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S.O.L. on EXTREME conscientious frugality
Fri 22-Jan-10
9:03 am
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Rae Mond
Waalre, NL

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give quiche a chance!

Intolerance will not be tolerated.

Fri 22-Jan-10
10:57 am
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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Spend so far, week 1: £0.69, Week 2: £13.05 Frown, Week 3: £0.63 so far so January's total so far: £14.37.  In my defence week 2 did involve getting golden syrup, lots of butter, eggs and crystallised ginger to make 3 separate batches of cakes all for friends.  Chef  If I take that out then Jan total so far: £9.95, not bad.  Star

I've always thought of myself as fairly frugal in my food shopping habits but having this set as a challenge by someone else has really helped me pare down my shopping and say no to 'spoiling myself'.  Still seem to have a cupboard full of food too so will see how far I can carry this on into Feb. Ok

I haven't found I've been eating less well or more 'boring' meals although I do wonder how I'd be faring if I didn't have my allotment.  Even at this time of year I've had fresh cabbage, spinach and chard and potatoes from store and beans from the freezer.  How is anyone else out there doing that doesn't grow their own?

Fri 22-Jan-10
7:32 pm
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SOL
UK

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Frownwe do depend on own grown veg.  I dont know how people who dont grow any veg and shop like maniacs.  I have seen a family of 4 in tescos *shudder* before, each with a trolley piled high.  and thought wow they must be super organised and shop once a month.  then I saw them the next tuesday and the tuesday after!  where does it all go and where does all that money com from.

OkRuthdigs you are doing great!  keep going!!!Ok  at least you know at the end you will have eaten all the food that could have perished because you forgot you had it

Sat 23-Jan-10
12:49 pm
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grapecat
kent, uk

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I think it's the home-grown veggies that make the difference - we can't (no garden and no time for an allotment)  and when i analyse where our food spending is, alot of it is veggies - not exotic ones by any means, and we do eat seasonally as much as possible - but onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, it all adds up. Prices seem to be hiking again this winter - a head of celery at our farm shop is a pound now - used to be 70p.

what do you do for items such as olive oil and parmesan? stuff that you can't really make? I guess they're extras but for us they go a long way to make cheaper meals interesting.

Mon 25-Jan-10
2:45 pm
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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Oh you definitely need a decent 'base' cupboard of things like olive oil, herbs etc.  I have masses of different seasonings so was fully stocked up at the start of the challenge.  These sorts of things I do tend to try and get as reasonably as possible though; olive oil, balsalmic, red wine vinegar etc come from Aldi.  Herbs and spices come from either my local Weigh 'n' Save or the local Health food shop as they are both a lot more reasonable than the supermarkets and I don't need the glass jar so don't want to pay the extra for it.  These things tend to last a long time though and as you say go a long way to jazzing up cheaper meals.

My advice is shop around for the best deals, if you don't mind a bit of extra time visiting 3 or 4 different shops rather than 1 it can make a lot of difference.  Treating it as a challenge can make this seem less like a chore as well - satisfying thinking you've got one over on the supermarkets.  Laugh

If you have somewhere like a Weigh 'N' Save they can be great as well as you can just get the amount you need rather than a massive and more expensive prepacked size.

Mon 25-Jan-10
4:38 pm
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Ruthdigs
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Sorry to post 2x in a row but I thought of something else for those with no growing capabilities; apologies if this is obvious!  Always check the CFC - celery is something I rarely pay full price for and it will last loads longer in the fridge than it says on the label.  Don't forget that you can buy from the CFC and freeze until needed as well.  Recently my local Scumerfield/Co-op hybrid had big bags of Spring greens reduced to 25p, enough for a few different meals I'd have thought and a bargain at that price.  Cheers

Mon 1-Feb-10
2:17 pm
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SOL
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so first month down.  Hows everyone doing?

We are ok, but I beginning to hate eggs!  Doing this means we will also have eaten all the meat from our house soon.

We are going to see how we get on not eating meat for the whole of lent.  And ifthat goes well then it will be the new regime.  We dont eat alot of meat, but it is really expensive, so that is itself is a reason to try and see how we get on.  I wont say we are ging to be vegetarians, more we just dont eat meat.  So I will still use stock for vegetable soup and gravy etc

is anyone else already doing this?

Mon 1-Feb-10
2:33 pm
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Ruthdigs
Devon

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Pescatarian here so no meat for me.  Don't have fish that often either; more of a treat than everyday.  I must do my final sums for January.  Cheers

Tue 2-Feb-10
3:13 pm
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KateUK
uk

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We stopped eating meat unless on offer/cheap cut ages ago. Feel better for it, only have it once/twice a week at most and hardly at all during the Summer, but in Winter, cassaroles are too good to miss. I yearn for a Sunday roast, but way too expensive.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Tue 2-Feb-10
3:23 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Interestingly, Kate, I found a recipe on the internet using brisket of beef (although that's not as cheap as it once was!), wrapped in two layers of foil with cumin, cinnamon, ground coriander, olive oil, and loads of freshly ground black pepper, then cooked for 4 hours+ - but very slowly. This achieves two things for me: a beautifully tender piece of beef, but a nice warm kitchen, too. Smile

I cook the beef the day before I plan to serve it. The beef stays in the foil till cold, so keeps moist. The resultant gravy is absolutely divine. The beef can be carved much easier when it is cold, and usually lasts us for 3 meals.

In that sense, it isn't too expensive. And it is gorgeous.

Women are like tea bags. . .
you never know how strong they are
until they're in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt -
Tue 2-Feb-10
4:12 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Wow that sounds good.  I'm sure I have some brisket in the freezer.  Bought it on special offer at some Tesco in a petrol station.   Been wondering what to feed some visitors I am having soon.  Thanks Brightspark.  I'll try that.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Tue 2-Feb-10
4:35 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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I'll send the recipe on PM, Danast.

Women are like tea bags. . .
you never know how strong they are
until they're in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt -
Tue 23-Feb-10
1:07 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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BS - please PM it to me too.

What were people's final tallys for Jan, and is anybody still doing it in Feb?

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 28-Nov-10
7:55 pm
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growingcurious
portland, oregon

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Christmas hasn't even happened yet, but I looked in my pantry an hour ago and felt overwhelmed.  I'm ready to start the Extreme Frugality Challenge now.  I want to use up all the quinoa, beans, nuts, and other wonderful things that have been pushed to the back.  I want to save money and eat simple, simple foods for the next two or three months.  I'm happy to forage for dandelion greens and see how low I can keep the food bill.

 

Anyone else been thinking about this challenge?  I did pretty well last year.  I have no numbers to report, but it sure felt good to clear out and begin the new year with a productive plan for using up the odds and ends in the pantry.

 

 

Sun 28-Nov-10
10:25 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Welcome Cathy, and I admire your self-challenge - I need to do the same ........ at the moment, I'm working on the freezer to make room for Christmas goods.

Good Luck!

Women are like tea bags. . .
you never know how strong they are
until they're in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt -
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