Keep it thrifty 

Hello Dear Reader,

Sometimes, it’s the most boring tasks that save us the most money. We do all the big things to save money. We lift share, budget and stick to it, buy second hand, keep all our household bills and personal spending to a minimum, look after what we own so we don’t need to replace, reduce our water consumption and we shop around and get the best deal on anything we buy. 

I still maintain that the best way to save money is just by not carrying any on a day to day basis but that takes planning. It means you have to have all your meals planned, all the ingredients, sides and everything for all the other meals. It’s too easy to pick up bits and pieces if you pop to the shops. It also means I need to take food and drink for work, the car needs enough fuel to last the week and I have the strength to say no if asked to anything that requires me spending any money. 

My shopping always starts with a stock take and I menu plan from what we already have and then I write my shopping list. This week, we had a huge shop as we’d run down supplies before we went to France and our shop came to over fifty pounds! It’ll normally be around half that but we do have three fluffies to feed and I cook everything we eat from scratch.

My little kitchen friend stayed with me today as I cooked for the rest of the week. Having a freezer full of homemade ready meals means we can come home from work and I won’t have much to do and no matter how tired I might feel, I’ll never reach for a takeout or call into the supermarket for a ready meal. There’s no last minute discussion wondering what we’ve got for supper, I’ve got it all planned.

I shop once a week and then shut my purse up until next Saturday, sounds simple enough to me, save money by leaving my purse at home. 

Here’s my ready meals: falafels, carrot and kidney bean burgers, lasagne and cottage pie. We had a chippy tea tonight of homemade chicken pie and chips, affectionately known as ‘fat Friday’ where we eat a fake away instead of a take away.

It’s, as they say, not rocket science, but with a bit of planning, you can just leave your wallet at home. Tough? What do you think?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

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29 thoughts on “Keep it thrifty 

  1. Like you I menu plan and stick to a shopping list and if it’s not on my list it’s not coming home with me! I try not to go out for the rest of the week apart from work as I have plenty to do in my house and garden, and if I do my purse stays firmly in my bag. It’s a standing joke with myself and IH that I’ve had the same 50p in there for months!

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  2. Hello froogs
    I am your follower since 2009..i witnessed everything . I admire your ideas and determination. I learn a lot from you. And whenever i feel low i just read some of my favorite post of yours to get my motivation.
    ..like this one today… very helpful..
    Thank you and keep on inspiring us.
    Have a lovely evening
    Carla of french rivera

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  3. Today I menu planned, checked stock and shopped with my list too, I haven’t yet cooked my chicken casserole and chilli, both will do us 2 meals, surplus goes into the freezer for next week. Tonights meal was leftover pork casserole padded out with extra veggies, very filling and delicious. We dont have any shops in our village and I hate having to buy things during the week anyway so planning and a list are essential for us. Our fakeaway meal is usually fish n chips with homemade mushy peas… Yum! Your pie looks very tasty, wish I could eat pastry I miss a good pie. Enjoy your weekend x

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  4. I’m usually home Mon To Fri, I do a little bit of work from home as & when. I have 5 no spend days each week. Staying away from the shops keeps temptations away. Re. Proper home made chips – am I the only one who still uses a chip wire/chip pan? My wire has broken and the high street shops look surprised when I ask about one. Even Lakeland said it’s the only thing they don’t sell! Can’t beat proper chips! (Even better with an egg)

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  5. Think I’m going to try leaving my purse at home apart from my food shop day on a Wednesday (tesco £1 home delivery slot).

    Going to try a batch cook one meal though husband complains at me that s three draw freezer doesn’t lend itself to batch cooking 😦

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  6. Thank you for your inspiration. I am currently doing a month of another essential spending. So far so good. You are giving me great ideas and the strength to do it. Thank you.

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  7. I don’t meal plan much in advance—we are retired and I do keep a full pantry and freezer. I have a small garden in summer but not nearly as large as I used to do. I do cook lots of meals that will feed us twice, but have found from experience that we do not enjoy too many things frozen and reheated, so would rather eat up leftovers as soon as possible and not freeze. (With occasional exceptions.) I do enjoy cooking and have been doing it for 60 years now–since I was 13. So I can usually think of something to make–quickly when I’m not in a cooking mood, or more elaborate when I am. Right now we are in need of losing a few pounds so we’re trying to watch what we eat. Desserts are way too popular in this household. I like to see all the ways you get so many veggies into your meals, as I’m not so good at mixing them as you do. And we are somewhat limited by each liking different ones, so we’ve had to learn to adapt on that.
    I do make grocery lists and I do shop only once a week. It’s ten miles to the supermarket I prefer so it’s best to get everything at once. I start with the ads for the week’s specials, then list anything we might be close to running out of, and try to add to that as the week goes on. I shop on Thursdays and try to do without if we do run out of something before that.

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  8. I shop from 2-9 each week. There is no way I will make a list and stick to it. I buy and eat what is on sale! I do have a list, but coming upon a meat markdown or other sales and changing my list saves money.
    Some days, I am in Walmart for a prescription, so I do some shopping I should have done the day before. Since I cannot carry my groceries in the house without pain, I try not to buy too much at a time. It’s all the same since I only spend a certain amount of money.

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  9. I’m in rookie level frugality, but trying ot get better. I did better before we had better salaries and three kids, and then putting tow kids through college, saving for kid three, getting closer to retirement, and the economy tanking has all done a number and I feel like I am back to learning things I used to do out of habit a decade and 1/2 ago. Feel good about today as I cooked two meals form what we had on hand, using up a few things that would be going bad. One of th meals was a huge pot of soup, and I froze three portions for my lunches. Baby steps but it has to start somewhere, or in my case, pick up again somewhere.

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  10. You have so much self-discipline, I really admire you! I have a tiny purse at my key fob where I alwasy keep a 5 Euro bill. It´s been the same for over a year now, but I don´t think I would go out without it. And my husband even takes his wallet when he takes a walk in the forest, even though he can´t tell me why!

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  11. Hi, l much to my husband’s amusement l make a list for everything and stick to it, having 3 teenagers to feed shopping is my biggest job, next to the washing l have to do each week.
    I’m fortunate my children will eat anything I give them, so shopping for simple food and not takeaways, works in my home.They are all back to school on Tuesday so Monday l will be baking backup filters, flapjack, shortbread biscuits, sausage rolls, cheese straws,little pasties and the like.This will save me a lot of money and if they are going to eat rubbish l would rather it be my rubbish, at least I know what it is.As for stocking up l always rotate my pantry food stuffs and my freezer it might be tedious but you do forget what is lurking st the back of the shelf, this way I get a reminder.xxxxx

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  12. Living this way means good healthy food that you enjoy at a price that you can afford. Spending loads of money on food in prepacked containers means waste from packaging, no idea what’s in them and paying the cost for someone else to prepare them. I am not a fan of takeaway or ready meals anyway. I have learned so much from you on the meal planning. I stock take and meal plan then shuffle around if I fancy something else instead. I never shop more than once a week now. I also shop within a budget for 2 people and a very active young cat ( £55 a week) and keep £10 of that budget to stock up on offers such as loo rolls, shampoo and soap. If I don’t use this £10 in a week than I keep it for buying larger packets of chickpeas, lentils, spices, cat food etc. I have stopped running out of essentials now. It feels good.

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  13. I do shop with a list and take stock of what is on hand before I buy. However this week I was able to buy lamb bones (read nice chops) for $4 a kilo. Two packs came home with me as beef and chicken are expensive in my part of Australia at present. I should easily make 12 serves out of those. I try to be strict but fail. I admire your self discipline. Last night I told me vegan daughter to read your last post. She replied, “Cool”.

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  14. I only shop around once a month now but am trying to stretch my monthly shop so it lasts even longer , There are only the two of us but i have now got our weekly food bill to no more than £30 that also includes toiletries and cleaning products , I dont menu plan any more as i find it to restrictive , Just deciding on meals the night before , Having a really good stocked store cupboard really helps

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  15. When I shop I go on Saturday about noon as that is when a lot of great meat, fruit and vegetables are marked down half price at our supermarket. I shop for our three families so that everyone can save. Then we “shop” and cook by what was a bargain from our fridge or freezer.
    Today amongst others I found chicken drumsticks for $1.84kg whereas in Daughters supermarket they were $4. Boneless marinated lamb shoulder for $8.50 kg and so on.
    Now I don’t need to shop for ourselves for a while but do keep an eye out for extreme specials….why throw money away when we can save I say:)
    Great to read everyone’s stories.
    Thanks Frugal Queen
    Alexa-asimplelife visiting from Sydney, Australia

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  16. We rarely spend money during the work week. We menu plan, prep meals in advance, etc. When I travel for work, my husband sometimes treats the kids to an inexpensive & healthy buffet when he’s had a late day. But, we try to keep our spending limited to stocking up during the weekend.

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  17. Am looking into “dump bags” at the moment where every ingredient (meat,veg,sauce etc) goes into a freezer bag and stacking in the freezer to thaw out night before and into the slow cooker the next morning. I can see that when there is a good offer on at the supemarket for meat, chicken, fish etc. it would be great to prepare everything in one go and freeze so there is always a meal available and also to use up any veg you have.

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  18. I do the general shopping, cleaning , preserves, meat, fish once a month, once a week fruit and vegetables. We are at home my husband and me. I cook for four and froze two servings . I cook one week and the next week I defrosted , take the opportunity to pick up clothes, put cabinets , window cleaning etc these days do not have to cook.
    I always go to the grocery store with a list and do not buy extras, from 60 €
    bring home purchase so I walk to the supermarket , make the purchase and then another ride home, they bring it to me free, not spending gasoline. I plan menus to first of the month .

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  19. We also do not spend any money during the work week. I do the shopping on the weekend, and like you, make a list divided by which store has the best deal on the items. I’ve had the same five $1 bills in my wallet for three weeks now because there is no need to spend them.

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