Monday, 16 April 2012

Can't Cook, Won't Cook

We got off to a slow start today, except for No.1 Son who was up at 7am to have breakfast and get ready and off to school, myself, DH and No.2. Son all had a lie-in until 10am, (very lazy), to make up for our 5am start yesterday.

Having parcelled up all my eBay sales, I plucked up courage to walk into the village to the Post Office, where I am more than a little afraid of the Sub-Postmistress. She always tells me off for doing something wrong with my parcels. Is it a bit churlish to say here, that I have never picked her up on her mistakes, such as not writing the Postcode on the Proof of Delivery, or once when she printed the same label twice on the same square and then wondered why she was one label short, etc, etc.?
Following Fostermummy's example I also popped into the charity shop and bought two 'things' of wool, one cost 20p and the other 40p, to add to my new "stash". Not bad, methinks!
  As always today is Day One of the diet, (I really do have to get this one off the ground), so I had a 43 calorie soup for lunch, followed by a 98 calorie Muller Light yoghurt.

 This afternoon's activity was a trip to a local Forrestry Commission site where there are several bike trails but also this great Skills track which kept little Son quite happy for a couple of hours while Mommy sat watching from the car, crocheting more squares, (left arm is much better today!).
 The car-park cost £2 for 2 hours, which I didn't mind so much as I know it goes towards improving the facilities themselves, but I also ended up buying No. 2 Son a bottle of Ribena for £1.40!!! and myself a coffee for £1.95!! from the very nice Cafe. Frugal ladies, I clearly need to learn to anticipate these events and plan better to take our own stuff in future. This is the problem with not having had to ever think about it before and now having to think of every penny. Could do better!!

This evening I did spend an hour browsing through the Approved Foods website, as recommended by several people, but I am ashamed to say I didn't see anything on there that was remotely similar as a substitute to what's on our 'normal' shopping list. In fact, a lot of the things on there I wouldn't know what to do with. I think more work is needed to a) change our normal eating habits b) learn to cook from scratch so I know how I can use ingredients.

However the good news was I got my Tesco shop down to £65.92 tonight. I think that has to be my cheapest shop ever, a record!! However, I am now slightly worried that I have forgotten a load of things and am just going to end up popping in and out of the local shop all week, for extra bits that cost even more in there. I really have to watch this one.

 Just as amazingly, as that good news, I actually cooked today. It's absolutely unheard of, but I am trying to be inspired by people such as the wonderful Frugal Queen. I started off with something small, a recipe out of my Mary Berry Ultimate Cake Book. Ha, ha, yes I do own cookbooks, but they have moths in - tasty!

Mini Chocolate Buns

Measure 1.5oz soft margarine, 1 egg, 1.5oz self-raising flour, o.5oz cocoa, sifted, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1.5oz caster sugar together in a bowl and beat well until thoroughly blended. Easy, peasy! Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180deg.

The book said this would make 32 cakes using petit fours cases. I didn't have that size so I tried to put more mixture into less cases. However, the results were somewhat dubious, as you can see:-

Either they didn't rise properly or it was still too little mixture in each case as the cases aren't even half full. The other problem was the 2oz icing sugar and 1/5 tsp of water did not make enough to cover all the cakes, so there was one lonely chap left out. Still better luck next time.

I am extremely good at being hard on myself, that is made much worse by my current condition, so I am going to work hard this evening to congratulate myself on what I have achieved today.


The Bad News

I spent money on drinks out I shouldn't have - £3.35 overspend.
Cakes not a great success - I'd like to blame Mary Berry, but I think she's been doing this a lot longer than me.

The Good News

I sent off all my eBay parcels promptly.
I made good use of No.2 Son's last day of the holidays to do an activity he really enjoyed.
I reduced my calorie intake for today substantially. Day One of the diet starts again tomorrow.
I reduced my weekly shopping spend significantly.
I actually COOKED - me, cooking! It's a start, hey!

How was your day? Tell me, what did you start doing today?

Lots of love Arwedd xxx



  1. Well done for getting your parcels off on time, cooking and reducing your weekly shop! all good things to be celebrated.

    Don't sweat the small stuff we all like treats occasionally- we ate in the restaurant at Legoland last week, that's most definately not frugal!
    Your cakes look alright to me- the most important thing is the taste :-)

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Sarah's right, if the taste is OK who cares what things look like!
    Always, always remember that pictures in cookery books are fake..the food is painted with shine, the colours are enhanced , it gets more air brushing than a supermodel!
    Look at pictures of food bloggers make...that's real food!
    Jane x

  3. I think you achieved a lot for one day - parcels posted, food shopping bill reduced,baking, and taking your son out to have fun.That seems like a lot to me. Don't worry about the other things- you'll soon get into the habit of taking a drink out with you and, like most things, baking is a learning process.As long as they tasted good that's all that matters.

  4. Now we need to re-number those achievements:
    1. Was amazing wife.
    2. Was amazing mum.
    3. Was good to myself.
    4. Used my skills.
    5. Made some money for the home.


    I am VERY blessed to be your friend in real life, and as the song goes, "we'll put you together again". xxxxx

  5. Thanks everyone, for your positive reinforcement. The cakes must have tasted Ok as they all went pretty quickly.

    FM it sounds so much better when you put it like that. Ta very much!

    Arwedd xx