Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

rant 1 : advice from the Guardian

I spotted the advice blazoned on the front of yesterday's G2. buy lentils in bulk it said. Something in the subtitle suggested that it was a great way to save money, and I am sorry, internets, but I read the article. So you don't have to, here's a snippet:

"Make your own ice cream, it's a doddle. Invest in a mincing machine as an attachment to a food processor, and turn the leftover roast lamb into a base for shepherd's pie. While you're at it, invest in a sausage stuffer and ask your butcher for some sausage skins when you buy the pork."

That's right, people, the best way to save money on food is to invest in pointless kit you can feel guilty about not using, as you zap yet another packet of pre-prepared coriander mash (one of your five a day!) in the microwave. Never mind the entire lifestyle encoded in the phrase "ask your butcher".

Tip one, is (predictably enough) "avoid your supermarket". Sorry, but bollocks. If you want to make a meal for under a quid, Tescos is your friend. Especially if you want that meal to be something different the next day, tescos is your friend. When Tescos first came to our local town (I grew up in rural England) I remember the dizzying sense of liberation. No more attempting to wheedle a few pounds of scrag end of neck out of a butcher who knew you were too poor to bother with and too old to flirt with, no more taking whatever the greengrocer brought you that week any more. Choice, stock and products available for a reliable price. Thank you Tesco. I still remember with fondness my first non gingham shop-bought summer dress.

Tip four is where the lentils come in. Because they want you to bulk buy non-perishables. "In our house we bulk-buy rice in seven kilo bags," snoots one of their commentators. well, good for you, mate. In my kitchen there is no space to keep a seven kilo bag of anything, and the damp, anty, mouldy atmosphere reduces non-perishable to perishable within months, sometimes weeks. Trust me, I've tried, and paid in flour beetles. Especially, don't bulk buy orange lentils. In two years time, you'll still have your pot of orange lentils at the back of the cupboard, because nothing wants to eat them. Especially not you.

There's plenty more, but they're too easy to knock down really. Mostly they come down to the great capitalist myths; save money by buying more stuff, or rigid planning avoids unnecessary expense or our grandparents knew this stuff instinctively.

But then, it is from the lifestyle supplement, and I have to go home now, and cook.

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