Sunday, June 22, 2008

Penny Pinching

I am still grappling with the fact that the £££ is not in favor of the $$$. I checked my online bank statement and discovered everytime I pull out £20 from the ATM, it converts to a whopping $38!!! And on top of that, I get charged a $5 foreign currency conversion fee! UGH!!!

Finances have put me into a panic. Granted, I have a lot of savings but I don't want to touch that account and just want to spend what I have in my checking account. My parents call and ask if I need "help" but I reluctantly say no because I'm a big girl now and it's pathetic for a 35 year old mooching off her parents for money.

I have expressed this concern to Craig and we've come up with the solution that we should try to cut back on our grocery shopping as much as we can and not to exceed £50 per week. He has been fortunate enough to have a gourmet cook and a SF food snob boot, so cutting back on the food front is going to be quite difficult for me as I hate processed food and everything must be fresh and made from scratch from the finest ingredients.

So we've devised a weekly menu which alternates meats and veggie entrees. Knowing what we're going to cook for the whole week comes in handy with a shopping list. Where we stick to those ingredients for the menu only and not exceed the £50 mark.

Yesterday we scoped the various shops in the middle of a monsoon welcoming us into the first day of summer. Other than the Centra around the corner from our house, where I get our missing odds and ends, we looked for other stores that would give us more bang for our buck (er...quid).

Spar on the Malone Road: More or less same prices as Centra. Better selection of meats. Open 24 hours.

Coop Superstore on Lisburn Road: Supermarket that sells locally produce items. Not that great of a selection and no bargains to be found here

Tesco on Lisburn Road: In the end, Tesco won. They have anything you could ever want. Wide selection of produce. Bargains galore. As a bonus we get an extra 10% discount because Craig works for them. So Tesco it is! The negative is that they don't have a great meat selection and it is pricey so we'll just go to St. George's Market on Friday or Saturday for our carnivorous cravings.

AND! We hit the £50 mark with all this loot! Woohoo!!!...

Oh I forgot to mention...I found this great online site which compares prices of supermarkets in your local area. Just fill your shopping cart and it will tell you which store has the most bargain. You can swap for alternative products to save you even more money and you can send your shopping list to the supermarket so they can deliver at your home! Delivery fees vary on day and time. It breaks even if you take a taxi back from the store.

You can find it at Check it out!

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