Sunday, 31 August 2014

Rubber Chicken

We don't often have a traditional roast dinner on Sunday, but today was an exception.

When The Sun carried Morrisons vouchers for £5 off a £10 spend on fresh meat a few weeks back I bought 2 copies of the paper and got £20 worth of meat for £10, plus the 80p cost of the papers. I bought items from their 3 for £10 range and got 3 whole chickens, a tray of 25 beef meatballs, 450gm beef mince and 450g diced beef. This made each item just £1.80 (inc cost of each newspaper). We had the meatballs between 4 of us with homemade sauce and pasta earlier this week, and today I roasted one of the chickens. The other 2 will be kept in the freezer for Christmas, or more likely the New Year since we are probably going to DD3 and BF's for Xmas dinner. 

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of our meal but this is what we had:-

Chicken - £1.80
Savers Yorkshire puds (45p a pack - we had 2/3rds pack at 30p)
1 kg potatoes (2.5 kg bag for 99p in Morrisons - so approx 40p)
2/3 bag Frozen country style veg (99p for the bag from Aldi, so 66p)
Parsnips from freezer (not sure of price but I got them reduced so allow 20p)
Pkt Vege sausage meat plus a pkt stuffing mix (both Approved Foods @ 5 packs for £1 - so 40p for the 2 packs) 
Gravy made with granules (approx 10p)

Total cost of whole meal = £3.86p

This served 4 of us for today's dinner, and the leftover chicken will make a stir fry for tomorrow (Monday) and a stew with plenty of veg added on Wednesday. There vegetarian sausage mix and the stuffing mix were combined and made enough stuffing to go in the chicken, plus I also baked a loaf tin full along with the roast. This stuffing 'meatloaf' will be sliced and served with onion gravy, mashed potato, sweetcorn and carrots on Tuesday. 

I will probably need to add about £3 worth of veg, noodles etc. to make these 3 extra meals, meaning I will have made 4 meals for 4 people (16 servings) for around £7, averaging  around 43p per serving. There won't be much chicken meat in either the stir fry or the stew, but then the idea of a rubber chicken is to make a little to go a long way.

Other meals this week will be homemade tuna fishcakes (using extra mash made for the meal on Tuesday plus a tin of AF tuna) with oven chips and peas, and a vege chilli made with odds and end of veg from the fridge and from my veg basket and served with rice from AF. Each of these meals will cost approx 40p per serving.

In addition to cooking, I have defrosted my big chest freezer this morning while it was manageable rather than my usual trick of waiting until it's so choked up with frost I have to hack the equivalent of a couple of icebergs off the sides of it. As I sorted through everything and put it away, I took an inventory and now I'm on a mission this month to use up what I have in stock rather than keep buying more...even if I do see a good offer. I've also started on itemising my other stockpiles of tinned and dried goods that are scattered around the house. It's a long time until next pay day and with DH starting his new job and using much more petrol I will have to be very careful with money until we sort out exactly how much more his travel will cost.

By the way, I haven't wasted those 2 newspapers even though I wouldn't squander my time reading them; they're being used to wrap up cat litter and vegetable peelings. 

As there are no dinner pics to post, here is a holiday snap instead.

Which hairy Scot is my husband and which the Highland Coo?
Even I had trouble telling the difference, so no prizes for guessing.

Before I go, I discovered a site today with this mum's challenge to cut her spending for her family of 4 to just £20 a week for a month. You have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to read the first blog posts - 
Although she's doing a pretty good job, she admits she can't wait for the challenge to end. Hopefully some of the leesons she's learned will remain with her and she'll still save money, but unlike many people she's lucky she doesn't have to do this week after week, month after month and year after year. Lucky that she also had enough money at the start of the challenge to stock up in advance. My heart goes out to those who have to manage like this day in day out.


  1. We had beef the other week for the first time in over a year, the sheer was my daughters co op closing time bargain

    1. Roast amb is the meat I miss most that's why I buy minced lamb and make it go a long way so we at least get the taste of it.