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To think I shouldn't have to live off cereal?

(166 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Sun 05-Jul-15 11:00:45

DH was made redundant a week ago. For a number of reasons, we've agreed that he will be a SAHP for a year. We can afford to do this, providing we're careful with what we spend.

DH set a food budget of £70 per week to feed the two of us and 2 DD's (5&8). We used to spend a lot more than that (no idea how much) due to the fact we were both running around like headless chickens trying to juggle 2 FT jobs and all the other family stuff.

We've hit £72 so far this week on food and other stuff (bleach, toiletries, toilet roll). I believe we need to increase the budget, and/or exclude non-food items. I've been ill this week so have lived off cereal and fruit--I've only had 2 hot meals. The schools closed for the summer holidays on Friday (in Scotland), so we will need more food for them.

So yesterday, I told him that if we've only just managed to survive this week, we need to increase the budget to £80. We can afford this--we're not so poor to have to skimp on food. DH told me that we will just have to manage. He did this while pulling out a steak pie from the freezer to eat for himself. (I had cereal and the kids had pizza.) I was really pissed and told him that if that was the case, he should put the sodding pie away and feed himself cereal.

When he was made redundant, we agreed he would take on the responsibility for budgeting. However, I believe that if we can't feed ourselves properly, we should eliminate something else from the budget (mobile phone contract or 2nd car). SO, AIBU?

SideOrderofChips Sun 05-Jul-15 11:03:14

If he is saving different food for himself and giving you and the kids less filling or nutritious then YANBU.

Maybe sit down together and work out the budget for food using online shopping as a guide to the cost of food.

AnyoneForTennis Sun 05-Jul-15 11:03:19


£70 should be more than enough

Go down a brand. Not to basics but the one up from that

AnyoneForTennis Sun 05-Jul-15 11:04:01

I'd highly recommend meal planning and getting groceries online

dalmatianmad Sun 05-Jul-15 11:05:04

I easily feed 2 adults and 2 dc on £50 per week. Meal planning and cooking from scratch is your answer!
We both work full time, both do 12 hour shifts. You all need to be eating the same, not faffing with pizza and pies confused

Do you need 2 cars if one of you is staying at home??

NerrSnerr Sun 05-Jul-15 11:05:14

£70 should be enough for a family of 4. Why didn't you have a steak pie from the freezer?

You need to stock up on rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, frozen veg etc so you can whip up something without having to resort to cereal.

BrianButterfield Sun 05-Jul-15 11:05:18

Ok - first off that is probably enough for food - I can do a month for under £300 including nappies, that's for two adults, a 3 and 1yo (who eats full child portions) and that's with proper dinners for all, albeit with the odd jacket potato or scrambled egg dinner in there. Meal planning helps a lot. We don't feel skimped at all as I buy lots of cheap baking ingredients and make puddings and biscuits etc so plenty of treats.

But why the actual fuck is he eating pie when you're on cereal and why does he think this is ok? DH would never do that. We'd share the pie, bulk it out with mash or something to go with and each have a small snack of cereal later if hungry. Entitled much?

dontrunwithscissors Sun 05-Jul-15 11:06:06

Well DH has taken responsibility for food buying/budgeting. He bought most food this week from either Lidl or Asda. I'm not sure any of it was branded.

LindyHemming Sun 05-Jul-15 11:06:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TinyManticore Sun 05-Jul-15 11:07:54

This is only okay if you're both eating to the same standard. What makes him think it's okay for you to scrimp and save on a low budget but he's entitled to what he wants out of the freezer? Either you're both in this situation, or you're not. Don't live on cereal so that he can eat well. How unfair.

BrianButterfield Sun 05-Jul-15 11:09:20

£70 is plenty from Aldi or Lidl if you plan in advance. Even with cleaning stuff. I did a massive shop, trolley full for that much and that included bacon, sausages, Sunday roast joint of pork, etc.

annie987 Sun 05-Jul-15 11:09:23

I consistently feed 2 adults and 2 eight year olds for about £45 per week. I do shop at aldi but we eat well. I use to spend £120 a week at sainsburys and am now horrified at the price if I pop in there for a few bits.
It can be done.

SavoyCabbage Sun 05-Jul-15 11:10:22

I think yabu. You are eating cereal as you haven't been feeling well, not to save money.

He was eating the pie because it was there, he didn't go out and buy a pie just for himself.

chewymeringue Sun 05-Jul-15 11:11:08

Just in terms of the actual budget op I shop at Lidl and get all toiletries from poundland. I very rarely have to go anywhere else for stuff. I definitely spend less than £70.

dontrunwithscissors Sun 05-Jul-15 11:11:49

It was one of those single portion pies (admittedly bought and in the freezer before this week.) When we were both working and got in at 6pm with starving kids, he would start cooking for himself while I cooked for me and the kids. It would p* me off , but it's continued. He's now responsible for feeding the kids as I don't get back from work until 6pm and get something to eat separately. I think he's not yet adjusted to this change of roles.

I don't want to seem like I'm butting in and telling him how to run the house when we've agreed these roles, but I think I'm being reasonable in thinking there should be more than cereal in the cupboards.

findingmyfeet12 Sun 05-Jul-15 11:12:06

Household items like bleach etc cost pennies if you buy them from supermarket basics ranges - and they're of a good quality.

If he wants to eat pies and he's at home, they are cheap enough to make (using frozen pastry if he doesn't want to make his own). He could save fuel and make two or three together and freeze the extra.

gamerchick Sun 05-Jul-15 11:12:17

70 quid is easy done. You just have to change the way you shop and meal plan.

For eg you don't need to buy shop bought pie.. Just some ready roll pastry and leftovers. All the scraps of chicken you don't eat can be put in with veg and gravy and cooked in the oven. Or any other meat.

Red lentils bulk out other stuff.

Go to somewhere like farm goods one a month and take advantage of the meat deals and stock the freezer up.. If you don't have the room sort out a small chest freezer for bulk buys.

B&m once a month to stock up on tins and store cupboard stuff type of thing.

Then you just need to do weekly top ups of perishables. It really works with a few tweets.

dontrunwithscissors Sun 05-Jul-15 11:13:15

@savoycabbage, he suggested I continue with the cereal as it means I'm 'cheap to feed.'

MidnightDinosaur Sun 05-Jul-15 11:13:28


£70 is plenty for a family of 4. Why didn't you both have pizza with the dc?

Pizza is pretty cheap to make, we do pizza as an end of the week thing because it's great for using up all the leftovers in the fridge.

gamerchick Sun 05-Jul-15 11:13:34

And a slow cooker helps.

LBOCS Sun 05-Jul-15 11:13:39

Also, having a weekly budget isn't that helpful as there will be things which inevitably need buying but not as frequently as weekly - washing powder, loo roll, olive oil, etc - which may bump up your first shop in the month. We budget £300pcm and it's usually split so the first shop is about £120 and the other three are about £60.

Topseyt Sun 05-Jul-15 11:14:35

Is he doing family meal plans, or planning nicer food for himself with the rest of you having whatever may be left?

Steak pie for him, pizza for the kids and cereal for you doesn't really sound like a meal plan to me. Just a jumble of different foods flung on plates.

gamerchick Sun 05-Jul-15 11:14:53

If my husband suggested I live on cereal so I'm cheap to feed and he can carry on the way he always has would get the box tipped over his head tbh.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 05-Jul-15 11:15:01

I think you need to exclude non-food items from the food and set a diffeent amount for those things.
And you did say that you were eating cereal because you didn't feel well. Otherwise I assume there was no other reason why you could not have had a frozen pie too. Did the children actually want a pie or did they prefer pizza?

GloGirl Sun 05-Jul-15 11:17:09

Your husband is a cock

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