Sunday, 27 January 2013

Frugal Friday

I've decided to join Robyn in her Frugal Friday posts, and in particular, Frugal February.
Necessity is usually the reason for being frugal, and I've been chuckling this morning reading about the adventures in finding insurance at A Cheerful Living Adventure

But lots of the things I do out of habit are frugal, and to me they're just old fashioned common sense.  So, don't waste things, in particular food.

Last week I happened to be in the supermarket when they were doing the final markdown on fruit and veg. Picked up a couple of bags of potatoes, some organic carrots, purple sprouting broccoli and some leeks, all for 19 pence each.  Nothing wrong with any of them, they just couldn't sell them as they were out of date.
Organic carrots for 19 pence


There was also a chicken with a use by date which meant it had to be cooked that day - 2kg chicken for just over £2. Bargain.  To be honest, I'm not that concerned about dates, if it smells OK I'll cook it.

So first thing was to make leek and potato soup. Now I *know* I should have cooked the chicken first and made the stock etc., but it was lunchtime and I was hungry.

Leek and potato soup
A fair bit of chopping, cursing and cutting of fingers, but then I had soup.  Far too much for me, so some of it went into the freezer, some I took to work during the week.

Then the chicken was cooked.  We had a lovely roast dinner, and then started "Project Rubber Chicken".

How far could it go? Not that far, as my son eats large portions, but not bad.

Remainder of the chicken

The bones ready to become stock

Left over veg, frozen to be used elsewhere
Actually writing this out is difficult, because its so second nature.  There's lots of things in fancy recipe books about how to make stock, but personally, the 'bung it all in a pan' option normally works fine!  Break up the carcass, put in a large pan with some veg (usually an old carrot and an onion) don't chop the veg up just cut into quarters, and don't peel the carrot.  Cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. There will be some scum on top of the pan, skim this off (but don't worry about it if you miss some, it just means you won't get a perfectly clear stock). Lower the heat and simmer for an hour or so. Keep an eye on it, don't let it dry out.  You should then get a lovely flavourful stock that can be frozen and used again. I put small plastic bags inside my plastic containers before freezing the stock, I can then reuse the containers.

Remainder of the chicken was put into lots of freezer bags, in single portions.  So far we've used some of it for fajitas (feeding 3 adults), some sandwiches (obviously), omelettes and will have curry one night.  So for less than a fiver, we've so far had 3 proper meals, lots of soup, and have more meals still to come.  Value for money, definitely; frugal, I'm not so sure