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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    • #1
    • 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    4th Jun 11 at 11:19 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the sixth Grocery Challenge of 2012

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the:
    May 2012 Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be £1 a week or £20 a week.

    If you are currently spending £200 a month don't suddenly drop it to £100 - you'll never do it but if you cut £20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is £80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on £80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    By request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post

    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of £600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at £15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at £280 per month and brought it down to £240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to £260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out £20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for £X off a spend of £XX - if you had no NEED to spend £XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. MrM is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy £7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask!

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 and #6 on this thread.

    For everyones totals, see post #7 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 11-05-2012 at 6:59 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 36
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Jun 12, 3:53 PM
    • 3,045 Posts
    • 28,049 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    BBQ Belly pork
    Have just found some belly pork strips at the bottom of the freezer, any ideas what to do with them?
    Originally posted by Guppycaz
    You could make a hm BBQ sauce (squirt of ketchup, dash of worcester sauce, dash of tabasco and a slosh of vinegar whisked in a jug - adjust to tanginess of choice).

    Then marinade the pork (cover the belly pork with the sauce and turn them over to coat). When you're ready pop them in a medium oven (170c) for about 45 minutes to an hour (the longer the better with Belly but make sure it isn't burning). I do this in the lid of a pyrex casserole so the sauce dries up a bit and becomes sticky

    Meanwhile you cook your veg.

    You said you're not very experienced so hopefully my explanation is easy to understand. Whatever you do, belly is best cooked longer and slower (on a slightly lower heat) as it is a cheaper cut and the long cooking helps to tenderise it

    Good luck
    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% £31,251.65 including July
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    Had a chance to go to A!di today and spent £56 there after doing a menu plan for the next 2 and half weeks and checking what we already had in (included £5.99 on beer for DH as he can't seem to do without this!). This is good as to keep within budget this month, I only had £68 left. This leaves me £12 and I still need to buy some things, particularly fresh stuff, but I'm hoping that I'll come in at least nearly within budget .

    Yesterday, we had a lovely meal out in a French restaurant as DH had been given restaurant vouchers when he left his last job. It ended up costing us 25p for the 4 of us and we were stuffed!
    Pay debt in 2012 #278 £2347/£5364
    Sealed Pot 5 #1713 £78.57 //Crazy Clothes Challenge #97 £79.49/£100
    Grocery Challenge:
    Feb £359/£360 Mar £390/£450 Apr £335/£320
    May £330/£320 Jun £455/£400 Jul £321/£320
    Aug £399/£370 Sep £345/£300 Oct £421/£400 Nov £0/£320
    • Eyebright
    • By Eyebright 10th Jun 12, 4:33 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Eyebright
    Just done an online shop with MrA, which has provisonally come in at £57.70 Will update my sig once it has been delivered on Tuesday and I confirm the exact amount. My budget is going to be tight I think this month, but I have had to buy a lot of cleaning products and other sundries that aren't technically food, but do come out of the budget.

    Hopefully I shouldn't need any such things next week, so I'm aiming for that shop to come in under £45.

    Have kind of made a meal plan for next week's dinners, hoping to start getting the hand of meal planning and that it will help me cut back on SM spending!
    DFD Feb 2018 Total debt now £12672.13 £6919.63
    EFC #11 £150/£1000 = 15% achieved
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 10th Jun 12, 4:33 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 20,252 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    Low spend today - a grand total of £0.56 on a pint of milk Still doing better than I thought so am pleased with that. Plus have been for a 5 mile walk today so am feeling well pleased

    Tea tonight is last night's chicken & bacon pie, reheated, with mash. Have a lovely evening, everyone. Hi to anyone new

    K xx

    • **purpleprincess**
    • By **purpleprincess** 10th Jun 12, 4:42 PM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 3,845 Thanks
    **purpleprincess**
    Low spend today - a grand total of £0.56 on a pint of milk Still doing better than I thought so am pleased with that. Plus have been for a 5 mile walk today so am feeling well pleased

    Tea tonight is last night's chicken & bacon pie, reheated, with mash. Have a lovely evening, everyone. Hi to anyone new

    K xx
    Originally posted by Kitchenbunny
    That pie sounds lush!
    Official DFW Nerd no. 082!
    Debt @ 01/01/2014 £16,956 Debt now: £0.00
    Aims: clear debt, get married, buy a house ALL DONE!!
  • Guppycaz
    You could make a hm BBQ sauce (squirt of ketchup, dash of worcester sauce, dash of tabasco and a slosh of vinegar whisked in a jug - adjust to tanginess of choice).

    Then marinade the pork (cover the belly pork with the sauce and turn them over to coat). When you're ready pop them in a medium oven (170c) for about 45 minutes to an hour (the longer the better with Belly but make sure it isn't burning). I do this in the lid of a pyrex casserole so the sauce dries up a bit and becomes sticky

    Meanwhile you cook your veg.

    You said you're not very experienced so hopefully my explanation is easy to understand. Whatever you do, belly is best cooked longer and slower (on a slightly lower heat) as it is a cheaper cut and the long cooking helps to tenderise it

    Good luck
    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass

    Yummy!! Fussy eater DS loves BBQ sauce so think he meet try it too.

    Perfect explanation, I think even I can do this

    Thank you Suffolk Lass
    Grocery Challenge: June £92/£500
    • **purpleprincess**
    • By **purpleprincess** 10th Jun 12, 4:46 PM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 3,845 Thanks
    **purpleprincess**
    I made this lovely sweet potato and carrot soup using some very sad looking veg and it is lush! I will have it for lunches this week. In the end I had to add more hot water as it was reeeeeally thick, so have made tonnes.
    Official DFW Nerd no. 082!
    Debt @ 01/01/2014 £16,956 Debt now: £0.00
    Aims: clear debt, get married, buy a house ALL DONE!!
    • purplesheila
    • By purplesheila 10th Jun 12, 4:47 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    purplesheila
    Weekly update
    04/06/2012 L!dl Ice Cream £ 1.49 (Kids after a day out at park)
    05/06/2012 £Stret***s-Cleaning £ 4.98
    05/06/2012 MR M's Food £ 2.54
    06/06/2012 ALD! Snacks £ 2.20 (Cinema Trip)
    07/06/2012 ALD! Food £ 50.00
    £Stret***s Toiletries £ 1.98
    07/06/2012 A&M Household £ 1.99
    08/06/2012 A&M Household/Toiltries £ 1.70

    Total £66.88

    I seem to have spent much more than I wanted this week. The kids have been off on 1/2 term which always seems to make you spend more - so I will have to rain it back in later in the month.

    I have a food plan, so no shopping required till Thursday (My weekly shopping day)

    Better hope next week :-)
    Last edited by purplesheila; 10-06-2012 at 9:56 PM.
    April Grocery challenge £0/£160 (17th April-30th Apr)
    NSDs - 0/14
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 10th Jun 12, 4:54 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    debbiedeejay
    Good evening all - am trying to catchup on a weeks amount of posts as my internet has been playing up -very intermittent and very annoying. Can't do a lot about it,have tried honestly - but it's due to thick cottage walls and a very old BT exchange in the next village!

    Anyway need to declare two lots of Friday shoppings at Mr M's which came to a total of £82.87.

    Youngest DD finishes school in next few weeks,she is going onto to further ed like her sisters but it will feel weird not having that "proper" normal school timetable to stick to -uniforms,9-3.30 timetables......but still will have three pack ups to sort out though!I can see that summer meal planning is going to be hard - not knowing if kids will be in or extra mouths to feed etc might mean last minute changes to meal times. hmmm not looking forward to that bit.

    No real bargains to had just lately(but that's because have stayed away from shops!) but was given a handful of very young just picked Asparagus by neighbour passing them on who doesn't like it - just steamed it on top of rice cooker and had them as starter with butter.Definitely summer on a plate

    Oh and my fridge is still leaking under the bottom of the salad drawer- can't work out whats going on, have unblocked the tap bit at the back, hope it's not on way out

    Catch you all later
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 £57.20/£100,CCC 2013 £68.67/£100 ,CCC 2014 £94.32/£100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan £154.14/£180;Feb £103.49/£180;Mar 117.63/£160
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 10th Jun 12, 5:20 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    I know some of you have mentioned you shop in places like DR or Westin Gourmet.

    I've never used them before but I'm not sure if this offer will come in useful to anyone or if it's only a London deal: http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/58-london/deals/312340-barbecue-meat-and-fish-hamper
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • tjp70
    • By tjp70 10th Jun 12, 6:06 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 2,188 Thanks
    tjp70
    The wedding we attended was absolutely lovely and we managed to do the weekly shop once we got home. We went to Mr A (I usually shop at Mr T but its about 5 miles further away) and spent £52.00 which I am pleased with. I just need to stick to the meal plan and all will be well.
    If Plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 10th Jun 12, 6:08 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 20,252 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    That pie sounds lush!
    Originally posted by **purpleprincess**
    I was going to post the recipe anyway, so here goes:

    pastry:
    200g plain flour
    100g marg
    bit of salt
    1-2tbsp water

    Rub the marg into the flour until golden and crumblike (was going to put crummy, but it's better than that ). Add water slowly and squish it together until it forms a dough. Leave it to rest a bit in cling film in the fridge.

    Meanwhile, fry about 200g bacon chunks (offcuts are fine) in a little oil in a big saucepan. When cooked but not crispy, add 2 tsp butter and 2 tbsp plain flour. Stir for a bit until it looks pasty, then add a pint of milk a bit at a time, stirring, until all is absorbed and it looks like a sauce. Quickly taste for seasoning, and add a bit if necessary. In a frying pan brown 2-3 chicken thighs, skins removed and chunked. Add some chunked mushrooms and other veg if you want a bigger pie, and cook slightly. Add the sauce to the chicken and leave to cool a bit.

    Using 2/3 pastry roll into a big flat dish-shape (one cooking term to fit all there - my dish was oval so it was a big flat oval-shape ). Put into the dish and bake with greaseproof and some dried peas or baking beans on for 15 mins at about Gas 6. Remove the beans and paper and allow to cook a further 5 or so minutes. Not keen on a soggy bottom Put chicken mixture into the pastry and cover it with the remaining pastry to cover your dish. Back into the oven it goes for a further 25-30 minutes (you can egg wash if you like - I didn't have any eggs so didn't ).

    We had it with sauteed potato slices last night and mash tonight. When reheated the pastry isn't as short as the first time but it still tasty. I used the tiny bit of pastry left over to make a squishtogether mincemeat pie.

    Hope that's OK.

    K xx

    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Jun 12, 6:29 PM
    • 3,045 Posts
    • 28,049 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Good evening all - am trying to catchup on a weeks amount of posts as my internet has been playing up -very intermittent and very annoying. Can't do a lot about it,have tried honestly - but it's due to thick cottage walls and a very old BT exchange in the next village!
    Originally posted by debbiedeejay
    debbiedeejay - If you go to this site
    http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk/ and test your broadband speed, you can compare it with others in your village. If it is lower than 400kb you should contact your ISP to report a problem - as we pay for up to 8mb for our ancient twisted pair wire service here, 400kb is the contracted minimum speed. We used to get as low as 128kb but I did this test on a fellow resident's recommendation and BT (the only choice for us ) did some sort of reboot thing at the server end and it was instantly 5 times faster!!

    BTW the ancient old sub-station in the next village mysteriously caught fire one night and they now have a brand new high speed digital jobby but far be it...

    Anywaythe checker worked for us and might for you
    All the best
    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% £31,251.65 including July
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
    • mrsplymdaz
    • By mrsplymdaz 10th Jun 12, 7:10 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    mrsplymdaz
    Newbie - can I join in?
    Hello all,

    I'm Kat and I would love to join in with this challenge if it isn't too late?

    I'm currently pregnant with my 3rd child, due in September, and about to lose my Contribution based JSA, which has been helping a lot recently, so I really need to get a handle on our food bill.

    I'm aiming at £50 for the week, which I think is doable as I went a bit nuts the other week in F@armfoods and now I can barely shut my freezer!

    Anyway I will now be spending lots of time reading all the recipes and stuff for hints and tips

    xxk
    My Family
    Me, DH, DS(5), DS(2), bump(due Sept 7th)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    June Grocery Challenge
    Wk 1:- 11/06-17/06 - £34.28/£50
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 10th Jun 12, 7:15 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    craigywv - well done all your reduced items - can you post a Strawberry Jam recipe that you use please - I tried one on Friday but it was a disaster [I burnt it] - I need a tried and tasted recipe - thank you

    So far I've spent £61 of this weeks £75 budget [2 days to go and kiddies back to school tomorrow] I'm happy with that so far

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    hi , i will certainly give you my recipe but its not one of the traditional methods of making it , its my way so i expect all you proffessional jam makers to cringe, i ahve been making this since i was 18 every year and my pots get stolen when a friend / family try it so here goes i will jsut give you a basic ammount 1 lb of strawberries 1 lb jam sugar thats it mash s.berries in big pot i use my pressure cooker pot DONT PUT LID ON!!! add sugar mash up with potato masher put on high heat stir constantly it will liquify(is there such a word) keep stirring the bottom of pot DO NOT LEAVE POT FOR A SECOND!!!! it will start to bubble and boil lower it down to medium i would say gas mark 4 hob 4 on the knob. stir for ten mins take off heat . with a spoon take the foam off the top and discard . i dont have fancy jars just ones i collect over the year from sauces and coffee etc i put these into the hottest water in sink and wash and dry thorouly i then por pot contents into a jug CAREFULLY AS ITS SCALDING and then into the jars son aged 8 his job is the stickers on the front of the jars writing labels and colourful picturesit may not be the proper way to make jam as it does not set like the glue you buy in the shops but its the taste its lovely we put our jam on with a teaspoon anyway in our house. i was reading delia smiths recipe and she says the same thing her jam does not set its not supposed to!! only shop bought as it has setting agents . also last year got a glut of blackcurrants off our bushes so just used granulated sugar to make this jam as they have a natural pectin (makes the jam set) got loads of apricots 1 night in mr t so made apricot jam and had a handful of raspberries on my buses as it was end of season added these to apricots wow delishhhhhhh!!! hope i get apricots again. so there u go thats how i make jam it lasts over a year as i made mine last year and just finished of the last a week ago no mould or bad smells , no doudt there is a better way of doing it but thats my way hope this helps.
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
  • bestestmum
    hello.. I would love to try this challenge
    I'm pretty new on here but I'm really interested in trying the challenge, especially as I've recently been unemployed and have five kids and a husband to feed. I've always considered myself very good at budget food shopping but I know I could do better. I currently spend between £60 - £80 per week on food. I do the majority of it on line so i dont get distracted by stuff I dont need. I will try to keep the budget to £70 aweek to start with. I will also be reading peoples tips on what they do to save money on groceries. Thank you x
    • **purpleprincess**
    • By **purpleprincess** 10th Jun 12, 7:37 PM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 3,845 Thanks
    **purpleprincess**
    hi , i will certainly give you my recipe but its not one of the traditional methods of making it , its my way so i expect all you proffessional jam makers to cringe, i ahve been making this since i was 18 every year and my pots get stolen when a friend / family try it so here goes i will jsut give you a basic ammount 1 lb of strawberries 1 lb jam sugar thats it mash s.berries in big pot i use my pressure cooker pot DONT PUT LID ON!!! add sugar mash up with potato masher put on high heat stir constantly it will liquify(is there such a word) keep stirring the bottom of pot DO NOT LEAVE POT FOR A SECOND!!!! it will start to bubble and boil lower it down to medium i would say gas mark 4 hob 4 on the knob. stir for ten mins take off heat . with a spoon take the foam off the top and discard . i dont have fancy jars just ones i collect over the year from sauces and coffee etc i put these into the hottest water in sink and wash and dry thorouly i then por pot contents into a jug CAREFULLY AS ITS SCALDING and then into the jars son aged 8 his job is the stickers on the front of the jars writing labels and colourful picturesit may not be the proper way to make jam as it does not set like the glue you buy in the shops but its the taste its lovely we put our jam on with a teaspoon anyway in our house. i was reading delia smiths recipe and she says the same thing her jam does not set its not supposed to!! only shop bought as it has setting agents . also last year got a glut of blackcurrants off our bushes so just used granulated sugar to make this jam as they have a natural pectin (makes the jam set) got loads of apricots 1 night in mr t so made apricot jam and had a handful of raspberries on my buses as it was end of season added these to apricots wow delishhhhhhh!!! hope i get apricots again. so there u go thats how i make jam it lasts over a year as i made mine last year and just finished of the last a week ago no mould or bad smells , no doudt there is a better way of doing it but thats my way hope this helps.
    Originally posted by craigywv
    Do you just fill the jars to the top and then screw the lid on?

    This sounds fab! I fancy having a go at this. Think I will do it when I get back from Devon.
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    • Eyebright
    • By Eyebright 10th Jun 12, 7:41 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Eyebright
    I was going to post the recipe anyway, so here goes:

    pastry:
    200g plain flour
    100g marg
    bit of salt
    1-2tbsp water

    Rub the marg into the flour until golden and crumblike (was going to put crummy, but it's better than that ). Add water slowly and squish it together until it forms a dough. Leave it to rest a bit in cling film in the fridge.

    Meanwhile, fry about 200g bacon chunks (offcuts are fine) in a little oil in a big saucepan. When cooked but not crispy, add 2 tsp butter and 2 tbsp plain flour. Stir for a bit until it looks pasty, then add a pint of milk a bit at a time, stirring, until all is absorbed and it looks like a sauce. Quickly taste for seasoning, and add a bit if necessary. In a frying pan brown 2-3 chicken thighs, skins removed and chunked. Add some chunked mushrooms and other veg if you want a bigger pie, and cook slightly. Add the sauce to the chicken and leave to cool a bit.

    Using 2/3 pastry roll into a big flat dish-shape (one cooking term to fit all there - my dish was oval so it was a big flat oval-shape ). Put into the dish and bake with greaseproof and some dried peas or baking beans on for 15 mins at about Gas 6. Remove the beans and paper and allow to cook a further 5 or so minutes. Not keen on a soggy bottom Put chicken mixture into the pastry and cover it with the remaining pastry to cover your dish. Back into the oven it goes for a further 25-30 minutes (you can egg wash if you like - I didn't have any eggs so didn't ).

    We had it with sauteed potato slices last night and mash tonight. When reheated the pastry isn't as short as the first time but it still tasty. I used the tiny bit of pastry left over to make a squishtogether mincemeat pie.

    Hope that's OK.

    K xx
    Originally posted by Kitchenbunny
    Thanks for posting the recipe, sounds delicious yet easy to make, which is a must for me! Can't wait to give it a try
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    • MrsCD
    • By MrsCD 10th Jun 12, 7:42 PM
    • 745 Posts
    • 11,241 Thanks
    MrsCD
    Hi All,
    Mostly I just lurk, and read all your words of wisdom... sometimes I read the posts in the wrong order...
    I did that today, and look what I read... Lol! x

    #659
    On a better note, has anyone else tried MrA's SPrice shampoo for 20p? I've been using it this week, and I can't stop telling people about it! My hair is so soft, it feels like I've used some expensive conditioner, but it's just the shampoo

    #658
    Kitchenbunny - I have - it was OK but I would add a few drops of vanilla extract and some pureed fruit to make it less custardy - strawberries are good ...

    I'm still giggling now x
    Originally posted by Midnight Shopper
    Thanks for that Midnight Shopper! Haven't had such a good laugh in ages Maybe we should tell MrA to refine his recipe for the shampoo?

    Helen Jelly - if you're going to eat the strawberry jam fairly quickly, there is a recipe on the side of the 'jam sugar' packet for microwave jam. I've tried it and it's really good and easy to make. HTH

    800g fresh or frozen strawberries, washed and prepared
    1kg Silver Spoon jam sugar
    Small knob of butter
    2 0r 3 jam jars, sterilised in microwave with boiling water
    Place the fruit in a 2.8 litre bowl suitable for microwaveand cook on HIGH for 7 minutes. Crush the fruit with a potato masher, stir inthe sugar and butter, microwave again for 14 minutes, stirring the mixturehalfway through.

    (I've found that it sets well if you cook it for a bit less than this)

    The mixture mustboil vigorously for 4 minutes during this time or it may not set properly.

    Check jam after 11 minutes or so, as it will be ‘rubbery’ ifcooked for too long.

    Pour into jars and seal.

    Caution: Boiling jam reaches a very high temperature. Do not be tempted to touch!
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 10th Jun 12, 7:42 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    Do you just fill the jars to the top and then screw the lid on?

    This sounds fab! I fancy having a go at this. Think I will do it when I get back from Devon.
    Originally posted by **purpleprincess**
    yes lol told you nothing fancy i can feel the wrath of all those expert jam makers tut tutting me but my mum makes it the "proper" way and it ends up looking ,tasting and being the same so it cant be that much different, yes maybe if your wanting to do the proffessional canning or whatever the Amish call it go for the proper recipes but i dont and nobodies died yet
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
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