Friday, 16 August 2013

A Mystery Dessert and Thank you for my Free Chocolate @Approvedfood

137 Days and Counting Costs

My latest order from Approved Food* has just arrived and everything was present and correct. It was ordered and paid for before I blogged about the 137 days, so has no impact on my remaining budget, but it does contain some extras along with all the usual stuff, like handy packaging boxes, bubble wrap and free chocolate - this time it's Fairtrade Cadbury's Dairy Milk.
The reason this order was placed was to take advantage of the Hovis strong white bread flour.
My local village store sells bread flour but it's well over £1 for a 1.5kg bag and nearly an 8-mile cycle to go any buy it. The opportunity to buy 12kg for a measly £2 is certainly not to be sniffed at, so I didn't sniff, I ordered.
In Frugaldom, homemade bread is usually the only bread available unless you bring your own, so flour is looked upon as an absolute essential. Thank you to 'flourgirl' for pointing out this bargain in the Frugaldom Forum.
Extras are difficult to avoid, even the very strictest frugalers can find reason for spending a few pounds extra, especially if it looks like a bargain. I needed a new brush for sweeping the floors, as my old one is almost worn out, so I bought a nice new brush head for £1.49, then popped a roll of bin bags into the order, another 99p. Some people won't consider such things as bargains but those people have obviously never lived in the country where we have no shops other than the local village stores. We tend to pay premium rates for most things and there's a limit to what can be carried in a bicycle basket. Speaking of bicycles, that was my next bargain buy - a pair of leather fingerless gloves for each of us. At 75p per pair, these are both fab and comfy.
Things like biscuits and crisps got added, as I really cannot expect house-sharing H to bake his own and I can't bake them at the rate he can eat them, nor would I even try, so this is a small concession, about £5 worth of snacky things by way of assorted biscuits and crisps. I treated myself to six tins of tuna in brine at 99p per tin - something I love but he hates. And now for some rather more far-fetched bargains... mice! £1.20 for two and hopefully no more problems getting the touchpad to work on the laptop when my hands are cold, I'll simply plug in a mouse!
Grow some nuts... peanuts, I mean!
These just looked like too much fun to miss, so I got two tins for £1.20 and will keep them for my grand daughters to plant in the hope we can grow some groundnuts, or monkey nuts, as many like to call them. (It's been about 6 years since eldest grand-daughter planted her apple pip and peach stone and both little trees are now growing, safely transplanted to the Frugaldom mini orchard.)
What else did I buy? The order came to a total of £32.14 after getting bread flour, spaghetti, tuna, crisps, biscuits, the replacement brush head, bin bags and extras, let me see... oh yes! A toast stamp! I simply couldn't resist this!
What with the spare room now being ready for guests, I thought it would be good to invite eldest grand-daughter to come for a weekend to try out what she calls 'her room'. She's very independent for a soon-to-be nine year old, so I know fine well that this will be 39p well spent to make her morning toast extra special after she has helped bake the bread the evening before, don't you think? I'm sure she'll love it!
There's one item that would normally have been seen as an extravagance but also one that I know many of my friends wouldn't be able to resist either - a cookery book!
I'd looked at it on Amazon with RRP of £20 reduced to just over £12, so when it I saw it on the Approved Food* site with a price tag of just £2.99 (for a brand new hard back book), I was hooked. If for no other reason, I bought it because it's a manly enough foraging, hunting, gathering cookery book to give to my son, so he has more of a choice of meals than just spaghetti or chicken with rice. I should have read it by the time Christmas gets here, when he'll get it as an extra from Santa!
Back on the frugal food train, I did drop something into my basket that I class as a mystery item. It's foreign and I think it must be mix for some sort of Turkish sweet rolls or biscuits. Has anyone else tried these? The packs weigh 400g each and they were being cleared at 8 packs for £1, so I reckoned, 'what the heck, give them a whir'.
My Turkish isn't good, so I'm currently trying to work out what to do with this using an online translator. There are basic photo instructions on the pack but I can't see what the quantities are or what the other ingredients are that need to be added.
OK, the instructions seem to translate into something alone the lines of cook in a small pot with 350ml water, 50g margarine and 25ml oil.
Even if the above turns out to be instant mashed sweet potato cakes, 8 bags for £1 is still a whopper of a bargain IF I can decipher how to make them and they turn out edible!
I'm off to experiment in the kitchen with this product now.  I'll be back later, wish me luck!

Edited in: Thank you, Tad, for pointing me in the right direction. This is a pre-mix and just needs the water and oil/marg adding, so I'll try making some tomorrow. According to recipes and descriptions for flour Helvas shown on other websites, this product contains nuts. It certainly tastes nutty. (I tried the flour to ascertain whether or not it was just flour or premixed with the other ingredients.)
* Denotes a sponsored, affiliated or friend-referral link


  1. I got 4 bags of the bread flour too and have made pizzas with some of it this afternoon. In the same order I got 60 cans of tuna for 50p a can and 6 jars Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise for 60p a jar, plus some jars and packets of Chicken, Lamb and Salmon sauces. I generally manage to get all my cat food from them too by stocking up whenever they have a good offer on. My bedroom looks like an offshoot of a supermarket where I have so much stored, but I'll take that over paying full price any day.

    1. Wow! 60 cans of tuna at 50p per can? I thought I was doing well getting 6 cans at 99p I have bought the cat food on a couple of occasions but there haven't been any offers available when I was ready to order. (And it's free when I use cash back Amazon vouchers and buy it from there. LOL)

      I took advantage of their suet, batter mix and pizza dough in the past, so I'm still using up that, along with scone and muffin mixes. :)

  2. I've just sent off for another order as suddenly cat food was available and we really need some for our fussy pussy, he's suddenly gone off Felix and Whiskas, so he's getting some cheapo stuff and the Felix can wait until he's fed up with that and then be brought back into play. Oooh and I might have accidently ordered another box of Snickers Cruncher bars too, but at just £1 for 24 bars I'd be mad not too wouldn't I :-)

    Love your non-food bargains.

  3. as I have said before I wish we had something like this here in Canada.



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