Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Day 18 of Extremely Frugal February - Cheesecake!

Day 18 of 28, Time for Frugal Cheesecake!

You all get the gist of the basic routine here in Frugaldom now, don't you?
It's mainly porridge for breakfast, pot of tea on the stove, homemade soup and bread for lunch and then dinner is usually based loosely around the premise of meat and two veg surrounded by something like pastry, pasta, rice, potatoes or herby dumplings (doughballs)! Tonight, it will be herby dumplings.
We enjoy dessert or pudding of some description almost every day and this normally includes a portion of fruit, hopefully home grown, depending on what's in season or in the freezer.
This meal combination takes care of the majority of the winter months and, us being in Scotland, chilly winter months far outweigh the hot summer months.
Today, my order from Approved Food* arrived. It costs me less to pay £5.25 delivery than it does to get into town for shopping, so that part of my budget has its own category, or column, within my spreadsheet so I can easily compare the year's delivery charges and transport or travel costs with what it used to cost to keep a car on the road. I am far better off without the car, even if I factor in the cost of hiring a car for a week during holidays! But I digress!
My order arrived and it had to be made up to a minimum of £15, so I added in 4 packs of cheesecake mix (£1) along with some other non-essentials to make it worth my while buying the ice cream mix, tinned mango and the 9kg of pasta! I could hardly believe my luck when I saw it listed at 99p for 3 kilos, as it's closer to that for 500g in our local store! I love pasta, it is almost as versatile as potatoes for bulking out the basics and all those carbohydrates help H make it through another day of log-splitting! :) But tonight isn't about pasta, it's about CHEESECAKE! :)
This is the first time I have tried packet cheesecake mix and it was so simple that I was quite amazed! Cheesecake is something that falls outside of the frugal budget of 'homemade' luxuries owing to the lack of access to the rather expensive ingredients, so 25p for a pack just seems awesome to me!
Defrosting home-grown blackcurrants for the cheesecake

As expected, I didn't use 'real' butter, I used the 25p/400g tinned margarine to melt into the biscuit base, so that added a whole 2.5p to the price.

Base made, 'creamy' top whipped
 The mix needed 300ml of milk - I used semi-skimmed - so that added 24p to the overall price. I could have used UHT to knock a couple of pennies off the cost and I'm sure even the cheap powdered milk may have worked, but today I am using 'real' milk, albeit semi-skimmed.
Cheesecake taking shape!
 I don't have any tin foil pie trays left, so I'm using a round sponge tray lined with tin foil.

Making the fruit topping
The pack is for a plain cheesecake - vanilla flavoured - but my all time favourite is blackcurrant, so I defrosted some home grown ones and mixed these with a big spoonful of homemade blackcurrant jelly. I probably should add on the cost of that, as I need to buy sugar for making it, so I'll allow 5p, as a jar of jam or jelly costs very little to make when using free fruit.

Homemade blackcurrant cheesecake
This is how my cheesecake is looking now - it is in the fridge setting and will be sliced after dinner. It SHOULD serve 6, lasting us 3 days, but seriously folks, I reckon we'll demolish it over two days by scoffing a quarter pie each in one sitting! Total cost for making it - 57p

Edited in - Here's how it looked served and it WILL serve 6, so will last the Frugaldom household 3 days.

Cost per serving - 9.5p
NYK, Frugaldom
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  1. round yours for dessert then :D

    1. You'd be more than welcome, Maisie, but I fear it'll be finished before you make it across the 200+ miles distance between you and me. If you do set off, however, could you let me know in advance so I can ask you to bring me a few bits and pieces, please? LOL


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