Friday, 12 October 2012

Frugal Friday...

What with trying to keep spending down a little this month on the regular stuff, I ventured to the shops last friday with a firm eye on the budget. There were certain things we did need, but equally there were others - milk for me, for example - where the freezer could come to the rescue. I buy milk in 4 pint containers, as that is the cheapest way to purchase - under 30p a pint, whereas buying a pint at a time, as you need it, will cost you 49p a pint. I drink skimmed or semi-skimmed in any case - well, when I say "drink" I mean "put in tea" and "Cook with" - and both of these last way beyond their sell-by date. So, I buy a 4 pint container, freeze half of it into two individual pint bottles, and then the rest gets put in the fridge for immediate use.

As well as the regular food-type bits, I needed toothpaste. I'm remarkably unfussy about the brand of toothpaste I use - simply going for whichever good quality one is on special offer at the time, and the best deal I've found anywhere tends to be in the 99p shop. This week was no exception - a twin-pack of Colgate for 99p. While I was in there, two other people picked up the single tube of Colgate alongside the twin pack and walked off with those - goes to show, it pays to look a bit harder. While I was in town there were some PR people giving out sample tubes of Aquafresh as well, I ended up with three, so that will sort out toothpaste for holiday and trip away next year, at no cost to us.

Sainsburys was the next stop - it needed to be as I had used their car-park - two hours free parking for customers, so I became a customer by buying a couple of things we would use or needed anyway - a packet of butter and 2 more tins of tuna, total spend £2.69. £2.50 of this was paid for with nectar points, leaving a 19p cash spend. On receiving the receipt, I discovered that two vouchers had been printed by the till as well - one for £2 worth of Nectar points if spending £20, and the other for 40p of nectar points on a product I would happily buy in any case. Can you guess where I'm shopping this week?!


On to Tesco - site of the "proper" weekly shop this time around as I had another of those "£2 off when you spend £20" vouchers. If I'm buying to a target amount like that I use the calculator on my phone to keep track as I go round the store and aim to get as close as possible to the spend threshold. As you can see from the picture above I did quite well for my £20 spend this week. I got a large box of washing powder, 4 pints of full-fat milk for Ben, 2 bags of apples, nectarines, bananas, salad, spring onions, a savoy cabbage, mushrooms, a dozen free range eggs, 4 x bread rolls and 2 x packs of yogurts. The whole lot came to £20.62, of which £5.50 was the washing powder. Combined with what we have in the storecupboard, larder, fridge & freezer already, that £13.12 food spend (remember I had the £2 voucher) will feed the pair of us easily this week. The fruit mainly gets eaten with lunch, the yogurts make a perfectly acceptable pudding for after week-night teas. The eggs will make sandwiches for lunch, omlettes for a main meal, and are there for any baking I do as well. the Spring onions were on a "2 for £1" deal with the savoy cabbage, so we'll be having stir-fry one night this week with some of the mushrooms. Although I meal plan several weeks in advance, one of the key things for us is to stay flexible to take advantage of any special offers, so this weeks planned soup (Tuesday) will be a stir fry instead, and we will have nice chunky frittata style omlettes on Monday with the salad I bought.

How do you organise your shopping then? Having written your meal plan do you write your list accordingly and only buy what is on it regardless of what specials there are? Or maybe you shop according to special offers and then plan the meals around what you've bought?

Robyn

6 comments:

Jenni said...

We don't organise shopping at all, and it drives me a bit potty sometimes! One or both of us usually ends up going to the shops most days for milk and fruit at least, and if it's me, often a pile of other stuff too (oops!). Sometimes we'll do a bigger shop (this week was Aldi - few tinned bits etc, some weeks it'll be the local co-op), but we kind of lurch from week to week making it up as we go along.

I'm thinking I need to read and inwardly digest your Frugal Friday posts a little...

Robyn said...

I used to do exactly the same - I think most of us have to be honest. I hate supermarket shopping though, so the least time I can spend in one, the better. Milk was the hardest thing to work around for us....well, I say "us", I actually mean "MrEH" - it took him a while to realise that the 4pt bottle he got with the weekly shop - once it was gone, it was gone, unless he wanted to go to the shop and get more. I get caught out just the same though - when batch cooking fish pies on Sunday morning, I had got the sauce all made before I realised that making fish pies without any potatoes was going to be fun! Oops!

cheri said...

Since moving to Wales I have been much less organised than I was in a big industrial town. There are less supermarkets here, we have two, and so much less competition which means that deals are few and far between. I do tend to shop weekly for vegetables, fruit and dairy products but then do a big shop maybe once a month for dry goods such as beans and pasta etc. My cupboard is filled with Spaghetti at the moment because there was a rare offer on it. Also when Lidl have a 4 tins for £1 offer on Branston beans Mr goes berserk and stocks up as if he is one of those survivalist types. He would live on beans which I find evil.

Robyn said...

Hee hee - I have a cupboard full of spaghetti too thanks to a Tesco glitch a while ago. I used to do a "big shop" for dry goods once a month, but I have switched now to doing my stocking up when I get vouchers to use on a total spend.

I'm with Mr. C on the Branston beans though - yum!

Orkneyflowers said...

Hey there. I always read but very infrequently comment, I'm sorry. This one got me thinking. Well I'm a bit inbetween. I take stock of what's in. I never normally do a proper shop, it's always a top up. often I tend to look and think ok I'm in town today so what do we need, Like you I'm always on the look out for a bargain, so I tend to work my fruits/veg and bread shopping around what's reduced or what I've got. So we work on a sort of reduced veg/fruit box and make the meals up around those, I also buy milk/bread etc when reduced and top up the freezer. And like you we buy offers. Im more likely to come back having audited the cupboards and do the meal plan from that once the bargains are in. As of the stores like toothpaste etc, we do as you do sink an offer when we can. I guess it means our budget is a bit 'loose' in a weekly sense but it does work for us :-) thanks for making me think about things....

Robyn said...

Ahhh....but you also do your "Stripey Socks Shop" shops as well don't you - as and when we end up in the Hebrides we'll have to do that I think - trips to the mainland will need to be as much about bringing back - in bulk - the things that are expensive to buy there. It just makes sense, doesn't it!