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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?



    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 233
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 13th Jun 17, 8:35 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    Exciting times! Did you check the wind forecast?
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    - I think I have learnt the hard way to be aware of wind when taking the trolley out


    Those choc ices are a good price. I haven't ever been in an Aldi and we have got three in this town. I am looking forward to being able to get food much cheaper than I have been used to.


    I'm quite excited, how sad is that
    I'm beginning to wonder if I need to "get a life"
    • karcher
    • By karcher 13th Jun 17, 8:47 PM
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    karcher
    If you take it now and pop it on a metal tray it will defrost in no time
    Originally posted by caronc
    Thanks caron good to know for the future. As for now it is in the fridge defrosting for tomorrow...I'll find something else for tonight, though I've no idea what as yet?
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Jun 17, 10:56 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I haven't ever been in an Aldi and we have got three in this town. I am looking forward to being able to get food much cheaper than I have been used to.


    I'm quite excited, how sad is that
    I'm beginning to wonder if I need to "get a life"
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    This IS life ... if you're single. No need to go and get one, this is it

    I didn't realise you'd not been in one before. There's a thread on MSE about good/bad buys at L1dl/4ldi which I've tried to read before, but found it tough going - and most people were buying stuff I'd never touch.... so I don't bother reading it any more.

    In short: only you know what you like and what you currently eat ... so it's pretty pointless others saying XYZ is good because even if you do eat that, you might not like theirs

    You have to try stuff for yourself.

    I shopped at L1dl regularly before 4ldi opened, so have tried products from A that I used to buy in L - and which I prefer is personal taste. I prefer L1dl's cheap marg and part-baked baguettes....

    I get the 20p cans of 4ldi creamed rice... one of those "meal in a tin" moments, although it is 2 portions, so I have to eat it 2x once opened. They're "nothing to write home about", but they do fill a gap.

    4ldi tinned spuds are a really good buy, 19p or 29p (can't remember off hand!). I've eaten many tins of cheap spuds in the past ... these have the best texture imho.

    Tinned tomatoes - they have a good thick sauce in them - although I think that L1dl's tomato sauce is a bit thicker... but happy to buy the 4ldi tinned tomatoes if I need some (29p/tin).

    I was sucked in by the cheap packs of Jaffas when I first went in - grabbed a pack, but didn't enjoy those, so won't be buying those again.

    Big baps - packs of 4 bread rolls are a good size ... I tried the 6-packs of smaller ones and swore I'd only ever buy the big/4 packs in future.

    You just enjoy yourself and have a good shuffle round ..... see what's there, what you fancy.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 13-06-2017 at 11:00 PM.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 14th Jun 17, 5:32 AM
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    karcher
    If it is in some sort of packaging, pop the packaging into water. Not hot. Just normal cold water.
    It will speed up the defrosting process considerably.


    I would avoid microwave, unless you have one of the expensive ones that have clever defrosting system.
    Originally posted by Any
    Thanks for the tip Any
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 14th Jun 17, 6:55 AM
    • 12,810 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    - I think I have learnt the hard way to be aware of wind when taking the trolley out

    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Would that have been when you found yourself emulating Mary Poppins and taking off in the air - complete with open brolley?

    Sorrees....shouldnt laugh
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 14th Jun 17, 7:55 AM
    • 570 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    This IS life ... if you're single. No need to go and get one, this is it

    I didn't realise you'd not been in one before. There's a thread on MSE about good/bad buys at L1dl/4ldi which I've tried to read before, but found it tough going - and most people were buying stuff I'd never touch.... so I don't bother reading it any more.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Yep, I'm single
    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this thread. I think I had seen it in the past but not read it or taken any notice of it because I couldn't get to either of the shops. I'm going to have a quick look at the more recent posts now
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 8:06 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Having made two rounds of tomato sandwiches yesterday, while waiting for my tea to cook (I cannot leave the room when an appliance is on)..... I ate one round yesterday evening.

    Breakfast had to be beans/scrambled eggs on toast as I'd opened the beans 3-4 days ago and it was the final 1/3rd of the tin + I had that new loaf + I've got eggs in.

    The tomato sandwich I still have will end up as (early) lunch no doubt .

    I should probably also mention the prawn crackers the takeaway "gifted" me on Sunday evening ... I've been randomly nibbling those... and I've now got just two left.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 14-06-2017 at 9:30 AM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 14th Jun 17, 11:35 AM
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    Hollyharvey
    Back from Aldi and I'm pleased to say that I got on very well walking there and back and using the trolley. I'm finding that as I start walking I hardly notice that I've got the trolley anymore. I am surprised at how light it is even when full of food and all my bits and pieces that I find necessary to take out with me 'just in case'


    Aldi was an eye opener to me. After all these years that I have only had access to Sainsburys, Waitrose and M&S has made me realise how much money I have wasted on food. I was pleased when I got the trolley and that meant that I could get to Tesco and carry back the shopping. I saved a fair bit on my weekly shop the first time I went there compared to the three other shops I had been using. I didn't buy too much in Aldi this morning because as PN says you have to try their stuff and see what suits your taste. So I bought some staples that I needed and a few things to try. I also needed eggs and rhubarb and each of those were 50p cheaper than Tesco for the same size/weight so that was £1 saving to start with.


    I was genuinely surprised at how cheap a lot of their stuff was.


    Sorry I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but to me being able to buy food this cheap is a first


    The best purchase I think I have made for many years is the trolley. It will soon have paid for itself and be saving me money
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,

    I'm feeling more like it this morning though still a bit fuzzy from the meds and moving cautiously. Dinner last night ended up as a steak bake thingy, mushrooms and a small baked spud. Breakfast was toast with cheese spread and a very juicy flat peach. My Dad popped by earlier and in the course of chatting I mentioned I had made broccoli & stilton soup the other day - needless to say two portions have gone home with him. Lunch will probably be the last of the soup there is only a small portion left and I've a notion for an egg and tomato sandwich. I've 2 ducks and a hens egg needing used up as they are at/over their use bys so I'll boil these and have them over the next few days. I've no idea about dinner tonight something that doesn't involve pans of boiling water...
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Jun 17, 11:38 AM
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    caronc
    Back from Aldi and I'm pleased to say that I got on very well walking there and back and using the trolley. I'm finding that as I start walking I hardly notice that I've got the trolley anymore. I am surprised at how light it is even when full of food and all my bits and pieces that I find necessary to take out with me 'just in case'


    Aldi was an eye opener to me. After all these years that I have only had access to Sainsburys, Waitrose and M&S has made me realise how much money I have wasted on food. I was pleased when I got the trolley and that meant that I could get to Tesco and carry back the shopping. I saved a fair bit on my weekly shop the first time I went there compared to the three other shops I had been using. I didn't buy too much in Aldi this morning because as PN says you have to try their stuff and see what suits your taste. So I bought some staples that I needed and a few things to try. I also needed eggs and rhubarb and each of those were 50p cheaper than Tesco for the same size/weight so that was £1 saving to start with.


    I was genuinely surprised at how cheap a lot of their stuff was.


    Sorry I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but to me being able to buy food this cheap is a first


    The best purchase I think I have made for many years is the trolley. It will soon have paid for itself and be saving me money
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I'm glad your trip was a success - I so wish I could get to one.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 11:42 AM
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    PasturesNew
    .... something that doesn't involve pans of boiling water...
    Originally posted by caronc
    Nothing I cook EVER involves any pans ... or pans of water ... or the hob.

    I steam veggies ... and I boil pastas .... I boil/poach/omelette/scramble eggs .... all in the little metal box of magic beams.

    Earlier I made two more rounds of tomato sandwiches. That's used up the final big tomato I bought the other week... and I'm about half way down the loaf I bought Monday now! Those two rounds are in a plastic box, ready to be eaten on a whim. I've cut them into quarters, so there are eight quarters.... that sounds like a day-long nibble-fest to me.

    I like the sandwiches when they've been made/sat for many hours .... so, I had a cheeky bowl of honey/peanut cornflakes. I have tried 4ldi and L1dl now - while both are nice enough, I think L1dl have the edge on those as they flakes seem a little lighter/thinner/crisper.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 14th Jun 17, 11:43 AM
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    Hollyharvey
    Breakfast today was Greek yoghurt with some berries and a banana (I have got a few to use up) I think tomorrow I will make the banana pancakes that someone posted on here for me last week. I enjoyed them when I made them, but wanted something that I didn't have to do anything with this morning.


    Lunch is a cheese sandwich with some lettuce.


    Dinner is a grilled chicken breast, with some new potatoes, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes (they need to be used up) and peas.


    There are some scones in the freezer so I will get one of them out to defrost for pudding.


    I am running low on crumpets. I think I will stick to buying them from M&S though because they are the only ones I can find that are made using half wholemeal flour and have grains in them, and they seem to taste really nice to me. I will have to call in there later in the week.


    So far my meal planning this week is working out. If it carries on this way, I may manage to get through the week without having had too much repetition in my diet, other than the same veg during the week.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 11:52 AM
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    PasturesNew
    .... got on very well .... hardly notice....how light it is ... 'just in case'
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    The just in case stuff will one day fill it

    .... eye opener to me .... money I have wasted on food.....I didn't buy too much .... some staples that I needed and a few things to try... eggs and rhubarb ..50p cheaper

    I was genuinely surprised at how cheap a lot of their stuff was.

    ....It will soon have paid for itself and be saving me money
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    It's good you're really giving it a good going out ... even if shops don't have what you want/like, it's a good feeling to have some form of choice and not feel you're missing out too much by not having everything on your doorstep.

    Over the coming year or so you'll try/buy new things to enjoy
    CFO means you can never buy everything - you can't eat everything - so you really have to pace yourself.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 14th Jun 17, 2:48 PM
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    Farway
    The best purchase I think I have made for many years is the trolley. It will soon have paid for itself and be saving me money
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I think the same, once you have one you wonder how you ever did without one.

    Wish there was an Aldi near here, bit of a first world whinging problem really, there is Morrison's, Sainsbob's, Asda, M & S, Lild, Waitrose, £land, little T8sco and Costcutter, but still moan about lack of Aldi. Ungrateful bu66er

    Nice sunny day again, no breakfast again

    The Asda was wite good for YS today, found some "dateheart" bars, never heard of them either, I did Google them, oops bit problematic results . Seems no one eats them because they were down to 10p, grabbed 5, time will tell

    Also got some YS "will never ripen, but hope to ripen at home" nectarines, now in fruit bowl snuggling up to the YS bananas for a spot of ethylene breathing

    Waitrose have banger offer on for those interested, only some, the high 90% meat ones. £2.19, got a pack of them and they tick my free range box as well as the MSE one. Long dated so put by for later in the week

    Lunch was the routine cheese / salad sarnie

    Dinner will be the LO Hunter's chicken, cold, with Actifry frozen chips, then I may pop the last of the M & S £10 offer item, apple pie, in oven to finish off, should do for at least a couple of days unless I get greedy

    The bees have found the grapefruit flowers, hooray,, but still carrying on with my paint brush. Never knew before but now the whole area has a faint lemony smell form the blossom, nice, better than a pongy drain anyway

    And my continuous bean planting some weeks back is paying off, flowers and even some small beans are showing.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 3:10 PM
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    PasturesNew
    .... there is Morrison's, Sainsbob's, Asda, M & S, Lild, Waitrose, £land, little T8sco and Costcutter, but still moan about lack of Aldi. Ungrateful bu66er...
    Originally posted by Farway
    If I had to choose between 4ldi or 4sda I'd choose 4sda. They do have cheap food/ranges, if you look for them - but they also have shelves and shelves of great looking food too ... and, for you at least, a good set of YS.

    4sda is my furthest supermarket, I really wanted to live near one but that didn't work out. They announced build plans just as I was moving into this house, then they pulled out... that one'd have been 2 miles from me.

    Morries have their moments too....

    Truth is, I don't actually buy many items at L1dl or 4ldi ... I just eat the basic things in the main, so I bet I could get everything I buy at 4sda for good prices too. e.g. cheapest bread, tinned tomatoes, frozen chips, frozen peas, eggs, cheap cheddar, cheese triangles, the odd family sized beef mince/onion pie, ready made sausage rolls.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 14-06-2017 at 3:15 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 14th Jun 17, 4:06 PM
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    Farway
    Found them, after a few blushes on Google, hope GCHQ was not snooping at the time or the rozzers will be round to check on the pampas grass situation

    Simply Divine date fruit hearts

    Seems Asda having a clear out, no longer stocked
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Jun 17, 5:02 PM
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    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,

    Farway -Glad your beans are setting, I have loads of flowers but no beans yet. In a couple of days I'll need to start tickling courgette flowers as the ones I thought were cucumbers are doing fab. The outside ones are doing ok but not at that point yet.

    I've taken 2 small beef olives out for tonight so I'll cook them with onions and mushrooms and will have them with steamed carrots and broad beans.

    I discovered something had spilled down the back of my fridge - balsamic glaze I think. Horrible sticky well hardened mess. I've got the bottom half sorted but the rest will wait until tomorrow.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 5:08 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Tea was: 2 fish fingers, chips, peas - all from the freezer.

    Freezer now just has 2 bean burgers, 4 fish fingers, some peas, 3 small Yorkshires .... nearly there!

    Talking, as we were earlier, about 4ldi products. I won't ever bother again with their quarterpounder spicy bean burgers. They're not really spicy, they're too wide/flat (rather than being less wide/plump) and they're nothing at all to write home about.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Jun 17, 8:08 PM
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    caronc
    Tea was: 2 fish fingers, chips, peas - all from the freezer.

    Freezer now just has 2 bean burgers, 4 fish fingers, some peas, 3 small Yorkshires .... nearly there!

    Talking, as we were earlier, about 4ldi products. I won't ever bother again with their quarterpounder spicy bean burgers. They're not really spicy, they're too wide/flat (rather than being less wide/plump) and they're nothing at all to write home about.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    That's a shame have you ever made your own. I used make these for the kids using tinned baked beans. If you want "spicy" add some fresh or powdered chilli.
    Recipe:-
    400g tin baked beans - drain the sauce and keep to one side
    1 slice of bread made into crumbs
    1 small onion finely chopped and softened in a little oil
    1 large garlic clove crushed or 1/2 tsp garlic granules
    1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
    1 small carrot grated and softened with the onions
    1 heaped tsp mixed herbs
    1/2tsp ground pepper
    50-60g grated cheese
    Around 1tbsp flour

    Mash the beans until around 1/2 are quite smooth and the rest fairly chunky. Add rest of ingredients bar the flour and the bean sauce. Add bean sauce until you have a mix that isn't too dry but you can shape. Dust your hands or a plate with flour and shape into burgers. Bake or fry until golden - if baking coat with a little oil.
    Last edited by caronc; 14-06-2017 at 8:10 PM.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jun 17, 8:13 PM
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    PasturesNew
    That's a shame have you ever made your own. I used make these for the kids using tinned baked beans. If you want "spicy" add some fresh or powdered chilli.
    Recipe:-
    400g tin baked beans - drain the sauce and keep to one side
    1 slice of bread made into crumbs
    1 small onion finely chopped and softened in a little oil
    1 large garlic clove crushed or 1/2 tsp garlic granules
    1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
    1 small carrot grated and softened with the onions
    1 heaped tsp mixed herbs
    1/2tsp ground pepper
    50-60g grated cheese
    Around 1tbsp flour

    Mash the beans until around 1/2 are quite smooth and the rest fairly chunky. Add rest of ingredients bar the flour and the bean sauce. Add bean sauce until you have a mix that isn't too dry but you can shape. Dust your hands or a plate with flour and shape into burgers. Bake or fry until golden - if baking coat with a little oil.
    Originally posted by caronc
    I could easily make my own if I were that into them/that bothered. I can randomly pick up a pack once every 3-4 years in a shop .... or I can ensure I've got a raft of ingredients, in order to make far more than I could ever eat in one lifetime, plus all the washing up

    It's not that I couldn't make my own - they're easy (if you have all that stuff to hand). The question is one of volume ... that CFO/CBA stuff.

    I bought this pack of four and hadn't even had a bean burger for at least 10 years.
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