Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UK: Eat More For Less, How To Knock 90% Off Food Bills

'Times are hard but you don’t have to fork out to eat well': Frugal foodie knocks 90% off bills - now her guide to gourmet meals for pennies has become an internet hit
  • Kate knows the right time to grab luxury ingredients from the bargain bins
  • Shops daily, usually in the evening, to get the reduced items
  • Eats things weeks past their sell-by dates and freezes as much as possible
  • Cut-price cookery tips have become an internet favourite with thousands
  • Cooks luxury dishes such as roast goose and kiwi, mint and lime sorbet
A keen home cook has revealed the secret of making gourmet meals for pennies - by finding the right time to grab her 'luxury' ingredients from the bargain bins at Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

Bargain-hunter Kate Barrett, 36, cooks up cut-price haute cuisine with formerly expensive meat and fish that has been dropped into the reduced aisles at pricey stores.

Kate - who describes herself as a 'frugal foodie' - even ignores sell-by dates and eats food weeks after it has supposedly gone out of date.

Top tips for frugal foodies 

Learn the times your local supermarket puts out its 'bargain' foods: This will vary from shop to shop but tends to be nearer the end of the day when shelves are re-stocked
Ignore sell by dates: Kate eats things sometimes weeks past their official 'best before' day, instead using common sense and the smell and look of the food to judge whether it is safe to eat (this can be risky to do with meat).
Be inventive: Try creating new recipes which use up things about to go off in your fridge and cupboard
Freeze, pickle and preserve: If you can't eat the food that is on sale, buy it anyway and find a way to save it for another time
Plan too far ahead: Being spontaneous with your meals allows you to eat whatever is the best buy that day
Throw away leftovers: Kate will use any left overs for another meal, often taking the remains of dinner into work as a packed lunch

She and her partner eat like kings on a shoestring, enjoying dishes such as venison meatballs for 74p, pork fillet for 59p and sea bass for £1.99

The couple feed themselves for just 'a few pounds' a week, saving up to 90 per cent off their shopping.

Her cut-price cookery tips have become an internet favourite, with thousands following her penny-pinching recipes.
Kate said: 'It’s all about eating as cheaply, as healthily and as tastily as possible.
'I like eating very well but always think there are better things to spend my money on than the weekly shop.

'So we changed the way we buy food. Instead of going in once a week we pop in daily and pick up the stickered items nearing their sell-by date.
'Meat that has one day left on the shelves is perfectly good to fill up my freezer and cook another day.

'I like to prove wrong all those who think eating well equals empty pockets.
'Instead I encourage people to get creative in the kitchen to see just how much money they can save while also feasting heartily.
'Times are hard for a lot of people but you don’t have to fork out to eat well.'
They then cook luxury dishes such as roast goose with kiwi, mint and lime sorbet, limoncello syllabub with blackberry coulis and stewed peaches with custard and amaretti biscuits.
Communicators officer Kate then shares her culinary delights on her domestic goddess blog


Serves four, at a cost of £4 for all ingredients
Kate has set up a blog to show others how to make dishes such as roast chicken with garlic, ginger, chilli, lime and coriander (pictured) for a fraction of the normal price, at under £4 for the whole dish

1) Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
2) Finely chop a small piece of ginger, a few cloves of garlic, and two fresh chillis.
3) Zest and juice a lime.
4) Throw all the ingredients into a food processor with a small bunch of coriander, a glug of olive oil and blitz into a paste.
5) Using your hands, push the paste underneath the skin of the chicken and spread evenly over the breast of the chicken.
6) Rub the rest of the chicken with the remaining paste.
7) Roast the chicken for the correct time according to the weight of the chicken.
8) Baste with the juices from time to time.
9) Leave to stand before serving.
Kate suggests popping some lime wedges into the oven just before serving - warming the wedges makes the limes even juicier and easy to squeeze.
Serves two, at a total cost of £1.50, as the lamb was reduced to just 25p
Lamb shish meatballs with chickpeas, courgette, bantams' and quails' eggs  - cost £1.50 as the lamb was reduced to just 25p

1) Fry the following in a shallow pan in hot oil: two cloves of finely chopped garlic, a teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, chilli flakes, ground chilli and shish seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
2) After two or three minutes add a finely chopped onion, a courgette diced into 1cm cubes and soften.
3) After a few minutes add a tin of chopped tomatoes, stir well and add a glug of white wine.
4) Remove the shish kebab meat from the skewers and combine with a beaten egg, chopped mint, and a dash of ground cumin and shish seasoning. Mix well and shape into meatballs.
5) Add the meatballs to the pan and space out evenly (I would have browned the meatballs before adding them to the pan but Mr Kate didn't bother and I didn't even notice!).
6) Add half a tin of chick peas and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
7) Simmer for 20 minutes over a low to medium heat.
8) Crack some eggs into the gaps between the meatballs, scatter over some fresh coriander and cover the pan with a lid or plate for about five minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
9) Finish with more chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
10) Serve with warm bread.
The samphire was 21p, the fishcakes 99p and the eggs were free from a friend, so this cost just £1.20 for two portions
This dish of  lemon and garlic samphire with fishcake and poached egg: With the samphire at 21p, the fishcakes at 99p and the eggs free from Kate's husband's grandmother's friend Arthur, this cost just £1.20 for two portions

Here's how she prepared the samphire:
1) Rinse the samphire and leave to dry.
2) Very finely chop a clove of garlic.
3) Fry the garlic in a little olive oil over a high heat just until it starts to colour.
4) Add the samphire and stir continuously.
5) Squeeze over some fresh lemon juice to taste.
6) Add some freshly cracked black pepper.
7) Serve with fish cakes and a poached egg.
This rice dish came to just £1 for four portions
This vegetable egg-fried rice with chorizo cost Kate just £1 for 4 portions

1) Boil some rice according to the instructions - I like to use Thai Jasmine rice and buy in big 5kg bags to keep the cost down.
2) 2-3 minutes before the rice is cooked add in a handful of frozen peas or sweetcorn.
3) Drain the rice and peas/sweetcorn and leave to one side.
4) Chop into cubes whatever veg you need to use up.
5) Heat some oil in a wok or large frying pan and stir fry the chopped veg for a few minutes.
6) Once the veg is ready create a well in the bottom of the pan by pushing the veg to the sides.
7) Beat 1-3 eggs (depending on how much rice and veg you're cooking) and then pour the egg into the well.
8) Stir the egg quickly until it's turned into a scrambled egg consistency and then fold into the veg.
9) Add the rice and peas/sweetcorn to the pan and give it all a good mix.
10) Serve with some chopped fresh coriander or other herbs on top if you have some and sprinkle soy sauce to taste.
Gourmet on a budget: How she does it...
Domestic Goddessing on a Shoestring


Domestic Goddessing on a Shoestring
Domestic Goddessing on a Shoestring

Domestic Goddessing on a Shoestring

Domestic Goddessing on a Shoestring

Originally posted as Woman prepares 5 star meals for pennies by scouring the reduced aisles by Katy Winter, DailyMail

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