Its so easy to spend too much money in the supermarket, the odd quick trip in to buy milk and you come out with 4 or 5 things you didnt even know you needed, and there you have it another £10 spent. I love to try new things and keep meals varied which means I get easily distracted when in the supermarket and trying out new recipes sometimes means buying new ingredients. My trips to the supermarket always end up with me buying things that are not on my list!
So as a challenge to myself I am going to stick to a budget and plan my meals and use up all those random things that I have sitting in my cupboard and freezer. Starting on the first of February, conveniently a saturday I will become queen of the budget and with the money I save I will have spending money for my upcoming trips to Berlin and South Africa – hurrah! Ok something tells me I wont be saving that much money but its certainly a start and a start to me being a better shopper! 🙂
With the grand plan in mind I need to forward plan cheap meals that are flavoursome and freezewell. I am going to plan my weekly meals and stick to it, so no buying of random food half way through the week or going off piste. But it does mean I get to try out some new recipes, one pot wonders and lots of home baking!
So what is in the shopping basket this week – Gyoza dumplings, Chicken Soup and Wild Rabbit Ragu…. oh and some baked goods I am sure!
So to start my frugal month I am starting with a soup. Its a quick and easy chicken and vegetable soup, that is full of vegetables and flavour and will make 5-6 portions, so some for the fridge and some for the freezer!
2 chicken breasts
1 white onion, chopped into small pieces
3 carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
2 garlic cloves
1 courgette, chopped into small pieces
100g button mushrooms, sliced
1.5l chicken stock
2 tsp of mixed herbs ( or basil, thyme, and a bit of rosemary)
2 bay leaves
half a savoy cabbage, finely sliced.
1. Poach two chicken breasts in some stock. (To poach, place the chicken in a heavy bottom pan and pour in enough stock just to cover the chickn, add a couple of bay leaves and a couple of teaspoons of mixed herbs. Bring the stock to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10mins, turn off the heat and leave in the stock for a further 15mins. Once cooked, pour some of the cooking stock into a jug and save for later. Take the chicken out and shred. Put the chicken aside for later.
2. Sweat the onions down in the heavy bottom pan for 4-5mins until they go clear, then add the carrots, celery and garlic.
Continue to sweat for a further 4-5mins. Add the courgette and mushrooms, along with the rice and chicken.
Stir, so the rice covers the vegetables. Pour in the stock (use some of the left over poaching water) and season with the herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to simmer and cover. After 5minutes of cooking, give it a good stir and then stir in the cabbage. Cook for a further 10-15mins until all the vegetables are cooked through. Check for seasoning and then serve!
Wish me luck on my frugal planning and Enjoy!!