Saturday, 28 August 2010

Stop waste, save money.

Tonight Hubby is going to cook some veggie enchiladas using this big courgette from our garden. He usually cooks for me on a Saturday night.
A few days ago we watched a programme on TV called something like 'The Great British Waste Menu'. A couple of chefs were challenged to cook up a banquet using food that is thrown away for celebs, politicians etc to highlight the fact that so much perfectly good food in this country is simply thrown away for a variety of reasons. Take my courgette, for example. If this, like so many other courgettes, was grown by a supplier for the supermarkets it would be thrown away for being the wrong shape and size. We watched suppliers showing us the boxes full of tomatoes, fruit, even eggs that were just a bit too small all being thrown away. The chefs took some of this food away with them, for free, to use in their menus. Perfectly good, delicious produce dumped for not meeting specific retail criteria.
Anyway. Here. at 'Little House', we are guilty of wasting too much food also. I am trying to make more of what we have and save money in the long run. I suppose a chest freezer would help. I mentioned the other day that I bought a red cabbage to go with our roast pork. It was reduced in the supermarket to 40p, but it looked as though it had a lot of life still left in it. After washing and slicing it, I divided it into 3 portions and put 2 of them in the freezer in bags. So they are all prepared and ready to use. Last night, on Gardeners World, Alys Fowler showed us that you can actually freeze courgettes. I think she grated them first, but better check the info on the BBC website for details. If I am going to do all this, then I think I'll need a bigger freezer.
Another way that I try to be organised in my shopping and save money is to do one big monthly on-line shop. By spending over £100, I get free delivery. But then I need to think about food that will last and not end up getting thrown away. Again, I was buying a lot of frozen food, but I just don't have enough space in the freezer. So now I am buying more tinned food. Especially things like fish and pulses. The kids have always like tinned sardines. I like them too. Fresh ones are very nice but with the tinned variety you can eat the bones. For their tea tonight, the kids had a small tin of sardines in sunflower oil, fried with some borlotti beans (also tinned) and some stale granary baguette. If I was going to have this, I would add some tomato and garlic. Yum. Nice, fast, convenient food that is quite good for you!

For dessert, they had tinned peaches and squirty cream (just a little bit for fun!). I often put chopped nuts on top but didn't have any today.
If anyone out there has some good recipes/ideas using tinned food they would like to share, I'd be delighted to see them in the comments.

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