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Thrifty | Food and essentials


I read about the Black Country Food Bank this morning that distributes food to people who are referred by doctors or various agencies. Food banks get the food from the stock piles of the European Union and also donations. They have food stamps in the US too and I have a particular dislike for schemes that treat our citizens as charitable cases. They are necessary but in wealthy countries they make us realise  that there is a deep divide between rich and poor. Many people need this food because they have to pay exorbitant council tax, television licence and even rents for social housing is taking up a large chunk of many people’s income.

Managers and senior officials are said to be taking home around £700 a week and so have plenty for food and the £12 a month for the TV licence is a drop in the ocean to them. If you are on a minimum wage of £6 an hour, you have to work  2 hours to pay that television licence. You probably have to claim a rebate on your council tax and claim housing benefit, despite the fact you work. Then you’re expected to go cap in hand to a food bank to get enough to eat. Meanwhile, the gas and electricity meters eat up pound coins like there is no tomorrow and the pay day loan parasites try to tempt you into never-ending debt. This is David Cameron’s Big Society, where he gets to go to royal weddings in his dinner jacket and consumes champagne and caviar while the poor grovel for hand-outs. According to figures from the ONS, people in the Midlands earn on average 15% less than the rest of the country. Why is that then? Mr Cameron?

You need to be thrifty to be able to keep your self respect, but there are always unexpected expenses. I treated myself to a SAT NAV last week because it was on offer and then later parked on Morrison’s car park and forgot it was pay and display and got a ticket. I won’t shop there again, the fruit I bought is going rotten. How do they hide the damn bruises so they don’t show up until the next day?

I went to Lidl on Sunday, I got a bag of compost and some lettuce seeds. If I grow my own lettuces, beans and stuff through the summer that’ll save a few quid. They also have gardening bargains at Aldi and I shall go there this weekend. They had a lot out of stock at Lidl and I had to buy diced pork at Asda; that made a nice stir fry though.

We can now look forward to saving a little money on food by growing our own through the summer and also saving on heating and electricity. I pay my fuel bills by direct debit and so the same amount will go out each month, but I know I’ve been overpaying by about 20 pounds each month and so I won’t get hit so hard by the next price rise; it gives me some idea of future outgoings. I do keep personal accounts of course, so I know what is coming in and where it all goes!

It’s a good idea to think about street style too, people who are into street-style look great but don’t always go for designer brands; they create their own look. If you’re into street-style look for hats and accessories. A good place to look is in Matalan.  Men don’t appear to be wearing pyjamas now; they either wear shorts or those loungewear sets. I thought the loungewear sets were a bit too thick, but I found some pyjamas almost the same, but in a thinner cotton; they are just right. Just warm enough for a dash to the bathroom in the early hours and light enough to sleep in. They are £9 at Matalan; they don’t have long sleeves, despite the description. I might go back and get me a straw hat for the summer; very trendy…

The price of petrol has gone up again and is around 1.40 here. I am making a special  effort to use less. Try to drive more economically, drive smoothly, don’t make unnecessary journeys and plan your trips.  Driving on dual carriageways tend to take less fuel than driving on side roads and is quicker. My new sat nav will take me both ways, the motorway route tends to be quicker, but often it’s farther and so uses no less fuel. Getting there a few minutes quicker can add a pound to your fuel costs. Is it worth it? The same applies to putting your foot down a bit because you’re late and so allow plenty of time for your journeys.

Please comment if you like these ideas or have a good thrifty idea. There are more amazing blogs on the Home Page.


11 responses

  1. I swear by Matalan. Who needs Topman?

    19, April 2012 at 11:27 pm

  2. Hi Nick,

    I had Pierre Cardin boxers, 2 for a tenner from there, but the Easy brand are nearly just as good. I like the tee shirts for £4.00 too. Asda stuff is OK, I had shoes from their super store in Great Bridge for £25.00. I wanted some with some grip on the soles. I was worried I would slip into the lake or canal one of these days!

    We have to shop around now with food prices going up. I noticed a few price increases in Aldi yesterday.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    20, April 2012 at 9:19 am

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