Thursday, 24 October 2013

Moneysaving and Healthy Eating - The Food Budget

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Can You Really Feed the Family a Healthy Diet on £1 per Person Per Day for all Meals?

Why do so many quake in their shoes when they suddenly realise that they are heading into debt or, worse still, sinking further into debt, and scratch their heads in disbelief at today's prices? This blog post came about after a recent (animated) discussion about the cost of living in today's modern British society. The other person failed to distinguish the difference between the cost of living and the cost of their personal lifestyle. (In my opinion, food, fuel and energy waste seem to play big parts in their lifestyle.)

Why do we see such ridiculous food waste in Britain when there are countries across Africa and Asia still susceptible to famine? On more than one occasion, I have been told that if it concerns me so much then I should go post the waste food to the starving people. This attitude makes my blood boil!

I set myself the challenge to spend no more than £1 per person per day for all meals and I have stuck with this for the past several years… What I have learned is…

Read more here and try out the free meal planner to ensure you get your 5-a-say even on a frugal budget.

12 comments:

  1. Very good post. We had food waste bins delivered last year with tiny compostable bags that tear at the slightest touch. Before they took it off the FAQ site, they did say use newspaper so I do. What goes in it from us? Meat bones (eventually) and onion peelings which I don't compost. Our food and everything else budget has gone up from £100 to up to £140 per month for us 2, gradually over the years. That figure buys us absolutely everything with no waste and some months we have a bit left over which goes into savings. I have at long last managed to gradually build an emergency store which is kept rotated.

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    1. Emergency stores are great, aren't they? I have to confess to sometimes not even having meat bones left to bin, as I now find that buying in 5kg of chicken fillets works out cheaper than buying whole chickens. Other than the occasional pack of chicken legs on offer, I can't think of anything else. I am prone to chucking stuff in the fire if it's organic waste - warm water better than a full bin. :) Dried veg peels burn really!

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    2. Oops, that should say that the dried veggie peelings burn really well! :)

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  2. I feel like banging my head against a wall when i hear friends and family talk how they cannot afford to live, but yet their lifestyle is way above their means. . I am gettign better and better with food, waste. I childmind, and i often have waste from what the children leave, they are so used to convenience, full of sugar and salt food, bu tthey are now begginning to enjoy hoem cooked meals. Also havign my chickens, really helps as alot of scraps such as rice, and pasta they will eat, along sid etheir pellets etc. I also compost now. The responses i get from people ar "ooh i cant be bothered with all that" and I am finding it is this lazyness that often keeps people in the mire they are in.

    Sharon x
    www.onelifeand3kids.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Snap! I have heard the comment, "I can't be bothered with all that carry-on" so often that I don't even bother asking anyone now. Least said, soonest mended and all that. It's a shame when you hear it from pensioners, though, especially when they tell you they had it bad through the war years, so they're turn's past "for all that nonsense". Sad, but true.

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  3. Tesco apparently donate a lot of their wastedfood to charities.

    Plastic packaging really annoys me especially so called 'organic' vegetables wrapped in plastic. If we ever go back to power cuts we won't be using microwave ovens. We will have to prepare food a lot slower. Imagine that. People eating freshly slow cooked food.

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    1. They showed a TV programme here recently that highlighted the tonnes upon tonnes of waste food being binned by Tesco every day - not sure why they made an example of Tesco, perhaps because the other programme I watched made an example of Asda Wal-Mart employing illegal immigrant workers on shady contracts. Us little ruralites miss out on the supermarket bargains but the waste doesn't stop at the stores, it goes all the way to point of production where farmers are pretty much held to ransom over prices and see whole crops ruined because they fail to meet the criteria then the supermarkets drop their initial offer price. The whole system is sick. Just been talking about pork production and the associated costs - I hadn't realised that many of these livestock barns are heated and cost thousands of pounds each year just to maintain artificial environments. But that's a whole other story, I guess... no way can livestock barns be insulated! The energy waste must be phenomenal.

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    2. Intensive farming costs lots of money, Frugaldom. Today, a lamb or a pig only takes 4 months from birth to slaughter. Chickens take less than 28 days.

      I often buy calves and raise them from a few weeks old. They too long and you don't really save any money buying artificial milk replacer, straw and beef nuts.

      Don't think smallholders can really compete with the big farmers. Only way is for you to raise animals for yourself and save yourself a few thousand in meat. Perhaps collective smallholding is the way forward?

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    3. Isn't collective smallholding how the co-operatives all began and then, from there, progressed to markets and then shops and then supermarkets? I had a debate recently with someone who thought the answer was for everyone to become vegan but the fact that a nation of vegans would mean the massive cull/demise of all farm animals that were no longer needed had never crossed her mind. I really don't know what the answer is, especially when I see animal cruelty committed by do-good urban to rural downshifters and even by some so-called 'nice' organic farmers.

      On the topic of collective small holding, I guess it's for similar reasons that communes develop - to escape from the rat race. Trouble is, I possess the sad belief (some say delusion) that it's the rat race itself that needs to be changed so nobody feels the need to escape it. Life in Britain isn't so bad but maintaining it for future generations to enjoy seems to be something that's overlooked in favour of pandering to the masses who still want or expect more, in my opinion. Hope this response comes across the way it is meant to do so. :) Email me if it looks all wrong, so I can elaborate and continue our discussion.

      Apart from all of that - where have you been hiding? I'm curious as to what's been going on, as I've had zero updates from elsewhere. Beginning to wonder if my emails are all being swallowed up by some virtual message muncher. LOL

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    4. PS: Agree on the costs of intensive farming, had recent discussion regarding electricity costs alone for running pig units. No wonder the farmers want to capitalise on the feed-in tariffs from wind and solar - have you considered the long term implications of taking your place off grid or making use of the Government grants/FITS as a way of partially offsetting costs? I haven't been able to work out how it can help the low-income frugalers living on an ordinary street.

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  4. Great post NYK, very thought provoking and interesting. Thanks for sharing all the information, advice and tips.
    I'm definitely going to revise my grocery budget up until Christmas at least. Then start it a new in the new year.
    Have a great day dear lady.

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    1. There are a few little bits and pieces that may also help if you click the text link at the bottom of the main blog page 'grocery budget challenge'. I started the year planning my budget at £1,000 for everything but keep alternating it to attempt less. Sites like Approved Food and now Musclefood have helped enormously, but having seen the savings that could be made simply by using big name stores, it has quite shocking! Salt there - 39p, salt here - 89p / sugar there 85p, sugar here £1.38... I could go on, but it's all a bit depressing seeing such ludicrously cheap prices and yet these big stores are still having to bin mega-tonnes of food every year. Seems to me obesity isn't a medical problem, it's a 'too much food available at too little cost' problem. :(

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