One of my lovely readers mentioned that they would like a bit of lush to go with their lean. Who am I to argue, we all want a bit of lush in our lives. The conundrum came with trying to think of what lush is to me at this point of my ingrained frugality.
I tried to think of the lushest place that is not fashion or beauty based and came up with Whole Foods. To my American readers, Whole Foods in London is like no other food store. It is food porn, everything is perfect and expensive.
I did buy a rib of beef for our Christmas dinner at Whole Foods about three years ago, it was so pricey that I was afraid to cook it. Now we buy our Christmas dinner at Lidl (the past two years) and I have only crossed the extravagant threshold once since the rib of beef extravaganza.
This time I approached the gorgeous food with a discerning eye. I was looking for food ideas and not to overspend. I was very pleasantly surprised at what I found. I avoided the beautiful fruit and vegetables as they are more than double the price on what I buy in the market. And did not dare to go near the meat or fish counter as I know I would want to fill an entire basket.
Where is there left to go at Whole Foods, you ask. The bulk dry goods area which is brilliant! In the bulk area, you can buy as much of an item as you want so you can go home and experiment. What is better than that? It is cheaper than any of the big four supermarkets on quite a few items. I bought black beans, Israeli couscous and the very sexy sounding Beluga black lentils, all much cheaper than Tesco or Sainsburys.
I think beans and grains are less expensive because they are not a big part of the traditional British diet and Whole Foods is American. I was overjoyed! It is difficult to find Israeli or giant cous cous and Beluga black lentils that are not produced by the quite pricey Merchant Gourmet.
As always, it is vital to know how much things cost at other outlets but finding interesting and inexpensive food at Whole Foods made me jump up and down inside. I can feel lush when shopping at Whole Foods with the fancy paper shopping bags and the snobs of Kensington all while actually saving money. What is better than that???
Have you ever tried to give yourself a treat and inadvertently saved money? I will try to think of some more lush ideas for you to go with the lean ones.