Tag Archives: Ocado

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


Fruit and Veg

Fresh Fruit and Veg



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


Dealing with the matter of Food Waste – Part 3…

Of course I had to choose one of the coldest days this year so far to clean out my freezer.  It is kept in the garage and the temperature in there felt like sub-zero.

I was pleased to find there was nothing to throw out as everything is in date apart from some frozen raspberries which I will add to the eat up list, however, it did need a bit of rearranging after the Christmas period when items were just plonked into any spare gap.

To clean each drawer I put the contents into the other drawers then washed and dried the empty one in turn re-organising the contents into like groups.

Freezer Drawer

 Here are some before and after shots.

Veg Drawer

The Frozen Veg Drawer – Before

Veg Drawer After

and After

Frozen Chips

Frozen Peas, Broad beans and Spinach

A Free sample pack of Rice Fusion from an Ocado delivery ages ago.

Fruit Drawer

The Frozen Fruit Drawer – before

Fruit Drawer after

and After

Lots of Rhubarb

Frozen Raspberries, Blueberries and Mixed Summer Berries

2 Pots of Apricot Puree

Meal Drawer before

Packaged Foods Drawer – before

Meals drawer after

and After

1 Packet of Vol-au-vent cases

1 Packet of 2 Rice Cakes

6 small Yorkshire Puddings

2 Pizza Bases

1 small Cheese and Tomato Pizza

1 Packet of Feta and Spinach Parcels

1 Tub of Ice-cream

Top Drawer after

  The top fast freeze Drawer – holding all the items to eat soon

Carton of Leek and Potato Soup

Various Frozen Herbs (including Parsley!)

2 tubs of ready grated fresh Parmesan Cheese

2 unidentified tubs – could be the end of some homemade soup!

Bread Drawer after

The Bread drawer

1 Pack Naan Bread

3 Brown loaves

End of a Danish white for mum’s visits

Bottom Drawer after

The Bottom Drawer with Ice packs

I discovered that, not only do I have the biggest jar of dried Parsley in my cupboards, but I have 3 tubs and a packet of Frozen Parsley and we don’t even eat Fish!   I do like Parsley sauce though.

I am also storing a lot of Rhubarb which is actually my daughters and I am tempted to make a few crumbles.

Whilst I was doing the freezer I decided to clear and clean the top of it.   So I collected all our bottles of drink together…

Drink before

and did a drinks log and sorted then out into like with like and lined them up neatly.

Drink after

and this is our mini-bar LOL!  Being quite cool the top of the freezer in the garage is quite a good place to store the drink as we do not have room in the kitchen and there is too much for the dining room cupboards.

So that is all my food and drink sorted now and I need to make a meal plan to use up all the bits and pieces to ensure that nothing goes to waste.

Tomorrow I shall be making the Lemon Curd, baking Gingerbread and maybe making a Nut Loaf.

How is your de-cluttering going this week?