Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thrifty Thursday



Well after missing last week what can I say ......... nuts to you!!

Yes nuts, lovely little packages of goodness that can cost the earth if you buy them in those little 'snack packs'.  But when bought in big kilo or half kilo bags when on offer at your local shop can last until the next offer and give you readily available healthy snacks and ingredients for your other recipes always on hand.


I tend to buy mine from Julian Graves a brilliant shop that always seems so quiet in my area so I can happily browse to my hearts content, and looking up this link for you I've just found out they do free delivery for orders over £50 from the online shop, something to remember for the future.

I stock up about every three months and buy bags of the nuts, seeds  and dried fruits that we love the most and some things that we may not like as much but that are little powerhouses of goodness who's taste will be masked by everything else they are with.




I tend to make up two mixes, an iron rich mix that's more for me and a general mix of nuts fruit and seeds that we both like. Lovely Hubby takes a small box to work each day to pop in his drawer ready for when he feels the urge to nibble, much better for him than nipping to the machine for a Mars bar or Snickers like he used to and so much cheaper.



Of course once I've got them in store I make other things too, a favourite is homemade Muesli, none of the cheap oat dust and a few dried currants that some supermarkets kid you is muesli with the main ingredient being cheap oats.  I start with a base of good Mixed Oats and add dried chopped fruits, chopped nuts, sunflower and  pumpkin seeds and Goji berries anything that we fancy really. We eat this either with milk or some homemade yogurt, really yummy. 


 

If you are in a rush in the mornings you can pop your dish in the fridge overnight with your muesli soaking in it's milk or yogurt and it will swell and go gloriously soft and yummy by morning. You can also use this muesli mix to add to your flapjacks and have really tasty chewy bars to just pop in your lunch box, so much cheaper than the packs of Muesli bars currently available.


Once I've made up the mix I fancy, it varies slightly each time, I use my jam funnel to decant it all into a storage jar and it sits on the work surface so we don't forget about it.



An ideal breakfast or snack, made to your own specifications.


As soon as you buy your big bags of nuts. seeds and dried fruit decant them into storage jars and leave them lined up in your cupboard, then when you have the urge to snack or make up a fesh mix they are all to hand inspiring you, and looking beautiful at the same time.  Get your jars the frugal way by saving all your coffee and sauce jars, or alternatively watch out at car boots sales for some posher ones,  there are nearly always a box of jars being sold for pennies that folk just don't seem to know what to do with.

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My other tip for today is toilet rolls, well the middles to be exact, if you're eating all the nuts mixes and muesli you will be nice and regular and have lots of these.....lol!!



Now is the time to start saving them for next years growing season.  They make wonderful little starters pots for all your seeds.  Simply cut each toilet roll in half and each kitchen roll tube into four and they are the perfect size.


Pop them in your seed trays and fill with compost.  Place one or two seeds in each one and give them a good water. 



When they are ready to be planted out pop the seed in its little pot straight into the soil.  By not disturning its root system you do not give it the shock that can stop growing for a while and they have their own little band of nutrient rich compost around them.  Excellent for the plant and easy for you.  As the plant grows and you water a couple of times the tube starts to break down and rots easily back into the soil.  I start ALL my seeds off this way now and have family and friends saving me all their tubes all year round, it saves a fortune on the little pots that you can buy and makes for easy planting. 

As I said last time I like to get full value out of everything I buy, so using the toilet roll middles this way is brilliant, I also use the large bag the toilet rolls come in as a bin liner once it's empty.  There's a use for everything if you just think before you lift up the bin lid and throw away something you've paid your hard earned money for!!

Linking this post to Angela over at Tracing Rainbows where you can find all the others that are joining in with Thrifty Thursdays on her side bar.

Sue xx


A sneaky peek at a teeny tiny selection of my cook books, that were hiding behind the nuts in the top photo.   I don't know about you but I LOVE noseying,  taking an interest in other peoples books!!
Click on the picture and it should get bigger.

5 comments:

  1. Hello Sue. Hope you are feeling better now? Love your Thrifty Thursday posts x

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  2. We buy nuts like you do; it does make them much cheaper. I make muesli for us because we are wheat intolerant, and most bought muesli contains wheat flakes. I've also started making peanut butter from peanuts in their skins, roasted for 6-8 minutes in the oven, then ground up (in small batches in the coffee grinder attachment to the blender; I really need a food processor!) with a tablespoon of sesame seeds, a little olive oil and salt. It doesn't cost much less than standard peanut butter but is much better for you.

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  3. Some great ideas, I love hearing about your thrifting, i have learnt so much and they will all be things I can use when i get a place of my own xxx

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  5. That's where my loo rolls go too :) Good tip on bulk nuts as well! I'm actually looking to buy some pecans in bulk so I'll check them out.

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Sue xx