Frugal February

January, it seems, is not quite long enough. At least not long enough for me to share all the frugal tips that I seem to be learning. Focusing on my store cupboard, on what I have rather than what I want/can spend money on is really changing my relationship to food shopping and cooking. First, my fridge is no longer overloaded with more cheese than I can eat. Second, I am only buying one or two perishables at a time, so no more mushy pears or yellowing greens. And third, and third is my favourite, I am finding it a much more creative process than writing out a massive shopping list and spending lots of money. I am using up everything and I can honestly say that, this month, apart from undeniable necessities that aren’t on my store cupboard list, like cat food, loo roll and washing-up liquid, I have only bought refreshers so 1) some bacon 2) dairy (crème fraîche, unsalted butter, milk) and 3) vegetables and fruit. And, before you suggest that I have been eating out for four weeks, I have eaten out, or at someone else’s house, a mere four times. For someone whose usual penny-pinching never sees the light of day once through the doors of Waitrose, this has been a revelation.

I’m also, ha ha, and this one really surprises me, losing weight because I am cooking everything, from my bread for breakfast toast to my afternoon cake or biscuit to my dinner. Nothing extraneous comes through the door, I’m hardly wasting a thing (even the ends of my bread become breadcrumbs) and I have more ideas for what to cook than ever, just not enough hours in the day to cook them or blog about them. So, since February is not likely to be flush, I am going to carry on for another month, finding quick soups, making bread, making a dinner party dish without going shopping (that is a true challenge for me), baking cakes and flushing out short, cheap, store-cupboard-friendly recipes. But, don’t worry, March will be merry. For one thing I am DESPERATE for roast chicken. So if you see a tall, dark-haired woman hanging around in front of supermarket rotisseries, looking glazed over, just gently redirect me back to the vegetables…

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4 Responses to Frugal February

  1. Great work! I have peeps over this week for supper. Any fail safe, cupboard meals you can recommend? The freezer is pretty stocked too with fish/meat etc. Thanks a million! Gems

  2. Michael Rourke says:

    I am planning to have a frugal April – or at least, planning to try to use up some of the stuff that has been languishing in my store cupboard for ages. I agree, it leads to more creative thinking if you try to use what you have. Due to an online Waitrose delivery that went horribly wrong, I have 48 cans of kidney beans and about 24 cans of chopped tomatoes. My husband is sick to death of chili con carne. any ideas? 😀

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