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  • FIRST POST
    weezl74
    Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all!
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:18 AM
    Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all! 6th Feb 10 at 8:18 AM
    The vision: a low budget meal planner with recipes

    Hello

    I've been thinking for a while that what I'd dearly love to create is a resource. With meal plans and recipes and costings. For a 'normal' family of 4 (2 adults 2 teens). And I’d like it to prove itself to be healthy, and I’d like it to not be too much of a break away from what people normally eat. Because these are the objections and fears that most normal people have when you try to help them to live within their means.


    So I’ve been asking for volunteer recipe testers and so far 25 lovely MSEers have stepped up to the plate. And I’m more grateful than I can say. Thanks. I hope there are more who might spare the time and the cash to test a frugal recipe. Let me know if you do.

    I chatted to NYK and we felt that this could companionably live on this board as a 'little sister thread' to the very popular and Fab frugal living challenge.

    Please post if you're willing to try/have tried any of my recipe suggestions with your brutally honest feedback

    thank you

    Love Weezl x


    Last edited by weezl74; 04-04-2010 at 7:33 AM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
Page 1
  • weezl74
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:19 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:19 AM

    Click here for the most recent recipes list

    Last edited by weezl74; 26-03-2010 at 4:54 AM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • weezl74
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:19 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:19 AM
    Tasks list if anyone would like to volunteer!

    Each of the parts below will take a bit of writing/think collating, I guestimate this is quite an investment of your time. So do think if it's realistic, or if you just have a few ideas to share about a topic, maybe PM the main person who has put themselves forward, all tips will be gratefully recieved

    why on earth did we come up with this mad scheme?

    Shirley's big batch cooking day planner

    Shirley's kit list and current best buys

    glossary of food terms for a new cook

    Tips for getting all the family on board, even the really stubborn ones

    what to do when you arrive at the shop and there's no carrots?

    We had some leftovers last night, I don't want to waste them!

    I think I've just seen a better bargain what shall I do?

    shirley's storecupboard of herbs, spices seasonings to make things just a bit more varied and interesting, but for teeny cash (or maybe for shirley's birthday pressie )

    my current understanding of how the phases of this mad scheme might roll out:

    Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all!

    phase 2 - nutritional checks, stock checks, costings and finalisation of shopping list and planners

    phase 3 - actual testing of the whole month by a couple of real families- gulp

    phase 4 -
    tweaks and write up

    Phase 5 make it known somehow to Bob and Shirley
    Last edited by weezl74; 17-02-2010 at 12:19 PM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • weezl74
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:20 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:20 AM
    The rules/parameters of the challenge:

    1. no bombing diving or petting (oops sorry that's the rules of my old school swimming pool)
    2. This is about subsistence living. There will be other phases where we can add in non-essentials, but for now we'll try to meet the need of the poorest families first and build it up from there.
    3. We want the family to stay healthy. We will try as far as possible to make the diet healthy. (however if we demonstrate there is plenty of fibre for good gut health, we will then allow white flour for baking, so they can at least sometimes have cake!).
    4. We acknowledge that we can't please all of the people all of the time. The end product will be a resource for a theoretical family of 4, who if using it COULD manage subsistence living. As interesting, useful and part of the chat of the thread as it is, I don't think we can accomodate too many personal tastes whilst keeping it subsistence level eating.
    5. We will aim for 80p per person per day or 100 per family of 4 per (31 day) month
    Special guidelines for the recipe testers:

    Whilst tasting, please do be honest. If it's vile please say so. If we offer subsistence and they can't eat it, then there's no incentive not to just chuck another 400 a month at tesco onto the (already heaving) credit card.

    However... Please also keep in mind the real debt of this family. If they add a 'splash of wine' or the recipe might benefit from a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, then they will probably end up paying 5 times over for the cost of that bottle of wine/balsamic. And it's not that lovely! So I think what I'm saying is, do feel free to make those suggestions, this is already a cheerful chatty friendly thread and it would be horrid to lose that. Just that when we're collating feedback for the mythical family of 4, we need to aim for the 'good enough' curry rather than the 'finest brand level with shavings of real coconut and fresh Kaffir lime leaves' type curry.


    define healthy?


    7 of the NHS 5 a day
    sufficient fibre
    avoidance where possible of harmful transfats
    enough protein and carbohydrate to sustain health and maintain weight
    enough vitamins and minerals for health

    please add more here!

    the surveys: the way to give us your feedback on the recipes you've tested-click!




    Last edited by weezl74; 16-03-2010 at 5:38 AM.

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • Sucker for sweeties
    • By Sucker for sweeties 6th Feb 10, 8:23 AM
    • 611 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    Sucker for sweeties
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:23 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:23 AM
    I,m making more of my chickens 'rubber' amongst other bits, so if a (HUNGRY) carnivore who needs demands a big chunk of dead animal can be accommodated then I'd like to try.

    It's only over the last 2/3 years I've really appreciated the way my Granny cooked.
  • weezl74
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:42 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:42 AM
    I,m making more of my chickens 'rubber' amongst other bits, so if a (HUNGRY) carnivore who needs demands a big chunk of dead animal can be accommodated then I'd like to try.

    It's only over the last 2/3 years I've really appreciated the way my Granny cooked.
    Originally posted by Sucker for sweeties
    Thank you very much SforS, I shall add you to the volunteers list

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • Sucker for sweeties
    • By Sucker for sweeties 6th Feb 10, 8:49 AM
    • 611 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    Sucker for sweeties
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:49 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 10, 8:49 AM
    Thank you very much SforS, I shall add you to the volunteers list
    Originally posted by weezl74
    Oh, now I'll have to get all techie and investigate how to subscribe to a thread.
  • homegrown_life
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 10, 2:44 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 10, 2:44 PM
    Stick my name down on the list Weezl! Looking forward to seeing how the thread unfolds.
    2010 Cost of Living Challenge - 901/5300 * Grocery challenge - 117.91/120 *
    Total Debt- 6388.74 5995.66
    Debt Free Reward Pot 11 * Overdraft vs 100 days 363.76/800 *
    Feb NSD's 8/12
  • weezl74
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 10, 3:03 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 10, 3:03 PM
    thank you both, I have added your names

    Please let me know which of the recipe list above tickles your fancy, if any

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • homegrown_life
    I'd like to try the spicy meatballs. It's actually on my meal plan for this month but not given much thought as to how I'll do it. I normally just do spag bol, but thought this would make a change. Pork and apple burgers sound great too.

    I just made a chick pea curry yesterday which all the family ate (for once, normally there is one voice of dissent!) and enjoyed. Will be interested in seeing your recipe too.

    Thanks for adding my name.
    2010 Cost of Living Challenge - 901/5300 * Grocery challenge - 117.91/120 *
    Total Debt- 6388.74 5995.66
    Debt Free Reward Pot 11 * Overdraft vs 100 days 363.76/800 *
    Feb NSD's 8/12
    • nopot2pin
    • By nopot2pin 6th Feb 10, 3:24 PM
    • 5,641 Posts
    • 21,239 Thanks
    nopot2pin


    This should be fun
    I cant wait to get started experimenting on your behalf

    I am up for testing the veggie recipes.... except the pasta/greenbean one - I have green bean issues
    I also enjoy baking, so am up for those too.
    Oh.... and chutneys

    When and what sort of info do you require Weezl ?

    Potty
    Last edited by nopot2pin; 06-02-2010 at 4:16 PM.
  • Lesley Gaye
    Hi everyone, this looks set to be another great thread.

    Weezl, the sweetcorn fritters. Have you tried making them with ordinary batter? We have these now and again. I would make a batter using 100g cheapest plain flour, 1 egg and half a pint of liquid. Tend to use this amount as it is for a whole egg.

    I used to use milk as this is the batter I use for pancakes, but tried beer for the batter for sweet and sour chicken and it was beautifully crisp. To frugalise it, I would use water as that too makes for a crisper batter than milk, and I have heard that sparkling water makes an extra crispy (or is it light?) batter, although I haven't tried it.

    I would use a tblsp of sweetcorn for each fritter and just tip the corn into the batter and scoop it out for each fritter. Any excess batter tends to get used for sweet pancakes as OH loves them (he keeps them in the fridge until he wants them and zaps them to warm them up and has them with anything sweet that he fancies)

    I'm sure you know all this and I would be interested to see if you can frugalise them any more, can't think how myself, but you are ace at it

    PS I think I've got a chick pea curry recipe somewhere, I'll have a look
  • Lesley Gaye
    Weezl - did you see the carrot burgers on the BBC Good Food site? Can't remember if you did or not. They are here, or maybe these are the burgers you want to frugalise?

    Half the recipe makes 6 burgers and you only need to use the carrots, chickpeas, onion, cumin (could leave that out too), egg (to stick it all together) and breadcrumbs. I think I've used just lemon juice (increased amount and from a bottle) and you could prob leave out the sesame seeds, esp if the burgers are eaten with other flavoursome things.

    I have had them with the pumpkin and apple chutney I did in the autumn and the flavour of that or any other chutney would make up for any lacking in the burgers
  • misskool
    I've just made some sweetcorn fritters and they were 39p sweetcorn can from lidl, bit of spring onion (maybe 3p?), some flour, some fizzy water, some salt. Oil to shallow fry. Very yum. The recipe is somewhere in the cook something new challenge thread on OS.
  • weezl74
    yay! this is fab great response

    Zazen, I shall add a (V) after everything that is vegetarian friendly, and see what takes your fancy...

    Lesley it wasn't that recipe, but that also looks fab and I will investigate further. The seame seeds could be hard to squeeze into current budget target Great tip on the sweetcorn fritters too, thanks

    Just going to add more recipes to the frugalising list...

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • ceridwen
    From that list you gave - i could do one or more of:

    - chick pea curry
    - veg. risotto
    - thick onion tart
    - pasta/pesto and green beans
    - carrot and chickpea veggie burgers

    I'm tossing up a bit about the carrot cake - due to it being likely to have sugar (as do carrot cakes normally). I did spot a recipe the other day somewheres for a carrot cake with a smaller amount of sugar in than normal and there was some sultanas in there. I was wondering whether it would be possible to do one totally without sugar - because carrots themselves have a degree of sweetness - and sultanas would probably add sufficient sweetness of themselves I would think??
    (I know I've seen some cheap sultanas/raisins/whatever in the supermarket - so would imagine this could be done quite cheaply).
  • weezl74
    this is #1 of the monthly shopping list. I'm grateful for any responses:

    Fruit & Vegetables


    8 x ASDA Smartprice Apples (8) 5.44
    3 x ASDA Smartprice Kiwi Fruit (10) 3.00
    2 x ASDA Smartprice Beetroot (500g) 1.08
    2 x ASDA Smartprice British Carrots (2Kg) 2.16
    5 x ASDA Smartprice Brown Onions (2Kg) 3.90
    4 x ASDA Smartprice Potatoes (2.5Kg) 3.36
    1 x ASDA Smartprice Salted Peanuts (200g) 0.27
    5 x ASDA Smartprice Raisins (500g) 3.25
    2 x Batchelors Bigga Dried Peas (250g) 0.48

    Dairy


    4 x ASDA Whole Fresh Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) 5.00
    1 x ASDA Cooks Value Medium Eggs (30) 2.98
    2 x I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread (500g)
    1.50
    any 2 FOR 1.50 - valid until: 30/03/10
    1
    x ASDA Smartprice Mature White Cheddar 4.98

    Meat, Fish & Poultry


    800g ASDA Smartprice Pork Belly Slices by Weight (100g) 3.20
    1 x ASDA British Turkey Mince (450g) 1.60
    2 x ASDA Smartprice Turkey Drumsticks (700g) 2.94
    1 x ASDA Smartprice Unsmoked Gammon Rounds (250g) 1.00
    3 x ASDA Sausage Meat Pork (454g) 3.63

    Frozen


    2 x ASDA Fine Whole Green Beans (1Kg) 2.00
    2 x ASDA Freshly Frozen Baby Carrots (1Kg) 2.44
    4 x ASDA Smartprice Cauliflower Florets (907g) 3.16
    4 x ASDA Smartprice Peas (907g) 3.48
    4 x ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn (907g) 3.44

    Tins, Jars & Cooking


    1 x ASDA Pure Sunflower Oil (1L) 0.93 was 98p
    1
    x Colman's Mustard Powder (57g) 0.94
    1 x Gia Garlic Puree in Vegetable Oil (90g) 0.59
    1 x Rajah Garam Masala (100g) 0.56
    15 x ASDA Smartprice Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (420g) 4.35
    14 x ASDA Smartprice Peeled Plum Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g) 4.34
    1 x ASDA Green Olives Anchovy Stuffed (340g) 0.84
    1 x ASDA Red Cabbage in Vinegar (420g) 0.77
    2 x ASDA Green Pesto Sauce (190g) 2.00
    1 x ASDA Stock Cubes Chicken (12x10g) 0.76 any 2 FOR 1.00 - valid until: 31/12/10

    Packets & Cereals


    2 x ASDA Wheat Bisks (24x18g) 2.00
    3
    x ASDA Smartprice Porridge Oats (1Kg) 1.74
    1 x ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg) 0.43
    10 x ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 6.10
    1 x KTC Lemon Juice (250ml) 0.44
    1 x Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg) 0.98
    7 x ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g) 2.24
    5 x ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 3.65
    1 x Natco Chick Peas (2Kg) 2.53

    Drinks


    1 x ASDA Smartprice Tea Bags (80 per pack - 250g) 0.28

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • Lesley Gaye
    Butter Bean and Vegetable Curry
    The recipe I was thinking of is Butter Bean and Vegetable Curry, but I'm sure chick peas would work just as well used in place of the butter beans. Do you have a particular recipe in mind for the curry?

    I also have a chickpea crumble recipe. Happy to post if you want them, although I think the point of this thread is to frugalise a pre chosen list of recipes/dishes?
    Last edited by Lesley Gaye; 06-02-2010 at 4:15 PM.
  • archived user
    Happy to test, as long as the ingredients aren't specific to a particular shop and don't require too much compromise on quality/sourcing compared to our usual choices. (You mentioned Asda, but that is too far from us; we shop with Ocado or in local independent shops. Can provide you with costings for comparison purposes, if you wish.)

    Let me know what you would like us to try. From your list so far, the following look like possibilities:
    ~thick onion tart
    ~carrot cake
    ~sweetcorn fritters
    ~chick pea curry
    ~veg risotto
    ~home made chutney
    ~pork and apple burgers
    ~pasta, pesto and green beans
    ~borscht
    ~pizza with gammon and green beans
    ~carrot and chick pea veggie burgers

    With the exception of the gammon-and-green-bean-pizza(!), this is all the sort of thing we might eat anyway. In case you are interested for consumer research purposes, the reasons for discounting the other recipes on the list are as follows:
    ~turkey leg: we tried it once and found it tough so no one liked it; I have not seen it for sale at my current shopping places
    ~pork belly: too fatty for our tastes; we only like very lean meat
    ~meatballs and pasta: I suspect this is beef, which I don't eat -- if it is lamb or pork instead, add it to my list of possibles!

    Good luck with the project! I look forwards to seeing the results. :-)
  • ceridwen
    Just had a quick checkout of www.mysupermarket.com - wondering what value dried fruit there is (thinking of carrot cake). I dont know how widespread Asda supermarkets are - I dont have access to one myself. So - I checked out Sainsburys - and there is Basics sultanas there for 13p per 100 grams (and "greenies" like myself could substitute organic variant). Anyone could substitute other dried fruit - according to taste (eg I think I have some dried apple in from earlier in the year for instance - and I reckon I could use that for sweetness).

    The idea of a shopping list is probably a good one - with some tweaks to allow for vegetarian and/or single person households. Maybe two versions - a veggie and non-veggie one perhaps? (and giving in brackets revised quantities to buy if its just a single person household?).
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