Sunday, 18 September 2016

Call That Thrifty?

Up at 5 am, walked with DS2 to the coach station to pick up his 6 am ride to Heathrow. Walked back home, did 2 loads of laundry and hung it out to dry. Three hours later I walked back to the bus station to catch a bus to Deal where I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around the annual Braderie (fancy French name for open air street market). I didn't buy anything at the market but did pop into the Heart Foundation charity shop where I succumbed to this cookery book (as if I don't have enough cook books already)! 

From a cursory look at it I liked the idea of bringing traditional recipes up to date with a little less work and the word thrifty and economical always gets me interested. However, on closer inspection at home it's obvious my idea of thrifty is far removed from Reader's Digest (the authors of the book). 

As you can see from this section in the introduction even the thriftiest of meals is costed at £2 or less a head and normal thrifty is £2.75 or less. 

I would consider £2 a head quite extravagant; that would be £8 for just one meal a day for 4 people and £2.75 a head works out at £11. That's between £56 and £77 a week ( if my maths is correct) for just one meal a day. Add in 2 more meals a day plus a snack and that would make a whopping food bill each week for a family of 4. Definitely not my idea of budgeting. My idea of thrifty is half that at the most, and extra thrifty would be more like a quarter of their extra thrifty allowance.  And I cater for 4 adults; little old me and 3 grown men.  Of course, many of my meals use leftovers so I stretch the initial ingredients to make more than one meal. 

Having picked the premise of the book to pieces, it does contain some lovely recipes that I will try out, but I will be sourcing the ingredients carefully and substituting to get the cost down. Not a complete waste of money, but a lesson in looking more carefully at something before spending money on it...even if it does go to a deserving charity.

Having spent 2 hours wandering around the Braderie I caught the bus back to Dover. DH met me at the bus station and we took a walk along the seafront before treating ourselves to a coffee and then walking home. Altogether I did around 12,500 steps and covered over 5 miles. Much needed exercise given how much I've eaten this week and how little walking I've done on most days except the 15 minute walk to and from the shops. 

DS2 is currently somewhere between Iceland (where he changed planes) and Washington, USA. He's due to touch down in Washington at around 7 pm local time and midnight over here. I'm hoping to stay awake for when he messages me to let me know he's arrived...I might have a Nanna-nap on the sofa though, having been up since 5 am.

I just wanted to say a thank you to Pam and Rachel for welcoming me back. I really appreciate it. I feel guilty for being out of touch for so long, but hopefully I'll be more consistent from now on.

So, what's your idea of a thrifty meal? Is £2 a head acceptable? Or is that more like splashing out for you? Any thoughts?

Love you all, Helen xx


  1. It is so good to see you posting again. I wish you well and am looking forward to reading more about your adventures.

    1. Thank you, Suze. It's good to be back.