Thursday, 20 January 2011

We're all in this together

Another lovely morning, aren't we lucky. I've cleared the other footpath, a bit more difficult because it's on a steep slope and very muddy, plus it has a liberal coating of dog poo, yuk :-( I haven't got any more paths to do, that's unless I come across another one that's like a jungle.

This afternoon, I dug over one of my raised beds, need to get the garden looking ship shape for the coming season. I will be doing as last year, growing a few basic veggies which don't need a lot of pampering, because I might not be around to administer TLC.

I'm just back from taking little Rocky for another walk, he is such a cutie. We sat on the bench in the churchyard for ten minutes and he lay on his back wanting a tummy tickle, aaaaahhh. Alfie and Ollie, the two black labradors stopped to say hello, it's good that Rocky can meet other canine friends.

Right, enough tittle tattle, what to talk about today.

I have been reading the forum on Money Saving Expert, in particular the Grocery Challenge. The idea is to set yourself a spending target, and try to stick to it. I have joined in but haven't set a target, I am just using it to keep me in the money saving frame of mind, and pick up a few tips here and there.

Some people are doing very well, and seem quite disciplined when it comes to food shopping, but I can see a few places where others could get their spending down even further if they put a bit more thought into it. It must be difficult though if you are a family, when one can see the need to cut spending, and the other thinks they should be able to buy whatever they like. I imagine it must be frustrating for both sides and cause a lot of friction in a relationship.

I wonder sometimes if families actually sit down together, children included, and discuss their finances, because I think that has to be the way forward. You can't expect harmony if everyone is not singing from the same song sheet. It's easy for me to be frugal because I have no one to argue with, my methods do work, but if you are in a family you have to work harder to get everyone on the same side.

Thinking about my money saving tips on the side bar, some of them must seem a bit silly, and pointless if they only save you a few pence. Maybe I should enlarge on some of them, perhaps a few explanetary notes would help.

Take for instance Make your own sandwiches to take to work or on a day out. Don't buy expensive snack food from shops. cafe's etc. Common sense really. If you don't have time to make a pack up in the morning, do it the night before, put it in a plastic box and put it in the fridge.

Have you thought about where those ready made sandwiches come from anyway? They are made in a factory, hundreds of people throwing them together with their hands, gloves on of course, but coughing and sneezing as they make them, yuk. Loaded onto a lorry, shipped a couple of hundred miles to the distribution depot, unloaded and loaded onto another lorry for delivery to the store. Who wants to eat a sandwich made two days ago when you can make your own fresh!

I am horrified by the amount of people who use the fast food chains. With a bit of organising you will never have to use them, except if it is a one off treat. Do not use them as an everyday way of eating, they cost a fortune and most of the food is not healthy. If you have to, eat only salad.

In every shop you will find sweet snack food close to the tills, it takes a lot of willpower to resist. It should only be eaten as a treat, not every day.

Experiment with the food you like. I love steamed vegetables, so sometimes I make up a plasic box with them. You can eat them cold as well as hot, lovely with a splodge of dressing on them.

Think of your pack ups when you do your supermarket shopping, to get the reductions by buying larger amounts and dividing it up into a daily ration. Don't wait till the day before you go to work. Get organised. If you make your own pack ups for a year, think how much you will save. If you don't have to go into a shop at all while on your lunch break, you won't be tempted to pick up a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate. Fill up your belly with what you have brought from home, you will save loads of money.


  1. I try to always make a bit extra with my evening meal so the MOH and I can eat the leftovers for lunch and as you say, I prepare it the night before and put it in the fridge

  2. Well put. Most of what you tell us here, I already do, but it will help others that are not quite so organized or knowledgable. Keep posting the good advice!!

  3. Last time we went out for the day I decided to make my own sandwiches instead of buying from the garage when we filled up with fuel. Two slices of farmhouse type bread, some corned beef and ploughmans pickle - yummy and cost? well I guess 10p bread, the c/beef was 6 slices for 99p so thats about 30p and the pickle a couple of pence = less than 50p for 2 hearty butties that no one (except me lol) had coughed near!

  4. We go to classic car shows in the summer, and along with the others on the club stand always take our own, wouldn't think of buying even a coffee normally. We take a little one ring burner, a bit more stable than a classic camping stove and can always offer someone a cuppa if they come and chat with us.

    I can't understand how people can buy that foul smelling stuff that comes out of the food vans.

  5. Anne marie, a girl after my own heart. I would never buy food or drinks from a food van, yuk! Although they are subject to the same health and safety/food hygiene regulations as a static eating establishment, a lot of them fall short on standards. Even as a lorry driver, I never used them in layby's, always had my own pack up.

    You've proved my point Kate, a bit of planning ahead means you can have cheap good wholesome food whilst you are out.

  6. When I used to go out for the day, I never really planned ahead and just stopped at any fast food place to get some fries & a burger. The last couple of months last year I was really sick with an undetermined stomach ailment that I could never really shake. During that time, I stayed home a lot and cooked all my meals. That ailment cleared up in the new year AND when I just went to the doctor, found out I lost 6 pounds. So I totally agree that the food prepared at home is so much better for the individual. I know I'm not going back to my old ways!