Groceries – Day 20: Fish, fish, fish

20 Mar
I didn’t need much for day 20. I had a pack of sieved tomato, bread and Tuesday is fruit day at the office, so there wasn’t much to worry about vegetable-wise. As I hunted down the isles of the supermarket for a bargain, I found a bag with four sardines at 10p.
Day 20 groceries: 10p SardinesI figured that would do for lunch, and with only 10p spent on Monday the 19th, I could look for supper on the day itself. Of course, being “dodgy” fish, I decided to do some preparation immediately. First of all, I cleaned them.

At least they looked a bit less unappetising now – shiny sardines rather than unidentifiable fish in some kind of muddy dodgy fish sauce. I had checked the labels of tinned sardines in the supermarket and concluded that “sardines in tomato sauce” are really just “sardines in tomato”. I figured I could give these sardines a similar treatment and have a whole lot of sardine in tomato sauce at a fraction of the cost of a tin of the same. Moreover, I could do it without getting the whole kitchen to smell like fish. I put the sardines in a freezer bag, added salt and tomato, clipped the bag closed and dunked them in hot (72-80°C) water for a good while. This would kill pretty much all bacteria in there. By leaving the bag closed, it would keep the sardines safe to eat for a while longer. After I was satisfied that the sardines were sufficiently pasteurised, I dunked them in cold water, bag and all, while running more cold water over the bag to cool the sardines down as quickly as possible. I then refrigerated the sardines, knowing they should still be safe to eat on their use-by date.

Fast forward to supper groceries. I hadn’t fully made up my mind, so I walked to the supermarket and took a look at what they had. What they had was discounted sea bream. After giving it some thought, I decided what I’d cook and I brought it home, along with some pasta, a bag of mixed vegetables and a banana.

Day 20 - Supper groceries

So, what did all this cost me?

Budget available for day 20: £ 1.77
Budget used: £ 1.45
Budget left: £ 0.32
Budget available for day 21: £ 1.32

And these are the receipts:

Receipt day 20 (1 of 2) Receipt day 20 (2 of 2)

Although I spent a bit more than I intended, it was money well spent; I’ve got fish, pasta, and vegetables enough for another day. Not to mention that leftover of liver and whatnot. I probably should update the inventory, as I’m starting to lose track a bit.


One Response to “Groceries – Day 20: Fish, fish, fish”

  1. Arno Brevoort March 21, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Interesting. Tinned sardines are, or so I thought, just boiled to death till the bones are soft.
    There’s a cult of tinned sardine eaters out there, that even classifies the sardines by “vintage” — — and maturing them for longer in the tins “improves the taste”.

    I’ve bought meat with yellow stickers on, but am suspicious of fish. Perhaps one reason is the packaging — Tesco wraps the fish in opaque white plastic bags before sticking the yellow stickers on, so you can’t see what you get.

    Although your washed fish looks presentable, I would probably not have bought the package, as I don’t like what I see — the fish did not look “clean”. The rinsing you did should have been done by the fishmonger before bagging them.

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