Thrifty Thursday may be officially over, after all it was destined to run through September, but I've decided to keep going for as long as I can think of things that I do that I consider 'thrifty'. Hopefully they will be of interest and even of some help to any of you who needs to watch those pennies at the moment. I know I am trying to save as much as I can and to lighten my load on the environment, and lessen my dependence on supermarkets.
This weeks theme is Luxury Frugality.
How can those words even GO together I hear to ask, well think about it, just because we have no money doesn't mean we can't treat our families and ourselves to the best in life that we can possibly manage.
Look at that homemade bread, made from pennies from supermarket cheap bread flour, sprinkled with cheap porridge oats and yet it looks good and tastes amazing. You would pay a lot for that from your local artisan bakers or even from the supermarket. The difference is your house will smell divine, warm from the oven the children would love a slice straight after school, slathered with homemade jam, made cheaply from forage blackberries or bargain end of day shop bargains. Result, no bag of sweets to buy from the shop, just the promise of a slice of 'mum's bread' when you get home. You could make it even more exciting by getting them involved by making their own buns to eat
Truly a Frugal Luxury.
What's more luxurious than big chunky oven wedges, instead of buying a bag of frozen ones, in which there will be a dozen or so mediocre wedges in the bag, make your own. If you scrub the potatoes well, you can leave the skins on, making them extra filling and even healthier. Par boil them for five minutes then drain, pat dry, pop them in a baking tray drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of paprika, curry or simply salt and pepper and then bake for about 20 minutes in a medium oven, giving them a shake half way through cooking.
When my boys where small and times were really hard, sometimes I would thickly peel the potatoes I was using for homemade chips (after thoroughly washing them) and then use this 'peel' to make a big pan full of soup, simply adding a chopped carrot, onion and whatever I had to hand in the bottom of the fridge that needed using up. When it was it was all whizzed up we had a bowl of nutritious soup for the next nights tea. Two meals for the price of one!
If you have hungry mouths to feed and not a lot to feed them with, choose pizza, your base can be anything you have to hand. The base in the picture above was two rolled out scones, just your basic scone mix (flour/margarine/salt/water), I made us two scones for supper, and rolled out two more even thinner to make small pizzas, topped with a couple of spoonfuls of tomato pasta sauce, some veggies and then topped with cheese. Very filling.
You can use all sorts for your base, slightly stale bread is brilliant, pop it in the oven for a couple of minutes and then top with whatever you fancy, if you have buns, slice them in half and make small pizzas, children love to decorate their own so put all the toppings and the sauce in dishes and let them loose, you will be guaranteed they will eat their tea this way and if the pizzas have 'faces' even better and SO much cheaper and more nutricious than the ones you can buy ready made at the pizza counter.
Buy the 'French sticks' that the supermarkets often sell off cheaply at the end of the day and cut them into 'French Bread Pizza' size lengths before freezing them and you have a stash of bases just waiting to be used at a moments notice.
Have a stash of cheap custard mix tucked in your cupboard (currently 6p a packet), and a homemade quick sponge can become a luxurious pudding.
If you have only scraps lurking in the fridge, wrap them in pastry add a bit of thickened stock to any dry fillings, and you have yummy pies, that look good, smell good and will taste good too. Let children choose their own filling from what's available.....baked bean pie.....why not!! If they all choose different, stick their initial on top with pastry scraps and you will be able to tell which is which.
I hope you find some of these ideas useful, they saved my life (and my sanity) on many occasions and made what can be a worrying time (feeding picky children on virtually no money) tolerable.
For the price of supermarket value 'ready meals', you really can have good nutricious food on your table and not spend a fortune. And really what is more luxurious than home cooked food made with love.