As we were away last weekend I decided to delay my grocery shop until we returned.
I stretched what we had in the cupboards to feed us all yesterday (just!), and a grocery trip was planned for this morning.
We took a guest along last weekend, did I mention him?
Cuddles The Cat.
I’d a few photos to get printed of him having a fabulous time at the beach (for my 4-year-olds homework! – I’ve not totally lost the plot…yet…). My previous supermarket has a photo shop, so on the way to Aldi I decided to pop in.
Then inspiration hit. I only have 3 days remaining this week to feed the family, this would be a perfect opportunity to try out a little experiment.
What convenient foods can I buy with £50?
The above haul cost a total of £55.03.
I’m not going to be doing a lot of cooking this week am I?
I’m also not sure I’m actually going to be able to stretch this lot to keep us fed for 3 days.
So what did I discover from my convenient experiment this morning?
1. £50 doesn’t go very far when buying ready-made or ‘added value’ products. In fact £50 on this type of product may just feed us for 3 days. Buying basic ingredients on a budget of £50 a week will feed us for 6 days.
2. Packaging doesn’t seem to reduce at the more ‘premium’ supermarkets.
3. There is a definite price difference between the supermarkets. Own brand bran flakes cost me £1.79 this morning as opposed to 88p from where I now shop. Over twice as much.
4. It’s just so easy to snack when there is variety (see fun-size treat bag) and they are all individually wrapped for convenience. I ate 2 (make that 3) mini chocolate bars within 30 minutes of leaving the supermarket. Bad girl!
4. A convenient, and relatively low-cost lunch, of a tin of tomato soup in reality costs way over double that of home-made. But more alarmingly, a tin contains 2.4g of salt. Adults are recommended to consume no more than 6g a day, and a child just 4g. I still ate it this lunch-time, it tasted pretty good – all that salt you see 😉
5. Convenient foods can fool you with their clever marketing. My salt-heavy tin of soup was emblazoned with “1 of your 5 a day” on the front. One of my catchphrases is “It’s all marketing baby!”
Every once in a while it’s good to mix things up. It’s a great way to see whether what you are doing is right for you. I can wholeheartedly confirm that buying basic ingredients and whipping up dishes at home is right for us. Now where did I put that huge bag of treats? There’s at least 4 other bars I haven’t tried yet!
What do you reckon? Bad selection of products, could I have bought better and maximised my budget? Or are you, like me, finding that home-made is keeping your costs down?
ps – as I am having such an easy week prepping food, I have an experiment planned for next that’s been on the cards a while. It’s certainly not going to be convenient!
Don’t forget I’m now updating most days on Facebook…