Free day out geocaching

My friend introduced me to geocaching.com and we will spend saturday with my mobile phone looking for hidden packages.  We are using the free version of geocaching and if you plan to do this a lot it might be worth taking out the annual or monthly subscription.

One point to note is that by purchasing the subscription through the app is slightly cheaper than on the Internet site.

After checking my location there are a number of sites to find in our local park.  It’s a very large park so I expect 3 hours to find tll the locations.  We are also taking a picnic and some duck pellets to feed the birds.  This should stretch out this day our to 5 hours if you include playtime in the park.   A fun free activity that will provide family bonding time and fun and exercise.  This geocaching activity is a precursor to a tougher geocaching activity which involves the local mountain.  I need to peak my kids interest first so that they will have the enthusiasm for climbing next time!

Don’t forget before you go geocaching if the package has items you can keep you need to take family friendly items to replace them with.  Good luck!

Super cheap slow cooker leek onion and potato soup

This week I’m taking advantage of the excellent 39p vegetables deals in aldi.  Asda have been selling selected vegetables for 29p including leeks.  Today I went to aldi and bought:
59p leeks
39p onions
39p potato’s

I cut up and sliced thinly all of the leeks
I used 2 onions from a bag of 7 and Diced them
I peeled 1 potato and Diced it.

I put them all in my slow cooker (it’s cheaper than using the gas hob)
I seasoned with salt and pepper and added 1 quarter cup of marge ring.

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I set the slow cooker on high for an hour to sweat the vegetables. Stirring every 15 minutes.  After an hour I added 2 pints of water and left on high for 4 hours.
I used my hand blender to blend the soup down and added the extra mashed potato we had leftover at the end of our evening meal.  Once the soup cooled I spooned into 5 containers and put them in the freezer.  I will use these in work and microwave to heat up.

I will have one portion of soup a week for lunch and will take a ready made bread roll that I can also cook in the microwave at work.   This recipe really is an easy addition to my weekly lunch meals. 
It does sound like a lot of prep work but I do all my prep and cutting of vegetables as soon as I do my weekly shop to make cooking quicker for the rest of the week and with a bit of music on it can be quick and fun!

Total cost of 5 soup portions:
Estimated at 80 pence,  less than 20 pence per portion excluding the bread roll

Slow cooked chicken week using all of a chicken for meal plans

This week I shopped at aldi and bought a large chicken for £4.50.
This week’s task was to buy essential ingredients and use up the spices and herbs I have in the cupboard.

I slow cooked the chicken on low which saves lots of electricity and keeps the meat very and moist.

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My husband complains that the skin isn’t crispy but the dog gets that part.

I stripped the chicken and then put the bones back in the juices in the slow cooker, added a pint of water and ledtover cuts from some carrots and onions; This was kept on low overnight and I strained it in the morning through a coffee filter.  The broth from this freezes well and is great for soups and home made gravy, bone broth is very popular at the moment.

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The photo doesn’t look appetising but once strained it makes a light coloured broth.

I used half the chicken to make a jalfrezi curry
Fry one onion and 2 cloves of garlic
Add meat
Add 2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons tumeric
1 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
1 400g tin tomatoes

This took 5 minutes to make then I let them cool split them into 4 portions and put them in the freezer.  My 2 sons don’t like curry so I now have handy portions ready to use each week with some rice and vegetables, for my husband to eat.

I used a quarter of the chicken with some baked chips and the skin left on and a fried egg for 3 people.

The last quarter will be used with a cheese sauce (cheddar, flour, milk and seasoning) and a baked potato and salad.

The large chicken will make:
One pint of broth for soups gravy and sauces -frozen in half pint containers
4 portions of curry – to use one per week
2 meals – the meat portion.

Exercise for free at home

The great thing about physical exercise is that it doesn’t have to cost anything so you can exercise for free.  While it’s very nice to join the local gym, if your budget is tight you don’t need to pay to get in shape.
A great inspiration (and a wake up call) for me was the fab facebook page
The age of happiness
Which documents people who refuse to age and are far fitter than I could ever hope to be.
Here are some ideas to get you exercising

Running
Running is free you just need a pair of trainers.  I took up running 2 years ago using the runkeeper app and also the c2k app which gives the novice runner a training plan to ease you into running.
Most towns and cities also have running clubs which are also a great way to meet new people and to socialise.

Walking
Walking is low intensity but can be very fun, I go walking every weekend with my family and we try to walk up one of our local mountains at least once a month. It’s a great family activity and our kids love it. It’s a great way for us to bond as a family, it’s a really good laugh

Yoga

My all time favorite exercise, it makes you very supple and is a great way to keep yourself in top shape.

Other fun ideas:

How to get fab abs – a great plan with a printable sheet to use so you can tick off your daily tasks.  Hard but well worth the effort

 Fast Workouts – lots of fab quick workouts for people who easily get bored, just choose one workout for the day and go for it!

 

YouTube exercise plans
YouTube is awesome for free workouts instead of buying a dvd you can access some fab lessons at no cost
, here are some great videos to start with:

I love the pump it up workout and have been doing this for the past week, the outfits are very skimpy but its a sound workout and will get your heart pumping!

 

Honey and Mustard Chicken With Beetroot Couscous

This is an easy and cheap comfort dish to make for lunch if you’re bored of sandwiches.
Ingredients:
100 g of Couscous £0.20
1 whole beetroot (in natural juices) chopped £0.10
2 chicken drumsticks £0.19
2 large tablespoons of honey £0.02
2 large tablespoons of English mustard £0.02
salt and pepper to season £0.01

Total Cost £0.54 a portion

Honey and Mustard Chicken with Beetroot Couscous

Honey and Mustard Chicken with Beetroot Couscous

1. Mix the honey and mustard in a bowl and add a dribble of oil if the mixture is too thick.
2. Place the chicken drumsticks in an ovenproof dish and coat them with the honey and mustard mixture.
3. Bake in the oven on a medium heat for 20 – 25 minutes.
4. Pour the Couscous into a bowl and add 125 ml of boiling water and cover. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes.
5. Once the couscous has soaked up all the water fluff it with a fork and add the beetroot. Season with salt and pepper.

Really Cheap Pizza at home

Here’s a great recipe for cheaper version of your normal takeout pizza, a home made cheap pizza. I’ve also included a breakdown of all costs for a basic cheese and tomato pizza.

I often make more dough than is needed and freeze them to re use at a later date.

Each individual pizza will cost £0.48 each.

£0.48 Cheap Pizza

Cheese and Tomato Pizza for £0.48

Recipe for Cheap Pizza

Dough (Enough to make 6 bases)

650g Flour (00) £0.65
Extra for dusting £0.05
Yeast 7g £0.04
325ml Warm water £0.01
Olive Oil £0.05
2 Tsp Salt £0.01
50ml of warm milk £0.05

Total cost of Making your own bases = £0.86 (divide by 6 ) = £0.14 each.

These cost £1.20 in the supermarket for 3 bases (Supermarket’s own brand).

Toppings (cost per portion) 

Tin of chopped tomatoes £0.05
Anchovies for Topping & sauce £0.04
Mozzarella Cheese £0.23
Garlic (3 cloves crushed & fried) £0.02

Blend all of the above (apart from the cheese) to make the pizza sauce.

Sauce & Toppings (all ingredients have been divided by 6)
Total without anchovies (an acquired taste) = £0.30

Total for 1 pizza = £0.48. or £0.44 without the anchovies.

  1. Put the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Mix in 325ml of slightly warm water and the oil. You should end up with a slightly sticky dough that is rough and lumpy. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave the dough to rise for at least 6 hrs or until doubled in size.
  2. When ready to cook, bring the dough to room temperature. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Dust 2-4 baking sheets with flour. Dust the work surface with flour, then divide the dough into 6 pieces. Knead each piece on the floured surface, incorporating enough flour to stop the dough being sticky.
  3. Roll each piece into a pizza shape and lift onto baking sheets. Leave to rise for 10 mins while you sort toppings. Top the bases with your tomato sauce and chosen ingredients, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 12 mins for an individual sized pizza.

Now enjoy this lovely but cheap pizza!

cheap pizz

The 52 week savings challenge

I personally struggle to save, my new years resolution this year is to start saving so that it becomes a permanent habit

Savings Challege

Which method of saving?

I’ve decided the best way for me personally is to open a savings account which is separate from my current bank, some people like to save in a jar but it’s too much temptation for me to use if I don’t have cash in the house.  A separate account means that I can give my parents the savings book for me to keep safe.

How much to save? Savings Challege

My preferred  method is to start small and grow from there so I’ve set the challenge of growing my savings by £1 per week for 52 weeks.
I start week one at £1 then grow every week until I reach £52.
By using this method I will have saved a whopping £1378 in 52 weeks!

So far I am now on week 2 and I have saved £3!  If I can keep this going I will have kept an important new years resolution and started becoming a regular saver!

Using Leftover Vegetable recipes tips

If you have vegetables left over from another meal or leftovers from food preperation, there is no need to throw out good food. This is a guide about using leftover vegetables in other recipes so that you use all of the food that you buy.

Leftover vegetable recipes are an excellent way to create new meals, save on food costs and these need not be the same meal, you can mix them up to create new tasty meals so you don’t feel like you are eating the same thing all of the time.
leftover vegetable recipes