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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Some things are just a tad pricey

.. and they tend to be the things we use a lot or have a need to use and they seem to have a hell of a mark up on them.

For many years I used to go to Iceland in Peterborough and buy the catering packs of baking ingredients when they used to sell them. I baked regularly and it worked out far cheaper this way. Latterly it was Bookers but I am going to investigate again buying ingredients by bulk in this way.

Take soap powder for instance.  My preferred soap powder of choice is Persil but I cannot afford the prices charged by the supermarkets nor the price charged for fabric conditioner.  Where there's a will there is a way though and I have decamped from the supermarket to the Cash N Carry.  I use Hyperama in Peterborough.  I buy my Persil when it is on offer but for the best part check which soap powder is on offer and the best deal that particular month and buy accordingly. I have more allegiance to my pocket rather than to a specific brands although as I have mentioned I particularly like the Persil.

Take yesterday for instance.  I needed to stock up on Loo roll, soap powder, fabric conditioner.  The soap powder purchased yesterday was the Surf Lavender which was £10 for a large 90 wash box x 2.  Fabric conditioner I buy by the canister that was £3.99 x 2 sometimes it is the concentrate only regular this month but still as effective. The Loo roll is the Nikki brand (which you could get from Farm Foods and this is where I first came across the brand but this is a large pack of 32 rolls for £6.99.  This is a lovely thicker white tissue that is scented.)  Yes there is VAT to go on but it still works out cheaper than buying from the supermarkets.  All you need is somewhere to store items by bulk.  This will last  me a good six weeks if not more and works out a lot cheaper in the long run.  Keeping clean is important to me and buying by bulk means that I do not have to fret that I have enough of this or that.  Some Cash N Carry stores require that you spend a minimum amount each month.  Hyperama did not do so to start with and then it was changed to £30 a month spend but it has reverted to no minimum again.  You can join on the door.

We are picky about what we buy and it depends on what offers are available.  You have to be sensible you cannot have everything.  However there are some very good deals on meat.  Their mince packs are particularly good quality and about £3 a large tray; chicken breast trays are good value for money very large breast fillets bigger than you get in the supermarket for a big tray with a minimum of at least 20 breasts in often far more for under £20; as are the larger joint buys.

I also tend to look for bottled sauces in bulk here as well.  Yesterday we found Uncle Bens Sweet n sour sauce for 6 at £8.99 for the tray of six. Recently stores have been charging about £1.75 for a single jar upwards unless there is a specific offer on.  You do however have to be calculating when you go to the Cash n Carry as not everything always works out cheaper.  However I do use them for vinegar for my pickles and buy by the cannisters yet again.

I really could buy so much more if I had a bigger pantry/store room.  That will happen eventually though.

However for the basics it does work out cheaper in the longer run.  Many restauranteurs and indeed Polish and Latvians buy in this way as it works out that little bit cheaper and when all said and done it is the pennies that build the pounds and what we save in one place gives us funds to spend on something else.  Half the battle is working out what you need as your basics (each household is different).  A for instance is OHs deodorant we buy a case of 6 Lynx deodorants which ends up lasting him a fair while usually when they are on offer and we pay less in the long run than you would in the supermarket.  You do have to check on an item by item basis though.

This is just what I do to help eke out the pennies that little bit more each month and it works for us.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

x


8 comments:

  1. Just two things out of many I could comment on, but (1) I'd stop buying commercial Sweet & Sour as it contains all kinds of things which aren't necessary for a good meal, preservatives and extra sugar, etc. Make your own sweet & sour, it's dead easy. When I'm doing a stir fry I just dollop in some balsamic vinegar, some soy and then some runny honey and perhaps a dash of tomato puree. I taste it and then see if the taste needs adjustment - you soon get it to what you like and it's just four simple ingredients. (2) I buy liquid detergent from Lidl's and it's excellent, their Formil for colour and Formil for whites. I heard someone on their mobile while I was in there saying to someone that she was obviously buying for, "They don't have any Persil!" like it was the end of the world. I almost went up to her - but didn't - to say, "Buy Formil, it's excellent!"
    Margaret P

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    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret

      I usually make my own sauces but with me working late just recently my time is diminished somewhat. When I get my canner (which should be relatively soon) I will pop up my own. I don't get home until 6:30pm and OH is not keen on cooking so tends to wait for me to do everything and I only have one pair of hands. I make all my own tomato pasta sauces as well from fresh tomatoes. I tend to use the Surf as I like it and only usually buy the Persil for whites but white vinegar is just as good for bringing the whites up nice and bright. So sometimes with the best will in the world I take the easy way out. When the canner arrives there will not be any bought sauces though. I use Lidl not as often as I like but I do use when I can get there. Hope you are keeping well.

      Pattypanxx

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    2. OH needs to learn cookery, har, har! Oh dear, we do treat our men with kid gloves. If he were working until 6.30 and you were home, would you wait until he got home to cook your meal? No, I don't think you would. So perhaps a bit of carrot rather than stick, as I've suggested elsewhere ... perhaps just to get some veg peeled, or the onion chopped and before long he might even make a sauce - just give him a recipe and show him where the ingredients are. I blame these men's mothers ... I taught our sons to cook, clean and iron and it's stood them in good stead. Of course, my husband has always been a good example to them, being able to do most things around the house (and no, I'm not holding him up as a paragon), that the jobs in the home, including cooking, are just jobs, not women's jobs. Get him cooking, girl! But sometimes we women are silly to ourselves. We like to think we can do it all and wear ourselves out in the process.
      Yes, keeping well, thanks.
      Margaret P

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    3. Margaret he is Bipolar so very up and down anyway - its a family condition that seems to have followed through most of the members of his family. Its not an excuse and he is not allowed to use it as such but it does affect the way in which I approach and deal with him at times. He doesn't think to help - the same as when he loses things he cannot find them and yet often or not they are looking him straight in the face and there is a right to doo and then I walk right in and find it. Some things you just have to deal with as they are and work with them not against them. I have found that I get more out of him in this way without him realising it. And then when I am not well and he realises that he has been selfish etc he is all full of good intentions until the next time. Some things you can bang your head against repeatedly and the only person being upset is you. I choose to deal with things in this way because it ensures things get done. Its not ideal but it keeps moving thins forward.

      Pattypan

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  2. PS I would add that cut-price meat isn't always the best health-wise. I'd rather cut the amount of meat we eat and buy quality meat from a farm shop, than eat cheap mince which, if marked just as mince could be rather fatty. Similarly, we only buy free range chickens, fewer of them, but better quality. If people cease buying processed foods they could actually eat better for less. I never buy cook in sauces - a tomato sauce is so easy: saute a chopped onion in some oil and a little garlic butter, then add a can of chopped tomatoes (or whole ones that you chop up yourself in the pan), a veggie Oxo cube or some Swiss bouillon, some dried basil or oregano and a dash or Worcestershire sauce, and bingo, you have tomato sauce. You can blitz it if you like, but I leave it as it is. And if it's a tad acidic, then a pinch of sugar (not the teaspoons of the stuff that find their way into commercial sauces) will see to that.
    Margaret P

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    Replies
    1. Cut price meat it is not. I am particularly faddy when it comes to meat at the best of times. My mother was a Butcheress in her youth. The mince is is good value for money and the chicken breasts in particular are extremely good value for money. The mince has a little fat but is nice and firm and dry and retains its shape when cooked and does not become a sludge. I use Farm shops a lot and I do a lot of cooking from scratch because of my medical issues. We also have an awful lot of fresh veg and if I have any left I either freeze it down or do a stir fry to use it up. I cannot abide waste either. I also make my own Chinese style plum sauce as well which is very tasty. Trouble is I do not always have the time with working full time as a Legal Secretary but I do what I can with what I have. Its about making the most of what you have at the end of the day. Take care.

      Pattypan

      x

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    2. Glad to hear that the meat is good quality, Patricia. I dread to think what extra (and unwanted) 'nutrients' we are consuming in some of the cheaper brands of meat! I like the idea of Chinese plum sauce, too!!! Total yum there!
      Yes, working full time must take its toll and obviously you need to cut corners. As I say, encourage OH to cook! It's never too learn to teach and old doggy new tricks!
      Margaret P

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  3. Margaret

    I taught them all to cook. OH is a very good cook when he sets his mind to it but that is not very often and to tell you the truth the mess he makes when he does cook makes more work for me in the long run. He makes a very mean Lasagna from scratch utilising strong cheddar cheese which is yummy.

    Pattypan

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