My month begins on 25th so yesterday was effectively (at least in my budgetary world) July. This is all to do with salary and when it hits my bank account. Coincidentally it was the same when I had my full time job and I continued during my student years, so I’ve been living with this alternative calendar for around 20 years now and find it hard to imagine otherwise. This meant that yesterday was ‘big shop’ day. By this I don’t necessarily mean a big food shop (though it is sometimes quite substantial) but also any other bits and pieces required such as birthday presents needed during the forthcoming month.
Is it just me or do we all take a sneaky peek into other shopper’s trolleys? I love to see what other people are buying; they always seem to have found something interesting that I’ve never seen! Today, I shall share a few of the contents of my trolley with you, and if you think ‘how boring’ or wonder why I’d do that – that’s fine (but my blog’s strap line is ‘all sorts of everything’). Pop back soon for an alternative ‘all sort.’
The food shop yesterday was mostly about replenishing store cupboard items. I didn’t need a great deal because, as ever, my cupboards have plenty in them. The trouble is that it’s not always the stuff I need! No frozen foods were required (freezer’s full too) though I did buy three packs of ice lollies; it’s very hot in the Midlands at the moment.
I recently discovered that polenta in the Tesco World Foods aisle is significantly less expensive then in the standard aisles so I’ve been checking out the other items and just look at this! The small bottle of sweet chilli sauce bought a couple of weeks ago cost £1.50 for 100ml. This large bottle was £1.65 for 700ml. Astonishing! I’ve tasted it and can tell no difference. If you eat a lot of rice (we don’t) you can big savings on the enormous bags they stock.
Other bargains included our favourite Azera coffee on offer for £3 instead of £5.89. It’s one of those things that is quite regularly on offer so I stock up at the appropriate time and have never yet paid full price. Then I saw that the Extra large pineapples were only 49p whilst the smaller ones were £1…insane!
Cheese always features in my shopping trolley – A strong cheddar (mainly for husband but maybe a little for cooking too), halloumi and feta for me, Gruyere for the French onion soup planned for later in the week (I know it’s hot but I like soup anytime), Parmesan substitute (I like the real stuff for eating just as it is, but this is for putting in a quiche and I know it tastes absolutely fine) and finally two packs of 12 Babybel Light for £2 a pack , almost half price. A note to Slimming World members – I split up my Healthy A choice thus: one third unsweetened Almond milk plus two thirds cheese (it’s not a lot of cheese so it makes you very inventive)! Given that I eat very little meat (less than once a week) my protein comes mostly from fish, cheese and pulses.
British strawberries, two for £3, Good Earth peanut butter for £2 instead of £3, and a pack of four Muller Bliss yogurts (blissfully yummy) were reduced from £2.69 to 85p because the outer wrapping had been torn. We get through rather a lot of walnuts – husband likes them on his cereal, I like them with cheese (use them as a Healthy B choice), and I cook with them. These walnuts are from Home Bargains – the nicest I’ve tasted. Of course if I had my own walnut tree like a certain blog friend of mine, I may say that they were the second nicest! Oh the thought – mmmm!
Incidentally SW members, here’s a tip I heard in group recently. Take 23 hazelnuts (B choice) and swirl them in one melted Freddo bar (5 syns). Separate them with a cocktail stick, pop them in the fridge, then nibble all evening! I’ve yet to try it but I do now have the hazelnuts. Freddos were only available in packs of six so I resisted for obvious reasons.
Talking of budgeting (I did mention the word in my first sentence), I was having a conversation with a young student the other day and she asked me, “Why are student loans paid termly?” I couldn’t answer other than to suggest that it may be a leftover from the days when the grant cheques were prepared manually but there is surely no reason to continue with this archaic system now that payments are processed electronically. Can you imagine the horror of being told that you would get paid just three times a year? Employees (and indeed those in receipt of a pension) would be up in arms at the thought of having to budget thus, and yet we expect young people with little more experience than managing their pocket money or earnings from a weekend job to to be able to cope. No wonder they so often get into a financial mess.