thriftyFinds 11/07/19

Nice nostalgic TV-related find today!


The excellent Brookside in novel form, spotted three of them for 50p each in Cancer Research, Elm Park. These are from the early days of Brookie, all before the 90’s. In fact the book titled ‘Moving In’ is based on the opening episodes of where it all began for the soap.

Apart from the odd annual and I have seen the occasional Corrie novel, they don’t really release soap based novels like this anymore. At one time they did for all the major soaps, I can remember reading some EastEnders ones from that shows early days, too.

Ah Brookside. Long gone but never forgot. I’ll give these a read at some point.


Books based on the much-missed UK soap set in Liverpool

Also got this fetching small skull for 50p in a Richard House charity shop in Elm Park.

The Chocolog Begins!

Co-op Dark Chocolate 85%
85% Co-op Dark Chocolate

Hi all. Ben here. (Sorry no one else was available!) Anyone who knows me will know a share a food-related passion with many others: Chocolate! To be more exact, I am especially into Dark Chocolate. Now I can not remember exactly when I really started to develop a taste for it, and actively eat it most days. As a kid I would of eaten it from time to time, but more often it would be milk chocolate and I always had a special fondness for white chocolate. And I still do like both a lot, I guess Dark Chocolate has become something I especially seek out to try new flavours of, use as an ingredient in cooking, and taste test it in a wine-like-kind-of-way.

So I was thinking about reviewing all the dark chocolate products I try here and on my YouTube channel. However, to cover other interesting chocolate-related goodness, I thought I’ll include all types of chocolate; dark, milk, white and ruby (that’s becoming a new favourite).

Right on with the show! We don’t want this first chocolate entry to melt. Did I hear somewhere dark chocolate is best served at room temperature, or have I made that up? Ah, reminds me before I get started, disclaimer: I am, in no shape, way or form a ‘professional chocolate conissure/eater’! If you are looking for something a bit more professional, this will not be for you. I’m just a guy who likes to eat chocolate and write about it! OK, let’s get started.

Co-op Irresistible Range (I’ll be the judge of that) Single Origin 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate £1.65 for 100g.

First of all, loving that artwork Co-op. A colourful, night-themed scene, which I’m guessing is meant to represent the origins of this chocolates ingredients.

Now, let’s get this bad boy open.

Ah, we have some tasting notes for the other flavours in the range. Definitely want to try those at some point. But let’s start with the plain first, and see how Co-op do with their dark chocolate, I have tried dark chocolate from them before, but not this range.

Looks smooth and has a nice shine to it. Now, for the taste. Verdict: I like it, I like it very much.

Keeping in mind this is a 85% bar, with the tasting notes describing it as being very intense, I found it less intense then I was expecting. It does come in intense for sure, and you’ll get the flavour plenty strong enough, but it is not the most intense hitter, and you do get a smooth finish which works really well. This is lovely and smooth, with a light richness that travels through.

I had my two squares with a cup of Earl Grey, which made a good pairing. I’m also going to see how it fairs in my breakfast test tomorrow morning. That is to say, it’s going in my porridge. Last couple of days I have been having Green & Black’s dark chocolate in my porridge which has gone down such a treat with its wonderful bitterness, for me it has elevated my porridge game (I also added sultanas and salted cashews).

Overall though, this dark chocolate offering is a very strong start to this topic, good value too at under £2, if you are after a slightly cheaper dark choc alternate to G&B’s.



thrifty Diary

my thrifty going-ons, daily


Only a quick shop today, as mostly catching up on a few home-based bits, so really just popped out to get some dinner. I fancied fish cakes, potatoes and peas, something like that. I walked to my local Co-op and had a little look around, not much choice in the way of fishcakes, in fact I could find no frozen ones. In fairness, this is only one of those small local branches, so they are not loaded with choice.

Had a look in the reduced section (of course), few pies and veg around half price, but nothing that I was really after. Then got to the freezer where they have their famous ‘Freezer Filler’ deal. Now, if you don’t know what these are, every week- I believe it is-they will have five frozen items for a fiver. These selections usually tend to be four savories and one sweet, I think basically the idea is to provide a full meal time for a family. So today it was this lot:

Co-op Frozen Filler Deal

As you can see I chose to get these bad boys home. The thing with this deal is it works out £1 an item which is decent, but like with all deals only worth it if you actually like the products. Now the SFC box is something I keep seeing in supermarkets very cheap, though not usually as cheap as the quid it works out here. I would not normally go for them as I suspect that although they say they are made with 100% chicken breast, it’ll be mixed with water and re-shaped, essentially artificial tasting which I’m not so keen on. Whatever you say about KFC, you can tell where it is actual proper pieces of chicken. This box has dippers, poppers (chicken not drugs) and strippers (chicken not…ah forget it). Then we get a bag of corn on the corb, can’t go wrong here, I love corn on the corb. We also get a bag of mini waffles which I have never had, only the traditional boxed ones are my regular choice. You get a fair amount inside. Then a bag of Mcain fries. I prefer their chips, but these are tasty enough. And then for desert you get a box of four Fruit Patilles lollies-have not had these for about 10 years I think! Used to like them a lot.

For dinner I ended up having the chicken dippers (you get a fair amount of each chicken item), a corn on the cob, some of the waffles, and some asparagus that I got reduced from Sainsbury’s at an earlier date (50p a fresh pack).

As a meal, the lot went down well! Nice simple, sometimes you just want a meal like this. To be honest, the SFC dippers, were as I expected, that sort of mushy reshaped chicken, very artificial tasting, Birds Eye chicken Dippers are in another league. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy again, but as an occasional thing they are fine. The waffles were very nice, perhaps nicer even then the normal ones. And the corn on the corb was yummy, so sweet and tasty, and I had to finish it with a knob of butter on top-perfect. The asparagus was really nice treated in the same way, an the lollies refreshed the palette and I think were roughly how I remember them tasting.

So that was a pretty thrifty dinner, but it was tasty, and that lot will last me a couple of days, so in this case, the Freezer Filler was win-win!

Welcome to the relaunch of the thriftyP website!

Please sit tight while everything (hopefully) comes together! If you are not familiar with thriftyP, here goes:

My name is Ben Stuart and I have created this website to feature content all around saving and earning money. This is also a product-focused site, so expect many news, reviews and unboxings on lots of different product types. I will try and feature content that is helpful to many different people, but this is also a personal project in that a lot of the products featured will be of products I have an interest in-like they say write about what you know! Hopefully, they will be of interest to some of you too.

OK, hope to see you here for more very soon, and if you fancy joining my socials please do, a lot of content will be happening within them!

xxx Ben