Saturday, 25 June 2022

A Good Crop & A Plan

 I didn't really feel comfortable writing any foodie posts over the last week as Sue Hall has been doing the sponsored ration challenge for refugees and I wanted to absorb her blog posts and cheer her on from the sidelines.  I know I couldn't do it. She has done amazingly well and raised an impressive amount of money. Well done Sue! 

The allotment is coming on in leaps and bounds. We have been digging up one potato plant at a time as needed but on Thursday decided to empty one of the tubs. All these came from 5 Swift seed potatoes so we're really pleased with them.  We split them 3 ways: our daughter, my brother and ourselves. They should last quite a while as we don't eat enormous amounts of potatoes. Two of the bigger ones baked beautifully and they make good mash as well as lightly buttered and steamed. We also cut 3 cabbages to share and I picked quite a lot of broadbeans too...

The last few stems of rhubarb have now been microwaved and frozen so that we can now give the plant a rest. It might need dividing this year as it's several years old. 

Also harvesting:
Lettuces, radishes, spring onions and strawberries. 

I really didn't know what I fancied to eat at lunchtime today. I didn't sleep well last night so felt jaded this morning. I had to pop to Sainsburys for some bread for G's work sandwiches tomorrow and spotted a small, very basic pizza at 49p.  I couldn't be bothered to put the breadmaker on for dough, it would have taken too long anyway so  I bought the pizza.  With a bit of sliced onion, sliced tomatoes and extra cheese on top 10 minutes in the oven made a delicious quick lunch served with salad..... 

With a new month fast approaching I want to work out how much of our £50/55 weekly food budget is actually spent on food, and how much is eaten up by non-food items like washing up liquid, washing powder, softener, cleaning products etc  July will be a good time to test this because our stockpile of such items is running low so we will need to buy them.  The next food delivery will be on Wednesday so will be counted as week 1 (it's close enough to the 1st July 😉) We still have to stay within budget of course, that goes without saying really....

Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x 

Friday, 17 June 2022

The Last £7.50

G had £7.50 worth of  spendable Nectar points on his account so we used it yesterday to do a top up shop for the weekend.  He has lost his receipt 😞 (will he never learn?) but from memory we bought:

milk, bread, 2 x tins of fruit, a fresh cream trifle, yogurt, a box of cherry bakewell tarts (for the family visit tomorrow)  G also bought 4 cans of beer but we won't count that as food!  He paid for that himself. I can't remember the exact prices but a combination of Nectar prices and special offers meant that we spent £7.55 in total so just 5p actual cash, which means the food shop this week totals 12p.  We have enough food in stock now to last until the next delivery on Wednesday 22nd June.  I'm really pleased with that 😀

We have saved a lovely £50 this week so, after a charity donation of £10,  I have transferred £40 to the savings.  This will give us a bit of a safety net for price increases in the next month or two.

Main Meal Plan

Monday:  Quorn escalopes, wedges, baked beans ✅

Tuesday: Cheese and spring onion omelettes with salad ✅

Wednesday:  Salmon ready meals ✅

Thursday : Cod tray bake ✅

Friday : Homemade cheese & onion quiche with salad ✅

Saturday:  Eating out for Father's Day treat (lovely daughter paying)

Sunday:  sausages, veg and gravy

Food 'bought' with loyalty points/vouchers:

12/06/22  £20.00

15/06/22  £10.00

17/06/22  £7.50

Cash spent:

15/06/22  £0.07

17/06/22  £0.05


Thank so much for popping in. Stay safe x

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Voucher Shopping

I had earned a £10 voucher from surveys so I chose an M & S one to buy food with.........

Today, after a jolly good browse around the shelves of the (very quiet) store, I chose these....

The salmon ready meals which we really like had a Sparks loyalty offer of 15% discount as had the soft fruit so I paid  £4.00   £3.40 each for the salmon and £2.00   £1.70 for the cherries.  This gave me £1.50 remaining for something else 😀  A YS cake @£1.07 and a pack of biscuits @50p clinched the deal.   I paid just 7p in cash .  Result!

Main Meal Plan

Monday:  Quorn escalopes, wedges, baked beans ✅

Tuesday: Cheese and spring onion omelettes with salad ✅

Wednesday:  Salmon ready meals

Thursday : Cod tray bake

Friday : Sausages, veg and gravy

Saturday:  Eating out for Father's Day treat

Sunday:  NOT SURE...

I might juggle the remaining meals from one day to another but that is basically it.

Breakfast will be cereal with tinned fruit and a dollop of thick yogurt, or toast

Lunches will be sandwiches, or stir fry (to use any leftover veg), or cheese on toast

G still has £7.50 in Nectar points left which we will use for bread, milk, TV guide (and whatever we are running out of for the weekend) probably on Friday.

Stay well and thanks so much for popping in x

Food 'bought' with loyalty points/vouchers:

12/06/22  £20.00

15/06/22  £10.00

Cash spent:


Monday, 13 June 2022

A Frugal Year on a Tight Budget Continues...

At the start of the year we decided that 2022 would be a 'frugal year on a tight budget' as we needed to replace some of the savings we had to spend in order to move to our bungalow.  Since then the savings have been added to in dribs and drabs as the opportunity arose but who could have forseen the crisis we are all  now facing with the soaring cost of living.  The rising cost of fuel, energy and food is straining everyone's budget to bursting point.  I deliberately haven't placed an online food order this week so will be using loyalty points and vouchers for food with the aim of putting as much of the usual £50/ £55 spend into the savings.  I've made an inventory of stuff in the fridge and freezer which needs using up so that we don't waste a thing.

Stage 1 shopping:

Yesterday I did the first shop using Nectar points. I bought enough cereal and porridge to last at least a week of breakfasts, 4 x frozen cod fish portions, the quorn escalopes which we like and some sweet treats....

As luck would have it, it came to exactly £20 👍so, in reality, totally free to us.....

G has a few Nectar points too, around £7.50 worth I think, so we can use those towards the end of the week for some fresh stuff and bread.  I'll report on that when it happens.

Luckily the allotment is starting to produce food now.  We have been harvesting baby new potatoes, spring onions, radishes, lettuce, strawberries and the first crop of baby broad beans 😎  They will all help to stretch the budget of course.

Main Meal Plan

Monday:  Quorn escalopes, wedges, baked beans

Tuesday:  Cod tray bake

Wednesday: Cheese and spring onion omelettes with salad

Thursday : Cod, chips and peas

Friday to Sunday:  NO IDEA YET!

Breakfast will be cereal with tinned fruit and a dollop of thick yogurt, or toast

Lunches will be sandwiches, or stir fry (to use any leftover veg), or cheese on toast

Stage 2 shopping later on in the week!

We have had to spend a bit of money to buy bits and pieces for the new garden but everything is done as economically as possible.  Luckily, G gets a discount from work for plants, compost, and the like so the garden is slowly filling out.  I'll share photos soon.

Thanks for popping in everyone.  Stay safe x

Food 'bought' with loyalty points/vouchers:

12/06/22  £20.00

Cash spent:


Monday, 6 June 2022

Jubilee Joyfulness

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Queen's Jubilee celebrations across the world.

I watched the TV prog reviewing the lifetime of our beloved Monarch and it brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.  She has been in my life since I was 2 years old, when her father died and she became Queen, and I have nothing but love and total admiration for her.

Only a few houses in our street bothered to put up decorations but we displayed the 2 small flags we had managed to buy at the last minute.  The village hosted a Jubilee Concert on Friday from 1pm to 8pm with several local musical groups taking part.  We ate lunch at home then, at 2pm,  drove the short distance to the village as I knew I wouldn't be able to walk the distance back.  We took picnic chairs and sat in the sunshine drinking a glass of rose bought from the outdoor bar.  The turnout was amazing with families enjoying picnics, ice creams, and street food from the vendor's vans parked in a semi circle.  The music was varied and fabulous.  

By 3.30pm it had clouded over and the heavens opened making everyone run for cover so we sat in the car for a while until it blew over, bought and ate a bag of chips from the village chippie and then went back for more music!  About half of the original crowd had gone home 😖

Around 5pm Bhangra Smash Up came on and they were FAB!  The music was exciting, invigorating and inclusive to all cultures.  Everyone danced and waved their arms to the beat.  Even when the rain began again in earnest we carried on regardless.  They played an encore to the enthusiastic audience and two band members came out into the rain to play among us, getting almost as wet as we were.  Afterwards we took shelter in the building and had one final drink before home.

This is me with my drenched hair sticking to my head, soaked jacket, rain splashes on my glasses and T shirt but feeling better than I have felt in the last two and a half years!  And I never went to Glastonbury in my youth 😅

On Sunday I watched the Royal Pageant on TV and thoroughly enjoyed that too.  Did you watch it? What did you think?

Thanks so much for popping in and take care x

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Acts of kindness towards a pensioner (me!)

I'm ashamed to say that I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself over the last week or so.  I've been in pain with my back which meant that I have been unable to bend to pick anything up which I've dropped, nor could I reach up above my head even to dust things.  The pain radiated down my left leg causing my knee to feel numb too.  Painkillers only took the edge off the pain.  What the **** is going on?  Anyway....enough of the pity party 😏  Sorry.....

Acts of kindness:

1)  By using my O2 Priority app I can get a hot drink from Greggs each week for free and, as there is a shop close to the allotment, we often go there.  Last week I accompanied G just to get out of the house (not to work!) and as it was pouring with rain we went to get our free drinks.  G got his but mine wouldn't connect however many times I tried so I gave up and ordered a cup of tea and a pizza slice anyway.  The young chap behind the counter had witnessed my struggles and gave me my tea for free anyway.  Bless him for his kindness.

2) I have been trying for the last 2 weeks to grab another 'Too Good to Go' bag from Morrisons as the last one was so good.  6 times I ordered one only for them to be cancelled by the store each time.  On Wednesday night I got lucky and arrived at 5pm to pick up my bag.  It wasn't ready....again... so I had to wait while a young chap picked the goods for me. 

I was stunned!  He handed me a big box of food which I struggled to carry and had to place in a trolley to get to the car ......

I got:

3 kinds of bread
Cookies x 4
Muffins x 4
2 slices of cake @ £1.25 each
Ring Donuts x 4

Courgettes,, broccoli, parsnips, 2 packs peaches, 4 onions, 2 packs french beans, grapes, melon slice, sweet peppers, 4 wonky lemons, asparagus and baby plum tomatoes.

There was far too much for me to add up the prices as were were hungry and needed to eat but the value is stunning.  I paid £3.09

I know this is far from the normal amount of food you get in the offer but I shared it with my daughter, froze what I could and enjoyed the rest.  Nothing will be wasted and it has helped our food budget in a big way.  God bless the young man concerned.

I hope you are all having/ have had a great Jubilee weekend.

God Bless x 

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