Learn to be frugal

Hello Dear Reader,

How much does as evening out cost? How much is a three course dinner? I personally have no idea. I searched around for a what I though might be ‘affordable’ restaurants. As a hint, hotels with restaurants seem to offer three course lunches for around £18.50 and three course dinners for around £35. Although that seems incredibly high to me, compared with restaurants, that was a fraction of the price. 

Most of our evening or main meals cost on average £1 each for me to make. If I were to add a starter and dessert then that would rise to £1.50. If I have friends for lunch or supper and I want to cook something really delicious then I will raise that to £3 – £4 a head. I thought I would share some ideas of affordable home dining on a budget and how you can entertain your friends for very little.

A really easy one is Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. A two kilo boned and rolled shoulder of pork, slow roasted and then crisped to its crackling best can often be bought for around £3.99 a kilo and there will be plenty left for the rest of the week! Sunday lunch is great as it can all be prepared the day before. Potatoes and parsnips can be par-cooked, drained, covered and left in the fridge and then roasted the next day. Carrots can be peeled and finely sliced the evening before and left in a pan of water with a squirt of lemon juice. The pork can be ready to go, and covered in the fridge (raw meat on the bottom please). Desserts can be simple according to the time of year, such as sticky toffee pudding and custard in the winter or a cheesecake which can be made the day before. Fruit crumbles are economical and go a long way.

Relaxed Friday or Saturday night suppers. Lasagne, garlic bread and a big bowl of help yourself salad. Quick and easy dinners might include pan fried duck (look out for the frozen duck breasts in Aldi) Savoy cabbage with finely diced smoky bacon or any other steamed seasonal vegetables followed by a chocolate fondant(try using dark mint chocolate) or panna cotta with raspberry coulis (use raspberry jam, which you heat slightly and press through a sieve and use the sauce to smother the panna cotta). Home made Steak and Chips are a winner, that’s if you have a butcher where you can get sirloin steaks for £1.75 each – take a look in Aldi as they have Sirloin steaks for £2.25 each. Add in garlic mushrooms, homemade coleslaw and some skin on oven chips. Followed by a homemade Lemon Meringue? Or any simple dessert that you could make in advance the night before. 

If you wanted to really push the boat out, I can imagine a three course supper costing £5 to make but that is a very long way from £35 which, from my research, was the cheapest three course supper that I could find. 

Now here’s where I do requests. I’m happy to hold my next ‘Frugal Dinner Party’ workshop with a menu of your suggestion (with the exception of curry – I’d rather eat snails!!!). If there’s something you’d like to be able to cook on a budget then I’ll make it and put up an online tutorial with photos for guidance. I’m also going to be putting up new workshops and here’s your chance to suggest what you’d like to see. I’m going to be running some in August on weekdays and you can have your chance to suggest what you’d like to learn to do. 

Over to you, let me know what workshops you would like offered.

I’ll be back tomorrow with all the photos of tomorrow’s Frugal Dinner Party workshop.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxxxxxx