Posts Tagged ‘asda’

Pet Health

I’m currently battling the dreaded lurgy and went into Asda yesterday to stock up on Beechams cold tablets, which they’ve got on offer – only to discover that they’ve currently got a lot more on offer…

They’re running a “Pet Health” campaign in association with the PDSA and as part of the campaign, they’ve put on some great deals for pet food and treats. The dogs will be getting a break from the cheapy cheap dog biscuits as I got a 17kg sack of Wagg biscuits for just £7 and a 12 pack of Butchers tins for £3! Midge has eaten Wag before so I’m hoping she’ll tuck in to the biscuits – if not, Snipe will have to munch her way through 17kg on her own! Actually, a lot more than that as I’ll going to get some more sacks as the offer’s on until 25 January. They absolutely love the Chubb sausage things I give them so I’ll mix and match the tins in between the sausages. I also got some rawhide chews for a pound per pack of 4, which is pretty good value.

There didn’t seem to be much for the cats, although that could just be because yesterday was the first day of the offer. I did pick up a 12 pack of Whiskas for £4, which is a huge relief as Asda’s own brand tins have recently shot up to £2.75 for a 6 pack so t’s not been looking good. Unfortunately, I’m never going to get the cats back onto the non-branded tins again… At the same time they put up the price of their tins, Asda put Felix tins on offer (2 for £4) and now they’ve got Whiskas!

Yup, I’m definitely going to bulk buy!

Running around

By the time I arrived at the farm this morning, I felt as though I’d already done a full day’s work!

  • 6am – alarm goes off. Dogs get excited, jump arund bedroom, get cats excited so they join in. Can’t find phone, so alarm carries on long enough to wake B up. B has been off work for two days as she’s not been well so wasn’t impressed with the early wake up call…
  • 6.05 – start the morning routine, letting dogs out, making coffee, brush teeth etc.
  • 7.11 – suddenly realise it’s time to leave the house as B’s on the open and needs to be at the store by 7.30. Only thing is, we’re somehow running very late.
  • 7.12 – abandon B to get my bag ready and head off to collect fruit and veg. Only thing is, there was a frost last night and the car is hidden below a thick layer of ice…
  • 7.18 – head back indoors, having finally finished scraping off the ice. Will drop B off and then go back to get fruit and veg. Notice that cats are out of biscuits and there’s no more in the cupboard…
  • 7.30 – drop B off (on time!), realise I’ve left my phone at home so will have to go home to get it as B needs to text me the time she’s finishing so I can pick her up. Decide to go to Asda to get cat biscuits and then go home after I’ve been to the greengrocer’s to feed the darlings and get my phone. Forget to fill up as I pass my usual petrol station (ie have just got in the wrong lane and there’s no way of turning back), Asda is 1p more expensive so make a snap decision to return to the usual one when I pass it again en route to the farm.

I lost track of time from then on but the rest of the morning went like this:

  • Get the cat biscuits and see they still have Felix tins on offer (2 6packs for £4!) so pick them up as well.
  • Drive to the greengrocer’s and get the fruit and veg for the pigs.
  • Go home, fill up cat biscuits, decide to refill my travel mug with yet more coffee, leave the house.
  • Go to the petrol station, enjoy filling up for 96.9p
  • Get onto dual carriageway and realise that my phone is still at home. Bugger…
  • Decide to pop into Tesco as Snipe’s running low on complete biscuits and Midge recently cleaned her bowl three days in a row having been fed their Value biscuits… At 46p per kg instead of her usual brand at 98p per kg, I’m happy to shop at Tesco! Buy two bags of the biscuits and get a couple of bags for the cats while I’m at it.
  • Leave the car park and see that they’re doing diesel for 94.9p. Swear the whole way to the farm…
  • Farm covered by a thick and hard frost. Am late and its the pigs’ turn to swear.
  • Get them fed and change their water, am forced to use the heel of my wellie to break the ice on their water bowls!
  • Do the chickens, swear at Flint who managed to knock over their jug of corn. Leave happy chickens eating corn off the frozen grass instead of from their hopper…
  • Indoors for a well deserved coffee!

How’s your day been?!

Grumpy animals!

The dogs and cats are all sulking because they’ve had their food rations decreased. And when I say sulk, I mean sulk.

I tried the dogs on a Chubb sausage thing and they devoured it. Even Snipe, who is a typical Labrador and just gulps down her food without pausing to chew, delicately picks out the Chubb from her bowl before eating the biscuits. And I thought Midge was going to wet herself with pleasure!

But 800g of Chubb seems a lot more than 800g of tinned dog food so because they get their proper requirements from the complete biscuits and the meat is just a luxury, instead of halving it and feeding it over two days, I’ve cut it in three. They know they’ve been cheated!

The cats, however, are insisting they’re much worse off but they can blame Asda for their ration. On Monday, I discovered that instead of getting a 2.5% VAT reduction on the cat food, I instead paid 21p more than the previous week. The sneaky bastards put the price up from £1.98 to £2.23 but you pay £2.19 at the till and when I pointed this out to the store supervisor, he tried to insist I was getting a good deal!

Again, they get all their nutritional requirements from their biscuits (which are kept topped up at all times) so we’ve decided that since Queenie and Horatio generally get bored after eating a few mouthfuls but Mac munches his way through the rest, we’ll give them just half a tin each day. We cut them down slowly so at first they failed to notice the difference but now …. let’s just say it ain’t pretty! They all devour the complete contents of their bowl as soon as it’s put down and spend the next fifteen minutes wrapping themselves around my legs, insisting they’re all still hungry. No, just greedy. They did the same thing when Queenie decided she would eat the shop’s own cat food and not exclusively Whiskers so the boys went from a tin between the pair of them to a tin between all three cats. As I said, they’ve got biscuits whenever they want them and I’ve got bills to pay!

Tia and Scrumpy are also getting less food than they’re accustomed to but after the events of yesterday, they’re getting a whole post to themselves which I will endeavour to write and publish today. Possibly with photos!

Cheeky b^st^ards!

Following on from yesterday’s ramble re: the price of dog food, I just noticed that Snipe’s dog biscuits only lasted 6 days instead of having a little bit left over after a week.

It turns out that Stonehead was right – supermarkets are tricky and sneaky and you need to be on the alert at all times as they can and do use all sort of dirty tactics to squeeze every last penny from you without you even noticing.

I’ve been feeding Snipe ASDA’s SmartPrice complete biscuits. When I moved down here in August, they were 97p for a 2.5kg bag. Then the price dropped to 95p and I thought it was a real bargain, especially with everything else going up in price.

But I just checked the packaging and the reason it went down in price last month is because it somehow lost half a kilo. It’s now 95p for a 2kg bag!


On the plus side (there isn’t one, I’m just trying to write a post that has a bit of the upside in it as well as the down, so I mean the plus side of life, not ASDA) Midge has just eaten half a cup of the SmartPrice biscuits mixed in with half a cup of her Webbox ones so it looks as though I can get away with reducing the cost of feeding her 🙂 If I’ve got to get two bags of the SP biscuits every week, I might as well put them to good use.

Oh, and the cheap tins include a lot of gravy to bring the weight of the meat up so it’s a bit of a rip off but one that I can live with. If anyone ever sees dog tins (400g) priced individually for 24p or less or a 6 pack for £1.44 or less, let me know!

Just remember – be on your toes when you’re in the supermarket as they really are sneaky!

Give the dog a bone

I wonder how many poor dogs and cats who think they’re loved and adored by their owners, will be dumped this winter? I ask because the cost of pet food has taken a sharp increase in recent weeks – and this never bodes well for our four-legged friends. It’s different for livestock – if the cost of feeding gets too much, then reverse the situation and let them feed us but when it comes to our pets, we abandon them when the going gets tough, even though they’d follow us to hell and back.

Snipe, being a Labrador, is happy with whatever food comes her way so I feed her on Asda SmartPrice complete dog biscuits (at 95p for a 2.5kg bag, can you blame me?!) but Midge is extremely fussy and would much prefer things if she never had to eat a biscuit in her life. But she will eat both the Webbox and the Wagg biscuits which are twice the price of Snipe’s but as she eats less, one bag lasts her longer. And each day they share a tin of Asda’s complete dog food, which is £1.79 for a six pack. On Sundays, they get treated to a tin of Pedigree between them.

The cats get complete biscuits whenever they want them – there’s a bowl in the kitchen that we keep topped up at all times so they can help themselves when they’re hungry. None of them are fat so this system obviously works for them. We’re really lucky that they’re not fussy when it comes to their biscuits, so I get to buy whatever seems to be good value, just to vary things a bit for them. We used to get an excellent sack of biscuits from the farm shop but they came in 25kg bags and just one flavour – after they’d eaten 100kg, they started to get somewhat bored!

However, whilst they’re happy to eat whatever biscuits come their way, Queenie is quite fussy when it comes to her tinned meat. For months, we had to buy Whiskers for her and the shop’s own brand for the boys (who are well trained and if it’s in front of them, they’ll eat it!) but we eventually persuaded her to try a shop brand and so long as it gets varied (and isn’t supermeat), she’ll grudgingly tuck in to the cheaper tins! Like the dogs, the cats get a “posh” brand on Sunday – usually Whiskers or Go-Cat. Unlike the dogs, they sulk every Monday because they expect their treat to carry on!

Having said all that, I’m looking again at how we feed the dogs and cats, as the prices have gone up quite alarmingly in just a short space of time. Asda’s dog tins were £1.79 for a six pack, but are now £1.98. The SmartPrice dog food is still 95p but Midge’s Wagg biscuits have gone up from £1.98 for a 2.5kg bag to £2.19. Luckily, the Webbox are still at £1.98 but I think I’ll have to try her again on Snipe’s cheapo biscuits. And I’ve not bought them their usual tins this week. Asda have got 1.2kg tins so I’ve bought one of those to try. The theory is that I use one 400g tin a day for both dogs so a tin three times the size will last three days. Price-wise, it’s great – 74p per tin so the saving for six days amounts to 60p… It might not seem like much, but remember that this saving pays for two thirds of Snipe’s biscuits!

I opened the tin yesterday and the dogs didn’t object to their new meat, which is good news. The only hassle is putting two thirds of the tin in two containers and then getting to the bottom of the tin for that day’s food. Why they have to make these big tins tall and narrow is beyond me – short and wide would make much more sense, especially when you don’t want to smear dog meat gravy all over your hand!

The other way of feeding them, which would be even cheaper, would be using the Chubb sausage things. I hate them and they look vile but I know the dogs like them. There are just two things putting me off that idea. Firstly, it’s not a complete food, just complementary. I don’t know what, if any, difference this makes, but I’d rather feed them the complete food, if only because I don’t know when Midge will next refuse to eat! She’ll always eat the meat, even if she refuses the biscuits and I don’t want her to miss out on the necessary nutrients just for the sake of a few pennies. The other thing is that I’d only need three a week but Asda only sell them in multipacks of 8 so the savings would be monthly, but I get paid weekly which just makes it a bit of a pain!

The other obvious thing to cut the costs would be to stop feeding them all their Sunday “treat”. We only started this at mum’s because we all enjoyed excellent food on a Sunday, especially our roast dinners after we put the pigs in the freezer, so why not let the animals enjoy some food treats as well?

We could always give them milk or something to continue the tradition, there’s plenty of things they’d enjoy as a treat but the annoying thing is that the cat tins come in packs of six – but there are seven days in a week…


This post has turned into a rather lengthy (and, I fear, extremely dull) ramble about what I feed my dogs and cats but the original point was meant to be this:

People get rid of their pets when the going gets tough (I won’t dwell on the methods) but the PDSA have announced that according to their figures,

around 30 per cent of the nation’s dogs are overweight or obese – that’s around 1.95 million fat dogs across the UK!

Surely, then, if the owners of these dogs (and cats) cut down their food intake, they’d save money and our nations pets won’t be dumped because they cost “too much” to feed?! There are ways to save money when it comes to your pet’s grub – and without compromising their health.

Not as young as my teeth…

… but they feel one hell of a lot older than me right now! For almost a week now, I’ve had a constant, nagging toothache that has every so often stretched all the way from my temple down to my neck, detouring to include my eye and ear. Needless to say, I have not been a happy bunny, so my apologies to anyone who has been caught the sharp end of a particularly throbbing moment!

I have tried several means of beating the pain down, from ibuprofen to (and I can’t believe I did this, yuchy yuchersome yuch yuch) lemsip. Then B suggested getting some soluble paracetamol and gargling that around the affected area. Asda didn’t have any paracetamol but they did have asprin for 24p so I’ve been gargling that since yesterday morning (not the same glass, you understand) and lo and behold, it seems to be doing the trick. So long as I drop another couple in a glass every six hours or so, all is good. Huzzah!

I’ve got an appointment with my NHS dentist in November so will hang on til then as I don’t fancy trying to find an earlier appointment anywhere else. I mean, where else is there?!

Pound shop prices

Huh, I am officially unimpressed. I needed some buckets so popped down to my local pound shop and bought 3 buckets for £1.29 each. Not even worth thinking about. But last night I popped into Asda and guess what…. They’re selling buckets for 75p each.

You normally can’t beat the pound shop for their prices on such items. Very much not impressed. Hence the blog post about something so boring. My apologies! You may return to your Saturday 🙂

The cost of living

Before moving to south Wales, both B and I worked in a supermarket, which not only meant we were eligible for the staff discount, we were also in the right place at the right time to stock up on the reduced to clear items, from bread to veg, that were being sold off at silly prices to avoid dumping them in the skip (and, for the record, in defence of supermarket staff across the country, we were only allowed to shop in our time, so could only make said purchases on our breaks). These two things, combined with the fact that we put two large pigs in the freezer and our hens were on a daily egg-laying frenzy, meant that we lived relatively cheaply.

As a result, while I knew that the cost of living has risen drastically in the past year, I wasn’t expecting the shopping bill to be as high as it has been. And the scary thing is that we don’t eat the expensive stuff. Never have. There are a few items where we pick the branded item out of personal preference, but on the whole, we can’t actually tell the difference so buy the cheapy-cheapy stuff as a matter of routine. Which means that we don’t really have anywhere to cut our costs.

So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying Lidl and Aldi and I have to say that they really aren’t that much cheaper that Asda, which is where we normally shop. Aldi certainly isn’t cheap (I was quite taken aback by their prices, I must admit) and while Lidl is great for the cupboard items (flour, herbs etc) and offers fantastic value on items you can’t really get anywhere else, I haven’t found it to be that competitive and for the sake of just a few quid, I’d rather have the range of products on offer in a supermarket like Asda. Especially as I’d have to go there anyway, as they do the cheapest dog food I’ve ever come across. 95p for a 2kg sack of complete dog biscuits! A bargain!

Ok, there are things we could do to reduce our costs – it just means that quality will have to take second place. I hate that, but what choice is there? Bye bye fresh veg and meat, hello frozen…

Next year should be a bit different, as I intend to have a garden full of fresh produce, which should cut costs for a good long while – especially if I can find a way to store a lot of it for winter. Not counting the potential for jams etc!

But, that’s then and this is now and I wish I could understand why healthy living costs more than crap.

Moving on …

How is it that we’re still in the situation where if you are on a metre, you get charged more than if you had free access? Our rented flat has both electricity and gas on a metre and the costs are appalling. We barely use the gas – the boiler’s switched off unless we need hot water for washing up, we don’t cook long elaborate meals (see above)I frequently get in the bath after B, and the heating isn’t on. What the hell we’re going to do when we need the heating is not something I like to think about but tomorrow’s October, so that time approaches fast.

So why the hell do they get away with charging us more for exactly the same product?

What really irritates me is the knowledge that if we were in a position where we could afford our own home, our living costs would be greatly reduced. I wouldn’t have to drive back and forth everyday to do the pigs and chickens so my fuel bill would be negligible. We wouldn’t have a metre. We could install a log burner (and an open fire!!) to reduce our heating bills. I’d definitely invest in going off the grid when it comes to water. We would pay less each month for a mortgage than our rent. I’d be home all day so I could do useful things like bake my own bread, make loads of stews and soups for the freezer…

But, sadly, that’s a pipe dream and a post for another day (there’s one brewing, I can feel it).