Creating an OS household...

Hi all,

I am ashamed to say that I have not dared update my signature this month as I am way over budget for the month (£352 and counting!!!:eek: ). However, it is not all bad news, I know WHY I am so over budget this month (which is an improvement on the all the other times this has happened!).

This month, I have weaned my OH off supermarket food, cooking (most) of meals from scratch. The main expenditure has gone on buying the raw ingredients, herbs, spices etc (the things I had never thought to buy in the past!).

I recieved a voucher from Tescos yesterday for £15 off when I spend £75. Now, my plan is to spend this on things that I can bulk buy on in order to have all essential ingredients in the cupboards to just be able to buy meat, veg and milk etc next month (and hopefully for some months to come!). What herbs and spices do you guys regularly use? I am going to get stardrops as soon as I can so I won't have to buy expensive cleaning products anymore, but I REALLY need to stock my food cupboards with the staple items that I will be using everyday.

Any help would be appreciated. Right, am off to study now lol I have three exams next week but due to my current addiction to this site, have not revised as much as I should have!! :eek:

Sarah xxx


  • Hi

    I would start by making a list of all food and cleaning products you have in, then work around this. You probably have loads in and may need very little. Meal planning is the way forward, then y9ou only buy what you need and can plan ahead for the next 7 days.

    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!
  • Hardup_Hester
    Hardup_Hester Posts: 4,800 Forumite
    Don't worry Jovigirl, we all fall off the wagon or have unavoidable hiccups with the budget sometimes.

    Never let success go to your head, never let failure go to your heart.
  • redsquirrel80
    redsquirrel80 Posts: 12,457 Forumite
    When it comes to herbs and spices, have a look in the 'ethnic' food sections if your store has them - you'll find big tubs of spices here which work out a lot cheaper than those little glass jars in the main herbs/ spices display, especially chilli and curry powder. You also get some tinned stuff such as chickpeas cheaper in these sections! Not sure you'd get them if you're doing online shopping though...
    [email protected] £10,362.38, now debt free as of 29.02.2012.
    "I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better."
  • Queenie
    Queenie Posts: 8,793 Forumite
    Basics that I have to hand would be:-

    Tinned toms, tinned/dried pulses, tinned fish (tuna, pilchards), dried pasta, frozen veggies are a great standby, dried milk/UHT milk. Flour (Plain and bread flour for batters, puddings, cakes, biscuits, bread, pizza's).

    Herbs/spices:- garam masala (also doubles as mixed spice for fruit cakes at a push), curry powder, cumin (a must if you make mexican food), chilli powder, cinnamon (Moroccan food plus baking), dried fruits ie sultanas and apricots, tomato puree, worchestershire sauce, nutmeg for some veggies (ie mashed swede) plus baking, oregano, rosemary, basil, mixed herbs, powdered mustard, peppercorns, sea salt.

    Good luck with your forthcoming exams :D
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
  • Mrs_A_4
    Mrs_A_4 Posts: 184 Forumite
    General things I would buy if planning to stock up:

    Loo roll
    Washing Up Liquid
    Washing powder (Tesco do massive Value box for about £1.50 - is fine!)
    Chilli flakes
    Chilli sauce
    Ketchup/mayo/salad cream
    Mint sauce/apple sauce/cranberry sauce
    Flour inc. bread flour and dried yeast
    Tinned tomatoes
    Baked beans
    Kidney beans/mixed spicy beans
    Curry powder
    Dried oregano
    Cooking oil
    Olive oil
    Dried pasta

    Buy loads of this type of stuff and it will never go to waste!:cool:
  • emmie1234
    emmie1234 Posts: 237
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi there :T

    I agree, it is a bit more expensive to start off with, but once you've got all your herbs and spices sorted and the staples in your cupboard your weekly shooping bill will reduce by loads if you cook from scratch. I've had a scout around in our kitchen today to see what we've got lying around in the freezer and cupboards and I've made a meal plan for next week based around what we've already got. Stardrops is brilliant - it works wonders!!!! I'll never spend big £'s on other cleaning products again!!!! I used to be of a cleaning product addict and would buy anything and everything that caught my eye with it's miracle claims lol same went for toiletries too. Now just stick to cheap and cheerful stuff - does the same job.

    In my cupboard I always have:
    curry powder
    garam masala
    lasagne sheets
    dried milk powder if we run out of proper milk.
    I have frozen veg in the freezer for stand by.
    I always buy chicken fillets, minced beef or quorn mince
    I usually buy a large chicken for a sunday and find that the leftovers usually last for a couple of days afterwards.

    I haven't been doing this for very long, other people will probably be able to help more, the boards are great for getting new ideas - I'm starting to get addicted lol

    Take Care

    Marriages are made in heaven, but then again so is thunder and lightning!!!.....getting divorced lol :j

    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
    Trying to "up" my income and rookie oldstyler
  • Sarahsaver
    Sarahsaver Posts: 8,390 Forumite
    Boots basics shampoo and conditioner leaves my hair really smooth, and I get the shampoo and conditioner in one for the kids' bathroom, as the blue lettering matches the colour scheme LOL;) It's under 30p a bottle.
    I use one laundry tablet instead of 2, although I used to make gloop but now have 2 sons who wet the bed so much I was getting fed up. I know I will go back to the gloop one day.
    The big bags of pasta from tesco for £1 are fantastic. It is not expensive if you stock up on spices a couple a week from an asian shop not a supermarket, or if you have only 'english' shops get the store own brand refil packs instead.
    Someone recently asked me why I dont use any ready meals, and I could not believe they asked me. I have done things in an OS way long before this site. WHy anyone wants to ...waste their tasteless pap...not know precisely what they are eating...get fat and too much salt...poison their kids and get them into bad habits... and so WAY beyond me!
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • Sarahsaver
    Sarahsaver Posts: 8,390 Forumite
    Use it up first! That should be everyones' OS mantra.
    SO if you do not have quite the right ingredients for a recipe then adapt!
    Same as when I ran out of detergent I set to a big bar of soap with the cheese grater:) OMG that makes it sound like we ate soap... LOL
    THis week I know I will make a pork casserole as meat goes further when it's stewed rather than having a steak each. A friend commented on how my SC is always bubbling away when she comes round, and theirs is a fellow OS family too. Her OH sent her DD to the butcher for some meat saying £4 for the meat (freshly minced beef) and £10 for the holiday fund or £14 for a takeaway and no money saved for the holiday. Always have the 'bigger picture' in mind like this.
    I always have pasta, tinned tomatoes, risotto rice and tinned tuna in the cupboard, usually lentils or pulses too. There you have a pasta bake, a risotto (with garden herbs) and a curry or two, and tuna fishcakes if you have a sack of spuds;)
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
  • Psykicpup
    Psykicpup Posts: 1,398
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Do remember that Mr T will have offered this knowing you usually spend less than £75...............
    I would stock up on the stuff you cant get elsewhere - for me that would be cat food & litter in big sizes & also washing powder in big boxes
    I would really struggle to spend £75 tho I have to say
    Or does your local one have any of the outdoor furniture or electrical items - I noticed out local one had loads of garden furniture/ bbq stuff quite cheap so if I wanted to buy that sort of thing I would probably use the voucher to save money that way

    Do check out the 'month without supermarkets challenge' thread.....
    I THINK is a whole sentence, not a replacement for I Know

    Supermarket Rebel No 19:T
  • Queenie
    Queenie Posts: 8,793 Forumite
    Sarahsaver wrote: »
    Use it up first! That should be everyones' OS mantra.
    SO if you do not have quite the right ingredients for a recipe then adapt!
    Same as when I ran out of detergent I set to a big bar of soap with the cheese grater:) ...

    Agree on the use it up first ....

    ... I have used grated soap (especially the heals!) to make home made washing powder, but I would never use it for dish washing detergent!! The scent does permeate the dishes and trust me, drinking from a cup/mug that has been washing in bath soap solution *does* taste of soap!!!! Bit like swimming in a swimming pool that an old lady who has blathered herself in scent has swam in!!!

    Ounce for ounce, on a moneysaving initiative, you'd be better cleaning your dishes in Stardrops or even, at a push, soda crystals rather than grated bath soap, Sarahsaver.

    Also, if you intend using your cheese grater for grating soaps ... use an old one and don't re-use it to grate cheese with. Bath soap contains lye (hence it stings the eyes!) and you wouldn't want any residue on your Welsh Rarebits ;) :shhh:

    Risotto rice (sorry, I hate to contradict, but we are talking MSE :o ) is expensive; basmati rice or even ordinary long grain rice can double as risotto rice! You may not get the creamy texture of risotto rice, nor the al dente core, but it is a moneysaving alternative to the more expensive risotto rice and as you can also make a sweet rice pudding with basmati rice, would work out more flexible and thus more cost effective in the long run ... as you say Sarahsaver ... "have the bigger picture in mind" and keep the risotto rice for dinner parties/entertaining! ;):D
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
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