Saturday, 7 January 2017

When Essential is not Essential?

In Asda the other day I noticed a whole aisle of what they are calling 'Stock Up Essentials' for 50p and £1 but they are all posher branded stuff or things that anyone on a budget would never buy or maybe just things that I would never buy............. I reckon that out of the 100+ items on their website labeled as 50p "essentials" I only ever buy one...........Heinz baked beans.

So if you avoid this aisle you can find real essentials - like tinned tomatoes- for less than 50p anyway. Tinned tomatoes are definitely on my essentials list and other items I count as essential are things like flour, butter, carrots. NOT Pot Noodles in 10 varieties.
Have to make an admission here sort of related to the above...................I don't find many yellow sticker bargains.
Two reasons - I hate going shopping in the evenings which is when you have to go to get the best reductions and secondly quite often they are things we don't eat. We spent the first few years of our married life on one very low  wage, two children came along quickly and we were also trying to move up the housing ladder to a smallholding. We ate Basics everything including the cheapest sliced bread and spread  and I vowed that once we had the smallholding we would be as self-sufficient as possible and never eat tasteless or over processed  food again. So even if Pot Noodles etc were being given away for pennies I still wouldn't buy them - too many weird sounding ingredients. That's why I make curries from curry powder and vegetables, pasta sauces from veg and tinned tomatoes, cakes from flour, sugar and butter.

Here is another admission..............things have slipped since we've been in town and Colin has been ill, the upheaval threw me off course ..........I've been buying bread, biscuits and sometimes cakes. When I get back to cooking with gas I'll start doing all my own stuff again. That's the plan.......... which I hope I can fit it between all the hospital trips.

This is the sort of LPG cooker I would like but until we can get the pipework sorted we will be cooker-less as there is no electric cooker point and the lady is taking her Everhot (a sort of cross between an electric Rayburn and a storage heater) with her.There is a doorway from kitchen to dining room right where the pipework needs to go  so not a straight forward plumping-in job. It may be several weeks until I can get bread making and baking again!

Going back to shopping...........

The other things I often see yellow sticker reduced are ready chopped vegetables or fruit - something else I don't buy. With so many years of growing our own fruit and vegetables and eating straight from the garden I believe that anything that's been chopped before packaging has already lost a lot of the vitamins and has probably been handled more often than I'd like to know about.
 I hope we'll be able to grow some of our own vegetables again once we move even if age, illness and space mean we will  never be as self-sufficient as we were for our smallholding years.
And although I'd love goats's never going to happen. Chickens - yes should be do-able.

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