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

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!

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!

Hot sunshine and cheap clothes…

Cheap clothes! The £2.50 sale from Everything5Pounds

It’s hot. It’s sunny. Can it be Scotland? Amazingly enough: YES!

Top summer recipes:
Radish Top Soup: a great way to use the commonly thrown away part of these super easy and quick to grow vegetables.
Minted Noodle Soup is another simple and seasonal dish.
Great cold in a picnic, see our basic pasties recipe.
A perennial favourite side at all times of year are the Beer Battered Onion Rings.
Rhubarb and gooseberries are go in the garden. Try them in a Crumble.

Cheap clothes and shoes: Everything5Pounds have their £2.50 sale on: go grab a bargain here!

Featured posts:
The 25p Meal – what it says on the tin.
Frugal Days Out and Holidays

For food and household bargains and bulk cupboard stocking, see Approved Food

Wishing you many relaxing long summer days…

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

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

banana raisin flapjacks, no refined sugar

Flapjacks with no refined sugar.flapjacks

Ingredients:
2 cups of porridge oats
1 large tablespoon of vegetable margarine
1 banana, mashed
a handful of raisins
a splash of unsweetened soya milk

Melt the marg in a pan and then stir in the oats. Mix in the banana and raisins, add the soya milk and stir well. Press the mixture into a flat cake tin or oven proof dish (10×10 inch did well) and bake for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven. Score while still warm, leave to cool and cut into squares.

If you would rather have a more traditional sugar laden flapjack, add a tablespoon of golden syrup to the mix, but really, they’re delicious without it!

Chocolate variant: add two heaped teaspoons (or more!) of cocoa in with the banana and raisins 🙂

Recipe inspired by Lucy who always adds banana to her flapjacks 🙂

See all our other recipes here.



Welcome to Frugal Living in the UK!

Frugal Living in the UK - the pink bench!

Frugal Living in the UK went online in 2003 and has gradually grown into quite a collection of advice and articles. You’ll find recipes, food shopping tips, household savings, advice on cheap days out and holidays, ways to make a few pounds, get freebies and even sales and Frugal Christmas 🙂

Whether you want to reduce your debts, save for a holiday, stay at home with your children, live more simply or just beat the system a little and end up with more cash, we hope you find something here to help. Consider yourself as in a clothes shop – look around, try the ideas on for size, take what’s right for you and leave the rest for someone else.

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Latest articles:

Latest links:

  • Low Price Foods – amazing new clearance food outlet with impressive prices across food, drink and household goods.
  • TrustedHousesitters connect pet and home owners with reliable sitters. You can register as a sitter or owner on their site.
  • Everything5Pounds sell unsold stock from top High st. brands, all detagged, and all £5.
  • Swagbucks.com – pays gift cards and cash for things you do online anyway like shopping and taking surveys.
  • The Secret Gardening Club always have great offers on overstock from nurseries.
  • Graze are offering a first box free, with no obligation to continue past the first box!

Latest recipes:

frugal living: lavender jam being made
Be rewarded the Web's Premiere Rewards Site

Spring has Sprung: wild garlic!

wild garlic

Spring has finally arrived, and we couldn’t be happier. The wild garlic is through in the woods, the crocus and snowdrop flowers are beautiful… though we still need the log-burner on of an evening here in Scotland.

Recipes using wild garlic:
pesto and creamy carrot soup We’ve also been adding it to sauces and stews.

Cheap clothes and shoes to brighten up your wardrobe: Everything5Pounds and Schuh Imperfects We do miss the charity shops at the moment.

For foody bargains and filling up your cupboards see Approved Food. We’ve been using them for years and have saved hundreds.

Featured post: The 25p Meal

Keep cosy! Eat soup! And enjoy the Spring!

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

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

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, inspired by the kidnapped children of Aberdeen, is out April 1st. Kindle pre-order: http://mybook.to/firechoc

Frugal Autumn Recipes: Soup and Pumpkins

Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Soup: frugal autumn recipes

Well, lots has happened here in Frugal Towers since we last wrote. There’s been hospitalisations, there’s been strange symptoms… now there’s bandages and medicine. But the frugal life goes on, as does this peculiar year!

Frugal autumn recipes are on the table:
Roast Pumpkin and Garlic Pasta is seasonal and delicious.
Yellow Split Pea Soup, a great favourite here.
Tomato and Rice Soup is one of our most frugal recipes.
Lentil, yes bring on the soups!
Beer Battered Onion Rings – always good…
Gluten-free Veggie Lasagne – filling for these cold dark evenings.
Baked Tatties, sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Chocolate Cake. No words needed.

See our Frugal Christmas section on how to minimise the cost and stress that can occur at this time. Some festive recipes too.

If you want to stock those cupboards up, Approved Food is the place to do it, selling soap and cleaning products too. Their stock changes daily.

Everything5pounds is the place to get cheap winter woolies for the approaching season. Also good for festive gifts.

The Mermaid and the Bear Cover

Our founder’s debut novel is still available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited (they do a free trial which is a good way to stock up on some autumn reading). THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Libraries can get it too.

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Author website

Stay cosy and well fed. Look after yourselves lovelies.

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

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