Saturday, 8 February 2014

The poshest shopping bags in town

I think we ought to call this Soggy Saturday. We had tons of rain during the night, but luckily so far, no rain today, unlike those in the south who have had continuous rain which seems like forever. I think it's about time that the government started thinking about helping those in dire need at home, and suspend aid to the rest of the world for the time being, until things are put right here. Not going to get political, just feeling sorry for those who have lost everything here. They desperately need some help.
Anyway, moving on, more bags made, and they are getting posher. A lot of these are one off's, as there is just enough material for one bag only. These are strong enough to carry mixed items, heavy on the bottom, light on the top. They are not waterproof like plastic. Not that you would want to trudge a mile in the rain with them, they are too nice to get wet. 
The pink is actually the reverse of the fabric. I thought it was too pretty to hide so I turned one side the wrong way before sewing it together.

I took my car for a service yesterday, I am £70 lighter now. I stretched it longer than the normal 12 months because I have not done a lot of miles. I think every 15 months will suffice. 
As I was close to town I picked a few things up, did a bit of foraging around the discount stores. There was a fruit and veg stall set up outside Poundstretcher so I went to have a nosey to see what their prices were like. I thought a big net of onions was a bargain for £1, so I bought one. You can't have enough onions. I shall be eating them every day from now on. They were selling even bigger nets of carrots for £2, and they looked good quality, not broken bits. I have already got carrots bought from Tesco, so I don't need any more. If you have potatoes, carrots, and onions that's the basics for a wide range of meals. All this for around £3.
I keep my cupboards tidy and arrange the contents so I can see at a glance what I have in. When I unpack the shopping I check the receipts and mark the price on each item with a black marker pen. That keeps the price in my mind so I will notice if anything has gone up next time I shop.

Here are a few of my regular purchases. Plain yogurt, which went up to 55p for a few weeks, but is back down to 45p. Soya milk has stayed the same for ages, I notice they have changed the packaging to a square carton now. I am down to my last bottle of Sesame Oil, cost £1 from the Cash and Carry. I keep looking for more so I can stock up, but no luck. When this is gone it's gone, I wont be paying the £1.60 for a lot smaller bottle from the supermarkets, I will manage without. Fruit juice is usually two for £1 from the C & C. Sometimes it's three for £1 if it's well over the sell by date. I always read the labels on the juice, as it's bound to have a shorter shelf life than tins and packets. I also like to check where it is made, and if it's a company I have ever heard of. Sometimes they have well know brands, sometimes the labels don't have much English on them. I get the Coffee Mate from either Home Bargains or B & M, they charge the same price. I put one teaspoonful in my coffee, one carton lasts ages.

The Cash and Carry has tartar sauce in at the moment, it won't last forever so I have a few in stock. I put it on anything and everything as I like the taste. Salads, sandwiches, and steamed vegetables. Tesco own label Value, these are pretty good. I did try some cheaper peanut butter from B & M once, at 50p per jar, but it was horrible. I ate it but never again, I will stick to this one at 62p. Nice flavour, no palm oil. I like a bit of lemon curd on a slice of wholegrain bread now and again. No butter or spread, just lemon curd. 
And lastly to the tins. More Value stuff. The chick peas are not cheap in Tesco, I get them from Home Bargains or B & M, usually three tins for £1. Asian shops usually have a good deal on these if you buy a pack of 12. I put a shake of curry powder in baked beans if I fancy them a bit more spicy. I often fancy rice pudding about 8pm at night, so I put half a tin in a mug and zap it in the microwave and eat it out of the mug. Then I transfer the rest of it into the mug and put it in the fridge to eat the following day. In my opinion it's as good as the posh brands, and at 7.5p a portion it's a cheap pudding.

I'm not going anywhere for the rest of the day, lots of crafting to do. I did an hour of litter picking and dog walking this morning, (multi tasking), so now I'm staying in. The wind is getting up, and there's the possibility of rain. Whatever you are doing, have a good weekend. Toodle pip.

21 comments:

  1. Good idea about marking the prices, Ilona...I think I'll try doing that as well! It will help me figure out what meals are costing.
    I had to have a repairperson out to look at my oven yesterday. I've been doing more and more cooking in recent months, and it's really made a difference in how well I eat and how fully I utilize every bit of the food I buy. The bad news: the replacement part (and labor) may cost as much as $200. I am reeling. Will have to think very hard about this. I did without having any stove at all for many years, but now I really enjoy the luxury of cooking :(

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    1. Could you call another person out and get a second opinion? Some folks just want to rip you off. What about one of those small ovens you put on your worktop, would that be cheaper? If cookery is your hobby you might have to cough up the dosh and pay for your repair.

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  2. It's a good idea to mark the prices, something I'm trying to get in the habit of doing.

    Those bags are lovely, are you going to give them away at the supermarket again?

    It might be a good idea to make a few up and give them away at the next event you take the stall to for raising money for the cat charity. If you give people a free bag they may just make a little donation in the tin ... just an idea :-)

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    1. Yes, I like giving them away, and passing on the message to drop the plastic. The supermarket is the best place to do it because it gets the message across when people turn up without a bag.

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  3. I was thinking about the financial aid thing as well. Sometimes I think they can get aid faster to the other side of the world than they can to people in need in our own country. £12 billion of aid pledged by our gov to go overseas and £100 million for disaster relief here in the UK. Go figure that one out!

    Never thought of marking food prices on cans - will give that one a try. Another good idea Ilona!

    Linda xx

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  4. Hi Ilona, I love your bags, especially the top 2 flowery ones. I would love to have one, would you consider selling them, or posting one for a donation to your cat charity?
    Sooze

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    1. Hi Sooze. I don't want to go through the rigmarole of selling things through my blog. We are a small cat rescue and at the moment we have enough money in the kitty, ha ha, to cover our costs. We do quite well with local fundraising, and people also make donations. We don't need to look further afield to raise cash.

      If you send me your name and address by email, address on the side under 'contact me here', I will post one off to you free of charge. Tell me which one you want. Please don't everyone ask as I'm not going to sit for hours at my machine running them up. Thanks.

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  5. Danneke here, The bags are lovely and so pretty, I think everyone will be wanting your bags soon Ilona as the government want to stop the use of plastic bags at all shops & stores, and if a person needs one it will be 5p a bag. I wonder how many hours of brain power it took some ministers to think this almost law out, had they maybe heard about your give aways at the supermarket I wonder. Dont think I will be able to have my bedroom window open tonight, the wind has arrived here and its howling, the xpelair fan is flapping like crazy in the bathroom. What with wind and rain and very high seas I just wonder if spring will ever arrive

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  6. I would love it if our government would pour every penny that is available for crisis relief into our country. I noticed last week that a few of the Dykes near to Spalding are full of reeds, they used to be dredged regularly and kept clear. If they are allowed to become overgrown it could be us underwater, if the water can not drain through the dykes it will just level out and it is very level here.

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  7. "I think it's about time that the government started thinking about helping those in dire need at home, and suspend aid to the rest of the world for the time being, until things are put right here."

    Have to disagree on this comment. The sentiment that one's country should cut overseas aid and focus on "national interest" is not a new one for those who live in developed countries, and for those people I would say: You haven't seen a bombed out war zone or visited a refugee camp.

    Charity begins at home, but it shouldn't stop at the door.

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    1. Watching the emergency services scrape bits of bodies off the street after an IRA bomb blast and not knowing if your relatives are amongst them or having pieces of glass rain down on you after an incendiary device has gone off in the building you were sitting in rates pretty highly on my experiences of war zone in this country. Bad things happen to good people here as well, it's not confined to overseas countries.

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  8. Dannekes comment about the forthcoming carrier bag tax made me wish that i had a bag with me on thursday.
    I went in a McDonalds in West Wales and was asked if i wanted a 5p bag so i said no, thinking i'd get a paper bag as normal but the carrier bag tax is already in in Wales. My chips were soggy by the time i got to my truck, serves me right for being too tight to buy a bag.
    There was quite a lot of flooding in Wales where rivers have burst their banks and flooded the fields. I'd say that the cutbacks aren't helping. Leaves didn't get cleared by councils so they would have found their way into rivers and drains.
    So its a big thanks to the government, watching us suffer while they send £millions abroad.
    Dave.

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  9. I love your shopping and larder run-downs! Keepit up !

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  10. Wow, you plain yoghurt is so cheap. I looked on the Tesco website to see how many grams sell for 45p, and it said 500g. We never get such low prices here in Australia. Is it good yoghurt or low quality? I wish we had such cheap food here for people on low incomes.

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    1. Hi, The yogurt tastes nice to me, it's quite thick and creamy. Some people prefer the more expensive Greek style, but I say, try the cheaper version and get a taste for it, then work your way up if you have to.

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    2. http://shop.coles.com.au/online/national/coles-yoghurt-natural
      We pay over $3 here for a similar 500g generic brand from one of our 3 main supermarkets, see the link. 45 p is just under $1, so we pay 3 times what you pay for a store brand. Pensioners here are getting it tough. I notice you don't seem to buy fresh milk, is that to save money?

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  11. When I go to my mum's in Dorset we always visit the 'out of date shop'. It's brilliant, they get a new load of whatever in each day, you never know what it's going to be but you can get things incredibly cheaply. Usually it's 3 for £1, or a large bag of assorted stuff for £3. Last time I was down, I got three bottles of assorted Kraft salad dressings, two bottles of guacamole dressing and a bottle of Heinz mayonnaise, all for £3. Two giant bottles of barbeque sauce and garlic sauce were £1. Three of those dried coconut milk boxes, (which at my local store are £2.75 each!) for £1.I came out with a big bag of stuff for only a fiver! I can't wait to get there every time I visit my mum. It's not just food though, it's anything, household cleaners, out of date easter eggs, xmas stuff and so on. And some of it's not even out of date. Have you got one of these near you Ilona? Unfortunately we don't have one near us...

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    1. We haven't got an out of date shop, the Cash and Carry is the nearest thing to it. Anyone can go, it's like a mini warehouse, but there is a lot of junk food there. I pick out what suits me, bypassing the snacks, crisps, pop, sweets, and chocolates.

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  12. Thames creeping very near to our front door in Surrey.
    Just had a delivery of sand bags but don't think they will be a lot of help.
    Seems the water comes up thru the floorboards.
    At least it's not raining at mo so maybe the river will get a chance to go down a bit.
    Fingers crossed here!

    Luv from
    A Slightly Worried Granny G
    xx

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    1. Oh dear Granny, sorry to hear that. I hope you don't get wet feet any time now.

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  13. Thanks Ilona.
    It's not getting any higher - nor is it getting any lower!
    So feet dry so far.

    Granny G
    xx

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