Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A weeks worth of shopping.

I usually go shopping on a monday then do a small top up shop on a friday, but monday was a bank holiday and yesterday i was getting my hair done. Since the fruit bowl was empty and I was running out of salad, milk and bread I figured I should go. As a general rule I set a £200 a month budget for the 5 of us, but if it runs out we won't go hungry I do however feel keeping track helps keep spends low.

First shop sainburys for a 99p boil in the bag brown rice, I was after cooking bacon but it was all big chops and i was after rashers so didn't get any.

Then off to tesco.

£27.60 spent, some of this will roll into next week aswell.

Next shop lidl


£7.64 spent, bananas were on offer at 39p a kg, oranges were on offer at 99p for 1.5kg, blueberries again on offer at 2 for £2 (they also have raspberries on the same deal but out of stock) then ham which is nicer from there and corned beef is only 69p for 10 slices.

Last stop was asda.

Apples we're on offer, plums were reduced, yogurts were ones i couldn't get in tesco and bread is 2 for £1.
Now onto the meat we have a BBQ pack for £8.99 as someone told us the ribs were lovely, in it is 4 steak burgers (each solds for 99p each) 4 pork chops (these are sold for £1.99 each) 1lb of sausages and 5 bbq ribs.

The rest of the meat shown is a £9.99 meat pack it includes, 3 pork chops, 3 steak burgers, 1lb of sausages, 1lb of mince and 3 chicken breasts, i swapped my mince for more burgers as these are really yummy and made with 3% fat beef so very lean, i got pork and leek sausages because i had plain ones in my BBQ pack and peppered pork chops instead of plain. I get this meat pack pretty much every week it's great value for less than £10.

£23.75 spent in asda and some of that meat will be going in the freezer for next week.

Total spend this week= £58.99.

If lidl get raspberries in i will grab some aswell, normally i would need milk to last over the weekend but because i went late in the week and i'm away on saturday i won't need any this weekend.

I'm starting next month now and i will be posting on shopping day every week to let you all know what i buy, as you can see my shopping is mostly meat, fruit and veg at the moment, very few carbs at all, i still have spuds left from last week for the kids. However carbs are the cheap bit, spuds rice and pasta are alot cheaper per weight than things like peppers and blueberries. I was abit worried i'd have to up my budget when we started dieting but it has evened out because i'm buying next to no junkfood.

So whats everyones shopping budget? do you even have one? if not i recommend giving it a try to see if you can save yourself some money.

Cornflake coated chicken.

Hello everyone, yesterday i made cornflake coated chicken, it was alot crispier than normal breadcrumbs.

To make it you need..

Flour -you can use plain as a general rule i use SR for everything.
Chicken breasts- 2 did all of us.
Seasoning-i used season all, garlic salt and pepper.
Milk or an egg.

Pop your cornflakes in a blender, i can never judge how many i need right and always end up with loads left or run out so i do it in 2 halves, about 30g in each half.

Pulse it until you end up with something that looks like this.
You also need a beaten egg, or as i didn't have any i used milk., Mix a few table spoons of flour with a sprinkle of spices in a bowl aswell.
Then it's onto the chicken breasts, wrap these between 2 sheets of grease proof paper and beat them witha  rolling pin to make the meat go further, here you can see the size of one not squished and one squished.
This is the other one after i'd squished it.
Now you cut your chicken up into strips (or you can do a whole breast if you like). Dip into the flour, then egg/milk, then cornflakes and repeat, set them onto an oiled oven tray, they should look like this

I got 2 trays this size from my 2 breasts.Cook at 180 for 30-40mins and they should come out looking like this.
These are very nice if a little bit dry, they would be lovely covered in a curry sauce, or with cheese added to teh breadcrumbs.



Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bubble and squeak paddies :)

I had some cabbage that needed used up so after remebering a recipe i seen on another blog i decided to try these.

So this is all i used and abit of olive oil, 1 1/2 bags of reduced to 10p cabbage and 5-6 spuds from lidl.

Throw it all in a pan and bring to the boil, at this point i switched it off and went on doing something else (which i will show you all tomorrow)

When it was done i mashed it all up and put abit of olive oil in a pan.I then spooned it into cookie cutters in the pan and let it fry on a low heat.


I ended up with these which fell apart when trying to get them out of the pan or flip them over.

So i have decided they will cook best from frozen so these ones are heading that direction for another day.

I'm on a low carb diet so can't eat these but the kids do seem to enjoy them.

I will be back tomorrow showing you what they had to eat with them :)

Monday, 27 May 2013

The kids are my undoing!

Today has not went very well moneywise :( the poor creditcard has taken a hit today.

I started off well, i packed a picnic even tho it was raining, checked the was suppose to clear up, set off for the beach, and it was teaming down. Went looking for the soft play area at the beach and it had closed. So asked the kids what they wanted to do and a 45min drive later we were in a chippy that has a soft play area where food cost us £25!! it wasn't even that nice. Then the kids had ice cream at £4!. As we were heading home it started to clear up so we decided to head to dublin zoo.

That was a huge drive from where we were but we had never been. 50euro's to get in and you know what it was worth it, for anyone near me it's so much better than belfast zoo (which is also expensive) and we will be going back one day.We had a great day and other than 7.50euro's spent in the gift shop thats my spending done for today.

So now i'm mega skint!! so watch this space this week for everything i'll be doing to save pennies, as I'm off to a wedding on saturday, and i'm getting my hair done tomorrow aswell I need to jump on the moneysaving band wagon big time.

So what do you all do with the kids when it's wet? we had planned a freeish day out but sadly it was not to be and as they were off school and hubby was also off work we wanted to do something special.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cooking for the freezer- lazy sausage and bean casarole

I never buy full price sausages!! i got 20 sausages for £1.73 at the start of the week thats half price. me and hubby had 4 for dinner and the kids had one each with cauliflower cheese so i had 13 sausages to use, here my recipe for lazy sausage casarole in the slowcooker, i have included some costings but this is just the prices i have paid and depending on what sites you use, shops and brands the costs could be more, or less. (the picture above is the leftovers hubby had it dished out before i managed a photo)

chopped sausages (i don't bother browning them) £1.12

1 1/2 tins of baked beans- i use branstons and buy on offer, i used half a tin as it was left from the childs beans on toast, this would also work well with kidney beans or any dried beans you want to soak first 47p

sausage casarole mix- bought in bulk from approved foods 16p - you can replace this with a tin of tom and a few spices, just this is cheaper for me.

tin of tesco baby carrots 19p (these used to be cheaper than value tinned carrots now they've jumped up in price i will be buying value i keep these in for a back up or lazy days)

handful of value frozen peas and sweetcorn 10p

Total cost= £2.04 this made 3 portions for the 3 kids should ahve made 4 but hubby piled the plates high, making it 68p a portion.

My kids had this with mash, you can have it with rice aswell or pasta but i think the mixture of textures with pasta is strange.

2 portions are in the freezer for another day, along with 5 portions of spag bol, my kids love spag bol and i love all the hidden veg in it, next time i make a batch i'll post my recipe.

So does anyone else cook extra for the freezer? Maybe if your really lucky i'll give you a peek inside my freezer, it's jam packed with homemade frozen food, weightwatchers meals (3 for £3 in iceland and great for lunches) and yellow sticker items.

You can't miss what you don't have.

Hello everyone i hope your well, i've had an expensive week with a few big bills and and a hen do at the weekend. Next weekend will be a wedding, the week after will be another hen do then another wedding followed by a weekend away at the end of june for my sisters birthday. So i don't expect huge savings but i do still want to save some money.

As a regular savers the best tip i can give you is work out your outgoings, keep a little extra aside then send the rest straight to your savings(or towards your debt-if your doing this i recommend keep more back than you would saving as you can no longer access your money) on payday, and remeber every penny counts. Look at your bank once a week and round it down to the nearest £10 and send the rest to your savings it soon add's up but you won't miss it as you can only take £10's from the bank machine.

We transfered our savings to the credit union a few weeks ago, as our bank said on our income they wouldn't lend us any money to buy a site, they don't take into account that we save 60% of our income or more, where as the credit union reward savers. So new standing orders set up for each Monday. We had to set up 2 accounts as they don't do joint ones so £100 to each. Thats all our tax credits and some of hubbys pay.We manage on whats left.I will then send over any leftover pay at the end of the month (he gets paid weekly). Aswell as this i will go and put half my child benefit in in cash so i can get updated totals, my children are well looked after and i know this moneys for them but a home is for them aswell so i feel this is justified, it's not like i'm spending it on wine...and the best thing about the credit union you have to go in branch to get your money so are less likely to spend money you shouldn't because you can't :)

Tomorrow i have free tickets to a fair and only £6 in my purse so i will be spending nothing.

Hope you all have a great frugal, money saving weekend.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The downside of weighloss!

Hello everyone been a very busy few days here and also very expensive with a stag fo last weekend, hen do's and wedding coming up.

Well i've lost over 1 1/2 stone now and dropped 2 dresses sizes sadly this has meant that i can no longer get away with a belt on my bigger jeans and my tops looked like tents!!

*thats not me, i wish it was!*

So a trip clothes shopping was needed it cost me £150 to get enough tops, trousers and shirts to last me aswell as replacing all my underwear, then today it cost me another £54 on new trainers (mine are done and leaking but i will keep the old ones for the gym) and new gym clothes.... and you know what i feel great for it. yes i like to save money but not at the expense of my health and happyness and my new clothes are alot more flattering.

All my clothes are very cheap usually ebay or primark and very very well worn and my hubbys are even worse so my mum will be having a dig threw and the rest will go to cash for clothes.

In other news we asked the bank to lend us £10,000 to buy a plot of land, they said no. We were abit annoyed as we have saved double that in a year however banks only take income into account income not savings and give large living allowances for children. So as of today we have shifted all our savings into a credit union account, so watch this space, things could change over the next few months.I will keep you all updated.