Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Books and Blogs - The Frugal Cook

Continuing from yesterdays post about frugality, I have a recommendation, particularly with Christmas coming up.

Typically for this time of year many books are being released, particularly in the cookery section. One book you may not be aware of is The Frugal Cook by Fiona Beckett.  As I said, there are other cook books out this season, one of which is Delia's reprise of her Frugal Food recipe book, and is a direct competitor for your pound this Christmas. While this is a good book, it is a re-release, and I would urge you to go for an original publishing.

The Frugal Cook is based on Fiona's blog of  the same name. I love the blog. It's on my RSS feed, and I read every article with interest. Fiona's writing is well thought out, her recipes concise, and her ideas inspiring. I also like the fact that if you comment on any of Fiona's articles, she will generally answer you personally. It is this accessibility that makes me a fan, and will see me buying her book (or getting someone to give it to me as a present) this Christmas.

Whether you get the book or read the blog, enjoy. It is time well spent.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Frugally Yours

Wow. Well, it's been quite a while since my last post. I unfortunately found that other things in my life needed to take priority above blogging, but I am going to have to get back into blogging as it was a great outlet both psychologically, and creatively.

And what better way to get back on the wagon than to tell you what I have been up to!

In the current financial climate the watchword seems to be "Frugal". Speaking personally, I am doing everything I can to lower my overall spending. One place Mrs. Mouse and I are boxing clever is with food shopping. This is an area fraught with pitfalls put there by supermarkets attempting to maximise their impact on your pocket. To counter this, we have taken a few measures which have saved us quite a bit of money.
Firstly, we do almost all of our vegetable shopping at the local market. Their prices are excellent, and we get a bit of exercise cycling to and from the market.
Secondly, we have moved down a pricing band, where possible, in our supermarket purchases. This is a common with most people - if you buy the premium brand, you move to the regular brand, etc.. The breadth of this I feel is shown by Tesco introducing a fourth tier of pricing with their "Discount Brands" which sits between regular and basics range.
Finally, we shop a bit later in the evening to get cut-price goods. This technique won't suit everyone, but it can mean you get some good breads for next to nothing, as well as cooked produce which needs to be sold that day. It does mean you have to be a bit flexible with your meal plans, but is also fun when you have an impromptu lounge picnic!

These three tips have helped us save quite a bit of money, and have fun doing it!