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    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
    Cooking for one 13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    ****There is now a new thread "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" which can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5680849

    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?



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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 228
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 10th Jun 17, 7:11 AM
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    Anne_Marie
    How?? I never buy cucumbers. I resent the fact that a half, when available, is disproportionately priced compared to a full one ... but there's so MUCH of it. I don't object to a bit of cucumber in a cheese/cucumber sandwich, but I find them pretty "pointless", just wet and tasteless. It'd take me 2-3 weeks to get through two small ones.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm going through a phase of eating a lot of cucumber just now. Am loving it with cheese in a toastie, as well as in a salad. I also put chunks in soda water/water as well as a slice of lemon. Drinking a lot just now due to the heat. (I don't do coke/lemonade etc at all, far too sweet). There is definitely a taste to them here, honestly. They are very small, probably three would maybe be size of 1 in UK, possibly a bit smaller. Also goes very nice in a G & T which I had two of in the last week.

    If mine broke it wouldn't occur to me to call a repair man, I'd just buy a new one. I suspect a repair man would cost similar to buying new and I'd guess that the repair man would say "you need a new one", so might as well cut to the chase
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Call out charge is about £10 max if they don't live locally...if they do, they don't charge you, apart from obviously parts and time spent. They try to fix everything here, buying new is a last resort! I've gotten into the Cypriot way of thinking now. You are perfectly right, in the UK I would just have bought a new one.

    Here it's grey, overcast, cool. The weatherman says most of the recent winds will go, but many will have rain (I hope not me as my lawn needs cutting).
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Will keep fingers crossed for you.

    Meant to say that all fruit/veg here is priced per kg, so no benefits of buying more than you need.
    Last edited by Anne_Marie; 10-06-2017 at 7:26 AM. Reason: Forgot to add.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 7:25 AM
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    PasturesNew
    It's L1dl cheap cheese day ... but it seems I have bought cheese recently (having missed the last L1dl deal weekend as I thought it was for the week, not just the weekend, I didn't expect another deal so soon afterwards, so just stocked up on cheese at a good price when I spotted it).

    I currently have two 350g packs unopened (dated 6 July) and half a bigger block (dated end of June). So the thing is ... is it worth getting dressed, to walk to L1dl to get a block of cheese ... without knowing the date that'll be on the pack - I should've checked the dates last night when I popped in.

    So, not actually bothered if I get one or miss out.

    If I do buy one it'll skew the diet towards having to eat a lot of cheese in the next 3 months to get through two of the packs I've got - so not buying an offer pack will potentially allow me more food variety.

    *sighs* - so hard to decide.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jun 17, 8:11 AM
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    Hollyharvey
    There's a Waitrose just over a mile from me; I don't go in there because it's all a bit pricey... and there's a parking fee! The trolley will enable me to walk the extra distance when I'm in that area as it's a trek from the shop and through an underpass to everything else. At some point I'll investigate their offers/cheapest few basics and might occasionally actually buy something there and then trot home with an "I shopped at Waitrose glow"
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    I go to the one near me about 9.00am in the morning. They open at 8.00am and start doing their yellow stickers so by 9.00 most of them are out. I find that their y/s reductions are good. Sometimes their offers make something a lot cheaper than the other supermarkets.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 8:29 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I decided ...not to rush out to see if I could buy cheese, just to "save £2" as it'd lead to an urgency to eat a lot of cheese every time I opened the fridge for the next 1-2 months
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jun 17, 8:41 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I'm rapidly reaching the conclusion that it's fab that Ldl/ldi are my closest stores as they give me access to cheap food ... but ... I really crave the exciting variety of 45da, my "favourite" shop that I'd most like to live close to.

    I go into L/A looking for "something nice", but they routinely fail to provide.

    I think I need to start shopping at 45da, say, once every month, just to enjoy looking at their wonderful vast ranges and pretty packaging And to routinely treat myself from their wonderful selections...
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    that it's literally impossible for me to shop at my fave supermarket - I need to be on a home visit to do so and I'd then have to spend hours lugging the stuff back here again in my suitcase. Yep - Waitrose then....where it was possible imo to go in just looking for "something interesting"

    Thankfully I've got several wholefood shops to choose from that I can get to within a day one way or another.

    I do keep my eye open when in T*sco in case of anything "new". Just spotted on the carton of Rice Dream rice milk sitting on counter waiting to be put away that they now do "ice cream" in it too. Decision made to check it out when I see it - and that would probably be next time I go to Waitrose anyway if I'd not moved and that translates into keeping my eye out at T*sco for I don't know how many months to see if they ever stock it and, if they do, keeping my fingers crossed that it doesnt promptly get whipped off the shelves never to reappear again....

    EDIT; Just done a quick check of respective websites. Yep...sure nuff - Waitrose stocks it and it's not even listed yet on T*sco website (so no chance for I-dont-know-how-long at my local small T*sco then....).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-06-2017 at 8:52 AM.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Breakfast was a two course banquet

    Sausages, hash browns, baked beans and a poached egg. Black coffee.

    Then I had a cheeky snackpot of honey/peanut cornflakes.

    60p for that lot!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Jun 17, 9:54 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    Thanks for the support re the fridge/freezer saga - the replacement has been confirmed as coming this afternoon so fingers crossed all goes smoothly.

    I'm not CFO today and hoping my son volunteers to cook tonight . We are having a naughty brunch of lorne sausage, eggs and tattie scones. The weather is grey just now but forecasted to brighten up later so hopefully I can get some more salady bits sown.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £129/£170
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 10th Jun 17, 10:46 AM
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    SunnyGirl
    Good morning everyone. I got distracted last night as my youngest son came home before he sets off to take part in Camp America tonight. He a very excited young man

    I had replies from both Lidl and Aldi saying that they took customer opinions very seriously and that would pass my comments on to the relevant teams. I have decided that this was just a 'fob off' and have started following a few #foodwaste groups while I ponder my next move. I just need to decide what it is.

    MITSTM That was a good list thank you. Tesco offer a lot of fresh stuff loose - why not potatoes though?! - I'm sure Asda, Sainsbury's etc will be the same but why not the discounters? I was half tempted to suggest that they just rip a few bags open and put the carrots or whatever into a box for loose purchasing

    PN Breakfast sounds amazing I am jealous. Well done on getting your freezer down so much, it will hopefully give you more choice now as you originally envisaged when you bought it.

    Caronc Glad your Dad and his freezer are both surviving!

    I am at work today so had no breakfast, lunch will be a tuna sandwich (I made 8 a few weeks ago with a pack of muffins and two tins of tuna and froze them individually), a kiwi and a yoghurt. My son and I are at my Mum's for tea tonight before we take him to the coach station for his overnight coach to Heathrow ready to fly at 9am in the morning. No CFO today here then.

    Tomorrow night I am having a spaghetti Bolognese which is one of my homemade 'ready meals' I'll only have the spaghetti to cook when I get home.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 11:01 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I suppose the discounters use the bags because it's cheaper for them to manage, so they can keep their prices low.

    If I buy 1000 bags of carrots and put them on display and the till registers 990 bags sold, 5 marked as spoiled/returned on the stock control...then I can tell I've had 5 bags nicked.

    If they're loose they have to potentially open more tills more often if there's a delay caused by weighing out stuff... and then they have to throw away part of a box because they were the grotty ones nobody chose...and the whole stock management and waste management is different/harder/longer.

    But for the bigger boys, reaping larger profits, I'm cynical that their motivations are purely psychology-based tricks to generate sales by making things look easy for people to grab. And they know that if everybody's cherry picking they'll end up with more grotty ones to dispose of somehow.

    What annoys me is that they have removed choice in favour of their convenience, which they market as OUR convenience.

    I say of shops these days "there is no food in this shop..... just products"
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Jun 17, 11:30 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I'm not so sure that the reason (trans. excuse) for not having everything loose is in case we only pick the good ones. I know I have a good peer at any bagged stuff I buy to see if I can spot any "duds" inside the packaging and will put that particular bag back on the shelf and choose another one if I do.

    I think they may - possibly - even be/have been concerning themselves with the thought that some customers would take a bag for one solitary item of this and then another bag for another solitary item of that etc. Thus the supermarket is being "mean" with the cost of those "solitary" little bags - whereas they can cost in the packaging of bagged items iyswim. When I bought my equivalent of a small bar of chocolate the other day (from a small local shop) I think the shirty response I got was at least partly down to them not wanting to provide a small paper bag for it. Errr...hello....it was blimmin' expensive chocolate and I wanted that bag because I wasnt planning to eat it all absolutely immediately. I have recently come across shop owners that can literally be that mean and "worry" themselves re the cost of a little bag - daft imo - as it's not taking the longer-term view of "keep the customer happy - and they'll come back again".

    **********

    Sunny Girl - there may be some variation between different branches of T*sco (for instance) re exactly what they have loose. As stated - potatoes of any description weren't loose in the T*sco I use (a small one by my/today's standards). But it's a bit different in Caron's one (am guessing that might be a bigger one??). Maybe there's an element of "regional differences" too? For instance - betcha most of you wouldn't have a tub of laverbread one can buy a portion from available on your fish counter in T*sco
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 10th Jun 17, 11:32 AM
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    SunnyGirl

    What annoys me is that they have removed choice in favour of their convenience, which they market as OUR convenience.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    That's a good point and what annoys me too
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 10th Jun 17, 11:35 AM
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    SunnyGirl
    MITSTM Possibly not! I'm in Greater Manchester so will have a look the next time I'm in Tesco for some regional produce particular to this region. We are famous for our black puddings in my town
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 12:38 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I'm on the south coast, at the seaside.

    I'm at the wrong seaside though as I don't like the beach - and would have to drive a whole 3 miles to get to the uninterrupted 7 long miles of soft/sandy beach .... but can I be 4rsed? Nope.

    There's no joy thinking what you need, then packing it all up and lugging it around, to pick a spot, get all set up ... only to find you're suddenly surrounded by groups of kids that want to play football over your head .... or just chase right over your spot and flick sand in all your nicely laid out bits and pieces.

    And you're sitting there....now what?

    I thought it looked like good weather, so I went to the launderette, got everything hung out - and now it's clouded over... so I have to sit and watch it now "in case it rains" .... bummer.

    Lunch will therefore be crumpets.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-06-2017 at 12:42 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jun 17, 1:21 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    I'm on the south coast, at the seaside.


    Lunch will therefore be crumpets.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    I used to live on the south coast, but not at the seaside. This was in the late 70s early 80s. We lived in Southampton and then Chandlers Ford for a while, and then went and lived at a hotel which was owned by a friend of my then husband at the time, in the middle of the New Forest. It was in the annexe at the Beaulieu Hotel. At the time there was no mains electricity and what there was came from their own generator which was only on at set times of the day. The cooker used calor gas and they switched that off at certain times as well. I can't remember why we moved out there. It may have been because it was so nice around there and we wanted a more peaceful lifestyle.


    Anyhow back to food, there is nothing wrong with crumpets for lunch. They are a really good CFO staple I love them since this thread got me into them
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jun 17, 1:48 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    I went with a friend today to the town's big Sainsburys and I had a look at the veg to see what was loose. They had much the same as Tesco have so it seems that it is very much a universal thing.


    Today I have had porridge and berries for breakfast. I think it is going to take me ages to get through the bag of oats that I have, but I don't mind using dried good like that well past their best before date, usually a couple of years at least.


    Lunch was a cheese and pickle sandwich with some salad. I decided to give the tuna a miss today. I am really sick of it at the moment but will probably have it tomorrow for lunch just to use it up.


    Dinner will be a cottage pie that I previously made and froze with some steamed veg.


    Now crumpets have been mentioned I'm sure that one of those will feature as a snack at some point today and I have a couple of apricots that need using up so will eat them later as well.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 10th Jun 17, 1:48 PM
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    SunnyGirl
    I'm a fellow crumpet lover and particularly like them with beans on or with honey. Yummy
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 2:06 PM
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    PasturesNew
    For lunch, instead of crumpets, I had a sudden "great idea" of using up some big seashell pasta I was "gifted". I got the portions wrong and there was a lot of pasta... then I added the veggie/quorn thing I made 2 days ago and .... I struggled to get through it.

    It was half exciting the first day, but now I'm nearly choking on it. I might just say "s0d it, life's too short" and bin the final portion.

    Crumpets later, to cheer myself up a bit
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Jun 17, 3:31 PM
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    Farway
    I go to the one near me about 9.00am in the morning. They open at 8.00am and start doing their yellow stickers so by 9.00 most of them are out. I find that their y/s reductions are good. Sometimes their offers make something a lot cheaper than the other supermarkets.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Have to agree, it is a misconception IMO that Waitrose is always expensive, you do have to watch though, but I find some things are cheaper, especially if on offer. Recently for instance it was Heck bangers, £2 a pack.

    HH "Lunch was a cheese and pickle sandwich with some salad. I decided to give the tuna a miss today. I am really sick of it at the moment but will probably have it tomorrow for lunch just to use it up" Yep, reckon we have all been there on that fed up with it food wagon

    Weather started fine & sunny, now grey but will get out and do some watering later

    The loaded skins I tried yesterday fall into the "interesting but CBA if I never eat them again" category, plus they also tick my angry box about naff names for the common place, what's wrong with stuffed baked potato?
    Nil breakfast
    Lunch was a cheese salady sarnie again

    Tonight's dinner is more experimenting, it is "dirty cheesy chips" from M & S, and I will bung a couple of Waitrose, on offer a while back & now defrosting, bangers in the oven with them. Luckily same gas 6 and same time required to cook

    I like cucumbers as well, sliced or diced, in a sarnie on it's own, or salad, or with anything really. I have two growing at the front up the curly railings, no fruit yet

    For those with sunny weather and fancy a Pimms, here is some borage to plop in it, in flower in the garden and bees loving it

    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jun 17, 4:22 PM
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    Hollyharvey


    The loaded skins I tried yesterday fall into the "interesting but CBA if I never eat them again" category, plus they also tick my angry box about naff names for the common place, what's wrong with stuffed baked potato?

    Originally posted by Farway

    But stuffed baked potato doesn't sound as exciting as loaded skins, even though that's what they are, so you may not buy them...they've got to temp you somehow (I'm not cynical at all
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jun 17, 4:41 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Have to agree, it is a misconception IMO that Waitrose is always expensive, you do have to watch though, but I find some things are cheaper, especially if on offer. Recently for instance it was Heck bangers, £2 a pack.
    Originally posted by Farway
    I think it's where you're looking from. Looking from the viewpoint of somebody who never buys expensive stuff and always buys the cheapest of everything (80p ready meals, 36p loaves) - it's expensive.

    It's only "not expensive" if you're the sort of person who will shell out £1 for a loaf and £3 for a ready meal.

    I looked at the Waitrose offers earlier this morning - "3 for £10" ready meals.... big variety, sounded nice .... but I could get 6 for £10 at L1dl/4ldi and about seven of the 80p meals.

    ... loaded skins I tried yesterday fall into the "interesting but CBA if I never eat them again" category, plus they also tick my angry box about naff names for the common place, what's wrong with stuffed baked potato?
    Originally posted by Farway
    Yeah, I don't get it ... just a made up name for cutting a jacket spud a different way and dolloping fillings in a different way.

    I've never bothered.

    .... "dirty cheesy chips"
    Originally posted by Farway
    I nuke some chips and toss grated cheddar on


    I only ever tried a tiny Pimms about 2 years ago, just because I'd never had it and was offered it in a house, so could have a small taster without buying one .... wasn't impressed. Won't bother with that.
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