I’ve been to Matalan this week and bought a few summer clothes. The weather seems to be improving in England. I was actually able to take a shower last night without putting the heating on. It was a cold Spring though, we even had snow!
The Aldi super-six this week are leeks (pack), new potatoes (750g), onions (1kg), broccoli (350g), carrots (1kg) and parsnips (600g). They are all 49p. That’s better, we can make some winter stews with those to keep out the cold! (more…)
I read about a Lord this week who tried to live on a pound a day for food. He tried to do it for five days. That isn’t too difficult if you’re healthy and can eat anything. It’s only five days.
The Aldi super-six this week are braeburn apples (6), mango, kiwis (8), plums (400g), pineapple and oranges (6). They are all 69p each. Those are all rich in vitamins. We all need extra vitamin C now the winter is finally coming to an end. Spring begins with the Spring equinox, next Wednesday.
The Aldi super-six this week are chantenay carrots (500g), white cabbage, little gem lettuce (2), spring onions, lemons (3) and celery; the same as last week. They are all 49p each. There are lots of gardening bargains to be had in today’s special buys. I like the windowsill greenhouse for 1.99, great for starting off those seeds.
The Aldi Super-six this week are garlic (3), cucumber, mango, pineapple, kiwi fruit (8) and chestnut mushrooms (250g). They are all 59p each. The Thursday special buys are worth looking at and include lots of gardening items like seed potatoes and a little greenhouse. They also have art supplies, like an art set for £3.99. (more…)
The super-six at Aldi this week are cucumber, broccoli (350g), onions (1kg), celery, courgettes (3) and tomatoes (6). They are all 49p this week. I wish I had bought celery now, that is great in a soup or stew. I did have a couple of lots of broccoli, I need the vitamin C. I had chicken drumsticks and thighs (1.26 Kg) for 2.99, those will be good for making chicken stew. That’ll keep the cold out…
I’ve read a lot about garden parties and barbecues just lately. We haven’t exactly had the weather for them in England, but there are breaks in the rain sometimes. I’m told that delicate little cucumber sandwiches are served at Royal garden parties and so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. I would prefer a bit more salad on the sandwiches and maybe a bit of pink salmon. I had a iceberg lettuce for 39p and a tin of pink salmon is only about 99p, so if you get some cheap bread, it doesn’t have to be too expensive to do salad sandwiches. Those are ideal for a picnic or a garden party. A barbecue might be a little more expensive.
It’s the 15th of July on Sunday and St Swithin’s Day. Folklore says that if it rains on St Swithin’s Day, it will rain for 40 days after. I think in England we have had the 40 days rain already. The forecast here for Sunday is quite good, but a little cooler. It looks good today, blue skies and sunshine. The rain has caused problems and caused some vegetables to be in short supply. Broccoli has been flying off the shelves in some supermarkets apparently. Fortunately it freezes quite well and so you can choose frozen broccoli. If you use frozen try not to cook it too much or it goes quite soggy. I have had frozen peas from Aldi for 99p and even cheaper in Asda at 95p. (more…)
I went to Aldi yesterday in search of a few bargains. I particularly wanted fruit and veg, I had run out after the long Bank Holiday. Recent research has implicated infections as the cause of even more serious diseases and so it’s important to get vitamins and minerals. I think antioxidants like vitamin C are important. I managed to get broccoli, for 49p; that’s usually on offer. I also have the grapes, 1.29 for 500 grams. I find that there isn’t a great choice of meat and often the shelves need restocking. I do pass Asda on the way back though and so could pop in there too. I have a few things from Asda (more…)
This week my phone bill with TalkTalk was reduced to just under 18 pounds. They offered me the reduction if I agreed to renew my contract for another 18 months. It’s usually just over 25 pounds for broadband (40 Gb), line rental, calls 24/7 and international calls to countries around Europe, the USA and Australia. They advertise 60 pounds a year off, if I pay my line rental a year in advance too and so I’ll check that offer out on the website. Another saving of five pounds a month has got to be worth looking at. (more…)
Sometimes it can be useful to borrow money, but paying interest goes against the grain for us thrifty and frugal ones. A credit card can be useful for emergencies, but borrowing on one can also be useful for small investments. I have to buy some food in bulk and so need a freezer. If my freezer broke down and needed to be replaced, I would consider buying a new one using a credit card. There are some that have a interest free introductory period like the Barclaycard Platinum purchase card that offers an interest free period for 15 months and balance transfers with a 2.9% fee, but the interest rate is 18.9%, so make sure it’s paid off within the 15 month period! (more…)
I read this morning that Ikea the Swedish store here in the UK is one of the most popular stores. It certainly seems that way on Bank Holidays when they clog up the road system by having a sale. I wanted some photo frames a few years ago and Ikea had some for £12, but there were some virtually the same in Poundland. I can spot quality and I can also spot overpriced imported crap. I might frame my watercolour; pictured above. It’s better than a lot of the street art that I saw on TV this week. Talk about the emperor’s new clothes, they need to keep those pictures away from small children… (more…)
It’s not easy living with the minimal number of possessions. But think how much easier and cheaper it would be to keep your house clean without all the decorative stuff like pot plants, ornaments and family photographs around your home. All those little bit and pieces cost money over the years too. Maybe you could have one digital photo frame instead of all those family photos? In fact many televisions can be set up to display all your photos these days. (more…)
The economic news in the UK over the past week or two hasn’t been too good and so there is even more reason to be thrifty and frugal. I have found bargains as usual at Aldi and Lidl. Aldi has a lot of French goodies from wine to instant soups and Lidl is also doing ‘A Taste of France’ promotion starting on the 3rd of May. Both stores have things for the garden like compost, grow bags and seeds. If you can only grow a few herbs on the windowsill or a few lettuces in a tub, it all helps to cut food bills a little. (more…)
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. (more…)
I usually tell you the bargains to be picked up at Lidl and Aldi but I didn’t go this week because it was Easter Sunday. The Super 6 offer is the same with potatoes, tomatoes, etc. on special offer. You can check out the website for the other offers on non food stuffs. It’s the Grand National in the UK on Saturday, it’s a horse race for those of you that are overseas. We like to have a little bet on the ‘National’ and I have already placed my bet! (more…)
Herbs and spices
I made a chicken stew over the weekend and put in extra herbs for flavour. This can reduce the cost, because you don’t need so much chicken and is particularly good if you’re using a more expensive meat. I used 2 chicken legs and cooked those in water until I was able to remove the bones easily. I added lots of veggies that included swede, carrots and onion that were in a stew pack, then added seasoning. The herbs gave it a great flavour and I used 1/2 a teaspoon of oregano, sage, thyme, basic and herb d’ Provence. I got all the dried herbs for about 50p a jar from Aldi and Lidl. The basil was in fact fresh and made a difference this week. I made 1.5 litres for less than 2 pounds and it was not only frugal but yummy! You can cut the meat down even more if you add vegetable protein in the form of pulses. Try a cup full dried split peas but soak them overnight first. If you are adding split peas the amount of chicken can be halved. You can also add a chicken stock cube for extra flavour. You can also add an extra onion for even more flavour. (more…)
The department of health recommends that we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. A portion is about 80 grams.Those grapes were 500 grams and more than enough for one day; but we need a variety. Food keeps going up in price and so it can be difficult to get your 5 a day unless you shop around. Imported fruit can be expensive. I had nectarines from Asda at Christmas but had to buy 8 for £4.00 or they were really expensive. I bought grapes for £1.99 at Lidl last week but this week did much better at Aldi. They were £1.25 but marked up as 30% off so I paid just 87p for enough fruit for an entire day! (more…)
I went to Lidl on Sunday afternoon and was reminded that I really need to learn how to cook rice. It seems you have to ‘wash’ it to remove excess starch and then cook it with just the right amount of water so the dried rice absorbs the water and cooks. It sounds easy but my rice tend to stick together. The boil in a bag rice is easier and the packets that you can microwave are great. You don’t have to microwave that rice, you can stir fry it. It appears to be partly cooked and coated in sunflower oil. Anyway, 5 kilograms of rice was about £5.00; that would last a while! That’s a new skill that will save money! (more…)
It was an interesting week that started with The YamYam featuring my blog on their website. The YamYam is a local news site that aggregates other sites by linking to them. They provide a useful link to local news and sites of local interest. I managed to post a blog every day this week too; I forgot to click publish last Friday! I also had my hospital appointment. (more…)
You might have to double click this picture to see the two guys fishing. This is the ‘Sanna’ in Moorcroft Wood; so called because there used to be a sanatorium nearby; it was used as an isolation hospital mainly for smallpox. That horrible disease seems to be gone for ever, but the ‘Sanna’ remains. Behind those trees is the canal but over the years the arms off the canal have been filled in and many pools too. This photograph was taken last April, which explains the winter colours. (more…)
Christmas is over
Yes, Christmas is over and many people are counting the cost and it’s time to go back to basics. No luxuries in January for many people because money is short! So we have to shop around a little and stop buying luxuries and spend less where ever we can; even on food. I went to Lidl in search of bargains on Sunday. I can eat chicken and chips for every meal and so the chicken drumsticks at £1.99 a kilo were a good bargain. The ones from Asda have a lot more meat on them but are £3.50 a kilo even if you buy two packs for £7.00. I get a little annoyed at having to buy two packs of everything in Asda to get a reasonable price. Things that I can freeze aren’t so bad, but fruit tends to go off. (more…)
Christmas is over and if like me you spent a little more in December than usual, you might have to be extra thrifty and frugal in January. As you can see from the picture, I’m still enjoying my food. The pink salmon was from Poundland, the prawns were expensive and I think I used too many; but I enjoyed it! The salad was left over from Christmas of course; waste not want not… (more…)