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  • FIRST POST
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 2,942Posts
    • 30,161Thanks
    XSpender
    Spring Cleaning the Freezers - 52 days on £70
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    Spring Cleaning the Freezers - 52 days on £70 6th Feb 18 at 4:51 PM
    I have 2 freezers and cupboards groaning with food. We eat some and top it back up again with the same things, eat these, top it back up again and so on and never get to the bottom to give them a good clean out. I buy too much and struggle to spend within my grocery budget every week.

    I have lots of fancy ingredients from various healthy eating regimes (I'm looking at you Joe Wicks ) and recipes I planned to make that are cluttering up the cupboards and I want to use them up before they go off.

    We also need to seriously save some money, so we can pay down our debt which has been run up doing up our house and, more recently, buying some furniture in the January sales. This challenge should allow us to save nearly £500 and clear the balance on the credit card that is attracting interest.

    To complicate matters I am coeliac and don!!!8217;t eat red meat or fish, DH will only eat a bit of salmon and does not have a sweet tooth so can!!!8217;t fill him up with cake or puddings. We have one DS who has school lunches and gets fed at grandparents most evenings.

    Our challenge, is to use the food in our freezers and cupboards and an extra £70 cash to feed all 3 of us (excluding DS school lunches) between now and 29th March, 52 days. This may seem a lot to all you super experienced old stylers but we normally spend £70 in a good week!!

    In addition to the £70 I can sometimes make use of a dinner allowance from work to buy groceries and sometimes have lunch/dinner paid for when away with work. This varies as this week I have none and next week I have 3 and DH has a rare 2.

    I will post the contents of my freezers and cupboards and will be meal planning, writing a (very short) shopping list and looking for inspiration for meals and any recipes anyone would like to share. No cupboard shaming please

    DH is on board and has even offered to spend some time in the kitchen with me at the weekend prepping our meals. DH never cooks and I!!!8217;m not sure he knows how to use the oven.

    I have done a meal plan and shopping list for the first 11 days as both DH and I have some days away with work. There are 3 things on my shopping list so far:

    Milk (4 pints semi skimmed) - £1.09
    Eggs (15) - £1.19
    Vegetable oil (1L) - £1.09

    Please feel free to join in if your cupboards and freezers need a spring clean too.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 14-02-2018 at 11:48 AM.
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
Page 2
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 7th Feb 18, 5:51 PM
    • 2,942 Posts
    • 30,161 Thanks
    XSpender
    Youíre doing great XSpender!

    Made me smile spotting your Joe Wicks items. I can relate to those (although I blame my friend with her sugar free cookbook)

    I see you have risotto planned soon. I make mine with roughly two thirds rice and one third quinoa (which I see you have). Iíve also used pudding rice for risotto and no one seemed to notice. Maybe rice pudding for breakfast would make a change from porridge for you

    Keep posting, itís going to be fun seeing your list gradually get crossed off.
    Originally posted by phizzimum
    I've got the sugar free ones too, and the clean eating, and the grain free and not forgetting slimming world

    I really like the idea of using quinoa in risotto and will definitely try that this week. I have a quinoa porridge to try too to make the oats last longer.

    The pudding rice was bought to cook and then add to the muller lites to make them more filling. I still have 12 muller lites to get through so need to cook some and try it out. A fat free (and syn free) version of muller rice. I am going to save the pots to make some jelly pots with the 6 packs of sugar free jelly I have.
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 7th Feb 18, 7:21 PM
    • 2,942 Posts
    • 30,161 Thanks
    XSpender
    First spends of the challenge done at Mr T. It would have been cheaper to go to Mr A but I had to pick up the rest of DS prescription and it was on the way back from a work meeting.

    I bought:

    4 pints skimmed milk - £1.09
    1L sunflower oil - £1.20
    Value apple juice - £0.65
    ys GF bread - £1.70
    2 wholemeal loves - £1.10
    Cumin powder - £1.15
    15 value eggs - £1.15

    TOTAL SPENT - £8.14 AMOUNT LEFT - £61.86 DAYS REMAINING - 50

    And I forgot to buy hair dye

    I bought the GF bread as I wont have time to make any tonight or tomorrow. If I slice it thinly and freeze it in 2 slice portions it will last me until next weekend.

    I opted for the bag of cumin powder in the world foods aisle rather than the smaller jar in the spice aisle as it was much better value although 30p more initial outlay and we use a fair bit of this spice.

    As I didn't eat my lunch until nearly 5pm I am not hungry enough for any dinner and DH has asked more another round of corned beef sandwiches rather than the sausages planned. These would have been tomorrow's lunch but since he is going to a meeting tomorrow now where lunch is provided it wont mess up the plan.

    The last bit of beetroot has been used up in one jar and I will finish the other jar in DHs sandwiches on Friday

    Neither of us having tea isn't helping shift the gazillion sausages we have though! It's going to take a loooooong time to eat everything at this rate.

    I checked last week's Asda receipt and I have a £2.88 price guarantee voucher but I can't get the printer to work to print it off. I will ask DH to do it. I rechecked the one from a couple of weeks ago which had 92p on originally but said it was cheaper today. They must check against the prices on the day you check it not the day it was purchased.
    Last edited by XSpender; 07-02-2018 at 7:24 PM.
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
    • MrsPear
    • By MrsPear 7th Feb 18, 8:07 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    MrsPear
    How about sausage pasta?
    Gc challenge £363.53/ 500
    Y Feb 317.28 / 350
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 7th Feb 18, 8:08 PM
    • 4,271 Posts
    • 38,649 Thanks
    Katiehound
    As an aside Boots did have Nice n'easy hair dye for £1.59 a couple of weeks ago (I posted it on the grabbit board) The boxes have changed shape and these are the old stock- they only seemed to be reduced in B's- not MrT or Mr M. Maybe worth a look

    Online they are showing @£2.40- but one forumite ordered online, collected at the store, got her money back (@£2.40) and then bought then back again @ £1.59!

    Sorry, I want to fill your bathroom shelves instaed of kitchen cupboards
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..39 cc+.840mm(84p) + RK £3.07= £4.30
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 7th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • 2,942 Posts
    • 30,161 Thanks
    XSpender
    How about sausage pasta?
    Originally posted by MrsPear
    Thanks for the suggestion, I will add that to the list of meals to make, DS should eat that too.

    As an aside Boots did have Nice n'easy hair dye for £1.59 a couple of weeks ago (I posted it on the grabbit board) The boxes have changed shape and these are the old stock- they only seemed to be reduced in B's- not MrT or Mr M. Maybe worth a look

    Online they are showing @£2.40- but one forumite ordered online, collected at the store, got her money back (@£2.40) and then bought then back again @ £1.59!

    Sorry, I want to fill your bathroom shelves instaed of kitchen cupboards
    Originally posted by Katiehound
    Thanks Katiehound. It is the nice and easy one I use and I am passing a Boots tomorrow so will have a look. I think I may have about £4.00 of advantage points to use up too
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Feb 18, 12:29 AM
    • 1,624 Posts
    • 8,622 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I shall be following your thread with interest, XSpender, as I'm also trying to get through a backlog of stored food. Today I had that rare thing, a stay at home and cook day, so I have made inroads though the freezer and shelves are still what most people would probably consider full. I have already pinched your mango and strawberry pound cake recipe for some special occasion as I too have coconut oil to use.

    This is what I managed today: yesterday's fruit fool plus a bit of left-over custard has been frozen and relabelled ice cream. 400ml of double cream left over from entertaining is now nearly 7oz of butter and a small amount of buttermilk. Two bottles of honey vinegar rescued from my Mum's cupboards, plus odds and ends of veg are now 2 jars of pickle. More veg, spices and some ancient frozen filo pastry made curried veg pie for tea. Some parsnips went into soup. Some milk that was about to turn went into a rice pudding for DS's lunch. A tube of ready to bake croissants and another of cinnamon swirls left over from Christmas are now baked and largely inside DS. I also made a ginger drink to help me through having a cold. It was all good fun!

    The next plan is parsnip and apple soup (new recipe but I'm fed up of curried parsnip), and to use up the bananas in some muffins.

    It intrigues me how different people use ingredients so differently so I'm sure I will find inspiration from reading your further adventures. If you have any great ideas for using a couple of hundred grams' worth of turmeric which DH bought for health reasons then abandoned, please tell me!

    Oh, and you've reminded me I have beetroot to use too...
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 8th Feb 18, 8:27 AM
    • 2,942 Posts
    • 30,161 Thanks
    XSpender
    Wow Cherry there is some real creativity happening in your kitchen!

    I am sure you can make a cake with turmeric and yogurt. I haven't tried it myself as I am not that keen on the flavour of turmeric.
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
    • hex2
    • By hex2 8th Feb 18, 9:07 AM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    Cherryfudge, I used to work at a local university and they were trialling turmeric in lots of things, which included flapjack. I tend to use it more for savoury stuff like saute potatoes, or roasted spicy chickpeas but I also add some to things like potatoes when I am par-boiling for roasting. It should keep ok if its in an air tight tub.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 8th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • 4,271 Posts
    • 38,649 Thanks
    Katiehound
    Hello! Back to the hair dye!
    Hope you haven't dashed off yet.
    Feedback suggests that the items may have different (dearer) prices on the shelves- so get checked at the till.
    The new formula in the new hexagonal boxes are easy to spot!
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..39 cc+.840mm(84p) + RK £3.07= £4.30
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Feb 18, 10:35 AM
    • 1,624 Posts
    • 8,622 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I am sure you can make a cake with turmeric and yogurt. I haven't tried it myself as I am not that keen on the flavour of turmeric.
    It would certainly make a spectacular colour! DH isn't keen on yogurt but I get through lots so I have some in... might just google that, thanks.

    Cherryfudge, I used to work at a local university and they were trialling turmeric in lots of things, which included flapjack. I tend to use it more for savoury stuff like saute potatoes, or roasted spicy chickpeas but I also add some to things like potatoes when I am par-boiling for roasting. It should keep ok if its in an air tight tub.
    Wow, that sounds like a fun job! Imagine being paid to try out recipes. . (You can see I like cooking). I think I shall have to be inventive: perhaps add turmeric to everything unless I can think of a good reason not to! That would seem to be the only way to get through such a lot. I particularly like the idea of roasted spicy chickpeas (will add that to my recipe hunt today, along with the cake).

    It's airtight... in a big tub that says 'gravy'. Has caused confusion more than once.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Feb 18, 10:44 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Here's the cake I found... it actually looks really good and I think with the addition of orange, even DH might be persuaded to try it.

    There's a lot of choice out there for roasted chick pea recipe but this one seems to meet the requirements and I have all the ingredients (surprise, surprise!)

    XSpender, what culinary adventures are you planning today? I am in awe of your lists: that must have taken ages. You do seem to have some good things to play with in there!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Feb 18, 10:55 AM
    • 1,624 Posts
    • 8,622 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Me again (will go and sit quietly after this post). Couple of questions if you don't mind?

    Cheap curry sauce (I have it too) - do you find you have to add extra curry powder? I bulk mine out with peas, pineapple etc. but it still needs a bit more zing.

    Desiccated coconut - I have more than I can use... I came across this old recipe though which I haven't yet tried but it sounded fun and easy: Impossible Pie.
    • hex2
    • By hex2 8th Feb 18, 11:54 AM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    Cherry, I bought expensive coffee rather than played in the kitchens, but yes it would be lovely to be paid to experiment in the kitchens.

    I've made something like the impossible pie before (think it is on the grocery challenge thread) but have issues with grains so tend to make simple coconut macaroons here

    I haven't tried the curry sauce but use chipotle chilli flakes (80p ish MrM) for anything that needs extra zing - heat and smoke rather than just making it hotter like chilli powder.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Feb 18, 12:54 PM
    • 1,624 Posts
    • 8,622 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Cherry, tend to make simple coconut macaroons here.
    Originally posted by hex2
    For some reason I now have an oven full of macaroons (Thanks!)
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 8th Feb 18, 2:56 PM
    • 5,078 Posts
    • 37,991 Thanks
    joedenise
    Cherry - you can use dessicated coconut in a curry. I particularly like it in a prawn curry. Works best in quite a saucy curry rather than a dryish one - hope that makes sense.

    Denise
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 8th Feb 18, 4:49 PM
    • 755 Posts
    • 5,538 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    Just posting to say good luck with your plan. Cherryfudge recommended your thread when I mentioned needing to empty my freezer. Definitely won't be anything as exciting, not much I can do with dippers and waffles but it needs to be empty to move it.
    LBM in April 17 - £6655/£33554 (19.8%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £1031/£5000 (20.6% paid)
    SPC #591
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 8th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 343 Posts
    • 2,903 Thanks
    purpleybat
    Cherry - you can use dessicated coconut in a curry. I particularly like it in a prawn curry. Works best in quite a saucy curry rather than a dryish one - hope that makes sense.

    Denise
    Originally posted by joedenise

    i second this and agree its great in prawn and/or fish curries. I always give it a goodly grinding with the mortar and pestle tho cos I find it can be a little gritty to eat.
    gc 2017 £1841.27.
    2018 jan £124.69/£130 feb £157.97/£150 mar £221.33/£200
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 8th Feb 18, 4:55 PM
    • 1,697 Posts
    • 9,246 Thanks
    phizzimum
    Cherry - you can use dessicated coconut in a curry. I particularly like it in a prawn curry. Works best in quite a saucy curry rather than a dryish one - hope that makes sense.

    Denise
    Originally posted by joedenise
    I use the blocks of creamed coconut in curries, would the desiccated give a similar taste and texture Denise?

    Iíve disliked desiccated coconut since the days of school dinners but always seem to end up with it in the cupboard. I think my daughter buys it for a recipe then forgets it.
    weaving through the chaos...
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 8th Feb 18, 6:40 PM
    • 5,078 Posts
    • 37,991 Thanks
    joedenise
    phizzimum - you won't get the same texture as creamed coconut but if you grind it as purpleybat suggests then I would think the flavour is similar. Having said that I can't remember what the creamed coconut flavour is like as I haven't used it for years! I only use desicated in fish/prawn curries.

    For meat curries I usually use about 100ml of coconut milk (from a tin) for 2 portions. The rest of the can I freeze in a silicon muffin tin and once frozen transfer to a plastic ziplock bag - so I get 4 curries for 2 of us out of can of coconut milk.

    Denise
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 8th Feb 18, 7:12 PM
    • 2,942 Posts
    • 30,161 Thanks
    XSpender
    Hello! Back to the hair dye!
    Hope you haven't dashed off yet.
    Feedback suggests that the items may have different (dearer) prices on the shelves- so get checked at the till.
    The new formula in the new hexagonal boxes are easy to spot!
    Originally posted by Katiehound
    I picked up 2 hair dyes. They were £2.40 on the shelf but went trough the till at £1.59. Even better I used my advantage points and thry were free. Thanks so much for the tip


    XSpender, what culinary adventures are you planning today? I am in awe of your lists: that must have taken ages. You do seem to have some good things to play with in there!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    I am ashamed to say that, after being up since 5.45am to get DH off to a meeting, we have had hash browns, sausages, beans and egg for tea I went for the hash browns instead of the french fries as I wanted to use something up and cross it off my list and there is still 1 left The M&S sausage mountain has been reduced by 10% though

    Just posting to say good luck with your plan. Cherryfudge recommended your thread when I mentioned needing to empty my freezer. Definitely won't be anything as exciting, not much I can do with dippers and waffles but it needs to be empty to move it.
    Originally posted by charlies tribe
    Mmmm waffles....havent had them for ages. Feel free to post what you've got, there have been some great suggestions for using up my stores.
    Action Plan Part 1 - Clear First 3 Balances
    Target Debt Lloyds (Me) Part 1 £666.22/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 1 £1176.49/£599.42
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£1038
    Big black hole of debt - £53,515.15 @ 16.12.17 £52,811.64 @ 28.02.18, £50,638.77 @ 28.03.18, £49,778.78 @ 20.04.18
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