Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shopping Week 4-6

I clutched my shopping list, barely able to contain my excitement at the meals ahead I do realise this comes across as rather sad...   I skipped round the supermarket, sans kids obviously, picking up bargains galore.   I was a teeny bit worried as I'd added some basic toiletries as well as the shopping and as you all know, I take cash with me these days, to stop me picking up that kg of smoked salmon or half price champagne.....mmmm...champagne......   I add up as I go along, rounding up.   Now this is where it gets good; my bargains and canny shopping meant that my bill for two whole weeks shopping came to....wait for it...£70.29.   Yes....that includes over £5 on toiletries so for food alone, £65.   Happy dance.....and the receipt to prove it.

As you can see from the meal list below, shopping on a budget does not mean skimping on meals or even on quality as some misguided wee soul suggested to me last week and will now rue the day....*evil, smug chuckle*...yes, I lose friends daily and expect to be clobbered soon...; the chicken was free range, the beef grade A, fresh herbs were purchased as well as good quality fruit and veg.  The remaining cash will be used for something nice from the deli or butchers or towards Friday night's soiree....entertaining is a separate budget usually although a lot of what I'll be serving is within the list below (stews, pizzas etc).

Buttermilk chicken with smashed sweet potatoes and roasted veg.
Beef stew (enough for 15 servings) with pastry rounds
Farmhouse chicken & chorizo stew (Helen's recipe) with dumplings (10 servings)
Vegetarian lasagna x 2
Homemade pizza & hearthbread with mozarella and garlic
Artichoke Salad (still loving it!)
Macaroni cheese x 2
Salmon fishcakes with green veg
Vegetable and lentil soup with homemade rolls
Haggis, neeps and tatties
Vegetable curry and rice
Pasta with homemade tomato sauce with garlic butter swirls
Chicken and couscous
Omelettes & chips

I got some excellent beef for half price because the use by date was the next day; even if you are not going to cook it right away, it is worth buying to freeze.   As a result of this beef and the special offer already on, I made an enormous beef stew, taking a little of it for dinner that night (enough for five) and making a sour cream pastry crust to turn it into a pie.   Delicious.

I did the same with the chicken; I made the entire batch without chorizo as none was available, we had some for tea and froze the rest.   I shall defrost it for Friday night and add the chorizo, which I shall buy at the deli because I have plenty of budget and the West End deli the dish before placing in the oven to reheat.   This is one of those dishes which is so much nicer the next day or after being frozen.

This is one of my best shops yet; I have lots left over, e.g. pasta sheets, flour, frozen meals and could easily provide 3 weeks worth of meals from it.

Homemade bread/rolls/pancakes with chicken/cheese/jam/Nutella
French toast
Boiled eggs and soldiers
Mini pizzas

Boiled eggs
Cake bread

Chocolate, cherry and coconut bread

Beef stew baked in a pie
Farmhouse chicken stew minus the chorizo


Pizza....before baking

Hearthbreads...before baking

Roasted sweet potato and Maris Pipers

Recipes to follow.

Giveaway coming up soon; watch this space!!


5thsister said...

Come do my shopping for me. Better yet, come do my cooking, too! :o)

SamiJoe said...

goodness lady, i don't know why i come to your blog!

it's always soooo yjmmy looking!

great job shopping! I love it when i use more than half the total for satisfying!

Judy Harper said...

Helen, what does L50 equal in dollars? I'm going to try the beef stew pie! Looks so delicious! I was telling someone here that I wanted to try the bread, but wondered if it's yeast or easy fix!

Judy Harper said...

I think I found how to convert. 50 pounds equals $80.00. I am definitely going to start following your list!

Anna said...

i am sitting at school- drooling over you scrumptious pictures of your delicious creations!

now my stomach is growling!!! : )

Melissa said...

Helen, you're blog is fabulous -- I stumbled across it yesterday at SITS. You inspire me to be a more creative cook. LOL We shall see...

Right now, I'm not so inspired. This morning's blog post was my complaining for the day!

Love the blog.

Beth said...

You are amazing!!
I would love some of the stew recipes and the hearth bread recipes.
I am terrible about planning meals and I am trying so hard to pay attention to what you are doing. I go to the store probably every other day and always for get something.
Great post....I need some help!!


mise said...

I tried your roast artichoke idea and it's definitely a winner - v. nice in a cold rice salad with roast red onion & peppers, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, wholegrain rice and dressing.

Do you know what would be really interesting? With all the homemade bread and all, I'd love to know how long cooking/baking takes you on an average week. Probably no longer at all than those of us who buy more but are less organised.

Helen McGinn said...

5th sister, I'd love to...if only you were closer...... ;O)

SamiJoe, thank you lass!

Judy, it's easy yeast I use! Can't be bothered with all that faffing although it does the job the same either way. :O) I'll post the recipe for the stew this week; the crust was a sour cream mix I'd never used before...a cross between dumplings and pastry I'd say.

Anna, then my job is done... ;O) xx

Melissa, thank you and welcome!!

Beth, I couldn't do it without organisation; I sit with my recipe books and pick out what I'd like to eat, making sure some old favourites are included and something new. I make sure there is a mix between meat, fish and veg dishes which also means a mix in cost. I also stick to the list as much as possible! Hard at times...half price champagne n'all.... ;O)

mise, that sounds lovely!! I think that would make a good post, the time factor; thank you hon! xx

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh my goodness you amaze me. When can I come for dinner??

My friend just got back from New Zealand and was raving about a meat pie. Your beef stew in a pocket thing looked just like what she was talking about. I'll have to send her your way:)

Kerry said...

Yummy!!!! everything looks sooooo good Helen.

Thanks for posting...

Ms Bibi said...

I started shopping on a budget few months ago when hubs lost his job and I was stunned to find out how well we can eat cooking at home and planning our meals. We are spending less then 60% of what we used to spend on food and we are eating better.

Caroline said...

Mmmm...You're making me hungry!

All of it looks FABULOUS!

aladdinsane12 said...

very impressive! i like how the most expensive thing on your shopping list is loo roll- that's good shopping!

and everythign looks delicious- i'm starving now!!

Protege said...

I dislike buying groceries, I think I have said this before. I guess I dislike cooking and having no one to cook for but myself, buying food feels like such a waste of money.;) But it is refreshing to come here and see how yo relish in your weekly shopping and even better, all the delicious meals you manage to produce. Mmmm.

Sumandebray said...

I am hungry and had to keep a tissue on the keyboard ... you know safety reasons!
Another delicious post

panamamama said...

Wow! I am doing better but not that good! Looks so yummy!

Caution Flag said...

I'm convinced now that I don't cook well enough to be a thrifty shopper. Oh, that hurts to admit!!

"And so our stories go..." said...

Wow, you are amazing. My husband does the shopping...and I have to turn it into something. Love your pics.

Jayde said...

I'm beginning to wonder if I should start making menus like you. I'm not sure how 50 translates into American money, but it sounds to me like you have got one hell of a system. I should start cooking like you!

LisaDay said...

Hold the haggis, but otherwise I am coming over for dinner, lunch, breakfast and any time you are serving any type of dessert.

Happy belated Robbie Burns Day.

Stopping by from SITS.


Stacy said...

WOW! I love your ideas and can I come eat at your house tonight?!?!

Thanks for sharing on the practicality of living on a budget! Awesome!!!!

Melissa B. said...

You really are a master of the market! I often buy meat right before it expires. But I'm not as patient at getting most bargains. Bravo for you!

koralee said... are the one my do you do that???? Plus the menu looks amazing. Please I need your help! xo

koralee said... are the one my do you do that???? Plus the menu looks amazing. Please I need your help! xo

Lottie said...

OK I going to have to have a serious think about stopping visiting this site, as it always ALWAYS makes me think of the food I waste in my house and makes so DAM HUNGRY...

But saying that I will still visit don't worry !!

Love this blog... have you thought about having it all made into a book....cos ya should lol

Reluctant Housewife said...

Wow. You're so organized. I've never been that organized... not even in my imagination.

My husband just caught site of the food photography and I think he's hoping that you'll inspire me to cook something that resembles food. Well, I suppose if anyone can inspire me it's you. Those pictures look delicious!

Unknown Mami said...

Helen, as always the food looks amazing!

I can't wait for the giveaway!

Tracie said...

You are awesome. I can't get out of the store for less than $100 and that usually doesn't cover the entire week.

I think I'd like to try the beef stew. Looks yummy!

Laura said...

I can't wait to get the recipes! That stew looks so nice and comforting.
Though everything looks fantastic.

Ginger said...

Are you suggesting that it's bad practice to go and buy groceries without a budget in mind or without a list? That it is poor form to spend twice that amount on food that will probably be wasted because I hadn't had the forethought to use it in a specific recipe? In that case, I'm ashamed. :)

This is me, learning from you. You do know that if (when) I move to the UK, I will be downloading your grocery receipts so that I learn how to shop there, right?

Candy said...

awesome job lady! nothing more satisfying than getting a great deal! i am dying for the recipe to ur beef stew baked in a pie! would be so nice in this cold winter weather.

Kristina said...

FAB shopping! So smart and your family is eating so well (and healthy too). In reading through your meals, everything sounded so good til I got to the haggis. LOL...just cant bring myself to eat it! No matter how much I love Scotland! lol

gaelikaa said...

What are pikelets? And neeps and chorizo! Good post lass, you held me captive!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

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