October Yellow Stickers

October has been a great month for healthy yellow stickers. Whilst I wait for my own Kale to grow, it’s been in the supermarket for very little for a lot of this month. I have bought bags and bags of it.

Morrisons has been slashing prices and a lot of the veg full price is now almost as cheap as yellow stickers, meaning they have also gone down so I’m getting more bang for my buck at the moment. I would imagine this strategy will be so they can put prices up again in time for Christmas.

Listening to Jay Rayner on Radio 4 earlier this month reminded me of a recipe I don’t think I have ever tried – Cheese and onion pie and, in particular, a pastry free version which sounded amazing and really has no recipe to follow. You put three layers each of cheese, potatoes and onions into a buttered dish and cook on a low heat for 3 hour (dreading that electricity bill in November!). There’s a version on the 1940s Experiment and I like the pastry free version for its simplicity – perfect for a home taught cook who doesn’t like fuss. It’s also easy to improvise with – you can chuck in all sorts of other root veg to up the game on this one.

October is the season of the winter pud. The weather is colder, but I haven’t put the heating on yet. Apple, blackberry and rhubarb crumbles, bread and butter pudding and cobbler were all cooked enthusiastically through October but rationed sensibly since I am still watching calories and need what I have to get me through winter if I’m to stay on budget.

Thanks to a rhubarb purchase I was also able to try a new recipe – rhubarb jam. If you get the chance to try this one – do it. It’s amazing!

Rhubarb Jam – the simplest and easiest thing in the world to make

In part because of all this sugary baking and because the weather is so awful and I don’t want to go out, I splashed out on an indoor bike trainer which you attach to the back of a regular road bike to convert it into an indoor exercise bike.

I almost shook in fear as I hit buy on the £65 gadget (I am very uncomfortable with non essential purchases right now and anything expensive at any time), but honestly it works and I’m now cycling an hour a day whatever the weather. I’ve already noticed my legs ache less at night and my heart rate’s been up for the first time in a long time, so I have every incentive for keeping it up. Whilst I find exerise boring, set the bike up in front of the laptop and the time soon goes.

Indoor bike trainer – the perfect solution if you have discipline!

Thanks to the freecycling website I use (Trash Nothing) I picked up six strawberry plants this month and two clumps of wild garlic. I’m going to pass a few on to my parents who have a big garden, but these look like they will spread fast so I’ll be propagating my own before you know it. Already the wild strawberries I brought back from my parents in September have recovered and produced a handful of fruit. I look forward to next year.

My food budget wasn’t as impressive as last month but then I was away for half the month of September. It got to the middle of October and I had to stop shopping. There were so many yellow stickers I ran out of budget and freezer space.

This month I spent £64.88. I bought 93 items and 47 of them were yellow sticker items saving me a total of £24. I rolled over 27 items, reducing my items used down to 66 and to £49.01 in money. Here’s the visual evidence for this month’s saves:

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