Monday, 13 January 2014

Spend Some, Save Some

I waited in most of the day for the man to come and service our central heating boiler. His wife told me late morning/early afternoon and he finally turned up around 2pm, spent 10 minutes taking it apart, cleaning it up and testing it and left with £60 of last year's sealed pot money. Actually I gave him 3 x £20 notes from my housekeeping which I replaced with the equivalent coins from the SP money, so everything else I spend this week will be in £2, 50p or 20p coins. Our boiler is about 16 years old, having been in the house a couple of years longer than we have. It is still going strong and is serviced every year for safety by a small, local firm we've used for years. Although a new one might be a bit more energy efficient the cost would ouweigh the benefits, especially as we probably won't be staying in this house for more than three or four years as we'll move somewhere smaller when the kids have moved out.

Once the boiler man had left with a hefty wadge of my cash, I made the most of the fine weather and went for a walk. I only went into town and had a little wander around and then on the way back I nipped into Asda to look at their reduced section. There wasn't much there but I did treat myself to 3 Mullerlight Turkish Delight flavour yogurts. Normally around 60-70p each these were reduced to 18p. I couldn't resist; I love turkish delight but didn't get any for this Xmas, so this was my post-Xmas treat, and lower in calories and healthier than the real thing.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day. After missing out on my 4st off award by a measly half pound last week I've had a mixed week, some really naughty days, some really good. I'm hoping the good balances out the bad. Fingers crossed.

My youngest son visited today and stayed for dinner so I made one of his favourites, baked bacon roly poly.

He timed it well because I just happened to have 1/2 packet of Savers bacon bits that needed using up. This is the simplest recipe and can be made really cheaply. I used a suet mix from AF but if making from scratch you need:-

8 oz self raising flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
4 oz suet (regular or vegetarian)
4 oz finely chopped bacon
Medium onion, finely chopped
teaspoon dried sage or mixed herbs

Grease or line a baking tin with baking parchment. Set oven to Gas 6 or equivalent.

Mix together flour, baking powder and suet. Add enough cold water to make into a firm pastry. Roll out into a large rectangle (the size is determined by your baking tin but don't roll it too thin).  Finely chop the raw bacon and the onion (I use my food processor) and mix in the herbs. Wet the edges of the pastry, spread the bacon/onion mix over the rectangle of pastry and then roll up lengthwise like a swiss roll, sealing the edges and ends. Bake just above the centre of the oven at gas 6 for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and crusty. Slice as required to serve; it should serve 4-6 depending on appetite. We had this with mashed potatoes and baked beans.

 I made 2 roly polys and costed them like this -

1/2 pack (8 oz/250g) Morrisons Savers bacon bits at 89p for 500g - 45p
1.5 lb of an Approved Foods 3.5kg (7lb) catering pack of suet mix at £2.99 - approx 60p
Onion from a yellow-stickered pack of 4 for 27p - 7p
1 tsp Aldi Baking Powder - approx 5p
1 tsp herbs - 5p

Total Cost for 2 roly polys - £1.22 or 61p each
Each roly poly serves 4 people - 15p per serving

I used 1 roly poly and served with:-

2 tins Aldi Savers Baked beans at 24 p per tin = 48 p
2lb Potatoes from a 25kg sack - approx 30p
A little butter and milk for the mash - approx 10p

Total cost for 4 servings - 88p or 22p per person

Total cost for the meal per serving 15p(roly poly) + 22p(extras)  = 37p per person

The meal would be even cheaper if you're less piggy than my lot and made each roly poly do 6 servings.

DS is a poor student living in digs and studying a degree in music performance at Canterbury College, so I sent him home with a chunk of the second roly poly and the leftover mashed potatoes. Can't have my baby boy starving, can I? He's back over here on Saturday to play an accoustic gig at a pub in Deal and has requested I make Mint Choc Chip Muffins so look out for that recipe later in the week.


  1. The bacon roly poly looks lush, I'll have to give that a go, my lot love bacon x

    1. Its a good way of making a little bacon stretch a long way.

  2. Ooh I may try a vege version of this roly poly :) I love finding new recipes
    AFM xx

    1. I have made a vege version for my daughter just using grated cheddar mixed with the onion, but you could use vege sausage mix or maybe even quorn mince mixed with the onion. I'll have to try those myself.

  3. Oh, that is so lovely. I'm sure your boy appreciates it.

    Sft x