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  • FIRST POST
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 6th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
    • 2,965Posts
    • 30,332Thanks
    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 9
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 5th Mar 18, 8:59 PM
    • 3,384 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    purpleivy
    Frustration! I"m trying to work my way through the freezer of things that we don't have in the regular rotation, so trying to get them used. Parents here for a visit. I think 'oh, got some bags of diced mutton, will make a suet pudding, they like it and Mum wouldn't do it just for the two of them'. So I get out the mutton and make the pudding. On to cook. Then later I went to my freezer list and I couldn't cross the mutton off, cos it wasn't on! Now the leftovers have gone in and there was too much filling, so there will be a second box with the stew in it. So the freezer is fuller than it was! Still, another couple of meals I shan't have to cook.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 5th Mar 18, 9:18 PM
    • 814 Posts
    • 8,400 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    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.
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    I'm going to give the date bars a go myself, as I bought a pack at Christmas and have yet to use them up!

    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
    Will try the hummous recipe, sounds lovely and will use a little of the open jar of peanut butter that no-one is eating!

    Frustration! I"m trying to work my way through the freezer of things that we don't have in the regular rotation, so trying to get them used. Parents here for a visit. I think 'oh, got some bags of diced mutton, will make a suet pudding, they like it and Mum wouldn't do it just for the two of them'. So I get out the mutton and make the pudding. On to cook. Then later I went to my freezer list and I couldn't cross the mutton off, cos it wasn't on! Now the leftovers have gone in and there was too much filling, so there will be a second box with the stew in it. So the freezer is fuller than it was! Still, another couple of meals I shan't have to cook.
    Originally posted by purpleivy
    Since defrosting my freezer and having a use up week or two my freezer is much better and doing monthly meal planning helps as I tend to only buy what I'm planning on eating that month. I'm also getting better at bulk cooking and freezing so I have enough for another quick meal later in the month.
    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
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 6th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 2,934 Thanks
    purpleybat
    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

    tinned brussels??????? I never knew such a thing existed, and thinking about it i'm pretty sure they should NEVER have existed wherever did you find them to buy?
    gc 2017 1841.27.
    2018 jan 124.69/130 feb 157.97/150 mar 221.33/200 apr 223.04/250
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 6th Mar 18, 11:05 AM
    • 3,384 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    purpleivy
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daucy-Brussel-Sprouts-400-Pack/dp/B005I451B6
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Mar 18, 12:33 PM
    • 1,700 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    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
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Funnily, I was thinking almost the opposite and your post has made me think twice! The cold weather and things running low in the shops made me consider having enough tins in to last a couple of weeks (I don't know why that long) in case of emergency. I live in town and can usually get to the shops easily enough but if I sprained my ankle or something I suppose a food mountain would make me less dependent on others, and if there were a fuel shortage or floods and the shops got a bit bare, we could still have a more or less balanced diet.

    Now I'm thinking: that's quite sensible in limited quantities but it would have to be stuff we could also use up and replace, and two weeks' worth of tins for 3 adults is an awful lot of storage. And I do already have an excess to use up! (I then googled emergency food and found someone has it down to a fine art and you can spend thousands on a load of ready-selected foods: I don't know whether it includes a tin opener. Not going down that road!)

    Today I'm going to make some of that hummous - there are already chickpeas defrosting and carrots and cucumber to use as a dip. I have a few days off so I may make the sausage plait tomorrow if the sausagemeat from the freezer still looks okay. I'm eating out twice which isn't very good for using up stocks.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 06-03-2018 at 12:35 PM. Reason: typos
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 7th Mar 18, 4:18 AM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 14,629 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Suffolk Lass - I remember the toilet roll thing - was that MSE??

    I've become very minimal of late, gotten rid of so many of my possessions, so I notice my chaotic pantry more, but it really isn't too much, anymore. Kind of the tale end of what was riddiculous. It's my room of doom, as I'm storing my boys possessions in there and it needs organizing - I will have some time Friday, so maybe bite the bullet n do it - take it off my bleedin signature. For me, lesson learned, less is so much more for me these days, in every sense of the word, though a well stocked (not crazy) pantry is good as long as you make sure it gets rotated/used.

    Purplybat Yes, they are the ones, 'Daucy'. THEY WILL GET USED. I'm thinking, maybe, some bubble n squeek type potato cake thingy - oohhh - feeling inspired.

    Mrs Cheshire - I hope that is the proper 'houmous' recipe - Im thinking something is missing. I played around with it for ages to get it right, so it was low calorie, MSE, n tasty. I haven't made it for ages, as I haven't bought the peppers, due to using up other stores, n have been making bean dips. You might need to add your own touch to it.

    OMG is that the birds I hear - I'm so awake.
    May Grocery Challenge - Food 29.64/80, Alcohol 8.25/20
    Bulk Fund Left/Food 66.79 Bulk Fund/Alcohol
    -21.02
    Save 12k in 2018 #80 = 1,500/5,000
    Yoga 30 Day Challenge 3/30
    Lose 12lbs - 5/12 - Goal 9st
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 7th Mar 18, 9:42 AM
    • 2,965 Posts
    • 30,332 Thanks
    XSpender
    30 days into the challenge and the freezers and cupboards are emptying but not as quick as I would have hoped. This last week I have had a low appetite having accidently glutened myself at work and DH has started his diet plan. He has already lost half a stone!

    I have added to the freezers with some frozen fish for DH and some of the GF potato products from morrisons new range. I haven't had a curly fry in about 6 years and were good value at 1.

    I don't need to make anymore bread until the weekend as I still have 4 slices of the last loaf in the freezer. I am more confident that the funny flours will get used up now I have discovered this recipe.

    DS and I will keep slowly working through the freezer and cupboards and DH will be contributing by eating certain frozen veg, rice, seeds and the chicken and new fish.

    My meal plan for the rest of this week is:

    SW veggie burger, curly fries and salad bits
    Seasoned grilled chicken, rice and frozen veg
    HM cheese and veg pastie made in a GF wrap with mushy peas (and maybe a handful of oven chips)
    Chicken and chorizo Spanish rice
    Cheese and bacon omelette, beans, GF min hash browns
    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 7th Mar 18, 7:57 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 20,577 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Suffolk Lass - I remember the toilet roll thing - was that MSE??
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    Not sure I remember who, but it was definitely when Agbo were offering the Price match thing, and there was a whole thread of hacks to maximise it. Then there were pictures of all the spare rooms that had been turned into larders with proper racking and everything. I wonder if all those stores got used...
    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
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 7th Mar 18, 9:44 PM
    • 814 Posts
    • 8,400 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Thanks reading this reminded me to buy a tin of chickpeas tomorrow, asI have everything else for the houmous in.
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 18, 10:23 PM
    • 1,700 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I tried the chickpea / hummus recipe and it's really nice but very thick. I added some of the liquid from the jar of peppers which helped but I wondered whether I should have used water from tinned chickpeas? (Mine weren't from a tin).

    Also - can hummus be frozen? ETA - apparently so! That saves a very small amount of fridge space.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 08-03-2018 at 12:12 AM.
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 7th Mar 18, 11:09 PM
    • 3,384 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    purpleivy
    I'm not clearing stuff out as fast as I'd hoped. Fortunately today's offerings didn't have leftovers to go in. We had veal and pork escalopes made into Wiener Schnitzel. Parents staying and Dad loves it. MIL gave me a load of leftovers from last night, so that was pud sorted along with a 'spare' Christmas pud a friend was throwing out!.

    Tomorrow I'm not creating leftovers either. Chicken winglets with HM coleslaw and potato wedges and the next day sausage, bacon and egg, so nothing going back in the freezer there either!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 8th Mar 18, 8:21 AM
    • 5,115 Posts
    • 38,202 Thanks
    joedenise
    Cherryfudge - I wouldn't use the liquid from tinned chickpeas tomthin the hummous down. You probably did the right thing with the pepper juice. A bit of lemon juice works as well as long as it's not a.ready got too much in. At a pinch a little plain water also works.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Mar 18, 12:09 PM
    • 1,700 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Cherryfudge - I wouldn't use the liquid from tinned chickpeas tomthin the hummous down. You probably did the right thing with the pepper juice. A bit of lemon juice works as well as long as it's not a.ready got too much in. At a pinch a little plain water also works.
    Originally posted by joedenise
    Thank you . It's really nice with the pepper juice but having looked up other recipes I realise lemon is generally in there and being me I still have lemons left over from pancakes! I probably processed it too long as well, hence wamp-like texture... but I'm certainly going to make it again!

    Last night I made a 4 pint carton of milk into yogurt to save it going out of date. Must remember to label the yogurt carton as no one is going to want that in their drinks!
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 8th Mar 18, 4:38 PM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 14,629 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    I tried the chickpea / hummus recipe and it's really nice but very thick. I added some of the liquid from the jar of peppers which helped but I wondered whether I should have used water from tinned chickpeas? (Mine weren't from a tin).
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Really pleased you liked the hummus recipe. I looked back to my original recipe and it was nearly right, I think. This is it. I blitz a tin of chickpeas with a bit of water, some minced garlic and a teaspoon of peanut butter (instead of tahini) and I added half of a roasted pepper (out of a jar). Seasoned and added a tiny bit of chilli powder, probably better with roasted paprika, but it was all I had.

    I did try it with lemon at one stage, buy I don't always have them in. If you like it, play around and see what you prefer. What I like is the fact it has no oil, so is low calorie and it really is tasty.
    May Grocery Challenge - Food 29.64/80, Alcohol 8.25/20
    Bulk Fund Left/Food 66.79 Bulk Fund/Alcohol
    -21.02
    Save 12k in 2018 #80 = 1,500/5,000
    Yoga 30 Day Challenge 3/30
    Lose 12lbs - 5/12 - Goal 9st
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 8th Mar 18, 5:30 PM
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    joedenise
    I always keep the bottles of lemon and/or lime juice in stock. Can be used in so many things.

    Denise
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 8th Mar 18, 9:23 PM
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    Mrs Cheshire
    Annoyingly I went to Ald! today to buy a tin of chickpeas to make houmous and they didn't have any. Will get some when I do the top up shop on Monday
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Mar 18, 10:55 PM
    • 1,700 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Really pleased you liked the hummus recipe. I looked back to my original recipe and it was nearly right, I think. This is it. I blitz a tin of chickpeas with a bit of water, some minced garlic and a teaspoon of peanut butter (instead of tahini) and I added half of a roasted pepper (out of a jar). Seasoned and added a tiny bit of chilli powder, probably better with roasted paprika, but it was all I had.

    I did try it with lemon at one stage, buy I don't always have them in. If you like it, play around and see what you prefer. What I like is the fact it has no oil, so is low calorie and it really is tasty.
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    Oops, I put in a generous tablespoon of peanut butter not a teaspoon!
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 9th Mar 18, 7:37 AM
    • 5,115 Posts
    • 38,202 Thanks
    joedenise
    Annoyingly I went to Ald! today to buy a tin of chickpeas to make houmous and they didn't have any. Will get some when I do the top up shop on Monday
    Originally posted by Mrs Cheshire
    You can make hummous with a y beans - my DH prefers it made with butterbeans. If you want to make some this weekend perhaps you could use a different bean you've a,ready got in the cupboard.

    Denise
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 9th Mar 18, 9:07 PM
    • 814 Posts
    • 8,400 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    You can make hummous with a y beans - my DH prefers it made with butterbeans. If you want to make some this weekend perhaps you could use a different bean you've a,ready got in the cupboard.

    Denise
    Originally posted by joedenise
    Thank you Denise, unfortunately I don't have any beans in my cupboard as they aren't something we eat much of. Only really eat baked beans. Will grab some when I go to the shop next.
    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
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 9th Mar 18, 11:37 PM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 14,629 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Oops, I put in a generous tablespoon of peanut butter not a teaspoon!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    It's one of those things you can play about with to suit your own needs. If you like it that way, then why not a tablespoon lol.

    You can make hummous with a y beans - my DH prefers it made with butterbeans.
    Originally posted by joedenise
    Yes, I've fairly recently, been playing around with store cupboard ingredients, like 'spicy brown lentil dip', which has become a fave and I'm going to do one with broad beans, but its a huge catering tin, so am waiting 'till I have freezer space, and will make some other bits. I've also recently been doing a 'vegan tuna/mayo', which is to die for, just chickpeas mashed with some mayo (egg free for me) and some seaweed sheets that I have ground and put in a jar, a shake of that. Really nice. If you know any nice bean dip recipes, I always like to try more out.
    May Grocery Challenge - Food 29.64/80, Alcohol 8.25/20
    Bulk Fund Left/Food 66.79 Bulk Fund/Alcohol
    -21.02
    Save 12k in 2018 #80 = 1,500/5,000
    Yoga 30 Day Challenge 3/30
    Lose 12lbs - 5/12 - Goal 9st
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