Thrifty Lesley - 1 person, 1 day, £1

or How To Feed Yourself For £1 A Day

Cashew Chicken, 89p a serving, and how to stay on track

We had this lovely recipe for dinner this evening. I found the idea on the web, but can’t remember where now. It was a slow cooker recipe, but I just bubbled it on the hob, and I’ve tweaked it, as you do. It’s a strong flavoured sauce, robust and delicious. A little goes a long way. It’s tastes similar to the soy, honey and sesame sauce. 200g chicken breast Asda Chosen By You, cooked breast strips 750g/£4, £1.06 Good pinch black pepper 100ml soy sauce Asda 59p/150ml, 24p 1 tbsp vinegar 2 tbsp tomato ketchup 1p 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce Asda, Blue Dragon £1.50/380g, 6p 1 tbsp sugar A garlic clove Asda granules 98p/115g, 2p Half tsp fresh ginger Asda Chosen By You easy ginger £1.87/95g, 4p 50g salted cashews, Smartprice 75p/125g, 30p 160g value rice, 1kg/40p, 6p Total price £1.79, 89p a serving Serves 2 Chop the chicken into small pieces. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan, except the cashews. Bubble the sauce down until it is thick and very reduced. Add the chopped chicken. Stir in the cashews when you are ready to serve. I like them like this so they are still crunchy, if you like them softer, add the cashews at the beginning of the cooking process. While that is happening, cook the rice until tender and drain well. If you are using uncooked chicken, add it at the start of the cooking process of the sauce, as it reduces down. Serve with a pile of greens. We had runner beans from the garden. You could use buttery cabbage, steamed kale, diced... read more

Meal Plan 10 and other news

Very protracted journey home on Monday due to the closure of the A27, the A358 and the usual delays on the M25. Took us hours to get home – exhausting Tuesday was unpacking, washing, sorting the pile of post and all the usual jobs after a holiday. In the morning, the first thing I did was weigh myself, with some trepidation as I had been feasting on lots of delicious food for a week. Much to my delight, the damage was only a couple of pounds which I could tell would soon go, and they have dissapeared, along with another pound too now. Then in the evening, a work meeting. Yesterday was quite exciting. I went up to London to meet with some lovely people from The Guinness Partnership. They are a housing association with 60,000 dwellings, 120,000 clients and one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in the country. They are going to be running a project on Food Sense and wanted me to be involved. It’s right up my street, and of course, their client base will have a larger than usual population of people who need to live on a restricted budget.  Talking about affordable eating on a tight budget, and possibly doing some demo’s too.  I’ll be writing 2 or 3 blog posts for them over the course of the project. An interesting new project to get my teeth into. I am very fortunate and can pick and choose which projects I get involved in. I was recently asked if I would be interested in doing something on national TV and turned it down.... read more

Westward Ho! and our last day on honeymoon

Yet another grey and wet start to today. DH had the bright idea of setting off to Westward Ho! an hour before it was forecast to clear up and hope that we could catch the best of the day. And that’s exactly what we did! Westward Ho! is a real old fashioned seaside village. Two miles or so of beautiful flat sands when the tide is down, loads of rock pools to poke around in, and not much for the kids to want to buy or spend money on, lovely!  The name is that of a book by Charles Kingsley and was developed when the book was written in the mid 1880’s. It became a popular holiday place,  and still is, as could be seen by all the families strolling about and enjoying the simple delights of a beach. We had to bolt for the car for 15 minutes or so and sat reading our books until the squall passed, then we had the clearest, bluest sky for hours, it was wonderful.  We shared a portion of extremely good fish and chips, walked up the sands and paddled in the sea, and did a lot of people watching.   Yesterday, we went to RHS Rosemoor, which was marvellous. The ‘hot’ border was at its peak and looking fantastic. I took the pictures on my phone and I just can’t seem to get them bigger without them losing focus. We spent hours there, wandering around, it’s huge The kitchen was glorious and I was so envious of all that room they have. That part of the garden was extensive. There were some... read more

Went to Bideford today

Weatherwise, today has been much like yesterday – overcast and grey, but not much actual rain. So when we were ready, we decided to have a look at Bideford. It has a feel much like the Old Town in Hastings, not too far from where I live. The smell at Bideford has that same fishing village twang. Bideford is on the River Torridge, is tidal, and there are fishing boats tied up along the quayside. Although one or two could do with a little attention. We strolled along the quayside, explored the park and found the Pannier Market which was on today. There is a row of shops alongside it called Butchers Row where, historically, all the shops were butchers. They aren’t now, they are all sorts of interesting little shops. In one of which I bought this little gift for DGD where she can dress up little card dolls with little paper outfits. I used to do that as a child, carefully cutting out paper clothes with tags on and bending the tags round the paper dolls to ‘dress’ them. I peered in the butcher shops and the estate agents, as you do. In the butchers, I noticed that they had pigs kidneys for £1.98 a kg. Goodness, I thought, that’s cheap meat. So when we got back, I looked it up on mySupermarket and found that they could be had for a similar price from supermarkets.   Asda has lambs kidney for £2.22, but it’s likely that many stores won’t carry it, a butcher is probably a better bet. When I investigated ox heart as a cheap meat,... read more

South Molton

Although overcast and grey here today, there was virtually no rain, so we headed on out and went to nearby South Molton for a mosey. There was a market on there today, which is why we decided to go there rather then somewhere else. There was a livestock auction, selling sheep, which we watched for a while. Then went over to the covered market to see what was on offer. Answer? Everything! Lots of lovely fresh fruit and veg, at very cheap prices, meat and fish. Lumps of beautiful wood for mantelpieces or tables, craft things, jewellery, pet food and supplies, a chap who was selling things for a computer and would fix yours if you brought it, flowers, plants, socks and underpants. You name it, it was there. A proper market in fact. We strolled along the high street and admired what was on offer there too. In the butchers shop, there was some lovely looking stuff for sale. Brisket for £5.97 a kilo for instance, what a bargain. And there was a notice in the window saying that all the beef this week came from Mr something from somewhere farm, all the lamb was from another named person and farm and so was the poultry and duck. I loved that! Further along, I was enticed by that delicious unique aroma of a greengrocer. They had blueberries that were as big as, oh, I don’t know, huge blueberries, for £2 for two punnets. And strawberries in the same size plastic punnets that are in supermarkets, also 2 for two punnets. I was very envious by now! After that... read more

The last four days

Well, I am now a Mrs, and I’m going to have to think up another two letter acronym for my new husband. Ooh, that does seem strange writing that. The last post seems to have been re-set to Draft, goodness knows why, so I’ve republished it. It’s even kept the original publish date! Anyway, to Saturday! We had a lovely, lovely day. We invited 40 family and friends to The White Hart in Lewes. We wanted to go there as they have a licensed room, so we could get married there, as well as have the reception. Didn’t want the travelling between venues. I don’t believe in inviting people merely because they are related. Everyone there was there because we wanted them to be. I spoke with everybody and enjoyed every minute. A big group of family had lunch together before things kicked off, which lovely and relaxed. The venue did a good job, the food was great, both rooms were lovely, and there is a big terrace we could use. Just as well, as it was very hot. The staff there were quietly efficient, just smoothly getting on with things, very soothing. Then, later on, we had a samba band come and play for us. They were very loud, huge fun and great entertainment. I absolutely loved it, which was obvious, and they got me and my elder daughter to bang away enthusiastically on two of their drums for quite a while. Or maybe they just wanted us to stop our wild jumping around 😉. It was, as my DGD might say, mega magenta awesome. I wanted to... read more

Weddings, wasps and white hands

I’m getting married in the morning! Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime. Pull out the stopper! Let’s have a whopper! But get me to the church on time! Yes, the third wedding of my summer has arrived and I’m getting married tomorrow to Mike, the man I have been with, and engaged too, for a mere 38 years. Feels very very strange that this is the last day with my existing name, and a bit like losing my identity, but having made the poor man wait this long, I’m sure it’s the right thing!! Hahahaha! So this afternoon, what was I doing? Ironing my ravishing dress, polishing my shoes, perfecting my makeup? No, I was out the front garden picking Opal plums that had decided they were really ripe and going to start dropping off the tree. The wasps were flying in and out in battalions. Here and there, there were plums with 6 or so vibrating wasp bottoms sticking out of them. Mike hosed off the tree to blast some of them off, of course, they just flew straight back in. I knocked off the worst chewed ones and the few that had mummified and himself raked them up to try and keep the wasps off a bit. Then I gingerly picked two minarette trees, plum by plum, being very careful not to pick any wasps at the same time. At one point one of them inserted itself neatly down the front of my t-shirt and bumbled around in there, but I held the top open and it flew out again. By the time I had finished,... read more

Cheesy Bean Lasagna, based on a SW recipe, 60p a servi g

I was sure I had blogged this recipe before, but I can’t find it, so I can’t have done. It is yet another recipe from this months Slimming World – a good haul of recipes I like this time. Their recipe is called Cheesy Lentil Lasagna. They use cottage cheese, just on the top layer, and no sauce in the other layers. I have added a sauce layer, missed out the cottage cheese and added some cheddar. I also substituted rinsed baked beans for puy lentils. The bean sauce layer 2 onions, chopped, Asda 2kg/£1.07, 11p 2 garlic cloves, Asda 25p/bulb, 10p 200g frozen peppers, Asda 500g/£1, 40p Tin value tomatoes, 31p 2 tsp vinegar, 1p 2 tsp sugar, 1p 2 tsp mixed dried herbs, Asda value herbs, 25p pot, 3p 2 carrots, Asda 57p/kg, 12p 2 tins value baked beans, 48p pasta layer 100g value flour, 45p/1.5kg, 3p sauce layer 400ml skimmed milk, 3.4 litres/£1.30, 15p 50g flour, 45p/1.5kg, 1p 50g butter, Asda 88p/250g, 18p 100g Cheddar, Asda £3.84/800g, 48p Total cost £2.42, serves 4, 60p a serving Bean mixture Sauté the onions until transparent. Add the garlic, frozen peppers, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and the dried herbs. Grate the carrots, no need to peel unless they are manky. Add the carrots to the vegetables. Open the beans and drain off the sauce, retaining the sauce to use in shepherds pie or soup. Rinse the beans and drain well. Add the beans to the vegetable mix. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce Put the butter in a saucepan and melt it. Add 50g of the flour and cook for... read more

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, Ham and Cheese Pancakes, 23p

Something interesting popped up in my Bloglovin feed yesterday. Ham and Cheddar Waffle Bread from our ourbestbites.com I thought it would cost up for a lunch or dinner on ThriftyLesley, so I had a go at lunchtime today. I do have a waffle iron and used a little mix in it for a bit of fun. Whereupon the mix welded itself irretrievably to it, maybe I needed a little for fat. I haven’t used it for ages. I have tweaked the recipe, of course! And assume that you won’t have a fancy cooking thingy to cook them with. If you do, great! You could use a George Foreman type grill, or a ridged grill that is placed on the burner. 150g self raising flour, Asda 1.5kg/45p, 2p Big pinch salt, 1p Half tsp any mustard, 1p? 50g cheddar, grated, Asda 800g/£3.84, 24p 60g value ham, I used 5 slices, Asda 400g/£1.65, 25p A heaped tblsp fine chopped chives or spring onion. Spring onions, 45p, qtr bunch 11p 250ml milk, Asda £1.30/3.41 litres, 9p 60ml veg oil, £1.20/litre, 7p 1 egg, Asda mixed weight, 6 eggs/70p, 12p Total cost 92p Serves 4, 23p a serving Mix together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the wet ingredients. Mix the two together well without over stirring. Heat some butter/oil in a frying pan and dollop in spoonfuls of batter to make thin pancakes. Mine were delicious, but next time, I would make them thinner. Cook gently until the underside is brown and the upper has set. Flip over and cook the other side. Serve immediately. Ourbestbites recommend popping them in a toaster if... read more

Pasta & Tomato Sauce, Meal Plan 9, 33p

This is dinner on day 2 and 5 of Meal Plan 9 serves 2 60g cheddar, grated,Asda 350g/£1.55, 27p 100g onion, Asda 1kg/59p, 6p 300g tinned tomatoes – NB, not a whole tin, 23p 150g value pasta, 500g/29p, 9p 20g veg oil, Asda litre/89p, 2p Total cost 67p, 33p a portion per portion – 506 cals, 19g protein, 21g fat, 59g carbs Peel and chop the onion, saute in the oil until transparent.  Add some garlic if you have it and cook for a minute or two.  Add the 3/4 tin of  tomatoes and  simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Whizz the sauce if you like it smooth, or leave it more chunky if you prefer. Season with salt and pepper.  Add some fresh basil leaves if you have any, at the last minute, don’t cook them. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in the usual way. Drain the pasta, tip back into the pan. Tip the sauce into the pasta pan, retaining a little sauce. Stir it all together to coat the pasta in the sauce. Divide the sauced pasta between 2 warm plates/bowls, top with the retained sauce and the cheese The remaining 100g of tomatoes are allocated elsewhere if you are following meal plan 9 in total. If you are not, just use the whole tin. This is a quick and easy store cupboard recipe that can be used as a base recipe for many different things. Add a tblsp of any fresh herb that you like. Basil is of course the most usual, but if you want to use rosemary, thyme, oregano or marjoram,... read more

Roasted vegetable soup, with a scone and roasted onion topping, 32p

This is dinner on day 3 of Meal Plan 9. It is a naturally vegan recipe if that is of interest to you (natural in that no substitution of anything is needed) Serves 2 150g carrots, Asda 49p/kg, 7p 200g potatoes, Asda 59p/kg, 12p 200g tomatoes (half a tin), 31p a tin, 16p 100g onions Asda 59p/kg, 6p Scones 125g self raising flour, value 45p/1.5kg, 4p 40g oil, 89p/litre, 4p Topping 250g onions, Asda 59p/kg, 15p Total cost 64p, 32p each 552 cals, 11g protein, 20g fat, 83g carbs Make the scones first. Mix the flour and oil together. Add enough cold water to make a soft dough. Put on the work surface and pat out to an oblong, about half an inch or the thickness of your thumb, thick. Cut into smaller shaped scones and place on a baking tray. Smaller shapes because we want to be sure they will cook in the same time as the vegetables. Purely as a fuel saving thing. If you prefer larger scones, and don’t mind the extra cooking time, of course do larger scones. Chop all the vegetables into chunks, don’t peel the onion, toss in a little oil. Put the scones and the vegetables into a hot oven. Cook the scones until golden and the vegetables until soft and cooked through. This will give a lovely deep flavour to your soup. Remove the onion skin. Set aside two thirds of the onions. Put the rest of the cooked veg in a saucepan and add the tomatoes. Season well, warm through, and whizz smooth, or leave chunky if you like your... read more

Cheese and Ham Toastie, 18p each

We both had this for our lunch today. I had bought a pack of value ham for recipe testing, so now I need to use it up. I use a George Foreman grill which I’ve had for, ooh, 15 years? We’ve been in this house 8.5 years now, and I’d had it years and years before we moved. But I’ve also made very nice toasties using a frying pan. Serves 2 4 slices bread, value loaf, 40p/22 slices, 2p a slice, 8p 4 slices value ham, £1.50/30 slices, 5p a slice, 10p 40g cheese, £4.50/kg, 18p Veg oil, 2tsp, 1p Sainsbury prices today as that’s where I got these ingredients Total price 37p, 18p per toastie Put a slice of ham on each slice. Grate or crumble the cheese and share between 2 of the slices. Top with the remaining slices. Now drizzle about half a tsp of oil on the top slices of bread and spread it out over the slices with your fingers. Use more oil if you want to. Flip the sandwiches over and repeat the oiling. Place the sandwiches in a frying pan and cook gently until the bottom is golden and crispy, pressing down on the top every now and then so it all sticks together. Flip it over and cook the other side. Serve immediately. You can use butter or lard instead of oil if you like. Or if you have any bacon fat, or beef dripping, that would be fabulous. We had these yesterday as well, so today, I smeared one slice with the last little bit from a jar of red... read more

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