Monday, 5 November 2012

One Saving and Three Treats



We are starting to scrape the bottom of the fresh foods 'barrel' now and I'm using up whatever I find lurking in the salad drawers of the fridge.  On Friday morning some of the tiredest carrots, the limp centre of the oldest bunch of celery along with a couple of onions and a whole bag of 'Country Vegetable Mixture' (25p from Approved Foods) along with some tomato puree, the last of the Veggie Stock Pots and a couple of pints of water all went into my large stock pot and made us a wonderful pot of Vegetable Soup.  I worked out, rounding figures up in every case, that it cost me just one pound to make.  So that's ten good portions of lovely homemade vegetable soup for just 10p each.  A bargain .... we have eaten two portions each and there are three more two portion packs in the freezer (and yes, I remembered to add it to my freezer inventory).




So that was a 'saving', lovely soup for pennies a portion and this photo shows my only shopping for last week including a couple of 'treats'. 
I bought plain flour, because I had run out completely, a single yogurt to act as a starter for some homemade yogurt tomorrow, two packs of biscuits for just £2.50 to take with us when we went up the motorway to Manchester on Saturday, the first treat (you can pay that per biscuit at Costa Coffee).  So it works out much cheaper than buying biscuits or cakes to go with our Lattes when we stop for a break, yes, before you jump in, we do buy Lattes sometimes when we are travelling, we both absolutely love them and no matter how frugal we get in some areas, a treat of just what you fancy does you the world of good now and then.  Something we both agree on.
The second 'treat' was some ready made Quiche bases, I know I could have made them sooooo much cheaper, especially using the flour I'd bought, but we like to have a ready meal lurking in the cupboard for emergencies and if I have a little stack of these tucked in the cupboard I can take a couple of our own hens eggs and a handful of cheese or leftovers and we have a healthy meal in around 30 minutes anytime we don't feel like really cooking.  As they cost just 65p each I can make up a quiche for around a pound, which gives us three portions, one each for an evening meal and then usually one for Lovely Hubby to take to work the next day for his lunch.  So although I see it as a bit of an extravagance in reality it is still a real money saver, especially if you look at the cost of a fully made bought quiche, which would not have the same quality ingredients that one of our homemade ones has.


The final treat was the Christmas edition of the Sainsb**ys Magazine.  Bought because traditionally I always used to buy lots of Christmas magazines, but last year I decided to knock this little extravagance on the head and now I just buy one.  This one came with a free Calender, so already a saving as we use two calenders in the kitchen, one on the wall for reminders of general things (bins, cat and dog flea treatments, appointments etc) and one for dating our egg boxes each day which lives with the boxes and stickers ready for use.  (We will get our other calender free as well hopefully, as we usually get given one at the Farm Supply shop when we pick up chicken food in December.)

This magazine turned out to be excellent value as lurking inside were a sample pack of Bisto and also a sachet of Baking Powder.  There was also a 50p coupon off something, I forget what it was, as it was something we do like, but not something we needed, so I threw it away before temptation took over!!

So my total spend for last week including all these extravagances was -

Plain Flour - 52p
5 Quiche Bases @ 65p = £3.25
Yogurt - 58p
2 Tubs Biscuits/Flapjacks - £2.50
Magazine - £1.60
Total Spend - £8.45
and 4 Lattes at services (2 journeys x 2 of us) - £11.96
Grand Total of Spending for the Week = £ 20.41
It just goes to show that it's the treats that add up to the big spends!  Good job we don't do it every week, but then if we did it wouldn't be a treat!!

Now I'm off to make up the meal plan for this week, I think I'll do it sat at the kitchen table as the kitchen is a lovely toasty, aromatic place at the moment as there is a tray of Chocolate Muffins cooking alongside the Mediterranean Veggies for tea and you can't beat a warm kitchen complete with yummy cooking smells on a cold November evening.



What do you see as extravagances but enjoy having anyway?

Sue xx

28 comments:

  1. When it's husband's birthday, he prefers to stay in and have a special homecooked meal - I cook him whatever he wants (usually steak!). On my birthday (which is tomorrow) I prefer to go out for a meal - it's so nice to have a lovely meal out once in a while, something we don't often do. And as an extra-special treat, we're going to see the gorgeous Daniel Craig in Skyfall after our meal (Weds, as husband working tomorrow). We just have a main course, no starter or pud (partly to save money, partly because it's just too much food and makes me feel too bloated!), and Wednesdays is cheap saver day at the cinema, so it will be a treat day but not actually spending too much! Oh, and we drink lime & soda with our meal, which costs far less than any alcoholic (or even soft) drink.

    Hope you had a good time at the weekend.

    Sooze xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and WHAT a treat to look forward to the day after, enjoy!!

      We had a lovely time last weekend - thank you.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  2. magazines is my number one extravagance.

    Gill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They ARE addictive aren't they. I'm being good from now on I simply have my two subscriptions Country Living and Vegetarian Living and I don't buy any more.

      I used to buy about 5 a month!!

      Sue xx

      Delete
  3. I think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a latte as a treat. In fact, on our last trip we did exactly the same as you. I had baked muffins before heading off to the Lakes in our camper. Although we could have made our own coffee or tea on the cooker in the camper at the services we opted to have a coffee each. For me, a cup of tea or a coffee in a really nice location whilst people watching is a real treat. I often make and take my own but sometimes it is nice to splash out. Treats are what keeps you focused too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people watching is a big part of the fun isn't it.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  4. I think the pastry cases are an excellent idea. I keep a few items like that on hand for busy days, because they are much, much cheaper than resorting to a takeaway. I love food magazines, and every year my mother in law gets me a subscription to Good Food magazine as a birthday gift. It is without outbound my favourite gift, and I am grateful every single month when each copy arrives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's lovely that the present lasts you all year, what a wonderful idea.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  5. I'd agree with Sooze (Happy Birthday tomorrow btw..)
    An occasional day off, a long walk on the coast path and a nice lunch at one of our favourite pubs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds wonderful, I love a walk in fresh bracing, sea air and the thought of a lovely lunch at a pub at the end would just be the cherry on the cake.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  6. Magazines are my biggest extravaganze too, but latley I have realised that they just make me want stuff that I don't need or really have room for. So for christmas this year I have asked for a yearly subscription to my 2 favourites (that was a very hard decision) and I am makiing a pact to not buy any other, as I easy spend £40-50 a month and have duplicated in the past :( I am hoping that it will make me appreciate the magazine even more and not just flick through it xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is exactly how I was feeling and I too have gone down to just 2 subscriptions.

      When I see things I really 'want' in my country magazine I look around the house for things that I already have and could be adapted or rearranged to give me a similar look.

      And my 'foodie' one is easy I just make the dish I am 'wanting'!

      Sue xx

      Delete
  7. Oops I did a post about making soup, as well ! Must be the time of year...your soup looks yum!

    I find books are my downfall for spending - not fussed about clothes tbh but books - ah yes.

    And I see nothing wrong in spending your hard earned money on a small thing like a latte if that is what pleases you and you can afford it ;-)

    not my thing - I like my home made filter coffee best but yes sometimes it is just nice to have something, made by someone else!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh books, yet another of my weaknesses, but I am getting shut of some in my big Ebay and Amazon sell off, and I have promised myself NOT to re-buy them!!

      Soup is definitely the meal of the moment!!

      Sue xx

      Delete
  8. Good for you on the lattes - I always treat myself to a cup of tea on a train journey, which is the same sort of thing really! We often do the tea & cake thing if we're out somewhere too - particularly if we can find a little independant cafe as we're helping someone else's business then too. It is quite sad that you feel the need to defend yourself against people jumping on you for talking about stuff like this though, the frugal-Police want to get off their high horses if you ask me! (And anyway, those people are probably treating themselves on the quiet and not being upfront about it!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I always think a treat is a treat if you savour every minute/sip of it and don't get in the habit of doing it too often.

      The Frugal police are out there aren't they...lol!! But I'm one of the ones that is frugal when I have/need to be, but see the sense in relaxing rules whenever necessary/possible to keep me sane.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  9. I've recently discovered 'crustless quiche'. I always have masses of eggs, but don't always have the time or inclination to make pastry. Delish! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must say it's the mixture of pastry and soft filling that I like best about a quiche, but I will give a 'crustless' one a go sometime for experimental purposes :-)

      Sue xx

      Delete
  10. We too like Lattes but don't have them very often but when we do bliss...
    we like real coffee too...and the baguettes,freshly baked from the village shop nearby.

    That Sainburys magazine looks a real bargain!

    Sft x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the thrill of having them so rarely that makes them doubly delicious I think.

      I was toying with the idea of getting one of those coffee machines that uses the little pods (they are half price in Argos at the moment), but sense has prevailed, it's such an expensive way to drink coffee, so I'll keep my lattes as treats for travelling.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  11. It has to be homemade wine...a glass with dinner makes the most frugal meal a feast.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds lovely, and I've seen some of your wonderful table settings, truly a frugal feast.

      Sue xx

      Delete
  12. I think extravagance for us is Chinese take out. I can make my own stir fries and things and they are good, but for some reason having Chinese take out is a treat to me. We probably only have it every 6 weeks or so and it doesn't break the bank if we're careful.

    Like another commenter --I love crustless quiche and it is also easy to make an egg strata with bread cubes or bread slices.

    We had vegetable soup tonight, too. We had enough for a two meals and a jar full that I will take to my mama. Not bad for bits and pieces of leftovers from the frig and some tinned items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used to love the occasional Chinese takeaway too, but unfortunately the one in the village is not that good, and when we added the time taken travelling to get it and having to warm it up on our return it just made it not a treat anymore.

      We do miss it and try and have a suitabley 'chinese-y' ready meal in the freezer for when the urge strikes!

      Sue xx

      Delete
  13. You and your blog have been my inspiration to get back to cooking and eating at home. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw... thank you.

      I hope you are enjoying what you make. It's easy to get back in the habit of cooking from scratch again, but just as easy to get waylaid I find!!

      Sue xx

      Delete
  14. Our extravagance is to have a cup of "proper" coffee after dinner 3-4 times a week. A cup of tea is much cheaper than a cup of filtered coffee so the coffee is an extravagance. Having said that, we do keep and reuse the grounds a second time, adding just a small spoonful of fresh grounds. If I'm feeling the need to be really decadent, I'll add a spoonful of Baileys £3.99 lookalike.

    The weather is getting colder so definitely soup season now. We have plans for a pot of soup this week too - with some AF country soup mix in it (although I find that the dried peas in it don't cook very well).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about the peas, but Lovely Hubby absolutely loves his peas a bit 'crunchy' so he thinks it's brilliant......lol!!

      Sue xx

      Delete

Thank you for the comments you leave, it's always nice to hear from you ..... unless you are a troll or a spammer in that case ... bugger off ;-)