Free tubs & a meaty shop

Mum and Dad have been saving their used Clover tubs for me. They’ve been coming in really handy as soup containers. My tupperware supply is a bit of a mish mash. I really want some of those decent ones with the four flaps that click into place and keep liquid ‘in’ properly. But they are really expensive. So I’m making do with whatever I can get my hands on at the moment!

Today was food shop day and we went to Co-op instead of Tesco (to save a bit of money on petrol). It came to £40.60 which was great as I bought loads of meat. Co-op are still running their 3 for £10 offer on chicken so I bought 3 whole ones (two of which are now residing in my parents freezer – not enough room in our four drawers!). I’ve pretty much given up buying portions (breasts, thighs etc) because you get so much more for your money when you buy a whole one. For ages I had it in my head that cooking a whole chicken for anything less than a proper roast dinner was a waste somehow. Not anymore. Tomorrow we’re having a roast-chickeny-caesar-salady type affair and I’ll be using the rest of the chicken to make my first ever chicken pie (because I bought some frozen pastry before Christmas and it is still sitting in the freezer, waiting for action). Eek. I’ll let you know how that goes. I also bought 2 packs of lamb mince as my planned ‘batch cook’ for the coming week is shepherd’s pie (those lamb stock cubes bought on offer last week will be coming in handy already) and two packs of beef which have gone straight into the freezer.

I’m actually really surprised over how well the food planning and budgeting is going at the moment. I’ve definitely managed to hack our spending back from the average of £50 a week that it had crept up to. I had thought that the spend was so low on the first two weeks because I hardly bought any meat but I’ve bought plenty today and it was still well under £50. One thing I will say is that it has been a lot more work. I’ve really had to be careful and quite strict – both about sticking to only what we need and getting my arse off the sofa and cooking even when I don’t really feel like it. It isn’t too bad at the moment because I’m feeling particularly motivated but I suspect it will be harder when the ennui sets in (which it always seems to at some point). Anyway, so far this month I have spent £107.11 leaving £92.89 in the budget. I’m not sure if this will have to last one or two weeks – it depends on where our pay days fall. Even so, based on our spending on food so far this month, £92.89 would be plenty. I had sort of planned to save any money left over towards a holiday but my blinkin’ car needs more work (the electric window has stuck halfway down and they need to take the whole door to pieces to figure out why it won’t go up or down. Grrrr.). This happened once before (it is a particular fault on the model I have) and I seem to remember it costing somewhere between £100 – £150. So that will pretty much wipe out anything I might have done with my first wages. It is a bit demoralising but, at the same, just hardens my resolve to stick within budget and save, save, save. I just don’t earn the cash to put these things right at the drop of a hat anymore! I need to get some pennies in the bank…

Categories: Frugal food, Frugal ideas | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Free tubs & a meaty shop

  1. I heart getting so-called rubbish off friends and family – my mum and dad save wine bottles (for homebrew), egg boxes and pop bottles for us but I can’t get them to part with their ice cream or marg tubs because they want to use them themselves – tsk 😉

    Good job on the meat-tastic shop. I knew the Coop had packs of meat on 3 for £10 but not whole chickens – I’ll have to explore that too 🙂

    • shoestringalley

      Funnily enough, I actually find that Co-op is better on meat than Tesco. As in, the deals are better but the meat is better quality too (hence waiting until yesterday to do the ‘meat’ shop). And, yes, parents are brilliant for saving things back!

      • Hazel

        Yep, loo rolls for using as root trainers for seedlings, plastic bottles…I get my parents to save random bits and pieces for me too!

        RE: dinner ennui; I get the can’t-be-arsed-to-cook-yet-another-dinner feeling too. Tubs of easily defrostable stuff like mince (bolognese-y style) that can go with pasta/potato wedges/jacket potato help stop me sending DH out for chips. Has to be minimum effort!

  2. shoestringalley

    Ha – seems like everyone is getting their parents in on the act too! I am so with you on the dinner thing. There have been many nights that I have been grateful for prior batch cooking sessions and many nights where I have been gutted there has been nothing!

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