Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More cost-cutting

An early start for me today as my husband arrived home from his holiday at 3.00am this morning. Hardly seeemed worth bothering to go to sleep before starting my chat to you. Beloved is happily tucked up and snoring, not even bothered that the airline has lost his luggage. Me, well - I didn't have any sleep last night due to waiting for his return which was later than expected as he missed his train as well. Of course he didn't take his house keys with him.

It seems my suggestion of updating the costing of an old article of mine published in Family Circle (Oct. 1983) entitled 'HOW TO FEED A FAMILY OF FOUR ON £21 A WEEK'
has caused interest. £21 was the budget I worked with. The feature ran to eleven pages with photos of each days menu and then pages and pages of recipes. Many of those dishes have already been shared with you in earlier posting. It will take me time to re-cost at today's prices, but at least I can give you the original list as printed in the magazine (just in case you want to cost it out for yourself) :
Bought from the shops:
14 pints of milk; 10 oz cheese; 250g butter; 1 kg. margarine;
1/4 pt. nondairy cream or dessert topping; 18 eggs;
1 chicken (3lb 6oz); 1 breast of lamb; 12 oz minced beef;
beef bones; 4 oz pigs liver; 1 lb chipolata sausages;
bacon bits; 2 large lettuces; 1 head of celery; 1/2 a cucumber;
1 lb tomatoes; 1 lb white cabbage; 3 lb carrots; 3 lb onions;
4 lb potatoes; 12 oz new potatoes; 1 lb runner beans;
1/2 lb peas; 2 courgettes; 8 lemons; 2 small oranges;
1 banana; 1 small bag of green apples; 8 other seasonal fruits;
2 long family loaves; 2 x 1 litre jars of orange juice; 1 can tomatoes;
1 can sardines in oil; 14oz can mackerel in brine; 10 oz pk white bread mix;
1 pkt. cake mix; 750g pkt wheat flakes; 20 oz dried milk.

Taken from the store cupboard (cost taken into account)
Tea and coffee; jam and marmalade; porridge oats and oatmeal;
bran; sultanas; chopped nuts; sugars and golden syrup;
long grain rice; pearl barley; lentils; haricot beans;
baked beans; can of fruit; 1 sachet gelatine; oils;
tomato puree; flour; suet/lard; sauces and mayonnaise;
herbs/spices/seasoning; drinking chocolate and malted milk drink.

I believe my deadline was mid-summer (mags plan their publications months ahead), so I costed at the prices for that season. My original pricings were all sent to the editor and I can't remember them now, but everything was checked thoroughly by their team and the whole weeks menus, including storecupboard foods, came to no more than the £21 AT THAT TIME.
Tomorrow I will give you details of the menu for each of the seven days.