Going Back To Basics

We survived our 4-day impromptu processed food diet. Just.

Time to go back to basics.

This is an experiment I’ve had planned for a while. Looking for the ideal week to try it out, this week seemed as good as any. Better in fact, as we had just emptied a fridge of ready-meals.

Having recently reduced the weekly grocery spend by 50%, I’ve been very impressed with the quality and price of products at the supermarket I’ve been using.

But, there’s been a nagging doubt in the back of my mind. I’d like to eat more local produce whilst supporting local farmers.

Reusable bags in hand, I whipped round the farm shop I’d visited a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t tally up prices as the items hit my trolley. Instead I stuck to my grocery list of the basic ingredients I’d drawn up to feed the family for the next 6 days.

I’m getting pretty good at this. My bill came to £49.94.

I resisted all temptation to pop the produce in plastic bags, and even remembered to take a container for the minced beef. Although the server insisted on plastic wrapping the container (?), which I thought a little strange. There’s no getting away the obsession with plastic wrapping cucumber, even here. Once again it came wrapped. I may stop buying it.

Overall I was pleased with my purchases and my shopping experience. The butcher gave me some time to chat through the meat products and their heritage. And above all I got to meet Lucy. Check out Facebook!

I did have to pop elsewhere on the way home to buy a few items that are a must here at Chez Wright.

This increased my bill by a further £3.74. And I’ll need additional milk also.

How basic am I going? I’d say 80% basic with some shortcuts such as cereal, cordial and chocolate. I’ll be making meals from scratch, as well as baking bread, cakes and biscuits. I will, however, be saving hand-making pasta and yoghurt for another week, when I’m feeling more confident. And I doubt I’ll ever be a dairy farmer, so it’s a given I’ve purchased milk, butter and cheese. As for flour…you get the picture!

I’ll be posting more about the experiment on Tuesday (plus a giveaway). It’s going well so far. The Kids love getting stuck in…

There are added benefits to making from scratch – I even managed to turn baking biscuits into a maths lesson.

{ 44 comments… add one }
  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring July 1, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Looking good so far Jo! And how was the other Plan B?!

    • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Thanks Sarah! As far as Plan B..B went …well at the risk of dispelling any illusion that I might be even slightly civilised, I not only consumed dry cider via a camping mug on a muddy field, but also went moshing in the pit. On the way back to the car my welly stuck in a paper cup that has been abandoned and I ended up face down in the crowd… I had a great night!

  • sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring July 1, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Looking good so far Jo! And how was the other Plan B?!

    • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Thanks Sarah! As far as Plan B..B went …well at the risk of dispelling any illusion that I might be even slightly civilised, I not only consumed dry cider via a camping mug on a muddy field, but also went moshing in the pit. On the way back to the car my welly stuck in a paper cup that has been abandoned and I ended up face down in the crowd… I had a great night!

  • Lauren July 1, 2012, 8:22 pm

    That’s looking much more like a Wright shop, looks lovely in fact.

    I took all of my produce out of their plastic wrappers (bought loose where I could) as soon as I got it home this week. All decanted into plastic tubs and stacked neatly in the fridge now. Next stop is glass containers!

    • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:22 pm

      Thanks Lauren… I had a few pyrex containers but one by one they all broke. It’s on my to-do list to repurchase. The farm shop was surprised but accommodating about me using my own, so onwards and upwards eh?

      • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:23 pm

        Oops Lauren – for some strange reason I typed Laura and pressed send! No idea why realised my daft error immediately and edited! It’s all that talk about moshing above!

  • Lauren July 1, 2012, 8:22 pm

    That’s looking much more like a Wright shop, looks lovely in fact.

    I took all of my produce out of their plastic wrappers (bought loose where I could) as soon as I got it home this week. All decanted into plastic tubs and stacked neatly in the fridge now. Next stop is glass containers!

    • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:22 pm

      Thanks Lauren… I had a few pyrex containers but one by one they all broke. It’s on my to-do list to repurchase. The farm shop was surprised but accommodating about me using my own, so onwards and upwards eh?

      • simplybeingmum July 1, 2012, 9:23 pm

        Oops Lauren – for some strange reason I typed Laura and pressed send! No idea why realised my daft error immediately and edited! It’s all that talk about moshing above!

  • anexactinglife July 1, 2012, 11:47 pm

    Lovely looking food and it sounds like the show was ace!

  • anexactinglife July 1, 2012, 11:47 pm

    Lovely looking food and it sounds like the show was ace!

  • doingitsimply July 2, 2012, 1:03 am

    Well done Jo! Looks far more satisfying than your grocery shop last week – and more fun too!

    • simplybeingmum July 2, 2012, 10:55 am

      Cheers Clare – p.s – your link to the blog isn’t working for some reason?

  • doingitsimply July 2, 2012, 1:03 am

    Well done Jo! Looks far more satisfying than your grocery shop last week – and more fun too!

    • simplybeingmum July 2, 2012, 10:55 am

      Cheers Clare – p.s – your link to the blog isn’t working for some reason?

  • Rachel July 2, 2012, 3:56 am

    Okay, but what was the menu for this week?

    • simplybeingmum July 2, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hi Rachel – all will be revealed Tuesday. This post was getting too long so I split it into 2.

  • Rachel July 2, 2012, 3:56 am

    Okay, but what was the menu for this week?

    • simplybeingmum July 2, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hi Rachel – all will be revealed Tuesday. This post was getting too long so I split it into 2.

  • Lili@creativesavv July 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Hi Jo,
    Doesn’t real food look so good! I love your buying meat using your own container! I’ll have to see if my butcher will do that for me. And the cookies look yum!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 11:10 am

      Thanks Lili – I’m going to replace my pyrex containers this week and take them along. I also have an idea for the fresh produce, but I’ll save that for a post in the future – if I can pull it off!

  • Lili@creativesavv July 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Hi Jo,
    Doesn’t real food look so good! I love your buying meat using your own container! I’ll have to see if my butcher will do that for me. And the cookies look yum!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 11:10 am

      Thanks Lili – I’m going to replace my pyrex containers this week and take them along. I also have an idea for the fresh produce, but I’ll save that for a post in the future – if I can pull it off!

  • Sharon July 3, 2012, 5:38 am

    Very interesting idea and the groceries look so fresh and appetizing. Do you have a recipe for the chocolate icing on the cookies? Looks yummy!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 11:10 am

      Hi Sharon – It’s just melted chocolate. How simple!

      • Sharon July 3, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Simple and delicious! I’ll be trying that for sure!

  • Sharon July 3, 2012, 5:38 am

    Very interesting idea and the groceries look so fresh and appetizing. Do you have a recipe for the chocolate icing on the cookies? Looks yummy!

    • simplybeingmum July 3, 2012, 11:10 am

      Hi Sharon – It’s just melted chocolate. How simple!

      • Sharon July 3, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Simple and delicious! I’ll be trying that for sure!

  • Mandy July 4, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Hi Jo, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I too thought Aldi really wasn’t for me. I was sure they wouldn’t have some of things we buy. Today I did my first shop and was so so surprised. Yes they had prosciutto and yes they had fresh basil and considerably cheaper than Asda/Sainsbury’s/Tesco’s. I have just cut my grocery spend in half by switching! My husband isn’t totally convinced on some of the Aldi brand stuff but we’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • simplybeingmum July 6, 2012, 11:26 am

      Hi Mandy… So glad it’s working for you. It did for me. I like quality, and Aldi do provide that. It just takes a while to get your head round it. A game I played with the Hubby was to ask him what he thought of the item without saying where it was from. He would like it, I’d then say – it’s from Aldi and cost …. however much less than the alternative.

  • Mandy July 4, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Hi Jo, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I too thought Aldi really wasn’t for me. I was sure they wouldn’t have some of things we buy. Today I did my first shop and was so so surprised. Yes they had prosciutto and yes they had fresh basil and considerably cheaper than Asda/Sainsbury’s/Tesco’s. I have just cut my grocery spend in half by switching! My husband isn’t totally convinced on some of the Aldi brand stuff but we’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • simplybeingmum July 6, 2012, 11:26 am

      Hi Mandy… So glad it’s working for you. It did for me. I like quality, and Aldi do provide that. It just takes a while to get your head round it. A game I played with the Hubby was to ask him what he thought of the item without saying where it was from. He would like it, I’d then say – it’s from Aldi and cost …. however much less than the alternative.

  • Hetal@Real World July 5, 2012, 11:09 am

    Yummy cookies!!!super like.. pls share the recipe of cookies..

  • Hetal@Real World July 5, 2012, 11:09 am

    Yummy cookies!!!super like.. pls share the recipe of cookies..

Leave a Comment