Hello Dear Reader,
I went to our local butchers today for the first time in over a month!
1 extra large chicken - £3
1 Gammon shank - £2
2 kilo leg of lamb - £10
2 kilos of braising steak - £10
4 large rib eye steaks - £8
16 large best quality sausages - £4.70
6 Sirloin steaks - £8
1 kg of bacon pieces £2
4.3 kg minced beef - £10
2kg of extra thick back bacon - £10
This will become 7 weeks of meals! I won't go to the butchers again until half way through January.
Here is how I divided it up and what I will do with it.
Lemon Roast Chicken and Rosemary Roast potatoes - 4 meals (ding cuisine the day after)
Honey and Mustard glazed gammon shank with bubble and squeak and green veggies - 2 meals.
Roast lamb for six over the Christmas holiday - 8 meals (ding cuisine for 2 the following day)
Braising steak will become: 12 meals
Steak and kidney pie with GF pastry
Beef stew with GF dumplings
Braised steak with gravy
Steak au poive
Beef in Ale
Rib eye steaks will be only just cooked in a smoking hot griddle and served with salad - they are too expensive to mess about with. 4 meals
Sausages will become: 6 meals
Sausage meatballs with tomato and basil sauce
GF Toad in the hole
Sausages with onion gravy, cabbage and mustard mash.
Bacon pieces will become: 4 meals
Irish bacon and cabbage soup
Potato, egg and bacon bake - with salad
Sirloin steaks will become: 6 meals
Steak pepper sauce, chips and peas - maybe some fried onions too!
Steak with pepper sauce
Grilled steak with garlic and herb butter.
Steak in red wine and mushroom sauce.
Minced beef (divided into 12 - 330g portions) becomes
2 X Lasagne
2 X Cottage pie
2 X Chilli con carne
2 X Spaghetti Bolognaise
2 X Meatloaf
2 X Meatballs in tomato sauce
Sliced Back bacon became - 10 packs - they will be used over the weeks to come, mainly at the weekend, for cooked breakfast.
I love to make menu plans so I can make my money stretch as far as it possibly can. I will intersperse the meals I have planned with veggie meals such as soups. I supplement all of my shopping with store cupboard ingredients from Approved Food and buy all of my meat from the local butchers. It means we can eat really well every day and stick to our budget.
Over to you, if any of you lovely readers can think of alternatives that I could have used my meat purchases for, then feel free to leave a comment and I can easily take up your ideas. I always have to search my cookery books and food websites once I have found my bargain purchases.
I'm now going to use the last of the daylight to get the work clothes ironed and try to put my fabric away in the cupboards. I am just itching to get sewing again and would just love five minutes.
Love Froogs xxxxxxxxxxxx
p.s - superfast should be switched on next week and I can stop piggybacking off my phone!
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Saturday, 7 December 2013
I'm really starting to feel at ease in my cosy cottage. We're eating from our store to stretch our food budget. I thought I would share some of what I do with some of my Approved Food store cupboard ingredients. I used the gluten free cake mix and elderberry jam to make a sponge pudding.
Supper tonight was: half a chicken breast each 50p, half a potatoe each 12p, 1/4 jar of honey and mustard sauce 15p, 1/4 tin of carrots 7p, 1/8th of a cabbage each 10p - total dinner price - £1.14
The other way I've stretched the budget today is that I've cooked tomorrow's lunch at the same time and it will be reheated.
Tonight, we've lit the woodstove and the washing is drying I front of it.
We've done a tiny bit of work on the house....... We bought lampshades and hung them. We spent the huge sum of £1.79 each.
Friday, 6 December 2013
Hello Dear Reader,
I have a list as long as my leg of things I need to buy, make, repair and improve in our new home. I read Elaine's bog over at Mortgage Free in Three and thought about her question. When do you use your emergency savings and what do you just pay for from your everyday income. I'm determined to spend no more each month than the difference between my new mortgage and my previous mortgage. That doesn't mean I will use that much money every month but I will put that money aside every month until I have completed what needs to be done.
Here's the plan:
Take current curtains apart and remake them into curtains that fit these windows - no cost.
Dig up and move plants in the garden - no cost.
Construct wood shed we brought with us - no cost
Build up wood supply - regular supply of pallets from local industrial estate and offcuts from local building firm - no cost, just time.
Build shelving in shed from free cycled scaffold planks - no cost.
Chimney sweep and wood burner repairs - combined approx. £150 Robbie the sweep and local blacksmith is also a HETAS engineer and will let us know about the state of the old stove we have inherited. It may not have a lined chimney and we don't know if it is sound until the sweep gets his brushes up the chimney. If it needs lining and a new stove then the outlay will be over a thousand.......yikes!
The big expense, that we were well aware of when we bought it that we would need to double glaze the entire property! Yikes and double yikes! I will mumble that figure quietly to myself when I get the Cornish company I've been using for years to give me their quote later in the month. We have money put aside for this from the sale of the house and we know it's going to be costly.
I intend to renovate the house over the next twelve months and go headlong into mortgage over payment.
In the meantime, the only way I'm going pay for everything we have to do is to cut back on all our spending. I will need a good store in our pantry to keep our food costs as low as possible. My recent Approved Food order will pad out our meals and give us variety for weeks and weeks to come. I have jam and gluten free cake mix which will be great for puddings. Pasta and sauce mix which will provide plenty of lunches for DB. Gravy for our Sunday roasts, apple sauce for puddings, apple bake well tarts and lemon juice for salad dressing.
It might seem trivial to have a store cupboard but it saves me loads of money over the year and oh boy, I need to save every penny I can to fix up this little house.
Come back tomorrow for my back to basics menu plan and I make a pound do the work of a fiver!
Love Froogs xxxxxx
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Hello Dear Reader,
I started running down my store cupboards months ago so we didn 't move with food. Now, I have to build up my store cupboard again. I've bought store cupboard ingredients from Approved Food for a couple of years.
I placed my order yesterday and saved us £45 on essential larder items. Having a good store cupboard means I only have to buy fruit and vegetables from the supermarket as I buy meat from the local wholesale butchers. Food is so expensive that many British families are living in food poverty and even we have to watch our finances and be careful about our spending on food. I will share my order and what I will do with it when it arrives tomorrow.
Here's our simple supper
Gluten free pasta with turkey, mushrooms and pesto.
Cook your pasta as directed .
As ever with our food, some is popped in our lunch boxes for tomorrow.
I know some of you have shopped with Approved Food before but who hasn't and still needs some encouragement ?
Love Froogs xxx
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Hello Dear Reader,
I'm stll chatting away to you by blogging by phone. We bought the house from am older couple and they never had broadband and we have to wait for some one in India to tell some third party to tell a human somewhere else in the world to digitally enable the service!
Moan over !
I love soup at this time of year and one of my favourites is lentil and bacon soup.
To make the soup you will need :
1 teacup of red lentils
1 chopped onion
4 large chopped carrots
1 large chopped potato
4 rashers of bacon - cut into cubed
Add the chopped carrots and potatoes.
Add the stock
Bring to the boil and then simmer for thirty minutes.
Supper cost around 50p a bowl and was totally delicious .
I'm off to bag some bargains from Approved Food to restock my much depleted pantry .
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Hello Dear Reader
I thought i would give a chance to see the 'before' sewing room. I am itching to get sewing again ! I'm aiming to get the room up and running before Christmas.
Another day in advent and as I promised I gave myself an hour for exercise. I spent it in the gym weight training. I'm almost a year into my resolution of 'getting fit' and gym sessions are just a joy! The harder I work, the better I sleep at night, especially when snuggled under a homemade quilt.
I'm off to bed and I 'll be back tomorrow with one of my favourite soup recipes.
Love Froogs xxx
Monday, 2 December 2013
Hello Dear Reader,
We are going to find the next few months really financially tough. There's a lot to do and unknown bills to pay for.
We've inherited an economy 7 electricity meter which means cheap electricity at night but much much higher prices in the day. We also inherited British Gas as our energy providers. We immediately found the best deal and switched but we still have to wait until January the 9th to become a Scottish Power customer. Then, and only then can we have the meter changed. In the meantime, we will have to be very careful with energy.
Here's what I will do:
Use my slow cooker for low energy cooking,
Five minute showers,
Use the gas cooker to boil water,
Use the delay button on the washing machine so it comes on at night,
Dry the laundry in the porch and in front of the fire.
I thought i would share some more photos of our tiny cottage. The kitchen, the stairs and the hallway floor tiles.
I also thought I would share my advent with you. Between now and Christmas I intend to exercise every day and today I went 'spinning'. It's a busy time of year and I intend to take an hour a day to look after myself.
Who has an advent tradition ? I really hope you all manage to make time for yourselves xxxx
Tomorrow, I will reveal all of the other cutbacks we will have to make ends meet whilst we get our new home in order.
Love Froogs xxxx