Friday, 6 July 2012

Frugal Friday...

...Sometimes it pays to speculate, to accumulate....

...or at least, to bulk buy. I jumped off the treadmill of shopping in Sainsburys because I had a voucher, and then getting given another voucher, this week. Admittedly this was largely because Tesco (having, I strongly suspect, noticed that I had been conspicuous by my absence for the past few weeks) kindly sent me a load of vouchers too. Our favourite from this batch is the 40 extra CC points when you buy the Daily or Sunday Telegraph....that's 40 extra points, worth £1.60 in deals, for a newspaper that MrEH subscribes to in any case! Win! There were also some deals I was interested in this week, and as the second freezer is now switched on again, with a lot of empty space, I have begun work on filling it....

Time to see the light about your grocery shopping!
So, bulk buying then. How, why and what. An interesting question this - bulk buying can save you money, no question, but first you need to have both the money to spend in the first place, and the space to store it. Years ago, people used to pop to the grocers for a "twist" of tea - literally, a sheet of paper with a few spoonfuls of tea, just enough to see them through the next few pots. Naturally this was charged at a premium - if you could afford to buy a full lb of tea at a time, you were going to get a far better price, but many folk simply didn't have the hard cash to do this. I guess the modern day equivalent is those silly little 50g jars of coffee - one of which the supermarket will charge you £1.89 for - a whopping £3.78 per 100g! As soon as you increase to the 200g size, that price per 100g plummets to £2.40, BUT if you only have £2 in your purse, and need coffee, then your options are limited by your purse.  The things I buy in bulk come into two categories: Stuff that will keep pretty much indefinitely, and stuff that won't, but can be frozen.Todays bulk buy was in the second category - a BOGOF deal from Tesco on their Finest Sausages, plus a half price deal on our local "Riverway Foods" ones, means I have paid £12.78 for 54 regular sausages and 20 chipolata style ones. I will divide them up into packs of 5 and freeze them. The Chipolata ones get "twisted" in the middle to turn them into cocktail sausage size - they can then either get used in a sausage casserole or cooked and eaten cold as part of a picnic. The regular ones might get used as ordinary sausages, or turned into meatballs, or used as sausagemeat....either way, those packs of five will give me lots of options, without creating any waste.
Oi! Get off my food! Go and buy your own!
It's well worth keeping your eyes open for offers you will be able to use, and also chopping and changing around your local shops depending on which one suits your budget - and shopping list - that particular week. Like many others these days we are largely limited to shopping in the big supermarkets - much as we would like to be able to regularly use smaller independent shops, the arrival of three of the big four supermarkets in our town has ensured that there are barely any of these independent shops left. Much as I dislike this tie to the supermarkets, you can at least get the best of it by shopping around between them to drive yourself the best bargain. Sites like MySupermarket, and the shops own websites are great for this - things like fruit squash for example, is nearly always on offer in one or the other. That coffee we spoke about earlier? Good value, yes, but even better value is waiting for an offer when the price per 100g can drop to as low as £1.70!

Learn which of the products you buy regularly are subject to regular special offers, and change where and when you buy them accordingly. Check things like the in-store leaflets detailing special offers - these often contain coupons for money off particular products. Check the coupons that arrive with your loyalty card statement carefully too - these are often targeted directly at you and will be for products you would buy anyway. If you're planning a big shop keep your eyes out for offers from one store or another trying to tempt you in too - it might be worth doing an online order, for example, if you can use an offer giving you £10 off your shop.

Happy (Frugal!) shopping!


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