In the context of the rise in numbers of people affected by food poverty in the UK, the Foodways and Futures (2013-2016) project explores the ways in which vulnerable young people (16-25) experience their relationship to food. In my data analysis, the experience of shopping for food emerged as a particularly pertinent issue for young people, although this remains largely unexplored in the literature. I found that, among other issues, food shopping is not necessarily an enjoyable experience for vulnerable young people, some of whom are anxious about entering food shops and engage in hurried shopping practices. Decision-making was based on budget restrictions as well as the immediate experience of hunger. As a result, food shopping was often rapid and reactive. This vulnerable group of food shoppers do not necessarily purchase the cheapest items, as these may be seen as degrading to self-esteem. Young people also faced physical obstacles of distances to the (larger) shops and the weight of their food shopping. Strongly opposed to public health expectations on healthy eating, I found contradictions in how young people wanted to behave when purchasing foods, and how they were able to practice their food shop. Drawing on and extending Bourdieu’s work on ‘habitus’ I aim to make sense of these accounts, and show that rather than being deviant, the study participants adapt to an unequal distribution of resources.