Auntie Louisa's Chutney
Bed time ice cream?

I was clearing out some Dropbox files when I came across an old Word doc from cheap family recipes times in a big old directory from then. I’ve changed it, added bits and lists and updated a couple of things, but I thought it might be interesting for all of us who miss the times when it was up and running. Just a bit of fun, for something different.

5 ways to frugalise a recipe

  1. Where it says cheese, change for cheddar and start with half the amount in the recipe, adding more if you think it needs it.
  2. Swop a long list of curry spices for garam masala, do the same when it asks for cinnamon or allspice.
  3. Use milk and a knob of butter where it says cream, or even milk alone.
  4. Try using water or stock in place of milk in sauces.
  5. Use oil in place of hard fats in pastry and baking.

5 cheap family recipes to try out on your friends – these recipes are from the site, only available on Wayback now

  1. Carrot cake, serve this to anyone anytime, it’s ace, its got veg and fruit in it, it freezes well and it’s delicious.
  2. Pizza, everyone loves pizza. There are lots of pizza recipes here, on Thrifty Lesley, some scone based for speed, lots of different flavours
  3. Hummus, with chopped carrots and melba toasts, serve a crowd for pennies.
  4. Pea risotto a very stretchy meal for when you have unexpected company.
  5. Doughnuts who could resist a fresh donut?


5 fillings for an oil pastry pie that could also be steamed as a pudding

  1. Chicken and onion or mushroom
  2. Lentil, coconut and beansprouts
  3. Corned beef and mushroom
  4. Salmon and prawn
  5. Beef ragu


5 ways to get your 5 a day you might not have thought of. In the UK, we struggle to eat 5 a day, although Government recommendations have recently been increased to 7 or 8 a day, and to be frank, the more you can manage, the better. If you struggle with it, some of these might help.

  1. Dried fruit, a smaller portion of 20g count toward your 5 a day, break out those raisins!
  2. Pulses, one portion of 3 heaped tablespoons a day counts
  3. Fruit juice, a 150ml glass one portion per day
  4. Tomato puree, a mere 1 tablespoon and practically a super food in its own right.
  5. Onions, often overlooked as one of your 5 a day.

so, you could, for example sprinkle 20g raisins ( a purple portion, the hardest one to get) on your morning bran flakes, and have a small glass of fruit or vegetable juice. Lunchtime, have tomato puree in your soup or spread in your sandwich. At dinner have a medium carrot and 3 tablespoons peas and there you are – 5 a day. Choose a pizza with an eye on the veg and that would probably have 2 portions as well, with the tomato sauce base and the onion and maybe other veg too on top. It doesn’t have to be all ‘my body is a temple’


5 things to put on a cfr buffet.

  1. Mini calzone
  2. Mini pies
  3. Hummus, maybe a vegetable one, and carrot sticks/melba toasts
  4. Lunchtime pate with toasts
  5. Carrot cake

5 flavourings for hummus, one of my favourite things

  1. Roasted onions
  2. Tomato puree
  3. Garam masala, or any other spices
  4. Garlic
  5. Roasted peppers

5 things that make mince go further

  1. Oats no one will notice I promise
  2. Lentils , as per oats
  3. Carrots
  4. Onions
  5. Potato topping

5 ways to make meat go further

  1. Put it in a pie
  2. Add onions and other veg
  3. Use a potato topping
  4. Cut it very small and mix it into veg etc
  5. Shred it

5 cfr recipes for the school bake sale

  1. Boodle biscuits
  2. Raisin scones
  3. Carrot cake
  4. Chocolate brownies
  5. Ginger loaf

5 cfr comfort foods for cold days

  1. Porridge
  2. Ginger loaf
  3. Potato and onion soup
  4. Pasta carbonara
  5. Risotto

5 miserly ways to keep clean

  1. stop using soap and shower gel. It’s lovely to use, but you don’t need it to keep clean, and you won’t smell, I promise. I haven’t used it for over 40 years.
  2. Use salt or baking powder to replace toothpaste
  3. Mix glycerine from the chemist 50:50 with water, spritz a squirt or two of your favourite perfume in a small spraybottle and fill with glycerine/water. Use as an all over moisteriser. Costs pennies, lasts ages
  4. Use half the amount of powder/washing liquid in a wash load
  5. Use a thimble of washing up liquid for the dishes

5 ways to save fuel

  1. Use a slow cooker as often as you can, they use tiny amounts of fuel
  2. Fill up the oven when you cook, batch cook for the week and have ding cuisine
  3. Rice can be cooked with the minimum of fuel by putting 1 cup of rice in two cups of cold water, bring to the boil in a pan with a very tight lid, turn the heat off and leave it alone
  4. Use a microwave to cook veg, it doesn’t kill off the vitamins and uses small amounts of power
  5. Close the curtains at dusk to help keep in the warmth and keep the doors closed indoors for any rooms not currently being used

5 ways to save when shopping

  1. Menu plan for the week/fortnight/month
  2. Look in the cupboards and freezer when menu planning or before you go shopping to see what you already have and use that first
  3. Take a list and plan and don’t buy anything else unless you swap something out from your menu plan if something is worth getting on offer
  4. See if you can last another 1/2/3 days before shopping, get creative with what you have. Do this every time and pretty soon you will have a ‘free’ weeks shopping that you could use to spend on something else.
  5. Have soup and a pudding once a week as a cheap meal

5 most productive crops

  1. Runner and/or French beans
  2. Square metre of cut and come again lettuce/watercress/rocket
  3. Minarette fruit tree/s. They only need 2 square feet per tree in a reasonably sunny spot. Fiesta apples are multi purpose, plums very productive, cherries yield lots of a fruit that is  expensive to buy, although they must be protected from birds.
  4. Courgette, lots of courgette from each bush plant
  5. Tomatoes when under cover, even if only a polythene sheet. In my little greenhouse, I grow an ordinary small type, which has the most fruit for the space, a stripy medium sized one called Tigerella with outstanding flavour and a heritage variety called Brandywine that is a very large beefsteak type with the most amazing flavour.


So there we have it, a few random lists of 5. What would you have added?



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Auntie Louisa's Chutney
Bed time ice cream?