Using up stuff - minimal spends

(66 Posts)
torthecatlady Mon 29-Jun-20 15:01:12

So we're making a conscious effort to spend less, particularly on our food shopping.

Our pantry is bursting at the seams and our freezer is well stocked so we'll be using those up along with a top up shop (hopefully once a week).

The last time we went shopping was last Tuesday. Today we did a top up shop at Lidl (£14) mostly fresh fruit, veg and sandwich stuff for dh's work lunches.

We shouldn't need to go again for another week.

If anyone fancies joining in, please do smile

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Cherrybakewellard Mon 29-Jun-20 15:13:06

Following. I'm on my last month of maternity pay then it's £0 until October shockconfused so this thread will hopefully help.

torthecatlady Mon 29-Jun-20 16:52:41

Welcome @Cherrybakewellard smile Hopefully we can all help encourage each other.

Our motivation is that the balance on our credit card has 3 months left of 0% interest (balance transfer not an option but its a small amount so not too worried) we've been hammering away at it. All going to plan so far!

Tonight I'm having some defrosted lasagne for dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to have a stir-fry using up a few ropey looking pieces of veg.

I'd normally use leftover vegetables in a soup and blitz them smooth, but I have lots of tinned soup in the cupboard already.

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Cherrybakewellard Mon 29-Jun-20 17:38:47

I'm currently cooking a 3 bean chilli in my pressure cooker, I'm veggie so always have loads of pulses etc in the cupboard.

This will sound mental but part of me panics when I don't have full cupboards and freezers though. You can imagine how much the panic buyers at the start of lock down panicked me blush

torthecatlady Mon 29-Jun-20 18:21:14

I'm also veggie, Dh eats meat still but only chicken and fish. We have a rule in the house where we will only buy meat if it's reduced and would like to be a vegetarian / pescatarian household going forward.

I'm a low level prepper so I had plenty in my cupboards ready for Brexit blush I couldn't get my head around the empty supermarket shelves but I'm grateful that I was prepared and didn't need to shop. We have plenty of food to use, but in a few weeks we may get some "interesting" meals grin

Also, it pains me to use up what I have in the cupboards... but it makes sense to use it up!

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Tue 30-Jun-20 05:18:13

Tor, I’m in a similar situation.I have a ton of tins and dried foodstuffs.
Dinner today for DP will be a tin of stewed steak, one of peas and some fresh mash. I’m on a late shift so will have fajitas using chicken from the freezer and wraps from the fridge. DP doesn’t like these.
I have a great deal of tinned fruit so am taking a fruit pot to work daily.
I’ve soft tomatoes in the fridge, will freeze these today for a tomato sauce. I’ve apples past their best so will stew these lightly to become a crumble. Raspberries in the fridge rather tart so they will go in the same crumble.
I have a lot of food stashed away but I’m hoping with a little ingenuity I can use it up. My challenges will be corned beef and instant mash.

torthecatlady Tue 30-Jun-20 23:15:04

@TheDuchessofDukeStreet can the corned beef and instant mash make some sort of pie?

I had a NSD today, because I didn't leave the house. I spent a while cleaning instead but annoyingly we have ants making their way into the house from the front garden. So I need to go and buy something to sort that out tomorrow. Boiling water doesn't seem to have worked!

Food wise, I didn't eat much today (because I was busy cleaning and forgot). I had a banana and a cheesestring for a late lunch and a huge bowl of stir fried vegetables and wholegrain noodles for dinner.

I'm also trying to gently wean myself off of Diet Coke so I'm making an effort to drink 2 litres of squash a day. So far it's going well and I'm going to save a fortune! grin

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Wed 01-Jul-20 04:23:27

@torthecatlady, yes re the corned beef, I use that sometimes instead of mince to top with mashed potato and then cheese to make a kind of cottage pie. DP likes this with baked beans and I don’t mind it. What I find a bit off putting is the prospect of a whole dinner from tins etc, so I’m trying to combine with fresh ingredients where possible. I have some breadcrumbs also so I might try my hand at potato croquettes.
Well done for the squash resolution. Fizzy water is good too.
@Cherrybakewellard, it was a scary situation, wasn’t it? I was glad to have my full cupboards to fall back on. I was brought up in the North and my mother’s family in particular could be snowed up in winter so were used to having a great cupboard full of tins, dried food, candles, matches etc to see them through, and I think it has rubbed off on me.

relievedlady Wed 01-Jul-20 05:20:43

Can I join here too please smile

Finally back to work next week after three months on furlough

Having all of us home our food bill has been horrendous.
Add to that a very costly emergency vet bill and a blown up cooker we had to replace we are reigning in.

We reigned in on the d debits/non essentials at the beginning of April to help through the last few months but ended up spending so much more on food shopping so this month we did a meal plan ish plus a list of two weeks worth of everything else and when we shopped at the weekend we stuck to it completely so we are trying to shop two weekly and where snacks are concerned when they are gone they are gone until we go again.

If this works by the end of the month after another two week shop we would have reduced our bill by around £250-£300blush

The idea is to clear the vet bill as quickly as possible as insurance only covers a small amount of it confused

torthecatlady Fri 03-Jul-20 14:23:12

@relievedlady I hope your pet is ok now? We have 2 cats (which are not insured), but we do put away a small amount each month to cover any unexpected vet trips! I had to put flea treatment in n them on Tuesday and they hated me for a few hours until I opened the treats!

The charity shop near us opened a couple of days ago, so I've loaded up the car with loads of stuff to donate and I'm off there shortly... hoping I don't see any bargains whilst I'm in there. blush

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Munchkin08 Sat 04-Jul-20 12:34:09

Can I join too. We too generally have well stocked cupboard because we cook a lot from scratch 2 in the house are veggie and 3 eat meat. I have been alternating between Tesco and Iceland during lockdown as I could get deliveries from them. Today was supposed to be our Tesco shop but I looked through freezer and cupboard and thought do I really need a delivery? so I have cancelled it and I am going to use what I have. I only need 1 loaf of bread, carrots, cabbage and cornflakes - cancelling the delivery has probably saved me £50 (at least!) - I'm happy with that! I now also use a milkman so no need to go out for milk.

On another note I am finding carrots go off very quickly wherever I buy them any ideas on best to store them.

torthecatlady Sat 04-Jul-20 14:05:43


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torthecatlady Sat 04-Jul-20 14:09:37

Sorry my phone froze and I sent by accident hmm

Well done for cancelling the full shop! That's brave and a huge saving too.

RE carrots, mine last for about a week stores in the bottom drawer of our fridge but they do go a bit soft... so I'm open to suggestions too! I mean you could parboil and freeze, would that be an option?

We actually have a bag of frozen carrots in the freezer too (shop bought) the whole baby ones from Sainsbury seem to be the best. I'm not a huge fan of frozen veg but they are good for Dh because he refuses to boil a pan of water... also for lazy days.

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Sun 05-Jul-20 17:05:00

@Munchkin08, re carrots, if any are becoming soft I peel, slice and freeze them either to boil or to add to a tomato and veg sauce for pasta. They are nice grated with cheese to fill a baked potato. If you have or could borrow a juicer, carrot goes well with apple, orange or pineapple to make nice juices, and the orange and pineapple ones freeze well.
We are getting on reasonably well. I’ve topped up a little. DP has nobly taken corned beef sandwiches to work a couple of days running and I’ve used sausages, frozen fish and chips from the freezer. I’m going to make and freeze some sandwiches to take to work this week and I will buy fruit and veg as I need it. I weakened and bought some biscuits but the next lot I will bake.

torthecatlady Sun 05-Jul-20 22:53:12

I did a small top up shop today of meat for Dh in M&S. We paid £4.78 for £32 worth of meat to freeze which will do plenty of meals for him so I'm happy to pay that.

We've drawn up a meal plan for the week today.

All going well here! How's everyone else doing?

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Munchkin08 Mon 06-Jul-20 12:17:30

@TheDuchessofDukeStreet & @torthecatlady - thank you for the ideas. I think maybe I need to use them quickly when I buy them and freeze the ones left. Just need to get some eggs.

torthecatlady Mon 06-Jul-20 19:34:15

Currently managing between 2 and 3 litres of squash a day which is filling me up so I haven't been snacking in between meals and I've hardly had any Diet Coke (so a massive saving for me and my teeth are much happier)!

Tiny shopping list for tomorrow (Lidl):
Jacket Potatoes x4
Orange Squash
Blackcurrant Squash
Sweet Chilli Sauce
(I don't think there's anything else we need so I'll try to be good!)

I also got emailed a voucher from Iceland for a free pizza when I swipe my "bonus card" no purchase necessary. It expires tomorrow so I'll pick that up and squeeze it into the freezer for a quick (free) meal.

And I also need to buy a box of cat food which is £3.

Side note. I've been asked to go back to work part time in a couple of weeks, so still on furlough but not sure on the hours yet. So it should work out that I'm being paid a little more than I have been for the last 3 months.

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Tue 07-Jul-20 03:49:48

Well done with the squash *@torthecatlady*!
I’ve been a bit stressed at work so dinner last night was supermarket pizza and garlic bread. Situation now resolved, so back on the waggon. I’ve taken out a filled roll from the freezer for my lunch and some chicken for my partner’s salad. Did a small top up last night which included a new air bed for my sister when she comes to stay, some Tupperware tubs to put leftovers in, tins of soup, salads and crisps for packed lunches, fruit and wine. Note to self, assemble salads myself as they are cheaper and shop at Aldi for top ups as ditto. I’m pleased re the bed though as we will be needing it and it was on sale.
May we see the cats *@torthecatlady*? Here’s mine.

torthecatlady Tue 07-Jul-20 15:29:14

@TheDuchessofDukeStreet shock What a softy! That's the look my Dh gives me when I say "I've been thinking..." grin

Here's DC1 "helping" with some school work... and DC2 looking suspiciously angelic hmm

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torthecatlady Tue 07-Jul-20 15:40:28

@TheDuchessofDukeStreet Sometimes a cheat meal is needed. It can get pretty miserable otherwise!! Glad to hear you're back to it!

I've had a productive and cheap afternoon.

My pets at home order was ready to collect so I didn't need to buy a smaller (worse value) box of cat food.

I posted my 2 parcels (ziffit and music magpie). Should have a few pounds from that which'll help.

Spent £4.50 in Lidl (stuck to the list). 2 bottles of squash, 2 jacket potatoes, 2 bunches of bananas and a bottle of sweet chilli sauce - sounds like a crap version of Ready Steady Cook doesn't it? grin

Got the free pizza from Iceland (and nothing else, zero shame), plus I smugly got there before a massive queue had formed.

Oh and I downloaded the Costa Coffee app yesterday which gave me 300 points (equivalent to a £3), so I got a free coffee.

If anyone wants to take advantage of the Costa app, I have a referral code which will give us 200 points each when you actually buy anything... not that I want to encourage frivolous spending blush

Costa code - VXACF

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torthecatlady Tue 07-Jul-20 15:49:47

Also, just following on from what you said @TheDuchessofDukeStreet (sorry for all the tagging)...

We used to do all of our shopping in Tesco or Sainsburys, sometimes an Ocado order if we were feeling particularly flush.

We switched to Lidl and it's made a huge difference. There's less choice so that's probably half of it... you just have to have willpower for the middle aisle crap!

We do have an Aldi which is marginally closer, but it's always busy and it's a bit scruffy. There's another one about 20 minutes away which was built at the start of the year and it's pretty posh, but I can't justify the drive!

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Tue 07-Jul-20 16:47:08

@torthecatlady, beautiful pusses! Do tag away, it’s good to compare notes. We have an Aldi on the way home from work, and a Lidl within walking distance so no excuse really. I find the middle bit an excellent way to occupy DP, he likes to eat food just fine but not shopping for it. I don’t particularly care for their fruit and veg, but perhaps I should be less fussy. We also have Costco membership so I do bulk buy on certain things such as loo roll, bin bags etc. You do have to compare prices but in general I find them good value.
Not sure re dinner tonight. If in doubt it will be eggs, chips and beans for DP and an omelette or jacket potato for myself. The cat has had tuna. DP pampers her.😺

eveoha Tue 07-Jul-20 16:54:48

Tor - Do stop it with the bloody ‘squash’ - it’s a killer 🤨

torthecatlady Tue 07-Jul-20 17:14:49

@TheDuchessofDukeStreet Ours get Tuna mixed with water if it's hot out and they're not getting enough fluids, if we've been away or if there's a trip to the "Vee Eee Tee" 

@eveoha Thanks for the concern... but I suspect it's better for me than drinking near enough 2 litres of Diet Coke a day or the vaping that I've given up. 🤷‍♀️

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TheDuchessofDukeStreet Thu 09-Jul-20 05:41:04

Quick and economical dinner last evening, sausages from the farm shop out of the freezer and oven chips. Tonight I’m on a late shift so left over roast beef for DP with new potatoes. I will have a jacket potato with cheese and salad. Rather monotonous fare but we are wanting to use stuff up and are used to our food plain. Pack up of corned beef and mustard sandwich and tin of soup for DP. I’ve also put some tins of Heinz tomato soup and mandarins in my locker at work so if I forget lunch or time is short I don’t have to use the canteen. I think I will get some breakfast biscuits too. Getting a bit tired of tinned peaches, why did I buy so many?

@torthecatlady I carry those little pods of concentrated squash and have been enjoying it. I’m a nurse and our hospital has been separated into zones. Nurses are no longer allowed into the canteen( there is a bagged lunch service) or into any pantry. We have a break room where there is tea, coffee, a microwave and plenty of bottled water to help ourselves to, but it is nice to have the squash to taste! They are pushing us to drink plenty as we are in ppe a lot of the time and masks all of the time and we’ve had a few fainters.

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