Frugal fun: Budget busting with tripe soup and other tips

Snowdrop souffle 

It might be nearly spring but there’s a chill wind blowing. This metaphorical meteorological phenomena means virtual belts are being tightened all over. 

The other day, Super Sister asked innocently on Facebook what she could do to save a few quid and avoid the necessity of eating the dog or selling a child now that she’s got a spare. 

The answers deserved more than slipping down her timeline along with the news that Little G had been asking Mummy A exactly what a sanitary towel was for. 

So things kicked off with supermarket “down-branding”. You know. Ocado for Sainsbury, Tesco for Aldi and so on. 

Meal planning and shopping on-line (while strictly sticking to your list rather than glugging Merlot and clicking away randomly). No, Panther of News, that’s not what happens most of the time. to get things cheaper and to get money back on what you do have to buy. Utility supplier reviews went without saying. 

Sell what you don’t need – books on Amazon, junk at the car boot sale (thanks to, Donnie from Barnton Fine Foods) or Ebay if it’s raining and you can’t be arsed.

So far so, well, ordinary and sensible, but then it got interesting.

There was a suggestion that hard-line money saving would include feeding the children cat food and nettle soup. Um, not if your kids are as picky as mine.

Sticking with soup though. Tripe soup is apparently delicious (but only if you get the right kind of tripe).

“Go veggie,” said Sophie. “At least five days a week. Making your own bread helps – not because it is that much cheaper, but it is so good that you eat it instead of expensive stuff.”

She also suggested brewing your own using wine and beer kits (I know you don’t brew wine, but it’s late and I can’t think what you do do to make it). Bitter works out at 80p a pint and wine £1.40 a bottle. 

How about foraging for food? One of my sister’s chums had done a course at Eat Weeds. Just head out with some scissors and a bag for life… come home with dinner. 

Finally, disconnect your telly and only watch things on the i-Player for which, we were told, you don’t need a licence…

Superscrimpers eat your hearts out.

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  1. says

    Love the idea of feeding your kids cat food – urggghhh!! A trick I find helps is each week I shop a day later – so
    week 1 shop on Monday
    Week 2 shop Tuesday
    Week 3 shop Wednesday
    Week 4 shop Thursday
    Week 5 shop Friday
    Week 6 shop Saturday
    Week 7 shop Sunday
    If you work it out and add everyday you go a day longer before your shop, you do a whole week without having to shop without even knowing it.

    Also you do need a license to watch iplayer – we use to watch things from our office and got a notice from the TV licensing people to tell us we had been detected and would be fined if we did not either stop or get a license – they get you every way!

  2. Anonymous says

    Interesting! Reminds me of how much mileage I could get out of a pound of mince in the early days of my housekeeping career. Does anyone cook mince these days? In the Telegraph today it is reported that there has been an increase in the sales of black pudding, partly because it's become rather trendy but also because it is cheap and nutritious! I would say, forget ready meals, buy the ingredients and make stuff yourself – but then I would say that wouldn't I? Mxx

  3. says

    Mince is a regular feature in this household in various guises, would find it hard to manage without it! And black pudding is a definite family favourite.I wonder how many people still do the Roast on Sunday etc. routine. The longest I can usually keep a roast going is four days but have managed six on one occasion with a exceptionally large rib roast that I swear came from a dinosaur not a cow!

    I had to laugh at the the cat food suggestion. Cat food pie and thistle salad is a long standing family euphemism for inedible food coined after a pie made with an elderly and particularly high stilton at the end of a “eating the larder down” month.

  4. says

    Skybluepinkish, the Panther of News is a big black pudding fan. Roasts and leftovers are all very well, but it is possible to get bored. Five days of turkey was enough this year.

  5. says

    Ellen roast leftovers don't have to be boring. Recent roast lamb gave sticky ginger lamb on Monday, Stovies on Tuesday and soup for freezer and lunch for me during the week.

    We do quite a lot of foraging but even my kids, used to the eccentric shopping habits of their mother,do sometimes look wistfully at a supermarket. Seaweed chips are apparently not as good as Burts!

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