Saturday, August 08, 2009

Cutting Corners

Have been inspired again to think 'cost-cutting' again with a vengeance. Since moving, although re-stocking my cupboards in the normal way, have not kept account of the money spent, and have been a bit generous buying quality meat from the butcher (although most is still in the freezer), and quite a bit of fish from the Smokehouse (ditto). Even doing this, a 'bulk buy' of assorted and quality meats and fish can still fit into a 'mean cuisine' diet. This was proved in the very early months of this blog where - with a budget of £250 - a stock of food was purchased in one go and lasted 10 weeks (feeding two and guests- and modestly admitting we did eat very good meals) with a little food still left over. Worked out at less than £25 a week to feed two. Worth checking it out. The 'shopping list' was given around November/December 2006, and the actual 'challenge' began after Christmas was over, and probably on January 1st.
Now it would probably cost more, but even if doubled, still not as much as some of us might be now spending - and the more to feed the cheaper per head it will work out. It might be worth having another go at a similar or other challenge. Once 'stocked' up, can easily use my larder and 'Boris' as my personal supermarket, and 'buy' from myself. At least then can find out exactly how much it does cost to feed ourselves (well) for a week.

Buying quality food really IS a good idea, for it has immense flavour so we can get away with using less, which is another way of cutting costs. Here I am thinking more about protein foods such as meat, fish and even eggs, using veggies to fill the gaps. Fresh fruit and veggies also taste better for in greengrocers and especially Farm Stores and Farmer's Markets it is possible to buy different varieties than those sold in supermarkets, purely because these superstores only sell produce with perfect shapes and grow like clones, losing any flavour in the process. Old-fashioned, oddly shaped produce usually has a lot more to offer when it comes to flavour, so whenever possible, buy the best - even better, grow our own.