The April Shopping Challenge Continues

 Shopping List for Friday 5 April

Friday is chippy day in this household. Sometimes we have fish, occasionally a kebab, but today as we have a guest joining us for supper I have pushed the boat out and treated ourselves to some steak. This does push up the food spend significantly, however it is actually cheaper than buying the fish or a kebab. And possibly much healthier. I fancied some mushrooms with the steak, and these are quite expensive vegetables. The steak was bought from a local independent butcher, Dave Patrick. Everything else I got from Aldi. The milk is cheap here and I do have concerns that the cheap prices mean that farmers are not getting a fair price, yet Aldi state that they have increased what they pay to their suppliers. Also much of their produce is British. So I am shopping locally and buying British. Tick. Tick. And used one independent butcher. Tick.

4 pints milk  £          1.00
Still Water (12*5 ml  £          1.99
Refuse sacks  £          1.49
 £       0.33 3 large flat mushrooms  £          0.99
 £       2.49 3 Hip bone steaks  £          7.47
 £        12.94

Cost of the chips

We usually use a local chippy, the Thimblemill Fish Bar or Chamberlains although they don’t sell Pukka pies. If I had been thinking, I could have bought the pie from the butchers and saved a bit of money. I am using this price list as a guide to the cost of the chips etc.

Keeping it local

Using a local independent chip shop, and not sure who it will be yet, one is within walking distance the other is on the way home from work for my husband. Either way we are not making an additional car journey to buy the chips, so while not keeping with the totally locally ethos, Chamberlains is relatively local. I am going to give my self a big tick there then, too.

So what is the damage today?

Breakfast was a banana 16p. I have not even had a cup of tea as I have been drinking water or hot lemon with honey since I have had this cold flu.

Lunch was one slice of bread with some beans, cheese and scrambled eggs. Beans were left over from dinner last night, the cheese was the last of some I found lurking in the fridge and the eggs were from the chooks. I am guessing the total cost of lunch was 35p.

Am I staying within the challenge amount?

So far my food total is 51p and I have had some water at 17p a bottle which is a bit of a luxury. The truth is I could drink water from the tap but the water in Birmingham has fluoride and I try to avoid it.

At 68p so far I am within the Live Below the Line £1 a day so far, yet I know supper tonight will take me way above this.

 Chips  £          1.20
mushroom  £          0.33
onion  £          0.03
 steak  £          2.49
 ketchup  £          0.01
 £               –  £          4.06

Total food spend today is £4.74 and as it is Friday I suspect the OH will bring some drinkies too. Beer and some wine, which will add to the total spend today.

Is this all you are spending you may ask?

Since noting down all my spending it certainly makes me think twice before buying. I make a list and stick to it. Not always a good thing as I failed to buy a pie at the butcher so losing out on a saving there. However, I looked at some seeds for the garden, and even got tempted by one of the weirder offers you get in Aldi, a branch lopper, but if they are not on the list they don’t get bought.

We have a white board in the kitchen and all the family have to write things on the board as we run out so this is always checked before a shop. And because I am a control freak,  I have also written ‘we don’t buy things just because they are on offer‘ as a reminder to those shoppers who bring back things we don’t need. The spend so far has been just over £27 for food and other sundries for a family of three. I think  it has been a low spending week, which is why I will do this for all of April to see how it averages out, and I need to check what the OH has spent on fuel for the car or snacks.

What about waste?

I love food and hate waste. Today it grieved me to discover that some of the bread in the bread bin had gone mouldy. This was some nasty white sliced bread. That has gone to the birds. The lovely Ubuntu bread was intact so my poor son was forced to eat handmade rather than plastic bread for lunch. It’s a hard life. It is also interesting that this bread had gone mouldy, despite all those nasty additives and the handmade loaf has not.

I also found some peppers in the fridge that had gone mouldy, and some apples are a bit soft too. We have a compost heap and chickens, so the apples go to the chickens and the peppers on the compost. I would rather not be throwing any of it away so will continue to monitor any such waste. I think it was stuff bought without a meal plan, or perhaps they were on offer, yet now they are waste. Having a house of sick people for three weeks has had an impact on meal planning and shopping. Yet is money spent on food that has not gone into our bellies and that is wrong. I am hoping the message on the white board will stop this. I am certain that blogging about what I spend and cook has made me more aware of shopping frugally and only buying what I need.

I also had an impulse purchase of some fennel and celeriac at the MAC market last Sunday and have yet to use them. They were not cheap and I really don’t want them on the compost. I think I will make some soup with them, and maybe some celeriac mash for Sunday lunch. Any other suggestions how to prepare these lovely vegetables would be very welcome. So please post them in the comments, together with any other tips on how to eat well on a budget.