'The Big Brother shopping task – a lesson for modern living?' blog discussion

edited 13 August 2010 at 11:27AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

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  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    I'm loving the idea of a tub of margarine being amortised...
  • ClowanceClowance Forumite
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    and the reason that bulk buying and students won't EVER work in practice:
    One person will buy and cook and then be landed with the washing up while the other lazy b***s will sit around scoffing more than their fair share. Has Martin ever shared with actual students - remember the Young Ones - well its worse than that! I was a mature student in the 80's (not very mature but older than the others) and pretty soon learnt to keep my own stuff separate in the communal kitchen.

    Leave alone bulk buying alcohol:rotfl:
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    Clowance wrote: »
    and the reason that bulk buying and students won't EVER work in practice
    It clearly worked in the real-life example Martin gave in his blog.

    It worked for us in the 90s with bread, margarine, loo roll, etc. Didn't tend to communalise much more than that, though.
  • I'm loving the idea of a tub of margarine being amortised...
    Yeah me too!
  • love it!

    i think all kids at high school should have this kind of lesson drummed into them (as well as the financial education you're fighting for, of course, Martin)
    :beer:
  • I want to respectfully query the figures people give for weekly grocery shopping. I run a weight loss slimming club and one of the first things I ask people to do is to really be honest about how much they spend weekly on food?

    Specifically, there's of course - the weekly grocery shop - some people go more than once especially if they want 'fresh foods' and some accounting has to be done for the 'staples' as Martin points out - things that are going to last more than a week. However, other things to include are:

    How much do they spend (on average) on take-aways?
    How much on eating out in restaurants/pubs etc?
    How much on 'grabbed' food like the chocolate bar at the petrol station or the sandwich from the local store because they were hungry?
    How much do they spend on ready made meals? (this can vary enormously depending on where they shop and the quality they buy e.g. Marks and Sparks vs Lidl's)
    How much do they spend on alcohol?
    How much do they spend of tea/coffee - (particulary relevant (and costly!) if they like coffee shop latte's and cappucino!) and finally...
    How much 'fresh' food do they throw away because it's gone past it's sell by date (some stats say this could be as much as a third of what we buy!)

    When you take all the above into account - my clients are often amazed by just how much they are REALLY spending on food and drink.

    As for BB remember, on top of their 'budget' BB often throws in 'freebies' - like parties and alcohol. Something they would otherwise have to pay for on top of their budget.
  • ThinkingOfLinkingThinkingOfLinking Forumite
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    I cook in bulk...and then freeze portions so that if I am ever hungry but can't be bothered to cook, I can just bung one of the containers in the microwave....a ready meal but just home-made, healthy and cheap, plus I don't even need to get dressed and go to the supermarket to get it. Perfect.
  • camajcamaj Forumite
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    I'm loving the idea of a tub of margarine being amortised...

    But is it still safe to eat?

    I'm concious of the cost of long lasting items being spread over many weeks or months but one problem with the MSE poll is it doesn't highlight the problem of buying for one person. Often food is much cheaper if you can buy it for several people. I could feed another person for almost next to nothing because I either eat more than I would or throw it away. A good example is Tesco's £9 meal deal, the dishes in that could feed two (though the portions are fairly small), so it's a better deal if you're feeding two.

    I like the shopping that they do on BB. I'd be inclined to stock up on long life things early (rice, pasta, condements) and once we had a stable food supply then anything else could be spent on luxuries.

    Other BB's do things a bit differently. In Australia they had a little supermarket where one person could do the shopping within a budget. I believe that toilet paper wasn't supplied either so there were times where the HM's were willing to do anything to get more paper. Paper was actually more coverted than food, it seemed.
  • edited 14 August 2010 at 3:48AM
    John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    edited 14 August 2010 at 3:48AM
    A very interesting comment on advanced western property owning capitalism, competition and the concept of individual property rights.

    Poor societies, where the tribe are forced to cooperate to survive, seem to produce happier societies.

    There are still echoes of such societies:

    * In country areas, where there is time for gossip but people tend to look out for each other (eg group buying of heating oil, mutual gifting of home grown vegetables).

    * In urban areas, where there can be mutual gifting of bargain buys or even "knocked off" bounty.

    * In MSE forums, where complete strangers work tirelessly to support each other and often to support those disadvantaged in the lottery of life.

    If the global economy really is running up against "the limits to growth" with "peak oil" and peak this that and the other, it will be interesting to see which social structures will adapt the best to the new reality.

    Is a close knit society and family an asset or a liability?

    Perhaps the ability to create a close knit cyber-space community, over comes the small minded, limited resources of parochialism - welcome to the global village.

    All we need now is more multinational members to expand the MSE gene pool ?
  • ellybelly89ellybelly89 Forumite
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    In my student flat there are 5 of us and each of us cooks one night during the week for everyone and we fend for ourselves at weekends. We spend £5 - £8 on the one meal we cook for everyone and we get the rest of the weeks food for paid and cooked for by the others. It works really well and if you can't eat that night then it's put in the fridge for you to have later or to have for lunch the next day.
    I always cook on a friday and make enough food to cover me for saturday and sunday. :)
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