Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Thrifty Food Ideas

I have been an idiot.  Yesterday my son was falling asleep in the car on the way back from the GP.  This is a constant battle because if he falls asleep then wakes up minutes later; that's it for the day.

So, like an idiot, I turned and bam, drove straight into and over a kerb.  Got a flat and bent my wheel meaning I needed a new tire and rim.  £230 down the drain.  What an idiot.  Unusually for me, I didn't spend (too long) beating myself up about it and figured my son and I were ok, I didn't hit a pedestrian and I didn't hit another car.  It could have been a hell of a lot worse.

I don't know what it is but recently when I've faced adversity in my life, it's made be question how bad things really are and also consider whether there's someone who is a whole step worse off than me.  Before Christmas, I was being messed around by a mortgage company which meant I was left in limbo for three weeks unable to work out if we could buy a new house.  It drove me to despair until I considered that there would be plenty of families approaching Christmas with no home at all and no prospect of one.  I donated some money to Shelter that afternoon.

So, in this vain, and by a somewhat circuitous route, I would like to pay off the overdraft for that new wheel but also I intend to donate some money to RoSPA out of any savings I make.  I don't know if this life philosophy makes any sense at all to anyone else but it makes sense to me.



Now if I look at my weekly incomings and outgoings, the biggest expenditure after our mortgage is food.  I think I'm a fairly thrifty shopper and I do make use of the leftovers but I'm not sure I always cook the thriftiest recipes.  I mean it had never occurred to me until I had a keema curry (see above) which was a bit on the runny side to add a few red lentils to it.  Not only was that a successful idea taste wise, it also meant I got two more servings from a batch.

I cooked my bolognaise sauce in the slow cooker yesterday, as usual with the chicken livers (which are cheap anyway) but added extra vegetables.  I got two more adult servings out of it without a loss of flavour.

So what else am I missing?  What are your top thrifty recipes, food ideas, top tips?  Why not link them to this blog?  This is my first ever linky driven by necessity!  Help me not only make up for my stupid mistake but to do some good for someone else. So, please link up thrifty recipes, thrifty food tips or just leave a comment if you don't have a blog or don't feel in the mood. If you want to link, click on the comment which says "click here to enter" below!

17 comments:

  1. Firstly, You make a lot of sense !
    My quick top tip would be.... As I am unable to cook sunday lunch for just 4, i'm usually left with lots of veg (carrots, s.corn & brocolli)and roast pots.
    What I have started to do is roughly chop these up on a Monday add some steamed salmon and make a white cheesy sauce.
    I make 2 layers of the veg, pots, salmon and white sauce (sometimes top with boiled eggs 1/4, to bulk out) and top with lots of mashed pot'. Assemble, pop into the fridge and re-heat/cook after school pick up.
    Love Hannah x

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  2. Thanks Hannah! That's a brilliant idea. I'm glad I make sense too, you know when you think something in your head and think "this is the right thing to do" then you write it down and it seems odd?

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  3. Haha (sorry) but I've been there, with the tyre. Tried to blame the council as well but they weren't having it.

    A really good place to get good stuff cheap is those Asian shops. I walk out with bags bulging with veg, fruit, pulses and spices and still end up paying 20 quid. Amazing. Quite the contrary from when I go to Waitrose and always end up paying over a 100 for just some bits and pieces.

    Shame, I have some good posts about cooking with leftovers, but they are in dutch...
    Here's one, take al these little bit of leftover veg that are hiding in the back of you fridge, chop them up, add some scrunched up old bread (the staler the better), a good handful of cheese, and put it in a oven dish. Pour a mixture of eggs and milk/cream and voila, a quiche... Or bread pudding, whatever you want to name it.... Spice it up in any way you see fit.

    Good luck!

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  4. Good idea. My cupboards are pretty at full right now but I often think that then I'm buying £100 worth next week or doing a top up shop.

    I wonder if I could do a £50 a week limit on all food, nappies and alcohol for a month. The only exception I'm making to this is my husband and I are going out for a meal on Friday night but then that's being paid for by our ineffectual mortgage company!

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  5. Wonderful idea for a linky; reducing food waste is my passion, so I've shared my tuna / cheese tarts. I also have some nice soup recipes on my site and use things like porrage oats, red lentils or barley to make mince go further. I hardly ever throw food away and have made the decision to ban the word 'leftovers' from my vocabulary and use 'ingredients' instead :D Stuff that needs using up quickly goes to the top of the fridge where it doesn't get forgotten and I save money in other ways - by cooking enough rice, pasta or jacket potatoes for two days; this saves on the energy used for cooking. The pasta or rice can be made into salad for lunchboxes the next day and sliced, fried jacket potatoes are quick, easy and make a yummy side dish to a meal...

    Warm wishes Rae aka Mrs Green @littlegreenblog.com

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  6. Thanks Rae and I like your fridge stock control idea, I might try that.

    Since starting to try and lose weight, I've been making more packed lunches and that's used up a few ingredients. It occurred to me today though that I made some lentil and bacon soup last week. Did I make extra for lunch? Nope. Now I have half a pack of bacon in the fridge which is past it's best. What a waste! I must get better at all this!

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  7. Hi - I buy cheap meats (in this case chicken wings) and 'spice' them up like this... and the kids love finger food now and then. see here http://www.muminawe.com/recipes/spicy-chicken-wings.html

    on my Mum in Awe site if the link doesn't work...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, great idea! Link it up to the linky, then people will be able to click on it directly rather than having to copy and paste into the address bar!

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    2. Don't worry, I realised I could add it on! All done.

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  8. I added a link (did I, does it work? I can't see it...) for a recipe that turns any nasty cheap fish into something good...

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  9. Hello, have finally posted about top thrifty tips! Hope it's helpful.

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  10. Great idea for a link up, and food for thought. I really should spend less for a few weeks and empty my cupboards and freezer!

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    Replies
    1. This week hasn't been quite so successful but I am finding the joy of lentils recently.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry Sausage, as it says below please don't include links within comments. Thanks.

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I would love to read your comments but please don't include links in them.