Monday, 6 February 2012

Still not shopping

I was going to go shopping tonight, but I can't be bothered. Surely I can rustle up a few more meals from what I already have in, which is not a lot bye the way. A lot of people would panic if they had cupboards and a freezer as bare as mine. There is something rather comforting though in a bulging fridge and cupboards packed to the rafters with tins and packets. You never know when you might need to draw on your food stocks to survive. World war three, global warming, flooding, drought, the big freeze, lorry drivers strikes, anything could happen. Always best to be prepared.

On the other hand however, if you are going to stock up, you need to have a good stock control system in place. Stock rotation is important. I do not need a chest freezer, my fridge freezer is perfectly adequate for me. How many people can say that they know exactly what is at the bottom of their chest freezer. Well done to you if you have it under control, but I bet there are many who haven't. No control means you will inevitably be throwing food away at some point.

Anyway, I choose to live dangerously, I am out of my comfort zone as I head towards zero food in my house. Just how far can I push this eating out of the cupboards and freezer lark? I have been reading a thread all about it on Money Saving Expert forum, and it seems to me that they are just scratching the surface. No one has the bottle to stop buying and eat everything they have. When people run out of a few items they panic, and go shopping.

I might last till Thursday, when all I will have left are tins of tuna fish, bran flakes, cous cous, dried beans and split peas, bread, and drinks. I will switch my fridge off soon and defrost it. Then I will start all over again restocking.

Right, what have I eaten today. Breakfast was half a tin of baked beans on three rounds of toast. Lunch was the last of the baby food from yesterday. An hour later I was hungry so I had two slices of bread spread with cream cheese, and a cuppa soup.

Tonight I made a smoothie with the last carrot, last portion of melon, and half a tin of mandarin pieces. Very nice and refreshing.

Take one packet of dried mushrooms (29p for 4pkts) soak in hot water. Drain and chop. Put them in a pan with five chopped up pickled onions, add a shake of garlic granules, and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes in a drop of oil and a splash of apple juice.

Then I put a piece of frozen salmon under the grill. I boiled some frozen peas in a small pan, and after a few minutes added some cous cous. Take off the heat, keep stirring. I like to add a splash of toasted sesame seed oil, gives it a nutty flavour. Flake the salmon, and arrange on a plate thus.

My goodness am I stuffed now :o) Toodle pip.

Editing this to add my latest figures in my food diary. Full report at the top of the page. Total food spend for the last 16 weeks is £161.58 giving an average of £10.09 per week. On target.


  1. I knew you'd come up with something imaginative ! it looks great.
    I buy those dried mushrooms too, aren't they a bargain ?
    I put some in with a veggie stew today in the slow cooker.
    I'm having difficulty in getting to the bottom of my freezer, I take something out, make 3 meals out of it, eat one and put two back, so I don't get anywhere !
    Post a pic of what you have tomorrow.

  2. Years ago I knew a girl who used her freezer to the max.It was a humungus thing, but she knew what was in it, how long it had been there etc, because she kept a log book. Every saturday, she made meals for the week to freeze, and made pack up for her husband and boys too. Unfortunately I could not be so disciplined. I have a fridge freezer and often forget what's in there. I too like to have a well stocked cupboard.

  3. I daren't run our cupboards down..the weather, and the distance to the grocery store makes me nervous!
    Jane x

  4. Wow Ilona, where do you buy those dried mushrooms? That's so cheap!

  5. I have no need of a freezer, with shops in walking distance and a weekly market in our town, but in the bottom of my fridge/freezer I have ice cream, peas and chapatis. I know you would manage to make a fine meal from those Ilona :-)
    Do you remember that cooking programme where an audience member would bring in a bag full of ingredients and the chef would have to conjure something up? They should get you on there and give them £1.50 to spend!

  6. Hi Woozy, I bought the mushrooms at B & M, a discount store. I thought I was seeing things when I saw the price. Only bought one pack of four though, because I didn't know how they were going to turn out. I read somewhere that Shiitake mushrooms are good for you.

  7. I never just don't spend to be not spending. I stock up only when prices are excellent, that way I don't need food or something and have to spend more when it is not on sale. It seems eating to the bottom of the food just means I then have to spend more for it eventually. I, too, live alone and have a large upright freezer that serves me well. If I don't find free or sale meat, I just eat the meat from the freezer to not spend on full-price meat. The same goes for bread in the freezer.

    I am within a mile of a store and never fear a freeze, flooding. I stock up to save money because I only freeze what I get cheaply.

    If I ate everything to clear it out, I would have less variety in my meal choices. For lack of money,I once ate everything edible and my cabinets, freezer over refrigerator, and refrigerator and had not one morsel left, not even a grain of rice, not one can. If I had not gotten help, I would have starved, seriously. So, I know what it is like to eat everything in the house.

    While I don't fear the same thing happening again because I have better resources,I don't attempt to clear out food.

    All frozen chicken is in the bottom of the refrigerator in a wire bin that slides out for access. Several months ago, I asked exbf to bring in chicken for dinner. Well, I had none, so we ate ground beef I had stored. Then, I waited for a sale and stocked up little by little with sales.

    Your meal looked delicious!

  8. Your dinner looks very good. Even though you are at almost bare cupboards it is easy to see you still have the different ingredients for a proper meal. Good for you!

  9. Hmm, thanks Ilona. We don't have a B&M round here (deepest rural Somerset). Is it a sort of pound shop?

  10. B&M is a 'cheap/discount' store, they stock everything you can think of, not only food, household goods, toys, linen, stationery etc. etc., I always get the mushrooms, their cheese is good too, they also have humungous plastic containers with crushed garlic in oil for 99p ! it's lovely stuff, and I don't buy the fresh garlic anymore, saving on oil too ! I also get a very useful container when emptied.

    loads of bargains there, if you're ever near one, pop in and stock up.

  11. Hi, Ilona. Thank you for today's post; it's inspired my to use up my own food stocks before rushing out to buy more. Tried Lidl's soya milk this week. It's 59p a litre, unsweetened, certified non-GM, and doesn't curdle when added to hot drinks. It's in the chiller, but is long-life and dated to 2013. was very impressed!

  12. Do you have any long term financial goals Ilona.
    I do worry sometimes that you are paring down to the bone with not much emergency back up.
    Do you build in a little wiggle room in case you get sick etc. It is fine to never have heat in the house but could turn it on more if you wanted.

  13. Amazing! I love making meals out of "nothing". It usually turns out to be pizza, pies, omlettes, veggie lasagne or veggie bolognse (which is any old vegetables I have lying around with tin toms and herbs). I get a great satisfaction out of seeing an empty fridge because I know I haven't wasted a penny. My problem is Ilona, you have turned me into a yellow sticker hunter - its an addiction now and I seem to have a freezer full of reduced goodies ;) Take care. Debs x


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