Christmas shopping part I don’t know…

So, another shopping done and this time it was at Morrisons and I got two of their 1kg wonky carrot bags for 35p each, so in total 70p for 2kg carrots that are fine, but doesn’t look nice. That doesn’t really matter since the carrots are going to be cooked, mashed and baked in the oven anyway, so their looks won’t matter.

I always try to buy as much of those “ugly”, “wonky” and “weird” looking fruits and vegetables at shops simply because they’re A LOT cheaper, but still taste the same, but people don’t really want anything less than perfect. That’s quite sad to be honest since it creates waste and expensive fruits and vegetables. Please people, buy the ones that aren’t perfect and shops, pleease, sell the ones that aren’t decent looking – they’re still ok to eat! If we don’t sell, buy and use them they’re going to waste and that’s just not sustainable in the long run.

 

Anyway, my new total cost after coupons and rebates is now up to: 8.15£

Before coupons & rebates: 9.55£

Have a nice week, it’s only 2 weeks left before Christmas now!

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Christmas food spending

So far I haven’t spent a lot of money really and the latest update is:

 

Garlic – 90p           Was 1.20£

Salt (1kg) – 25p

 

My total spending before rebates is currently: 8.85£

Total after savings: 7.45£

 

Still not a huge savings percentage : 15.82%

But it will probably improve as I go on.

Christmas shopping so far

So far I haven’t really bought a lot of the Christmas food, but I have made an extensive list of what I’ve got to purchase to cook all the food. Most of the stuff I’ve purchased have been reduced and put in the freezer for later. The first items I bought were the Christmas ham and the special soda that’s only available at Christmas and I was able to get those at a shop in London called Scandinavian Kitchen. It’s an awesome shop and café with Scandinavian foods only – amaing!

 

What I’ve bought so far

Ham – 25£

Smoked salmon – 3.70£     Reduced from 5£

Chives – 60p                       Reduced from 70p

Parsley – 60p                     Reduced from 70p

4 Onions – 75p

15 eggs – 1.25£

Christmas on a budget

This year will be my first hosting a Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and since I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the food, it’s going to be a challenge. I’ve set a budget of 35£ for 5 people, which seems only reasonable and is a budget that will give me leftovers for a few days after. My guests will be my next-door neighbors and they’ve never tried traditional Finnish food before. The dinner will consist of a smorgasbord of a few selected, traditional Finnish Christmas dishes such as;

  • Finnish meatballs – pretty much the same as Swedish ones
  • Mini sausages – they’re called Prinskorv which translates to Prince sausages
  • Beet salad – a cold salad with beets, apples, pickles, carrots, red onion and cooked potatoes
  • Janssons Frestelse – a hot casserole called Jansson’s Temptation in English and is a dish with potatoes, onions, anchovies, cream and spices.
  • Mild smoked salmon – simple, tasty and very traditional.
  • Boiled potatoes – we’re a potato eating nation just like Ireland and Sweden
  • Julskinka – The Christmas Ham, cooked in the oven for a few hours before it’s coated with mustard and egg and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and then roasted at a high temperature. The ham is left to cool down and served cold in thick slices.
  • Ägg med gubbröra – hardboiled eggs with “old-man’s-mix” of anchovies, mayo, crème fraiche, chives and a few other things.
  • Morotslåda – a carrot casserole with rice and sprinkled with breadcrumbs that’s then cooked in the oven.
  • Potatislåda – it’s pretty much sweetened mash that’s cook in the oven. It’s sweetened with some treacle.
  • Peas – no words are necessary, it’s warm peas.
  • Toffee – hard toffee with chopped hazelnuts
  • Fresh fruits
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Aladdin – a Swedish box of mixed chocolates that’s always had after dinner
  • Twist – a bag of mixed chocolates and sweets
  • Merci – you know what this is, it’s more chocolate

All of this at a maximum cost of 35£, which isn’t that difficult really. The ham was the most expensive purchase at 25£, but that was bought a long time ago, so I’m not adding it to the cost. If you choose to do so then the total cost would rise to 60£, which would still be cheap for five people and a few days of food. Plus, the little sausages were given to me as a gift by my aunt when she visited me almost two months ago – not cost for them. A lot of the condiments – such as mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, spices – are already in my cabinets and will not be purchased which will further lower my out of pocket expenses a bit too.

I will be posting all the costs as they come up since I’m not buying everything at once. I’m very allowed to use coupons, reduced items and any other methods to save money. Reduced items can be a huge savior and it has: I’ve bought all the herbs and the smoked salmon reduced and simply put them in the freezer, with the ham, until it’s time to use them. The herbs I chopped before freezing just to ease the process a bit.

I’ll start a separate thread for the expenses of the Christmas smorgasbord.

Sorry for not posting!

I’m sorry for not having posted in a while, it’s just that I’ve been VERY busy the last week and a half! I just came home from London (UK) where It’s been a few crazy days.

I’ve bought a house Dover at an auction in Maidstone West and it’s an amazing feeling. It’s my first auction and I had no idea whether or not I would get what I wanted – but I did. So, I’m moving next month probably, if the paperwork and payment gets through in time.

While I was in London I managed to do all of my gift shopping for Christmas, without going over budget. Plus I had time to squeeze in two musicals too; Les Misèrables and Wicked, all in four days! 

Now I’m really tired and I’m going to bed, so that I can start cleaning the apartment here in Stockholm tomorrow and do a bit of the paperwork for my new home.

Have a nice weekend folks and happy holidays!

Final gingerbread count

I made gingerbread biscuits the other day and the final count for that was 128 biscuits at a cost of about 3€, since I had all of the ingredients at home already. The cost for every biscuit is about 2c, which is a VERY good price for a homemade biscuit. You can, of course, find the recipe a previous blog post – just search for it among the recipes. If you want to make biscuits a bit fancier you can mix 4dl of powdered sugar with 1dl water into a paste and then pipe it on the biscuits. There are food colors at the grocery shops if you want to make different colours too and it only makes them a couple of cents more expensive, depending on what brand of powdered sugar you use and if you colour the sugar paste.

Gingerbread recipe!

I’ve just made gingerbread for Christmas thought I would share my recipe with you. It’s a basic recipe that tastes really good on its own, but you can definitely play around with the spice mix a bit. I eliminated the dry, grounded bitter orange peel because I have a severe allergy to citrus fruits. Remember that this recipe takes a bit of time to make since the dough need to rest for 24 hours before you actually make the cakes.
Ingredients:

  • 125gr butter
  • 3 tbsp dark syrup 
  • 3/4 dl water
  • 2dl granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate 
  • 2tsps cinnamon 
  • 2tsps dry ginger powder
  • 2tsps bitter orange peel
  • 1 tsp clove
  • 8dl flour

Instructions:

  1. Measure the water, syrup and sugar in a small pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for about 1 minute and the put it aside to cool. 
  2. Put the butter into the pot and allow it to melt while the pot cools down. 
  3. Measure all the dry ingredients in a cake mixer, with the bread hook or cookie hook on. 
  4. Once the butter has melted, and the pot has cooled of a bit, whisk everything together a bit.
  5. Put the liquid into the cake mixer and start it. First on low and the turn it up to medium.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for about 24 hours.
  7. Before you start rolling out the dough, put the oven on 200 degrees Celsius, 390 Fahrenheit.
  8. Roll out the dough and use different types of shapes to make the cookies.
  9. Bake the cookies in the oven for 3-5 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade.

This recipe makes about 100-150, depending on how thick you roll the dough (and how much dough you eat 😉)