Pantry Power

30 Apr

With the fridge stocked with all manner of discounted food, it seemed pretty clear I was going to get through the day just fine with nothing but what I had in stock, although I was running a bit low on carbs, though not worryingly so.

While thinking what to cook, I thought I’d give a toasted breakfast roll another try, this time being careful not to burn it. I’d top it with the perfect soft-boiled egg and all would be good in life.


Right. Apparently I still can’t toast bread. But you’ve got to admit, that egg looks pretty awesome – just the way I like it. I also had my leftover cup of (refrigerated) tea, and all *was* good in life. I’m not sure if I’m getting over the caffeine withdrawal, or if the tea provided just enough, but fact is that I’ve been feeling a lot better today.

Since I figured out that tea sets me back 4p a bag (or really 3.75p, but who’s counting), I thought I’d make some tea at work as well. Using just a single tea bag, I made a jug-full of the stuff.


Luckily, I actually like my tea weak, sugar-free and without milk. So this ended up providing me with tea throughout the day, using just a single teabag. It’s finally happened: I’m feeling cheap now.

For lunch – two buns topped with potato salad. Simple, fast, and satisfying, once you can get over the fact that you’re putting tatties on bread.


It was time to think about supper. I needed carbs, and since potatoes were on my mind, I dropped by at the ALDI on the way home, knowing I’d find cheap canned ones. I felt like something Indian-inspired, and Bombay Potato is just about as Indian-inspired as it gets. I also got a tin of peas, which upon opening looked as though someone had left a green felt tip pen in the tin. Upon checking the label, this was confirmed: these peas were a good source of copper complexes of chlorophyllin, of which I have far too little in my usual diet. But they were cheap enough.

I was going to need some flour as well, and realized I still had plenty in the pantry. But does flour count as a pantry item?


By its name, I decided it did. (For what it’s worth, I ended up using two tablespoons, about 60 grams or 2p worth of flour this time). I went to the checkout and paid.


The full shopping list for the week now looks like this:
2x discounted Kingsmill Rolls (pack of 6) @ 11p - 22p
Pint milk - 5p
Tub houmous -11p
Roasting veg - 18p
-- Daily subtotal: 56p
Half kilo carrots - 10p
Half kilo parsnips - 10p
Tub of pasta - 15p
-- Daily subtotal: 35p
2x tub potato salad @11 p - 22p
1x sweetheart cabbage - 32p
1x value eggs (pack of 6) - 89p
-- Daily subtotal: 143p
1x tin potatoes - 15p
1x tin felt-tip green peas - 21p
-- Daily subtotal: 36p
Pantry items used:
Spices day 2 - 5p
Tea day 2 - 4p
Tea day 3 - 4p
Flour - 2p
Spices day 3 - 10p (that's going completely overboard!)
Some oil for shallow-frying, rest saved - 5p?
Total spent so far: 300p
Total budget: 500p
Budget left for this week: 200p

With two days and two pounds left, it would seem we’re nicely on track. But that would presume there’s nothing left of what I’ve bought so far. In reality, I still have:

1 kingsmill wholemeal bread rolls
1 tub potato salad
200g carrot
200g parsnip
3 eggs
1 sweetheart cabbage

I could probably live off that for the day and be fine. Which means that I’m still about a pound under budget.

But I can hear you think… What did you eat today?!

Well – this: curried potato and misshapen samosas.


I made the skins out of brick pastry – which is made by brushing a thin batter of flour and water over a skillet set over a pan of boiling water. I could use some work on my folding technique as well as find a better recipe (onions would have been nice). Still, it was comforting food. And too much – I didn’t manage to eat it all. I’ll have the rest for breakfast.

Oh by the way, good news – some donations came in today! To the anonymous giver and my cousin Eric (Keep the nice pictures coming!) – You guys are literally life savers, awesome!

Want to be an awesome life saver too? You can, there’s still a long way to go to hit the target! To donate this year, please go to my Living Below the Line donation page. Thanks in advance!

3 Responses to “Pantry Power”

  1. Charlotte Pountney May 1, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Give Sainsbury’s Basics Range fairtrade teabags a try. Only 30p for 80 and they taste good too!

  2. ournewlifeinthecountry May 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I’ve nipped on over with a small donation, sorry it’s not more but every penny helps. Keep up the good work. xx

  3. plasterer bristol May 5, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    Now this so good. Definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing.


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