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Helping financially with food shopping....

(56 Posts)
Acacia123 Wed 07-Mar-18 14:20:18

Hi, son is in first year and living in halls. He is struggling a bit and I want to help but without sending cash (I don't want to encourage partying!). I am sure I read somewhere about a 2 part Tesco card where I can put money in from here and he can use his half in store....but I can't find anything online. Anyone know anything about this or have any other ideas?

OP’s posts: |
sugarycerealfan Wed 07-Mar-18 14:22:36

I don't know about the card, but could you do him an online shop and pay for it at your end, then have it delivered to him?

Tralalee Wed 07-Mar-18 14:23:42

You could send sainsburys gift cards?

jigster01 Wed 07-Mar-18 14:25:03

Sainsbury's do one like you suggested ..top it up from your end ...i used it for my son ...you buy them from the gift card stand at the front of the tills

italiancortado Wed 07-Mar-18 14:26:07

I would just pay for an online shop. Literally the easiest way to help someone buy food

MummytoCSJH Wed 07-Mar-18 14:26:20

I second the online food shop delivered to him but paid for by you. Also wanted to advise that gift cards can be used on alcohol so they may not be the best idea.

CMOTDibbler Wed 07-Mar-18 14:26:30

It's Sainsburys that do the two part card - details here

AJPTaylor Wed 07-Mar-18 14:31:50

i used the sainsbo one with my dd. it was handy to be able to go to sainsburys next to my work and top it up. not sure whether its an instant online top up.

Acacia123 Wed 07-Mar-18 15:04:35

Thanks everyone! Shame, I had thought it was tescos...halls are right next door to tescos but nowhere near Sainsbo...I might do an online shop but would prefer he just sorts out his day-to-day shopping rather than me picking out what to get him. Maybe I will get him to put a click and collect shopping basket together and I will login and sort payment....

OP’s posts: |
italiancortado Wed 07-Mar-18 15:14:06

No you don't pick his shopping, you gone a budget and let him fill the online basket. You then log in to pay.

italiancortado Wed 07-Mar-18 15:14:17

* give a budget

Needmoresleep Wed 07-Mar-18 20:44:33

DD did a cookery course before starting university and reckons it has saved her loads. For example she batch cooks and freezes pasta sauces, whilst her flatmates buy jars.

italiancortado Wed 07-Mar-18 20:50:03

DD did a cookery course before starting university and reckons it has saved her loads. For example she batch cooks and freezes pasta sauces, whilst her flatmates buy jars.

I would expect basic life skills such as cooking to be taught by parents a long time before DC go to university

Needmoresleep Wed 07-Mar-18 21:01:04

Italian, you may be right. However I doubt if DD was alone in having a mum who was trying to juggle a full time job with care commitments to elderly parents 150 miles away. In turn DD had a 40 minute commute to school, lots of extra curricular after school and a heavy academic load. We somehow made it through, but cooking (and housework) was always pretty basic. Ironically now, post cookery course, she is one of the more accomplished student cooks. And spends a lot less on food than many, probably eating better as well.

eatyourveg Thu 08-Mar-18 08:55:20

ds has a student meal card from sainsburys - it can't be used for alcohol unlike the gift cards - I top it up every now and again just for treats as his halls are next to a sainsburys local but sainburys itself is miles away and its too expensive to do his main shop there anyway.

ds lives with a lad whose mum sends through all his shopping via an online delivery - the lad likes it as he doesn't know whats coming but imo it doesn't help him learn to budget at all and seems a bit too controlling of his parents to be choosing what he eats at that age when he's away from home.

BubblesBuddy Thu 08-Mar-18 09:53:04

I find it quite interesting that posters think their children will buy alcohol if they just give them money. I would say this is more to do with parenting style than having a cookery class! It never occurred to me to worry about excessive alcohol purchase by my DCs. If they wanted to party occasionally, I guess they did. Surely parents have some idea how responsible their student is with money and life in general?

Why is your DS struggling op? Can he not make his money stretch and if so, why not? I tend to think when a parent targets money, it’s making their student a child again who cannot make their own decisions. University and decision making is part of being self reliant and growing up. So is his problem that he’s boozing every night? Or spending too much time drinking and partying? If it is, that’s what needs to be tackled. The purchase of food by Mum isn’t really getting to the heart of the problem.

BubblesBuddy Thu 08-Mar-18 09:55:54

I do think cookery classes are useful. Both my DDs did them. One did a Leiths Cert at school and the other did cookery on Italian school trip and at a little cookery school near home. Worked for us.

Acacia123 Thu 08-Mar-18 09:55:57

Realised that a click and collect shop won't work well as there seems to be a £4 charge unless he spends £40 (he only spends about £10 per week, so proportionally that is a high charge). In the end we've set up a small weekly direct debit to his account. Not ideal, but not the end of the world. I think Sainsburys have the best system in place with the 2 part card.

OP’s posts: |
CindyCrawford2 Thu 08-Mar-18 10:03:42

Needmoresleep - what a fantastic idea - I am going to book a cookery course for my son when he (hopefully!) goes to Uni in a year.

Acacia123 Thu 08-Mar-18 10:06:21

Bubbles: he is struggling to stretch his money because he simply does not have enough. He know how to cook and shop, he buys some meat, some fruit and veg, and bread and pasta. The reason I didn't want to send cash is that (understandably) if he has cash he will be tempted to have a night out on it. He is an 18 year old boy away from home for the first time in his life. He wants to have fun, and that is fine. But a night out could blow an entire weeks food budget. I don't begrudge him this at all, but cannot afford to fund this myself. Until this point we have given him precisely £0 and he is now finding it tough. He has been really low when we've spoken on the phone and DH and I decided that if we eliviate some of the financial pressure by helping him out with his food shop, it will give him a bit of a boost. He rarely goes out now as he simply doesn't have the money to do so.

OP’s posts: |
MandrakeLake Thu 08-Mar-18 10:06:28

If you use Ocado yourself you can just add another address to the account and not pay an additional delivery although the £40 min still applies

senua Thu 08-Mar-18 10:23:27

I used to drive the DC to University at the beginning of term with all their luggage. We would then drive to the supermarket and get a big shop of non-perishables - pasta, rice, passata, tinned veg (sweetcorn, beans), frozen stuff (principally meat), that sort of thing - and it would give them a good start to the term. Cost about £90/100.
It's a bit late for that now but you could do it next term.

Has he got a job, to help with finances?

senua Thu 08-Mar-18 10:35:47

He is an 18 year old boy away from home for the first time in his life. He wants to have fun, and that is fine. But a night out could blow an entire weeks food budget.

So what? He will learn after a few times not to do that. That's what part of the University experience is all about: being allowed to make stupid mistakes in a fairly safe environment. Let him do his growing up.

MummytoCSJH Thu 08-Mar-18 10:38:27

Bubbles - wasn't assuming that at all. Was responding to the OP's own comment about not wanting to encourage partying.

Needmoresleep Thu 08-Mar-18 10:41:38

Cindy, the one my DD did was aimed specifically for students. Rather than recipes as such it started from what you might have in the fridge (mushrooms, cheese etc) and the basics you might keep in your store cupboard. So DD can look and see what she has and whip up a rissoto, omelette etc. Or equally do a shop and batch cook chilli or pasta sauce. She has found that knowing how to cook tasty food means she buys relatively little meat. She also tends to think ahead and prepare lunch for the next day in Tupperware. The confidence saves her loads. I will confess that her course was not cheap. (London - though in fairness they also taught cleaning and other household skills. DD is ace at unlocking a shower drain.) She took a gap year so I booked it for the week when her friends headed off to University and all the farewell parties were over. But no reason why you should not get a book of student recipes and have soon-to-be students starting to shop, budget and do their share of family cooking in a structured way.

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