Wednesday 31 May 2017

End of day 27, end of this cycle

A few changes.

B:  porridge, stewed rhubarb and natural yogurt   Total 6p
L:  bacon and soft cheese bagel, apple.  Total 28p
D:  Chilli mince and rice   Total 37p
S/S:  Banana   Total 12p

I am saving the strawberries for tomorrow.

Today I spent 83p
Budget so far £31
Spent: £27.24
Money in hand:  £3.76

And that's the end of this cycle.. I have £3.76 to carry over and, as always, £1 of that will go towards herbs and spices while the rest will be spent on apfs.
The clock starts again tomorrow!  I am continuing with this, probably indefinitely but with a bit of flexibility built in when necessary.  

Day 27 and last day of the May cycle

Just today to go and I'm into the next month's cycle - not that anything will change apart from the budget going back to zero and the budget surplus used to buy apfs.
(apf means 'already paid for' which means when I bought the item I took the whole cost from the budget rather than doing it per portion. It works for things like lettuce, cabbage, milk, yogurt, oil, etc, where working out one portion would make life a lot more complicated!)

Today's menu is:
B:  porridge (4p) with rhubarb (1p) and natural yogurt (apf)
L:  soft cheese (9p) and bacon (YS 8p) bagel (2p), banana (12p)
D:  chorizo and bean stew (28p) with rice (7p) and a side salad (apfs + 10p), natural yogurt (apf) and strawberries (garden) with maybe a bit of stevia (2p)
S/S:  apple (8p), carrot batons (2p)

Tuesday 30 May 2017

End of day 26

All change on the planning after a fridge sort out and a trip to Aldi.

B:   banana (didn't want anything else)   Total 12p
L:  ham trimmings with a salad which was mostly apfs.   Total 20p
D:  gammon, coleslaw, salad, natural yogurt and strawberries from the garden   Total 20p
I know that sounds daft but the gammon was from a pack of cooking bacon, great value, and most of the salad was either garden or apf.  My wonderful strawberry plants gave me 7 berries today and there will be more tomorrow.
S:  apple   Total 8p

Today I spent 60p
Budget so far £30
Spent: £26.41
Money in hand:  £3.95

Day 26

It's the penultimate day of this cycle of the 5-2 budget challenge and here are my plans for the day which is a £1 day.

B:  Natural yogurt (apf) and stewed rhubarb (1p), apple (8p)
L:  Broccoli soup (10p), carrot batons (4p), apple (8p)
D:  gammon (from pack of cooking bacon - 12p), green beans (50g, frozen, 8p), peas (8p), might have a few home made wedges too (6p), depending on how the strawberries ripen today, maybe strawberries (free) and yogurt (apf)
S/S:  carrot batons (accounted for above)

apf means 'already paid for' which means when I bought the item I took the whole cost from the budget rather than doing it per portion. It works for things like lettuce, cabbage, milk, yogurt, oil, etc, where working out one portion would make life a lot more complicated!

Monday 29 May 2017

End of day 25

B: toast and brie, yogurt and stewed rhubarb   Total 4p 
L:  Broccoli soup and home made bread roll  Total 12p
D:  Meat and veg pie, broccoli, carrots   Total 73p
S/S:  natural yogurt with stewed rhubarb, banana   Total 13p

Today I spent £1.02
Budget so far £29
Spent: £25.81
Money in hand:  £3.19

Day 25

Nearly there for May!  Day 25 and a £1.50 day as I swapped it from yesterday to today.

Today's plans
B:  toast (apf) and the last of the YS brie (3p), natural yogurt (apf) and stewed rhubarb (allotment and 1p)
L:  broccoli soup (the stalk I am using is apf so it will come to around 10p-ish),  apple (8p)
D:  beef and veg pot pie (around 55p), carrots (4p), broccoli (8p)

Sunday 28 May 2017

End of day 24

Another tasty day today.

B:  banana   Total 12p
L:  macaroni cheese with broccoli and more broccoli plus the first strawberry from the garden.  Total 40p
T:  bacon, brie and plum anise jam bagel, carrot batons, natural yogurt and stewed rhubarb   Total 18p
S/S:  apple   Total 8p

Today I spent 78p
Budget so far £27.50
Spent: £24.79
Money in hand:  £2.71

Repeat recipe: macaroni cheese

I've posted this before but, as I tend to have dip in readers rather than regular followers (sad, but there you go!), I think it is worth repeating.
All my recipes are to serve one unless it says otherwise.

50g dry weight of macaroni

125g milk
10g butter
about 1 tbsp plain flour (less for a more runny sauce)
a grating of nutmeg
a pinch of mustard powder
some salt (very little as the cheese is salty) and pepper
40g very strong cheddar, grated

broccoli (optional, but it is gorgeous!)

Cook the macaroni and the broccoli.
Make the cheese sauce, reserving a little cheese.

In an appropriately sized oven proof dish, put in the broccoli, then the macaroni, then cover with the cheese sauce.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake at about 180C until the top is coloured and bubbly, or you can do it under the grill or in a halogen oven.

Making the cheese sauce:
I cheat by bunging it all into Thermione (my Thermomix), setting it at 5 mins, 95C, speed 2

If you make it the longer way, this says it better than I can.  I just add the nutmeg and mustard as well.

Day 24

It should be a £1.50 day today but I am swapping it for tomorrow, so today is a £1 day.  It just works better this way
apf means 'already paid for' - the complete cost has already been deducted from the budget.  It's not free, just already paid for!

B:  porridge (4p), stevia (3p)  and natural yogurt (apf)
D:  macaroni cheese with broccoli and peas (40p)
T:  bacon, brie and plum brioche bun (21p), carrot batons (costed yesterday)

Saturday 27 May 2017

End of day 23

A good one!

B:  in the end I just had the banana   Total 12p
L:  the brie, bacon and plum anise jam in a brioche bun was amazingly gorgeously delicious.  I will make that again another day, for sure.   Total 20p and that is generous as I didn't need much of the plum anise jam at all.
D:  lasagne and coleslaw   Total 66p
Also 1 pt milk   Total 45p

The lasagne was easy and delicious too.  I got two portions of cooked mince and veg from the freezer (44p), soaked one sheet of lasagne in water just boiled in the kettle so it went soft and then cut it in half (thank you, Mary Berry, for that idea) (2p), made some bechamel sauce and then constructed the lasagne - mince, half sheet of lasagne, half sheet, sauce, grated cheddar.  Then it went into the oven for around 25 mins at about 180C.

Today I spent £1.43
Budget so far £26.50
Spent: £24.01
Money in hand:  £2.49

Day 23

. . . and it's a £1.50 day today.
(apf means 'already paid for - the whole cost has already been deducted from the budget.

B:  porridge (4p), sugar (1p), natural yogurt (apf), banana (12p)
L:  bacon (8p), brie (5p) and cranberry and apple chutney or plum jam with star anise (both are home made so no real idea but to be safe I will say 10p because it's not going to be more than that)  in a brioche bun (5p), apple
D:  lasagne (to be costed when made), side salad (garden/apfs), coleslaw (left over from yesterday and already costed), home made garlic bread (about 3p), natural yogurt (apf).

Friday 26 May 2017

Recipe: sausage casserole

It's not really a casserole, nor is it a stir fry.  It's just what it is.

This is what I used/did but, as with most of my recipes, it's adaptable.

some sausages - I used four chipolatas (a YS find), each one cut into three bits
a small onion, sliced
some oil
50g frozen mixed peppers
1 mushroom, sliced
some passata (or chopped tomatoes - about half a can's worth)
tomato puree
mixed herbs, salt, pepper to taste

Using a frying pan, heat a little oil, drop in the sausages and fry, stirring until they are coloured and virtually cooked.  It doesn't take long,  Remove them with a slatted spoon and set aside.
Add a bit more oil, if necessary (it might not be) and saute the onions until softening and translucent.  Add the peppers and the mushroom and continue frying for a short time.
Add the passata/chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree, mixed herbs and seasonings to taste and return the sausages to the pan.  Bring to a boil and very gently simmer for a while so that the sauce thickens a bit.

You can serve this with rice or pasta.  I used rice.

End of day 22

A few changes but it's been another not all that hungry day

B:  bacon sandwich.  Total 0p (gift and an apf - already paid for)
L:  sausage roll with coleslaw and salad   Total 20p
D:  sausage casserole (delicious and I will post the recipe later) and rice, natural yogurt   Total 27p
I was going to have snacks, etc, but ended up not doing so.

Today I spent 47p
Budget so far £25
Spent: £22.58
Money in hand:  £2.42

I went to Morrison's this morning for some batteries so I glanced at the YS shelves and saw a wedge of brie for - 9p!  I wasn't going to leave that one.  I'm sure I can make a scrummy lunch or two with it this weekend.  I also have leftover coleslaw and carrot that I have accounted for,

Day 22

Today is a carrot day as I have lots to eat up!  When I buy a bag of carrots (or loose) I divide the cost by the number of carrots so each carrot, whatever the size, is the same price.  Today I have a particularly large one that does need to be used up very soon.

B:  bacon (free, gifted, needs using!) sandwich (apf),
L:  sausage roll (12p: YS). coleslaw (8p), more carrots ( carrot costed as part of coleslaw), mixed salad (mostly apfs)
D:  sausage casserole (to be costed), rice (7p), natural yogurt
S/S:  guess what - even more carrot cut into batons (already costed - I said it was a big carrot!)

For the sausage casserole I will use some of the very YS sausages I bought on Wednesday evening and bunged straight in the freezer (3p), some passata made from last year's garden tomatoes and frozen and any bits and bobs of veg I can find from the freezer (which will be costed using My Supermarket, if necessary)

I'm reaping the rewards of using surplus budget to buy things and account for them straight away (which is what apfs are - already paid fors) as well as some yellow sticker finds.

Thursday 25 May 2017

End of day 21

It was a not very hungry day today - maybe because of the heat.

B:  nothing until 11:30 and then I had a plain bagel - and it was very nice   Total 2p (it was YS)
L:  another bagel (they are really very tasty) with egg mayo and salad leaves, apple  Total 23p
D:  fish pie and broccoli, natural yogurt   Total 52p

Today I spent 77p
Plus 49p for another batch of yogurt
Budget so far £24
Spent: £22.11
Money in hand:  £1.89

Day 21

Today is a £1 day.
B:  porridge (4p), sugar (1p), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  egg mayo (17p), bagel (2p), coleslaw (6p), mixed salad (apfs/garden)
D:  fish pie (around 50p), broccoli (apf)

Wednesday 24 May 2017

End of day 20

It all went more or less according to plan really
B:  porridge   Total 5p
L:  egg mayo and salad roll   Total 19p
D:  fried basa fillets with green beans   Total 50p

I also had a spot of luck.  After the governors' meeting this evening, I popped over the road to Morrisons as I was nearly out of bread and have no time in the next few days to bake any.  Not only did I find a nice Warburton's white sliced (still beautifully fresh and soft) for 9p, I also got two packs of bagels for 9p each and some sausages (OK, not great sausages) at 9p for 12.
I shall make the sluiced bread an apf because costing it out as I use it will be complicated.  The rest works out fine.

So . . .
Today I spent 74p
Plus 9p for the sliced bread
Budget so far £23
Spent: £20.85
Money in hand:  £2.15

Recipe: pepperami pasta

I had some yellow sticker pepperami - those little sticks of pepperami that come in packs of four and go into lunchboxes.  These were 50p for four, last for ages and were a real bargain.

I also used some passata that I made from last year's tomatoes and froze last autumn.

This is more an idea that a recipe so no specific amounts, just what I thought would be right for one person.

a little oil
1/4 onion (mine was a red onion), sliced
about 1/6th of a red pepper, diced
1 small pepperami, unwrapped and grated (or you could cut it into slices)
smoked paprika
garlic puree
a bit of tomato puree

cooked spaghetti
a sprinkle of grated cheese (I used strong cheddar)

Put the pasta on to cook.

Gently fry the onion until translucent.  Add the red pepper and the grated pepperami and fry for a few more minutes, stirring now and again.  Then add the paprika and the garlic puree and fry for another minute.

Add the passata, increase the heat and let it bubble and thicken.  Add the tomato puree and taste, seasoning if necessary.

Drain the cooked spaghetti, reserving a little of the cooking water.  Add it to the sauce with a little cooking water and mix it all together.
Tip it into a bowl and sprinkle over some grated cheese.  Eat straight away!

You could use any suitable veg - I wanted to add some peas but am right out of them.
The pepperami gives the dish a little bit of heat and the paprika imparts smokiness.  Really delicious.

End of day 19

Today has gone really well.

B:  bacon roll and banana   Total 12p as the bacon was free)
L:  toastie, coleslaw and salad   Total 26p
D:  pepperami pasta, natural yogurt    Total 25p (pepperami was YS/50p for four and the veg was either garden or apf)
S/S:  peanut butter   Total 10p

So . . .
Today I spent 73p
Budget so far £22
Spent: £20.02
Money in hand:  £1.98

I will need to get another pack of butter soon - it lasts for ages when you only put a little bit in your butter dish at a time but it does run down eventually!

Day 20

Day 20 and a £1 day
(apf means already paid for - I've taken the whole cost out of the budget already)

B:  porridge (4p) with sugar (1p) and natural yogurt (apf)
L:  egg (13p) mayo (4p) roll (2p) with salad (garden and apf), carrot batons (4p), apple (8p)
D:  basa fillet (38p), dusted in seasoned flour (neg) and fried, green beans (100g - 12p) and home made chips (around 8p)

I won't be eating until late because of a meeting at 6:00, so no supper needed tonight.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Good old Tesco

I went to Tesco with my Mum on Saturday and noticed some likely looking packs of 'cooking bacon' for 60p
I chose carefully and brought home two packs.  I have just sorted them out.
One pack consisted of some very thick slices which I was able to cut in two to give me five portions of gammon-like meat that will each make a good main meal at 12p each.
The other pack had rashers and I now have eight lots of two rashers for breakfasts and lunches at 8p per lot (rounded up)

Morrisons doesn't have cooking bacon like that; their cooking bacon is little bits chopped up.  Great for adding to dishes but not as an 'element' (as the chefs call it).

It will certainly help with the pound a day and I'm well pleased.

Day 19

Budget so far £21
Spent: £19.29
Money in hand:  £1.71

Today's plans are based around freebies (because they need using up), YS items (ditto) and some stuff from the garden.

B:  bacon (free) roll (3p), banana (10p)
L:  toastie (20p), mixed salad (garden and apfs), coleslaw (6p), apple
D:  pepperami pasta (guesstimating at around 30p), natural yogurt (apf)
S/S:  apple (8p)

Monday 22 May 2017

End of day 18

To start with, as I am well under budget, I have bought some apfs (already paid fors).  Healthy ones too.  So the cost of these will be taken off the budget.
tomato puree x 2  74p
broccoli 39p
red pepper  47p
tomatoes   65p
(all the above from Aldi)

plus, from Morrisons, a lettuce (50p) and a batch of yogurt  55p
. . . which all comes to £3.30

Today's food - some slight changes
B:  toast, orange, nectarine   Total 0p as I was still away
L:  banana and apple, flapjack   Total 23p
D:  roast chicken, new pots, broccoli, carrots   Total 4p as the chicken and potatoes were gifted and the broccoli is an apf
Today is one of those great days - ridiculously frugal and down to apfs and gifts.  It's always tempting to blow a budget surplus on something tempting but useless but I prefer to get apfs of things that I use a lot (or want to use a lot)

The figures look like this.
Today I spent 29p
(Plus apfs that came to £3.30)
Budget so far £21
Spent: £19.29
Money in hand:  £1.71

Day 18

This is how things were at the end of last Thursday.
Budget so far £20
Spent: £15.70
Money in hand:  £4.30

The next five days are all £1.00 days

Back on challenge today after two and a half days away and raring to go again
I'm coming home with a few bits and bobs that were left over from dinner yesterday plus some cooking bacon from Tesco that looked hopeful and was only 60p a pack!

B:  toast and fruit (free as still away)
L:  banana (10p) and apple (8p)
D:  roast chicken (free - gifted), new potatoes (free - gifted), peas ( 100g 16p), carrots (4p)
S/S:  after such a self-indulgent weekend it has better be nothing

Sunday 21 May 2017

Off challenge

Just to remind you all that I am off challenge for a few days as I have no control over food choices!

Back tomorrow with day 18

Friday 19 May 2017

End of day 17

A few changes today

B:  I was going to have porridge but then I remembered I had some leftovers from a couple of days ago so I had those instead, rather than freeze them (which I should have done yesterday)  I'd already taken out the full cost so breakfast was technically free.
L:  Pasta and tuna salad and mixed bean salad.  I got them both as YS so they cost me 6p (I split each one into three portions)   Total 6p
D:  the huevos con chorizo was really lovely and I was right - it made enough for two so I split the veg and chorizo mixture and one half is going into the freezer, price 60p.  With the egg added, the total for today was 73p
S/S  YS satsuma and banana   Total 13p

Today I spent 92p
Budget so far £20
Spent: £15.70
Money in hand:  £4.30

And now I'm off challenge for a few days.
Tomorrow I have two portions of YS salads to eat up, one for breakfast and one for lunch (no hardship, it's very nice) that will only cost 12p in total and then I'm eating out and not paying come the evening so it would hardly be fair.
Then I won't be in control of what the meals are over the weekend.

Back on challenge on Monday

Thursday 18 May 2017

Day 17

. . . and the last of the three £1.50 days.  Tomorrow is back to £1.00.

B:  porridge (4p) with sugar (1p) and natural yogurt (apf)
L:  half of the two YS salads I found yesterday (9p) on a bed of shredded lettuce (apf) and salad leaves (free from garden).  One of the salads is chickpea based so that's my protein.
D:  huevos con chorizo.  I know what the con chorizo means but huevos???  Must google.  OK, Google tells me it means eggs.  Eggs (or egg) with chorizo - and pepper and new potatoes.  Anyway, it sounds lovely and also dead easy so I shall give it a go.  It's supposed to be a brunch but I don't care!

Wednesday 17 May 2017

End of day 16

Today went OK.
B:  very tasty toast and marmite   Total 10p
L:  chicken drumstick which I cooked, I stripped off the meat and used it to fill the roll, adding some salad leaves from the garden and very tasty it was too, plus a flapjack   Total 30p  It's really nice to be starting to use some summer produce.
D:  chicken chow mein   Total 82p  Yes, it's taken a real chunk out of the day's budget with a double portion of chicken to offset (more than offset) using savers spaghetti instead of noodles (perfectly acceptable substitute) but it was truly delicious and very filling.  I think next time I won't bother with the egg though; I don't think it added anything.

Plus one red onion   Total 13p.  I used a quarter of it in the chow mein and the rest is now an apf so I'd better use it up, hadn't I?  Maybe tomorrow.

Today I spent £1.35
Budget so far £18.50
Spent: £14.78
Money in hand:  £3.72

So not looking too bad, although I'm a bit short on fruit today.  The good news is that I popped into Morrison's and managed to pick up two large helpings from the salad bar for 9p each.  One is pasta based and the other is chick pea based so that's my lunch sorted for the next couple of days.
Maybe I have really been missing a trick not looking out for YS stuff more.

Day 16

The third of my holiday £1.50 days.

B:  Better have what I planned for yesterday and forgot to have - marmite (8p) on toast (2p)
L:  Chicken drumstick (23p), bread roll (2p), banana (10p), satsuma (3p)
D:  Chicken chow mein - from One Pound Meals so I will need to cost it out - with chicken, noodles and an egg as well as the rest, it has to be well over 50p, I should imagine.  One of the ingredients is a  quarter of a red onion.  Normally I would just sub a white onion but, as the budget is in credit, I will treat myself to one.

And I was right, there is still some gratin left over from last night.  That will be a useful free lunch at some point.

I was going to visit Ingatestone Hall today but it's chucking it down.  What a pain!  Great for the parched garden though.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

End of day 15

Really good today.

B:  I forgot.  Yes, really, and I didn't realise I'd forgotten until I had my lunch!
L:  Sausage roll, apple, satsuma, flapjack   Total 30p
D:  Vegetable gratin, same as yesterday   Total 42p

Today I spent 72p
Budget so far £17.00
Spent: £13.43
Money in hand:  £3.57

And here's a nice photo from my trip to Coggeshall yesterday - the garden at the back of Paycocke's House.

Recipe: dead easy and most delicious vegetable gratin

Get some cooked or almost cooked vegetables (I used onion, peas, cauliflower, mushrooms, leeks and new potatoes and I sauted the onion, leeks and mushrooms in a little oil with some garlic puree first).  Leftovers would be great.

Add shreds of meat or pulses if you want.  I used some YS cooking bacon, but you don't have to, it can be all veg.

Add herbs and salt/pepper to taste.

Make a bechamel or cheese sauce - I made a bechamel sauce and steeped the warmed milk with a bay leaf and ground nutmeg before making the sauce.  It is delicious but also it saves on the cheese.  (Well, this is a frugal blog, isn't it?)

Put the vegetables, mixed up, in an ovenproof container.  Pour over the sauce and let it 'soak' down.  Top with grated cheese and bake in the oven until it is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
Serve on it's own or with a nice side salad or some garlic bread.

Loads of variations are possible with this one.  I love it!  A meal in itself and utterly delicious (if you love cheese!).

Day 15

Another holiday £1.50!

B:  toast (2p) and marmite (8p), apple (8p)
L:  sausage roll (23p), apple (8p), satsuma (3p), flapjack (5p) - nice, unhealthy picnic lunch, perfect!
D:  More of the veg gratin I made yesterday - and I'm thinking there may be too much for one portion so I may have some to freeze for a light lunch at some point and it will be an apf as the 42p for today plus the 42p yesterday covers the whole lot!  Can't complain about that!

End of day 14

All went to plan!

B:  Scrambled egg  on toast  Total 15p
L:  Pork pie, bread roll, apple, satsuma, flapjack  Total 23p and very nice it all was too
D:  Leek and bacon gratin - this made loads, far too much for one meal so guess what I'm having on day 15!  The whole thing, not counting all the apfs I used (already paid fors) came to 83p so today's portion cost 42p

Today I spent 80p - far less than I had expected
Budget so far £15.50
Spent: £12.71
Money in hand:  £2.79

Monday 15 May 2017

Day 14

. . . and the first of four £1.50 days to go with me having a holiday.

B:  Scrambled egg (13p) on toast (2p)
L:  Pork pie (5p), bread roll (2p), apple (8p), satsuma (YS - 3p), flapjack (5p)
D:  Leek and bacon gratin (to be costed), side salad (mostly apf)

Sunday 14 May 2017

End of day 13

MUCH better today, thank goodness.

B:  beans on toast   Total 10p
L:  cheg with salad and coleslaw   Total 30p
D:  fish pie, runner beans and peas   Total 51p
S:  orange   Total 3p

A little side salad made with mostly apfs and the expensive looking mini leaves were thinnings from the garden.  It tasted so good.
The fish pie was pretty great too.

I went into Morrisons to get some sugar as I want to make some marmalade for my parents and they have 2k bags for 88p which is pretty good.

While there I hit some YS stuff.  A bag of little oranges for 19p, three of which needed 'dealing' with so it was really just seven by the time I'd removed the squished segments.

Then I saw bundles of asparagus.  Actually, they had loads of asparagus, it hadn't sold well.  I only got one bundle because it did look a bit tough so I will have it in a quiche or something.  For now it will be prepped and frozen.  I wonder if I can make soup from the more woody stems.  Anyone know?

And then, as I was wandering past the hot food area, a lady was reducing the long sausage rolls.  If gave way and bought a bag and when I got home there were not four in, there were five.  Someone had miscounted.  So that was good too.  They are in the freezer but I might spoil myself with one for a picnic lunch during the week.

For someone who doesn't do YS much, I was well pleased.

So, the budget.Today I spent 94p
Budget so far £14.00
Spent: £11.91
Money in hand:  £2.09

End of day 12

A few little 'disasters' today.  Ooops.  Not healthy and I need to be much more sensible today.

B:  bacon sandwich   Total 22p
L:  beans on toast, banana   Total 20p
D:  chips  peanut butter (!), 2 flapjacks   Total 31p
S:  flapjack   Total 5p
Plus more milk   Total 45p

The budget so far
Today I spent £1.23p (including the milk and better than I expected)
Budget so far £13.00
Spent: £10.97
Money in hand:  £2.03

Thinking out loud, part two.

Several days ago I mentioned that next week I am planning to have a Holiday from Home and I pondered over fitting this challenge into things, working out a basic menu for the five days that would fit into £1.50 a day (more or less).  Holidays can be ever so expensive, food wise, and I don't want it to be, not this one at least.

Since then, I have planned my outings and, yes, a sort of picnic will work really well for lunches.  I've made my rolls and they are now in the freezer.

When I was shopping, I found two useful things.  One was a pack of chicken drumsticks at 23p each and the other was a pork and onion pie that had been reduced to 25p and which I cut into six portions.  Both are now in the freezer.  I'm pleased because it gives me more variety which means I am less likely to spend a fortune on a coffee shop meal.

I've been through the recipes and I'm really pleased that I might not actually need to get anything more in.  I have quite a selection of bits and bobs in the freezer - quite a lot of vegetables that I froze because I wouldn't use them in time.  I have a few leeks for the leek and bacon gratin, not enough, but it's an adaptable recipe and I can use other veg - cauliflower and mushroom would be lovely, I think.  Two of the recipes call for peppers.  Now I have some left from the YS find last week and they still seem in good nick so it really doesn't matter that they are not the 'right' colour, does it?

I thought I'd do a pick 'n' mix approach next week, for a change.  So I can select from . . .

scrambled egg on toast (15p)
pancake stack with stewed rhubarb and natural yogurt (around 3p - there's lots of apfs there!)
porridge and natural yogurt x 2
poached egg on toast (13p)

Lunches: one of . . .
chicken drumstick (23p) or pork and onion pie (a slice from a YS find - 5p) or cooked chicken (25p) or cooked pork (free)
a bread roll (2p) or 2 slices bread (2p) - bread home made
a flapjack (made yesterday - 5p)
a piece of fruit - apple (8p) or a banana (10p)
plus a flask of coffee.
I should be well fed on that, don't you think?

All from One Pound Meals and they will need to be costed out
leek and bacon gratin
chicken chow mein
huevos con chorizo
I will be eating out (and not paying) on Friday evening which will help the old budget!
They might be accompanied by a simple side salad and/or coleslaw, depending on how I feel and I might make some garlic bread to go with the lasagne.

So there we go - next week sorted and it looks really nice too!

I thought I'd finish with a photo of Mr Barclay, seeing as his recipes are the inspiration for next week's dinners.
(he looks young enough for me to be his grandma, almost!)

Recipe: cheg

Cheg is an old family favourite.  Mum made it for us when we were children and it's been a fairly regular light meal ever since.

I am sure it has a proper name.  You see it in buffets, etc. more beautifully done than I ever would, but we call it cheg - cheese and egg!

Ingredients to make one
one egg, hard boiled
15g cheese, finely grated
small pinch mustard
a few chives from the garden (optional)
a bit of salad cream or mayo
a bit of smoked paprika

Actually, you can mix in whatever seasonings you fancy really.

Carefully cut the egg in half longways and scoop out the yolk.  Mash the yolk (I use the back of a fork) with the cheese, a bit of mayo or salad cream, a bit of salt and pepper, some chives and a pinch of mustard.
Scoop the resulting mixture back into the whites and sprinkle over with a bit of paprika and a few more chopped chives.
Serve with a salad.

Day 13

Well, after yesterday's little slip-ups, I'd better be better today!  :-)

Here are the plans:
B:  baked beans (8p) on toast (2p)
L:  cheg (20p) with salad (2p) and coleslaw (6p)
D:  fish pie (to be costed), peas (8p), runner beans (from last year's garden, free)
Trying for no snacks

Fingers crossed for me, please.

Saturday 13 May 2017

Recipe: flapjacks

This is a Save Money: Good Food recipe, right at the back of the book.  They are very meanly not posting their recipes, either on line or properly in the programme itself so, as I have the book and believe I can reproduce a certain percentage, I shall post this here.

I would say make twice the amount (or more) if you are baking for a family.  One batch makes around eight flapjacks - fine for one but they wouldn't last long if there are children around.

50g golden syrup
40g each of butter and sugar.  The recipe said brown, I used white.
100g oats

Pre heat the over to 180C.  Line a baking tin with parchment.

Melt the golden syrup, butter and sugar in a pan.  Add the oats and a splash of lemon juice and mix well.
Tip the mixture into the baking tin and flatten out.
Bake for around 15 mins or until golden.
Mark out where you want to cut but wait until it is cool before cutting and removing from the tray.

You could add dried fruit and/or chopped nuts as well but that would make them expensive.

With my ingredients, they cost 39p and cut into eight so that's 5p a piece.  They will be perfect for my holiday from home lunches next week and when they are cold I will wrap them individually so all I have to do is lift one out of the tin.  Hassle free.

Day 12

Another £1 day.

B:  bacon (20p) sandwich (2p), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  beans (8p) on toast (2p), banana (10p)
D:  egg (26p) and chips (around 5p), maybe side salad or coleslaw (not more than 5p)
D:  apple (12p)

All this should come to about 90p.  I really fancied bacon this morning and have some in the freezer that was on special and came to 10p a slice so I am treating myself!

Friday 12 May 2017

Recipe: kidney bean and vegetable curry

I don;t really have amounts, I just used what I had and winged it as far as how much was concerned.  All I can say is what I used (not including any already paid fors) came to £1.36 and I got five big, tasty and filling portions from it - 27p for four and 28p for the last one.

two onions, peeled and sliced
veg oil
some carrots, cauliflower, celery, green peppers, all prepped and chopped, sliced or segmented
five new potatoes, medium sized, washed and cut into largish dice (I didn't peel them)
garlic puree
chilli puree
a Morrisons Savers jar of curry sauce
some Mayflower curry powder.
some dried coconut milk
a veg stock cube
salt, pepper

Cook the onion long and low in the oil (about half an hour)
Add the veg and potatoes and saute them for about five minutes.  In the last minute, add the garlic and chilli purees.
Add the curry powder and the dried coconut milk and stir in, then add the stock cube, the jar of curry sauce and another jar of water.
Add some black pepper, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and leave to bubble away gently, stirring now and again.  I left it on for about an hour and a half - a slow cooker over a longer time would work fine too.  Halfway through, add the rinsed and drained kidney beans (again, value ones), stir gently, recover and continue simmering.

Before serving, taste and add some salt if needed - I didn't think it was.
Really nice and you could always add some shreds of leftover meat, if you wanted to.

End of day 11

It's been a delicious day today.
For a start, I can recommend second day toasties.

I made a big pot of kidney bean and vegetable curry.  I use a Savers jar but supplemented it with mayflower curry powder, some coconut powder and a veg stock cube with extra liquid as I used quite a lot of veg.  It ended up making five good portions at £1.36, which is just over 27p each (I'll call today's portion 28p and that makes it right).

Anyway - how it went:
B:  apple and banana   Total 22p
L:  toastie, salad and coleslaw, all left over from yesterday   Total 20p
D:  kidney bean and veg curry with rice   Total 35p
S:  natural yogurt and stewed rhubarb   Total 1p

It has been a 'hungry' day but I am glad I resisted!

The budget so far
Today I spent 78p
Budget so far £12.00
Spent: £9.74
Money in hand:  £2.26

I have to get some more milk so I might just leave it until about 8:30 in case of YS stuff.  :-)

Day 11

A £1 day

B:  apple (12p) and banana (10p), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  I have a toastie and a bit of salad left over from yesterday.  The toastie will be 20p and the salad has already been deducted
D:  I want to use a jar of Savers sauce (seeing as I have it) and various vegetables to make a curry.  It will make more than one portion, of course, and I will cost it as I make it.  Also 50g basmati rice (7p), stewed rhubarb (1p) and yogurt (apf)

End of day 10

It all went according to plan really apart from breakfast, because my daughter turned up and we had toast together.

B:  toast with peanut butter, apple   Total 20p
L:  Jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw  Total  18p
D:  cheese toastie, coleslaw. mixed salad   Total 30p

Yellow sticker potatoes and peppers   Total 27p

Today I spent 95p
Budget so far £11.00
Spent: £8.91
Money in hand:  £2.09

Thursday 11 May 2017

Day 10

Another £1 day.
I have a friend round for dinner before we go to see a local show but I'm doing a frugal meal as it's so delicious, so I am staying on challenge.

So . . .
B:  poached egg (13p) on pikelet or toast (2p), apple (12p)
L:  jacket potato (2p - see below), cheese (20g 10p), coleslaw (6p)
D:  cheese toasties (20p), coleslaw (6p), mixed salad (some apfs, some to be priced up)
S:  trying for nothing today

I had to pop into Morrisons yesterday evening after the governors' meeting and they had very much reduced some veg.  I got five jacket potatoes for 9p and three peppers for 18p - one yellow, one green and one that seems to be turning red so it's going to go on the window ledge.  I never find real YS reductions like that so maybe I should go after half past seven more often!

They have to be used quite quickly but that's OK.  I shall use some of the yellow pepper in tonight's salad and some of the green one in the curry I'm making tomorrow.  Some may be frozen too.

So that's 27p off the budget!

End of day 9

What a lovely day with the sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Here's how the food went
B:  marmite on toast, apple   Total 21p
L:  pork layer bake (apf) and coleslaw   Total 6p
D:  spag bol, grated cheese and an apple   Total 49p

This is how the budget looks:
Today I spent 76p
Budget so far £10.00
Spent: £7.96
Money in hand:  £2.04

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Day 9

A one pound day.

B:  marmite (7p) on toast (2p), apple (12p)
L:  pork layer bake (left over from yesterday - apf), coleslaw (6p)
D:  spaghetti bolognaise (27p), grated cheese (10p), apple (12p)

Dinner has to be quick and easy as I have to have it later after an evening meeting and don't want to faff around so the mince is from the freezer and I will cook the pasta earlier and re-heat it all.

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Recipe: pork and veg layer bake.


For the tomato and veg sauce:
half an onion, sliced
squeeze of garlic puree
a selection of veg:  I used frozen peas, frozen sliced leeks (from some YS leek that needed using up so I froze it months ago) and some shredded white cabbage, all of which I had around
some chopped tomato or passata (I use home made from last years tomato crop)
half a stock cube (I used chicken)
pinch of mixed herbs
some tomato puree

For the bechamel sauce:
120g milk
a bay leaf (from the garden) and some grated nutmeg
10 to 15g plain flour
10 to 15 g butter

some cooked potato, sliced.  I cooked one weighing around 250g in its jacket in the microwave
some sliced meat (I used pork, of course, hence the title, but you could use beef, chicken, whatever)
30g finely grated cheddar

Heat the milk with the bay leaf and grated nutmeg, then take off the heat and allow to infuse for half an hour or so.  Then remove the bay leaf.

Heat some veg oil and saute the sliced onions until they take on a bit of colour.  Add a bit of garlic puree and the veg, stir and continue frying for a while.  Then pour in the passata, the bit of stock cube and a splash of water.  Heat to boiling, add the tomato puree, the dried herbs and seasonings and simmer gently for about five minutes, adding a bit more water if it seems to be drying up.

Make the bechamel as you would make a cheese sauce.  Melt the butter, add the flour and cook it out, stirring, then pour in the warm milk, stirring as you do so.  Keep stirring and any lumps will go.  Add salt and pepper to own taste.

In an appropriately sized oven proof dish layer up the ingredients:  tomato veg mixture, sliced meat, tomato veg mixture, sliced potato, bechamel sauce, grated cheese.
Bake in an oven heated to 180C for about half an hour until the cheese topping is golden brown and the underneath is bubbling.

I made it frugal by limiting the amount of cheese by making a bechamel sauce, using freezer stored veg and using gifted meat.  This is very flexible and you could use a wide variety of different veg.  Great for leftovers, both veg and Sunday roast.

Tomorrow's lunch, probably with coleslaw or a side salad.
 Many thanks to Anne Brislen, a fellow admin on Pound a Day, for the initial recipe idea.

End of day 8

Another successful day with a nice surprise at the end.  You would think that the more active I am, the more I want to eat but, in fact, the reverse is true.  The days I slog away at the allotment are the days when it is much easier to stick to the plans.  Weird but I'm not complaining!

B:  porridge with rhubarb and natural yogurt   Total 5p
L  beans on toast and an apple  Total 22p
D:  pork layer bake  Total 43p

The pork layer bake would have cost more if I didn't have apfs, gifted meat, garden produce and YS stuff and if I had gone for a full on cheese sauce rather than a bechamel sauce with grated cheese on top.  I'm glad I went for the latter - it was delicious and I will make use of it more as cheese is expensive both in money and in calories.
AND - it was so filling that I have just under half leftover for a nice lunch tomorrow - that's a bonus I didn't expect.

I'll post the recipe when I have time to write it up.

This is the state of play with the budget:
Today I spent 70p
Budget so far £9.00
Spent: £7.20
Money in hand:  £1.80

End of day 7

This is how it went.
B:  Beans on toast   Total 11p
L:  sausage roll with onion chutney, coleslaw and a side salad   Total 20p
D: chicken and potato fricassee, roasted parsnips  Total 50p
S/S  apple and banana   Total 24p

Also a carton of milk  49p

Dinner was absolutely delicious so I have posted the recipe separately.

Today I spent £1.54
Budget so far £8.00
Spent: £6.50
Money in hand:  £1.50

Day 8

Back to £1 a day!

B:  porridge (4p), stewed rhubarb (1p), natural yogurt (apf)
L:  baked beans (8p) on toast (2p), apple (12p)
D:  Pork layer bake (not sure yet), stewed rhubarb and yogurt
S/S  carrot batons (2p)

Recipe: chicken and potato fricassee

This one started off on the Love Potatoes site.  I have adapted it and reduced it down in amount and here you go.

Ingredients (for one - amounts are approx)
A piece of chicken - I used a cheap frozen chicken breast thing from Aldi but it could be a boneless thigh, breast, whatever.  Or turkey; that would be nice
lemon (the recipe said zest, I used juice because I have a bottle of the stuff)

50g new potatoes - I washed but didn't peel them
25g frozen peas
half a small onion, sliced
a squidge of garlic puree
50ml vegetable stock - I used 1/4 of a stock cube
20 mls double cream.  If you don't have double cream, use a splash of milk and some soft cheese.  It won't be the same but it will still be tasty.
some shredded lettuce (which I totally forgot about, idiot that I am!)
chopped parsley (ditto - never mind, it was still lovely)

Earlier in the day, marinade the chicken in some lemon juice and seasonings.  You could always cook the potato and peas earlier too.

Cook the peas and potato if not done earlier.  Slice the potato.  Set both aside.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, slice it and fry in a little oil until almost cooked through.  Set aside.

In the same pan, add more oil if needed.  Saute the onion and, when nearly done, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Add the potato with the stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the peas and the cream.  Taste and season as needed.  Stir in the shredded lettuce and the chopped parsley.  Finally, add the sliced chicken and rehear to piping hot.

I served it with some roasted parsnips that I cooked while making up the recipe.

It was really and truly delicious.