Sunday, 8 February 2015

Foraging for cheap food

Hello, It's been a beautiful spring like day here today, I've washed the bedding it's all ready to put back on, and I've filled the brown bin with clippings from the bushes on the front garden, it will be collected tomorrow. It all looks tidy again. 
Did you see the fabulous sunset last night? I took off down the road to the church to get some shots. Our village is high up overlooking the River and across to Yorkshire. I just stand and stare in amazement, and get quite emotional, it's so magical. The pictures are not enhanced, this is exactly how it was. The blood red slick is the reflection on the river. This one I took without a flash. 
This is the same scene, taken with a flash. I like the way it lights up the conifer hedge.

It's hard to choose a favourite, but I think I like this one best. 
Then I stepped back and put the trees into the picture. No flash used on this one.

Then I did put the flash on. It's a shame that the green on the left is fuzzy, I left the camera to focus automatically, not being familiar with setting it manually. Still a nice picture though. Did you get a good view of the sunset last night?

Then of course I went shopping. I wanted to use a voucher for £4 off, and my fresh food stocks were low anyway. Simplesista asks to see what I bought.

Here is a run down.
4 tins of chick peas, on offer at 4 for £1
4 tins tomatoes, on offer at 4 for £1
2 tins rice pudding 15p each
1 tin peaches 40p
Pack of frozen leeks £1
Danish Blue cheese £1
2 packs cream crackers 27p each
Bottle of Chardonnay £4.49 I deserve a treat
All the rest was yellow stickers. 90% off.
Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Salad, Mushroom Pasta Salad, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumber, Spring Onions, Yogurts, Rice Noodles, Cous Cous salad. My fridge is full once more. There wasn't many people there, the trolley was wheeled out from the back and everyone dived in. It was good humoured, we all got what we wanted, with some left over for the late comers. 
I know a lot of my readers can't get the yellow stickers where they are. If I couldn't get them I would still make finding the best prices my priority. Trawling the shops for the bargains, planning journeys to visit several places at the same time so no extra money is spent on petrol or bus fares. Or, calling in places when I am passing on the way back from a trip out. I call this foraging. I can't be bothered to forage in the hedgerows for berries, I don't eat jam anyway, my foraging takes place on supermarket shelves. 
So, a lot of money saved, enough to buy myself a new landline telephone. With my hearing not so good the only phone I can use in the house is a BT Big Button phone, it has an amplify facility, and this is positioned on the landing at the top of the stairs, when it rings I can usually hear it. Sometimes I miss it though, so I wanted one on my desk in the front room, because that's where I spend most of my time now. I bought another Big Button with amplify, so that's great, now I don't have to run up the stairs every time it rings. 
My meals will be quite simple for the next week with all this food, most of it doesn't need any cooking at all, or just the bare minimum. You might have guessed I don't meal plan, I buy what is cheap, and hopefully healthy. I don't know what I am going to eat, until I open the fridge door and see what needs eating first when I check the sell by dates. Lunch today was rice noodles cooked in a splash of oil, 3 minutes on the hob. Served on salad leaves, and topped with mushroom pasta salad. Yummy.
Dinner tonight was more rice noodles, this time with two eggs added and scrambled, they needed eating up. Served on a bed of more salad leaves, and fresh mushrooms. Gut busting great.

That's all for now. Can the other three ladies who won the bags send me a photo, please, thank you.

Thanks for reading, Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip.


  1. What fantastic pictures, I love the colours would make a great framed print. Great food bargains, x

  2. Oh, I just commented on the previous post about taking a picture of my cheery red may take a while, but I will send one after the next shopping trip!

  3. By the way, Ilona, I have a blog-related question. When I click on one of your "good blogs to read" (the Maple Syrup Mob) I get a message saying "you have not been invited to read this blog." Oh! Erm. Pardon me while I back slowly away in embarrassment.
    Is this a common blog thing? I have never seen it before.

    1. Jane's blog has gone private invitation only.

    2. Hi Quinn, It isn't very common, I have come across this message a few times, don't take it personally. Bloggers may have good reason to do this, if they have been plagued by a troll, or if they don't want someone that is personally known to them, to find them. If you have been a regular reader of Jane's blog you will know that she has gone down this route, she gave us notice of the date. I sent her an email so I can read her blog, you could do the same.

    3. I couldn't, actually! There was no indication of how to contact the blogger! No worries, there is no shortage of blogs to read, I was just surprised that a "good blog to read" could not be read.

    4. Just following up to say I've had a lovely message from Jane, so thanks to you and Gill for getting in touch.

    5. Thank you Quinn, glad it is sorted.

  4. That sunset is simply beautiful. Leave it up to nature to give us the best.

  5. Amazing sunset photos, reminds me of the old saying "red sky at night, Shepherd's delight" your photos were certainly delightful. Spoke with my sister in Glossop, Derbys and they still have a white winterland with snow♥ Envious of your yellow stickers, did I say I was envious:) Food prices are ridiculously high here, we've started going Aldi and the savings are fantastic, we still have to use one of the large supermarkets but it's worth the two trips to save money. Good old Aldi, just wish we had Tesco although I've been reading Tesco are struggling, love the local Tesco near where my family live♥ Linda x

  6. I popped in to T**co in town on Friday night and couldn't believe my luck. In the clearance section, there were dozens of brilliant bargains - packs of 4 tins of tuna for 35p, bags of rice for 20p, coffee at a quarter of the usual price, gluten free pasta for pennies and more. And they weren't anywhere near the best by date either. I pointed a few other customers in that direction.

    Beautiful photos.

    1. Wish I'd have been there, some great bargains. I always check the shelf labels for clearance, or sale, or end of line.

  7. Beautiful sunset pictures! Good advice re food shopping too!
    AussieCheryl : )

  8. Those pictures are breathtaking and remind me of the saying that God's gate has been left ajar.

    Joan (Wales)

  9. beautiful sunset!
    loved your photos!
    can't get those kind of prices here.
    I'm not above foraging in the hedgerow,
    That's where we get fresh blackberries, and red raspberries in the summer.
    Your way sounds much more inviting though!

  10. Great haul and those photos are amazing! Your meals always look good and healthy, we eat a lot of spinach with our meals. Completely off topic - I was helping someone move house yesterday and I couldn't quite believe the stuff that was going to the tip! I rescued as much as I could and will be putting it on freecycle/charity shop, I thought Ilona will be proud of me. Debbie.

    1. Good for you Debbie. People should be fined for throwing good stuff away.

  11. Lovely photos! I don't know when you spoke to your sister Manchester Lass, on Friday,we still had the snow but it was really misty on Saturday and when the most lifted Sunday most of the snow had gone!

  12. My Tesco does not have the same kind of reductions at all. The Co op on a Saturday evening is much better. I am a vegetarian but I bought three packs of fresh meat for 60p each (to make meals for my elderly parents), lettuce 20p, strawberries 80p, cucumber 19p. Great photos too.

  13. have walked on Burton hills many years ago and know how beautiful it is there - but your sunset photos are just amazing -wow wow wow! from onlyjo

  14. Love ur fotos of the gorgeous night sky,beautiful:-)

  15. Beautiful photos, beautiful sunset!
    In my country older people say that when the sunset has this red colour, it means that the next day will be a great day, too.
    Is it so?

  16. Lovely photos! I hope other people grin, as I do, when you write that you deserve a little treat!
    I find it quite delightful. Saving here and there in order to enjoy the things and outings you enjoy in life. JanF

  17. Just catching up with your shopping-thank you for sharing; I'm a nosey Rosie, as you may have gathered! I Love seeing your bargains, I've had a few good reductions myself lately. It's thanks to your blog that I buy them, I wouldn't have some time ago. Beautiful sunset and amazing photos of it too. Well done you for capturing them so well,xxxx

  18. Hello,Ilona.Truly beautiful photos of the sunset.Brings back fond memories of hilltop living and the wonder and beauty of what nature provides.We have a saying "Red sky at night ,sailor's delight,red sky in the morning,sailors take warning"(My husband fishes)Those are some great deals you have there.It's true many of us who read your blog do not have access to prices like that.Sometimes the reduced items in our local No Frills are actually rotting not just stale dated.I always make the rounds and try to find the good deals as best as I can and don't give up.I don't buy with a meal plan in mind, just plan meals around what is available to me at the best price.Simple meal was homeade pea soup ,made by my husband with bread and cheese for him,apple, orange and raw peanuts after.It's a winterwonderland here and I'm amazed at your weather you lucky duck.Regards, D.(P.S.Have a good excuse for not sending you a photo yet but please know it's not forgotten)Regards, D.

  19. The photos are amazing!! I like the ones where no flash was used. We don't have your kind of shopping except for breads and cakes and I don't eat bread at home nor cakes.


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