Friday, 9 May 2014

Packed lunch ideas...savoury

Good morning everyone,

This one is for you frugal in bucks :)

Packed lunches can simply be a sandwich, apple and a piece of HM cake, but this isn't suitable for the times when you're 'being good'! Here are a few ideas:

I would start with a base of lettuce (plenty of different choices there and easy to grow), cucumber and tomatoes. To that you could add different things to make it more exciting:

Baby spinach leaves
Cress (easily grown on the windowsill)
Grated carrot
Sliced red onion
Chopped peppers
Sweet corn 

To your chosen salad you could take a HM salad dressing (then you know what's in it) in a little pot to add when you're ready to eat. 

I would add some protein at this point:

Low fat cottage cheese 
A little grated low fat cheddar
Hard boiled egg

Other ideas

HM veg soup in a flask
Sticks of celery filled with low fat cream cheese
Spread low fat cream cheese on rice cakes
Pasta salad
Chicken drumsticks and HM low fat coleslaw (made with yogurt)
HM hummus and veggie sticks to dip

I found a recipe for hummus although I haven't made it because I don't like hummus! I hope this helps?


410g tin of chickpeas
100g sesame seeds
2tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3tbsp natural yogurt
Juice of 2 lemons (4-6tbsp)
Salt &pepper 

1. Put sesame seeds and oil in a blender and blitz for one minute.

2. Drain chickpeas and add with all other ingredients.

3. Blend for a few minutes on high.

4. Taste and check seasoning. Chill for a few hours and serve.

This will keep in the fridge for approx a week.

This recipe was taken (but not copied word for word) from a fantastic book that I cook from quite a lot...

'How to feed your whole family a healthy, balanced diet with very little money..and hardly any time, even if you have a tiny kitchen, only three saucepans (one with an ill-fitting lid) and no fancy gadgets- unless you count the garlic crusher...simple, wholesome and nutritious recipes for family meals'

Gill Holcombe

It's quite a title! Basically, no excuses, everyone can try to cook. It's  great book!

I hope this gave you a few different ideas to what you're already eating frugal in bucks. 


Other news...I'm still busy sorting, throwing stuff out, recycling and preparing things to sell at the boot sale. 

I am trying to fit other activities into my day like baking and hopefully sewing soon. The house is getting easier to keep clean and tidy because we have less stuff! I'm currently looking at storage ideas to pack things away neatly. I went to Dunelm Mill for the first time the other day and they have some cute storage baskets that I'm thinking of buying. I did pick up a couple of bits for baking

I've been looking out for a cake storer/carrier for a while and this was far cheaper than what I've previously seen...£3.99
The gingerbread cutters were £1.49 and perfect for baking with Daisy as she loves the gingerbread man story and can chant the 'run run as fast as you can' bit! We also got Daisy a gruffalo tabard apron. 
I got some new piping bag nozzles. These were quite pricey at £5.99, but I want to make more pretty cakes and need a wide star nozzles for what I want to do. I looked for a single nozzle but the one I wanted came within a set of seven. I will use them all and this means I can pass my other nozzle set onto my son's girlfriend as she loves to bake too. See..the one comes has to go rule is working for me now!!

Hopefully I will find time for more baking later for my next tutorial of small cakes. I have also noted the requests for choccy puddings. We still eat puddings (not every day), are we in the minority? Does anyone else eat puddings??? I have a lot of those recipes and all of them tried and tested!

Please keep the suggestions coming.

Mandy x


  1. Hi Mandy,
    If I had known about you wanting a cake storer I would have mentioned in my last post the new range of fantastic baking stuff I've just discovered in "Poundland", do you have one of these near to you??
    If so they have started selling a range of baking equipment by Jane Asher and it is great value for the money, it is good quality and there are quite a number of items in the range. It is all in pretty pastel colours as well so would go with most kitchens. I needed some decent storage tubs for the large amount of bags of flavoured coffees I cant resist buying from TK Maxx and they do a set of 2 canisters with different coloured pastel lids and inside are 2 colour coordinated measuring scoops, also cake storer, spatulas, all sorts of stuff, and all of course for £1.
    glad you're enjoying the baking im hoping to get some done this weekend as its forcast bad weather so may be a stay at home weekend for me.
    take care, jane

    1. Hi Jane
      Yes there's a pound land in Banbury. My son's girlfriend works in Banbury so she could have a look for me.

      I've got five Emma bridge water tins but I wanted a plastic storer to keep on the worktop for a large cake.

      We've done our fortnightly food shop at asda this morning...spent too much as usual!

      Hopefully back to baking this week...I've planned to do gingerbread men with Daisy xx

  2. Hi there, I buy all my cake keepers at Poundland - Just a £1 and good quality. I have not seen the Jane Asher one's mentioned above but I will certainly have a look myself. The first time I saw the cake keepers I thought there must be a mistake with the price!! I can just about afford to give a cake in them and take the loss if they do not come back. Great blog

    1. Hi andie and welcome to my blog!

      I have expensive cake tins, but I bought them when I was working...I wouldn't justify that price now. They are too big for the small amount of baking I do now xx

  3. Hi (again) Mandy,
    did you manage to find any of the Jane Asher stuff? I went into the Doncaster store last week and they did have some of the range but nowhere near as much as the Scarborough store did unfortunately. It must vary according to the size of the store. As Andie said, Poundland already do a huge range of basic baking equipment, including the cake storers etc all very good quality so I would have a look in there in future, I've also found there is quite a good selection of baking/cooking ingredients to be found in there usually a lot cheaper than the supermarket.
    The J.A storage tubs are doing the job well of storing my ground coffees so they must be air tight and like I mentioned the range has pretty pastel colours so will coordinate with most kitchens if you are wanting them to leave on display.
    Nothing much planned again for this weekend, maybe too warm to have the ovens on to do much baking though. I may make trifle to use up some of the jelly crystals and custard mix I have (all bought in massive bags from Approved foods). My stocks never seem to go down, I may also make a cheesecake as I also bought both cheesecake base and topping mix from AF. These were very cheap (about £1.49 a biggish bag) and even though both are packet mixes so not as good as making from scratch they are quite acceptable as a dessert when a bit of food colouring and also a bit of flavouring is added to the topping mix otherwise it is a bit bland, this Sundays pudding may be coffee cheesecake or the alternative of mixed fruit cocktail (tinned) trifle.
    Hope you have a good weekend, take care, jane x

    1. Hi Jane
      It's been really hot here but I did bake with Daisy yesterday morning. I wrote a blog post tutorial but it refuses to publish!! It will keep trying and another tutorial will hopefully go up today?? Cheese cake...yum! Haven't bought from af for ages now, must have a look. Hope you're enjoying the sun xx