Christmas shopping part I don’t know…

So, another shopping done and this time it was at Morrisons and I got two of their 1kg wonky carrot bags for 35p each, so in total 70p for 2kg carrots that are fine, but doesn’t look nice. That doesn’t really matter since the carrots are going to be cooked, mashed and baked in the oven anyway, so their looks won’t matter.

I always try to buy as much of those “ugly”, “wonky” and “weird” looking fruits and vegetables at shops simply because they’re A LOT cheaper, but still taste the same, but people don’t really want anything less than perfect. That’s quite sad to be honest since it creates waste and expensive fruits and vegetables. Please people, buy the ones that aren’t perfect and shops, pleease, sell the ones that aren’t decent looking – they’re still ok to eat! If we don’t sell, buy and use them they’re going to waste and that’s just not sustainable in the long run.

 

Anyway, my new total cost after coupons and rebates is now up to: 8.15£

Before coupons & rebates: 9.55£

Have a nice week, it’s only 2 weeks left before Christmas now!

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Christmas food spending

So far I haven’t spent a lot of money really and the latest update is:

 

Garlic – 90p           Was 1.20£

Salt (1kg) – 25p

 

My total spending before rebates is currently: 8.85£

Total after savings: 7.45£

 

Still not a huge savings percentage : 15.82%

But it will probably improve as I go on.

Christmas shopping so far

So far I haven’t really bought a lot of the Christmas food, but I have made an extensive list of what I’ve got to purchase to cook all the food. Most of the stuff I’ve purchased have been reduced and put in the freezer for later. The first items I bought were the Christmas ham and the special soda that’s only available at Christmas and I was able to get those at a shop in London called Scandinavian Kitchen. It’s an awesome shop and café with Scandinavian foods only – amaing!

 

What I’ve bought so far

Ham – 25£

Smoked salmon – 3.70£     Reduced from 5£

Chives – 60p                       Reduced from 70p

Parsley – 60p                     Reduced from 70p

4 Onions – 75p

15 eggs – 1.25£

What is a good price list (UK)

Product Price
Shower gel (brand product) 75p – 1£
Spreadable butter (brand product)
Eggs 10p each
Uncle Ben’s microwaveable pouches 75p-1£
Toothpaste (brand product)
Pens (no brand, pack of circa 30)
Pencils (no brand, pack of circa 30)
Washing up liquid (brand, 1050ml) 1 – 1,50£
Carrots (1kg fresh) 50p
Sanitary pads (double pack, brand) 2,50£

 

Ben & Jerry’s 2,50£
Sweet chili (brand, 190ml) 75p-1£
Soy sauce (brand, 190ml) 75p-1£
Stock cubes (brand, 8 & 12 pack)

 

Shampoo (brand) 1.50 – 2£ per 500ml bottle
Wet cat food (12 pack, brand)

 

Laundry detergent (pods, 29 pods, brand) 4.50£
Laundry detergent (pods, 19 pods, brand) 3.50£
Washing up liquid (383ml, brand) 50p

 

Dry cat food (brand 800gr) 3.50£
Cereal (brand, 500gr)

 

Crisps (brand, in a tube, c.200 gr) 25p – 1£
Cleaning spray (brand) 50p
Jar of pesto (brand, 190ml) 1£-1.50£
Sanitary pads (brand, single pack)

 

This is the start of a list and it will be updated from time to time.

 

Update:

Minced meat (Brand, 500gr, 5%) – 1.70£

Christmas on a budget

This year will be my first hosting a Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and since I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the food, it’s going to be a challenge. I’ve set a budget of 35£ for 5 people, which seems only reasonable and is a budget that will give me leftovers for a few days after. My guests will be my next-door neighbors and they’ve never tried traditional Finnish food before. The dinner will consist of a smorgasbord of a few selected, traditional Finnish Christmas dishes such as;

  • Finnish meatballs – pretty much the same as Swedish ones
  • Mini sausages – they’re called Prinskorv which translates to Prince sausages
  • Beet salad – a cold salad with beets, apples, pickles, carrots, red onion and cooked potatoes
  • Janssons Frestelse – a hot casserole called Jansson’s Temptation in English and is a dish with potatoes, onions, anchovies, cream and spices.
  • Mild smoked salmon – simple, tasty and very traditional.
  • Boiled potatoes – we’re a potato eating nation just like Ireland and Sweden
  • Julskinka – The Christmas Ham, cooked in the oven for a few hours before it’s coated with mustard and egg and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and then roasted at a high temperature. The ham is left to cool down and served cold in thick slices.
  • Ägg med gubbröra – hardboiled eggs with “old-man’s-mix” of anchovies, mayo, crème fraiche, chives and a few other things.
  • Morotslåda – a carrot casserole with rice and sprinkled with breadcrumbs that’s then cooked in the oven.
  • Potatislåda – it’s pretty much sweetened mash that’s cook in the oven. It’s sweetened with some treacle.
  • Peas – no words are necessary, it’s warm peas.
  • Toffee – hard toffee with chopped hazelnuts
  • Fresh fruits
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Aladdin – a Swedish box of mixed chocolates that’s always had after dinner
  • Twist – a bag of mixed chocolates and sweets
  • Merci – you know what this is, it’s more chocolate

All of this at a maximum cost of 35£, which isn’t that difficult really. The ham was the most expensive purchase at 25£, but that was bought a long time ago, so I’m not adding it to the cost. If you choose to do so then the total cost would rise to 60£, which would still be cheap for five people and a few days of food. Plus, the little sausages were given to me as a gift by my aunt when she visited me almost two months ago – not cost for them. A lot of the condiments – such as mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, spices – are already in my cabinets and will not be purchased which will further lower my out of pocket expenses a bit too.

I will be posting all the costs as they come up since I’m not buying everything at once. I’m very allowed to use coupons, reduced items and any other methods to save money. Reduced items can be a huge savior and it has: I’ve bought all the herbs and the smoked salmon reduced and simply put them in the freezer, with the ham, until it’s time to use them. The herbs I chopped before freezing just to ease the process a bit.

I’ll start a separate thread for the expenses of the Christmas smorgasbord.

Announcing!!!

I’ve got quite exciting news for all of you couponers in the U.K. As you may know there are a large number of blogs, vlogs and YouTube videos out there about how to coupon – some are more extreme than others. But, what’s lacking is a good, simply put BOOK about what coupons are, how they work and what a good price is, that’s written under British circumstances. There are a number of great vlogs about the US market and a book about couponing in the US called “Pick another checkout lane, honey” by the Krazy Coupon Ladies. Kudos to them for writing it, but there’s no equivalent for us here in the U.K. This is why I’ve decided to write a book for beginners about how coupons work, where they can be found and how you can combine them at the shop to save huge on your weekly grocery shopping.

At the moment it’s about 9 chapters long and I’ve nearly finished writing it, so who knows – next year there might be a British book about coupons out there!

I’d also like to make an appeal to all of you out there – if you have anything that you’d like to have featured in the book, send me a comment, a message or a tweet! I’m all ears for your wishes. Have a great week!

Rant warning!

Today I’m going to rant about my shopping trip at Sainsbury’s.

 

So today I went to Sainsbury’s to do my shopping and to use my coupons, like I always do. Nothing too strange about it. It all went fine until I came to the cashier and handed her my Nectar card and my stack of coupons. She flatly refused to scan them and called a manger over… He too refused to accept my coupons. The reason:

He claimed that I had photocopied them due to the fact that some of them were black and white, this due to the very simple fact that my printer had run out of colour ink a couple of days prior and I didn’t have any more at home. Plus, he claimed that they weren’t unique, which I know for a fact that they were since I printed them from several different accounts, each with its own e-mail address. I calmly tried to explain myself to him and said to him that I’d never photocopied a coupon in my life or tried coupon fraud, but he refused and “claimed” to have spoken to representatives from the websites where I had printed the coupons from and they had verified all this.

I don’t really believed him, but in order to not be banned from the shop I let it go, paid and then returned the items that I didn’t get my discount on to get a refund.

I’ve never been called a liar and a fraud like that in a shop, in front of customers and I have no intention of committing coupon fraud. All the coupons I use are legit and valid and I take great pride in using them correctly.

Guess which shop that lost a customer that day… Shame really, since I like the shop but I refuse to be called a cheat when I’m far from being one.

 

Rant over, thank you for reading!