food poverty may be due to dont know how to shop for food, and not due to only lack of money.

22 Sep

london 7.57am 16C cloudy thursday 2016

the evening standard is pioneering a waste food charity initiative. to get the supermarkets to donate their unwanted foods to charity.

 it has a report from one of their reporters talking about how he tried to survive on £20 a week. as usual, if u look at his supermarket shopping list he is buying all the wrong things. £20 is quite a lot to spend actually.

he can easily buy a whole chicken, costing about £3.50 or £4, and that will last him all week. he could actually buy 1kg pork too for £3 and it would still keep him inside the budget. the rest of the money he can use to buy veg, like cabbage, celery, brocolli, carrots, onions, potatoes,(he can get them all for £3or 4) and staples like pasta, rice,bread,butter,jam,eggs,oats, and he can easily eat well for the week. instead he bought too much fruits. and an avocado, for heaven’s sake!! but it shows how if u dont know how to shop, any amount of money is not going to be enough. 

added. 7am 16.4C 24.9.16 . this lady is even better at making a chicken last. 

i had a look at my budget for this month and i only spent £26 so far,(£11.28 was for meat, chicken , mincedbeef, pork, the pork is all eaten, but half the chicken and 3/4 of the mincedbeef packs still to go) and it is allready 3wks into the month. so about £8 a week so far. and i eat well and dont feel hungry. the rest of the month i shall only need to buy veg to top up.  and that will cost only about £1 or £2.  so quite possible the average weekly bill may drop to less than £8 a week. 

added. 28.9.16 0.30am wednesday . i bought another 2.3kg of pork costing £6.58 , and £5 worth of fish balls. bringing up my meat price to £20. and the total spend so far to £40. still less than £10 a week. i dont really keep to a budget because my spending is so low. this bill  is for a month. and there is enough food to feed  next month as well. so i will really find it hardpressed to spend £20 a week.

a close up of the shopping list. he goes and buy tuna , which is very expensive for such a small amount. notice that he paid for 2 shopping bags. its not that it makes a lot of difference to his total bill, but it shows his mindset. someone who dont take care of the pennies will end up bad.

there is a bbc tv program called ‘eat well for less’ about educating families how to shop for food, and it shows clearly how many could save a lot of money by shopping clever. so it seems to me it is not so much that food is expensive, it is that those who cannot cope are those who need to be shown how to do savvy shopping and how to cook too. that is the basic problem, they dont know how to cook from scratch.

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11 Responses to “food poverty may be due to dont know how to shop for food, and not due to only lack of money.”

  1. Garfield Hug Thursday September 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    Interesting to learn how reasonable your grocery is. Pork at £3 a kg is a steal. Sigh. .my lil red dot is expensive in terms of cost of living.

    • alifesgayventure Thursday September 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      it used to be £2/kg, before brexit, but yes, i agree, it is still very reasonable. and there is always the possibility of getting it for less if u can catch them mark it down in a final reduction. that is why whenever i hear people here in uk say they cannot afford to buy food, i silently think that is because they are not a clever shopper. nobody taught me, it is easy to learn how to do it,and to change shopping habits if people are motivated enough. hence u get people buying avocado,(!) and then moaning they cannot afford to feed themselves.

      • pensitivity101 Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

        We’re looking forward to stews, getting a stewpack for about a pound and adding extra potatoes with about 100g of meat (optional anyway). My pressure cooker is a godsend, and one batch will feed us for two if not three days. Our food budget for the two and a half of us used to be around £25. Now it’s nearer thirty, but I’m buying more fruit at the moment, which is actually doubling up as my breakfast, not in between fillers.
        Good post by the way and I agree totally that it’s the way we shop that is expensive and/or wasteful..

      • alifesgayventure Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

        you are doing very well , esp when u have to feed two instead of just one. and u dont have a freezer either. with it i dont have to eat the same thing for continuous days. but perhaps u dont have that problem, this is when cooking for two comes in useful. haha. i hear in france someone says they are having a glut of tomatoes and she made tomato sauce and freeze them. here in london we never get a glut of tomatoes. we do get them in the past, i remember buying a load of them, all very ripe in the brewerstreetmarket,which is in soho, selling for £1 the lot. but those days are long gone.

      • pensitivity101 Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

        I cook mostly from scratch, and a single chop or chicken breast is sufficient for Maggie to have a bit and the rest goes in a curry or sweet and sour. If you get the chance of some cheap tomatoes, if you freeze the surplus, they are still ideal for pastas, spag bols, chillis, etc. Enjoy!

  2. pensitivity101 Saturday September 24, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    Thanks so much for the link! Hope some of my other food budgeting tips are helpful.

    • alifesgayventure Saturday September 24, 2016 at 11:16 am #

      i was really surprised that u can get cooked whole chicken for 49p. here in london, we never get such drastic reductions.

      • pensitivity101 Saturday September 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

        Hubby found it and we have never seen one priced so low since. What surprised him more was that so many shoppers were ignoring the 49p ones and waiting for the new batch at £5.50! If we had a freezer, Hubby would’ve bought the lot!

      • alifesgayventure Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

        i can imagine it must be quite frustrating that u could not buy the lot. it is a steal. here is where i really appreciate my fridge, because of its freezer compartment. i guess it is not possible to have a freezer in the houseboat. here we sometimes get 10p bread, and i would buy a few more to freeze them. a small upright freezer cannot use up much electricity. a freezer seems to me quite essential piece of equipment to have.

      • pensitivity101 Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

        We have a full size fridge with small freezer compartment (got jacket potatoes and fish fingers in it at the moment) but there isn’t really space for a freezer. The fridge drains our batteries when we are out of the marina (no solar panels but option being looked into for cost effectiveness) so a freezer would do the same. I remember getting loaves of bread for between 5 and 10 pence when we lived in the cottage and would freeze them down. We’d also freeze our excess home grown produce so nothing was ever wasted, and the farmers could be quite generous with their crops if we smiled nicely! Most of the bigger boats, especially widebeams, have freezers and washing machines on board. We are only 41 feet in length and 6’10” wide, so space can be an issue, but we manage extremely well.

  3. alifesgayventure Saturday September 24, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    you freeze jacket potatoes!! that is a new one on me. haha. sometimes potatoes can be so cheap here, but they go off if not eaten. that is why i dont like buying them, because it forces me to eat potatoes for days on end haha. but if u can freeze them… hmm, it is giving me ideas. they do take up a lot of room,in the freezer though. so can i cut them up into pieces and freeze? though i think i would just cook them in a stew and freeze the stew. i am glad i am chinese and like rice. because rice can be stored for ages without refrigeration. and never spoil. at least if one lives in uk, where it is cool. not sure if in malaysia rice dont spoil and weevils get to live in it.

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