Worried about the cost of food?


Hello Dear Reader,

I went to Lidl today and rising food costs are really concerning me. I can cook, we’re not fussed by what we eat and I try to feed us to get good nutrition for our money. The big price hikes are in good healthy food and that worries me for a lot of families. A tiny pack of stewing beef was four pounds and would just feed the two of us. I went straight to the reduced section and as I was there just as the store opened got a few affordable bargains. I bought a whole chicken for £2.70, and ten chicken drumsticks for £1.30 and reduced pork medallions, reduced sausages that at full price were £1.89 for six! A family would need maybe three packs? How is it that even sausages are expensive ?

I am also really concerned about the cost of fresh fruit and veg such as salad and apples. I paid £2.25 for six apples and that’s in Lidl which is cheaper than most.

I do stretch my budget so far that it squeaks. I buy frozen chicken normally and frozen cheap and sustainable fish like pollock. I buy frozen fruit like strawberries, raspberries and tinned fruit like apples. I defrost them and eat them with natural yogurt. I buy frozen vegetables and tinned veggies such as mushy peas and mushrooms. I also get plenty of protein from tinned fish and eggs and make dished like fish cakes and frittata. We also have plenty of meatfree days and I don’t know how any one can afford to eat it every day.


I also shop around in all the discount stores like Farmfoods, Lidl and Aldi and when I get there go straight for the reduced section and pop it in the freezer when I get home. The tuna and sweet corn is for sandwiches and for supper with baked potatoes. 

However, not all families will eat anything and not everyone will eat tinned or frozen and expecting people to simply change is really not easy. I wish there were cooking shows on TV that dealt with these genuine concerns as I’m sure families are just not coping. 

Over to you, what food worries do you have? What do you do to keep to your budget? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

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

Cooking ahead saves waste


Hello Dear Reader,

I know it Monday, but it feels like a Sunday, when I usually cook for the week ahead. I spent yesterday catching up on myself. It’s early evening now, it’s getting cooler and we’ve lit the wood stove. I’ve meal prepped for a few days.

I cooked roast chicken for today and tomorrow. Chicken and leek casserole for the freezer.

Here’s how I made that

8 chicken thighs (2.50 in Asda) – I removed the skins, cooked them in a separate dish and chopped the skin up for the dogs and added it to their supper bowls.

3 leeks, chopped and washed – 20p today – Asda

1 red pepper – finely sliced – 30p – Asda

Chicken stock pot – 25p with 500ml water

3 carrots – 6p – 20p a bag today in Asda.

Clove of garlic crushed, salt and plenty of pepper

Place in the oven at 180 for an hour an a half.

I also made minestrone soup, which is more of a veggie stew with GF pasta. I’ll take the reheatable mugs into work each day. 

To make these I used

1 pack of leeks chopped up

4 chopped carrots

1 yellow pepper

1 tin of tomatoes 

1 veggie stock pot and 1 litre of water

1 tin of mixed beans

I simmered all of those ingredients until the carrots were soft, about 30 minutes.

I added a cup if pasta and continued to cook until the pasta was soft.

2 minutes in the microwave is all it needs for lunch.

Whilst the oven was on, I popped in four jacket potatoes. I spray them with frylight. They need about an hour. I just microwave when we need them. They can even be frozen until I need to use them. They’ll go well with chicken casserole.

I bought a small chicken and roasted it, we’ll eat one meal tonight and we’ll eat ding cuisine tomorrow when we get home.

Even though it was a small chicke, there was enough to pull off the carcass and one leg for DB’s sandwiches.

I chopped the chicken and added, 1 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1 tsbsp of mango chutney and a sprinkle of curry powder. 

DB has sandwiches for three days and they keep well in the fridge.

Well, that’s me sorted up to Thursday.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Butternut squash, chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry


Hello Dear Reader,

Normally, food bloggers have a set, lights, back ground, variety of plated, natural or diffused lighting. I popped this into freezer bags, in a Tupperware tub and took the photo with my iPad! I really should try harder. DB doesn’t like certain spices and certainly doesn’t like heat. I serve this, for him, with natural yogurt and we both eat it with brown rice. It freezes and reheats well. I take it out of the freezer before work, leave it in a pan, just reheat whilst cooking the rice, which takes around twenty minutes.

To make this, you’ll need

3-4 tablespoons of oil 

1 peeled cubed butternut squash – about 65p in Aldi

1 diced large onion

1 peeled and diced sweet potato

1/4 frozen spinach (I bought it in Morrisons for £1.40 for a kilo bag).

1/2 tsp chilli flakes – you can add more

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander 

1/2 tsp of garlic granules or 2 cloves of crushed garlic.

1 tin of chickpeas 

1 tin of tomatoes

Use the tin to measure another tin of water the other ingredients.

Salt to season.

It’s so easy to make,

Heat the oil and fry the onion and spices 

Add everything else except the spinach.

Continue to cook until the squash and potatoes are cooked so a softness you prefer. We like ours quite soft.

Then add the spinach and cook for about another fifteen minutes, or until it’s melted and mixed through.
Add more spice to suit your taste, you can also add freshly grated ginger. When you serve, a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash from a bottle of lemon juice. 

This makes enough for four huge portions and we’ll eat this sometime this week. When this is frozen solid, I remove the bags from boxes and just leave them in the freezer in sealed bags.

As for the ‘presentation’, I promise to try better.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Slow cooker coq au vin and colcannon


Hello Dear Reader,

My slow cookers were set to work on Sunday when I cooked for the week ahead. If you wanted, you can dismember a chicken and cook everything on the bone, which is lovely along with wrapping your own bouquet garni, shallots and lardons. As I didn’t have any if those I ‘ll share my cheap version instead.

1 pack of frozen chicken fillets from Aldi, it’ll have around seven small fillets.

1 diced large onion,

6 peeled sliced carrots

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp mixed herbs

1 cup of red wine – about 2€ a litre where I get it. 

1/2 pack of cooking bacon, about 250g

2 cups of water and 2 tubs of stock 

Stick the lot in the slow cooker, set to high and leave to cook for the day.

Gravy granules to thicken – add these after the hours required, about six, for this to cook.

When cooked, leave to cool or you could eat it straight away with Colcannon. There’s a theme here…….I didn’t have anymore bacon or any cream to make the proper recipe. Here’s my make do recipe.

Steamed greens, any will do as long as they are finely shredded. I spied a bag of Cavolo Nero, or black cabbage, in Aldi. It’s delicious.

Cook the potatoes and mash, mix in the greens.

Serve with anything you like.

This freezes well and can be reheated, either in an oven proof dish in a medium oven along with the defrosted coq au vin if you’re going to eat them together.

Yesterday, plastic bags and no setting, today…..a cheap but tasty alternative of a classic. It’s a real favourite of mine and as it’s becoming autumnal, it’s turning into casserole weather.

  
Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx

Menu plan for the week ahead 


Hello Dear Reader,

Quick pop in and out today as I’m spending time with family. 

A quick stock check and a rifle through my cookery books and a quick plan. Some can be cooked in advance and added to on the day. Some additions to meals can be prepared in the morning before work and then added to later in the day. Some recipes can be prepared in the slow cooker and finished in the oven.

My menu plan isn’t rigid. I might change it as the mood takes me. I might make double portions and freeze some for another day. I’ve already decided to change Stilton scones to cheddar scones as I have cheddar. All our meals usually have the addition of salad or veggies. There’s always the option of toast for breakfast. Lunch can be leftovers that we can reheat at work.

In case you can’t read my writing.

Roast pork – again, pork is still half the price of beef or lamb.

Pulled pork wraps with barbeque sauce.

Coq au vin, mashed potatoes with leeks and veggies.

Honey and mustard sausages with colcannon

Braised beef topped with cheese scones and veggies

Spicy squash, chickpea and spinach stew with brown rice

Fish pie with veggies

Carbonara 

Breakfast – muesli and yogurt/toast

Lunch – sandwich/banana – leftovers 

I’ll pop recipe up as I cook over the weekend or through the week.

Until tomorrow or later,

Love Froogs xxxx