To be annoyed that DH cannot/will not stick to our food budget.

(110 Posts)
WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:45:39

We are a family of 5; DH and I, a 12 year old, a 6 year old and a 4 year old. We budget £100 - £120 per week for food, which I think is a generous budget. DH works full time, I work part time, so whilst we both earn money (just in case anyone says he earns the money he can spend it as he sees fit), I am obviously at home more and I do all the meal planning, food shopping/ordering, and 95% of the cooking. DH never wants any input into the food ordering, or into what we are having for dinner that night. If I ask for suggestions for meals he just shrugs and says he has no idea.

So, what I'm finding at the moment is quite often now, despite not wanting to have any input into what we're having for tea each night, I'll be cooking and DH will turn his nose up at whatever is on offer that night, disappear to the local shop, and spend more money on something he does fancy, such as a ready meal. I know we all have nights where we fancy something different, but surely if you are living on a budget there are some nights you have to compromise. I'd love steak, and nice ready meals each night, but I often end up having something I don't fancy, because the kids have requested it, or I know it's something they'll eat. It's just par for the course in a family.

Also, on any nights that he's planning on cooking, he'll again disappear to the shop and maybe spend an extra £20 - £30 on things for a meal. He can never use things already in the fridge/cupboard/freezer. And also he can never have 'just' what is on offer at a meal. If I do a fry up (eggs, bacon, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, hash browns) he will again go to the shop and get a pack of Tesco finest sausages to have with it. If I make homemade soup for lunch with rolls, he'll start digging out other things to have with his, that I've put in the meal plan to use at another meal. He also won't take packed lunches to work and so spends £5+ each lunchtime on nice goodies.

I know some will say he's entitled to eat what he wants etc, but I feel I am a good cook, our budget is generous, and I try to cook nice, balanced, healthy meals for us all. We have treats, we have a takeaway once a week or fortnight.

In theory we can afford to spend the extra but it seems like a terrible waste, when the money could be used elsewhere (ie saved for a holiday, or used to enable the kids to do extra activities), and also seems grossly unfair when I'm making, planning and preparing family meals to suit us all and he's waltzing off all the time, eating what he likes, spending extra money, and generally making sure he is better catered for than we are!

AIBU to be annoyed and frustrated?

YANBU! Have you asked him why he does it?

NatashaBee Sat 20-Apr-13 15:51:02

YANBU... No advice though! DH does this too...

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:52:29

I've tried to talk to him so many times about it, Creature, but he just doesn't seem to 'get' my point at all. He isn't the most careful person in the world with money unfortunately.

We had a food delivery this morning and I said to him "Ok, so this should last us for the whole week, I really don't want to spend anymore money on food this week, let me know what you fancy each evening for tea and I'll try to accommodate it". Tonight I'm making pork steaks with honey and mustard dressing, homemade chips, and vegetables, but I guarantee he'll want some extra vegetable from the local shop, or he'll start opening packs of bread rolls to have with his, or he'll decide he wants a proper pudding and will go and get a Tesco finest cheesecake or something.

auntmargaret Sat 20-Apr-13 15:53:44

He's a grown up. You're not his mum. Why do you get to demand he makes packed lunches? YABU.

iZombie Sat 20-Apr-13 15:55:19

Shred his debit card?

Or, see if for a week he can live without it. Have a set amount of cash that he has to see the week out with, for lunch and extras and see how he does. See if he gets how much he is spending on stupid stuff. I bet he'll be having to make pack up by wednesday and might understand a little better by then

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:55:29

I haven't demanded anything auntmargaret. I'm not sure where in my post has given you that impression?

My point is that he is fine dining and having what he wants all the time, whilst I'm trying to stick to a budget and feed a family, and it seems a little unfair. I'd like a nice lunch out from a shop or takeaway each day, and I'd like readymeals and nice things if I don't fancy what the others are having, but I don't, as if I did it too we'd be spending an extortionate amount of money per month on food.

Jinty64 Sat 20-Apr-13 15:55:55

YANBU that would drive me nuts. I would cook for yourself and the children and let him sort himself when he comes in!

iZombie Sat 20-Apr-13 15:56:00

auntm his spending is pointless, and is frittering money that the OP has said could be better used elsewhere. Grownups aren't the only members of this family.

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:56:48

Some weeks he is spending around £70 per week on food for himself. Many families of five, or with more people, have that amount per week for an entire food budget. I'm sure he'd moan if I started spending £70 per week on clothes, or beauty treatments for myself.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 15:57:34

It sounds like he's not getting enough to eat. He's hungry? He's not making the best decisions about what to do about it though! I think he needs to take more interest in the meal planning.

My DH does most of the cooking, and serves me portions which are far too big! I keep having to ask him to halve the amount of food he gives me! Maybe you're not dishing up enough for DH? It sounds like a communication problem to me.

I could be wrong! YANBU in any event! smile

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 15:58:27

£70 a week?! My DH feeds three of us for less than that!

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:59:43

I serve large portion sizes, Euphemia.

Crinkle77 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:01:03

YANBU. It is incredibly rude to turn your nose up at the meal you have cooked and go and buy something else. If my partner did that then I would not be making them tea again.

auntmargaret Sat 20-Apr-13 16:01:07

I would hate to be told what I can and can't eat. It would annoy me if my partner grudged me a nice lunch at work. If you don't have the money, that's one thing, but you say you do. So it's the principle of him using money he's earned on something he likes that annoys you? Sorry, but I still think YABU.

SirBoobAlot Sat 20-Apr-13 16:01:24

YANBU. That dinner sounds lovely, I'll eat his if he's going to be an arse about it grin

Is he an entitled git in other aspects of life? Sounds like one of those third world countries where the men get to eat first and the women and children are allowed whatever's left over.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 16:01:53


Can you agree that you each have a certain amount of 'spends' each month? Then if he wants to spend all his on food then he can, and you can spend yours how you wish?

Or alternatively sit down and go through the budget and ask him what he suggests cutting back on to accommodate his gluttony.

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 16:02:19

Exactly, Euphemia. We are lucky that we have a decent/generous food budget in the first place, but nothing is ever good enough or enough for him when it comes to food. We've discussed tonight's meal and he says it sounds nice,but I guarantee there will be something 'missing' from it or he'll find some reason to go and spend an extra £10 or so at the shop.

I feel like matching every amount he spends pound for pound for myself, and then spending it on myself each week, to try to make him get the jist of how much he is overspending.

SirBoobAlot Sat 20-Apr-13 16:03:00

Aunt - if he's spending £5 a day for lunch, that's £25 a week. £100 a month, just on lunches for one person, which is almost enough to cover another weeks family shopping. That's not practical or sensible for anyone.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 20-Apr-13 16:03:15

Yanbu, how selfish. Cooking for the family, meal planning and shopping is a lot of work. It is disrespectful to you and sending your dc a message that all that work means nothing. I would be really upset if my DP did that. He should be sitting with you all and having a meal togther. e

YANBU. My DH does this to a lesser extent (he doesn't work, is SAHD. I work part-time & I do the meal plans & most cooking). It massively annoys of that I check kitchen supplies, make meal plan, shopping list, check he is happy with it, them go to supermarket & he decides he fancies something else, or that I should have a 'treat'. Says 'you can you know'. I am trying to lose the baby weight, I have control of finances (he has no interest in or frankly any ability to budget.) Feels like he wants none of the responsibility but still wants to be able to choose to faff around with expensive food we can't afford & don't need.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 16:03:52

Yes, or stop cooking enough for him and he can fend for himself entirely. It is bloody rude to turn his nose up when you have done all the planning and cooking.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 16:03:55

Do you ever throw food away at the end of the week?

Smudging Sat 20-Apr-13 16:04:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 16:04:59

I wouldn't say he is entitled as such, but he does often spend first, think later. If he wants something it won't occur to him to check that we can afford it first, he'll just go and spend it, and then worry about it later.

I like the spends idea, Alibaba, that might be something to think about. I think he'd probably spend his though and then go back to the joint account or use the credit card and spend more.

Thank you all very much for the replies, it's good to know that in the main I'm not being unreasonable. I don't like to be a moaner and I don't want to dictate to him or be controlling, but it just seems such a waste to spend the amount of extra money he spends each week, when we could make far better use of that money.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:10

Get the selfish git to cook for your dcs and do all the shopping IMO.

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:14

It sounds as if he feels entitled to have nicer food than everyone else.I would hit the roof if my DH turned up his nose every night.

" Hes not getting enough to eat"
euphemia he is rejecting the family food the OP is cooking and buying "nicer" treat foods for himself.
I spend around £120 for 4 of us ( 2 ravenous teenagers) and we have very nice food for that amount.

OP, how is the money arranged in your household? In mine, all income goes into the joint account, and a standing order goes from there to our personal accounts. We spend our personal money as we please. If his 'extra' spending is from his personal funds, then more fool him. If, however, it is coming from joint funds then I would be totting up how much his profligacy is costing and presenting him with a bill, to be refunded to the joint account.

All these extras he buys - does he share them with you and the children?

Yonilovesboni Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:30

Op just let your dh know we are a family of 6 and have £50 per week for groceries. I think it's extremely unfair on you, wasting time making meal plans and he buggers off to buy extra meals for himself! I would be livid. Well done for coping for so long! Have this wine

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:43

Have him be in charge of the meals for one weekend day. He might just want to have some input in what he's eating.
Has he just stopped smoking or drinking? Are the trips to the shops an excuse for a little'furtivity'? hmm

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:53

give him @120 in cash and tell him to go to the supermarket and get the shopping - he has enough time to pop to the shops each night or whatever so he has enough time to do the family shopping - where ever he wants actually local shops or supermarket.

But tell him that there is no point in you doing a plan, budgeting and making dinner any more as he is rude and insulting at his walking out if he doens't fancy what you are cooking, so there is no point in you carrying on this way.

It is sending a big message to the rest of the family that if you don't like what is cooking then get something from the shop and dinner could end up in the bin.

Just think - one less job for you to do and if he doesn't know or have any ideas what to buy for dinner then that is his problem now.

Tell him you can try it out for a month and see how it goes

But it is just plain rude to turn you nose up at someones cooking and go to the shop and buy your own food

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:42

I would be really angry about this, because if you have joint money you make joint decisions and stick to it. He is spending £70 per week on stuff for himself???!

Is this a new thing?

It sounds like he is being rebellious, like a teenager.

Doyou get on well in other respects, are you good at reaching agreements on other issues or other financial things?

I'm actually laughing at 'sounds like he's not getting enough to eat' - er, no, it sounds like he's being a prat!

auntmargaret Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:55

Oh well, it appears my views are not the norm on this thread. Must be me, then. my food budget is out of control

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:55

Sorry bit of a delay in posting .I see the OP says she serves large portions.
OP do you think this is part of the spending problem ie he needs to spend and food is a kind of valid way of doing it.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 16:12:09

I wouldn't say he is entitled as such, but he does often spend first, think later. If he wants something it won't occur to him to check that we can afford it first, he'll just go and spend it, and then worry about it later

This is the very definition of entitled IMO, as though the boring realities of life do not apply to him and he is above worrying about cost or budget or family needs.

This whole attitude to money stinks.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 16:19:04

He would drive me nuts! "He's hungry?" was just an idea I threw out there, but it's obviously not that! He's being a greedy, selfish, unappreciative git!

I feel like matching every amount he spends pound for pound for myself, and then spending it on myself each week, to try to make him get the jist of how much he is overspending.

Worth trying for a week, if it won't break the bank, just to get him to see your point. If it would work.

imour Sat 20-Apr-13 16:26:25

yanbu , i would be pissed of if i was econimising all week for him to fritter ,you and the kids should lunch out everyday as well see how long it is till he says we should cut back .

saulaboutme Sat 20-Apr-13 16:26:41

Yanbu, it's so hard to stick to a food budget and a healthy menu.
It makes you sound like you're being mean and begrudging him but you're the one who's sacrificing luxuries and he's clearly not willing to do that.
The only way to ressolve this is to add the extras to the shopping list, which may work out cheaper than the local shop, he won't change his habits as he's obviously too selfish. If the money is there to buy it then buy it.
Turning his nose up at meals is out of order and it's annoying enough when kids do it! Also, he should take more turns at cooking and show him all the ingredients he needs are there. You're hard work and economising is going unappreciated.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 16:27:20

I think it depends on how you are financially, to be honest. Are you generally managing within your overall household budget and managing to save a bit? Is DH's spending putting pressure on this? If it is YANBU. If things are generally ticking over ok I think it's reasonable for him to buy some extra stuff. It may be irritating but if he can afford it I don't see why you should always have the last word on what he eats.

MortifiedAdams Sat 20-Apr-13 16:33:03

DH and I have `pocket money` each week. The same amoubt each to fritter as we choose. We also have a food budget per week for breakfasts and dinners [inc one take away a week]

Lunches are packed, OR we spend our own pocket money if we buy on the day. Is there any way you could see of he wojld agree to something like that?

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:34

He has the opportunity to choose meals and help with ordering the shopping though, Quesadilla, but he chooses not to. If I ask what he wants for tea each night then he just shrugs or says 'I don't know, have you got any suggestions?'. I don't expect the last word on what he eats, but someone has to do the shopping, and the meal planning, and the cooking, and as he absolves himself of any responsibility then it all falls at my feet. I think if he's absolving himself of responsibility then he should have the decency to eat what I've cooked. Of course, we all have nights when we fancy a KFC or a chippy tea, but I'd rather he said "tonight lets feed the kids with what you've made then we'll have a takeaway later once they're in bed" as a treat every so often, rather than just having all the nice stuff himself.

Financially I guess in theory yes, we can afford it. The money is there, in the bank account. However we could make far better use of it, and spend it in other areas. For example we have decided not to have a holiday this year, just a long weekend away somewhere as DH says it's 'too expensive' to go abroad. Well £70 per week x 52 is over £3500 per year, which would easily cover the cost of a holiday abroad plus spends for us all. So the kids and I have missed out because of his spending. Or the £70 per week could pay for the eldest and middle child to have guitar lessons, which they've both asked for but don't currently have as they do two other activities per week each, or it would pay towards the gym membership I'd love but that is a little too pricey. I don't want to be a martyr, but I try to be sensible. We have three children and I accept that to an extent now we have to go without things and prioritise the childrens' needs, and I'm fine with that, however DH doesn't seem to always do the same.

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:56

I disagree about money being a factor as to whether this is UR or N

why if he is asked at food planning stage doesn't he say what meals he would enjoy that week and come up with ideas - he is given the chance, he is not forced to accept this food or that food without his own input.

To let someone cook for him and then go and buy other food is plain rude and bad manners, along with insulting the cook

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:36:29

rather than just having all the nice stuff himself.

thats the bit that would irk with me - it's selfish

hugoagogo Sat 20-Apr-13 16:40:04

I wonder if he realises how much he is spending?

I would go through the statements and show him how much he is frittering.

DontmindifIdo Sat 20-Apr-13 16:48:00

I would sit him down, explain why what he's doing is rude to you - that he's turning his nose up at your efforts and also basically saying to the DCs that he diserves better than them and you. Ask him if he realises how rude he is as well as pointing out he's spending an extra £70 a week on food just for him on top of the family budget.

What I would do is say you're putting him in charge next week,he has to buy and cook all the food for the week. You will help him cook if he wants too, but he has to make sure all the ingredients are in and tell you what to cook. Say he has £150 for the week (above the normal weekly budget you work too) so any extras has to come out of that. If he's not prepared to do that, then he has to stop turning his nose up at what you do.

"For example we have decided not to have a holiday this year, just a long weekend away somewhere as DH says it's 'too expensive' to go abroad. Well £70 per week x 52 is over £3500 per year, which would easily cover the cost of a holiday abroad plus spends for us all. So the kids and I have missed out because of his spending."

Then that is exactly what you need to tell him. If he can veto a holiday because it is too expensive, then you can do the same with his daily extravagance.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 20-Apr-13 17:02:22

If you can afford it, I don't see the problem.

You are the one that wants to stick to the budget, he isn't. What gives you the right to decide the budget and what gives you the right to say it much be stuck to or he is in the wrong?

He has just as much right as you do to decide how much family money gets spent on food.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 17:04:13

Clouds - would you be happy to miss out on a family holiday so that one person could have a additional £70 per week food allowance???

NatashaBee Sat 20-Apr-13 17:04:44

Do you think part of it is an excuse to pop to the shops and buy scratch cards/ cigs/ booze? Just wondering if maybe there's more to it. Anyway I think the division of any spare money is a good way forward, at least for a month - let him waste his share on Tesco Finest Cheesecake if he wants to. Or give him your weekly shopping budget and let him menu plan and cook. and then tell him you don't fancy it and order takeaway

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 17:05:40

Not eatting what you've cooked, even if it is 'kids food' is down right rude.
If he doesn't like what's in offer he has to help meal plan.

If he wants to behave like a toddler he gets treated like one. ie he eats what's on offer or gets plastic ham sandwiches and yoghurt!

I would go ballistic at going out to spend money at the shop.

My DH is a bit inclined to add biscuits and donuts to shopping lists, but he wouldn't think of not eatting what was provided. If he's still hungry there's toast, cheese and jam.

Your DP is using being an adult able to make his own choices as a excuse for being very disrespectful. I don't think that's fair.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 17:06:15

I do get what you are saying OP I can see how it must be irritating, I just can't really see how you can enforce it if he wants to spend that money - a significant of which he earns. If its really bugging you I think you need to sit him down and have a proper chat about it. Have you suggested that he might try the budgeting and meal planning for a couple of weeks?

MrsMacFarlane Sat 20-Apr-13 17:09:00

He's acting like a selfish, immature dick and I'm not surprised you're pissed off about it. We have a food budget and I meal plan every week. There are 4 of us and occasionally somebody has to suck it up and eat something that only the other 3 like. If they really can't face it, there's always scrambled egg/cheese on toast.

You need to tell him how much money he's wasting and how disrespectful you find his attitude towards your cooking and planning. GET HIM TOLD.

specialsubject Sat 20-Apr-13 17:11:57

wow, another one married to a child.

the ultimatum is: you have input to what you want to eat and you stop wasting money on extras. Otherwise you stop cooking and shopping for him, give him a quarter of the food budget and he self-caters.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 17:15:43

Quesadilla - but surely a couple share money and share decision-making? Or do you really believe a man is allowed to act unilaterally if he earns more than his wife?

Can you quietly for a week or so match his "extra" food spending and put it in a jar? Showing him a pile of cash at the end might be a useful shocker.

I expect he keeps saying to himself "ah, it's only a fiver" each time without actually working out what it adds up to - in this case a pretty snazzy holiday.

mrspaddy Sat 20-Apr-13 17:19:41

I think YANBU at all!! I am quite strict with food bill but we eat really nice dinners. I shop at butchers/markets, bake my own bread and crumbles. I really go to a big effort to homecook, watch out for offers and eat healthily. We do buy dearer toiletries etc. My DH is really grateful and I didn't even know he loves honey until I bought a jar as a cold remedy the other day. Everything I cook he eats and gives me a kiss for. I can totally understand where you are coming from. I think it would build up a lot of resentment.
Honestly I would stop cooking for him for a little while. I just wouldn't see the point to cook and him turn his nose up at it. I wouldn't mind he lunch thing- everyone needs a treat. I often go for a nice coffee shop treat and DH eats out at lunchtime but we are very careful otherwise. Good luck.

givemeaclue Sat 20-Apr-13 17:24:30

Yanbu this is very very annoying indeed.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 17:30:12

Swish no, of course couples should share financial decisions and I can see its annoying. But I do think in certain cases the OP is right and in others is being a tad OTT. I can't see why he should have to take a packed lunch for example when he can clearly afford to buy lunch out.

YANBU - Stop cooking for him is a great idea. He wants to make his own choices and he is going to the shop anyway, save yourself the hassle and expense and let him get on with it. Don't bother buying anything for him at all.

The other thing you could do, if you want to save up money is to have a standing order going straight out of the bank account on pay day or after all the big bills like the mortgage have gone out, so there is no spare money sitting in the account. He'll soon run out of cash and have to think about what he is doing with the added bonus that you'll still get a holiday.

Can I ask, is he overweight? He ought to be with all this extra and/or luxury food. I wonder if his relationship with food is the problem here? He doesn't sound like he has a very healthy attitude to food tbh.

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 17:42:16

cloudsandtrees - but its ok for the dh to veto a holiday? He gets to say no to spending money on a holiday but op can't get to veto his spending on food - how come it is only him that is allowed to say no to spending?

FredFredGeorge Sat 20-Apr-13 17:43:19

How did "we budget" come about?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 17:49:04

OP can you set up a direct debit from the joint account for £70 a week into an account for a holiday - that, surely, should come ahead of frittering money away?
£120 is hardly a pittance, although I admit that we do spend slightly more than that and there are 4 of us.

mum2jakie Sat 20-Apr-13 17:51:01

My other half is very similar in his attitude to food. We don't have a set budget and I'm not very good at meal planning which is actually just as well because my OH will often turn his nose up at something and go to Morrisons to buy something to 'go with it.' (Ends up spending £20+ on bits!)

To be fair to mine, he does cook some of the kids' meals (we have three kids too) when I'm at work but always goes to the supermarket, daily, to buy stuff for the kids' tea (we eat separately) and will never think to look in the fridge/freezer/cupboard to try and use stuff up or check dates etc so we end up throwing loads of things away!

OP, YANBU but I'm not sure how you would tackle it without seeming that you are!

redskyatnight Sat 20-Apr-13 17:53:50

I see elements of my DH in here. I would say
- has you and your DH mutually agreed your family budget? It sounds like you do have the money, just that you think it should be spent somewhere else. Maybe your DH doesn't?

- DH won't meal plan either. I asked him why and he said it was too restrictive and he just wanted to get home, decide what he wanted and then go out and get it if the right food wasn't in the house. I pointed out that this was expensive and not compatible with our family life (where we often have about 50 minutes to cook eat and get out the door with DC to an evening activity). He agreed with both points but said that's what he felt. So we have compromised. I do a meal plan, I wave it round everyone and get everyone to agree it. And we have one day (sometimes 2) where DH is in charge and he can do whatever random thing he wants.

(I guess both points fundamentally come down to - have you talked properly to your DH about this?)

holidaysarenice Sat 20-Apr-13 17:56:27

Everytime he spends extra tot it up, keep a jar and put equivalent in, or one a month remove it from the bank.

The amount will really shock him. When he asks what it is, explain (as though you are explaining to a five year old) that it is your treat money. That he had his on nice food etc and you are having yours on something for yourself.

I guarantee he'll wriggle like a baby.

whiteflame Sat 20-Apr-13 17:56:47

I would keep a list for a week OP, with a heading for every week day. Something like:

Cooked pork chops, chips and vegetables for dinner. DH went and bought a cheesecake for x pounds. He also bought lunch.


Then when he says you're over-reacting and he doesn't do it that much you can shove it under his nose!

scarredpierced Sat 20-Apr-13 17:57:21

This sounds like more than just selfish-ness to me. Its the kind of traits someone would display if they had been withheld food as a child.
How long has he been like this?

Does he actually know what he spending on himself.

I would go through both bank account and credit card statement and highlight and total every one of his 'extra' trips for food and show him the total. And yes make the point about paying for a family holiday. If he doesn't want to change his attitude then yes start taking the same amount out yourself. Save it for a holiday abroad for you and your children and leave him at home.

Fairylea Sat 20-Apr-13 18:04:07

Can you not buy food shopping out of a joint household account and if he wants extras he has to buy it out of his own spending money (of which you should have equal amounts)?

This is what we do. We have a joint household account. All wages and everything goes in. All bills come out. We set a budget for food from this per week. We have worked out how much spending money we should each have and transfer this to our joint spending account (in your case as he is useless sharing money equally you could transfer an equal amount to two sole accounts, one in your name one in his). He then has to buy things from his own money if he wants extras. Don't give him a household card if he's going to dib into it or withdraw the money as cash for shopping.

If he sees how much it's impacting he might stop doing it.

AmberLeaf Sat 20-Apr-13 18:21:11

wow, another one married to a child

I'm seeing it more like another one being treated like a child.

I would hate having what I eat dictated to me.

If he doesn't like/want what you are serving up, if he was an arse he'd be expecting you to get him something else. He isn't, hes sorting himself out with no bother to you, except its annoying you, but you may be annoying him by telling him what and when to eat and getting narked about it if he doesn't want to.

My Mum was always a meal planner, Made sense at the time I suppose with a largeish family to feed on a budget, but it is not something I have ever done and I have shopped on a budget for lots of years.

I get staples/basics and I juggle depending on what we fancy on any given day.

So its a YABU from me.

MortifiedAdams Sat 20-Apr-13 18:22:03

Every week, for a whole year, put the equivalent of his lunch money in a jar. Build up that £3500 over the year.

At the end of it, produce this jar and tell him that this is what he has spent on his own lunches over the year, and with what you have saved you and the kids are going abroad. Without him. If he doesnt act shamefaced, add "and dont be here when I get back" on the end.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 18:26:21

£3.5k. Jeez! That's Florida for you and the kids.

wonderingagain Sat 20-Apr-13 18:30:17

Does he undermine you in other ways?

Does he have a history of food issues?

mercibucket Sat 20-Apr-13 18:30:55

Just looking at your examples of adding some bread rolls or veg to a meal, or buying a tesco finest cheesecake, I do this all the time. I also buy lunch at work. We can afford it. I'd be a bit sad if dh started making a fuss about it, tbh.

chillinwithmyyonis Sat 20-Apr-13 18:31:08

Downsize the budget and just cook for the four of you?

wonderingagain Sat 20-Apr-13 18:32:13

1200 a year not 3500! 5x5x4x12

NoWayNoHow Sat 20-Apr-13 18:40:29

AmberLeaf, the OP has repeatedly stated that she offers her DH ample opportunity to get involved with meal planning, shopping, deciding what to eat, and expressing preferences. He's not interested. If she was making decisions autonomously, and he wasn't getting a look in, I'd think she was BU too.

But she is actively trying to involve him in the decision making process for the meals in an effort to stop this happening, but he's not contributing at all, and her only answers are a shrug or an "I don't know".

Therefore I think he's being massively unreasonable to turn his nose up at every single thing she makes and spend another £70 a week on food.

Actually, scrap that - that not unreasonable behaviour on his behalf, it's OUTRAGEOUSLY rude.

McNewPants2013 Sat 20-Apr-13 18:42:07

Have you asked him why he doesn't like the food you are making.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 20-Apr-13 18:44:54

You say you are a good cook, does he agree? He doesnt like to meal plan, you insist that it happens and then cook meals which he doesnt want.

Perhaps your DH doesnt like the food you are cooking but doesnt like to say so.

Is he overweight?

I agree that Yanbu - just wondering if he is having issues with overeating, and that's why it's become a blindspot for him. Iyswim.

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 18:50:33

But is any food thrown away?

wondering that's £1200 a year just on weekday lunches, before the ready meals, cheesecakes, etc. OP said £10 a day on average, which x 365 is a Very Nice Holiday IMHO.

maddening I agree that's an important question. If everything is eaten and nobody is vastly overweight then the standard budget may just be too low.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 18:58:03

I don't always like what my DH cooks, but I'm grateful that he cooks and I eat what's put in front of me. smile

RedHelenB Sat 20-Apr-13 18:59:31

Let him cook & shop & then after a couple of weeks have a mature conversation about food budgets that you BOTH can agree on.

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 19:00:18

There is plenty of food to eat. If anything I over-cater at a meal rather than under cater. We have two dogs that will often eat DH's portion when he doesn't eat it. Or it gets frozen (for me to have for lunch) if it's freezable. Leftover veg gets made into soup and then frozen (again for me to have for lunches). I hate wasting food so I try to minimise wastage.

PistachioTruffle Sat 20-Apr-13 19:01:35

But surely the point of meal planning is that food isn't wasted or thrown away?

YANBU, you have given your DH opportunities to get involved with shopping and choosing meals, and he has chosen not to. I think it is selfish of him to spend £3500 a year on food just for himself, when there is plenty of food on offer that he just 'doesn't fancy'. I'll bet the op doesn't get £3500 a year to herself to spend I. Whatever she likes.

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 19:06:00

I've just had a read through some replies; I don't meal plan to be controlling, and I don't budget to be controlling either. I think the weekly budget that we have is ample, for 5 of us, to eat healthily and to have plenty to eat. I don't think it's a good idea to spend an endless amount of money on food each week, when we're not rich and the money could be put to better use elsewhere. I'm not dictating to DH, nor am I treating him like a child. After all, he's been behaving in this way for quite a while.

I don't expect him to do as I say, and I don't expect him to like everything I cook or buy. However I expect him to take a little responsibilty and see beyond his needs occasionally.

Laquitar Sat 20-Apr-13 19:08:47

Can you make the holiday saving a family target? The eldest ones can be involved and this will help them to learn about budget and saving. We do this, we have a holiday jar. So sit down and make a food budget all together and everytime you fancy pizza or a fancy cheesecake you put a tenner in the jar instead. Make it a glass jar, when you see it getting fuller it motivates you. Also stick a picture of a holiday destination on it.

Laquitar Sat 20-Apr-13 19:15:34

Sorry i meant to add we have some alternates for our cravings. For example if we crave an expensive dessert then we treat ourselves to sweet crepes which only costs few pence and we put 3 pounds into the jar, if we crave take away we make one or have a supermarket one and put 10 pounds in the jar, and so one.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 20-Apr-13 19:20:50

Not everyone likes to decide what they are having for dinner on Thursday at some random earlier time. I'm sorry to say OP but your worthy domestic economies would have me running to the shop for a ready meal. Possibly doesnt help that I loathe soup in all its forms!

Do you look at what he is buying? Are there meals you make which he does like? Is the problem the meal planning and the knowing on Tuesday what you are going to eat on Thursday?

My DS loves the certainty and reassurance. I hate it. My DH knows this but doesnt insist that I make a huge contribution to meal planning. On the other hand he doesnt use this as an excuse to cook food I dont like.

shewhowines Sat 20-Apr-13 19:22:16


you need to sit down and agree priorities. Does Dh think it's more important to eat the extras and does he see the sacrifice of the holiday. Is he ok with this?

StealthOfficialCrispTester Sat 20-Apr-13 19:27:46

Surely this is about overall families values and priorities. The op wants to budget and meal plan. Her dh ,ay say he does, but in reality he doesn't want to. Which is fine, but when finances are shared these fundamental things need to be agreed.
The fact that its on food is a red herring (sorry). The op cannot dictate what or how he should eat. But if they jointly want to meal plan and budget she's right to be pissed off. If he was spending seventy pounds a week on computer games the principle would be the same.

WTFisABooyhoo Sat 20-Apr-13 19:30:05

Havent read the entire thread but OP i would play him at his own game. i know you say the budget wont stand up to it but u think for a short while you eat what you want when you want. let the dcs choose whatever ready meal they fancy, dont cook anyhing for him, and use the account that hes spending out of to pay for it all so that he sees how quickly the money runs out when every member of the family does as they please.

Inertia Sat 20-Apr-13 19:37:12

You could plan a holiday with the children and tell DH that there is no money in the family budget for him to come because he spends three grand a year on food treats for himself...

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 20-Apr-13 19:47:54

I think some of the replies on this thread are very childish, naughty man doesnt want what the OP cooks and should be punished.

What I see is a lack of communication between OP and her DH. This will not be resolved by putting the DH on the naughty step and not letting him go on a family holiday.

Unami Sat 20-Apr-13 19:51:20

Are you sure you're a good cook? Oh, I'm sorry, that sounds awful. Are you sure that your weekly meal plans are nice enough? Just that you mentioned in your OP that you would also like to have "nice ready meals" occasionally. In some houses ready meals are seen as treats, and in others poor substitutes for a proper meal, so that made me wonder if even you feel that what you're eating isn't totally satisfying. I don't think you should pander to your partner here (his behaviour is insensitive at best) but it sounds like there are a few issues here which need to be teased out from each other: control; finances; and food.

Food: Is food the real issue here? Others have suggested that he simply might not like the food you make, and feels the need to make substitutions or additions of his own, without upsetting what the rest of the family gets. I would hate this. I strongly feel that the whole family should eat together and share the same food - there are emotional/sentimental reasons for this, but also important practical ones. Imagine what hell it would be if your kids also demanded something different - maybe try and get this point across to him? Are the ready meals and extra treats he buys typically quite different to the food you prepare? Are they richer, spicier, more exotic, creamier, fattier? Can you two work together to ensure that more of what he enjoys is part of your regular shop? Does it have a deeper basis? Does he emotionally reward himself with 'treat' foods? If so, this whole behaviour might not really have much to do with you or the meal plans, but could have a very personal basis - even so, he's being really inconsiderate, and it still has to change - but you really need to have a long conversation about it.

Control: On the subject of your regular shop - the fact that he won't take part in the meal planning but clearly has strong preferences about what to eat must be maddening. Is this an aspect of your family life that he feels he has no control over - or is he controlling it by making these last minute changes against your wishes? It seems to me that this aspect of things annoys you just as much as the extra cost. If I were in your shoes, I'd want to have a serious conversation about how much time and effort you put into planning meals and meal preparation with a view to him taking full responsibility for all food shopping and cooking for one week - preferably not as a one off. I know he is working full time, but lots of people work full time and still have to take responsibility for family meals. It seems reasonable if you are working part time and in control of the kitchen the rest of the time. That way he wouldn't be able to wriggle out of the responsibility of budgeting and planning meals for the whole family.

Finances: A whole other issue. I agree in part with other posters who suggest that you should match his personal treat food budget with a treat budget of your own, but doing things in a tit for tat way can escalate and become very stressful - especially if your priority is saving whereas he wouldn't give a toss if you spent lots more on personal treats for yourself...I'm guessing that there may be a more fundamental mis-match between what you both think your financial priorities should be in terms of day to day spending and long term financial goals - that's an issue worth thrashing out in its own right, even without regards to this dinner time issue.

I agree that YANBU and that this situation can't go on. It's disrespectful to you and sets an incredibly bad example to your children, but I think that you have to explore each of these three issues with your DP in order to work out the best solution, rather than treating it as a 'stand-alone' problem.

MadBusLady Sat 20-Apr-13 20:03:05

I think it's to do with emotional reward as well. DP & I eat a bit like this. We do weekly shops but we top up and we don't stint, and the food budget ends up as embarrassingly lavish. We can afford it, it's one of the areas of the budget we really feel we'd like to treat ourselves (whereas we are quite modest in some other areas).

I'm NOT defending it in your DH's case, because (a) the budget is an issue and (b) he's doing it just for himself, which is very thoughtless. But I do think he sees food as something where he must have exactly what he wants at that moment or he feels deprived.

No helpful suggestions to add, I'm afraid, I just have a slightly blush recognition of the problem.

sweetestcup Sat 20-Apr-13 20:05:41

It would annoy me but I guess its all to do with communication about the budget, it does sound as if its not just food he does this with to but other things? And why does it have to be the finest range, why not the ordinary range for him?

margaritathatcher Sat 20-Apr-13 20:07:22

Crikey, I wish someone would cook dinner for me every night!

Money aside, I would just stop bothering to cook for him and tell him to sort himself out when he gets in. He's being really disrespectful and I wouldn't have the energy or the patience to put up with it. He might start to appreciate what you do for him a few weeks down the line when he has to get home from work every night and work out what to eat/cook.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 20-Apr-13 20:10:42

I haven't read all of this but DH's mum had a tight food budget. His dad was a chief engineer and she was a deputy head. All extra money went into the building society. DH and his sister's all remember being hungry, all remember a cake for four being shared around five, all remember food being counted. DH's sisters grew up with issues around food and greed and an inability to know when they had had enough because when given the opportunithy to help themselves made little pigs of themselves.

MIL could have afforded better food and more food. Personally I think it was disgusting that she was too mean to buy it and it had a marked inflence on all her children and their general enjoyment of food, enjoyment of life and also their basic good manners at the table.

If you can afford good food then I'm afraid you should buy it. It is one thing being on a very tight budger and quite another to be mean and tight with food which should be one of life's social pleasures.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 20-Apr-13 20:13:32

Perhaps, the food budget should be reduced to £70-80 for the week and the surplus given to DH to buy nice food and treats BUT for everybody in the family? If he wants it, he can have it, but so can everybody else.

mercibucket Sat 20-Apr-13 20:22:21

I have re-read your op, and I have to say that I kind of side with your dh. A fry up with no sausages? And why not 'tesco finest' instead of horrible cheap ones? Unless you are quite hard up, it sounds like you both have issues around food. You say you hate waste and freeze leftover veg for soup, he seems to go to the opposite extreme. In my family, we wouldn't raise an eyebrow at the other doing this. If dh wants to make his own meal, that is fine by me, and next time I might not prepare anything for him. Equally, sometimes I don't fancy what is on offer and make my own. Noone is offended.
Is the money an issue, in that you are short every month?

MooMooSkit Sat 20-Apr-13 20:30:52

I don't think YABU but could you not reduce the food budget to make extra for his little demands? I'm shocked at how much people spend at supermarkets :O Is it not worth checking out local butchers to make savings? I was spending TONS on meat alone and found my local butchers do a deal where i get 500grams of beef mince, 500grams diced beef, five chicken breasts, 500grams diced chicken, 5 pork chops, 10 eggs and 5 rump steaks and it lasts us ages and cut down my food budget, also i find fruit is a lot cheaper in markets rather than supermarkets. I only tend to ever use supermarkets like tesco expresses for quick top up slike bread and milk in the week otherwise they are so dear!

wonderingagain Sat 20-Apr-13 20:33:01

Now I love being cooked for - but to have someone else prepare my meals every night I would actually find claustrophobic. It may be that your DP needs a lot more autonomy when it comes to food but can't get that to work within the family unit. I think it might help if you hand him complete responsibility to cook a meal once or twice a week including doing the shopping for it. It may make him feel as though he has more control.

It took me 5 years to get DP to cook meals on his own without asking me 'where's the salt' etc, or sabotaging it by not starting to cook until 7.30. Now he gets it, finally, and enjoys buying and cooking the food the way he likes to. It's difficult when they don't have the same ethics as you, some people throw everything away if it's not eaten on the day, others don't. It's largely cultural I think. Mine does spend more than I would, and he won't do the Free Range thing that I do but at least he saves me an hour or so of grief a week.

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 21:56:54

£120 is being tight !!!shock
Im having steak tonight and Torbay sole tomorrow married, on a "tight" budget of £120 a week.
The issues are not the budget - which sounds reasonable but the lack of a team approach. I find the fact her DH wont involve himself in the shopping choices and then undermining the OP irritating.
I mealplan,do a general " what do you all fancy" and also buy things I know my family like but Im not keen on and dont consider myself controlling. The menu is generally something we all agree on .
Is your relationship happy generally OP? - for a partner in a relationship to express disgust at carefully planned meals would have alarm bells ringing for me .

maddening Sat 20-Apr-13 22:06:55

Does he see and agree that you need to budget? Could you suggest he takes his portion of the budget and caters for himself without breaching that budget?

Then your budget and cooking is just for you and dc?

If he doesn't agree to budget I don't see how you can work it as you are pulling in different directions.

FredFredGeorge Sun 21-Apr-13 13:58:51

OP you've avoided every question about how the budget was decided. So I'm going to say YABU based on the idea that he seemingly never bought into it in the first place and you don't actually need to budget.

comingintomyown Sun 21-Apr-13 14:37:26

XH was like this drove me mad even though we had plenty of money , in fact eating as I please without trying to accomodate him remains a daily blessing

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