Milk delivery / veg box let down again

Well on Wednesday I had my veg box and milk delivered as usual.  Well I was supposed to.  Those who read daily will know the last 2 deliveries haven’t been correct.  This was the 3rd one which was incorrect too!  They delivered only my skimmed milk (Steven drinks it, yuk) but not the semi skimmed and put a note on to say I wasn’t getting any this week.  Considering you have to order a week in advance so they can get it in and the fact no one had informed me in advance (they know the day before if they have it) then all I can assume is something happened on the morning of the delivery, making the semi skimmed unavailable.  However I did say that if they mess up for a 3rd time, then I’d move on and I have.  So sorry The Organic Pantry but I’ve now placed an order with Riverford who use regional farmers and dairies local to myself, which are set to send me a milk and veg box delivery on Wednesday.  They have lots of other items too so fingers crossed they are up to the mark and then I can shift a lot of the order to them instead of the supermarket.

I must say however The Organic Pantry veg boxes are lovely, it was just the milk that was the let down. 

With regards to the milk, I’d go to the dairy to buy it but there isn’t an option.  I only want to use someone who is already in the area if we get a delivery as creating more carbon footprints just to get my milk to me doesn’t sit well with what I’m about.  So I was pleased to hear the Riverford are in my local area every Wednesday.  I’ll keep you posted as to how I get on with them.

In the mean time, it’s Friday and that means I have one more week in the office until I break up for my 2 weeks and a day off!  I don’t think I have mentioned that yet have I :).  We have a few plans, people visiting, days out, jobs to do at home, walks and adventures along with kids birthday parties, so it’ll be lovely to spend the time together and enjoy a more relaxed way of life!

The dream is becoming the reality with each week that passes (including menu plan!)

I’ve been working on the menu plans now I am full steam ahead with the veg box and Tesco decision.  I will normally update this post type on a Thursday, but this week it’s Friday seen as though we’re just getting going.   Veg is delivered on a Wednesday, each week.  Items delivered will be seasonal and I’m working a menu plan based on the delivery contents instead of shopping to the menu plan. 

Wednesday veg box cost £26.27 and contained:

Veg box (£13.50) contents:  Milk, cheese, cream, salad bag, tomatoes, plums, oranges, bananas, sweet peppers, new potatoes, onions, broad beans, carrots.

In addition to the Standard Box I bought:

1 x RAW MILK 1ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.50

1 x SEMI-SKIMMED MILK 2ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.79

1 x SKIMMED MILK 2ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.79

1 x CREAM – DOUBLE 500ml Acorn £2.02

1 x RED LEICESTER CHEESE (Lye Cross Farm) 245gm £3.27

Plus delivery of £2.40.

The menu plan to use these lovely items is as follows:

Wednesday – Slow cooker beef with veg patch and veg box veg and mashed potato. Leftovers – make pie and freeze/use mash in potato cakes.

Thursday – 12 egg frittata with bacon tomato & cheese, potato cake, salad (veg box) and veg patch radish with salad cheese.  Leftovers – Lunch on Friday/after work snacks

Friday – Veg plot cauliflower cheese soup followed by veg box broad bean, Feta & Spinach Pie with veg box salad

Saturday – Bacon & Egg buns/Sausage buns, meal out (not takeaway and once in a blue moon!) with visiting family on night but home for pudding of strawberry shortcake with extra thick double cream.  Saturday extras – Make quiche/flapjacks/meringue/shortcake & sweet potato soup.

Sunday – Diced beef in gravy, veg patch peas if any, veg patch cauliflower, broccoli & cabbage with veg box carrots & new potatoes.  Use onions in gravy.  Strawberry shortcake if any left or strawberries with meringue (made Saturday) and cream.

Monday – Shakshuka with sausages served on plain flatbread or with pittas (never made this before, looks yum).

Tuesday – Slow cooker chicken curry with rice and naan


The plums will be eaten fresh and also used in a chicken, leek and plum pie for the freezer/coming meal.  The cheese, milk and cream will be used in some of the above meals, breakfast and in general everyday use.

In addition to the veg box, every Friday I will get my Tesco delivery of fresh items that The Organic Pantry don’t sell.  Each week I need food to cover the weekend’s guests that drop in (bacon, cakes to be made etc), my daughter’s packed lunch items for the coming week (son doesn’t have them), the weekly basics and top ups of items that have ran out such as flour, treacle, toilet roll etc.  Today’s Tesco shop includes:

6 small pork pies – £2

Deodorant £1.5

1kg Jam sugar * 2 £4.16

Sweet potatoes 5 –

Apple juice cartons * 2 packs £1.6 (check as coming up as £1.95)

Rolls * 12 £1

2.5kg potatoes £2

Oats 1kg £0.75

220g Cherry tomatoes £1.50

600ml dbl cream £1.5

30 pack shreadded wheat £2.18

Bananas £0.80

Bubble bath (Christmas hampers) £1 each * 2

Shortcrust pastry £1.50 (Yes, I know).

8 pack Blue ribands £1.69

Lunchbox malt loaf singles £1.35

Mixed fresh peppers £0.85

Mushrooms £0.90

Tuna 4 pack * 2 £4.98

Choco snaps * 3 for offer £3 check this too

More bananas £0.90

Mild cheddar stick £1

Baking butter £0.85

Carrots (horses) £0.45

Squeezy yoghurts * 2 pack £2


This allows me to put together 5 packed lunches for Grace, afterschool snacks (pork pies, yoghurts), breakfasts for all of us for the week, soup basics and some quiches for my lunch/teas.

If you’ve managed to get to the end of this post without falling asleep, I salute you.  I would like to say, to avoid any comments that may question it.  Yes the veg box scheme and milk is more expensive than going to Aldi or Tesco.  Yes I could save more money buying the same items in there.  No I don’t want to do that.  However we do have a budget and we stick to it.  We want to be able to eat locally and seasonally whilst supporting as many local businesses as possible.  This helps us and does my part for them too.  Ideally we want to be self-sufficient but know that we can’t be entirely due to our lifestyle of having to work (for now).  This is a big learning curve for us here on our smallholding and we are embracing every minute of it.  Happy Friday everyone 🙂 xx

PS some pics of how things are coming along.  I will post about them in another post but I don’t like non picture posts, especially on a Friday!

This is the muck heap I threw the old supermarket potatoes in that were destined for the bin/compost otherwise and they’re growing!!

Eating or cooking?  No idea.

More apples, eating or cooking I don’t know.


More plums?
Definitely plums!
A redcurrant bush hiding at the back of the orchard which seems to be thriving well on its own!
Our first harvested onion 🙂 We also had potatoes but they went too quick to get a photo.

Aren’t they growing?  Adorable!

I was being spied on by the neighbouring cows when letting the ducks out this morning.

Veg Box delivery scheme and an announcement

My veg box arrived from The Organic Pantry and I am very pleased.  When I arrived home there was a note through the letter box to say the location of the box.  It was extremely well packed with much love and attention and the milk was in a thick brown padded back and still very cold when I got home.  I may get a cooler for the milk to go in should they ever deliver early on a morning and it be a hot day.  Also might be better somewhere waterproof but I will see.  It had been placed in the best possible place and I was really pleased.  There’s lots of different box options but I am going to try and get seasonal, UK grown so watch this space for the weekly updates.

The plan is every Wednesday order a veg box for the following week.  This will contain veg to top up what we’re growing ourselves.  (Ideally over the next years, we won’t need to order anything and will live solely off what we’ve grown for the bulk of the year.)  The ‘Farm’ veg box is £10 and contains no fruit.  I’m still undecided what to do re the fruit, as a lot of it is imported to the veg box scheme so do I buy it from Tesco as it’s imported there too, or from The Organic Pantry and support their business?  Soon enough our own apples will be ready though it doesn’t look like we’re getting any plums this year.

The Organic Pantry also deliver milk, cream, cheese, butter and meat from a local farm (to them).  As Steven’s a butcher we won’t be getting their meat and soon enough we will have more chickens ready for the table too.  The milk, cream, cheese and maybe butter we are getting though.  So all in I think the veg box will be a maximum of £30 a week (that’s me erring on the side of caution).  Some weeks it’ll be £20 or less as we won’t need everything each week.

In addition to the veg box, I have ordered the ‘delivery saver’ from Tesco so I can have them come weekly at a time to suit me, which is 4pm on a Friday.  I have a list of items that we use weekly but their minimum order is £40.  So I’ve decided anything under £40 I will top up with food items to stock up on (tinned beans, toilet roll, long life milk, sugar), any stocking fillers that I will use in the hampers I will be making for Christmas (bubble bath, face mits, smellies) and in doing this, keeps the cost of Christmas down too.

Therefore new grocery budget is £300 per month for 2 adults, 2 children.

£40 week to Tesco equal £160 on normal month.

£30 week to Organic Pantry equals £120 on normal month.

Leaving £20 for miscellaneous.  Sounds easy on paper.


I would also like to make an announcement.  No more McDonalds or takeaways for us on the smallholding.  I can hear my husband laughing at me now.  I am determined though.  We’re going to make this work.
***starting to regret saying that, Tracy scrambles away to plan for Friday nights when she just CBA to cook***
Packaged fantastically

Super excited! 

My daughter and friend on a hack with me

First raspberries

This is seriously tasty jam