Day light robbery.

 I’ve just returned from Tesco, from being fleeced, from being robbed and can honestly say that the Light Brigade made less ridiculous charges! Some food items are now 25% higher than before Christmas. The cheap items are just the junk food that they pile high. The basics are much more expensive. We shop fortnightly and we are really feeling the squeeze. We are having to add more pulses, more rice, more potatoes and more soya to our diet every time. We have bought meat, but we will only eat that every other day. Tinned meat is looking cheaper but only in comparison with fresh and a tin of corned beef is now £1.50, whilst last summer, it was about 79p a tin. Now, even a corned beef hash is expensive.

Frugality is no longer a life style choice, it’s a matter of survival. It’s literally, your money or your life. Today, I kick myself that I didn’t have foresight, that I didn’t look into the future and I didn’t see this coming. Now, every day is about preparing for tomorrow. If something is being sold as a lost leader, and you use it, and you can afford to stock up, then do so. Today it was laundry liquid. My Tesco, no longer stocks the Value soap powder or Value Laundry liquid, which washed our clothes just fine. So, if your local supermarket has it, then stock up. They always sold these products at a near loss, and they can’t do that any more. If you see flour for under 70p a bag, then buy a year’s supply if you can keep it. Keep your eyes open in the discount stores and compare with supermarket prices, it’s going to get a lot worse and we all need to think, not only about tomorrow, but the months ahead, when recent global weather impact world food prices. I’m having a gloomy weekend, where I am actually being faced with the reality, that I might not be able to live and pay off my debts as quickly as I’m doing. It’s going to be tough.

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35 thoughts on “Day light robbery.

  1. Yes! I agree, I went to Tesco yesterday to do my 2-week shop (Trying to do one bigger shop for 2 weeks instead of going every week, an attempt to save money) and spent most of the time walking round the aisles tutting at how much prices seem to have jumped even just in the last week.
    It made me come home and plan my vegetable garden with extra vim! I'm only going to have one 4×4 veggie patch, but I'm going to squeeze every bit of productivity out of it I can. Plus pots. Food prices seem to be getting worse every week! 😦

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  2. I have noticed this too, its highway robbery without out the highway.

    I buy my corned beef from Aldi its a bit cheaper there, make it do two meals one as stovies and one salad, slive the meat with the slicer.

    Flour is horrendous and once it has gone up it will saty at that price……Asda do a plain strong bread floyr for 50p but the shelf is always empty!! The last bread flour I got was hovis white and wholemeal from AF two bags of each, have about 4 bags in the cupboard…..was thinking of buying in bulk from Dove's farm 25kg sacks for £20.

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  3. I think prices have gone up substantially since Christmas too.
    I am trying to be careful with bulk buys – and just decanting a small amount at a time. there is the temptation with a big container to take an over-generous portion.
    I have changed the cup I usually use for measuring my rice to a slightly smaller one. Even if it is only 5% smaller, that means I am getting twenty portions instead of nineteen! Every little helps!!!

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  4. I didnt realise there was another Lizzie and thought I had already commented! Prices have gone mad and its reasonable to complain. In the 5th or 7th biggest economy in the world (depending on how it is measured) we should be able to afford to just shop sensibly without having to choose between that and heating the home. And we should be able to afford to help those less well off.

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  5. Hi Lizzie, read the caveat on the side of my blog. My 'comments' section is not the place to slag me off, nor anyone else who is frugal. We all have our reasons. Email me, get my address, come to my house and do it to my face, not anonymously when you don't have a blog yourself and can not be contacted. Sorry to be so harsh, but as I said, we all have a reason for what we do. Including, in my case, of being a life long supporter of Oxfam. So, don't accuse me of not thinking of others when you don't know the full facts.

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  6. o god i am literally dreading the trip to the shops for my stock up …meat is so totaly over priced at the moment and its only going to get worse..have started getting bits and bobs from lidl and aldi much cheaper..went to farmfoods for meat in the end..not too bad but i'm trying to make sure every meal we have is bulked out with veg..so grateful for my allotments and all the veg we can grow..

    Frugal have you tried to make your own laundry liquid and fabric conditioner..we did and it will save me £180 a year on wash powder and much the same on fabric conditioner…ignore comments from others who walk around with their heads up their arses..whilst we struggle and make do they will regret it one way or the other..
    take care hun..
    sara

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  7. Hi Sl. tudor- I did make my own soap, and I made luxury soap very cheaply and I have enough to last the year. We wear our clothes until they have sweat stains! so my homemade soap didn't get them clean. I usually buy Tesco Value 1.5KG of bio soap powder for around £1.60 my local Tesco, say, ****ing liars as far as I'm concerned, that the value range didn't sell there and they have demands for other products so they don't sell it any more – I buy what's on offer, today it was Surf – I try to buy bio, so it takes less and cleans with cooler water. my homemade soap powder, left clothes looking dingy and as I dry indoors, they smelt stale

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  8. You are right here, Froogs – the prices are going up so drastically that it is getting very difficult to budget for a shopping trip when the prices change from one trip to the next.
    I have found Approved Food and Big Brands For Less and I am adding them into my strategies for keeping our food costs within budget. The veg garden is also part of the plan, as well as more vegetarian type foods.
    I am also looking at the fruit that I buy. I will not compromise on having fruit available for the children but I am considering which fruit, and the portion sizes more carefully – I have been spending £5 a week just on clementines!! That has got to change as it is unsustainable…
    I am using big bags of breadmix from BB4L to make my own bread and it is coming in at about 25p a large loaf, so that is sliced up and frozen as I am making 2 or 4 loaves at a time. I am not using a breadmachine for that so I maximise use of the oven by making more than one at a time.
    And shopping around has to be part of the overall plan – looking at the prices at other shops and comparing them to find the cheapest overall shop for the items we need.
    Portion comparison also has to come into it – I can make tuna pasta bake using a tin of tuna for 59p, which when I add in some veggies, some pasta and some sauce, comes to about £1.50 for three portions. That is a more cost effective way to feed three people than steak and chips with a side salad. We have had to think carefully about the types of meals we eat, and make them as tasty and nutritionally sound as we can, whilst still fitting it all into the budget plan…..and stocking up when you find bargains, as you suggest, is essential nowadays!

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  9. I've found the best way to buy my meat at the moment is to get it when I see the lady in the coop reducing it!! Even if it means a big spend occasionally, I can freeze it and make it last. Otherwise I've been padding out meals with extra root veg.

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  10. Yes it all a bit of a worry..makes budgeting very difficult because you never know how much they are going to hike the prices up week by week.
    On the washing/laundry front,I use plain old washing soda (about 90p a bag)and cheap stores own fabric conditioner. I use 2/3 tablesoons of washing soda and half a cap of conditioner per load, and it washes just fine (economy setting 30).After all our everyday clothes are not heavily soiled are they…more sweaty than anything…but we won't go into that!lol!
    All I can say is it works for me and is a bit cheaper than some of these fancy washing powders.
    Good luck with the shopping..I'm going tomorrow..wish me luck!

    Vicky

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  11. Frugal thats a shame about the wash liquid..so far it has worked well for me and i have lots of questionable stains to deal with (not me but the tots)..tescos do sell it..they just want more money from your pocket..keeps their profits healthy..as for the comments about its not fair..life isn't but letting off steam on your own blog is acceptable..if others don't like it then don't read it..go elsewhere to get what your looking for..
    sara

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  12. It doesn't seem that we have it as bad here in the US, but I definitely find I have to be more creative. I try to look at every bit of edible material as usable and although it takes time, it helps. I just pulled three pieces of bread from the fridge, two end pieces and one slice. Rather than toss that, I whizzed them up to make bread crumbs. This way, when I cut a single chicken breast in half, I can stuff and roll the crumbs with something else to make it go further. Or I can use them to thicken soup.

    Before I became frugal, I used to throw small portions or odds and ends away. Now I look at those pieces of bread and realize that they are worth 4 cents a piece. How can I complain a can of beans has gone up 12 cents when I'm going to turn around and throw that out if I discard the bread.

    A happy life is all about being willing to adjust how we view things…

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  13. You are so right about kicking yourself over opportunities not taken and lack of foresight. I have started shopping at Lidl and a couple of weeks ago their Nescafe decaf was £2.99 for a big jar. I only bought one but at the time thought I should be buying more. The following week it was up to £4.99 and yesterday it was £5. We go through a jar a week so why didn't I stock up when I had the chance? I won't make that mistake again…

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  14. I've noticed the price hike too! It hits us two ways as my other half runs a food business which in these hard times is a struggle anyway so you can't really raise prices or you lose what custom you have but the cost of your stock is going up all the time. I'm vegan so don't have the meat worry thankfully and I'd encourage everyone to try incorporate some veggie or vegan dishes into their menu plans as some have suggested as it can prove cheaper but even for we we vegans who want to eat a healthy and appetising diet budgeting is becoming a real struggle.

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  15. Just a thought, does anyone else shop without using supermarkets apart from the co-op like I do? This decision was taken a long time ago because I hate the relentless march of Tesco and their ilk closing down the competition by pricing them out then having a monopoly so holding customers to ransom. This almost total control of the Market means the chickens are coming out to roost. Trying to shop at independent businesses can be difficult and can seem expensive but it does have the advantage of stopping many impulse buys as there aren't vast aisles of “stuff” to choose from.

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  16. As a passionate hater of all things to do with Tesco – their quality price/price is appalling – I count myself lucky to shop in a town with no Tesco whatsoever. I've discovered recently however, that Morrisons do the most amazing late afternoon discounts on perishable goods. The price of flour, on the other hand, is another matter… Sounds as if you've had a really fiancially stressful weekend. Hold on in there… J

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  17. don't get down; I think you are doing a great job and you are an inspiration! Plus the less you can buy , the less you will eat and gain weight (tongue in cheek!). Lynda from PA, USA

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  18. we havent seen any significant price hikes here yet, i guess the flow on will hit us soon. saying that, a lettuce at the moment is $4.99 which i refuse to pay. next season i hope to have another garden bed in so will have salad crops. we have been able to buy quite a few specials on meat lately. chicken down to $4.99 a kilo instead of $12.99 and bits of gravy beef 1/2 price. your food sounds a lot cheaper than ours. a 3kg bag of flour is over $3.00 potatoes have been over $2 a kg lately too but saw them down to $1 yesterday. our average spend per week is about $80 for 2, my step daughter spends $300 per week, 2 adults, a baby and 2 year old, dunno what shes buying!! i see lots of people buying $300 worth at the checkout. thats my weeks wages!

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  19. I too noticed the significant increase in price, I mentioned it on another blog – a loaf of bread has gone up at least 20p, and last week I bought flour, and could not believe that it had gone up somewhere between 40 and 50p a 1.5kg bag since the last one I bought. There are some deals to be had, but you have to look around really hard and also have extra disposable cash to buy them with – I managed to get some cheaper veg on Saturday, even though I would not normally have bought them until tomorrow, but knew how much more they would cost at my 'regular' supermarket. Not sure what the answer is, even if there is one – I cannot see how you could cut back much more. Sorry, not very helpful, but very sympathetic!

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  20. Like another of your followers I, too, have recently discovered Morrisons early afternoon discounts…
    They reduce things to a decent amount it seems..
    The trouble with looking about if you live away from the shops is PETROL..
    When we move from here, it will be in the town, so we can easily walk to the shops, and not have to get in the car everyday.
    Before children, me and my oh used to walk round all the supermarkets of an evening getting all the reduced items from them then…
    Have a good week Fq X

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  21. I spent less this month on groceries than I ever have before.
    Our electricity is going up 3.5% each year,we have had a log fire installed because as we are so remote our choice for fuel is propane or electricity.(We do not have central heating).We do not have a 'hot' house yet our propane bills were $1000 per month. We could not afford them, so in went the log fire. We can cut some wood from the property to help. You are right FQ..we are all fighting for survival.
    Jane x

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  22. Here in Kentucky, when I first noticed the organic butter a month ago, it was on sale for two pounds for $5 dollars. now it's $5.99 per pound. yikes. The more organics I want to buy, the more I'll have to spend, so I'll have to change everything about the way I cook to do so. seems every price in the stores is going through the roof!

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  23. Prices on the rise here, too. I just have a hard time believing it's all necessary. Some things have gone up hardly at all, then others skyrocket. I think they take advantage of all the recession talk to make a bigger profit. . . . Appreciate your honesty regarding the home detergent. I tried the homemade stuff, too, and it just didn't work in my machine at all. Left everything dingy. But if I wash things in buckets and rinse extra, it does pretty well for things like T-shirts that aren't terribly soiled. When it was all said and done, the ALL and Tide concentrate for HE's has worked the best in our hard water. Think it just depends on where you are.

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  24. I thought I was imagining that it had all got much more expensive!!!

    We try to shop in Aldi as much as possible for everything, I have started only eating Freedom Farm meat but it is rediculously expensive (and you can only get it in Sainsburys or Tescos round here), so we are mainly vegetarian (although that is rediculously expensive as well) and as for petrol…
    I love living in the middle of the countryside, but its not cheap as we have to drive to get anywhere!

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  25. For a few years now I have been running the household with a yearly budget for food buying instead of a fixed weekly, monthly shop.I use a number of strategies to keep our food costs minimal, cook from scratch, batch cook, bulk buy on good deals, use bargain retailers like Approved Foods, Big Brands for less and Food Bargains,plus wholesalers like costco I bottle , dehydrate,freeze and preserve bulk buys/gluts,bake my own bread, grow a lot of our own fruit and veggies and forage for others.I have a few hens for eggs. (when they are laying) and I trade with friends for items when opportunities arise. I also joined the local LETS group which often has the offer of pheasants/geese or surplus produce, preserves and baking available. I have a huge stockpile of stored food and baking goods all of which have been bought at the lowest price possible.Friends and relatives used to laugh at my stores but I am able to provide a variety of healthy meals for me and OH at very low cost and still ensure that we have a minimum of 5 a day fruit and veggie portions,by maximising the use of tinned and dried fruits,preserved produce, fruit juice, pulses,and sprouted seeds.By doing all these things I am able to also buy some luxury items when needed, such as over xmas time.
    I see my foodstores as money in the bank,food prices are increasing at such a rate that the contents of my stores are probably worth several times what I paid for them and definately have beaten the pathetic interest my money would have earned in the bank otherwise.
    We have a zero food waste policy at home and I squeeze the value out of every bit of food I buy.
    I think more people will eventually decide to bulk buy and trips to the supermarket will become fewer and further between as they buy tinned goods by the case, cheese in 5kg blocks,bacon in 5lb packs etc and realise how much profit supermarkets are making on these items.
    It takes a while to build up your stores but once they are up and running it can save a fortune. Our total food budget for 2010 was £900 for two of us and we ended the year with two full freezers, a huge store of dried and tinned goods and baking stuff and a cupboard full of preserves.I am trying to reduce that even further this year by increasing the veggies we grow and more foraging. It can be done 🙂 just takes a change of mindset.

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  26. Bearing in mind that we manage to produce our own eggs, milk, meat and (not this year !) vegetables – other than that I get everything in Lidls. Their soap powder is very reasonable, btw, and excellent quality.
    Here's a tip though, if you shop in Lidl – if something is on offer for a spell (see: their bread flour which used to be 60p. It was on offer at 50p for several weeks over Christmas and New Year) when it comes OFF offer, the price takes a hike. (It's now 69p – just like that). So if it's got the date on it, buy like mad when it's on offer – I shan't be using 69p flour for quite a while!
    I don't know if other stores do it, but Lidl definitely do.

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  27. Prices are going up like mad here in Florida. I work in a grocery store and see the changes daily. Today one of my customers came in for a Sunday paper and picked up a few muffins from the bakery. He asked me how much they were and I told him they were $1.00 each. As I was handing him his receipt I had to apologize to him and tell him the muffins were now $1.30 each.

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  28. I know this sounds so frivolous but I went to buy so Valentine chocolates to just have in a bowl. I usually buy a few bags. Today I bought one bag for $3.79, and a small bag at that. I won't be popping those in my mouth whenever I feel like it. One every day or two, or twice a week. I guess I don't need more than that anyway.

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  29. Hey FQ, Here in Australia, our food prices are starting to go through the roof due to the recent floods in the Eastern half of the country. Fresh fruit, vegetables, wheat products, and beef are all set to rise over 100% in some instances. Our country is living proof that climate change is beginning to trash the global food system.

    Gav x

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  30. An interesting post and some great responses. Our weekly food bill usually comes in at around £35 (including cat food), it's definately gone up a little recently as we used to manage on around £30 a week last year.
    Being vegetarian really keeps the costs down as, having originally trained as a chef, does cooking everything from scratch.
    We've noticed that in our local 24hour Asda that sunday at 3pm is the time for huge reductions as the shop shuts for restocking at 4pm. We'll stock up on fancy breads, cheeses and fresh vegetables often for as little as 10p-20p an item.
    We were baking our own bread but when you can get wholemeal tin loaves reduced to 10p it's not worth the time or effort.
    I've also noticed that the ethnic food section is far more reasonable than Asda's own brands. I can get 4 cans of chick peas for £1 whereas their label is 48p per can, same with tinned tomatoes and kidney beans, all of which are excellent mealtime staples.
    Lidl washing powder (non bio) is reasonable priced and I'm very happy with it's performance.
    Keep up the good work. x

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  31. I think all the supermarkets have increased their prices, Morrisons certainly have, even on their basic range. I think this is just the beginning and prices will get higher,where will it end? x

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  32. Hi Lizzie,

    As others have said, Australian food prices are going up too, due to a combination (ironically) of droughts and floods. Water and power bills are up enormously too. It's difficult to grow vegies in our part of the country because the cost of water is so high (and due to rise another 70% over the next two years) but we also get extremely high temperatures (many days over 40C) that kill anything that doesn't get water.

    I'm not sure where it's going to end. I look at American blogs and their food seems amazingly cheap compared to ours – economies of scale, I guess.

    Kate

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  33. Speaking as someone from the US side of the pond, we have seen prices slowly rise all over. From what I've been able to see, while we get loads of coupons, its more of a rare thing over there. For example, today I picked up 8 rolls of loo paper for .50 cents because of coupons! However I am inspired by the Make do and Mend frame of mind – now I need to learn how to do things like can, sew etc hehe

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