Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#Frugal15 July round-up: Haloumi love

One of the most important parts of eating in a frugal way is sticking to your budget: which is best achieved by making a menu plan and a list and only buying what's on that list when you visit the supermarket.
Supermarket trolley with groceries in it, a calculator and grociery list on the child seat. Behind the trolley is a sign which says '1/2 price: $1.55)
I try to stick to around $35-$45 a week for groceries, but last week my budget blew out to $65. Was I worried? No.

You see there was method in my madness. In her book 'destitute gourmet: Everyday smart food for the family' Sophie Gray talks about making a little bit of something luxurious go a long way: buying a little something special each shop that can be eked out over several weeks and add interest to a frugal meal plan.

The week before last, as I was doing my shop, I noticed that haloumi was on deep discount. Now I love haloumi but can't justify it at the moment at full price. I checked the tag* and saw that the special ran for another week so made a mental note to add it to the next menu plan and shopping list.
Selection of groceries arranged on a kitchen bench.
It was a good week for deep discounts on things I love but can't justify at the moment. So I made the decision to spend more on my groceries this week in order to stock up on little luxuries, while they were at a good price. Especially little luxuries that have a long use-by date.

This is what $25 extra bought:
Luxury grocieries arranged on a kitchen bench, including blue cheese, chocolate baking bits, haloumi cheese, salmon burgers and olive oil.
(and this is what $25 extra saves: I ended up spending $65 on $90 worth of groceries).
Shopping docket showing savings of $25.98.
(*I assumed everyone knew this trick but after talking to a couple of friends, it would appear that I may have been wrong. So: 
Supermarket sale tag. At the bottom left is a price per kilo and at the bottom right is the date that the special ends.
At the bottom of supermarket sale tags are two important and useful bits of information. On the left, as on all tags, is the price per kilo (ml, piece, whatever). It's always worth checking this against other sizes of the product that aren't on special as they may still work out cheaper per kilo than the 'special'. And on the right is the date that the special runs through to. This is useful so you can work out if you need to buy the unexpected bargain right now, or if you can hold off until next shop.)


Pepper Mitcheson said...

Some of our big supermarkets are renowned for putting 'special price' stickers on bulk items which are often cheaper when you buy two of the smaller sizes that add up to the same weight. They're sneaky O-O
Have you considered starting a window sill veg garden? Tomatoes and peppers grow easily indoors.

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Not yet and especially not in the middle of winter. I do have a hanging trough on the railing just outside the back door for herbs and a washing machine tub by the clothesline which I used to grow tomatoes and lettuces in years ago (and is now used by Mr Nibbs for napping), but am holding off until the temperature increases to replant them...