Frugal Living Basics and Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes and Garlic to be planted

Happy New Year!

It’s wintry here in Scotland. Of course it is. It’s January after all. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have garden plans. Above are Jerusalem Artichokes (like wee nutty potatoes, but plant once and have them forever) and some garlic bulbs that sprouted in the fridge. This is a good time for planting both. We just have to brave the cold and dig them in now! See our gardening/foraging/free food section here and Jerusalem Artichokes here from Thompson and Morgan.

But on to the Frugal Basics, great for a new year and a new start. One of the quickest ways to start reducing your spending is to rein in the food bill. See our food shopping tips here and all our frugal recipes here.

frugal recipes

Also see:
Frugal Living Around the House
Cheap Holidays and Days Out
Healthy Eating on a Budget
The 25p Meal
Sourdough Bread for Pennies

Some cheap places to shop online:

Low Price Foods
Approved Food
Everything5Pounds (clothes etc.)

Featured Recipes:

Wishing you all a happy and fruitful 2022!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

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

Red Dragon Pie and Bargain Seeds

red dragon pie

This Red Dragon Pie was inspired by a recipe in the classic book Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen (BBC cookery series). Topped with creamy mash, the base is a rich mix of aduki beans – traditionally said to give you the strength of the dragon – and brown rice in gravy.

Red Dragon Pie Ingredients (serves six)

  • Aduki beans, 200g dried and soaked overnight or two tins of cooked ones
  • 200g of rice (brown is best)
  • 4 sticks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (or fresh, lots of parsley is great)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • a teaspoon of yeast extract or vecon stock
  • salt, if needed
  • Potatoes, mashed with margarine and milk of your choice, for topping

Red Dragon Pie Method

Soak beans overnight if using dried ones. Place in a  large pan, cover well with water, bring to the boil and let simmer for a couple of hours until soft. Throw in the rice about half way through cooking. Add more water if needed. Once it’s all nearly cooked add the vegetables and boil a pan of potatoes for your mash topping, quantity up to you. We do like a nice thick layer of mash.

Frugal Potato Tip

Leave those skins on! It saves waste and money to not throw away a section of potato. Just give them a good scrub and cut any gnarly or bad bits off and you’re good to go (compost those gnarlies!). The skins are rich in both fibre and vitamins too. For mashing we cut them up quite small to save having large bits of skin in the mix; they also cook faster that way, saving cooking fuel.

Method cont.

As the beans and potatoes cook , add the herbs, puree and yeast extract to the bean mixture. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir well. Drain and mash the potatoes with marg and milk. Place the bean mix in an ovenproof dish, if not already using one, and top with the potatoes. Easier if using cookware that transfers from hob to oven such as a Cast Iron Casserole – and bake in a hot oven (200C/400F) until nicely browned. Running a fork round the top of your mash gives it lots of nice little crispy bits to brown.

Enjoy your Red Dragon Pie! Try our other frugal recipes here

beans for red dragon pie
Tinned beans from supermarkets: Tesco’s Adukis and Lidl’s mixed beans which do contain some adukis.

Thompson and Morgan have a seed sale on for the next 48 hours (time of writing 22nd October 2021 but they usually have good deals on)! Stock up on seeds for next year for £1. See the selection here and use code TM_TN2468W for the cheap price.

THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic while FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen.

The blend of dark events and romance in these stories is perfect for Autumn!

Paperback & kindle: http://author.to/mermaid

Novels by Ailish Sinclair

Newsletter: it’s all about the tatties today!

tatties

First up, soup of tatties. It’s simple and Scottish, it’s delicious and it’s a new recipe on site. Also told, is the frugal story of the plate of food above. See it here.

Composting Fun and Tatties

Admittedly this is only partly about tatties. We have a new article here on making compost to reduce waste and save money. There’s also a section on growing no-dig potatoes.

Great recipes for October

Blended Soups
Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta
Chick Pea Curry
Mushroom Gravy
Banana Raisin Flapjacks

Popular Pages and Posts
Healthy Eating and Exercising on a Budget
Books on Frugal Living
Frugal Christmas

As the world opens up again
House sitting and/or pet sitting can be cheap ways to holiday. TrustedHousesitters have owners registered in over 130 countries, from townhouses in London to renovated farmhouses in Tuscany. For all our advice on holidays, days out, railcards, motorway secrets and more go here!

In case you missed it last time:
Use code FREE10 for £10 off at Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket. Not a discount store but they do always have some offers for pennies and there’s no credit checks or interest.

Stay warm and well fed as the season gets colder…

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

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

Making Compost, Reducing Waste, Saving Money

making compost in recycled pallet containers
Making compost in recycled pallet containers

Making compost is a great way to reduce waste and nourish the soil. It also saves money if you are in the habit of buying ready made compost. And it’s easy.

Making Compost in Triple Bins

Above are our triple compost bins made from old pallets. They are the perfect size for hot composting (faster composting) as you want your pile to be 3 feet wide x 3 feet high to make sure it heats up in the middle. You can, of course, just make it in a pile or heap. The idea behind having three bins is to have one that you’re adding material to, one that’s being left to rot down (usually for 6 or 7 months) and one that’s finished and being used in the garden or pots.

making compost from kitchen scraps and other materials

What to Put in the Compost

  • kitchen scraps of raw vegetable origin (cooked food will moulder)
  • used tea bags
  • coffee grounds
  • grass cuttings
  • leaves and twigs
  • weeds that have not gone to seed
  • garden waste such as dead or finished plants
  • seaweed
  • hair and nail trimmings
  • the contents of your hoover bag/bin
  • ripped up cardboard, the lower quality the better

You’re looking to get a good variety of layers in there to balance the nitrogen from green things and the carbon from brown things.

Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

Doing It Wrong Can Be Right!

When we first started composting we did it all wrong in this container:

making compost in a plastic container

We used exclusively kitchen scraps which went a bit smelly and gooey. However, after about a year the goo did return to being basically soil and proved to be an exceedingly rich food for the plants. The ones that had a layer of this fertiliser in their pots or beds grew significantly larger than the ones that didn’t. So it can be done like that, even if you don’t want to use it for growing; it still reduces waste and returns veg scraps to the soil. The ground around compost bins always becomes beautifully rich, as you can see with the nettles above. And we don’t mean to knock the plastic bins – they can be very handy for smaller spaces.

making compost and growing squash

We intend using the wee boxes at the base of our pallet bins above to grow squash in next year.

No Dig Potatoes

Another use for cardboard in the garden is to lay it down on the ground to prepare the soil to be used in a “no dig” manner. The grass will rot away and you’ll be left with bare soil. We’re doing it over winter for next spring’s growing. We’ll then lay the seed potatoes on the ground without digging and cover them in a thick layer of grass cuttings which we will replenish throughout the summer. Potatoes should grow well in that – we will report back!

no dig poatatoes
Weighed down with old roof tiles.

Related posts

sunflower
A sunflower growing by the upcycled polytunnel (more to come on that later).

The Secret Gardening Club always have great offers of overstock from nurseries:

Cheap Plants! In a secret garden…

cheap plants
We’re perusing the herbs…

Cheap Plants alert! The Secret Gardening Club is a free to join club for seasoned and beginner gardeners alike. They supply a huge range of high-quality plants at up to 70% discount. Subscribers can sign up and subsequently receive notification as soon as new stock is available.

The prices are so low due to their close working relationship with a number of reputable plant nurseries across the UK. They take any over-supply and pass the considerable discounts on to customers.

Well worth a look for cheap plants, with a 10% off deal just now when you sign up for their newsletter.

Related posts

Autumnal Cooking and Garden Capers

autumnal cooking
leek and potato soup

That Autumnal Feeling…

There’s a definite quality to the sunshine and breeze now. It’s autumn here in Scotland. The leaves are just starting to turn and it’s weather for soup and time to start thinking about log fires.

Autumnal Cooking

Leek and Potato Soup, pictured above. Included are two recipes, one very basic and mashed and the other a little fancier with peas.
Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta, works well with butternut squash too.
Roast Potatoes with lots of variations detailed.
Chick Pea Curry
Apple Pie and Fruit Crumble

Garden Capers

We’re busy in the garden building new compost bins with reclaimed pallets. You can read about some of our other upcycled pallet projects here. We’ve also been sowing coriander, radishes and winter lettuce.

Useful YouTube Channels

Bonny Prepping Quine: building an old style kitchen pantry for food security.
Huw Richard’s frugal and free gardening advice.

In case you missed it last time

Olio is an app that you can download to your phone to share food in your local area. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app.

Cheap Food and Clothing

Clearance food outlets Low Price Foods and Approved Foods are well worth a regular check as they get new products in often.

Everything5Pounds: the £2.50 sale is still ongoing. This is the longest we’ve ever seen it last!

May autumn bring you lots of beautiful sunny days and delicious autumnal cooking!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

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

Food Sharing, Cheap Seeds and Websites

Food sharing…

Olio is a food sharing app that you can download to your phone to give or receive food in your local area. It does have a desktop version too. People share things that they can’t use up in time, while farmers and gardeners sometimes offer produce that they have too much of. We’ve added this information to our free food section but you can just search for the app!

Cheap Seeds

Thompson and Morgan have an amazing seed deal on: 10 packs for £10. Go here for the seed selection which contains over 300 types of fruit and vegetables, many usually costing £3.99 each. Offer ends midnight 25th of August 2021 or as long as stock lasts.

Use code TM_TAW61W at checkout to make sure you get the offer price for the seeds.

Making Money From a Website

We’ve updated this information on our make money page. Base it on something you’re passionate about and we’re sure you’ll fly!

In case you missed it last time

House and/or pet sitting can be a great way to get cheap holidays. Trusted Housesitters are active in over 130 countries and you can register as a sitter here, or look for a sitter of course! See all our other frugal holiday and days out tips here.

All Our Frugal Recipes

For all our soups, sides, mains and puds go here.

Cheap Food and Clothing

Clearance food outlets Low Price Foods and Approved Foods are well worth a regular check as they get new products in often.

Everything5Pounds: the £2.50 sale is still ongoing.

Happy food sharing, and seed gathering!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

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

Cheap seeds! 10 packets for £10

cheap seeds

Cheap Seeds!

These are cheap seeds from Thompson and Morgan, who have been selling plants and seeds since 1855. The quality is high, no dud seeds like occasionally happens with discount varieties. Go here for the seed selection which contains over 300 types of fruit and vegetables which should all be good for next year too.

Get packets of seeds for £1 each when you buy ten. Offer ends midnight 25th of August 2021 or until stock lasts.

Use code TM_TAW61W at checkout to make sure you get the offer price for the seeds. We did!

cheap seeds

Related posts:


Frugal Newsletter: housesitting, plants and jam!

frugal newsletter

Sitting pets and/or homes can be a great way to get cheap holidays. Trusted Housesitters are active in over 130 countries and you can register as a sitter here, or look for a sitter of course! See all our other frugal holiday and days out tips here.

Plant and Bulb Sale
Thompson and Morgan have a sale on here with up to 75% off plants and bulbs, only till the 18th of August. Use code TM_TAW60W at checkout.

Cashback on Shopping:
Swagbucks offer just that, it’s free to register and start earning.

New Recipe on site:
Blackcurrant and Lavender Jam
See all our other frugal recipes here.

Cheap Food
Clearance food outlets Low Price Foods and Approved Foods are well worth a regular check as they get new products in often.

Cheap Clothes
Everything5Pounds: the £2.50 sale is still ongoing.

We hope you’re all enjoying some good summery weather and not too much rain like us!

All at Frugal Living in the UK
http://www.frugal.org.uk

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

Bargain Alert: plants and bulbs!

Thompson and Morgan have a sale on their high quality plants and bulbs at the moment. With up to 75% off, it’s a great way to pick up some bargain plants! There’s a lot of flowers in the sale but some fruit bushes and rhubarb too, and those just keep on giving year after year.

This is the sale link valid 12th to 18th of August 2021, but if the offer doesn’t go through at checkout, use the code TM_TAW60W.

bargain plants

This is the time of year that many shops and garden centres reduce certain items so keep your eyes peeled for bargain plants elsewhere too.

Related posts:
Growing a Food Forest, lawns to food
Bargain Alert: cheap seeds and grains