The Thrifty Dieter’s Thrifty Bargains & Savings – 20 July 2017

What Thrifty Bargains are out there this week (20th July 2017)?

(I’ve not received any kind of kick back, or promise of goods from any of the suppliers linked to in this post).

So a walk around town has highlighted a number of savings for the thrifty Food Optimiser.


Tesco have (relatively) recently gotten in on the cheap fruit & veg offer cycle.  The current one as of writing includes:

  • Little Gem Lettuce (2 in a pack)
  • Nectarine
  • Peaches
  • Plums

All for 49p a pack.

There’s not much you can do with little gem beyond serving it as part of a salad – the only alternative I can think of is to use individual leaves as a “cup” or “wrap” for putting in something else. Maybe some cottage cheese, or a low-fat cream cheese  – without or without added extras mixed into it. Make a small bowl of tuna & mayonnaise (or low syn/syn free alternative) as serve inside the leaves.

Nectarines, peaches and plums – always good to have fruit around. The only thing I can think of with the plums and maybe the peaches/nectarine would be in a low syn clafoutis style dish – but then you’d also have to syn the fruit of course as its been cooked.

Tesco also has the Kingsmill Wholemeal Sandwich thins at 20p off – 75p (for a pack of 6) instead of 95p.  Useful for a bacon butty and just about the right size for one of the Iceland/Slimming World burgers.


Good news and bad news at the same time – at least my local Tesco has Post Grape-nuts at a reduced price of £2.39 a box (usually £2.99 a box).

Good for the wallet. However the bad news is that they’re also marked up as “reduced to clear”.  This could be that they are being discontinued or it could be clearing stock before a new batch/recipe comes in.  We’ll have to wait and see (and your local store may vary). Thankfully no such sign (at the moment) at the local Waitrose – so still plenty to come (even at £2.99 a box).

Now, at that kind of price – it may not sound particularly “thrifty”. However – the box is 580g of Grape-nuts; the Healthy Extra B allowance is 40g – 14.5 servings or 16p a serving (at Tesco’s reduced price). That sells it for me.

I’ve been asked so many times – “what can I use these for?”. Beyond having with milk and some fruit that is.  There’s always the overnight oats recipe but using grape-nuts instead of oats.  Or as a topping for a yogurt/fruit mix. My favourite however is grape-nut pudding – and I’ll post the recipe for that in the next few weeks.

Tesco and Waitrose both have offers on these little beauties too:

Fibre one bars

there’s also a salted caramel flavour as well as the chocolate brownie and lemon drizzle ones shown above.  Tesco have them at half price £1.44 a box (instead of £2.88) and Waitrose has them on offer of “Buy two for £4.50).  (I’ve included them in the Tesco section of this write up as that’s the better bargain in my opinion).

4 syns a bar, and 5 syns to a box – personally as much as I like them – I can rarely justify the full price – however I may have to treat myself to a box at the weekend at Tesco’s prices.  Can be served warmed up I believe – but my boxes never last long enough to get anywhere near a microwave.

And now onto our next stop.


Apart from the Fibre One bars listed above, Waitrose currently has offers on their own brand Quark tubs – 70p for 250g and £1.25 for the 500g tubs.  The 250g tub at 70p makes it the cheapest Quark around here – even beating Aldi (theirs are 75p).

They also have Babybel light 6 packs at £1.26 (instead of £1.89) – 3 for a Healthy Extra A allowance. Which comes in handy for keeping the cheese monster at bay.


So today was the launch of the new “Super 6” offerings at Aldi.

  • Chestnut Mushrooms
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mini Peppers
  • Passion Fruit

All at 69p a pack

  • Coconut at 59p each.

I’m not going to even mention the coconut again – it’s not a free food regardless of which parts you use and just not something I’d use in my repertoire of recipes. But if you do, please share in the comments.

Lemons and Limes

These fruits both hold the distinction for the Food Optimiser that they are the only fruits where we can cook, blend or juice without adding syns to the dish.  Great flavouring agents in Quark, over fish, or just chopped up and left to sit in a jar of water in the fridge. Or just in time for the lemon cheesecake recipe I posted a few days ago.

Passion Fruit

I love passion fruit. Though it’s usually priced just outside what I’m willing to spend – I know Tesco has/had them on offer at £1 a pack of 3 instead of £1.25, but that’s still 33p a fruit and depending on how many seeds are in the fruit – it might not be that big an amount (and there’s no way of knowing till you cut into it).  Aldi did last week have them at 89p for a pack of three and now have knocked a further 20p off the pack.  They’re tasty, and make a great topping on breakfast cereals or on top of a rice pudding. They do however when you first cut them open and scrape the insides out resemble something akin to a oddly coloured frog spawn.

The one thing to say about any supermarket passion fruit is that when it’s sold (even when it’s been reduced as it’s past it’s sell by date) it’s more often or not not ripe yet.  Your typical supermarket passion fruit is as “smooth as a baby’s bottom”. A ripe passion fruit is wrinkled and pitted.  (I’d include photos but even the passion fruit I brought last week haven’t ripened yet). Great for being thrifty though.


Boring blighters really when on their own. But great to add further speed to the plate, or to bulk out other meals.  I do find that chestnut mushrooms seem to stand up to being roasted better than plain white mushrooms, and my preference is for chestnut mushrooms (as I do roast a lot of mushrooms) but they usually come at a price premium (as well as in slightly smaller packs).

However did you know that your standard white field mushroom and your chestnut mushroom are the same species of fungus – along with the large flat field mushrooms)? Just grown differently and picked at different stages of growth.

Mini peppers

Yummy.  So many options too:

  • Raw in a salad
  • Raw out of the pack as a go-to snack
  • Stuffed with cream cheese (counting the syns of course) and eaten raw, or cooked.
  • Simply topped and deseeded before roasting – or possibly roast them whole (never tried that).

And I’m sure there’s other ways of eating them too.

Have I missed any other super bargains off the list (I have to admit that these are the ones that caught my eye on the tour of the shops immediately in the area – we don’t have an Asda or Sainsbury, etc, near here)? Or do you have any favourite ways of using the above?  Leave a comment and lets spread the word about these thrifty bargains that are out there.



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