Food

If you watch our vlogs you’ll know that I’m certainly not the chef in the house. Which is why I’ve enlisted the help of some of my favourite food bloggers to help with this series; Feed 4 For Under £10. Starting with Ellie’s Kitchen UK…


Eating on a budget doesn’t have to mean skipping the good stuff. This recipe proves that you can eat colourful, healthy and lip-smackingly good food every night without spending a fortune! This recipe is easy, family friendly and downright tasty, so give it a go! And don’t forget to share your pictures tagging @EllieskitchenUK on social media!

Ingredients –

Handful grated cheese – £0.70

500g Mince Beef – £2.41

400g Black Beans – £0.75

4 Sweet Potatoes – £0.80

2 Avocados – £1.58

2 Peppers (Not Green) – £0.90

Bunch of Coriander – £0.70

1 Lime – £0.30

2 Tbsp. Sweet Chilli sauce – £0.30

Cumin – £0.85

Paprika – £0.85

Garlic – £0.30

Method –

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Drizzle the sweet potatoes in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake them for 50 minutes or until soft until soft.

Tip: To speed things up you can spike the potatoes with a fork a few times and microwave on a plate. Once they are soft (about 10-12 minutes) pop in the oven to crisp off!

  1. While the potatoes are in oven, sort the guac! Scoop flesh out of two avocados. Add to bowl. Add a handful of chopped coriander, the juice of a lime, and the Chilli sauce. This is the cheat’s way of making amazing guacamole!

  2. Chilli time! Dice the peppers.

  3. In a pan, add a splash of olive oil. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and 2 teaspoons of paprika. Once the garlic has softened (1 minute) add the peppers.

  4. Fry until soft, on a medium to low heat. Add a bit of water if it starts catching on the pan. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

  5. Once softened, add your mice and cook through.

  6. Then add the beans.

Tip: Make sure you taste your chilli once the mince is cooked. You may want to add more spices to boost the flavour. Use your chef’s instinct!  

 

  1. Remove your sweet potatoes from the oven. Top with the yummy chilli, your guacamole, a little cheese and some more coriander. ENJOY!


Feed 4 for under £10
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Clothes, Everything Else, Food, Leisure, Personal Finance, Save Money, Travel
I love my student discount card. I love it even more now that I can get it without being a student

Which is why I’ve put together this complete directory of where you can get a student discount.

This is an open document, meaning you’re able to contribute. So if you know of anywhere in the world that offers a student discount for students then feel free to add it to the sheet using this form.

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Food
Today I want to talk about the fact and fiction of food labelling terminology. Food waste is a huge problem both in the UK and worldwide, and by educating ourselves on food we can reduce the amount of food, and therefore money we’re throwing away on a daily basis.  

What Does Best Before Mean?

One of the most common food labelling terminology used is ‘best before’. This phrase is used to describe the food’s quality. If the food was passed this date then it will be safe to eat.

The phrase ‘best before’ is often found on foods such as; pasta, cereal, herbs and spices, sweets and chocolate. According to food label terminology provided that you have stored the food correctly, the food is perfectly fine to eat after the best before date. However the quality may not be at it’s best.
 

What Does Use By Mean?

The food labelling terminology ‘use by’ is there for your safety. If the date which is shown on the label has passed then the food is unsafe to eat, and you should therefore dispose of it.

Foods that include ‘use by’ dates will include meat and dairy products such as yogurt, cheeses and milk. If you are not going to consume food before it’s use by date, then it’s worthwhile checking whether you can freeze it. This will reduce food waste and save you money at the supermarket.  

What Does Display Until Mean?

Another common food labelling terminology you might find is ‘display until’. This doesn’t concern the consume and instead should be taken notice of by the staff working in the shop in which the produce is being sold.

Products that have a display until label will also have another label that will include either a best before date or a use by date.  

What Does Nutritional Information Mean?

By law food and drink products sold in the EU are required to provide nutritional information. This food labelling terminology will be followed by a list of the following (at a minimum) per 100g or 100ml of the food;

Energy (in kJ and kcal)
Fat (in g)
Saturates (in g)
Carbohydrate (in g)
Sugars (in g)
Protein (in g)
Salt (in g)

Plus the amount of any nutrient for which a claim has been made You may also see the label state amounts ‘per serving’ or ‘per portion’ it’s important to check what the products manufacturer determines as a serving or portion before referencing this nutritional information. However this product labelling terminology will always be in addition to the 100g or 100ml breakdown.  

What Does ‘Light’ Mean?

You may often find food labelling terminology to include words such as ‘light’, ‘lighter’ or ‘lite’. These words are only used if the food contains at least 30% less of at least one typical value such as calories or fat. To comply with EU regulations the label must explain exactly what has been reduced and by how much, for example “Light: 50% less fat’.

What Does Organic Mean?

You may find the term ‘organic’ used on some products and products label. This term can only be applied to products in which 95% or more of the ingredients are organic. Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives.

Many people believe that organic food has a higher nutrient content and is kinder to the environment and livestock. This has seen an improved demand for organic produce over the past decade which has seen prices rise significantly.

All organic products sold in the EU are required to be certified by organic control.   I hope that by sharing commonly found food labelling terminology. You will be inspired to save money at the supermarket, reduce your food waste and save money.

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Food
We all know that spending less in the shops is going to save us money, but how can we take that one step further? Today I’m looking at products that help us to reduce food waste.

I’ve spoken before about the damaging affects of food waste in our supermarket industry but today I want to cover things on a household scale. Which is why I’ve created this list of products that is set to help you reduce food waste and save money.  

1. Food Minder

The food minder is a simple food management tool that helps to reduce food waste. The visual suction cups are applied to food and drink and help to remind you of an items expiry status.

Allowing you to see what products need to be consumed first with just one quick glance. This video explains everything you need to know.


 

2. Fruit & Veg Saver

Did you know the average British family throws away £500 worth of fruit and vegetables per year? It can often seem that we’ve only just been to the supermarket, and already we’re throwing out our fresh fruit and veg. However, now we have these fantastic, simple products known as fruit and veg savers.

They have been used by organic farmers for more than 20 years. Designed to extend the shelf-life of fruit and vegetables by up to three times.

They are completely safe, non-toxic, organic and can be fully recycled. Using them couldn’t be easier. Simply place one in each of your fridge draws, in storage containers or in the bottom of your fruit bowl.

It sounds too good to be true, so let me explain the science behind it… Most fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas as they ripen. However, these fruits and vegetables are also highly sensitive this gas, and the presence will speed up the rate in which fruits and vegetables ripen. Therefore creating a chain reaction of ripening and rotten produce.

However, don’t just take my word for it. Check out the many Amazon reviews…

 

3. Food Huggers

Food Huggers are another fantastic product that can help you reduce food waste. These silicone covers help preserve the freshness of leftover fruits and vegetables.

All you need to do is push the remainder of the product half down into the hugger most suitable (based on size) and then save it in the fridge until you need it again. Made with 100% FDA silicone, food huggers are 100% BPA and phthalate free.

They help reducing food waste by creating a seal to hold in the natural juices. Preventing exposure to circulating air, which can cause food to spoil or dehydrate.

I love the flexibility of food huggers. They can also be used to reseal open jars or cans, they are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. Making them suitable for so many products in your kitchen.

Food huggers are a great way to reduce food waste

4. Spagetti Measurer

Personally, pasta has to be the most wasted food in our house. Which is why I love this product. The spaghetti measurer from Joseph and Joseph allows you to adjust it in size based on the number of people you are cooking for. Not only does this stop you from over eating due to bigger portion sizes, it also reduces food waste.




There we have it, my top four items to help you to reduce food waste. As always I’d love to know the gadgets you’re using in your kitchen to reduce food waste – be sure to let me know in the comments below.

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Food

In 2015, the major British supermarket Tesco’s food waste amounted to 59,400 tonnes. That’s enough to make 119 MILLION meals from one supermarket alone.

 

However, we’ve not got to this figure overnight, far from it. In fact, year this figure is growing, with an increase of 4% when compared to 2014.

 

So, what can we gather from this? Our supermarkets commitment to reducing food waste is worse than ever. I say our supermarkets, although I don’t really know. That’s because Tesco is the only major supermarket to be daring enough to post such figures.

 

However, in the UK one man and his team of volunteers is looking to change all that, with the launch of The Real Junk Food Project.  

What Is The Real Junk Food Project

TRJFP was launched by professional chef Adam Smith in December 2013.

 

Whilst in Australia, Adam witnessed the scale of food waste, agriculturally and within the catering industry. Upon his return to the UK, together with his partner, Johanna, he was inspired to set up TRJFP. The Real Junk Food Project has taken tonnes of food that is being thrown away by supermarkets which is completely safe to eat and used it to feed people. They do this with TRJFP Cafés and the recently launched supermarkets. Both of which are ‘pay as you feel’.

   

TRJFP doesn’t just feed homeless people or refugee’s the idea is to feed EVERYONE. Regardless of race, religion or background. However, TRJFP doesn’t just get their food from mainstream supermarkets.

 

Donations come in all shapes and sizes including; allotments, food banks, restaurants, cafés, food photographers, events and functions. Although the cafe project started in Leeds, there are now a magnitude of TRJFP cafe’s across the world. Use this handy tool to find the one most local to you.


The Real Junk Food Project Supermarkets

Two years after the successful launch of their first cafe. TRJFP went onto launch a PAYF supermarket in Pudsey, Leeds.

 

It’s somewhere that Helen and I have had the pleasure of visiting on numerous occasions, including Christmas Eve (one of the biggest days of wasted food). However, even in just the past 18 months, the team at TRJFP have gone on to set up another supermarket in Sheffield.

The Real Junk Food Project Supermarket
The Real Junk Food Project team have the ambition to open one of these supermarkets and a number of there boutique cafe’s in every major city in the UK (they’ve already achieved almost 100 at the time of writing).

 

I for one believe that based on their current popularity and speed of growth this is a highly achievable target. Contact the team on Facebook or through their website to find out how you can help contribute in your local area. As with all the initiatives, customers are invited to pay for their meal in money, time and skills.

 

It’s worth mentioning that the UK isn’t the only one to be trailing such ‘supermarkets’ in a bid to reduce food waste. In Denmark the NGO DanChurchAid have opened up a store selling expired – but safe to consume food for a discounted rate. The supermarket is known as WeFood and much like TRJFP it’s doing so well that a second store has opened.

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Food

This month marks two years since I wrote about what remains as one of my most popular posts, how we get our weekly food shop completely free by using a technique known as Wombling.

 

Since then A LOT has changed, and many of you have asked whether Wombling is still possible. Today I’m looking to re-cap on what I wrote then and how things have changed.

 

First things first, if you’re unsure as to what wombling is and how it works you’re going to want to check out this post.

 

Tesco

I previously spoke about wombling Tesco ClubCard points and in 2 years very little has changed. You still have 14 days to claim unclaimed ClubCard points in-store however, I’ve now found out that after that time has passed you can post the reciept along with a letter including your ClubCard details off to;

 

Tesco Clubcard, Freepost, Tesco Sco 3145, Dundee, DD2 3ZR.

 

From there they will put the points on for you. However, I wouldn’t make a regular habit of doing this and the cost of a stamp needs to be factored in when you’re considering what redemptions are worthwhile when using this method.

 

Sainsbury’s

Much like Tesco, the redemption of Sainsbury’s shops into Nectar points has remained the same. The value of Nectar points has remained the same too. Making them HALF as valuable as Tesco ClubCard points.

 

Asda

Asda was the wombling king thanks to their fantastic Asda Price Guarantee (APG). Some slight changes have been made here but nothing you can’t work around.

 

The APG is no longer generated using the supermarket website comparison website MySupermarket which means you’re less likely to be able to do a ‘targeted shop’. You also need an Asda online account when claiming both in-store shop and online shop APG’s. This limits you to 10 transactions per account per month, however there’s very little stopping you setting up accounts in the names of friends and family (with their permission of course). Otherwise Asda continues to be the best value for money when it comes to wombling.

 

Morrisons

Now we’re back to the points redemption with Morrisons Match and More card. The terms and conditions of redeeming unused points from receipts remains the same. No more than 15 receipts in a 30 day period, which in my opinion is rather generous.

 

Every 5,000 points still converts automatically into a £5 money off voucher with a zero minimum spend.  

Wombling in Other Locations

Finally, let’s talk about other, smaller locations you can womble and how their loyalty programmes have changed over the past two years.

 

McDonalds: Free coffee when you have the stickers from six other coffee cups – Remains the same.

 

Costa Coffee: Exchange receipts for points on a Costa Coffee card and exchange them for drinks – Remains the same.

 

Subway: Exchange receipts for points on a Subway card to exchange for food – Remains the same.

 

Nandos: Exchange receipts for points on a Nando’s card to exchange for food – Remains the same but you now also have an app that you can use to add points instantly (only one receipt can be added per date of transaction)

 

Boots: Exchange receipts for points on a Boots card to exchange for products in-store – Remains the same.

 

In conclusion I believe that wombling is still a very reliable way of accumulating points and saving yourself money at the tills. The king of it all remains to be Asda in my opinion but as always I’d love to know yours. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Food

So you’ve become a pro at meal planning. Now, you’re looking to introduce some new super frugal meals into your life. You’ve browsed Pinterest and a couple of frugal cookbooks but they play host to complex ingredients and kitchen equipment you’ve never heard of, right?

 

Fear no more, I’ve spent the past five weeks going through the very best frugal cookbooks on the market. This has allowed me to create a complete list of my top frugal cookbooks. From simple cooking to health conscious meals these books have it all.

 

A Girl Called Jack: 100 delicious budget recipes

Released in 2014, this book is by no means new to the market. However, there’s a reason that it’s been on my resources page since this blog started back in 2015. That’s because this book will be forever marked as my go-to-book. I love Jack and everything she stands for. Recipes include Vegetable Masala Curry for 30p a portion, Pasta alla Genovese for 19p a portion, Fig, Rosemary and Lemon Bread for 26p and a Jam Sponge reminiscent of school days for 23p a portion.

 

Currently priced at £9.09 on Amazon if there is one book you buy from this list make it this one.

 

Lean in 15

If you’re anywhere on social media then you’ve more than likely seen Joe Wick’s face staring back at you. 2016 was life-changing for Joe. He’s gone from someone who used to bike ride to the park to host bootcamps that nobody would attend to hosting his own TV show. We purchased his first cookbook on release, since then he’s released two others each as good as the last.

 

One Pound Meals: Delicious Food for Less

With his debut cook book launching a little over a month ago Miguel Barclay is another internet sensation who’s taking the world by storm with his delicious meals that cost less than £1 per person.

 

What I love about this frugal cookbook is how simple and straightforward the recipes are. With favourites such as meatball marinara, chicken katsu curry, lamb moussaka and aubergine dal. This cookbook is absolutely ideal if you’re living on your own. Each recipe is designed for one person helping you to minimise waste and reuse the same ingredients in different ways.

 

How to Feed Your Family for £5 a Day

Complete with over 150 recipes Bernadine Lawrence has created this fantastic cookbook. If you’ve a young family then this is one of the frugal cookbooks you need in your cupboard. Filled with super child-friendly meals. With a wealth of practical tips on how to stick to a £35 a week groceries budget, use up leftovers and prevent food waste.

 

This book is much more than a frugal cookbook, it’s about a lifestyle change. Complete with a weekly meal planner and a guide to show which fruit and vegetables are in season, Bernadine is an expert on creating tasty meals out of nothing that you will return to time and again.

 

Eat Well for Less

Written by the guys behind the fantastic BBC TV show of the same name, this cookbook features 80 delicious recipes. However, it’s so much more than just a frugal cookbook. Instead it’s designed to help you create nutritious dishes for your family whilst spending less on your supermarket shop.

 

That’s not all. The book comes complete with a meal-planning guide, a family budget planner, kids cooking ideas and help on freezing and storing food. It teaches you how to love your leftovers and make savvy swaps by adding more fruit and veg into your diet without spending any extra time in the kitchen.

 

With tasty food, sample shopping lists and practical tips from Gregg, Chris and the experts from the hit BBC show, this is your essential guide to eating well for less.

 

Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less

Despite being four years old, this book is still a consistent Amazon best seller. It has over 1,100 reviews and it’s easy to see why. I’m usually one to steer away from mainstream chefs such as Jamie Oliver who have unrealistic expectations of our household food budget however, this book is different.

 

I put the reason behind this being that it was released at the peak of the financial crisis. People needed information on how to cook tasty, nutritious food on a budget.

 

So Jamie shared his knowledge and cooking skills enabling us all to make better choices. Demonstrating how to buy economically and efficiently. As well as how to get the most from our ingredients, save time and prevent food waste.

63

Food

Pretty much every food moneysaving guide tells you to shop with the seasons.

 

But what does that even mean?

 

Well, if you’re trying to eat cucumber in winter then you may find you’re paying somewhat of a premium. It comes back to the basic principle of supply and demand. In the summer cucumbers are an abundance and the price in the supermarket can reflect this. However, fast-forward to winter and these foods have to be sourced from outside of the EU or be genetically modified – and that costs a premium.

 

So, instead of just telling you to shop with the seasons I thought I’d go one further. Which is why I’ve created this complete list of ‘what’s in season when’. Helping you maximise your money when it comes to that all important supermarket shop.

 

Spring: March – June

Meat: Beef Steaks – Chicken – Sausages – Spring Lamb

 

Vegetables: Asparagus – Carrots – Cauliflowers – Celeriac – Cucumbers – Curly Kale – Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Savoy Cabbage – Sorrel – Spinach – Spring Greens – Spring Onion – Watercress

 

Fruit: Gooseberries – Rhubarb

 

Fish: Crab – Haddock – John Dory – Lobster – Mackerel – Monkfish – Prawns – Sea Bass – Sea Salmon – Trout – Turbot

 

As the days get longer and springtime returns you’re going to be wanting to cook with very strong seasonal flavours. Recipes include; Parmesan spring chicken, easy one-pot chicken casserole and spring fish pie.

Summer: June – September

Meat: Beef Steaks – Chicken – Ham – Lamb – Pork Pies – Pork Spare Ribs – Saltmarsh Lamb – Sausages – Venison

 

Vegetables: Beetroot – Broad Beans – Carrots – Cauliflowers – Courgettes – Cucumber – Fennel – Fresh Peas – Garlic – Green Beans – Lettuce & Salad Leaves – New potatoes – Radishes – Runner Beans- Sage – Salad Onions – Squash – Tomatoes – Watercress

 

Fruit: Blueberries – Currants (black, white and red) – Elderflower berries – Greengages – Loganberries – Plums – Raspberries – Strawberries – Tayberries

 

Fish: Crab – Pilchards – Wild Salmon

 

In summer you’re going to be spending more time in the garden. You’re going to be wanting to fill up on those fresh fruits and vegetables and focusing on light meals such as; Crunchy bulghar salad, Summer chicken stew and Veggie chilli.

 

Autumn: September – December

Meat: Chicken – Grouse – Ham – Heather-fed Lamb – Pies Pork – Sausages – Venison

 

Vegetables: Field Mushrooms – Lettuce – Marrow – Potatoes – Pumpkin – Rocket – Squashes – Sweetcorn – Watercress

 

Fruit: Apples – Blackberries – Damsons – Elderberries – Pears – Plums – Sloes

 

Fish: Brill – Dabs – Dover Sole – Flounders – Oysters – Skate

 

The drastic shift from Summer to Autumn can be a shock. Food can play a big part in making us feel like it’s still summer (at least in some ways) with meals such as; Autumn vegetable soup with cheesy toasts and Butternut squash & sage risotto.

 

Winter: December – March

Meat: Chicken – Gammon – Goose – Partridge – Pheasant – Sausages – Turkey – Venison – Wild Duck

 

Vegetables: Bay Leaves – Brussels – Sprouts – Cabbage – Carrots – Cauliflower – Celeriac – Curly Kale – Fennel – Leeks – Parsnips – Potatoes – Red Cabbage – Swede – Turnips

 

Fruit: Apples – Pears – Quince

 

Fish: Grey Mullet – Mussels – Scallops

 

Finally winter, a time where our budgets post-Christmas need as much stretching as possible. Meals such as; Chicken & ham lasagne and the Summer-in-winter chicken can help us do just that.

   


There we have it. My complete list of ‘what’s in season when?’ complete with recipes and ideas for what tasty home made meals you can make with these fantastic ingredients. With thanks to the following resources for this information; Love British Food.

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