I’m not going to deny it; I can’t wait for spring to have sprung! I do think this is one of those times of year that can be quite depressing with not a lot to look forward to. In a bid to feel better about things I’ve already booked this year’s holiday, but it’s a long time ‘til July! In the meanwhile, I still hope to lose some weight and save the pennies ready for some quality spending and shopping time in Italy.
So I’m now working harder than ever to try and produce healthy, as well as nutritious and filling meals for the family and try to take advantage of any special offers in the shops. Aldi’s ‘Super 6’ are definitely worth looking out for; I make a note of what fruit/veg are on offer and then try and plan meals around them. (Every little helps!) For example, this week, a pack of celery is only 39p in Aldi! Now, although I like it chopped on salads, I’m not exactly eating a lot of those at this time of year and so have to find other ways of using it up.
When I also found that a 500gm pack of carrots were only 27p and a 4-pack of large cooking onions was 79p, a bright idea came to me. Onions, carrots and celery are a classic base to many a savoury dish, (‘mirepoix’ in French, or ‘soffritto’ in Italian,) but they can be a bit of a faff to prepare fresh every time you want to use some. So I used 2 of the onions, (say 40p) and the whole pack of carrots and celery and spent an hour peeling and chopping into similar sized dice. I seasoned them with S&P, and then part cooked them in a tablespoon of olive oil in the wok, leaving them to completely cool, before bagging them into portions ready for the freezer. And so for a grand total of £1.06, I had four bags of ready-prepared bases for dishes such as chilli or Bolognese, ready and waiting in the freezer.
I got one out of the freezer last night, along with a bag of chicken portions from Heron, (on offer at £3.25 each, or 3 for £9,) to make us a meal for the next 2 days. Today we will have a hearty, one-pot dish of chicken casserole with some steamed cabbage and new potatoes on the side, (cabbage is still bang in season, tasty and very nutritious,) and tomorrow I will thicken the gravy juices in the pot and make a lovely chicken pie with the leftovers, which will be perfect with some smooth, creamy mashed potato.
For those of you who don’t mind using frozen stuff, I also found another bargain in Heron. They are selling 3 bags of frozen mashed potato for only £1. One bag is ample for 2 adults and only needs a few minutes in the microwave. They only contain frozen potato and nothing else and are therefore an ideal time-saver for a busy day, plus I defy you to be able to prepare mashed potato for 2 people, (including the fuel for cooking it,) for only 17p per portion!