Sometimes life isn’t all you would want it to be. You all know by now that my life tends to be a series of mishaps where things just seem to happen, but now and again, I have to stop and think about all the important things that do matter. As much as I like a giggle and to get a bargain and have some banter, the last few weeks have made me look at things in a different way. Since her husband left her and the children, a very close friend of mine, Jayne, has had to make some major changes in her life to allow for this. And she turned to me to try and help her out.
Her major problem is now lack of money. She had been used to having a certain standard of living whereby she could pretty much buy what she wanted from the supermarket without needing to look at the price. If she or the children fancied something then it went into the trolley. But that has now all changed. Her hubby is dragging his feet on paying anything towards the bills or the children and the fact that he has quickly found himself a new partner doesn’t help either.
The best way I have of showing someone how to shop wisely is to go with them to the supermarket, see what they like and then see ways in which we can compromise on cost but not quality. The first thing I needed to do for Jayne was to stop her from shopping at her usual haunts of Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and introduce her to the delights of Aldi, Lidl and Heron and Farmfoods for frozen goods.
She was surprised to learn that these stores sell branded goods and often at a far cheaper price than the major supermarkets. She had thought it was all own label and unheard of stuff. Before we walked around Aldi, we spent some time at her house, me with my notepad and pen at the ready, taking note of the kind of meals she usually cooks for the children. It’s not until you stop and think that you realise how much a lot of people rely on convenience foods. For example, her girls love pasta and sauce and Jayne would generally buy Dolmio for speed.
“No more of that,” I said. “I’ll show you how to make your own home-made sauce which is just as quick as heating up a jar.” “The girls also adore chicken nuggets,” Jayne said. “And I only buy the expensive ones because you don’t know what’s in the cheap ones, do you?”
I continued scribbling and making notes of meals which would be easy for her to make, (she’s not the world’s greatest cook,) and also cheaper than buying ready-made. “C’mon then, let’s get this done while the girls are in school,” I said. Just then there was a knock at the door. It was only the hunky postman with a recorded delivery letter for Jayne. I nudged her and said, “Go answer it, he’s gorgeous!”
She came back in the kitchen with tears in her eyes and a letter in her trembling hand. “It’s divorce papers,” she whispered. “Now what do I do?”
Tune into the next instalment to discover some cheap and easy recipes I suggested, and see what happened next with the postman!