Monday, 30 June 2008

What I found in the bin

An ice cream container, and a yoghurt pot.
Dh said he got fed up with seeing them on the side, and he was tidying up!
Ok, if I had been able to use my hands and crutches at the same time I would have put them away!
I could have taken them out ofthe bin, but it looked like Dh had also swept the floor, and tipped the sweepings on top, it wasn't very nice!
Roll on Weds, fingers crossed that I will be off these crutches!

My monthly spend June

Although the meals work out very reasonably per person, my shopping bill is still very high.
This month I spent £478!!
This includes all food, ingredients, drinks (inc. Alcohol), non foods e.g. toiletries and cleaning products, and pet foods. It also includes a large bulk buy shop, some items of which will last me many months.
I have not recorded my monthly spend before, so this is something new that I will be looking at in future.
It is likely that the spend will go down over the summer months, as more and more meals (wine, chutney and Jams) will be made from 'free' food. This includes veg from the garden/allotment, eggs from the chickens, fruit and other berries from the hedgerow, and homemade wine and beer.
The bulk buying will become easier, as I will know how much we use, there are some things that I have bought to last a few months, but then there were things that I was unsure of, so I only bought a few Kilos, some of which we used up a while ago, and have had to buy more expensively from the supermarket.
I also 'offer shop' buying many things while on offer in the supermarket, that I would not consider buying at full price.
We are currently looking at making a storage area in the garage, this means that I will be able to stock up on more things while on offer, or by more things in bulk, meaning the price will be lower.
I currently have a stock of 30Kg Basmati Rice! 10Kg Red Lentils! 25Kg Bread Flour! 1Kg Yeast! 5l Washing up Liquid. To name just a few.


Rice, lentils, and some spices are continuing to rocket in price.
But the price being charged by some supermarkets is still to increase.
As I write this the best prices on 10Kg Basmati Rice and 1Kg Red lentils are from Sainsburys.
They can be stored for 12-24months.
So if you use a lot of these foods, and have room to store, it might be worth stocking up on them now.

Sunday, 29 June 2008


We are coming to the end of a nice weekend, and I'm wondering what to cook for Dinner!

I'm usually quite organised on a Sunday, I make bread early in the morning, a nut roast for Dinner and I also find time to make cake(s) or biscuits, but not today!

I have wanted to get 3 more chickens since my birthday at the beginning of April, but I just have not seen 3 that I want, all around the same age, and so it has gone on and on until today!

Dh was in a good mood, he got up at 6am, and went on a 30mile bike ride. I tried to sleep in, I just can't sleep properly with this enormous uncomfortable boot on my foot!

When he got back from his ride, knowing he would be in a good mood, I thought it might be a good time to talk chickens!! We needed to go to the allotment to plant the sorrel, kale and amaranth, and then if there was still time we would go to Poultry Park (I call it Poultry paradise!) to get our new girls.

That meant that I would need to go to the allotment straight away with no time for baking!

We went, we planted, and dug. Actually, we went, dh planted, and dh and ds15 dug. I just supervised from my chair!

We got back home about 11am, so still time to get chickens before lunch!! I phoned Chris at PP to check the chickens that they had before we left. Yes, we were in luck, they had plenty of POL chickens, including the types that I wanted!

We now have 3 new girls, 2 Amber stars, called Snowdrop and Amber, and a Bluebelle, called, yes you guessed it, Bluebelle!

We then had a quick lunch of bread and cheese and chutney.

I have spent most of the afternoon chicken watching, and listening to the singing! I don't think Daisy, Tilly, Rowan and Hazel are very impressed with the newcomers! They are separated at the moment, but we have a few days excitement ahead of us when we put them in together!!

Anyway, with such a hectic day I haven't even though about food until now!

We have some homegrown potatoes, and some chard, and some rhubarb that we collected from the allotment this morning. So maybe I will knock together a lentil bake (onions, lentils and carrots) Hmm, no carrots! So maybe just onions and lentils, with egg and cheese, and steam some potatoes and chard. Yum! With Rhubarb and nut cream (milk and cashews) for dessert.

The Lentil Bake ended up being a lentil and chard bake with new potatoes. Cost 75p/5 so 15p per person. We were so full after Dinner that we did not have a dessert. Instead, I am making wine with the rhubarb!
Sundays totals
Meals 25 + 10 + 15 = 50p pp
plastic/foil seal off the top of the milk bottle
Cheese wrapper
Plastic packet from Papaya (Although this might be polythene)
2 beer bottle lids
*Mrs Green - Do you know if the bulk dried fruit and nut packets from Suma are Polythene? (then it can be recycled with carrier bags). I am wondering if the cheese wrappers are also polythene!

A quick note from Saturday
Breakfast and Lunch
25p + 10p
Chick pea curry (onions, spices, potatoes, chick peas, tomatoes) and Rice with homemade Naan.
70p pp
Saturday cost £1.05 p pp
3 beer bottle lids

Saturday, 28 June 2008

End of week three

This week..
the meals have continued along the same lines as previously.
Friday was a quick chips and veggie burgers.
Weds and Thurs was Rogan Josh (homemade)
Tues was spinach omlette with potatoes and a tomato sauce
Mon was tarka dahl with noodles.
Sun Chilli
Sat Curry

Total spend £33.05, so 6.61 pp. For 3 meals each day.

Now this week I am afraid to say that plastic mini roll wrappers have joined the rubbish, along wth those horrible foil/plastic cat food sachets!
Other than that just general plastic wrappers again.
2 plastic quorn packets
plastic washing tablet wrappers
2 Cheese wrappers
3 beer bottle lids
2 foil/plastic yeast wrappers
1 plastic sugar packet
2 plastic muesli packets (we have run out of muesli bulk bought, so needed to buy some from the supermarket, next weeks bulk buy will include 20Kg muesli!)
I think that's about it!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Wednesday already!


I am getting so far behind with my blog now!

Our meals have continued along the same lines as always, but our waste, to my disappointment has increased this week wth the addition of plastic chocolate mini roll wrappers and plastic cat food sachets, not bought by myself, I must add, but from Mother and Mother in law!

Today I decided to have a clear out of gardening catalogues, got as far as the first one... beautiful pictures of flowers, I decided that I was not going to through them straight in the recycling, but I was going to cut out the best pictures (the ones without 'New' and 'special offer buy one get one free' and 'plant now' printed all over) to keep for making cards. I cut out about 6 pictures, laid them nicely on my desk and then decided that if I put them away, they would get creased and I would never get around to using them......

So, I have made 9 cards, with no message! Ideal for Birthdays, Easter and Mothers Day!!!

Friday, 20 June 2008

This weeks waste and meal cost.

5 metal beer bottle tops.
plastic soya bean packet
Plastic inner from burgers,
Tilda rice packet
plastic quorn pkt
plastic pkt from bacon
a coffee sample sachet
cheese packet
Hayfever tablet blisters

7 days meals (not including drinks, pet food and non food items)
£6.10 pp so £30.50 in total for 5 people eating 3 meals per day.

Thurs and Fri

I am unable to cook as I am resting my foot, the children are cooking at the moment, and I just sit in the chair with my fot on another telling them what they should be doing! If they don't cook, they don't eat!

Dinner - Black bean curry (onion, spices, black beans, tin of tomatoes) with rice.
40p pp and theres some left over for the freezer.
Waste - a coffee sample sachet

Dinner - Omelette with cheese, sausages and beans.
60p pp
Waste - cheese packet

Coming to the end of week 2 now. I will need to work out totals for the week.
I have felt detached this week as I am resting my foot and unable to cook or do very much. I am not sleeping properly during the night, I try to sleep during the day, but keep being woken up by noises. I just feel tired all the time, and cant get my brain into gear!
I am also wondering if I will have time to do this when I am at work full time! We'll see.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Catch up

I am a bit slow on this now. Things have been busy at home, so my posting has suffered.

Tues. (usual breakfast & lunch)
Eve meal was chilli (onion, mushrooms, herbs & spices, quorn mince, red kidney beans, rice)
waste plastic quorn pkt
cost 46p pp
Total for day £1.06 p pp

Eve meal was cheese omelette, veggie bacon and beans.
cost 50p pp
waste plastic pkt from bacon
Total for day £1.10 p pp

Monday, 16 June 2008


Usual breakfast. 25p pp
Lunch 3 childrens packed lunches, one left over curry, 2 cheese in pittas. 35p pp
Dinner - Another quick convenience meal! Nut burgers with noodles! 65p pp
Total cost £1.25 pp
Waste - Plastic inner from burgers, Tilda rice packet.

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Usual breakfast less than 25p pp
Lunch - I ate lots round at MIL so wasn't hungry at lunchtime. The others ate tuna sandwiches total 62p. 13p pp
Dinner - Homemade Nut roast, own potatoes, carrots, soya beans.
41p pp Yoghurt (home made) 5p pp

Waste - plastic soya bean packet
Cost - 84p pp

Recycling Christmas cards

It's the middle of the summer, so why am I talking about Christmas!! I must be mad!
Every christmas I save my cards, I then cut them up and reuse them the following year for tags. Every year I plan to make my own cards as well, but never get around to it!

The children made Fathers Day cards yesterday, so I got out my card making bits (that I have never used!)I found last years Xmas cards, spent around an hour cutting them up, saving bits for cards and tags.

If I leave them on my desk, I might actually get round to making some of my own cards this year. Maybe if I just try to make one a week, I may enjoy it, and even find time for one a day, we'll see!!


Usual Breakfast less than 25p pp
Lunch - Egg sandwiches, and salad 3p pp (our own eggs and salad)
Dinner - Curry (Veg Korma 90p, Bombay Pots 80p, chick pea curry 85p, naan 30p). 57p pp
Cost - Total 85p pp
Waste - Plastic cream pot (not yet put in the bin, washed up and thinking of a way to use it!)
Other waste - 5 metal beer bottle tops.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Homemade on Saturday

Well, the yoghurt I made last night was 100% success, why don't we all make our own yoghurt? It's easier than making a cup of tea!!!
So far this morning I have made 2 loaves of bread, and 5 large Naan breads.
I have just come up to find a recipe that Mrs G. has given me for a cake made with yoghurt.
I will also be making curries for tonight, so that might be a chick pea curry, Bombay potatoes and either a Korma or Rogan Josh (with maybe lentils, or black beans or quorn, I havent decided yet).

Friday, 13 June 2008

The weeks waste

plastic Quorn packet
plastic cereal packet
a small free sample sachet of coffee.
Sanitary wear.
Plastic wrapper from soap tabs.
tablet blister pack (from Steves hayfever tablets),
a very dry bread roll
the plastic pitta wrapper
3 plastic noodles packets
plastic quorn nugget wrapper
3 metal beer bottle caps
plastic shower gel container
plastic yoghurt pot
plastic pasta container
wax from the cheese
sachets from the cat food
Plastic wrappers from the almonds, and sunflower seeds

Spend for meals for the week

This week we have spent a grand total of £7.41 per person for 3 meals a day for 7 days.
We are a family of 5, so that works out at £37.05.
This does not include non food, pet food or drinks.

Home made

Yesterday, for the first time, I made some Omega seed mix. (Pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, linseed and sesame seeds, baked with soya sauce.) and Oat cakes (Oatmeal, oil, salt, bicarb and water.)

Everyday I make bread, and most days I make cakes or biscuits. I make curries from scratch, and nut roasts. We also make Wine and Beer. And towards the end of the summer I get into Jam and Chutney making mode.

I plan to make cheese soon, but might give yoghurt and butter a go first. My parents have a butter maker - a little tumbler, I asked them if I can borrow it (but it's at the back of the cupboard) I must remind them next time I am round their to see if they have found it yet.

What other things are easy to make?


So, it's friday, and I have been doing this a week.
Friday is an exciting day for Dinner, it's the day that anything hanging around in the fridge gets used up, usually with chips. Other than a few bits left from last night, we don't have anything to make a meal from! We have one stuffed vine leaf, a couple of pieces of sun dried tomato, feta, and garlic. It is also the day that if we dont have very much we have a look in the freezer! It's our day for eating rubbish, well, not rubbish rubbish, but the only day that I allow chips. Friday has always been a rushing around evening, it is Scouts night. So it has always been a throw it all in the oven and see who wants what.
My freezer doesn't get fed very often, it usually contains things that I have cooked double (one for now, one or the freezer), it does have a nut roast, some rhubarb, some black berries, breadcrumbs etc. AND it gets whatever has been on offer recenlty in the supermarket! I think we might have some quorn burgers and some spicy bean burgers.
So I think spicy bean burgers chips and greek leftover will go very nicely together :)
£1 for the burgers, and 45p for the chips.
36p pp
Waste - None

Other waste today
Plastic wrappers from the almonds, and sunflower seeds.

So total for today 96p pp

Thursday, 12 June 2008


Well we have the same for Breakfast everyday, so there is no point continuing to list it! And similar for lunch children have packed lunch, we have bread and cheese!
So unless we have something different I will just give Dinner!
Breakfast less than 25p pp
Lunch about 35p pp

Now today we had a lovely dinner, Miranda visited this morning bearing gifts of greek food (Feta, garlic, stuffed vine leaves, olives, sun dried tomatoes, lime chutney) so we had that with some fresh pasta.
Cost £1.79 for the spinach and ricotta pasta 38p pp
waste plastic pasta container.

Other waste, now there was something that I threw in the bin earlier, I just can't remember what it was, ah, wax from the cheese. And sachets from the cat food. Our cats normally eat dried biscuits that come in cardboard, but Mum's cat dislikes one particular flavour that they get in their box, so our cats get the occasional treat of Sardine whiskers sachets!

Todays total 98p pp

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


I am due to have my cast taken off 3 weeks today, but what should I do with it?
Really it should be binned, I don't imagine it will smell too good!
But can anyone think of a way I could reuse it?

Flower pot? But I could't get it wet! Work of art - no too smelly!
Any other ideas? Or shall I just leave it with the hospital?


Breakfast - the usual
cost less than 25p pp
waste none.

Lunch - children - usual packed lunch 48p pp
adults - egg sandwiches. 9p
cost 31 p pp
waste none

Dinner - Pasta Bake (onion, mushrooms, quorn sausages, campbells soup, cheese, pasta)
Fresh pineapple and yoghurt.
cost 98p pp
waste - plastic yoghurt pot

Total cost 1.54p pp

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Making things from rubbish

I have found a cool site on making and recycling things

A shopping bag from plastic shopping bags


Pick 'n' mix muesli
cost less than 25p pp
waste none

The children had their usual school packed lunches (see Monday for details) 48p pp
Bread and cheese and chutney 23p pp
34p pp

Lentil Soup (onions, celery, garlic, carrots, lentils, stock)
This will last 2 days. No it won't! It was so nice!!!
cost 86p /10 9p pp (so now 18p pp)
waste none

Other waste
plastic shower gel container

Total cost for todays meals 77p pp

Monday, 9 June 2008

Onya Bags

Thank you for the link to the gorgeous Onya bags Mrs G.
I now have all of my children asking if they can have one, or two, and the Wrap n mat!
At the moment I am having a 'discussion' with my daughter over who gets the purple and black onya side bag, me or her!

Healthy lunches for my children back in 2003!

Haven't they grown up since then!!


Muesli, with 'pick 'n' mix' seeds, nuts and dried fruit, with milk and/or yoghurt.
Waste - None
Cost - less than 25p

The children had sandwiches (with tartex, peanut butter and marmite), Apple, fruit and nut pot, Biscuit (homemade). Bread was about 3p, the filling around 10p, Apple was 20p, f&n pot 10p, Biscuit 5p.
Steve had leftover curry (so cost already included in saturdays Dinner)
I had 2 pittas with cheese (we had no bread, it was still cooking!) Cheese 20p pittas 17p.
Waste - the plastic pitta wrapper.
Cost - £1.11 /5 22p pp.

This was cooked by dd13, as I am now resting my foot. I am really proud of her that she took it upon herself to look after us all.
We had super noodles and quorn nuggets. The noodles were 75p and nuggets £1 (was bogof). Waste - all in plastic packets (4)
Cost 44p pp

So 91p pp for the day.

Other waste - 3 metal beer bottle caps (from last night), Sanitary wear

The Monthly inconvenience!

I am researching washable menstrual pads,
here are some useful links to sites I have visited...
Make your own

Or buy ready made
Fairy Hammocks
Ellas House

Has anyone used any of these, or do you make your own?
What do you favour, all in ones, ones with inserts, poppers or velcro?

I never fancied the mooncup, I guess I feel a bit squeamish about it, but washable cloth might be the way to go. I do have heavy periods for the first few days, and at night, but even if I can cut out the disposables for the rest of the week, then it will be a step in the right direction.

I have some bits of fabric, and some old cotton baby sheets, that would be a start to making some. I might have some poppers somewhere too! I don't have anything to use as a barrier layer though!

The Rubbish Diet: The reaction on the street...#links

The Rubbish Diet: The reaction on the street...#links
Have a look at Mrs A's website, and this fantastic Bin can can!

Foot in cast!

I hurt my foot on the 23rd May, I was told I had sprained it.
This morning at a fracture clinic, I was told that I had bruised the ligaments, which can be more painful than a break, as well as sprained my metatarsels. I was then sent for an xray, and the 'good' news, I have broken a tarsel! So I am now in cast :(
So I guess I will be spending more time on here, or reading Mrs A and Mrs G's blogs! I will be an expert at the end of 4 weeks!
Only thing is, I am not sure how able I will be to cook 'proper' meals!

Sunday, 8 June 2008


This morning we added a plastic cereal packet to the rubbish, as we finished off the Cornflakes that were bought on holiday.

Breakfast - 2 had pick 'n' mix muesli, 1 had eggs and bread, 1 had cornflakes (1 child on camp).
Cost muesli <25p

Lunch - Bread, cheese, chutney, salad. Homemade biscuit 5p.
Waste - None
Cost - about 28p pp

Dinner - Walnut roast (Onion, garlic, celery, lentil, walnuts, shoyu, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg) I am making 2, one for tonight, one for the freezer. New Potatoes and salad. For dessert we had Strawberries with coconut yoghurt.
Waste - The plastic yoghurt pot not anymore! (the strawberry container will become a mini greenhouse!)
Cost - 1.70/2 so 85p each, to feed 5, therefore 17p per person and 35p for the potatoes. So a total of 24p per person. The strawberries were £2 and the yoghurt £1.11 so 62p pp.

Other waste - a small free sample sachet of coffee. Sanitary wear. Plastic wrapper from soap tabs. tablet blister pack (from Steves hayfever tablets), a very dry bread roll brought back from camp, I could have reused it as a football, but it went in the bin!

I am going to have to look into washable sanitary wear, I hate the thought of these bits going to landfill!
I have just done some washing, each 2 soap tablets are wrapped in little plastic bags. I must get round to trying the soap pods that Mrs G has given me, and the Clearspring laundry liquid.

I went shopping this afternoon, spent £17, I must add it to my list of shopping purchases spreadsheet, I will add it to this blog when I have worked out how to import an excel ss!

I have now found a use for the plastic yoghurt pot, it didn't quite make it to the bin, as I told myself I must find a use for it! Well I did! It is now a container that I can keep my egg shell in for taking to the allotment (a slug deterrent). I have also remembered what I was collecting plastic containers for last year, it was to put our own produce it! Last year I worked for a company that used the plastic pots, instead of throwing them, I took them home, filled them with our home grown peas, courgettes, tomatoes etc. and put them in the fridge!

Total spend today £1.39 per person.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Saturday 7th June

Our meals today...
Muesli, with 'pick 'n' mix' seeds, nuts and dried fruit, with milk and/or yoghurt.
Waste - None
Cost - Hard to say, everything is bulk bought, the muesli itself is £2.75 for around 90 portions, the pick 'n' mix is only pence. The main cost is yoghurt or milk maybe 15p per person. So thats under 25p per person.

Bread, cheese, chutney, salad.
Waste - None
Cost - Bread is about 30p per loaf divided by 10 = 3p. Cheese maybe around 20p per person. Not included as minimal cost - Chutney - homemade, salad - from garden. Marg - pence.So thats about 23p per person.

Curry (Onion, ginger, spices, carrots, quorn pieces, chutney, sultanas) and Rice
Waste - plastic Quorn packet
Cost - Onion 10p, Quorn £1.78 Not included spices, oil and dried fruit is pence. carrots - from allotment. Chutney - homemade.
So £1.88 to feed 5 or 38p pp

Thoughts - I think this is a good start, shame about the Quorn packet!
Should I be calculating the cost of food from the garden and allotment? The seed, the compost?Should I try to give a price for the minimal items? spices etc. It all goes in the shopping bill!Should I be including Tea and Coffee in my costings?
Todays spend - 86p per person for 3 meals!

Why blog?

Inspired by Mrs Green and Mrs Almost A and the article in The Citizen.
We are a busy family of 5; Myself, DH, DS15, DD13, DS7, 2 cats and 4 chickens. I want to provide Healthy meals for my family, save money and produce zero waste. Can it be done?
I don't think so! Not unless facilities are supplied for recycling of mixed plastics, which is not available in my area.
Looking back over the past week, we have produced very little waste, but what we have had is plastic packaging - the bags that the lentils came in, the bags that the nuts and dried fruit came in etc. Although I now buy in bulk, so one plastic bag of e.g. 5Kg Nuts is sent to landfill every other month, compared with buying 50 little plastic bags of nuts from the supermarket.
I hope to use this blog to record our eating habits, food spend and monitor the amount and type of waste.We have pavement collection of Glass, Tins, Paper, Plastic Milk Bottles, Shoes. A point for recycling mixed plastic bottles, and Cardboard are about a mile away, Tetra Paks within 2 miles and a foil recycling bin is about 7 miles away.