Using it all up! Clearing out the larder

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you love, health and happiness, with maybe a side of wealth if you are lucky.

Today my no spend January begins in earnest. As well as buying nothing except necessities such as food and petrol, I am aiming for a low spend month even on groceries. To this end I will be making meals using up everything in the fridge, freezer and larder, buying only what I need to make meals out of what we already have. 

Yesterday I cleared out all of the frozen chicken carcasses and bones to make a good stock. I then pulled out a couple of bags of frozen courgettes and all of the slightly wonky veg lurking in the fridge to make a huge pan of soup. This will do us for lunches for the whole week and I have also put about half of it back in the freezer to eat as and when.

I had two bags of apples taking up far too much space in my fridge what also needed using up. They have been there for months and had kept really well but I hadn’t got around to doing anything with them. So I made two big pots of stewed apple which is also now in the freezer. I will take some to work instead of fresh fruit once we have eaten everything in the fruit bowl.

This morning I will be making banana nut loaf as we have 4 bananas past their best as well as plenty of bits left over from Christmas. 

Yesterday I managed to get a great bargain. I have been generally ignoring the sales in preparation for my no spend January but I spotted a pair of lovely leather boots in the Brantano concession in the Co-op where my daughter works. They were reduced from £60 to £40 , which was still too much, but my daughter had a 20% staff discount so I thought they were worth trying on. The lady at the till then pointed out that they had a further 25% off for one day only so I couldn’t resist. When she rang them through she discovered they had been reduced even more so in the end I paid £14.50! Not bad! Good job January hadn’t started so I could justify the spend 😀. I did actually need some more boots as I had to glue the sole back onto my other pair for the second time last week so I don’t think they will last much longer.

We are off to friends for lunch and a nice long dog walk today. It’s so great that we have yet another bank holiday tomorrow and I don’t need to go back to work until Tuesday. 

How are you reducing your food waste? Anything you need to use up?

17 thoughts on “Using it all up! Clearing out the larder

  1. Well done on using up food. It feels good to do this as well as being economical. I made chicken curry from left-over chicken recently, so that chicken gave the two of us three meals, plus the carcass for stock. I also make all my own soup and made pea and mint, and tomato and courgette. I still have a decently-stocked fridge so must have a good look-see and find out what else I can make from the contents!
    Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Margaret P
    http://www.margaretpowling.com

  2. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017. I have followed your blog for a year now and really enjoy reading about your efforts to live well without breaking the bank. I also like your photos of Colchester and surrounds, being an Essex girl marooned in the midlands for years they remind me of home.

  3. The boots were a good buy. My fridge is looking a bit empty so I will have to go shopping sometime this week.

  4. Nice job using all the wonky veg. I’ve got a curry in mind with the final bits in mt fridge. I bought two pairs of boots in the fall of 2012, that get worn weekly. Both have a heel in need of help, and are cracking. Not wanting to spend more, I might have to figure out how to stretch more wears, at least until April. January is a make do and use it up month for sure!

  5. I’m hoping you mean 2017 as I can’t wait 10 years!! It’s so satisfying to use up what needs eating up and the money saved or not wasted is only part of it. Hope that you feel rested before returning to work and that this year is happy and healthy as well as frugal and that you have some luck with a lodger. Thanks for taking the time to write your blog which I do enjoy reading. Vicki

  6. I seem to have traded the Christmas Leftovers for New Years Eve Leftovers now, and my poor waistline is groaning under the strain of finishing it all! I always over estimate how much food we’ll need for the buffet!

    Last year I organised the Festival Food I was going to serve (and where was the cheapest to get it!) into a Word document to save me having to keep re-inventing the wheel. This year I shall go back and amend the quantities needed and cross off items that weren’t as well received to try and avid the same again next year!

    Here’s to a successfully frugal 2017!

  7. When I have bananas that are looking very over ripe, I put them in the freezer. Later, when I have time, I use them for baking. I also use them to substitute for eggs in baking (I have a family member who is allergic to eggs). 1 banana is equal to 2 eggs. Just thaw the banana and mash with a fork. By using the bananas, I get very moist pumpkin bread, etc.
    Myra, from Winnipeg, Canada

    • Yes I have also frozen over ripe bananas. They look horrible but make excellent bread. I didn’t know you could use then to replace eggs though – good tip

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