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Shopping And Chopping

It seems a little odd that budget stretching has lead us to spend a lot of money! We had the biggest supermaket shopping trip we'd done for months the other night, spending a whopping £55. I also spent £6.77 on nuts and Holland and Barrett should any keen eyed person notice the bag of nuts in the picture. 



We did get a lot for our cash though. We replenished all our staples - pasta, beans, dried chickpeas and lentils, all the non-dairy milks in the county apparently, 4 types of flour, and of course plenty of fresh vegetables. Pretty poor on the zero waste scale but there you go. 

I did manage to get some spices without all the packaging though, I already have jars at home so I picked up some loose, inexpensive spices from Single Step in Lancaster. 




In the spirit of money saving I also thought I'd try the supermarket own brand tea leaves instead of buying the tea I usually have, a saving of £2.25



It's pretty easy to tell which is which, the cheaper tea is nowhere near as fine, it's more granular, my usual tea is fine, softer leaves. So I did a taste test. The cheaper tea is fine, although I have to be a little bit more careful with the brewing time as the taste can become a bit too tanniny (I know that's not a word). I'm sure by the time I get to the end of the bag I'll be used to it anyway. 

Today is a freezer food preparation day, we are making black bean burgers, falafel, a couple of pasty fillings, and spicy potato wedges, we're also going to be brave and chop up some onions and freeze them raw as I find that, even in the pantry, supermarket onions don't last very long before going a bit manky, then it's all about the roast veg, more onions, mushrooms, lots of peppers and a squash. The added bonus of this is that we get to snack on some roasted squash seeds later this evening *yum*. I think Dan is going to make some dough for the freezer tomorrow too. 

This is a new approach we're trying out, usually I prepare meals to freeze, but I have been wondering if freezing ingredients would be more useful, so we're giving it a go and we'll see what happens. 

Comments

  1. I freeze onions. I chop them up and open freeze them first and store them in a box (so they don't all stick together in one block)
    I'm interested in your bean burger recipe if you would like to share it.
    Carolx

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    1. Thanks, that's what I was thinking of doing with the onions, nice to know it's a tried and tested method.

      I've added a link to the bean burger recipe to the "A Fascinating Insight" post today. If I want a burger but want to feel a bit more healthy I sometimes make the Perfect Veggie Burger from Oh She Glows

      http://ohsheglows.com/2011/07/13/our-perfect-veggie-burger/

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  2. We freeze onions that way, as well as celery. We buy lots when they're on sale and prepare for freezing. It works!

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    1. Thank you, I'll bear that in mind about celery too, it's often reduced at the supermarket and while I'm not fond of eating it raw I use it in stews and things.

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  3. I have been experimenting with the freezer too. There is a stall on out local car boot that sells bowls of veg for £1. You get about 9/10 peppers in a bowl so I chop and freeze them they are perfect for stir fries and sauces. Celery, shallots, onions have also been good to freeze.

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    1. Wow, bargain veg at the car boot!

      I've never had much success freezing raw peppers, but maybe it's time to give it another try, it would be great if we had a market to pick things up more cheaply.

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  4. I can't believe people actually BUY frozen chopped onions! I bought a tin of white kidney beans to try. Not had them before but they were really cheap in the Polish food section in Sainsburys. I often pick up stuff on there!

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    1. I've never bought them myself, but I've never frozen them myself either, I'm strangely excited to do it.

      I love the world food section, it's so good for larger packs of dried foods, I try my best to avoid the mango chutney flavour lentil curl snacks!

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  5. Ooh, please tell me more about roasted squash seeds as I hate chucking them away!!!

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    1. You have to try them, so delicious! All you have to do is remove the seeds from the squash, give them a rinse and remove the worst of the stringy bits of pulpy stuff. Dry the seeds them toss them in some oil, plus any flavourings you desire (I like tamari/soy sauce). Put them in a single layer in some kind of ovenproof dish and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. I just put them in the oven with the squash and keep an eye on them, but official recipes say to cook them at around 150C.

      I like to do a pumpkin, squash and sunflower seed mixture. Great sprinkled over a stirfry or enjoyed as a snack.

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