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AIBU to ask how it's possible for anyone to spend so little on food and supplies?

(199 Posts)
Nicebucket Fri 05-Feb-16 04:32:55

Right, so colleagues and I were discussing how much we spend on things each month.

One bloke said he spends £80 on both food and toiletries in the entire month.

In London.

Is this really possible?!

NeedsAMousekatool Fri 05-Feb-16 04:40:31

Yeah if you're incredibly frugal. 99p shampoo will last a short haired man ages, and cheap deodorant. That leaves say £76 a month for food, which if you bulk buy cheap carbs and frozen and wonky veg and meal plan to within an inch of your life is perfectly doable for a single person.

Topsy34 Fri 05-Feb-16 04:53:41

I suppose, but does he ever have coffee out or buy his lunch each day?

If he lives alone, i guess it's possible.

HermioneJeanGranger Fri 05-Feb-16 05:05:49

Definitely possible. We spend approx. £150 for two adults and two cats. Including toiletries, loo roll and kitty food/litter.

FetchezLaVache Fri 05-Feb-16 05:32:34

Ha! Did he say what his restaurant budget for the month is? smile

Nanasueathome Fri 05-Feb-16 05:35:35

Does that include food at work as well?
One of my friends reckoned she spent no more than £25 a week in food but never took into consideration the 10 she spent each day on coffee and lunch at work

rockiestbottom Fri 05-Feb-16 05:41:15

I'm spending fifty pound max a month. But in fairness we do get fed at my parents at the weekend.

We eat proper meals. Spag vol, curries etc

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 05-Feb-16 05:45:17

Wouldn't be possible for me, no. Mind you, I spent next to nothing on toiletries in a month - more like 3 or 4 times a year, I guess - but I spend a fair bit on food.

Holly34 Fri 05-Feb-16 05:54:24

Yes its possible if you plan meals ahead and cut down snacks! Also Changing top brands for cheaper brands defiantly helps!!

SusannahD Fri 05-Feb-16 06:23:46

If he's a single man I would say it's possible, a family no way.

NannyR Fri 05-Feb-16 06:33:08

Yes, for one person it's doable if you cook from scratch and don't buy much in the way of treaty stuff. I aim to spend £25 a week on food, toiletries and cleaning products, sometimes it's a little more, sometimes a little less. I think I could do it for £20 if I needed to.

Fooshufflewickbannanapants Fri 05-Feb-16 06:34:08

Yes it's possible. It just depends on what you eat and if you cook from scratch etc. 20 a week for 1 person sounds fine. If I work out our maximum per head it's around 8 a week.

Nicebucket Fri 05-Feb-16 06:38:10

Nope, never buys lunch or coffee.

Interesting replies! I've clearly been spending extortionate amounts on food. I need to start budgeting, no idea where my money goes.

Nicebucket Fri 05-Feb-16 06:39:07

He has a girlfriend, but I doubt he spends on her...

Yes, this includes
Inch at work.

Nicebucket Fri 05-Feb-16 06:39:18

Lunch not inch!

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Fri 05-Feb-16 06:41:07

I agree with people suspecting that he is quoting his supermarket shopping budget but not thinking to include all the take-out coffee and croissant breakfasts and Pret or Boots meal deal lunches and after work curry or pizza with mates before or after the pub...

Although one person could live on 80 pounds a month for food and toiletries if they needed to - as a student I lived almost entirely on baked potatoes with beans or tuna mayo as a treat occasionally, dry pasta with tinned tomatoes and sweetcorn, and the cheapest bread toasted with butter only or made into apple sandwiches - I'd have take away once a month or so though... I spent more on cheap wine blush than food and rarely got ill... Without the wine at today's prices I'D guess it wouldn't come to more than 50 pounds a month, leaving a generous 30 for toiletries (what about other household products - toilet roll and cleaning products etc?)

annandale Fri 05-Feb-16 06:41:20

Does he live with his girlfriend? If not, is he round at hers eating her food every night?

Pointlessfan Fri 05-Feb-16 06:43:23

I reckon I could do that if it was just me. When I was single I spent about £25-30 a week in the supermarket including stuff like wine. If I was really careful I think I could manage it.

MackerelOfFact Fri 05-Feb-16 06:44:30

Definitely possible. A bunch of bananas is £1, a bag of salad is £1, a brocolli is 50p, a bag of pasta is 80p, a block of cheese is £3, a box of eggs is £1, a loaf of bread is £1. That's probably 3-4 days worth of breakfast, dinner and lunch for a single person.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Fri 05-Feb-16 06:45:42

Ah cross posted about the lunches etc.

You could spend that little, but you'd probably have a very limited, dull and not especially healthy diet (unless you eat a lot of pulse based vegan food, in which case it might be quite healthy but on that busdget would still be a very limited range of meals) I am not sure its something exemplary to aim for if you can afford to spend more and have more variety/ better quality bread etc.

Cheap bread would be a big feature of such a frugal food budget - as in if he eats bread for lunch it must be the cheapest, or his budget would be half gone just on the bread for sandwiches!

If you have DC you probably don't want them to live mainly on tinned tomatoes and dried pasta and cheap bread - you could easily spend 80 pounds a month just on fruit!

Quietlifenotonyournelly Fri 05-Feb-16 06:51:49

Maybe your colleague waits until food is reduced at the supermarket then buys the bulk of his meat and veg etc.

BarbaraofSeville Fri 05-Feb-16 06:55:41

Of course it is posssible. Things like porridge, omelettes, baked potatoes, instant noodles, frozen pizzas are very cheap. Or he might be a great cook with an extensive lentil and spice collection. Basic toiletries can last for ages and don't cost much if you are shopping in cheap shops.

captainproton Fri 05-Feb-16 06:56:00

We're a family of 5, 2 adults a teen, 2 preschoolers and a baby on the way. We are living on £70pw grocery shop. This includes nappies and I've bulked up the freezer with a month of home made ready meals for when baby is here.

It's possible if you buy in bulk things like rice, pasta, porridge oats and unwashed potatoes. You cut down on your meat and cheese and eat more eggs and lentils. You go seasonal on fruit and veg. You do everything from scratch. You stop wearing make-up and only use sparing amounts of shampoo, conditioner and shower gels. You don't need to use half a bottle to clean yourself.

Own brands and basics for things like frozen peas. A pea is a pea at the end of the day.

Budget supermarkets, vouchers and look out for deals on things you genuinely use all the time.

But I'm a SAHM I have the time, we spent double that when I worked.

tkndnv Fri 05-Feb-16 07:00:29

I don't have kids, it's just DP and I and I reckon we spend about that for the two of us.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Fri 05-Feb-16 07:09:42

I once briefly worked in a school with a single man who probably spent that. I found our during our 'isn't Aldi wonderful' discussions. A 250g pack of mince with basic tomatoes and an onion padded out with veg made a lasagne that got divided and frozen for 3-4 meals. Similar with a chilli. So that's £3-4 for up to 4 meals! He also brought his own sandwiches using roast chicken leftovers and made his own soup. No 'Pret' lunches or similar as there were none anywhere near! He probably ate well with few convenience foods, because he wanted to spend his money on holidays instead. Not a bad plan.

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