Find out how I feed my family on a shoestring budget.

Monday, 23 May 2011

I blew the budget

Okay, well it was bound to happen, I just wish I'd been a few more weeks in this blog adventure before I showed myself up as a fraud. Yes that's right I blew our shopping budget this week - I spent a whopping 20% over budget (and that's not including mid week top ups). The thing is I went to a really cheap supermaket, so I think I need to add a new rule:

"Do not throw melons into the shopping basket because you're in a discount store".

Yes, that's right. I'm blaming my overspend on the honeydew melon I splurged on. Well, the melon and the mega pack of crisps, all the extra yummy looking fruit, the bucket of yoghurt (Lidl Greek yoghurt is lovely and plentiful), the luxury muesli (it's the only brand they stock), the extra custard creams (because Steve loves them and what's the point of shopping in Lidl if you're not going to have a treat), the creme fraiche, the proper marmite and the thirst pocket kitchen towels. On examining my receipt I realised that things like tinned tomatoes are no cheaper in Lidl than the cheap ones in Asda and because they have fewer own brands, I bought brand names I wouldn't normally. For example, although marmite in Lidl is cheaper than in the big supermarkets, I wouldn't normally buy marmite, I'd buy yeast extract.

After discussing this with a wise and equally frugal friend I realised that Lidl and Aldi (both small continental supermarkets focusing on smaller ranges and generally cheaper products than the big guys for those of you who haven't come across them) can be great for particular items (e.g. Greek yoghurt), but you need to pick and choose.

I don't regret my trip to Lidl though. Steve prefers going to a smaller supermarket and I like to look at the other stuff they sell. We nearly bought a rotavator while we were there! And as my boss said, shopping in Lidl is a continental shopping experience.

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