Category Archives: Budgeting

Economising. What’s that?

OK I know what i should be doing, I just can’t or don’t. Pensions, savings, statement watching, utility bill comparing blah blah blah. Does anybody actually do that? Ironically I have a monthly subscription to Which magasine. I signed up for a months free subscription about 2 years ago whilst researching those all important baby products and never bothered cancelling the subscription.  I also have a £10 per month contract to Vodafone for a phone I had years ago that I never bothered to cancel. I have a fairly decent job, albeit part time. but that last week of the months often proves challenging. It’s a fingers crossed scenario each time I use the bank machine. I need to do something!

Basically, what these financial failure confessions are leading to is, me, patting myself on the back for going to Lidl .I avoided the big brands, looked at the price of everything, avoided buying non essentials bar a Christmas Poinsettia plant (it looks good on my hall table) and a bit of a cheese splurge. As yet I am unable to compare prices. I have no idea how much a loaf of bread is or a pint of milk, but this is the start.

Now for dinner. One of my favourites. Ham,cabbage and spuds. No significant dent in the Continue reading Economising. What’s that?


I’ve baked cake. I never bake cake.

Today I baked my first cake.  All that weighing, measuring and timing is a bit regimented for my kind of cooking so I’m on a high. Three tins of pears have been lurking in that cupboard for god knows how long. Let’s just say I shall not be telling my samplers their sell by date. I had to buy the baking powder, brown sugar and vanilla essence (extra store cupboard ingredients) but my defense is that they will enable me to use up other store cupboard ingredients. It was bloody delicious and I am feeling proud I am learning a new skill. Thank you for the recipe.

pear cake ingredientsPear upside down cake

Store Cupboard Ingredients Used Today

  • 2 tins of pears
  • Plain flour
  • Caster sugar
  • Oil
  • 1 egg
  • Salt

Food in Fridge

  • Butter
  • Milk

Food Expenditure

  • Brown sugar – £1.39
  • Vanilla flavouring – 89p
  • Baking powder – 73p
  • Total Expenditure – £3.01

PS- I forgot to mention dinner. That was courtesy of my good mother. I went round for a visit and she fed us.

So Here It Is.


So here it is in all its glory. I tidied it up a bit. Just to check out what was in there of course. Where do I start? Well, there’s a lot of rice and a lot of flour. Not the good stuff that all the chefs advise you to use, not even strong bread flour, just plain flour, but there’s dry yeast in there too so there will be some form of bread, pizza dough, gnocchi or pasta at some stage. I found four tins of tomato soup. Now three. I had a tin for lunch to make amends for yesterday’s blip. A full bag of polenta (haven’t a clue how to make it from scratch but I shall endeavor to learn), Quinoa, made it once, totally unimpressed.. Please feel free to change my mind and suggest a recipe. A bag of black turtle beans??? Dried marrow fat peas. Soup mix (is this exclusive to Northern Ireland?), Barley, originally for soup but i think I’ll try and make a risotto type thing with it. Puy lentils, red lentils, chick peas and gram flour (I’ll have the Hare Krishnas round some night), egg noodles and Supernoodles will feature some time too. Strangely the tinned macaroni cheese was not there (my husband’s guilty pleasure, he’s ate it all). On the upside I have an extensive spice selection. So here’d hoping there shall be some great dishes to come. Checking out the cupboard was pretty enjoyable. I ‘m looking forward to this culinary journey.

Tonight I kept it simple. A family favourite. Mushroom risotto


Store cupboard ingredients used today

  • 1 tin of tomato soup
  • Aborio rice
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/2 bag of dried mushroom

Food in Fridge

  • Parmesan
  • butter
  • glass of white wine

Food expenditure

  • Chestnut mushrooms – £1
  • Parsley- 89p
  • Milk -79p
  • Onions- £1
  • Butter -79p
  • Bread – £1
  • Total = £ 5.47