Tag Archives: organic veg

Reducing the spending… week 9

Shopping day has come around fast – by the time I got to the supermarket tonight I had spent the best part of the day in Leeds trekking up to St James hospital for blood tests then getting the train back to Huddersfield and going to work.  I worked until 6 o’clock then walked around to Sainsbury’s in the downpour and stood dripping at the counter waiting for a very welcome hot chocolate!

I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for shopping but managed to grab a few bargains.  My total spend has taken me over my £50 by £7.05 but I took advantage of some of the offers still on this week.



Fruit and veg

Fruit and veg

The offers 

  • 2 more packets of Oatiflake cereal still on offer for £2 a box,
  • 2 packets of Birds Eye frozen petite pois peas at £1 bag,
  • 3 x Soya milk – 3 for £3,
  • 2 organic Cheddar cheese – 2 for £4.50,
  • 2 x organic semi skimmed milk for £3,
  • 2 x organic Braeburn apples for £4,
  • 2 bars Green and Black organic chocolate 2 for £3.00,
  • 2 boxes mushrooms for £1.50
  • 2 organic granary loaves reduced to £0.59 each

Because the mushrooms were such a bargain I will be amending my original menu plan to incorporate two mushroom meals one of them a Stroganoff.

The cheese I will grate into a container and freeze.

The chocolate is also a bargain and I have bought this ready to make chocolates for Easter.

The bread I had sliced and this will go in the freezer.

Total spend £63.34 less savings £6.29 = £57.05

Reward points 122

Total rewards 885 worth £4.42

I am building up a nice stock of some items that have been on offer for a few weeks – cereal, cheese, soya milk so that when the offer finishes they should last me a while hopefully until they are on offer again!

We still have a lot of food in the cupboards but until the threat of snow disappears I am not going to run my cupboard stores down just in case.

Menu plan for this week

We never got to make the curry last week and I had to adjust the menu plan to fit in with the fact we came home late on the Wednesday and Saturday.  Wednesday we had Pizza as I bought  2 Marguerita Pizzas for £1.59 with salad and Saturday good old Egg and Chips.

I made the curry on Monday evening and we ate the rest tonight.  Lovely hubby made a big pan of soup on Sunday for lunch and so I have been able to take this to work for 2 days.  I also bought a crustless Quiche in Sainsbury’s which I will take for the next 2 days and have with salad – this will save me £8.20 on my lunches.

This isn’t the most exciting menu but it will use the cheap mushrooms and the left over courgettes from last week.  I haven’t planned to try out a new recipe this week as I know I will be a bit short of time.


Lunch – homemade veg soup leftover from Sunday

Evening meal – Veg and Lentil Curry with brown rice


Lunch – last of homemade veg soup

Evening meal – Veg and Lentil Curry with Taco shells


Lunch – salad and 1/2 Sainsbury’s crustless Quiche

Evening meal – Mushroom Stroganoff with green beans


Lunch – salad and 1/2 Sainsbury’s crustless Quiche

Evening meal – Ratatouille (using mushrooms) and Baked potatoes


Lunch – sandwich and salad

Evening meal – Lasagne with ratatouille as a base and Broccoli


Lunch – homemade soup / something on toast with salad

Evening meal – Shepherds pie with brown lentils and frozen broad beans


Lunch – homemade soup / sandwich

Evening meal – Shepherds pie and frozen broccoli

Hopefully I will be able to keep to the plan this week but I can recommend making a plan to anyone who wants to save money and reduce waste as even a very loose plan is better than none.  It helps to focus on making the best use of the food already in the cupboards and fridge and reduces the amount of fresh food that is wasted if it doesn’t get eaten in time.  I find with careful planning I buy fewer veg – but what I do buy we eat at its best and I am not ‘guess’ buying only to find I have over bought.


Dealing with the matter of Food Waste…

English: fresh fruit salad

 I am horrified to learn that we throw away fresh fruit that is the equivalent of 4 million apples a day… yes a day in the UK and 37 million slices of bread.

 Not only is it a waste of food and energy producing it but it is like throwing money away.  I bet most people, me included, would find it hard to put a £5 note in the bin but I know that we have probably, over the course of last year, contributed to the waste mountain, maybe not in fresh fruit and bread but definitely because of foods going out of date or perishing before we can use them.  This is partly due to overbuying in the first place because I, like many others I suspect, shop for the week rather than each day and I have to estimate how much food we are going to need and what I might cook in the evenings.  If I am detained at work or hubby is away on business suddenly all my plans can change and this is where we can be left with unused items.

Of course bad planning of meals such as buying salad for one meal and then finding it has perished 2 days later and also having to buy in quantities larger than I need is another reason.  When I only want one courgette I have to buy a pack of 3 if I insist on buying organic.  Organic veg at Sainsbury’s usually comes packaged so that it doesn’t get mixed in with the ordinary.

I also have a bad habit of buying things ready to make something that I then never find time to do.  I bought Buckwheat flour to make pancakes when I got my new pancake pan – both lie in the cupboard unopened and unused – if it were a crime I would now be locked up!

One of my disappointments is that supermarkets continue to charge proportionately more for smaller quantities like a small tin of Baked Beans, half a dozen eggs, a small jar of Mayonnaise etc but in an effort to reduce food waste I may just have to buy smaller amounts where possible or find a food buddy to take half the contents and split the costs of a larger quantity.

This was an interesting article I found about food waste  http://www.bowenislandundercurrent.com/news/181436291.html

  And then there is…The Food Dilemma – healthy eating verses the love of baking

 As I seem to have a split personality for most things – the area of food is no different.

 Take for instance the problem that I have over baking and making puddings.  I love baking and trying new recipes (and quite like eating the end results!)  but on the other hand too many cakes and buns are not healthy and I rarely get the time these days.  I always mean to get down to doing things but somehow never do.

 My ‘baking cupboard’ consists of different sugars – soft brown, Demerara, castor and icing sugars.  I also have treacle and Golden Syrup, Mincemeat, Glace Cherries and Ginger, Coconut, Oatmeal and white, dark and milk bars of chocolate as well as chocolate chips and sprinkles.  There is also a container where I keep opened bags of various fruits and another for nuts.

Most of these items, except the nuts, I use mainly at Christmas and birthdays but I would like to try my hand at baking cakes etc to give as gifts.  I have already made chocolates and mince pies at Christmas for presents but doing more throughout the year would be a good way of solving the present dilemma of what to buy those people who have everything.

I am also thinking that I could bake items that freeze well and then take them with us throughout the year on our out and about weekends.  Then we can get out our trusty little picnic stove and have a drink and afternoon tea!

Well tomorrow I will be writing about my big post Christmas clear-out in the Kitchen cupboards and what I found.  I intend to use this blog as a log just to see if I get any better by the end of the year at reducing waste.

Already I have identified items that need to be used straight away and have based this weeks meals around them.  I spent £36.83 in Sainsbury’s buying fresh food, dairy foods and bread which includes food to take for my lunches as well as one or two items we needed to restock such as salt and a pair of Rubber Gloves (I use the worn ones with holes for gardening)…and yes I do resemble Margo in them!

In all I saved £1.20 on the offers and used a Double Points coupon earning 82 extra points.

As well as my weekly shop I am going to be very stringent about the cash I use during the week for bits and pieces.  I know I will not be able to survive on a £1 a day or anything like but I have only withdrawn £10 rather than my usual £20 – £30.  It will be interesting to see how long I can make this last I am banking on the fact that I have got all I need to produce a weeks evening meals and make packed lunches for work Monday – Thursday.  Maybe for Friday lunch at home I starve!

Tonight our Grey bin (this is our non-recyclable waste) gets emptied for the first time in 3 weeks so although not full to the top it is more than usual.  Tomorrow I start with an empty bin and I will be (if I can remember) logging by photograph the contents each week.  As our waste goes into empty carrier bags I will be counting number of bags each week as a marker of my achievements.

Does anyone else have a problem with foods going out of date or being sold in too large a quantity?