Humble food 

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve found my theme this week; homemade humble food with a really low price tag. Lunch today was roasted veggies, homemade hummus and some lettuce. 

I make my hummus with a tin of chickpeas that I drain and rinse with tap water. I add them to a bowl with 80ml of water, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, teaspoon of chili powder, 2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and blend the lot. You can add more water if you choose.

DB had his with a bigger portion and some frittata made in the week for lunches. Well under my pound budget, really quick and easy to make. My salad dressing is a light salad cream with added water to make it a thinner sauce. If you’re following Slimming World, then it’s 2 syns for the dressing and the rest if free. 

I’ll be back later with more humble food.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Lemonade budget? 

Hello Dear Reader,

This is one of our cheapest meals and one of our favourites. I take a few potatoes, peel and slice a few potatoes and onions and chop up a few slices of bacon. 

I boil the potatoes until they are just cooked but not over cooked.

I fred the bacon and onions with frylight and added a crush clove of garlic. You can of course add a tablespoon of olive oil or use fattier streaky bacon.

I make a cheese sauce to go in top with 250g of quark with three beaten eggs and a heaped tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan. You could make a béchamel sauce and add 100g of grate mature cheddar and pour that over; mine is the low fat version. 

I minx the whole lot together and pour the cheese sauce on top. You could make twice as much cheese sauce and it would permeate throughout the potatoes. 

I cooked it for twenty minutes at 180. 

I served it with steamed greens. It costs pennies but we love it. If you’re following Slimming World then it’s syn free but full of flavour. It’s such a favourite here and you can add cooked vegetables or add corned beef. 

So, that’s our cheapest favourite meal, what’s yours? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Fish, chips and minted pea purée 

Hello Dear Reader,

Egg, chips and beans, which were on the plan became fish and chips tonight. I peel and chip potatoes and part cook them in boiling water. Whilst they are cooking, I heat the oven to 200. 

I wrapped the cod (cooked from frozen – Farmfoods) in foil and once the chipped potatoes were part cooked, I transferred them to a baking tray and sprayed them with frylight.

I put the cod and potatoes into the oven for fifteen minutes. 

Whilst the fish and chips were cooking, I boiled the peas for ten minutes. When they were cooked, they were drained and I added two tablespoons of quark and a teaspoon of mint sauce and used my hand stick to blend it.

Soon as everything was ready and it was served.

It was delicious and we’re now off to vote in the local elections.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Summer is a coming! 

Hello Dear Reader,

School summer holidays are always so very lovely but can be a really difficult time for families. Most parents will work most of it and juggle childcare, sometimes as we did with spouses taking separate holidays to care for children. Lots of families like to get away in the school holiday and they tailor to suit their budgets. We had plenty of long weekends in tents in Cornwall with a gas stove, cool box, sleeping bags and bicycles but great memories. 

Now, we start budgeting from one year to the next and my biggest costs is my ferry crossing as we do a long Plymouth to Roscoff trip. Depending on where you live, the shorter crossings are much cheaper and if you don’t mind the drive, it’s always worth doing the Dover to Calais trip or to take the tunnel. If you want to get a really good deal, look on cashback websites like Quidco or Top cashback, you can save money on your crossing. If you want a 10% discount on Brittany Ferries, send me an email and I can help.

If you want a bit more of a fancy holiday and have ideas to share on cheaper holidays then please share with everyone. There are great deals to be had on British holidays and there are even holiday price comparison websites such as travel supermarket that can show you some of the best deals. So here’s my first question, do you start budgeting and planning well in advance? 

I don’t wish to put a dampener on a British summer but it only lasts a few weeks so do we really need a lot of summer clothes? This is where I turn to charity shops, supermarket and discount retailers for a few t shirts and shorts. They barely get any wear from one year to the next so at the end of the season, it gets tucked away for the colder months. Summer clothes for children when you want to take them away on holiday is tempting but just remember, no body will know you when you get there and if the children have clothes they’ve had for a while then they’re not precious and they can just have fun. 

We all love to get out in our gardens in the summer and if we were tempted, it’d be great to have a barbecue and garden furniture. Keep your eyes open at the local recycling centre as people just discard them. We’ve not bought one yet, my cheap method is to cook it in the house and carry the food outside. I get that I’m a tightwad and that’s not for everybody! Look on a Facebook for items either for sale or free and put a shout out for a barbecue and garden furniture. We love recycling pallets as we live round the corner from an industrial estate where they leave pallets out to recycle. If you’ve enough time on your hands and a bit of skill then you could upcycle to garden furniture as lovely as this.

Now it’s your turn, share your money saving tips for the summer months? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Democracy is a precious resource

Hello Dear Reader,
It’s May the first and anyone not registered to vote has until the 22nd May to vote in the 8th June elections. Democracy is such a gift that we shouldn’t squander. Of course, vote by your own conscience and choice but please vote.

If you’re not registered, click on the link above.

Enjoy the bank holiday.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Chinese Fakeaway

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s been one of those days where I’ve really fancied junk food! You know the days when you’d really love a takeaway but the budget won’t include it. If you wanted to cook this and wanted it to stretch further then add rice and you’ll need less stir fry; we’re always trying to eat more veggies, so we had kale.

The kale was one of Lidl’s five offers and was 59p

The bag of stir fry veggies was 75p from a Farm Foods

I used three pork loin steaks cut up and were 33p each from Farm foods, 99p in total. 

I made the sweet and sour sauce from 60ml ketchup, 60ml of honey and 60ml of wine vinegar, with a heaped teaspoon of cornflour with 60ml of water. Mix well together and have ready. 40p. 

I used KTC ginger and garlic which is 80p a jar and I used 2 tablespoons, which is about 1/10th of the jar, so 8p. 

Here’s how I made it. Be warned, its quick!

1. Boil the kettle and pour over the kale, this cooks in ten minutes.

2. Cut the defrosted pork steaks into strips.

3. Heat a wok or frying pan to smoking hot.

4. Add the bag of frozen stir fry veggies and pork and keep stirring.

5. When almost cooked, add 2 tablespoons of minced ginger and garlic. You can of course use fresh, but I keep this in my cupboard any way.

6. Stir well and add the sweet and sour sauce.

7. Stir until thickened. 

Serve with your choice of either rice or vegetables. £1.40 each. That pushes our budget a bit further than normal but hey, it’s way cheaper than a takeaway. I love a sweet and sour sauce and the balance of plenty of veg balances out all of that sugary honey. It was also great as I didn’t need to add any oil and takeaways are dripping in it! 

Over to you Dear Reader, what take away do you fake as you can make it more cheaply and far more healthily yourself? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Do you spring clean?


Hello Dear Reader,

We don’t have much spring left here! Spring is short lived here and before we know, it’ll be summer then we really won’t be home much or feel like emptying the pan cupboard when it gets warms. Spring cleaning is important to me as I get to give the house a good sort out and get rid of anything that’s clogging up my life. I live in a two up, two down and there’s no room to swing a small kitten so clutter just does not feature! Last weekend, I really got the bit between my teeth and my head feels so much better. I organised and deep cleaned my sewing room, which also doubles up as my office and as I spend a lot of time in there working, it’s a much better place in which to think and create now it’s fresh as well as very organised and tidy. It’s a great way to stock take and realise I have plenty of everything and I then know where everything is.

I love a to do list and love that feeling of ticking each job off one by one. I have a long weekend at the end of the week and I’d like to get at least two of these jobs down. I also like a realistic goal, there’s no point in thinking I will do it all as I just won’t. If I get more than two jobs done, then that’s a bonus.

I don’t know what you need to do but here’s my to do list.

Empty out wardrobe and drawers, check if I still fit any of the clothes and send the rest to the charity shop.

Take out summer clothes from the drawers under my bed and fill the drawers with winter jumpers.

Empty out and clean the airing cupboard, refold or iron any bedding. Take surplus to the charity shop.

Empty out the kitchen cupboards, one by one, wash down all the shelves and replace items, washing any with dust.

Empty out and clean out the dining room cupboards and paint the insides.

Wash and repaint skirting boards down stairs.

Paint the hall way – it makes it look cleaner and brighter with a coat of paint.

That’s just for starters!

I better get on with it, May is around the corner and it’ll be summer before we know it.

Over to you, who else has a good sort out and clean at a certain time of year?

Until tomorrow,


Britain’s cheapest supermarket ?

Hello Dear Reader,

This is NOT a sponsored post. I just wanted to save you some money.

You may have had Farm Foods in your area for a while but our nearest store in Bodmin has opened recently. I went there today for the first time and I thought I’d share my experience. 

Farm foods was started in Scotland and has been around for years and is a well respected discount retailer. It reminded me of Iceland in its earlier days, when it used to be cheaper than it now. Farm Foods had a lot of bulk offers and I made the most of those bulk offers and bought meat and veg multi pack offers. I thought the store would be fantastic for thrifty money savers who have a big freezer and want to stock up the pantry. I know of families who take a trip to farm foods once a month and fill up their chest freezer. I don’t blame them, it was certainly cheap

There were of course, as in any supermarket, plenty of convenience food and foods that make life easier., who can resist a kilo of meatballs for £3.33, I bought the chicken thighs, gammon steaks and pork loin steaks. They will certainly make my life easier. 

I’ve always been a fan of frozen food as nothing goes off or gets wasted. I know some people don’t like to buy any frozen food and that’s ok but if you get a chance, take a look and fill up your freezer. If the leaflet comes through your door, there are discount vouchers that you can tear off and take with you. I saved £2.50 off my £25 shop with my voucher. I bought frozen meat and veg, eggs, ice lollies and bacon, in fact loads to keep us going for quite a while.

Over to you, has anyone else been there? What did you think?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Thrifty sunny Saturday

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s been a stunning sunny day here. We were up early and I’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, changed the bedding and washed all the laundry and dried it in the line. I made buchwheat galettes for lunch, a favourite Breton recipe and I made enough so we can have them another day as well. I have a proper crêpe pan now that we brought back from France and it’ll get well used.

We’re one week down of a very thrifty six weeks where we need to put the financial brakes on for a while. But, I had to get some work shoes and found Clark’s outlet online and bought the shoes at less than half price. They are perfect and really comfortable. I’m hard on shoes and rarely get more than a year out of them as I spend all day on my feet.

We worked in the garden today, DB used up some premixed mortar and repaired the garden path and I found the garden furniture paint in the shed and gave the bench a couple of coats of paint. I’ve stored the paint away as there’s plenty enough for another year.

I reheated left over bits for our supper that wasn’t quite enough for a meal so I made some smoked mackerel pâte as a starter. I skinned the mackerel fillets, added 1/4 pot of fromage frais, 2 heaped tablespoons of horseradish sauce, tablespoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper. I blitzed the ingredients in the food processor.

We shared the bowlful and ate it with carrot sticks. It’s divine and we love it.

So, the house is clean, the garden is tidy, I have lovely new shoes on a budget, the laundry is clean and dry, the path is mended and the garden bench is bright and blue for spring. 

I’ll call today a thrifty success.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Bacon and vegetable risotto with steamed greens 

Hello Dear Reader, 

Quick recipe tonight, one of those, straight through the door, make it and eat it as quickly as you can. 

Firstly, I shredded a bag of spring greens and put them in the steamer.

I boiled the kettle and made 750ml litre of chicken stock.

I chopped one onion,

1/2 small pack of lean bacon

1/4 bag of mixed frozen veggies 

1 1/2 cups of risotto rice.

I added the onions and bacon to a pan and fried it without any other oil

I added the veggies and continued to stir with the other ingredients for ten minutes.

I added the rice and stock in one go.

I kept stirring until all the stock was absorbed. If the rice isn’t cooked to your liking, add some boiling water and continue to cook. 

Normally, risotto is glistening from the addition of butter or oil but it’s not needed as the starch of the rice makes it glossy and it was really delicious and the pile of greens just made it even more tasty.

Give it a try. If you’re following slimming world, this has no syns.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx