I am remiss. I haven’t reported back on our three challenges this year. Last year it was to cut our over the counter spending by 25%. We found that in the end we were regularly cutting the weekly outgoings by 50%. So that challenge continues for this year, plus not buying cut flowers (flowers from the garden ) and a new challenge – developing a collection of recipes designed around food that we have found for 50% or less.
This last challenge is worthwhile when it comes to expanding the taste buds. We can now sample food that would be out of the question to buy full price on a save 50% budget.
Danny found Pecorino cheese last week, reduced from £5.19 to £1.79. I had never tasted this delicacy and imagined that it would be a mild/medium flavoured cheese. I was delighted to discover that it had the sort of strength that would make a little go a long way. Perfect shaved on a salad or a plate of steaming spinach.
The downside is that the freezers house a lot of ingredients waiting for that final essential ingredient to appear. This Sunday I decided to make a batch of fish pies. I thought that we had finally found a good balance of fish. But when I delved into the icy domains I discovered that we had loads of smoked fish, some salmon but no white unsmoked fish to balance the melange.
“Look out for cut price cod, Danny. When you find it we’ll have fish pie.”
This evening I was planning to tweak a Guinness, beef and oxtail pie filling. And make a batch of cauliflower, bacon and tomato cheese as D had finally found some blue cheese for the sauce. There was a warble from my mobile.
“I’m at the CFC in Tesco. There’s a large piece of Coley (white fish) for £1. Shall I buy it?”
So this evening I’m making three dishes. This means that the gaps in the freezer will be filled with ready made homemade meals and equates to several evenings playing out late in the garden so it’s well worth the hassle tonight.
If you are willing to duck and dive, not stick slavishly to a recipe plan and take a few chances with unfamiliar ingredients, you can knock pounds off your weekly shopping bill by buying offers and Condemned Price Food. Shopping does take longer but I’ve discovered that it’s much more fun and we are eating better than we have for years.
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