Monday, 15 April 2013
Number of batches: 4 batches of 4 servings
1.5kg minced beef
3 knorr beef stock pots
1 large onion
2 sticks diced celery
2 medium carrots - grated
3 tbsp mixed herbs
3 cartons of passatta
2 tins chopped tomatoes
500g sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
Put all the raw ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
If the batch is needed in 4 hours, brown the mince first before adding to the slow cooker.
|Easy Instructions for a Three Course Meal|
So every week, I'll be posting easy to follow instructions to make your big meal. As one of my rules of life is to prepare food in advance, I can assure you as much as possible will be from the freezer!
This week, our restaurant choice is Italian.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
The batch cooking and freezing is working so well. Its saving hours of time and loads of money. Waste is reduced and the variety of food we eat is increased.
Today is a cooking day as freezer stocks are running low. This is what this weeks menu is looking like...
Monday - Chilli Con Carne and Rice with Tacos. (from freezer, cook on low from frozen)
Tuesday - mushroom stuffed chicken breasts. A Gino D'Acampo idiet recipe. (from freezer, defrost and cook)
Wednesday - slow cooked Italian and wild mushroom stew. Another Gino idiet recipe. (cooked a double batch on Monday and stored half in fridge and other half frozen)
Thursday - Fish and Chips. Fish from freezer.
Friday - Vegetarian Chilli and rice (from freezer)
Saturday - ooh quite possibly a take away!
Sunday - The Big Three Courser
Garlic Bread with Tomato
I'll be posting more about my big three courser on Wednesday
What are you planning for this week?
I like ease myself into Sundays by reading random stuff on my Stumble Upon app.
For those that don't know, Stumble Upon is a bookmarking site which finds sites categorised to match your interests. Much like Pinterest. So you enter your interests, share a few pages of your own and those that you come across that are of interest to you and then hit the stumble upon button.
Here's what this week is throwing at me....
Pimpthatsnack - how to supersize your treats. A giant Reeces peanut butter cup, gingerbread chav and more
Loads of quick money saving projects on Thriftyfun.com such as how to make a Starbucks cup reuseable.
The most favourited recipes on foodgawker. Some really tasty all American recipes on here
And here's one I found hilarious...
So what have you found that's worth sharing?
If you're on twitter, tweet your faves with the #Sundaystumble tag
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
|Save Money - Reduce Debt|
1. Allocate The Money You Save
Every penny you save needs to be put to good use. If you save £2 by buying tinned tomatoes on offer, put that £2 against a debt you need to pay off. If you save £20 by getting a second hand school uniform, put that £20 in your holiday savings fund. Whatever you do, don't leave it lingering in your wallet or it will disappear on mundane items such as milk and bread.
2. Watch Money Like a Hawk
You need to know exactly how much is in each bank account and more importantly where the money goes out of the account. Do you have an old subscription you could cancel? Are you using your debit card a little too freely? You need to keep control to make sure you are not wasting money or incurring bank charges.
3. See What You Spend
Go to the cash machine at the start of your shopping trip and draw out the money. When you actually hand over your cash, you are more aware of how much you have spent. Spending on cards is too easy and many get carried away and overspend.
|Read Meal Planning Monday Posts|
For one week, add up the value of the food you throw away. You'll be amazed and probably gutted at the amount of money you have wasted. Plan your meals and only buy what you need to. Stick to your meal plan to minimise waste.
5. Cut the Big Bill: Gas and Electric
It does pay to switch. Being loyal doesn't pay. Prices sneak up without you noticing and before you know it, the good deal you signed up for last year isn't so good anymore. Subscribe to the Money Saving Expert newsletter for the heads up on the right time to change.
6. Cut the Big Bill: Fuel
Petrol and diesel prices are ridiculous compared to 10 years ago, but then are we using our cars a ridiculous amount? Get fit, walk to the shops, walk to and from school. I'm amazed by how many people I see driving their dog to the park (there's loads of parks and a beach where I live, there really must be one in walking distance of most dog owners homes!) If you can manage one less fuel fill up every month, that can equate to around £700 savings per year!! (or as I like to call it - a holiday!)
6. Non-Package Holidays
A self catering holiday abroad in a privately owned property is massively cheaper than a package holiday. Ask around, someone in your circles will either have or know someone who has a property abroad to let out. And if they don't, there are many websites where private owners advertise. Flights are expensive, so night flights and one way tickets rather than returns may bring the price of the flight down. Ask owners for the very best price on a hard to let week. They need your booking.
All sales people have targets to meet. Get chatty and get to know your local sales staff face to face. The travel agent, home appliance salesperson, the car dealer, the furniture seller and even the owner of the best clothes store in town. Give them your mobile number and your email address and let them know you will spend if the deal is good enough. Sounds crazy?! Why buy a TV when you don't need one? Because you can sell the old one on EBay whilst you're getting money off a brand spanking new treasure!! All stores have to clear stock and there's bargains to be had if you ask.
8. Share the (Child)Care
Kids love going to their mates. They love having their mates round. Everyones occupied and your not struggling to meet the high cost of holiday childcare. (ironically usually more than an acutal holiday) So long as you return the favour and each family takes their turn, this is a great solution for everyone.
9. Second Hand Should Be First Look
Don't spend a penny until you have scoured a site like EBay for a perfectly good pre-owned item. Baby pushchairs can be picked up for £6, wooden cribs are going for 99p! Items that are bulky sell for next to nothing and are in perfectly good working order. This is a brilliant strategy to get your christmas shopping done early and you'll look SO generous and SO considerate!! Set up alerts on the EBay app on your smartphone to nab the stuff you want for a fraction of the original price.
10. File Guarantees and Receipts
How many times does something break and you say "What a Waste of Money" and you can't take it back because you can't find the guarantee or receipt? Either file, or if you're short on space, scan your receipts and guarantees.
This is my entry into the Money Supermarket Competition on The Miss Thrifty Blog. Hop over and see what other money saving tips have been posted.
Sunday, 24 March 2013
I've done a three week plan and I'm adding in anything we miss, such as we had takeaway (yes! really! Surprising, I know!) instead of Chilli last week so that Chilli meal will be put in the next empty slot in three weeks time. Doing it so far in advance is easier than doing a week plan and cooking as you go. I can highly recommend being organised!!
So here's the plan for this week....(Monday has changed already as we've loads of leftover mash from tonights toad in the hole so potato cakes are a necessity)
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
It's not that I don't want my child to do well, nor is it that I don't care. It's that the pressure being heaped on the year six children is getting absolutely ridiculous.
I was first naffed off with it when I attended the SATs parents talk back in October, when we were told... (yes told....)
"Your child needs to know their times tables and needs to be able to recall them fast as they've only 45 minutes to do a test. When they are on the toilet, stand at the bottom of the stairs and shout up various sums for them to shout the answer back."
Can't an 11 year old have a s*** in peace?
In the same
Personally, I see that as a school failing. After six and a half years of being a pupil in the school, if the teachers haven't been able to teach the difference, then surely they are failing, not the parents.
Needless to say, I didn't buy the revision books nor did I force my child to revise last week for the practice SATs this week.
A child is as capable as they are. The majority of schools are non-selective. They don't rely on SATs results to offer places. The only reason primary schools are pushing is to up their results up the league tables. Any streaming of children in year 7 is reassessed after 3 months so there really is no need to hammer the children like they would be on the scrapheap if they don't get high marks.
The final straw was when I heard of a child developing alopecia as a result of the pressure being mounted on them by the school.
It is unfair and ridiculous. Life is stressful enough. Let kids be kids as long as they can be. (and let poor teaching shine through)