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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Our Family Meal Plan for week beginning 30/01/2017 - £59

Last week was challenging as our two middle children were poorly with head colds and sore throats, which they have now passed on to me. I have a horrid head cold and hacking cough, although I still went to work on Saturday night as it was not as bad then as it is now.  I need an easy week this week with the Meal Plan as I will have to carry on regardless of the fact that I feel dreadful.

I'm out at evening events 3 nights this week, and so is 13yo.  10yo is also out twice, on different evenings to 13yo and I.  It means low faff meals are needed, and also ones that can be cooked quickly or are OK to reheat if we are eating at different times.  I'm hoping for a much quieter week next week!

Our Meal Plan

Breakfasts will be porridge, either overnight oats with grated apple, or hot porridge with homemade fruit compote.  

Packed Lunches will he homemade bagels with homemade tuna and sweetcorn filler, vegetable sticks, a piece of fruit, and a baked treat for afters.  

Weekend Lunches will be Twice Baked Potatoes and Flatbreads as we've a busy weekend out and about at clubs and other events.

Snacks will be popcorn using kernels left over from last week, scones, muffins, and flapjacks.

Dinners


Quick and Easy Nachos

1 onion, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced, any colour will do
325g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 tins chilli beans
200g pack tortilla chips
150g grated mature cheddar cheese, or more if you fancy

Mix the onion, peppers, sweetcorn and chilli beans together in a bowl. Put half of the of tortilla chips, in a single layer, into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Dollop with around half the vegetable and bean mixture then top with a good handful of grated cheddar. Repeat the process until all the chips, vegetable mixture and cheese have been used up. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and bake the nachos in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and everything has heated through. I served ours with steamed mixed vegetables on the side.


Root Vegetable and Meatball Bake

750g root vegetables peeled and diced. I used butternut squash, carrot, and sweet potato
2 onions, sliced
2 peppers, diced
12 beef meatballs
500ml pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan. Cook the root vegetables in boiling water for 5 - 8 minutes until they start to soften, alternatively steam them in the microwave for a few minutes. 

Lightly oil a large ovenproof dish. Put the vegetables into the dish and nestle the meatballs on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, drizzle over the pasta sauce, then bake for a further 10 minutes.  Serve with steamed greens or mixed vegetables.



Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables and steamed mixed vegetables

Sausage, Vegetable and Pear Barley Hotpot (makes enough for 2 nights)

Chicken and Orzo Bake

2 onions, diced
2 peppers, diced (any colour will do)
1 clove garlic, minced
170g dried orzo pasta
500ml chicken stock
300g leftover cooked chicken

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Mix together all of the ingredients in a large baking dish until well combined. My Pyrex baking dish measures 9 x 12 inches (23 x 33cm). Put the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with steamed mixed vegetables.





Shopping List

40 items: £58.90 purchased from Asda on 28/01/2017

Packets and Cereals
1x   Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                          £2.18
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)     50p
1x   Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                  64p
1x   ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                £1.20
1x   ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                        45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                       45p
1x   ASDA Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)     65p
1x   ASDA Orzo (500g)                                                              50p
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                    50p

Frozen
3x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                          £2.31
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                     99p

Dairy and Eggs
3x   ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                £2.97
2x   ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                             £1.98
1x   ASDA Free Range Large Eggs (6)                                      £1.00
1x   ASDA Smartprice Butter - Salted (250g)                              99p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                 45p
2x   ASDA English Medium Cheddar (350g)                               £3.00

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x   ASDA Smartprice Mayonnaise (500ml)                                40p
1x   ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)               39p
2x   KTC Chilli Beans in Spicy Tomato Sauce (400g)                 66p
4x   KTC Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)                 £1.33
1x   ASDA Tuna Chunks in Spring Water (4x160g)                     £2.74

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Smartprice Cooking Bacon (500g)                             60p
1x   ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 750g)    £3.33
1x   ASDA Beef Meatballs (25 per pack - 710g)                          £3.33
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Whole Chicken (1.25Kg)             £3.33

Fruit and Vegetables
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)          £2.10
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                              90p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection White Potatoes (2.5Kg)               £2.50
1     ASDA Butternut Squash by Weight (1.2Kg)                         90p
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                         £1.50
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                         60p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                               20p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                  95p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclems (1.4Kg)                    £4.50
4x   ASDA Grower's Selection Plums Ripen at Home (400g)       £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Brown Onions (1Kg)                    74p
6x   ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                         £3.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Mixed Peppers (700g)                 £1.20

Snacks and Sweets
2x   ASDA Smartprice Tortilla Chips - Lightly Salted (200g)        92p
Pricesreflect those on MySupermarket and are correct as of 28 January 2017.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.


We purchased our shopping from Asda on 28/01/2017 which cost £58.90, had we shopped elsewhere our shopping would've cost:

£71.60 from Tesco
£72.12 from Morrisons
£75.86 from Sainsbury's

Thursday, 26 January 2017

ABC Cookies (Vegan)

I wanted a cookie that would be great for breakfast on the go (with a pot of yoghurt) as well as a baked treat in lunchboxes or for afternoon tea with a cuppa.  It decided to adapt my Wholemeal ABC Muffins recipe to make cookies instead.  I added rolled oats to the recipe and used more mashed banana to replace the egg. It took a bit of tinkering, and a few batches of cookies, before I got the cookies just how I wanted them.

Toddler boy loved helping me bake a batch of these cookies
My team of taste testers (my children and some school run Mums and their children) declared them to be delicious and far too tasty to be so packed full of goodness.  Result!  They are lots of fun to bake, my toddler loved mashing the banana, measuring out the dry ingredients, and mixing everything together.  He also helped dollop the dough on to the trays and flatten the cookies.  My older children can make the cookies themselves without too much bother.


ABC Cookies (Vegan) 

150g/1 generous cup grated apple or pear (unpeeled)
200g/1 cup mashed over-ripe banana
150g/1 generous cup grated carrot
60ml/4 Tblsp/¼ cup maple or golden syrup
80ml/⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
300g/2 generous cups wholemeal flour
100g/1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon or mixed/pumpkin spice
80g/½ cup chocolate chips or chopped dates

Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4.  Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Measure the apple, banana, carrot, syrup, oil, and vanilla into a bowl then mix thoroughly.

Measure the wholemeal flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into another bowl, stir together until well mixed.  Add the chocolate chips or dates and stir again to coat them in the dry ingredients.

Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir everything together until completely combined.

Using a cookie scoop, mine measures 2.5cm/1 inch in diameter, dollop the dough onto the lined trays.  You could use a tablespoon instead but I find that a cookie scoop is much easier and makes lovely round cookies.  I usually get about 20 - 22 cookies out of this batch of mixture.  Press the cookie dough mounds down slightly with a wet palm or floured fork.

Bake in the oven for 15 - 18 minutes. Allow to cool on the trays for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  The cookies keep well for around 3 days in an airtight container.  The cookies are also freezable for a month or two.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Our Family Meal Plan for week beginning 23/01/2017 - £51

It's the week before payday in January, otherwise known as the longest week in the world!  It will be a frugal week this week, and a busy one too.  I will be using my slow cooker quite often because it is great for low fuss cooking, cheap to run, and also handy for keeping food warm when people are eating at different times. 

Thankfully we've got baking flour, bread flour, baking spread, and sugar left over from last week so I haven't added them to the shopping this week.  As always we'll be raiding our back garden for greens and herbs which will help keep costs down.


We've got several evening events this week, there's quite a few after school/evening events for our children so dinners need to be either in the slow cooker or very quick to prepare on those evenings.  The scone swirls and frittatas for packed lunches have been cooked today and are in the freezer ready to be defrosted each night for the next day.  I've also pre-chopped the vegetables for the first two dinners this week to try and get ahead. 

Our Meal Plan 

Breakfasts will be porridge with fruit compote or toast with spread and a piece of fruit.  

Packed lunches will be Savoury Scone Swirls filled with bacon, peppers, sweetcorn, and cheese for some of the week, and Mini Frittatas for the rest of the week.  Packed lunches will include vegetable sticks, herbed yoghurt dip, and a piece of fruit for afters.

Weekend lunches will be Mixed Vegetable Soup (Vegan) both days, substituting onions for the leeks.  The soup will be served with homemade bread rolls. 

Snacks will be fresh fruit, popcorn, rice pudding, and homemade vegetable or apple crisps.  


Dinners

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Dhal (Vegan)

1 large onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
750g butternut squash, peeled and cut in to 1 inch/2.5cm dice
1 Tblsp curry powder
200g red lentils, rinsed
750ml vegetable stock

Put everything in the slow cooker and put the lid on. Cook for 3 - 4 hours on HIGH or 5 - 7 hours on LOW. Stir well until fairly smooth then serve with Naan bread and/or cooked rice and cooked mixed vegetables.



Slow Cooker Vegetable and Bean Chilli

2 large onions, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, finely diced
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
300ml vegetable stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g kidney beans in chilli sauce

Put everything in the slow cooker, stir well to combine then put the lid on. Cook on HIGH for 3 - 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick. Serve with cooked rice or baked potatoes, grated cheese and a dollop of yoghurt.


Slow Cooker Veggie Bolognese (Vegan)

1 large onion, roughly diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, grated
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced
300g red lentils, rinsed
400g tin chopped tomatoes
600ml vegetable stock
3 Tblsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Put everything into the slow cooker, stir well to combine then put the lid on. Cook on HIGH for 5 - 6 hours or LOW for 8 - 9 hours. Serve with cooked pasta.


Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Hotpot (Vegan)

2 large onions, roughly diced
750g butternut squash or sweet potato, cut into 1 inch/2.5cm dice
3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch/2.5cm dice
3 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch/2.5cm dice
3 Tblsp plain flour
3 Tblsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
500ml vegetable stock
2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g chopped tomatoes

Put everything in the slow cooker and mix well to combine, put the lid on. Cook on HIGH for 4 - 5 hours or LOW for 6 - 8 hours until the vegetables are tender. Serve with steamed greens.

Bean Burgers with Coleslaw and Potato Wedges (Vegetarian)

Macaroni Cheese
My family enjoyed this dinner so much last week they asked to have it again this week.  

Mixed Vegetable Crustless Quiche with Coleslaw and Potato Wedges 


Shopping List

39 items: £50.76 from Asda on 21/01/2017

Packets and Cereals
 Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                                 £2.18
 ASDA Good and Balanced Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)            50p
ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                                     42p
ASDA Good and Balanced Wholewheat Penne (500g)                  50p
Island Sun Popcorn (500g)                                                          75p
ASDA Good and Balanced Red Lentils (500g)                              75p

Frozen
2x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                              £1.54
ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (1Kg)                                             99p

Dairy and Eggs
2x ASDA Semi Skimmed Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                              £2.90
ASDA British Whole Milk 6 Pints (3.41L)                                      £1.45
2x ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                    90p
ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                                 £2.00
2x ASDA Mature British Cheddar (350g)                                      £3.00

Tins, Jars and Cooking
ASDA Smartprice Dried Mixed Herbs (18g)                                 69p
ASDA Smartprice Mayonnaise (500ml)                                        40p
ASDA Double Concentrated Tomato Puree (200g)                       39p
2x KTC Chick Peas in Salted Water (400g)                                 66.7p
2x KTC Chilli Beans in Spicy Tomato Sauce (400g)                     66.7p
2x KTC Red Kidney Beans in Salted Water (400g)                       66.7p
3x KTC Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)                    £1.00
Dunn's River Caribbean Mild Curry Powder (100g)                       89p
ASDA Stock Cubes - Vegetable (12x10g)                                    59p

Meat, Fish and Poultry
2x ASDA Smartprice Cooking Bacon (500g)                                £1.20

Fruit and Vegetables
25 ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)              £2.10
ASDA Grower's Selection White Cabbage by Weight (1.3Kg)       98p
2x ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                 90p
4 ASDA Grower's Selection Parsnips by Weight (250g)                £1.00
2x ASDA Grower's Selection White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                   £2.50
ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash by Weight (1.2Kg)    90p
4x ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                            £1.80
ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                                 60p
2x ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                                   40p
2x ASDA Grower's Selection Brown Onions (1Kg)                        £1.34
6x ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                             £3.00
12 ASDA Grower's Selection Conference Pears                           £3.15
ASDA Grower's Selection Mixed Peppers (700g)                         £1.20
3x ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                                  £2.85
2x ASDA Grower's Selection Swede                                            £1.00

Drinks
1x   ASDA Italian Roast and Ground Coffee (227g)                      £2.00

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery websites, and are correct as of 21st January 2017. Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

We purchased our grocery shop from Asda, I used My Supermarket to compare the price of our shopping list had we purchased it elsewhere.  Our shopping list would've cost:

£63.71 from Sainsbury's
£64.45 from Morrisons
£64.75 from Tesco
£77.75 from Waitrose
£78.71 from Ocaco


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Lunchbox Tips to Help You Reach 5-a-day

My family take packed lunches to work and school almost every day.  It can be a challenge to get some of their 5 a day into packed lunches, particularly school lunches, as bananas tend to get bruised and squished and so do other soft fruits.  And it can be difficult to keep cut fruit and vegetables fresh until lunchtime.

Tropicana conducted consumer research with found that:

72% of Brits think it’s harder to be healthy when having lunch on the go.  

Lunch is one of the meals least likely to include any of our five-a-day, second only to breakfast.  

For more than one in four (27%), lunch is the least likely meal to include any of our five-a-day.

Thankfully none of my family are particularly picky when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables, if yours are then there are tips and tricks which may help:

Variety is the key
Kids love bright colours, so why not try making a rainbow in their lunchboxes with lots of different coloured fruit and vegetables. This is a really fun way to incorporate a variety of fruit and vegetables into one meal and will help to keep things interesting. It also means they will be consuming lots of different nutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals), contributing to a healthy balanced diet.



Get the whole family involved

Get the family on board and make little ones feel valued and important, by including them in meal planning and shopping. It’s a great way to teach good habits as well as give them part ownership of what goes inside their lunch box. Children are more likely to enjoy trying foods they have been involved in choosing, which will also help to prevent waste.


Sandwiches and Salads
You can add a variety of vegetables to sandwiches, and fruit to salads, to keep lunchboxes interesting.  Why not brainstorm sandwich fillings and experiment with new lunchbox salads on the weekend, and get children involved in helping prepare them.  My children enjoy Mixed Vegetable, Halloumi and Chickpea Salad, Storecupboard Salad or Super Quick Chickpea and Couscous Salad.  We've even included homemade vegetarian sushi in packed lunches which was very popular with my children and their friends alike.



Make fruit and vegetables fun

Whether it’s drawing a smiley face on a banana skin or providing a mixed pot of bite-sized fruit to challenge children to create a smiley face or animal using the fruit (80g of mixed fruit pieces counts towards your 5-a-day) – lunchtime needn’t be dull! Both children and adults alike enjoy bite-sized fruit and veg - it’s less messy and more convenient. Why not try pre-chopping some fruit and veg a few nights a week to keep in air-tight containers in the fridge (keep for approx. 2 days depending on the type) for an easy way to pop an extra hit of the family’s 5-a-day into the lunch box.


Try leftovers in a flask for older children and grownups
There are so many delicious soups, and leftovers from dinner the night before that can be heated up the next morning and kept warm in a flask for a delicious, warming, and filling lunch.  My older children particularly like Root Vegetable and Red Lentil Dhal or Quick Vegetable Tagine with Couscous.


Put fruit and vegetables into baking
My family enjoy Vegetable and Cheese Bites or Oven Baked Vegetable Crisps in packed lunches, or a piece of 5 A Day Cake or a Wholemeal ABC Muffin as a treat.


Floating fruit

To create a fun and tasty way to get more fruit, experiment with adding fruit to jelly. As well as providing nutrients, fruit also contributes to your fluid and fibre intake.  Make sugar-free jelly, and add an 80g portion of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mandarin segments, or other chopped fruit, before it sets. 

Fruit juice counts as one of your 5 a day
The Department of Health counts 150ml of unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juice as one of your 5 a day portions of fruits and vegetables. Because juices contain less fibre than whole fruit, 100% juice can only count as one portion. 



Tropicana have launched compact 150ml Tropicana Little Bottles which are a great way to get 1 of your 5-a-day. Available in two classic flavours, Pressed Apple and Smooth Orange, the hydrating new Little Bottles range offers an oh-so-easy way to brighten up lunchboxes and are packed with vitamin C - Try Smooth Orange for a great source of potassium and folate.  Make sure you keep the juice chilled when on the go.

What are your tips and tricks for getting some of your 5 a day into packed lunches?


**Sponsored Post**


Monday, 16 January 2017

Our Family Meal Plan for week beginning 15/01/2017

Our Meal Plan this week is more expensive than usual as I need to restock our baking ingredients.  We've run out of bread and baking flours, sugars, eggs, butter, oil, etc.  Last week was a challenging one, toddler boy was poorly with high fevers for several days, but nothing else obviously wrong such as a cough or nasal congestion. Thankfully on day 4 his temperature started coming down and he's now back to his usual self.  I managed to stay on track with our Meal Plan, but it was tough as I was so tired and didn't want to cook but had to just get on with it.  I did make toddler boy a few smoothies using fruit and veg that was on the Meal Plan, as he was off his food.


The plan this week is low faff and fairly easy with a couple of slow cooker dinners, and all the meals are family favourites.  I need an easy week as I am utterly knackered after several virtually sleepless nights with toddler boy last week and my usual weekend night shift, plus an extra shift.  

As usual there is plenty of fresh fruit, and lots of vegetables in our Meal Plan.  The greens in the back garden are still going strong, as are the herbs, which saves us money and adds some extra vegetables to our meals.  



Our Meal Plan 

Breakfasts will be toast with spread or porridge with homemade apple and pear compote.  We'll have pancakes on one day over the weekend and homemade crumpets on the other.



Packed lunches this week will be Quick Vegetable Tagine with Couscous for the first half of the week, and Cheese and Vegetable Puffs with vegetable sticks, for the rest of the week and of course a piece of fruit and baked treat for afters. Weekend lunches will be Crustless Quiche and Slow Cooker French Onion Soup with cheese toasts.


Crustless Quiche

3 cups mixed vegetables
1 cup cheese, grated
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup self-raising flour
good grinding of black pepper

Put the vegetables and ¾ of the cheese into a greased ovenproof dish. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together in a jug. Sprinkle over the self-raising flour and mix well, ensuring there are no lumps. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables and grind over some black pepper then sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake at 200°C for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Serve either hot or cold.


Snacks

My husband has requested a batch of Iced Buns this week, I won't fill them with cream though, and I will also bake some ABC Muffins and Flapjacks.


Dinners

Mixed Vegetable and Macaroni Cheese


I make my own cheese sauce using a roux base and add frozen mixed vegetables to the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking time. Our Macaroni Cheese usually has plenty of vegetables with the pasta in a rich cheddar cheese sauce.


Slow Cooker Beef Casserole (enough for two nights)

1kg beef braising/stewing steak cut into chunks
1 tsp ground ginger
2 onions, sliced
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 x 400g cans of kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
2 peppers, roughly diced (any colour will do)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 Tblsp sugar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce

If you have time, brown the meat in a non-stick pan, use a little oil if necessary.

Put the beef and everything else in the slow cooker. Stir well and cook for 7-8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. If the casserole needs thickening, stir 2 Tbsp cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 Tbsp water into it. Serve with mash and greens or mixed vegetables.  I sometimes make the leftovers into pasties for the second night, it helps the leftovers go further and also makes them into something different.


Packed with Veg Pasta Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 carrots, finely chopped
6 celery sticks, very finely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and very finely sliced
3 peppers, finely chopped
500g mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tsp salt
3 Tblsp tomato puree
3 tbsp plain flour
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs

My children help me prepare the vegetables, however you could use a food processor to chop them finely if you want. Put a large heavy-based saucepan over a moderate heat, add the oil and fry the onion for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two before adding the carrot, celery, leek, pepper, mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring often, for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Turn the heat down to medium/low if necessary. You want the vegetables to be soft but not browned.

Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute before adding the flour. Stir to coat the vegetables in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes, sugar, and mixed herbs. Pour in 1½ cups/375ml of water and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat so the sauce is gently simmering. Cook, uncovered, for around 45 minutes until the sauce has reduced and is rich and flavourful.  Serve stirred through cooked pasta with a generous grating of Parmesan.

Homemade Pizzas - using leftover Pasta Sauce as a topping along with onions, peppers, corn, courgettes, mushrooms and cheese.


Sausage One Pot (enough for two nights)

2 onions, peeled and diced
2 peppers, diced
10 good quality pork sausages
4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft, adding the garlic for the last minute or two.

Remove the skin from the sausages and shape the mixture into 20 balls. Add to the onion in the pan. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the balls are golden brown and piping hot and no pink colour remains.

Stir in the tomatoes and beans, and cook for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and mixed vegetables.

Shopping List

44 items cost £67.29 from Asda on 14/01/2017.

Packets and Cereals
1x    Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                        £2.18
1x    ASDA Good and Balanced Wholewheat Spaghetti (500g)    50p
1x    Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg)                                64p
1x    Silver Spoon Icing Sugar (500g)                                        88p
1x    ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                            95p
1x    ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                               £1.20
1x    ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                       45p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                      45p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Sultanas (500g)                                     88p
1x    ASDA Cous Cous (500g)                                                   65p
1x    ASDA Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)   65p
1x    ASDA Good and Balanced Wholewheat Penne (500g)         50p

Frozen 
2x    ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                         £1.54

Tins, Jars and Cooking
2x    ASDA Good and Balanced Cannellini Beans (300g)            80p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                     35p
1x    ASDA Vegetable Oil (1L)                                                   £1.15
1x    KTC Chick Peas in Salted Water (400g)                            33.3p
4x    KTC Red Kidney Beans in Salted Water (400g)                  £1.33
10x   KTC Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g)               £3.33
1x    ASDA Stock Cubes - Vegetable (12x10g)                          59p

Dairy and Eggs
3x    ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)               £2.97
2x    ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                            £1.98
1x    ASDA Smartprice Butter - Salted (250g)                            99p
1x    ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)               45p
1x    ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                       £2.00
2x    ASDA 50% Less Fat Mature British Cheese (350g)            £3.00

Fruit and Vegetables
30    ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)         £2.10
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                            90p
8      ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes by Weight                £2.70
4      ASDA Grower's Selection Leeks by Weight                        £1.35
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection White Potatoes (2.5Kg)              £2.50
3x    ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                       £1.35
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                       £1.20
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic Loose                              20p
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Brown Onions (1Kg)                   £1.34
6x    ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                        £3.00
1x    ASDA Smartprice Mushrooms (650g)                                £1.25
2x    ASDA Grower's Selection Mixed Peppers (700g)                £2.40
3x    ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclem (900g)                      £3.00
1x    ASDA Grower's Selection Plums (750g)                             95p

Snacks and Sweets
1x    ASDA Smartprice Dark Chocolate Bar (100g)                     30p

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x    ASDA Extra Special Pork Sausages (10 per pack - 750g)   £3.33
2x    ASDA Butcher's Selection Diced Beef (475g)                     £6.67

Drinks
1x    ASDA Italian Roast and Ground Coffee (227g)                   £2.00
Prices and special offers reflect those on My Supermarket, and are correct as of 14th January 2017.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

We purchased our shopping from Asda, had we shopped elsewhere I shopping would've cost:

Tesco £72.74
Morrisons £79.95
Sainsbury's £83.52
Ocado £98.33
Waitrose £100.54