Saving myself a whole pile of money.

 We went to the local pet superstore today to buy another month’s supply of dog food, which is again, on very special offer. I say a month’s supply, it actually lasted us for six weeks. Whilst there, I couldn’t help but notice the local out of town eatery’s car park was packed with people who are there for Sunday lunch. I’m not decrying these places, people can spend their money as they please and the people who work there need the money. But! The sign out side ‘proudly’ proclaimed that Sunday lunch was £14.99 for three courses and £4.99 for children (in small print……under 10 years old) so a family of mum, dad and three teenagers would cost £75.95!!! I wouldn’t part with that much money to eat if Gordon Ramsay had cooked it. My Sunday two course roast dinner was £1.37 each! A lot more reasonable and affordable. There is just the two of us so we had two lean pork loin chops which cost us 55p each, as we just can’t eat a roasting joint.

 I always start by part cooking the parsnips, which we prefer with our Sunday lunch instead of potatoes and then place them in our mini-oven. I even make sure I don’t waste the goodness or the water and pour the water from one veg pot into the other.

 I place the parsnips and the stuffing balls into a hot oven, set the timer for 20 minutes and go away and knit a few more rows of the scarf  I’m knitting as a Christmas present.

Twenty minutes and a ring, ring from the timer later, I come back and turn over the parsnips and stuffing balls, put them back in the oven and get on with the huge task of making the dessert! I used to adore a dessert topping called ‘Tip Top’ when I was a child and we would get it on tinned fruit as a treat once in a while. I still love tinned fruit, but haven’t had ‘tip top’ in years.

 If you look in the tinned fruit aisle, you will notice that fruit in juice is often more expensive that the fruit in ‘light syrup’. I won’t pay more, so buy the cheaper, pour it into a sieve, get rid of the syrup and give the fruit a quick rinse under the tap and that works well for pineapple and peaches. I tap the sieve to make sure there is no water left before serving it with a long life UHT pudding. The Alpro was on offer for 2 four packs for £2, so only 25p each and a pot will easily make two puddings that extra bit special and the shelf life is months and months.

 The dessert is just delicious, a healthier version of peaches and cream (we don’t like cream so eat a soya alternative)……….I don’t think you can get ‘Tip Top’ any more!

 By now, I start to cook the veggies and put the chops onto the tray and back in the oven, set the timer again and go back to some more knitting…………it’s a hard life.

 The finished result. Sunday roast of parsnips, stuffing balls, pork loin, green bean, carrots, gravy and fruit and ‘cream £2.47 for the pair of us. The ‘home economics’ are below.

Carrots 12p + Green Beans 59p + Stuffing 30p + gravy 3p + pork loin £1.11 + parsnips 13p + Alpro 25P + tinned peaches 24p – total £2.74. We never did eat out very much and now we never do which meant I was glad we save ourselves £17.24 today and if we ate out just once a week, every week, and because we don’t , we have saved £896.48 this year! Unless you are a rich as Lord Alan Sugar, there is very little justification for eating out as no body I know has a spare £896 to just spend eating nothing better than they could cook at home!

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14 thoughts on “Saving myself a whole pile of money.

  1. I'm always surprised by meal costs in English restaurants, we were there in September and except for some pub meals fixed most of our meals at the cottage we'd rented. I found English grocery store prices very expensive too. Your meal looked heavenly.

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  2. I have been watching your blog daily. I want to know what your daily routine is particularly with regard to cleaning, cooking and chores. I need tips to improve my time management which is why I am asking.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean. We've just had our Sunday lunch and it probably came in at around £1.40 each including a homemade Yorkshire pud! I just can't bring myself to pay these sorts of prices especially when I can cook it for soooo much less. xx

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  4. Hi Justine – here's my day

    5.30 get up, wash and dressed.
    5.45 come downstairs – get something out of the freezer for supper
    6.00 make toast and tea, eat breakfast
    6.30 leave the house,walk to the station
    6.50 get on train
    7.20 get off train, walk to work
    7.30 – at my office at school, get ready for the teaching day
    8.30 start teaching
    4.45 – leave work and walk to the station
    5.00 get on train
    5.30 meet Dearly Beloved at station and walk home together
    5.50 get in the house
    6.00 start cooking dinner.
    6.30 eat dinner
    7.00 wash up
    7.00 – 9.00 mark books, write blog, walk dogs.
    9.00 go to bed – read, knit, listen to the radio, by 10 pm I'm always asleep.
    I have no time for any cleaning, laundry etc on a week day so I do all the housework at the weekend.

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  5. Hi Mac n' Janet,the exchange rate is not beneficial to those with dollars as a pound cost $1.60, so everything would be expensive. Wage costs are higher in the UK for people in the serivce industry as we don't subsidise their wages with tips, in short, we don't tip, that's what they get paid wages for. So food prices in restaurants is high but not in supermarkets. A whole chicken is £3, six pork loin steaks £3, a kilo of parsnips is 39p and a loaf of bread can be bought for as little as 45p – out of interest; which part of the UK did you rent a cottage in?

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  6. I love the alro deserts and always buy them when on offer, i Love the chocolate ones which i take to work for mychocolate fix. Myself and 3 kids woudl cost a small fortune eatign out, so we dont, eating out is a special occasion thing, birthday treat, even now we dont do that but cook a special meal at home instead. makes so much more sense to cook your own food, you know what went in it, and tastes so much nicer too, being cheaper is a bonus

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  7. WOW! You have time to blog with your day!!! One of the reasons I love your blog is because you have so many entries. I look at some of my favorites and their last blog was May. When I read, my favorite books are autobiographies of people that aren't famous. That is what your blog is for me. Reading about a regular person who has a regular life but a extraordinary mind!

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  8. Eating out here has become expensive now. You can get a 3 course meal for €10 but it isnt necessarily very good quality food, and that is important to me.
    Free range chicken is a bit more expensive, but I buy two good sized breasts and freeze one, using one with lots of vegetables for a meal for two.
    PS I wouldnt go to anywhere where Gordon is!

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  9. Hi craftynut beat me to it..tiptop is available still..i love it..the others love dream topping..4 packs for £1 at the mo in asda…i do love your blog..your so busy but still take time to educate us in many ways..you make me look lazy lol..i'm not just feel it when i read all that you do…busy woman..good on yer..
    sara

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  10. Just stumbled across your blog, great reading! Just a thought: the sugar syrup from the strained peaches can be saved and used to make Jello, a light fruit syrup to serve over pound cake, a light syrup to serve over pancakes/waffles/French toast, or even as a replacement for honey in some recipes. HTH! : )
    Carol
    CTonabudget.blogspot

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