Stocking up the larder.

peas 85p mixed veg 65p – along with carrots, this will be enough veg for the two of us for the week  alos six pieces of pollack for £2

 Hi everyone,

Thanks to everyone who became a follower over the last twenty four hours. Welcome to my tight fisted frugal world. Recently, I’ve been asked how to cook carbonara…….watch this space. Secondly, I was asked how I know where to get certain bargains and how do I know where the best bargains are. Here goes. I keep about  the last three week’s receipts. I keep my Lidl receipt with me and if I go to Tesco, I keep my Tesco receipt with me if I go anywhere else. A few bits and bobs are cheaper in Asda or Tesco but Tesco is close to me. Fresh fruit and veg are much much cheaper in Lidl and Aldi or even local markets. Meat is cheaper in Lidl but veggie alternatives are on offer in Tesco and Asda. I buy cooking bacon from Tesco at 75p a pack. One pack will make: carbonara, a quiche and some left over for DB’s bacon sarnie for breakfast.

 The custard is 6p and the batter is 7p – my local Lidl can’t compete with that. DB likes Yorkshire puddings with his roast dinner, he also likes pancakes. I use the custard to make bread and butter pudding, can make it a bit thicker and use it for trifle.

 Like everyone, we can’t afford meat at every meal. Tesco’s only brand veggie mince was a bigger bag and much less than branded Quorn. We usually buy the much cheaper dried soya mince and rehydrate it before using it. Today, it was on offer at two bags for £3.

 My carrots utterly failed this year and my onions are not ready yet. Carrots cost 76p for two kilos and the red onions which are delicious roasted or in a salad were 89p (not cheap and can be got cheaper in Lidl)

mushy peas 17p, tuna 45p,  sweet pickle 24p

 I can’t get mushy peas in Lidl and they are lovely with home cooked fish and chips. I eat the tuna with salad for lunch, or just a few sliced tomatoes.

 We never buy fresh milk and save money by using UHT instead. I fill the cupboard as we take three days or more to get through one litre in our coffee.

When looking for cheaper items in the supermarket; you’ll need to get on your hands and knees as they always hide them on the bottom shelf. I’ve noticed I have to hunt for Tesco value products. When did tinned spaghetti go up to 17p??!!! It used to be well under 10p! Sometimes, neither of us want to eat much at all and one of DB’s favourite is spaghetti on toast. So, I make sure I’ve got a few tins in the cupboard.  I often get complimented on my long glossy hair and I never buy expensive products and always buy the supermarkets cheapest brands. Tesco coconut shampoo and conditioner makes my hair shine. You can buy very posh soap from Lidl but I like a simple and lightly scented soap. Tesco hand wash is 38p and it washes your hands just fine.

See you later with the carbonara.

Froogs xxxx

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17 thoughts on “Stocking up the larder.

  1. I can never get over how INSANELY CHEAP food is in the UK. I know you're a bargain food shopper but so am I, and my food bill is at least double what yours is, and thats just for myself and a 3yo. I made your chicken breast with pesto and bacon last night and it was lovely, thanks for the recipe.xx.

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  2. I admire the way you have managed to get yourself out of debt. As regards batter and custard – is it cheaper to buy the packets or to make it yourself from scratch with flour and custard powder?

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  3. Hi Molly – I have worked it out, if I can make it cheaper I do, if I can't make it cheaper, I buy it. I've recently bought bedroom curtains, as I couldn't make them for the price I bought them.

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  4. Compared to our prices here is Australia it seems oh so cheap. I hunt and hunt for good deals every time I shop. A few years ago we hosted British relatives and they complained about how dear food was. I took them shopping and the whinging stopped.

    I am so glad to learn more frugal ways so I thank you.

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  5. One good tip is to always check and compare price per kg or litre for similar products from different brands and even for products from the same brand but different amounts. For instance, I use stock cubes from a certain brand and have found that the packets they call value packs are actually more expensive per kg than the smaller packs!

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  6. Greetings from Canada! I've been following your blog with great interest for the past 3 months or so, and am thoroughly enjoying it! (I was especially moved by your piece about Amy Winehouse and “lost” children.) But, what I really wanted to say here is like what Kitty says about the price of food in the UK. We actually lived in the Southeast from 1999 to 2005, but found the opposite true: it was cheaper here in N. America than in the UK. But the reverse is now true, and we really saw that this summer when we were over visiting relatives. I think one of things that's most irritating here is the fact that tax is added ON TOP of the ticketed price. So, the price you see on the shelf is only 87% of the price you're going to be paying at the till. It's good for keeping one's maths skills sharp, but is an added insult to watching the consumer price index outpace our increasingly modest cost-of-living increases … and it's only going to get worse. This is why I enjoy your blog so much: your advice about cutting corners and changing our consumer ways is very inspirational! Thank you!

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  7. Great tips as always! I defrosted my freezer over the weekend and my what goodies we found! Why is it I always forget what we have in it? Any way I used up all the stale looking/ freezer burnt bread and made bread pudding and the frizzer bananas made the most divine banana bread.

    I've also put together a meal plan for the next few days so I won't be doing any food shopping now till after our holiday, approximately 3 weeks.

    X x

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  8. good stock up tips. The reason the canned spaghetti has jumped in price is because there is a durum wheat shortage. Major impact here in the US as the crop was basically whipped out, and it was too late to replant. Watch for soaring flour, pasta, baked goods prices.

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  9. Before I forget: in response to “please may I?” I keep a list of what's in the freezer which I continually update. E.g. Spag Bol a) b) means two lots of bolognaise sauce for the household. When I get one lot out of the freezer, I cross out b) so I know one's still in there. I get it all out and rewrite the list before I do a big monthly shop and I can easily count how many meals are in the freezer.
    FQ: Can I ask, please; is the veggie mince made of mushroom protein like quorn or is it soya? I shop in Asda because we get staff discount and I bought some soya mince to give it a try, but haven't done so yet. I love quorn but Asda don't do an own brand version and I wondered if you got Tesco's version.

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  10. Thanks for posting this, Froogs.

    In response to Kitty and Suze, you can't really compare food prices in different countries unless you're doing so in the same currency. Droughts and things play a part, too.

    As an Aussie who's been here 22 years (I got stuck), it used to be that what $1 bought me at home, £1 would buy me here. That was true up until the drought years of the early 2000's, when food prices rose dramatically in Oz. Last time I looked it the ratio was somewhere closer to the real exchange rate for our currencies but that was a while ago when $1AUD=£0.43GBP; I don't know what it would be now. (When I first arrived in the UK the price differential was even worse – £1 would only buy $0.50 worth of whatever.)

    However, applying the £1 = $1 scale for a moment, people here generally earn half what they'd earn in Australia or the US. So we are paying proportionally more for our food than we would in those countries. We also earn less than our northern European counterparts (much easier to compare now that there is almost parity between the Pound and the Euro).

    Having recently grocery shopped in France, I'd say that our French neighbours pay slightly more for food than we do but the quality of what they buy is far better than we'd get here.

    – Pam

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  11. Sorry Froogs, I admire most of your cost saving techniques but I am afraid cheap meat is a total no-go for me.

    This is largely because of the animal cruelty involved in producing it – no matter how skint we are I will never sell out on animal cruelty 😦

    Each to their own and I respect your choice, though it is a shame.

    Nice one on the baking though, it always makes me want to go home and get my hands dirty.

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  12. We have cooking bacon available in our local Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys here but they have started selling it already chopped up which means that I can't trim the extra fat off. I'm really disappointed about this as I used to buy it quite often.

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