget, spending, sharing tasks as a couple, inflation and ecology: you will know everything that happens in a different family, every week.

Today it was Sophie who agreed to show us her refrigerator and share her organization with us.

  • First name : Sofia
  • Age : 41 years old
  • Residence : Paris
  • People living under the same roof : 6 — 2 adults and 4 children aged 12 and 10 and twins aged 2 and a half.
  • Family income : €10,000 per month
  • What is your job: she is a journalist, he is a business manager in events
  • Monthly grocery budget : around €1200
  • Food specifications : They don’t eat pork
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Sophie’s organization for her purchases

Sophie explains to us that she regularly buys the same food groups, every week, for herself, for her husband and above all for her four children aged 12 and 10 and her twins aged 2 and a half:

Every week I inevitably buy fresh fruit and vegetables, because they sell like hot cakes. The vegetables that you will always find in my fridge are carrots, courgettes, tomatoes (when they are in season). As for fruit, they are necessarily apples, kiwis and bananas.

I buy all organic fruit and vegetables. I also buy a lot of yogurt, because with four kids at home it goes very quickly. I can have 10 sold out yogurts a day!

I also have to buy lots of snacks for the kids. I would like to avoid it, but industrial biscuits are difficult to give up.

I buy organic Petits Écoliers, milk bread and chocolate. Sometimes I make cakes, but they go so fast I wonder if it’s worth it.

Also, since my children (the two eldest) are sometimes alone for lunch on Wednesdays, I buy ready-made and not too catastrophic things, like Pastaboxes. Otherwise, sometimes I make them sandwiches in the morning before I go to work, and they’re sandwiches and chips.

When it comes to store brands, Sophie focuses on the ones that are cheapest and most practical for her. You do not hesitate to have your shopping delivered, for organizational reasons:

I stock up at Leclerc every two weeks and have it delivered. For what ? Because it is objectively the cheapest. And I could notice notable price differences with Franprix and Auchan, which however is attached to my building. But the supply lasts less and less.

I have it delivered for organizational reasons. I absolutely don’t have the courage to go and browse the supermarket shelves at the weekend. There are too many choices, it scares me! But delivery costs: 11.90 euros.

Furthermore, you must carefully check that you receive all the products you ordered and that there are no errors. There is also the issue of meat’s expiration dates, which are often close. So, I get stuck almost automatically. And compotes in organic pumpkins are objectively much cheaper than elsewhere.

For fruit and vegetables I go to Naturalia and La Harvest, an organic grocery store across the street from my house. I also go to Picard often, at least once a week. I find that the products are of quality and the prices are honest.

I also go to Amazon for cleaning supplies, my twins’ growing milk, their cereal, etc. For this part I receive around €100 per month.

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The consumption patterns of Sophie and her family

Sophie explains how she selects the products she puts in her cart:

For example, I preferably choose organic private label brands for yogurts. I favor private brands for basic products like rice, sugar, etc. I am very attentive to the price per kilo of products, something I didn’t do before.

I stopped buying overpriced products like pre-cut cheese slices like Leerdammer or even butter in a plastic package. I also have ambitions to grate my own cheese.

I have a default food order from Leclerc and it doesn’t vary much.

Sophie tries to include many legumes in her menus:

At least once a week I prepare lentils in a salad and I also try to cook bulgur. In my house no one likes quinoa! I also offer avocados to children, at least once a week.

I would like to make more eggs, but they don’t like them except soft-boiled ones. And then on Sunday evening boiled eggs! Once a week I also make a big potato salad with tuna and red onions, they love it.

When purchasing her products, Sophie favors organic products as much as possible:

I buy organic as much as possible, rather than local. What scares me are pesticides, so I’m very careful. I prefer organic to local, I know, it’s a bit selfish.

I am aware that it comes at a cost, but I couldn’t give a non-organic apple to one of my children. I also buy a lot of frozen organic food from Picard, which has a very wide range. It can range from peas, to ratatouille, to fried potatoes.

Regarding the consumption of animal products, Sophie explains her organization to us:

We don’t eat cured meats for religious reasons. However, I buy vacuum-packed turkey slices, without nitrites. About four-five packs a month.

As for meat, I generally order minced meat from Leclerc, two packs of 500g. I use it to make lasagna or meatballs. I also go to the butcher about every 2 weeks and buy 50 euros worth of meat. Sometimes I even go there on Friday evenings to buy a roast chicken.

We eat meat on average 3-4 times a week. For adults (my husband and I) I would say no more than twice, my 10 and 12 year olds four times and for the twins we alternate protein consumption, so I would say even 3 to 4 times. I make kibble for the kids once a week.

I regret not eating enough fish. I think we limit ourselves to once or twice a week. I make breaded fish, choosing the richest in fish, salmon steaks or smoked salmon. Often on Wednesdays there is a bagel with smoked salmon. I don’t know how to cook fish well.


Management of meals and deliveries

Sophie is the one who cooks for her entire tribe. Quite a mental load, as she explains:

It is essentially me, the mother, who has this joyful task every day. I take care to think about the races and I do it a lot. I also think about the menus.

My husband also does the shopping, but it is often at my request. He helps me my nanny, who prepares dinner three times a week, and I write to her everything she has to do. It's a real mental load, I'm really starting to lack inspiration.

But Sophie also orders meals at home, to let off steam:

We receive deliveries at least once a week. Because the truth is that in the evening we focus on feeding the children, then we go to bed. And then we think about ourselves, and wonder what we can eat! And when the leftovers don't convince us very much, we order: sushi, Vietnamese, poke... It's very relaxing.

Usually the children complain when they see that we have ordered.

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Food and budget

Regarding his "food craving" and the foods he finds difficult to do without, he explains:

It's spring, I buy a lot of red fruits, and the organic ones cost a lot. But too bad, everyone likes it!

For my part, I can't do without orange juice in the morning, coffee of course and chocolate. We have a lot of chocolate consumption in the family!

I'm also a big fan of Mavro matis Greek yogurts, they're the only ones I like. If anyone eats them, I'll kill them!

Sometimes I go to Monoprix where I can buy cut cheeses in the cheese section or fresh fish.

Every now and then I buy Nutella. Children are entitled to breakfast, but only on weekends. How psychorigid I am!

Concretely, Sophie describes in detail how much she spends every month on food for her family:

A ladle, I'd say €450 from Leclerc, €100 from Picard, €300 fresh fruit and vegetables, €100 from the butcher, €150 from Auchan and €100 from Amazonwith baby and maintenance products.

Some cleaning products are cheaper on Amazon. Special mention to L'arbre vert dishwashing detergent!

In total I received €1100 or €1200 for a family of four children. But it can be more! In any case, the refrigerator is never full.

Inflation and purchasing power for a family of six

Sophie realizes that inflation has affected her purchasing power:

I pay more attention to the price per kilo so as not to get ripped off and have switched to unbranded yoghurts. I started ordering Leclerc, because it is objectively cheaper. And I limit industrial cakes.

She also explains how parenting has changed the contents of her shopping cart:

The shopping is done with children in mind, clearly. We buy a lot of fresh products, yogurt, sweets, cheeses, and it's for them.

We buy meat, which we would do less if there were two of us. My twins are clean now, but the diaper budget has been significant for 2 years. I have a 12 year old who is always hungry and I tell myself that if others followed his path, the food budget risks exploding even more.

Ecological impact on the contents of the cart

We asked Sophie whether focusing on inflation and ecology would influence her food choices more in the future, and her answer was clear:

Yes clearly. A few years ago I didn't mind eating tomatoes in November, now it's unthinkable. Personally I would like to stop eating meat and find alternatives for my family. But I have the impression that it is still very complicated to cook vegetarian. And my kids want meat. Sorry Sandrine Rousseau.

I suffer from inflation, but we are fortunate to earn a decent living. So yes, we complain, but that in itself doesn't change the way we consume.

But what I can't stand anymore is waste. I try to throw away as little food as possible. And I always find ideas for cooking leftovers.

Thanks to Sophie for sharing her fridge with us!

Public utility reminder

Don't forget, in the comments, that the people who participate in the column are likely to read you. Thanks for remaining kind.


What if the movie you were going to see tonight was a dump? Each week, Kalindi Ramphul gives you her opinion on which movie to see (or not) on the show The Only Opinion That Matters.

Source: Madmoizelle

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