A Trip to the Butcher

Well it has been a very cold, wet, damp and horrid day here today in Peterborough.  A day to huddle up and keep warm.  The washing machine has been on again.

Despite the bargain with the chicken last week we are all chickened out although chicken pie has been made.  Might when there are a few pennies around if the offer is still on go and buy some and preserve some for the Pantry shelf (the Chicken that is).  If I had a freezer at least a couple of trays would be squirrelled away and sorted out into family portions in one bag.  Before I look into that further though I do need to get everything together first though.  Make sure that I have enough jars and lids available.  Food is important and sensible choices have to be made despite the fact that the heart might actually say go on buy it.  As I have mentioned before I do tend to buy something that I can get at least two meals out.  No we do not have meat everyday I do mix it up a little bit.  It is when I go shopping at the Butcher that I miss my freezers the most as I always see so much achievable potential on the meat front.  I always used to freeze everything for the freezer on the meat front into portions and build up my stock a  little at a time to ensure that there was plenty of good eating.  When you have been used to having freezers it is like having a lifeline amputated as it saved so much waste as I always used to freeze everything.

Decided to go to the Butcher to see what was available and came back with:

A Slipper Gammon Joint - 2.204 kg = £11.00

A Pork Loin Roast big enough to be cut into two joints which I may do -  2.418kg = £15.72

Large Pack of Bacon 2.25kg in weight = £12.50.  You can buy this either smoked or plain.  We have gone for plain this month but next month will be smoked to ring the changes up and a bit more flavour.

Tray of Beef Mince 1.2 kg = £10.00

Tray of Minted Lamb Chump Chops 1kg = £10.00

All the above have now been packed into the fridge.

A 7.5kg bag of Picasso Potatoes £5.99

A box of Chocolate Biscuits £4.50

Not a lot of stuff but enough for some good eating that will keep us going.  They did have some good offers on Brisket (I love this if it has been long and slow cooked) large joint was about £15 that I was eying up.  G did not fancy it though. The Beef certainly looked really good and there was an offer on for two joints of Beef for £20.  Very deep thick roasts.  Was tempted as Beef is one of my favourites but opted to be practical.  When we get paid will go back and have another look at what they have.  I would have quite liked some Stewing steak and some sausages also. 

Well pleased as this will go hand in hand with what I already have on the Pantry shelf and indeed in the fridge with the selection of veggies I have at the moment.  Should take us through the next week to ten days.

As I have mentioned before there are certain items that I do like to have in at all times.  These include

A large tray of Eggs

Sack of Potatoes

Net or Nets of Onions


Large pack of Bacon







Mixture of veggies but I do like to have onion/shallot/red onions to hand as well as Leek, Kale, cabbage, cauliflower carrots, courgettes, swede, sweet potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms, sweet peppers, Broccoli and peas.  Yes I know that is most the veggies but it does give you an awful lot of scope both with your choice of eating and providing lots of flavour.  Flavour for me is the key to everything.

Now what do I propose making with said items:

Slipper Gammon joint - will be cooked and for the best part eaten cold.  Any bits left over can always be incorporated into a flan or added to some pasta with a cheese sauce.  However I will get a batch of stock for the Pantry shelf out of it as well.  If you have stock on the Pantry shelf you always have the basis of a good tasty soup to warm the cockles of your heart.  Seriously though soup is a good "padder-outer".  If you have a bowl of soup as a starter it fills you up a bit, then you do not have to put as much meat on the plate, and get another meal out of it or are able to add it to something else.  A simple way of stretching the family budget.

A Pork Loin Roast. I may well chop this in half and then we will have two very good sized roasts and probably three to four good meals plus sarnies out of each joint.  There is apple sauce on the Pantry shelf as well as chilli sauce, mustards, lots of chutneys.

Large Pack of Bacon We buy this every month.  Not only does it provide sarnies and breakfast for G, I also use some of it as a base for roasted veggies, and for part of the finishing touch of a homemade Beef Bourguignon.  There are so many ways that you can use Bacon in cooking.  If there are any scraps left I cut these into Lardons and store in the fridge for adding a bit more flavour here and there in various dishes.  I also buy in puff pastry and make the cheese and bacon pockets and other puff pastry savouries and sweet items.  If I had the freezers I would be keeping a healthy supply of puff pastry in there.

Tray of Beef Mince: Have plans for a Cottage Pie, Cannelloni and maybe a Lasagna or a Chilli.

Tray of Minted Lamb Chops: At least two roast meals with veg out of this for the two of us.  A meal which is easily achieved in under an hour and which is very tasty.

A 7.5kg bag of Picasso Potatoes.  I was out on potatoes and so needed a new bag.  Not sure it is going to be enough but it is a start.  Have plans for Potato Dauphinoise, mashed potato, roast potatoes, etc.  There is a lot you can do with the humble spud. I am Lincolnshire though and Pork, Cabbage and other greens including Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale together with the Tatie all make for very good eating.

A box of Chocolate Biscuits.  A naughty but sometimes necessary treat. One kilo box of this time chocolate biscuits £4.50.  Go down nice with a cuppa.  They are not perfect but in many cases you are paying £2 for a roll of biscuits these days and rather than buy lots of packets and the price run away with me this is the way I do things.  I also buy in broken  mixed plain, cream and chocolate biscuits of 1kg and this is about the only bought confectionary items we tend to buy in a month.  Any broken biscuit crumbs are being saved and I have plans to make a couple of no bake cheesecakes for puddings when I have enough.  Would you believe I have a biscuit crumb jar in the Pantry!

I realise that a lot of my meals at the moment are by their very nature geared to providing at least one hot meal a day.  You have to do what you can though with the pennies in your purse and making sure that the belly is full is my priority.  Occasionally I push the boat out but for the best part my cooking consists of simple practical fare based on what we can afford.  It does involve serious practical choices and going without stuff as well. Sometimes it is not easy and there  is only so much "Magic" I can achieve with what I have. I am aiming for moderation at the end of the day in our eating.  I stretch things out as far as I can and try not to waste anything.

A little later we popped to Iceland The Food Warehouse.  Some good prices there at the moment across the board.  Came back with four tins of mushy peas and a two tins of Corned Beef on offer @ £2.50 a tin.  A bit larger tin.  Mushy peas were 60p per can.  Plenty of offers on all over.  Philadelphia cheese is £1.25 per carton at the moment which is a good price.  Both Iceland The Food Warehouse and Home Bargains seem to be offering good product and pricing at the moment.  I like the Starbucks Caramel coffee drinks.  At our local Co-Op they charge £2.40 a bottle.  At Iceland The Food Warehouse they are still on offer for 3 bottles for £3.  Have snagged another three jars and they are now installed in the fridge.  The bottles are ever so useful for preserving.  You will find something there.  They also offer various frozen meals for 3 x £10.  We have been trialling them in the past fortnight just to ease things up on the budget a bit not to rely on solely.  Have had some lovely stuff and been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of those items we have had.  I am very finicky when it comes to food.  Look out in particular for Harry Ramsdens fish meals.  Their Fish strips are lovely thicker than a fish finger and we think better value for money. Instead of buying the battered fillets just recently we have been buying these.  Also Cathedral City products especially cauliflower cheese and Potato Dauphinoise both of which I am loving at this particular moment in time.

Therefore a very good day on the shopping front.  You do not have to buy masses but enough to get through.

Right am off to get tea.

Have a lovely evening everyone.

Catch you soon.




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