Reducing the food shopping bill

Hello Dear Reader,

I had to have a good think about this one as I’m struggling to keep it down. I’m often in the supermarket queue and as I’m loading things onto my trolley, I can’t help but look at the shopping of person in front of me and I ask, where’s the food? I then look back at my shopping. I’ll have three of four meat products, margarine and baking products, a whole heap of fresh and season veg, tea, coffee, UHT milk, sugar free cordial, some fish, maybe a bottle of laundry liquid and some washing up liquid, but not much else. I don’t recognise much of what I see going into other people’s baskets. So, instead of any form of advice of how you might save money, here’s a round up of what I do.

Start off by checking every food item in the house. What do you have? What meals could you make from these? Some weeks, I don’t shop at all. I just make do with what I have. Most months, I shop twice, one big shop and one top up and other times, I don’t shop at all.

When I do shop, I’ve planned in advance (roughly) what we’re going to eat. Then I think about seven breakfasts and seven lunches and the hobbity snacking in between. I always make a list, after I’ve done a stock take and thought of what I can  cook with what I already have.

I always take a list with me when I shop, but usually I shop for my ‘big shop’ (about £50 of staples to see me through the month) online with Tesco.com. I never shop, without a list before I shop, before I make a menu plan for the week ahead or a few weeks ahead. I might simply think or five meat meals, four fish meals, and ten veggie meals. We have one main meal a day and a packed lunch at work, usually porridge or toast for breakfast and a piece of cake or biscuit if we get peckish.

As a working person, I often come home frazzled and need to simply re-heat something or cook something easy and uncomplicated and I plan for that and have some thing in the freezer like a pie or a casserole, or some soup to just leave out to defrost and reheat when  get home. I manage to do this by having bulk cooking days where I ‘get ahead’

I try to make something different for our lunch boxes and make soup, veggie curries with cous cous, quiche or falafels which are easily portable. I also make at least two cakes a week, we all want something sweet once in a while.

I keep costs down by making flapjacks or fruitcake from Tesco value dried fruit. I don’t make sponges or cakes that will go off quickly but purposefully make things that will last the week in an air tight tin.
We never take money to work, we always take a packed lunch. We both always take coffee and tea bags, a pack of value biscuits to keep in a desk drawer and we have back bone to stand up to peer pressure and stick to what we believe in.

This is not us! Just a ‘stock photo’. We cook a ‘proper’ meal every day………well I do! DB just eats it! and we entertain friends and family in this way. I’m so sick and tired of hearing people say they didn’t have time, when they found time to get in the car and go to the takeaway! We don’t ever just think, oh I’ve had a bad day I need to go to the pub for a dinner! Give me a break! Those poor bastards living in war zones and those who starve on a daily basis have hard days! Stop being precious and put some cheese on toast under the grill and no excuses!

I also use value products. I don’t care what people think when I buy them. I will not die if I don’t eat organic! I will not die if I don’t know the ‘provenance’ of where a pig comes from and whether a farmer sang it lullabies every night! I will not die if hasn’t come from a whole food cooperative where the staff have time off to grow under arm hair and have feckin’ therapy! I applaud those who raise their own meat and if my life were different, I would do so too. I equally admire those who grow a lot of what they eat, we grow some and we also buy some. When I’m eating my tuna and mayonaise sandwich in my lunch break, I don’t mind that I have Tesco value tuna in it.

Once a year, I have a good stock up from Approved Food. I buy long life products which are past their best by date. I also ignore any sell by, best by or even use by date. I do this because I have a brain in my head. If it doesn’t look off, if it doesn’t smell off and it doesn’t taste off, then I eat it. If bread or cheese has mould, then I cut it off and eat the rest. If cake gets a bit dry then I pour custard over it. If veggies get a bit limp and look a bit lifeless, then so what, we eat them any way. I know some people will turn their noses up but I’m 45 and I haven’t died yet of eating either old food or limp lettuce!

I shop in the cheapest supermarkets. I make it worth my while to drive to them by running down the stocks at home, using ‘mysupermarket’, Lidl and Aldi’s websites and I compare prices. Don’t forget, I only go into a supermarket about once a month so I make sure it’s worth me going. Vegetables and fruit are very cheap in Lidl. Flour, cheese, bread, milk are also very cheap. They are as cheap as Tesco Value but better quality. Half a dozen free range eggs are 85p in Lidl. Flour is 65p a bag for bread flour. So, I know my prices and do my research.

Where were we? I stock take, plan, home cook, never buy lunch, coffee or meals out, I buy the cheapest products, I research, stock up, and set and stick to a limited budget.. Food is really expensive. You can buy what you like, it’s your choice. We eat well because I home cook everything. How you do is up to you. I don’t suggest anyone does what I do, nor do I expect everyone wants to. This is just part of my financial plan to keep costs down. How do you keep food costs down?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs

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48 thoughts on “Reducing the food shopping bill

  1. I do an approved foods shop about every 4 months. In the supermarket buy 'basics' brands – and if there is a good offer on a nonperishable [eg canned veg] I stock up. Breakfast is a simple oat-based cereal of some sort [porridge/muesli/granola- homemade if poss] And leftovers are IMMEDIATELY planned into another meal.

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  2. Fab advice Froogs as usual. You should be teaching Home Ec. and household budget management in schools! It's so hard to change peoples ways after the last 20 years of greed and waste.
    I always bulk cook chillis, curries, stews, mashed potato, soups etc Stale bread gets whizzed up into breadcrumbs for the freezer, chicken carcasses boiled for stock for the freezer. Also I always store my parmesan, chillis, ginger in the freezer and grate or chop as needed so no waste. The first question my 10 year old asks about food is “Is it homemade?” because he appreciates his Mum's cooking!
    Love reading your posts, thankyou x

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  3. “I will not die if I don't eat organic! I will not die if I don't know the 'provenance' of where a pig comes from and whether a farmer sang it lullabies every night!” Dorito chips spit out all over keyboard – shoulda warned me! LOL!!!

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  4. Bravo! Great post!!! Just yesterday I did a freezer inventory- listing all the things I have on hand- 20 meals worth of food! I buy only the sales meats but having a freezer allows us to have diversity in the food we eat. I also freeze bones and stock and when I cook a large meal, I freeze some for later, as you do. It's a good feeling knowing that I have this much ahead, especially with cooking for 2 adults and 2 children at home. We also do with out the take out food or buying lunch, almost everything is home cooked and from scratch. I'll use the occasional mix for something but even then I usually got it on a mark-down. I mostly shop Aldi. I also agree with what Angela commented- left overs are used right away. I don't let them get lost in the fridge… dinner tonight = lunch tomorrow… or if there is enough then it's dinner again….

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  5. I do make a meal plan every month so I know what the staples are, then do one shop for the month and get meat and fish once a week. I do get a veg box once a week fruit & veg but that lasts all week and it stops me over buying on veg.

    I make breakfast, lunch & dinner – and I don't buy processed foods or very rarely. I do have a soft spot for cream crackers so give in often!

    I can make anything out of nothing and happily eat whatever we have even beans on toast.

    When I look in other people's trolleys I do want to question what and the amount of stuff they buy. It really helps the finances to keep on top of food & household items. I'm not as hard core as you but getting there!

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  6. I do make a meal plan every month so I know what the staples are, then do one shop for the month and get meat and fish once a week. I do get a veg box once a week fruit & veg but that lasts all week and it stops me over buying on veg.

    I make breakfast, lunch & dinner – and I don't buy processed foods or very rarely. I do have a soft spot for cream crackers so give in often!

    I can make anything out of nothing and happily eat whatever we have even beans on toast.

    When I look in other people's trolleys I do want to question what and the amount of stuff they buy. It really helps the finances to keep on top of food & household items. I'm not as hard core as you but getting there!

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  7. Aldi do grass fed beef and wild (frozen) salmon. In fact all their frozen fish is from sustainable sources. New Zealand lamb is free range and grass fed and cheaper than British lamb (though I do try to support British farmers when I can afford it) Their free range chickens are about the same price as Sainsbury's ordinary. Kerrygold butter (grass fed dairy cattle) is on special offer atm at Sainsbury's and cheaper than value. Free range eggs from a local smallholding. It's perfectly possible to have top quality food without paying over the odds if you look around and stock up when it's cheap.

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  8. I shop around to get the best price I can on everything, buy Basics brands, grow my own as we have an allotment, cook everything from scratch, make my own bread and cakes, don't eat meat every day, freeze leftovers or give them to hubby for his lunch the next day. I've currently got a budget of £100 per month for all our shopping needs – food, toiletries, loo roll etc. In January I spent just over £62 for 25 days and I didn't have any Christmas leftovers to eat up, because I didn't buy in for a siege just because the shops closed for 1 day. My Mum treated us to a coffee while we were out today – not something we usually do, but she needed a drink. The woman in front of us at the till in the cafe spent £25.25 on sandwiches, crisps, cakes and drinks for 2 adults and a small child! I just looked and thought – I can shop for 3 adults for a week on less than that – and we don't live on beans on toast either.

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  9. Brilliant post FQ. I'm with you all the way. We eat a fair amount of OOD food and are still alive to tell the tale, nothing gets wasted either. Your steak and kidney pudding looks delicious x

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  10. I do really well on my food budget but I am concerned where my food comes from. I only buy organic if it is the same price as regular ( which is nt very often) but I refuse to buy cheap chicken as I am appalled at the conditions they are kept in. I pay twice as much for an organic free range hen, make it go further and get the advantage of much tastier food. I like Aldi s here in the States and buy many of the basics from there; there is a high turnover and the produce is very fresh.
    More and more shelves in the supermarket are being given over to manufactured foods and less and less to basics.
    My next step is to look very closely at what we actually eat and instead of buying just cheaper see how I can optimize everything without sacrificing quality. We have given up desserts although not cakes and have an orange or tangerine (from Aldi s) every night after dinner which also means that I dont need to buy orange juice as a supply of vitamin C (I may want to; I dont need to)
    I want to spend this year fine tuning the whole process which will included very tight portion control. Does this make sense !

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  11. Veggie wise, I really don't mind which ones I buy and I'm also not snooty about eating frozen veg. Veg is veg and I don't think people eat enough about it, but I do refuse to buy Danish bacon and buy not organic, but free range meat. I do feel strongly about how animals are treated, but I understand that some people don't have the luxury of that choice.

    I actually don't believe in organic though – I know plenty of farmers around here who don't use chemicals, but can't be bothered to go through the hassle of being certified. Most of my meat comes from my friend's farm and the price is far cheaper than the supermarket. If our veggies go a bit limp they go out to the chickens or are whizzed up in a soup (great to use green salad leaves in pea soup).

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  12. I do an online shop once a month to stock up on the stuff I can't get at Aldi for us (both vegetarians) which is currently about £50/£60.

    Then I go to Aldi once a week (which is across the road from where I work so I swing by in the evening) to get any fresh things we need. I can spend anywhere between £12 and £25…if it's the latter then I've got shedloads!!

    We meal plan every week and I buy accordingly. We have one “easy” meal a week which tends to be a Monday night and that will consist of something like a beanburger, oven chips & frozen peas. Every other day of the week we've made our meals from scratch.

    The one thing I could do much better on is baking. If I could just get into it (not at home naturally in the kitchen I have to say) I could probably save a bit on the cereal bars I buy for us both for our packed lunches during the week however I might just bump the electric bill up instead so not sure!

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  13. I have changed my mindset over the years as well. It's easy to give into a takeaway, and tonight, I very nearly did. But I thought of the cost, probably around £5 just for me and I had egg on toast instead. It was gorgeous, then I read your post whilst eating it. 🙂

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  14. How familiar this all sounds! Chez Attila things are pretty much the same. Tonight we had a couple of fabulous friends round and I made chicken korma out of some asda smart price chicken breasts that I had in the freezer (would have used thigh joints but it's the end of the month and I had these). Instead of cream or yogurt, I used some soy cream I got from Approved Food (10 for £1), especially good because DH and one friend are both dairy intolerant. Cheapest lentils and frozen spinach to make saag daal, including smart price onions and Approved Food garlic. The curry powder was AF too. Not a pre-packaged thing in sight and it was fabulous. Unfortunately, no leftovers.

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  15. Hi every one I live surrounded by farms, my ex was an agricultural engineer and I lived and worked with farmers , don't be seduced by supermarket hype. E.g grass fed beef , all cows eat grass either grazed or haylege or silage in barns in the winter and all ad slaughtered by 30 months, all uk lamb is free range , pork is iffy , most comes from holland or Denmark and all is raised indoors, hate me alll you like but it's meat not a pet, I buy free rAnge eggs and whole chickens from Lidl . The most intensive of any farming is dairy farming, even if it's organic. The yield is totally un natural and the cows are impregnated and unwanted calves are shot in the barn where the cow has given birth, the cow is then only milked twice a day where as a calf would suckle through the day, cows have deformed udders and suffer discomfort. I'm a realist, I do what I can, with what I've got. When I can, I buy straight from the local butcher but even then,, you can't guarantee a 'nice' farmer, if you all think it's like jimmy's farm, the truth is different . I did some checking tonight and found that Tesco value Alaskan pollock is sustainable and wild and 1.99 A bag. Lidl free range eggs are 85p for six and all the shops do value soya milk if you want it , I accept farming is not ideal and certainly not perfect and if you want to feel bett by buying 'free range' and 'grass fed' (which I do too when I can) then go ahead but it's not always what you think love froogs

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  16. The best thing we did to reduce our shopping bill was stopping eating meat and dairy. We buy longlife soya milk from the cheapest place we can find that month, and live on stews and casseroles or beany things or ooh whatever! It is fun and exciting planning and cooking together..tonight Man Wonderful produced a really yummy veggy chilli. Last night I make pancakes. Tomorrow we have veg stew and dumplings. Happy healthy and cheap. ALL our meals cost pennies.

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  17. Recently, along with the other junk mail that drops through the letterbox daily, there was an advertising menu from a local pizza franchise; a basic pizza with a bit of tomato sauce and cheese was just under £10 and one with meat was just under £16! It's a long time since I've had a takeaway and it will be snowing in hell before I have another!! Who buys these things at these prices? For the price of ONE meat pizza I can feed the two of us for a week, three meals a day.
    I buy in bulk a lot–I use Costco (with care) and freeze lots of food and I too buy Value range foods and keep a very sharp eye out for bargains. I recently bought six kilos of tomatoes from Costco for £3.69 or so and they have all been used–tomato soup, curry base, tomato sauce–all in the freezer. Very interesting blog tonight.

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  18. I have put my underused crockpot to use. Several nights a week I put some beans or chickpeas to soak and in the morning I rinse and put in the crock pot to cook for the day. It is cheaper here than canned beans, with less sodium. What ever is not used right away is put in the freezer in a labeled container. I do pretty much the same as you, Froogs. Plan and cook ahead, or have simple meals when you have more time. My daughter does the same, and so does my oldest son. I watch for sales and stock up on things that I know I will use later.
    Happy cooking.
    Barb

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  19. yes I agree with you totally . there is a lot of food snobbery about these days with people only buying branded food and readymade verything its ridiculous like my mother says who lived throught he last war 'if thee was a war on they'd eat it' people would be only to fglad to eat anything. home cookings by far the best and cheapest. i notice my children who are all now grownup do not have weight problems either and are all slim and healthy. Not like a lot of these obese overweight kids you see in the supermarkets buying all the convenience rubbish.

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  20. Good for you! Great post. I always have a nosy at what other people have in their supermarket trolleys. I must admit, I used to get a little envious but now I think they must have more money than sense! Keep up the good work xxx Lisa xxx

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  21. I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the rising prices. I have a weekly budget for shopping which i stick to rigidly (we use the envelope system. I make a list each week and menu plan, this does help with the budget, but sometimes, i have to leave things off the list as i dont have enough. We are really short on storage space and so limited on stockpiling x

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  22. Froogs, you are realistic about the way animal products are produced – it's not Jimmy's farm, and no matter how they're raised, they all go the slaughter house. Alternatively you can be kind to your fellow earth dwellers and buy huge amounts of tasty protein for next to nothing in the form of beans, you can dump the dairy (and the cholesterol) and go for soya, nut, oat or hemp milk and sleep easy because cows who've just calved don't have to stand by and watch their male calves shot before they've even got up on their feet – not in your name anyway.
    We shop in Aldi and only ever go to Morrisons or Tesco for the stuff we can't get in Aldi – and then we go into those stores, get what we planned to get and get out of there double quick, we know that they are set up to seduce shoppers to give up their hard earned money on stuff they don't really need and never intended to buy. Also bulk cook and take meals to work rather than buying lunch out. If DB fancies a take away (out of his money – never mine) then I'll tot up what I would have had and he gives me the money instead which I then pay straight of the mortgage.

    Loads of good advice on here – never used AF but never knew they did 10 soya cream for £1 – I'll be checking them out – thanks Attila. I know I could do better on meal planning – have an side by side fridge freezer and several cupboards groaning with food – I probably wouldn't need to shop for 2 months (except for fresh fruit & veg) if I did a stock take first.

    As ever, thanks for the good advice and if anyone wants to know more about why some of us on here don't eat animal products, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

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  23. what an insprationsl post, my wife and I try our hardest to budget and plan and we pretty do what you have listed but are not concistent with it. last year we took on an allotment to help with this and our plan now is to go from may to december or further with out buying fruit or veg. this year we managed to last till september but it was our first year of growing. when it comes to meal times i do all the cooking its always bee nlike that my wife is lucky she married a chef! I also have a fried who works as a manager of a large onion factory that supply all the tescos in my area and he was telling the diffrence between value onions and finest onions……..NOTHING they come from the same crops just concistency of size who cares about that? some do I supose but do you really think Mmmmm I glad I got those regualr sized onions for my spag bol? people have been force feed lots of rubbish by supermarkets and cant apply a little common sence!

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  24. I agree wholeheartedly with your self discipline and methods Froogs, but I am afraid the comment about pork made me wince – OK, you might not die if you don't know the providence, but you are supporting a hideous intensive farming industry which is terrible for animals and for humans and also for the planet. It is possible to buy free range (not necessarily organic) meat and live within a tight budget – I have done it for years. That would be a shopping challenge I would be really fascinated to read about! Please don't take it as an insult, just my opinion.

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  25. “I can't help but look at the shopping of person in front of me and I ask, where's the food?”

    Of course, they look at ours and think exactly the same thing! A lot of people have bought the lie that cooking is difficult and even more expensive to do than buy prepared foods.

    I think part of the problem is that they expect too much variety and won't eat the same thing or even a similar thing two days in a row. Monday night we had pork chops slow cooked in pear wine (homebrew cheaper than shop cider!) and veg and last night we had grilled pork chops and veg. Although a lot of the basics were the same the meals were different. We're also not averse to eating the same thing two nights in a row – chilli and curry are often better the second night.

    Anyway, I think the problem is that they buy specialist ingredients and only use them once a month so they buy tiny amounts of overpriced spices, etc., and these don't even get used up because they don't cook often enough. In such cases it is a “waste” of money because they don't use it up. I buy spices in larger quantities from an Indian supermarket and we happily eat Indian food 2-3 times a week at least.

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  26. No insults taken, I don't buy Danish or Dutch bacon and buy Tesco's British bacon, which is raised to meet welfare standards. In an ideal world I would hunt and shoot what I eat or raise my own meat. I buy British as often as I can and the 'red tractor' standard. I'm a bit of a misery when it comes to global environmental disasters and already thing the planet is totally fucked due to what the developing world is doing to catch up – e.g industry in China and India. I do what I can, with what I can. I've also being doing a huge amount of research this morning via the National Farmers Union, the average UK dairy herd is under 100 cows and British pig farmers have no where near the levels of intensity of mainland Europe and no where in Europe is the welfare standards anywhere near the depths of those dug by farming in the US, where the 'superfarm' is common place. Tesco's who are supplied by St. Merryn meat (wholesale slaughter house and meat provider)source their meet from hundreds of small farms all over the UK. Some farms are company owned, such as Rowe and Co, near Truro which has barns full of pigs in pens which all have legal access to outdoor space. I've also done quite alot of research on soya, which is an eco disaster when done wrong, as is palm oil. the answer is to wear a hair shirt and starve but I'm off for some British bacon, in my homemade bread for my lunch. Today is the cattle market day in Liskeard and there were buyers there, who sell to wholesale slaughter companies, who in turn sell to the supermarkets – Lidl and Aldi included, Some farmers brought just one or two bullocks or steers, old milkers were being sold for cheaper meat (burgers and pies, which I don't buy) – dairy cows were being bought and sold too. I'm not going to feel guilty or bad about my imperfections and I'm not giving up eating meat, fish or diary.

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  27. oh froogs!you are so right and you do make me laugh!i see you as some sort of “fairy soulmate”as i have exactly the same attitudes as yourself!keep up the brilliant work i love reading your blog we have alot in common!x

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  28. Adding to my Tesco meat research, they buy meet from wholesale slaughter houses regionally, if you are in the south east, then that's where your meat will have been raised, slaughtered, butchered and sold, like wise if you are in the north east, or south west. they have regional distribution points, the south west is in Bristol for example. The other supermarkets do something similar – After this morning I could write a dissertation on the economics and logistics of supermarket supply!

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  29. Hi Froogs – I agree you are right in that British meat is a million times better than european meat, where welfare standards are diabolical.

    And meat with the red tractor logo is raised to certain British welfare standards – the problem is, they aren't very high standards! Did you watch Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's 'Chicken Out'? The farms he featured were all working to Red Tractor standards yet the animals were suffering horrible cruelty.

    I know from working with the Slow Food movement and from a friend who used to be an intensive pig farmer, that farmers selling to supermarkets are often bent over a barrel (an example being B.O.G.O.F deals) where their supply contracts are so unfairly balanced in favour of supermarkets that they simply cannot afford to provide the welfare standards for their animals that they would choose. This is why British farming is being strangled to within an inch of it's life.

    In my view, locally produced food is kinder on animals and farmers, the UK economy and because of all this – us too.

    I am certainly not trying to make you feel guilty. It is a matter of priorities, which are different for everyone, and for me I would rather eat meat once a week knowing it is the best.

    Your comments have got me thinking about whether it is possible to eat local, decent (not necessarily organic) food on a tight budget – I think I may put my money where my mouth is and give it a go for a month in March. Could be interesting!

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  30. Hi Partime small holder, you views are valid and reasonable and I certainly don't disagree. You have your own land and can afford to raise your own meat and if I were as rich as you, I would do the same I can assure you. I live one day to the next on the beam ends of my ass trying to pay off a mortgage and keep a roof over my head. There are those out there, in this country who could not afford to eat anything at all if we didn't farm in the way we do in this country. I have enquired about buying an entire pig from a local supplier at £3 a kilo and I'll get the trotters, offal and head for nothing. I've watched animal slaughter done by farmers for their 'own use' and I've often bought it out of the back door, my mum used to render her own lard, make brawn from the head, boil down trotters for gelatine and she would use the entire pig, which mum and dad butchered themselves on the floor of the garage on a tarp – I've been there, done it and got the t-shirt. Did you save the blood from your pigs? Did you keep it in a bin, mix in fat lumps and starch and make your own black puddings? do you render your own lard?

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  31. Ha! Sorry, had to laugh. Rich? I wish!

    We rent our house and rather than rent a field behind it, we have come to an 'arrangement' with the landlady whereby she has one of our pigs, some of our veg and when we had them, a lamb, as 'rent'. You could say we have a feudal arrangement! But it works for us.

    At the time of writing we have £46 in the bank account to last until the end of the month, as the sum total of our worldly assets. So having veg in the garden, the chooks and a freezer full of pork is a bit of a lifesaver.

    Unfortunately the abbatior we use does not keep the blood, but we do get everything else back. Have to say as a reformed veggie, I struggle with the brawn, but my jamaican friend buys the trotters and we make bacon, ham and sausages – have made Chorizo in the past, it was lovely.

    Not sure that the population wouldn't be able to afford to eat without factory farming – we do have a massive obesity issue in this country – if more people knew how to cook from scratch I think we would make much better use of what we can produce.

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  32. Hi Bonnie – Had a speed read of your blog, it looks lovely, if a lot of hard work and I would give my right arm to be in your position, richness is relative. A free plot of land in this day and age is worth a lot as is a house, rented or not next to the land. If you don't have to pay any rent, then it's as good as yours. Interesting about the pigs, who are fed pig food – what's in it? If they are for your own consumption, then surely you can feed them what you like. How much did the slaughter and butchery cost? By the time you bought the pigs, paid for the food, the slaughter and the butchery, it would be out of my pocket. I'm still going to look into buying a whole pig, lards, lights, the lot!

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  33. Thanks Froogs – shame you are not closer, I could do you a good deal!

    We calculated it cost about £100 in pig food per pig, plus about £35 in abbatoir/butchery (think abbatoir/transport is about £20 of this if you are butchering yourself – we don't have the equipment), and they cost about £50 per piglet. Round here a whole pig costs about £240 – so there is not much in it for profit, but by selling the others we break even.

    The reason we can afford it is because the food costs are spread out monthly, so it feels like a big porky savings plan.

    The situation with feeding scraps is insane – Defra say it is a total nono – the animal health man who visited us said that if we took an apple from the tree and fed it to the pigs – that's fine. But if we brought it into the kitchen to chop first – that's breaking the law.

    I couldn't possibly say whether we fed ours non-meat or animal produce food scraps from the kitchen(!)incase the Defra police come knocking – but I did rant about it in a post once:

    http://www.theparttimesmallholder.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-arrivals.html

    Amazing that pork is cheaper than lamb – our lambs cost £5 each, milk was £20 each and then they ate grass for the rest of their lives! Almost free!

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  34. I hear ya froogs
    things are er “intersting” here and like you we do what we can with what we have. lcan I leave a frugal sugestion for Eileen about makeing alternative Doritos, if you take buget buy pasta sheets for lasagne, boil 2 or 3 at a time in some unsalted water place them on a greased baking tray cut them into triangles and leave to cool, you can pop them in the oven on about a 250 mark and you have “doritos” these are fab really really fab and if you lightly smear some marmite on them even better”(but I am a freak who LOVES the stuff) please keep an eye on them as they can go fromraw to cooked in a milli second. yes maybe a bit fiddly but they are very yummy. if you dont like marmint sprinkle some salt on them VERY spareingly.
    hope you had a good day all the best
    Rachel plymouth

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  35. I absolutely agree with everything you say – I started menu planning last January and after just over a year I can honestly say it's the best thing I've ever done. I also started shopping at Lidl and never go to more mainstream supermarkets. I keep a really close eye on what I spend on food and cook everything from scratch – it's the only way!!!

    K xx

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  36. This is the best post ever!! Thanks for being someone who puts things into perspective. Common sense is so lacking in first world countries.

    LOL about the farmer singing his pigs lullabies…..halarious. Sadly, I know a guy just like that!!! Haha!!!

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  37. I buy organic animal products only and basics range for as much as I can but im gluten free so the flour is expensive and so is the cereal so I eat oats now with tubbed fruit even though im not a porridge fan. Lol and im Scottish! We cut way back but wish I could just eat cheaper flour and cereal. I eat tinned fish now too or frozen or fresh which I get discounted and freeze. We only get 3 chickens every second month as treat. Hope to be debt free in 3 years and then will still plan to be frugal to save lol

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