Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Day 4 of Extremely Frugal February - Homemade Soup & a Teapot Warmer

Just Another Frugal Day in Penny Paradise

Apologies for a belated post but the day escaped from my grasp while I went off in search of some more furniture and attempted to catch up with all the frugal news.

Spending was at an all-time low after the normal porridge breakfast, a pasta lunch and then just soup and pudding for dinner tonight. At most, I reckon the food total amounted to under £1 including cooking it and I didn't light the fire, just kept the log burner going all day. I'll call it £4 in total so it covers the tea and coffee.

Today's Homemade Soup

I have made about 3.5 litres of the stuff and I'm calling it spicy ham and lentil with pasta bits. I started off with about 4 litres of stock made from stock cubes I'd bought on offer at only 10p per pack! They were past BBE date but that matters not a jot to me, it's cheap stock at twice the price. Added to that was about 300g of red lentils (30p-ish?) and 2 sachets of something called Spicy Tomato and Basil Orzo. When made up as per directions on the pack, it tastes a bit like mini pasta with a spicy sauce... I didn't make it up as directed, I poured the dried contents of both packs in with the lentils and stock and let it slow cook for a couple of hours. The Orzo cost, I think, 5 packs for £1 from Approved Food at some point and this box was found lurking at the back of my cupboard. (Orzo is tiny pasta shaped like grains of rice.) The soup tastes lovely, it's spicy hot and it's very filling. However, if you are anything like me, you'll have a stock of 10 packs for £1 strawberry whip, so soup and pudding is always an option.

We caved and had supper tonight - Herby naan bread lightly toasted with a sprinkle of cheese - which would be sheer, unadulterated luxury if I had paid full price for the Naans and cheese - but, of course, I didn't. It was, however, still a good 50p for the two of us and it wasn't strictly necessary. Now I need to eat double portions of veggies for the next few days to make up for today's wacky meals.

Hints and tips for use during power cuts

Does anyone know what this is?

Look closely and have a guess, if you haven't already read about it elsewhere on my blog, forums or other web pages.

Yes, you are correct! That is a light shining through the holes and it throws some pretty patterns on dark walls during power cuts.

Here comes the next clue...

This contraption is made from two of the parts that make up my three-tier steamer and I burn tea light candles inside it so I have some place to warm plates or keep the tea pot warm while the kettle is on the stove. I simply invert the top tier to give it a flat surface for the teapot or can leave it the correct way round for sitting plates over to keep them and their contents warm rather than switch on the mini oven. (Last time I included this in a post was when demonstrating how uneconomical it was to attempt to warm a room using candles in the wake of the resurgence of the 'candle heater' post on Facebook.)

And now the main reason for my belated post this evening - I have found myself an absolutely fabulous bargain sofa for the living room and have arranged for some help to collect it. (Neighbours are helping tomorrow night.) My only niggling worry is that there's yet another storm howling around us at the moment, bringing more torrential rain and hail, but the sofa will have to be moved over 20 miles in an open top trailer... I suspect we may need to reschedule if this awful weather continues unabated. I have until Saturday to collect my fantastic sofa that I've only seen in photos - it looks stunning to me! The current owner is giving this away and I feel so lucky at finding such a treasure in the free ads that it is ridiculously exciting! :)

Right now, I am like a kid awaiting Santa, desperate to see my new piece of furniture! It will provide a place to sit other than the futon bed settee that has served as a couch for the past 11 years and travelled around 5 houses with me. (That deserves a bit of rest and recuperation.) The 'new' sofa also has storage underneath it - oh the joys! Even more storage for my crafting goodies, magazines, books and whatever; I really cannot wait to see this! If it needs a cover throwing over it, I'll use one of my big knitted blankets.

Tomorrow also sees the expected delivery of my bargain carpet. If 'Lady Luck' smiles on me, there may be a 'proper' living room beginning to take shape in time for my next blog update.

11 comments:

  1. Your living room is going to be so cosy. Well done on sourcing a free 'new to you' sofa, I'll keep my fingers crossed for 20 miles worth of dry weather (and no wind). Good luck :-)

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    1. It has poured non-stop all afternoon and it is still pouring - fingers crossed the sofa doesn't get completely soaked/ruined. At least it's missing high tide while coming along the shore road, that's got to be a slight positive - assuming the road is open again. LOL

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  2. Oh my goodness, your sofa sounds great NYK !
    I hope it stays fine for you this evening.

    I used to use a futon settee for a few years, and I hated it ! So I know how much a sofa would be a luxury!

    Loving these frugal February posts. I learn so much from you and all the frugal folk on the forum and blog land. It's so good to share, and as you say, it's free! :D

    Good luck today lovely lady, will be thinking of you and fingers crossed for dry weather!
    Rw

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    1. Thank you, no such luck with the weather but I guess leather will dry quite quickly.

      I am thinking of all those down in Devon & Cornwall who are getting it much worse than us up here!

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  3. Do you have a microwave? We warm plates in that (providing you are not in the middle of a power cut!. Put around a tablespoon of water between each plate required and normally, 2 plates takes up to 30 seconds full power. Leave them alone until required, drain and dry just before serving. Like that idea though as every now and then, we have a Chinese meal with ex-school chums who insist on a few different dishes which inevitably get cold.

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    1. Yes, I have a microwave - it's what I use to cook the porridge - it's a cooker that I don't have. :) I tend to warm the plates on top of the mini oven while it's on, or the slow cooker or even just sit them in a basin of hot water for a few minutes. But I do like my little candle light plate warmer during power cuts or for keeping the pot of tea warm.

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    2. I used to do something similar using the microwave to warm plates, but I put half a plastic jug of water in on top of them, then I had dry plates AND some nice hot water to use for the washing up.

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  4. Great blog (as usual) Things to learn. So pleased for you and your new sofa. Sorry I have to profile as anon - afraid I am none tech. and don,t understand the profile bit.P lease keep the Blogs coming. jac. (kel)

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    1. I'll post up photos of it as soon as it is here, I'm too superstitious to post them before that in case anything goes wrong between now and then. :)

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  5. well do on your freebie's and the soup does sound delicious.

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    1. Hoping it will fit in the trailer and then there's the problem of fitting it through our tiny doors! Should be fun! LOL

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