I love the thrill of finding a real bargain in the reduced to clear section at the supermarket. I always stop for a rummage to see what goodies can be had. A mere 10p or 20p off isn't for me. I'm after a proper substantial reduction. But even then it has to be something that I will actually use. I haven't managed to work out what's the best time for price cuts, sometimes I'm lucky, sometimes I'm not. I haven't got it down to a fine art by any means. Bakery products often provide good pickings and I've got a huge chest freezer in my garage which means I can take full advantage. The haul below on the left cost the grand total of £1.30 for 12 tattie scones, 32 Butteries, 24 pancakes and 36 rolls.
In general I'm on the lookout for something that I have a use for immediately, something that can be frozen or something that I can use to make a dish which can then be frozen or lastly fruit and veg to feed Binky & Bugsy our Guinea Pigs! It's a false economy buying something that you're not going to be able to use no matter how cheap it is. Fruit that's on the turn is great for crumbles, preserving, juicing and smoothies, prepacked and prepared veggies make very short work of soup. Chilli's go straight in the freezer and get used from frozen. Herbs can also be frozen as is, chopped up in ice cubes or made into herb butter. Most things can be frozen or turned in to something that can be frozen. Just double check the labels if there's the possibility that something may previously have been frozen. Even then not all is lost as you can cook it and then freeze it.
I've got lots of bargain smoked salmon in the freezer at the moment. I split the giant packs into smaller portions and they will be perfect for sandwiches, salads, mixed through pasta and in decadent scrambled egg breakfasts. The huge ham has been earmarked to be cooked in Ginger Beer and reduced to clear "keep me" bananas soon turn yellow just like their sticker. 12p Shiitake Mushrooms on toast prove most palatable.
5p reduced to clear Mincemeat post Christmas was just too good a deal to turn down. It has a Best Before date of Aug '15 but I reckon it will be good years beyond that. I put out an appeal on Twitter for ideas to use it and got plenty. Mincemeat Toasties, Mincemeat Pudding, Mincemeat and Apple Strudel, Stuffed Apples, Fruit Loaf, Mincemeat & Apple Shortcake Slice and how could I forget my own Mincemeat Muffins Recipe. Masterchef finalist Brian McLeish suggested Mincemeat Bread & Butter Pudding and Keep Calm and Fanny On extolled the virtues of Fanny Craddock's Mincemeat Omelette. Clearly it is much more versatile than purely for Christmas Pies. To use up half a jar I went for Dom at Belleau Kitchen's Mince Pie FlapJacks. They were gone in a flash.
I took inspiration from Deeny's to use up one of the bargain post Burns Night Haggis from a yellow sticky haul. We are big Haggis fans and this makes a fab variation from the usual Neeps & Tatties on the side. For further recipes see my Burns Night Recipe Roundup with Haggis Puddocks in the Hole, Haggis Oatcakes and Haggis Tattie Scones. These Toasties are also my entry for this month's Tea Time Treats where the theme is Toast, on Toast or Toasties.
8 Slices Wholegrain/Granary Bread
Mature Scottish Cheddar Cheese
Pop your Toastie maker on to heat.
Remove the haggis from its casing, roughly chop and warm through in the microwave.
For each toastie spread one slice of bread with English mustard topped with haggis and the other with sliced cheese, chilli jam and a handful of rocket.
Sandwich together and pop them in your toastie maker for a couple of minutes until nicely browned and the cheese is melted.
Are you stalker of the yellow labels? I'd love to hear about any fantastic bargains that you've bagged or any top tips regarding when to grab the best deals and how to make the most of what you find.