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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    • 2,383Posts
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    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Two)
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    Cooking for one (Mark Two) 17th Jul 17 at 6:31 PM
    In view of the issue of longer threads being auto-deleted I thought wise to start a shiny new thread as we had got to over 5.5K posts.
    The original "Cooking for one" thread can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5585796

    13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    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?



    June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £107/£200
Page 84
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Oct 17, 11:35 AM
    • 13,651 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I used to cry when I cut up onions years ago, but I don't now. Maybe it is something that they have modified in the onions?

    I saw today that Morrissons are doing a £5 veg box, it seems like it is good value. I don't usually shop there, but I might think about it now.Morrisons Veg Box Launches for £5 (And It'll Feed a Family of 4 for 5 Days) - Skint Dad

    I had a sandwich with spinach, cherry toms, vegan mayo and yellow mustard for breakfast with my usual green tea. I have a lovely mango in my fruit bowl that will be devoured later.

    I had a huge salad with spicy beanburgers for dinner last night.

    I'm not sure what I'm having for lunch and dinner today. I know I have to use things up so I will have to work out my meals later on.
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    Good idea in principle. In practice - I think that box might possibly do 2 people for 5 days - but it certainly wouldnt do a family of 4. Very over-optimistic of Morrisons to say that it would do.

    The "wonky veg bag" for £1 sounds good value for those eating non-organically.

    Pastures - I do agree re the square footage of shops. As you can imagine - I'm used to huge shops. Huge supermarkets/decent size Marks & Spencer/etc/etc. Since moving here I could really do with comparative square footage of shops being put on shop websites - so that I could think "Right - that Marks & Spencer is a quarter of the size I'm used to. That supermarket is one-third of the size I'm used to and with only x% of the product range I'm used to" and I'd know more where I stood as to what I was expecting. We all have an image in our head of what we are anticipating and judge by what we know and I know a friend of mine was most disappointed going to a chain store that had opened some distance away from us - as a local friend of ours had said it was "huge". Original friend came back to me and said "Local friend said it was huge - but it's tiny!".
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 03-10-2017 at 11:42 AM.
    #MeToo
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 3rd Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 633 Thanks
    poppystar
    Good idea in principle. In practice - I think that box might possibly do 2 people for 5 days - but it certainly wouldnt do a family of 4. Very over-optimistic of Morrisons to say that it would do.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Looking at the contents I agree. Also I'm not sure it is any cheaper than buying the contents loose/individually. I bought similar (minus the swede as I'm too feeble these days to get into one!) for less than £4 from Mr T.

    Unless you plan your meals around them there may well also be wastage of the 'don't really know what to do with that' or 'noone likes cabbage here' variety. Or even for CFOs the 'too much that needs eating soon'
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 3rd Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • 1,015 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    Afternoon everyone

    I get where you are all coming from re the floor space of shops.
    It would be really useful for them to have that information on their web site.

    I've been out looking at food processors, mine went bang last night, so I need a new one. It needs to be compact to fit in my kitchen. I've decided on a Kenwood, and they had one left in the sale in Debenhams. I'm too tired to go back out so I hope that one is still there in the morning.

    I've had Greek yoghurt and berries for breakfast this morning, and a banana as I was going to be out for a while.

    Just come back and had a cheese salad sandwich. All that walking around has made me hungry.

    Dinner is going to incorporate a suggestion by farway yesterday that I cook extra veg and have bubble and squeak. That made me really crave bubble and squeak. I'm gong to have it with a gammon steak, mushrooms and a grilled tomato. I'm really looking forward to this, I haven't had gammon for a while .
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 3rd Oct 17, 12:42 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,942 Thanks
    purpleybat
    Wow, that is cheap!
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000

    I buy the wonky veg, I find it keeps really well and most of it isn't wonky at all.
    I must admit I was looking forward to some rude carrots
    they also do wonky apples which I find delicious
    gc jan 148.59/150 feb 134.58/150 mar 148.35/160 apr 139.24/160 may 165.78/160 june 129.05/160 july 148.23/170 aug 163/170 sep 123.67/160
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 17, 1:27 PM
    • 60,261 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    .... minus the swede as I'm too feeble these days to get into one
    Originally posted by poppystar
    No need to. Lob the whole thing into the microwave for 20 minutes.... then cut it in half and scoop it out soft. Literally remove it from your shopping bag, open the nuker door, put it in, close the door, twist the dial, press start.... walk away.... although it's good to put it on something as it produces a bit of goo.

    That's a long cooking time, so if you can manage to cut it in half first and put it "flesh side down" in a dish (to catch any dripping goo), then the cooking time is less and you're only cooking a small portion.

    I'm sure a slow cooker could be used too, in all honesty - lob the whole thing in, with water .... and wait 3-4 hours until a knife goes through the middle bit.... cutting it into chunks if you can manage it at all. You can always find somebody to cut one into half for you when you've bought it (knock on a neighbour's door with a knife), then wrap the two exposed ends in foil and it'll sit on the worktop for 1-2 weeks at least.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 03-10-2017 at 1:31 PM.
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 3rd Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 633 Thanks
    poppystar
    No need to. Lob the whole thing into the microwave for 20 minutes.... then cut it in half and scoop it out soft. Literally remove it from your shopping bag, open the nuker door, put it in, close the door, twist the dial, press start.... walk away.... although it's good to put it on something as it produces a bit of goo.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    Are you sure it won't explode? - they already look a bit like cartoon bombs

    I've never nuked anything for that long either. Bit terrified quite frankly. Do you think it would work putting it in the oven whole too? Pretending it was a huge baked potato?

    Even cutting in half is beyond me these days My attempts totally amused the friends I was with last xmas as I offered to do the veg and was presented with a swede as well as the usual culprits. I had to be rescued and put on table laying duty
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 3rd Oct 17, 2:14 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,942 Thanks
    purpleybat
    No need to. Lob the whole thing into the microwave for 20 minutes.... then cut it in half and scoop it out soft. Literally remove it from your shopping bag, open the nuker door, put it in, close the door, twist the dial, press start.... walk away.... although it's good to put it on something as it produces a bit of goo.

    That's a long cooking time, so if you can manage to cut it in half first and put it "flesh side down" in a dish (to catch any dripping goo), then the cooking time is less and you're only cooking a small portion.


    You can always find somebody to cut one into half for you when you've bought it (knock on a neighbour's door with a knife), then wrap the two exposed ends in foil and it'll sit on the worktop for 1-2 weeks at least.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    I like this idea of zapping a swede, I might have to give it a try. thankyou for saying about the goo.


    if I knocked on my neighbours door with a big knife I think they may call the police!
    gc jan 148.59/150 feb 134.58/150 mar 148.35/160 apr 139.24/160 may 165.78/160 june 129.05/160 july 148.23/170 aug 163/170 sep 123.67/160
    • Farway
    • By Farway 3rd Oct 17, 2:32 PM
    • 5,575 Posts
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    Farway
    Are you sure it won't explode? - they already look a bit like cartoon bombs

    I've never nuked anything for that long either. Bit terrified quite frankly. Do you think it would work putting it in the oven whole too? Pretending it was a huge baked potato?
    Originally posted by poppystar
    I've never tried oven swede, not a big fan of the veg anyway, but I bet it would, try same as baked beetroot method. Wash, wrap in tin foil, bung in oven

    Reading not keen notes on HM soup has made up my mind on the cauldron pot of bung it all in soup I made this week and now find most unappealing. It will be binned and lesson learnt. Not sure what has changed, I used to love them, maybe taste buds change as get older?

    Ref the floor area of shops. How about using Google maps in Streetview? Just grab the little yellow bloke & plonk him outside the shop. Quick peer around and that should give a fair idea of area in comparison to the nearby shops, frontage at least, assuming it is not a long narrow shop over 6 storeys

    The Jamaican bread pud, I have put a stone on just reading the recipe. It does sound lush

    Morries must have changed their tune on wonky veg, last time I looked it was only pennies less than the "good" stuff. New offer seems good value. I'll recheck next time I'm in

    Lunch was last of the pork pie, with mustard, fresh tomato and olives

    Dinner is a bit ??? At the moment it is clear out and use the last of the cheapo frozen bangers, with frozen chips, fried eggs & mushrooms from Lild offer this morning. But this is all subject to feeling like it come the prep time
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 17, 2:43 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Are you sure it won't explode? - they already look a bit like cartoon bombs

    I've never nuked anything for that long either. Bit terrified quite frankly. Do you think it would work putting it in the oven whole too? Pretending it was a huge baked potato?

    Even cutting in half is beyond me these days My attempts totally amused the friends I was with last xmas as I offered to do the veg and was presented with a swede as well as the usual culprits. I had to be rescued and put on table laying duty
    Originally posted by poppystar
    I understand totally where you're coming from. No it won't explode. I did mine for Xmas dinner last year like that, did it the day before and then stored it for quick nuking on the day. As they tend to be sold "per item" the greedy me always heads for the biggest one ... and I got a monster!

    But, if you're worried, stab it "to be sure" ... but it won't. As for scared/too long, I get that too.... in which case, just do it for 4-5 minutes and let it sit for a minute, repeat 4-5x. I do that as I think using it for too many minutes will make the whole thing go into meltdown, it's one of my fears.

    I bet the oven would work too. Again, shove a fork in it to be sure, wrap in foil to catch any goo.

    They are tough bugg4hs to cut safely
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 03-10-2017 at 2:47 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 17, 2:52 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Last night I had 2-3 small bowls of honey nut cornflakes.... also had that this morning for breakfast.

    I'm putting off the time until I am forced to reheat that s0ddin' soup. It tastes nice..... I just don't fancy it. But I refuse to freeze it. I'll get a big bread roll from the freezer and I'll toast that to serve with it. Yesterday I used the last tablespoon of grated cheese from the fridge with it - but that's all gone now, so I have no cheddar to grate.... that was a cheapo weekend deal at L1dl that's lasted months.

    I might toss some instant mash into the soup to thicken it a bit more, so it seems different today... I definitely prefer thicker soups ...
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Oct 17, 2:57 PM
    • 13,651 Posts
    • 37,109 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    Ref the floor area of shops. How about using Google maps in Streetview? Just grab the little yellow bloke & plonk him outside the shop. Quick peer around and that should give a fair idea of area in comparison to the nearby shops, frontage at least, assuming it is not a long narrow shop over 6 storeys
    Originally posted by Farway
    Personally I use Streetview a lot to get a look at places and had done a virtual travel to the "tiny" chain store opened some distance from myself and friend and it wasnt really possible to tell the size looking at the front. I could see that it's a several-storey building (ie that looked promising) - but it's got a small footprint according to my disappointed friend that visited it after local friend told us it was "huge".

    Because people that have spent all their lives living here will possibly have a different definition about how to describe sizes compared to former city dwellers (like my friend and myself) then it's very difficult to work out. I've come to the conclusion the best I can do when asking local people the size of a place is to compare it to the largest places I can think of in a nearby bigger place that they might know and say "I'm used to a shop that's twice the size of so-and-so in nearer bigger town - so how does it compare to that?".

    I must admit the first time I looked up the new chain shop I'm thinking of I looked around their website for some time and then looked at the national website thinking I must have missed the bit at which they put the square footage of shop concerned and searching and searching for it. Until I came to the conclusion that no-one at the firm concerned seemed to have thought of it - and wondered how much I'd be paid to do their job instead of them...
    #MeToo
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Oct 17, 3:01 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Back to thinking of food - and lunch today was home-made croissant (not by me) and coffee. Havent had time to think of more than that - as it's "one of those days" where my mother is "driving me nuts" in various phonecalls and am sorely tempted to take the phone off the hook for the rest of the day.

    She might take to ringing my brother and "driving him nuts" instead. It's beginning to sound like a very good idea to take my phone off the hook for the rest of the day then.....

    Dinner tonight will be the singles re-run Groundhog Day thing of the other portion of pasta and sauce from yesterday.
    #MeToo
    • Farway
    • By Farway 3rd Oct 17, 3:07 PM
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    Farway
    I must admit the first time I looked up the new chain shop I'm thinking of I looked around their website for some time and then looked at the national website thinking I must have missed the bit at which they put the square footage of shop concerned and searching and searching for it. Until I came to the conclusion that no-one at the firm concerned seemed to have thought of it - and wondered how much I'd be paid to do their job instead of them...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I suspect it may have been thought of but could stop some potential customers from going.

    Too small, avoid, too large, avoid [that would be me]

    Like pubs, families welcome, avoid or rush there depending on individual requirements
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 3rd Oct 17, 3:12 PM
    • 13,651 Posts
    • 37,109 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I suspect it may have been thought of but could stop some potential customers from going.

    Too small, avoid, too large, avoid [that would be me]

    Like pubs, families welcome, avoid or rush there depending on individual requirements
    Originally posted by Farway
    I very much doubt these firms have had the sense to think of this personally.

    I would estimate it would about balance out according to personal requirements.

    Within my own family - my mother would think "Too big - agh! my head hurts - too complicated - don't want much choice" on the one head.

    Whereas I would be thinking "Really big - oh goody! Lots of choice - there's a better chance I will find what I want personally then. Less hassle in the long run than having to look and look and look in umpteen places - because I've not got enough choice". I'm certainly prone to thinking along the lines of "There's only 10 choices! Agh! I'm used to 20 choices - and I would like 50 choices".

    Just thinking I could pretty much manage with 3 shops - provided they were all huge size - John Lewis, Waitrose and a genuine wholefood shop and that would be me pretty much sorted and rarely having to go into any other shop.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 03-10-2017 at 3:15 PM.
    #MeToo
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 17, 3:20 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've got an urge to go out for sweeties.....

    I might be exposed to sausage rolls while out though! Soup might fade into the background .... and sausage rolls might become the winner.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 3rd Oct 17, 5:11 PM
    • 1,015 Posts
    • 8,192 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    I've got an urge to go out for sweeties.....

    I might be exposed to sausage rolls while out though! Soup might fade into the background .... and sausage rolls might become the winner.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Go on, you know you want your favourite choccies , and if some sausage rolls should fall into your basket, it's not your fault .

    A bit like the stollen that fell into my basket this morning .
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 17, 5:36 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Go on, you know you want your favourite choccies , and if some sausage rolls should fall into your basket, it's not your fault .

    A bit like the stollen that fell into my basket this morning .
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Favourite choccies are troublesome to find now, £land stopped selling them.

    I've got some "fake marathon bars" from L1dl .... and a pack of digestives.... 6-pack of sausage rolls (two currently being re-heated) ... 10 large eggs ... loaf of white/sliced bread.

    And I stocked up with a bag of oven chips and a bag of hash browns.

    Spent £4.75.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 3rd Oct 17, 6:09 PM
    • 2,383 Posts
    • 15,786 Thanks
    caronc
    Are you sure it won't explode? - they already look a bit like cartoon bombs

    I've never nuked anything for that long either. Bit terrified quite frankly. Do you think it would work putting it in the oven whole too? Pretending it was a huge baked potato?

    Even cutting in half is beyond me these days My attempts totally amused the friends I was with last xmas as I offered to do the veg and was presented with a swede as well as the usual culprits. I had to be rescued and put on table laying duty
    Originally posted by poppystar
    Nope they don't explode but do "sing" rather alarmingly.... It does work really well though

    Lunch was as planned lentil & bacon soup with part-baked rolls from the freezer. Simple but tasty, there was just my sister and I so I've plenty of soup left.
    Definitely going with cod in sauce for dinner, with mash I think as it's pretty wintery feeling tonight
    June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £107/£200
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 3rd Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    • 863 Posts
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    Need2bthrifty
    I didn't fancy the l/o peppers today so opted for some split pea soup as that's the one I have most of in the freezer. I had some cheesy toast for breakfast so decided on a mustard sauce to go with my cauliflower and fish fingers tonight.

    Got some garden tidy-up jobs done but feeling really tired now just hope I can stay awake long enough to see the last episode of Dr F0ster.


    if I knocked on my neighbours door with a big knife I think they may call the police!
    Originally posted by purpleybat
    Mine too

    Lunch was as planned lentil & bacon soup with part-baked rolls from the freezer. Simple but tasty, there was just my sister and I so I've plenty of soup left.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Yummy - that has to be the next one for my soup list, maybe with a ham shank rather than bacon.
    Oct GC = £40.01/£60.00
    • caronc
    • By caronc 3rd Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 2,383 Posts
    • 15,786 Thanks
    caronc
    I didn't fancy the l/o peppers today so opted for some split pea soup as that's the one I have most of in the freezer. I had some cheesy toast for breakfast so decided on a mustard sauce to go with my cauliflower and fish fingers tonight.

    Got some garden tidy-up jobs done but feeling really tired now just hope I can stay awake long enough to see the last episode of Dr F0ster.



    Mine too



    Yummy - that has to be the next one for my soup list, maybe with a ham shank rather than bacon.
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    It's lovely with a ham shank but not half bad with bacon. I use half a pack of cooking bacon and it makes a good tasty stock. I have shank in the freezer so I think I'll make green split pea & ham with that . I made it in the pressure cooker so end to end including making the stock (I always prefer to do it separately) it took just under an hour.
    June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £107/£200
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