Friday 31 March 2017

End of day 22

This is how it all went today
B:  toast and peanut butter   Total 6p
L:  more toast with a poached egg   Total 15p
D:  chicken casserole with rice   Total 50p
S/S:  apple, plum   Total 14p

I had £12.66
I spent 85p
Remaining:  £11.81

Day 22

I have £12.66 remaining and it's day 22 so nine full days to go before the end of cycle 2 of this challenge.

Today's plans>
B:  toast (2p) and peanut butter (4p); apple (9p)
L:  toasted pikelets (2p); poached egg (13p), plum (5p)
D:  I have a bit of chicken casserole and rice left over from yesterday and I don't stand a chance of costing it out so I'm making a guesstimate of 50p.  I'm certainly not throwing it away just because I can't cost it out!
S/S:  carrot batons (4p), natural yogurt (apf) and stewed rhubarb (fruit was a gift, sugar about 3p probably)


Thursday 30 March 2017

A ponder: part two

I posted my first 'Ponder' post in Feed Yourself for a Pound a Day (the Facebook group) this morning and got some fantastically helpful responses.

The one that attracts me the most is the 5-2 suggestion:  £1.00 a day for weekdays and £1.50 at the weekend.  That way I can continue with my frugal ways and yet use up some of the freezer resources on two days a week.  Given that I am off challenge more or less every other weekend anyway, it won't make a huge difference really.

I haven't made a final decision and will still think about it, but that's what appeals right now.

Thursday

I'm off challenge today.  It's a busy and complicated day and it doesn't lend itself to accountability.  I'm not going crazy, just not doing 30-30.

Back on track tomorrow!

Wednesday 29 March 2017

End of day 21


A few changes today
B:  granola and natural yogurt  Total 0p as they are both apfs
L:  toast (free as loaf was a gift*), peanut butter   Total 5p
D:  *pizza, tomato and coleslaw    Total 15p
S/S:  banana, plum   Total 17p

Pint of milk   Total 45p

So I had £13.48
I spent 82p
Remaining:  £12.66

*I found the bread and the pizza while scrabbling in my chest freezer for something quite different.  I also found the rhubarb which my daughter gave me so that will feature in the next days too.
However, tomorrow I am off challenge as it's a complicated day.

Day 21

It's day 21 - ten full days to go and £13.48 remaining.

Here are today's plans:
B:  granola and natural yogurt (both apfs); apple (9p)
L:  toast (2p); poached egg (13p); plum (5p)
D:  pizza (left over from Christmas Eve, provided by someone else, so free), coleslaw (5p); banana (12p)

I also have to buy some milk today


Tuesday 28 March 2017

End of day 20

This is how day 20 went.
B:  porridge with marmalade and natural yogurt:  Total 4p
L:  poached egg on pikelets, apple   Total 24p
D:  slow roast beef with roast potatoes and parsnips  Total 53p


So . . . I had £14.29
I spent 81p
Remaining:  £13.48

And I shall have to buy some milk soon. 

A ponder

I've been away this last weekend and therefore off challenge.  It gave me time to think about how it's all going and the way forward after this cycle finished.  There are a few different options.

1.  Carry on just as it is.

2.  Stop the challenge.

3.  Ease off somewhat - maybe do a 45-30 instead so it's £1.50 a day.

These are the ones that come to mind.


1. is the one that appeals but I have niggling concerns as the summer approaches - salad veg aren't that cheap, for example.  However, I have planters and garden containers and I also have packets of seeds and always grow tomatoes from seedlings my lovely dad gives me.  I could plant carrots and 'leaves' (various types of lettuce) and then pick for almost nothing, especially if I subtract the cost of the seeds.

2. isn't at all acceptable.  I have gained such a lot from doing this, both in terms of health and financially.  I'm losing weight and really NEED for this to continue more long term.  So 2 is out, totally!

3.  also appeals but not for 30 days.  I do have things in the freezer than are there to be used - I have paid for them, after all - but they don't work with a pound a day.  I also have a book entitled One Pound Meals and I am longing to try out some of the recipes.  If I had £1.50 a day, I could try these out and not go over budget as the general guideline is 20p for breakfast, 30p for lunch and 50p for dinner although it's often less.

So I am pondering.  £30 is frugal but £45 is also pretty frugal.  We're talking about a whol month, after all.

 Any advice?  Any ideas or suggestions?  Any other options?  Please do feel free to comment.

Day 20

I have £14.29 remaining which isn't bad for day 20 - 11 full days to go in this cycle.

Today's plans.
B:  porridge (4p), yogurt and marmalade (both apfs)
L:  2 toasted pikelets (2p), poached egg (13p), apple (9p)
D:  slow roast beef (30p), roasties (5p), roasted parsnips (10p)
S/S:  carrot batons (5p), apple (9p)

Monday 27 March 2017

End of day 19

It was all change today.

B and L:  one slice of toast for breakfast and nothing for lunch - because I had a tummy upset last night and really didn't feel like anything
D:  cottage pie; carrots; apple   Total 49p
S/S: carrot batons: 5p
A batch of natural yogurt   Total 49p

So I started the day with £15.59
I spent £1.03
Remaining:  £14.29


Day 19

I have £15.59

Today's food:
B:  toast and fruit (free - I'm away from home)
L:  2 pikelets (2p); poached egg (13p), apple (9p)
D:  probably chorizo and bean stew (28p) with rice (7p), apple (9p)
S/S:  carrot batons (4p), natural yogurt (apf)
Also another batch of natural yogurt (49p)

apf means 'already paid for - the total price has already been subtracted from the budget!

Saturday 25 March 2017

End of day 18

I have £15.91

Day 18 saw some slight changes.
B:  granola and natural yogurt     Total 0p because they are both apfs*
L:  cheese on toast   Total 32p
D:  eating out and not paying.

I had £15.91
I spent 32p
Remaining £15.59

*already paid for - the total cost has already been deducted from the budget.

I'm now off challenge for the weekend

Friday 24 March 2017

Day 18

I have £15.91

My food plans for today are . . .
B:  granola (an apf but would be 6p); natural yogurt (apf), apple (9p)
L:  probably tomato and lentil soup (about 15p), plum (5p)
D:  Eating out and not paying - cheers!

So today is going to be lovely and frugal!

End of day 17


A few changes but nothing dramatic really
B:  porridge with marmalade and yogurt   Total 4p (everything else was an apf)
L:  cheesy crumpets (gorgeous) and a plum   Total  19p
D:  sausages, wedges, coleslaw, a mini corn on the cob   Total 51p
S:  a mini strawberry crumble which was an apf 

I had £16.63
I spent 74p
Remaining:  £15.89

Thursday 23 March 2017

Not really a recipe: cheesy crumpets

So, so simple but a real cheesy hit and so simple to prepare.  Also frugal, more so for me because I used sourdough crumpets which cost me more or less nothing to make - the 2p for each is a token effort really.

You need
2 crumpets (and toast them)
butter
20g strong cheddar, very finely grated (I know it sounds daft but it does seem to go further)


preheat the grill
Spread the butter on the toasted crumpets.  Then pile on the cheese and gently flatten it down.
Place under the grill until the cheese is melting and browning a bit.
Eat straight away

I said 2p for each crumpet and the cheese cost me 10p.  That's a filling and tasty lunch for 14p.

Day 17

I have £16.63 remaining

This is what I'm planning to have today:
B:  porridge (4p); marmalade (apf); natural yogurt (apf)
L:  2 home made crumpets (4p); 20g cheddar, grated (10p); natural yogurt
D:  2 sausages (38p); onion (2p), wedges (7p-ish); coleslaw (5p-ish)
S/S:  2 plums (10p)

(apf = already paid for: items that I have already accounted for in the budget)

Wednesday 22 March 2017

End of day 16

It all went nice and smoothly today.

B:  toast and marmalade   total 2p
L:  lentil and peelings soup, bit of bread, apple, orange    Total 19p
D:  chorizo and bean stew with rice, natural yogurt   Total 28p
S/S:  apple, banana 21p

And . . .
a bag of basmati rice.   Total £1.35


I had £18.68
I spent £2.05
Remaining:  16.63

Day 16

Sorry this is late.  The Internet has been down all morning.

I have £18.68

These are today's plans
B:  toast (2p); marmalade (apf)
L:  lentil and veg peelings soup (10p); apple (8p); orange (free)
D:  chorizo and bean stew (28p); rice (apf); natural yogurt (apf)
S/S:  banana (12p); apple (9p)

I'm also taking off the whole cost of a bag of basmati rice so that will be an apf from now on.  I may as well, as I'm well ahead of myself so that's an extra £1.35 off what I have left.

apfs are 'already paid fors' - those items which, like the rice above, I have already accounted for.  Some things are easier to do that way [ thinks like a pint of milk, a wodge of butter in the butter dish, a batch of yogurt, a cabbage, etc.
They are not things I already had in my cupboard - I cost those out as I use them, using My Supermarket as a guide if I need to.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

End of day 15

£19.69

How it all went:
B:  pikelets and a poached egg   Total 15p
L:  same as yesterday -  half a small pork pie. coleslaw, potato salad, carrot and cauliflower salad, apple  Total 42p
D:  a tricky one as I used so many bits and bobs to make a savoury rice that it's impossible to be totally accurate but, because the meat was free and the rice was cheap, I am guesstimating at a total of 35p.  I quite resent that too because wjat I made wasn't all that nice.  I ate it but won't be doing it again.
S/S:  orange; apple   Total of 9p

So I had £19.69
I spent £1.01
Remaining £18.68
It ought to be £15 so I am nicely in credit and will spend some of the £3.68 on some apfs.  Some basmati rice might be a good way to go as I am out and the cheaper rice isn't all that wonderful.


Day 15 - and half way through.

I have £19.69 and the end of today will mark the half way point for this cycle.

My plans for today are:
B:  pikelets (made yesterday with the sourdough discard - 2p) and poached egg (13p)
L:  same as yesterday,  half a small pork pie. coleslaw, potato salad, carrot and cauliflower salad, apple  (42p)
D:  some sort of savoury rice using more of the freebie pork.  I'll post the recipe later, if it works.  Probably around 30-35p
S/S:  a couple of free oranges.

Monday 20 March 2017

End of day 14



Today's meals ended up like this:
B:  porridge, marmalade and natural yogurt   Total 4p
L:  half a small pork pie. coleslaw, potato salad, carrot and cauliflower salad, apple  Total 42p - quite a lot for a lunch but it was tasty and I have the other half for tomorrow's lunch, which will be exactly the same.
D:  Roast pork 'pie'    Total 27p.  I didn't have the runner beans in the end as the pie was enough
S/S: I am stuffed so I doubt I will want any supper.

So . . .
I had £20.50
I spent 81p
Remaining:  £19.69

Simple and frugal salad ideas

I love salads but tomatoes are expensive, lettuce is expensive, peppers . . . etc, at the moment and really can't be fitted into a pound a day budget

I took a wee look at what I have in the fridge right now and I can make three different salad things straight off that will up my fruit and veg and give crunch to my diet.

Coleslaw - nice and simple, just finely shredded white cabbage and diced carrot with mayo.  Add a bit of curry paste for a different flavour.  Also lovely with some chopped apple or a small handful of dried fruit.
A white cabbage might look expensive but it is tight, compact and you get so many portions from it, it becomes very frugal.
(actually, just shredded/grated/spiralised carrot with maybe a lemony dressing is super delicious too)

I noticed that the chives are coming up nicely in the herb bed so - potato salad.  The sauce can be half and half mayo and natural yogurt and I make it nice and simple - just potato, sauce and chopped chives.  Lovely!

I love crunchy salads and I still have some Aldi cauliflower from their super six.  I shall cut off some little florets, finely chop a bit of carrot and a bit of onion (red would be nice but I don't have any so white will do).  Then I shall mix up a simple dressing with lime juice (from a bottle), a bit of honey, a bit of olive oil, a smidgen of garlic puree and a flake or two of salt and pepper, just enough for one so tiny amounts.

All these can be jazzed up with nuts, seeds, etc, but I'm sticking to frugal!

Day 14

I have £20.50

Here's the day's plans
B:  porridge (4p) with marmalade and natural yogurt (both apfs)
L:  half a YS small pork pie (15p), coleslaw 6p), potato salad* (6p), apple (8p)
D:  roast pork 'pie' (potato topping) (should be about 25p as the meat was a freebie leftover from Mum and Dad), runner beans (free from last year's garden); natural yogurt
S/S:  apple,

A nice frugal day one way and another which should come to around 75p.
apf = already paid for, i.e. things for which I have already taken the cost off the budget in total.


(* I noticed yesterday that the chives are coming beautifully and I need to start using them, hence the potato salad!)

Sunday 19 March 2017

End of day 13



A few changes today.
B:  toast and marmalade  Total 4p
L:  jacket potato with cheese, coleslaw and mini-tomatoes   Total 46p
T:  poached egg on toast, shortbread (free from my mum)   Total 16p
S/S:  natural yogurt, apple   Total 8p

Now the number crunching:
I had £21.24
I spent 74p
Remaining:  £20.50

Recipe: baked fish

This was nice and I wish I had remembered to take a photo.

Ingredients:
some white fish (I used basa)
a small amount of butter, softened
10ml lime (or could be lemon) juice (from a bottle is fine and much more frugal)
a bit of garlic puree
some thyme (or other herb of choice)
A few tomatoes - squidgy ones are fine - halved/quartered
salt and pepper to season

Method
spray a bit of oil around a small, oven proof dish.
Place the fish in the dish.
Mix together the butter, juice, garlic and thyme and smear over the fish
Scatter the tomatoes on top and season to own taste.
Cover with foil and bake at around 160-170 C for about 20 mins

If you want, cook it uncovered for the last five mins to evaporate some of the liquid, but be careful the fish doesn't dry out.

Day 13

I have £21.24

Today I am planning to have:
B:  toast (4p) with marmalade (apf), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  jacket potato (15p-ish) with 40g cheese (20p) and coleslaw (6p)
T:  soup (15p-ish), apple (8p)
I will try to do without supper today.

End of day 12


This is how it all went.
B:  porridge with jam and natural yogurt   Total 4p
L:  cauliflower soup, toast, peanuts  Total 17p
D:  baked fish with coleslaw, apple   Total 56p
plus
a batch of granola 34p

So I had £22.35
I spent £1.11
Remaining: £21.24

Saturday 18 March 2017

Day 12

I have £22.35

Today I am making another half batch of Jack Monroe's peanut granola.  I've priced it all out using what I will be using and it will come to 34p.  I'm going to take that off and call it another 'already paid for' as it will make life easier.

Today's food plans are:
B:  porridge (4p), jam (apf), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  cauliflower soup (8p), bread/toast (2p), apple (8p)
D:  fish (38p) and chips, coleslaw (8p)*
S/S:  carrot batons*, peanuts (4p)

*  I will use one carrot for both of these and count the cost in the coleslaw 'section'.

I won't fry the fish, I think.  I will dust it in seasoned flour, wrap it in foil with a bit of butter and some lemon or lime juice and bake it.  Also, I might not have the chips, I might skip potato altogether.

Friday 17 March 2017

End of day 11

Today worked out fine with a few changes and, thankfully, my system is 'settling down' again after three days of lunches that are not what I have become used to.
(apf = already paid for)

B:  poached egg on sourdough toast    Total 15p
L:  toast and peanut butter    Total 6p
D:  carrot, cumin and kidney bean burgers  (13p*), wedges (10p) , coleslaw (2p*), mini tomatoes x 5 (10p), onion chutney  4p   Total 39p
S/S:  carrot batons*, apple  Total 8p
Also:
some more apf butter  19p

*  the cost of the carrot in the coleslaw and the batons carrots is included here - one carrot for all.

I had £23.22
I spent (including butter) 87p
Remaining: £22.35

Recipe: microwaved poached agg.


Very easy, very straightforward, very speedy.

You need a microwave (obviously) and something like a soup cup/large coffee cup with a saucer.  Bigger than an ordinary teacup.  The one I use is a 300ml capacity soup cup.  It needs to be microwave safe, of course.

Put cold water in the cup to about 2/3 full.  You can add a bit of salt if you like but it's not necessary.
Carefully break the egg into the water.  With a pin, prick the yolk several times (this is crucial - if you don't, you will get an exploding egg!).

Put the saucer on the cup as a lid.  Put it in the microwave.

The rest depends on the power.  Mine does 800 max and the egg takes two minutes to cook.  Just turn it on and two minutes later you have a lovely poached egg.
If you put some bread in your toaster just before you put the egg, etc, in the microwave, they finish at more or less the same time.

Microwaves differ so you will need to find your own timings but two minutes at 800 works for me.
And at 13p for the egg and 2p for the home made bread, a filling, healthy and frugal breakfast or lunch.
Lovely, isn't it?




Old fashioned still lemonade in perpetuum

 - well, sort of anyway!

After making the lemonade as described here, I looked thoughtfully at my pile of remaining lemons, realising that I wouldn't get a deal like that again until next pancake day.

So I made up a whole lot of undiluted lemonade mixture and froze it.  In smaller portions, of course, and priced.
Each one will make me one pint of refreshing still lemonade for 14p and I still have more to deal with.  That'll do me come the summer!

After that I thought about the 'shells' - didn't want to just chuck them unless I had to.  I googled around and this is what I've done.

I've chopped up the peel, put it all in a waterproof/air tight container and covered it with white distilled vinegar.  In two or three weeks I will strain it into a spray bottle and lo and behold, I will have a splendidly lemon scented all purpose cleaner (so Google assures me anyway).
I'm looking forward to trying it out!





Day 11

I have £23.22

This is what I plan to have today
B:  poached egg (13p) on toast (2p); apple
L:  cauliflower soup (8p); croutons (2p); carrot batons (4p)
D:  I have bits and pieces left from yesterday's nacho meal - some kidney beans and half a titchy onion - so I think I will make Jack-burgers (carrot, cumin and kidney bean - about 10p-ish) and have them with some baby tomatoes (10p) and coleslaw (6p-ish) and a few wedges (8p-ish); natural yogurt (apf)
S/S:  apple (8p); biscuit (free - given to me)

Lots of 'ish' costings today - I will be definite by the end of the day's feedback.

I also have to pay for another little load of butter in my butter dish so that's another 19p.

Wandering around Morrisons for a few bits and bobs, I spotted some YS apples, well in date but the packaging was torn so I now have a nice supply of apples at 9p each.  I'm pleased because I haven't seen the Savers/Essentials apples for a few weeks now and I do love apples.
One of the things I try to make sure of is that there's a reasonable supply of fruit and veg each day.  It can be a bit of a challenge on a limited budget but it usually works out OK using seasonal produce and remembering that pulses count as one portion.
Today I'm having:
two apples
veg soup
carrot batons
kidney beans
tomatoes
coleslaw (carrot and cabbage)


Thursday 16 March 2017

Recipe: sort of nachos

For the 'tortilla' chips.

Make some flatbreads - here's what I did, in my enchilada recipe
http://my30-30challenge.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/recipe-frugal-sort-of-enchiladas.html
Heat the oven to about 160C
Spray oil over two of the flatbreads, both sides.  I used my hands to rub the oil all over.  Cut each flatbread into eight wedges.
Place on parchment on an oven tray and pop into the oven at about 150C to bake until crisp.  Leave to cool until needed.

For the salsa:
onion, finely chopped
4 mini tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped
a small squeeze of chilli puree (to own taste) - come the summer I shall use chillis from the garden
a small squeeze of garlic puree
a pinch of parsley - dried at the moment but fresh if available
some lime juice from a bottle
sugar - optional

Mix together, cover and chill until needed


For the refried beans
some oil or dripping (just a bit)
a few kidney beans
garlic powder or puree
onion, very finely chopped
a pinch each of cumin, oregano and a squeeze of chilli puree
lime juice
salt

Soften the onion in the dripping.  Add the spices/seasonings and cook out.  Then add the beans and fry until they go a bit 'puffy'.    Add the lime juice and mash with a fork.
Chill until needed, then re-heat in microwave

All of the above can be made in advance.

Before the meal:
Take out the salsa and the bean mixture to bring to room temperature

Heat the oven to
Place the tortilla chips in an ovenproof dish.  Sprinkle with 35g grated cheese (I used cheddar)  and pop in the oven to melt the cheese.

Serve the cheese tortilla chips with the salsa, the beans (which can be warmed up, if you want) and some natural yogurt sprinkled with smoked paprika.

Really, really tasty!



End of day 10

A recap on how today went.

B:  granola and natural yogurt   Total 6p
L:  roasted cauliflower cheese soup; toast   Total  10p
D:  home made nachos (which ended up as 42p), apple (8p)  Total 50p
S/S:  apple;   Total 8p

So I had £23.96
I spent 74p
Remaining:  £23.22

And I am 1/3 of the way through this cycle.

Day 10

I'll be a third of the way through this second cycle once today is over and, thanks to sundry free meals, I am ahead of myself, which is very encouraging.  I have £23.96
(apf = already paid for)

Today's plans are . . .
B:  granola (6p) and I must make some more; natural yogurt (apf)
L:  roasted cauliflower cheese soup (10p, I think); bread (2p); apple (8p)
D:  As I have flatbreads I made yesterday, I'm going to have a go at nachos.  I've dug up frugal recipes for refried beans and salsa; not authentic in any way but never mind; and I shall use natural yogurt.  If it works I will post a recipe.  I have no idea of the total.  It might come to more than 50p but I have a bit in hand so it won't be a disaster.
S/S  carrot batons (4p); apple (8p)

Wednesday 15 March 2017

End of day 9

. . . and not only am I shattered, I am all free-lunched out and looking forward to getting back to my frugal and much healthier alternatives.

Today went more or less according to plan.
B:  beans on toast.   Total 10p
L:  free
D:  sort of enchiladas  Total 45p  (I didn't have any sides with this, it was very filling on its own)
S/S:  Didn't have any - I was stuffed after the dinner.

I had £24.50
I spend 55p
Remaining:  £23.95

Recipe: frugal sort of enchiladas

This comes in two parts.


For the sourdough flatbread
200g plain flour
half a cup sourdough starter discard
heaped tbsp natural yogurt
a good pinch of salt
Water to mix it all into a soft-ish dough
(I had discard that I didn't want to discard but you could use more yogurt, milk, or even just water to make flatbread)

Method.
Mix ingredients into a soft dough, like this.

Wrap and chill for a short time.
Split ingredients into 50g balls and roll out into a sort of circle.

Heat a solid based frying pan and dry fry each circle of dough.  It will puff up and you will get brown spots.  That's not a problem.

As each on has cooked, stack them up and cover with a clean tea towel.  Then pop them in a poly bag, separated with interleaving to stop them drying out and sticking.
If they do go a bit hard, just give each one ten seconds in a microwave.

The above amounts made eight at less than 1p each.  The rest will freeze fine and tomorrow I am going to try to make some baked 'tortilla' chips!


For the sauce
A portion of savoury mince with veg (see link below for recipe)
some kidney beans (tinned would be fine and I guess about a quarter of a can's worth would be about right)
Some passata or other tomatoes such as some of a tin of chopped tomatoes.
spices such as chilli, smoked paprika, etc.
30 to 35g grated strong cheddar


Method
First of all, I made the flatbreads (in the morning), wrapped them up and left them

I took one of my freezer portions of savoury mince and veg and half a portion of kidney beans that I had soaked, cooked and frozen previously.
To that I added some spices - I chose a bit of chilli and a bit of garlic puree, but you could use whatever you fancy really.
Then I added some passata that I had made and frozen last summer from tomatoes in the garden/

I took two of the 'tortillas'.  With a slatted spoon I put some of the mince/bean mixture on each one, rolled it up and placed it in a greased ovenproof dish.

I then spread the rest of the tomato sauce over the top . . .

. . .  sprinkled 40g strong cheddar over the top  . . .

and baked it in a 180C oven until it was all bubbling and the cheese was melted and gorgeous.


I was going to have some coleslaw on the side but I'm glad I didn't because it was very, very filling and scrummy, which is why I am sharing it here.  It's almost bedtime and I don't have any room for any supper.

I will make this again, for sure.


How I make yogurt

This is for Jo who asked the question a few days ago.

I'm afraid I sort of cheat.  Years ago I indulged myself and bought a simple electric yogurt maker in Lakeland and I've used it ever since.  It has earned its cost over and over again since then.

http://www.lakeland.co.uk/3440/Lakeland-Electric-1L-Yogurt-Maker


This is it.
All you do in mix a litre of long life (I use semi skimmed because it is less than 50p in  Aldi and full fat, although it makes gorgeously creamy stuff, is nearly twice the price) with a few tbsp of the previous batch of yogurt as a starter in the inner container.  Put on the lid, put it into the outer container, put on that lid and turn it on.  About eighteen hours later you have a pot of lovely, home made yogurt.

You can do the same but keep it warm in other ways - such as gently heating the mix a little and pouring it into a flask.

So that's it.  How I make yogurt.


Day 9

I have £24.50 and it is the last free lunch day.  Back to normality with a big bump tomorrow!
Here are the plans for today's meals and spending.

B:  baked beans (8p) on toast (2p)
L:  freebie at music festival
D:  a sort of frugal enchilada thing.  I estimate it will come to around 50p altogether including a coleslaw side.  If it works, I will write it up as a recipe.  If it doesn't, I will eat it and forget it.  :-)
S/S:  apple, carrot batons


Tuesday 14 March 2017

End of day 8


And this is how it went.
B:  porridge with sugar and yogurt   Total 5p

L:  provided by music festival.  I had sandwiches, crisps, fruit and a biscuit and very nice it was too.  Total: free!
D:  Chilli con carne with rice.  Total 43p
S/S:  peanuts, apple, YS banana   Total 17p

So I had £25.15
I spent 65p
Remaining  £24.50

Day 8

I have £25.15.

Today's plans are
B:  porridge (4p) with a bit of sugar (1p) and some natural yogurt (apf)
L:  still at the music festival and lunch is provided.  Nice.
D:  chilli con carne (22p for the meat/veg mix and 6p for the beans - home soaked, cooked and frozen); rice (6p), apple (8p)
S/S:  YS banana  (5p); carrot batons (4p)

Which should be around 60p-ish

Monday 13 March 2017

End of day 7

Day 7 is over and this is how it went.

B:  poached egg on toast  Total 15p
L:  I made the most of the free lunch and very nice it was too!  Total 0p
D:  Roast pork, apple and onion sauce, roasties (all free - it's my lucky day today), cauliflower   Total 10p
S&S:  peanuts; home made still lemonade   Total 18p

Plus a batch of yogurt   Total 47p

So . . .
I had £26.05
I spent 90p
Remaining:  £25.15

Recipe: old fashioned still lemonade

I had cheap lemons and you know what they say about life handing you lemons . . .
So I did!

Very simple, very plain and very refreshing.


Ingredients:
60g sugar
60g water (I used just boiled so the sugar dissolved quickly)
2 lemons - juice and you could also use grated zest.

Method.
Mix the water with the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, juice the lemons.

Mix the lemon juice with the syrup and strain it through a sieve, if necessary.  Dilute it to taste (I find it makes up to a pint) with chilled water and enjoy.

If you need a bit more sugar, you will need to reheat it a little bit to help it to dissolve and then re-cool it.  If you need more lemon juice, you could use some from a bottle.
Personally, I found it just right.

The cost?
The 60g sugar was 3p and the two lemons were 11p so that's a total of 14p - that's because after pancake day, they were selling off their boxes of nine lemons for 50p a box, which makes this delicious drink pretty frugal.
I served it in a champagne flute which made it look pretty and come the summer I will garnish it with a sprif of fresh mint.
Diluting it with sparkling water would be lovely (but remember to add the cost!).

I shall make some more and I will add some grated root ginger to the next one.

Day 7

I'm back on challenge after two days away and I've come back with a few freebie goodies from my parents which will help to look after the pennies while I get back into pattern again.  The remains of someroast pork will provide the meat for five meals (for one) and some shortbread will be a nice treat now and again.  I'm lucky.

I have £26.05 and it is day 7
Here's today's plans
B:  poached egg (13p) on toast (2p); apple (8p)
L:  no idea and I'm not paying for it anyway (ditto tomorrow and Wednesday - no complaints here)
D:  Mostly Sunday dinner leftovers:  pork, apple and onion sauce, a couple of roasties (all free) and some veg of some kind, probably peas (8p)
S:  fruit (8p); peanuts (4p)

Total:  around 80p

I've also made another batch of natural yogurt so that's 47p to take off as well as today's food.

Friday 10 March 2017

End of day 6



Well, today went well enough.  It was bound to, seeing as I was taken out for dinner and very nice it was too.

This is how it went.
B:  granola with natural yogurt; YS banana.   Total 11p
L:  cheese toastie with coleslaw and a few mini tomatoes.   Total 30p

The toastie was lovely.  Definitely one to do again.

I had £26.46
I spent 41p
Remaining: £26.05

I'm now off challenge for a few days as it's just too complicated to stay on challenge

Recipe: toasted cheese sandwich

I wish I had taken a photo of my lunch but all that is left is a few crumbs on the plate and a smear of mayo from the coleslaw.  So delicious.

The main problem with toasties is the amount of washing up afterwards.  Those toasted cheese makers are a right fiddle faddle to clean and if the cheese leaks it is even worse.  This way is so much easier, cleaner and you don't need the right sized slices of bread or a special machine either!  Just a grill and a bit of foil.

This is what I did

Ingredient to make one sandwich
2 slices bread  - I just used my home made which is made in a 1lb loaf tin so not huge but it was enough for me!
25g strong cheddar, finely grated (the finer you grate it, the more it looks as if you have!
onion chutney
very soft butter or dripping - I used some chicken dripping that I had and it was most delicious!

I also used a small bit of foil, a bit bigger than the bread because I prefer to deal with that rather than having to clean the grill pan and rack.

Method
Turn the grill on to high.

Thinly spread some soft butter (or dripping) over one side of each slice
Make up the sandwich with the grated cheese and chutney, butter sides out.
Place sandwich on the foil and then on the grill pan.  Grill until each side is brown.

Eat with garnish.  I had some coleslaw left from yesterday and a few mini tomatoes.  It was very tasty indeed

I use my own home made bread and home made onion chutney and the prices reflect this.  The cheese is from Lidl and this particular batch was on special so it turned out to be a very frugal lunch as well as a doddle to make.

You can add veg to this.  Cheese and mushroom, cheese and onion, cheese and tomato, cheese and peppers, cheese and more cheese . . . over to you!

Day 6

I have £26.46

Today's plans are
B:  granola (6p) with natural yogurt (apf), YS banana (5p)
L:  cheese toastie (around 20p), 4 mini tomatoes (8p), coleslaw (left over from yesterday and apf)
D:  out and not paying!!!

So it's a very frugal day today from the point of view of my finances, although not quite so frugal calorie-wise!

Thursday 9 March 2017

End of day 5

A bit of a disorganised day really.

I had a nice day's eating all set out and ready to go when I was asked would I do a spot of emergency supply cover this afternoon.
Lovely - but it meant all change for timings' sake.  I planned out a thing but, as it happened, it all worked out differently.  I found I wasn't terribly hungry first thing so I was able to delay breakfast until about 11:30.  I intended to have some fruit when I got in from school and before tuition but there wasn't just time so really I have had two meals today.  Possibly not enough, but I've had my evening meal and now I feel stuffed!

So this is how today panned out
Early lunch:  beans on toast.   Total 10p
D:  YS breaded chicken steak (20p), wedges, coleslaw (9p but some left over for tomorrow), mini tomatoes x 3 (2p each)    Total 42p
S/S:  strawberry crumble and yogurt  Total 6p

I had £27.04
I spent 58p
Remaining:  £26.46

Recipe: cheese sauce

This is my recipe for cheese sauce.  It makes enough for a single portion of macaroni or cauliflower cheese.  It's not the cheapest thing in the world but it is tasty and gives me a great cheesy hit.  It's also filling.

The cheese is the most expensive ingredient.  I keep an eye open for special offers on really strong cheese because you get more flavour for your pennies, get a fair amount and grate and freeze it, writing the price per 10g on the container.  I use Morrison's Savers Italian hard cheese which is OK for cooking - not great, but OK.  Sainsbury's also does a value Italian hard cheese.  I get the 'not- Parmesan' anyway, from choice, because the genuine stuff is not vegetarian friendly and I often cook for a vegetarian.


Ingredients:
7g butter
15g plain flour
125g milk
10g Italian hard cheese, grated
40g strong cheddar, grated
pinch English mustard powder
pepper
(I don't add more salt as the butter and the cheese are salty)

Method
In a non stick pan, melt the butter.  Add the flour and stir it into a paste.  Cook it out, stirring, for a short time.
Take the pan off the heat.  Add a little of the milk and whisk it in, getting rid of the lumps.
Place back on the heat, add the rest of the milk, whisking all the time.
Bring it up to just under a boil, where the mixture will thicken.
Add the mustard, pepper, Italian cheese and 20g of the grated cheddar and mix well while the cheese melts.
Use the rest of the cheese to sprinkle over the top of whatever you are making with the cheese sauce.


(or - if one is both lucky and lazy, one bungs it all in one's Thermomix, sets it to 8 mins; 98 degrees; speed 4 and comes back 8 minutes later to a perfectly made sauce!)


Day 5

I have £27.04 and 26 days to go so I'm ahead of myself, which is nice.

This is today's haute cuisine!
B:  beans (8p) on toast (2p),
L:  cheese toastie (around 20p), 4 mini tomatoes (8p), coleslaw (8p-ish/ also for dinner)
D:  sardine fish cakes (21p), wedges (5p)  more coleslaw (see above); strawberry crumble (6p) and yogurt (apf)
S/S:  YS banana (5p), peanuts (4p)

It should come to around 95p.  Lunch is comparatively expensive and might possibly change!


Recipe: crumble topping

Ingredients:
40g plain flour (Morrisons Savers, 45p per bag - 1p)
25g butter (Morrisons Savers, £1.08 a pack - 11p)
20g oats (Aldi Everyday Essentials, 75p per bag - 2p
30g sugar - (I used granulated but, if you prefer caster sugar, grind it down a bit first -2p)

Method
Rub the butter into the flour.  Stir in the oats and the sugar and mix well.
Use fruit of choice (not priced here), pop into an oven proof container, top with the crumble mixture and bake at about 180 for half an hour or until done.


A proper dessert on 30-30 is, of course, a luxury but an affordable one now and again, especially if one was lucky enough to either be given fruit or to have harvested it from ones garden last summer!

I used little ramekin dishes and the amount above was enough to make three small desserts - one for now, one for tomorrow and one for the freezer!

Wednesday 8 March 2017

End of day 4

The plans came a cropper almost straight away as I couldn't find the bag of plums in my over-full freezer.  I need to sort it all out at some point!

This is how it all worked
B:  poached egg, toast.   Total 15p
L:  cup of tomato and lentil soup, carrot batons, apple.   Total 21p
D:  cottage pie (free), carrots, cauliflower; strawberry crumble with natural yogurt.  Total 14p
S/S:  apple (8p), peanuts (4p)  Total 12p

Lunch was delicious, health and frugal.

I had £27.66
I spent 62p
Remaining: £27.04

Day 4

I have £27.66 left and it is day 4 of my second 30-30 challenges.

My plans for today, hoping that they don't change as much as yesterday's.
B:  poached egg (13p), toast (2p)
L:  small bowl tomato and lentil soup (left over from yesterday 9p); carrot batons (4p), apple (8p)
D:  cottage pie (last bit of some I brought back from my parents' so free), cauliflower (5p), carrots (4p); stewed plums (fruit free, sugar around 2p-ish), crumble topping (3p)  The recipe for the crumble topping is here
S/S:  apple (8p), YS banana (5p) with natural yogurt (apf), peanuts (4p)

This should come to around 60p, thanks to the freebie main, and has a good f&v content.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

End of day 3

A few changes today what with one thing and another.  For very good reasons, I forgot to have breakfast - plans had changed and instead of a relatively easy morning, I had to rush around for a while and breakfast just flew out of the window.  Not terribly sensible but, for once, I didn't have any repercussions in terms of pigging out later on!

So here's what actually happened, food wise.
B:  er - nothing
L:  tomato and lentil soup (which turned out to be 18p), garlic bread (4p)  Total 22p.  I did have a dessert but that was brought by my guest so didn't cost me anything!
D:  chorizo and bean stew, rice.   Total 34p
S/S:  peanuts, 4p, biscuits 6p  Total 10p

So I had £28.32
I spent 66p
Remaining:  £27.66


Fourteen things to make with cooked turkey

I found a whole turkey leg (in two parts) in Morrisons for £3.00.  That's got to be good value, hasn't it?
I bought it, roasted it in my fab enamel roasting dish with just a little water, stripped the bones and portioned the meat.
Fourteen portions!  That makes it 21p per portion - a little more, actually, but I apply the mathematical principle of rounding so 21 is fine by me!  They're not huge pertions but they're not titchy either.

The bones, shin and 'bits' are now simmering away on the hob to give me a good stock.  That's where the last 6p will go.

Anyway - fourteen portions.  Can I think of fourteen different, frugal ways to use it?

1.  Turkey soup - make a veg soup and zizz it up, then add the turkey chopped small.  Serve with a bread roll.

2.  Turkey hotpot - same as above but keep the soup chunky and add cooked, sliced potato over the top and bake.

3.  Chilli

4.  Burgers (sort of) - mix shredded turkey with veg and breadcrumbs, shape and fry.  A bit like a bubble and squeak, maybe.

5.  Add to a quiche

6.  Pie - use cooked veg and a gravy.  Great for using veg leftovers.  Turkey and leek pie is gorgeous!  They could be topped with potato rather than pastry so there's loads of variation here.

7.  Pasty - cheating really because that would be the same as above, more or less, in a different wrapping!

8.  Pasta - fry onion and mushroom, add turkey, add splash of milk and some soft cheese, stir into cooked pasta

9.  As above but make a tomato sauce base.

10.  Curry

11.  Meat paste - zizz with some butter or some soft cheese and seasonings (nutmeg is lovely).  Delicious on toast or as a dip with carrot batons.

12.  Turkey and cheese toastie with cranberry sauce - mmmmmmm

13.  A sort of tortilla/frittata type thing

14.  Pizza

and one for luck . . .

15.  Sort of enchilada.

There you go - and I didn't even have to Google for ideas.
Some are more frugal than others, of course, but I could make most of them with what I have in the kitchen right now.  Not all at the same time, obviously.

There are more ideas here (although I haven't checked their frugality) . . .
http://www.frugalfamily.co.uk/ten-ways-with-turkey-leftovers/
http://leanonturkey.co.uk/


Day 3

I have £28.32 and it is day 3.

Here's today's plans
B:  third of a can of baked beans (8p) on toast (2p)
L:  tomato and lentil soup (about 14p), a sort of tomato garlic bread* (about 3p), apple (8p)
D:  chorizo and bean stew (27p), rice (6p), natural yogurt (apf) with a bit of sugar (1p)

*  I have a bit of sourdough bread that's past its best.  I also have oil left from a jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil that's already been paid for.  I thought it might be nice to mix some garlic puree with the tomato infused oil, spread it over the bread and bake for a short time.
I'll let you know.

Monday 6 March 2017

End of day 2

Day 2 has gone pretty well to plan with minor changes
B:  poached egg and pikelets  Total 16p
L:  toast, peanut butter, carrot batons, apple   Total 18p
D:  cauliflower cheese, corn on the cob  Total 43p (I had extra cheese)
S/S  YS banana; peanuts  Total 9p

So I had £29.18
I spent 86p
Remaining: £28.32

I was pleased to see, in Morrisons, a full turkey leg (in two pieces, of course) for just £3.00.  I reckon if I got ten portions from the chicken, I shall get much more meat off the turkey leg.  So that's slow roasting now, it will cool overnight and I can strip it tomorrow.

Recipe: roasted cauliflower cheese soup


I made this from the contents of the bowl on the right; all the bits I have thrown away in the past.  It's rather delicious.

As always, prices depend on what you have at home or what you can get locally.  Mine are correct for me, here and now!  Apf means 'already paid for'.

Ingredients to make four portions
stems and leaves from a large cauliflower (free, because I had costed the florets to pay for the whole veg)
1 tbsp veg oil (2p)
small onion, peeled and chopped (2p)
half a large carrot, chopped (I used wonky veg) (2p)
a couple of 'slices' of celery (I slice across the top so it's already chopped) (5p)
water (I used reserved water that the cauliflower florets were boiled in yesterday)
1 veg stock cube (3p)
a pinch mixed herbs (apf)
some milk (apf)
1/3 carton of soft cheese - I used Morrisons Savers - (18p)

Method:
Chop the trimmings into smaller chunks and put them in a roasting dish with the onion, celery and carrot.  Pour over 15 mls veg oil and mix well - I find using my hands works best.  Roast in a medium oven for about half an hour; the leaves will turn crispy brown.

Tip the vegetables into a saucepan.  Add some water to cover.  Don't worry too much about amount as long as there's enough as you can always add more later.
Add the stock cube and the mixed herbs.
Bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat down and simmer until the vegetables are all soft.  It won't take long because of the roasting.

Use a stick blender or a machine and zizz until smooth.  It should be fairly thick. 
Add some milk and, if needed, more water.
Put the soup back in the pan and reheat but don't boil.  Add the soft cheese and mix in well.  The cheese makes all the difference - don't miss it out!
Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  I didn't need to add any salt because the vegetable water had been salted and I will add pepper at the table.

The whole lot cost me 32p.  It made four portions.  That's 8p per portion - cheap enough to be able to afford a sprinkle of grated cheddar or Italian hard cheese on top!

It will cost you more because you won't have apfs, but it is still very frugal and a great way of using what might otherwise go on the compost heap, feed the family pet or just get chucked!