Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Shopping and eating frugally
Is time an illusion? It feels like it this past week! We're going flat out as jobs need to be done. We can rest after tomorrow . . .
Anyway, one of the things I have been thinking about recently is shopping, and how, when we are trying to prune our grocery bill to as little as possible - as when the bills come in the only place we can take money from is the grocery money - and everything is going up in leaps and bounds. I try NOT to do a one-stop supermarket shop. We have changed to doing the bulk of our weekly shop in Lidl, though there are certain things which we have to shop at another leading supermarket for as Lidl don't stock them or the price is better elsewhere. Fruit and veg we buy from the warehouse at Abergwili, buying the £1 bargain boxes when we can (what's in those varies daily and some is too far gone to be worth buying). We also have a lot of home-grown fruit to fall back on.
Anything remotely in the toiletry line we buy in the £1 shop - it goes without saying it's a daft idea to spend £2 plus on a tube of toothpaste when it is £1 somewhere else. I've never been one for buying ready-made food - everything is made from scratch where possible, although I do get fish fingers, frozen fish, and the occasional jar of instant sauce for a quick bung-it meal when I'm in a hurry or poorly. Home made bread is far better than shop-bought, tastier/cheaper/more filling all round. Home made jam is divine and not just a jar of coloured sugar, like "boughten" stuff. Home made pickled onions cost a fraction of shop jars and taste better. Home made mincemeat costs me next to nothing (just the dried fruit really) as I use apples from our trees, and use no suet in it. Cakes and biscuits and puddings - home made of course - and I usually try and fill the oven and freeze the extra baked. I use any leftover bread to make breadcrumbs for coating fish/chicken or making stuffing and would make bread pudding if it weren't only me that ate it (I'm on a diet!)
The wild birds will have to go without this year as we cannot afford £40 or so per sack of peanuts. We live next to a farm, so there are normally gleanings there and we will put out any damaged store apples if we get Redwings and Fieldfares coming through, although in last year's snow we regularly had 26 Blackbirds in the garden demanding breakfast. We will probably weaken and get a sack of bird seed if the forecast is dire.
Where else I can prune, I don't know. If it's just my husband and me here, we will have just something on toast for supper or omelet or something quick and fill up an empty corner with some fruit crumble.
I am at a loss as to how to prune our bill any further. How do you manage?