Monday 1 October 2012

Frugal in October

There's lots of us in Blog world on a mission to keep spending either at zero, low or at least lower than normal all through the month of October.   Although some of it is purely coincidental Froogs, over at her Blog Frugal Queen started the ball rolling magnificently with her Blog posts of the last couple of days and her 'Stoptober' post today.
I had already made plans to see if I could continue my 'No Spending in September Challenge', there are still plenty of foods in my cupboards and in fact my freezers are fuller than ever, but the contents have changed.  It's that time of year when every time I harvest somethng for tea I don't just pick a couple of things I pick the entire crop and blanch and freeze everything surplus to that days requirements.  We never know when that first hard frost will come, and with our weather being so erratic this year I'm taking no chances.


However yesterday's freezer filling task was a tad more enjoyable.  I decided to use up an entire bag of Approved Food scone mix.  Now I am no scone snob, a scone is a scone is a scone!!  As long as it is light and fluffy and tasty to boot it has my vote anyday.  If it's homemade, either completely or with a mix, fresh as fresh can be and with little additions of yumminess then it gets all my votes.
So for the morning the kitchen turned into' Scone Central' and a wonderful production line was put into place.  A wonderfully simple production line, weigh out 1kg of mix into my food mixer, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder (as the mix is past is sell by date it's usually the raising agent that needs a hand to keep your scones fluffy), add enough water to bring it all together and then choose the added ingredient.  Mix for the minimum time needed and then lightly roll out and cut.  Place scones into open trays ready for freezing and then repeat.
A tip worth noting - don't use flour for rolling out purposes, use some of the dry scone mix from the bag, then you do not interfere with the proportions of the mix.
The first batch were left plain, the second had sultanas and cinnamon added, and the last batch had grated Parmesan style cheese and paprika.  With the oven already on cooking a Chicken Casserole for lunch some plain scones were popped in for a late morning snack and then the final batch of scones with Parmesan Cheese (and extra sprinkled on top) were added, these were to have with the Casserole in place of either dumplings or toast, which we would usually have.
The mix I use.
 3.5KG of mix cost me £2.99  (they currently have a different brand although the same weight for the same price...see HERE). Mine is much older and still tastes wonderful so don't be afraid of the dates!!
The pack says it makes 87 scones which would bring them out at a cost of 3p each, but I tend to make around 60 from each bag as we like them bigger and deeper, but that is still an unbelievable 5p each ... a total bargain.
(Edited in to add - in Tesco today a pack of 4 scones (smaller than mine) cost £1.49, that's 37p a scone, so by making these myself I have saved 32p for each scone or for the entire bag a massive saving of £19.20....not to be sneezed at!)
The final rolling out of the scone mix never makes me perfect round scones.   I always shape whatever dough is left into one large circle and then quarter it before cooking.  No wastage here at all.
I freeze the scones in the open freezing trays first and then as soon as they are firm I transfer them all into air tight boxes.  Now whenever we want a scone or two we can take out the exact number we want and then pop them into the oven, they take just a couple of minutes longer than usual to cook from frozen and each and every time you get a perfectly 'just made' scone.
And Lovely Hubby can treat himself  to a scone or two whenever he fancies while I am away on holiday next week.
Althrough October I am going to be doing blog posts on saving money, keeping costs down and generally just NOT SPENDING.  I usually join in with money saving tips near to Christmas but this year I have decided that what better way to start saving money for your Christmas than by getting into the not spending habit three months early ... so I'm doing it now instead.
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My Not Spending in September went really well, up until the last couple of days I had only spent less than half my usual housekeeping money, then Approved Foods sent me an email saying they had something reduced that I decided was too good an offer to miss, so I splashed out £53 and lost some of my advantage, but I have lots in stock now to keep me going all through this month and beyond!
  For more information see the 'Not Spending in September' page at the top of the Blog.
Sue xx


  1. I made scones yesterday too. I always take the last bits and mould them into a heart shaped scone. My husband is always really disappointed when I get the rolling out exact and there is nothing over for "his" scone : )

    Just one of those little free things that mean lots : )

    1. Aww....that is so sweet!!

      Don't tell Lovely Hubby, he'll be wanting heart shaped scones

      Sue xx

  2. I made scones last week, Cheddar and apple ones, for a change, then froze them. Can't do Stoptober, as we have guests coming to stay and it's just not practical for this month, but have prepared for it by pre-cooking and freezing some meals and a lot of bread and rolls. Have also planned a couple of free (other than fuel costs, and that won't be much as they're local journeys) days out, to nice walking areas. Will do a Froogs and take a flask and cakes.

    I made up a big batch of Approved Foods puff pastry the other day - used some to make pasties, the rest I've frozen in two lots ready to make pies in the future. So much easier, as you say Sue, to make up a big load of their huge bags of pastry/cake mix, than to do just enough for one thing.

    I like the idea of the heart shaped scone made from leftovers for husband, Jo. Mine would laugh and roll his eyes, but he'd eat it just the same!

    Regards, Sooze xx

    1. To me the cleaning up after a job is the worst bit, so to my mind getting it all out of the way in one fell swoop is always best.

      I'm just keeping my spending down as low as I can, I can't do Stoptober properly either as I am off on a holiday with my lovely Mum next week and we have to have some girly treats. I've been saving my personal spends up for weeks for it.

      Sue xx

  3. Oh Crikey. You guys are putting me to shame already. I do need to get to grips with my (very) small freezer, as I can't get anything more into it, useful or not.

    Perhaps October is the month to eat it all up, then I can get it properly organised for Christmas?? I am on a mission now..

  4. A great idea, use it all up and then defrost it and then you are ready for refilling for Christmas. I love the challenge of getting to the bottom of our huge chest freezer but it doesn't happen very often.

    We've still got some pork joints in there that must have come from our first pig Betty, and she met her maker years ago!!

    Sue xx

  5. Love scones , i may have to make a batch and freeze them, then i can eat one whenever i want, i can be such a greedy pig ! x

  6. What a great idea! We can buy frozen biscuits here (similar to your scones) but they are expensive. I make a homemade version but I've never frozen them. Will definitely have to try this.

  7. Your sponges look delicious!

    Now let's get this stopped spending in September, I started at the beginning of last week and this F Queen has decided to follow US! :)

    Seriously, I am so glad that a number of us are planning a frugal month...I think it makes us all more creative and appreciative of what we really have got.

    And the support is crucial!

    Sft x

  8. Yummy! I love scones. My lady never had enough ingredients in her cupboard to make anything. It's very boring. She did buy some freeze dried things to blow up to eat later this month. I'm glad I don't get freeze dried things. On a serious lady does get eggs from the hens every day and she has some almond flour and some baking soda. No milk or butter. She makes little cakes out of the almond flour and they are Ok to nibble on. I don't like them but she eats them.

  9. What a lovely production line !

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