Friday, 7 February 2014

Frugal shopping

I had orders to do a frugal shop this week.  "See if you can keep it under £20" my husband suggested.  Whilst we didn't need a great deal, I could see problems in keeping it that low as we had just run out of bird seed and I  felt the birds were still very reliant on what we were putting out.  Another month and I might have been able to not feel so guilty.  At all events, I have been cutting back what they get and they just have half a measure morning and evening, when they are hungriest.

Anyway, the shop started at the greengrocery outlet at Abergwili.  We spent £7:

20 Cox's apples (6 1/2 lbs weight) £2
a box of mostly still green bananas (6 1/2 lbs weight) £1 (for quick sale)
a tub of cherry tomatoes 50p
a cucumber 50p
2 sweet potatoes £1
Bag of onions (just over 2lbs) 50p
11/2 lbs carrots 50p
7 Mineola tangerines £1

We had some vouchers to use in Tesco (though we don't do much shopping there as a rule, just odds and sods), plus a "spend £20 and get £3 off" which is worth having (better than Morrison's spend £45 and get £2.30 off anyway).

My shopping list was written down over the past week as I got low on things:

Rapeseed Oil
2 bottles sparkling Mineral Water
AA batteries
AAA batteries
Plain Flour for baking x 2
6 tins cat food (whatever's on offer)
(Butter) - could wait until next week, and so it has been put on next week's list.

Extras were two lots of Cheese, a bag of OO grade flour for home-made pasta, some French beans and a can of Diet Coke as my brain was feeling like mush by that time, as I have been awake 5 a.m. or earlier all this week.

I had some vouchers which needed using up so added a couple of extras to what I bought - venison steaks on offer at £4, plus I had £1 off;and milk at £1 less 35p off; 25p off a stirfry pack, which then cost me 75p,  plus the £8 coupons, and 40p off the multi-buy cat food as it made sense to buy 2 packs and have one spare, thus making a saving on price.

The dearest thing of all was the batteries which cost £3 per pack (£6 in all).  Normally we would get them from the £1 shop, but were going on to view an auction, so didn't have time.  They cost TWICE as much as the venison steaks!  Crazy.

My indulgence (for £1) was . . . 

this magazine, which had several recipes I liked the look of, and gave details of how I could get £25 for submitting a recipe, which appealed to me!  Fingers crossed they use one of mine when I get them sent off.

Total Tesco shop was £27.47 after reductions, which allowed a little towards the birdseed at £11.50 from Charlies in town.  (Cheapest place).

I was awake at 4 a.m. this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.  So I crept downstairs and blew the dust off the sewing machine to turn a bit of spare material (I think it was 50p worth in Brecon one time) into a cover for my breadmaker.  The bias binding was in a £2 box of sewing bits from auction, so cost pence too.  Job well done!


  1. I love that cheery cover but I can't imagine making it in the early hours!
    Re the birds and their feed - I think there is so much in the hedge bottoms this year and as there is no snow the birds would rather forage there for most of the time. Our cotoneaster horizontalis - which is usually quite irresistible to blackbirds is still absolutely covered in berries.

  2. Our shopping ALWAYS comes to more than I want to spend. Sometimes it is the 'good buys' which find their way into the cart--worthwhile I tell myself. The non-edibles--laundry and dish soap, toilet paper, and of course cat food and litter are all lumped into what we term 'grocery shopping'--not strictly true, but it is usually all spent in one place.
    G. would covet your cover if she could see it. I sometimes think of sewing when I can't sleep but suspect my brain would not rise to the challenge.

  3. Everything seems so expensive-like washing powder/liquid-I just can't believe how much this has gone up! Great cover for your bread machine. I was woken up at 3.30am by a vomiting cat....who has been ill recently, it took ages to get back to sleep and all too soon the alarm went off to get up...I feel really tired this evening. However on a high note there are just 2 slices of chocolate birthday cake left so they will be scoffed tonight!

  4. You did really well with your frugal shop. There`s something very satisfying about it isn`t there? I wish you lived nearer as our greengrocer does huge sacks of onions for under £2 but I need someone to share them with!

    Hope you have a better sleep tonight.

  5. Pat - I think we have idle birds as they are there in their dozens, scoffing seed - having chucked out the "not-so-tasty" bits which the jackdaws then swoop down on! I am just feeding them at both day ends now, rather than always keeping it topped up (too expensive).

    Sharon - Well, I was in a sewing mood for once, and it was a job I had wanted to do the previous day, then ran out of time. All the groceries come under the same heading, be they toiletries or whatever. We just buy them from different places - e.g. where on offer the cheapest! It means shopping takes longer, but saves SO much money. I am still cross because the batteries were so dear yesterday.

    suzie - we try and buy washing powder when it's on offer. A genuine offer that is, not double the price and then pretend it's "1/2 price" a fortnight later. We are also very frugal with it - a big pack lasts us a couple of months at the rate we use it which is about 1/4 of the amount recommended, if not less. Lidl are best for loo rolls and kitchen rolls.

    DW - you will have to ask one of the neighbours if they would like to share on bulk buys like that. Our local bod does BIG sacks of carrots too. Some of them are termed pony carrots, but made into soup you'd not know the difference!