Saturday, 26 February 2022

Thank You ... and Buying to Copy


Firstly, thank you to everyone who commented yesterday.  

It really helped me to think about the Challenge after reading all your comments and I have decided that my No Spend Challenge should really be a LOW spend Challenge.

My food budget is still the same just £50 per month for the whole of the year, but I will be relaxing my No Spend Challenge rules on some things.  For instance I will allow myself to buy any really necessary things that I need ... something else was purchased yesterday and will be delivered in 6-8 weeks for instance.  So if I was going to say I failed, then I failed again yesterday, but I didn't ... I adapted my Challenge for the sake of my health.  

What I am going to do ... and thanks for the idea Allie Jane ... is to keep a journal note of anything that I buy that I have decided is a real need during the course of the Challenge, if nothing else it will keep me focused and enable me to look back over the year at what I have spent.


My new little £7.50 black planter and the green obelisk that will be for the French Beans to grown up.

Thank you again for all the comments yesterday.

And now ... the post I had planned for today.

A tasty little tea last night, it was just an M&S Melt in the Middle No Fish Cake with the last of the Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and two spring onions.  Quite tasty and passable  but it was just as it said virtually a fishcake with the fish left out and oozy vegan cheese in the middle ... something I could no doubt do myself much cheaper.

Seemingly it contains:  

Flavourful flakes of rice protein combined with potato filled with a deliciously creamy coconut centre, coated in breadcrumbs. Simply heat the oven for 20 minutes and serve alongside chunky chips. Serves 2. 

But I would just make a mashed potato cake and then place a square of vegan melty cheese in the middle and then coat with breadcrumbs and bake in the Remoska.  Virtually the same outcome just with a cheaper price tag.  But sometimes it's worth buying a product just to see if you can replicate it and this was bought in a pre-Christmas rush of madness to the head when I filled the fridge with M&S goodies.

I think I will call mine simply a Cheesy Mashed Potato Cake 😁


After making up another batch of Apple Pies in the sausage roll maker earlier I had a little strip of pastry over, once again I rolled it out thinly sprinkled it with cheese, rolled again, sprinkled on more cheese and left it in the fridge.

Then while the Remoska was still hot from cooking the Fishless Fishcake I cooked my little Cheese and Cracker All in One dessert and ate it straight after my tea.  Very satisfying.

Is there anything that you have recently bought and then successfully replicated at home ... for a lot less money?


Sue xx


21 comments:

  1. Low spend challenge is the way to go. I had to purchase new glasses as I had badly scratched the lense. Life happens and all of a sudden the savings take a dive. Spending for health reasons has to happen.

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  2. Good for you. Adapting is definitely the right word and it makes a lot of sense. In a way, this is a learning journey so it's bound to keep adapting, one almost might say 'organically'. A spending journal is a brilliant idea.
    xx

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  3. A wise decision to adapt your challenge Sue. For me, these challenges are more about how I can do things better rather than feeling deprived and virtuous. Life is too short not to have treats or to make our lives more enjoyable. Go girl!

    I love the new black planter. We have 3 obelisks and a metal look trough similar to yours which we brought with us in the move. We are debating whether or not to grow a clematis up one obelisk. We might use one of the others for some french beans at the allotment now. Thanks for the tip Sue :)

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    1. Adapting can be good, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

      Don't tell anyone but my 'metal planter' is in fact a £4.99 plastic one from Aldi, I bought three of them last year. The other two are at the front of the Lodge.

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    2. Our plastic 'metal' trough came from either Aldi or The Range, I can't remember which one now but it looks the part. My lips are sealed ....I won't tell a soul! ;)

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  4. I tend to cook almost entirely from scratch, so I can't think of anything I've replicated recently. I did find a trick last summer when I was putting up pasta sauce: I ground up zucchini and yellow squash and added it to the sauce. It made a great thickener, used up some of the huge surplus of squash, and added another veggie to the sauce, so it was a win all around. I do enjoy reading your posts, Sue--your creative use of small bits of food is inspiring. Today we tossed a whole bag of apples--Fuji--because they were absolutely tasteless. I wondered what you might have done with them. They were truly awful, worst apples I've ever tasted, but at least they weren't entirely wasted as the chickens are enjoying them right now. My living recyclers!

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    1. Yes, I used to chop and freeze all my excess courgettes (zucchini) in chunks and add them to soups and stews all through the Winter. They bulk meals out with an extra vegetable so well.

      What would I have done with tasteless apples, well now that I haven't got chickens anymore I guess I would have stewed them with vanilla extract or Maple syrup and then used them in a couple of pies. I don't like biting into a flavourless apple it's such a disappointment isn't it :-(

      Swapping tasteless apples for happy hens and then eggs is a good way of recycling them.

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  5. I'm puzzling over "flavouful flakes of rice protein' is it rice? Can you have rice protein without rice? I'm Confused .com. This is a rhetorical question so don't worry!

    Very handy sized planter ........Mmmm French beans - roll on spring and summer

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    1. Rice protein is made from brown rice and has all the protein but none of the carbs so is a healthy addition to a copy of meat or fish product.

      I know!! This little bit of sunshine over the last few days has me itching to plant.

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  6. I've moved to a 'low spend' too. I'm growing all my own veg and pick it fresh every day. Saves us from making a lot of visits to the supermarket and stops us being tempted by the 'sweets and treats'.

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    1. It's once you get there the temptation sets in doesn't it. I'm making sure I go with a full tummy every time I shop to try and curb temptation as much as possible, but NOT going at all is a much safer option.

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  7. I avoid a lot of foods in the shops, but am always asking people what they eat, etc, to get some good ideas.

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    1. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos for ideas. We do get stuck in our little ruts if we're not careful don't we.

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  8. As prices climb I just go for no spend days. Anything I really need to make life simpler as I age I am purchasing, just trying to limit the days I do go out and purchase things.

    I just made a Brown lentil chili last night, replicating it from a place we visited before the pandemic hit. I used a recipe and tweaked it a little bit.

    God bless.

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    1. That sounds nice, I was just looking at a brown lentil 'bolognaise' recipe the other day that sounded delicious and has all the ingredients that I have in the house. It might be on this weeks menu plan.

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  9. You are very welcome for the suggestion. Low spend is better . I used to go overboard on buying clothing as I would try Judith levines challenge and fail by the 2nd week.
    I still buy clothes, but only when I need them. I have gone a bit nuts due to expando belly but how many maternity tops and dresses do I need? And then I lost it last night when clothing tower collapsed on me. And I thought I’m so done. But I don’t like throwing things away. Due to my size.
    I like to indoor garden to that is my main realise and vegetarian cookery from scratch. So that is my main focus now. Keep at you will start to feel much better soon.

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    1. It's so tempting to buy some nice things when you are pregnant though so I understand and you do deserve to look and feel pretty. I may have to buy a couple of items for our holiday but I'll be looking through all my packed away Summer clothes first and getting a capsule wardrobe together for travelling with.

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  10. Your challenge is for you so you get to choose the rules - I certainly envy you the chance to travel.
    I saw an idea on you tube for using Ikea blue bags as grow bags. I now want to try and grow some potatoes in an area where we have paving but it is sunny and tucked around the side of the house.
    Helen

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    1. That's a really good idea, and while I don't have the space for any Ikea bags I had planned to use a couple of supermarket 'Bags for Life' for growing some potatoes in, it worked really well last year.

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