Wednesday, 30 July 2014

End of Challenge, End of Blog

 
Day  211
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in  total Challenge purse  -  £161.90
 
I've been thinking about this long and hard over the past couple of days, trying to  decided whether to bring an end to this Challenge, throw in the towel as it were and stop completely.  Out shopping today in Asda for some bits and pieces I suddenly decided YES the Challenge is over. 
 
 I bought fruit, ice lollies, some more salad stuff and generally just threw into the trolley what I wanted to.  I didn't go mad, I think I've re-programmed myself over the course of the last 211 days to think and purposely buy, but it was such a relief to know that I could buy exactly what I wanted to buy and not hold myself accountable for it.  I spent just over £68 ... not a lot by some peoples standards, but a lot by others.
 
I think I've proved over the last few months that if you want to eat cheaply you can, there are ways and means of collecting vouchers and points and using them to supplement what little money you may have.  It helps if you start with a well stocked freezer and cupboard and helps if you know a bit about cooking from scratch and how to fill your freezer with tubs and tubs of cheaply made stews, soups and curries.
 
Homemade bread saves you a fortune, but I found it impossible to do over the last few weeks as I have had a thumb injury, so I had gone back to buying it from the shops.  Anyway I found that if I made bread Lovely Hubby wolfed it all down and he's not supposed to eat that many carbs and they don't agree with me that much either, so I will be reverting to just the occasional homemade loaf from now on and my stash of sliced loaves in the freezer to take out just a slice or two for toast.
 
The total in cash, points, vouchers and coupons that I have spent this past 210 days is £521.71, which works out at an average weekly spend of just over £17
 
There is £161.90 left in the Challenge purse and with this I have decided to spend some of it on a good night out this coming weekend for Lovely Hubby and me, and the rest will be going towards our few days away that we have planned in September.  A couple of nice meals and treat or two for us both.
 
So the money saved in the Sealed Pot which began this adventure will be used wisely.  This years Sealed Pot is feeling very heavy and is simply going to be put towards Christmas treats, so no more Challenges for me.
 
I'm all Challenged out.
 
Thank you to each and every one of you who have followed this journey, cheered me on, commented and kept me on the straight and narrow.  Sorry that this is the end of this Blog but if any of you have decided to do something similar please let me know so I can return the favour and encourage you to do even better than me.
 
Thank you.
 
Sue xx

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Buying Air

 
Day  210
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £7.90
 
'Buying Air' .... a strange title for this post you might think, but we do it all the time, buy air that is!!
 
If you think of all the products that we buy that have air whipped into them to make them look bigger to fill the boxes or packs they come in.  Have you ever sunk your teeth into that lush looking deep sponge cake filled with whipped cream and then it all dissolves into a gloriously tasting flavoured air in your mouth.  No wonder we can eat way too much of some manufactured products and not feel sick until that sugar rush hits us a while later.
 
Open that huge pack of cereal and peer down into the depths to see where the contents are, yes the box is half filled with air ..... 'contents may settle during transit' ... why don't they give them a shake and let them settle in the factory then we can see exactly how much we are buying with our hard earned money.

 
All this came to mind when I grated my cheese and had to find a box big enough to hold the block once it was grated.
 
Half full to full to the top, and all I added was air ..... but at least I didn't have to pay for it!!
 
Sue xx
 
 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Freezer

 
Day  209
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £6.90
 
I'm trying not to shop this week if I can help it.  There's nothing we need, we have milk in the freezer for Lovely Hubby's coffees and teas, there are buns also in the freezer if we want toast or sandwiches, there is grated cheese in the freezer to top any meal or fill any sandwich,  there are loads of tubs of portioned meat and sausages, frozen individually so we can pick out just enough for any occasion.  There is also lots of butternut squash curry in the freezer and quite a few frozen veggie options for me, Quorn products, supermarket own brand things that have been there since way before our move that for whatever reason I just haven't been eating.
 
Are you getting the gist of all this .... we seem to have everything in the freezer, which I guess is why the contents of the cupboards are so slow to go down, I have come to the understanding that my freezer is my most used storage space for food.  No bad thing, it's better that it is as full as possible, it means it costs a lot less to run.  And it would seem that every time I take something from the cupboards to make a meal of I seem to make lots of portions of that meal and then pop them in the freezer for future use.
 
Well I've decided that now it is the 'future' and we need to use some of them up.  Time to stop eating the same few things over and over for a while and be a bit more experimental.
 
None of the breakfast pictured above came out of the freezer, so there's a start  ;-)
 
Sue xx
 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Eating from the Freezer Again

 
Day  208
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £5.90
 
Not my purse obviously ... but mine is just as secure.  We are not spending any money AGAIN today!!
 
Todays main meal will be an easy fish, chips and peas .... all from the freezer.
 
Sue xx
 
(Another picture courtesy of Google Images.)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Not Spending Day

 
 
Day  207
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £4.90
 
We are most definitely NOT spending ANY money today. 
 
We have plenty of food in stock now and have both decided we should eat our way through the freezer over the course of the next couple of weeks.  For tea tonight some of last weeks salady things with a couple of Garlic Kievs, chicken for Lovely Hubby and the veggie version for me.
 
Nice simple food for a hot day .... and of course we have some of those lovely ice lollies for pudding.
 
Sue xx
 
(Picture courtesy of Google Images)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Storecupboard Staples and Hot Weather Treats

 
Day  206
 
Money Spent Today - £8.59   Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £20.00
Money Spent in Total - £232.62    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £289.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £3.90
 
A completely different kind of shop this time, no fresh stuff at all, well there were no bargains to be had, and salady things are so much cheaper at Asda at the moment so I thought I would concentrate on storecupboard staples and some hot weather treats.
 
A couple of bottles of milk as it was a few pence cheaper if you bought two, and the same with the ice lollies, so I bought a total of four packs.  It's always nice to have a cool treat stashed in the freezer on a hot day and we've run out of icecream now.  I bought the chips as a treat for when we can't be bothered cooking and also to act as an icepack for the lollies.  I knew the car would be swelteringly hot when I got back to it and didn't want my lollies to dissolve into chocolatey puddles before I got home, it worked a treat!!
 
 
I could have made bread rolls and I could have made biscuits .... but on these hot, hot days sometimes you just don't want to do you!!
 
The other things are all things we are about to run out of .... peanut butter, tartare sauce for LH to dunk his chips in (a little fetish of his), some tinned beans ready for salads etc and some oatcakes to go with the homemade cheese I hope to make soon with my newly purchased Cheese Kit.  Not a bad shop,  and one that before vouchers and offers would have cost me £30.07 and which I only had to stump up £8.59 for - good result !!
 
So that's my last voucher from M&S used up and although some more should arrive in the next few weeks, I will never have that amount to be able to spend again ...
 
 .... unless I buy another car  ;-)
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Off to Spend My Last Voucher

 
Day  205
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £224.03    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £11.49
 
I have had the last of my M&S vouchers burning a hole in my purse for the last few weeks now, if truth be told I have not been tempted to spend it but rather seen it as a useful emergency fall back safety net.  But when I was given this other voucher, '£5 off a £25' shop last week I thought it would be a good idea to combine the two and get us some storecupboard staples and a few treats or necessary items.
 
So I'm off out now to see how much I can get for my money, or should I say bits of paper and minimal money.
 
Pictures tomorrow of what I do manage to get :-)
 
Sue xx


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Back to Basics

 
Day  204
 
Money Spent Today - £2.67    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £224.03    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £10.49
 
Sometimes you can't beat a little bit of simple salad, a simple crunch, pop of flavour and burst of freshness to go with whatever you have on your plate or sandwich, with a dollop of mayo you're all set to go.
 
These days it seems every salad has to have a myriad of ingredients, some basic some more expensive, complex flavour combinations, all singing and all dancing salad to please the eye, sometimes even more than the taste buds.
 
Yes, it's nice to have a try at some of these occasionally, but I'm finding I come back time and time again to the good old basics Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber and sliced Onion.
 
You can't beat it, and this little lot cost me just £2.67 in Asda yesterday :-)
 
Sue xx


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

More Rather Than Less


Day  203
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £221.36    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £12.16
 
That's a picture you don't often see at the top of these posts, a pot full of Lamb Stew.
 
I had defrosted some lamb chop, cutletty things last weekend and LH didn't get round to eating them while he was home, I was determined I wasn't going to waste them so I rustled up a really basic stew with some carrots, leek and potatoes.
 

 
Now it's been divided into two really good portions and gone straight back into the freezer.
 
I have decided to have a real attempt at emptying the freezer during the next few weeks.  I seem to be filling it more and more this way.  I mean one little pack of four lamb thingy's came out and two big tubs went back in.  Sometimes it looks like I have more food rather than less even though I am now over halfway through my 365 days.
 
Sue xx

Monday, 21 July 2014

New Things to Try

 
Day  202
 
Money Spent Today - £11.19     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £221.36    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £11.16
 
Whilst restocking with a bit of fresh stuff, I did something I've not done for a while ..... bought things that I simply fancied trying. 
 
I've rarely eaten Sweet Potatoes and never eaten Sauerkraut, so I thought I'd buy some, I've also never tried Halloumi, I was reading one of my newer books 'I Quit Sugar' by Sarah Wilson and all three items were in recipes I fancied trying, so because my purse was pretty full with a whole £22.35 before I spent on these things, I just went for it.
 

None of the other things on the receipt were food items, but because it wasn't too long I still took a photo of it.
 
The book by the way is brilliant and is something I'm already well on my way to doing, quitting sugar that is.  I've almost completely lost my sweet tooth now, in fact the orange tomatoes pictured above tasted so sweet to me I had to chop them up and eat them with other things rather than just on their own as I had been doing!!
 
Sue xx
 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Cheap Wine Girl

 
Day  201
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £21.35
 
I must be a 'cheap wine girl', we opened this bottle of Fortnum and Masons wine left over from last Christmas's hamper the other night, and although it was quite drinkable it just was not my style of wine at all and I had a thumping headache the next morning and this was after just one glass!!
 
So the rest of it was poured into my silicon cake moulds and popped into the freezer.
 

Now they are all frozen and waiting to be added to stews and casseroles to add a good depth of flavour.  It seems a shame to use such good wine to do this but it's better it gets used up somehow.
 
I always put my frozen 'wine cubes' into a strong tub as they remain quite delicate due to the fact that alcohol doesn't really freeze hard.  I have enough here now to make seven tasty stews for Lovely Hubby over the course of the Winter. 
 
Wine not wasted then :-)
 
Sue xx
 


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Radish Thinnings

 
Day  200
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £20.35
 
Every day I pick a few of the radish thinnings out of the tub, it gives the ones left behind a bit more space to grow.  After a quick rinse and pat dry on a tea towel I add them to whatever salad I am having.  The are very tasty, very nutritious and add a lovely fresh crunch to the salad leaves that are now coming to an end.

 
In fact I am enjoying them so much I think that from now on I will always sow far too many seeds for the space I have just so I get these lovely little trimmings every time I have radishes coming up.
 
Sue xx


 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Parmesan Rind

 
 
Day  199
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £19.35
 
It's funny once you set your mind to NOT spending any money on food and making the best of what you have it starts to get easier.  Doing this challenge has made me think twice before nipping out to add anything to my store cupboard, I still have so much in that there are usually alternatives to what I am looking for.
 
I am also making sure that absolutely nothing gets wasted, so every time I open a pack of cheese, I grate the lot and stash it straight in the freezer.  No chance that way of finding mouldy cheese tucked at the back of the fridge.  Not that things can hide in there anymore, it's so sparse now that virtually everything is visible the minute you open the door.
 
Even Lovely Hubby is finding what he's looking for straight away !!
 
You may wonder why the rind is in the tub with the grated parmesan style cheese, well I keep them all so I can chuck them into stews, curries, sauces etc,  any meal in fact that is going to be simmering away for a couple of hours, it imparts the most wonderful flavour to every dish, I would never throw one away.
 
Just remember to fish it out before you serve up, or folk wonder what the hell it is :-)
 
Sue xx

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Butternut Squash Curry


Day  198
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £18.35
 
Rambling on about the price of chopped versus un-chopped butternut squashes yesterday I forgot to tell you what I actually made with it !!

 
Butternut Squash Curry
 
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons each of turmeric, cumin, paprika, coriander, chilli powder, curry powder (medium or hot depending on your preference)
2 x 400ml tins of chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable stock
100g block of creamed coconut
1kg of mixed vegetables (cauliflower, courgettes, broccoli, carrots etc) chopped into 2cm cubes
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm squares


Method:
1) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and then gently fry the onions and garlic until soft.
2) Add the spices and gently fry for 1-2 minutes.
3) Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove it from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
4) Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth.
5) Return the mixture to the heat and stir in the creamed coconut block until it is completely dissolved.
 That's your curry sauce made
 
You can now add all your chopped vegetables and cook gently until they are soft.  I usually add a handful of frozen peas for the last 10 minutes of cooking time for a vibrant pop of colour.
 Serves 4-6
Freezes beautifully.
 
This recipe is from the Harcombe Recipe Book.

 
I had the first portion on my own, then the next day we both had some more, Lovely Hubby had a couple of pork chops with his.
 
 
And there were still five single portions to pop into the freezer, one of which will be coming back out for tonight's tea.  So we managed to get eight good sized portions from this pan full.
 
Sue xx
 
 


Chopped or Not Chopped That is the Question


Day  197
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.35
 
Chopping away at the butternut squash that I bought last week and having to put lots of effort in, made me ponder over how much it would have cost me to buy it ready chopped.  Would it be worth paying a little bit extra for less hassle and struggle.  So I weighed my finished chunks.
 

 
Adding my 900g ....

 
... to the other bowl holding 371g, gives me a total weight of 1271g.
 
(I think I may have been a little wasteful with my peeling as the total weight when I bought it was 1715g.)
 
Anyway there were only two shops on mysupermarket.com that had chopped butternut squash for sale, Waitrose at just under 34p per 100g and Tesco at 40p per 100g.  Once again Waitrose is proven to be cheaper, I do wish we had one a little bit closer to us, our nearest one is on Anglesey.  I like Waitrose ... and their free coffees and newspapers every day.
 
Doing the sums this means that my squash cost me 18p per 100g of prepared weight, so it shows that in this instance chopping it up it yourself saves you half the price of ready chopped. 
 
I noticed here that the supermarkets are very clever with their shelf edge labelling as well.  All the full squashes are priced 'per Kilo' while all the ready chopped packs are priced 'per 100g' meaning that once again you have to make sure you put your maths head on before you hit the shops!!
 
So to answer my question to myself at the top of the post .... for me it's 'not chopped' every time.
 
Sue xx
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Halves


 
Day  196
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £16.35
 
I'm having a week of trying NOT to spend any money.
 
This was the veggie drawer in the fridge at the weekend, now I have lots of 'halves'.  Half the radishes, half the cauliflower, half the broccoli, I'm sure you're getting the picture.
 
 
I also have just under half of this bag of mixed leaves.
 
So this week I've set myself the mini challenge of using up all the halves, and while I'm doing this of course my little pot of money will be building up so I will be able to replace them with 'wholes' next week :-)
 
Sue xx
 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hiding in Plain Sight


Day  195
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £15.35
 
It's funny how some things hide in plain sight and never get used.
 
This pair of Chorizo sausages were on the shelf in the fridge and were just sat there.  Not used, not looked at and not even considered.  I could have added them to many a meal I have cooked Lovely Hubby over the course of the last few weeks ... but I didn't !!
 

 
So I thought I had better do something with them before they went even more out of date.
 
I simply sliced then quite thinly and then open froze them.
 
 
A couple of hours later they were tipped into a box and placed back into the freezer ..... to be forgotten about once more no doubt!!
 
Sue xx

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Suky's Carrots


Day  194
 
Money Spent Today - £0     Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £210.17    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £14.35
 
Pictured above is another meal made out of one of the salmon fillets I cooked all together last week.  A simple salmon salad, but why to two chunky bits of carrot on the side you might ask ....
 

 
... this is why.
 
Suky loves a big chunk of carrot to chew, and as there are few calories in a carrot the Vet says she is allowed as many as she wants.
 
Sue xx

A Day Late!!

 
Day  193
 
Money Spent Today - £7.65    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £202.52    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £13.35
 
A little shopping expedition to Sainsbugs saw me stocking up with lots of non-foodie items, but I couldn't resist buying a few foodie ones, so although I've no receipt pictured this is what I bought.
 
Bread Rolls - 90p
Stilton Cheese - £1.85
Cheese Slices - 2 x £1.65 = £3.30
Quorn Savoury Eggs - £1.60
 
Total = £7.65
 
I could have bought them with my Nectar points but it was really busy at the checkouts and I didn't want to hold up the queue by separating out my shopping so I paid cash for everything.
 
Quite colour coordinated shopping too don't you think :-)
 
Sue xx


Friday, 11 July 2014

Blueberries

 

Day  192
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £202.52    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £19.98


Every day, bit by bit my homegrown Blueberry tub in the fridge is slowly filling up.
 

 
You've got to love free homegrown goodness haven't you.
 
Oh, and while the tubs are filling up we are still eating our way through tubs of Blueberries we bought and froze last year, while they were on special offer.
 
If you see them in 'yellow stickered' packs at the end of the day in the supermarkets or being sold off cheap just before a market closes, buy as many as you can and when you get home simply tip them into a freezer proof container, put straight into the freezer and stash them away.
 
The ones we bought last year still taste amazing and thaw in minutes to eat with lovely fresh strawberries for breakfast.
 
Sue xx

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Ideas for ..... Salmon Fillets


Day  191
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £202.52    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £18.98
 
I cooked four of the salmon fillets that I bought last week at the start of this week.  It's so much easier to do them all at once if you know you want to eat them over the course of the following few days.  The other four are tucked in the freezer.
 
They were all sprinkled liberally with freshly ground black pepper and then two of them were treated to a drizzle of chilli sauce for extra heat.  Cooked for just 20 minutes wrapped in foil with a dash of water they came out of the Aga succulent and steaming
 
.Sainsbury's Hot Smoked Sweet Chilli Salmon Fillets (180g)
 
My pack of four fillets weighing 480g cost me £5, meaning a cost per Kg of £10.42.  I could of course have saved myself time, and the minimal effort of putting them in foil and cooking them, and simply bought these ready cooked chilli salmon fillets for £4.49.  TWO fillets weighing 180g the pair for a cost of £24.94 per Kg ....  more than double the price of mine. 
 
The choice really is ours these days, do we buy simple food and cook it the way we like it or do we pay through the nose for someone else somewhere in a factory miles away to do it for us?
 
Of course there are times when it is good to have these pre-prepared foods available to buy, if we are ill for example, elderly or even a family having a spur of the moment day out.  Rather than pay for a fish and chip supper for everyone or that awful dash to MacD's for boxes of polystyrene food with no goodness and minimal taste (except sugar and stodge), AND the knowledge that everyone will be hungry again in two hours and raiding the biscuit stash,.  It would be cheaper to buy a couple of packs of ready cooked salmon a bag of ready washed leaves and a big tub of coleslaw.  Healthy food .... and just as fast and convenient.
 
As I said the choice is ours.


 
One of my fillets was eaten straight away with a simple salad ...

 
.. and the other three went into the fridge in a sealable tub.
 
I ate one of them last night when I got home from Mum's, with a very simple 'picky tea' of cherry tomatoes and celery sticks dipped in cream cheese.  So simple to do and very, very tasty.  Also surprisingly filling.
 
One will be for tea tonight with some pasta and I think the last one will be shredded and tipped into a ready made quiche base with some cream, spring onions and a couple of our eggs for the weekend.
 
It's easy to think of tasty meals if you have the main component waiting happily for you, all ready to be used in the fridge, and even easier to save yourself a lot of money by thinking ahead and reading those shop shelf labels that tell you the price per 100g.
 
Sue xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My 9p Shop



Day  190
 
Money Spent Today - 9p    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £13.00
Money Spent in Total - £202.52    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £269.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.98
 
I didn't really need any shopping until Friday, but as I was in M&S anyway and my little vouchers were tucked in my purse I decided to get the bread and milk we will need for the weekend.  It's nice having a stroll around the shelves later on in the afternoon, the frantic day trippers have gone, the folk that have finished work early are there in their smart suits choosing what to have for tea that night, it's a whole different atmosphere.
 
 
 
Now we have bread in the freezer, some more luscious English strawberries and a lovely pot of cream to go with them ... oh and a couple of packs of our favourite sweeties to put in the cars.
 
And all for 9p.
 
Sue xx
 
 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Leaves

 
Day  189
 
Money Spent Today - £1    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £202.43    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £256.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.07
 
So the money in the purse went up by one pound and then immediately down by one pound as I couldn't resist this lovely bag of mixed leaves for exactly that price.  A handful placed under every salady meal I have this week will just add some extra crunch and flavour.  I'm loving leaves this Summer ....  I'm just not loving the fact that I am having to buy them!!
 
The lettuces and mixed leaves that I planted out in tubs on the patio were eaten by I don't know what, but I've not had any.  I planted out a sprouting potato which was doing brilliantly well and had been earthed up a couple of times with strong leaves bursting through the soil every couple of days ....and then it vanished completely!!  This one I do know who caused the demise of .... two chickens having a dust bath and then Rosy the dog burying her bone in there, now the tub is full of radishes with a clear lid placed on top to deter dust bathing and burying, these are actually doing really well so the thinnings from the tub will be added to my bought leaves for an extra peppery crunch.  Hopefully as well as giving me a tasty nibble this will also allow the radishes that are left to really develop well as they will have optimum room. 
 
Sue xx

Monday, 7 July 2014

Onwards and Downwards

 
Day  187
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £201.43    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £256.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £17.07
 
It's not just the fridge that's looking full and healthy with shopping at the moment, the veggie bag is too, and the freezer has had lots of tubs of Butternut Squash Curry deposited into it, thus filling that up a little bit more too.
 
The diet is going quietly well, I have lost a total of 5lbs AND 5" over the course of the last seven days.  Onwards and downwards :-)
 
Sue xx

Healthy Fridge

 
Day  187
 
Money Spent Today - £0    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £0
Money Spent in Total - £201.43    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £256.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £16.07
 
It's nice to see the fridge looking so healthy with all this weeks shopping filling the shelves and salad drawers.  But nothing got touched from it today as we were out at a neighbours having a get together with pals from the gym.
 
Sue xx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Spending the Nectar Points


Day  186
 
Money Spent Today - £2.35    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent - £25.00
Money Spent in Total - £201.43    Vouchers/Points/Credits Spent in Total - £256.09
Emergency £5 Spent on Butter
Money Earned Through Sale of Food £30.50
Money left in purse  -  £15.07
 
Well that's most of my points gone in one fell swoop.
 
 
But the good news is that I got this lovely lot, and that should last us some time.  It's nice to see the salad and veggie drawers in the fridge so full again.  Now to set to and make something tasty out of that Butternut Squash :-)
 


 
Have a good weekend.
 
Sue xx