Monday, 2 November 2015

Checking the freezer + another way to save £1

Welcome to Stephanie a new follower over there on the right.

I came across other poems with the title "November", one is by Ted Hughes and starts

The month of the drowned dog. After long rain the land 
was sodden as the bed of an ancient lake.

Another poet American William Cullen Bryant also wrote a November poem and that's weather related too it finishes

..............we will try to bear.
The piercing winter frost,and winds and darkened air

Whichever way you look at it, November poetry is depressing.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the freezer to get out some tomato and herb bread rolls and there were none there. I usually know when we are running low, so it was time to make a double batch of rolls and maybe time to do a freezer check just in case there is something else we are running short of.
I'm even re-hashing old photos too!

I've seen lots of freezer inventories in blog posts and I often think - Good Grief - what a lot of food people keep in their freezers, but then I remember that when the children were at home we had 2 chest freezers full and when we bred sheep there were 3 large freezers running when the lambs came back from the butchers, before we sold them in half lamb freezer packs.

Now we have 2 freezers - a medium sized chest freezer out in the shed and the bottom half of a normal sized fridge freezer in the kitchen and I don't want to store too much in case we move soon.

Got my gloves on, rummaged around and here's what I found

FRUIT:- Several small bags of apricots about 15-20 maybe more, a few bags of raspberries, cherries and a couple of pounds of pears and 4 bags of cooking apples left  from last year (Do I use them now we have tons outside or chuck?). All home grown. 6 small bags blackberries from the hedgerows.
VEG :- Lots and lots of chopped peppers, 1 bag cauliflower and 1 bag sweetcorn from here and half a bag shop bought frozen peas
CAKE:- Small box of sultana buns, one layer of coffee sponge, one layer plain sponge and a few chocolate sponge squares. All home made.
MEAL PORTIONS:- 2 boxes of pizza topping, 2 portions salmon and broccoli pasta bake, 1 portion bol. sauce, 1 portion veg curry,1 portion Liver and gravy, 1 portion Aubergine and tomato sauce. All home made.
PASTRY:- 2 Chicken and leek pies, 2 cheese pasties. 4 quiche bases, 1 pie bottom and top. 1 Apple pie. Home made except the cheese pasties.
MEAT. 400g and 200g beef mince. 4 chicken wings, 3 chicken thighs, 2 x 8oz chicken breasts, 2 x 6oz sausage meat, 4x4sausages, 2 x 2 pork belly slices, 2 bacon steaks, 4 x 6oz bacon bits.
FISH:- 5 pieces of Fish in crumbs,1 smoked mackerel fillet,1 random salmon steak
BREAD:- 10 Home Made Tomato and herb rolls, 8 HM Naan breads, 1½ packs Tortilla wraps, 6 finger rolls, 1 sliced Granary bread. 2 HM loaves.
ODDS & ENDS. Box crumble mix, box dried breadcrumbs,bag white breadcrumbs. ½ pack Chinese mini veg.spring rolls. 3 Tesco Vegetable quarter pounders, Remains of 2 litre value vanilla icecream. 2 choc/mint Tesco"Magnums"(His! I don't like them otherwise they would be long gone!) Small bag of chestnuts, pack of puff pastry divided into 3 and the too salty dried tomatoes that I can use in the tomato/herb rolls.

Save £1.... day 2 of the 2013 list
TRY VALUE RANGES IN SUPERMARKETS to see if you can use them in place of branded products.  Aldi and Lidl are more widely spread than when this list was first published and often better quality than value ranges but at much the same price. Use My Supermarket price comparison website to check before you shop. Especially if you live somewhere with choice - that is most places except here!!


I will be watching the new Hugh FW programme on TV later. When I mentioned it the other day Jen left a comment which I have only just come across about The Real Junk Food project, running cafes using food that would otherwise be wasted. There's one in Ipswich which we will try out when we go into town in December.

No Spend November Challenge - Yesterdays spending = Nothing

Back Tomorrow
Sue

37 comments:

  1. We tried Sainsbury's basic peas - they were like bullets! Some you win and some you lose I guess.

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    1. Yes I'm with you on peas, only petit pois seem to be young peas, the value brands are tough old peas that have been hanging around for days before freezing- well that's what I reckon.

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  2. We used to like Sainsbury's basics baked beans but then they must have changed the recipe as they tasted different, so we now buy their mid-range ones. We do buy their basics frozen white fish which is fine - husband even likes it dead plain, nothing on it, just baked in foil.

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    1. We don't eat many baked beans and have found some of the value ones are all liquid and hardly any beans

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  5. Plenty to eat in your freezer, I am looking into brand swaps now. Looking forward to Hugh's programme tonight, hopefully it will be good.

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    1. There are some spaces for Christmas stuff

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  6. Do you just freeze your peppers as they are; unblanched, etc? I've got loads that need doing.

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    1. Yes, slice, open freeze quick and bag up. I use them for cooking and they've been OK so far. I suppose they ought to be blanched really

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  7. It's surprising what you find and what you've forgotten about when you do a freezer check. We're still trying to eat up the last bulk batch of meat we bought and it's taking us ages. It's a good idea to make a note of what things go in and out but it's quite hard to keep up. I'm trying!
    xx

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    1. That's why we stopped buying pigs to fatten because it took us a year to get through all the meat.
      I've given up making notes of what I take out and put in - hopeless

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  8. I'm determined to get to the bottom of our freezer this month. I'm confident we can live off the contents this month and save a bit of cash. I can't eat value bread or value butter but am willing to give most other value products a go. It has to be H...z tomato ketchup though but I've never attempted home made ketchup.

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    1. I've not tried value bread for years as I make our own and I prefer Willow which is blended, to butter as it's easier to spread.

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  9. A few weeks ago I did a stock take of my food stocks and was amazed at what I had in the freezers. I now have inventory lists on the tall fridge freezer showing it all and (so far) I am being diligent in updating everytime I take something out or pop something in, the same with my cupboards. Shopping has never been so easy, or so minimal.

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    1. Well done in remembering to write things down, tried that once but failed

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  10. I need to do an inventory, but I've been piling in all the harvested stuff and made up tubs of soup etc on top of what was already in there putting off the job for another day. I guess that day will have to come soon just so I know what we've actually got.

    We do like the Sainsburys Value 'Parmesan' cheese, it's only Parmesan 'style' and is suitable for vegetarians which makes it a good option all round. We don't like the Value range pasta shapes though, it seems to go from too al dente to sloppy mush in seconds, the spaghetti is slightly better, but I think I'd rather pay just a touch more and get something that is consistently edible.

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    1. Sainsburys do quite a good range of value products I've found although we don't go often as its round the wrong side of Ipswich. there is talk of a Sainsbugs coming to Woodbridge in place of Budgeons which would be nearer and useful

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  11. Love that inventory of the contents of your freezer. My son has just been round because they have been away and somehow they left the freezer door slightly ajar. The poor freezer has been working overtime to keep everythig frozen and somethings near the front have defrosted. He has just brought all the contents round and crammed them into my freezer while they defrost theirs. I am very methodical about what i put in my freezers and where I put it - now all that has gone to pot as I have had to cram everything in. What we do for our children.

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    1. Oh goodness what a disaster, lets hope he is able to come and collect all his things again soon so you can sort out again

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  12. I know where I'm coming if there's a food shortage! I always use basic range spaghetti and flour. I haven't noticed any difference at all. X

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    1. There's no much in the freezer compared to when the children were at home but plenty for us

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  13. I'm with Jules pasta and flour ok. I don't blanch pepper just chop and open freeze. Great in cooking.

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    1. Yes, I use value pasta and flour and quite a lot of other things too

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  14. I often think I should try and use our freezer a bit better. I have put lots of milk in there this weekend to fill it up.
    Lisa x

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    1. I used to keep goats milk in the freezer when we had goats ready for when they were dried off before kidding but now we tend to go shopping once a week and buy milk each time.

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  15. It's nearly impossible for us to do a completely "no spend" month, but I've started doing a half month "no spend" by eating out of the pantry and large freezer to both save money and make room for periodic sales. One happy little benefit is it makes meal planning easier for me. I only buy groceries that are on sale and used to have creative pause planning meals around it. I cook for 6 adults (us and our neighbors) with varying dietary restrictions and keeping in mine all three men in my household bring home cooked lunches to work. It got overwhelming. Shifting to freezing/storing what's on sale (and free produce) has reduced both stress and time in the kitchen, as well as our grocery costs! And I get lots of good ideas here. I've taken to freezing tomatoes whole and making sauce, soup or stew from them quickly in a pot for example.

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    1. I couldn't do a no spend month either!

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  16. We are running three freezers at the moment, one is just pork and ducks home reared, the other has fruit and veg and the third a larder freezer is soups, cooked meals, pies etc although I was looking today in the freezers and think I could condense to two freezers but we have a hogget going in the freezer in a few weeks so we will be back to full capacity.

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    1. Sounds as if you will be OK for the winter if you get cut off by snow up there on your mountain!

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  17. Just watched HFW's programme. We felt so sorry for the parsnip farming family, but I think they are not the first nor the last to go under due to the supermarkets' blackmail of food producers. Wonky parsnips? Who cares? Looking forward to next week.

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    1. Yes I agree - I do hope Hugh keeps this campaign going, but there is only one more programme

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    2. I watched it and I actually go out of my way to buy the bigger fatter ones he was showing as rejects. I'm sure the parsnip family could sell to factory's ? Like those who make soup or frozen foods X I have never looked to buy perfect veg , but if you buy from a supermarket, they've never given you a choice so actually I have been inadvertently buying it. Grrrr.

      BUT I also won't buy veg from 'Farmer's markets' I think they think of a price, then double it!
      I much prefer to grow my own ( rubbish to my poor pest control this year ), from garden gates ( like yours) n I do get from supermarkets BC I don't go into town much to the traditional green grocers I used to use.

      As for your freezers - I think you'd survive under siege condition!

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    3. Unfortunately farmers who supply the larger supermarkets have to sign a contract that they will sell ONLY through that particular outlet. They are not allowed to sell to other companies, at markets or even 'at the farm gate'.

      It's a disgrace, they should be allowed to in my opinion.

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    4. Thanks for that Sue, I didn't know this. It's a bloody disgrace.

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  18. Love your freezer inventory! I spent July trying to eat down the contents of our fridge, freezer and stroecupboards, partly because I wanted to use up things that had been hanging around too long, but also to help cut our food bills. Must do another inventory of my own kitchen soon.

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  19. I spent £10 on Sunday on a 10kilo bag of rice, and 5kilos of red lentils, it's a lean month for us so plenty soups, dal and rice! We had 'bottom of the fridge' soup (an old family recipe!) On Sunday and I did a huge batch cook up of soup, dal, pizza/pasta sauce and chilli. Apart from bread milk and fruit, we shouldn't need to buy much else this month!

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