Channel 4 are showing a great series at the moment called SuperScrimpers.
I’m loving that being frugal is now considered ‘on trend’! Yay! Finally!
As one of those that has been part of this growing community for 3 years plus, it’s refreshing. What it does mean, however, that as an experienced SuperScrimper the show can’t teach me much I don’t already know. Disclaimer ;-) – I don’t scrimp in all areas of my life. I don’t mind spending money but I hate wasting money! It’s about spending on what really is significant to you, not frittering it away here and there, but rather practicing Conscious Spending.
Those who have been following this blog for some time will know that in September 2011 I decided to reduce my grocery budget by 50% through choice.
I think now might be a good time for an update, and to share a healthy and nutritious recipe that would make any SuperScrimper proud.
It’s been 4 months since I self-enforced a £50 weekly budget to feed a family of 4.
I can confirm – it’s achievable. And without too much sacrifice. Initially the new regime was time-consuming and required additional planning (but it’s now finely-tuned, see my 2012 routine here). However since December 2011, my decision to complete the bulk of my shop in one location (rather than 4) has improved the experience. To confirm, I am still shopping at Aldi. There’s a post planned about how I now shop, but I want to ensure it’s a well-thought-out post with a benefit to those reading. One self-imposed guideline I have about my writing is to not carelessly promote any particular brand above another. My aim through this blog is to outline my experience as objectively and as constructively as possible, and share useful information.
One way I keep my grocery spend down is by avoiding ‘added value’ products, otherwise known as convenience foods. After completing my cooking from scratch experiment last Summer, I feel justified that by spending a little extra time, you can save money. In my case it was approximately 42% as outlined here in a guest post I wrote.
Let me re-introduce you to my Simple Slow-Cooked Spaghetti Bolognese. This was one of the meals I used as an example during my week-long experiment. This meal will comfortably feed 4 and costs less than £1 per person (this cost is based on 450g (1lb) of mince being used – which is quite a lot of meat, it could be halved and the tomatoes increased).
This recipe is one of the simplest in my collection.
450g (1lb) of Lean Beef Mince – browned first in a pan for a couple of minutes
1 x Onion – chopped
2 x Garlic Cloves – crushed
1 x Beef Stock Cube – crumbled
400g (14floz) Can of Chopped Tomatoes
2 x Tablespoons (30ml) of Tomato Puree
1 x Tablespoon (15ml) of Mixed Herbs or Oregano
Black pepper to season
Pop the ingredients (apart from the pasta) in a standard slow-cooker (3.5 litre internal capacity) on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
15 minutes before serving, remove the lid so that the liquid reduces slightly (whilst on high).
Cook your spaghetti pasta separately as you would normally.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, stir into the slow-cooker pot ensuring the pasta is coated. You can vary the amount of pasta cooked based on how many you are feeding.
This recipe can be easily stretched to feed 6 by adding extra pasta and stores easily in the fridge for lunches the next day.
If looking to reduce the fat content use Turkey Mince. Alternatively If on a reduced carbohydrate diet you can substitute pasta for courgette strips as outlined in this recipe.
What recipe would you suggest for those looking to join the army of SuperScrimpers? Any good ones out there I can add to my collection of slow-cooked meals? Please share!
Don’t forget I’m now updating daily on Facebook. So far this week there’s been photos of my Welsh adventure (long story! Welsh hills, no phone signal, lot’s of sheep and no idea where I was headed) and yet another decoupage box. It’s official, I am addicted to making these boxes… this time it was topped with a home-made name plaque as a 1st Birthday gift – all made from recycled items and craft stuff I had in the cupboard… Why not go take a look and maybe give me a like?