To be annoyed that DH cannot/will not stick to our food budget.

(110 Posts)
WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 15:45:39

We are a family of 5; DH and I, a 12 year old, a 6 year old and a 4 year old. We budget £100 - £120 per week for food, which I think is a generous budget. DH works full time, I work part time, so whilst we both earn money (just in case anyone says he earns the money he can spend it as he sees fit), I am obviously at home more and I do all the meal planning, food shopping/ordering, and 95% of the cooking. DH never wants any input into the food ordering, or into what we are having for dinner that night. If I ask for suggestions for meals he just shrugs and says he has no idea.

So, what I'm finding at the moment is quite often now, despite not wanting to have any input into what we're having for tea each night, I'll be cooking and DH will turn his nose up at whatever is on offer that night, disappear to the local shop, and spend more money on something he does fancy, such as a ready meal. I know we all have nights where we fancy something different, but surely if you are living on a budget there are some nights you have to compromise. I'd love steak, and nice ready meals each night, but I often end up having something I don't fancy, because the kids have requested it, or I know it's something they'll eat. It's just par for the course in a family.

Also, on any nights that he's planning on cooking, he'll again disappear to the shop and maybe spend an extra £20 - £30 on things for a meal. He can never use things already in the fridge/cupboard/freezer. And also he can never have 'just' what is on offer at a meal. If I do a fry up (eggs, bacon, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, hash browns) he will again go to the shop and get a pack of Tesco finest sausages to have with it. If I make homemade soup for lunch with rolls, he'll start digging out other things to have with his, that I've put in the meal plan to use at another meal. He also won't take packed lunches to work and so spends £5+ each lunchtime on nice goodies.

I know some will say he's entitled to eat what he wants etc, but I feel I am a good cook, our budget is generous, and I try to cook nice, balanced, healthy meals for us all. We have treats, we have a takeaway once a week or fortnight.

In theory we can afford to spend the extra but it seems like a terrible waste, when the money could be used elsewhere (ie saved for a holiday, or used to enable the kids to do extra activities), and also seems grossly unfair when I'm making, planning and preparing family meals to suit us all and he's waltzing off all the time, eating what he likes, spending extra money, and generally making sure he is better catered for than we are!

AIBU to be annoyed and frustrated?

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 16:04:59

I wouldn't say he is entitled as such, but he does often spend first, think later. If he wants something it won't occur to him to check that we can afford it first, he'll just go and spend it, and then worry about it later.

I like the spends idea, Alibaba, that might be something to think about. I think he'd probably spend his though and then go back to the joint account or use the credit card and spend more.

Thank you all very much for the replies, it's good to know that in the main I'm not being unreasonable. I don't like to be a moaner and I don't want to dictate to him or be controlling, but it just seems such a waste to spend the amount of extra money he spends each week, when we could make far better use of that money.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:10

Get the selfish git to cook for your dcs and do all the shopping IMO.

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:14

It sounds as if he feels entitled to have nicer food than everyone else.I would hit the roof if my DH turned up his nose every night.

" Hes not getting enough to eat"
euphemia he is rejecting the family food the OP is cooking and buying "nicer" treat foods for himself.
I spend around £120 for 4 of us ( 2 ravenous teenagers) and we have very nice food for that amount.

OP, how is the money arranged in your household? In mine, all income goes into the joint account, and a standing order goes from there to our personal accounts. We spend our personal money as we please. If his 'extra' spending is from his personal funds, then more fool him. If, however, it is coming from joint funds then I would be totting up how much his profligacy is costing and presenting him with a bill, to be refunded to the joint account.

All these extras he buys - does he share them with you and the children?

Yonilovesboni Sat 20-Apr-13 16:05:30

Op just let your dh know we are a family of 6 and have £50 per week for groceries. I think it's extremely unfair on you, wasting time making meal plans and he buggers off to buy extra meals for himself! I would be livid. Well done for coping for so long! Have this wine

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:43

Have him be in charge of the meals for one weekend day. He might just want to have some input in what he's eating.
Has he just stopped smoking or drinking? Are the trips to the shops an excuse for a little'furtivity'? hmm

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:53

give him @120 in cash and tell him to go to the supermarket and get the shopping - he has enough time to pop to the shops each night or whatever so he has enough time to do the family shopping - where ever he wants actually local shops or supermarket.

But tell him that there is no point in you doing a plan, budgeting and making dinner any more as he is rude and insulting at his walking out if he doens't fancy what you are cooking, so there is no point in you carrying on this way.

It is sending a big message to the rest of the family that if you don't like what is cooking then get something from the shop and dinner could end up in the bin.

Just think - one less job for you to do and if he doesn't know or have any ideas what to buy for dinner then that is his problem now.

Tell him you can try it out for a month and see how it goes

But it is just plain rude to turn you nose up at someones cooking and go to the shop and buy your own food

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:42

I would be really angry about this, because if you have joint money you make joint decisions and stick to it. He is spending £70 per week on stuff for himself???!

Is this a new thing?

It sounds like he is being rebellious, like a teenager.

Doyou get on well in other respects, are you good at reaching agreements on other issues or other financial things?

I'm actually laughing at 'sounds like he's not getting enough to eat' - er, no, it sounds like he's being a prat!

auntmargaret Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:55

Oh well, it appears my views are not the norm on this thread. Must be me, then. my food budget is out of control

Loveiswhereitfalls Sat 20-Apr-13 16:08:55

Sorry bit of a delay in posting .I see the OP says she serves large portions.
OP do you think this is part of the spending problem ie he needs to spend and food is a kind of valid way of doing it.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 16:12:09

I wouldn't say he is entitled as such, but he does often spend first, think later. If he wants something it won't occur to him to check that we can afford it first, he'll just go and spend it, and then worry about it later

This is the very definition of entitled IMO, as though the boring realities of life do not apply to him and he is above worrying about cost or budget or family needs.

This whole attitude to money stinks.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 16:19:04

He would drive me nuts! "He's hungry?" was just an idea I threw out there, but it's obviously not that! He's being a greedy, selfish, unappreciative git!

I feel like matching every amount he spends pound for pound for myself, and then spending it on myself each week, to try to make him get the jist of how much he is overspending.

Worth trying for a week, if it won't break the bank, just to get him to see your point. If it would work.

imour Sat 20-Apr-13 16:26:25

yanbu , i would be pissed of if i was econimising all week for him to fritter ,you and the kids should lunch out everyday as well see how long it is till he says we should cut back .

saulaboutme Sat 20-Apr-13 16:26:41

Yanbu, it's so hard to stick to a food budget and a healthy menu.
It makes you sound like you're being mean and begrudging him but you're the one who's sacrificing luxuries and he's clearly not willing to do that.
The only way to ressolve this is to add the extras to the shopping list, which may work out cheaper than the local shop, he won't change his habits as he's obviously too selfish. If the money is there to buy it then buy it.
Turning his nose up at meals is out of order and it's annoying enough when kids do it! Also, he should take more turns at cooking and show him all the ingredients he needs are there. You're hard work and economising is going unappreciated.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 16:27:20

I think it depends on how you are financially, to be honest. Are you generally managing within your overall household budget and managing to save a bit? Is DH's spending putting pressure on this? If it is YANBU. If things are generally ticking over ok I think it's reasonable for him to buy some extra stuff. It may be irritating but if he can afford it I don't see why you should always have the last word on what he eats.

MortifiedAdams Sat 20-Apr-13 16:33:03

DH and I have `pocket money` each week. The same amoubt each to fritter as we choose. We also have a food budget per week for breakfasts and dinners [inc one take away a week]

Lunches are packed, OR we spend our own pocket money if we buy on the day. Is there any way you could see of he wojld agree to something like that?

WatchingToyStoryAgain Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:34

He has the opportunity to choose meals and help with ordering the shopping though, Quesadilla, but he chooses not to. If I ask what he wants for tea each night then he just shrugs or says 'I don't know, have you got any suggestions?'. I don't expect the last word on what he eats, but someone has to do the shopping, and the meal planning, and the cooking, and as he absolves himself of any responsibility then it all falls at my feet. I think if he's absolving himself of responsibility then he should have the decency to eat what I've cooked. Of course, we all have nights when we fancy a KFC or a chippy tea, but I'd rather he said "tonight lets feed the kids with what you've made then we'll have a takeaway later once they're in bed" as a treat every so often, rather than just having all the nice stuff himself.

Financially I guess in theory yes, we can afford it. The money is there, in the bank account. However we could make far better use of it, and spend it in other areas. For example we have decided not to have a holiday this year, just a long weekend away somewhere as DH says it's 'too expensive' to go abroad. Well £70 per week x 52 is over £3500 per year, which would easily cover the cost of a holiday abroad plus spends for us all. So the kids and I have missed out because of his spending. Or the £70 per week could pay for the eldest and middle child to have guitar lessons, which they've both asked for but don't currently have as they do two other activities per week each, or it would pay towards the gym membership I'd love but that is a little too pricey. I don't want to be a martyr, but I try to be sensible. We have three children and I accept that to an extent now we have to go without things and prioritise the childrens' needs, and I'm fine with that, however DH doesn't seem to always do the same.

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:34:56

I disagree about money being a factor as to whether this is UR or N

why if he is asked at food planning stage doesn't he say what meals he would enjoy that week and come up with ideas - he is given the chance, he is not forced to accept this food or that food without his own input.

To let someone cook for him and then go and buy other food is plain rude and bad manners, along with insulting the cook

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 16:36:29

rather than just having all the nice stuff himself.

thats the bit that would irk with me - it's selfish

hugoagogo Sat 20-Apr-13 16:40:04

I wonder if he realises how much he is spending?

I would go through the statements and show him how much he is frittering.

DontmindifIdo Sat 20-Apr-13 16:48:00

I would sit him down, explain why what he's doing is rude to you - that he's turning his nose up at your efforts and also basically saying to the DCs that he diserves better than them and you. Ask him if he realises how rude he is as well as pointing out he's spending an extra £70 a week on food just for him on top of the family budget.

What I would do is say you're putting him in charge next week,he has to buy and cook all the food for the week. You will help him cook if he wants too, but he has to make sure all the ingredients are in and tell you what to cook. Say he has £150 for the week (above the normal weekly budget you work too) so any extras has to come out of that. If he's not prepared to do that, then he has to stop turning his nose up at what you do.

"For example we have decided not to have a holiday this year, just a long weekend away somewhere as DH says it's 'too expensive' to go abroad. Well £70 per week x 52 is over £3500 per year, which would easily cover the cost of a holiday abroad plus spends for us all. So the kids and I have missed out because of his spending."

Then that is exactly what you need to tell him. If he can veto a holiday because it is too expensive, then you can do the same with his daily extravagance.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 20-Apr-13 17:02:22

If you can afford it, I don't see the problem.

You are the one that wants to stick to the budget, he isn't. What gives you the right to decide the budget and what gives you the right to say it much be stuck to or he is in the wrong?

He has just as much right as you do to decide how much family money gets spent on food.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 20-Apr-13 17:04:13

Clouds - would you be happy to miss out on a family holiday so that one person could have a additional £70 per week food allowance???

NatashaBee Sat 20-Apr-13 17:04:44

Do you think part of it is an excuse to pop to the shops and buy scratch cards/ cigs/ booze? Just wondering if maybe there's more to it. Anyway I think the division of any spare money is a good way forward, at least for a month - let him waste his share on Tesco Finest Cheesecake if he wants to. Or give him your weekly shopping budget and let him menu plan and cook. and then tell him you don't fancy it and order takeaway

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