Tag Archives: Home Cooking

Month of Organising – Getting Started

 

Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up

A.A. Milne 

I have decided that February is the month in which I am going to have an organising blitz, my husband is already taking refuge! I do find life easier when I can find things and everything is “sorted”. A little effort now should free up my time giving me more time to play and do fun things with the little ones.

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Since we had a dry day yesterday I took our son out on his scooter, there’s a cycle path close to the house and the railway line runs alongside it, he loves trains so its a winning combination!

 

 

 

 

How am I going to plan?

Time (and energy) can be in short supply so my idea is to spend anything from 15 minutes to an hour each day “sorting” something out. That way it’s not taking up too much of my day and I won’t dread doing it.

This weeks achievements

Our spare bedroom is a bit chaotic, it’s the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff and its the room that we put of doing anything about, I guess that we all have one of those places!  There’s no bed so it is mainly used for books, filing cabinets, the ironing pile, sewing machine and that kind of thing. I spent an hour on Wednesday filing paperwork and tidying the bookcases and it already looks better. I will try to spend another hour next Wednesday doing some more.

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I have also been refilling my cleaning and laundry supplies this week. A couple of weeks ago I found some large labels for 29p a pack and have been using these to label the jars that I keep my supplies in. I had previously just written on the jars in pen but this was prone to rubbing off so I’m much happier with this now. As each jar needs refiled I will add a label.

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We were given several calendars at Christmas, one is in the kitchen with all of the family info on it and I have used the other to make a note of the renewal dates for household and car insurance policies and contracts. If I was being super efficient I could add reminders to submit meter readings and other things…..hmmm maybe next week!

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The final bit of organising I have done this week was I have made some “bread mixes”, I was making bread and weighed out most of the dry ingredients into tubs so the next time I make bread I only have to add yeast and wet/fresh ingredients.

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I have a few ideas about what I would like to do next week, hopefully I can make some more progress. When I am busy at home I’m not shopping or spending 🙂

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This weeks shopping 5th February 2014

Towards the end of last year we “found” a greengrocer fairly close to home, Im sure it was around September. Since then we have not bought any fruit or vegetables from the supermarkets. We also started using a fairly local butcher around the same time and again we haven’t bought any meat from the supermarkets since.

Yes it probably does cost a little more but there are so many benefits to shopping local. When we go into the shop they know our names, we can have a chat, the kids are encouraged to look at things and are made to feel really welcome. I can buy as much or as little as I like and the produce is always fresh.

Fruit & Veg Shopping

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks fruit and vegetables shop came to £14.00 which I think is great value. I got some extra veggies at the weekend and have some frozen veg so there are no potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower this week. A portion of the fruit will be used to make fruit purees for the littlest one.

Meat

 

 

 

 

 

All I needed from the butcher was cooked meat and some beef to make a casserole with at the weekend. Total cost £6.50

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The remainder of the shopping came from Lidl and Asda and came to around £39.00. This is expensive for us but it included Baby Milk at £9.99 and as Asda had a baby event on I stocked up on some baby essentials which accounted for around £6.50. This will result in a lower spend over the next few weeks.

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We did not need any toiletries or household items this week.

Total  Shop: £59.50

Weekly Budget is £90.00

Remaining: £30.50 (until Monday)

Meal Planning Monday 27th January 2013

I thought I would share our meal plan and hopefully link up with some other bloggers to share some ideas 🙂 We ended up eating out a couple of times last week so some meals have carried over.  Sorry its late, littlest one is poorly just now 😦

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  • Monday: Pork Casserole & Dumplings
  • Tuesday: Pasta & Garlic Bread
  • Wednesday: Fishcakes
  • Thursday: Baked Potatoes
  • Friday: Lasagne
  • Saturday: Chicken Dippers
  • Sunday: Home Made Pizza

We will have either salad or vegetables with each meal and normally some yoghurt and fruit or jelly for dessert 🙂

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk

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Meal Planning Monday (a little late) 20th Jan 2014

A little late in writing this but I did make a meal plan this week and am sticking to it fairly well:

Monday: Baked Potato

Tuesday: Breaded Fish & Chips

Wednesday: Pasta and Sauce

Thursday: Mince and Potatoes

Friday: Chicken and Cous Cous

Saturday: Home Made Pizza and potato wedges

Sunday: Pork Casserole

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk

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Our 2014 Budget

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Dave Ramsey

We have sat down this morning and decided on our weekly / monthly budget for 2014. We have 2 adults and 2 young children (3 years and 10 months) so the budget allows us enough room to buy fresh local fruit, veg and meat in addition to our weekly milk delivery. We typically overspend on “other” meaning lunches out, treats etc so this year we are having a focused effort to rein it in.

Heres the breakdown:

Milk – £5 per week

Fruit & Veg – £10 per week

Meat and Fish – £20 per week – this is probably too high but we can adjust down after a few weeks

Other food and household – £30 to include snacks for children that can’t be made at home and baby milk until our daughter is 1

Eating out, soft play, treats – £20

Total Weekly Budget: £ 80 or £4160 per year

Of course we would love to live on less but we feel that this is an achievable budget for our family. The other food and household budget will reduce once our daughter turns one and we no longer have to buy baby milk. Im continuing to make my own laundry detergent and as many household cleaners as I can to reduce the amount of “nasties” we use but also to help our budget.  Our meal planning will also continue 🙂

Home Made Baby Food

Most of the time I try to make my own food for our daughter who’s 8.5 months old. I swear by Annabel Karmels recipes as they were always well received and eaten by our son. To say she enjoyed her tea of salmon last night would be an understatement!

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We do buy pouches of baby food on occasion, however we try to make our own or she eats what we have as much as possible. This way I know what she is eating and it saves us money. Even taking into account the cost of buying the fresh ingredients to make a batch of food, it works out much cheaper than buying a decent standard of pre- made baby food for every meal.

I try to make sure that most of the time we have a batches in the freezer that contain Red Meat, Chicken, Fish, Vegetarian / Pasta and fruit. I freeze in ice cube trays then decant the cubes into a freeze bag. This way I can then defrost a few cubes as we need them.

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Our Annabel Karmel Book 

 

Freezing Vegetables to Prevent Waste

We have been buying a fruit and vegetable box from the local greengrocer (recently discovered) and last week I had one lonely turnip left. Rather than let it go to waste I peeled and chopped it, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes then I immediately put it into iced cold water. Finally I dried it with kitchen paper and put it in a freezer bag. I will use it in stew, soup or simply cook for 6-8 minutes with a little butter added. A year ago this would have been put in the bin!

Here are some pictures of the process.

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You can freeze loads of vegetables in this way including broccoli (best packed in rigid containers so its not damaged), cauliflower florets, butternut squash. These are usually able to be stored for 12 months.

Im finding that having some vegetables prepared and stored in the freezer makes life much easier when it comes to making soups and stews, all i need to do is put them into the pan, no peeling or chopping required.

I was also given a whole load of cooking apples, these have been peeled and stewed, I’ve made some into individual sized apple crumbles which I have frozen with the crumble uncooked. All I need to do is take them out of the freezer and cook them. I’ve stored the rest of the stewed apple in plastic boxes in the freezer.

Meal Planning Monday 4th November 2013

I thought I would share our meal plan and hopefully link up with some other bloggers to share some ideas 🙂

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  • Monday: Baked Potato with cheese and beans
  • Tuesday: A meal from the freezer
  • Wednesday: Breaded Fish and Cous Cous
  • Thursday: Marinated Chicken
  • Friday: Mince and potatoes
  • Saturday: Homemade Pizza
  • Sunday: Omlette

We will have either salad or vegetables with each meal and normally some yoghurt and fruit or jelly for dessert 🙂

I have all of the ingredients in the house so my only food spend this week should be for lunches and fresh produce 🙂

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk

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Anyone for a Hot Drink?

After watching a TV program recently about households looking to reduce their energy consumption I got some ideas that I want to try.

As I went to fill the kettle this morning (never to the fill line) I tipped the water back out into a jug. I then used my mug and the babies cup and measured out exactly what I needed for my cup of tea and her cooled boiled water.  The pictures are below, the first showing the first amount and the other picture showing the actual amount.

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This isn’t an exact science and the amount of water I normally put into the kettle each time will vary. However it does show me that I should pay more attention as I am most likely using a lot more electricity per boil than I need. I would definitely recommend giving this a try.

Meal Planning Monday 28th October 2013

I thought I would share our meal plan and hopefully link up with some other bloggers to share some ideas 🙂

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  • Monday: Takeaway
  • Tuesday: Baked Potato
  • Wednesday: Marinated Chicken
  • Thursday: Fish Fingers
  • Friday: Pasta and Sauce (Home made)
  • Saturday: Beans and Cheese on Toast
  • Sunday: Beef Burgers and Potato Wedges (Homemade)

We will have either salad or vegetables with each meal and normally some yoghurt and fruit or jelly for dessert 🙂

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk

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