frugal cooking

24January

Sausage Cassoulet of sorts

More things to do with reduced sausages

Sausage Cassoulet of sorts

If you are careful where you shop you may come across a wonderful find.  Our 'Wonderfu'l is only about 15 minutes drive away but it is the best Tesco I have come across in ages for 'reduced' items.

Its a regular thing, probably about once a week that I find myself popping in - mid to late morning is by far the best time to arrive, and on doing so I head directly to the meat and cheese reduced fridge, and having filled up my basket I then head for the fresh fruit and veg to stock up there before heading for the check out (well, you have to demonstrate a certain degree of control!)

A couple of weeks after Christmas I came back with an absolute haul of Pork and Leek sausages, packets of eight, reduced to 60p.  I have been worked my way through them ever since.  Once a week when making my meal plan I check into the freezer to see how my Sausage stash is looking and then ponder what I can make with them this week!

Posted in Frugal Foods

23January

Hairy Bikers Chicken Curry with Lentils and spinach

Super fast Healthy Sunday Tea. Hairy Bikers Alternative Roast Dinner

Hairy Bikers Chicken Curry with Lentils and spinach

Because of the planned winter picnic for today (see yesterday's blog entry) I hadn't planned to do a roast dinner today. 

I had planned to do a Curry.  Whilst this causes in itself other problems.  It now feels like a Friday - so there should be beer in the house and I have two more days off = yeah!!  

I decided to carry on regardless.

I reached for my Hairy Bikers Chicken and Egg book with slight trepidation at 7pm, knowing that a read of the recipe a couple of hours previously would have been an inspired idea.....but was pleasantly surprised.    The whole meal was made in under thirty minutes.

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21January

Nigella Lawson - Spinach, Ricotta and Bulgar Wheat Pie

Is there a domestic goddess in me?

Nigella Lawson - Spinach, Ricotta and Bulgar Wheat Pie

Firstly I have to admit that I was looking for a pie I could take on a Winter Picnic.  

Secondly, I have to admit that I have changed some of the ingredients.  It turns out I didn't have Bulgar wheat in the cupboard - although I am sure it is in there and I just can't find it.

Thirdly, I don't own a 22cm Springform tin.

and coming in at number Four.......life is too short to make pastry when you can buy it.

Other than that - my pie is exactly the same!  

 

Well, if you ignore the fact that I didn't have any dried thyme

Posted in Frugal Foods

20January

Which just leaves the ragu....

The final frugal dish ...perfect food for students

Which just leaves the ragu....

So here we are - having finished the Lasagna and the Cottage pie I had just one third of the mince left

 

Combine the remaining mixture with a jar of arrabiata pasta sauce and warm through slowly in a saucepan, stirring frequently.

Serve on cooked pasta smothered with Parmesan and finished with a slice of garlic bread.

Heavenly TV dinner.

Posted in Frugal Foods

19January

Cottage Pie - Bulking Meal Prep Ideas

Everyone loves a comforting Potato Recipe

Cottage Pie - Bulking Meal Prep Ideas

Yesterday I wrote up the beginning of an explanation of how to make three days meals for four out of 500g of Beef Mince and some contents from your storecupboard.
If you follow yesterday's Lasagna blog post you will see where we start making the Cottage Pie - which is where this blog entry starts

Posted in Frugal Foods

18January

Lasagna Recipe - Bulking Meal Prep Ideas

Minced Beef Recipes. One of the best ways to save money

Lasagna Recipe - Bulking Meal Prep Ideas

Taking control of your Family food budget is one of the best ways to save money.  When people ask me for money saving advice, Batch Cooking is always something I like to promote. Combine this with careful meal planning, a frugal shopping list and utilising ways of stretching your ingredients and you are well on the way to live more cheaply.

Today I utilised a reduced 500g pack of Beef mince to make three main dishes to serve four people.  A Beef Lasagna, a Cottage Pie and a Beef ragu Pasta sauce.

Here I am going to explain how I came to have just the best looking Lasagna for tea!

Posted in Frugal Foods

08September

Blue cheese and pineapple pasta - yes I know it sounds like a pizza topping

Delicious pasta dish winner on both cost and taste

Blue cheese and pineapple pasta - yes I know it sounds like a pizza topping

Its not too often that I give in and give the family a pile of Pasta for tea.  Or even worse a pile of pasta with Garilc Bread on the side.  Somehow it feels a little like a 'stressed Mum' tea, and given that I am far from Stressed at present perhaps for me it should fit in to the category of 'Lazy, Carb overload, tea'.

However this is also a bit of a gem, it combines blue cheese with tinned pinepple theres some vegetables thrown in and some toasted nuts to give a deep richness to the overall flavour.  
When you feel guilty putting the garlic bread in the oven, remind yourself that the pasta sauce is mainly yogurt and convince yourself that yogurt, fruit and vegetables are in fact a beautifully balanced diet.

Posted in Frugal Foods

08September

Parmesan, olive and onion scones

It pays to check your baking powder is in date

Parmesan, olive and onion scones

So there you go.....here is the reason to check your baking powder from time to time.
I was tempted to use yeast but I didnt want them escaping out of the oven, and I didnt have any self raising so I went with Plain flour and the baking powder which was six months out of date.

 

Not quite the lift I would have hoped for but quick and easy to put together, great way to use up natural yogurt and will be a hit with everyone who loves cheese and onion.

Posted in Frugal Foods

13August

Is Farmfoods for your healthy weekly shop sustainable?

Can you live on frozen food when you only have a small freezer?

Is Farmfoods for your healthy weekly shop sustainable?

Being unemployed has been a bit of a revelation, for two reasons.

Firstly it has made me wonder how on earth I ever found time to work full time previously.
Secondly it has made me take another serious look at my shopping habits.

I have always been a fan of the 'meal plan' and 'shopping list' to ensure you only buy what you need, and I am an avid fan of Aldi and Lidl (the latter to a lesser extent) but in an attempt to tighten my purse strings even further I took a very close look at the option of doing my weekly shop at Farmfoods. 

Posted in Frugal Foods

21July

A Spanish Shepherds Pie?

A version of Picadillo Valenciana - Mincemeat with saffron and Raisins

A Spanish Shepherds Pie?

So day two back in the UK and yet to get to the shops.  
As many of you know I am a big fan of stretching mince, and putting the balance of the pack in the freezer so you always have little packs of 100g of mince.

A skoot round the kitchen today gave me

One tin of Baked Beans

A little tomato puree

One onion some garlic cloves

Some very sad looking potatoes

 

This rather frugal looking list of stuff had 'shepherds pie' written all over it once combined with 200g of frozen mince.

Posted in Frugal Foods

20July

Habas con Jamon - or a version there of

Family tea for four for about £2.00

Habas con Jamon - or a version there of

A recent turn of events has had me concentrating more on the amount of money I spend on my shopping.  A change in my circumstances has probably been anticipated as long as I have had this website, so I suppose its probably due.

We are also just back from Spain.  A road trip around the North of Spain from Bilbao to Santiago and then back via Leon, and Hondarribia to Bilbao.  A bit of a culinary shock for my Husband who hates fish......he came home wishing for home cooking but with a Spanish twist so thats what we had for tea 

 

Posted in Frugal Foods

06June

Harissa Roasted Aubergine for Meat Free Monday

Making a family dish from a couple of Aubergines

Harissa Roasted Aubergine for Meat Free Monday

Not quite sure what to do with and Aubergine?  
Its true they appear on our Supermarket shelves all year round, and with the exception of making a Mousakka do you know what to do with one?

They take time to cook, but their dense flesh makes for a good alternative to a meat dish, and if you combine the rather bland of the Aubergine with some punchy flavours and interesting textures then you have a fabulous family dish.

Posted in Frugal Foods

01June

Bombay Chicken

Another Jamie Oliver Hit

Bombay Chicken

Theres no denying that Jamie Olivers book 'Every Day Superfood', is quite a hit in this house, despite the fact I can rarely complete the dishes in 'full' because of the volume of vegetables he uses which my family wont eat. The net result is that I tend to pick my way through cookery books looking for complementary flavours and ideas for dishes and Jamies 'Bombay Chicken and Cauli Poppadoms, Rice and Spinach' was utilised for tonights meal.

Posted in Frugal Foods

18May

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Seafood Paella is nice, but not if you are the only one in your house who eats shellfish

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

So Paella?  Perhaps I was getting all excited in the up turn in the weather when I did my meal plan last week......perhaps I was looking forward to my holiday....either way we ended up with Paella on the menu this week.

I have made Paella previously, I have made Chicken Paella previously, but there was a recipe on the side of the Co-op Paella box which grabbed my interest as I have a Chorizo in the fridge this week, and with only two chicken breasts to feed four.....this looked like a prime candidate for a Frugal tea.

Posted in Frugal Foods

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Welcome to the New Frugal Foods Website - We have had a make over, and have added a few things along the way. Why not also take a look at our Amazon shop with our favourite Cookery Books? Our very popular Blog will continue to give you great ideas for frugal family meals and using up your left overs but we are also working on some additional items to look out for too.

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