Friday, 25 April 2014

In Praise of Blue and Yellow!

I'm not one for 'getting on Band Waggons' ~ in-fact I have a healthy distrust of many ~ but in early January I joined the discount shopping brigade.  I'd just got to a point where I felt that our household bills were way too expensive and we had to take some kind of radical action. We have a 'Blue and Yellow' store about two miles up the road from here.  There's a large car park (free) and it's just off the bypass in our local town.  If we get off the motorway one junction earlier, we can pop in on our way home.  It's not only cheap, it's convenient.

It was easy to see that we were going to save money, but I decided to monitor exactly how much.  For the last three months I've logged our savings against a calculated average weekly spend from the Autumn.  I've filled pages of my accounts book with everything we've spent (OCD!!!).  I've included house-hold items from the 'W' store, "top up shops" from anywhere and the occasional trip to our original food store to pick up special items.

I think our diet has improved in the last few months, largely because fruit and fresh veg were really expensive at our previous store.  It is a different type of shopping experience.... but it's funny how quickly I've got used to things costing less!

Anyway, the rolling savings total is already looking extremely healthy.  Once I'd added the lower winter fuel bills resulting from our mild winter, the total is bordering on the embarrassing!  Why did I continue to pay so much to these other stores for so long......  Mark (who is a great believer in 'designated savings funds') suggested at the beginning of the experiment that we should put the money into a pot for our 50th Birthday celebrations.  We are 48 later this year so that's going to be MONTHS of savings.  I'm not sure he realises quite how much money that might represent!  Oh well..!! 

The funny thing is that I can't persuade my family to try out the store.  My sister is completely loyal to 'T****' and my parents can't be separated from 'S*********'.  In the meanwhile, I'm a complete convert!!!

What are your top food-shopping tips?


  1. Sounds like the 50th birthday celebrations will be quite the bash :)

  2. I can well imagine your birthday celebrations are going to be quite luxurious. Why do I feel pretty sure about that it is because since my husband took early retirement and he sees to the shopping our weekly food-shopping expenses has dropped considerably. In fact like yourself we were quite amazed at the difference. He knows where to shop where you can get the bargains but quality at the same time. It all boils down to having time to do it of course.

    keep well

    Amanda x

  3. Our shopping habits have changed over the last year or so and we certainly use 'the blue and yellow' place more often now. I was listening to a retail analyst on the news who said that people were shopping around more especially at the budget supermarkets and using places like W/rose and M&S for special treats which is exactly what we do - if we get special offers of money off we use the other two big names (T or S) espeically for cat food and lit as we prefer it from there than from the cheaper place:)

  4. I have to say we are completely spoiled with two very good farm shops within easy walking distance of the cottage. We go once a month to top up on meat from the butchery and I have at last after 14 years managed to persuade to online shop. We now make a list of necessities and he has to stick to it otherwise if he started looking at the BOGOF offers then the amount would spiral again which was what used to happen when he visited the store in person and ended up bringing back things you didn't know you needed until he saw them. It has reduced our expenditure as at one time he was still spending the same amount as we used to spend when the big kids were still at home which is ridiculous when there is now only me, D and number 3 at home. Like you say there are savings to be made if you know a) where to look and b) stick to the list. Have a great weekend.

  5. I'm with you on this Jan and do notice quite a difference in my food bills. The only down side is that if I like a particular brand of say, coffee, tea, washing powder etc then we have to scuttle over to the regular supermarket which in effect means I then spend more because I don't just stop at those particular items!
    Patricia x

  6. Good for you. We have some lower priced stores here called Aldi's. We try to go once a month and stock up on things that we like from that store. Our little local stores are getting so high...especially meat and dairy. Now, if my husband would eat like a vegetarian...we could really save money. But, being an old meat cutter....if there isn't meat on his isn't a meal.
    How's your spring going? We are finally crawling out of the cold.
    Have a great weekend,

  7. We've changed our shopping habits too - I only wish I had thought to log all the savings though. I must start doing this, for I know that it will make it even more fun as I try to out-shop myself and enjoy the savings. Amanda is right, it does take more time - but now that George and I are retired, what else would we do with our time? (Ha!)

  8. Now that we no longer have a car the discount supermarkets are very difficult to get to, as neither is directly on a bus route :(
    I hope you plan something wonderful to celebrate your 50th birthdays.

  9. It sounds like you're making some considerable savings, you're 50th birthday celebrations are going to be huge.

  10. Sounds as if you two have got your heads screwed on right! I think most of us would probably be surprised how much we could save. I tend to go to S********'s who I think have to be one of the most expensive but its for convenience more than anything.We really should start writing down how much we spend and then try a few months at the discount shops.