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The Simple Bare Necessities feat. Gratitude & Recipes

edited 29 October 2016 at 8:24AM in Debt Free Diaries
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  • rtandon27rtandon27 Forumite
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    GP - on the subject of rigid boxes...

    A couple of icepacks in the bottom does the trick even for raw meat & fish for a couple of days...

    Back in the days when outdoorishness was an option (read that as across the pond many years ago) we would pack meat & fish at the bottom of the box just on top of the ice packs - why would this be relevant to you - avid vegetarian (or is that pescatarian) that you are? - Well we never got sick after cooking & consuming those two risky items & the weather in those parts of the country were much much hotter than any summer here! All that to say with my delicate stomach, I've lived to tell the tale, so veggie items will be more than safe...

    As an aside - my Gran would never put anything with mayo in a pack-up as she felt egg anything was too risky when not eaten fresh. :D:D:D

    We've heated those micro-pouches in a pot of boiling water with great success - back in the day before my favorite gadget, there were boil-in-bag meals, so my theory is there is not much difference to the micro-meals (Check out Wayfayrer meals on @mazon - they are way too expensive, but similar to the rice & lentil pouches):D
    3.5 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
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  • redofromstartredofromstart Forumite
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    Couscous works with just a kettle in said budget hotels, add boiling water, cover tub and wait. The ones with flavourings are ok, and you can always add some seeds for protein. MrM do some dried vegetables for about 60p a pack that rehydrate nicely with water.

    Also our £stretcher have some miso soup with glass noodle kits that just use a kettle. OH took one to work today, He says filling and spicy, much better than cup type soups. Clearly he ate it for breakfast, rather than lunch as intended. 2 servings for £1.
  • Greying_PilgrimGreying_Pilgrim Forumite
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    Good Evening :hello:


    Suffolk lass - I've not really ever bought the type of pouch food that I'm talking about, before either. I certainly won't be making a habit of it (not that cheap?), but for this trip, it would help keep costs down (ironically) versus eating out for 2 meals a day , and means we can actually get away - which to me is the important bit, so I'm determined to get creative - without recklessly endangering our health :D

    rtandon - that's great. I was looking at 'tailgate party' type coolers with wheels and everything....... the world is my oyster! :rotfl: Not too sure yet whether to go for cheap and cheerful 10 - 12 hr coolness version or whether to invest in a 'camping brand' one that claims to offer up to 30hrs coolness. The latter would clearly be an investment, but we would use it - so over it's life span, it would become pennies per use, I guess. But there is also the issue of external size/fitting in the car-boot.



    It's interesting how notions of 'food safety' evolve, isn't it? And yet all our forebears lived in much filthier conditions than we all (notionally) do today. I was raised on a farm, and feel there was possibly a bit more muck under my fingernails than would be deemed polite in this day and age......... :rotfl:


    redo - I don't actually like the taste of some of the 'flavoured' cous cous packets :( Perhaps I over did buying the AH ones that were pennies from AF in it's (cheap) heyday........ Same thing with (some) of the better known brand noodle pots. But the concept is right - it's just finding the ones we like. I've discovered that the 'Mershant Gor-may' brand cooked lentils can be eaten from the packet cold. Teamed with a tin of chickpeas, I would be half-way to making the lemony lentil and chickpea salad that I made for tea the other night. It's got me thinking! :D But thank you for mentioning £stretch3r - I need to have a look at the various offerings in various shops, to see what I can come up with. And also thank you for mentioning putting in seeds etc to the mixes - that is really simple to do, and will ramp up the nutritional content - Thank You :D





    I knew the MSE crew would have ideas! Thank you :D Mucho, mucho to ponder :D


    I did get some bits and bobbles today - and I did get wet :( My 'best' waterproof coat is not waterproof :( At some point, I will have to have a go at re-proofing it. Never had much luck with the wash-in versions tho........


    Aren't washing-up gloves expensive......... :eek:



    BG has been very sleepy again today - another growth spurt? But really quite well-behaved - which sounds horrible written down like that. I DO realise that little children are just boundary testing and learning and there are phases etc. I think I worry when BG is acting up by a busy road, or where there are lots of people who are intent on walking through you rather than round you - I worry about my ability to protect BG, not what people think about a toddler melt-down - or indeed that BG is having one. BG has a cheerful little personality developing, and I for one am grateful :D


    Tea this evening was lentil bolognese with spirally pasta :j BG had macaroni with their bolognese, but did try the 'new' pasta shape off papa's plate - and deemed it 'acceptable' :D There is a small portion of pasta left, a double portion of tomato/vegetable sauce and a double portion of lentils. So bolognese for another day :j BG had some of the 'wonky' YS'd grapes from mrAl with some yoghurt for dessert. The grapes are holding up well - and we've another punnet in the fridge to look forward to. My avocado this morning had a teeny black stone in the middle, which was difficult to extract, but the avocado tasted just fine - and the small pit meant more flesh, so win-win :j


    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;


    kind words about BG's development - uttered by someone I respect :o:D


    another store-cupboard tea :j

    help and ideas-floating from the MSE crew - thank you for your input and making me THINK :D:T


    Thanks for taking the time to pop in. Greatly appreciated.


    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Everything is getting so expensive :(
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • Greying_PilgrimGreying_Pilgrim Forumite
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    Good Morning :hello:


    Damp one with us again.


    A play-date and HM lunch to look forward to today with a newish chum :D Really, really nice people - so glad BG found the for us :D


    I've got access to the car, so may be able to shoe-horn in some research of cool boxes in outlier retail places. We'll see if I have time. Technically there is no real rush to purchase the cool box, so I shall take my time and try to get the 'best' one for our needs and likely budget.



    Will probably be a lsd today, rather than a nsd.



    Can't think of owt else :money:


    Thank you for popping by. Know that you are appreciated. Greatly.


    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    Your mention of a tailgate party made me think on...

    Just to add, I have a rigid plastic cool box that plugs into the "cigarette lighter" in the boot of the car and runs like a mini-fridge while the car engine is going - it was £30 and worth the extra pennies for us as we do a road trip of 1500 miles to N Scotland and Southern Europe (to a house, but drive over 3 days with visits) twice a year and camping weekend. I pre-freeze butter, meat (fish) and cheese then it also acts as freezer blocks to keep everything cold and edible - a bit like this one (link) but bought from the local hardware store. If you are going a fair way it is worth considering

    (I also use it sometimes if I buy frozen good in the SM, but I am not convinced as it all needs re-packing and plugging in and we are under ten miles from the SM). Once the engine is off my car kills the charge but lots don'e so might be worth considering - some have conventional plugs as well as 12v, so suit caravan owners with electric hook-up

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  • Greying_PilgrimGreying_Pilgrim Forumite
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    Good Evening :hello:


    :wave: t0 dearest beanie





    Also our £stretcher have some miso soup with glass noodle kits that just use a kettle. OH took one to work today, He says filling and spicy, much better than cup type soups. Clearly he ate it for breakfast, rather than lunch as intended. 2 servings for £1.


    Ah ha! Thank you redo for mentioning these - I popped into our local £str3tcher today (was one of a total of 3 customers.......) and found these boxes easy-peasy :DM1$0 tasty glass noodle meal kit for 99p :D So I have bought a box to try it out :D I also came across pots of instant porridge - NOT our usual go-to breakfast which is 'proper' porridge oats - but darn useful for 'travelling' breakfasts and in apple & blueberry flavour, which we've not seen before, so for 29p each, I gave a couple of pots a try :D

    Your mention of a tailgate party made me think on...

    Just to add, I have a rigid plastic cool box that plugs into the "cigarette lighter" in the boot of the car and runs like a mini-fridge while the car engine is going - it was £30 and worth the extra pennies for us as we do a road trip of 1500 miles to N Scotland and Southern Europe (to a house, but drive over 3 days with visits) twice a year and camping weekend. I pre-freeze butter, meat (fish) and cheese then it also acts as freezer blocks to keep everything cold and edible - a bit like this one (link) but bought from the local hardware store. If you are going a fair way it is worth considering

    (I also use it sometimes if I buy frozen good in the SM, but I am not convinced as it all needs re-packing and plugging in and we are under ten miles from the SM). Once the engine is off my car kills the charge but lots don'e so might be worth considering - some have conventional plugs as well as 12v, so suit caravan owners with electric hook-up


    Suffolk lass - i have actually previously thought about an 'electric' coolbox as (luckily) we have 'cigarette lighter' adaptors in the boot of our car. But I was put off by the 'possible' lack of size (internally?) of these boxes? Plus I once read a review (which may have been bias/incorrect/malicious etc etc) that claimed that the 'top down' fan (?) ones didn't do a comprehensive job of cooling the contents of the box. I expect it was in the 'cheaper' end of the price bracket that this occurs. Re-freezing ice blocks presents a problem on a 'longer' trips - which the 'electric' boxes overcome. But the ice-block boxes have more space...... dilemma.......... I'm not ruling out an electric version, but I'm not totally sure i would be happy if I had one......... :( DH has an aversion to them draining the battery - which is a (outside?) possibility if you are using it 24/7 for I trip I guess??????




    We have had a ball today.



    Our 'new' chums are just a delight and just so, so, so very nice and such good company. And so generous. So very, very generous. To be made lunch is such a treat for me - and to have someone think about what to offer, and to present it so beautifully......... I'm one blessed woman :o And BG was just in their element with their bestest chum in the whole, wide-world. Can you imagine hearing spontaneous giggles from children? That's what we heard - punctuating our conversation - over and over today :o:D


    I did spend money today. We went to a retail emporium that sells a bit of allsorts. I went to reccy their coolboxes - and I'm glad I'd had 2 secs to catch Suffolk lass's post, as they do stock electric coolboxes and so I had a look at alot of boxes! The good thing was that they had my 'first choice' (as I had thought) in stock. Despite it having good reviews and it being just in budget - at the top end for a 'performance' box - it had one major flaw. It was.too.darn.HUGE!!!! So that is crossed off my christmas list! I did however pick up a couple of 'camping' mugs which are insulated and keep drinks hot(ter) outside if you're out and about, and 2 drinking bottles for BG that had nice designs and were a fraction of the price of ones we'd seen up the high street. I may get a couple more, so that we can stash one in the car, one in the buggy etc etc. so that BG can easily get a drink if we're out and about.



    I picked up a couple of grocery bits in mrAl, and an unexpected purchase of some 'fat quarters' (R.A.N.D.O.M!!!) in a print with one of BG's favourite characters on them. As DH said, 'I didn't know mrAl did sewing supplies!'



    So, a more spendy day than intended, but we got stuff that is actually needed and which will be used.


    Tea was pizza pasta buffet, using pizza from the freezer (HM and frozen) and pasta with black olives and the veg/tomato sauce that I made yesterday (will have to make some more if we need more lentil bolognese! :D).


    Today I am grateful for....... so much. So very, very much.


    We have new friends that are wonderful, interesting, kind, intelligent, creative....... I'm including in this friends that we've made in the last 5 year+ (;) you know who you are :D), and we've opportunities abounding. Mucho, mucho to look forward to. Because of online chums, we've avenues to consider, and foodstuffs to try out, and new places to explore in the future ;) And BG was so well behaved today, and so pleased to see their chum, and behaved so well - even when it was time to leave :( they said thank you (and meant it) and please (and meant it) and kissed & hugged their chum bye-bye in a way that broke my heart with proud-ness..............................


    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    What a lovely day to have :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    Morning GP - my last word on cold boxes - I never use the ice blocks - I make the cost sacrifice of 99p for a bag of SM ice which I burst and pour in to surround the storage boxes - then if/when it melts (It typically lasts 2 days with us) I get another while I am away. It has the advantages that
    • it surrounds each item, keeping everything cold (hence the need for sealable boxes)
    • it takes up little or no space beyond the dead space that an ice block would not fit in
    • there is the odd ice cube to cool down a drink :whistle:
    • it pours away at the end and is no cost to the envronment beyond freezing

    My friend gave me a small stack of around a dozen plastic boxes with lids (takeaway boxes?) that are perfect for stacking in the box and fit "sideways". Combined with some of the food being frozen when it goes in we have managed this system for a week with no problems in a normal medium sized electric box that we top up only when the car is already running.

    I was also concerned about the top taking up too much space but the internal space is adequate if you are smart about what you store - the main thing is you must not stack on top of it when you pack up the car. I have been known to put it behind one of the front seats, in the foot-well and plug it into the "entertainment system" (non existent in our car) power supply between the front seats - you can hear it but it is not too apparent.

    There is no branding on mine but the safety sticker on the lid says Connabride (Ireland). I would recommend it (I also have Coleman chest boxes in different sizes including one with a hinged lid and rope handles (good for parties!) but that is 150qt size and humungous - the electric one is so much easier and more compact.

    Anyway - happy deliberations, I hope my ramblings help

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  • Greying_PilgrimGreying_Pilgrim Forumite
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    Good Evening :hello:


    Thanks Suffolk lass - I'm grateful for your input. I'm thinking VERY hard about what I actually need the coolbox to do 'the most'. If we were still tent camping, it would be a powered box, no problem. But I'm still wondering whether a 'passive' box would meet our 'actual' - ie non-camping- needs, better. But I'm not rushing into it, and I'll have a look around. The trouble is with on-line reviews, you read one which says, 'the X1000StayKool is the best thing since sliced bread' and then the next review says, 'waste of money, the x1000staykool broke in two on our first outing. Avoid, avoid, avoid'.



    We've had a spiffy day today :D We had real quality 'family time' for the first time in what seems a long-time. And in some ways, for the first time ever, (given how BG is just growing up so very fast ;)) We did spend money; some money went on things for BG. Some money went on a gift for a chum :D (and supported a local artisan :j) And we spent some money having a bun and a cuppa in Valerie's pat-a-cakey emporium. I'm glad we've been - we were PV virgins, but there are some things that only need to be done once in a life-time. This is most definitely one of them. The service was E.X.C.E.L.L.E.N.T - which is :j to be able to say :D But the cake......... um, hard........ and difficult to eat - even with the supplied knives.........


    Tea this evening was dhal, l/o channa masala, coconutty lentils (used the l/o lentils from the other night's bolognese making) and rice. BG was insistent that they didn't want ANY dhal (didn't even try to get it near their plate!) and had pesto pasta and cheese instead.


    The next 2 weeks are going to be full-on with 'stuff' - most of it good, but also several things I really dunna wanna do...... :( But that's life, eh? good with the bad, rough with smooth, ups with downs. Anyhoo, if I disappear, know that all is likely to be well. I'm just asleep or out of wiffy range :D


    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;


    my family

    the sunshine

    getting chores done :D



    Ta for popping in. Appreciated.


    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
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