Thursday, 17 February 2011

All stocked up

I'm just back from shopping, wanted to get this over and done with before the weekend crush starts. Tesco's B2GOF offer on pet food and breakfast cereals ends on Sunday, my friend Sue wanted to get stocked up on her cat food, so we went together in my car. Worth a little bit of petrol to save some money, and as she spent over £50 she got a voucher for 5p off fuel which she gave to me because she hasn't a car, so that's the petrol for this trip paid for :0)

Here is my stash. I have seperated it, the top pic is what I paid for, and the second pic is what I got free. Twelve boxes of 750grm bran flakes, 77p per box. You can keep your branded name fancy cereals, these are just as good, and along with the three bags of porridge oats I got last week that will keep me in breakfasts for about four or five months.

Six bags of cat litter £1.56 per bag. You don't need to pay any more for sweet smelling, soft and fluffy, woodchip, flushable, compostable stuff that cats pee and poo in. Just scoop the soiled stuff out regularly.

Whiskas dry, £4 per bag, my cats like this, waste of time buying the cheaper stuff they turn their nose up at it. I got a dozen tins of Whiskas, to give to Janet for looking after my cats while I am away. Strangely enough, buying them singly instead of six in a shrink wrap, is cheaper, even with the offer, daft init!


You might have noticed that I haven't got any Felix pouches for my cats, that's because, wait for it, the price per box has gone up, crafty eh! It's normally £3.40 something, it's now £3.79. I was so annoyed and didn't bother to work out if I would save a few pennies by buying it. I will stick with getting it at the market where it is £2.50 a box all the time.
I noticed that some of the pet food prices have increased, I wonder if they will drop back down again once this offer has finished. I buy Bakers Meaty Chunks for my doggy friends, usually at £2.10 or 20p a box, today they are £2.59, one heck of a price hike. The same with the 48 Felix pouches, usually £12 something, now £13.25. You've got to watch them.
I had a rummage in the reduced shelves and picked out a few battered tins. Spaghetti and beans. I don't eat too much of this but ok for a quick lunch.
Then of course a few Value items, some to take with me next week. Mulitpack crisps (12) for 48p, and very nice crisps they are. Value onions were cheaper than loose, 2kg for £1.18. Ten sultana scones for 33p. Malt loaf for 28p. Tuna chunks four at 45p, mainly a treat for the cats, but I might get a taste, ha ha.
You have got to be very savvy when it comes to choosing cheese. I like tasty cheese but very rarely buy the expensive, flavoured fancy stuff. Tesco nearly always have offers on, and these are usually located in the chiller at the end of an aisle. They had two types of cheese from Lakeland, BOGOF £3.99. Fair enough sounds about right, but on closer inspection I saw they are not the usual 400grm, but now 370grm. So off I went to the cheese cabinet and found the Cathedral for the same price, 400 grm. So the brand they were pushing was not the better buy after all. On the shelf labels you need to look at the unit price in smaller print, below the cost price.
The four tins bottom right in the pic is something new to try. I usually buy mackeral fillets, but they have gone up in price to around 68p. When that happens I always look for a cheaper substitute which is just as good, so I got these flat tins of tuna slices in lime and pepper sauce. They were 49p each, so a saving of 19p a tin.
I got a few other things as well but didn't need much. Value honey for my coffee 67p. Flora Light was on offer £1.40 each, two for £2. Bananas, the loose ones were cheaper than the Value packs.
On the way home we called in at a small Cash and Carry open to the public. They buy in out of date stuff and have a market stall as well. Some of the items are only just out of date, you have to check the dates on everything you buy.
I got two packets of Ryvita for 50p. Four pots of rice for 50p, handy for my days out next week. A jar of Korma cooking sauce for 39p. Three boxes of Enchilada Kit for £1. Sue had one of mine for 33p as she didn't want three herself.
So there you have it, my foraging trip. I now count shopping as my job, it has taken the place of going out to do a real job of work. This job has flexible hours, I can do it at any time of the day or night. I can do it in short bursts, anything from ten minutes, up to a long shift of trawling round Tesco for three hours. I see it as time invested, not a chore, but a plan to win. I'm like a squirrel gathering nuts for my store. My cupboards are full now, I only need to get fresh veg for the next few months, maybe a carton of soya milk, maybe a loaf of bread. All is well in the kitchen.


  1. It's amazing how much you can save when you shop around. Mr Twigs loves the value Tesco snacks. I think the value mozzarella at 47p is good for home made pizzas. Have you tried the value flour? I haven't yet but the price on ordinary home brand stuff goes up and down all the time, so I might gove it a whirl. We like the value jaffa cakes and value honey too.
    Twiggy x

  2. wow, good shopping trip, especially the cat food.

    Twiggy - value flour is good, that's what I've been using to make the pastry for the quiches.

    Josie x

  3. Your cats eat better than you do!! Why whiskas and not supermarket own cat food?

  4. Twiggy, I'm afraid I don't bake, can't be bothered for one person, and don't use the oven, so I don't buy flour.

    It's true Tinyholder, my cats do eat well, but I do also. The price of food is not necessarily an indication of it's quality, that's a myth. What you see here is only a small selection of what I eat. I cook most meals from scratch, lots of steamed vegetables, and very little processed food.

    I have tried the cheaper cat food, but they don't like it and I end up throwing half of it away, false economy. No point in saying they have to eat it or they don't get anything else, they would leave it there untill it was crawling with maggots. Besides, I love my cats, both rescued, they give me so much pleasure it's the least I can do to give them a nice home.

  5. I think we are just really lucky to have a cat who hates whiskas and loves Sainsbury's own. My cat has idiopathic cystitis and having done a bit of research I am shocked to find that cat food (especially the so-called posh ones with vegetables) could actually be causing it.

    I agree, I think there are some processed foods in the economy range that are terrible, but others have even bee shown to be nutritionally superior.

  6. I'm so envious of food prices and bargains that you have in the UK. I'm envious we don't have Tesco stores (I'm a green eyed little monster). We were like kids in a candy shop shopping there. The quality and selection was fantastic. Tesco is within walking distance from my Mums, would love to check all the other supermarkets I read about.

    Like you Ilona I have 3 fussy cats, the boys are not so bad and I've even been buying the el cheapo food for them. Miss Kitty, however, is a different kettle of fish and will only eat Whiskas single pouches. I pay $8.99 for 12 pouches and she has two pouches per day. Work that one out:( No wonder I'm broke. Great news though this week once in a blue moon they go on special, this weekend they are on special for $4.49 per box. As you can imagine I stock up and buy 10 boxes at least. A lot to spend in one hit but certainly worth the saving.

    I loved all your bargains and how right you are about shopping now being your job. Finally we have the unit price shown and it is so helpful in chosing the best deal.

    No wonder you are so chuffed:) xx

  7. Despite all the talk I hear about how expensive it is in the UK, it seems you can get much better bargains on food than we do where I live. You've done well with your shopping :-)

  8. Some food is expensive here, but if you shop around you can live quite cheaply. Many people bash Tesco, taking over the world, etc, but they have exactly what I need, at the price I want to pay for it. You have to try the Value range, not all is good quality, for instance, the small fruit yoghurts are horrible.

    I think the key is to be flexible, that's why I never take a list. If you want to stick rigidly to what you know and what you like, you have to pay the price, whatever it costs. I am prepared to change my diet according to the best prices. I don't have to eat potatoes, I can have carrots or swede instead. How many times I have heard people saying, I need a certain brand, 'it's my favourite'. My answer, 'no you don't, try something else that doesn't cost so much'. There are millions of products out there, we all have a choice.

  9. There was an article on 'You & Yours' on Radio 4 yesterday-it almost made my blood boil! It was about how lower income families cannot afford to eat healthily.
    They interviewed a lady who said that, on her income, she could not afford foods like blueberries and pomegranates (superfoods, apparently)
    She also said that her and her family quite often have takeaways -chinese being her favourite. I was aghast! I cannot afford to eat blueberries etc either, but i guarantee that i have a very healthy diet. And as for take away meals-both very expensive and mostly bad for you.
    I posted a comment on the Y&Y website, pointing out that when i used to live in a deprived inner city area there were not very many greengrocers or shops generally. But there were lots of takeaways, and, for some reason, betting shops.
    Just what is going on?

  10. You did well Ilona. I agree though, you've got to watch them re sizes of things, I bought what I thought were two two-litre bottles of Robinson's Lemon Barley water in Tesco, only to find when they arrived in my monthly home delivery they were actually only 75cl. Oxo cubes are no longer cubes, they are now little 'X's,...It doesn't take a genius to work out that an oxo cube is no longer the same size! They think we're daft don't they?

  11. Annabelle, I totally agree with you. I was in Asda (my nearest supermarket) and as always am flabbergasted on how many pre-prepared vegetables there are. There were people buying them who certainly didn't look as if they were working and I really don't know how they afford it. No wonder they have 'no money' as they waste it all because they're bone idle! I managed to peel spuds for 2 (one big eater and me) in the time between the TV ads, if there's anything special I'm watching.

    I was cheeky the other day and asked a lady why she was buying cubed carrots and turnips - she was about same age as me, she said she didn't have a good knife and turnips were difficult to cut. Get a bloody new knife then I thought!!! She wasn't disabled or anything. Grrrrrr. My neighbour buys them too and although she has a part time job a couple of evenings in local shop, is retired!

  12. Yes, the oxo thing really annoyed me as well, Sue. Fancy chiselling a bit out of each side, what a stitch up, so bloody devious.

    Isn't infuriating to see ready peeled and chopped veg sold in cellophane bags. That poor woman who find's it difficult to chop turnips up. You're right, Campfire, bone idle. Then they moan about the price. Some folks are quite dim.

    I bought a reduced price pomegranate once, what a pain in the arse that was, picking all the little pips out of my teeth. And blueberries with wrinkly skins as tough as old boots, I spit them out. Never again.

  13. Sorry, a bit of swearing there :o))


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