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The cost of food in the UK varies depending on where you buy it, but international students should find they can buy food to suit their budget.

British shops and supermarkets stock a very 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 largest Chinatown. 

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

Supermarkets often have 'own-label brands' which are cheaper than the more recognised brands. You should also explore local markets where food costs, especially for fresh food and dairy, can be much cheaper.

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