Category Archives: Using up leftovers

Menu Plan

I almost forgot it was pancake day last week until I strolled down the baking aisle in Sainsbury’s and noticed the empty shelves and a lot of frantic shoppers wondering what they would do now the pancake mixes had all gone!

I always look forward to stuffed pancakes and I have made this recipe for Leek and Mushroom Pancakes a few times.  I use spring onions, celery and young leeks together with button mushrooms and for the batter I use buckwheat flour.

Pancake Day

Pancake Day

Pancake Day

Mushroom and Leek Pancakes

Once the filling is rolled into the pancake I cover them in a white or cheese sauce and sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake until piping hot and golden brown.

Last weeks menu plan

Menu Plan 3rd to 9th March   

Monday -Pizza and Salad
Tuesday -Mushroom and Leek pancakes
Wednesday -Baked Potato, salad and cheese
Thursday -Samosas and Salad
Friday -Halloumi and Roasted Veg skewers with rice
Saturday -Eating out or Pasta
Sunday -Shepherds Pie with Lentils

On Friday we were both home late so we ended up with good old Egg and Chips with peas as hubby can rustle this up with no help from me.

This coming week I am trying to incorporate some of the ingredients already in my cupboards and fridge so I am making a casserole, omelette and soup so I can throw some of the use up items in.

Menu Plan 10th to 16th March

Monday – Leftover Lentil Shepherds Pie with Broccoli
Tuesday – Tuscan Tomato Casserole with Chickpeas
Wednesday – Omelette filled with courgette and peppers with side salad
 Thursday – Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake
 Friday – Homemade soup with whatever need using up
 Saturday – Cottage – possibly
 Sunday – Soup from Friday

Today is Monday and we are on track so far with the leftover Lentil Shepherds Pie.  I will be using any bits of salad still in the fridge rather than buying any fresh, I know I have a little gem lettuce, cucumber and radish as a base and also a few tomatoes so if I add some peas and buy a small tub of coleslaw I think I can call that a salad.   If we go to the cottage I don’t want heaps of salad items lying around uneaten over the weekend.

As the weather is becoming warmer we will soon be leaving the winter recipes behind and I will be looking at lighter fresher foods and hopefully I will be looking at a lighter fresher me as I believe from the scales that I have gained 3 lbs over the winter months!

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Menu Plan for the week

  Now my January Financial Focus has finished over on my other blog where the journey takes me all posts about reducing my spending will be appearing here as this is where I log my weekly spending.

I have been reviewing our meal planning this weekend –  in fact not just reviewing but resurrecting!  Whilst I was focussing on our finances last month I put very little thought into our meals and this can end up quite wasteful.

Recipe Folder

I have decided that I must make an effort to use more of my recipe collection and get rid of the ones that we either do not like or have been a complete disaster so I have been compiling a small folder of recipes that are both firm favourites and a few new ones to try.

Recipe Folder

Generally my menu plan has to work around

  • my working days – Monday to Thursday,
  • my shopping day – probably now a Tuesday
  • any leftovers in the fridge
  • stock items in my fridge and cupboards

I am also looking to take more packed lunches to work, my favourite being soup or salad rather than sandwiches.  I am aiming for 2 packed lunches out of the four days.

So firstly a review of my fridge and cupboards as it is a while since I did a stock take.  Some food items seem to come and go quickly and others linger forever in the back of the cupboard waiting for what I am not sure!  Perhaps it is waiting for the right recipe, the right season, a specific other ingredient or just for me to notice it!

I do like to keep a bit of an emergency stock in my cupboards during these wintery days when snow can render me almost housebound overnight so it is not wise to play Old Mother Hubbard and run the food supply down too far –  I will save that for the better weather.

After a good rummage in the cupboards I find I have a stock of…

  • Beans and lentils
  • Passata
  • Halloumi cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • Courgettes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • White Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Spring onions
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Red peppers
  • Carrots
  • Frozen chips
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen Broad beans
  • Cherry and Apricot Compote
  • Patak Korma paste
  • Rice
  • risotto rice
  • half pot of soured cream
  • bits of salad items

So it doesn’t look like I will have much shopping to do this week other than the basics!

Sunday

As I have a number of eggs to use up I will make a Farmhouse Fruitcake this will also use up the remains of the dried fruit from Christmas I had about 10 oz in varying proportions and I added dried Apricots rather than candied peel.

Fruit to use up

 

And this was the result.Farmhouse Fruit Cake

I can also make some little ramekin Crumbles with the jar of Bon Maman Cherry Compote so we can top them with the end of the sour cream.  The remaining crumbles can be frozen for another day.

 

Monday – Red Pepper and Courgette Frittata with salad

Frittata would be good today to use the rest of the eggs.  I have a new recipe to try – Red Pepper and Courgette Frittata.  I can use up the little gem lettuce and cucumber and cook a few frozen broad beans and salad potatoes and make potato salad.  I will need to buy a few tomatoes.

Any leftover salad and potato salad I will take to work with some bread and butter and a little cheese.

Tuesday – Macaroni Cheese with Fusilli Pasta, tomato and breadcrumb topping, green beans

Shopping Day after work so a quick meal tonight and pasta is easy.  There won’t be any leftovers for work though.

Wednesday  – Curry and Rice

I can use up the carrots, courgettes, celery,  onions and add a few potatoes.  If I make double the amount we can have it another night with Taco shells.

Whilst cooking tea I will boil an egg for tomorrows lunch and make egg mayonnaise sandwiches with fresh watercress.

Thursday – Bought ravioli and sauce

I have a ‘Leaving do’ tonight and will be eating out so I will buy a pack of fresh ravioli pasta for hubby to cook with cheese sauce – he can make this in 5 minutes flat and add peas if he wants to make it more healthy!

Friday – Curry with Tacos shells

A nice easy leftover meal tonight so I could use the time I would normally take to cook tea to make soup for the weekend and work next week from all the leftovers.

Saturday – Griddled Halloumi, Courgette and Sweet Potato on a bed of Brown Lentils

Another new recipe to try – once opened I will need to look for another recipe to use the remainder of the Halloumi cheese next week.

Sunday – Baked Potatoes and Ratatouille

This is a fairly quick accompaniment in case we go out or get busy.  The potatoes can be put in the oven on automatic.  I can add a pack of Red Kidney Beans to the Ratatouille for extra protein.

Click here for table format  in PDF Weekly Menu Plan

How are you doing with your menu planning do you find it helps keep the grocery spend down?

Reducing the spending… week 41

Week 41 already and I have started the week with a new months allowance so I must not let this go to my head and overspend in the first week.  But you may ask how did I do in September – I have just been totting up the figures and this is what they look like:-

  • Groceries, which for me includes cleaning products – £190.03
  • Lunches at work – £25.66
  • Supplements and food from Health store – £21.58
  • Toiletries – £65.21 (this is the stock of No7 face creams I got on offer)

And just in case you were wondering – I confess to spending a total of £19.53 on magazines – my target spend in this area should be zero.

Overall I am quite pleased with the results – the toiletries were a bit of an outlay but I won’t need to buy face cream for a long time.

October Challenge

Areas for improvement – definitely magazines, closely followed by those lunches at work, however it should be noted that my grocery spend would go up slightly if I took lunches to work from home, so I wouldn’t be saving the whole of the £25.66 I spent.  An easy adjustment to make will be to take my own bread – which I did do this week saving me £2.68 a week.

As I did very well the week before last by only shopping for what we needed during the week and not doing a big shop I am going to try this again.  So I will do a bigger shop once a fortnight and then buy as I need on the alternate weeks.

I had 3 birthdays this month for special friends and on Sunday I made a card for each of them – (pictures of these will be over on my other blog where the journey takes me soon) saving me about £6-£7.

In November I have 4 birthdays and an Anniversary so my aim is to make these in October as well as beginning to think about making for Christmas.

I will continue with my store cupboard use up and making sure that nothing goes in my bin.  I congratulated myself last week as I used up every last morsel…

…so this over ripe banana

Ripe Banana

added to these ingredients –  the last 2 eggs, the end of a chocolate bar and some left over walnuts…

Chocolate Loaf ingredients

became these…Mini Chocolate, Walnut and Banana Loaves

Chocolate Banana Loaf

They didn’t even get as far as having the chocolate topping!

The end of the Ciabbatta loaf…

Stale end of loaf

became breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

and eventually the topping on the Macaroni Cheesbake on Thursday…

Macaroni Bake

and remember I froze the ends of tomato paste and some Barts Mediterranean Herbs in the ice cube trays which I have now transferred into my storage tubs ready to use.

Flavour cubes

Menu Plan Week 41

  • Monday – Lasagne with Peas
  • Tuesday – Lasagne with Broccoli
  • Wednesday – Baked Potato with cheese, homemade coleslaw and salad
  • Thursday – Macaroni Cheese Bake and Peas
  • Friday – Cheese and Leek ramekins and salad
  • Saturday – Meal out
  • Sunday – Cheese and Leek Ramekins with salad

Spending so far this week – cash

  • Monday – Lunch at work -Soup –  £2.55
  • Tuesday – Lunch at work Soup –  £2.55
  • Wednesday – Lunch at work Soup £2.55, Hot choc in Sainsbury’s £1.80
  • Thursday – Lunch at work Soup £2.55, extra groceries £2.80

Spending this week by Card

  Sainsbury’s – Groceries

  • Lactose free milk    £1.48
  • Lettuce and watercress  £1.50
  • Bertolli margarine  £1.50
  • Organic  mushrooms  £1.28
  • Blueberries  £2.25
  • Courgette  £0.42

Total spend £8.43

Health Foods

  • Blackcurrant Spread  £2.49
  • Rude Health Spelt Flakes  £2.99
  • Viridian Acidphilus  £7.80
  • Viridian Vit B comples £6.50

Total spend £19.78

On Wednesday I had to go to the out of town Sainsbury’s for Petrol and I called in to get a few items – but not to do a big grocery shop.   Luckily I did the shopping before I bought the petrol so I was able to get £0.8p per litre off the total with the voucher I got for spending more than £20 on their clothing range.

Wool Jumpers

This is what I got for hubby dear – 2 wool jumpers @ £20 each which I didn’t think was bad and I brought a pair of leather boots home to try (not pictured) price £40, however all these come out of our clothing budget.

Groceries

I spent £22.27 on groceries and veg for my planned meals and items we had run out of.  The Oatmeal is ready for making some Parkin.

Fruit and Veg

I also took advantage of one or two bargains – I know the weather is only just starting to turn but I do not possess a heated blanket or have a microwave to heat up a wheat bag so I treated myself to a brand new Hot Water Bottle £5.99 (every girls dream eh!).  Actually I put two in my mum’s bed when she visits and one of my old ones sprung a leak on me recently so this new one is just what I needed.Bargains

The Atrogel – Arnica Gel had a third off only £6.85 so couldn’t walk on past that  and the dispenser £3.00 is for…you will have to wait and see…

Then it happened…unexpected item in the bagging area!!!

Christmas

Well I never said no magazines meant no Christmas Specials  – Prima Xmas Makes £3.99…and the red raffia – just what I need for my Christmas parcels £1.00.

My total spend at Sainsbury’s was £119. 41 with £80 of that from my clothing budget.

Reward points earned 481

New total 12050 worth £60.25

So that is the week so far – I have still to get through Friday, Saturday and Sunday but I should not need to spend any money on food shopping.  I am now going to snuggle down in bed and browse through my Prima Xmas magazine looking for Christmas ideas.

 

Have a lovely frugal weekend.

Reducing the spending…week 40 days 1-5

Firstly a quick update on my September Challenge

If you have been following along you will know that my challenge for September was to use up the food in my store cupboard, spend a lot less on groceries and reach the end of the month without using any of my pay that was deposited into our bank account on the 20th September.

Well it is good news – my bank statement shows that I did manage to get to the end of the month with my pay intact and £30 to spare this is largely due to my efforts to plan our meals around the items in our store cupboard and freezer and only buy in necessities.

So far this week it has been very boring on the meal front though luckily everything up to today has been very quick and simple as time was a bit in short supply.

I planned the meals around all the ‘need to use up items’ lurking in the freezer – you know all those odds and ends that are often not a complete meal by themselves and by Thursday we sat down to a rather strange combination, which I decided was even too odd to photograph.  Hopefully from today the freezer is almost empty of the ‘bits’ and we can return to preparing something a little more exciting.

Cauldron Sausage

Menu Plan

  • Monday – Cauldron Lincolnshire Soya Sausages from freezer and served with little potatoes, sweet   potatoes,  a carrot and the remaining button mushrooms with gravy. (pictured above)
  • Tuesday – Higgedy Spinach and Feta pie from the freezer served with little potatoes the last of the packet frozen broad beans and the 2 remaining carrots.
  • Wednesday – Pizza base from the freezer, topped with last of the open jar of stir through tomato sauce that hubby had on his pasta last Friday evening, mushrooms, grated cheese from freezer, served with peas.
  • Thursday – Sainsbury’s frozen veg pie and a Pea and Mint rice cake –  both had half each as neither could decide which one to have!  – served with little potatoes and fresh French beans.
  • Friday – Mushroom Stroganof served with savoury frozen rice ( a free trial pack from Ocado months ago)
  • Saturday – Halloumi and salad
  • Sunday – Lasagne with green salad

The Weekly Shopping #40

It was decision time all the way around the supermarket and I was exhausted by the time I hit the tills because although I had planned to only buy exactly what we needed for the week and no more I hadn’t bargained for the bargains so to speak!

First of all I needed a pack of butter, however it was on offer so it seemed more cost-effective in the long run to buy the 2 for £5 saving £1.

This was repeated on the milk, the bread and the cheese.

Then I had to buy one or two items we had almost run out of that are expensive like the organic, cold pressed unfiltered virgin Olive Oil £3, a jar of organic Mayonnaise £2.50, a packet ground Flax seed £2.40 and a dozen organic mixed size eggs £3.60.

I also needed some items like frozen peas that we were completely out of but  I could not find an offer on these so had to pay full price.

 Grocery items

Groceries

Fruit and Veg

Fresh Fruit and Veg

Bread

Bread

I spent £59.86 on the groceries  £14.64 of this was for those extra 2 for so much offers so you might say this week was £45.22 for the items we really needed.  My target is now £26.96 for the remaining weeks of this year so I am £18.26 over budget.

Sainsbury's non grocery items

The Extras

Yep this is where I fell down – mooching round the clothes (not a good idea) I saw they do the soft cord leggings I bought in Maroon a while ago in a Navy (not pictured) – so in the trolley they went – cost £14 (but out of my clothes account).  Then walking through the Housewares department (another bad idea) I noticed that plain white Egyptian pillowcases with a high thread count were on offer £6.66 for 2 cases – a bargain and much cheaper than the John Lewis ones sold singularly, maybe not quite the same quality but I only want them as a pillow protector under the proper ones.

Snack bags

The sandwich bags were on offer and don’t you just love these little patterned snack bags – obviously not a good seller as they are being discontinued for the knock down price of 75p.  I thought I might use them for my craft bits and bobs and freezing small amounts of herbs.

And did I mention the magazines?  They kind of leaped off the shelf and into my trolley.  The card making one had a free offer of clear rubber Christmas stamps, which I know I will use for cards etc even though I am not keen on the actual magazine – £4.99.  The other magazine ‘What doctors don’t tell you’ cost £3.95 and is my way of keeping up on any healthy foods and new research that might be of interest to keep us healthy into our old age!

Yes it was all going well until the extras – total spend £31.35

Did my cash spending for the week go any better?

I went to draw out my £10 for the week at Sainsbury’s cash point and like last week found that they no longer appear to be dispensing £10 notes – they start at £20.  Shame on you Sainsbury’s encouraging me to overspend!

  • Because we ate ready prepared foods this week there was no leftovers to take for lunch at work so I had soup and a breadcake from the local bakery, however I did think ahead to take my own buttered bread one day saving 55p.  Cost – £8.99
  • Extra groceries – Lactose Free Milk £3.11,  Mini Potatoes £1, semi skimmed milk £0.89
  • Birthday card for a colleague £1.99
  • Hot choc and custard treat before shopping at Sainsburys £2.65

Total cash spend £18.63 – cash allowance for the week £10 (major £8.63 overspend!)

 

Despite the overspends I am pleased to have used up some of the foods in the cupboard and freezer and will continue to do this.  Not doing a weekly shop last week certainly saved a lot of money and I might consider doing my bigger shop once a fortnight. I will keep you posted on this.

 

Join me in my next post when I will outline my October Challenge

Reducing the spending…week 39-days 4-7 update

Meal day 4 from the store cupboard, fridge / freezer

On day 4 hubby was away on business and I was home late so I tucked into one of the left over portions of the curry and instead of a baked potato I had taco shells – a mixture of cultures I know but quite yummy all the same.

Lunch

I took the remains of the Chickpea dish and had it with some of the Ciabatta bread.

Meal day 5 from the store cupboard, fridge / freezer

Slight change of plan here.  The menu was Halloumi and salad however my elder daughter and I went to visit to my younger daughter in Masham and we had lunch out – Cheese and Tomato Toasties with Salad.  Hubby was expected home from his trip away with instructions to warm up his left over portion of curry which was waiting for him in the fridge, but he had forgotten and started to make himself some pasta.  I was supposed to be eating my tea at Ikea where we called on the way home to return a duvet cover.  I was looking forward to their Mushroom pancakes but oh no they have once again stopped doing them and all the remaining dishes were meat or fish. To help with the hunger pangs we had a drink and a bowl of chips.

When I arrived home I had the left over curry portion with a slice of bread and hubby continued with his pasta!  Curry 3 times in one week for me was probably a bit much but very cheap.

Day 5 Spend

  • Lunch £16.30 for two
  • Xmas Chocolates £5.16
  • Ikea drinks and bowl chips for 2 £3.00
  • Card and homemade tiny heart from daughters shop £2.00

Total spend £26.46

Meal day 6 from the store cupboard, fridge / freezer

Halloumi and Salad
Halloumi and Salad – instead of the planned Frittata

This is the first time I had used Halloumi and I wasn’t sure how I would cook it as I do not have a griddle.  To improvise I cooked it in my pancake pan for a while then sprinkled the crumb topping on made of seeds and breadcrumbs from the freezer, then popped them under the grill for a few minutes to brown.

I had been gathering bits of salad items all week and then added the tiny new potatoes and a pack of beetroot in the fridge.  We both enjoyed this meal and I discovered I really like Halloumi so now I am searching my books for more recipes.

Lunch

Leek and watercress Soup followed by Apple and Plum Crumble

I made some of the Leek and Watercress soup again using up the last of the leeks, a stick of celery, 2 sweet potatoes, a bunch of spring onions and most of the bag of rocket, watercress and spinach.  I stirred in some of the Creme frais, leaving a blob each for the pudding.

Day 6 Spend

  • 1 bag rocket, watercress and spinach £1.49 the bag I bought earlier in the week smelled like compost on opening so I had to go and buy fresh.
  • 1 bunch spring onions £0.75
  • 2 pkts Lavazza Espresso ground coffee (for hubby) £5.76 on offer

Total spend £8.00

Meal day 7 from the store cupboard, fridge / freezer

Risotto

Risotto – you may have noticed this changed from the planned Nutloaf

This was a bit of a throw it in risotto cooked by my hubby and using most of the button mushrooms (still a few left), spring onion, frozen broad beans, frozen peas and a few sun-dried tomatoes from a packet in the cupboard.  I had a packet of Organic Arborio rice and there will be enough left for another meal another day.

Lunch

Egg salad using the remains of the salad from Day 6

Day 7- No spend

To summarise

So that is the end of the first week and I spent £20.78 on groceries – £5 of which was on the stock of tissues and another £5.76 on the stock of coffee.  Without these items I would have spent just £10.02.

The £10.02 was spent on fresh produce to go with my store cupboard, fridge and freezer items that made our 7 main meals for the week plus lunches and breakfast.

I can say that we had some lovely meals – all freshly made and not a ready meal in sight.  Of course the fridge is looking quite empty now but the challenge is to see how far I can stretch the remaining store cupboard groceries over the coming week.  Tomorrow we will be beginning a new month –  October or should I call it Stocktober – the month I use up all our stock of food.

And you might be asking did I manage not to use any of my wage before the end of September – all will be revealed tomorrow.

September Challenge

Reducing the Spending – ideas to cut the grocery bill to get to the end of the month

Although I have just received this months pay on the 20th I am trying not to spend any of it until until I can combine it with my hubby’s pay at the end of the month.  It is so much easier to do a budget for a combined income starting on the same day rather than be part way through one wage when the other arrives.  Ideally my aim is to be one months pay ahead so we are spending the previous months pay when the current one is received.

For the remaining days of September I am looking to use up food that I have already bought and create menus to fit the items I have.  So far this year I have spent £2,222.56 on groceries over 38 weeks which is an average of £58.50.   This is just for groceries and does not include face creams, shampoo and conditioner or supplements, remedies and occasional whole food items from my local health / wholefood shop.

If I were to stick to my target of £50 a week then I will only have £377.44 to last me until the end of the year, which works out at £26.96 per week.

Something tells me that £26.96 a week is going to be a tough target and, if I am both realistic and honest, one that I will not succeed in meeting no matter how creative I am!  So what are my choices?

  • Find free food – I do not grow our own food yet, it is on the cards for next year so free food this year would have to be foraged foods and I don’t think hedgerow berries or wild mushrooms would give us a good meal every day and I doubt very much that I would come across some road kill Lentils!
  • Perhaps I could sell some of the ‘stuff’ I am getting rid of and use the income to add to my grocery allowance.
  • I could try buying my food daily as it is needed, although I am not convinced this would work out cheaper although it might stop me buying items just in case.
  • I could go back to being non-organic and also buy the very cheap basic economy foods.
  • I could make savings in another area of my budget and add this to my food allowance.

Instead of any one of the above list I will put all of them into place except the non-organic.  I think staying organic is well worth it on taste alone.

Foods I already have in stock

Fresh Fruit and Veg

  • Carrots
  • 4 Leeks
  • Bunch Celery
  • A head Broccoli
  • Pack Beetroot
  • Courgettes x 2
  • Pack button mushrooms
  • 4 sweet poataoes
  • Bunch spring onions
  • 5 onions
  • Handful potatoes
  • 3 Braeburn apples
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Kiwi

Also

  • Frozen Broad Beans
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Spinach

There is plenty of frozen fruit in freezer which will be fine to go on my Yoghurt and I have fresh apples for my snack at work.

As a standby there are two pies in the freezer should I not get to cook the intended meal for some reason.

Groceries / fridge

There are a selection of herb teas and a unopened box of decaff tea, 2 packets of ground coffee, a new tin cocoa and a large drinking chocolate.

In the fridge I have an unopened fresh orange and apple juice and 1 carton Almond Milk.  We have just opened a Lurpack tub butter 9should last the week) and I have 2 tubs Bertolli spread.

In my cupboard I have an unopened box of wheat free Museli and some linseeds to use up for breakfast and a few Spelt flakes.  I also have a whole tub full of Porridge Oats – this might become Flapjack, Melting Moments or even just porridge.

I have bread in the freezer so I will take the Pitta breads to work for my lunch and buy some fresh salad to put inside and add chopped boiled egg or Feta Cheese from the fridge.

The plain Indian Chapattis will be fine with some curry and rice. I have a bag of rice and I can use the courgettes, onions, celery, potato and carrot in the curry plus 1/2 tin coconut milk from the freezer.

Breads

I bought Halloumi to try a couple of weeks back so I must find a recipe for this.

The eggs will provide another meal – probably pancakes with the buckwheat flour and I have leeks and a pack of mushrooms for the filling.

Dairy

Below are a few more of the items I have in stock.  The Butter Beans will go in a soup or Tuscan Casserole,  the Bulgar and Quinoa with roasted vegetables.  I have already mentioned the curry and I will find a recipe for the sun dried tomatoes.  Not in the picture are a selection of mixed nuts which I bought on offer earlier in the year.

Store Cupboard

So putting that altogether the weeks menu plan is looking like this-

Menu Plan

  • Monday – Pancakes with Mushroom and Leek filling with Broccoli florets and peas
  • Tuesday – Curry and Rice
  • Wednesday – Tuscan Casserole – Butter Beans, Leeks, Courgette and Tomatoes
  • Thursday – Left over Curry with Baked potato.  Hubby away this meal
  • Friday – Halloumi – recipe to find for this – will probably serve with Salad
  • Saturday – Frittata using left over veg, some Parmesan in the freezer and served with Salad
  • Sunday – Nut loaf with Broad Beans and roast Sweet Potatoes

With any other leftover veg I will add beans / lentils and make some soup for the weekend and lunches at work the following week.

The additional groceries I will need to buy to complete the meals above and for general use:-

Shopping List

  • 1 Baking Potato
  • 1 bag fresh salad leaves with watercress
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4pts 1% milk
  • 1 Lactose free carton milk
  • 1 tub Lurpack butter

A quick add up and I estimate that the foods I have in stock for the menus above together with breakfasts and packed lunches will save me about £80.  My only costs for the few items required in the shopping list will be about £10 less the £2.66 brand match coupon.

Now going back to my saving money ideas can any of my readers tell me how you sell on ebay – is there a good article somewhere on how to do it?

Dealing with the matter of Food Waste – Part 4…

Pottering in the kitchen yesterday.  I am finding it is quite hard work being extra diligent about using up food and making the best use of any offers I have to plan my time well to make sure nothing goes to waste.

So to begin the day I made  Lemon Curd with the reduced  Lemons I bought earlier in the week plus the juice of one or two old ones I had from Christmas (as hard as rocks on the outside but the juice was fine) and I was determined I was not going to waste them.

Lemon Curd

All my ingredients are organic and I used an easy recipe not requiring too many eggs (as they have been earmarked for other meals) from my very old Marguerite Patten’s Everyday Cook Book that was given to me in 1976 as a wedding present.

Cookery Book

Everything but the eggs are put into the bowl to melt – the smell is heavenly.

Lemon Curd 2

Try it for yourself…

Rind 3 Lemons

Juice of 2 large

8oz sugar

4oz block butter

2 eggs

Grate the rind carefully removing just the ‘zest’ but none of the white pith.  Squeeze the juice from the fruit.  Put all ingredients except the eggs into a bowl over hot simmering water. Cook stirring from time to time, until butter and sugar have melted.  Add well beaten eggs (I sieve them to remove any gloopy white bits). Stir well and continue cooking until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Pour into jars that have been washed thoroughly and heated in the oven.  Add wax circles immediately.  Leave to cool then add lids.  Store in the fridge and eat within a month.

Jam Jars

My favourite jars for Lemon Curd I bought them years ago and have never seen anymore since.  These will definitely be on my keepers list.

Lemon Curd 3

Wax circles on and I can wait for it to cool down a little before putting on the lids.

Bramley Apples

Now turning  my attentions to using up 2 old Bramley apples.  Apple sauce goes so well with Nut Roast planned for Sunday evening.  I am even able to use the juice from the remaining old lemons to keep the apple from oxidizing.

Apple Sauce

Can’t wait for Sunday night tea – we will be using up the Sage and Onion Stuffing mix as well (expiry date Aug 2012!)

Harricot Bean Soup

Cooking over… time for lunch this is the remains of the Harricot Bean soup I made for tea on Friday night with bread and a little cheese and pickle.

I miscalculated the amount of celery I would need for the week so had to get my long suffering hubby to pick up some more whilst down in town as it is quite a staple ingredient for us.

Cost £1.20 for 2 bunches of organic plus he remembered to collect the 2 reward points.   So my £10 is now down to £1.16.

Scrimpers Tip

It was this purchase that has drawn my attention to the fact that you get a point for a part of a pound with Sainsbury’s Reward points,  I noticed this with the Hot Chocolate I bought the other night which was £1.79 plus 2 reward points.

So I reckon that if you bought each item of shopping separately you would end up with twice as many points but I think that might be taking scrimping to a whole new level and can you imagine the queue that would build up at the self checkout if I was to pay for each item separately!!

I am going to try though one day with a few items just to see if I am right about the points.

Draught Excluder

This is the reason my long suffering had gone to town –  a draught excluder strip for our front door,  which is real wood and it seems to have shrunk over the years and we found there was a howling gale coming through under the door.  Cost £10 paid on our debit card (and obviously not part of my £10 weekly allowance).   He knows better than to question my new obsession – and more draft stripping is part of my our energy cost cutting exercise and it gave him a nice little Saturday morning project so I could have the kitchen all to myself!

One of the new cost cutting drives is only the room we are sitting or working in  has a light on – ALL others must be switched off.  No leaving the landing light on after going to the loo or the one in the laundry room if you have been to the garage to sneak a drink from the mini bar during the adverts.  I am quite good at this anyway (that is turning off lights – not sneaking a drink)  but hubby not so – but he soon will be LOL

Later in the afternoon we had a trip to Ikea on our remaining £1.16.  We decided that as they have discontinued the Effektiv office range they might do the same with the Alex drawer unit and our plan was to get another to match one we bought last year and absolutely love.  It has been the best thing ever for craft items and large sheets of paper.  It was a hard decision because of the ‘No Spend’ challenge but we have been here before when something has been discontinued and we didn’t want to risk it.

However taking things seriously and not wanting to spend money going out other than for the item we purchased we debated what we should do about having a drink whilst out as it is normally a 4 hour expedition to Ikea – that would be 30 minutes to get there another 30 minutes to find a space and get parked and 3 hours to find and pay for what it is you have gone for!!

We did contemplate taking our little picnic stove to make a cup of tea in the car park but in the end as Ikea drinks are relatively cheap only 95p a cup we agreed to buy one,  mine from the £1.16 I had left and hubby put in a £1 of his left over allowance.  We did take a piece of Christmas cake each to have with our drinks.

Scrimpers Tip

It doesn’t take long to get into the flow of saving money –  I am noticing prices so much more and after going through the checkouts in Ikea I saw that the Take Out kiosk in Ikea at the exit have a drink for 95p plus 2 doughnuts and a free refill.  So next time if we were scrimping we could buy a drink for one of us and pour it into a spare paper cup, have a doughnut each then the other go back to claim the refill.  So a drink and a doughnut each for only 48p where could you get that cheaper?

So I now have 21p left today.  Perhaps I will start a savings jar for the left over weekly allowance rather than carry it over.