Saturday, 3 August 2013

Value range shopping

I went to Asda today to find some school shirts for the YFG and to do our bit for our most local food bank.

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 I pushed a trolley around the store, and inserted a basket into it, so I put the donations in the basket for ease of packing them separately at the checkout.  I have to say that I was very pleased to have a chat with one of the volunteers, who told me that there is a new food bank in the process of being opened in the town closer to us.  The one I donated to today is just for the folk of that northern Fen town.  This does seem to be a little issue with the food banks in that they perhaps only support the people of the town that they are in, whereas their donations may come from further afield, but they would be challenged to support all the little villages like us as well.  But we are probably too small to run our own........catch 22 I think.

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The Trussell Trust seems to be doing an amazing job helping communities to set up local food banks; the shame is that they are necessary in this day and age, as so many of us have already said.

So, I bought lots of bits and pieces. The volunteers were handing out lists, asking people to consider donating items from the list.  I had also had a look on their local website where they tell people what they are particularly short of in this area, so I varied it a little, and used some of Jack's suggestions, too.

I bought Asda own-brand STs (£1.80) because if you have no money for food, you may be in need of those too!  A packet of biscuits [40p], a three for £1 offer on some sweets, two sachets of make-it-with-hot-water custard [30p], chicken noodles [11p], pasta [32p], a tin of meatballs [40p], coffee [47p], UHT milk [53p], tinned tomatoes [31p], jam [29p], squash [42p], peanut butter [62p], fish paste [48p], sugar [88p], jar of pasta sauce [39p], tin rice pud [50p] and tea bags [27p].

I was very pleased at how much I managed to get for just under a tenner - this lot came to £9.49, which I was happy to spend as I have never donated to a food bank like this before and wanted to do what I could.  The website list had also asked for nappies, but I had a look and there are so many sizes and kinds that I left well alone, not having a clue which would be the most useful size to buy.

I did have a twinge of guilt when I was looking at the pasta in particular and I was putting two packs of conchiglie pasta in my part of the trolley and yet picking up smart price penne for the donation basket.  I still have that twinge - if smart price is good enough for the people who are going to receive the donation, why isn't it good enough for us?  Well, the honest answer is that it is, in many cases; we do buy a lot of items from the value ranges in all the supermarkets, and I have no qualms about shopping at Lidl either.  Today, I bought most items in the value range because I wanted to get as much as I could for the amount I could afford to spend, and that is the bottom line.  If my children were hungry and I was desperate for food for them, I would be glad of anything as long as there was enough to fill their bellies and let them sleep soundly.

I hope that the food banks have had their shelves re-stocked in abundance today.


Frugal Queen said...

we went to asda in estover in Plymouth, I took my budget and just bought as much jam, peanut butter, sardines and corned beef as I could - we all need more than beans xx

Lesley said...

Some local charities have just opened a food bank in our town. I am hoping to get involved in some way if I can. I think it was very sensible to get the value ranges if that means more food is given away! I think it would be useful if food banks could offer cookery advice as well, or direct people to useful information.

Morgan said...

The cookery advice is a great point, Lesley. Have to admit to being rather disappointed to see Jack Monroe's book of very cheap recipes on Amazon to pre-order for over £11! The very people who need that book won't be able to afford it, so I do hope that the libraries buy several copies in each area.