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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    • 3,128Posts
    • 20,886Thanks
    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Three)
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    Cooking for one (Mark Three) 13th Jan 18 at 8:48 AM
    Welcome to Cooking one (Mark Three), time to get a shiny new thread up and running. The link to "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73708876&posted=1#post73708876

    Cooking For One
    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?
    Last edited by caronc; 13-01-2018 at 8:51 AM.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
Page 32
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 5th Feb 18, 1:54 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
    • 46,769 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    I've just done an Amazon Pantry order in case the weather closes in, and stops me from going shopping. They have random items that give you free delivery, and I was able to find four I would use. Most of the order was Morrisons own brand.
    I found a chicken tikka ready meal in the freezer, that will be on the menu. Eggs were way out of date, but were still okay enough for a breakfast omelette. I never cook an omelette now without thinking of Gwen from Gavin and Stacey, I don't think she ever offered to cook anything else, did she?

    £30 for everything is really tight, having been there. It can be done on Jack Monroe's recipes, and if you do things like have veggie stew three days on the trot. But it's boring after a while.
    I've done Live Below The Line on a quid for food a day, for five days, a few times.
    The only way I did it was to buy stuff and divide it up per meal for costings. So half a pack of YS belly pork slices at 75p was 38p, for example. I remember that, as it was the only meat I had all the times I did LBTL.

    I've used way out of date frozen puff pastry blocks before now. It was very difficult to roll, very dried out, and didn't puff well, but wasn't inedible, either.

    I have Jack Monroe's new book, my Kickstarter copy, originally due May 2016 has arrived. I can see this selling very well. There are some tweaks of the best recipes from the first two books (creamy salmon pasta with a chilli lemon kick is now creamy crab pasta, for example) but lots of good new stuff. It's published mainstream in August.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 2:12 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    Tbh £30 a week sounds really tight for all that depending on how much your fares are and hoover's food. Doable if you have to but better if you had a bit of wiggle room elsewhere in your finances (best deal on utilities, phone, internet etc.). As long as your fares are low and you're not too hard on your clothese should be ok though.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Thank you Caronc. Doing my best to squeeze the most out of the existing pennies. So far I have:

    I have had a good rootle around the utilities, (I joined the energy club here on MSE to keep switching to the cheapest).
    I have successfully applied for a single person discount on the council tax. 25% reduction it is now,
    Have a cheap mobile PAYG from Mr T (£10 top up is tripled each month, and the chap in the phone dept says their offer is indefinite). Need a mobile because of the parents health conditions.
    Can't swop my water company, and they said that the amount of usage I have I won't save on a meter (dog is hypo-allergenic so a lot of bedding/throws have to be washed).
    Dog's diet is better than mine! Buy hypo-allergenic food otherwise she gets ill, e.g. Lily's kitchen which ain't cheap!
    Checked the home and contents insurance to get the best deal.
    Only have Freeview for the telly-box, seriously wondering whether to get rid of it and save the monthly licence fee.
    Don't have a car, so, public transport or Shank's pony. Worked out my bus fare is half-price to get to work - better if I buy their annual bus pass (but that would cost me over £500, 50% discount for weekly pass = £11.50 otherwise 4.20 per day). Need to use it 5 days a week commuting M- F...
    Don't have a bicycle (and probably too unfit at present to use one, if I could afford one).
    Don't have dependants.
    On minimum wage....
    Looking at my grocery bill now and trying to buy YS only for me (not dog), take my own lunches, cook properly or YS ready meal, eating less anyway as trying to lose weight.
    Not being tempted to buy any more clothes even from charity shops = banning myself from those.
    Trying to have NSD, no impulse buying, not buying snacks/drinks when out, no meals out, walking dog to get out and about in fresh air, not so good for the social life though....
    Don't go for an awful lot of make-up or fancy toiletries anyway, working my way through what I do have to use up...
    Erm, shoot me now,

    On the menu today:
    Porridge, because it's cheap, filling, and I jazz it up with different stuff e.g. fruit, seeds, yogurt. Whatever I have.
    Cup of slimma soup and 2 wholemeal seeded bread slices.
    Dare I say it. Sausage mash n beans....
    Snack - apple.
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 2:17 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    I'd agree IreneA re checking you are getting the best possible deal on utilities etc - as hundreds of £s a year can go down the drain on paying over the odds on things.

    Other thought being whether you can get a part-time evening/weekend job on top of the "day job" until things ease a bit (ie whatever is causing extra expense vanishes off the scene or you can manage to get a better-paid day job). Not a lot of fun I do know - as I spent years doing a variety of things to make extra money on top of the "day job" until things eased. Just remembering how many years I'd permanently got my eyes out for opportunities to earn extra - the price of being single eh?! But I did manage to stop extra money-earning interfering with my (quite a few) years of being an activist at least....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Thank you MITSTM

    This is the main problem - I have a part-time job now, and am still applying for jobs full and part time. The slight catch I am finding is that part-time ones want you to be 'flexible' which is a euphemism for only work for us, and fill in for people that are sick/on hols/didn't turn up. They don't want me to be only available for the contract hours....

    Getting a bit norty and not saying I have another job now, to try and get the ones that do fit round the current one!
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Feb 18, 2:17 PM
    • 14,862 Posts
    • 41,092 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    There's a blog I've read through a couple of times and thought "If I ate that way - then I might give those recipes a go". She reckons they eat for £1 a day.

    I don't eat that way in the event - as we know - but the recipes looked surprisingly tasty for being so cheap if they really are. My own take is to regard it as literally impossible to eat at all for less than minimum £20 per person per week - but I may be wrong - so you might like to take a look:

    https://eatnotspend.wordpress.com
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    There's a blog I've read through a couple of times and thought "If I ate that way - then I might give those recipes a go". She reckons they eat for £1 a day.

    I don't eat that way in the event - as we know - but the recipes looked surprisingly tasty for being so cheap if they really are. My own take is to regard it as literally impossible to eat at all for less than minimum £20 per person per week - but I may be wrong - so you might like to take a look:

    https://eatnotspend.wordpress.com
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Thanks MITSTM

    Didn't know about this one, added to my favourites!

    Have been delving around my recipe books, but, some of the cheffy ones have pricey ingredients. Might be best to stay simple, soups, stews, curries, and such.

    Have taken my eye off the ball, and, don't want to get into debt so it is going to be tight. Bought the food hoover some special diet meat from RSPCA but that was £1.75 for 395g.... I mix this with complete dry food otherwise she gets bunged up too much - if you have ever heard a dog moan when trying to poop, you would sympathise! Don't know whether to chuckle or what...
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • Farway
    • By Farway 5th Feb 18, 2:37 PM
    • 5,917 Posts
    • 8,852 Thanks
    Farway
    Back again, lunch expanded to include a packet of crisps, eaten during onion cooking phase of PIE

    I've never heard of Amazon Pantry, must check that one out, more on a just in case basis, sounds like it could be a handy standby one day. I have used T8sco in the past but found it more bother than actually going shopping

    Dahlias sown, in 6 months time I'll be glad I did

    Time to trot off to grate the cheese, roll the pastry and assemble PIE
    • spirit
    • By spirit 5th Feb 18, 2:40 PM
    • 2,698 Posts
    • 6,112 Thanks
    spirit
    Sorry been MIA for a bit, often read through though and glad people are ok (by and large and weather etc permitting)


    Well DD finally gave birth to grandson - 2 weeks late and had to be induced. He is 10 days old today. He's a wee poppet.


    I've been a bit silly in the past, spoiled DD with things for her and the baby - lots of things bought willingly. Now however I think she and her husband have taken me for granted. I'd previously been invited on shopping trips with them knowing I'd put their things in my basket to pay for. For the record SiL is paid at least twice what I am so can well afford things - he is a bit tight though.


    so fast forward to Friday when they were discharged from hospital. SiL rang me to ask if I had a pillow thing I'd washed by hand for them - took forever to dry, even when placed near the de humidifier. Anyway, this was about 5pm on Friday, so I said I'd pop it over to them. they live about 7 mins drive away, so not far.


    Evidently they'd just plonked everything on the floor when they got in and sat down. so I offered to hold the baby whilst they sorted stuff out. Next thing SiL was on his phone, asked DD what she wanted for supper, then ordered it. I sat there not knowing what to do and couldn't look at them. I wasn't expecting to eat with them, they could have said something.


    so I made a hasty exit. then yesterday DD messaged me to ask if the local supermarket (that is 2 mins walk from me) if they would sell laundry baskets. The subtext being that would I go and buy it. If it had been something for the baby I would have bought it, but I'm being taken for a fool here. there are 2 of them with salaries, his more than double mine, and I'm obv a single income. Ok I'm not destitute, but then neither are they.


    sorry for the rant, just fed up now of being used!


    food wise, I have a beef casserole in the SC
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 5th Feb 18, 2:45 PM
    • 61,598 Posts
    • 360,641 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .... 'flexible' which is a euphemism for only work for us..
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    This is the trouble. Years ago you'd get a Tue/Wed job and a Thu-Sat job ... knowing the days. Nowadays they say "flexible" and they mean "we want a list of people willing to call at short notice at any time of the day and any day of the week ... on call". So even if you just suck it up and pretend at the interview and get onto the list, then find something else you've lied to get ...not only do you live "in fear" of making a mistake in conversation and/or being seen/caught out - but once they've phoned you a few times and you've said "no" your name's at the bottom of their list and there's a new ad in the papers.

    Those who haven't been at the "grunt end of life" have no idea how tough it is to get the simplest of lives pulled together.

    .... thought "If I ate that way .... I don't eat that way in the event
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I plough my own furrow because I don't "eat that way", the way many people these days eat...and a lot of these "look we live on thruppence a day" blogs do it by only eating oats and lentils, which I don't eat

    I keep things cheap without YS and without vouchers or coupons or cash backs or apps. I do it by being tight and reading the price labels

    Most other people's recipes etc are usually "serves 4+" as well as having nasty ingredients.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 05-02-2018 at 2:49 PM.
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 5th Feb 18, 2:54 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
    • 46,769 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    Back again, lunch expanded to include a packet of crisps, eaten during onion cooking phase of PIE

    I've never heard of Amazon Pantry, must check that one out, more on a just in case basis, sounds like it could be a handy standby one day. I have used T8sco in the past but found it more bother than actually going shopping

    Dahlias sown, in 6 months time I'll be glad I did

    Time to trot off to grate the cheese, roll the pastry and assemble PIE
    Originally posted by Farway
    Amazon Pantry is exclusive to Prime members, but you can often get a free thirty days with Prime.

    I took out my Prime in June 2015. Amazon messed up two Prime orders in the first year, so I was given a free month each time as compensation, making it renewable in August 2016. I duly renewed, but then there was a steady stream of hiccups over the course of the next year.
    The net result of this was that I got another six months free, and it renews this month, unless they mess up between now and then.

    Note, the compensation was not given automatically, but following a polite complaint, and my suggestion that I wasn't being given the service I had paid for. I have never asked for the extra months, they were always given by Amazon.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 5th Feb 18, 3:45 PM
    • 11,363 Posts
    • 69,716 Thanks
    kittie
    I got amazon pantry once, I think I got the maximum I could for the cheapest delivery. It was a girl who delivered it. without a trolley, I don`t know how the heck she carried it from the road but it was good value

    Pies are baking in 2 shifts, I made 2 x 10" and 2 x 8". Thin pastry, cornflour sprinkle at the bottom, then a layer of blackcurrants with apples heaped on top. They look very nice and will last me the whole month. Tbh no different to a sandwich with butter, so I`ll make sure to have something fat free as the main

    Ahh PN I don`t half empathise re the sweets. I went to post a parcel this morning and walked past the sweeties twice, I had to force myself to the counter without any
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Feb 18, 3:50 PM
    • 14,862 Posts
    • 41,092 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    This is the trouble. Years ago you'd get a Tue/Wed job and a Thu-Sat job ... knowing the days. Nowadays they say "flexible" and they mean "we want a list of people willing to call at short notice at any time of the day and any day of the week ... on call". So even if you just suck it up and pretend at the interview and get onto the list, then find something else you've lied to get ...not only do you live "in fear" of making a mistake in conversation and/or being seen/caught out - but once they've phoned you a few times and you've said "no" your name's at the bottom of their list and there's a new ad in the papers.

    Those who haven't been at the "grunt end of life" have no idea how tough it is to get the simplest of lives pulled together.

    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I do recall being shocked some years back when one of the cleaners at work explained to me that she really intended to have a full-time job (or thereabouts) but was having to cobble together a full-time amount of hours from doing that cleaning job AND part-time job 2 AND part-time job 3 AND part-time job 4 and so on. I worked it out at the time that she'd be spending a lot of her free time on getting to and from all these mini-jobs (compared to where I got myself to work once a day and then got myself back from work once a day). Her response to my "How do you have A Life with all that to fit together then?" was "You don't - as you spend so much time doing all that".

    I thought that was terrible at the time and was so glad that, if the worst had happened to my job (and gawdknows I had to "fight" my employer more than once to make sure it didn't) that I didn't have a mortgage any longer and could hold out on the Dole Queue for however-long-it-took to get a Normal Job again (ie 9-5 Monday to Friday or thereabouts) and was under no illusions whatsoever as to just how low my chances were of ever coming off the Dole Queue before I got to retirement age and could give up applying for jobs (as I had a list of "things to put employers off" a mile long if any of them had ever tried to give me a job that wasn't a Normal Job - as I had made up my mind I wasn't going to go there....).

    I do read about a noticeable number of people that are perfectly capable of having a job imo now having the even worse situation of these "on call" set-ups and struggle to get my mind around how they're supposed to earn any extra income on top of their Main Income if they decide to - if employers are going to take that "Be available - or else" attitude. Plus, of course, the "How are they ever going to be able to study to try and get better qualifications and get out of that situation? How are they going to Have A Life? Get a mortgage etc?". At that point it does my head in and I can't think of how they're supposed to do so....and try and have a normal life.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 5th Feb 18, 4:04 PM
    • 61,598 Posts
    • 360,641 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I just had more food .... as I've just bought in bread rolls, eggs and tomatoes, I made up a boiled egg/salad cream and stuck that in a roll with half a tomato

    When I bought the cubed beef back in December, I had in mind a SC beef/orange thingy.... so I've just removed the beef from the freezer and tomorrow morning I'll slide it into the SC with the leftover Xmas parsnip, a small carton of orange, that tin of butter beans I just bought .... and some other bits and bobs/spices/herbs etc.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 09-02-2018 at 8:57 AM.
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 5:29 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    Well DD finally gave birth to grandson - 2 weeks late and had to be induced. He is 10 days old today. He's a wee poppet.
    Originally posted by spirit
    Hey Spirit

    Congratulations on the grandson, how lovely, you must be so happy with him. So sorry that the DD isn't appreciative, or the SiL....
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • caronc
    • By caronc 5th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 3,128 Posts
    • 20,886 Thanks
    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,
    Spirit - Congratulations on the new grandchild, shame the joy is being marred a bit by been taken for granted
    Irene - with your fares that sounds horribly tight but doable for a short period. Do you do any surveys? Out of boredom more than anything I joined a few sites YouGov (slow but steady but took me a year to get £50, Prolific Academy - joined at the end of November have banked £45.00 since then and OnePoll - joined at the beginning of the year £21 so far). There are loads more, have a look at the "Debt Free Wannabe" part of the MSE site. It's not huge rewards but every little helps as they say.
    MTSTM - not that anyone's counting but my Dad is now coming for lunch tomorrow

    Out of interest 'cos I had little else to do this afternoon I sat and costed as accurately as I could what my food spend for today will be (fuel not included). I reckon today is a fairly typical "on the high side of average" spend for me. I shop in Tesco mainly so prices reflect what I paid, Aldi/Lidl are probably cheaper. I haven't always had the cheapest option from Tesco either but equally some things were on SO. I've said "high side of average" as lunch today was an "expensive for me" day , I often just have soup & toast or a cheaper sarnie/roll.
    As I've said I've done it out of interest rather than to spark a huge debate and it reflects my choices and budget but I did find it interesting.

    Breakfast
    2 slices toast (Tesco Medium sliced loaf @ 55p for 800g each slice is 40g) 6p
    Dairy Lea cheese spread (180g bought on SO @ £1 about 1/6 of the pack) 17p
    2 dried figs (these were a gift so free, but I usually would have an apple or an orange or a couple of satsumas at approx 30p)
    Total for breakfast 23p

    Lunch

    Portuguese Green Bean Soup Total Cost £1.66 for 4 (poss 5) portions (I was a bit out on my estimation of around £1.20 for this , but still reckon my Dad is worth it )
    Costed as follows:-
    • small onion (about 75g @ 49p per kg) 4p
    • 2 large carrots (about 250g @ 60p per kg) 15p
    • 2 spuds (Tesco finest about 200g @ £1.15 per kg) 23p
    • green beans (100g @ 89p for 220g) 41p
    • chorizo (50g Tesco Finest @ £2 for 200g) 50p
    • garlic (about 1/3 of a small bulb) 10p
    • chicken stock (sort of free as homemade but 20p allowed for pot veg added to the carcass) 20p
    • 1 tbsp olive oil ( free as a gift but could be left out or costed in)
    • salt & pepper 3p (estimate)
    • Total cost for soup £1.66 - 42p per portion
    Ham and coleslaw roll
    • crusty roll (4 for £1) 25p
    • Ayrshire Ham (from the deli counter @ 92p for 2 slices) 46p
    • coleslaw (Tesco Finest @ 85p for 180g about 1/4 of the tub) 22p
    • scrape of Flora (Bought on SO @ £2 for 1kg) 5p (or less)
    • Total for roll - 98p
    Total cost for lunch - £1.40

    Dinner
    Mash from the freezer(weighed and it's 115g so 11p for spuds plus milk(1p)& butter (6p)) 18p
    Savoy cabbage (Cost 69p reckon I'll use around 1/6th) 12p

    Butter for cabbage 10p

    Liver and bacon costed as follows for 3 portions:-
    • Lamb's liver 200g (400g bought from Tesco @ £2.40 per kg, remainder getting frozen) 48p
    • Ayrshire Streaky Bacon (100g bought from local butcher @ £7.70 per kg) 77p
    • 2 onions 15p
    • Stalk of celery 5p
    • Small carrot 5p
    • Chestnut Mushrooms (about 100g @ £3.61 per kg) 36p
    • Oxo cube (12 for £1 on SO) 8p
    • Salt, pepper, dried thyme, paprika, flour 10p (estimate)
    • Total cost for 3 portions = £2.04 so £0.68 per portion
    Total cost for dinner £1.08


    On top of my meals I've also had a decaff instant coffee (5p), about 6 mugs of tea (8p) and used a 1/2 pint of milk (14p) Total for drinks 32p


    Total food spends £3.03
    Last edited by caronc; 05-02-2018 at 6:48 PM.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    This is the trouble. Years ago you'd get a Tue/Wed job and a Thu-Sat job ... knowing the days. Nowadays they say "flexible" and they mean "we want a list of people willing to call at short notice at any time of the day and any day of the week ... on call". So even if you just suck it up and pretend at the interview and get onto the list, then find something else you've lied to get ...not only do you live "in fear" of making a mistake in conversation and/or being seen/caught out - but once they've phoned you a few times and you've said "no" your name's at the bottom of their list and there's a new ad in the papers.

    Those who haven't been at the "grunt end of life" have no idea how tough it is to get the simplest of lives pulled together.


    I plough my own furrow because I don't "eat that way", the way many people these days eat...and a lot of these "look we live on thruppence a day" blogs do it by only eating oats and lentils, which I don't eat
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Hey PN

    I am finding that out more now. My own fault I am struggling as I was used to OH f/t wage coming in plus my 25 hours, and couldn't get my head round adjusting to just 25 hrs income for ages... As well as forgetting I was CFO/BFO. Doh!

    Need to kick myself up the wotsit and face reality. The world of work is a lot different now. Mother tells me she could walk out of one job in the morning and straight into another one in the afternoon, as a youngster. Nothing like now.

    Everything has to be done on-line, CV's viewable by employers like you are goods on display in the supermarket, and you have to dot every i and cross every t. Account for every job, have references up to date, and ID. I am lucky my passport is still in date, and my photocard driving licence (even though I have no car) else I would be well snookered. I have even taken tests on-line (as well as job applications) before I even set eyes on an employer.... Out of over 100 applications had 6 interviews.... Sigh.... Must be too old for them.
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • kittie
    • By kittie 5th Feb 18, 5:46 PM
    • 11,363 Posts
    • 69,716 Thanks
    kittie
    I feel blessed not be a modern day job hunter, it was pretty well word of mouth when I was young. No wonder so many people are ill through stress

    The pies are lovely, very light pastry and the cornflour dusting made the filling stay put when I cut them in 1/2 for the freezer. Still tangy and mouth satisfying, not leaving me wanting more, no glucose/fructose deadly syrup in them, just the fruit and pastry

    My bread, I am making a small 1 lb loaf and leaving it overnight before I cut it, it tastes much better and lasts longer kept unwrapped in my little JL breadbin. It also makes much better toast because it hasn`t been frozen or wrapped in plastic, less damp
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    I do recall being shocked some years back when one of the cleaners at work explained to me that she really intended to have a full-time job (or thereabouts) but was having to cobble together a full-time amount of hours from doing that cleaning job AND part-time job 2 AND part-time job 3 AND part-time job 4 and so on. I worked it out at the time that she'd be spending a lot of her free time on getting to and from all these mini-jobs (compared to where I got myself to work once a day and then got myself back from work once a day). Her response to my "How do you have A Life with all that to fit together then?" was "You don't - as you spend so much time doing all that".

    I thought that was terrible at the time and was so glad that, if the worst had happened to my job (and gawdknows I had to "fight" my employer more than once to make sure it didn't) that I didn't have a mortgage any longer and could hold out on the Dole Queue for however-long-it-took to get a Normal Job again (ie 9-5 Monday to Friday or thereabouts) and was under no illusions whatsoever as to just how low my chances were of ever coming off the Dole Queue before I got to retirement age and could give up applying for jobs (as I had a list of "things to put employers off" a mile long if any of them had ever tried to give me a job that wasn't a Normal Job - as I had made up my mind I wasn't going to go there....).

    I do read about a noticeable number of people that are perfectly capable of having a job imo now having the even worse situation of these "on call" set-ups and struggle to get my mind around how they're supposed to earn any extra income on top of their Main Income if they decide to - if employers are going to take that "Be available - or else" attitude. Plus, of course, the "How are they ever going to be able to study to try and get better qualifications and get out of that situation? How are they going to Have A Life? Get a mortgage etc?". At that point it does my head in and I can't think of how they're supposed to do so....and try and have a normal life.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Tell me about it.... Trying not to be too low about it. Went for one job which only offered 11 hours per week, yet, expected me to be 'flexible' Monday to Friday. I was honest and said I couldn't do mornings, and yes, I did not get offered the job.....

    One thing I am forever grateful for, is that we paid off the mortgage early, after finding this MSE site. OH f/t, me working 2 jobs and over-time when I wasn't expected to be quite so 'flexible'. We worked bloody hard too. So at least I know I have a roof over my head, but, I despair for younger ones out there that can't even get a toe-hold on the property ladder.

    I guess I have to think of the positive, even if I have to turn down the heating, layer up, drink lotsa tea/soup to keep warmed up, there are many out there worse off than me, that don't have a secure roof over their heads.....

    Hey, at least I have my health!
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 5th Feb 18, 5:59 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 576 Thanks
    Irenadler
    Good afternoon everyone,

    Irene - with your fares that sounds horribly tight but doable for a short period. Do you do any surveys? Out of boredom more than anything I joined a few sites YouGov (slow but steady but took me a year to get £50, Prolific Academy - joined at the end of November have banked £45.00 since then and OnePoll - joined at the beginning of the year £21 so far). There are loads more, have a look at the "Debt Free Wannabe" part of the MSE site. It's not huge rewards but every little helps as they say.
    [

    Hey, thanks, maybe I will be able to boost the bank balance....


    Breakfast
    2 slices toast (Tesco Medium sliced loaf @ 55p for 800g each slice is 40g) 6p
    Dairy Lea cheese spread (180g bought on SO @ £1 about 1/6 of the pack) 17p
    2 dried figs (these were a gift so free, but I usually would have an apple or an orange or a couple of satsumas at approx 30p)
    Total for breakfast 23p

    Lunch

    Portuguese Green Bean Soup Total Cost £1.66 for 4 (poss 5) portions (I was a bit out on my estimation of around £1.20 for this , but still reckon my Dad is worth it )
    Costed as follows:-
    • small onion (about 75g @ 49p per kg) 4p
    • 2 large carrots (about 250g @ 60p per kg) 15p
    • 2 spuds (Tesco finest about 200g @ £1.15 per kg) 23p
    • green beans (100g @ 89p for 220g) 41p
    • chorizo (50g Tesco Finest @ £2 for 200g) 50p
    • garlic (about 1/3 of a small bulb) 10p
    • chicken stock (sort of free as homemade but 20p allowed for pot veg added to the carcass) 20p
    • 1 tbsp olive oil ( free as a gift but could be left out or costed in)
    • salt & pepper 3p (estimate)
    • Total cost for soup £1.66 - 42p per portion
    Ham and coleslaw roll
    • crusty roll (4 for £1) 25p
    • Ayrshire Ham (from the deli counter @ 92p for 2 slices) 46p
    • coleslaw (Tesco Finest @ 85p for 180g about 1/4 of the tub) 22p
    • scrape of Flora (Bought on SO @ £2 for 1kg) 5p (or less)
    • Total for roll - 98p
    Total cost for lunch - £1.40

    Dinner
    Mash from the freezer(weighed and it's 115g so 11p for spuds plus milk(1p)& butter (6p)) 18p
    Savoy cabbage (Cost 69p reckon I'll use around 1/6th) 12p

    Butter for cabbage 10p

    Liver and bacon costed as follows for 3 portions:-
    • Lamb's liver 200g (400g bought from Tesco @ £2.40 per kg, remainder getting frozen) 48p
    • Ayrshire Streaky Bacon (100g bought from local butcher @ £7.70 per kg) 77p
    • 2 onions 15p
    • Stalk of celery 5p
    • Small carrot 5p
    • Chestnut Mushrooms (about 100g @ £3.61 per kg) 36p
    • Oxo cube (12 for £1 on SO) 8p
    • Salt, pepper, dried thyme, paprika, flour 10p (estimate)
    • Total cost for 2 portions = £2.04 so £0.68 per portion
    Total cost for dinner £1.08


    On top of my meals I've also had a decaff instant coffee (5p), about 6 mugs of tea (8p) and used a 1/2 pint of milk (14p) Total for drinks 32p


    Total food spends £3.03
    Originally posted by caronc
    Thanks Caronc

    I know you don't want a debate, but, well impressed with your full listing and pricing. Just shows that if I think carefully, don't have to freak out about it, and cook properly it will be tastier. I am going to really try to YS though, as much as I can of 'ingredients' rather than anything processed.
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • caronc
    • By caronc 5th Feb 18, 6:02 PM
    • 3,128 Posts
    • 20,886 Thanks
    caronc
    Thanks Caronc

    I know you don't want a debate, but, well impressed with your full listing and pricing. Just shows that if I think carefully, don't have to freak out about it, and cook properly it will be tastier. I am going to really try to YS though, as much as I can of 'ingredients' rather than anything processed.
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    Believe if I could handle SMs I'd be there at reducting time a lot...
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
    • 14,862 Posts
    • 41,092 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    IreneA - have you got a garden you could grow at least a bit of food in? Even just growing a few lettuces and/or perpetual spinach or the like would help out...

    There's a few foods that re-grow too - and I have a tendency to put the root section plus an inch or so of leek or spring onion in the garden (after having cut off most of it to use at that point) and then leave it to re-grow back into a full leek or spring onion for me again.

    My sympathies at the Idiot Employer that thought he could tie up all 5 weekdays for the sake of just 11 hours!!!!! Cheeky ******
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 05-02-2018 at 6:13 PM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
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