Food and drink

Your grocery bill may be one of the biggest expenditures you have as a student, second only to your accommodation rent.

Whilte the cost of food in the UK varies depending on where you buy it, there's a choice of supermarkets suitable for all budgets. From budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl for your staple ingredients, to local farmers and producers markets if you’re looking for something a bit more special, there’s something for everyone.

If you fancy a takeaway, then Manchester is the place for you. According to the Student Living Index 2020, a takeaway in Manchester is the least expensive in the UK at £8.50, which is 17% less than the national average. And as a bustling multicultural city, you’ll never be short of food and drink options.

International food and cuisine

British shops and supermarkets stock a wide range of products including, in some larger stores, food imported from other countries and food meeting religious requirements such as halal and kosher. Manchester also has many delicatessens and local ethnic centres, including the UK's second largest Chinatown.

The International Society will be able to give you further advice of alternative food shops.

Average price guide

The tables below give average prices of basic groceries in the UK.

Basic goodsApproximate cost in £
Loaf of white bread 0.75
Pint (568ml) of semi-skimmed milk 0.40
Six medium eggs 1.28
Margarine (500g) 0.61 
Butter (250g) 0.85 
Cheese (250g) 1.27 
Cooking oil (1 litre) 0.88 
Pasta – uncooked spaghetti (500g) 0.55 
Rice (1kg) 0.74 
Noodles (500g) 1.19 
Fruit and vegetablesApproximate cost in £
Apples (1kg) 1.28
Bananas (1kg) 0.77
Beansprouts (335g) 0.43
Carrots (1kg) 0.62
Chillies (56g) 0.49
Garlic (loose) 1.44
Lemon (each) 0.28
Oranges (each) 0.26
Onions (1kg) 0.72
Pepper (each) 0.68
Potatoes (2.5kg) 1.78
Mushrooms (250g) 0.67
Tomatoes (pack of 6)  0.69
Meat, poultry and fishApproximate cost in £
Bacon (250g) 1.88
Beef – minced (500g) 1.49
Beef – rump steak (550g) 4.94
Chicken fillets (580g) 5.79
Chicken wings (980g) 1.23
Chicken - whole (Medium) 3.30
Cod fillet (334g) 3.00
Lamb – minced (500g) 2.30
Salmon fillet (260g) 3.23
Pork chops (700g) 3.35
Pork sausages (454g) 2.08
Peeled prawns (285g) 2.15
Tinned goodsApproximate cost in £
Baked beans (220g) 0.23
Peach slices (410g) 0.34
Soup (295g) 0.52
Sweetcorn (200g) 0.25
Tuna in brine (185g) 0.59
DrinksApproximate cost in £
Cola (2 litre)  0.37 
Instant coffee (100g)  1.94 
Apple/orange juice (1 litre)  0.98 
Mineral water (1.5 litre)  0.55 
Tea bags (80) 1.38 
Health and beauty productsApproximate cost in £
Deodorant spray (250ml)  0.98 
Shampoo (400ml)  2.20 
Shower gel (250ml)  0.73 
Soap (125g) 0.28 
Toothbrush (each) 0.89 
Toothpaste (100ml) 0.49