Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Cheapest places to shop.

Hello and Good morning, and what a brilliant one it is as well. Sunshine all the way today I think. I have had to water the flower beds and pots this last week, we could do with some rain really.

I am often asked where is the cheapest place to shop for food. The short answer is, I don't know. People think that because my food bill is low I know the best place to go. The truth is that I know the best places to go to buy the cheapest food that I need for me.

Shopping is a very personal thing because everyone has different needs and wants. Everyone has their favourite foods, and know what they can't live without, and what they can compromise on by dropping a brand, buying cheaper.

People have different taste buds. I absolutely love Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and just about all veg, others might not like them at all. I like simple not mucked about food, others might like all the trimmings and treat food preparation as a hobby. The less time I spend in the kitchen the better.

People have different reasons for eating. I regard food as the fuel to keep my body alive, so a lot of it should be healthy. Oh I can be tempted with treats now and again, isn't everyone, but I try and keep things on an even keel and not over indulge in things that are bad for me. My comfort eating is at an all time low, as I don't look for sweet tastes to make me feel better. A delicious plate of steamed veg and I'm happy.

Finding the best prices takes time, and those working might not be able to spend much time trawling shops. Prices can be checked on the internet, but this also takes time. However, some kind of organisation is preferable to none at all. Grabbing stuff off the shelves because you are in a hurry will push up your food bill.

How close are supermarkets to your home dictates how much you will spend. If you have several within walking distance you are laughing, you can play one off against the other. Even a short drive to the shops is worth it to help you find the cheapest prices. If you are out and about doing other things it always pays to pop in somewhere for a bargain. Those living in remote areas may not have access to cheap food, and may have to do an online shop, which is not always the cheapest way.

Most of my shopping is done in Tesco and Aldi. Other places I go to are the discount stores, B & M, Home Bargains, Pounstretcher, Asda, Superdrug, Cash and Carry, Market, Morrisons, Poundland, and others occasionally. I don't generally shop in Marks and Sparks, Sainsbury's, or Waitrose, all too expensive for me.

So my list will not be the same for you, which means I cannot answer the question, where is the cheapest place to shop for food. Now you tell me where is the cheapest place for your food shopping?

Here's a little taster of my embroidered circles project. The next stage. I have an idea.



I'm going to sign off for the day, I'll be back later to catch up with you all. Thanks for popping in.
Toodle pip

PS. A little bit of information. I have just been awarded a badge from Money Saving Expert, I have been posting on the forum for ten years. I have made a total of 1753 posts, and have been thanked 6184 times in 1272 posts. Phew, time passes so quickly when you are enjoying yourself  :o)

29 comments:

  1. Wow, well deserved and a thank you from all your readers here at life after money, we've all saved a lot dough and been given tons of entertainment and a jolly good read on a daily basis. thanks for all your hard work.

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  2. Hi Ilona how do we find you on MSE.

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    1. Hi. My posts are spread over several different categories, (called boards). You won't find a list of them all together. If you click on this link it will take you to Debt Free Wannabe, I posted two replies on here this morning, number two and four.

      http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=72526256#post72526256

      Click on my name and a drop down box appears, choose Find more posts by Ilona. It will bring up the threads where I have posted. There isn't a list of just my posts, the whole thread comes up, you need to read the posts before mine for it to make any sense. A forum is a conversation between several people, you probably know that.

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    2. Thankyou Ilona I shall look forward to reading, I always read all articles about you else where and your posts on other places as well as watching you on youtube always interesting.

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  3. Correct: shopping is personal and it depends on one's needs. I don't buy things just because they're cheap. I buy the things I Need, for the cheapest price found. That's why I have to go to several places: one sells olives,tuna, and mineral bottled water, for the cheapest price; the other sells at a great discount, two hours before closing - pastries (30% discount, which I seldom buy) and grilled meat (50% discount) that was produced on the spot on that day. Still, veggies and fruit are cheapest and freshest at the market , if you have one in your hometown. I don't, and that's a hard one as I'm a great devourer of fruit and this is expensive almost everywhere. Discount for fruit and dairy - almost non-existent at the supermarkets in my neck of the woods.

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    1. Hi. We did have two fruit and veg stalls in our indoor market, but they had a bust up with each other about some personal matter, literally a punch up, and now they have both closed. I wasn't there at the time but a reliable source, adjacent stall holder, tells me it got a bit nasty. Ho hum, that's life.

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  4. Congratulations Ilona-Top of the class-a Gold star and a Crown for a Queen! I shop mainly in Lidl as the Tesco in the village is small and Co-op too expensive.I do stock up occasionly when I'm near others to get bargains.If I go to the nearest market for fresh fruit and vegetables it has to be worth my while as bus fare is £4.(only 2 years for a bus pass ,I can't wait) Congratulations again on your Award-you deserve it x

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    1. Hi. I forgot to mention that I don't make a habit of shopping at the Co op, too expensive for me. I'll look for reductions though but don't find many.

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  5. Hi!,Congratulations on your award,it is well deserved!,Well i just thought that i would say that 3 days ago,i stopped eating meat.My daughter had brought me a leg of lamb.....which my hubby was delighted with...but after seeing little lambs lately..i thought ,What the hell am i doing??..I love animals,prefer them to humans alot of the time,lol.I give all my things to the Animal charity shop,i reuse,recycle,lead a really frugal life,which i do enjoy!!,Like they say,Less is more!,So although my hubby will never give up his meat n veg dinners,i am really going to try and just eat veg and salads,beans,rice,pasta.With herbs and spices the list is endless.And you know what?..im really looking forward to it!,Thanks for your great blogs,Debi,Leic,x

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    1. Do you think you could smuggle a veggie burger or sausage onto your hubbys dinner?x

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    2. Well done Debi. I think it is wrong to go ga ga over sweet little fluffy lambs, then show no remorse when shoving a lump of charred flesh from an animals behind in your mouth.

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  6. Congratulations Ilona. I have read your blog every day for the past five years and it has both entertained me and helped me live within my means. Keep up the good work.
    Best wishes

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    1. Congratulations to you Colin, I appreciate your dedication and support and hope you will stick around for another five years.

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  7. As you say Ilona, this is a difficult question to answer, 'the cheapest place to shop'. We are in a rural area and really are a bit of a 'captive audience'. However, we manage to last 3 weeks before we go to Aldi (a round trip of about 12 miles) and we are trying our nearest Co-Op (about 10 miles trip) for the 'last sticker' dash at about 7.30pm. Well done about the award. We found your site about 3 years ago and pop in most days as there is usually something to learn about or entertain. Keep blogging. Amanda

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    1. Hi. 12 miles every three weeks isn't too bad. If you stock up when things are cheap then you don't have to make as many journeys, and if you combine errands and go to several places even better.

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  8. Oh,i am on a roll now,lol,I hope this is ok,to add to frugal ways...I always grate little bars of soap to use in my washing machine,when i have ran out of the pound stuff,and put it in the lid of the pound stuff bottle and put it in the machine....like you would one of those expensive bubble things.Washing comes out fine.I even do my grandsons work clothes like this,although i do his work clothes for an hour instead of my usual 15 min wash.I also ..peg with wooden pegs..all my old black n white Family photos..on a string,across my living room wall..my Mam loves this!.It also doubles up as a Christmas card holder in December.My Summer dresses are stored in very old cases,which i have covered in weird pics and cutouts from free mags i pick up in London and Brighton.Stored on top of each other,i can use them to put my standard lamp on.I just use pound shop wallpaper paste to cover them.Just thought,that i would share a few of my ideas.Hope that you dont mind,Debi,Leic,x

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    1. Thank you for those tips, Debi. Every little helps.

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  9. I shop in Lidl mainly and buy a few brand names in Tesco.Also when I'm out and about if I see something cheap that I would use anyway I stock up. Found my shower gel in savers for £1 each instead of £3 in Tesco so bought 4 this week and my hair dye for £4.50 instead of £6! Even though I have a few at home they will keep ok. Always check the reduced section too.

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    1. Hi Sally,i do find Aldi cheaper .Family Shower gel 33p I even wash my hair with it.I find Lidi more expensive so might be worth giving it a try.....although i am lucky that my Aldi is 5 mins from Lidi
      sBest Wishes,Debi,Leic,x

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  10. Always find your tips and ideas helpful Ilona. I've struggled with even basic maths all my life and I'm not very good at working out discounts and which are the best buys etc in terms of quantities and price. I use Lidl's and Tesco's mainly, they are the nearest shops to me. I don't have a car so it's not easy to shop around at other places, and too time consuming. I hate food shopping and like to spend as little time as possible doing it. If it's not abolished I will get a bus pass in 2 year's time, I can't wait, that will help a lot. I do get frustrated with the multi packs of fruit and veg. Lidl's are particularly prone to it, far too many for me, I just want to buy individual items and have some variety, not have to eat the same thing day after day. Cooking is not my thing and I'm not imaginative when it comes to food, though I do try to eat a proper dinner every day. I think being vegetarian and not having a sweet tooth must save a lot of money as well as being of great benefits to health. Recently I was looking into home delivery, some of them now do a delivery pass which makes this more affordable. I used to have home delivery when I was working and I loved it, I actually think I spent less, because I wasn't distracted by displays and offers in the shop etc. Plus it frees up time for more interesting activities.

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  11. PS I just found you on Money Saving Expert Ilona! I didn't realise they had an over 50s money saving thread, I will definitely be giving this a regular look, thanks for the heads up:)

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  12. Are any of Ilona's readers noticing food prices really ramping up at the moment? I was shocked in Morrison's today at the increases in the prices of some of my basics since just a week or two ago. Just read in news that food inflation is expected to rise to upwards of 2.7% this year.

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  13. Hi Heloise, yes I have certainly noticed how things have gone up, my shop has increased by around £5-6 per week. Tesco's recently abandoned several of their excellent budget lines, including 33p washing up liquid and their 25p toothpaste. I'm feeling a bit depressed and disorganised with finances at the moment, I need to overhaul things and look again at where I can save.

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    1. Hi Kate,

      Sorry you are finding prices going up too. It's so dispiriting to have pared your budget down to the bone and find you are starting to struggle again. For me, it's the fact that they aren't just putting prices up by the odd five or ten pence: my value coffee has gone up thirty pence in a matter of days.

      Just hoping the money gurus are wrong and that there isn't worse to come.

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    2. I think we are all having to think before we give''them'' our money.I find myself saying''No'' much more now.Just buying my basics,for me ,at the moment is not too bad.Being vegetarian I can eat cheaply.I am also very sparing with products.Eating porridge with bits and bobs,sarnies and homemade stews or soups-I'm never hungry.I'm not a good cook but I know the ingredients are healthy.With Ilona here helping us and her support I think everything will be alright x

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  14. Hi Ilona - It's always fun to read your blogs and find out what you are up to - and I appreciate that you always point out that this is what works for you and that all of us have to figure out wha works best for us.
    I actually enjoy shopping and cooking - but I do go through phases. During the summer I tend to simplify - lots of salads, fruit, eggs and cheese. I do eat meat but have cut back a lot. By the time summer is over I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and try some new recipes.
    I try to shop carefully - I check the flyers each week and shop accordingly. There are certain things that I just won't buy unless they're on sale and I also collect points on a couple of cards that means free groceries a few times per year. But, I also like to check out ethnic shops and farmers markets - I find it an interesting way to spend time. I've always had an interest in the history of food and how it has affected society throughout human history. I've taken cooking lessons and I'm pretty brave about trying new recipes and I do like to entertain (but again I've cut back on the big parties and now tend to have 2 or 3 people over for lunch or dinner and some good conversation).
    Now that I'm on a more fixed income it's even more important to economize but I look on that as just another challenge! :-)

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  15. Congratulations on your award! You deserve it! I have gone to that sight in the past and saw some of your conversations. You talk the talk and walk the walk!
    For us, here in small town America, our dollar store is a great help for saving money.It's an hour away, though. When I go, I always make many, many other stops, as well. I r rad the adverts from the Sunday paper and make a list. I am notorious for going over the list but I'm getting better. I always check for discounted food, too. In our town, discounted food is almost nonexistent. Once in awhile I get lucky in the larger town. With prices going up, I look at it as a game.
    I visited my family 8 hours from here. They're all within easy reach of major shops. I took coolers and did some shopping while visiting. I got some grea t deals that I never get here. It pays to look around no matter where you go.

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  16. Well done on the award Ilona you certainly deserve it.
    I do buy from Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury but only certain things, Marks do a lovely whole cooked chicken for £6.00 and I can get up to 8 meals from it, it's lovely for summertime no cooking and lovely with salad. Some things are very expensive but some are the same as Tescos and the quality is certainly a lot nicer. I am not near Aldo, Liidl and Tesco so visit them when my daughter comes and takes me.
    Enjoy the day,
    Hazel c uk

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