Showing posts with label budgeting shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budgeting shopping. Show all posts

Monday, June 5, 2017

A lesson in money management from the 1950's

Hello, chomping through my salad lunch and browsing yooootoooob, like you do, I found this video. Food Shopping, a handy guide for the housewife. Go back to the 1950's to find out how to save money on your food. Sorry if I am teaching your granny to suck eggs, but this should be shown in all schools as part of the home economics course.

Amazing that these rules still apply today, it proves that our mums and grannies knew exactly how to get the best value for their money.

Raining outside, staying in, more crafting. I'll be back later.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, May 10, 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)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Meeting Jordon.

Hello. Here we are, two money saving experts at opposite ends of our lives, and both of us striving to make our own lives the very best we can. I am bimbling along towards the close and have years of experience, and Jordon is starting out, with a very mature head on his shoulders and knows exactly where he is going. It's refreshing to meet someone so young and so positive. 
I really enjoyed talking to Jordon Cox last night at the Lincolnshire Groups W I meeting. The church was full to bursting and he presented an enlightening and entertaining talk. The ladies were scribbling their notes, it certainly gave them something to think about, and I learnt a few things as well.
The world of money saving and frugality is ever changing. I am getting left behind, relying on the old fashioned make do and mend methods, Jordon is forging ahead embracing new technology with couponing, cashback deals, and apps. There are many different ways and options available to manage personal finance, I stick with the tried and tested, Jordon is hungry for more knowledge to help him better manage his money. 
One thing I have learnt from Money Saving Expert is, there isn't one solution that fits all. Everyone has different needs depending on their family circumstances, individual needs, lifestyle choices, the influences around them, and the area in which they live. I never tell people what they should be doing, I suggest what they might think about, I say how I would do it, but ultimately it's down to the individual to do what they think is best. 
I've found this yooootoooob video of Jordon giving a Ted talk. It's similar to what he did last night, a slightly shorter version. It all started when he was about 15, using coupons to save money on the weekly food shopping to help his mum. Look where he is now, Martin Lewis offered him a job, he works every day, and jets off to America on assignments. This young man is going to go far, he has a great career ahead of him. 

Old habits die hard, ha ha. I couldn't resist popping into the Lincoln branch of Tesco last night, it's only a short distance from the bypass. It was 9.30pm so I didn't expect much to be left. But, hey, I found something. Pancakes 18p, single cream 9p, salad 40p. Every little saving helps. While I was there I picked up a few essentials so I don't have to go to town today. Heidi's cat food was on offer, I had six packs of that, also bananas and  milk. I had a chat with the ladies at the checkout, made me very late home. They gave me a coupon at the till, £10 off when I spend £75 or more on electrical and gaming. Perhaps I ought to send that to Jordan  :o)

My lunch yesterday, salad leaves, still ok from the yellow sticker shop last week. YS mushrooms with one egg scrambled into them, plus a YS potato zapped in the microwave. Cheap and healthy. 
That's all for now, the weather is a bit cooler. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon. Toodle pip

Friday, April 7, 2017

My new campervan

Hello. I gave my car a good going over today, it was rather mucky. I don't like car cleaning as much as I don't like housework, it's something I do when I have to. You wash a car and drive around dusty and/or muddy country roads and it gets mucky again. I can't remember the last time I did it, it looks nice now. I got the dyson out and cleaned the inside, so it's had a bit of a pamper. 
You may be wondering what I have got in the back. The back seats are down flat, and I have a piece of foam in there. I was testing to see if it is the right size, and yes it fits. I found it last week when I was looking for a small lampshade at the second hand furniture store. The foam was folded in quarters so I couldn't see how big it was. I thought I could make some pet beds with it. I asked the man how much he wanted for it. He said £2. I thought that was a fair price. 
It doesn't look as though I will be making any pet beds, because now it is the bed in my new campervan. This will come in very handy when I am out and about and don't have anywhere to stay. I'll have a duvet, bottom sheet, and some pillows in there, it will be dead cosy. Home from home in my car. Good idea eh!
I collected Heidi's tablets from the vet today, and on the way back I called at the small Tesco to see if there were any reductions. They sometimes have a few things, worth popping in if passing. Four avocado's for 80p. Mushrooms 67p. Four apples 47p. Iceberg lettuce 46p. Not massive savings but worth having.

It's bills time again. Severn Trent Water, £27.94, this is for surface water drainage for six months. The Anglian Water bill will arrive soon for supply of clean water. The gas and electric bills came today, they have over estimated the readings, that's because I haven't sent any in. I am changing supplier and have sent the new readings today to the new supplier. I rang the Meterline and told my present supplier the same readings so they can send me revised bills. The changeover is a lot easier because I don't do direct debits.

Although I am staying with Ebico their previous partner was SSE so the bills came from there. They have a new partner now, Robin Hood Energy, so I presume my next bills will come from them. It's all been a bit confusing for people, especially those on direct debit, there's been a big discussion about it on Money Saving Expert. We had a choice whether to stay with SSE, or move to Ebico/RHE. As I have have had no problems at all in the last three years I decided to stick with Ebico.

Time for a drink and bed. It's the weekend and the forecast is fine weather, so get out there and enjoy yourselves. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A game I want to win

Hello. The talk last night was a bit strange, it was in a pub, and the group were due to eat after I had finished. They were short on numbers, only five turned up, others had sent their apologies that they couldn't attend for different reasons. Not to worry, I just got on with it. A small audience is a lot more difficult than a large one, especially as they were in such close proximity to me. Give me a hundred or so any day. It ended up like a chat, I had examples of my arts and crafts to show, and some of my newspaper cuttings. They seemed to like it. The food arrived before I had finished, so they started scoffing while I was winding it up. I didn't want any food, I had eaten before I left home. 
The end of the night was very enjoyable however. After I left I decided to go home via the big Asda store. I don't usually shop there, because it's at the other end of town. It was gone 9pm when I arrived and not many shoppers about. I soon had to change my basket for a trolley when I saw the mound of food that was being reduced to literally pennies. I well and truly struck gold. Everything on this photo was 2p per item. It reminded me of the time I went there with the Rip off Britain crew, we found a lot then, this time I get to keep everything. 
A brief rundown. Three large bags of potatoes, asparagus, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, baby salad leaves, grated carrot, rice noodles, watercress, snacking fruit, parsnips, turnips, casserole veg, diced carrots and swedes, butternut squash, courgettes, 6 bread rolls. My neighbour next door, and the one across the road, each had a bag of spuds this morning, and I shared a bag with my friend up the road.

There were a few other items which cost a bit more. Total shop was 94p. Didn't I do well!

 Who would buy 21 raspberries for £2? Bonkers.

 Who would buy 37 blackberries for £2? Crazy.

I will have them for 2p thank you very much. The banana is from my yellow sticker shop a week ago at Tesco. They might have black skins but they are fine on the inside.

The prepared veg needs cooking, so here are the main ingredients for a pan of stew. Three bags, at a cost of 6p
Here's whats in it.

And ten minutes later on the hob, no prepping, I have four portions of stew for the freezer. My ready meals. The second pan is cooling down now, another four portions. By the way, if you freeze them in margarine tubs like this, they are difficult to get out. Never microwave in the tub, I use a pyrex dish to heat them up. To loosen them, because they are like a solid brick, waft a hairdryer over the bottom and sides for a minute, then they will come out.

My lunch today was mushrooms, (needed to use them up), grated carrot, and rice noodles, on a bed of watercress. Very nice.

Someone asked me in an email, a week or so ago, (I am a bit slow at replying to emails), what would I do if I couldn't buy yellow stickers. Well, my attitude to shopping would still be the same.

Know the prices of the items I buy on a regular basis.
When anything goes up and it becomes too expensive, look for a similar product which is just as good and cheaper.
Be flexible with my eating and spending. I don't have to eat the same things week in week out.
I am prepared to eat the same meals three days running, if I find food that is very cheap and must be eaten before it goes off.
If there are any not to be missed offers I will stock up.
I will shop in lots of different places, often looking for reductions in the most unlikely of places. Poundland sometimes sell six eggs for 50p. The discount stores have chiller cabinets and sometimes reduce items.
I check shelf labels. I shop with price in mind. I don't make a list, I buy what's cheap.
I don't meal plan, because to work out what you are going to eat in advance means that you need to make sure you have the ingredients for a particular dish. I open the fridge door and eat what will go off the soonest. I make up meals, I don't have a recipe book.
I treat shopping as a challenge, to get the very best for my money at the cheapest price. It's a game I want to win. I make an effort to pop in shops on the way back, or when I am passing.
If there were no yellow stickers I would survive.

When you think about it, supermarkets will never get their stock orders exactly right. There will always be items that are overstocked and some that will run out. It's best to sell off the overstock cheaply rather than bin it. There are attempts to give any spare food to charities, which is a great idea. This in theory would work best with tins and packets, it would be very difficult to give away food that has to be eaten on that same day or the day after. It would need to be collected by the charity pretty quickly, or delivered by the supermarket. The logistics would need to be worked out. A lot of people wouldn't touch food that has gone past the date, so the difficulty there would be who would want it. I can't see the yellow stickers ending just yet.

That's all for now. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Savvy supermarket shopping

Hello. My leg is still giving me a bit of bother, I tried to do my three miles but gave up. The muscle is still painful. Janet has given me some cream to put on it, I'll give it a try. I have had soap in my bed for a while now, read about it somewhere. It was doing the trick, no cramps for a couple of months. I am drinking a lot more, see if that makes any difference.

Here is my latest video, finished uploading at 10pm last night. Hope you like it.

I had a look in the garage to find something to plant up the flowers. I got three trays for 20p each, 18 plants. Luckily I picked up a bag of compost last week at Aldi for £1.50.

The black metal boxes I found when someone was clearing out their garage. They have drain holes in the bottom. Not sure what they were originally used for, but they were just right for this. I put a couple of inches of stones and wood in the bottom to assist drainage then the compost on the top. The plants looked a bit wilty, but soon perked up when I watered them. Keeping my fingers crossed for a good show of purple and white flowers.

Lunch today was steamed veg. The broccoli needs eating, carrots from last week, the last of the beetroot. A dash of mayo with this.

Couldn't be bothered to cook tonight, a chuck it on the plate meal. Bean salad, mini cucumber, avocado pear, mushrooms, cheese and onion quiche, and broad bean houmous. I'm stuffed now.

Thanks very much for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's all relevant

It's all relevant

Hello. I often think that there are connections between saving money, losing weight, stopping smoking, and not over indulging on alcohol, chocolate, and chips. It seems to me that as soon as you tell everyone that you are on a diet, the first thing you think of is, what can I eat. If you mention that you are on the wagon and someone asks you to go for a drink, you then have to give yourself a stern talking to. Similarly, when you start to limit your spending the first thing you think of is what can I buy that's cheap. The old habits that you want to move away from seem to always loom in the background to give you a little dig now and again, making the job a lot harder to turn over a new leaf and change your lifestyle. It is so easy to give up and go with the flow.

A new year is always a bad time to take stock and declare you are going to make changes, we all do it, make promises to ourselves, but the odds of achieving your goals and sticking to your new regime is unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind past the first three months. That's unless you've got me to nag you into keep on walking, ha ha.

For some people the idea of not spending any money is completely alien to them. The habit of popping into a shop and coming out with a lot more than what they went in for is accepted as normal. Anyone who tries to lose weight quickly by starving themselves will eventually cave in and binge on junk food. Comfort spending is similar to comfort eating. If you deprive yourself completely you will get to the point where life seems intolerable. Cutting back to the extent that is making you miserable will weaken your defenses.

So, short term fixes don't work, there will be relapses. Living a frugal and simple life needs a change of mindset. Living within your means doesn't need to be painful. Small changes are best at the start, making notes of how much things cost, keeping check of your spending by keeping a diary. Little tweaks here and there, a little trimming, build yourself up towards budgeting every penny that comes into the house and every penny that goes out.

There will be mistakes made, ooops, spent too much, learn from it, be more vigilant next time. Budgeting does not mean you have to deprive yourself, it means you need to work out what your priorities are. Cut costs on what isn't important to you, so you have money for what is important. If you are a couple sit down together, get out the bills, the bank statements, work out where you want to spend your money. It will be an uphill struggle if you are battling against a partner who is not singing from the same songsheet.

Rules about what you spend your money on. There are no rules, you make up your own. Just because the folks down the street change their car every year, doesn't mean you have to. Don't be a sheep. I don't care what other people do, jealousy is a destructive emotion.

I love the fact that having less gives me more freedom. I started seriously on my frugal journey just over ten years ago. My finances were pretty low, but I didn't care. The challenge was to survive no matter what. I cut the spending to an acceptable level, my treats were super cheap, and therefore I valued them more. Now ten years later I am in a good place. I am looking forward to the next ten years.

I'll be off to Tesco in an hour to see what I can get in the way of cheap food. Haven't been for a while, need to restock the fridge.

Good luck on your journey to a frugal and simple life. If you want it, take some time to work out how to get there. It's all down to you.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip