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Winter food

You don’t really need more food when it’s cold, but you need different foods to help you to keep warm. If money is short, what can you give your family to eat that’s frugal and will help keep out the cold? I have a few ideas…

For breakfast why not try feeding the family on porridge? It works for the Scots! Make it with water and when it’s done you can add a little milk and maybe a teaspoon of sugar.

For packed lunches, forget processed foods like crisps. You need some protein, that can be cooked meat or cheese to go on the sandwiches; even pink salmon will do.  Make sure they get one of their five a day by adding a piece of fruit. Buy different fruits, because bananas ripen fast, but apples ripen slowly and keep longer. Give them whatever is ripe!  You can also consider Spam or corned beef for sandwiches.

Home made soups and stews are really good this weather and so make your own. You can get cheap veggies from discount supermarkets. I’m cooking some chicken stew as I write this. The drumsticks are cooking and I’ll remove the bones in a little while, add my veggies; celery, onions, parsnips and potato to thicken it. Then simply add some herbs de Provence and some fresh basil and simmer for an hour or two. Frugal and delicious. Cook extra potatoes to go with it, if you have a family to feed. Soups and stews can replace packed lunches, if you have a thermos.

If you fill the oven with baked potatoes and serve them with veggies and sausages; that’s a frugal meal.  If you’re feeding a family, try to get a 25 Kg sack of potatoes from a discount store. When the potatoes are nearly cooked put your veggies on. Cook whatever is cheap or on offer. Then fry your sausages when the potatoes are done and serve one potato cut open with a sausage in it; like a hot dog. If they are still hungry, give them another potato. Allow one sausage per person if you are really short of money, two on Fridays!

I saw some teenagers on TV spend their last fiver on food at McDonalds. I’ve only ever been in there once and thought it was a rip off. If I only had a fiver I would buy potatoes. You can make chips, mash, potato soup and virtually live on potatoes. They have protein, fibre and carbohydrates. Buy a 25 Kg bag and they will last you quite a while, even if you’re eating nothing else. Spread mashed potato on a piece of toast and put it under the grill (add a bit of cheese if you have it). Cut potatoes into wedges, boil until just cooked and then brush with oil and finish them off in the oven. Potatoes are versatile, you can be very innovative with them and you can live on them.

You can make compost out of the potato peelings and other kitchen waste. Even the bones out of the chicken can go into the compost and provide your soil with valuable calcium. Waste not; want not…

Finally, I find lots of uses for Bovril cubes. Crumble a Bovril cube onto mince beef or turkey and then cover in boiling water and simmer. You can add a chopped onion or two to make it tasty. I did it with it with minced turkey and it tasted just like a Tesco beef burger… Nay, it tasted better! OK, no more Tesco beef burger jokes…  Please comment and shares your thoughts…


6 responses

  1. I used to live on potatoes, bread, eggs, cheese, and bacon off-cuts. The combinations are endless…

    18, January 2013 at 6:08 pm

    • Hi,

      If you’re hungry, you will eat just about anything! I can’t eat bread because I’m a celiac. I have problems with dairy too, but I could live on potatoes and eggs. We do need a little fibre though! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment.

      18, January 2013 at 6:54 pm

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  3. I survive on Jacekt potatoes

    20, January 2013 at 10:42 am

    • That should read ‘Jacket.’

      20, January 2013 at 10:43 am

      • Hi Nick,

        I had some stuffed with minced turkey for lunch, easy to do in the microwave!

        20, January 2013 at 2:34 pm

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