Friday, 17 January 2014

Some January thoughts on frugality

I have changed the header picture as the one I took on Tuesday was just SO January - monochrome - and I feel in need of some cheerful colour therapy, so instead we now have a summer photo on the lane to Llyn-y-Fan Fach, looking across to Black Mountain above it.

Instead of doing our grocery shopping on Saturday (our original plan), we set out for town yesterday.  Saturday's weather forecast is a little dire - heavy rain all day, and that means going from shop to shop, as we do, for the elements of our weekly shop, would be not much fun.

We have a frugal plan: I need some spending money to take to Florence in March - our eldest daughter has treated me to 4 days there.  We were hoping middle daughter could come too, but she has already used up her holiday entitlement for the past year.  Anyway, I still don't get my pension until later this year, so we are playing nip and tuck with our outgoings.  Sky has been pruned to the bare minimum (we don't need the extra room connection now Danny is in Oz), and we can live without the HD element too.  We are considering  keeping Danny's Netflix on - we are trialling the last of his subscription at present.  Some of you are probably thinking we should knock Sky on the head altogether, but my husband really enjoys tv (especially sport) and truth be told, I enjoy tv too - we watch a lot of documentaries, good dramas, and historical programmes, which come so rarely to "ordinary" tv.

Living where we are, fuel costs are unavoidable, so that accounted for £30 straight off.  Hopefully we won't need to go far at all next week, so we may be able to put less in next week.

Then first to Abergwili for fruit and veg - a tray each of apples and bananas for £1 per tray (about 6lbs of fruit in each).  Two good heads of broccoli for £1.50 the two.  Three cucumbers for £1.  A large piece of fresh ginger root 75p.

We couldn't park in Lidl - which shows you how popular it is with frugal shoppers these days - so went straight to Morrisons, added up as we went around, and spent the grand some of £39.04.  No meat was necessary as we plan to gradually work through the contents of our freezers (of which we have 2 1/2).  Then a walk up the town to visit Poundland (no way am I going to pay £2.50 plus for a tube of toothpaste when the same thing is in Poundland for £1.  I also bought a good roll of extra-wide foil there for £1, and also make-up remover pads.

Finally to Aardvark, our excellent health food shop in town, for the best bread flour I could get.  We don't eat a lot of bread, and it makes sense to make all our bread from now on (though the spelt loaves from Morrisons are excellent).  I have a good supply of bread flour, but didn't have any spelt left, and I also hankered for some stoneground wholemeal (both lots Organic).  This made a hole in the budget of £4.70, but is a good investment.

The healthy eating is still going strong and the large piece of naturally coloured smoked haddock I bought yesterday is doing two meals - steamed last night, and the other half will make Kedgereee this evening.  Pudding was fresh mango.  For lunches I am still working my way through the big pan of minestrone soup I made, and it is SO tasty when made with proper salty boiling bacon rather than snipped rashers.

I wish I could report that this healthy eating regime has brought about an amazing return to full health, but unfortunately the opposite has happened and I am off to town later to pick up a prescription for steroids as my antibiotics need a bit of help.  I am praying that the steroids will knock it on the head completely, as they did last time I took them back in May 2013.  Fingers crossed.


  1. what a lovely header, it looks very up-lifting and reminds me that Spring is not far away!

  2. Goodness the bread you made looks lovely. I must admit that bread is my downfall. The way people love sweets I love bread.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. In frugal mood I too find minestrone a very good investment. I make a huge pan full with various veg I have left - add perhaps a tin of cannelini beans and any snips of bacon. I serve it with good bread (yours looks delicious) and grated parmesan and it lasts for three days and makes good hearty meals. Good luck with those steroids.

  4. Love the new header picture. Snow is waaaay over-rated i think. Big pots of soup, on the other hand, are always yummy and welcome. Clearing freezers can be a double-edged sword: "What were we thinking when we bought this !~!" and its polar opposite "Wow, remember how much we liked that meal the first time around !~!" Fun times either way.

  5. I like your new photo header. Sorry to hear your health is not improving right now. Love soup, we used to make red pepper and lime soup, it was so tasty. I must try and get some enthusiasm to make these again-but I really don't like cooking!

  6. I did one of my ham hock menus this week. And a batch of pease pudding. Lasted us until lunchtime today!