Friday, 22 June 2012

Weekend on a shoestring

Coming back from holiday is always a downer, made even worse when you look at your bank balance (or in my case, it gets texted to you, how cruel is that!). We have decided to have a super frugal month in an attempt to redress the balance, and I've been thinking of ways that we can still eat well and enjoy ourselves without spending any money.

One of my first ploys is to eat everything in the freezer. I've lost count of the times I've put some nice steak or sea bass in the freezer only to discover it lurking there years later looking decidedly frostbitten. So this weekend this is how things are looking. Notice the "whoopsie" discount stickers on some of the items, we sometimes buy things like this and whack them straight in the freezer, a good thing to do with bread as well if you see it discounted.
We are going to eat you.

I'm going to have a good look in my store cupboards as well and see what's there. Here are my ideas for store cupboard meals
Mother Hubboard
1. Tuna and sweetcorn can easily be combined with some mayo and pasta for a great pasta lunch (add some garlic bread from the freezer) together with some dried parsley.
2. Fly some onion and garlic, add tinned kidney beans and baked beans and some chilli powder. Serve with rice or baked potato.
3. If you've got some frozen fish, it might not work well defrosted and pan fried at this stage, but would work well as a fish pie. Cook in some milk, drain the milk and make a parsley sauce from it (fry butter, add a tablespoon of plain flour, mix, then slowly add 300ml of milk and some dried parsley), put the fish in the bottom of a dish with some frozen peas/sweetcorn, top with mashed potato and cheese.

In terms of what to do in the day, have a look at what's free in your area. Walks in the park, splashing in puddles, blackberry picking, walks in the forest, or just playing in the garden and having a picnic together are all cheap or free things to do that kids really enjoy and mean you spend time together as a family.

Every month why not try having one weekend where you spend no money at all. It will make a massive difference to your bank account at the end of the month with very little effort required!

What are your money saving tips?


  1. How about a nice salad using wild foods - try a few lime leaves (from UK native trees, not the fruit!), willowherb, red clover (not tried this but in Stylist mag last week), dandelion leaves, nasturtium and borage flowers (from a neighbour?) to pep up the few lettuce leaves doing a wilt in your fridge. It's not just food that gets forgotten, try using up your craft box, an idea for drinking straws at Enjoy your frugal weekend, Nicola.

    1. Fabulous idea! I will take a look at the pictures of these things online so I don't end up eating a nettle or something. Wild foods might be the way forward, we have some lovely country tracks near us, will have a look, when this rain stops that is.

  2. Top Tip for a cheap afternoon out is that this time of year alot of schools/churches are holding summer fetes. Its usually free to get in (or a small charge) and the kids can do a range of fairly cheap activities - think 20p for the tombola, biscuit decorating etc. Nice day out and you can probably get away with spending less than a fiver. EP x

    1. Great idea! and good way to make new friends in your local neighbourhood. Too many of us don't know anything about the people we live near.x


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