Tuesday 29 November 2022

Nappies and other things for the food bank

 Our local food bank website was checked before we went shopping. They were asking for size 6 nappies, tinned pasta, tinned rice pudding and long life (ultra heat treated) milk.

We got one packet of nappies plus 3 each of tinned pasta, rice pudding and the milk. Without nappies, I could have shopped for more food but, the thought of someone having no nappies for their baby saddened me. It came to 20% of our total food shop so not too bad, we normally aim for 10% but the nappies took us over. 

On the way home we popped into Farmfoods to get 2 x 30 cod fish fingers for £11 for us. They would have cost £15.50 in a regular supermarket. A great saving!

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Present buying

 We have already bought/made presents for everyone but not for each other. DB has lost a bit of weight due to eating like me. I am eating low fat, trying to reduce my slightly elevated bad cholesterol level, so he needed new trousers. Despite the wet weather we went shopping after tea and a scone for a treat.

Once we had eaten, we went our own ways and met back at the car a short while later. We have a set amount to spend and I could only get three for him before funds ran short. I shall look for a little something another time.

He bought two pairs of corduroy trousers in maroon and a nice brown.

Monday 21 November 2022

Brr and ouch

 First mild frost this morning, certainly felt chilly though. I must admit, I do like to see the white on everyone’s roof and twinkling on remaining greenery.

Our food shop was relatively small this week so rather than human food bank items, decided on pet food. Goodness me, that is expensive. I avoided a certain dog food brand (begins with B) as it has such rubbish in it. In the end I settled on own brand dog food and pouches of cat food, came to £6.45. Similar branded items would have been nearer £12!

We will go to Lidl to finish shopping tomorrow morning, as we need to go out to get each other’s Christmas presents. Lidl prices on certain items are way cheaper.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Wasgij puzzles certainly tax the old brains

 Another wasgij jigsaw completed. The secret to these, is working in blocks of colour or something similar, as the picture on the box is no use whatsoever! Below is the picture on the box:

Then the finished puzzle:

Such fun!

Friday 18 November 2022

Stretching meals further still

 Each pan had 2 diced bell peppers, 1/2 clove chopped garlic, and half an onion, which were fried until softened.

One pan then had 2 tablespoons curry paste stirred in, followed by 1 tin of tomatoes, half a can of water and half a can of mushrooms.  This was followed by half a 400g bag of Quorn chunks and a handful of sultanas, then cooked for 30 minutes. Afterwards, 4 frozen tablespoons of coconut cream, one stock cube plus a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree were stirred in. Once cooked through, it was dished up for freezing. Each container has 3 ladles, enough Quorn curry for us both, for one meal:

The second pan had the same initial ingredients added but instead of curry paste, a chopped canned adobe pepper was added for spice. No sultanas this time but a can of red kidney beans. No coconut cream just a stock cube and tomato puree added to give us Quorn Chilli:
I think 6 meals is a really good stretch. How are you stretching your meals to reduce costs?

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Will we won't we - Affecting UK readers only...

 Get blackouts this winter, that is the question. Who the heck knows but I have done some research so each of us can find out how we will be affected, if it happens.

This first site is how you can find who your network operator is (not who you pay your bills to) and what letter of the alphabet has assigned to your post code Network Provider

Go down the page a bit and put your postcode into the yellow boxes. It will then tell you who your provider is and what letter your post code has been assigned during an emergency blackout. 

When you know your letter go to here.

Annex 1 and 2 give you details relating to your assigned letter, starting with 3 hour blackouts building up to total power loss :(

Hope this helps you prepare just in case!

Saturday 12 November 2022

Another increase and awareness

I had hoped to go to M & S last week to pick up some more tins of meat, as I had a feeling they would go up soon. Unfortunately, we had no other reason to go in so left it until this week.

A long list of shopping meant we needed to go in and yup, you guessed it, already gone up in price.

 The chicken was still the same but the steak, steak and kidney had gone up another 25p per tin. We bought two more of each flavour as they are so nice and put them away for future use.

The other thing we noticed were youngish mums (25 and under), pushing their babies in prams. The babies were all making eye contact with them, cooing and smiling - to no avail. Each and every mother was too busy staring at their phones to notice. Such a shame.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Who to help?

During WWII, pet owners, especially cat and dog owners, were recommended to have their pets put down, due to shortages of food for them. Many tens of thousands were 'put to sleep'. Other owners though, refused, deciding that their dogs would eat scraps from their meals.

I think probably dogs are easier to feed this way but who knows. I know fishmongers offered fish heads for cats. Dogs ate water based porridge for breakfast, crusts from bread dried in the oven to make into rusks for them to chew on, leftover potatoes, vegetables and meat based gravy. Occasionally, they got scraps of meat fat and gristle whilst food was being prepared.

So many pets are being abandoned today when many could eat like this if necessary. Shelters are getting overwhelmed and many people simply turf them out or abandon them in woods to fend for themselves. Shameful.

We are giving to the food bank each week now, making sure we read online what they actually need. We have joined Age Concern lotto. Occasionally I will help animal shelters with food donation.

Money is tight for most people yet sometimes you wouldn't think so. People still seem to be coming out of shops with armful of carrier bags of clothes and other items. 

If DS and family request help, of any kind, we will offer it. It could be as a loan or an outright 'gift' of food or money.

All of us are finding money not going as far as it once did. Luckily they have always had a good work ethic and budgeting minds. They have always tried to save, but things are likely to get far worse for us all than they are currently. 

Better for everyone to face that reality than stick our heads in the sand. Keep stocking up if able!

Sunday 6 November 2022

As I am currently wearing my heart monitor

 It slightly restricts what I can do around electronic equipment. Out came my navy ink pad and stamps and a roll of kraft paper. I had hoped to stamp on the non shiny side but it had a grid pattern all over it - doh!

Using various Christmas themed stamps, off I went. Not the best of pictures to follow but you get the idea:

Still two more rolls to do and if my other pads are still viable, I hope to use different colours. I think however, they may be dry.

Saturday 5 November 2022

Stretching ingredients

 I had 400g beef stewing steak, some slightly wrinkly swede and carrots, potato and some fresh onions. I minced the meat and veg apart from the potato. These were then lightly fried, stock added and cooked.

Half was removed, seasoned and thickened to have with potatoes and other vegetables for tea that night:

The other half had curry paste and a bit more seasoning added before being thickened and turned into two nights of meals as a curry:

One went into the freezer and other we will have tonight.

Thursday 3 November 2022


 A few jars made, some for us, some for Christmas presents:

We still have one unopened jar from last year plus another opened one currently being eaten!

Other than a few Christmas bits and bobs (we will be on our own I believe), not much more to do. 

Presents have been bought for DS, DDiL and DGD, still to wrap. Birthday presents for those in January also bought. Christmas cards are addressed though not yet stamped.

Just one or two items to think about to make for postal gifts, gifts for each other and a list for DS to peruse for us, then it is all done.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Smallest leeks ever?

I grew leeks in one of my new beds and it clearly wasn't up to the task:

This was half the bed. I had 3 left over which I planted in one of my established beds and they are huge by comparison.

I shall add leaves and home composting to it over winter and hope it performs better next year. The other new raised bed did very well yet they both had the same ingredients put in. The other bed was in full sun, this one partially shaded during the day. Yet leeks are supposed to be happy in light shade - go figure!