Irish Food,  Opinion

Things I Don’t Buy Anymore

Last year I wrote about the things we don’t buy anymore but I just realised that it’s due an update. Although I talk a lot about what I buy, what we eat and how we live, maybe what is missing from the list might be interesting. This afternoon I was working through my shopping list and figuring out what I want to get for the week ahead and it struck me. So here’s a list of some of the things I don’t buy anymore and the reasons why (if any):

Salad Dressing – I used to buy bottles and bottles of the stuff. Now I just make my own and only make what we need. No more ends of bottles sitting in the fridge, it’s cheaper and better for you too.

Update. It’s still off the list, although I bought a “fat free” dressing recently. It was rank. Now I just use vinegar only.

Frozen Nuggets – If we do want nuggets, chips or burgers I just make my own. There is a vast difference between a formed chicken nugget and a homemade breaded version.

Update. Yes, they’re still off the list.

Frozen Chips – Well it’s just as easy to make my own as I don’t use a deep-fat-fryer. Sure it might be cheaper to buy a bag pre-prepared but there is a high chance that they will have other ingredients rather than simple spuds and oil, also that they have a higher fat content or a coating.

Update. Can’t even remember the last time I bought frozen chips, we’re talking years here.

Crisps – This only happened relatively recently. They were always a nice treat to have on hand I suppose, but at the end of the day if they’re there, crisps will be eaten. We do eat popcorn as a snack instead. In saying all of that my hubby caved last week and bought a multi-pack, but he regretted it afterwards (so he says anyway!).

Update. Yes still off the list. As is popcorn. I just make what we need.

Microwave Meals & Pouches – Don’t get me wrong I do use the microwave! These kind of things are just too expensive when I compare them to cooking the meals or pouch contents from scratch. 1 microwave pouch of rice (serving 2 adults) could cost me about the same of a whole bag of dried rice with enough for 20 servings.

Update. Yes still off the list.

Preprepared Fruit Cartons – Again this is a cost and convenience thing. While I would have bought them as I was working in the city centre, nowadays I just buy what fruit we’re going to eat and prepare it myself.

Update. Still off the list. Hubby however has bought them a few times when he’s out at work.

Margarine – I used to cook and bake with this as it is cheaper than butter. I don’t buy margarine anymore because I’m not happy feeding it to my family.

Update. Again another item I don’t think I’ve bought in years. We are also eating less butter, going through about 454g a month or so. Not much at all.

Cakes – This isn’t to do with cost at all. It’s simple, I love baking so would rather bake a cake than buy one.

Update. No not buying them still – bar one occasion recently when I bought a sponge. It tasted lovely, I had belly ache for 24 hours afterwards. Huge regret.

Deli Salads –  I happily make my own for cheaper than a salad that I’d buy in a box. It won’t be slicked with dressing either.

No deli-salads or salad bags where possible. Sure I can grow, pick, and eat what we need.

Aspartame – This ingredient is widely used as an alternative sweetener to sugar. Many drinks that are marked “sugar free” would have  aspartame in them. I don’t believe it’s good for us, so given the choice of “sugar free” I will normally choose something else.

Nope! Won’t be on the list again either.

Cordials/Juices/Minerals – After a recent trip to the dentist we moved all drinks in the house to simply water and milk. Nothing else. There is a bottle of cordial in the bottom of the cupboard for visitors. If we want a juice then we make it ourselves. Minerals are absolutely off the list too.

Pork – This is a no-brainer as we rear our own pigs for the table.

If you’re interested in cutting back on what you buy and living well, maybe you might like to pick up my book, Wholesome. It’s on Amazon and to buy; just click here. As my mother pointed out to me, the postage can make it expensive. I highly recommend using Parcel Motel if you order from Amazon on a regular basis. No affiliation, I just love saving money! 🙂

On the topic of not buying things; Elderflower is back in season, and I have bottled my first batch of champagne for the year. If you’re interested in the recipe, you’ll find it by clicking the picture below.

Elderflower Champagne

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • The Dublin Diary

    Nice list! Lots of sense here!

    I rarely drink soft drinks or sugar drinks or anything with aspartame in it but today (thanks to the weather!) I had a glass of Miwadi. I’m in a free fall sugar crash at the moment, it’s unbelievable, I’m supposed to be devising a new IT course but I can’t concentrate, reading your blog for a while instead…. took me three goes to type this too… this stuff has to be bad for me!

  • Wholesome Ireland

    Hi Amy I don’t particularly like classic caesar dressing if I’m brutally honest so I don’t think I have a tried & tested recipe. I know that Bord Bia have one on their website.
    If it’s the flavour of a shop bought dressing you’re after then I find that combining half a clove of garlic, some grated parmesan, lemon juice and fresh herbs with regular mayonnaise is close enough! There’s a recipe similar to this in the book now that I think of it. 🙂

  • Wholesome Ireland

    Oh excellent, I’m glad you like it. Just in case you think I’ve gone off my rocker by linking to Amazon – my publisher (Mercier Press) have asked me to. If anybody wants to buy directly from them they’re more than welcome! 🙂

  • nicolasimplyhomemade

    I’m well impressed at how little butter you use, between baking, cooking and consumption I buy 5 packets a week (454g packs)!
    Couldn’t tell you the last time I bought salad dressing, olive oil, lemon juice & black pepper is my go to for that, rarely buy mayonnaise anymore either. Don’t buy nuggets, chips or fish fingers…..all simple to make and far healthier. Buy some but not much bread, make most of that too & my gang would look at me funny if I bought cake – make scones, muffins, flapjacks etc every week (can you see where my butter goes lol)
    And sugar – unless I am making cakes for someone else, I don’t use sugar anymore. This has been a massive change. I use honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar (sparingly) to sweeten baked goods now.

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