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    I'm off to uni in September and I'm in a state of complete and utter panic in concerns to finance. I'm trying to plan ahead and work out how much money I'll need to save in order to keep myself alive whilst trying to find a part-time job at the start of the year, but I have no idea how much I will be spending on food.

    I rarely cook for myself, so don't know what foods I should even be buying, let alone how much it will all cost. So I turn to the experienced - what sort of food would you buy in a weekly shop, and how much does said food tend to cost?
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    (Original post by odetosleep)
    I'm off to uni in September and I'm in a state of complete and utter panic in concerns to finance. I'm trying to plan ahead and work out how much money I'll need to save in order to keep myself alive whilst trying to find a part-time job at the start of the year, but I have no idea how much I will be spending on food.

    I rarely cook for myself, so don't know what foods I should even be buying, let alone how much it will all cost. So I turn to the experienced - what sort of food would you buy in a weekly shop, and how much does said food tend to cost?
    Well, I'm going to uni in September too, but I'm pretty independent as I do the weekly shop for myself often due to my parent's careers.

    It costs me around £30 a week to buy enough food. You can get a box of 6 eggs for under a pound, as well as fish fillets for protein for under £3 etc...

    I think it's possible to survive for even under £20 a week if you're very frugal, which I'm not especially.
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    I don't start uni til 2017 but my friend and I actually did some calculations on a weeks worth of food. We reckon we could survive with having a budget of £20 a week not including take-aways or other fast food.

    We thought it was quite easy but that's because we cook a lot and even did gcse catering.

    When you go shopping make sure you get basic things like potatoes, rice and pasta. They are cheap and will do a good job of keeping you full. However make sure you buy them in large quantities. Buying 1kg of pasta is cheaper than buying several smaller packs of pasta.
    Stock up on jar sauces, whether its tomato or curry you can get them quite cheap. Frozen vegetables is also really useful.
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    I spent around £20 a week on food whilst I was at uni, but I'm vegetarian and would cook from scratch quite a bit. My housemates would spend between £20 and £30. I'd normally order online once a fortnight so I'd do a £40 shop and then buy extra fruit/veg if I needed to.

    Pasta is good because it's cheap, simple to make and filling. You can either buy sauces or make your own. Other good meals are jacket potatoes with various toppings, curry (again available in a jar if you're not a confident cook) stir fry etc.

    The best thing to do is plan your meals before you go shopping and make a list, then you know you definitely have enough meals before you get distracted by junk food on special offer!

    I used to keep a couple of ready meals in the freezer for when I was in a rush along with some oven chips and frozen garlic bread.

    Before you start I'd recommend learning a few basic recipes like a bolognese or tomato sauce. They are cheap and can be frozen in portions. A bolognese can also be turned into a chilli or shepherd's pie and is popular so a good choice for if you do a flat/house meal.

    Good luck!
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    Around £25 a week

    Food includes:

    Chicken
    Quorn chicken
    lamb steaks
    Tuna
    pork steaks

    cucumber
    celery
    Bell peppers
    Sweet potato
    new potatoes
    mushrooms
    asparagus
    carrots
    sweetcorn
    onions (red + white)
    chopped tomatoes
    salad bags
    garlic bulbs


    lemons
    frozen pineapple and berries

    garlic and chive soft cheese
    Greek yogurt
    rice
    kidney beans
    chick peas
    pearl barley

    Potted fresh herbs (£1 each in asda and should last a while if you take good care of them)

    basil
    rosemary
    thyme
    basil
    parsley

    Plus a few cupboard spices that cost between £1-1.80 each and last a year + when only cooking for yourself. Spice and seasonings are your friend and will transform bland food to tasty food.

    That list if for a 2 week shop (1 or 2 things may be subtracted or substituted depending on what is being cooked) And costs between £36-£40 not including the herbs and spices as they are not frequent purchases they add up to pennies per week (so between £18-£20 a week). And covers 14 days worth of lunches and dinners or more.

    I will then spend approximately an extra £5 or less on snacks per week.


    I keep costs this low buy making a 2-weekly meal plan. It not only helps save money but it stops you wasting food (people generally waste a ridiculous amount of food, it's awful). I shop at lidl, aldi, asda and iceland.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Around £25 a week

    Food includes:

    Chicken
    Quorn chicken
    lamb steaks
    Tuna
    pork steaks

    cucumber
    celery
    Bell peppers
    Sweet potato
    new potatoes
    mushrooms
    asparagus
    carrots
    sweetcorn
    onions (red + white)
    chopped tomatoes
    salad bags
    garlic bulbs


    lemons
    frozen pineapple and berries

    garlic and chive soft cheese
    Greek yogurt
    rice
    kidney beans
    chick peas
    pearl barley

    Potted fresh herbs (£1 each in asda and should last a while if you take good care of them)

    basil
    rosemary
    thyme
    basil
    parsley

    Plus a few cupboard spices that cost between £1-1.80 each and last a year + when only cooking for yourself. Spice and seasonings are your friend and will transform bland food to tasty food.

    That list if for a 2 week shop (1 or 2 things may be subtracted or substituted depending on what is being cooked) And costs between £36-£40 not including the herbs and spices as they are not frequent purchases they add up to pennies per week (so between £18-£20 a week). And covers 14 days worth of lunches and dinners or more.

    I will then spend approximately an extra £5 or less on snacks per week.


    I keep costs this low buy making a 2-weekly meal plan. It not only helps save money but it stops you wasting food (people generally waste a ridiculous amount of food, it's awful). I shop at lidl, aldi, asda and iceland.

    I normally get my chicken from my local butcher since I'm local & always go there since he gives me a discount

    I get my shopping from the same places. Its funny when uni flat mates/ppl living in halls decide to go together for shopping & someone shops at say Morrison/Wait rose and spend the equivalent £ on a few items, which would be the same as our entire shopping. <--- I guess it just means we have more $ to spend shopping on clothes etc. :laugh:
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    (Original post by XxKingSniprxX)
    I normally get my chicken from my local butcher since I'm local & always go there since he gives me a discount

    I get my shopping from the same places. Its funny when uni flat mates/ppl living in halls decide to go together for shopping & someone shops at say Morrison/Wait rose and spend the equivalent £ on a few items, which would be the same as our entire shopping. <--- I guess it just means we have more $ to spend shopping on clothes etc. :laugh:
    I'm sticking all the money I save on being frugal straight into my savings account personally.

    But yeah, sometimes I do find the way other people shop absolutely baffling. And I do get pretty irritated at people who spend way more than necessary on things like their food shop and then complain they are broke, waste a bunch of food and then go and buy takeaways anyway. I mean if you have the money to shop at Waitrose, by all meas do it. But if you don't then don't complain to me about your lack of money.
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    (Original post by odetosleep)
    I'm off to uni in September and I'm in a state of complete and utter panic in concerns to finance. I'm trying to plan ahead and work out how much money I'll need to save in order to keep myself alive whilst trying to find a part-time job at the start of the year, but I have no idea how much I will be spending on food.

    I rarely cook for myself, so don't know what foods I should even be buying, let alone how much it will all cost. So I turn to the experienced - what sort of food would you buy in a weekly shop, and how much does said food tend to cost?
    £5 every 6 months or so for myself, I buy noodles, 10 noodles for like 50p . my mum cooks food, noodles are for good days.
    I'm in year 11 in September
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    I'm moving into sixth form (year 12) in September, so I'm not much help..but,...considering you want to get a part-time job...you can work weekends and with the minimum wage you can get a good amount of money e.g. work 5 hours on Sat and 5 hours on Sun which is more than enough...get around £55-£65. Use half of what you earn (around £30 like people said) as a budget to spend on food monthly...there's countless cheap things to get.Then save the rest for maybe a takeaway once every two weeks (light one) or once a month (proper one). Then use the rest of the money as savings or whatever else you need to use it for.
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    I've given myself a budget of £130 a month for groceries and other household essentials.

    Currently I spend about £120 a month on food and household stuff while living at home but then I forgot that my parents supply things like toilet roll, washing up liquid, washing powder and butter etc, so I've added a bit extra onto my budget to cover those.

    If I cook from scratch I spend about £15/20 a week but if I go the route of ready meals then it's about £25 a week on food

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    I spend around £20 a week, but I cook from scratch every meal. Do a big shop the first week and buy in bulk - big packets of rice and pasta and so on will save you money in the long run. Try to make your own pasta sauces rather than using jar ones - it's cheaper and healthier, and really not that hard - carbonara's literally just egg, bacon and mushrooms and bolognese is just onion, carrots, mushrooms, mince and tomatoes. That way you can also batch cook and freeze for later.
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    You may find during the first few weeks, you spend slightly more on food finding out hat you do and don't like.
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    I spend less than £20 a week on food, but I have been living alone since my first year at uni, including summers so have a bit of a tinned food stock and dry food stock, which makes weekly shops cheaper. I tend to only make 3 batch meals a week so I will eat left overs the other days a week, as I work part time 3 nights a week at uni it makes life easier and cheaper
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    It depends on your social group and how often you eat out or get takeaway, the quality of food you get, how many meals you have on the average day, male or female, how active you are, etc. I've had weeks where I've spent £10 on food and others £110, I'd say my average is £70 per week including booze, takeaway and restaurants but that's because my social groups involve a lot of those things and I buy higher quality stuff. If I dropped the alcohol and eating out it would be closer to £40.
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    Depends on what you eat. If you cook from scratch and make use of reduced sections you can spend about £10-£15 a week on food. If you're going to eat mostly ready meals and such then around £30-£40 is what you'll spend.

    Try planning out your meals and do bulk shopping instead of going every (other) day. You can try doing fake online shopping and see how much you will spend. Just select a store and add stuff to the cart while planning when you're going to eat what. Select stuff for a week and see what you end up with.

    Like others have said, pasta, rice and potatoes are your friends. Buy big packs, they're cheaper and they can last a while anyway. If you like beans buy them too, they're good for mixing with meat to bulk it out. You can make simple meals using minced meat, baked beans, veggies and some spices. Eat with rice, pasta or potatoes and it gives you an easy and pretty cheap to make meal.
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    (Original post by odetosleep)
    I'm off to uni in September and I'm in a state of complete and utter panic in concerns to finance. I'm trying to plan ahead and work out how much money I'll need to save in order to keep myself alive whilst trying to find a part-time job at the start of the year, but I have no idea how much I will be spending on food.

    I rarely cook for myself, so don't know what foods I should even be buying, let alone how much it will all cost. So I turn to the experienced - what sort of food would you buy in a weekly shop, and how much does said food tend to cost?
    Hello

    It is a daunting fact and it's definitely something that a lot of people panic about - finances are easy to stress about on but if you plan ahead - you'll be fine.

    Before university I did a 'test shop' at Aldi to see how much I'd spend at university for a shop for a weekly shop. I ended up calculating that I'd need £25 a week on shopping - this was meals such as bolognese, stir-fry etc - I could cook various meals from learning at home, if you don't know, purchase some student cook books - there is plenty to help you out and that will teach you some basics.

    I spent £25 a week on everything that I need until I ended up doing a group shop with my flat mates and that meant I spent £10 on shopping and this was the same for second year.

    Hope this helps a little!
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    I always found that fitness stuff makes me eat more food, and if you're trying to eat the right kind of food, it gets expensive. Maybe 40-50 a week.
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    I used to blow £70 quid on food which would last me 3 weeks. But now I know that isn't needed and a week's shopping is easy £20-30 if you eat right.

    But for me, I'm a foody so I find i really difficult to eat supermarket-branded stuff like bread, pasta, beans, cereal cause most of their carbs literally taste like cardboard and it really isn't nice to eat horrible tasting food.

    One piece of advice definitely shop around! For example, I found it incredibly cheaper if I were to get all my frozen stuff from Iceland (don't buy your meat there) and then buy my everyday stuff from Tesco. Iceland always have some great deals on including branded laundry stuff! If you can; do a day's of shopping every week. Go to Tesco in afternoon then Iceland in evening. First years are always keen to go shopping together and walk it into town and etc. But then find it a lot of effort and cba and decide to do Tesco online. What I did was remembered whilst it was easier, I was definitely getting fatter. I think walking into town whether it's a 15 mins or 45 mins walk is a good way to keep relatively healthy with exercise (especially if you pile on pounds from just eating like I do).

    Oh and another thing don't get ready-made meals. They are a total rip off. It's something stupid like 3 for £10 or something. No mate. If you get individual ingredients it's much cheaper and usually you can make those meals in bigger quantities. I would do this cause it saves so much more money and generally healthier and you will learn how to cook. It's much better as well.
    If you get on well with your flatmates try and do a weekly cook where you guys chip in a fiver and help cook. It's a great way to bond. Albeit I never did this at my first uni, but we did do this for our Christmas meal and it was the best thing ever!

    But yeah, shop around and cook in greater quantities.
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    (Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
    If you get on well with your flatmates try and do a weekly cook where you guys chip in a fiver and help cook. It's a great way to bond. Albeit I never did this at my first uni, but we did do this for our Christmas meal and it was the best thing ever!

    But yeah, shop around and cook in greater quantities.
    With this, you'll also find some things (such as a roast dinner) really aren't worth doing for one.

    I live alone and it's sometimes hard (especially with fresh food) trying to shop for one; because so many packs of foods are aimed at 2+ people. I'm either having to eat the same thing a few days in a row or throw things away.
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    I spend about £80
 
 
 
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