Sunday, 3 May 2015

Rationing- Shopping Frugal Style!

As promised, yesterday I went to do my weekly shop with the intention to shop as frugally as possible. 

I chose to go to Sainsburys as I think their 'Basics' range is pretty good. I had to make some compromises and I think with a bit of work I could get it down further but it was a first attempt!

Here is what I bought:

Basics bread: 40p
Basics flour 55p
Basics t-bags 20p
Basics milk x 3 £1.95
Basics baked beans x1 25p
Basics veg stock cubes 25p
Caerphilly cheese (yellow sticker reduced) £1.29
Basics brown sauce 35p
Own brand sugar 50p
Own brand butter 95p
Vege meat alternative £2.80
1 small tin mackerel 70p

And from our farm shop
Local strawberries!
Rhubarb (from our allotment! )

Total £19.16

This won't be all we eat this week. I have plenty left in the fridge and veg basket. I may need to buy more veg though. We also each have a chocolate bar each week and we will have basics chocolate this week.

I try and ensure our diet is a pretty healthy diet. I usually buy rapadura sugar from our health food shop as it is less processed and I use honey but this week I got regular white.  I also usually buy bread from our bakers who use local flour. This week I bought a cheap loaf which I have put in the freezer and I'll make my own the rest of the week. I'm not very good at it so it will be a good opportunity to practice!
I don't know what the situation was with condiments during the war so I've stopped buying anything except HP brown sauce as I know it was around at the time.  I miss ketchup and dh misses mayo and bbq sauce but it's fine.  We're getting used to it. This week I bought a cheaper alternative.
I bought cheese that had a yellow reduced sticker on. I'm not a fan of Caerphilly but it was the cheapest one there so I bought it. I'm not sure dh is that impressed!

I don't want to waffle on all day so I'll leave it there. I think I've done quite well. I'm making homemade veggie pies with potato pastry this afternoon so I'll post how I get on. One thing I will say is I found supermarket shopping much less enjoyable than shopping in local,  independent shops as I usually do.



  1. Greetings from California. I've so enjoyed reading your blog since I signed up. Do you think you will share some of your recipes too? I find this quite fascinating. My best to you :)

    1. Hi Lillys Mom, I'm glad you're enjoying reading my blog. I will definitely try and post some recipes. Unfortunately I just sort of 'wing it' when I cook and just chuck stuff in but I'll try and make a note as I go in future! ;)

  2. I loved this post Gillie.
    We shop frugally all the time now & make most things. I stopped buying tomato sauce because of the amount of sugar in so now make salsa which has been a hit with the children. It helps loving the 30's & 40's so much & using the old recipe books.
    Good luck with the bread, I would love to hear how you go.
    Fondly Michelle

    1. Hi, Thanks Michelle. I know what you mean about condiments, they can be really high in sugar, that's why I've gone onto the HP, not only is it a very old brand but I like it but I don't love it so I only use a little. I'll let you know how I get on with the bread!

  3. Rationing and how women coped during the war fascinates me as well.
    I have a lot of recipe books from the era and have tried a couple but will
    be trying more. My nan lived through both world wars and never wasted
    anything, every single thing had a second life and I am trying to live up
    to that today. My biggest joy so far has been to knit and use dishcloths
    as I used to do for her when I was a child, not fancy but they are so much better than anything you can buy. Look forward to more of your adventures
    - Tam

    1. Hi Tam, thanks for commenting and finding my blog. I find homemade dishcloths last forever, I have some I have had for years! Cheap and cheerful ones definitely seem to be a false economy.

  4. You've managed to get a lot there for your money. I am trying hard to keep my food costs down. Cooking from scratch is definitely the best (and tastiest) way. X

    1. I agree, sometimes it takes a bit longer but I think it's worth it. There are lots of options for lunch boxes too. :)

  5. Hi, loving your blog - but don't seem to be able to add you to my bloglovin feed?
    Could you possibly post your potato pastry recipe - it sounds intriguing!
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Deb, will post potato pastry recipe this week :)

  6. We've recently started using Aldi here in Oz, prices are heaps cheaper than the major supermarkets. Our food prices are through the roof:( I'm amazed with what you were able to buy for so little, well done Gillie:) Linda

    1. Hi Linda, I visited oz last year. I bought a bunch of grapes without realising they were $10- I couldn't believe it when I got to the checkout!