Saturday, 13 October 2012

It's Official: "Expired Food" Will be Sold in Greek Supermarkets

It's Official: "Expired Food" Will be Sold in Greek Supermarkets

Oh dear!  Even the Greeks are unsure as to the difference between Best before dates and Use by dates!  Best before means just that, in it's best condition but not poisionous after!  Use by dates are the all important ones, although there is nothing wrong with using your sense of smell and sight (if you have them) just as our Mums and Grandmothers had to do.

We use a firm called Approved Foods here in the Uk, there are a few others including market stalls that sell food near or after its Best before date, all perfectly edible.  I stock up on pulses, dried pasta, tinned tomatoes, beans, jams etc and it saves a fortune on food costs.  You have to watch with runny honey as it does sugar up but this can be resolved by popping the container into a bowl of hot water, or the microwave.

Yes what is happening in Greece is sad and worrying, we found such lovely friendly hard working people in Greece, but it makes sense to sell this sort of food just as our supermarkets have now consented to selling imperfectly shaped fruits and vegetables. Wasting such food is criminal in my opinion!  Common sense at last!  Yay!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Patchwork progress!

My first go at machine patchwork! I shall never again underestimate the pleasure of achieving something! All the fabric is recycled, even the cushion inner! The old cover is on it's way to the charity shop. The ribbon ties are made with the leftover ribbon from my daughters wedding. I was lucky in that the course was discounted and I hope to carry on now and get on with some more projects, maybe even gifts, so earning back the cost of the course!

The above shall be my mantra from now on!

Stocktake and "using it up" for stoptober challenge

I'm back and here are the results of the stocktake:-

From 3rd (and surplus) freezer:-
6 Chicken drumsticks
1lb Pork strips
3 chicken breasts
Sausage meat
Apricot pie filling (hm)
Apple cinnamon pie filling (hm)
Pack sliced mushrooms (lge)
Cranberry sauce
2 frozen bananas
8oz butter

Chest freezer:-
Fish fingers
1 salmon steak (large so enough for 2)
Bag of value white fish
Bag of smoked haddock pieces (small)
Frozen peas
frozen Broccoli
frozen carrots
runner beans (from garden)
various 1 portions of hm soups
3 chicken pieces

Fridge freezer:-
8 x 1 portion boxes hm soups
quorn mince
hm vege burgers
beef burgers
hm stock

Organic box this week:-
Butternut squash
4 pears
6 satsuma’s
4 bananas

Leftover from last box & other shopping:-
2 courgettes
Pointed cabbage centre
6 onions
5 satsumas

Left in fridge:-
2 blocks cheese (bought on bogof)
1 pack ham slices
½ tub greek yogurt
1 pack seedless grapes
Leftover curry sauce
2 scoops mash potato (from yesterday)
1 spoon peas
½ cucumber
Mint sauce


Various flours, sugars, oils, dried fruits, pastas, noodles and rice. Plenty of tinned beans, tomatoes and fruit. Goodly supply of herbs and spices.

Now to menu plan! Back later with this weeks plan............

Monday, 8 October 2012

Unexpected spends and craft heaven

We have had some unexpected spends this week, dental charges (toothache), giving help to our family and a chance of a brilliant course on patchwork! It is Stoptober so I guess offically I have failed but I really do feel that this is why we scrimp and save, to cover those one offs, whether they be medical, family or even unexpected (will pay back dividends in savings later) courses! After the dentist I also popped into our local Barnardos charity shop and picked up a much needed 1 pint pudding bowl for 49p (I have been desperately needing one since I broke my other one)and a lovely lap tray for £1.99 so a spend of £2.48 but well worth it!

This weekend I was introduced to a wonderful place called make do and mend, a place to go and knit and chat, sew and chat, draw and chat, attend wonderful, amazing workshops on crochet, patchwork, jewellery making, knitting, making facinators for weddings, making shoes, rag dolls and cushion covers!

I had gone along to the knit and chat session, knitted, chatted and then found out that there was a discounted place available on that afternoons patchwork for beginners course! I couldn't really turn that down as I had promised someone dear to me that I would learn how and then make a memory quilt for her after the sudden death of her Mum! It was fun to do and I now have the confidence to get going on such a special project!

Very basic but a beginning at least! :-)

In the meantime we are still eating from the freezer, indeed one freezer is going, so silly having more than one and expensive on the electric! I would rather have some storage space and the freezer might be of help to someone else! This weeks menu will be planned on whatever I find in this surplus freezer! Wish me luck! I am going in........................

Friday, 5 October 2012

Free Lunch! Well almost!

After walking the dog this morning I was so cold and needed something warming for lunch. Had to stick to the rules of the Stoptober challenge and use what I had in though!

Out came a bag of sprouting potatoes, I took the biggest one and cut out all the bad bits, then a half onion left from last nights meal, a small handful of frozen carrots and some frozen peas, boiling water over the top with a chicken oxo from the bargainous bundle I got from App foods, a generous grinding of black pepper and on it went to simmer. I was going to blend it all but the potatoes cooked into a lovely smashy type of mix and the soup was just fab the way it was. Managed to save the best of the potato peels and popped them into the remoska with some olive oil and a sprinkling of some of the course welsh smoked salt I found in my last lucky box (everything for £1) from app foods. Free chips! :-)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Stoptober Challenge!

I've joined in with Frugal Queens Stoptober challenge to stop spending money this month! Well other that the necessary spends!

First disappointment was having to turn down the chance of tickets to see Andy Fairweather Low! (sob) but at £35 each we have saved £70 into our pay down the mortgage account! Yay! Might have to get "Wide eyed and legless" on home brew to get over it though!

Living out of the store cupboards and freezer so far and not starving. Not gone shopping yet either but will need milk, cheese, butter and fresh veg and fruit this weekend! I am making soups daily and freezing the leftovers for another day! I have some more dentistry to get through soon so the soup will be welcomed!

I have plenty of knitting projects and the wool to do them, so still going to chat and knit club, only twice a month and £3 covers tea, biscuits and overheads. I can also ask for some much needed help with my knitting!

Anyone else doing this challenge?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Recovering from a wonderful weekend with our family. My eldest, his wife and our little grandaughter came to stay. The sun shone, despite a reaction to her MMR vaccination, our little grandaughter smiled, chattered, walked, ran and played to her hearts content. Her Daddy bought her a little £3.99 paddling pool and set it up in the garden so that we could cool her down. My peg basket and a few pegs and second hand mega blocks were enough toys to make it fun, they built boats and splashed. This kind of entertainment costs next to nothing.

We did go out, to a wonderful little zoo called tropical wings, complete with a butterfly house, meercats and giant rabbits - though not all in the same enclosure! :)

We had ice creams and came home to eat, saving ourselves (over the weekend) at least £100. The cost of eating out is soaring, at home we can have what we want, when we want it and then enjoy the leftovers!

Today I have a poorly little dog, she has been to the vets and is now on a chicken and rice diet for a few days. Luckily we had chicken at the weekend so I have enough chicken for now. Somewhere at the bottom of the freezer I have more chicken pieces and must now go and "freezer dive" to find them! Don't you just love chest freezers?