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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Our Family Meal Plan week beginning 17/04/2017 - £67

It's been a busy couple of week with School Holidays, and our older 3 children don't go back to school until Wednesday.  They've almost eaten us out of house and home the last couple of weeks, I think they are all having a growth spurt, even toddler boy has been eating more than usual.

We've had trips to the park, done some crafting and gardening at home, and completed the dreaded school shoes shopping trip.  It's back to school midweek this week, so there will of course be packed lunches, and after school snacks to sort out.  As well as making sure that we have a few quick dinners as after school activities are starting up this week too.

Meal Plan 

Breakfasts will be overnight oats or cooked porridge with fruit, or wholemeal toast and spread. We'll have poached eggs on wholemeal toast and pancakes on the weekend.  

Packed lunches will be Spicy Root Vegetable Patties with crudites and yoghurt dip, or Root Vegetable and Red Lentil Dhal in flasks accompanied by homemade Vegetable Naan Bread.  There will of course be a piece of fruit and a small baked treat in lunchboxes as well.


Meatfree Monday Really Easy Vegan Chilli

1 tsp olive oil
2 onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 peppers, diced
2 carrots, grated
2 courgettes, grated
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tins chilli beans
200g frozen peas
300g frozen corn

Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic, peppers, carrot, courgette and spices. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant. Add the tinned tomatoes and chilli beans, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and corn then cook for a further 5 minutes until heated through. We'll be eating ours with Roast Vegetable Cornbread.

Roast Chicken with roast vegetables and Yorkshire puddings served with steamed greens

Gnocchi with Bacon in Tomato Sauce served with steamed peas and corn

Chicken and Bacon Stew with Dumplings served with steamed greens

Versatile Vegetable Pasties with steamed greens and lightly spiced potato wedges

One Pot Orzo Bolognese

500g minced beef, or vegetarian mince
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 peppers, diced
330g dried orzo pasta
500ml pasta sauce, homemade or store bought
600ml vegetable stock
300g frozen peas
300g frozen corn
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Put a large frying pan on to a medium-high heat and cook until it is no longer pink, breaking up clumps as you do so. 

Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced peppers to the pan then cook for a few minutes until the onion and peppers soften.

Add the orzo, pasta sauce and stock to the pan then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked and all of the stock has been absorbed. Stir through the frozen peas and corn, cook until these have heated through. Stir through the grated cheese then serve.

Shopping List

42 items: £67.01

Packets and Cereals
1x   Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                            £1.75
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                   64p
2x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                  £1.58
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                         45p
1x   Jus Rol Shortcrust Pastry Block (500g)                                 £1.00
1x   ASDA Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)     65p
1x   Il Pastaio Potato Gnocchi (500g)                                           50p
1x   ASDA Orzo (500g)                                                                 50p
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Red Lentils (500g)                      75p

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x   ASDA Smartprice Bolognese Sauce (440g)                          39p
4x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                       £1.16
2x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (290g)                              80p
2x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                        70p
1x   ASDA Green Lentils in Water (400g)                                     55p

Dairy and Eggs
3x   ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                 £2.97
2x   ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                               £1.98
3x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                 £1.35
1x   ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                          £2.00
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                              £1.18
1x   ASDA Mature Cheddar Cheese (750g)                                 £3.50

Fruit and Vegetables
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Spring Greens (500g)        60p
30   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)           £2.52
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                60p
4     ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes by Weight (300g)       £2.28
6x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                         £3.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                           £1.10
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                                 27p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                  95p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Pears (1.2Kg)                               £4.00
6x   ASDA Farm Stores Apples (500g)                                         £4.80
4x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                 80p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Mixed Peppers (700g)                  £2.18
4x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                £4.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Extra Trimmed Leeks (550g)        20p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                               59p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                          £1.29

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x   ASDA Smartprice Cooking Bacon (500g)                              £1.14
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Mince (500g)                       £2.59
1     ASDA Free Range Corn Fed Whole Chicken (1.9Kg)           £6.17

1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                       £1.08
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                                                76p

1x   ASDA Italian Roast and Ground Coffee (227g)                     £1.69
Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 15th April 2017.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

We purchased our shopping from Asda which cost £67.01, had we shopped elsewhere our items would've cost:

Tesco £80.41
Sainsbury's £82.12
Morrisons £85.65

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Lyons Coffee Bags and Oaty Biscuits

I was delighted to be sent some Lyons Coffee Bags to review.  I am fuelled by coffee and happily admit I am a caffeine addict.  Lyons Coffee Bags are just like tea bags but are filled with coffee instead, so you can have a nice cup of delicious coffee anytime and anywhere. If you like to enjoy a cuppa of good quality coffee whilst out and about, at work, or even on holiday, these coffee bags are brilliant since you can pop a couple in your handbag or rucksack. 

Being a frugal lass I do like to save some pennies.  Buying a good quality coffee when at work, or out and about, can be costly.  Taking a few coffee bags with me, and a thermos of hot water, saves me time and money.  I've put a box of them in my locker at work so I can enjoy a lovely coffee on my break, without having to spent money at a cafe.  The coffee bags are so easy to use, just add freshly boiled water, stir, and allow to brew for three to four minutes until the coffee is as strong as you like it to be.  The coffee bags come in three different strengths, and also a decaffeinated version.

Of course a cup of coffee is a great accompaniment for a biscuit, or two.  These biscuits keep well in an air tight container and are great for taking on picnics, putting in your lunchbox, or having as a treat during a tea/coffee break at work.

Oaty Biscuits

1 cup plain all purpose flour
1 cup traditional/rolled oats
¾ cup light soft brown sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
2 Tblsp golden/corn syrup)
125g butter
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and 1 Tblsp water

Preheat oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas Mark 3/325F.  Line two baking sheets/trays with non stick baking paper.

Put the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and stir in the golden/corn syrup. Mix in the combined bicarbonate (baking) soda and water.  Mix well, watch out as the mixture may fizz up a little.  

Pour the buttery mixture into the into the dry ingredients. Mix until completely combined.  Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and put on the prepared trays.  Allow room for the biscuits to spread during cooking.  

Bake for 12-15 minutes, bake longer for a crispy biscuit or bake for a few minutes less for a softer, more chewy biscuit.  This recipe makes around 30 biscuits.

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