Christmas is all paid for done and dusted for this year - gone are the days where it all got popped on the credit cards and then we had to pay it off. Ever since OH was out of work we have got into better habits and are more sensible all round and we pay by cash and are not storing up any lurking problems for ourselves.
I did a big shop in the run up to Christmas on quite a lot of basic ingredients that you need to cook from scratch whether that be a starter main meal or pudding or even cake, cookies and bread. The areas that are not stocked to optimum level are the freezer - I need a new one my large chest freezer failed over a year ago and the upright is on its way out so I do not prepare too much at the moment to pop in the freezer. Hopefully in the weeks to come that will get remedied as I rely heavily on my freezer and am missing the flexibility and just being able to get something out of there the day before (we call it shopping in the freezer) in order to have a decent meal the following day. The jam and pickle store is packed but the tinned store needed some topping up.
I had no intention of actually shopping for the tinned store until the end of the month but a couple of items have been on offer and it would be a shame not to take advantage and I tend to do a major stock up when the items are cheaper in any event.
It started at Waitrose where they have an offer on for Cirio chopped tinned tomatoes and also plum tomatoes at £2 per pack = £4.00. I have bought both the chopped and the whole tomatoes as I use a lot of them. So I was quite pleased with that offer. I also came away with two packs of 500g Aberdeen Angus mince at £2.50 per pack = £5 and two dried chorizos at £2 each = £4.00. We use this on home made pizza but also use it on a cheese and meat antipasti platter. I also bought two tins of Princes Strawberries in syrup and two tins of Raspberries in syrup on offer at two tins for £1.50. = £3.00 for the four tins. Mind you I shall look into going to a local grow your own farm for Raspberries and Strawberries during the summer and bottling my own strawberries and raspberries in syrup for the pantry shelf.
This little lot should last a good six weeks maybe more.
I also picked up from M & S two jars of Quince and Damson paste reduced to 99p per jar = £1.98.
I popped into my local Coop this evening and noticed that the had an offer on of Napolina Fusilli, Penne and Spaghetti in kg bags at £1.19 a bag. As pasta is a staple that I keep in and use on a regular basis I bought two bags of each total £6.14 which should last quite a little while. Pasta is quite versatile and makes a quick, cheap filling meal.
I also acquired two jars of Tomato and Chilli Chutney reduced down to 40 pence a jar. That will come in handy for packups.
I also bought 4 tins of Harry Ramsdens Mushy peas to have with home made fish and chips and they are very tasty at 65 pence per tin = £2.60
I then bought 2 packs 4 tins of Branston Baked beans which were on offer at £1.49 per pack = £2.98. It all helps pad the Pantry out.
I keep a sack of potatoes in, as well as a net of red onion and white onions, as well as garlic and I always have a tray of eggs, milk and cheese and fresh veggies readily to hand as there is so much you can cook from basic ingredients such as these and when you have children in the house they need permanent feeding. Buying a tray of eggs also gives you the option to bake as well as providing good tasty uncomplicated food to feed the whole family sensibly so that in these cold winter months they have the correct fuel and plenty of it. If you cannot afford a lot of meat make your own vegetable home made soups as a starter, cook what meat you can afford the mince I bought today will make a cottage pie and also a lasagne or a home made chilli which you can serve with vegetables or simply with bread and butter or in wraps with salad. Pudding can be something as simple as a jelly with custard and evaporated milk, plain yogurt or cream.
I still need to top up on the tinned fruit but at least the Pantry is looking a little healthier and a bit fuller than it did. Still a work in progress.
Catch you soon.