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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
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    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 43
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 7:55 AM
    • 14,858 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    CFO bible indeed

    Maybe we ought to change that one though to that awful phrase from the adverts - ie "Because we're worth it..." (ie don't we deserve nice food too?).

    Yep....yesterday evening's meal was Instagram worthy - quite a bit of colour and served in a bowl. I've got a selection of dipping bowls/little bowls/big bowls/huge bowls and 3 different sets of plates (though admit to never using the HUGE white more "server" type plates from Waitrose). It's usually bowls or a pasta plate that I use for myself.

    EDIT; In fact I can see me pondering on that "Because we're worth it" topic at intervals over the course of the day. When one encounters prejudice of any description (maybe particularly if you're not someone who might ever expect to be on the receiving end of any......) then I think it's a useful morale-boosting strategy to have "Because I'm worth it" ways of treating oneself as a counterbalance. Handy for those times when the self-confidence takes a knock/it may take a while to realise that that knock might have had that intention!!! /rally round and get that confidence back (does help that I'm from a very "confident" city....).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 12-02-2018 at 8:04 AM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 12th Feb 18, 8:49 AM
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    Wednesday2000
    I'm having toasted rye bread with cucumber, tomatoes and yellow mustard and then a mango and banana smoothie afterwards.

    I have to use up some more of my herbal tea today, I'm aiming for 2 cups of day to run it down.

    I'm just about to call up to pay a big chunk of the mortgage off again. I did this at the end of last year too.

    Eek, I'm excited. Then I'm going to reduce the mortgage payment so we can have some extra money each month to start to put into my personal pension and just for going out and general living!
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 10/60
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 12th Feb 18, 9:21 AM
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    Wednesday2000
    I didn't have cucumber on my toast as I realised that I ate it all yesterday!

    I just paid £10,000 off the mortgage, very nice way to start the week!
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 10/60
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Feb 18, 10:14 AM
    • 1,324 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    Breakfast was two portions of creme caramel fluffy cheesecakey tiramisu thingy.

    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    If there is a dessert or a fresh cream gateau in the fridge I will eat it for breakfast. My ex husband used to be appalled at this .
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 12th Feb 18, 10:17 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    MrAPJI

    I just paid £10,000 off the mortgage, very nice way to start the week!
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    That's really good news and I'm delighted for you

    It's a beautiful day here - lots of sun, even if the wind is a little keen. The spring flowers are now starting to peep through - really encouraging signs

    Breakfast was porridge, followed by a hot grapefruit. Must say that I would probably have enjoyed PN's more
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 12th Feb 18, 10:19 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 743 Thanks
    MrAPJI
    If there is a dessert or a fresh cream gateau in the fridge I will eat it for breakfast. My ex husband used to be appalled at this .
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Me too . My feeling is that your ex husband just didn't know what he was missing
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 12th Feb 18, 10:26 AM
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    Wednesday2000
    Breakfast was two portions of creme caramel fluffy cheesecakey tiramisu thingy.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Sounds delicious.

    That's really good news and I'm delighted for you
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    Thanks.xx
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 10/60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • 3,127 Posts
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    caronc

    I just paid £10,000 off the mortgage, very nice way to start the week!
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    It is indeed

    It was snowing quite heavily when I went to bed last night but no sign of it this morning though it's still bitterly cold!

    "Because I'm worth it", I'm making beef stew and dumplings tonight and I might sub some of the suet in the dumplings with blue cheese

    Breakfast was LO potato & mushroom gratin from last night. I wasn't hugely impressed with it so didn't want to freeze the other portion nor ditch it and I fancied a hot breakfast so it did the job.

    Lunch will be a repeat of yesterday of soup a crusty roll with the last of the gammon I cooked on Saturday. Tonight will be the aforementioned stew & dumplings with sprouts.

    Anyway best get off and lob the stewing steak & veg (celery, garlic, onion, carrot, mushrooms and red pepper) into the slow cooker. It's only 200g of steak so I'm reckoning on 2-3 portions from the finished dish. I could pad it further with spuds or pulses but at the moment I think I'll just leave as is.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • wort
    • By wort 12th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
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    wort
    Wednesday - that's amazing! Well done.

    I've had toast and cheese spread just back from watching dgson in brass concert. The hail last night had frozen making it slippy underfoot, though thankfully the sun is out and thawing it now, perishing cold so just had a banana and cup of tea.

    I don't think I could eat dessert for breakfast, never been keen on sweet things in a morning never have jam on toast etc. I'm much more of a savoury person anyway, I rarely have a sweet after a meal , much prefer a starter!
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • wort
    • By wort 12th Feb 18, 10:39 AM
    • 552 Posts
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    wort
    Caronc- I was going to ask you how you made the potato and mushrooms gratin, but just seen the above post saying it wasn't too impressive
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Feb 18, 11:21 AM
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    caronc
    Caronc- I was going to ask you how you made the potato and mushrooms gratin, but just seen the above post saying it wasn't too impressive
    Originally posted by wort
    No I was underwhelmed to say the least. It was a Nigella recipe and I find hers usually work but not one I'll make again...
    Last edited by caronc; 12-02-2018 at 12:32 PM.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Feb 18, 1:21 PM
    • 14,858 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I didn't have cucumber on my toast as I realised that I ate it all yesterday!

    I just paid £10,000 off the mortgage, very nice way to start the week!
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000


    I took that attitude myself to my mortgage (when I had one) and would pay back some whenever I got a reasonable chunk of cash to do so with.

    It does indeed help. Makes you feel like you've really achieved something and are that little bit free-er as a result.

    In the event - I was able to pay off a huge chunk of mortgage at one point and then had a minimal mortgage left thereafter (which I paid off in noticeable size chunks when I had the chance). I got shot of my 25 year mortgage in less than 15 years (think it was 13???) in the event and that definitely made me feel noticeably more secure and I felt I'd got "value for money" for that (ie rather than just plain sitting there at some point and thinking "It feels like I blew that money and got nowt much for it").

    Congratulations - and I think/know you deserve a mini-celebration for that

    It is SO worth it to do things like that imo - as it means you aren't so much in the position of feeling you might be forced into "dancing to someone else's tune" (ie an employers and/or the DWP).

    Anything you can do to be "free" to be yourself/not forced into acting differently to what you've chosen to is well worth it imo.

    EDIT; I'm in a dance troupe and we've got a very celebratory type dance we learnt the other day - and I'm picturing myself punching the air and grinning on your behalf.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 12-02-2018 at 1:27 PM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 12th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
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    Wednesday2000
    Thanks for the support guys!!! Everyone is so helpful and nice on the OS part of the forum.

    I just made some HM tomato and red pepper soup and I had it with a slice of garlic bread and some chilli nuts and pumpkin seeds afterwards.

    The shop near me sells the Graze nuts and they are delicious. I've never tried them before, but they were lovely.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 10/60
    • Farway
    • By Farway 12th Feb 18, 3:00 PM
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    Farway
    Congrats W2000 on the mortgage repayment plan. I'm with Money on this, like her I paid of early. It was fairly easy in a way because at one time the mortgage interest rate was over 12%, as it slipped down to around 8% I continued paying the same sum in, thus rapidly decreasing the capital balance owing

    A big relief when paid off, as Money says, not beholden to anyone from then on, and in my case enabled me to snatch voluntary redundancy and "retire" go on the dole, not eligible and thus not paid, at 60 as male was not allowed to

    Back to food

    Good day for my shopping trolley,suet, milk, YS small steak & ale pie, YS mini pizzas, plus reduced C & O pasties pack in Iceland. Plus Costcutter yielded YS diced stewing steak, looked nice and lean, and my previous meat from CC was lovely so here's hoping

    With the YS steak I anticipate joining the slow cooked beef stew & dumpling brigade again tomorrow, I'm out volunteering then and rain is forecast, seems an ideal choice.
    I'll prep the veg later today then in the morning it will be just bung in, switch on and wait to be greeted by yummy smell when I get back. Or find the house a gutted charred shell. Hope it is the former

    Lunch was BF ham & salad sarnie
    Dinner is the YS steak & ale pie, probably with frozen chips and maybe beans
    • Farway
    • By Farway 12th Feb 18, 6:03 PM
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    Farway
    Dinner done & dusted. Pie was lovely, especially when it was YS at 81p

    Veg prepped ready for slow cooker stew tomorrow, I've put out all the "extras" like oxo cubes, bay leaves, herbs etc on work top so I do not forget to bung them in during the morning rush

    Just started collecting loo roll innards for my bean sowing, it's still a bit away but time to make a start

    I tried out some of my loose leaf tea in a perforated spoon thingy this afternoon. The spoon thingy was my Mum's, the idea that triggered my trial was MTSM's.

    I quite like it, not particularly to avoid tea bags / plastic, but I found, from my small trial of two mugs, it gives a smoother cuppa. I have now to get used to leaving some tea at the bottom of the mug or get to like the taste of tea dregs
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 12th Feb 18, 6:19 PM
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    bouicca21
    Farway, I haven't used loose leaf tea for decades, though thinking of going back to it. Yet even though I know the final drop of tea will not contain tea leaf dregs, I cannot bear to drink it.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Feb 18, 8:39 PM
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    • 20,875 Thanks
    caronc
    Good evening everyone,
    I'm still swithering re do I want to pay my mortgage off early, it's due to end in Nov 2029 (I had planned to retire in Dec 2029 - but that's a moot point now) or once my current deal ends enjoy the benefit of much reduced payments each month. Meantime there is no hurry to decide as I'm on a deal until Nov 2020 which I'm overpaying as much as I can while the interest rates are so low.

    Unfortunately the "wonky donkey" decided to pay a visit earlier, I think I managed to get it in time but I'm feeling pretty washed out this evening. Thankfully the stew was doing it's thing in the SC so just needed to make the dumplings. Ended up not going with the blue cheese version.

    Assuming my OOD eggs aren't floating tomorrow I definitely fancy some savoury pancakes and think I may well "jazz up" a tin of M&S chicken in sauce as the filling. The tin has been in the cupboard for ages and any LO mix can be used with pasta on Thursday instead of having lasagne from the freezer.

    I had thought I would need a grocery delivery either tomorrow or Wednesday but looking at my meal plan and what I have in I've put it back until Friday.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 12th Feb 18, 9:27 PM
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    mcculloch29
    Wednesday, that's amazing! Well done! My mortgage was much smaller than yours, but I paid off 2/7ths of it, and remortgaged to a better deal over ten years. Since then my income has dipped, and how grateful I am that I did that. I've got a few hundred to pay off on a credit card, and then I will look at overpaying on the mortgage.

    This has been a 'don't want to eat much day, for me. I'm not ill, I just don't feel hungry. I had a large portion of noodles earlier and enjoyed them, a couple of the aforementioned Golden Syrup Weetabix for brunch, but that's it.
    I have my lovely 'free' coffee for a treat, if I want it, although at this time of day it's likely to be an Aldi lungo decaff. Which is equally nice, but free always tastes better!
    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.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Feb 18, 7:34 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Caron - sounds like it's time for what I call a "cost/benefit analysis" re what to do re your mortgage.

    I'd sit down and think out what else (the "opportunity cost" I believe it's called) I would spend the money on instead and figure out which I got the best value-for-money from. To me - the other things I would have spent that money on instead boiled down to:

    a. Further work on the house = well I felt I'd done enough on it, bearing in mind it was my "starter house" and not a "forever home" house. I wouldn't have added that much to the price I could sell it for eventually/chopped that much time off how long it would take me to sell on eventually and the house had what it needed to cover me for a few years (quite a few more than planned on in the event - but that's another story)

    b. Holidays = well...when you think the way I do personally = you think "I'll be doing loads of travelling later on. I can wait....".

    The other element is how secure your finances are. I had a job-that-was-supposed-to-be-secure (ie Civil Service) - but I was all too conscious that that job wasn't as secure as it was supposed to be. Also all too conscious that I'd lost salary I was due for more than once prior to that job (courtesy of being a "political animal" for many years and thus being refused jobs/even unfairly dismissed from a job I already had). I wasn't going to alter My Life to suit employers - that was a given - and I knew I needed financial security more than many because of that sort of thing happening. I needed to put myself in a financial position that any such actions by employers would have less of an effect on me (well it was either that or give up doing what I decided to in My Own Time and be prepared to "shut up and put up" if any alternative employer I ever needed was in a line of business I wasnt happy with).

    SO:
    - what else would you spend the money on instead if you don't use it for that?
    - how secure (or otherwise) do you feel financially?

    In your position personally - I'd want as much money available as possible in case the NHS being the way it is meant I had to spend all sorts of my money on healthcare costs (ie because the NHS refused to do so). Maybe you'd feel you had more spare income available (with no mortgage to pay) in case you had to cover their costs for them? Maybe you feel you'd have more of a lump sum to hand in case you had to cover their costs for them in one huge chunk (eg an operation) on the other hand?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-02-2018 at 7:43 AM.
    NOT dancing to anyone else's tune.

    It's the 21st century now....
    • wort
    • By wort 13th Feb 18, 7:45 AM
    • 552 Posts
    • 8,570 Thanks
    wort
    I had huge jacket potato, half a small tin o beans and a wodge of grated cheese with salad of tomatoes onion and peppers, for tea yesterday.
    I'm back in work today so have made a piri piri chicken salad gf thin, with a lemon whipped yogurt and blueberries for lunch.
    I have no decided re tea today yet but took some sport leggings back to tesco yesterday and Picked up 2 aloo saag and 2 jalfrezi curries offer for £5. The curries for dgson and I to share half each over the next 2 Fridays, 1 aloo in freezer other still in fridge!!
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
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