The Good, The Bad & The Could Do Better

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a photo of my grocery shop.

Exciting stuff eh? πŸ˜‰

The reason? To illustrate what I believe is the good, the bad and the could do better. As much for me, as for you. Accountability. Put it all out there for the world to see, and you see it differently yourself also. Blogging enables objectivity. It also generates feedback. I believe it’s healthy to have our actions questioned, it reduces complacency.

Last year I reduced my grocery spend by 50%. I also started shopping at Aldi, after a little hesitation. I’m still pleased with both of my actions.

There are of course good aspects to my grocery shop, some I’m not so happy with, and those that really… I should know better.

Can you guess what falls into each of those categories?

The Good

The majority of the shop is pretty good, I reckon. Of course it’s purely my opinion. I tend to stick to basic ingredients. There’s little ready-made or added-value products amongst it all.

Which brings me onto packaging. I’d rather purchase fruit and vegetables without the added plastic. Unfortunately where I shop this isn’t an option – Boo!

I did shop at a farm recently, and had hoped to post about my fantastic experience. But it fell rather flat. I couldn’t get all the items I needed. This led to a second shop elsewhere, and additional purchases (okay I confess, impulse purchases – isn’t it strange the way your brain can deceive you? quite clever really!). Also at the farm they gave me bags to collect my items in to weigh. Not quite the Au Natrel experience I’d anticipated.

Breaking point was cost. Significantly higher. I’d budgeted for this. But hadn’t prepared myself for the lack satisfaction I was to get from spending the extra. The minced beef was good, very good in fact and worth a re-purchase, but apart from that no major benefit.

The Bad

The naughty products in my eyes are the highly convenient onesΒ (said tongue in cheek Guys of course – we all buy things that maybe we could find an alternative for, but choose not to).

Kitchen roll (yeah I know – bad girl!)… Our use of paper towels has reduced, but not been eliminated. Honestly, It’s unlikely it’ll disappear completely.

Baby wipes – Same as above. Reduced, but not eliminated – one pack a week. I don’t use many around the home, but still find them really useful when out and about. My Kids are messy – what can I say?

Pull Ups (disposable nappies) – About 4 a week are used. Consistent dry-nights aren’t quite here at Chez Wright. After a fortnight of sporadically stripping beds at 4am, I’ve gone back to the most convenient method of keeping my second-born comfortable and asleep through the night!

I tried cloth nappies/diapers when they were tiny. It didn’t work out. Maybe I should have tried harder. Sleep deprivation is the cruelest form of torture, and I definitely didn’t function on all cylinders for quite a few months after birth.

The “Could Do Better”

Yoghurt, Puff Pastry and maybeΒ Washing Detergent could fall into this category. These are all items I probably could make myself. There is convenience built-in here. But for some reason I lack confidence in both my yoghurt and puff pastry skills. Some purchases just make sense.

Having said that, both yoghurt and puff-pastry are on the ‘to-learn’ list. I’m the proud owner of a kitchen thermometer (birthday gift) and plan to put it to good use whipping up some dairy. Watch This Space!

The washing powder I’m pretty sure I could conjure up, but am having the time/effort/cost debate with myself. The Hubby will think I’ve lost the plot if I start making washing detergent. Maybe a reason to give it a try? Entertainment!

The dried pasta could also fall into this category. But I’m no longer having the time/effort/cost debate regarding that. After a kind friend lent me her pasta rolling machine, and it was the size of Wembley Stadium, I decided not to unpack it and resigned myself to a life of purchasing pasta.

So that’s my bare-allWhat do you reckon? Should I be trying harder? Am I missing something? The floor’s open, no question or comment will beΒ Tefloned**.

I still have unanswered questions myself that I need to address, and should they not be raised I hope to post in the future a little more in detail about what groceries I buy, how and why.

(p.s my total shop came to Β£56.58 due to an impulse purchase of 12 Carlsberg Export bottles at Β£5.99 – it’s Euro 2012 – This Brit need’s a beer when watching a match ;-), it softens the disappointment)

** I may need to explain “Tefloned” as it isn’t in the Urban Dictionary (to my surprise, when I just looked). It’s a term I grew up with. It means to shirk responsibility, for it not to stick, to move on without action…

I’m now updating of Facebook, why not pop on over and join the conversation?

{ 88 comments… add one }
  • Tina Lemna June 19, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I think you did a fab job shopping as always. I was distracted looking at your gorgeous built in cabinet in the background. It is beautiful! Maybe sometime you could give us a tour of your kitchen? Also, you came up in breakfast conversation with Tim this morning. He said our refrigerator is starting to look like Jo’s it’s so bare! I said that since reading your blog I’m becoming much more comfortable having less in the fridg. Anything goes at Chez Lemna now too!

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Thanks Tina! So pleased the food waste reduction is working out for you Guys – and that it’s a positive! As for the tour, I did do a post pre-Christmas which you may not have seen.
      https://simplybeingmum.com/2011/11/09/can-a-family-kitchen-be-minimal/
      the cabinet we inherited with the house. Previous owner was (I believe) a carpenter/cabinet maker. It’s my clutter-corner. The Kids get a side each to display their precious artwork that can’t be framed. I keep all my cook-books there as well. Our kitchen is most certainly the heart of the home, and where the creative stuff all goes on!

  • Tina Lemna June 19, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I think you did a fab job shopping as always. I was distracted looking at your gorgeous built in cabinet in the background. It is beautiful! Maybe sometime you could give us a tour of your kitchen? Also, you came up in breakfast conversation with Tim this morning. He said our refrigerator is starting to look like Jo’s it’s so bare! I said that since reading your blog I’m becoming much more comfortable having less in the fridg. Anything goes at Chez Lemna now too!

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Thanks Tina! So pleased the food waste reduction is working out for you Guys – and that it’s a positive! As for the tour, I did do a post pre-Christmas which you may not have seen.
      https://simplybeingmum.com/2011/11/09/can-a-family-kitchen-be-minimal/
      the cabinet we inherited with the house. Previous owner was (I believe) a carpenter/cabinet maker. It’s my clutter-corner. The Kids get a side each to display their precious artwork that can’t be framed. I keep all my cook-books there as well. Our kitchen is most certainly the heart of the home, and where the creative stuff all goes on!

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer June 19, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I think you’re doing great Jo! Of course we still use paper towels and wipes too, so I may be a little biased. πŸ˜‰

    As far as the packaging on the produce, have you considered a CSA (community supported agriculture) program? We joined one this year and love it. Last week was the fist week we received a share, but everything was handed over farmers market style — no packaging! We just bring our own totes to pick it up.

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

      Thanks Jenny – My Hubby would fight to the death in defense of kitchen roll. However, I concede, it is useful. I’m a bit of a food hygiene fanatic, and always use paper towels when handling meat – particularly poultry – I wouldn’t be happy wiping hands, surfaces etc… with cloth. That said, my use of paper is reducing (consciously), I have a bag of cloths I use the majority of the time and ensure they get washed frequently. However there ain’t any way of getting round the issue of poultry for me…

      As for a CSA, I need to investigate further. So pleased you are reaping the benefits of what you have sown! Great job!

      • SarahN June 23, 2012, 8:17 am

        I’d like to know more – only that my ‘meat’ mess is only on a cutting board, which gets washed up. Evidently I use minimal paper towel – just wondering if I’m doing something that might make me sick!

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer June 19, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I think you’re doing great Jo! Of course we still use paper towels and wipes too, so I may be a little biased. πŸ˜‰

    As far as the packaging on the produce, have you considered a CSA (community supported agriculture) program? We joined one this year and love it. Last week was the fist week we received a share, but everything was handed over farmers market style — no packaging! We just bring our own totes to pick it up.

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

      Thanks Jenny – My Hubby would fight to the death in defense of kitchen roll. However, I concede, it is useful. I’m a bit of a food hygiene fanatic, and always use paper towels when handling meat – particularly poultry – I wouldn’t be happy wiping hands, surfaces etc… with cloth. That said, my use of paper is reducing (consciously), I have a bag of cloths I use the majority of the time and ensure they get washed frequently. However there ain’t any way of getting round the issue of poultry for me…

      As for a CSA, I need to investigate further. So pleased you are reaping the benefits of what you have sown! Great job!

      • SarahN June 23, 2012, 8:17 am

        I’d like to know more – only that my ‘meat’ mess is only on a cutting board, which gets washed up. Evidently I use minimal paper towel – just wondering if I’m doing something that might make me sick!

  • Carla June 19, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I think your shopping (and non-waste) skills are fabulous!! You’re my grocery shopping idol! πŸ˜‰

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Carla – guess what I’ve forgotten to do? man, I’m hopeless. And getting worse. Last night I turned up for a school meeting that isn’t till next Monday…
      You will get an e-mail without fail tomorrow – I promise! πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum July 11, 2012, 11:31 am

      C

      A D

  • Carla June 19, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I think your shopping (and non-waste) skills are fabulous!! You’re my grocery shopping idol! πŸ˜‰

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 2:39 pm

      Carla – guess what I’ve forgotten to do? man, I’m hopeless. And getting worse. Last night I turned up for a school meeting that isn’t till next Monday…
      You will get an e-mail without fail tomorrow – I promise! πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum July 11, 2012, 11:31 am

      C

      A D

  • Lili@creativesavv June 19, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Packaging in modern groceries is something that bothers me. I used to not mind buying an occasional single-serve yogurt, as the packaging was reusable. But now they put the foil on for a lid, instead of a reusable lid. I have a stack of yogurt cups, but only a handful of lids. Meat and produce packaging also seems over the top. Remember when meat always came simply wrapped in white paper, and fish in used newspaper? And produce, wow! I saw a melon shrink-wrapped in plastic recently. Isn’t the rind it’s wrapping? Anyways, that’s just my rant. I’m on a rampage to reduce our garbage output in our house this year.
    I think that you did well at the market.
    As for the disposable pull-ups, even though we used cloth diapers on all our kids during the day, we mostly used disposables at night. They really did keep our kids and their beds drier and consequently they slept sounder.
    I used to make my own pasta, but disliked the clean-up of the machine (it seemed I was wasting a lot of dough in the machine itself). But I’ve been talking about giving it another try this summer, maybe making several meals worth at a time, instead of just doing enough for one dinner.

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 6:15 pm

      Hi Lili…
      The packaging is a problem. I understand why it’s there, but at the same time wish it wasn’t. For example bananas, they come in bunches – providing there are say 6 on the bunch why do you need the cello? Same for vine toms etc… In fact I have lost a tom today and I reckon it’s the packaging that’s caused the deterioration through excess moisture. More to come on that on Friday! Quite miffed!
      The yogurt pots irritate me also (think I may be turning into a GOW “grumpy old woman”) – hence I’m gonna give home-made a go and use recycled jars – not sure how that’ll all go!
      The pull ups at night are a necessity at the moment. You know how it is – getting dry at night is tough for the little ones….
      Well done on the pasta! I had thought about trying out pasta but hand-rolling. The machine really puts me off – way too big, too intricate and also the cleaning up! Good luck with your endeavours.

  • Lili@creativesavv June 19, 2012, 3:22 pm

    Packaging in modern groceries is something that bothers me. I used to not mind buying an occasional single-serve yogurt, as the packaging was reusable. But now they put the foil on for a lid, instead of a reusable lid. I have a stack of yogurt cups, but only a handful of lids. Meat and produce packaging also seems over the top. Remember when meat always came simply wrapped in white paper, and fish in used newspaper? And produce, wow! I saw a melon shrink-wrapped in plastic recently. Isn’t the rind it’s wrapping? Anyways, that’s just my rant. I’m on a rampage to reduce our garbage output in our house this year.
    I think that you did well at the market.
    As for the disposable pull-ups, even though we used cloth diapers on all our kids during the day, we mostly used disposables at night. They really did keep our kids and their beds drier and consequently they slept sounder.
    I used to make my own pasta, but disliked the clean-up of the machine (it seemed I was wasting a lot of dough in the machine itself). But I’ve been talking about giving it another try this summer, maybe making several meals worth at a time, instead of just doing enough for one dinner.

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 6:15 pm

      Hi Lili…
      The packaging is a problem. I understand why it’s there, but at the same time wish it wasn’t. For example bananas, they come in bunches – providing there are say 6 on the bunch why do you need the cello? Same for vine toms etc… In fact I have lost a tom today and I reckon it’s the packaging that’s caused the deterioration through excess moisture. More to come on that on Friday! Quite miffed!
      The yogurt pots irritate me also (think I may be turning into a GOW “grumpy old woman”) – hence I’m gonna give home-made a go and use recycled jars – not sure how that’ll all go!
      The pull ups at night are a necessity at the moment. You know how it is – getting dry at night is tough for the little ones….
      Well done on the pasta! I had thought about trying out pasta but hand-rolling. The machine really puts me off – way too big, too intricate and also the cleaning up! Good luck with your endeavours.

  • anexactinglife June 19, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Wine, beer, raisins, broccoli, milk…looks to me like you have your priorities straight!

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 6:15 pm

      I reckon I have πŸ™‚ Thanks! England are playing Ukraine this evening so I may partake!

  • anexactinglife June 19, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Wine, beer, raisins, broccoli, milk…looks to me like you have your priorities straight!

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 6:15 pm

      I reckon I have πŸ™‚ Thanks! England are playing Ukraine this evening so I may partake!

  • Sharron June 19, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Think your doing great Jo, i often have the cost/eco debate, cost always wins when i have so many mouths to feed. I completley eliminated kitchen roll by having a load of rags to hand, old tea towels, cut up t-shirts, hard work at first but we don’t miss them now. And for messy faces i would take a damp flannel in a pencil case in my hand bag, but to be honest this was orginally because son no2 had eczema on his face and wipes would irritate it. I would just wash them when i ran the machine. I’m all for convnience, and honestly could never imagine making pasta. An as for the beer….no explanations needed, Come on ENGLAND!!!
    Sharronx

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 10:56 pm

      Hey Sharron – great result tonight eh?
      Sounds like you’ve got the cloths sorted…
      Who know’s – once you’ve cracked the birthday cake, maybe home-made pasta will be on the menu? πŸ™‚

  • Sharron June 19, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Think your doing great Jo, i often have the cost/eco debate, cost always wins when i have so many mouths to feed. I completley eliminated kitchen roll by having a load of rags to hand, old tea towels, cut up t-shirts, hard work at first but we don’t miss them now. And for messy faces i would take a damp flannel in a pencil case in my hand bag, but to be honest this was orginally because son no2 had eczema on his face and wipes would irritate it. I would just wash them when i ran the machine. I’m all for convnience, and honestly could never imagine making pasta. An as for the beer….no explanations needed, Come on ENGLAND!!!
    Sharronx

    • simplybeingmum June 19, 2012, 10:56 pm

      Hey Sharron – great result tonight eh?
      Sounds like you’ve got the cloths sorted…
      Who know’s – once you’ve cracked the birthday cake, maybe home-made pasta will be on the menu? πŸ™‚

  • EcoCatLady June 19, 2012, 9:13 pm

    So is this all your shopping for the whole family for the week? Looks pretty impressive to me!

    I’ve finally gotten to a place where I hardly ever use paper towels anymore. About the only thing I still use them for is as napkins for eating buttered popcorn (CatMan complains that there’s too much cat fur sticking to greasy fingers otherwise) and to clean up cat barf. So I guess I can blame it all on my cats!

    I got some “bar rags” that are really just like washcloths for the kitchen (like you’d see used in a commercial kitchen) and that pretty much eliminated my need for them in the kitchen. I think it helps that I spent my youth working in various restaurants, so I just handle cleanup the same way we did there. When I cook I keep a sink full of soapy water – you could put a splash of bleach in it if you’re worried about germs. That makes it really easy because all you have to do is wipe the surfaces with a wet soapy bar rag. And it’s easy to keep your hands clean too. If I’m preparing raw meat, the rag goes in the laundry after the meal is prepared – for other things I’ll just wash it in the soapy water and hang it to dry.

    I used to make yogurt all the time, but since I don’t drink milk, I’d end up having to buy milk just for yogurt… and then I’d have to make more yogurt than I really wanted or needed – so now I just buy the occasional big tub of plain yogurt and mix my own fruit into it. But if you end up having trouble with yogurt, let me know… I went through fits before I found a method that worked!

    I stopped buying cold cereal years ago when I read an article that said there was more nutrition in the cardboard box than in the cereal itself! I’ve since read that this is a myth, but since I have lactose issues with milk, it’s just easier not to eat cereal. But if I do want cereal I go for oatmeal in the winter (make it runny and you don’t notice the lack of milk) or homemade granola in the summer (granola is good on yogurt.) Usually I just make muffins for breakfast though.

    Anyhow, sorry to ramble on so long…. and don’t feel bad about the farmer’s market thing. I’ve never made it to one because I’m too lazy to get up that early in the morning!

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Hi Cat – Your comment made me think of a great lady who would have been 98 years-old tomorrow – my Gran. She always kept a bowl with bleach in the water in the sink. She had the cleanest mugs I ever saw! In fact today I did just that whilst tidying the kitchen! Thanks for the reminder!
      I’m going to give yoghurt a go, and will most certainly be back for tips should it not work out – which I am anticipating it won’t!

  • EcoCatLady June 19, 2012, 9:13 pm

    So is this all your shopping for the whole family for the week? Looks pretty impressive to me!

    I’ve finally gotten to a place where I hardly ever use paper towels anymore. About the only thing I still use them for is as napkins for eating buttered popcorn (CatMan complains that there’s too much cat fur sticking to greasy fingers otherwise) and to clean up cat barf. So I guess I can blame it all on my cats!

    I got some “bar rags” that are really just like washcloths for the kitchen (like you’d see used in a commercial kitchen) and that pretty much eliminated my need for them in the kitchen. I think it helps that I spent my youth working in various restaurants, so I just handle cleanup the same way we did there. When I cook I keep a sink full of soapy water – you could put a splash of bleach in it if you’re worried about germs. That makes it really easy because all you have to do is wipe the surfaces with a wet soapy bar rag. And it’s easy to keep your hands clean too. If I’m preparing raw meat, the rag goes in the laundry after the meal is prepared – for other things I’ll just wash it in the soapy water and hang it to dry.

    I used to make yogurt all the time, but since I don’t drink milk, I’d end up having to buy milk just for yogurt… and then I’d have to make more yogurt than I really wanted or needed – so now I just buy the occasional big tub of plain yogurt and mix my own fruit into it. But if you end up having trouble with yogurt, let me know… I went through fits before I found a method that worked!

    I stopped buying cold cereal years ago when I read an article that said there was more nutrition in the cardboard box than in the cereal itself! I’ve since read that this is a myth, but since I have lactose issues with milk, it’s just easier not to eat cereal. But if I do want cereal I go for oatmeal in the winter (make it runny and you don’t notice the lack of milk) or homemade granola in the summer (granola is good on yogurt.) Usually I just make muffins for breakfast though.

    Anyhow, sorry to ramble on so long…. and don’t feel bad about the farmer’s market thing. I’ve never made it to one because I’m too lazy to get up that early in the morning!

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Hi Cat – Your comment made me think of a great lady who would have been 98 years-old tomorrow – my Gran. She always kept a bowl with bleach in the water in the sink. She had the cleanest mugs I ever saw! In fact today I did just that whilst tidying the kitchen! Thanks for the reminder!
      I’m going to give yoghurt a go, and will most certainly be back for tips should it not work out – which I am anticipating it won’t!

  • Lauren June 19, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I hate how so much of the produce is wrapped. Going back to Australia really highlighted that, as barely anything is wrapped. I could even buy loose cucumbers, when’s the last time you saw a non-shrinkwrapped cucumber? I passed a good looking greengrocer on the bus last week that had a lot of loose produce on display, so I think I’m going to have to check that out.

    Packet puff pastry definitely wins the time/cost/effort debate for me, especially since I don’t use it very often. As a compromise, you could try rough puff? Yoghurt is fairly easy to make, I used to use the flask method although I don’t eat it anymore since I can’t have dairy or soya.

    Sorry to any of your readers who might do it, but I never got the point of making washing detergent. Really failed the effort debate here, especially since I have to be SO careful with what soaps and detergents I use as I’m allergic to a lot of them. Wow, I’m sounding high maintenance in this comment! πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and I use kitchen roll unashamedly for anything greasy. I figure it’s better on a bit of biodegradable paper than down the sink from being washed out of a cloth. Can’t comment from experience on the baby stuff but I hate the few small loads of washing I have to do just for us, so I can understand not using reusable nappies.

    Random sidenote… you have to make fudge now you have a thermometer, it’s so much fun! I love boiling sugar. πŸ˜€

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:25 pm

      Way too much packaging going on over here… I think it’s become a retail habit. the only place I can get fruit/veg unwrapped is at the market (stalls) – and even then I have to shake my hessian bag at them forcefully!
      Okay you got me – no idea! What’s rough puff? I’m a rough and ready chef so sounds right up my street.
      The fudge – great reminder! I reckon that’s gonna be a great stress buster…I always used to love caramelising sugar myself…

      • Lauren June 20, 2012, 10:40 pm

        Here you go! This recipe uses strong flour, but I’ve seen others using plain. I think either would work… http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry-

        • simplybeingmum June 21, 2012, 10:01 am

          Even better – I’m a Ramsey fan! Have all the ingredients to hand…gonna try it out in next weeks menu plan – Thanks Lauren you’re a star! p.s – will post book tomorrow – totally forgot – I am hopeless!

  • Lauren June 19, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I hate how so much of the produce is wrapped. Going back to Australia really highlighted that, as barely anything is wrapped. I could even buy loose cucumbers, when’s the last time you saw a non-shrinkwrapped cucumber? I passed a good looking greengrocer on the bus last week that had a lot of loose produce on display, so I think I’m going to have to check that out.

    Packet puff pastry definitely wins the time/cost/effort debate for me, especially since I don’t use it very often. As a compromise, you could try rough puff? Yoghurt is fairly easy to make, I used to use the flask method although I don’t eat it anymore since I can’t have dairy or soya.

    Sorry to any of your readers who might do it, but I never got the point of making washing detergent. Really failed the effort debate here, especially since I have to be SO careful with what soaps and detergents I use as I’m allergic to a lot of them. Wow, I’m sounding high maintenance in this comment! πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and I use kitchen roll unashamedly for anything greasy. I figure it’s better on a bit of biodegradable paper than down the sink from being washed out of a cloth. Can’t comment from experience on the baby stuff but I hate the few small loads of washing I have to do just for us, so I can understand not using reusable nappies.

    Random sidenote… you have to make fudge now you have a thermometer, it’s so much fun! I love boiling sugar. πŸ˜€

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:25 pm

      Way too much packaging going on over here… I think it’s become a retail habit. the only place I can get fruit/veg unwrapped is at the market (stalls) – and even then I have to shake my hessian bag at them forcefully!
      Okay you got me – no idea! What’s rough puff? I’m a rough and ready chef so sounds right up my street.
      The fudge – great reminder! I reckon that’s gonna be a great stress buster…I always used to love caramelising sugar myself…

      • Lauren June 20, 2012, 10:40 pm

        Here you go! This recipe uses strong flour, but I’ve seen others using plain. I think either would work… http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry-

        • simplybeingmum June 21, 2012, 10:01 am

          Even better – I’m a Ramsey fan! Have all the ingredients to hand…gonna try it out in next weeks menu plan – Thanks Lauren you’re a star! p.s – will post book tomorrow – totally forgot – I am hopeless!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:48 pm

    Jo, definitley you’ll be my hero once you start making joghurt, washing detergent and pasta! πŸ™‚ I Don’t see myself get there ever.

    kitchen rolls- to keep my DH happy we have one on the counter, but hardly use it. πŸ™‚ I have lots of microfibre cloths and I use the large square Mothercare nappies as kitchen cloths/wipes.
    baby wipes – have one in the car, last for ages
    nappies- have you tried buying the eco-friendly ones (dispose in 50 yrs instead of 200 or something)

    You could maybe try using washballs to do the washing. (Though they aren’t good for whites or for very manly clothes.)

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:29 pm

      Yoghurt – on the cards – the other 2 not so sure about! πŸ˜‰
      What is it with men and kitchen roll?
      Good reminder about eco-friendly nappies – might be worth a look….but the Aldi pull ups are very good I’m reluctant to try anything else now I’ve got dry beds! I’ll mull it over! As for washballs – yeah I have seen them – more resrach required me thinks! Thanks Laura!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:48 pm

    Jo, definitley you’ll be my hero once you start making joghurt, washing detergent and pasta! πŸ™‚ I Don’t see myself get there ever.

    kitchen rolls- to keep my DH happy we have one on the counter, but hardly use it. πŸ™‚ I have lots of microfibre cloths and I use the large square Mothercare nappies as kitchen cloths/wipes.
    baby wipes – have one in the car, last for ages
    nappies- have you tried buying the eco-friendly ones (dispose in 50 yrs instead of 200 or something)

    You could maybe try using washballs to do the washing. (Though they aren’t good for whites or for very manly clothes.)

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:29 pm

      Yoghurt – on the cards – the other 2 not so sure about! πŸ˜‰
      What is it with men and kitchen roll?
      Good reminder about eco-friendly nappies – might be worth a look….but the Aldi pull ups are very good I’m reluctant to try anything else now I’ve got dry beds! I’ll mull it over! As for washballs – yeah I have seen them – more resrach required me thinks! Thanks Laura!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:49 pm

    nappies – degrade not dispose πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:30 pm

      I never even noticed, but I read it at bedtime also – hence didn’t reply myself – couldn’t string two-words together!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:49 pm

    nappies – degrade not dispose πŸ™‚

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:30 pm

      I never even noticed, but I read it at bedtime also – hence didn’t reply myself – couldn’t string two-words together!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:50 pm

    manky not manly

    better go to bed!

  • Apple June 19, 2012, 10:50 pm

    manky not manly

    better go to bed!

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn June 19, 2012, 11:57 pm

    I think you have more wrapping around your produce there that we do across the pond. I can buy most of the things that have been mentioned without plastic around them here in my regular grocery store.

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:31 pm

      Agree.. I’m thinking the UK is getting into some bad habits!

      • Libby June 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

        It is an Aldi thing in the USA – too much packaging for produce. I suppose it cuts down on the wasted produce. Other grocery stores here use very little plastic on fruits & veggies. Maybe Jo you are noticing more packaging since you switched to Aldi’s?

        • simplybeingmum June 21, 2012, 9:59 am

          Maybe Libby… In fact, I’ve thought about this – I’m going to mix it up this week. There’s a farm shop I haven’t tried yet. The fruit/veg I’m going to try from there!

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn June 19, 2012, 11:57 pm

    I think you have more wrapping around your produce there that we do across the pond. I can buy most of the things that have been mentioned without plastic around them here in my regular grocery store.

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:31 pm

      Agree.. I’m thinking the UK is getting into some bad habits!

      • Libby June 20, 2012, 10:11 pm

        It is an Aldi thing in the USA – too much packaging for produce. I suppose it cuts down on the wasted produce. Other grocery stores here use very little plastic on fruits & veggies. Maybe Jo you are noticing more packaging since you switched to Aldi’s?

        • simplybeingmum June 21, 2012, 9:59 am

          Maybe Libby… In fact, I’ve thought about this – I’m going to mix it up this week. There’s a farm shop I haven’t tried yet. The fruit/veg I’m going to try from there!

  • Sue Smith June 20, 2012, 11:29 am

    HaHa looks just like my grocery shop! Except I buy twice as much as you (at least) as I have 2 teenage boys and man can they eat! Also have a newly opened greengrocers where everything is loose which is brill, can buy as little or as much as you need, no wrappings. I have definitely been using Asda a lot more since reading your blog, and just this week moved all the jars to the salad draws in my fridge so I can see what veg need using up instead of hiding unseen to go mouldy! Happy shopping.

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:34 pm

      Hi Sue – My Kids are still quite small so I would imagine yes my shop is considerably reduced compared to your own! You are very lucky having a grocers nearby like that, there was one in the village I live when we moved here but it closed down… a shame…
      Glad that you are finding the blog of use! Liking the overhaul of the fridge – good job πŸ™‚
      p.s – not sure if you meant Aldi in your comment or not? It’s been a while (apart from the odd emergency call-in) since I’ve done a shop at Asda.

      • Sue June 21, 2012, 7:50 pm

        Yes I did mean Aldi not Asda, sorry! Shame about your grocers, our local butchers has just shut due to competition from our two local supermarkets. They were pricey and I didn’t use them as much as I should but it was good to have a choice. As for my boys, any tips on how to stop them using the contents of the freezer as a snack tin?

        • simplybeingmum June 22, 2012, 10:09 am

          It’s hard, I know, to control food taken from a fridge. I adopt the policy my Mom had when I was a child. Once it’s gone it’s gone…
          Something I do with non-perishables (chocolate!) is put it out of their (kids and Hubby) sight. I have space above my cabinets in the kitchen. because i use that space to store a couple of kitchen items I never forget about it as I see it every couple of days – but they don’t.

  • Sue Smith June 20, 2012, 11:29 am

    HaHa looks just like my grocery shop! Except I buy twice as much as you (at least) as I have 2 teenage boys and man can they eat! Also have a newly opened greengrocers where everything is loose which is brill, can buy as little or as much as you need, no wrappings. I have definitely been using Asda a lot more since reading your blog, and just this week moved all the jars to the salad draws in my fridge so I can see what veg need using up instead of hiding unseen to go mouldy! Happy shopping.

    • simplybeingmum June 20, 2012, 9:34 pm

      Hi Sue – My Kids are still quite small so I would imagine yes my shop is considerably reduced compared to your own! You are very lucky having a grocers nearby like that, there was one in the village I live when we moved here but it closed down… a shame…
      Glad that you are finding the blog of use! Liking the overhaul of the fridge – good job πŸ™‚
      p.s – not sure if you meant Aldi in your comment or not? It’s been a while (apart from the odd emergency call-in) since I’ve done a shop at Asda.

      • Sue June 21, 2012, 7:50 pm

        Yes I did mean Aldi not Asda, sorry! Shame about your grocers, our local butchers has just shut due to competition from our two local supermarkets. They were pricey and I didn’t use them as much as I should but it was good to have a choice. As for my boys, any tips on how to stop them using the contents of the freezer as a snack tin?

        • simplybeingmum June 22, 2012, 10:09 am

          It’s hard, I know, to control food taken from a fridge. I adopt the policy my Mom had when I was a child. Once it’s gone it’s gone…
          Something I do with non-perishables (chocolate!) is put it out of their (kids and Hubby) sight. I have space above my cabinets in the kitchen. because i use that space to store a couple of kitchen items I never forget about it as I see it every couple of days – but they don’t.

  • doingitsimply June 22, 2012, 12:33 am

    I think you do a marvelous job with your grocery shop Jo! There are always some packaging things that just can’t be avoided (though the wrapped fruit and veg is a bit weird – why do they do that?? We get some cucumbers shrink wrapped here, and can buy bags of apples, but really, most things you can get at the fruit and veg shop, or even the supermarket, loose!) but sometimes you just have to be nice to yourself and acknowledge that you’re doing your best. Write them a letter and let them know how you feel about the wrapping. I did that to a children’s clothing store that plastic wrapped their price tags. Drove me crazy! they still do it on some items, but many don’t have plastic tags anymore. It took a while, but I chalk it up as a win of sorts πŸ™‚
    I would never be without my kitchen roll for the same reasons as you. Disposable gloves for handling the chook and paper towels for cleaning up after it πŸ™‚ Otherwise it’s a cloth. I try to knit my own, but I am an easily distracted knitter…

    • simplybeingmum June 22, 2012, 10:13 am

      Sometimes I need to make that decision and vote with my feet… I’ve got to weigh it all up with regard packaging, and if I feel that strongly about it then I am going to have to make that extra trip to market aren’t I? I can’t “talk the talk” and not “walk the walk”. Next week I’m going to mix it up. I understand and appreciate packaging on say… butter… but cucumber, Hmmm?
      Well done on your persuasive techniques with the clothing store – I’d certainly say you can chalk that one up! Way to go!

  • doingitsimply June 22, 2012, 12:33 am

    I think you do a marvelous job with your grocery shop Jo! There are always some packaging things that just can’t be avoided (though the wrapped fruit and veg is a bit weird – why do they do that?? We get some cucumbers shrink wrapped here, and can buy bags of apples, but really, most things you can get at the fruit and veg shop, or even the supermarket, loose!) but sometimes you just have to be nice to yourself and acknowledge that you’re doing your best. Write them a letter and let them know how you feel about the wrapping. I did that to a children’s clothing store that plastic wrapped their price tags. Drove me crazy! they still do it on some items, but many don’t have plastic tags anymore. It took a while, but I chalk it up as a win of sorts πŸ™‚
    I would never be without my kitchen roll for the same reasons as you. Disposable gloves for handling the chook and paper towels for cleaning up after it πŸ™‚ Otherwise it’s a cloth. I try to knit my own, but I am an easily distracted knitter…

    • simplybeingmum June 22, 2012, 10:13 am

      Sometimes I need to make that decision and vote with my feet… I’ve got to weigh it all up with regard packaging, and if I feel that strongly about it then I am going to have to make that extra trip to market aren’t I? I can’t “talk the talk” and not “walk the walk”. Next week I’m going to mix it up. I understand and appreciate packaging on say… butter… but cucumber, Hmmm?
      Well done on your persuasive techniques with the clothing store – I’d certainly say you can chalk that one up! Way to go!

  • Danielle June 22, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Hey Jo! Have you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan? I kept hearing about it, so I got it out of my library this week. I haven’t read it all, but the first section on the “industrial food system” and the real cost of food I found fascinating. I don’t live in the U.S. but plan on reading more about the food system in my own country. After reading this, I am prepared to pay more for local pasture-fed beef. I’ve found farmer’s markets can be hit or miss, but once you find a good one, the quality (fresh carrots picked that morning!) and price can be very competitive.
    My Italian mother-in-law is a pro at making homemade pasta and makes it look so easy. That being said she still only does it on occasion as it can be a bit of work. Probably a good call on your part to save yourself the space. I see a great deal of barely used Pasta makers at garage sales!

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 9:58 am

      Hi Danielle – so sorry I missed this comment. I have a slight issue that my e-mail comes through to my phone when I am out and about and sometimes I click out of them before reading!
      I’ll have to check the book out. There’s been quite a lot of UK TV of late about the food industry – it’s been very interesting.
      Yes the pasta, I’m going to have to give it a try… by hand of course πŸ˜‰

  • Danielle June 22, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Hey Jo! Have you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan? I kept hearing about it, so I got it out of my library this week. I haven’t read it all, but the first section on the “industrial food system” and the real cost of food I found fascinating. I don’t live in the U.S. but plan on reading more about the food system in my own country. After reading this, I am prepared to pay more for local pasture-fed beef. I’ve found farmer’s markets can be hit or miss, but once you find a good one, the quality (fresh carrots picked that morning!) and price can be very competitive.
    My Italian mother-in-law is a pro at making homemade pasta and makes it look so easy. That being said she still only does it on occasion as it can be a bit of work. Probably a good call on your part to save yourself the space. I see a great deal of barely used Pasta makers at garage sales!

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 9:58 am

      Hi Danielle – so sorry I missed this comment. I have a slight issue that my e-mail comes through to my phone when I am out and about and sometimes I click out of them before reading!
      I’ll have to check the book out. There’s been quite a lot of UK TV of late about the food industry – it’s been very interesting.
      Yes the pasta, I’m going to have to give it a try… by hand of course πŸ˜‰

  • SarahN June 23, 2012, 8:13 am

    I have DIY laundry powder – my friends (with debt) think I’m nuts, but if you have food processor it doesn’t take all that long to grate soap, and the other powder mixes right in! I agree that puff pastry would be a stretch (for me), and yoghurt, I’m mulling on. I don’t currently buy it unless it’s greek for a recipe. But your posts are inspiring me…

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 9:59 am

      Thanks Sarah… I may be changing my mind ref detergent! Sorry I missed this comment. WilliamB’s comment today has alerted me to activity on this post. And as you can see he’s a detergent-maker himself!

  • SarahN June 23, 2012, 8:13 am

    I have DIY laundry powder – my friends (with debt) think I’m nuts, but if you have food processor it doesn’t take all that long to grate soap, and the other powder mixes right in! I agree that puff pastry would be a stretch (for me), and yoghurt, I’m mulling on. I don’t currently buy it unless it’s greek for a recipe. But your posts are inspiring me…

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 9:59 am

      Thanks Sarah… I may be changing my mind ref detergent! Sorry I missed this comment. WilliamB’s comment today has alerted me to activity on this post. And as you can see he’s a detergent-maker himself!

  • WilliamB July 18, 2012, 4:31 am

    Having made all three – yogurt, laundry detergent, puff pastry – here’s my conclusions:

    1. Yogurt – works for many but not for me. I can direct you to my post at TheMrs.ca about my decision.

    2. Laundry Detergent (that’s what you mean by washing detergent, I hope) – a big win in my book. 5 min work saves me 95% of cost of laundry detergent and minimal packaging. At least as easy to make as yogurt. Email me if you want the recipe. On a related note: do you make your own window cleaner? If not, it’s easy peasy and saves 90% of cost: 2 c. water, 2 T. amonia, a couple drops dish soap.

    3. Puff Pastry – a *lot* of work. Definitely a “do once for the experience” for me. A lot more work even than pasta. And this from someone who makes all my own bread, biscuits, and pie crusts.

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 10:05 am

      Nice to see you here! I always value your input!
      Okay…
      1. Direction to TheMrs post would be good. I have a mental block when it comes to yoghurt. I’m not feeling it. I have the thermometer, but not the motivation. More information on it all would be very much appreciated as I value your opinion.
      2. Recipes for the cleaners would be great. In fact I plan a series of readers recipes posts, and the detergent one would make a nice change from food. I’ll be in touch via email…
      3. Puff Pastry – my Sister always said it was labourious when she tried it and that has stayed with me. Reader Lauren pointed me in the direction of a Ramsey recipe for rough-puff. The reviews look good, so I’m going to give that a try.

      As always, it’s been a pleasure!

  • WilliamB July 18, 2012, 4:31 am

    Having made all three – yogurt, laundry detergent, puff pastry – here’s my conclusions:

    1. Yogurt – works for many but not for me. I can direct you to my post at TheMrs.ca about my decision.

    2. Laundry Detergent (that’s what you mean by washing detergent, I hope) – a big win in my book. 5 min work saves me 95% of cost of laundry detergent and minimal packaging. At least as easy to make as yogurt. Email me if you want the recipe. On a related note: do you make your own window cleaner? If not, it’s easy peasy and saves 90% of cost: 2 c. water, 2 T. amonia, a couple drops dish soap.

    3. Puff Pastry – a *lot* of work. Definitely a “do once for the experience” for me. A lot more work even than pasta. And this from someone who makes all my own bread, biscuits, and pie crusts.

    • simplybeingmum July 18, 2012, 10:05 am

      Nice to see you here! I always value your input!
      Okay…
      1. Direction to TheMrs post would be good. I have a mental block when it comes to yoghurt. I’m not feeling it. I have the thermometer, but not the motivation. More information on it all would be very much appreciated as I value your opinion.
      2. Recipes for the cleaners would be great. In fact I plan a series of readers recipes posts, and the detergent one would make a nice change from food. I’ll be in touch via email…
      3. Puff Pastry – my Sister always said it was labourious when she tried it and that has stayed with me. Reader Lauren pointed me in the direction of a Ramsey recipe for rough-puff. The reviews look good, so I’m going to give that a try.

      As always, it’s been a pleasure!

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