Tag Archives: savings

Cheap Champagne and Purse Pleasing Prosecco

5 Jul

First of all, my apologies for the slight pause on the blog. I have been diverted by the sheer panic of trying to offload 3 years of clutter, cleaning the new to us but old and in need of tlc house, meeting with architects, builders and the like.

But priorities, priorities, I just had to sit down tonight to the season finale of Desperate Housewives, and my head was turned by the Sainsburys ad for a whopping 25% off Wine and Champagne.

Too Good to be True?

And while I was there I noticed that they have some fab recipe ideas for the kids (that may also keep the mums pretty happy too). Here are a few ideas

Its the last week of the Ocado World Cup Recipe competition, and my contenders, while out of the World Cup, could still be winners, so if you have the chance please click the following links

French Apple Tart

New Zealand Kiwi, Lime and Ginger Cheesecake

Back soon….


The spendthrift’s challenge

17 May

In the current climate of cutbacks and budgets, it feels right to try to ‘do my bit’ to see if I can save a few pounds on the weekly shopping bill, ready for the inevitable cost of living rises that the gloom-mongerers are almost cheerfully predicting.

Unlike the politicians that often claim to have no personal agenda, I have to confess my motivation may also stem from our (hopefully) imminent house move, where I am going to have to shrink the contents of my large kitchen (23 cupboards and 7 drawers of storage), into a kitchen with 1 dresser, a handful of shelves, and floorspace of 9ft by 6ft !!

No matter how ‘frugal’ I am feeling, I cannot seem to get the weekly shop (along with top ups) at less than about £150 (that does include all other things aside from food, like dishwasher tabs, nappies, toiletries etc), and quite often it goes well beyond that.  I really don’t mind spending a bit more on food these days, as nights out are currently few and far between, but I do wonder if I might be able to employ a little more thrift from time to time.  For the past few months, for one week a month, I have made an effort to avoid the big weekly shop, and have  made do with small local shopping trips. On those weeks I have managed to bring the total spend in at around £80 but that’s about as good as it gets.

This month I seem to have been spending left right and centre. So, on a whim (which I may refer to as ill-conceived later in the week), I have decided now is the time for drastic action.

The Challenge. To feed a family of four, for one week, using only the food already in the house and with an additional daily budget of £5 (total for the week £35) allowed for top ups of essentials a nd fresh foods, such as milk, eggs, fruit and veg.

The Prize. If I stick to the budget, I can pop out for a salon pedicure while Mr Mummyinhurry stays at home with the little ones and counts the change from the weeks housekeeping.  I am kidding about the last part. There will be no mention of change or the handing over of any savings made.

The rules

We will not be eating beans on toast every day. Come on, anyone can do that.

I will (try to) produce a variety of quick, tasty, home cooked foods, for the entire week, using only the food we have in the house. Top up shops are allowed but without spending more than £35 in total for the week.

I do have what may be considered as a slightly unfair advantage, in that I seem to have a reasonably well stocked freezer that I am slowly working on emptying. A quick check reveals the following

  • Sausages and chipolatas
  • Chicken thighs
  • Chicken legs
  • Ready to bake rolls
  • Ice Cream
  • Breadcrumbs
  • A selection of herbs. Garlic, ginger,lemongrass chilli etc
  • 3 types of home made soup
  • Salmon fillets
  • Prawns
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries

I also seem to have a slightly eclectic mix of dried food and tins that I obviously dont like very much because it seems to have been there forever.Aside from the usual staples this includes

  • Jar of curry sauce
  • Dried rolled dates
  • Stir fry sauces
  • Fruits in syrup (like apples – what was I thinking?)
  • Tinned potatoes (why why why??!!)
  • Grilled artichokes (an improvement at last)

The fridge is generously stocked with the usual half used jars of mustard, jam, capers, mayo etc, a packet of near its sell by date parma ham, and some cheese.

As I went shopping today for fresh fruit and veg and milk and eggs, I am deducting the cost of that £16.08 from my budget.

I will be posting my daily menus (just so that you can see that I have not been cheating), and pictures of the good, the bad and the inedible.

Any suggestions, additional rules or offers to join me in a cookalong, are welcome. Or have a look at the poll and vote on the outcome!

Bon appetit!