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  • FIRST POST
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 2,967Posts
    • 30,599Thanks
    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 5
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 11th Feb 18, 12:18 PM
    • 5,131 Posts
    • 38,288 Thanks
    joedenise
    Glad no one was hurt Cherry. That must have been a real shock! I started a savings pot for a new kitchen and bathroom about 18 months ago - still a long way to go though before there is enough for either.

    I've cleared out a few things from the freezer & cupboards today. I'm making a sausage & bacon cassoulet in the slow cooker.

    From freezer: sausages, bacon, spinach.
    From cupboard: tin cannellini beans; tin mixed beans; tin tomatoes
    Fresh veg: onions, garlic, stockpot, celery (which was on it's last legs!), carrots, mushrooms.

    The mushrooms and spinach won't go in until about an hour or so before it's cooked.

    Freezer is still fairly full but slowly emptying it. However, quite often more ends up in there because I nearly always make 4 portions of everything and there are only the 2 of us so quite often the other 2 portions get frozen for later.
    • mrsmac10
    • By mrsmac10 11th Feb 18, 12:43 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 54,054 Thanks
    mrsmac10
    Afternoon

    I have been following this thread with interest I try but never seem to have an empty shelf in the freezers There is always a whoopsie/YS at a silly price that needs to be bought it is stuff I use so it seems silly not to

    Cherry Glad everyone ok

    I am slowing making progress and my aim for the end of the month is not doable but I will keep reading and trying
    Retired
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 12th Feb 18, 10:12 AM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    Lots of stuff used up this weekend including:

    Tub of fat free yogurt
    750g turkey mince
    10 sausages
    7 chicken sausages
    7 tins of veg, beans, lentils
    A packet of rice
    Half a tub of oats
    2 half bags of frozen fruit
    A jar of thai red curry paste
    A lonely single syrup sponge
    A single stem veg bag
    Nearly a whole bag of peppers
    A jar of curry sauce
    The last bit in 3 jars of spices

    I have updated the lists at the front of the thread and added in blue the new meals that I have added to the freezer from my cooking this weekend.

    The flapjack I made has almost all been eaten (mainly by me ) so I will make some other sweet things today. Probably a batch of flapjack with some of the oats replaced by coconut and some choc chip cookies.

    Tonight's chicken curry (with added sultanas) has already been made and will be served with rice and chips.

    I feel like I have spent a lot of money at 14.01 only 6 full days into the challenge. I will use my dinner/lunch allowance to buy some items later in the week (and some items for me to eat!) but will only need more fruit and milk at the weekend.

    I downgraded to supermarket wholemeal bread from 50/50 but DH is not keen so once the loaf in the freezer is eaten I will get 50/50 again.

    Revised Meal Plan

    M - Chicken curry, half and half
    T - Sundried tomato risotto and chorizo risotto (1/3 quinoa)
    W - I'm away DH will have Thai Turkey and rice
    Th -I'm away DH will have L/O sausage casserole and chips
    F - Pasta bake and garlic bread

    Breakfasts

    Smoothies, toast

    Lunches - chilli and rice, chicken, stuffing and cranberry sandwiches, thai turkey and rice, jacket pot with beans and cheese, egg and sausage sandwich

    Snacks

    Apples, clementines, coconut flapjack, choc chip cookies, muller lites
    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
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 12th Feb 18, 11:52 AM
    • 760 Posts
    • 5,574 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    Our's is going down really quickly, but there is 7 of us eating it. Yesterday was 16 sausages, 14 yorkshire puddings, 1 bag of veg and 2 choc brownie pies (no wonder i've put 2lb on this morning!)
    LBM in April 17 - 6655/33554 (19.8%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET 1031/5000 (20.6% paid)
    SPC #591
    • hex2
    • By hex2 12th Feb 18, 12:08 PM
    • 4,713 Posts
    • 80,037 Thanks
    hex2
    Sounds like great progress.

    I cooked a small bit of beef and worlds tiniest chicken yesterday which did dinner, and gives us cold meat for sandwiches for the next few days too. The tired leeks got converted into leek and potato soup which DS1 will have for lunches as it is half term here.

    I used all the bits of ancient frozen ginger to make ginger in syrup which worked really well. The curry with the whizzed coconut instead of coconut milk worked really well so that was a result too.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 12th Feb 18, 12:08 PM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    Our's is going down really quickly, but there is 7 of us eating it. Yesterday was 16 sausages, 14 yorkshire puddings, 1 bag of veg and 2 choc brownie pies (no wonder i've put 2lb on this morning!)
    Originally posted by charlies tribe
    Only 3 of us here charlies tribe and DS doesn't often eat an evening meal at home during the week.

    Those brownie pies sound delicious
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Feb 18, 12:10 PM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 9,194 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Not much progress in mine: one pie out, a bag of mushrooms and a few cranberries in. I'm away much of the week so probably won't see a lot of change till next week.
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 12th Feb 18, 12:11 PM
    • 3,384 Posts
    • 20,709 Thanks
    purpleivy
    An impressive reduction indeed!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • donnajt
    • By donnajt 12th Feb 18, 8:07 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 9,829 Thanks
    donnajt
    The beans are very easy and DH loves them. Fry half a small onion in a little oil or butter, add a tsp of curry powder, cook for a minute or so. If it sticks a bit I put in a little of the sauce out of the beans. Add the beans and a small handful of sultanas and heat through.

    The list's have a few more items crossed out or with numbers reduced
    Originally posted by XSpender
    thank you can't wait to give this a go!!!
    Slinkies 3st by summer (loss to date 10.5lbs)
    FlyMarketeers 1k by summer (sealed tin)
    • donnajt
    • By donnajt 12th Feb 18, 8:10 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 9,829 Thanks
    donnajt
    Those beans sound tasty XSpender! A rather lower calorie version than mine, which is to mix in BBQ sauce and top with cheese.
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    ooooohhh!!! sounds amazing, will give this a go as well x
    Slinkies 3st by summer (loss to date 10.5lbs)
    FlyMarketeers 1k by summer (sealed tin)
    • donnajt
    • By donnajt 12th Feb 18, 8:14 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 9,829 Thanks
    donnajt
    Cherry - that sounds frightening - thank goodness nobody was hurt!!
    Slinkies 3st by summer (loss to date 10.5lbs)
    FlyMarketeers 1k by summer (sealed tin)
    • donnajt
    • By donnajt 12th Feb 18, 8:15 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 9,829 Thanks
    donnajt
    Super cheap pizza base:

    155g self-raising flour
    185g Greek yogurt

    First, pour self-raising flour into a bowl (no need to sift!), add yogurt mix, no need to prove, just roll and add toppings

    super easy to make, no proving time, taste delish
    Slinkies 3st by summer (loss to date 10.5lbs)
    FlyMarketeers 1k by summer (sealed tin)
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 13th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    I might turn into a sausage by the end of this challenge

    I couldn't find the chorizo in the freezer last night to get out to defrost ready for tonight's risotto, DH thinks we've eaten it Not to worry, I thought we will have Friday's pasta only to realise we have finished the cheese so it will have to be sausages again

    At least I didn't a) buy any cheese when I can pick some up free with my dinner allowance on Friday b) buy something at the shop for tea c) find an excuse for a takeaway

    I did pick up a 6 pack of crisps with my lunch allowance so will add this to my total.
    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 13th Feb 18, 6:16 PM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    Scores on the Doors
    8 days of the challenge completed and this is the results so far:

    TOTAL SPENT - 14.01
    AMOUNT LEFT - 55.99
    DAYS REMAINING - 44
    WORK ALLOWANCES 4.00
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 14th Feb 18, 8:21 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,630 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Butternut squash curry
    Here is one of our staple curry recipes - using ingredients you have on your lists.
    • Prepare half a butternut squash into pieces about the size of two stamps next to each other. I don't peel mine if I am roasting but I do when I do this recipe.
    • Slice your onion - (your list says sliced) it doesn't matter how but just for the presentation I cut slices from root to tip rather than rings
    • Fry the onions in a little hot oil then add the butternut squash and give it a minute or two, making sure it doesn't stick too much (but the sticky caramelised bits are the best bits) then stir in some curry paste - I usually do a good tablespoon and then slacken slightly with a bit of water.
    • Add a tin of drained chickpeas and stir so everything is coated in the sauce.
    • cover for about five minutes so the butternut squash is starting to cook in the steam and while your oven warms up.
    • I then give it a good stir, add a bit more water and then put it on the floor of the oven (200c) without a lid for 25 minutes
    • While it is cooking I cook the rice or make flatbreads - donnajt's pizza base is also a good flatbread recipe - wipe a pan with oil on a paper towel then heat and dry fry the breads.
    • If the curry is looking stuck on and a bit burnt, stir in some cold water and the mixture will lift and add to the flavour. I rarely add meat or fish to this one as we like it on its own but you could - I would use cooked meat and just add cubes at the last minute to heat through.

    If you want to make a soup, to use up the rest of the squash, cook all the butternut squash and double the onion quantity as per the recipe but roast them on their own, with oil, salt and pepper, then add water or stock to get the bits to come off the pan and whizz. I add a shake of tabasco and season to taste
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after March 19.96% 1,996.19/10,000 5.04% behind
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 721.33/3,000 including stores so far 24.04% of my annual budget at the end of April
    My DFD is here
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 14th Feb 18, 9:10 AM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    Suffolk Lass - my DH will love that curry and it is perfect for his lunches so will add it to my 'cook-up' list for this weekend for eating next week.

    I am away this afternoon until Friday afternoon with work so have left DH a fridge full of home made meals, some ham and bread so he shouldn't starve. My lists wont be going down much though

    I will make some more flapjack for us both and I will use up some leftovers from last night for my lunch.

    I will have 2 lunch allowances and a dinner allowance (possibly 2 if I don't make it my destination in time) to use to buy food to eat and some extra bits and bobs. Lurpak, bananas, oats, cheese, squash and rooibos tea are on my list as these are all things I have run out of or are getting low on.
    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
    • onesixfive
    • By onesixfive 14th Feb 18, 1:59 PM
    • 321 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    onesixfive
    Cheap & easy recipes:
    • Use the meat from those burgers, a pasta sauce, and the spaghetti & you have a great Spag. Bol.?
    • likewise with the sausage meat (skin the sausages & use the meat) - make meatballs & serve with pasta/spaghetti? (make a change from "proper" sausages).
    • Pop that beef brisket on a slow roast? or in a slow cooker with veg & spuds?
    • Salmon & Pea Risotto? (use the couple of Salmon Steaks & a handful of frozen peas)
    • Make Kebabs with those chicken breasts?

    (apologies if you've had these before, and you can make these without buying anything else - and if you DO have to buy anything, check for coupons, and look in the "whoops" aisles)
    Last edited by onesixfive; 14-02-2018 at 2:13 PM.
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 14th Feb 18, 2:39 PM
    • 2,967 Posts
    • 30,599 Thanks
    XSpender
    Cheap & easy recipes:
    • Use the meat from those burgers, a pasta sauce, and the spaghetti & you have a great Spag. Bol.?
    • likewise with the sausage meat (skin the sausages & use the meat) - make meatballs & serve with pasta/spaghetti? (make a change from "proper" sausages).
    • Pop that beef brisket on a slow roast? or in a slow cooker with veg & spuds?
    • Salmon & Pea Risotto? (use the couple of Salmon Steaks & a handful of frozen peas)
    • Make Kebabs with those chicken breasts?

    (apologies if you've had these before, and you can make these without buying anything else - and if you DO have to buy anything, check for coupons, and look in the "whoops" aisles)
    Originally posted by onesixfive
    Great ideas onesixfive. Thanks.
    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
    • YellowFlower
    • By YellowFlower 14th Feb 18, 8:01 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    YellowFlower
    Good idea! Here is my list..

    FREEZER

    1/2 bag of turkey dinosaurs
    1x bag of cheese hamwiches
    1x bag of 38 chicken dippers
    1x box of 10 chicken dippers
    1x box of chicken popstars
    1x box of 10 fish cakes
    1x box of 10 fish fingers
    2x 4 packs of Lancashire hotpots
    1x bag of oven chips
    1/2 bag of potato smileys
    1x bag of potato letters

    CUPBOARD

    Jars of..

    Jam
    Lemon curd
    Peanut butter

    1/2 box of Rice Krispies
    4x individual variety pack sized cereal boxes
    1x box of Ready Brek
    18x porridge sachets
    2x porridge pots
    1x tin of custard
    1x tin of rice pudding
    4x cake making kits
    5x pasta 'snap pots'
    2x tins of spaghetti hoops
    1x 'fridge pack' of beans
    2x tins of new potatoes
    1x bag of pasta
    1x pack of spaghetti
    8x individual portions of 'boil in a bag' rice
    2x tins of tomato soup
    2x tins of chunky soup

    1x tub of cornflour
    1x tub of gravy granules
    Some OXO cubes
    1x table salt
    1x bottle of mayonnaise
    1x bottle of tomato ketchup
    1x bottle of Worcester sauce
    • YellowFlower
    • By YellowFlower 14th Feb 18, 8:07 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    YellowFlower
    Also

    FREEZER

    1x bag of carrot and potato waffles

    Cupboard

    1x pasta in sauce sachet
    1x pasta ready meal
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