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    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
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    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 8
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 27th Feb 18, 9:34 AM
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    XSpender
    Nothing crossed off recently but we have made inroads in to the brown and white rice, have been using up frozen veg and berries and I have defrosted some chicken sausages for my lunch as I have a long drive in poor weather this afternoon.

    I might do a bit of a freezer sort out at the weekend and organise the drawers better so I don't have to rummage about as much.
    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 27th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    I might do a bit of a freezer sort out at the weekend and organise the drawers better so I don't have to rummage about as much.
    Originally posted by XSpender
    I'm sure the rummaging round is one of the reasons we don't get through the stuff in our freezers. I thought I was doing all right then it got packed with soups and odds and ends again - I'm fairly sure they are breeding in there, possibly due to freezing stuff that had been in the fridge as long as I could safely leave it! Then DS appears to have raided L!dl and there are multiple packets of quorn products fighting with the frozen fruit I bought at about the same time to add to our overnight oats pots. I know those are things we will use steadily and are a good use of the space but it makes it harder to remember/find/get to the longer term odds and ends.

    Hope your journey goes okay this afternoon. We have a couple of inches of snow here which is very pretty but not good for driving.
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 27th Feb 18, 3:26 PM
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    purpleivy
    I thought of you earlier XSpender! I've been trying to get some of the longer residents of my freezer used up. I've planned for the next couple of weeks, when we'll be having 'the wrinklies' to stay , weather permitting. I've planned in some things from the freezer.

    Then to do the rest of the online shop. My daughter heard me umming and ahhhhhing about some 50% off flash sale on some meat or other and reminded me that if I keep buying it, the situation won't get any better!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • janb5
    • By janb5 27th Feb 18, 3:30 PM
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    janb5
    I found the same things with odds and ends that I wanted to use up so all those bits/open packets go in the top drawer which hopefully means they get used up first.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 28th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I found the same things with odds and ends that I wanted to use up so all those bits/open packets go in the top drawer which hopefully means they get used up first.
    Originally posted by janb5
    That's a really good idea janb5, though I might need 2 drawers!

    I was inspired by seeing someone's take on 'pottage' and am doing a slow cooker version with lots of veg and pulses, oddments of cooking bacon and rather a large lot of chicken livers from the depths of the freezer. I was debating whether to add the pack of sausagemeat I found while delving but I think I'll save that and the remainder of the bacon for something else. Ideas welcome!
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 1st Mar 18, 6:47 PM
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    XSpender
    We have finished all the chicken sausages . Although I do feel a bit as I have discovered they are lovely in a GF wrap with a little ketchup and either an egg or a sprinkling of cheese.

    DH has also used up more chicken and broccoli from the freezer and some rice from the cupboard.

    I am home a day earlier than expected due to the weather. I picked up some salad bits, some ys, turkey, apples and milk from the services for DH diet plan and will be using up more of the freezer contents over the weekend as I have no further plans to go to the shop. I am also watching what I eat but the weather makes me want cake so I will probably make some flapjack and some little jam puddings to have with custard for me and DS.
    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 2nd Mar 18, 12:20 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    What is it with cold weather and cake?! I have been baking: Honeysucklelou's date bars and macaroons. I've since been demolishing the evidence. DD is also home for a few days so she is helping.

    Other than that, rice, oats and stuff like that are gradually getting used but I had lost track of which flours I had replaced and so I now have two bags of SR and two bags of plain. DH misunderstood a text about pasta so we have about three bags of linguine as well as various oddments of spaghetti and pasta shapes. If they would only fold flat they wouldn't have such an impact on available storage!

    XSpender, how did you manage to list all your food stores? It must have taken ages! Mine will just have to be whittled down as inspiration occurs because it would take such a lot of effort to catalogue them. I also need to develop a sudden love for stir fry because there are lots of sachets of sauce that DD brought back from Uni a few years ago and which no one is eating!

    I also had a look at the box of packets: DS has enough fajita mixes to open a restaurant and DH has custard galore. I'm not sure who bought all the jellies but I made one up for tea tonight.

    The trouble with using things up seems to be a) the need to get other things to make the original ones usable and b) making myself plan creative cooking is too much fun.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 02-03-2018 at 12:22 AM.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 2nd Mar 18, 6:42 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I've been baking too - a proper old-fashioned bread pudding and a Mary Berry lemon tray-bake recipe but I made it in cup-cake paper cases as both are for having with a cup of tea at our monthly lunch today (goodness knows if anyone will come out in our weather but I want it to be there, if they do).
    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 2nd Mar 18, 7:52 AM
    • 2,965 Posts
    • 30,469 Thanks
    XSpender
    XSpender, how did you manage to list all your food stores? It must have taken ages! Mine will just have to be whittled down as inspiration occurs because it would take such a lot of effort to catalogue them. I also need to develop a sudden love for stir fry because there are lots of sachets of sauce that DD brought back from Uni a few years ago and which no one is eating!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    I made 3 columns on a couple of pages of an A4 pad and headed them meat, vegetables and fruit, bread, pudding etc. And went through the drawers in the 2 freezers one by one. I did one freezer one day and one the next. It didn't take that long really, the cupboards were harder as I kept remembering other places where stuff was stored.

    DS has requested pancakes for breakfast which won't make any inroads into the cereal mountain
    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 2nd Mar 18, 1:20 PM
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    hex2
    Suffolk lass, I like the sound of the lemon traybake. I have 2 lemons and 5 limes lurking in the fridge. ooh lime curd, is that a thing? Vague memories of a delia lime and coconut cake too.

    I made flapjacks yesterday using half oats. half value muesli that was lurking. They are ok although I preferred the raw mix.

    I need to stop making sweet things as use them ups, its not good for me.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 2nd Mar 18, 7:12 PM
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    Flat Eric
    What a great thread!

    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 18, 11:20 AM
    • 1,702 Posts
    • 9,175 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I made 3 columns on a couple of pages of an A4 pad and headed them meat, vegetables and fruit, bread, pudding etc. And went through the drawers in the 2 freezers one by one. I did one freezer one day and one the next. It didn't take that long really, the cupboards were harder as I kept remembering other places where stuff was stored.

    DS has requested pancakes for breakfast which won't make any inroads into the cereal mountain
    Originally posted by XSpender
    I will be the same with cupboards - things like the box with packets in are not in the main food cupboards at all and somehow get overlooked.

    I did manage a freezer inventory a while ago but haven't kept it up to date. I am taking a bit more active notice of what's in there (though DS's quorn mountain dominates) so I've noted the sausagemeat that needs to be defrosted and made into sausage plait (probably) and some bacon that could go in the next casserole or chicken pie.

    I had a look at your cereal mountain which I think currently stands as
    GF porridge
    Value porridge (1kg)
    Weetabix (60!)
    Sugar puffs
    Moana cereal
    Honey hoop cereal
    though I think there was mention of using some of the g/f porridge and also Weetabix cake? I am completely stumped as to how to use the sugar puffs, Moana cereal and honey loops apart from in a bowl with milk. I do find my family don't touch anything that they think has been there a while, so backlogs of cereal can be a problem.

    Perhaps some inventive reader can find a use for them?
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 03-03-2018 at 11:21 AM. Reason: typo
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 3rd Mar 18, 12:02 PM
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    XSpender
    The GF porridge oats are eaten by me and I have made some into museli to use up some of the coconut flakes, raisins and nuts. I've also made flapjack and have used my dinner allowance to buy more twice since I started the challenge.

    DH is using the normal oats on his plan. The Weetabix were for him too as DS doesn't like them. He did offer to eat the sugar puffs but as he is on a diet plan now I don't think this will happen for a while.

    The other cereal is DS's (7) who no longer likes these types. The only thing I can think do to with them is to melt the chocolate Santa and make them into crispy buns.

    DH has finished the frozen salmon we had and I picked some up at asda yesterday on a YS but it doesn't seem to have gone through the till.

    Tonight DS and I are having enchiladas which will us up chicken, GF wraps and passata. Tomorrow we will have sausages and chips with frozen veg and gravy. I will whip up some little jam sponges for our pud.

    I've still got flapjack to make too and maybe a chocolate cake as we may have friends pop in after a dog walk tomorrow.
    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 3rd Mar 18, 1:46 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I like the chocolate Santa idea!

    I'm trying to imagine crunched up cereal incorporated into crumble topping: it might just work?

    A bit of googling ('Sugar Puff recipe') seems to indicate other people have had this issue and come up with solutions! Also this little thread on our very own MSE made me laugh.
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • hex2
    • By hex2 3rd Mar 18, 7:40 PM
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    hex2
    I think the risk with the cereal is that you end up wasting more materials trying to use up things to make stuff that isn't that nice like me and my indifferent flapjack muesli. Maybe try a small portion as crispy cakes and see what he thinks? You could do melted marshmallows for the sugar puffs but they are still essentially sugar puffs.

    I made lime curd, and used it for the middle layer of a coconut and lime slice. Baking again, whoops.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 18, 10:07 PM
    • 1,702 Posts
    • 9,175 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I think the risk with the cereal is that you end up wasting more materials trying to use up things to make stuff that isn't that nice like me and my indifferent flapjack muesli. Maybe try a small portion as crispy cakes and see what he thinks? You could do melted marshmallows for the sugar puffs but they are still essentially sugar puffs.
    Originally posted by hex2
    True. Whoever invented sugar puffs? It must have been someone with a dog because they invariably get on the floor and stick to your shoes, but a dog would hoover them up...

    Could the flapjacks be rescued with a layer of chocolate, or is that a waste of chocolate?

    I made lime curd, and used it for the middle layer of a coconut and lime slice. Baking again, whoops.
    Originally posted by hex2
    Lime curd - drool! I adore lime. This thread is seriously bad for my waistline. The dates I was using up in date slices have now been supplemented by two more packets because they are too good not to make again and well, the dates were on offer. Please don't ban me for being such a failure at using stuff up!



    Erm... is there a recipe for the coconut and lime slice please?
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 4th Mar 18, 8:35 AM
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    XSpender
    The coconut and lime slice sounds delicious.

    I actually love sugar puffs but can't eat them because of the gluten or they would have been gone in days

    I may give the sugar puffs to my friend for her 2 girls and the hoops may be a bit past it but will turn these into cakes using some of the chocolate. The moanas I will mix into his other cereal to get rid of them.

    It's snowing again today so I have time to do baking.
    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
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 4th Mar 18, 11:21 AM
    • 1,225 Posts
    • 14,636 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Just caught up with this - you are doing so amazing. I myself am doing a 7 pw grocery/store cupboard challenge this month - it's just me though and a few days ago did a fridge/freezer inventory. I haven't done the cupboards or pantry, but seeing your list, I think its the way to go. Someone mentioned further up a recipe for houmous with 'roasted jar pepper' - I do a very similar version and it's really tasty, as good as the shops, in my opinion.
    1 can chickpeas
    1 roasted (jar) pepper
    some minced garlic
    tpsp of peanut butter (or less) - blitz

    I normally add a shake of something like paprika. Not sure if it is SW friendly, but tastes really nice.

    I notice you don't have any embarrassing stores - I've noticed a couple of tins of 'brussel sprouts' lurking at the back of my cupboard - did I just say that out loud - what was I thinking. Might be ok thrown in2 a stew !!!!! Anyway, best of luck.
    May Grocery Challenge - Food 45.62/80, Alcohol 15.25/20
    Bulk Fund Left/Food 63.50 Bulk Fund/Alcohol
    -21.02
    Save 12k in 2018 #80 = 2,000/5,000
    Yoga 30 Day Challenge 3/30
    Lose 12lbs - 5/12 - Goal 9st
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 4th Mar 18, 1:23 PM
    • 5,127 Posts
    • 38,268 Thanks
    joedenise
    Just caught up with this - you are doing so amazing. I myself am doing a 7 pw grocery/store cupboard challenge this month - it's just me though and a few days ago did a fridge/freezer inventory. I haven't done the cupboards or pantry, but seeing your list, I think its the way to go. Someone mentioned further up a recipe for houmous with 'roasted jar pepper' - I do a very similar version and it's really tasty, as good as the shops, in my opinion.
    1 can chickpeas
    1 roasted (jar) pepper
    some minced garlic
    tpsp of peanut butter (or less) - blitz

    I normally add a shake of something like paprika. Not sure if it is SW friendly, but tastes really nice.

    I notice you don't have any embarrassing stores - I've noticed a couple of tins of 'brussel sprouts' lurking at the back of my cupboard - did I just say that out loud - what was I thinking. Might be ok thrown in2 a stew !!!!! Anyway, best of luck.
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    That recipe wouldn't be too bad for SW as 1 tsp of peanut butter is only 1.5 syns so that would be all the syns in the whole lot so negligable per serving (unless very greedy!).

    Denise
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 5th Mar 18, 7:44 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,606 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    All this talk about secret stashes of food stores we all forget about made me think of the forum member with so many toilet rolls she had used them to insulate her loft.... be very afraid of hoarding - or paying the supermarkets to store their stock, as I try to think of it
    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
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