Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Take some left over soup and a couple of lemons ...


Welcome to my new follower, Sharon Larkin.

We had some of our favourite bacon, leek and potato soup the other day. The pan made us two good bowls full over 2 days plus a small amount left over, roughly 2 ladles worth.

Not quite enough for two people for a snack or a meal on its own but it didn't go to waste (I know people who would have thrown it away!). 
No, some pasta was boiled, the soup stirred in, a layer of grated cheese added and grilled. It was lovely.We finished off with a slice of home made mincemeat tart and custard.

I had planned on freezing enough meals this month to see us through March. Not for any particular reason other than seeing if we could do it with little effort. Any savings made on food buying this month can go elsewhere. I think we have managed to freeze around 24 meals/items for meals and have the makings of enough other things to do the rest.

For Shrove Tuesday I bought 4 fresh lemons (have no idea why as I only really needed one). I was appalled to see one growing a fine blue moustache the other day and had to throw it away. Stung into action I prepared the others for keeping.

Firstly, I lined two smallish containers with cling film. DB zested a lemon into each as I can no longer do this:(

Then he put the juice of each lemon into each container (after quickly zapping them in the microwave to help release more juice).
After being in the freezer overnight, they were wrapped up with the remaining cling film and will keep in the freezer until needed.

One question I have to ask of you all, when you work out how much you spend on food shopping (or have to spend), are you only referring to food here or toiletries etc. as well? I tried to limit myself to £40 per week but as our shopping includes everything, just couldn't do it.

19 comments:

  1. When I talk about food shopping I am referring to food,household things and toiletries. I don't include pet food (which we get from the farm supplies shop) or alcohol, which comes out of my spends.

    A good idea with the lemons, much better than them going off. I tend to slice mine and open freeze them before putting the slices into a freezerproof box, brilliant for drinks.

    The pasta dish made up with your leftover soup was a brainwave :-)

    Sue xx

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    1. Okay Sue, thanks for that. We don't drink anything that requires sliced lemon but I think the way I showed will certainly come in handy when making home made lemonade in the summer.

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  2. Love your idea to store lemons. Will give that a go.
    I spend between £70-£80 a week for 4 of us. This includes everything, cleaning stuff & toiletries. My food bill also covers feeding two grandchildren every other week for a weekend and daughters boyfriend 2-3 nights a week. So mine may sound a lot but it's not really considering the amount of people to feed.

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    1. Thanks for that Karen, so maybe our spend isn't too much then.

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  3. Mmmm, pasta bake and mincemeat slice, just the thing for a cold, miserable day!

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    1. It certainly was and we enjoyed it.

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  4. My 100.00 per month covers everything - food, household and toiletries. I'm more flexible about it now that I've been doing it for over a year. Some months I go over, but some I'm under so it balances out. The budget will be easier to stick to once KL goes to uni. Eating a plant based diet certainly helps to keep to a low budget and has had a positive impact on our health - I went for my cardiac check-up this morning and the results were fab!

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    1. Glad to hear about your check up and the fact you find a plant based diet excellent is not only cheap but great for your health. Not sure we could do if DB's reaction to a plant based pie was anything to go by. Mind you, probably made too much, he had less of a reaction when on one bean and the rest lentils, rather than all beans!

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  5. I intend to do some budget-watching for a month to a) get things back under control and b) start as I mean to go on and plan our menus properly - I did it once upon a time but it just petered out.

    I must tell you I made 'your' faggots the other day, I made them meatball sized, foolishly, as faggots are usually bigger, aren't they? But have to say they tasted very good, and I have 3 boxes in the freezer of the remainder. I added a bit of chorizo hanging about in the fridge looking lonely, otherwise stuck pretty much to your recipe; may have slightly altered the proportions. I am now on a roll! Big thanks.

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  6. I adapted this recipe last time I made them as well. It is recommended they are made tennis ball size but I found them too big. So I've taken to using a 2 or 2 1/2 inch ice cream scoop which is a better size for us and means its less messy as you are not rolling them into balls.

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  7. What a fab way of using up some delicious soup, makes a change from a tomato based sauce. Great idea for storing your Lemons, they would be useful for a treat of Lemon Curd, Lemon Meringue Pie or Lemon Drizzle cake.

    My £50 per week "housekeeping" has to include everything, food, toiletries and cleaning. As for laundry products I usually buy them yearly in January when they are half price and the supermarket sends out the £12 off a £60 shop vouchers. I am trying to spend less at the moment and use up stocks and it seems to be working. I'm hoping we get a pay rise on the pension in April..... we can live in hope :-)

    Karen x

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  8. Great use of the lemons, I do the same. I also dry celery leaves in a little basket and crumble them and use them in soups etc. I also stuff an empty plastic peanut butter Jar with parsley and freeze; just crumble bits off.
    I dry tangerine/clementine rinds and blitz them the processor (I got a brand new tiny processor at a garage sale last year for $1.50, never been out of the box ! It is wonderful for nuts rinds etc.)
    I spend just about $3,000 a year on food; that does include toiletries but we just buy bar soap and it last for ages and we only shampoo about twice a week and use generic toothpaste. I travel to the u.k. about once a year and like Lidl very much and also Superdrug, also the open air markets are quite inexpensive. We have no special products that we have to have and put as little on our skin as poss. I havent used de-odorant for years and I dont use perfume, a lipstick lasts me at least a year.
    Loo paper and sunscreen are my biggest expenses besides food. I do think it is worth stocking up on toiletries when you find a good source. Make my own laundry detergent, huge saving. No cleaning products besides Dr. Bronners soap, baking soda and white vinegar. I also water down my washing up liquid; lasts for ages.
    Your soup looks great ! I made Smitten Kitchens sausage and swiss chard soup yesterday - I used red lentils instead of brown and a bit more than she suggested. I also cooked it for much longer than 40 mins. I added some cream I had left over.
    It made a TON - enough for at least four dinners for the two of us with a slice of home-made bread.
    There is no doubt that food is going up in price; I dont buy any processed foods so I can keep the integrity of the basics I buy. No hardship - it is what I have always done. (here endeth the lesson) :) !!

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  9. Good tips about parsley and tangerine/clementine rinds. Not too keen on celery leaves.

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  10. I have just been totting up what I spent over February, which includes everything and it averages out at £50 per week but this includes doubling up on offers as well. Considering that only a few weeks ago my bill was rising up to £80 a week before I took hold of the situation. Thanks to frugalistas like you I have been able to cut my spending considerably and hope to get it down even more - it is certainly a good feeling to have money left in my purse at the end of the week and a freezer full of prepared food.

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    1. Yes, it is good to get on top of things. Most of the time, I am around the £40pw mark, sometimes more sometimes less but the rising cost of all food is making it more difficult to stick to.

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  11. This has really inspired me DC. My shopping bill seems to be creeping up and there's only two of us. I almost spend double per week than you do. So - things are going to change around here. John may be semi retired soon and think ill need to re think my shopping. Great idea with the leftover soup and pasta.
    Patricia x

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  12. I would estimate that we spend £35 a week on housekeeping, which would include food, cleaning stuff and toiletries etc. we do have quite good stocks though so I tend to only buy toiletries and cleaning stuff when it is on offer. I never buy washing powder at full price and always mix it with soda crystals to go further for example. I am planning to start myself a little spreadsheet to see exactly where our money goes each week (I have a pretty good idea, but think a spreadsheet will help me see areas we can trim our budget) so will have a better idea in a few weeks time!

    I love what you did with the soup, such a clever idea and sounds very tasty :)

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  13. Our food and grocery shopping would include household items but not toiletries, these we pay for ourselves. Because mostly I use bicarb, white vinegar and Stardrops for cleaning, and these last forever it seems, I rarely need to buy these anyway, laundry powder is supermarket own-brand and bought in the biggest size at the lowest price!
    My Frugal February challenge over on my blog was interesting to see just how little we could actually spend in a month, allowing for eating from freezers and cupboards, I bought the same fresh fruit and veg I usually would, but the main component of each meal was stuff we already had in, and spent under £60 total over the month. I'll be repeating this challenge again!

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    1. I use home made laundry liquid and a home made household cleaning spray for almost all tasks so that helps. Can't seem to get my weekly top list down very much despite being mainly fruit and veg. We are eating from the freezers this month but even then, I can't seem to get out of not making something extra to freeze again! Any money left at the end of the month goes into general savings. We also have a monthly amount that goes towards our bills. No mortgage now.

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