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to think that food is not 'cheap'

(72 Posts)
bollywoodfan Wed 13-Feb-13 19:16:01

Well not according to how much I seem to spend in Tesco anyway!
I am surprised when people say that we have got used to cheap food, because I don't think it is. I suppose the value brands are pretty cheap, but if someone is buying all value products for their weekly shopping, its because the feel they need to. Nobody would buy them if they didn't have to. Hence 'proper' food is NOT cheap.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:05

Food is cheap in relative terms. On average people spend a much smaller percentage of their income on food than in years past

Ragwort Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:29

Isn't it meant to be relatively cheap compared to years ago, something along the lines that people used to spend a lot bigger % of their income on food compared to nowadays, can't link to any facts but sure I read it somewhere recently (not in the Daily Mail grin.

Portofino Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:33

I live in Belgium and I think food in the UK is cheap.

I'm in Ireland and food is definitely cheap in the UK compared to here.

Bunfags Wed 13-Feb-13 19:23:09

Eating good quality food can be expensive, so YANBU.

Bunbaker Wed 13-Feb-13 19:25:15

In the UK we spend proportionally a far smaller amount of our income on food than the rest of Europe.

It isn't cheap, but I live to eat not eat to live, and am prepared to pay more to get decent quality meat from local butchers (so I know the provenance of what I am eating) and to get tomatoes that taste of tomatoes rather than those tasteless Dutch water bombs.

thesnootyfox Wed 13-Feb-13 19:31:29

In terms of percentage of salary our food bill has risen dramatically over the last 10 years and our standards have declined. We used to shop at Waitrose (those were the days) everything was organic, we consumed lots of wine and followed lots of recipes from Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein so we bought a lot of expensive ingredients.

We now shop at Tesco (love the clubcard points) most of our shopping is from the value range, we don't buy anything organic and we buy one cheap bottle of wine a week. We eat lots of basic foods and the posh recipe books are now gathering dust.

10 years ago our shopping would have been around 10% of our income it is now 20% of our income. If we hadn't lowered our standards our shopping bill would be around 1/3 of our income now.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 13-Feb-13 19:35:08

We spend less of our salaries on food (but more than at some points) but I think this is largely because housing costs are SO high, it has driven down food budgets as most people simply can't afford to spend the % of income previously spent on food.

Relative to the rest of Europe it is cheao.Relative to how it was here 50 years ago, it is cheap. Relative to the us is is expensive.

We eat far more meat & dairy than we should. We also buy more processed food like biscuits, crisps, yoghurts than we should.

In France a single croissant is minimum €1, here you easily get 4 for £1-£1.50. The difference in quality is as dramatic.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Wed 13-Feb-13 19:37:02

Even the stuff that used to be considered "cheap food" is now a lot more expensive than it used to be.
When I was living with just me and pfb in a bedsit, in the early 1990s, I could spend £20 a week on all our food AND a pack of 20 ciggies each day, and we ate relatively well with nice meals, and ate three times a day, and had snacks and the odd little treat.
Now, things that used to literally cost coppers, like bread, beans, biscuits, onions, mince, bacon, all cost at least 10 times more.
The days of 9p beans and 7p biscuits and 14p bread are long, long gone sad

SoldAtAuction Wed 13-Feb-13 19:39:58

We spend about 800.00 dollar Canadian a month (513 British pounds) on food for a family of four. It means cooking from scratch, going with 'treat' type foods, and that doesn't include getting wine or beer.
That is just for your everyday type fruit and veg, baking supplies, meat and dairy type of stuff.

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 13-Feb-13 19:41:44

The Times said yesterday that if food had risen by the same rate as houses in the last x years chicken would cost £47. Farmers get a tiny % profit on each thing they sell.

Theicingontop Wed 13-Feb-13 19:43:21

Yanbu. I haven't felt the pinch a lot until recently. I actually stood in Tesco today, staring at my receipt in absolute disbelief. £20 for a basket of staples. £20!!!

All I bought was cheese (which is astronomically expensive if you want enough to cook with), a few essentials, washing up liquid, bread etc.

I noticed that passata and chopped tomatoes have gone through the roof, when did that happen?

thesnootyfox Wed 13-Feb-13 19:47:20

I think it is the same everywhere. Watching that programme on emigrating to Australia it always surprises me just how expensive everything is.

It's not just food prices that have risen. We spend 1/3 of our income on getting to bloody work. 10 years ago we weren't spending anything like that! Salaries have barely risen so everyone is feeling hard done by.

I can't wait for the economy to improve but I'm not sure when that will be.

Bunfags Wed 13-Feb-13 19:50:20

I am definitely more frugal these days. I would say that we eat fairly well, but I tend to cook batches and plan meals. The price of everything is rising steadily. People go on about wasting food, but we don't. hmm

I buy a free range chicken as a treat, once a fortnight and I boil the carcass up to make stock for soup. The price of seasonal veg is still very reasonable, but who wants to live on a diet of just vegetables? I don't feel too hard done by at the moment, because I don't need to be so frugal (even though we are not loaded), but it is a bonus and I do worry that we are all going to get more poor over the next three years.

ithasgonetotheopera Wed 13-Feb-13 19:56:02

I read somewhere that 40 years ago we spent a 1/3 of our income on food, now its 10-20% on average. I personally have always spent a higher percentage on food though (could be because I am a greedy cow though!), so not sure how true that statistic is..

I'm in Ireland. Family of 5, low income, only buy basics and value options for the most part.

The weekly food bill is easily 1/3 of our income, sometimes more

sarahtigh Thu 14-Feb-13 11:12:45

FOOD is cheap relatively as we spend far less of our income on food than in any time in history, also food here is cheaper than in Europe

this does not mean every single item is always cheaper it may not be as cheap as 3 years ago but it is cheaper than 30, 50, 70 and 100 years ago,

food prices are likely to rise due to weather and poor harvests ( this has always been the case) and global demand

KenLeeeeeee Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:38

Feeding a family of 5 + weaning baby is a challenge with a roughly £100pw budget, but it can be done. It means we have to plan our meals carefully & have drastically cut back on our meat consumption. My challenge to myself this month (sort of a Lent thing really) is to ditch the supermarkets & shop locally. I'm waiting to see if I spend or save more.

Personally I think food is expensive if you go along with the idea of eating meat every day, buying extravagant cereals for breakfast & opting for convenience foods like bread (we've saved a fortune since we started making our own bread*), cooked sandwich meats and ready made meals and desserts. Going back to basics & cooking from scratch, making one joint of meat work for 3-4 meals, batch cooking soups & casseroles all sounds terribly time consuming and twee but it saves a fuck of a lot of money.

*I have a breadmaker. I'm not that domesticated!

MrsLion Thu 14-Feb-13 11:30:10

Food in the uk is very cheap. But I only realised that when I moved to the other side of the world and the same supermarket shop went from £100 to around the equivalent of nearly £300.

Bunfags Thu 14-Feb-13 11:55:17

KenLeeeeeee. I just misread what you wrote as ...

"Personally I think food is expensive if you go along with the idea of eating every day, "

Then I realised you wrote "eating meat ever day". grin

I know batch cooking soups and casseroles sounds very twee, but it's quite quick to chop up stuff and chuck it into a pot. Then you can leave it for ages if you want, and go and do other things. Currys, chillies and assorted 'slop meals' work well for this too. Unfortunately, the more I cook, the more DP and teenage DS eat. Last night I realised that I'm not really saving anything, I'm just making more food. Now I know why my parents moaned about how much we ate when I was a teenager. Sometimes I think we'll have to remortgage the house. Bearing in mind that I often just have a couple of bowls of soup and a boiled egg and soldiers in a day, the amount DS eats is shocking! He's quite thin too. People with larger families must be really feeling the pinch.

Justforlaughs Thu 14-Feb-13 12:09:23

I think "food" is quite expensive, we can all buy cheap crap from Iceland (and other places) but whether they should actually class as "food" I'm not sure! To be fair I can buy a basketful from Tesco and it will cost me £20-£30 or I can buy a trolleyful from Iceland and it will cost me £50 or I could g to my local butchers and buy a free range chicken for £25!

ChestyLeRoux Thu 14-Feb-13 12:13:38

Asda is really cheap if you go there your weekly shop will be low.

valiumredhead Thu 14-Feb-13 12:16:36

Asda is really cheap if you go there your weekly shop will be low

True, the one time I tried shopping there it was really low as I couldn't find anything I wanted to eat grin

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