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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Meticulous shopping

Hello. Some food I buy on a regular basis, mostly perishables which have to be purchased weekly or fortnightly. Other foods I buy on an add hoc basis, whenever I see them, and when I find them cheaper. A lot of prices are stored in my head, but there are comparison sites that can be used for price checking. I spend long enough on the computer, don't want to add to that. Besides, remembering things helps to keep the brain in order, use it or lose it. 
I called in the Cash and Carry yesterday on my way back from town, worth a look if passing. Sometimes I get nothing, sometimes a few bargains. Two boxes of  750grm Bran Flakes for £1, so I bought three for £3. I don't know what the normal price for Kellogs is because I never buy it, but I do know that my regular Bran Flakes from Aldi or Tesco Value are 88p. That is £5.28 for six, so I have saved £2.28 by buying these. 
Nuts and seeds can be quite expensive, I am always on the look out for cheaper. I found these pumpkin seeds, (113grm), three packets for £1. I thought this was a good price compared to health food shops, our Asian shop, and supermarkets.

These are meant for baking, but there is no reason why they can't be used for snacking, or as I do, in my mini chopper on the breakfast cereal. Three packets for £1, (250grm).

More dried fruit for breakfast. Two packs of sultanas for £1, (325grm) Normal price for something similar is 88p for Aldi 500grm.

Can't get any cheaper than this, 20p each. Although it says Heinz on the label all the rest is in a foreign language, not sure which country it was made in. Worth a try, if it's horrible only 40p wasted. 
Co op Cat food pouches, seven for £1. Worth a try.

I had a couple of cartons of this drink a couple of weeks ago, it's lovely. 50p per carton. I dilute it 50/50, sometimes even more, depends if I need a long refreshing drink, or a slug of fruit.
Is your shopping as meticulous as mine? I know where I can find the best prices, I call in places when I am passing, and always combine journeys with other trips out, to cut down on the cost of driving. I park in town and walk to places. I have to drive to Tesco at night because it's out of town near the motorway, but I only go once every three to four weeks, and always buy yellow sticker food. I feel that offsets the cost of the four mile each way trip.

I've just seen something lovely, the old gentleman who lives in the next street taking his dog a walk. He has one of those push along frames, he lost his dog about a year ago and was without one for a long time. Now he has a ten year old rescue dog and he is out every day with it. It has given him a new lease of life.

Another doggy tale, I know where a lot of the dogs live in my village and always look out for them as I am walking around. Some of them are looking out of the window and bark as I pass, I give them a wave, daft I know. There is a Dalmation which I used to see out and about quite a lot, always had a waggy tale, She doesn't get out now because she can't manage walks, but sometimes I see her laid on the carpet just inside the front door. I wave to her and she gets to her feet to look through the glass. Yesterday the owner and doggy was standing on the front drive talking to a neighbour, it was so lovely to see her close up and give her a cuddle.

Right, I'm off. Looking like a dry day, so I want to be outside. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip


  1. nice doggie tales your shopping is very interesting seem to have some real bargains do you have a heron freezer centre ? ours does good deals tessa

  2. Fantastic bargains, I do love Bran Flakes, fruits and nuts are expensive in the supermarkets. The Mayonnaise is called Heinz seriously good.
    I have some and it is nice.

  3. All good, nutritious food; by the way the 'Heinz' label is written in German but I did my 'O' level 35 years ago so can't translate it now, memory has dimmed! I shop at Aldi (nearest and cheapest supermarket) and some of their labels are written in foreign languages but of course it makes no difference as I find the quality good and haven't bought anything I really disliked. Just quickly, talking of labels, I know a lady who I will refer to as 'Hyacinth Bouquet' (from the tv series 'Keeping up Appearances) and she decants cheap washing up liquid, handwash etc into Waitrose and Marks & Spencer bottles thinking that her guests believe she shops at these upmarket stores! We haven't told her that we know her secret but it does make me laugh. Amanda

    1. Under 'Heinz' it says 'Simply Tasty'!

  4. I think your mayonnaise is German - it says 'simply delicious'. 'Ohne' means without so it's without something, although I can't see what it says underneath. I'm sure it'll be fine, our European neighbours do great mayonnaise!

  5. That looks like a good lot of groceries.I try to eat healthily too. I have hemiplegia and think its sensible .Been vegetarian for about 40 yes now .I was vegan for 8.I can eat fairly cheaply ,mainly vege stews/soups. Pot luckUsed to soak beans but mainly tin butter beans.occasionally lentils.I can rarely find nuts and seeds on offer.Sometimes if I'm near a health food shop I stock up but never that cheap.I'm going to try chopping them up a bit like you do ,they will go a bit further then thanks x

  6. I'm assuming its mayonnaise but it reads "simply delicious" - which doesn't really tell you much else does it? Good haul though Ilona and lovely to hear that elderly gentleman has a new lease of life. It keeps pushing the idea on me of getting a dog when I retire shortly. Anna

  7. What a great shop, wish we had one of these stores near us.
    Loved the abstract picture the other day.

  8. The Heinz mayonaise's label sais in German "Simply delicious without dyes and aromas". Good stuff, so enjoy the bargain!
    I am an avid bargain hunter in The Netherlands :>)


  9. Great shop! Enjoy your dry day outside. Overcast and not looking too wonderful here...

  10. hey, your pumpkins seeds are a great buy (as is all else)..I think you got an extra bonus in them, I can read "chia seeds/rosemary" on them? Chia is got all kinds of healthy oils, and rosemary is good for the memory...

    Meticulous as you? Well, would love to be, but we have much less opportunity, as don't seem to get the markdowns you do..But..we try very hard. VERY. All in all, get some good buys.

    Re you waving to the dogs...Grin, I do much the same. Every time I am out driving, and (especially stopped at a light etc), see a dog in the vehicle, especially if they have their faces up against the glass, I have a "visit" with them, tell them what good pups they are. And down our street, there is a yard that often has a dog or two out in the drive by, I always say hello, tell them what good pups they are, etc..I swear they wag their tails at me..

  11. I,m sitting waiting to get some strength back before dinner and it made me laugh about talking to dogs.I have 3 dogs I talk to them all the time , and when I'm out I say to dogs I see that's a nice ball or that's a nice stick they seem so proud of themselves running up to me showing me what they have got and run off and seem to love the attention . Glad its not just me.x

  12. I talk to Annie all the time. After my KaTy died I realized how much I talked to her. I also wave to other dogs - they notice. I don't care what other people think about it. After KaTy and before Annie, I frequently got my "dog fix" with other people's dogs. Not a thing wrong with it and they love the attention. A win-win! Jackie

  13. Which cash and carry do you go to? Do you need to have a membership card? Looks like you've got some great bargains.

  14. I pretty much stick to Lidl's and Tescos as they are near to me and I don't have a car. I find it too time consuming to involve other supermarkets as I have to rely on public transport. I have a shopping trolley and that helps me to get it all home. I try to buy the bulk of it in Lidl's, though as a single shopper I get really exasperated with their multi packaging of fruit and veg - I just don't need 6 lemons, 10 carrots, massive bunches of grapes and so on. I'm afraid I'm a bit lazy and unmotivated when it comes to batch cooking and freezing, and my freezer is pretty small so it's not really an option. I hunt for bargains and also look on the bottom shelves, as that is where Tescos put their bargain lines. I pay 33p for washing up liquid when the top shelf stuff is as much as £1.50, and I buy the cheapest bleach, bin liners etc. It makes me laugh when the government tries to present this image of well off final salary pensioners, when so many are living on very tight budgets. Great bargains in this post Ilona and I like your doggy stories:)

  15. I mostly shop within the same company - but - they have stores at 3 different price levels. I check the flyers for each every Friday and then decide what I'm buying from there (it pays to check as some weeks the same item is actually on at a cheaper price at one of the high end stores).
    Certain things - like cereals/peanut butter/tinned fruit & veg/toiletries/paper goods & most cleaning supplies - I don't buy at all unless they are on sale - but you do have to know your prices as there are often misleading ads or stickers on items whereby it looks as though they are on sale - but really - they aren't. I stock up, especially on non-perishable and non-food items whenever possible as I hate to run out and then be forced to pay full price.
    PS - I would never find nuts, seeds or dried fruits on at those low prices that you find! Good for you.

  16. I dilute drinks all the time. I don't drink nearly enough water because I honestly cannot stand the taste of the stuff! So a small slurp of fruit juice or cordial just takes away the *watery* taste lol.
    I love reading your doggie tales :)

  17. Ilona,
    I was doing some house to house visiting when I said good morning to the happy dog in the driveway, as usual. I didn't see the lady looking through her window. She replied. For one hilarious moment I thought the dog had spoken. I pretended I had seen her all along. Lol.
    Becky too.Trinidad.Caribbean.

  18. I am in the US. I shop almost exclusively at Walmart since getting in and out of the car and walking to their electric carts is excruciating for my back. WM does a price-match, accepting others' ad prices. I go online and write down the deals from Kroger, Aldi, and Sprouts. Kroger and Sprouts are about 30 miles away, so going there would not be frugal. Aldis is right across from WM, but they have no electric carts. On Wednesday, a batch of grocery store sale papers come folded together in the mail. I go through each of those and write down the bargains. Then, I go through the dollar store type ads and the drugstore ads--CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen's.

    When I get through, I have a list of best prices around. Instead of paying $3.98 for a gallon of milk, I pay $.99 with a price-match. Grapes of all colors were $.99/lb. instead of $3.98. I cherry pick the sales in order to spend less and eat very well. Cherry pick means getting the best of whatever, prices in this case.

    With coupons, my savings are phenomenal. I buy only what I normally eat. I don't use the coupons for cookies or potato chips, well, unless I had planned on cookies and searched for a recipe. I rarely eat anything that is full-priced since I have it on my shelf at home.

    I dehydrate bananas, zucchini, and other produce that was on sale. This next week, zucchini that I dehydrated last summer will go into a jar of spaghetti gotten on a buy 1 get 1 deal. I use the zucchini instead of pasta and never notice there is no pasta. I never buy reduced produce of any kind. There is always something on sale.

    Shopping for food is a science and project with me. If I had to shop for things priced at full price, I would have a less varied diet and less nutritious meals.

  19. hi Ilona, I'm a bit like kateonthecoast, a single shopper without a car so I just stick to Aldi for the most part. If I have time I have a browse through other shops for a change or special offers. I used to keep a food diary for 2 years but not doing it this year as I think I know where I'm at now. My average weekly spend is £17 total for all food and drink. Sometimes I buy in for the month. I don't have a freezer or microwave but I do have a small ice box in top of fridge. I eat a little meat, limited to £3 a week but don't always spend that. This week I bought some frozen meals as I have been ill for several weeks with a winter respiratory infection so I needed easy food and actually spent less, only £9 this week. I've never seen the bargains you manage to buy. Still looking for ways to save money.

  20. I really like your shopping "reveal". It gets me thinking about possibilities I never would have imagined. I'm especially interested in the morning cereal you make up with seeds, nuts, dried fruit, grains, etc. That looks so healthy and appealing. Thanks, Sheri

  21. I enjoy reading about your fun food finds with low prices. We don't have yellow sticker items here alot. I do peruse the low ticketed items for bread and other non perishable items and once in awhile I find something I can use. It's always fun to look and see. I jokingly told my daughter I was going to get the round cake with black and white flowers for my birthday cake! Nope, didn't do it as it was probably going to be dry. It was kind of cute looking though! :-} I do remember alot of prices which helps alot when I shop for groceries. Take care and have a good week!

  22. I would love it if our best shops were only 4 miles away. For us, they're over 40, one way. We have two shops in town, but the prices are rarely lower than the ones an hour away. (The Sunday paper has adverts so i can compare.) I guess it's the price we pay to live in such a beautiful area.
    Your day sounded wonderful! I hope it continues. I too love the dog stories. I commiserate when i come across dogs. "Is that right? No way! Really? I don't believe it!" I have no doubt that the entire neighborhood thinks i'm nuts. Ha!


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