Tag Archives: superfrugal

Wild Food, Snow Food!

Last week we got excited about wild food: the wild garlic was through, we were looking forward to wild garlic pesto and creamy wild garlic carrot soup and anticipating nettle soup and dandelion fritters.

Then came the snow. Road blocking, face freezing, wild garlic covering, snow.

So we’re wrapped up warm in our £5 jumpers and back on the yellow split pea soup, the leek and potato and the mince and dumplings 🙂

In case you missed it last time, our latest super frugal post: The 25p Meal.

Keep really really cosy!

All at Frugal Living in the UK

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Super Frugal Meals and Jumpers!

Well there’s been lots of really cold weather here: ice, snow, driving winds, sleet, hail… you name it. But we’re cosy in front of the fire and looking forward to Spring and all the sunshine and wild foods it will bring!

We have a new post up, all about super-frugal meal making, in fact aiming for 25p per person for a good dinner. See it here: The 25p Meal.

We’re all appreciating our warm jumpers just now, including the ones we got for Christmas from Everything5Pounds. Amazing quality items there, and all for £5!

Don’t miss our books section or our Make a Few Pounds Page.

Until next time,

All at Frugal Living in the UK

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/frugaluk
and now, Facebook!

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The 25p Meal

One of the cheapest ways to pare your food budget right back is to find out what time your local supermarket marks down its perishable products and do your shopping then. This makes possible  what we call the 25p meal: feeding a family of four for £1, or under, all ingredients.

For example:

Cauliflower (25p) in a white sauce (milk/marg/flour/water totalling 20p), and 30p worth of leftover rice made into herby tomato rice by adding:  1 onion (7p, not marked down but really cheap in Lidl) a squirt of tomato puree (5p), dried herbs (5p) salt (2p).

Above was a nice meal based around getting an organic unsliced wholemeal loaf for 10p, and adding marg and garlic to make it into garlic bread. Cheap spaghetti (often around 20p for 500g in value ranges) mixed with a tin of kidney beans at 25p and marked down pepper and courgette, both 10p each. Salad was a 10p lettuce with a squirt of lemon juice. There was a LOT of garlic bread made with that one loaf!

A firm favourite now, actually considered a treat in this house, is the meal of pizza bagels, or pittas, or, as pictured below, pizza paninis. Made with 4 Paninis at 19p for 2, then with pizza sauce consisting of an onion fried in a tiny bit of oil, tomato puree, herbs and salt, totalling no more than 10p. They only need a few minutes in the oven or under the grill as the bread bases are already cooked. We paired them with a reduced salad bag at 10p, reduced hummus at 32p and a tub of pasta salad marked down to 26p. Over budget by 6p! If we’d used cheaper bread, such as one pack of bagels reduced to 20p, we would have been under.

It would be cheaper to use the pizzas as a side to homemade soup (see our many soup recipes). Of course, you can add any topping you like to these, but the sauce is delicious in itself.

This next one pushes the budget again, though only by 10p, for a luxury breakfast! It’s porridge (20p worth value range oats) made with water, but with a huge box of blueberries (marked down to 75p) and half a bar of Lidl dark chocolate (bar is 30p, so 15p), smashed up. Yum.

Our local Tesco usually does a big mark down around 6pm. The one in the next town is a little later at 6.45pm and its prices go right down to 2p for many items. Asda starts much earlier in the day with its reductions. Martin Lewis wrote an article on the different supermarkets and their reduction times here.

Unless we’re going to use them that day, we tend to avoid ready chopped things which go off quickly. Whole vegetables and fruit will keep for a few days and bread will be good for a couple of days or can go straight in the freezer. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve filled our freezer with 10p loaves and buns!

It can be fun to use your imagination and ingenuity to make best use of what’s available on any given day in the reduced section. Please feel free to share your ideas and successes in the comments below 🙂

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A simple breakfast: porridge

So simple. So cheap. So warm and filling.

Seriously, centuries of Scots are not wrong: this is one of the cheapest and most fortifying meals ever.

Most supermarkets do porridge oats in their value range too.

For one person: Place 50g/half a cup of porridge oats in a small pan. Add 300ml/1and a half cups of liquid. This could be milk of your choosing, or water, or a mix of both. We like to use half soya milk and half water.

Bring to the boil, stirring frequently because porridge does like to stick to the pan, then turn down to simmer for 4 or 5 minutes until thickened, still stirring.

Pour into a bowl and eat.

Toppings. Some days we like a chocolate swirl (choc shot), other times we go for a sprinkling of sunflower seeds and raisins. Some like jam. You could use fresh berries. Blueberries go particularly well with the chocolate swirl!

We recall grandparents having their porridge made with just water and seasoned with salt which is undoubtedly the most frugal way to take it but… *shudder*

You could even sprinkle one compartment of a graze box (first one free) onto it!

radish top soup

Radishes are one of the easiest things to grow in your garden, a pack of seeds are full grown in a few weeks making lovely crimson additions to salads. We were delighted when Julia Barr sent us this lovely recipe using their tops (leaves), the part which is usually thrown away. No exact quantities are given so adjust to how many tops you have!

vegetable oil or soya margarine
diced onion
diced potatoes
chopped radish tops
vegetable stock or water
soya milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion in oil or margarine until soft, add the potato and radish tops, stir until coated in oil/margarine. Add the stock and bring to the boil, simmer until the potato is soft, whiz in a blender until creamy, add soya milk to loosen, add salt and pepper to taste.

A real treat, creamy and yummy and an extra revelation: fresh tarragon is an excellent inclusion!

lentil soup


Lentil Soup – a nice broth with bread or a filling chunky variety. This soup is simple to make, nutritious and cheap, cheap, cheap 🙂 Quantities below makes a pan to feed four people.

red lentils – half a cup to one cup depending how thick you want it
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, diced
water to cover well
stock of choice (we like a spoon of Vecon Stock with extra vits for winter!)
salt if needed, depending on stock used

Place lentils and water in pan and bring to the boil while preparing the other vegetables. Add them and stock, cook until tender. Mash or partially blend if you wish. Ta-da!

Add other veg such as diced potatoes and celery or chopped greens near the end of cooking.
Add a tin of tomatoes and/or tomato puree with a handful of pasta to cook along with the lentils for a much thicker hearty soup.

tomato rice soup

A tasty way to use up leftover rice. Particularly cheap if you have your own herbs on hand in the garden or a pot. We used rosemary which is very easy to grow – most cuttings grow just from being stuck in the ground without any additives, so ask your green fingered friends or snip some bits in parks/public gardens 🙂 Of course you could just buy some. It’s a very hardy perrenial too, so good for the British winters staying green and edible throughout (see snow in pic).

a little olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tin of tomatoes
water (fill tin and rinse out tomato juice with it)
cooked rice (we used about 2 cups of brown rice here but the quantity is variable – add more/less water if needed)
a good handful of fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried)
a squirt of tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes then add tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer. Add your rice and herbs (fresh herbs are easiest cut in with a scissors) then the tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes or so longer, stirring occasionally taste to check that the veg and herbs are cooked, season and enjoy!