Thursday, 1 May 2014


Hi everyone

As a result of a little chat with Jane in the comments, I have decided to post up some of my frugal recipes. 

My question is which ones???

I have many and I don't cook all of them on a regular basis, so if you are looking for inspiration using up particular ingredients, I might be able to help. 

It could be meat or veggie based, egg or cheese, rice, pasta or potatoes. I have so many books full of recipes that I have collected and adapted to be low cost and suitable for my family...I'm sure I can find something! 

Are you looking to save money on packed lunches with homemade goodies, or just keeping the cake tin topped up as cheaply as possible? 

This will be my next bake save money and stop snacking on bought goodies. I will share my baking results with you, but if you want the recipes/tutorials posted up...please say so in the comments. 

So Jane, I know you're interested in baking more. I left you a reply in the comments but I don't know if you've read it? What do your family like to eat? Cakes? Biscuits? Loaf cakes? Scones? Whole cakes? Fairy cakes? Icing or no icing? What do you make that doesn't always turn out as you'd like? Or do you want me to surprise you? Although there's no point me doing a fruit cake if you don't like dried fruit (like me)! If it's easier, tell me what you don't like. I'll leave it with you...have a think and get back to me and we'll make a start. This is fantastic motivation for me :)

Anyone else? Any requests? I'm asking because I don't want to fill my blog with unwanted recipes! 

I would love to hear from you.

Mandy x


  1. Hi Mandy
    Low calorie packed lunch ideas would be great for me. Am dieting so not cakes or bakes here. Also any ideas for slow cooker recipes? X

    1. Hi and good to hear from you

      I must admit that I tend to use my slow cooker mainly during the colder months, but I do have many recipes just for the slow cooker that are not stews and casseroles. I take it you don't want loads of stodgy dumplings! I will get back to you soon.

      Low calorie packed lunches... I have many salad recipes that could be packed, although best prepared in the morning before work. I used to make my lunch the night before because I left for work at 6.45am and my salads were sometimes a little limp or soggy! I then took my dressing/mayo in a pot to add at lunchtime. My friend used to assemble her complete salad at work (we had a kitchen to use), leaving her ingredients in the fridge for the week and buying new for each Monday.

      I'll have a think about other non-salad food ideas xx

  2. Hi Mandy,
    Its been a bit manic here recently and I don't seem to have had much time for doing full meals, except the Sunday dinner and its been meals from the freezers and also desserts have been shop bought (vienetta, apple strudel - asda frozen ready made, and custard )
    I just don't seem to be able to produce a half decent sponge cake - I know they are really the simplest thing ever but no matter what I do they don't seem right, either don't rise or are too stodgy.
    I don't do very good buns either for some reason. I cant blame the cooker either as no matter what cooker I use they are still all disasters :-(
    I had an all electric cooker in my first house, then a multi fuel (electric oven, gas hob) in this house before the kitchen renovation then a fully gas range cooker with 2 ovens (one fan assisted one not) and am still no good at producing a decent cake.
    I would love any baking help (sorry Frugal in Bucks).
    I also use my slow cooker a lot, mainly in winter and im lucky enough to have 99% of kitchen gadgets (my weakness) such as a Soup maker, Kenwood chef, a food processor, blender, smoothie maker, Pie maker, Electric jam maker, Tefal inteli-steam, infact every gadget going so I really have no excuse as to not getting stuff right. I know I will never be Nigella (I wish) so any help greatly appreciated.
    I have Monday off next week so will probably be batch cooking for the coming week and hopefully get caught up with stuff that has been slipping behind just recently. Hope this helps a little, and the cookies you made with daisy looked absolutely gorgeous so help with cookie making also appreciated, take care jane x

    1. Hi Jane
      I have noted down your thoughts and will see what I can do :)
      Does Daniel like to cook with you? I've got some lovely child friendly recipes for you to try if he does.
      Life sometimes gets in the way of cooking and we have to lower our standards just to get the family fed. I's happened to me many times and I always feel guilty! I think we are too hard on ourselves as mums though...nobody's perfect!

      Good to hear from you xx

  3. Hi Mandy,
    sorry yes I forgot to mention that Daniel loves to help out in the kitchen, he usually creates more mess than anything but as I seem to have more patience with him that I did my daughter I don't mind as much, I must be mellowing in my old age as when my daughter was young I hated mess and would rather do stuff myself and have a tidy kitchen/house than let her help and have to clear up afterwards.
    He loves helping when I make carrot cake muffins as he loves eating these, I don't think hes altogether cottoned on about the carrots being vegetables as he wont touch carrots when cooked as veg but hasn't realised about them being the same thing in carrot cake :-)
    I have bought loads of icings, sprinkles, cupcake cases, silicone moulds etc and even bought him a childs baking set last Christmas. I have tons of baking tins etc so no excuse really.
    Luckily Daniel prefers dinners with mash etc rather than convenience foods like pizza, unlike my other grandson who's the exact opposite preferring junk foods to home cooked meals.
    Daniels favourite food is fish, especially cod but doesn't like it too highly seasoned (as I sometimes do in the special steam bags for cooking fish in the oven).
    He also likes my home made soups but prefers them blended smooth rather than chunky.
    He loves Yorkshire puds with most fillings, meat, bolognaise, stew etc and even just gravy.
    I really think he would love the cookies with the chocolate chips etc. I always have dried fruits and glace cherries in the cupboard as well as assorted nuts and seeds.
    Hope this gives a better idea of the stuff we like and hope you can give me some inspiration for better baking, have a good Bank holiday weekend. jane xx

    1. He's not a fussy eater then!
      That's brilliant, I'll see what I can do.

      Tomorrow we're taking Daisy to the Cotswolds wildlife park and Sunday is our wedding anniversary, so it won't be until early next week I'm afraid. Enjoy your day off xx

  4. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY for Sunday and enjoy your day at the Wildlife park xx