Austerity Foodie

Me, food and saving pounds



Root Vegetarian Tagine


Every culture has its version of stew; Irish, Scouse – slow-cooked vegetables or meat with easy flavours. It’s cheap, filling and easy to cook.

For my birthday last month I asked for a tagine dish. I know, I know, but I like how bright they are and wanted to see the difference in the slow-cooking technique.

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The Caledonia’s Cinnamon Apple Crumble

The Caledonia's Cinnamon Apple Crumble
The Caledonia’s Cinnamon Apple Crumble

Everyone should have a favourite pub. Mine is The Caledonia. If you want to find out how to make tasty and hearty grub without it spending a fortune then a local independent pub is a masterclass. Often cooking in batch to keep the costs down and satisfy a lunchtime rush there are plenty of tips and tricks to learn.

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Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup


There are times of the year when I seem to be almost permanently teetering on the edge of a cold. So as well as reminding myself to dose up on Vitamin C I’m craving something spicy and comforting.

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Sausage and Bean Casserole


The first time I made this recipe I had had a really bad day. It was snowy and frosty so I was cold and damp. I was working for a horror of a boss at the time and things were moving towards an inevitable conclusion. I needed a hug in a bowl that was filling, comforting and tasty.

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Why me? Why food? Why saving pounds?

I love writing about food and I love eating food.

But I don’t want anyone to think this is just another foodie blog. I believe in planning your meals, having control over what you put in your mouth (steady), how much you spend on it and managing your diet as much as your budget. I have form for this.

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Southern style numero uno – BBQ sauce

Right, so I’m experimenting with southern style cooking at the moment. Yes, my waistline is just loving it. Over the last fortnight I’ve explored a King Ranch Chicken, Chicken Nachos with a chilli sauce, lasagna (didn’t realise this was a southern thing, perhaps it’s an everywhere thing?) and a Squash casserole. The latter, apparently, is the staple of every good southern mamma’s recipe book.

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The Vegetable Food Box

Everyone’s shopping is different. For me, getting a £9.99 veg box and then using the bits and bobs of veg, instead of trying to find it in a grocer’s or supermarket is easiest. It means that I can a) eat fairly sustainably and b) cram as much veg into my diet as the veg starts to get slightly soft and I have to bung it into a soup.


I know – it sounds like a posh-girl type thing to do. Truth is I grew up in suburbia but near to a farm so I was used to getting my fruit and veg from the suppliers directly (that was Claremont Farm btw, in case you want to look it up). It just tastes better. Potatoes taste like potatoes, carrots taste like carrots, snozberries taste like snozberries, you get the picture.

I figure everyone knows you have to eat healthily. So A veg box is an easy way of doing it. And you can get them cheap. I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time researching the cheapest way to shop. Supermarkets use a lot of psychology to make us buy things. Watch this, if you don’t believe me from Tribal Insights. There are two places I can burn through money; the pub when I’ve had a bad day and the supermarket when I’m hungry. Online shopping is easier and more cost-effective.

I researched all of them, including delivery charges and whatnot. The cheapest (I’ll probably write a post on this at some point) was Ocado. Minimum shop is £40 but plan meals for two weeks and it’s way cheaper. The veg box lasts two weeks. Our average fortnightly shop is £50. Yes there’s two of us plus two cats but still, pretty cheap.

The veg box is a big part of that. I make meals determined by what’s in the box. It kind of helps to structure the meals for the fortnight. And heh, people always need onions, right?

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