Thursday, 28 July 2016

In Hot Water



It was all starting to go so well until the boiler stopped working. The man is coming to fix it (hopefully) at the start of next week. Sometimes I think we'll never save up for this new bathroom! Thankfully it's broken in the sense that it wont switch off rather than won't switch on, we have hot water and just switch the boiler off when we're not using it, so not all bad news. Last time the boiler guy fixed the problem using my lip balm so that could work again.

Oh well, I'll just enjoy the plants on the dunes (above) and the emergence of a lovely yellow tomato in my garden!


A friend was chatting on Facebook last night about the tv show Eat Well For Less and challenged us all to be honest about what, if anything, we thought the presenters would replace with a cheaper alternative to help us save money. Some of the answers were really interesting and lead me to have a good old think too. The first thing that sprang to mind for me was tea, I buy Atkinson's Lancaster Blend which is £4 for 250g, Dan buys his coffee beans from there, £6.50 for 250g. My favourite chocolate bar is expensive, but I'm not a fan of some of the cheaper dairy free chocolate (I'll still eat it though!), and I like crisps. I think they'd try us with cheaper milk too. 

Cheese was a big issue with lots of other people, my friend buys grated, other people bought slices or really fancy cheeses, lots of people liked a particular wine or other drink and a couple thought potato products like ready made wedges, rosti or chips would be on their hit list. I think my non-food would be more of target for someone taking a look at my household budget, we do well with our food (I think) but I think if someone else did an audit our toiletries would be under scrutiny. 

14 comments:

  1. I don't buy anything prepared, it always cost more. Tea, coffee and cheese we always pay more for choosing what we like. We do not buy prepared sauces and meals, we make ours from scratched. As for treats, ie chocolate, crisp ect, we buy only as a treat and we do not get multi packs from the supermarket, if it's in the cupboard we eat more than we should. As for wine we get bottles when on special offer, but we don't drink much. Cleaning and toiletries we always buy in bulk when on special, saving as much as we can.

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    1. Thanks for your reply, I agree with you about not buying multi packs of snacks, it may seem better value to buy them but it can lead to eating more than you really want.

      We do buy some prepared items, things like jam and chutney, we don't eat enough to justify making it ourselves, especially as we'd be buying fruit/vegetables to make it as we don't grow enough to have a surplus.

      The health food shop we visit has just started offering refills of the shampoo I use so I think I'll take advantage of that in future.

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  2. I buy some expensive things like coffee, tea, fresh salad greens, cashews and pecans, and goat cheese; but mostly to complement our dull day-to-day meals of lentils, beans, veg stews and curries! I wish we could view Eat Well for Less in Canada (the iPlayer doesn't work internationally and it's not on YouTube either!)

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    1. Thanks for your reply, our meals balance in terms of cost as you rightly point out. We also use lots of inexpensive pulses, so the more expensive things such as nuts and oils are more affordable.

      The show tends to divide viewers as some spend so much money each week and there is often an amount of waste. The food swaps are very interesting as people swear that their favourite brand has been switched to a cheaper version that isn't as tasty, when the truth is revealed it's often the same brand they always buy!

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  3. I think they might object to my non dairy ice cream habit, oh and I'm with you on the chocolate xxx

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    1. Non-dairy ice cream is so expensive, but it is delicious! We buy a tub occasionally but rely on the blended frozen banana version the rest of the time.

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  4. Like you I do well with the food budget and summers are really good (the garden takes care of most of our fresh produce). I really think it would be meat purchases that would be under scrutiny in this household. The problem is my carnivore of a husband, slipping in 4 or 5 no meat meals a month has been as far as I have managed. This winter I am going to try for 6 or 7 in a few of those months.

    God bless.

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    1. Being able to take advantage of the garden is great.

      The interesting thing about the show is the way they deal with meat. Often the food swaps involve swapping meat for a more expensive "quality" version from the butcher, the expense is offset by savings elsewhere.

      Good luck in your endeavours increasing your meatless meal count!

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  5. I do pretty well with the food budget I think. Where I fall down would definitely be in the cleaning products and toiletries I always go for well known makes.

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    1. I think it would be really interesting for a show like EWFL to go through the non-food purchases too, well it would be interesting for me! I don't buy big brand names, but I do buy handmade soaps and more green/ethical/whatever brands and they tend to be more expensive.

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  6. I have a bit of a battle with my husband in terms of buying cheaper things. I tend to do the shopping on my walk home to stop him!

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    1. That is a well known money saving tactic, the more people shopping can lead to spending more! Dan and I can't be trusted to shop alone for different reasons!

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  7. I like Eat Well For Less. I don't buy many big brands, I even weaned myself off Heinz baked beans to Waitrose essentials, as they, to me, are the same and some cheap beans are horrid. I do buy Twinings tea, which isn't cheap for the biggest box. We buy Kellogg's cereals, but mostly we buy supermarket own brands.

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    1. I've really enjoyed this series.

      Good to know about the Waitrose baked beans, I've taken to making our own but it would be good to have a tin or two in stock.

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