Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Puddings !!!

First off happy new year everyone. I haven't been being very frugal hence the lack of posts. Still house hunting and now hopefully back to savings pennies.

Today i want to talk about puddings, we all love puddings don't we, I am trying to be healthy and avoid puddings but my kids still like them and since they rarely sit still and could do with fattening up they get them often. That doesn't mean they get a huge lump of cake tho a small pre portioned pudding is the way to go for busy mums and that exactly  what I've been doing today.

These were 12p and 13p from approved foods. you need milk for the butter scotch pudding I got fresh milk reduced but you can use dried milk if you wish.

This is pretty easy, stick the kettle on.

Add 250ml of milk to a jug throw in your butterscotch mixture, whisk it up add to containers like so.

Rinse jug, add half a pint of boiling water, add the jelly mixture whisk up, fill to one pint with cool water and decant into wee pots.

Put lids on all your pots and put them in the fridge.

Job done, 9 puddings in the time it takes for the kettle to boil.

The butterscotch costs about 9p a pot including fresh milk.

The jelly costs just 2p a tub.

I have a few more puddings here,

Slowcooker bread and butter pudding

Microwave sponge

Slowcooker rice pudding

Cheats fairy cakes

So what's your favourite dessert or pudding?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Meal plan week beginning - 28/10

Here we go again, another week of using stuff up, kids are off school this week aswell.

breakfast- porridge with rasins
lunch- tomatoe and bean soup
dinner-ham hock, roasties cabbage and gravy

breakfast- porridge
lunch- tomatoe and bean soup

breakfast- toast with jam
lunch-tomatoe and bean soup
dinner- cheesy pasta and brocolli bake

breakfast- apple porridge
lunch- chicken sandwich
dinner-Halloween party at the inlaws

breakfast- scrambled egg on toast
lunch-cheese toasties
dinner- sticky bbq chicken with wedges

breakfast- pancakes
lunch-spagetti with tomatoe sauce, peas and sweetcorn
dinner-chips and fried egg

breakfast- porridge
lunch- Sunday dinner at the inlaws
dinner- beans on toast

My shopping list for this week is

3 x 2litre milk
plain flour
2 loaves of bread
vegetable oil

Hoping to spend less than £10, most of which is oil!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Getting ready for winter.

Yesterday I went and got new snow tires fitted and my car realigned, it's suppose to get very cold next week.

Few other things we will be doing/have done.
As I said in my 5 tips on how to light fire for less post we have stocked up on coal and logs

I have purchased 2 mini radiators for the kids room as we won't be using oil this year.

All curtains are lined and all external doors have curtains.

Big rug is down in the livingroom.

Cosy jammies have been purchased, normally we get the kids from primark but homebargains were cheaper this year.Mine were from primark.

New coats have been purchased for all those that needed them, I managed to find an old one that still fitted me and twins didn't need 1.

Blankets have been dug out for on beds and over the back of the sofa.

Electric blankets will be purchased for the kids very soon, we've been using ours for awhile now.

If you need them dig out or make draft excluders, we are very lucky we don't need any.

Tape up any gaps in windows (again we are very lucky we don't need this either)

Dig out last years, gloves/hats scarfs- I buy my gloves from poundland mostly as they do 2 for £1 in kids sizes, as they are magic gloves they fit me grand, I have some free ones i got with an eBay code for this year.

Start layering, vest tops under clothes, 2 pairs of socks, rights under jeans it all helps keep you cosy. My feet are my main problem so as soon as I come home i take my shoes off and put my slipper boots or fake uggs on.

Get dry shoes, nothing is worse than wet feet, it makes everything seem miserable. I got a new pair of boots last week from this site. I bought a lovely wooly poncho aswell and both cost me £14, I have several pairs of shoes from them but you would never guess they cost £5 and alot have tags on with much much higher prices .eBay is also really good for shoes, I don't even mean used ones. just watch they aren't coming from china/hongkong or they won't be here in time.

I bet none of your kids have wet feet but quite a few of you do, I have glued shoes myself before, now it's something I make sure i have money for.

if you take them keep a stock of cold and flu tablets...the sooner you take them the sooner they have a chance to work.

And lastly stock up on tea bags, coffee sugar and hot chocolate. warm drinks help warm you from the inside, I quite like warm custard aswell :)

I mentioned quite a few different shops in this post, none of this is advert that's where I find to be the best value for me.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Meal plan- week beginning 21/10

Hi all, gonna be a tight few weeks here, Went shopping today and spent £13.78 on

25kg of queens potatoes
2 bags of apples (21 in total)
punnet of pears (6)
bunch of bananas (7)
punnet of strawberries (I took the child with me and he insisted)

I will also need more milk later in the week.

Other than my milk I plan not to spend another single penny. If I stick to this my creditcard will be clear come Monday. So heres the food plans for this week.

breakfast-toast and jam
lunch-noodles with sweetcorn, soy sauce and a wee bit of cheese
dinner-one pot roast chicken dinner (come back tomorrow for this)

breakfast-apple porridge
lunch-soup and bread
dinner-tomatoe pasta bake

breakfast-beans on toast
lunch-baked potatoe
dinner-chicken stew (just like beef stew only leaner)

breakfast-pear porridge
lunch-potatoe and bacon soup (keep your eyes peeled for this recipe)
dinner-gnocchi in tomatoe sauce (find it here thrifty lesley i might use proper mash, I found a packet of instant in the cupboard but i might keep that for an emergency)

breakfast-toast and scrambled egg
lunch-potatoe and bacon soup
dinner-homemade pizza and wedges

lunch-potatoe and bacon soup
dinner-homemade battered chicken nuggets, onion rings and baked potatoes

breakfast-beans on toast (with a fried egg on top if there's any left)
lunch-Sunday dinner at the inlaws
dinner-sandwiches with whatever I can find in the fridge, we'll still be stuffed from dinner.

I will also be making

lesley's oaty bars if i have enough jam (i could stretch to buy a jar if it came to it)

pineapple sponge which is just this with 1/3 of a tin of pineapple in it.

And I will be giving slowcooker bread a go. however i think my yeast is done or else my house is too cold as my bread just isn't rising for me lately.

Lunches during the week are just for me, the kids have dinner in school, the youngest has a snack in school aswell and I send snacks with the older 2 of fruit and some sort of bread product, they aren't allowed sweet stuff or else i'd send a bun/muffin.

As you can see we won't starve this week :) and it won't even make a dint in our food. I will be back next week with a similar list I'm sure.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Leftover pie- pork and stuffing

Pies are awesome for dealing with leftovers. Using yesterdays pastry and the slowcooker pulled pork and stuffing I made a pie :)

Get everything out ready and pre-heat your oven to 180, remember your trying to keep the butter cold, and handle it as little as possible so have everything ready to go.

Cut your pastry in 2 (see still big lumps of butter)

Roll your pastry out to just bigger than your dish (or if yours has a big lip like mine a good bit bigger)

Now you need to add your pastry to your dish, now pastry is very fiddly and breaks easy, aslo your trying not to handle it too much, so fold it in half like this

Then fold it back over your rolling pin like this

Now you lift the rolling pin instead of the pastry.

cover the bowl, remember it's slightly sticky so if your pasrty is too small pinch and offcut from somewhere else and mush it into place.

Add your pork.
Add your stuffing

Add your veg, frozen is fine
Roll out your pastry for the top

Add your gravy (if you add it before it goes in the oven your pie base will be soggy)

Add your top

Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk (I usually just do milk), cut a small hole to let some steam out and put in the oven.

If your having your oven on long enough to cook a pie make the most of it. I added a whole packet of cooking bacon (for tomorrows dinner) and some baked potatoes

cook for 45mins at 180

Then serve, it's a very similar taste to those well known tinned pies, if you want it as fluffy and puffy as that use the whole recipe for the top and fold it and chill. a few more times.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Homemade puff pastry

Pastry really easy to make, you need the same amount of flour as fat and a pinch of salt. The key is don't handle it too much.

This is rough puff pastry, like the type you get on those tinned pies, The idea is that you use really cold everything and don't touch it too much, you leave lumps of butter and because it's cold when you cook it, it causes steam which means your pastry as little pockets of air causing all the layers.

You will need

Flour, you should use plain I didn't have any so it's abit of a fingers crossed hope it works ok situation. I ussed 250g
butter/lard. You can use half and half for this, I just used butter, I get this one on offer in lidl and stock up but you can use value lard and marge. Make sure it's freezing whatever you use.

Measure out your flour, add it to the blender, with a teaspoon of salt, cut your butter into cubes (while not handling it)

Add to the blender

At this point I hadn't touched my butter at all. Thats a jar of oil in the backround by the way and I'll be using it to show you how to make homemade onion rings next week) 

And now you discover your blenders broken, so you tip it all into a bowl instead. Nope is that only me? well if so you pulse it 3-5 times to break the butter up slightly, leave quite big chunks, then you pulse again while slowly adding water. IF like me that didn't work or you don't own a blender rub the butter in with your fingers, do it quickly and roughly remember you need to handle it as little as possible.

This is mine when it's finished as you can see still lots of big chunks of butter.

Now get a cup of really cold water, and a spoon. I used a full tea cup of water and it was probably slightly too much. 

Slowly add your water and fold it in with your spoon, when your pastry starts clumping together like this

Turn it out onto a floured work surface. and form into a square, do this quickly and touch it as little as possible.

As you can see still big chunks of butter. Roll your dough into a rectangle and flatten the edges.

Fold the top 1/3 of the way down 

Then bring the bottom up over to the top.

Put it in the fridge for atleast 30mins, then repeat. you do this 3 times. The picture above in my final one and as you can see there is still little lumps of butter.

Come back tomorrow to see what i made with it.

Oh and don't panic my blender just needed a new fuse.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

slowcooker bread and butter pudding

This is a use up your stale bread without turning the oven on recipe.

Butter your bread, cut into chunks.

Spray your slowcooker with frylight and grease with oil.

Add a layer of bread.

Sprinkle in a good handful of rasins.

Layer on more buttered bread.

At this point i decided to top with chocolate but i usually use rasins, this is just a half a beat up bar of value milk chocolate.

Pour in 2 pints of made up milk powder, turn on low for 2 hours. This doesn't need cooked it just needs helped along.

Serve with custard, I bought this when these were still 6p, I can't get them anymore so normally i use a tin.

I have no after photo I'm afraid and it's all now long gone since I made it on monday.

bread 1/2 loaf 25p
butter 10p
milk powder 20p
raisins (i use value mixed dried fruit) 5p
chocolate 15p
custard 6p/17p

total cost 92p

There was enough pudding here for 4 lots for the kids with another tin of custard, but someone may have dropped the leftovers out of the fridge :( the dogs enjoyed it aswell :)