Student Flat Eating

in Student Money Saving
46 replies 6.3K views
Hello all

I'll be going to uni in September hopefully (as long as the next few weeks go as planned!), and I plan to move into a university-owned self-catering flat, sharing with 6 other students. What is the best way to work things like bread and milk - things that go off quickly? Personally I would eat a lot of bread, but not a lot of milk. Is it safer just to buy my own supplies, or would it be more moneysaving to create a kitty for all 6 people in the flat?

Many thanks



  • student100student100 Forumite
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    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi and welcome to the forum

    I guess this depends on who you live with and what sort of people they are. Obviously some people might think they use less food than others and they'd lose out if they put into a kitty - but then again, it is rather silly to have six different bottles of milk and loaves of bread on the go at once. It's generally cheaper to buy in bulk and share the cost (e.g. you can buy 6 pint jugs of milk which are cheaper per pint than individual pints) if you get on well with your flatmates...

    Generally it's better if you can trust the people you're living with to share stuff too, even if they do take more than their fair share at first, it's better than being anal and falling out over a few pints of milk.

    If you can share cooking too it will work out cheaper (and more sociable) but obviously this isn't always that practical if people have different tastes/dietary requirements, eat at different times etc...

    For meal ideas check out Moneysaving Old Style's Recipe index.
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • apprentice_tycoonapprentice_tycoon Forumite
    3.3K Posts
    student100 wrote:
    Hi and welcome to the forum

    For meal ideas check out Moneysaving Old Style's Recipe index.

    I'd just like to add to student 100's comments that the Money Saving Old Style board will be useful to you in many areas such as shopping and making your money stretch a little so you've got more to spend on other stuff. You'll also get a very quick answer if you ever need any help with making the change from being at home to being independant.
  • crana999crana999 Forumite
    573 Posts
    I live with 3 other people and we generally buy our own stuff but it's flexible.

    one thing to bear in mind is what kind of thing you all like - like I will only eat brown bread really but most people prefer white.. and I prefer semi skimmed byut my fltamate only drinks full fat
  • Midget_KarenMidget_Karen Forumite
    127 Posts
    In my first student house (5 girls) we bought all the basics together, including tinned tomatoes etc, but the expensive stuff (ie meat) we bought separatly, because some of us had less spare money than others

    In my second student house (3 girls 1 boy) we just bought everything together and split it, because we balanced out some eating more of one thing, another more of something else.

    My boyfriends student house (3 girls, 2 boys) shopped (online) and cooked together, and on a really balanced veggie diet were about to eat for about£8 each per week (including delivery, which also meant they didn't impulse-buy rubbish!)

    But it will only work if you all get on and have similar views on it!
    Proud to have become an Ocean Rower in 2010 (crossed the Atlantic in a crew of 4 ladies and had the best 77 days of my life!)
  • lellielellie Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    In my student flat we just buy everything seperately, it's much easier than having the hassle of people not paying their way n stuff. we're all ensuite so dont have to share loo roll n stuff aswell.

    bread lasts a week or so in the fridge, if you buy milk in small cartons with a long date on it'll last well. consider maybe getting a small fridge for your room, incase any thieving hands run off with your food/beer.
  • pavlovs_dogpavlovs_dog Forumite
    10.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    i was in the same postion as lellie

    shared with seven others, 1 was lactose intolerant on a strict organic diet, others ate only ready meals, another ate virtually nothing but takeaways, 1 wouldnt eat unless it was smothered in tommy sauce....

    i bought a mini fridge for my room, £40, but well worth it - saved a fortune once i had to stop paying to feed other (thieving) people as well.

    you'll know yourself how much milk you use - if only a little, consider buying long life milk. taste isnt gret, but you dont notice it in things and it lasts for ages. failing that, 1 pint cartons. if you drink a lot of milk well then it makes mores ense to but a bigger carton.
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • NellyLockNellyLock Forumite
    487 Posts
    in our house we buy everything individually in my eyes thats the best method, especially when i struggle to get throught 2 pints a week but one of my mates gets through 6...

    if you cant get through 1 pint a week then think about powdered milk. if you cant get through a loaf a week freeze half...

    however that said, there are a few things that should prob be communal (mainly cause they take so long to get throught individually) oil, vineger, salt, pepper on top of that loo rolls, cleaning products etc should all be split fairly...

    thats how its happened here, everyone indiv except for cleaning prods and it scaled fine in our house of 9
  • having been a student in the past the way we did it was to each buy everything of our own. even then milk, butter etc still gets stolen by others but you will be able to deal with that.

    because you don't get to choose who you live with you never know what they are going to be like.

    to cut down on butter and milk losses, not to mention beer, i bought a small fridge for my room. i used it all the time in every place i lived through my 3 years at uni.

    £100 well spent!
    'What's poignancy grandad?'

    'It's the cordon bleu of emotions sonny'
  • student100student100 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Just to reiterate: it's far better to go to uni with the attitude of "we'll get on really well, trust each other, and manage to live together without arguing over milk" than think "I'm living with strangers, I'm not going to trust them with my milk, I'll keep everything to myself".

    If everyone arrived with the second attitude, nobody would be very friendly or share with everyone.

    OK, so the first is maybe slightly naive and unrealistic, but if you are optimistic at first you may even find that things are better than you feared. It's better to start off trusting your neighbours then working out who the ones to keep an eye on are rather than being paranoid and distrusting everyone.

    It's probably easier if you're in a small house/flat than a larger one.

    and what is NellyLock doing putting pepper on top of loo rolls :) :rotfl:
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • crana999crana999 Forumite
    573 Posts
    Yeah, I've had very few problems with anyone taking my stuff.

    One tip if you do all have your own stuff is take a black marker pen so you can put your name on stuff - this is just as much so that you don't inadvertantly use someone else's as so that they don't use yours.
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