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  • FIRST POST
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 2,969Posts
    • 30,623Thanks
    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/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£995
    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, £46,093.32 @ 18.05.18
Page 3
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 8th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    • 2,969 Posts
    • 30,623 Thanks
    XSpender
    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.
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    I think the value curry tastes like chip shop curry sauce. I don't usually add anything but had considered sultanas to get rid of some and I often put peas in rice to go with it.

    That pie sounds great and I have everything in (funnily enough ) to make it.

    I make a lovely chicken curry with dessicated coconut, apple, chutney and sultanas. I will add that o my list for meals to make week after next.
    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/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£995
    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, £46,093.32 @ 18.05.18
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 8th Feb 18, 7:30 PM
    • 2,969 Posts
    • 30,623 Thanks
    XSpender
    I have put the rest of a the £70 budget in a money bag in my purse so I dont forget it.

    I haven't spent any of our budget today but used some of my dinner allowance to buy 2 packs of sandwich chicken for sandwiches next week.

    Lists at the front have been upated.

    TOTAL SPENT - £8.14 AMOUNT LEFT - £61.86 DAYS REMAINING - 49 VALUE OF FOODS PURCHASED WITH WORK ALLOWANCES £3.00
    Originally posted by XSpender
    Tomorrow we will be having the chicken in mustard sauce to use up some broccoli, yogurt and carrots and the risotto (with 1/3 quinoa) will be moved until week after next as all inredients will be from the freezer/stores.

    DH and I will be using the rest of the yogurt in smoothies at the weekend and if there is any left I will whip up some jelly mouse using one of the sugar free jellie packets.
    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/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£995
    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, £46,093.32 @ 18.05.18
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 8th Feb 18, 8:23 PM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 38,795 Thanks
    Katiehound
    Carrot muffins?

    old money!
    6oz SR flour
    7oz soft brown sugar (I use quite a bit less- it's a bit sweet for me)
    1/2t bicarb
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1 t mixed spice
    pinch salt
    11 oz peeled grated carrots
    2 eggs
    150ml oil

    beat together. Makes approx 18
    Cook til firm- around 30 -35 mins

    Icing: (I find them fine without!)
    3+1/2 oz cream cheese
    finely grated orange zest
    8oz icing sugar.

    You can also add:- sultanas/ raisins/ cranberries/ chopped walnuts/ pecans/ stem ginger.
    Maybe dessicated coconut?
    Substitute coconut oil for the sunflower/rapeseed oil?
    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 ..2280 cc+.2205mm (£2.20.5) + RK £5.21= £30.25.5
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 8th Feb 18, 9:42 PM
    • 814 Posts
    • 8,401 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    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.
    Originally posted by hex2
    Thanks for sharing the coconut macaroons, I love them and I've got all the ingredients in so will give them a try soon.

    Carrot muffins?

    old money!
    6oz SR flour
    7oz soft brown sugar (I use quite a bit less- it's a bit sweet for me)
    1/2t bicarb
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1 t mixed spice
    pinch salt
    11 oz peeled grated carrots
    2 eggs
    150ml oil

    beat together. Makes approx 18
    Cook til firm- around 30 -35 mins

    Icing: (I find them fine without!)
    3+1/2 oz cream cheese
    finely grated orange zest
    8oz icing sugar.

    You can also add:- sultanas/ raisins/ cranberries/ chopped walnuts/ pecans/ stem ginger.
    Maybe dessicated coconut?
    Substitute coconut oil for the sunflower/rapeseed oil?
    Originally posted by Katiehound
    These sounds great and again really simple, will give them a try too
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2018
    Jan £400.33/£400 Feb £383.02/£400 Mar £392.60/£370 Apr £211.17/£400
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 8th Feb 18, 10:05 PM
    • 760 Posts
    • 5,574 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    I will definitely be doing my list tomorrow. I was going to do it today but i fell asleep. We had sausages with jacket potatoes and beans today so we are a bag of sausages less in there.
    LBM in April 17 - £6655/£33554 (19.8%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £1031/£5000 (20.6% paid)
    SPC #591
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Feb 18, 4:21 AM
    • 838 Posts
    • 3,336 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    What a brilliant challenge Xpender! I'm enjoying reading the recipes that are linked.
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 9th Feb 18, 7:13 AM
    • 1,697 Posts
    • 9,246 Thanks
    phizzimum
    I have put the rest of a the £70 budget in a money bag in my purse so I dont forget it.

    I haven't spent any of our budget today but used some of my dinner allowance to buy 2 packs of sandwich chicken for sandwiches next week.
    Originally posted by XSpender
    XSpender, donít you have chicken breasts in the freezer?

    Something Iíve started doing is poaching chicken in water (either on hob or in microwave) for my daughters to use for lunches. To be honest, they prefer the pre cooked stuff in packets, but I think thatís because itís full of sugar and additives. Iím not sure if it works out cheaper but Iím hoping itís healthier for them. But as you have the chicken breasts already I thought it might help you out

    Youíre doing so well with your challenge, itís really inspiring!
    weaving through the chaos...
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 9th Feb 18, 7:17 AM
    • 1,697 Posts
    • 9,246 Thanks
    phizzimum
    Just went back to look at your lists and realised my reply was bang in the middle, so Iíve deleted it to help keep things tidy.
    weaving through the chaos...
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 9th Feb 18, 7:58 AM
    • 2,969 Posts
    • 30,623 Thanks
    XSpender
    XSpender, donít you have chicken breasts in the freezer?

    Something Iíve started doing is poaching chicken in water (either on hob or in microwave) for my daughters to use for lunches. To be honest, they prefer the pre cooked stuff in packets, but I think thatís because itís full of sugar and additives. Iím not sure if it works out cheaper but Iím hoping itís healthier for them. But as you have the chicken breasts already I thought it might help you out

    Youíre doing so well with your challenge, itís really inspiring!
    Originally posted by phizzimum
    I do, I have 14. I was originally planning to use one for sandwiches but was concerned that I would leave my self short for dinners for the next 49 days. I am using 2 tonight and will need 4 for my Mum's visit.
    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/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£995
    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, £46,093.32 @ 18.05.18
    • hex2
    • By hex2 9th Feb 18, 11:51 AM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    Those carrot muffins look good katiehound

    I was looking at your list xspender and I remembered ages ago on OS lots of people raving about these wheetabix brownies. I must try the Boy Who Doesn't Eat on them.

    I'm braving myself for a rummage in the freezer, but I'm cold enough without doing that just yet.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 9th Feb 18, 11:59 AM
    • 760 Posts
    • 5,574 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    I've done it! I have a freezer list. I've stuck it to the front of the fridge, just hoping everyone crosses things off as they use it (DH is terrible for a sausage sandwich when he comes in from work). I haven't braved the cupboards yet, although they are almost empty.
    Not sure i'm brave enough to post it though, it's definitely going to be a week of junk food.
    LBM in April 17 - £6655/£33554 (19.8%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £1031/£5000 (20.6% paid)
    SPC #591
    • hex2
    • By hex2 9th Feb 18, 12:05 PM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    And, packed lunches - my OH hates bread and sandwiches and I cant have grains so we end up having a lot of egg based things - muffins and spanish omelette. I could see your frozen sweetcorn, broccoli, tired Parmesan, cooking bacon, etc making them interesting.

    The base recipe I use is;
    Squirt of oil spray into silicone muffin tray (£shop)

    Beat six eggs with three egg whites until well combined. Add your flavourings (original recipe is a grated courgette and half a finely chopped red onion) . I use crispy bits of bacon, broken up bits of frozen peppers, cubes of part boiled potatoes, leftover ends of veg, bits of mushrooms, sprinkle of finely grated cheese and herbs etc. Spoon into muffin tray, almost all of the way full, and then bake for 20 minutes at 180.

    They keep ok for a couple of days.

    TOPM posted a link to some nice looking savoury muffins on her diary earlier too.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • hex2
    • By hex2 9th Feb 18, 12:06 PM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    well done charliestribe Mine has plenty of junk in too. large mint vienetta anyone?
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 9th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • 760 Posts
    • 5,574 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    well done charliestribe Mine has plenty of junk in too. large mint vienetta anyone?
    Originally posted by hex2
    We ate all the vienetta's at christmas, i do have 3 chocolate brownie pies, 3 strawberry chesecakes, a chocolate gataux and 5 tubs of ice cream though...
    LBM in April 17 - £6655/£33554 (19.8%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £1031/£5000 (20.6% paid)
    SPC #591
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Feb 18, 12:35 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 9,219 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Thank you all for the coconut in curry ideas! I can see prawn curry is the way to go (if I can wean myself off a sudden love for macaroons)! I do like prawns, though...

    phizzimum 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.
    Originally posted by joedenise
    Denise - how did you know I have four tins of coconut milk sitting in my cupboard?
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Feb 18, 12:56 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 9,219 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I The M&S sausage mountain has been reduced by 10% though
    Originally posted by XSpender
    So I am lying here in bed feeling poorly
    getting better and dreaming happily of a sausage mountain! With waffles, beans and brown sauce... culinary perfection. I could happily start on that right now. I might just offer to help out with the vienettas, too.

    Charlie I wouldn't push yourself to too much cooking till you feel okay again - I am sure it will still be there when you are on your feet once more, with the possible exception of a few sausages. Well done on making a list, they do help though it's annoying when the crossings off / addings on aren't kept up to date.
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 9th Feb 18, 3:15 PM
    • 2,969 Posts
    • 30,623 Thanks
    XSpender
    Lost my post as MSE has asked me to change my password, first time ever!

    I was looking at your list xspender and I remembered ages ago on OS lots of people raving about these wheetabix brownies. I must try the Boy Who Doesn't Eat on them.
    Originally posted by hex2
    I can see the Weetabix hanging around the longest. DH bought them for breakfasts on SW but he is not a breakfast eater, I can't eat them as they contain gluten and DS doesn't like them. DS loves brownies though so will have a look.

    I will add the eggy muffin things to the list for next week as DH likes these.

    I've done it! I have a freezer list. I've stuck it to the front of the fridge, just hoping everyone crosses things off as they use it (DH is terrible for a sausage sandwich when he comes in from work). I haven't braved the cupboards yet, although they are almost empty.
    Not sure i'm brave enough to post it though, it's definitely going to be a week of junk food.
    Originally posted by charlies tribe
    Well done on listing the freezer contents. Nowt wrong with junk food, I feel like I have lived on all day breakfast this week!

    I am focussing on clearing the perishables this weekend and either eating them or turning them into something freeze-able. DH is now not away with work next week and instead will be away next week which is much better for us but will mean that I need to feed him. I will need to redo the meal plan too.

    I may have to buy fruit for him for next week but as this will be the first week in I don't know how long that I haven't done a proper shop I can live with a couple of quid on fruit.

    So far my cooking list for the weekend looks like this:

    Chicken in a mustard sauce (tonight)
    Sausage and leek casserole with extra sausages to make a lunch portion for DH (Sunday)
    Thai Turkey Mince
    Vegan Chilli
    Smoothies x 4 (to use up yogurt, sad bananas, frozen fruit)
    Eggy muffins with various bits in
    Carrot muffins
    Flapjack
    Eve's pudding (using up sad apples)
    Tomato and cheese scones
    Savoury rice with chicken sausages (snack for DH)

    That should keep me out of mischief
    Last edited by XSpender; 09-02-2018 at 3:49 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/£0
    Target Debt Virgin (Me) Part 2 £1038/£995
    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, £46,093.32 @ 18.05.18
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 9th Feb 18, 3:29 PM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 38,795 Thanks
    Katiehound
    Lost my post as MSE has asked me to change my password, first time ever!
    That should keep me out of mischief
    Originally posted by XSpender
    Off subject but that just happened to me- luckily didn't lose a post. Told me I had had my password for what? 322 days? Clearly getting a bit security conscious!
    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 ..2280 cc+.2205mm (£2.20.5) + RK £5.21= £30.25.5
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Feb 18, 3:39 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 9,219 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I got a password change too - think they are working behind the scenes.

    It looks like a very tasty list. Those eggy muffins are such a good idea for a low-carb way of using bits up!
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 9th Feb 18, 4:32 PM
    • 3,384 Posts
    • 20,709 Thanks
    purpleivy
    I got a password change notice at 162 days!

    Mint viennetta Why does anyone think that toothpaste makes a good flavour for icecream?

    I keep getting stuff out of the freezer and putting it back in! Today I got some of the stashed soup out for lunch. Got peppers for a recipe next week, so they are going in. Cooked apple to go with our hm yogurt and some of that is going in too. Making tomato sauce for recipe tonight, so did 6 can's worth so now got to find that some space.... but it's Pizza on the plan next week, so will alllll be ready!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
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