Thursday, 4 July 2013

If my Mama ever set foot outside that kitchen, I'd say "Hey Woman, get back in there and make me a pie!"

Now more than ever it is important to have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to creating our family meals. We are still all very much feeling the pinch at the moment. Many workers have lost jobs or had hours cut as companies attempt to stay afloat. Add this to the increased cost of living with petrol and utility costs seemingly creeping up by the day. Then when (if) we have managed to pay the bills we still have to eat. And lets be honest, in the modern world, war style food just doesn't cut it. We are so used to treats and banquet meals in and out with huge portions and choices of side orders that we feel positively cheated if we have to eat jacket potatoes every night of the week!

So, as always, I have tried to find a few little tricks to keep meal times fun, family occasions where the food is plentiful, mainly healthy and definitely frugal. I know not everyone likes to spend every evening in the kitchen preparing meals and trying to do wonders with a wilted lettuce but sometimes, if we want to be getting anywhere near a balanced diet on a budget, it has to be done.

If I only have enough money for a few store cupboard essentials I will make sure I always have a good stock of:

  • Flour- Self Raising, Plain and Bread flour.
  • Salt- cooking/table salt
  • Olive Oil- although other oils can usually be substituted 
  • A large tub of cooking butter (whatever is on offer)
  • A few blocks of solid fat eg stork, lard etc
  • Sugar- as many varieties as possible but always Caster and Granulated
  • Sachets of fast acting Yeast

Keeping these ingredients alone means that I can use leftover meat, vegetables and salad stuff to create the next meal on a super scrimping budget. I make:
  • Bread
  • Naan Bread
  • Tortilla Wraps
  • Pizza Bases
  • Pastry
This is just a small selection and I am constantly adding new ones to this. Do you have any recipes you can share? I will be posting my own favourite recipes over the next few days but Google is packed full of ideas- BBC Good Food is well frequented website in the Edwards household!

So, the next time you have a few past their best tomatoes, a can of sweetcorn and a small lump of cheese left in the house to feed you all consider making a pizza or calzone. With a few tricks up our sleeve we can provide nice meals at low prices!

In the meantime check out my home made bread, it costs approx 30p a loaf. Cheaper, healthier and one heck of a lot tastier than any of the budget breads out there. Can you afford not to?

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