Groceries – Day 01: A good start

29 Feb
Budget carried over from previous days: 0
Content of pantry before shopping: EMPTY.
Budget used: £ 1.00
Let’s start with something that unexpectedly changed my mind about what I’d spend my one pound on today – credit where credit is due.Top Tip
Today I received a very useful tip from my colleague Martin – After hearing me out about my plans, he visited the website of his local supermarket and searched for the store economy brand name, and then displayed the results sorted by price, ascending. Instant enlightenment – I found out that mixed (Italian-style) herbs can be bought for a mere 19p at my local supermarket. Bring on the flavour! He also kindly donated 50 eurocents (which he knew fully well I won’t be able to use until I find a money exchange agency at walking distance). Thanks Martin!

With that out of the way, let’s talk groceries. How did I do today? Not bad, I’d say. I made up my mind about what to get – a kilo of cheap long grain rice (40p), a pack of passata (sieved tomato – 500 grams) (29p), a pack of instant noodles (11p) and a little baggie of instant mash. Well on my way to the supermarket, I changed my mind. I decided I could do without the instant noodles and get an onion instead. I already had plenty of starchy foods on my list, after all.

So did I manage to stay within a pound? Yes, I did. Here’s the receipt:

I hit one pound, exactly. The trick was to get the right size onion as digital scales seemed nowhere to be found at the supermarket. However, all self-service checkouts are equipped with one, so I knew that I picked the right size before actually checking out.

Here’s what I actually arrived home with:

I suppose I should elaborate on the items that weren’t on the list.
First of all, a broccoli stem. After confirming with the staff of the supermarket that they did, as I expected, consider these rubbish, I asked (“at the risk of embarassing myself”) whether they’d be OK with it if I brought that trunk home with me. They had no objections, so I could go along. Likewise I picked up some free orange leaves from the citrus fruits department. Once home, I verified the weight of the broccoli:

A cool 125 grams. That’s one-and-a-half of my five-a-day, at no extra cost. Just by asking. The stems tend to be a bit tough, which is why people don’t like them – but you know what? When sliced thin or cut small and cooked in a soup, they’ll get tender enough. It’ll be fine.
Obviously, I also dropped by at the local Ronnie McD to pick up some salt and pepper- as well as some sugar and a dairy stick. Finally, a little branch of rosemary that was growing about. It smells awesome.

Altogether, I’ve managed to arrange nearly 2 days worth of vegetables (9.75 out of 10 per 2 days), some herbs, some condiments, and somewhere between 4 days and a week worth of carbs. Now all I need to do is to figure out what to cook tomorrow. Do you reckon I’ll be OK?

Oh, one more thing. ASDA have their price guarantee. The same shopping basket would have cost me 107p at Tesco. The difference is less than 10% – I think I might be due a 7p refund 😉

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