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  • FIRST POST
    • 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 231
    • Farway
    • By Farway 12th Jun 17, 2:20 PM
    • 5,489 Posts
    • 6,685 Thanks
    Farway
    Farway - meant to say your Borage is beautiful, did you grow it from seed? ..
    Originally posted by caronc
    Yes, from seed, really easy, I did grow them years ago and they self seeded everywhere but eventually died away, so thought I would give them another go 'cos they are lovely blue and bee friendly to boot

    PN as is so often the case with bought food we have scoffed before, somehow it never lives up to the memory

    Nothing much doing today, not a duvet day but def "do not a lot day", bit windy and uninspiring outside so just fiddling around on computer things I have been meaning to do for a bit, like edit a video, alter a web page, edit photos sort of stuff, takes time and today is the ideal day for it. Maybe if I were a superstar I would write a world beating best seller but I will leave that for another time

    Breakfast was toast & ginger marmalade, this one is Asda's own, and quite nice which surprised me. Plus a biggy own grown fresh picked strawberry, which was OK but fell into the "it never lives up to the memory" mentioned above

    Lunch was tuna & mayo sarnie, I noted someone here eating them the other day, which triggered my desire for one.

    It made change from cheese especially because tonight's dinner is the other M & S massive pizza, Spinach & Ricotta, maybe with a bit of salad. That just leaves the apple pie left from the £10 deal, no prizes for guessing what tomorrow's food will be
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jun 17, 2:28 PM
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    Hollyharvey


    Lunch was tuna & mayo sarnie, I noted someone here eating them the other day, which triggered my desire for one.

    It made change from cheese...
    Originally posted by Farway

    It was me with the tuna mayo sanrnies. I have got a tinned tuna mountain that I need to get through so have been having a lot of tuna mayo sarnies.


    Funny enough you having cheese sandwiches gave me a yearning for those, and that is what I have moved on to now
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 12th Jun 17, 2:40 PM
    • 3,376 Posts
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    So far today I've had coffee and a portioned out bowl of mesa sunrise cereal with cashew milk. I bought the cereal ages ago as it was reduced, it's gone its best before date but its still good. I have one portion left! I have just enough cashew milk for a tea later which will be nice.

    I'll have some fruits to snack on over the day.

    Later I'll use the last of the slaw mix with the last of the vegan mayo to make coleslaw.
    Dinner will be the last of the butternut squash fajita mix I've been eating for the last two days already. So third day in a row, with a baked potato and the last of the avocado I have.

    Todays theme if you've missed it is use up the last of, lol.
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 2:41 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I don't really fancy the remainder of the chinese so soon.... I do wish more chinese takeaways would produce a "meal in a box" that's half the size of a main+side. Some do it, where you get a bit of the main + a bit of rice + a few noodles or some chips.

    Today I've so far scoffed quite a few items - none of which have meal names, so here's the list, in scoff order:

    - portion of honey/nut cornflakes
    - last thick/fluffy crumpet + a cheese triangle
    - scrambled eggs, sausages, beans
    - the final choccy.

    EDIT 1: 6 large prawn crackers.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 12-06-2017 at 3:24 PM.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 12th Jun 17, 3:20 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 10,578 Thanks
    karcher
    Farway, caron Did you know Borage is an excellent plant food/fertiliser for especially tomato and strawberry plants?

    Add a good quantity of Borage to water in a container/ dustbin with a lid on. Leave to mature then use one third Borage liquid and 2 thirds water in a watering can then water the soil around the base of the plant..not on the plant.

    Word of warning it absolutely stinks but worth it for the boost it gives the toms etc
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 6:30 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Well, tea was some of the leftover chicken balls. I'd finished the rice off last night (it wasn't that good, I can make better). I also had all the S/S sauce yesterday ... it was passable, but not excellent.

    So today I made more rice and served some of the chicken with some instant curry sauce. I retained a tiny bit of the rice for tomorrow ... but tomorrow I'll have to knock up a little bit of chow mein, although I've no onion in the house as I'm emptying the freezer... so it'll be onionless chow mein ditto bean sprouts (I never have those in the hosue). So it'll just be noodles/soy

    The chicken texture was better than yesterday, but I still got the collywobbles eating it due to how it was yesterday.... once I've had "funny meat" of any sort that puts me off it again for years.

    I have to finish the chicken tomorrow .... and, regretfully, I think I'll give up on Chinese for a couple of years.

    As this is only the 2nd time I'd been to that chinese I will never know if I got a rogue batch of "only just cooked" stuff, or what... all I can determine from it is I don't wish to run the risk of it being "only just cooked". I do like chicken to behave like chicken, so it peels away from itself ...

    I might have half a dozen prawn crackers later.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 12th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    • 2,558 Posts
    • 32,270 Thanks
    SunnyGirl
    Evening all. A frustrating day here really. The plasterer was an absolute angel and was clean, tidy and mopped the floor after himself and everything but I've been confined to the living room really so I'm
    now a bit bored and fed up. Plus I haven't yet heard that my son is there safe and sound. I know he'll be fine but as a Mum I worry.

    Just cooking some rice to go with my keema for tea. Lunch was leftover pasta heated up in the microwave with grated cheese and lots of black pepper.

    You all put me to shame with the gardening. I get prickly heat so can't stay out for long in the sun. Mine is due a big weed I shall have to do an hour at a time tomorrow or something.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jun 17, 7:01 PM
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    caronc
    Yes, from seed, really easy, I did grow them years ago and they self seeded everywhere but eventually died away, so thought I would give them another go 'cos they are lovely blue and bee friendly to boot
    Originally posted by Farway
    Thanks - too late to sow this year but I'll get some seeds for next year
    Farway, caron Did you know Borage is an excellent plant food/fertiliser for especially tomato and strawberry plants?

    Add a good quantity of Borage to water in a container/ dustbin with a lid on. Leave to mature then use one third Borage liquid and 2 thirds water in a watering can then water the soil around the base of the plant..not on the plant.

    Word of warning it absolutely stinks but worth it for the boost it gives the toms etc
    Originally posted by karcher
    Thanks I didn't know that. I have made "weed" tea before boy did it pong.....
    Well, tea was some of the leftover chicken balls. I'd finished the rice off last night (it wasn't that good, I can make better). I also had all the S/S sauce yesterday ... it was passable, but not excellent.

    So today I made more rice and served some of the chicken with some instant curry sauce. I retained a tiny bit of the rice for tomorrow ... but tomorrow I'll have to knock up a little bit of chow mein, although I've no onion in the house as I'm emptying the freezer... so it'll be onionless chow mein ditto bean sprouts (I never have those in the hosue). So it'll just be noodles/soy

    The chicken texture was better than yesterday, but I still got the collywobbles eating it due to how it was yesterday.... once I've had "funny meat" of any sort that puts me off it again for years.

    I have to finish the chicken tomorrow .... and, regretfully, I think I'll give up on Chinese for a couple of years.

    As this is only the 2nd time I'd been to that chinese I will never know if I got a rogue batch of "only just cooked" stuff, or what... all I can determine from it is I don't wish to run the risk of it being "only just cooked". I do like chicken to behave like chicken, so it peels away from itself ...

    I might have half a dozen prawn crackers later.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    At least you know as your ok today the meat was ok.... Tbh - I cook my chicken to the "just cooked" stage ( I use a thermomenter to check) as I'm not keen if goes flakey

    I conked out again this afternoon but feel the "brain fog" has lifted a little. The weather perked up around 5pm so I managed to get the second lots of peas and broadbeans out and thinned out and repotted some salad leaves. I also had a noodle about my pots and I have a few radishes not far off of being ready - I thought with all the rain they might not form.

    My broccoli soup turned out lovely, I added the last wee bit of smoked stilton to the pot just the rind really and it really boosted the flavour without being too overpowering so that's lunch sorted for a few days and no doubt a portion or so for the freezer. I do love a poached egg in soup so suspect that may feature as well. I've taken a pork chop out for tonight so plan to have it with herby potato slices and the LO salad and dip.

    Rain forecast again for tomorrow so I'll need to get some housework done and I want to rake through my veg drawer and see what needs using up. Try as I might I can't seem to get back into meal planning but this might give me a nudge.....
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jun 17, 7:07 PM
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    • 14,930 Thanks
    caronc
    Evening all. A frustrating day here really. The plasterer was an absolute angel and was clean, tidy and mopped the floor after himself and everything but I've been confined to the living room really so I'm
    now a bit bored and fed up. Plus I haven't yet heard that my son is there safe and sound. I know he'll be fine but as a Mum I worry.

    Just cooking some rice to go with my keema for tea. Lunch was leftover pasta heated up in the microwave with grated cheese and lots of black pepper.

    You all put me to shame with the gardening. I get prickly heat so can't stay out for long in the sun. Mine is due a big weed I shall have to do an hour at a time tomorrow or something.
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    Oh prickly heat you have my sympathies my Mum was plagued with it. I'm prone to itchy hives on my neck/chest if I get too warm so tend to have a small spray bottle of cool water to hand to stop it getting too inflamed
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    • 896 Posts
    • 7,256 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    Well, tea was some of the leftover chicken balls. I'd finished the rice off last night (it wasn't that good, I can make better). I also had all the S/S sauce yesterday ... it was passable, but not excellent.

    So today I made more rice and served some of the chicken with some instant curry sauce. I retained a tiny bit of the rice for tomorrow ... but tomorrow I'll have to knock up a little bit of chow mein, although I've no onion in the house as I'm emptying the freezer... so it'll be onionless chow mein ditto bean sprouts (I never have those in the hosue). So it'll just be noodles/soy

    The chicken texture was better than yesterday, but I still got the collywobbles eating it due to how it was yesterday.... once I've had "funny meat" of any sort that puts me off it again for years.

    I have to finish the chicken tomorrow .... and, regretfully, I think I'll give up on Chinese for a couple of years.

    As this is only the 2nd time I'd been to that chinese I will never know if I got a rogue batch of "only just cooked" stuff, or what... all I can determine from it is I don't wish to run the risk of it being "only just cooked". I do like chicken to behave like chicken, so it peels away from itself ...

    I might have half a dozen prawn crackers later.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    It's a shame that this wasn't very good. You may feel like trying a different chinese in a couple of months. I am quite fussy over chicken as well. I always make sure it is well cooked and probably overcook it a little bit to be certain it is cooked through.


    Do you like any take away other than chinese that you could have next time?
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 7:19 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ....
    You all put me to shame with the gardening. I get prickly heat so can't stay out for long in the sun. Mine is due a big weed I shall have to do an hour at a time tomorrow or something.
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    Never believe that mine is hard.... I hate it, I'm rubbish at it, I put it off as long as possible ... and I eventually manage to do 2-3 hours once a year (done that now!).

    After that I have a big bucket and each time I'm out I'll randomly pluck at the odd bit/piece here and there and toss it into the bucket half heartedly.

    I really wish I'd bought a house that'd already had the full concrete treatment outside
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jun 17, 7:21 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    but I've been confined to the living room really so I'm
    now a bit bored and fed up.
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl

    I hate having anyone in to do work full stop. I hate being confined to one room like you wre today, and then I always feel that I can't get on with anything while workmen are here. I even hate it if a friend phones because I don't like the thought that they can hear what I'm saying It is never anything of interest to workmen, but just the thought that someone is probably listening in to my conversation. Goodness, reading this back, I sound paranoid Perhaps I am
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 7:24 PM
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    PasturesNew
    It's a shame that this wasn't very good. You may feel like trying a different chinese in a couple of months. I am quite fussy over chicken as well. I always make sure it is well cooked and probably overcook it a little bit to be certain it is cooked through.


    Do you like any take away other than chinese that you could have next time?
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    When I moved here about 4 years ago I tried a couple - they weren't anything special and "my usual" was about £9. So that's way too much to pay... but then somebody I know said there's a good one... and then she said it again and I remembered ... and then I thought I'd try it. No online menu and it turned out to cost £7.30 for "my usual".

    In reality ... I loved it the first time as it was a novelty - and the chicken "balls" were HUUUGE, more like fillets. So it was a good sized portion, at a good price. But the chow mein wasn't all that good last time and this time the egg rice wasn't anything to write home about (it wasn't how I like it if I'm paying). So the chicken middle being "almost jelly like to look at, with a similar feeling texture in my mouth" put that final nail in the coffin.

    As I've already tried a few - and all the others cost about £9 - I'll stick what I had been doing: chicken bits from supermarkets/frozen + make my own rice or chow mein and my own SS sauce.

    Me making my own comes in about about £1 or so ... max £1.50.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jun 17, 7:30 PM
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    Hollyharvey

    I really wish I'd bought a house that'd already had the full concrete treatment outside
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    All of the back of my house is concrete. I moved here from a house with a massive garden and was at the point where I had had enough of the work. That was one of the reasons that I bought this place.


    There is quite a large fron garden which is all grass and seperates me nicely from the pavement. My place is an end of a terrace of 5 bungalows and we all share a gardener to mow the lawns at the front.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 12th Jun 17, 7:41 PM
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    SunnyGirl
    Caronc Sympathies right back at you and I'm going to steal your idea of a spray bottle of water. I'm definitely starting to get hot flushes these days unfortunately and a squirt of cool water will be lovely. I have a little hand held fan that I stole from one of the children that works a treat too.

    HH You're not alone I was the same this morning when my friend then son rang! Plus a lot of my daytime pottering around seems to be in the kitchen and I couldn't do it. Managed to watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad though

    PN I must adopt the same attitude of doing a tiny bit when I'm out there as it's more than is getting done now!

    Has anyone tried these cakes in a mug? Are they any good? Sometimes I just feel like a bit of cake but don't want to make a big one or cba going out to the shop at night.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 12th Jun 17, 7:44 PM
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    PasturesNew

    Has anyone tried these cakes in a mug? Are they any good? Sometimes I just feel like a bit of cake but don't want to make a big one or cba going out to the shop at night.
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    It's another word gimmick. It's just the same as they've ever been ... cakes in the nuker ... but we never called them "mug" ones in the past, we just made them.

    The bottom line with these is: they will work to a point. It depends on the size of the mug, the power of the nuker - and what you're actually making.

    A lot have an unachievable ingredients list, that relies on a fully stocked (usually feeding 6 people) type of store cupboard.

    But ... they do work, but after you've done the first one you will need to learn from what you ended up with and then tweak it a bit so it comes out how you expected.

    You don't hear of me making many just because I'm "not really a cake sort of person" and quite often don't have even "the basics" in the cupboard to make one. I've made about 1 this year (I just checked). I more often do puds/custard, rather than cakes.... I do love something hot with custard -v- a cold bit of cake.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 12-06-2017 at 7:50 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Jun 17, 7:45 PM
    • 13,422 Posts
    • 36,573 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    I really wish I'd bought a house that'd already had the full concrete treatment outside
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Swop your garden with mine then - if you like that.

    But I've got a reasonable amount of "proper garden" that I can manage to grow things in - whilst I wait for the (loads of....) money I need to rip it all up and set it right at some point.

    So - concrete - can crack like mad and get weeds in said cracks (including awkward ones like dandelions). Check.

    Paving stones - if cheapie/horrible - can get to look really manky/crack. Get weeds in said cracks (including awkward ones like dandelions). Check.

    Tarmac - yep.....same again....

    I am going to be so glad to see the back of all that yucky cheap broken stuff when I can afford it.....

    So - swop you for grass.

    I'm not sure whether it's a blessing that so many gardens in this area are like that - so mine doesnt stand out as uniquely ugly until I can throw some (loadsa) money at it. Or a curse that so many of them are like it - as it makes the area look so much worse than it's supposed to/could do. I'll go with regarding it as a curse....
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 12-06-2017 at 7:50 PM.
    If there's "4 tendencies" type of people (Gretchen Rubin) = yep....Questioner type here
    - Meets an expectation only if they believe it's justified and resists anything arbitrary or ineffective
    • karcher
    • By karcher 12th Jun 17, 8:04 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
    • 10,578 Thanks
    karcher
    Today's CFO effort:

    B'fast: Tea, Coffee
    Lunch: Can of diet Tango
    Afternoon/High Tea x 3 Teas, a Bounty Bar, A pitta bread toasted and smothered in butter and a splash of marmalade.

    Dinner: (2 hours later) x2 large Pitta Breads with X2 breaded frozen fish fillets and shredded lettuce with baby toms on the side. One more pitta just toasted with honey.


    What a greedy moo eh and mostly unhealthy stuff. I am now stuffed and my stomach is blown up like a big balloon ...serves me right!

    Twas just one of them eat everything till stuffed days
    Last edited by karcher; 12-06-2017 at 8:05 PM. Reason: deleting a random I at the end!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jun 17, 8:04 PM
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    • 14,930 Thanks
    caronc
    I've no grass or apart from one at the front, no flower beds. The front is pebbles (wish it was slabbed as they are a weed magnet) and the back a mix of slabs for the top half and dodgy concreting for the lower. If I had the cash I'd get the bottom half levelled and slabbed. Hence the squillons of pots for flowers and tubs for the "allotment" part. I do wish at times I had some beds at the back but in reality pots are much easier to manage. I'm so glad I have no lawns....
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jun 17, 8:06 PM
    • 2,205 Posts
    • 14,930 Thanks
    caronc
    Today's CFO effort:

    B'fast: Tea, Coffee
    Lunch: Can of diet Tango
    Afternoon/High Tea x 3 Teas, a Bounty Bar, A pitta bread toasted and smothered in butter and a splash of marmalade.

    Dinner: (2 hours later) x2 large Pitta Breads with X2 breaded frozen fish fillets and shredded lettuce with baby toms on the side. One more pitta just toasted with honey.


    What a greedy moo eh and mostly unhealthy stuff. I am now stuffed and my stomach is blown up like a big balloon ...serves me right!

    Twas just one of them eat everything till stuffed days
    Originally posted by karcher
    It could have been much worse..... sometimes you just have to go with the flow
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
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