Monday, May 6, 2013

How We Save Money With Our $100 Food Shop - Lunch

The most common lunch we have is sandwiches. Partly because of a dear friend we can get free bread. But also because it's great travel food for kids going to school and DH going to work.
  • We have the basic sandwich spreads like Peanut Butter, Marmite/Vegemite(whatever is cheapest at the time), Honey and homemade Jam.
  • We use leftover meat from dinner for a sandwich filling. Like chicken, beef or bacon.
  • Leftover salads like coleslaw, green salad or tomato and red onion salad.
  • Fresh veggies from the garden, like tomatoes and lettuce when in season. Or sliverbeet finely sliced.
  • DH makes great Aioli with our chickens eggs, that can go on our salad sandwiches. I make chutneys, pickles and relish form our garden produce.
  • We make our own humus, and egg salad.
  • Having a little grated cheese can make a sandwich tasty too.
Our family doesn't always have sandwiches though. Sometimes we are home and can make cooked lunches. Have something more filling so dinner can be more simple at night.
  • Sometimes DH, DS14 and DS13 take leftovers from dinner in little containers they can microwave for lunch.
  • Homemade hot chips with Aioli and tomato sauce.
  • Toasted sandwiches with a fillings of cheese, baked beans, sweet corn, or leftover mince.
  • Salads like potato salad with some bacon
  • Homemade mini pizzas
  • Homemade hamburgers
  • Homemade soup with bread
  • Roast chicken, and mayonnaise on buns. Leftover chicken is used for dinner and stock.
For us its about using what we have first before buying extra for lunch. Using up leftovers, making our own condiments. There is more I would like to learn how to make our own of. I will be making our own peanut butter, to see if I can make it cheaper. Even want to try making some of our own cheese.
  • We buy cheese on sale 1kg blocks (last time time I got them for $6.50). And cut them up into 250g blocks, grate them in my food processor and bag them in zip lock bags for the freezer. They defrost faster, and ready to use for meals. That gives me about 8 weeks worth of cheese (that worked out about $1.63per bag) . I was also able to do this for Parmesan cheese, with a very good special on blocks of that cheese. Came to around $2 a bag of 200g Parmesan cheese (yummy in risotto).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How We Save Money With Our $100 Food Shop - Snacks

Snacks are usually morning tea, afternoon tea and sometimes after dinner. They can be taken to school or work, and on trips. They help us to have a break or sustain us until a main meal.

The easiest and cheapest snack we have is popcorn. We always have popcorn on hand in the pantry, and with our popcorn maker (a birthday gift) it only takes a couple of minutes to make.

And thanks to The Food Truck we can make our own potato chips, it's not hard. It's easier with our mandolin slicer (another birthday gift) to slice our potatoes into thin slices. Season the potato and lay out on baking paper on a baking tray, spray tops with a little oil. Place in a preheated oven 150'C for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crunchy. I like these with garlic salt. Kids like chicken salt.

Fruit and veggies yummy, even better when they are homegrown. Sliced apples, scooping out fresh feijoa, kiwifruit with our free fruit spoons. Peeling mandarins, squeezing juice from oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Popping berries just picked, straight into your mouth in Summer. Carrot and celery sticks, though my kids will just eat a carrot as is most of the time. Eating seasonal helps to keep the costs down.

Home Baking is a good way to have a yummy snack that doesn't have to cost a lot.
  • You don't always need eggs. Like in ANZAC, and gingerbread biscuits.
  • You can make sure a cake lasts longer if you make it into cupcakes and then kids can have 1 cupcake instead of 1 slice of cake
  • You don't always need butter. Like in Carrot cake, Pikelets, Lemonade Scones, ABC muffins and even a Chocolate Mud cake.
  • Buy butter on sale for under $3, and store in freezer for when you do need butter for baking.
  • Limit how many biscuits you are aloud to have at one time. For our family it is 2 biscuits at one time.
  • I buy plain flour and white sugar in bulk. So I don't have to buy every week. Last week I brought 5kg white sugar for $7.99 (so $1.60 per kg). Because we use less then 1kg per week (unless I'm preserving). I shouldn't need to buy for another 5 weeks. Next week I need to buy plain flour.
  • You don't always need white sugar. Like Fried scones and Honey cake uses honey and dates, no sugar. Or some recipes ask for brown sugar instead. Like Gingerbread biscuits and muffins, Date loaf, and ABC muffins.
  • If you are out of icing sugar for icing your cake, you can make your own. Add white sugar to a food processor, mix until you have icing sugar.
  • Sometimes you have to make do with what you have. One time I was making ANZAC biscuits and realised I was out of rolled oats (last had been put into our muesli). Was able to use our muesli instead, and it was yummy. Didn't have walnuts for a recipe, but did have cashew nuts, so used instead. Ran out of chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookies. But had some leftover chocolate from a present, chopped it up and used instead. Just didn't have enough plain flour for a cake, used some wholemeal to top up (could have also used some self raising flour I had in pantry too)
  • ABC muffins are a wonderful way to use up bruised (or half eaten) apples and bananas, that the kids won't eat into a muffin they all will have.
  • I also have some bananas that I was able to buy cheap, in the freezer. Waiting to become Banana cake or Banana Walnut Golden Syrup loaf :)
  • Freezers are also a great place to store baking. At the moment we have a Carrot cake in ours. Great to have on hand when you not in the mood to bake. All I have to do is defrost and ice the cake and  it's really for school lunches. This cake was half of a large cake I had made. We have also stored in the freezer before Banana cake, ABC muffins, even some biscuit mix that was ready to cut into slices and bake.
  • We use our lemons (from our tree) for making lemon cupcakes, and Wholemeal Lemon and Poppy Seed cake and Lemon slice. Don't see the point in buying them. And when we have so many that we can't use them fast enough, we freeze the juice for the times when we don't have lemons. We uses our oranges and grapefruit also as a flavour for cakes.
Sometimes it nice to have a drink with our snacks. It can be a hot drink like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, or cold drink like water, milk, milkshake, and juice.
  • Milkshakes are usually made when we have leftover ice cream that is not enough for dessert. Add it to some milk and mix (we have two options a hand powered blender or powered one). It can make a small amount of ice cream become 4 cups of milkshake that the kids can have with their 2 biscuits.
  • Juice we usually make form our own fruit, it just to expensive to buy. Sometimes when I can get a box of cheap fruit from the fruit shop there will be some in there that can be made into juice.
  • In Summer I make Ginger beer, Welsh Nectar (like lemonade), and Winter I make Lemon & Barley Cordial
Lastly sometimes if I make it we have yogurt. Served in cups, since kids will take to much if in bowls.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How We Save Money With Our $100 Food Shop - Breakfast

I was asked how do I keep our Food shop so low? And I hope I can answer that question over the next few days.
Firstly we have that limit of $100 (sometimes we spend less) because we want to pay off our debt. We have a goal and focus that helps us not to get caught up with the wants we can have when we walk around a supermarket. I can stand in line waiting to pay and not pick up that yummy looking chocolate bar, because I don't want that to mean we have use money we need to pay bills.

For those who don't know we are a family of 6 = Me DH, DS14, DS13, DD11, and DS8 (DH= Dear Husband, DS= Dear Son, and DD= Dear Daughter). DH works, and I'm a stay at home mum who is homeschooling our youngest. We have 6 chickens, a bunny, a cat (who is a great mouser), and fish with snails. We live in a little home in the city, with a veggie garden and 12 fruit trees, berry plants and herbs dotted around.

Today I'm going to look at BREAKFAST FOODS

For breakfast we mostly have porridge in Winter and muesli in Summer. I can buy a bay of 1.5kg rolled oats for $3.99 and have it last for a couple of weeks. The muesli costs more, I get a bag of 650g for $3.99. I bulk the muesli up with a couple of cups of rolled oats and coconut. And if I can get dried fruit and nuts on special I add them too. It makes the muesli last longer. We also have weet-bix in our pantry as a back up. DH and DS14 like to have it as a snack to tie them over between meals. For the younger kids we sometime buy a packed of Homebrand Honey Puffs 425g or Budget Coco Pops 600g for about $3.99.
But breakfast doesn't always have to be cereal. In the weekends or holidays we can have meals like Toast and a Hot Drink, Bacon and Eggs (our chickens eggs), Pancakes (great with our lemons), French Toast (great way to use stale bread), English Muffins (homemade), and Fried Scones with Golden Syrup.
  • Our Chickens don't cost us a lot to look after and feed. They love to have fresh grass and sliver beet. They eat our leftovers (like rice, bread). I even keep them crumbs and seeds from our grainy bread. But a big help is my mum and dad give us large bags of chicken food for the eggs we give them each week. At the moment we have been getting 4 eggs a day, but sometimes goes up to 6 or down to 2. When we have a lot to use, having bacon and eggs for breakfast is a good way to use up eggs.
DH makes the best pancakes, I try to take turns making them but they don't turn out the same. Jamie Oliver has a cheap and easy recipe for Pancakes, called ONE-CUP PANCAKES.
Using one cup or mug measure 1 cup/mug of self-raising flour, and 1 cup/mug of milk into a bowl. Add 1 egg and whisk together. and there is your pancake batter. you can serve pancakes so many ways but our favorite and cheapest is icing sugar sprinkled on with the juice of our lemon picked fresh from the tree.
  • I make up milk powder for baking in a glass jar (about 1 litre), it is keep in the fridge for the week ahead. It saves money buying fresh milk all the time. This milk is great to use with making pancakes.
 DS14 like making French Toast, it simple and can be served savory or sweet. Sweet can have with golden syrup or jam. Savory can be with bacon or a pickle. It's a good way to use bread at the end of the week before you get fresh bread for the next week.
The English Muffin recipe I have I'm sure is from the Destitute Gourmet website. And is like my Fried Scones, so which one we make is based on what ingredients we have on hand at the time.

4 1/2 C plain flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tsp butter
1 1/2 C milk
oil for shallow frying (I like to add a bit of butter for taste)
Shift together flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add butter and rub in with your finger tips. Stir in milk, until a soft dough is formed. Knead lightly and roll on a floured board.
Cut into rounds 2-3cms thick with a cookie cutter (or a small tuna can that has both lid and bottom off works). Heat oil (butter) in fry pan and fry the scones gently on both sides until golden.
These are great with golden syrup.
  • Another good thing to have with breakfast is fruit. It doesn't have to be fresh fruit on muesli. Sometimes the kids don't eat their fruit for lunch, or there is some fruit in the fruit bowl that has a soft spot. Even going in the garden you can find some fruit fallen off the tree, but not enough to fill preserving jars. Or you have been to a fruit shop and they have had a box of fruit for $2 but you can't eat it all before it goes off. Cook it up, add some sugar and keep in a jar in the fridge for breakfast. We have done feijoa and apple, pear and peach even a berry mix, so no fruit goes to waste, and breakfast is filling.
Lastly DH and I like to have a coffee every morning, and sometimes the kids like to have a cup of tea or hot chocolate. It doesn't have to use a lot of milk, and tea, coffee, and hot chocolate doesn't have to cost alot. The last time I brought tea bags it was a 100 bags of Bell tea for $2 (reduced to clear). We are still going through it as we either share a tea bag or add 2 bags to our tea pot and fill. Hot Chocolate we use Homebrand drinking Chocolate 400g for $3.79. At first the kids went through that very fast. But since I don't buy it often, they have gotten better at making it last.
  • Coffee beans can be brought cheaply if you buy green beans and roast them yourself. DH likes making a good coffee. He buys the beans from the Green Bean House, the price can change with what they get (and you can choose). It can range between $15-$26 including delivery with the beans we get. That's for 1kg of green beans that swell a bit when roasted. DH batch roasts them in a cast iron fry pan. It doesn't take long, and we grind them while reading the news or talking together. These beans last us over a month and I like it better then brought coffee from cafes :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Making More In My Kitchen

 With the kids home because of school holidays, its very important to have the cupboards full with baking. It stops the temptation to buy things we don't need, and makes great bribes (I mean encouragement hee hee) to behave and be helpful. Yes even the teen boys :)
I started with making Afghan biscuits, don't need a lot of ingredients for these. A great use for our walnuts :)

Next Gingerbread Men, DS8 helped with the icing. Next time will make car ones. As DS8 does like his Gingerbread cookies :)

Then I made Feijoa Jelly. This is my first time, and I was please to see it's as easy as making Crab Apple Jelly. A great use of fruit that kids weren't eating (the small sized feijoas, that a teaspoon don't fit). Now I know they will eat on pikelets and scones (with some fresh whipped cream YUM!)

Look at those beautiful Autumn colours. Feijoa and Crab Apple Jellies make a pretty stain glass window for my kitchen :)

Now I can focus on catching up on washing (got behind after boys came back from camp), and cleaning. Need my lounge back :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Autumn In My Kitchen

Do you love the colours of Autumn? I sure do :)
Even better when you find them in your kitchen with the autumn flavours to go with them.
Washing crab apples to make crab apple jelly. I love the red, oranges and yellows.

The finished Crab Apple Jelly is also very pretty with the sun shining on them. Had them by the kitchen window to cool.

Orange of carrots and the browns of walnuts. Getting ready to make carrot cake.

Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. YUM! Perfect for an autumn afternoon tea (or dessert)
Also made chicken stock for tonight's dinner, more for comfort food then colours. The carrot cake I made double batch so half could go into the freezer for a day when I don't have time to bake.
Came away from the kitchen today very happy. now DH has cooked us dinner :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Country Drive = Cheap Food

Our family driving through the Karangahake Gorge. Love our country :)
 DS13 and DS14 have been on a christian kids camp as junior leaders. The camp is at Waihi Beach, a lovely place (beautiful beach). It means having a country drive to and from, but well worth it. The boys had a great time, and we got to pick up some cheap fresh food.
The results from a night of cracking walnut shells.
There was a couple of cute kids selling walnuts on the side of the road. We had to stop and buy a bag. It cost a $10, but well worth it when we almost filled to jars with them. To buy them from the shops and fill the same jars would cost over $28. So plans are to use them for carrot cake and yummy dinners of Bacon and Walnut Gnocchi. Also should make a batch of Afghan biscuits with walnuts on top :)
But that was not all we got. At a fruit and veggie shop heading home (before the city) , we picked up some carrots and onions. 20kg onions for $6.99 and 15kg carrots for $7.99.
At another shop brought 500g of garlic for $5, we love our garlic.
Now I need to prepare some of our carrots for the freezer, to make them last like our broccoli we did. With this type of buying I might be able to get our grocery budget lower than $100 per week. That would be helpful.
Waihi Beach on the day I dropped the boys off to their camp. Could of stayed there for the week myself :)

Baking Soda Shampoo

Ok baking soda is not really shampoo, but it sure has been doing a great job with my hair. Many times I had trouble with shampoos, my skin reacting to them. Then buy the ones I didn't react to cost more money.
Then thanks to Pigs Tits and Parsley Sauce, I gave Baking Soda a go. And love it, it's cheap, easy and I feel so clean afterwards. And then using vinegar for conditioner is a bonus.
But just this week I read about Apple Cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. (Was a blog post from last year) Got to give that a go :) Found in my pantry Honegar - naturally fermented from New Zealand apples with raw honey. Mmmmm sounds good for a conditioner :)

My baking soda and vinegar bottle. Easy to use in the shower.
Amazingly I don't smell like vinegar afterwards. But my hair is easier to manage, and no skin reactions. Kids happy to use too. Now if I wasn't so scared to try, I would make my own soap.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Autumn Veggie Garden - Welcome the Greens

Planted out a lot of seedlings on the 21 April. Filling up our veggie garden again.
So thankful for our veggie garden, it blessed us with a lot of food for Summer. Now with this next lot of plants, should help us through autumn and winter.
Have planted out celery, Brussels sprouts, sliver beet (have some colourful ones as well as the good ole green kind), cauliflower, broccoli, pak choi, and kale seedlings. Also planted some pea seeds.
Later on will plant some bean seeds.
One of the things I have done this year is re-planted our capsicum plants into pots. Somewhere I heard to do that as they can keep giving your more capsicums and grow into bushes that keep giving for a few more years. And I have to say it's true so far. We are getting lots more capsicums.
One of our 4 capsicum plants i have re-planted. Look at all those capsicums! Very handy for soup, stews and stir-frys.

Veggie garden this morning 26/04/2013, the celery at the far end is what we planted first and have already used some in making chicken stock. Love watching plants grow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Starting Kombucha

Thanks to a dear friend we got a scoby/mother, and some Kombucha tea. I love it and hubby is getting use to it. DS8 and DS13 both had half a cup no problems. DS14 couldn't understand why would we want to drink a cup of vinegar ha ha, think it's just his taste buds have gotten use to the sweet stuff he spends his money on. So we have made some up which is easy to do. I can make ginger beer so why not Kombucha (kombucha is easier)
Here's the scoby ready to go. Same dear friend also told us where we could get a large jar. Which was helpful as the ones I wanted to use were just under the size we wanted.

All made up and ready to set aside and wait. The lip on this jar was perfect for my tea towel and rubber band lid :)
Now we wait, and that is not easy :)
I'm buzzing about the health benefits. Sort out my tummy :)
It's good for your digestion, detoxification, immune boosting, all things that I need. Also read that it helps with joint care, which would be wonderful help with my hips.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


My small preserving cupboard is full this year
I might have been quiet in blog land, but I sure have been busy at home. After making over 40 jars of food (some given to others). I realised we need a better place to keep our preserves. So I have been in the hunt of a secondhand pantry, to go into our garage. That would free up more space in my little kitchen again. We had a good year for peaches, our tree blessed us with heaps.

One of the reasons I have been so busy is I'm now homeschooling my DS8. He can be a bit of a handful (more so when he is sick). But he is progressing with his learning, even doing maths out of school time hours. Still have a lot of work to do on his writing.
One day at a time :)

Other exciting news is we have been making progress with our garden. (not that you would think so at the moment, with the mess out there) We are working on a new fence behind our garage and clothes line area. No more jasmine trying to take over my clothes line. More light, more space. Our dear grapefruit tree is having a new lease on life with room to grow and breathe. The fence that was there before was built on our side and took a chunk of space from our land. It also gave a great frame for the jasmine to grow, and a wonderful living space for rats. No wonder our cat would go crazy with that fence, walking up and down beside it. But now it is gone and new frame work is going up on the fence line. Waiting on some secondhand metal fence materials (and one day a fresh paint).

Now if we could just get the other fence done on the other side near my apple tree, and the new chicken palace done I would be very happy :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Was lost with the kids returing to school

It sure has gotten busy at our little house with the kids going back to school. And now I have one of them home for homeschooling.
So DS14 and DS13 are both at high school, catching the bus helps with our petrol costs. At the same time giving them some Independence.
DD11 is back at primary school going into her senior years. She is doing well and making new friends.
DS7 (soon to be 8yrs) is now been home schooled. Gone are the stresses he was having at school. DS7 has Aspergers and needs some extra time and attention. But was not given the support he needed to fit in at school. He better at home, and we are spending some days building the routine we both need to get into.
But I'm still going with the $100 Food Shop :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week Four $100 Food Shop

Was able to keep to the $100 last week. I was under until thought why not stock up on on canned chopped tomatoes. At .73c each they are worth it and are great to add to casseroles or making pasta sauce. So we now have 9 cans at the bottom of our pantry. Then I saw baked beans also at a good price of .85c each these are great to stretch mince out or a quick meal on toast. So we now have 9 cans of them too.
This week I aim to get cans of chickpeas to build up our pantry stockpile.

Week Four $100 Food Shop

Menu Plan
Breakfast: cereal or toast
Lunch: leftovers, sandwiches or fritters and chips
Snacks: Chocolate cake, cookies
Tuesday: Chicken Buns
Wednesday: Mince dish (with rice, baked beans, chopped tomatoes and veggies)
Thursday: Salmon and kale quiche
Friday: Corned Beef with mashed potato and mustard sauce
Saturday: Cold Corn beef with salad
Sunday: Homemade Hamburgers
Monday: Beef or Chicken Stir fry (uses up veggies)

Shopping List
Kids cereal (whatever is on sale)
Muesli (bulk up with rolled oats)
White sugar
Plain Flour
Icing sugar (if our food processor was better would make it ourselves)
Pasta (good to have on hand)
Mayo (used for the chicken buns, DH would make some but is doing more at work while his workmate has his holiday, so comes home tired)
Fruit - apricots are on sale
Buy bulk canned chickpeas

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week Three $100 Food Shop

Last week (week two) we spent the whole $100 on food. The main reason being the heat wave we had. The children started drinking more milk because it was chilled in the fridge. So we had a talk with them and filled a large 2 litre bottle with water, that they could have instead. But I also crumbled with the heat and brought a box of ice blocks and a tub of ice cream. So this week I need to get on to making our own ice blocks. We were given some fruit juice which would be perfect for that. I'm still very happy we made it through the week not spending more then our $100 budget.

Now ready for Week Three $100 Food Shop

Menu Plan

Breakfast is cereal or toast
Lunch sandwiches or fritters
Snacks we have chocolate cake (DS13 made for us), 100s & 1000s biscuits, and fruit (apples at the moment)
Tuesday: Ratatouille (using our courgettes, and my mum's green pepper) with toast.
Wednesday: Pasta Dinner from our freezer (when we had leftovers from a large pasta dinner)
Thursday: Tray Baked Lamb with Cous cous (another dinner using our courgettes)
Friday: Pumpkin Curry with rice
Saturday: BBQ sausages with salad
Sunday: Chicken Stir fry with rice
Monday: Corned Beef with veggies


We are out of white sugar so need to get for making Courgette Jam (yes another thing to use up more courgettes) and our ginger beer. Will also get some flour for baking. Happy to see butter on sale this week 2 for $6, so will stock up our freezer with more. Great for baking :)
Don't need to get milk yet, after talking with kids we are stretching it out again. I will make up some powder milk for baking, have been lapse in that. Need to get more kids cereal, sometime the kids will have 2 bowls for breakfast. I also have to get DS7 pasta, he is hard to feed and this is one thing I don't mind getting. We are working with him to try more but it's slow work. Also on list is cinnamon (baking), eggplant (ours not grown yet), can tomatoes, and chicken breast for stir fry.

I'm excited because of doing this challenge we will have a $671.10 debt paid off next week YAY!
That motivates me to keep going.
We are also using up what we need to from our pantry, fridge and freezer :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Very Hot Summer Day

In the morning had to take a walk in the garden to cool down from a hot night. My sweet peas are flowering lots. Love the different colours, very cheerful.
Look what I found, our 1st passion fruit. I saw the beautiful flower, but didn't think it would fruit. Pleasantly surprised.
And look our 1st blackberries. I have to help support the vines onto the fence, as they were going exploring.
3 days worth of eggs (but we did use 3 for baking on Thursday). Will be using more today with baking and dinner. Our Brown shavers are laying now (those beautiful brown eggs), and with the others we are getting about 6 eggs a day. I should start recording our eggs, see how many we get per month (and year).
Our Waste Not Want Not Cup Cakes. They are really Banana Cupcakes, the bananas were at the bottom of our fruit bowl and starting to go brown. So we needed to use them, then some of our eggs. Also these patty cases were from a Christmas present. They were for shortbread biscuits that come in a box, (biscuits all eaten). Perfect for our cupcakes, since I had run out of patty cases. Made 12 cupcakes. I also added some wholemeal flour to them, with plain flour. Partly to make them abit healthy. But mostly to stretch our flour supply to last till I can shop next week.
With 8 of our eggs, and 2 of our courgettes made this Courgette and Carrot Quiche for dinner. Served with some our Butter Beans, picked this morning. Large slices were very filling. Yes we are still slowly going through our courgettes. I have a few more dinner ideas for them yet. Then I will start freezing them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Cucumbers, Courgettes and Sunflowers

Went out to water the garden this morning and look what I found. 1 Cucumber and 7 courgettes.
So added them to what we have already. I won't count them. So I have started to give them away. Though I going to change the menu to use some more up. Instead of Sliver Beet Quiche on Saturday, it's going to be Courgette and Carrot Quiche.
Had to share what was waiting for me by my computer this morning. My lovely sunflowers (and a few inch worms hee hee). At least I'm still getting to enjoy them.
Now today when I went to make sandwiches there was very little mayo left. Now because we are doing so well with the $100 Food Shop, I didn't want to go buy some more. So mashed up 3 avocados and added them to water down mayo (so I could get it all out of the container). And it's yum. A good waste not want not dressing.
Going to use the leftover avocado mayo with the roast chicken tonight :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sad Wind blown Sunflowers

Last night the wind was blowing a gale. The weather report said gusts up to 57km/hr but sometimes it sounded and looked like more. We have a large pine near us that was really moving in the wind. I was scared to look in the morning at our garden. Other then rubbish through our place, it didn't look to bad. then I saw our sunflowers. The before and after photo can show more then I can say.
Not long ago our beautiful sunflowers. 
After last night the second plant is half what it was. And the first plant looks very sad.

Thankfully the cucumbers are not too damaged. DH has cut the best sunflowers and they are all in 2 vases for me to enjoy. He also rearranged the cucumbers. There are 2 more plants that look great, like they haven't even been touched by wind.
There is suppose to be more wind tonight, I hope not.

Week Two $100 Food Shop

Made it through week one of the $100 Food Shop. And spent less then $100! Long may that continue. A lot has to do with our veggie garden, and well stocked pantry and freezer.

Started with $100
Spent $79.70
Have $20.30 left
Will keep that $20.30 in another envelope for just in case. Just in case there is a sale on item (like butter that I can freeze), or just in case I go over $100 (hopefully not this 2nd week).

Menu plan for this 2nd week of $100 Food Shop is:

Breakfast is cereal, Lunch is sandwiches, Snacks is fruit and baking. This is for everyday.
Tuesday Dinner - is minced stuffed marrow with crusty top, salad on the side.
Wednesday Dinner - is Roast chicken with roast veggies.
Thursday Dinner - is Creamy chicken pasta with veggies.
Friday Dinner - is Chicken rice risotto.
Saturday Dinner - is Silver beet Quiche with salad.
Sunday Dinner - is American Hot Dogs and homemade potato chips.
Monday Dinner - is Pasta dinner from freezer bulked up with our veggies.
Baking that I need to do is biscuits and cupcakes.
Shopping that I need to get is
fruit (what is in season and cheap, our peaches and fejoias are not ready yet)
cereal - kids cereal and muesli
That's about if for food items, have just a few non food items to get (toilet paper and light bulbs)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Getting Busy Harvesting and Preserving

Made some Courgette Chutney, another way to use up what we have growing in different ways. Made 3 jars of chutney (gave one to my dad) Next I have to try them in a cake.
Harvested our beetroot. Of all the seeds I sowed 10 plants grew. And of those 10 plants, 8 were big enough to preserve. Made 2 jars of beetroot.
Cucumbers have taken off in our garden. Lovely fresh in a sandwich or salad. But I might have to preserve some, and see if anyone wants some if they keep coming like they are.
Our 1st Apple Cucumber. They wouldn't grow for me last year. So I'm very happy see not just one but 3 more also growing.
Yes cucumber crazy this year :)
Our Butternut plants are doing well, already fruiting. The vines look a little sad at the bottom, but has lots more green leaves at the top. Our other NZ pumpkin has gone crazy growing (over 3 metre long vines) but no fruit yet.
 Very happy with the garden, but I still haven't planted up stage 6 garden. hopefully in the coming weeks that will get done. I want some more lettuce and peas.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Using our Courgettes

Jamie Oliver's Courgette Carbonara Recipe. A good use of our courgettes.
Getting all ready even have our eggs waiting to be used. Didn't have to buy anything extra as we had in our fridge and pantry all we needed.
Our Courgette Carbonara. Very happy with the end results, tasty with leftovers for tomorrows lunch.
Now the Courgette Carbonara used only egg yolks for the sauce. And since we had leftover egg whites and not dessert planed. A Pavlova was a great idea.
Didn't take long to whip this up. Those are yesterdays stewed plums for a sauce. Oh and some leftover cream from dinner :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Week One $100 Food Shop

Making a good start to our $100 Food Shop Challenge (long may it continue)

Our Budget Envelope for our $100 Food Shop. Having only a $100 placed in the envelope helps us not to over spend.

Part of what is helping us this week is using what we already have in our garden and pantry.

The plums we were given are now turned into......
Plum preserves ready for winter.
All the plums are cooked up, but some are for summer desserts. Plums and ice cream yum :)

We are having a courgette glut. So coming up with ways to use them.

With the help of our eggs, flour, baking powder and some milk. We were able to make fritters.
Courgette Fritters ready for lunch.
For dinner we had roasted scallopini with roasted potatoes and cold sliced ham.
I'm going to be making courgette chutney, which will help to use more of our courgettes. Then use that for our homemade hamburgers.
There are also recipes for making cakes with courgettes, we should try as well.