I had to have a rethink on meals because of that disgusting minced pork. I'm using some of the bread flour to make pizza so bought another loaf of the Essentials range from Aldi to use instead of buying another bag of flour and making another loaf. Because I'd been hoping and planning for sausage rolls I popped into the butchers and bought just a couple of sausages. I bought 4 potatoes (bigger than the mini ones I bought last week so they can be used differently) and eggs again for sandwiches or whatever.
Friday, 24 March 2023
Revising Plans and Day 18
Thursday, 23 March 2023
Charity Shopping for Easter Holidays + V.R.E. Day 17
Eldest Granddaughter is coming to stay for 2 days before Easter and like most 6 year olds she likes crafting and colouring so when I spotted this in a charity shop I bought it to add to the things I already have in the Easter Drawer - I knew when I got a whole bundle of Easter stuff from ebay during that first lockdown (Good Grief it was 3 years ago) they would come in handy........... eventually.
The second of the Tuna, Broccoli and Pasta Bakes, made for Day 9, from the freezer was the main meal for Day 17, served with some more of the Value Range mixed frozen veg.....which seems to be lasting forever - they are pretty tasteless and I'm still wishing I'd bought peas alone. Although none of the supermarkets do a Basic/Value range of frozen peas I noticed that Morrisons do a pack of 'Wonky' frozen peas cheaper than their usual own brand and much cheaper than Bird's Eye. (Puzzled about how peas can be wonky?)
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Charity Shop Books + Day 16
While I was in town for shopping last week I nipped into two charity shops and found the Sudoku book in one for £2 and the other book, which I'd not come across before, in the other for 99p. It is something written in 1968 by a Suffolk Farmer telling the story of his family through the 20th Century. It's been edited more recently by Pip Wright who has written several books about bits of Suffolk local history often tracked down through newspapers, he also speaks at WIs and the like.
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Day 15 of the V.R.E. Shopping and Something Really, Really Bad!
Last week's shopping trip for the Value Range Experiment, lots of fruit needed.
Everything was from Asda this time - 6 items were from their Just Essential cheapest range.
Monday, 20 March 2023
20th March St Cuthbert's Day + Day 14 V.R.E
I've not used the Saints book for a blog post lately but when I found today was St Cuthbert's Day then he had to get a mention.
Wiki has lots about him HERE - too much to copy but below is a brief history from my book.
The Value Range Meal for day 14 was one of the Fish Curries from the freezer that I made right at the beginning of the month. I didn't bother with a photo as it was the same as the first portion HERE although actually not the same because curry is always better reheated and it had tons more flavour this time. Still one left for next week.
Running total £49.22 + £2 for box of frothy coffees as it's the end of second week = £51.22
Sunday, 19 March 2023
A Book Treat for Mothering Sunday + Day 13
Every now and again I look at the Little Toller Books website and recently discovered they were reprinting this book first published in 1958.
It's a book I've been wanting to read for years but it's always been too expensive. At various times her other books..... Herbal Handbook for Cats and Dogs; Herbal Handbook for Horses and Herbal Handbook for Everyone, have been reprinted and I'd seen them and sold them when we were selling second-hand smallholding and country books but this much earlier book about her time living with two small children in the New Forest in the 1950s has never been reprinted.
I decided to treat myself to a copy for Mothers Day for myself (that's my excuse anyway!)We've never been a family that celebrate anniversaries, birthdays etc in a big way and now I'd rather my lot spent their money on their own families - and their homes. The way prices are going up for mortgages, child care and food is frightening for them. I was pleased to hear that Youngest's Daughter's contract as a Project Officer for part of the early work going on at the Sizewell C Power Station has been extended for another 6 months. It was a big worry when she was made redundant from the Opticians in the spring of last year.
This little coaster gift that came through the post from Eldest Daughter in Surrey.
There were 2 eggs that needed using so Day 13 of the Value Range Experiment was a 2 egg omelette with some parsley chopped in, some fried mini plum tomatoes and a slice of bread half toasted and half fried. ( I've found that a whole round of fried bread - which I could happily eat, is a bit too much fat!)
Running total so far £49.22
Saturday, 18 March 2023
Initially - V.R.E + B.L.C.C
Day 12 of the Value Range Experiment and month 3 of the British Library Crime Classic subscription. An example of saving in one place to spend in another?
What I didn't know when I started the subscription was that the British Library enclose some mystery gifts in addition to the book each month. This month there's a card magnifying bookmark, another a book mark and a page of questions to answer while reading the book to work out who-done-it.
The next main meal - Day 12- from the experiment. Stir fried chicken and veg with rice. I took the meat from a chicken thigh +1 carrot +1 small onion + some home grown peppers from the freezer +1 chopped cabbage leaf. I added a spoonful of Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce from a bottle already opened in the fridge (checked price and it's 65p per 100g, so 1 tablespoon full is approx 10p.
|It looks a lot but mainly vegetables|
Running total £49.12 + 10p = £49.22p
Friday, 17 March 2023
The Daft Things You Do on Day 11 V.R.E
Here is the daft thing..........Tipped the pack of Essentials brand fruit and nuts 59p from Aldi onto a plate so I could fish out all the sultanas and raisons to make a small sultana sponge - I do like baking. (Forgot to take a photo before I took out the sultanas and I'm not quite daft enough to put them back to take a photo and then take them out again!)
I checked their websites and don't think Aldi do any Just Essentials Range cakes. Morrisons and Asda both do packs of 6 very small sponge rolls for 55p - but they don't look very good and because I like baking, I had to work a little into the V.R.E. So I made Scones in week one and sponge for week 2. I discovered that Morrisons also do Savers Range Scones at 10 for 65p - which is cheaper than making but I've no idea what they are like.
Thursday, 16 March 2023
A Small Book + Day 10 of the Value Range Experiment
This small book (115 pages including index and bibliography) about pebbles came from the charity book sale at Westleton last year.
Words by Christopher Stocks and Illustrations by Angie Lewin.
Christopher Stocks lives by Chesil Beach, the strange 18 mile long shingle spit that stretches along the Dorset coast. Somehow the sea manages to grade the stones and pebbles from pea size to the eastern end where they are the size of a fist.
When asked about why he wanted to write a book about pebbles he always replied "how could I live on Chesil Beach and not want to write about pebbles?"
Angie Lewin lived in Norfolk and walked on the beach everyday picking up any interesting stones she found and using them in her art. Later she moved to Scotland and discovered the range of different stones on the Scottish beaches.
|Dice Cup and Feather|
|Sea Pinks, Island Shore|
|The Beach, Aldeburgh|
The Clue is in the name. This isolated little scatter of houses on the south Suffolk coast overlooks a steep shingle beach which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a thriving population wild sea kale, horned poppies and tree mallows growing beyond the reach of the waves. The beach - mainly composed of flint pebbles - can be thought of as an extension of Orford Ness, the great bank of shingle that blocks the route of the River Alde at Aldeburgh and diverts it ten miles south until it finally escapes into the sea just north of Shingle Street. Accessible only by a single track road, overlooked by Martello towers and haunted by Avocets and Little Owls, it's a place of beautiful desolation.
I've been there a few times and it really is a strange place. There are ghosts .........
(info from Wiki)
Several buildings were destroyed during World War II, including the Lifeboat Inn.
After World War II many strange happenings were reported to have taken place at Shingle Street, including a failed German Invasion. Since the civilian population had been evacuated in May 1940, there were no eyewitness reports, although official documents remained classified until questions in the House of Commons led to their early release in 1993. These papers disclosed no German landing. Rumours of a failed invasion on the South and East Coasts were commonplace in September 1940 and helped to boost morale. Author James Hayward has proposed that these rumours, which were widely reported in the American press, were a successful example of black propaganda with an aim of ensuring American co-operation and securing lend lease resources by showing that the United Kingdom was capable of successfully resisting the German Army.
Burned bodies were reported to have washed up on the beach after the sea was covered in oil and set alight. I had a book about the story for a while 'The Bodies on the Beach' by James Hayward who, as mentioned above, decided it had never happened.
Day 10 of the experiment and the main meal was a roast dinner using a chicken thigh. I added roast potatoes and parsnip, the remains of the broccoli, gravy and a couple of the hilariously small Value Range Yorkshire puds that came from Asda (15 for 50p so I wasn't expecting much!)
I cooked a second chicken thigh at the same time to use in sandwiches for a few days.
Cost of things bought so far = £49.12p
Wednesday, 15 March 2023
Next Shopping Trip + V.R.E. Day 9
Last weeks shopping for the Value Range Experiment.
Tuesday, 14 March 2023
Another Garden Visitor + V.R.E. Day 8
Nest boxes, so popular with blue tits, were a C19 German introduction taken over by the British. Our related obsession to feed songbirds dates from the cruel winter of 1890/91, when British newspapers urged readers to save the starving avian population. The UK spends £200 million per annum on bird food, more than the rest of Europe put together. Of this, the Blue Tit, most numerous of the titmice tribe at 3 million, is the prime beneficiary.
Day 8 and the Value Range Experiment main meal looked rather messy and definitely not for the food connoisseur!. It was one small onion, part can of corned beef, more of the tinned potatoes and the final tomatoes from the can started the other day. The first three fried to make a tasty hash. Everything apart from my own onion were from the Value Supermarket Ranges costing pence.
Monday, 13 March 2023
The March Library Book Photo + V.R.E.Day 7
The March Library Book Photo. Books, mostly ones I'd reserved, picked up from the library van last week.
6 crime fiction, two are authors I've not read before.
I've written a little about the books finished on the separate Books Read 2023 page.
Next Value Range Experiment main meal ............
To use the rest of the Feta I did what I usually do because I'm lazy, and made another Warm Pasta Salad. Didn't bother with a photo as it looked the same as last weeks. (Pasta, feta, olives, tomatoes, mixed frozen veg and Mayo). This used the last of the mini tomatoes and the olives. Total spent for the month so far adding £2 for my frothy coffees as it's the end of the first week is £43.10.
While looking for ideas for using the rest of the feta (apart from being lazy and doing the same thing again) I found a recipe that I'd try another time, when the V.R.E has finished and I have chicken breasts in the freezer.
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast
There have been some fun comments about my little experiment - especially funny was one that told me that I had plenty of money from selling the house so why was I eating rubbish!
Oooops seem to have deleted it!
Sunday, 12 March 2023
V.R.E. Day 6
A brief Sunday post with a plate of food! (I never wanted to be a food blogger - what's the matter with me for goodness sake!)
Day 6 main meal. The 4th and final piece of quiche with tinned potatoes (as I've got to the end of the fresh because of using them in the fish curry, twice roast with the quiche and mashed which are in the freezer) and tinned tomatoes.
These Morrisons Basic Value Range tinned spuds were actually OK, better than I remember when we used to use them on family camping holidays.
Have had Rainbow Tulips from Aldi as my 'Flowers on the Table' this week
Saturday, 11 March 2023
Saturday, A Good Book and V.R.E Day 5
I got to the end of my library books just in time, whizzing through loads in February. One of the best was read over last weekend. It was The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz.
Friday, 10 March 2023
Curry But Not For the Experiment +V.R.E. Day 4
There have been 3 of my small squashes grown last summer sitting in a basket on the kitchen window sill since they were harvested, it was about time they were used before they went mouldy or dried up completely.
Thursday, 9 March 2023
Car Boot Last Weekend + V.R.E Day 3
Last Saturday it was very grey, and although no rain forecast there was a bit of drizzle in the air when I set out for the first boot sale of the year......and it was blinkin' cold.
I got there just before 8am and it was quite busy already. To see the best bargains people arrive at 6am, the dealers wear head torches! I'm not that keen.
Wednesday, 8 March 2023
And More. Part 3 (Day 2)
The total to carry forward from previous shopping trip and kitchen cupboards is £29.17. (+£2 for the frothy coffees for each week that I carry on)
The rest of the V.R.E. shopping done last week - AL=Aldi, AS = Asda
Tuesday, 7 March 2023
The Value Ranges Experiment Part 2 (Day 1)
Thanks to everyone for the comments yesterday. I knew lots of points would be raised so will try to answer.
- I live alone, cooking and eating is not as much "fun" as it was when I had a husband to appreciate food!
- Therefore for me this is fun. Doing something completely different just for a while is good for the brain.
- A lot of people have to manage on less and a lot spend more that's why there's a thing called "the average"
- I don't drink fruit juice at all
- I agree that the ready made sauces are mainly water and thickening and that's why there are none bought.
- I have no concerns about eating 3 portions of fruit a day - not all are acidic.
So back to the Value Ranges Experiment - (The V.R.E) Part 2. Yesterdays post explains what I'm doing.....still not sure why!.
I'm not planning to write about breakfasts, the small meal and any snacks each day but below is the way things will be used.
I'll be doing more cooking, which is probably a good thing to stop me getting lazy . Apologies that measurements will be a random mix of kilograms and pounds/ounces, because items are sold in kilos but my mind works in ounces.
The 1.5kg bag of bread flour makes 3 medium loaves in the bread-maker (400g used in each) leaving a little to use as plain flour. Each home made loaf makes around 10 good slices and 2 crusts.
I did another shop including fresh stuff which will be on tomorrows post, then got started.