Thursday, 28 March 2013

Healthy eating on the cheap.

Good morning. I invested two hours of my time last night in Tesco, to gain a saving of £46.77, the difference between the £5.43 I paid for this lot, and the £52.20 it should have cost. My goodness, isn't fruit and veg an astronomical price now, shock horror.
Here is a breakdown. Real price in brackets.
Mushrooms x 6 = 52p  (£5.20)
Spinach x 1 = 20p  (£2.00)
Salad leaves x 2 = 20p  (£2.00)
Brocolli x 4 = 72p  (£7.00)
Brussel sprouts x 5 = 90p  (£8.75)
Brocolli and carrots x 1 = 13p  (£1.25)
Mixed veg stewpack x 1 = 9p  (90p)
Prepared fruit x 4 = 56p  (£5.60)
Prepared fruit x 2 = 30p  (£3.00)
Raspberries x 4 = 80p  (£8.00)
Melon portion x 1 = 13p  (£1.25)
Advocado pears (2pack) x 2 = 40p  (£4.00)
Iceberg lettuce x 1 = 10p  (£1.00)
Bread x 1 = 25p  (£1.00)
Spicy dip x 1 = 13p  (£1.25)
My total shop came to £23.10, which included a couple of items for the cats. I had two money off vouchers for a box of Felix pouches, and when I got to the till I handed all the vouchers over to the assistant so she could scan them. I knew some of them wouldn't be accepted, but was surprised to see that it did accept the two vouchers for £1.90 off a single box of Felix. On the other hand it didn't accept the 25p voucher off the bag of sultanas, so I went to customer service to query this. I was handed the 25p and an apology for the mistake. It pays to ask.
I needed a few other items apart from the yellow stickers. A bag of walnuts and a bag of almonds, must eat more nuts. I went for a slightly cheaper cheese this time, as I need to reduce my cheese consumption. I got Gouda slices and Edam slices, and a tub of cottage cheese for a change. Something I thought I would try, bags of corn for popping are on offer at 49p, so I will give that a go.
There was very little reduced bread, but no matter, I have enough in the freezer to keep me going, I don't eat loads of bread anyway. Thank goodness there was no cakes, so no giving in to temptation there. I did get a free Cadbury's Cream Egg however, with a voucher they sent me.
So, my breakfast this morning.....The raspberries will have to be eaten quite quickly, I am sure I can manage that, ha ha. Crunchy nut flakes from my bulk buy cereals from the Cash and Carry, a banana from a bag of reduced, on their way out bananas, from Asda, diluted evaporated milk from the bulk buy reduced at Tesco, 30p a tin. Still got a few left, this has saved me loads of money on milk for cereals.
I shall give away some mushrooms and sprouts, as they don't freeze too well. The brocolli will be eaten quickly, and the two bags of prepared veg will be turned into veggie stew and frozen in portions. My shopping is an example of Time Rich, Cash Poor. I don't have much money to live on, but I have the time to invest in searching out the best buys. I wish I had retired earlier, knowing what I know now.

Talking of poor pensioners feeling the cold, take a look at this clip. It's a good larf for a Thursday.



Toodle pip.

26 comments:

  1. Hi Ilona
    Did you know that you can freeze mushrooms? You can take them out of the freezer and throw them into casseroles etc, might be worth a try.
    What a cache of food there, bet you skipped out of the shop. lol
    Briony
    x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bri, No I didn't know about freezing mushrooms, I thought they might go rubbery.

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  2. Brilliant! Good for you. I am very impressed. Just out of interest, what time did you go to Tescos?

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    1. Hi Anon. I got there at 7.50pm and left two hours later. I think most of the supermarkets have a similar routine. Start marking down mid afternoon, with a few pennies off. Second markdown about 6pmish. Third and final markdown after 8pm, which takes it to 90% off the original price.

      Last night the assistant didn't seem to want to do it, she kept us hanging on. Some of them are quite nice and jolly about it, I always have a bit of banter with them so they remember me. Sometimes I am unlucky and there isn't much left, either because there wasn't much in the first place, or other shoppers have nabbed it because they were happy to make a small saving. I like a big saving, ha ha.

      It's a game of chance, if they don't have much reduced you need to have a plan B in place, and for me that's buying own Value or Saver labels. Having a few tins and packets in the cupboard to tide me over.

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  3. Hello Ilona from House fairy
    Wow! You did well. Congratulations on your shop.
    I tell Oh we need to shop later in the day, but he will not have it.

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  4. Well done Ilona. What good bargains!

    If you could get hold of a Dehydrator a lot of your veg could be dried out and stored for later use - bananas, rasperries, mushrooms, carrots - even green leafy veg can be done, although it tends to crumble to dust and is best used to make home made veg stock powder.

    Just a thought? :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi CW, I think a dehydrator might be usefull for a family, to be honest I prefer the taste, texture, and look, of fresh.

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  5. Fantastic bargains! I know what you mean about the mushrooms but I found if I peel and slice them, making sure they are perfectly dry and in an air tight container they freeze ok for the slow cooker. Not as nice as fresh but acceptable. Glad you got a free cream egg along with your healthy stuff - yum. Debbie

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  6. I dry sliced mushrooms in the oven when cooking something else, then grind them in a pestle and mortar. They keep in a jar for ages and I add them to stews and soups and sauces to deepen the taste. I have been reading your blog for a while but this is my first comment. ChrisF.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chris, welcome, and thank you for your useful comment. I don't use my oven because it uses too much gas. I don't bake, make pies or cakes, all my cooking is done on the gas hob, the grill, in the microwave, and occasionally the slow cooker.

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  7. Well done Ilona, I work night shift so miss out on this unless i make a shopping trip on Sunday afternoon. I did my weekly shop and hunted out some bargains, stocked up on a few things and saved a bit from my budget. Then I filled up with petrol which came to more than my shopping. If I was retired that petrol would last about 5 weeks, food for thought.

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  8. I love Steptoe, thanks for sharing the link!

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  9. Hi Ilona, if you fry up all those mushrooms with a little butter, salt and pepper(I do a big batch with onions and zucchinis) they'll keep for longer in the fridge. Delicious on everything or mixed into eggs - even alone on buttered toast. They'll freeze better after cooking as well.
    I enjoy your blog, thanks! - Nicole

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    Replies
    1. Good ideas there Nicole, many thanks.

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  10. If I buy too much broccoli, I make soup. I steam the broccoli and either freeze it or make soup and freeze it. I use my immersion blender. Delicious with a little cheese stirred in.


    Maggie from U.S.

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  11. Hi Ilona,
    I made my first ever basil pesto yesterday from my homegrown abundant crop ! I really enjoy your blog, thanks so much for posting the link - I used to watch Steptoe and Son many years ago, what great comic actors ! Happy Easter !
    Cheryl from Australia

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  12. My, that is quite a haul you've got there, Ilona! I rarely luck out on marked-down produce, but once I got two package of portobello mushrooms that had just been marked down and were in perfect form, but wouldn't be for long. I cooked them right away, just sizzling gently in a pan with lots of butter, and had a FEAST. Never would have bought them at all if they hadn't been marked down to almost nothing, but then it turned out to be a splendid and memorable meal :)
    Lately I've been buying a package of frozen strawberries now and then, and slicing up a few while still frozen to mix with vanilla yogurt. The frozen fruit chills the yogurt even more, and I was happy to discover it tastes even better than ice cream!

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    1. Hi Quinn, You have just illustrated how you can try new and interesting foods by buying something you wouldn't normally pick up, at a knockdown price. My diet has become more varied as I am willing to try most things. Frozen fruit in yogurt is a good idea. I like vanilla flavour yogurt.

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  13. Hi Ilona, That is a great amount of food for the price. You did really well! I've noticed that almost every time I shop for food, something is not priced correctly or there is a problem of some sort when checking out. I try to watch carefully and always speak up if there is a mistake made, but I wonder how many people get ripped off and don't know it. I love hearing how to use up all the veggies and I am having fun making curries now. Martha from Kansas

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  14. Hi Ilona, I have never seen bargains like that in an Australian supermarket. Sometimes they will go out for half price, but I don't know where the food goes after that. Sometimes it goes to local charities. I hope it gets used somewhere, and not binned.
    I pop excess mushrooms into a paper bag in the fridge crisper. The mushrooms dry out beautifully, and I rehydrate them in a teacup of water to go into stews. The water they sit in turns a deep brown, and I add it to the stew as mushroom stock.
    Well done on the bargain hunting.

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to try this drying - freezing, mushroomy thing. Several people have mentioned it, many thanks.

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    2. Yes, I agree about Australia- I live in oz and never see these bargains- the max is half price, yet bread can be 60-70% off in Woolies, sometimes, if lucky, but not often! I notice we always pay much more than UK bloggers pay, for food. UK food is so cheap in comparison!

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  15. Congratulations Ilona - 600 Members (listed followers)! Testament to your abundant talents.

    Brian

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    1. Thank you for pointing that out to me, Brian, I had noticed it creeping up. Wow, I am so chuffed, and they have all joined voluntarily. No begging, pleading, dragging them kicking and screaming, blackmailing, or brow beating. People just walk in to Tightwad Towers and decide to stay awhile. Love ya all folks :o)

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  16. you can also freeze raspberries. if you put them on a baking sheet in the freezer and space them out they freeze individually. and hold all the texture and flavour for when you need them. Gorgeous added to porridge or yoghurt

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  17. Not to be rude, but those are parentheses (), not brackets []. Curly brackets {} look like that.

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