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February Forecast

I removed Tuesday's post about the charity shop as there may be some legal proceedings, probably over cautious on my part but I thought it was for the best.

January isn't that much of a saving month for us as we do lots of celebrating and things like that, more than in December, so February is the first month of the year we have a financial push. The grocery budget will be lowered to £100, I would have it slightly lower but I need to buy both rabbit food and litter. February is a great month for savings here, short month, no Council Tax, no expected one off expenses (car etc), not much happening but we always seem to be really productive.



This week I've been creating extra meals by pinching a bit of everything from other meals - kind of like leftovers in reverse, I snaffle away a slice of this and a chunk of that before cooking until I have a bowlful of ingredients. Tonight we're having curry made with a few florets of cauli we were having with stew, about 1/4 tin of chickpeas from making houmous, some tomatoes from the salad bowl, 1/4 squash I'd roasted for soup etc. We didn't miss the extra cauli with the stew, the soup was just as nice with a bit less squash but we have an extra meal. 

We've really made an effort to use things up and the amount of half filled bottles of stuff in the fridge has vastly reduced, we've not had to eat anything too weird yet and I'm still avoiding the peri peri fava beans that are in the freezer.

It's Dan's birthday next week and his office do that thing where the birthday person treats everyone to cakes. I am not a baker by any stretch of the imagination, I have spoken of my cake failures before, so I thought I'd better practice. Isa Chandra Moskowitz saved the day once again. I made Just Chocolate Cake from Isa Does It (recipe in the link). It worked!


It's very soft and light, not oily at all. I'd say nice enough to serve to other people. I didn't make the glaze this time but I will for the proper cake. As there are 20 people in the office I'm going to try a lemon cake too, I have all the ingredients for that so it's not going to break the bank. Additional skills!

Comments

  1. We changed from shopping weekly (through lack of decent alternative) at a shop rhyming with wazda to a recently opened shop rhyming with widdle and saved £20 A WEEK!!! Now there is four of us, cat food, dog food however bar one or two items we can not get from the second shop our list has not changed much ... so as our eldest son noted - we now get a free shop once a month ..... I would love to get it down further but short of starving the bottomless pit of collective teenagers we have, I think we may only be able to reduce it here or there. Well done on the cake front, a good selection - chocolate and lemon drizzle :)

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    1. Wow, that's amazing, one free shop a month is a great way of looking at it. It's a bit of a trek to our nearest one but I believe one is being built not too far away so I'll certainly check it out when it opens.

      I thought it was a good choice of cakes, very different so if you're not a fan of one flavour you might be a fan of the other.

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  2. I think you're probably right in deleting the post, can't be too careful. I never understood why the birthday person had to buy the cakes! Shouldn't it be the other way round.

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    1. I have always thought that, mind you everyone forgot Dan's birthday last year. I'm not sure they deserve cake!

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  3. That's a brilliant tip about stretching meals - we always eat too much at meal times anyway so it would do us no harm to shave some off and use it another day.

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    1. We really don't miss it, it's well worth trying, it doesn't take long to get enough for an extra meal. I had planned to batch cook the curry but changed my mind, but you know how it is, once I'd decided to make something else I couldn't stop thinking about curry!

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  4. We are eating out of the freezer at the moment the money saved will be spent on filling the freezer again once we have moved. The cake looks delicious.

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    1. Thank you. I am always very nervous about feeding other people, hence the trial run.

      Having the extra cash to fill the freezer when the time comes is another bonus you're quite right.

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  5. What a good idea saving a bit of this and a bit of that to make an extra meal. That chocolate cake looks delicious and I'm a big fan of anything lemony so I'd be hard pressed to choose which I'd have a slice of.

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    1. Thank you. The chocolate cake is honestly the lightest cake I have ever eaten. I'm still slightly nervous about baking cakes for other people, especially as people have "banter" with Dan about vegan food so I really want them to be nice!

      I think having the choice of gooey chocolate or zingy lemon is a good one, almost certainly something for everyone (thankfully there is no-one with a nut or gluten allergy in the office).

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  6. I like the idea of 'left-overs' in reverse.... and the result looks delicious. Jx

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    1. Thank you, it was really tasty, we ate it just with some brown rice.

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  7. I have to say your food always looks so delicious x

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  8. That chocolate cake does look good - we also have to supply birthday buns for the office. It is a few years since I made the cakes though but maybe this year - I will make a note of the recipe.

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    1. Thank you, the recipe was so simple. Dan was going to try to find something to take in but in terms of cost and tradition it's better to make something. He does get a bit of good natured poking about being vegan so I want the celebration to be "normal" if you see what I mean.

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  9. That is a clever idea for carving out an extra meal. I am holding every trick I can learn to save funds as we have a new driver and more car insurance starting soon.

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    1. Oh wow, yes you're going to need all those extra pennies!

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  10. Ooohhhh I missed Tuesday's post so you've made me curious now. Those dishes look delicious and perfect for winter.

    http://lizziedailyblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Ha! I just spoke a little about the reasons the charity shop I volunteered at had closed down, nothing too exciting!

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  11. Oh my! It's so long since I worked in an office I had forgotten about the cake buying tradition. Yours looks delicious. X

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    1. Thank you. Dan's office is one where pretty much anything is an excuse for a celebration.

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  12. Sorry to hear your shop has closed - bad fortune for the employees and an unexpected chance for you to review your commitments. Your curry looks delicious! At my workplace, we have a birthday list and a cake bakers list. Someone signs up to make cake for someone else every time there is a birthday. As there are 21 of us, we were drowning in cakes and decided to cut back to one cake a month for everyone who has a birthday that month. As luck would have it, there are no birthdays in February or March!

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  13. That is a really great way to deal with the birthday cake situation.

    I don't know what changes I'm going to make but for the past few months I have been craving something different, although I'm not just jumping straight into something else. Should the shop reopen I think I'll drop down to just one day to free me up some whatever else.

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