Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Please Sir, I want some more

Good morning, a pan of luverly gruel for breakfast today. This is great stuff for a slow release energy boost, it will keep me going till lunch time. Four big spoons of porridge oats, a few sultanas, four teaspoons of ground pumpkin seeds, and a few ground walnuts. Eaten straight out of the pan, no point in making more pots to wash :o)

Quite a few comments have landed in my post box overnight, you have been busy. Let's take a look at them. I do feel that £10 a week on food is easier to achieve if you are single. When there are two or more in the house, and one person say's 'I am going to have a piece of cake, does anyone else want one', it takes a very strong will to reply 'no thanks'. The way I would deal with this is to not buy cake at all, except maybe for a special treat. Justine, I do think that you could shave a little bit off your £160 a month for two people if you tweak it here and there.

I will mention at this point that I have not included any other household expenses in my food diary. This is another area where you can drastically cut your spending. I buy the cheapest wash up liquid and use the minimum I can get away with in a bowl of hot water. I don't fry food so no grease to cut through. There are hardly any bubbles, the few at the start of the wash soon disappear. That means I can leave them to drain, thus saving endless washing of grubby tea towels, and also less pollution down the drains.

Yes I still use toilet paper, bought in bulk so it was cheap, and, well you know what my toilet paper consumption is, we won't go into that again. Wash powder is also bought in bulk, a big box lasts me five years because I only wash clothes which are dirty or smelly, and as I spend a lot of time on my own I can put up with a whiff or two drifting past my nose, ha ha. Shampoo and other toiletries last ages and I buy cheap, no fancy names here. I use them sparingly, they last ages.

Thank you for your guest post lizzie, Becky is right, you do need your own blog, have you thought of starting one? As for checking government guidelines on what nutrients I should be eating, I would say stuff the government. I have been on this earth for 62 and a bit years, I am healthy for my age, I read books and the internet on healthy living, have never smoked, rarely drink alcohol, and my diet is fine. Reading through your post again, I feel rather miffed, it is not so much a comment more a lecture. I take great exception when you tell me to learn how to cook.

Sarina you are doing so well, your spending is at about the same level as Justine, keep going the both of you, you are on the right track.

Hi Cumbrian, you are right, when you shop late at night for the reduced prices it is unpredictable, that's what I like about it, you never know what you are going to find. I call it foraging in the supermarket. Being flexible with your eating habits is the key. I don't go every night, maybe once a week or ten days, and I try to combine it with coming back from somewhere else. Thanks for the tip about Maxwell House in Poundland, I had already bought a 200grm jar from Home Bargains for £2.19, so there you go, could have got it cheaper. I have a quick buzz round Wilko's sometimes, mainly to see if there is any cat food on special offer, but most of their prices are way too high for me.

Hi lizp, I would go to Asda a bit more if it wasn't so far out of town. We have a new one in town, used to be Netto, but their prices are higher than the superstore. When I look at cat food in pouches I always compare it with the price of Felix. On offer it is £2.50 a box, just over 20p a sachet. I'm not sure how the tins of Feline Fayre compare with the sachets, I don't buy them very often, just as a treat. In fact I'm sure the cats are better fed than me, ha ha.

I do pop in Aldi sometime as it's on the way to town. Yesterday I bought a cauliflower for 49p, nothing else, was looking for fresh veg and some of it wasn't cheap enough for me. Lidl is the other end of town so I don't go up there very often. I think I need to start comparing prices on the internet before I go shopping, but I already spend loads of time on here. I don't mind searching the shelves, it gets me out :o) Talking of going out, I'm off to do some litter picking, that's if I can catch it in this wind. Toodle pip.


  1. sorry Ilona, didn t mean YOU could nt or cant cook as I know you cook lovely stuff, your porridge is a prime example of decent food. What I meant was one maybe should make most things from scratch. This year I made my own sea salt ( I researched it very carefully as you have to be careful about impurities) It is gorgeous and did nt cost me anything. Somethings I dont make as they would be a false economy for me - soap for one thing. You are right though, you have to work very hard to bring all this about. When I get any spare cash I stock up on flour and dried fruit for cakes and mincemeat. My butcher gave me free suet and I used it for mincemeat - he thought I wanted it to feed the birds, so my 6lbs of mincemeat was stunning and cost 60 cents a pound.
    I second the instant coffee at Aldi s - here it is Beaumont brand and about a third of the price of Nescafe. Not quite the wow factor but certainly does the job caffeine wise.
    Hope I have un-miffed you !

  2. I think you can eat quite healthily without actually cooking from scratch, for example porridge, tinned fish with a variety of salad stuff and perhaps a jacket potato. I would only do a minimum of cooking if I was on my own as I would rather be out walking or doing some kind of crafts, but I have a husband to consider who doesn't like the same food as me. I think it is up to the individual whether they want to spend hours in the kitchen or not.
    Love your blog Ilona.

  3. That porridge looks delicious. All I can add is, you are slim, active (and as you discovered when you had your free health check), have normal blood pressure and cholestrol,and a healthy gut, so you are obviously in tip tip health. Well done.

  4. Yeah, I like that ......supermarket foraging, and I also enjoy the unpredictability of it, tomorrows menus are often decided by what nobody else wanted today.
    Sad sometimes though, there's so much of a particular product that just won't keep, usually at ridiculous give-away prices.
    And I do get to sample some very expensive meats and fish occasionally, just happened to be there at the right moment.
    I've also noticed there's a lot of people on the same errand nowadays, a sign of the times perhaps?

  5. We have porridge too. Now we keep a scoop in the bag so we always get the same amount ,then we chuck in a smallish handful of mixed fruit and micro zap it.
    There was a thing on TV a couple of years ago about protein being more filling but I really prefer trusty old oats.

  6. Thought I was having a good night, called in Morrisons for some wash-up liquid, and forages 4 x prawn starters, £4 reduced to 5p, one of them was damaged, and a box of big stuffed olives (I love them) £1.69, reduced 19p.
    Put £10 into the self-serve till, got my fiver and forgot to pick up the change, went back 2 minutes later, it's gone. Some theiving sod must have picked it up and pocketed it.
    and I even forgot my wash-up liquid.
    Not a very good night.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, dear Ilona.
    I`m sure I could do much better with my shopping finances if I lived alone. Rick can be a fussy eater at times and does like his meats. I could easily live on a vegetarian diet, but he would not put up with that. I`ve managed to substitude some meat for fresh fish now, so his diet is somewhat more varied as well, now. I make salads from pulses, for my working lunches, so I don`t spend on any ready meals or other nonsense when away from home. I also changed some of my eating habits to ease my arthritis. I don`t eat bread anymore and that saves a few pennies. I`m still trying hard to cut the food expense each week, but it`s getting more and more difficult.

  8. we have porridge every day. for a change I mix pomegranate juice in costs lots but a dash with some nuts. yum. Although seriously, I nearly died when I went to use my nectar points in sainsburys (we buy petrol there, not usually a food shop place for us). I couldnt believe the price of the porridge oats. made me feel ill

    Or my favourite at the moment apple sauce from the apples given to me in september! Yum

    In the summer we probably get the shopping budget down to about £10 each per week. We have a large veg garden.

    Everyone else seems to do so much better than us

  9. If I was on my own I would be able to live really frugally, I don't eat meat, don't like fish and so have Quorn or Linda McCartney sausages, chick peas and beans for a mixed bean stew.

    However I have a very tall, hungry husband who works for himself in a freezing cold garage and is permanently hungry. I have reduced the number of sandwiches, mainly so he's not eating so much bread but I have a separate bill for his garage - like toilet rolls, tea bags, milk, cuppa soup (to help keep him warm in winter) and he offers tea to some of his customers who because of the specialised work he does, usually travel some distance to bring their cars in to him.

    He's not a great meat eater but does eat considerably more than I do. So I just try to buy carefully and make my own bread and try to find mark downs.

  10. Thanks for your words of encouragement, the £160 does not include cleaning products etc,. I am veggie so try to keep it down must in the New Year make a concerted effort to bring it down further but if we get too low OH will go and buy stuff which we dont need!!


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