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!

Golden Soup: Turmeric Quinoa Vegetable

golden soup

This golden soup is light and nutritious and fragrant, the perfect panacea for all the rich food around at this time of year (post written in December). The quinoa is a great source of protein and turmeric is nicely anti-inflammatory for this hectic season. (See Frugal Christmas).

Quinoa has come down in price in recent years and most supermarkets now have it. We found it cheaply at Approved Food recently (also check Low Price Foods). Rice would also work well, as would rice noodles.

Golden Soup Ingredients (serves 4)

  • a handful of quinoa
  • 2 large carrots, cut into thin inch long strips
  • 2 sticks of celery, cut similarly
  • half a leek, ditto
  • 1 small sweet potato, same cutting
  • 1 yellow pepper, thin strips
  • a cup of frozen peas
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek
  • salt to taste

Golden Soup Method

It’s very simple. Place all the ingredients except the salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the quinoa has swollen and released its little tail things. Add salt to taste and enjoy!

If you liked this golden soup recipe, check out all our other tasty offerings here

Frugal Gifts

Everything5Pounds have a great range of clothes and homewares. All for £5, sometimes less. Designer items end up in the mix too.
The Works are fantastic for selling sets of books for the price you would normally pay for one, so great if you have lots of kids to buy for (or adults!).

Frugal Holidays

Travelling over the festive period?

Near the Motorways - a book to make holidays and days out cheaper

Near the Motorways: Affordable Alternatives to Service Stations (10th Edition). This book lists places that provide a meal or a quiet rest just five minutes from a motorway junction. The author has personally visited and selected over 200 entries in the guide which are included for their ambiance, friendliness, imaginative menus or peaceful surroundings. They do not pay for inclusion so each is chosen solely on merit. Each entry is illustrated by pen and wash drawing by the author, for ease of recognition. Special mention is made of the welcome for dogs and children and of any places of interest which are nearby. Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Festive Frugality and Winter Warmers

A fierce start to December!

Before we get to the festive frugality, we have to mention the 120 mile an hour winds we’ve had here, the extended power cuts and heavy snow. A huge tree came down over our polytunnel but happily no damage occurred. We were very glad of our well stocked pantry, gas hob, hot water bottles and log fire!

Festive Advice and Tips

See our Frugal Christmas page, the most important piece of advice being, we believe:

Remember what really matters in your life. Look after yourself.

festive frugality

You’ll also find gift ideas, decoration advice and Christmas recipes. See the page here

Festive Frugality: Gifts

Everything5Pounds have a great range of clothes and homewares. All for £5, sometimes less. Designer items end up in the mix too.
The Works are fantastic for selling sets of books for the price you would normally pay for one, so great if you have lots of kids to buy for (or adults!).

Warming Winter Recipes

tattie soup

Keep those pantries stocked!

With clearance sellers like Low Price Foods  and Approved Food

Popular Pages and Posts

The 25p Meal
Make Money, earn a few pounds

Festive holidaying anyone?

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!

Keep cosy and well fed and rested dear ones…

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

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

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE.

Christmas features in both books!

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

Tattie Soup, Potato Soup, Cheap Soup

Tattie Soup, potato soup, cheap soup

This tattie soup is so basic it hardly constitutes a ‘recipe’! Simple and traditional Scottish fare – children love it.

A Frugal Story

The full frugal story of the plate above: we lucked out with one of the £1.50 cheap veg boxes in Lidl. It contained about 10 onions, a burst bag of baby plum tomatoes, 3 lettuces, a pack of leeks, 5 oranges, 3 lemons, 3 apples and a wee box of chilli peppers. It was so impressive we wish we’d taken a picture of it, but it was unpacked and torn into the compost too quickly!

We used one of the leeks in the soup and those are the tomatoes. The hummus was one of a set of flavoured pots reduced to 20p, also in Lidl, and that’s homemade sourdough bread. Carrots, potatoes, parsnips and herbs were from the garden. If it weren’t for the olives (yellow stickered in Asda but still the most expensive item pictured) the plate would have qualified as a 25p meal.

Tattie Soup Ingredients

  • A little sunflower oil
  • Onions or leeks (1 or 2), chopped
  • Potatoes (2 lb/1 kilo/6 cups), cut into chunks
  • Carrots (about 1 lb/450g/3 cups), cut into chunks
  • Turnip or parsnips (8oz/200g/1 cup) – optional
  • Kale (or other greens) chopped
  • Garlic to taste, chopped
  • Herbs of your choice, fresh or dried. We used lovage (grow once, harvest for years) and parsley in the soup pictured above.
  • Sea salt to taste

Tattie Soup Method

Fry the onion in the sunflower oil for a few minutes to seal the flavour, then place all the other ingredients except the kale in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are cooked (15 – 20 minutes). Add the green vegetables 5 minutes before cooking is finished to prevent them being over-done. Mash.

The quantities given make quite a large pan of soup – we eat half one day and store the rest in the fridge until the next day – you may wish to change the quantities to suit your needs. It also freezes well.

If you liked this tattie soup, why not check out our other frugal recipes?

Carrot and Butterbean Soup, frugal food

carrot and butterbean soup

This carrot and butterbean soup is thick and nutrifying, just perfect for a cold day!

These quantities make about 6 bowls, adjust as needed.

Carrot and Butterbean Soup Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • about 8 large to medium carrots, scraped and cut up into chunks
  • 1 tin of cooked butter beans (large limas), about 400g
  • 2 pints/4 cups/1200ml of water approx
  • a little salt as desired

Method

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes and then add the carrot and stir well. Add water and bring to the boil – turn down to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the carrot is cooked through. Add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until they are properly heated through. Season and blend. Was nice left a little rough but you might prefer to keep going until smooth.

If you liked this carrot and butterbean soup, check out all our other frugal recipes here.

New offers on the site this week:

£10 off with code FREE10 when shopping with Flava Buy Now Pay Later Supermarket (not a discount store but they do always have some short dated items for pennies). Offer valid from 27/09/2021 until further notice.

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

Bulk Food Ordering – Share and Save

bulk food ordering

A new bulk food ordering website – SAS – has launched. This on-line Grocery Wholesaler deals in food, non-food, health and hygiene products and soft drinks. They sell direct to the general public in packs of 6. Prices offered are at discounts of up to 50% off either price marked products or RRP. SAS stands for Share and Save, encouraging customers to work with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to save money together.

In these changing times of supply issues and food shortages, it’s good to know of many different places and ways to shop such as bulk food ordering.

bulk food ordering from SAS

There is a £50 minimum charge with free delivery on orders over £75.

At the moment there’s a free gift of 3 bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup 570g valued at £6 for every new customer.

Visit the website here

bulk food ordering

Related

Apple Chutney with Ginger and Garlic

apple chutney with ginger and garlic

This apple chutney was inspired by a recipe from The Cranks Recipe Book, but we changed it a bit to our liking! It’s great for using up windfall apples in the autumn. The combination of flavours here make for a delectable chutney, completely delicious, and better than any you could buy.

Sometimes old railway lines have apple trees with fruit for the taking due to people throwing their apple cores out the train windows in the past. Parks and other public grounds often have the trees too. Look out for them in your area!

Apple Chutney Ingredients

These quantities fill about 3 medium jars. We doubled up and made 6 this year!

  • 750 ml. cider vinegar
  • 675g. molasses cane sugar (or any very dark sugar)
  • 3 bay leaves (make little tears in them)
  • 1 kg. cooking apples, peeled and chopped
  • 100g onions, chopped quite finely
  • 100g of raisins or sultanas
  • 100g of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • a little seasalt

Method

apple chutney - apples on the tree!

Slowly dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a large pan. Add the bay leaves. Prepare the apples, onions, garlic and ginger and add these also with the salt and raisins. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 2 hours, stirring frequently, until the excess liquid is gone.

Cool and jar. Gorgeous in a cheeze and pickle sarny, as part of a ploughman’s lunch or just with some crackers as shown above.

If you liked this apple chutney, try some of our other frugal recipes

More apples: Apple Pie and Fruit Crumble

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!

Bargain Alert: Cheap Seeds and Grains

Bargain alert for Asda - vegetable cheap seeds

Bargain alert for Asda: seeds are 15p each, and will still be fine for next year. Barley and broth mix are 20p (not sure if that’s a Scotland only situation).

Perfect for our Vegetable Barley Soup recipe!

Bargain alert for Asda - cheap barley and broth mix.

Don’t miss Low Price Foods for more food bargains.