Budget · Cooking · Food · Money Saving

Budget Winter Stew

image.jpg

There’s something so comforting about a bowl of hot stew in winter. Perfect on it’s own or served with some freshly buttered bread.

But the best thing about it is it really is a budget meal! It’s nearly grocery day so im trying to use up what we’ve got in the fridge and I found a bag of sizzle steak…. It’s not exactly the kind of bbq weather that you’d normally use sizzle steak for so I decided to get creative with it and use it for this budget winter stew.

I chopped the steak in to small pieces and popped it in to the bottom of the slow cooker on high for 4 hours. On top of that I added 2 large diced Potatos, 1 large diced sweet potato, 1 large diced carrot, 1/2 jar tomato pasta sauce I found in the fridge, wistershire sauce, and some water. Then about 1.5 hours before dinner I added diced pumpkin, 1 large diced zuchinni and some gravy powder to thicken it all. I also turned the slow cooker down to low.

I love no fuss meals like this so are easy to make and serve heaps! There was enough for dinner and lunches too. And all for only around $5!

I’d love to hear others favourite slow cooker meals too.

erin 🙂

 

Advertisements
Budget · Cooking · Food · Kids · Time Saving

Sandwich Press Veggie Fritters

My littlest one is now 9 months old and we’ve been having fun experimenting with new foods, flavours & textures.

With my first baby I did purées as advised by the hospital… Only problem was he never really got past the puree stage. He was one of those baby’s who, when it had even the tiniest lump he’d gag and bring it all back up. And by the time he finally got past that stage he became MR FUSSSSSSSSY! Even now for dinner every night he has either nuggets/sausages/fish fingers with roast Potatos and veggies which is either carrot sticks/cucumber/beans/peas/corn cob.

Then comes along my second baby and when it came to her eating food I decided I wasn’t going through the fussy puree stage again and I heard about Baby Led Weaning! This was perfect! Everything I ate so did she! Apart from an allergy to egg until 18 months, she ate everything I did. Even now she’s still a great eater although she does pull a few of Her brothers lines at the dinner table occasionally like “my belly hurts”, “im too tired” or “I don’t like it” wen though she ate it the night before lol.

So now I have bub #3 who I’ve been doing a mixed of mushed up foods and baby led weaning with. He’s had 2 big reactions to dairy and has ezcema as well so I’ve had to cut out the dairy from his and my diet (im Exclusivly Breastfeeding him). And as such I need to great creative with quick meals sometimes… Which is where the sandwich press comes in handy!

I cook on my sandwich press probably 3-4 times a week but never sandwiches. Eggs, fritters, pancakes, bacon (for miss 3), “grilled” veggies for bub. It’s such a brilliant tool! Saves so much time and electricity in the kitchen which in turn saves $$ which we all want.

Tonight we went out late night shopping and didn’t get home til 7pm, everyone was hungry especially bub but I didn’t want to just give him toast. So I whipped up these super easy corn & zuchinni frotters. They’re diary & nut free, can easily be made gluten/wheat free so they’d be great for lunchboxes too! And only take 5 mins to cook. Plus you don’t need to use oil to cook them so they’re super healthy too!

image.jpg

• Crack 2 eggs in to a bowl, add 1/2 a grated zuchinni, 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, pinch salt & 1 tblsp SR flour • mix until combined • spoon tablspoon amounts onto a pre heated sandwich press, close the press down slowly watching none of the liquid oozes out • cook for 4-5 mins or til golden brown.

they’re so yummy as is or would be perfect with some hummus or natural yoghurt on top.

You could also grate or add in any mix of veggies you have laying round too! And they’d be something fun for the kids to make over the holidays!

erin 🙂

Budget · Cooking · Food · Kids

I’m backkkkkkk

So after a little time away I’m back!

It’s been a crazy few months in this house recently but we’ve said goodbye to a cast from a fractured leg and hopefully won’t be saying hello to any colds or flus now that winter is here.

I’ve been baking and making some new recipes recently so I thought I’d share a few this week. I’m also going to start bulk cooking meals again so I’ll be sharing some of my budget ones that freeze well and don’t cost a heap to make!

I bought a big bag of oranges recently for a birthday party and thought Id get creative with ways to use then. We’ve still got a large family of easter bunny’s hiding in the bottom of our fridge so I thought Id try incorporate the 2 ingredients… And here are the “Jaffa Muffins”. They’re refinded sugar free apart from in the chocolate but you could always swap the easter bunny chocolate to one you prefer ie dark. They’re also great for lunch boxes!

image.jpg

“Jaffa Muffins”

• 1.5c self raising flour • 1 egg • 1/4c coconut sugar • 1/4c melted butter (can switch to oil if wanting dairy free) • 1/4c finely chopped chocolate • zest & juice of 1 Orange • 1 tsp vanilla essence • 1/3c milk of choice •

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, spoon in to muffin cases and bake at 180* for 12-15 mins

Super easy and tasty!!

erin 🙂

Budget · Cooking · Food · Kids · Money Saving

$1 muffins

It’s no secret to those who know me I LOVE baking! Cooking I can be hit & miss according to hubby, but baking is definitley my thing (ok well also according to the husband – apart from sponge cake… I don’t know how but every sponge cake I try to make is a serious fail haha).

Anyway back on track, I love baking! And these muffins are some of my fav! They’re so easy to make and taste great! They’re also perfect for kids to get involved in and they’re perfect to use up leftover fruit that the kids half eat lol.

All you need is the 75c homebrand cake mixes from Coles & Woolies etc and a few standard ingredients already in most households.

Make up the cake mix as per the instructions (it says to use 2 eggs but I find making them for muffins I only need to use the 1). Then add in any variety of ingredients you like!

image.jpg
A batch of freshly made banana/cinnamon muffins

Some popular ones here are:

• Banana/cinnamon – add 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder & 1-2 soft mashed bananas to the mix

• Apple/cinnamon – as above however with 1-2 grated or diced apples

• Bounty – add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon coconut

• Choc chip – add 1/2 a cup of Choc chips of choice

• Oat & Honey – add 1/2 cup oats & 3 tablespoons of honey

• Carrot Cake – add 1 grated carrot, 1 teaspoon cinnamon & 1 teaspoon of nutmeg (or just 2 teaspoons of allspice or similar)

• Berry – add 1 cup of frozen or fresh berries of choice. Mixed berries, blueberries and raspberries are always popular.

These are just some suggestions for flavour combos but as you can see these cake mixes are so versatile!

And with school holidays coming up shortly they’ll be perfect for keeping the kids occupied… Well for 1/2 hour Atleast haha.

Erin 🙂

Cooking · Food · Sanity Saving · Time Saving

De stashing the food magazines

If you’re anything like me you collect food magazines… A LOT!

the only problem is that I flip through them once when I get home, put them in the bookshelf and don’t read them again.

I’m in a crazy clean out kinda mood lately (I thought this nesting feeling was ment to end 5.5 months ago when I had bub #3?!? Haha). And I’ve been undecided what to do with these magazines.

image
Let’s just say this is a small pile of different food magazines I’ve collected but not used…

So this afternoon I’ve sat down and flipped through them all, taken pictures of the recipes I WILL cook and I’ve uploaded them to my relevant pinterest boards (if you don’t know me, I’m pinterest CRAZYYY!). I didn’t want to just cut them out and make up another recipe book that I’ll probably not use for ages either.

This way im still decluttering and minimalising things, getting to keep the recipes I will use without taking up more space and recycling as well.

Another good idea for magazines like this would be to donate them to your local daycare, kindy, school or doctors surgery. These places are always after things like this so they’re not just being wasted.

Kids · Money Saving

MCN hints & tips

So after being in a high of last fortnight a shop coming in at $201, I was a bit dissapointed at this fortnights being $255 plus we still have to get dog food.

that being said I did have to get Nappies ($11 from Woolies), detergent ($3.50 on sale at coles) and laundry liquid ($12 – not on sale however, I like the dissolvable capsules as I find them the most cost effective as they’re “portion controlled” and there’s no chance of over using them. Normally I get them on sale however there were none today, but I got the most for the least amount of money and im trying out a new brand so we’ll see how they turn out). And these are things that do add up when it comes to groceries.

For Nappies I do normally use MCNs (modern cloth Nappies) when at home. I use disposables for going out and bed time. Going full cloth is a tricky option for some so I go half/half. I totally get also why though cloth can be off putting but once you get into a routine with it, it’s so much easier!

image
Generic MCN picture from Google. These are AIO (all in one) size adjustable style to fit from newborn to around 2 years old depending on your child’s size

 

Once they’re clean and washed, when I am putting all the Nappies away I put liners inside them all, fold them over and stack them all up so they’re ready to go. I use 2 liners in each at a time too so you can get longer than 30 mins out of each one (probably 2 hours) which saves having to wash so many. When washing I wash wet ones in our normal wash and dirty ones seperate.

With washing try not to tumble dry them, especially those with a waterproof lining as this can ruin it and they won’t work as well.  I peg the shells (the fabric part you see) inside out in the sun. The liners I also peg out the sun too. The sun is actually a natural bleach and if you can peg them out in the morning and leave them there the whole day they’ll get a good dose of that germ killing sunlight on them!

I probably have about 25 MCNs but I also do washing every day. I would say I only use about 6-8 of them a day.

I don’t have any particular favourite or brand I really like. The “China cheapies” are good for starters caz you can get them cheap for around $6-$8 each on ebay and their lining generally has a PUL or similar kinda fabric so I find they don’t leak all that much.

I’ve also got some itti bittis which are good caz they’re sized so they fit bub a bit better and there’s no clipping and unclipping snaps to adjust sizes. They’re so nice and soft too with a velvet/minky feel to them.

I’ve  also got a few baby bee-hinds and homemade ones which I’ve collected over the years.

If you can get into the hang of them and get the chance to wash reguarly then MCNs really are a great money saver and they’re a lot better for the environment too!

Budget · Cooking · Food

Lime, Coconut & Sour Cream Cakes

i looooooove baking! The only problem with baking & being a SAHM is the eating of the baking… Often! Lol.

So I try to make healthier alternatives of my Favourites.

For days I’ve been craving a lemon & sourcream cake but didn’t have any lemons. I do however have some fresh limes I was given last week to use up. I’ve also got some sour cream which we used for beef stroganoff & tacos for dinner this week but I didn’t want to waste the rest of the tub so it was perfect to use in this recipe.

image.jpg

💚lime & coconut sour cream muffins💚

1/2 tub light sour cream (150 grams)

50gms melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon grated lime plus a good squeeze of fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon desicated coconut

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1.5 cups wholemeal self raising flour (if you don’t have wholemeal use 1 cup of normal SR flour and blitz up 1/2 cup rolled oats to use as well)

Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute with beaters.

Bake at 160* for 12-15 minutes

Makes 12 at 127 calories

💚sour cream & honey frosting💚

1/4 tub (75 grams) sour cream

2 tablespoons honey

mix together and dollop on top of cakes once fully cooled

29 calories per dollop

💚could also be made as a cake but I would use 1 extra egg

Such a yummy little treat for only 156 calories!!! Plus they’re budget friendly as most of these ingredients are in the fridge or pantry. And they’re a great way to use up leftover sour cream which we never seem to go through.

erin 😊