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Thrifty Thursday | Rising prices


CANAL BOATS 015

The reason for todays picture is I’m thinking about transport. When the government in the UK does quantitative easing (printing money) commodity prices like oil go up. Oil is used for transport and gas is used for heating and making electricity; so all our basic costs go up. Prices on the stock markets have been taking a battering in the past few weeks and the Eurozone crisis has deepened; we just have to be thrifty and frugal and try to weather the storm.

Maybe, we need to get back to using horse drawn narrow boats in the UK? I’m shopping around for bargains; as usual. I picked up a few things in Poundland yesterday, like salad cream and ketchup. My friend paid over a pound for a drink in Greggs and moments later I had three cans of Coke for a pound in Poundland. I don’t often buy soft drinks and I never pay full price; unless I’m at the hospital and I’m desperate.

I also went to Lidl last week and a lot of the chicken was out of stock  or they had put the price up. I bought a whole chicken for 3.75, which was too much for one, but I cooked it anyway. I was eating that all weekend and then used the carcass to make stock and made 1.5 litres of vegetable soup on Monday. It was so good, I made more yesterday! None of the supermarkets are doing stew packs now so I bought 500g of parsnips, 1Kg of carrots and a few onions and made soup. I must cut down the carrots, they contain fructose and it makes the soup taste too sweet for me. I popped to Aldi and bought the vegetables and they didn’t have as much chicken as usual so I settled for 750 gram packs of drumsticks for 1.65 each. The fruit and vegetables were much cheaper than most supermarkets. I particularly like the seedless grapes for 1.19 for 500g.

I have renewed my contract with TalkTalk for my phone and broadband service. I get the calls package 1/2 price for 3 months. I am also going to go online and pay 12 months in advance for my line rental to save £60 a year; that’s a fiver a month; well worth it. I will read the small print first of course. They give a discount for direct debit, that I get anyway. Always read the small print!

The radiator in my bedroom is fixed now; the door has draught proofing, so I can turn that off during the day when it’s cold. That will save a few quid; every little helps! With investments not performing as well as they were, we have to save money where we can. I am guessing that there will be more quantitative easing announced in June or July so we can look forward to more inflation, higher fuel bills and so on. I expect the government tax on things like hot pasties will bring in enough revenue to sort the mess out; that and cutting benefits like family tax credits. I think for the less well off, things will get worse before they get better; even police officers are complaining now.

I hope I can grow a few things in the garden this year. I split my basil and planted it in a tub, but the cold nights have made it wilt a bit. I think the beans are germinating, but it’s too early to plant them in the ground. We have to hope for a little sun at the beginning of June. I paid 59p for an iceberg lettuce and so I hope I can grow a few of those through the summer.

Lots of supermarkets are reducing quality, packs of meat get smaller; toilet rolls get shorter and thinner and so watch out for sneaky changes like that. Check out clothes in discount stores like Matalan and even George at Asda has a few bargains.

Look after the pennies and survive austerity…

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11 responses

  1. Always enjoy reading your Thrift/Finance threads Mike.

    I’m a fan of Matalan for some of their ranges: notably the Lincoln and Hampton
    menswear.

    Have you tried Primark for any bargains ? I’m not so sure about the quality though.

    Mac

    18, May 2012 at 2:28 pm

    • Hi Mac,

      I haven’t tried Primark, there isn’t one near me. Keep shopping there though, I think I’m a shareholder! :)

      Thanks for the comment

      19, May 2012 at 12:27 am

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