Monday, 5 October 2020

Challenge Six - The Coupon Challenge - Day Two


My next shopping trip out from the Van clutching my saved up coupons turned out to be the Marks and Spencer's food shop.  

Alan needed a new phone so we Googled the nearest EE store and it was in Lancaster, just 40 minutes away from the Van, so we decided on a day out by bus.  Lancaster has a horrendous one way system and just one wrong turn or getting into the wrong lane and you are circling the town over and over ... can you tell I speak from experience!!

 Thinking that there should be an M&S in such a big place I Googled that too and sure enough it was just up the road from where we were going.

Mission sorted.

I didn't expect to get much with my £24 of coupons, but I intended to shop as wisely as possible.

After sorting out Alan's phone we had a spot of lunch in M&S and then wandered the food aisles slowly.  It had been months since I had visited an M&S, not at all during lockdown in Wales and as I have already said there is none near to the Van.  There was a lot of new stuff and the beginnings of Christmas stock.  I averted my eyes from this and we each chose some foods that we fancied.  This photo shows my choice ... a good selection of foods to stock up the fridge with tasty treats, my reward to myself for completing the Ration Challenge.  

I chose to get a box of the gorgeous Vegan Kievs, four meals for me in one box.  I usually serve them simply with just a portion of rice and peas.  The Chicken Nuggets pandered to my 'inner 10 year old self' just a little snacky type meal with a pot of mayo to dunk them in.  The samosas were to be another simple lunch, and the Dirty Fries an adventure.  I had heard of these but never tasted them ... gosh perhaps I shouldn't have ... they were delicious, and when I opened them I ate the full two portions the box states it contains all by myself.

We decided we would each choose a ready meal for our tea that night, as Alan was setting back off to Wales in the early evening.  Mine was the Sweet Potato Katsu Curry.

This is the photo I used on the original post the day I bought it, my first evening meal after the Ration Challenge ended.  It was very tasty and very spicy and displayed as it is one of my small plates it looks just right.

Alan's choice of ready meal was a Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake, to be closely followed by two of the Pineapple Tarts, it would have been all four but I stopped him.  I should imagine the other two were consumed not long after his arrival home, but I didn't ask ... if I don't know I can't tell him off  😄

  The salmon fillets are tucked in the freezer at the Van, handy for fishy meals on his regular visits ... once we can get back!!

Our total spend came to £29.15, which with the coupons deducted was a happier £5.15 spend.  Not too shabby for some tasty treats and a stash of fish for future use.

I was happy with our food spend ... much happier than the cost of Alan's new phone, it's a good job it's a business expense!!  While we were there we also took advantage of all the points I have available on my Costa Card and had a free coffee each.

Oh, and as the lady in the M&S Café gave Alan two sachets of mayonnaise to go with his lunch and he only used one, I brought the other home to add to my little stash tin.  You've got to love a freebie ... of any description.

I'll be back tomorrow with the third part of my couponing adventure, the part that saw me coming home with a lot less than I expected in my shopping bag.

Sue xx


  1. What yummy food, I have recently bought Flora's new block "butter" and to quote the saying I can't believe it's not butter "!, I can't . There is such a lovely range of vegan food out there now but I find it an expensive way to eat so like you ,they are treats but vegan home made can be really good too and now I have got into the swing of it it's an easy way of eating for me and most of the meals I make go down well with the men I feed even though they crave a sausage now and again. I have gained £26 through the co-op but am hanging on to buy Christmas goodies with that and it has just stopped raining , whoopie dooo !!!!

    1. I haven't tried the new block Flora yet, when I see some I'll have to give it a go. I couldn't imagine eating just this sort of food all the time, although I know some do, but it's nice to have a treat every now and then isn't it 😃

      Gosh I wish it would stop raining!!

  2. Thats a great haul,Sue, I would happily eat all the plant kitchen goodies, and a pineapple tart too 😋 I haven't had one of those for years! 'FREE' food from loyalty points or vouchers is always welcome 🙂
    I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post....

    1. I would have liked a pineapple tart too but they had dairy in ☹️

  3. I do love M&S food but it can be quite pricey. Unfortunately they closed the one near me but they opened a food hall 8 miles away.

    1. There's talk of them specialising in the Food Halls and having less clothing stores in the near future. Looking at the clothes that were available when we were there that might be a good idea!!

  4. Drooling again:( I love M&S food hall and whenever in the UK we always pop in, there is on in Glossop so right on our doorstep:) Love this challenge even though here we don't get any free coupons.

    1. It is excellent quality food isn't it, and they do good yellow sticker reductions if you can get to a store at the right times.

  5. Lancaster sounds a bit like Milton Keynes which is also dire and Harlow, more local to me, is another, I gather. All the roundabouts look the same and the one time I went there I got totally lost! Never again!
    What a super food haul you got for your vouchers! I love M&S food.

    1. I hate that moment when you realise you are in the wrong lane at the lights and there is NOTHING you can do but go right round town again 🤣🤪. It's happened to me far too many times. I see this bus route being used in both directions once I move ... the other direction would take me into Blackpool where my son lives 😃


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