Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Day 25 of Extremely Frugal February - Peppered Pitta Pizza

Day 25 of 28 and only 4 Days Until 'Making in March' Begins!

Excitement is mounting as the month of February quickly draws to a close.  The month's challenge was to be even more frugal than usual and I think that was achieved as soon as I gave the beautiful old leather sofa a new home and designed the 'new' living room around that without spending anywhere near the allocated budget. The room has been decorated, carpeted and fully furnished for under £140 with nothing more than a light shade needed to complete it.
Miniature iris and crocuses
The flowers are popping up all over the place with a beautiful display in the planters at the door. It gives the feeling that spring is on the way and brightens up an otherwise grey day!
The household budget hasn't been overly stretched, despite having the annual home insurance to pay and getting through almost £70 of coal to heat the house. To date, this month, I have spent a total of £269.52 of my household budget. Of that, £21.38 went on groceries.
I am still making the most of everything I have in stock, so meals are going to start getting very interesting soon. Keeping a regular supply of milk is always going to be a problem when we don't have transport or a shop within easy reach but there's always a supply of coffee whitener, as I bought 5kg for £1 from Approved Food*. (They still have Marvel on offer at 75p per tin.)
8 pitta breads for 19p or 10 packs (80) for £1... of course I opted for spending the full £1, so my freezer has quite a few pitta breads in it. There's no stopping us frugal Scottish gals once we get into a spending frenzy! ;) These help make a change from soup at lunchtimes, especially when made into pizzas. Today we had peppered pitta pizza and  we were very greedy in that we ate two each.
Pitta bread, tinned tomatoes, seasoning and herbs
One tin of chopped tomatoes is sufficient for 4 pizzas and I don't really mind that the juice is soaking into the pitta bread. Salt and pepper get sprinkled over the top of the tomatoes.
Using cheap dried herbs
Today I had to use the cheap dried, store-bought herbs as we're a little lacking in fresh herbs at the moment - and it was pouring rain. I think these ones cost me 19p for the tub some time ago. I can't actually remember the last time I was in this particular supermarket, as the nearest one to us is over 20 miles. Just as well they keep once dried.

Ready for grilling
You can add almost any leftovers to pizzas but I'm just adding some cheese today because there aren't any other leftovers left to use. These get popped under the grill of the mini-oven until heated through and the cheese is bubbling. I like mine with a scoop of pickle but you can be as experimental as you like - don't be scared to mix and match the flavours, it was tuna fish and banana for the old Yellow Pages advert, wasn't it? Apart from that, it's amazing what you can add to a pizza and suddenly the children like it.
4.5kg tin
Homemade pizza has been a favourite of mine for years, previously having used the outside slices of bread as pizza bases or simply making my own, but with pitta breads being cleared at that price, they work out cheaper than making my own. However, this cheap and cheerful lunchtime snack is fast disappearing off our frugal menus on accounts of the cost of tinned tomatoes. Over the past few years, since beginning my £1 per person per day grocery budget challenge, the price of tinned tomatoes has fluctuated, bouncing up and down like a baby elephant on a trampoline! The lowest supermarket price I recall was 9p per tin: the lowest price I can find them now is 33p (Co-op) and the tin is slightly smaller. Sad but true, the homemade 'pizza for pennies' is on its way out and it's looking like we'll need to find an alternative. (If you have access to supermarkets, check the price of  Passatta and get your compost on the go to prepare some growing medium for your own tomatoes.) I was lucky to have got a massive tin of tomato paste from Approved but haven't opened it yet - but I have plans for those huge cans!
Tonight's dinner is the exact same as we had last night, so no news there.
My seed packets are all sorted out and ready for some serious sowing sessions soon, weather permitting. This evening is scheduled as a knitting night in a final effort to complete the long-awaited fluffy blanket for my grand daughter. Before that, though, I need to plan what can be eaten tomorrow and try to keep ahead of the game. I almost fell for the special offer from MuscleFood* when their email arrived offering me 3.4kg of chicken drumsticks for £6 but worse still, I have saved the email to see if the code is still viable for my next order.
NYK, Frugaldom
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  1. I must admit, we now use watered down tomato paste for our pizza's due to the cost of tinned tomatoes. Mind you, I can only get tubes not big tins!

    1. This was first time I ever got a catering size tin, DC, pure luck seeing them mentioned on Approved. It will be another challenge using it all to make soup, sauces and pizza toppings. :)

  2. When you do open your huge can of tomato paste, you could freeze some of it in ice-cube trays. That would give you an ideal 'portion ' to defrost and speread onto a pitta pizza!

    1. I will definitely be freezing some. For things like this, I use my silicone muffin tray then pop the frozen portions into bags. They work well with eggs and yoghurt starter so I'll do same with the tomato paste. First, I need to freeze some mango pulp. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  3. I do the ice cube thing with the tomato paste as well.

  4. Tinned tomatoes - Asda currently have them at 31p both for chopped and unchopped. A few weeks back, Asda had an offer of 4 tins of tomatoes for £1. I wondered if you have a friend who lives near an Asda? You could then place an "order" with them for several of the tins of tomatoes if there is another such offer (4 for £1) and your friend could bring the tins with them the next time they come to visit...?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who shops at Asda, let alone shops there and visits here. It's the price we pay for rural living and a semblance of self-sustainability. :)


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