Sunday, 31 July 2016

On Cooking and a Budget Review

Somehow the food budget has been very tight this last month, there has been very little left at the end of a week and yesterday I was loathe to dip into cash from elsewhere to tide us over the final weekend of July.  A rummage in the fridge bottom produced these, a nip over to the BBC Eat Well For Less website gave me an idea how to use them up......

Just add these ( 2 cloves of garlic, 1 stock cube)....

which produced a very tasty and filling vegetable stew.....

I didn't have any cauliflower or green beans so I added a handful of frozen broad beans for extra colour. It made 4 generous portions served with some chunky bread, I had one, OH went back for seconds as he came home from work ravenous (incidentally with yet another insect bite , this time on his arm) and I put the last portion into a sealed soup cup for him to take to work for his lunch today. The flavour was slightly sweet due to the sugar in the sauce from the value baked beans, I think, so next time I might not pour the whole lot in but drain some sauce off first.  A bit of salt helped to take the sweetness down a bit.  Has anyone else tried this recipe from last week's prog?  What do you think of it?

We had also run out of cake but I found 3 (very ancient :/ ) pears in the fridge bottom too so made a kind of upside down pear sponge using low fat spread instead of butter.....

It tasted lovely warm from the oven with a bit of ice cream :)

The last bit of butter was used to make a fruit cake to last us over next week, I would have preferred it a bit deeper but I only have one tin so it had to do, it just took a bit less time to cook than it would have otherwise....

Budget review

'You can do it'  have changed their pay structure since the new minimum wage was introduced and OH has found he has around £50 per month less in his pay packet. As he is also giving up his post as park warden, meaning that we will have to find somewhere to 'holiday' for a month per year, we will need to find the cost of that month from somewhere, preferably not from savings as his job is not secure with 'You can do it' either.  Therefore I need to keep strictly within the £50 per week max for food, toiletries, cleaning stuff, washing powder etc yet still keep a bit back out of that for Christmas (sorry...the dreaded C word for some :/ )   I intend to keep track of spending in the food/non food categories to see where I can make the best savings.

Watch this space!

Have a lovely day everyone, wherever you are x


  1. I've not tried it yet myself, but I've seen quite a few positive reviews of that stew. I'll have to give it a go.

  2. It was really quick and easy, thrift, the preparation of the veg took a few minutes but then it cooked itself :)

  3. I like the look of the stew, healthy and filling, I love a fruit cake.
    Some cheap and tasty makes x

  4. The stew looks lovely and tasty, I make something similar and chuck in a handful of lentils for extra protein. Your cakes looks amazing, you are very resourceful xxx