Tag Archives: frugal

getting back to normal with the foot. an insight into how old age view money and spending

1 Jun

london 1.15pm 23.9C sunny thursday 2017

i have had my follow up hospital appointment in the fracture clinic this morning. the foot has healed so well, that the doctor says i can get rid of the surgical boot, and even the crutches. or when i said i would like to keep the crutches he said maybe have one.

he sent me to see the physiotherapist to get instructions on how to exercise that foot. and it was during the session with the therapist that i realised,  from what he said, that the time to not put pressure on the foot is at an end. from now on, the foot has to be worked on to get it back to normal use. there is a time to take pressure off it entirely, when the bone was healing but once healed, it is important not to carry on that no pressure kids glove treatment.

it is a danger that the patient gets too used to molly coddling the foot, but it is time to change tac and get that foot working … hence the exercises that i have to do two times a day… a set of 4 exercises that would make me put an  evenly spread  pressure on the foot whereas now because the ball of the foot is still tender i tend to not put my foot flat down. in fact, if i dont use it i shall lose it. i had a chance to put my leg close together and i can see the muscles of the left leg was so much smaller and not as muscular as my right leg. even in such a short time as 6wks, the effect is showing.

it makes me realise i should go back to the gym and start body building. i had a look at my arms and saw that they are much thinner than i remembered them… 

i saw this article today in the daily mail, one very honest writer telling of how even though she is very comfortably off, she is like a miser when it comes to spending, and confirming the old adage that we turn miserly as we age. she says she had seen how old people she knows turn miserly and vowed she wont be like them, and now she finds she is turning into them.  i think there is a lot of truth in what she says… and she is being very honest in seeing it in herself and writing about it. it is not something that old people may wish others to see.

she gives some reasons why she feels that way… and one of them , that she knows what those things used to  cost in the old days… that the prices now are like exorbitant to her and she refuse to get them now. that seems possible as an explanation.

but she did not mention another reason that might be quite high in the list of refusing to buy things now. and that is not to be wasteful. she says she can well afford to put up the heating, but wont… it can be argued that she does not want to waste energy wastefully heating up the room. she think she is just being miserly. but not wanting to waste is a good reason i think.

and i wonder when we grow old, we tend to not bother with our looks, hence she writes about  not bothering to buy fashionable clothes and buying from primark instead or go to the hairdressers,(it seems joanna lumley cuts and dyes her own hair. if so she is really good at it, because she always looks so well turnout) or even bother with makeup…or use the cheapest moisturiser as we realise they all work the same. i mean these are really legit reasons not to spend money on those things. so it looks like some of the things may not be due to being miserly, just being savvy about goods and services and getting our money’s worth. in other words we have seen through the advertising hype and able to see the real worth of things and alter the way we spend. as usual, there is a line between being frugal and being miserly… it is a fine line. 


6 Nov

london 9.15am friday

i often see rate comparison articles saying u can get good deals if u switch. and today i saw this gb enegy supply offering 10.05p /kwh. that is very good but when i got a quote from them, it turned out that there is a standing charge of 19.4p a day. well that knocked all the saving out of kilter. i use about 2.4kwh/day x.1667p = 40p . their cost would be 2.4 x .10p = 24 + 19.4=43.4p. it will cost more than my present deal with npower. for low use people like me, the fixed standing charge is a killer. npower have no standing charge.

if u use a lot, say double my usage it turns out much better . standing charges benefit those who use a lot of energy. 5x.1667=83p. 5x.1=50+19.4= 69.4p

if u use 3x as much as me, 7.5x.1667 = £1.25p on npower . 7.5x.1= 75p +19.4 = 91.4p on gbgeneral. so u can see changing suppliers to a lower tarif will encourage people to use more, as there are more savings the more u use. and less savings the less you use. human nature being what it is, a person will feel he is penalised for saving … there is no incentive to save electricity and cut down on usage.

that is why i am not sure that lowering the price of electricity will help save electricity. it will just mean people using more as it will be cheaper and it will do away with the incentive to use less electricity.

if u use more than 20kwh a day u will get the full benefit and pay just 10.5p/kwh. but who are the kind of people who would use more than 20kwh a day? maybe those who grow marijuana, haha.

Unit Rate (p/kWh) 10.0275p
Standing Charge (p/Day) 19.425p
Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) 12.31p

Kohinoor Gold Basmati Rice 5Kg – Groceries – Tesco Groceries

6 Feb

Kohinoor Gold Basmati Rice 5Kg – Groceries – Tesco Groceries.

i found this link when i googled kohinoor, but i did not know about this tesco offer at all, until i happen to walk into the tesco on the old kent road, purely by accident earlier today. 5kg bags for £5.50.

 that is the trouble with seeking out such offers like this. it is difficult to know of it before hand.

just luck i think that i decided to leave the bus 53 as it stopped outside the tesco in the old kent road for a change of driver.

 i was actually on my way to the aldi further down the road to buy the apples and oranges for 69p each pack.

i am glad i stopped off at the tesco. once i knew of this offer, i then returned to the store on my way back and bought the 2packs. it was just enough for me to carry. 

sometimes i wish they would let me know with an email or something. here is one time when i would love to get mail from them telling me of these offers.

that time when i went to morrisons and saw their offer of £9 for 10kg basmati rice, and then to  see the shelf empty of the bags of rice makes me wish morrisons would let me know which branch of theirs is giving these offers.

and the funny thing is these offers are never advertised. ah well, i guess we bloggers will just to have to post it and let others know; haha.

usually i buy the rice @£1 per kg. so these @1.10/kg is slightly more than what i would buy, but kohinoor is a good brand, and these are gold … which i think refers to their extra long basmati rice. i bought 2packs of the 5kg bags. i shall see if they taste or smell different , by which i mean better, when cooked. but their normal price is always £4-5 more and seldom do i see them reduced like this.

nowadays i am so used to basmati rice, i find it difficult to go back to eating thai rice which i used to do in the past.

thai rice are never reduced in price, and the ones i got, (when a batch was selling at £6/5kg;) are not as nice as i used to remember. perhaps it is a mistaken memory on my part. but i expected them to smell nicer and cook really nicely in discreet grains of rice, but perhaps it is my memory playing tricks on me and that they are never like that.

i have tried the long grain rice, sometimes they call it american long grain rice; but they dont cook well, tend to be very soft and mashed up because too much water is used, and if i use less water, they end up not fully cooked, a bit hard.

so i have given up buying these long grain rice. and they dont have much fragrance as well. they used to be cheaper than basmati, but not any more.  

$30 smartphones are here—and they’re getting better every day – Quartz

18 Dec

$30 smartphones are here—and they’re getting better every day – Quartz.

a friend who likes to phone me and chitchat, because he got a smartphone and have a call plan with free calls and text for £6 a month, asks me if i got a smartphone. i said i got a chromebook which is just as good. but if this article is true for uk, and we can get smartphones for like £21, i can see myself getting one in future.

the biggest obstacle to me getting a smartphone and using it like a laptop, is the fact that typing on it is difficult. one day perhaps when they perfect voice recognition, it will be possible to dictate messages, in which case a smartphone will be perfect.


zero based budgetting

26 Mar


I saw this today in a blog post about finance

Quoting from the post… ‘Most people do not suffer financially because they are stupid or unlucky or poorly informed. Most suffer financially because they are careless.

In the 70′s there was a process called zero-based budgeting. It required each line item to be justified as if it had never been seen before. The purpose was to root out the things that consumed money but no longer contributed equal or greater value.

Essentially, zero-based budgeting asked, “If I was not already doing this, would I start?” end quote.

I have been doing it without realising what it is called. Some will call it simplifying their life. it is a good thing to incorporate it in your financial planning  and do a cull of your financial commitments.

Looking back on your life, i am sure we can remember the time when we did an about turn and got rid of some debt that we had been carrying without thinking all these years.

For me, it was the car, i got rid of it. It took some time though. it was only when i moved to live in central london that i realised it was an unnecessary expense.

Another example is this…  getting a mortgage and then getting rid of it by paying it off. i am glad i got a mortgage in the first place, for that means i bought my flat at a time when it was going cheap; so this shows that getting into debt can be a good thing if it is for an investment.  and i am glad i got rid of it about 10yrs later. now i realise i should have got rid of the mortgage much sooner than i did… as i got the money to pay it off, but i was brainwashed to think that i have to pay it for 25yrs.

And i think someone told me not to pay it off as u can build up a credit history. Also, the tax structure is such that can get mortgage tax relief of your interest. not sure if that applies anymore, it was reduced to the first £30,000 of your mortgage , that sum might be abolished now and u dont get tax relief anymore, but u can see why it pays to keep the mortgage when you can get tax relief on it. as usual the consensus was you got to have some debts so that u build up a credit history.

sometimes the way the tax is structured, if u are working, it might pay you to use hire purchase as that is tax deductable. that is why i see so many adverts (when a new tax year begins) about getting a new car, by paying £200 a month. you can even get a mercedes by just paying £300 a month. that would be totally tax deductible. whilst if u buy a car, not much u can deduct. if u pay cash u cannot deduct any interest if u had borrowed the money instead. u can only deduct depreciation. But once u get a car, you will be spending more money as u will be using it more and petrol costs will rise. but essentially if u buy something that requires running costs … you are committed to spending.

it is like deciding to  send the kids to private school. you have committed yourself to spending like crazy for 15 years. if that does not frighten anyone , nothing will. are those parents so confident that they will be able to do it for 15yrs? knowing that it has to be maintained because taking a kid out of private school and into state run schools will cause a lot of psychological damage to the child’s education. 



view from london

17 Sep

I hope everyone is enjoying their life as I do.
Here in London the season is changing. It is rather nice to watch the annual show… autumn coming round. So far the trees are still green, but there is a lot more rain of the drizzly sort.

Even though it was raining and quite heavily too, I was out today, to forage for bargain meat at the supermarket near me as well as just to get out of the flat for a change.

I went to the nearby hotel where a property developer was showing their plans for 9 millbank, a rather imposing block overlooking the thames and overlooking the gardens of the  house of parliament. These offices have wonderful unobstructed views of the thames and were built by ICI, and they are going to turn them into flats. On the other side of the road from this block is the offices of MI6. this area is full of such developments… offices being turned into flats.

here is a google streetmap view of it

I saw lots of mince beef which have to be sold today … that means they will have to be reduced. The first time I went, it was reduced from £4 to £2.50, minced beef less than 20% fat. whilst the basic minced beef(less than 23%fat) was reduced £3.85 to £1.50. They were 750mg. But I thought they will be reduced some more as the day goes by, so I returned at about 5pm, and they were reduced to £1.65 and £1.11 respectively. So I bought the cheaper ones, I bought 3packs.

And divided them into six portions and freeze 5 whilst I cook a beef bolognaise with the rest.


added. 20.33. went again to get bargain bread, bought 2 warburton white loaves for .34p each.(simon will be pleased.haha) on the way back went into the tesco and saw the beef reduced further. £1.20 and .85p, so i bought another one of the 85p. there seem to be a glut of minced beef, because i saw a lot dated tomorrow being reduced as well. 


I try not to eat a lot of meat but it is nice, now and then, to eat meat.

If left alone in the freezer these will last me a long time, but I know simon will eat them. It is a pity because he has high blood pressure and should be more careful with meat eating or overeating. Not to mention when i want to eat them, they are gone. haha. 

Ah well, his soul wants it.

I have a friend who I occasionally chat on the phone and he does not like my viewpoint , that their souls wants it. i think because it implies that whatever happens to them is what their souls wants. and i think many people balk at that… it makes them seem so unfeeling and callous at the plight of the poor, or unfortunate. 

He says it makes me appear unfeeling and callous of the feelings of others implying it is all their fault. I am sure he is right, in that it makes whoever holds these views to appear in a bad light. Haha.

But I don’t mind what others think of me. To me the soul wants to experience life, and if it wants to experience deprivation, anger etc it will bring all those about. Asking other souls to come along and do them in and give them the chance to experience these feelings.

So it is not so much asking for it, as wanting to experience it.
My soul do not want to experience all those feelings of anger, or jealousy or fear, or righteousness or poverty or debt or having really bad relationships with other human beings , that is why I don’t have those things happen to me.

I like experiencing happy feelings and so I get them.

And getting food bargains like these haha. They are very small things, and you would think what a small thing that can make me happy… my life must be really dull if this little bit can make me happy. Haha. but my soul wants it. 
Most would say you ‘do you want me to be happy? Nothing less than winning £5million (no wait make it £100million) will make me happy’. Perhaps they mistook it for greed… i think if u want to be happy u must not be greedy. 

I laugh of course, because really the happiness u get from these tiny things, (like seeing a beautiful sunrise or sunset , or just seeing blue sky overhead makes me happy)is wonderful and stays with you for a long time.

So now I got a good supply of meat. I shall be going later to the other supermarket to see if I can get a new supply of reduced bread. Haha.

Simon has eaten the ones I bought. I know he likes those Warburton white bread… that is why I bought them when I saw them reduced to 34p, but normally I prefer wholemeal bread. Not least because I know simon don’t like them and so I can at least get the chance to eat them as he wont deplete them in the freezer.

I try not to eat too much bread… I know it is not fashionable but I think bread (and milk, or cheese) are not really very good for you. I daresay it is one of those silly things that u get in your head sometimes. I don’t really have a scientific reason as to why bread and dairy products are bad for you. With cheese I just don’t like that they are so salty. But bread and wholemilk can be really addictive… esp whole milk on cereals which I have a feeling is not quite as healthy as they make out.
But of course, I have a easy attitude to these things. If I get the chance, now and then I do like whole milk with cereals. And even making porridge out of whole milk gives the porridge a really rich taste. If I do have milk I want the whole milk, not the skimmed ones. To me skimmed milk is a big con. Haha.

But life to me is just eating in moderation, of the things I like rather than eat a lot of them all the time.

Deliberately depriving myself of these things now and then seems to me quite good for my soul. I think that must be why people fast. It is a way to deliberately deprive oneself of food. I think it is a way of mimicking nature. Because in nature, animals experience feast and famine, and that makes their bodies cope with the natural cycle of feast and famine.
With our modern life, where we can get food all year round, and in abundance, there is no feast and famine, anymore… and I think that makes us prone to obesity and all the diseases that comes with it. People just eat all the time and a lot of it.

By fasting, we try to bring that balance into our lives so that the body can use up its reserves of fat and hence you can maintain a good balance between obesity and starvation.

Anyway it is just a theory of mine, to explain why fasting is a good practise.

I practise a modified version of it throughout my life… rather than do like the muslims do, allocate a month for fasting and not eat anything between sunrise and sunset.

That method makes for real binge eating in between. Or at least that is what I would think, but I am sure a lot of muslims will tell me it is not so. But it is interesting that in Malaysia, during the month of Ramadan, the malay food stalls are just full of really lovely foods that u never see the rest of the year. They sell them after the sun set. That must be a great temptation to binge eat surely?

how to spot a bargain

6 Sep


In the study, 1,000 shoppers were shown a bacon promotion and asked to pick the best deal. There were four choices: A) three 175g packs with six rashers in each for £4, B) a 250g pack with eight rashers for £1.98, C) three sets of option A for £10 or D) three sets of option B for £5.

Can you work it out? Only a third of shoppers got it right, with option C, which works out at 18.52p a rasher. Option A was 22p, option B was 24.75p and option D was 20.83p.

this is a article in the telegraph about how supermarkets get you to spend more. 

At first i thought the answer was wrong. surely option D must be the right answer. this is because i compare the weights. 750mg for £5 option D, compared to 525mg for £10, option C. 

But then i have another think. what if the more expensive bacon A, has less water, less fat, unlike the B , which is half as cheap, but maybe has lots of added water or fat. 

in the end, i was just glad i dont buy bacon anymore, unless it has been reduced to 20p. Now u know why i dont buy these things at their normal prices. 

added. i confess i failed to read the question properly. A is 3x175g of bacon. so the answer C is correct, but only by very little. and if they have added water to the bacon, as they often do, then comparing weight only will not get u the best value for money. I guess by not buying bacon at all, i sidestep the whole question and makes my life easier without having to calculate the whole mess.

disliking someone on first impression

3 Aug

There was a tv program about a survey finding 50% of people living in uk find it difficult make ends meet. Someone said, don’t go shopping.
I find it very true.
I went to the aldi thinking of buying just the peaches that are in their special 6 items, I got 4 peaches for 69p which is rather nice, though as usual, the reality did not come up to expectation. I remember peaches I bought in capdagde that were juicy and sweet but these were not… maybe too unripe at this stage and I should wait for them to ripen some more.
I can understand people spending more to buy ready to eat peaches. it takes the wait out of the eating. It is difficult to know when the peaches get ripe enough… u wait too long and it becomes too soft…

and ended up spending £4.50. Granted it is buying things that I will want in the future, or being tempted by grapes 400mg for £1.09… but still… I got giant frozen prawns which at £2 each is the cheapest anywhere. Prawns are my favourite, as they go in everything and are quick to cook, and now it sits in my freezer. I go through these 200mg packs very quickly.
They are ideal for a quick meal. and now that asda is selling ramen noodle  back to 11p each instead of 15p, I shall be using a lot more of them in the instant noodle meals.
Last month I used up 3packs of these frozen prawns !!

But it just goes to show if u go to a supermarket u do end up buying things. I know others will not be so disciplined as I am and end up spending lots more than me.

So I think this may explain why so many find it difficult to make ends meet.

Also, they borrowed money in the past and are still paying it off… because one thing I have found out when u borrow, it is real difficult to pay it off piece by piece… the interest keeps raising the amount u owe, so that u will be paying 3 times more than you borrowed by the time u finished paying it off.

Simon told me of it. I happened to ask him how come he don’t go to phuket much , like he used to. I was surprised when he said he is still paying off his debts. It seemed that last time he went about 2yrs ago, he borrowed money, (and then lost it on his way there, silly fellow) and it seems he is still paying it off.

It amazed me, why he is still paying it off after so long…

He is hopeless with money… I think his soul wants it. I figured even if he pays off his debt he will find some way to get into debt again… maybe start gambling and incur triple amount of debt and make things worst. As it is , I guess u could say this debt is keeping him from spending more. He is the kind of person who just don’t have the discipline, and so need this kind of enforced discipline to prevent him from getting into worst debt.

U might be asking how come he cannot save and pay it off. He smokes and he drinks. Enough said. haha.
I bet anyone who said they cannot make ends meet you will find they have these two habits. The drinking habit is the one that destroys their savings.

I am very tolerant of others, otherwise I doubt we can be together for so long. i daresay he too is tolerant of my foibles, (glad that he too dont mind no central heating and  me not even switching on the electric heaters in winter.haha. though of course he could switch them on himself, but he does not)

I figured his life is what it is… no point getting angry at him, making the excuse that anger is for his sake. Haha. no, i dont do that… imposing what i think he ought to do , onto him. 

My feelings is that everyone has their souls desire, and if his soul desires this kind of hand to mouth life for him, so be it. Haha.

I live my life, and so able to provide shelter and a stable life for him, and he can come along for the ride. I like him around and being with him, whilst letting him do his own thing, and he let me do mine. And we get along very well and enjoy our life together. i hope i give him a sense of perspective, that you can be very happy with very little money and that money is not everything. get into debt if u like, manage it,  but dont let it overwhelm you and not see that life is really very wonderful.

Talking of tolerance, I got an email from a friend who gives parties, telling me he is not accepting another friend of mine to his parties. I introduced them to each other, as the other friend wanted to be invited to the parties.

But my party host said he did not like what he said, and more importantly how he said it.
I don’t know what they said, must ask my friend about it , but I do know that this friend don’t give a good impression when u talk to him over the phone or on email.

When he first contacted me, I felt the same too. Haha.

But he kept in touch, and after a hiatus, which I thought meant he too was not keen, he called me and told me he had a broken rib, and was out of commission that was why he had not been in contact.

Well, it might be an excuse , but we arranged to meet, as we had said so long ago when he first contacted me, and finally we did meet.

He lives in a nice house in Mayfair, inherited from his parents. He lets two rooms to mon-fri lodgers, who are straight. That way he gets income as maintaining a house can be expensive. With a flat , the cost is shared amongst all the other flats, but not if u have a house.
That is why if u are a pensioner, get rid of the house and buy a flat instead or like him , rent out rooms.

He is an older guy and set in his ways. As I suspected, he has views and they are very firm views. He likes this and not that, he wants this and not that. Quite a common thing with most people, but especially the old.
(or rather, let me qualify, if it happens in a younger guy or a good looking guy, we all forgive it.haha. Looks and youth can get u everywhere . don’t believe those guys who say otherwise. If it is an old guy, we are less tolerant of it. A sad fact of life )

I am used to it and tolerant of this; and let it slide. But I guess it might rub my host friend the wrong way.




 frozen prawns200mg are from aldi £1.99, ramen is from asda 11p. (i have noticed even i can be fooled. it used to be frozen cooked prawns at that price. but now i see from the picture that it is raw prawns. hmm not as good value as cooked prawns. i wonder if they have cooked prawns and i picked the wrong one. still maybe raw prawns have more flavour when cooked?)

added.8.8.13 i have eaten all the prawns. raw is not as nice as cooked. with the raw prawns, after cooking they shrunk, unlike the cooked ones. the prawns look big when u take them out of the pack, but after cooking they shrank a lot ,whilst the cooked prawns remain quite big after cooking. i shall buy the cooked frozen prawns from now on. 

bargain foods

2 Jul

1.7.13 monday

written yesterday
I got an email with the address outlookwemail@outlook.com

(it shows what a fake address it was because my laptop refuse to create a link on the whole address but insists on just highlighting the email@outlook.combination ) don’t click on the link for heaven’s sake as it is a fake and a scam address.

Telling me to update my account with hotmail or it will be deactivated in 24hrs.

It looked very convincing, except I am always sceptical when it goes into my junk mail folder instead of into my inbox.

If it is a legit email from hotmail, it should land in my inbox folder.

I am using windows live mail.
I don’t know if it is still operative or they intend to replace it with outlook.com;
microsoft keep changing the names of these things all the time, so I am not sure if they intend to replace hotmail.com with outlook.com

Anyway I copied and pasted the message and send it to the outlook.com feedback section which I opened… not via the link in the email but by typing it in my laptop’s whatisname… we shall see what happens if anything.

Though I doubt they will reply to me as I have not got an outlook.com account haha.
The puzzling thing is when I log onto my hotmail.com , it tells me it is called outlook now.

And I did not tell them my email address in my feedback message to them. I actually put it down, but erased it when I read a statement in the webpage saying don’t put anything personal on it.

Idiots really, one wonders why they want feedback from strangers.

That is why I use google chrome instead of explorer. With chrome I don’t ever get messages saying shut down your computer so that whatever program can be updated.

I still use hotmail, because I am so used to it.
So far they allow me to access both my hotmail accounts using windows live. So I don’t have to log on individually into my two hotmail accounts. The windows live log on automatically and grabs any messages in both the accounts at regular intervals.
They don’t allow u anymore to automatically log on from one account to another.

I suppose the day they close down windows live will be the day I move elsewhere. I don’t mean get rid of my hotmail address, but get another program that will do similar function.
I am sure there are other programs similar to it, a kind of gatherer of all your email addresses in one place.

I have been having a lot of fun buying bargain veg and meat.
First off I go to Brixton for the 50p garlic, ginger, tomatoes, onions.

Then to aldi to get their reduced price lettuce .49p , cucumber .49p. They also have 4cloves of garlic for .49p but I did not buy those.
If u fancy English strawberries, aldi is selling them 400mg for £1.39. A good price. I did not buy them though.
I got cooked frozen prawns200mg for £2.

Though I have become less enthusiastic about frozen prawns as it seems to have so much ice in them.

I enjoy the bus rides which I get to do free as I move from one supermarket to another.

Even rode on the 24 service, which is all new open platform at the back of the bus, like the old route masters. They have a conductor there just to remind u to pay which I think is a waste of a conductor really. Someone told me they are drivers and they alternate with each other to play the conductor role.

I think come winter they will shut off the open platform at the back and do without a conductor and revert to an ordinary one -man operation.

This open platform is for tourists really, and so will operate in summer for the benefit of the tourists.

I find the ride is very rough , if u sit upstairs. Some how there is more rolling and rocking upstairs than in the ordinary double deckers. Not suitable for you if u get car sick easily. Haha.

Later the night I went to sainsburys to get bread. Now they are reduced to 34p . I wonder if I shall ever see them reduced to 10p each. Those were the days. Haha. I saw a guy there taking the Crank brand wholemeal loaves, and got chatting to him. I spotted more of the loaves which he missed on the shelf and pointed them out to him, and he took all of them, with me taking one for myself. He said he loved them and considered them cheap at 34p. I told him it used to be had for 10p each. I noticed the milk powder is now back to its old price £1.01 glad they have decided to drop it from the £1.40 it rose to. 


Then at the Tesco I saw a big 2.2kg unsmoked Wiltshire gammon ham for £2.59 , reduced from £10 something. It is bacon. I intend to freeze it and eat it over a period. It is lovely to have bacon and eggs now and then.

Life is lovely. And tonight for some reason, there is no pollen in the air. I really wonder why… perhaps it was a still night, so no wind to blow pollen from the fields outside London into the centre of London. Or somewhere there was rain and it washed the pollen before the wind arrived here. So I came back without sneezing and snorting… haha.

I caught a tv program called unwrapped food… and it was talking of cornflakes, with added iron. It seems during the process of making the cornflakes they strip the maize of its kernel where all the goodness are,(because the oil in the kernel makes the flakes go rancid very quick and so cannot be stored for long) and then they add iron filings to it. What a laugh. Basically u are eating iron filings, which will most probably run right through your gut and never get absorbed and u shit it out. So much for your daily dose of iron.

Sometimes I think we are too gullible and believe whatever these people who make our processed foods tells us. First they strip the food of its natural goodness and then they add these man -made chemicals masquerading as vitamins etc and tells us it is the same thing. Rubbish of course, no way is iron in spinach or liver, or beef the same as the iron filings they add in. or the naturally occurring vitamin C in fruits is only ascorbic acid. I daresay the difference is the ease of absorption by the body of naturally occurring iron,vitamins, etc in these foodstuffs.

And guess what, it does not surprise me to hear that processed cheese, the ones in flat squares, may contain only 10%cheese. What a laugh. Now u know why people keep telling u don’t eat processed foods.


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 it.no 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.