shopping for food part 5

1 May

April is now over and here is the 4th week’s grocery bill and the last of these kinds of posting about my grocery bill. It is just to show how easy it is to keep to a £53 a month budget for food.
My grocery spending up to date.

23.4- 30.4.2013
Sweetpeppers 600mgx2 =.78p
Frozen king prawns (sainsburys) 225mg = £2.50p
Celeryx2 = £1
Bread800mg =.25p
Oats1kg =.75p
Total £4.78
Running total £37.35

Recount the previous 3 weeks.

Cauliflower = .69p
15eggs = 1.34p
Frozen broccoli 1kg = £1
Sweet peppers = .59p
Toilet paper 12rolls = £1.89
Oranges = .69p
Biscuits = .23
Apricot jam454mg (from aldi) = .79p
Total £7.22
Running total £32.57

Ceylon tea 125mg = £1.29
Bread800mgx2 = .20p
Cocoa powder Tesco 250mg =£2.28
Peanut butter Tesco 340mg = .62
Broccoli =.25p
Onions = .50p
Tomatoes (cherry and ordinary) =£1
Garlic = .50p
Carrots =.50p
Ginger = .50p
2.5kg frozen chicken pieces Sainsbury =.£4.38
Total £12.02
Running total £25.35

Sultanas 500mg =.98p
Oats 1kg = .75p
Coffee100mg = .47
Cauliflower = .40p
Gala apples = £1
Pork 2kg = £5.98
Ginger =.50
Garlic = .50p
Tomatoes =.50p
Onions =.50p
Ketchup = .28p
Broccoli = .49p
Carrots = .49p
Leeks = .49p
Total £13.33

Summary of april 2013 grocery spending
Veg= £11.88
Meat =£10.36
Seafood =£2.50
Fruits £1.69

Stock-up items
tea loose 125mg £1.29
Cocoa 250mg =£2.28

I buy rice 5kg at a time. Last time it cost £4. But I think that Tesco basic basmati rice is no longer being sold. So I guess it will be £5 for 5kg from now. I take about 45days to finish a bag. So it comes to about 11p a day.
So even if u add £5 to the running total, it will only come to £42.35

I am curious to compare with what I spent 1 yr ago.

March 2012 spend.

First week
Chicken =£3.16
bacon pork 2kg = £3
Broccoli =.62p
Potatoes ,carrots = 1.26
Beef = £3.29p
Pork =£2.61
Bread = .10p
milk powder400mg £1.01p
peanut butter =.62p
Porksausages2packs =.40p
Total £16.07

2nd week
Chicken =£1
Mushroom = .29p
Bread800mgx3 =.30p
Parsnips =.30p
Onions =.60p
Eggs =1.25p
Oranges =£1
Total 4.74
Running total £20.81

3rd week
Veg =£1.30
Pork = £3.65
Chilli sauce =£1.65
Rice noodlesx2 =£1.90
bean sprouts =.50p
Toilet paper8rolls £1.96
Cauliflower =.59p
frozenPeas900mg =.90p
Total £12.47
Running total £33.26

4th week
Broccoli =.50p
Oranges =£1
Beef = £3.59
Digestive biscuits =.39p
peanut butter =.62p
Total £6.10

Running total £39.36

Summary of april 2012
Meat =£20.70
Veg = £6.36
Fruits =£2

I noticed that a year ago I ate more meat. because there were lots of meat being reduced in price as they reach their sell by date. This year there is a dearth of these bargain meats. I made up for it by eating more veg, because I found out aldi has super 6 items reduction promotion where they sell veg very cheap.

Also the other supermarkets are reducing their prices on veg too.

You can see how easy it is to keep to a £53 a month budget.

I spent less than that.

Next week there will be the publicity because there is a charity asking people to try living on £1 a day.
And I see their recipes full of beans, and lentils … no meat.
And rather boring and small portions too… yet it need not be so. Just a little bit more than £1 a day and buying in bulk for a month instead of weekly will enable u to eat well. And no need to go vegetarian either.

I think I have shown that it is easy to have a filling balanced diet on about £1 a day and it is sustainable.

The menus made by those celebrities who try to follow it , mainly eggs, bread, lentils and beans, are not sustainable in the long run.

The secret? No starters nor desserts , cereals, or milk.

Oats(made in the microwave with a sprinkle of sultanas, milk powder and water) and toastedbread with jam/peanut butter , coffee for breakfast. It may sound monotonous but I find in the morning I am too lazy to make anything more complicated than that.
Many people think we like variety, but for something like breakfast many us would settle for familiarity and ease of preparation. And function… oats makes u non constipated.

I can do without desserts because by the time I eat the dish I prepared , I am too full to eat anything else. And also I am too lazy to prepare starters or desserts. Why bother to make an apple crumble with all that cooking and preparing when eating the fruit raw is so easy and nutritious. I find this western style of having sweet dessert where u cook fruits etc with lots of suger is quite laughable.

What is not obvious is that many of the methods of cooking I do, use very little energy to cook. I use very little electricity to cook my meals. It is something that is not highlighted in all the frugal menus that people post. I noticed that many recipes will ask that you stew the meat over the hob, and then put it in a pie to cook some more in the oven, so much over cooking. Or parboil potatoes or carrots or whatever and then still put it in the oven to roast some more. Those foods have been cooked to death.
Or it says simmer for 2hrs… who got the time, and think of all that wasted electricity used.

There was a frugal blogger who said there was a time when she ran out of money for the gas meter, so to cook spaghetti she just boiled water in the kettle and pour it over the spaghetti and cover with lid, and said the spaghetti cooked just the same as cooking it in water kept boiling for the whole time. (just remember to wash the spag in water,hot or cold, depanding on how u want to use the spag; to remove the starch).

She said she had always thought that spaghetti have to be cooked in lots of boiling water for the whole time. The cook books tell you so. Just goes to show people don’t really know how to conserve energy when cooking. Not surprising when u consider the recipe books propagate such wasteful energy practises.

And if u use the ramen, instant noodles, u can do the whole thing in the water that makes the soup. No need to cook the noodles separately in water, and then throw the water away with all the contents of the sachet in it. don’t laugh, I have read it being done that way by bloggers who purport to teach us how they do it.

Also, u can just buy the instant noodles, costing 12p each (used to be 9p) and use half a stock cube to flavour the soup instead of those msg laden sachets that u get with the ramen package costing 40p each.

Here is a link to a recipe by gino d’acampo, a tv chef.

First he boiled his 3 aubergines in 2 litres(!) of water, dry it, and then grill it.
He breaded chicken breast and fried it, and then put it with the aubergine and sauce in an oven to roast.

Boil, and grill, and roast… what did he think his aubergines are made of? That they are alive and hard to kill? Haha.

Chuck everything raw in the pot and roast it all in the oven, I say.

Or cook the breaded breasts separately and pour the sauce over need for the oven really.

Granted that article was written in jan 2010, so maybe he has learnt to use less electricity when he cook now.

2 Responses to “shopping for food part 5”

  1. AffordableLiving Thursday May 2, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Another Brilliant post, again you make an excellent point. How we cook our food, by cooking them to death not only are we wasting electricity and time we are also reducing the nutrients in the food. I think I’ll have a little think about how to cook with less energy in future, the pasta idea is a good one. Again, Thanks for sharing. It’s all about thinking outside the box. I tend to use a slow cooker when cooking things for prolonged period of times, in my mind it uses less energy than the oven being on for 2/3 hours.

    • alifesgayventure Thursday May 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      i like the slo cooker too, and it is better than the oven, but i am beginning to go for pressure cooking instead. i think it is quicker and use less electricity. slo cooker is great if u switch it on before u go to work and come back to a hot cooked meal. so if u have something to do and cannot be hanging around the house , slo cooker is ideal.

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