Thursday, 23 July 2015

Changing Food Habits

I used to blog a lot about Approved Foods and get all excited when my latest order arrived, photographing what I had just unpacked before cramming it into already full cupboards.

I had an email from Approved Foods the other day and just as I was about to delete it I decided to unsubscribe from the emails they send so regularly to stop them bouncing unwelcomed into my email box.   Then I had a sudden thought ... "I wonder if there is any money in my Friends Recommendations account", so I went over to check ..... and there was!!

A whole £16 to be exact, plus I had £6.97 of unused credit (I can't remember why I got that).  So while I was on the site I decided to spend this money.  I thought I would spend it wisely on things that we needed and things that would last.

Although why I thought we needed 5kg of Tagliatelle I have no idea!!

And it's in a HUGE box, the only place for it for the moment was on top of the larder unit, where it is now looking down at me very reproachfully.  If I sort out the gardening bits and pieces and kitchen stuff that is on the top shelf it will fit in thank goodness.

I started this post off with the paragraph  'I used to blog a lot about Approved Foods and get all excited when my latest order arrived, photographing what I had just unpacked before cramming it into already full cupboards.'  because while I was in the process of lining up all the food on the worktop, my heart was sinking.  It didn't look right, possibly because it didn't fit in with the way we eat now, too many wrappers and processed foods, too much colour that isn't in the form of home grown natural goodness, and ..... well just too much!!

Yes I have bought some treats, the crisps, the Twixes, the salted peanuts to sprinkle on Lovely Hubby's salad, the Poppodums that will go with the curry sauces that still linger in the kitchen cupboard.  There is nothing there that is not what we will at some point eat (and Lovely Hubby will love the cakes and custard), but seeing it all together it just looks so wrong.

The only thing I was even half way excited about opening was this, the 'Lucky Box'.  I couldn't resist adding one to my order.  

I loved 'Lucky Bags' when I was little, the big gaudy colourful paper bag that always contained a tiny toy, a few dried up almost inedible sweets and sometimes a mini comic.  Even as a child I knew these were not worth the large percentage of my spending money that it involved laying out to get one, but it was the unknown that you were paying for.  The surprise of purchasing something that you could run home with and slowly savour pulling out item after item that your hadn't chosen yourself.  The disappointment afterwards as you tried not to break your wobbly little teeth on the rock hard 'chew' did not outweigh the excitment you had felt on that ten minute journey home.

As it happens on this occasion I did quite well with my 'Lucky Box'.  For the outlay of just a single pound this is what I got.  a large bag of foreign crisps, reading the ingredients list  they appear to be cheese and onion flavour, the instant noodles will be handy to be added to soups, the drinks have gone straight into the fridge and no doubt will be consumed by Lovely Hubby when he comes in with a desperate thirst from working outside.  And the little pack of Dill dried herbs is actually the only herb I have missing from my collection that we do use.

If anyone is interested in what I bought and for how much this is the breakdown.

Hovis Flour 2 for £1 saving £2.40 - in date.

Sharwoods Plain Puppodums 9 packs for £2.97 saving £13.14 - in date

Lucky Box £1 - saving £3.99 - all bar one item in date

Cake Mix 6 for £1.98 saving£6.96 - just out of date

Ready Popped Popcorn 6 for £1 saving £1.10 - in date

5kg!! Tagliatelle £2.99 saving £4.00 - in date

Custard Mix 12 for £2 saving £2.80 - just out of date

Seabrook Crisps 18 for £3 saving £4.20 out of date

McCoys Crisps 10 for £2 saving £5.50 - just out of date

Nobby's Nuts 12 for £2 saving £6.40 - out of date

Twix 12 for £3.96 saving £3.24 - in date

So I 'spent' £16 worth of recommendation money,  £6.97 of unused credit and £6.92 cash and I got food (and drinks) to the value of £77.63.  Not a bad little shop.  It all fitted easily into the cupboards now that I don't store as much, but still I doubt I will be shopping with them again on a regular basis.

  From now on there will be no more money dropping into my Friends Recommended account to tempt me to spend with them because I have deleted the link to it.  If you want to shop with them yourself simply Google 'Approved Foods' and you will find them easily.  They are still a good site for so many people to use with good products at very good prices as you can see above,  and I do highly recommend their service. 

But things have changed a lot round here food wise.

Sue xx


  1. I haven't bought any approved foods for a while as I have been running down the stores ready for our move, I do like a treat now and then but I feel the same as you about processed foods.

  2. I looked in to approved foods but as we eat so much fresh food i found it hard to spend any money i dont do sauces i use stock cubes tinned tomatoes and herbs , we do eat crisps and chocolates but find aldi and lidl fine for them in fact i prefer lidl crisps to walkers we are also lucky that in the town we used to live in there is a shop that sells crisps sweets etc with nearly expired dates wich are cheaper than approved foods.

  3. Several people have said how good they find Approved Foods, but when I have been to their site, there is nothing that I would buy - I can either get it cheaper elsewhere or - mainly - it's not the sort of food I buy anyway. Like the above poster, I don't use sauces, but always try and cook from scratch. I have to say, I have never used a cake mix in my life so that sort of offer would be totally wasted on me! Still, you got a good haul for free, and nothing wrong with that.

  4. Our eating habits have also changed over the last year due to going dairy and gluten free. I do look on the website occasionally and did get an order of GF flour and treats the last time. But like many others I'm finding it cheaper to shop in places like Lidl and stick to Sainsbury's Basics to make fresh food from scratch much cheaper. But you do have to check and compare shelf prices for the best deals as even Basics products can be more expensive than own labels or Approved Foods

  5. I agree with the other comments. I have looked at their web site, and I could not bring myself to order so much junk. The only thing I do eat occasionally is noodles, and I can get them cheap at a local cash and carry. I have a treat of crisps and chocolate, but I could not have that much lying around in my house. I buy those treats one at a time, and with weeks between purchases to stop me pigging out on them.

  6. Same here. It is good value for money but all so processed and often unhealthy food.

  7. This is a wise and timely post. I have to admit I gasped when I saw the first pic - all that processed food. I can only imagine the list of ingredients on those items - salt, sugar, preservatives. Good for you for deciding to move on to better health and nutrition and applaud that you are sharing your observations. Convenient (no matter how cheap) food is seldom wholesome and, in some cases, can be detrimental. You are an inspiration to others. Yay, Sue! :-D

  8. I haven't heard of them. I so often go overboard on a good online deal and then find my tastes or lifestyle changes. What was value became a waste.

  9. I haven't used Approved foods for years like the other posters there is nothing on there site we would really eat, processed food is a very rare thing here, I would rather spend money on real food, I am surprised at what you bought Sue as I thought you were cutting out processed food. We do have the occasional chocolate treat but dont keep them in store. too much temptation having them in the house.

    1. The crisps will be taken on days out to go with sandwiches to stop us being tempted to buy 'treats', and although we eat very little choclate now, I don't want LH to feel deprived as we gradually cut it down to nothing. So a Twix here and there instead of his handful of Snickers or Caramel Wafers is a good thing (in my opinion). The salted peanuts he has sprinkled on salads and he's converted me to having a few now and then.

      I don't think, especially with men, that you can go from one extreme to another, so this is a weaning off exercise :-)

  10. I've still yet to place an approved food order. But I have to admit that even in the week I've had it, my diet and that of my older teens has improved! (Thank you!)
    I was quite surprised to see the picture of food that you'd got too as your diet has been so good lately. But all folks are different, and sometimes a bar of can of drink is what helps in that moment.
    Hugs x

  11. Ditto I've looked at the site but there was far too much processed food and nothing I can't get on the out of date Friday market stall.

  12. Over the past 3 or 4 years I have had long spells with problems either with health or mobility and sometimes a double whammy of both at the same time, so a few AP orders have been a godsend. OH is a great burner of calories and needs some high cal treats, so have resorted to a cake mix occasionally and some chocolate or muesli bar type biscuits for his on bike emergency rations (together with the cyclist's standard fare of a banana or 2!.) Like you Sue I haven't felt the need to replace these items and am running down stocks of flour, olives, oils and such. Also I feel that AP are not as good now for stocking up staples such as rice, pulses, lentils etc. as they once were.

  13. you must have strong will power down your way we would scoff the lot in a short space of time....i agree about having food in to take on days out we have diet drinks and tubes of pringles that get chucked in a bag its much cheaper than buying when out

    sorry to be nosy but i seem to think you said your hubby was diebetic ? if this is the case i would be having a sharp work and saying the diet is changing today no more rubbish for you...but them im a hard woman

    take care tessa

    1. I'm taking the softly, softly steady approach and it's really working. He's gone from scoffing a whole box of Viennese Whirls to drinking Nutriblasts for breakfast, and he's lost over 2st in weight in the last couple of years. He's doing well, I'm very proud of him and even more importantly all his diabetic check ups have been excellent.

  14. Sue, you have far more willpower than me! Cheese and onion crisps, instant noodles, chocolate.....if they were in this house, they'd be scoffed in next to no time! One of my favourite things for breakfast used to be a big bowl of noodles, usually two packets at once, another was toast sandwiches filled with cheese and onion crisps, is it any wonder I gained weight when I retired?
    The only 'bad' things in our kitchen now are one pack per week of 'dippy' biscuits for DH, he's gone from eating a whole pack with a mug of tea (without even being aware he was doing it) down to having just two mid afternoon, which for him, is a miracle!
    I've even got him having Nutriblasts for breakfast, and we both feel far better for it too!
    We know that neither of us have enough willpower to not eat some 'junk' if it's in the house, so the only way for us is to never buy it in the first place. I've never used approved foods, never seemed to be anything I wanted, but I certainly won't be using them now!

  15. I know what you mean Sue, I've found that I buy more fresh items throughout the week instead of doing a big stock up. At least you made the most of the funds you had left over. Will you do a post about your new style of eating? It would be great to see what you eat over the course of a day. Best wishes.

  16. I have used AF in the past, the last order was just after I moved here, it was an easy way to stock up on some basics while I was settling in and did not have time to explore the shopping areas. Now I shop in Lidl, for my dry goods and use the local shops and butchers for the rest. I do not want to preach but like the other commenters I was surprised at your purchases, mind you if it was mostly "free" I may have been tempted as well.

  17. I understand what you mean about there being too many packets - before I got pregnant with my daughter I would shop for ease and convenience, rather than health and cost. Then I developed gestational diabetes and started to eat 'properly'. As a family (of just three) we prefer it and have started our own veg garden after inspiration from such blogs as yours.
    Lovely post xxx

  18. I used them for the first time the other day and it worked well for us. I do like my chocolate and sweets - my long evenings are run on sugar and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Send them any new customers over to me to use the link as I'll happily have the find a friend fee! I used the link from your site a few weeks ago. 16kg of flour was good for us (5.49) and spices and cook in the bag mixes that make things taste yummy!


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