Desperate housewife?

This week’s shopping!

 I’m back to work tomorrow, so I needed some fresh veg and fruit to pad out our meals, and the car needed its monthly fill up with diesel – that cost more. Diesel is now £1.32 a litre! I then, because I wasn’t in a hurry, mooched around Tesco, looking for any stray bargains. There were be-suited managers, changing bar codes at the speed of Olympic athletes. The only option any of us have at cutting our food costs, is to cut down on what we eat. It’ll do me good to eat less! I looked at prawns, which usually have at least one bag on offer and there were none. None of the fruit was any cheaper, the vegetables needed a mortgage to afford! I looked at frozen fish, all of which is now caught by gossamer clad nymphs in hand rowed boats with silken nets, woven by fairies – because it was that flippin’ expensive that I didn’t buy any of that either.

I managed some parsnips, spring greens, bananas, cucumber, reduced onions, reduced spuds, eggs, gluten free bread and pitta, carrots, lettuce and that was it! I did economise at dinner time. We had steamed cod, with cheese sauce (three packs for £1!) microwave rice (2 for £1 in Lidl) and some spinach, peas and carrots. The cod was half price and tucked away in the freezer and used up today. I used half of the meal I cooked to make a fish pie, that will be frozen and eaten later.

Making two meals out of one piece of cod……………everything has to go further!
Most of my garden isn’t suited to growing vegetables, but after today’s fiasco in the supermarket, I am going to have to dig up all of the flat surface at the side of my house. It doesn’t get light all day, but I hope it will get enough to make a difference to my pocket. Things will only get worse and food is getting almost unaffordable. I’ll have to rope Dearly Beloved into this plan too and we’ll have to seriously get digging and planting. It’s not digging for victory, but digging for financial survival!

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18 thoughts on “Desperate housewife?

  1. I understand what you mean about changing our habits rather than paying the higher costs. I had just decided to use meatballs in beef noodle soup rather than pay the higher cost for roast when I got back to Shirley's blog and discovered she did the same thing with pheasant! Ha! Hubs is going to have to do without store-bought white bread for French toast. I'll mill some white wheat for him (without rye, like I do for my table bread) and bake bread for soaking. It's not really suffering. They adjusted to whole grain for pizza crust, and now we prefer it. After a few weeks of white wholewheat for French toast, they won't think a thing about it.

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  2. Mmmm no pay rise in 6 years now, it is becoming harder to make ends meet. I think that we will pulling the belt even tighter. I Certainly learn something from your blog every post.
    Regards,
    John

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  3. I am trying to eeek out what i have and wait to shop until thursday when i am off work, will be taking the couple of mile walk to LIdl as their fruit and veg is a little cheaper than tesco, going to see how the prices ar ethere as i have not shopped since before xmas

    i think i will be growing salad on the windowsill, will take alook what seeds i have and will be happy to post some depending on what i have

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  4. Odd isn't it, no VAT on food but they still whack up the price. Any damned excuse!

    When I worked for a now defunct clothing chain at the last VAT rise they put on the 2.5% to take it up to 17.5% then rounded it UP to the nearest £. One week later the kids clothes went up 10% too, even though there is no VAT on it.
    Any excuse for profit!
    I have no prob with VAT rise, but I have a problem with businesses cashing in on it! After all, they do claim it back along the line!

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  5. Is there anywhere you can have an allotment for growing? Or anyone you can “share” a garden spot with?

    The same things are happening in the USA but most people eat so much junk food, they dont seem to realize it.

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  6. Here in the US, home gardening increased to the point of having a hard time to find seeds! Home canning increased 300%. Many are returning to more self sufficiency both for financial and health reasons. Many are trying to become locovors, those who shop locally, so that foods are fresher, and have less of a carbon footprint in getting it to the consumer. We had a great garden this year, and I put up a ton of jams, relish, tomatoes. I also home froze veggies that were surplus to us. I lan on doing een more. I also replenished my home canning jar supply, and was fortunate to acquire some for free through Freecycle.

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  7. Lack of light will seriously affect the veg grown – they need light. We failed so miserably trying in our garden overhung by all the neighbours' trees. This is why we ended up with an allotment. It takes the same amount of effort to fail to grow crops in poor light as it does to produce an abundance 😦 Why not have a good walk around your garden and see where you can fit in a pot or three more. You grew veg/fruit in pots and bags last year and did fine. Why not extend that a bit?

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  8. Here in Oz we're bracing for steep price increases due to the devastating floods in Queensland and up north of WA – both areas are our major produce-growing regions. We do grow a few veggies but it's actually too hot just now – things just wither in the heat (including us!).
    SueH
    Perth, Western Australia

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  9. We have plans to Dig for (financial) Victory this year too! Just can't afford Organic veg at the moment. Growing your own is a cheap alternative but being less than green fingered, we'll have to see what we actually end up with. It'll be fun trying anyway. We're going to use our front garden. You're right, the only way to make any meaningful cuts in the food bill is to eat less, which is no bad thing.

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  10. We have plans to Dig for (financial) Victory this year too! Just can't afford Organic veg at the moment. Growing your own is a cheap alternative but being less than green fingered, we'll have to see what we actually end up with. It'll be fun trying anyway. We're going to use our front garden. You're right, the only way to make any meaningful cuts in the food bill is to eat less, which is no bad thing.

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  11. It's so depressing isn't it? Whereas in previous months the cost of food has been 'sneaking' up I think that now the price differences are so marked that you can't help but notice them. I have a greenhouse that is all overgrown with weeds and I can't help but think that I really need to battle is back and sort it out in time for spring and start growing my salads for the summer!

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  12. Yes, the price of food has been going up steadily over the last few years. I really hate to go grocery shopping now. My method of saving has been to concentrate on purchasing the closeout items or the weekly lossleaders that go on sale in bulk to last me anywhere from a few months to a year for that one item. If you can do this incrementally, you will eventually have a grocery shop in your pantry purchased at rock bottom prices. As an example, I have tubs of butter/margerine purchased for 99 cents about a year ago (which was about half off the regular price). Now that same item is “on sale” for $1.99, and the regular price is well over $3. Jars of spagetti sauce in my pantry were purchased for approximately $1.40, but the regular price is close to $3!

    We have two freezers, so we also purchase meat in bulk when they are at thier rock bottom prices. Even if you start off just purchasing a couple of extra items when they are on sale, you will eventually work up to having a well stocked pantry. And I make absolutely sure that I am rotating the items to use them up before the expiration date or shortly thereafter.

    My next goal to combat the rise in prices is to start baking my own bread, which you already do! I can't get over the fact that a loaf of bread is now about $3! and my teenaged sons complain that one sandwich for lunch is not enough, so do the math! That, and I also started a vegetable garden last year. We all have to get creative to save, don't we?

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  13. Try sprouting seeds. a big jar last a week and does away with the need for lettuce etc in sandwiches. Brocollini seeds are excellent – very healthy.
    I try to buy in season. I never buy tomatoes in the winter when I buy greens and root veggies.
    Open air markets are excellent in the u.k. for fresh inexpensive produce. Stall holders are not having to pay ground rent like Tesco s. I bought some wonderful sevilles in Epping market last year – made a whole years worth of marmalade. MarMade is ok but is not that cheap.

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  14. I dread food shopping, every time I look prices have crept up or packages shrunk. Our garden is too stoney to be much use for vegetables so this year we're setting up a raised bed as well as containers. I've every intention of packing it as full as I can. The cost of diesel terrifies me too. We live in rural Northumberland and have no choice but to drive, we paid £1.33 per litre yesterday. Fiona

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  15. You could grow salad greens and easy things like courgettes on very small bits of garden, or in large containers.

    I know someone who recently got an allotment in Launceston quite easily, although I`m not sure what your situation is in Bodmin. In Hampshire, they are like gold dust.

    Good luck and enjoy your veggie gardening!

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