We’ll eat again!

Hello Dear Readers,

Thanks for the comments yesterday, I always enjoy reading them. You will have noticed that there was no fruit on that list of meals yesterday, well…… I don’t eat very much of it. I have a lot of frozen blackberries in the freezer and a lot of cooked apple, which I will use in pies and crumbles over the winter. I’ll also use tinned fruit but I rarely eat any fruit in the winter as it’s not in season and it’s way too expensive. Most of it is imported which is why it’s so expensive. We will treat ourselves to some satsumas and oranges over Christmas, but not much else. So where, you may ask, do we get our vitamins – well, from seasonal veg.

Cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts, leeks and especially red cabbage are full of vitamins. I don’t over cook them and bulk every meal with an abundance of leafy veg. Red cabbage and grated raw carrots, with a few tinned mixed cooked beans make a wonderful winter salad. Shredded savoy cabbage is a brilliant addition to stir fry and leeks, steamed and then added to mashed potatoes are just delicious, try adding a liberal sprinkling of black pepper to your mashed potato.

Anyone of my mother’s age, who grew up with very little fruit, due to a lack of imports (“there’s a war on you know!”) functioned well without fresh fruit because they did what ever they could with as many seasonal and easily available un-rationed vegetables. Here in winter, you can buy three or four huge leeks for £1, a massive cabbage for 50p, a kilo of carrots for under £1 and a huge bunch of broccoli for around 60p. We can buy perfectly good frozen green beans, again a kilo for well under £1. Kale is my favourite, easy to grow and best after a frost, as  are Brussel Sprouts, and very cheap. Today, we had a mock roast of sausages, parsnips, potatoes, all roasted in a small dish in the mini oven, with cabbage, carrots and green beans, with some gravy. With that many veggies, I only eat two small sausages and the rest of my plate is veg.

I’ve noticed fruit becoming so expensive, even the tinned variety that we eat. I can though recommend cooked  apple, eaten  with custard! A real taste of my childhood that I still love in the depths of winter when the apple is sprinkled with cinnamon. So, over to you dear reader…………what is just too expensive for you to eat now and what do you substitute it with? I don’t miss fruit, as to be honest, I’m not a lover of anything sweet, but what do you miss that you just can’t afford any more? For me, it’s deep hot baths!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs

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25 thoughts on “We’ll eat again!

  1. For me its my dishwasher ,it broke during the summer and i cant justify the money on a new one.
    I have started to think more about seasonal food.On a recent trip to France we noticed lorry after lorry coming in and out of the Uk with non British plates. It frustrates me that our food travels so far.
    nto
    x

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  2. Don't think there's anything I really miss, except I do love kippers and smoked fish, but not prepared to pay the prices they ask for them.
    Sometimes find them whoopsied though, and they freeze OK.

    Also used to enjoy a pint or two of Guinness, but it's so priced out I don't bother. Make my own beer, and even using the most expensive kits, it works out at 60p a pint, and usually tastes better than some of the dishwater beers you get in the pub.

    And port, a real treat is port and stilton, sadly both far too expensive, and cheap port's not worth carrying home. Except very rarely a half price offer comes along on a decent bottle. And even rarer is there any stilton whoopsied, so we don't get to eat much stilton. Sometimes the nice seasonal presentation packs of a half bottle port and a nice lump of stilton are left over after Christmas and reduced, so we might get lucky next month.

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  3. I don't think vegetables are cheap at all – if you buy them from the usual supermarkets and many people have to. Those prices are well below anything I see here. I know I have recently shuddered at the price of both broccoli and leeks and put them back. I do have a market but often they put mouldy stuff in with the good stuff and often it comes to more than Sainsbury's or Tesco.

    If it wasn't for Aldi now selling good quality cheap veg I wouldn't be able to eat as much as I do. That is a fairly recent development though and I do wonder if they will be able to keep it up (not good for the growers either!) Not everyone has an Aldi nearby. Luckily I do.

    Aldi sells cheap fruit as well as veg and as a great fruit lover as well as veg lover I buy as much as I can. Growing is not an option, both because I have no garden and anything I touch withers and dies.

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  4. Hi Sara – I get cabbage from Tesco for 59p, leeks I pick up in Lidl and got 3 fat ones for 1.10, I got a huge cauliflower, which will last us all week, for 75p in lidl and they are the same price in tesco, a swede is 59p in lidl and again, similar in tesco, carrots are 89p for 2 kilos in tesco – I spend about £5 a week on veggies to last us both for the week, but I only buy seasonal – i know, a bit boring, but I can't afford to be fussy

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  5. I buy fruit (Granny Smith & small oranges) for husband to take to work. He had heart attack in 2005 so I'm trying to ensure he is at least fed reasonably well, as he runs own business, off sick means no money! I like bananas & the occasional small orange but somehow forget to eat it.

    I did buy some Aldi cauliflower cheese, frozen expected it to be mushy but it was really surprisingly good!

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  6. I buy most of my veg from Aldi and generally whatever is on their special offer which gives a nice mixture as the offers change every couple of weeks. We've had a lot of leeks lately because they were 49p for 2 big ones and also big swedes for 49p. I also get to eat veg that otherwise I'd consider too expensive like butternut squash, sweet potatos and fresh peppers. potataos I get from Farmfoods who have 2 x 2kg bags for £1 and their onions and carrots are also 2 bags for £1. Our Aldi sometimes has good reduced price fruit and veg but I've noticed lately that they're knocking less and less money off stuff that they reduce for quick sale so I've not been buying much from there. I don't eat much fresh fruit either. DH likes apples so I buy a couple of bags a week, but I only really eat bananas fresh and cooking apples adn blackberries when we go foraging in late summer/autumn, but I do like tinned fruit from time to time and value peaches are very cheap.

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  7. Good post, Froogs. I have always eaten seasonally, it's what my family did. I garden and belong to a CSA, so I put up surplus for Winter months. Salads become ridiculously expensive but I use some tricks to afford them: buy Romaine or other leafy lettuce when on sale $2/bunch, top with grated carrot-usually $1/lb, shredded cabbage-well under $1/lb. I then top with home pickled veggies, marked down veggies/fruits. Coleslaw-either traditional or a fruited one, appears more frequently in Winter. I have staples year round: potatoes, onion, carrot, celery. Currently, I also have parsnips, yams, as well as scallions and Japenese salad turnips, garlic, pie pumpkin, a large Hubbard squash, a ton of butternut from the CSA. everything else is fzn, canned or dried.
    For fresh fruits, I have apples,cranberries, red grapefruit, clementines, marked down bananas and grapes. Otherwise we are eating canned and dried, some fzn. I also have a ton of home made fruit preserves, fruit sauces for Winter.

    Balance is essential for nutrition, and I agree that it's best to avoid imports for $ as well as health reasons (some countries can use banned herbicides on their foods and import them here). I also agree that there are many healthful veggies that are excellent sources for vitamins.

    We do look forward to fresh rhubarb season come May; meanwhile I have 2 types of rhubarb sauce, some fzn chunks of rhubard, 2 types of rhubard preserves to see us through.

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  8. Its heating full blast! Instead we pile on the jumpers.

    We have no issues with veg as inlays have an allotment and now so do we.

    Thought of your shopping today, ours for three of us for two weeks came to £50.

    X x

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  9. Being in Australia, I still read this and am left amazed at how cheaply you can get food (even on sale, our prices are significantly higher).

    I see things a little differently – perhaps I'm less frugal. I'm not a big fruit fan, never have been. So if I really want something a bit special – a pineapple, some lychees (in season), a mango, even a big sweet crisp apple – I do allow myself the treat. I find if I resist a craving for something healthy, I'll end up wanting something unhealthy and give in to that instead.

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  10. Ooo as a complete indulgence it has to be having my legs waxed… properly by a professional. Just no justification for it anymore.

    I refused to buy Steaws for a birthday pavolva due toprice despite it being a once a year treat for someone who does not do birthday cake – rasps, brambles and cheap blueberries and kiwi were order of the day. And that was still expensive!!!

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  11. All that lovely green veg looks wonderful. I have problems absorbing iron, so I eat as much iron rich food as I can, I know when my levels are dropping when I'm really craving kale and greens. I make a delicious minestrone soup in bulk which freezes well and is full of cabbage, carrots, tinned tomatoes, onions, garlic and beans. I love to have plenty in the freezer. By the way, I have converted everyone I know to the Tesco Value custard powder, thank you for the tip.

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  12. I do enjoy fruit, but bottled and froze lots of windfall apples and plums over the summer to keep us going. I buy oranges when on offer in supermarket, or on the market.

    I use dto miss a newspaper
    but not now

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  13. Well we don't have seasonal veg here right now, nothing grows in the snow at 40 below. I buy veg that is on sale and we eat every bit of it. I do try to have bananas in the house if they are decent and whatever fruit that is on sale at a reasonable price. We do love the mandarin oranges at Xmas time but get those on sale too.
    I miss buying something because I want it in the food line instead of waiting for it to go on sale.

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  14. Hi Frugal Queen, Here in the good ole' USA brussel sprouts are $4 for a small amount and leeks are around that price too. All the so called “seasonal” veggies are not cheap here. Nothing is! I do buy some apples, bananas and pears because my husband is diabetic and he has to have some kind of snack he can eat that's healthy and not packed with sugar. According to what type of apples you buy here, they are anywhere from $1.59 – $2.49 per lb. Not cheap! It's getting ridiculous to eat healthy here and make ends meet. We have a small garden and this year something went wrong with the garden because we wound up with very little veggies from it. Even our tomatoes didn't thrive which is weird because we usually get alot of tomatoes. I'm happy to learn that you can buy seasonal vegs where you live for a reasonal price.

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  15. I guess I'm really lucky (although I worked damn hard for that luck!!), our freezers are full of our homegrown produce.

    We grow all our own veggies and lots of fruit. In our freezers I still have strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, damsons, rhubarb, cooked apple and pears and all the veggies you can think of.

    I experiment with freezing different things each year and the methods of freezing them, nothing has proved inedible yet.

    What isn't frozen I put in jars, tomato sauces and all kinds of veggie soups, pickles, chutneys, and lots of fruit jams. This is how our ancesters used to get their Winter vitamins by eating fruits in jams and compotes all carefully bottled and stored and this is whatI have been working towards. It's taken me three years to be able to stash away nearly a whole seasons bounty but I'm almost there.

    We are so lucky to have freezers, and by keeping them full they run more economically. I will have a 'blip' as we move and I have to let stocks diminish but then it will be full steam ahead again.

    I agree with you wholeheatedly that we should eat seasonally, it is the only way to be able to afford the foods that our bodies need for good health (and help the environment at the same time).

    Next year I have a major challenge going on so I need to be prepared.

    Sue xx

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  16. I don't have a Lidl and the Supermarket I am particuarly referring to is Sainsbury's. The quality of 'fresh' produce has been so poor in Tesco that aside from the prices being expensive – which they are here, (It maybe a while since I looked in there as I have been put off, but I do remember putting suede down as it was really expensive and not being able to afford the veg I needed to make a stew) I did get leeks about a month ago and I got two for twice the price of Aldis three. I don't feel like buying wrinkled and mouldy carrots or pears that have flies on them. Both of these are concerns I have had to talk to the manager about. But it was OK, they checked the dates on the boxes which were still in date, so they stayed and the flies got a little flap of the hand to send them on their merry way. This supermarket also sells out of date eggs which even after me telling them were still there some days later. After telling them this I gave up looking. So that is why I stick to the marginally more expensive Sainsbury's or in preference Aldi's.

    We don't all have the same accessibility to the same things. That is the only point I wanted to make. Also as personally food is my major pleasure I want it fresh and tasty. I don't want to be cutting back and suffering in ways that affect my health and well being for the sake of some distant time in the future which may never arise. I spend what I need to to buy what I need, within my absolute budget. Beyond that I am relaxed about it. There is far more to think about than the counting of pennies, saving money as a hobby doesn't appeal – it is in danger of becoming nothing more than meanness. No one has much money these days, generosity is sharing what you have and going without, not inflicting meanness onto others who care enough to think about my present and not just give me something because it is cheap. I like to respond in kind. It may not match penny for penny but it is all relative.

    I know I have changed the subject but I'm sorry, I feel a lot of what passes for thrift comes under the heading of mean! I read a lot of 'advise' from people being stingy on different blogs about 'frugality' and they just seem like kill joy Scrooges. A little bit of joy wouldn't go amiss with some of them. There is also an element of control rather than need. The money is there if they need it. There are many people for whom buying an extra blanket is a big deal so half of the 'advise' is meaningless and presented by those who have got the means to now cut back and make a game of it.

    People need basic things to stay healthy. Fruit and veg for one. We should ALL be able to afford it. We shouldn't have to go into special measures to do so. They have been too expensive for years. The same with fuel. It's about people having enough disposable income to pay for the basics that needs to change.

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  17. Meat for roasting (other than chicken) is so expensive it ends up as a rare treat when something is whoopsied or on very special offer.

    Beef is either minced or stewing and lamb is a distant memory!

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  18. I always was Frugal ,I raised Three kids by myself,I had to be frugal . But now,being frugal is hard work, and I don't write this as a complaint.I rather do the work , than starve.I garden year round,the whole yard front and back .Its Winter here and I still have lettue,cabbage, herbs ,alpine srawberrys ,Kale , swiss chard growing,granted it's under plastic row houses I had to make .but it's working. I forage for food. can, freeze everything. I'm still the famly's nut job.But the cool one. I take any thing offered to me and if I can't use it pass it on, there is alwys some one who needs it, Network with friends and friends of friends. I used to be unable to say I was in need, and so was everyone else ,now we share or trade. What I miss the most is the fantasy of what my life was going to be when those three kids grew up and I only had to take care of myself. well they are all grown up now, and two still need help , they all have good middle class jobs , but as we all know now , the money doesn't go far. Best wishes Roxy

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  19. The Food Programme on Radio 4 this week was a real shocker – maybe something we should all take to heart.
    One of the points was that made is that in the global food market if we wont pay higher prices then there are plenty on nations that will. Also they pointed out how spoilt we are by low prices and we have our tvs and cell phones and computers but we dont think that our food has any value.
    I see people smoking and drinking but when they have to pay an extra 50p for a box of eggs then its no fair. Attitudes have to change, dont you think
    if what those people is saying is true and we are on a path to disaster.

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  20. I just feel I have to say….does Sara realise that this is YOUR Blog, not an open Forum for her to criticise all and sundry!!

    We all use our Blogs to note our thinkings and findings and welcome helpful and thoughtful comments, we do not really expect, nor should we have to put up with derogatory comments.

    If she is looking for 'advise' then no problem if she just wants to label us as 'mean' and ''killjoy Scrooges' for being frugal (whatever our reasons for being so) she shouldn't hijack your Blog to do it!!

    You don't have to publish this, ooops….I seem to have just hijacked your Blog 🙂

    Sue xx

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