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thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
Hello every one.  I do get asked what do you suggest I purchase ?. Food items for the Winter.

One piece of advice I know is think right now.

Make some plans.  

If you can buy one extra food item per week . Then you know the stores, fridge, freezer got filled up.

Do not buy BOGOF . Buy one Get one Free if you are not going to use it.

Also now is the time to get rid of those tins or food items . That you do not use but buy.

As a planner and organiser. My food purchases are to my menu for the week. Do not buy anything I can not eat.

Use a stocklist create one.

I also must remind you all food is money.  I have seen stock cupboards from friends whose probably have a lot of money tied up and still buy more food.

Sit down and plan organise have an idea.  

Have been doing this a long time.

Food waste is a problem but think being useful and practical solutions. All my recipes use everything up and are freezer friendly.

Just some suggestions, ideas.

The list use the following..


Pasta small shapes different ones.
Noodles, Microwave rice and to wok Noodles.
Couscous and Orzo.

All useful to add to bulk out Soups, Stews, Ragu and Casseroles.


Fruit Pineapple, Peaches, Pears, plus anything like Exotic fruit mix or Mandarins.

Simple Sweets, Breakfast with Yoghurt and Cinnamon.

All tinned Tomato products mainly Passata cartons, jars. Jars are a bargain. 690g one.

Instant Soup and often a cheap price . Or instant Pasta Sauce

Tins Cherry Tomatoes. Pasta Sauce.

Roasted Red Peppers jars go with Passata instant base for Soup or Pasta Sauce use a blender or food processor.

Tins Chickpeas.  


The following. Cinnamon, Paprika, Dried herbs.  Garlic Powder.  Any spices like Chillies . Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander.

Vegetable Bouillon 


Porridge, Dried fruit Prunes, Dried Apple.


Yoghurt small cartons of and small cartons of Milk. Eggs.  Carrots, Celery, Peppers, Zucchini.


Bread Products like Bread Buns. Muffins, Pancakes, Potato Cakes.  Wrap individually tin foil.

Frozen vegetables. Green Beans, Butter nut Squash soup again.

Frozen Onions time saver.  Frozen Leeks another one.

Frozen Berries antibacterial and antioxidants .  On Porridge.  Mango with Fruit bowl anything Fruit Tins.  Yoghurt.  

Buy whole Chicken poach it in gravy granules.  With Carrots, Celery. Leeks, Onions Shred this. Portion . Freeze in tin foil to use Lunch Time soup with Noodles or Orzo.

Stock left over sauce, soup for the fridge.

Buy Meatballs cook them. Turkey ones cool down as Chicken freeze tin foil.

Breakfast or use with Pasta.  

Or Meatball sub sandwich.

Buy Chicken cheap cut drumsticks, Thighs legs good for Slow cooker.

Buy Gnocchi freeze that. No Potatoes use them.

Buy Fruit Apples, Pears, into a saucepan diced  with Honey a touch. Cinnamon a touch simple sweet serve with Yoghurt.

Or use with Porridge.

Please can I ask every one what essential food items do you buy over Winter you need to survive.

Be interested to know.

Anyone stuck for ideas or need some suggestions hope this helps .  Please ask me .

Happy to help with any thing food, recipes or anything to use for the freezer.

Thank you every one for reading.


Community Champion
SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.


  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    Some great advice, thanks @thespiceman! :)

  • mrbuttons
    mrbuttons Member Posts: 221 Pioneering
    edited November 2019
    Thats a great list spiceman i filled the freezer with frozen veg last week, iceland had some good deals. next week I will be getting some chicken portions from asda to get me through christmas.  Also herbs and spices to keep things interesting esp, garlic, paprika, oregano,all spice and thyme because i use them in almost all of my dishes.

    I use the slow cooker 3-4 x  weekly saves money and is a great eay to use cheap cuts of meat
    I try to remember to include some treats too like multipacks of crisps, nuts and chocolates. Just to make those long winter nights a bit more bearable.

    I like to stock up on tinned fruit too it makes a quick and easy dessert. I also have a small prepper pantry in case of unforseen eventualities.

    I buy cheap bottled water  or an extra tin of veg or pulses each week and keep them at the back of the cupboard. ive included batteries, paracetamol and torches and first aid stuff. I will be all set for the zombie apocalypse when it kicks off. LOL
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @mrbuttons   Thank you for reply kind words.

    A tip for you when buying frozen veggies or anything.  Such as fruit frozen.  Use zip bags or clip bags to store veggies in. Take them out the bags they come in.

    How many times we open a bag do not portion veggies or they just spill.

    You be amazed space saver.

    I do this with Pasta fresh like Tortellini such as Spinach ricotta or Gnocchi or anything small in a large amount of packaging.

    Prawns are one as is Fish.

    As long there dated.

    Another one is the sauces ideas using zip bags or clip bags, make a big batch portion and all ready to go.

    Do this with Ragu sauce or Pasta sauce if the fresh veggies are going off make a sauce and freeze it.

    Italians do in Summer huge batches of Pasta sauce.

    In plastic tubs, keep them in the freezer small ones. I do not have not much room use the Zip bags and Clip bags.

    With spices remember take them out of the jars in to a plastic box and label an idea I do.  Because the jars are great but sometimes the contents can be solid.

    Go on line buy small tiny storage boxes. AMAZON recommend.  Also use measuring spoons you probably do but a lot of spices are strong and if you do not measure, can be too powerful.

    As I know the knife is on standby trying to remove spices or herbs.

    I actually buy Onion Powder as well as Garlic ones because they are used as seasonings to meat.

    If there is anything you wish to know please ask me. Happy to help.

    Like your ideas a lot, especially the store cupboards for an emergency .

    I do this myself so it is a pleasure to meet some with a great mind.

    One other thing, look on AMAZON website lots of bulk buys good  to use.

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Never mind the food, looks like I need a slow cooker really. (As was recommended on the Steamer thread). I'll  start sourcing one. They sound ideal for one person, and a 'no fiddle' way to cook, as I'm no cook, and actually hate cooking! Thanks for more tips here Spiceman and MrButtons.
    Oh and they're cheap on the electric too apparently. Got to be good!
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    A 1.5L one for £10.99 at Argos. That's unbelievably cheap!
    It's on my wish list.
  • mrbuttons
    mrbuttons Member Posts: 221 Pioneering
    A 1.5L one for £10.99 at Argos. That's unbelievably cheap!
    It's on my wish list.
    Thats the one i have , its good for 3-4 helpings so i dont need to use it more than 3x pw.the bigger family sized one is also from argos. I think its about 5litres a medium sized chicken fits inside. Another good buy is a rice cooker, asda do a small 1.5 littre one for approx£15.00. It has saved many a cheap curry night when i couldnt stand over the cooker waiting for a pot of rice to cook and not can also be used for puddings and cakes or warming other items instead of using the main oven.
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Mr Buttons:
    Thanks for the recommendation. That's definitely the one for me then. Cook works, I think it is.
    I'll look at rice cookers. Must admit never heard of such a thing. I have a steamer, thought it might cook in there. Not a curry fan at all, but I do like chilli con carne.
    I dont have an oven, just the microwave. And my steamer now. And think with winter coming, the slow cooker sounds great for some nice winter warmers.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Please can I advise the following might be useful.

    These you can use in Microwave products.

    Microwave Rice whole grain basmati or long grain. The supermarkets do a range.

    I buy this for every time need to use rice. Already cooked so just microwave a few seconds.

    You could add which I have done a Pyrex Dish and add a Portion of Rice microwave ones.  Touch of water . Time for a few minutes then serve.

    Any left over in the packet can chill safely in the fridge.

    According to instructions, the great big problem with rice is there is a bacterium in the Rice if you buy raw, cook it.

    Then your left with loads of Rice need to be cooled down quickly or chilled or heated up high.

    To cool any Rice or any thing sink full of cold water and in the sink a bowl add Rice or sauces or any left overs to cool down before adding to the fridge.

    This can cause stomach pains, cramps or sickness headaches and some upsets stomach.

    But can ease after a while.

    Apologise if I alarmed you. 

    Understand this there are Pasta Shapes you can microwave small ones.

    Noodles to Wok.  Which are precooked Noodles add to dishes snip in.

    Best buys are these sets of Pyrex Dishes, casserole ones. Small one for beans and veggies, medium ones for Porridge any Soup.

    Large one large portions of food.

    I never microwave any meat in the oven, does not heat adequately also the fears of not being tasty become rubbery.

    Certain veggies like Sweet potatoes, roots, Carrots and Potatoes are great time savers in the microwave.

    I know of products out there as I research for my self.

    Do buy cheats, time savers and lots of tips, tricks to make life easier.

    I would look at a Freezer see what you can afford.

    If you get a Freezer lots of pre diced veggies, meat you get pre diced to cook and lots of other foods, just some advice.

    Please ask me anything you wish to happy to help.



    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I do occassionally have chilli con carne with that heat-up for 2 mins in the microwave rice. Its tinned chilli, so with the rice, a quick meal.
    No didn't know that about rice!! Think I might stick to the pre cooked stuff. I'm going to get the slow cooker I hope at the weekend as my UC payment goes into the bank on Weds. I'm looking on ilovefreegle for a freezer as currently way out of my budget. Thanks for all your tips and recipes Spiceman. 
    I think the slow cooker is a good buy for some warming food this winter. It's only £10.99
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Pleasure to help you anytime.

    I forgot to add something might be interested in.  As you do not like cooking use ingredients that cut out the hassle.

    I buy for example been had a meal tonight but added in Onion Powder and Garlic Powder as well dried herbs.

    You buy if you do a jar of sauce any one even gravy granules has the following on it. Onion Garlic Powder and dried herbs you pay a fortunes sometimes for these jars.

    In the supermarkets comes a variety of seasonings herbs mixes buy those. I call Onion, Garlic Powder actually I know it is called granules.

    In this country snobby about tinned products and using ready made to use vegetables for example.

    French people buy tinned peas, the Italians buy jars Tomato sauce for Pasta and a whole lot of things like Roasted Peppers helps to spice up sauces or use a lot of dried vegetables you need to rehydrate .

    Use things like Anti Pasti jars these are vegetables, often wood roasted and ready to use.

    Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes, Peppers, Aubergines, Courgettes.  When I had no money buy a lot of these.

    Lidl sell them cheaper need some vegetables all ready done for you in oil.

    Add to Pasta.

    I buy tinned Potatoes easy all done and cooked, into slow cooker tonight.

    Another simple idea is to buy a Blender, Then you can make your own sauces.

    Keep in the fridge and use when ever you want to.

    Tomato based sauces or even ones made from Granules then can be beneficial to a stew or ragu just some ideas for you.

    Add in Carrots, you choice of vegetables blitz up to a sauce of your making.

    Please can I apologise about mentioning the Rice but this true. When volunteering in Kitchen made a lot of Rice had to shock cool it down rapidly.

    Ice baths do not reheat Rice unless high temperatures.

    I did not intend to alarm you but Rice is the one of the main causes of food poisoning from Take out joints, just be careful.

    Also use Microwave or with Chilli or anything spicy use Couscous make it up no cooking, measure it out pour hot water over. Leave and fluff it up.

    I have used Mash and flavoured ones or use Noodles with Chilli or Curry or even Gnocchi potatoes dumplings.

    Hope that helps a bit more.

    Please take care speak to me or contact if I can help with anything.

    You be amazing just let you know, will enjoy the slow cooking done one tonight minimum washing up.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Ok thank you for all your help and advice. Very appreciated.


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