Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Budgeting


Although we don't have to do this now by any means in the past we have had to budget (I shouldn't really go on about money so much, it is a little wearing) I still like getting a cheap feast by means of raiding the local Tesco Express's chiller at strategic times during the day. Often at three o'clock when I walk to school (this is for tea) and later at 7 pm. These are the really brilliant reductions - things can be got for 10p.

We have always eaten healthily and here is a photo of a sample healthy tea for about £2. Actually it is from the local Sainsbury equivalent of Tesco Express, which is even better as Sainsbury's is quite upmarket. Some of it is quite fancy like salsa dip.

I picked up this sort of money saving tip from my friend Fiona, who has brought up a family of four on very little income. She is a bright person and I think she quite enjoys this as she is pitting her wits against the system, in a way. She had all her accounts on the computer which she used to pore over, a tight rein on the household and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of when many local supermarkets would be reducing food. She used to go to a place like Iceland and get lollies on a trip out because the cost of things like this in fun parks and the like is quite exhorbitant, whereas lollies at Iceland cost £1 for four kids. (Also, if you look at the photo you will see that I am carrying a rucksack containing all the food for the day, so that I did not have to pay a lot of money for a load of junk food at any outlet, which is what she used to do.) I think she used to take a large white loaf and chopping board on any family outing and whip it out to make a jam sandwich for her four on the hoof.

Actually Fiona is very funny and once swept into a garage forecourt in her people carrier (she had budgeted for this necessary if expensive transport for a family of four on little income) and said to the forecourt attendant ' Family Outing', as if that's where they went on their outings LOL Once she brought her daughter Claire out of school a bit before the others for an appointment and when someone asked why she said 'Star Pupil' LOL She also did things like buy presents that she saw as a bargain for peoples' birthdays often years in advance so they got a superb present on the day. However, sometimes this didn't work out as she completely forgot about them the time the birthday came round and they remain in her attic gathering dust, maybe for the grandchildren's eighteenth LOL Her attic was a wondrous magical place as in it were objects to suit any occasion; for instance, for Halloween once, she had about seven outfits, three witches hats, books on witches, plastic bats,caldrons and other items. I had to make do with a few masks, a devil's fork made out of a kitchen implement, and a black cat cuddly toy lol. She used to shop at Lidl and when I was working there and used to ring her from the till on my mobile if I saw any choicy reductions. lol I especially did this when they had reduced fruit and veg: for some reason they do a third of the price thing from time to time.

I hope Fiona does not mind me writing about her, if she reads this, but I think she mainly goes on Friends Reunited lol

As I have a lot of time (I admit it, I probably would not be doing this sort of thing if I was still working) I go blackberrying, and went just the other week, around where we live. Completely free food. (Talking about free food, when we went to Fraisthorpe the other week we tried to get some razor shells a la Hugh Fearnly Wittingstall by means of pouring salt down the holes so that the shells would emerge for our BBQ, but I think the salt we used was too refined because nothing happened lol) We looked at a tiny box of blackberries in Morrisons and they cost £1. I made a crumble with it, and even Jack ate some. From the bush to the table in one hour - you can't get any healthier free eating than that.

3 comments:

Frances said...

I commented on here yesterday, but it didn't get posted, I probably changed pages before it loaded...
I love grow your own - we are lucky to have two apple trees and very prolific raspberry canes, but we have spent quite a bit of money buying plants which just withered away and didn't produce anything, a bit like some of my hubby's famous bargains that sit around in the freezer reproaching me, or the things I end up throwing in the compost... sometimes I think we waste more time and money trying to save on things than we would if we just splashed out.
We have a moral dilemma here. A certain supermarket opened a large branch just outside the town - though it is quite a small town and already has a Co-op and a Summerfield - and even managed to get a new road built and all the buses routed past it. In fact they actually stop in the supermarket carpark....
Shops in the town are closing - going out of business. The town-dwellers originally protested against the shop opening - but it went ahead because the council agreed to it, I think ths supermarket promised to pay for the swimming-pool to be upgraded. So I have never been to it...
The same supermarket is opening another branch in the nearest small town as well and has taken the council in another historic town to court and forced them to allow a branch there. Again the townspeople voted against it - the town said they already had two supermarkets and that a large hypermarket would spoil the historic character of the town - but the supermarket managed to force it through somehow.... I think some of these companies have too much power and too much money. Towns can't afford the costs to fight the necessary court actions and have to give in. Everyone gets angry, but once the branch is open, they go shopping there as the prices are so reasonable and the range of products so good.... My daughter thinks I'm very funny because I curse the chain whenever I pass a lorry or advert or shop with their name on...

Frances said...

oops - my comment was longer than your post - LOL - but no gambling divorce lawyers today.

Bev said...

I like the way you can't even bring yourself to say the name lol

I like your moral scruples and I think you are probably right about the hypermarkets, which decimate all the local competition. A similar thing happened in Beverley, funnily enough, and there was a local outcry, all but the thing still got built. Beverley has many unique shops so of course they are going to be affected.

Actually I feel guilty now and maybe will stop using it because we con't need to now LOL