Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fresh & Frugal

Although fresh and frugal has a worthy designer concept feel to it, it is just all about food today. Food is the best place to start when budgeting and on a economy drive. The first thing to do (as with fashion) is set a budget. Then the next step is to plan your meals. I like to do a monthly one but weekly is just as good.

When I plan the meals, I tend to think seasonal first, then healthy and then cost. Fresh food isn't expensive, seasonal food is cheaper and use lentils or pearl barley rather than meat to keep the cost down. I only plan for fish on a Friday night and meat for Sunday.

Yesterday I had to gather in the rhubarb from the garden as it was going wild. We've already had a couple of crumbles out it for a Sunday afternoon since March. I made the stew base for the delicious rhubarb and ginger crumble recipe we use all the time courtesy of the wonderful Fox & Anchor

fresh from the garden

Think the colours of rhubarb are glorious

Fresh grated ginger & star anise

After it had cooled down I froze the stew to whip out Nigella stylie when the occasions calls.

I also made a cost cutting (and calorie cutting) shepherds pie with lentils so Olive magazine calls it a garden pie. It is delicious and consists of puy lentils, celery, shallots, carrot, parsnip, veg stock and tomato puree then topped with mash. Quick 5 min grill to give it that vajazzeled look!

The garden pie

My next top tip is a great healthy summer breakfast for pennies. I mix porridge oats with grated apple and usually add 2 tablespoons of 0% fat free Total Greek yoghurt the night before and put in the fridge. It is such a fresh uplifting thing to eat. If I've got raspberries or strawberries I add them in the morning. I splashed out this week and increased the per unit cost slightly with Rachel's Organics Gooseberry yoghurt. I do love gooseberries.

The porridge oats

Half an apple to grate

The yummy gooseberry yoghurt from Rachel's Dairy -just two & a bit tablespoons

Mix up porridge oats, grated apple and yoghurt

Cover with clingfilm & put in fridge for morning

Porridge oats are 99p for a bag, I buy granny smiths for grating and the biggest expenditure is the yoghurt. You can add anything to the porridge oats, like raisins and chopped nuts or chopped dried apricots. I like to keep it simple with the grated apple.


  1. You've got me feeling ravenously hungry now. Our rhubarb's not ready, I could just tuck into that crumble.
    Love the vajazzled garden pie. Back in my hospitality days we called that a Shepherdess Pie. xxx

  2. Wow, Rhubarb crumble brings back memories. My sisters and I used to pick apples and rhubarb in the garden when we were little and then help mum make crumble - delicious!

  3. lol! ^^ that was me Kate, didn't realise Vic had logged in on Google!

  4. I have your breakfast for lunch every day! I always add strawberries and blueberries . . .

  5. That sounds like the perfect summer breakfast - yummy! I have to say I'm not a fruit person, so rhubarb and gooseberries hold little appeal. I can get behind veggie alternatives though!

  6. I love a veg you we only do meat on some days.

  7. I seem to be utterly failing on the cooking front at the moment but this post has me all inspired.

    Is it bad that I never realised you could eat porridge oats that way? I thought they had to be cooked! I actually have some soya yoghurt in the fridge for once so it looks like I know what I'm making for breakfast tomorrow.

    Ooh and our rhubarb needs cutting and using. Kitchen night for me tomorrow night then!

  8. That all looks amazing! Domestic goddess, eh? I am jealous x

  9. I love a crumble but would like to know why my google identity below says Sharron instead of my blog name?

  10. I'm going to try your breakfast recipe, its sounds perfect to start the day. We got a blender for Christmas so my husband has been busy making soups and sauces so its been saving us some pennies too. I still need to get better at planning my weekly menus though xx


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