Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eating frugally

The challenge at the moment in our household is to spend as little money as possible on non-essential items, and to achieve the best price possible for essentials. We are trying to stretch our money as far as it can possibly go, just in case it takes a long while to get our business established here in a country town. Trips to our major regional town which is 50klms away, are only for essential trips. Our local Supa IGA has a range that compares well to the major supermarkets on both range and price, and we would prefer to shop there if we can to support the local community here. The one exception I have to this at this point in time is meat. No-one here is town does free range meat or chicken. There is a butcher in the major town that sells grass fed beef and pork, and the supermarket there sells organic free range chicken, so I need to make sure I stock up when I am there to store in our freezer. We do have friends who process their own beef and pork, and we hopefully will start to help them out with the processing, and purchase directly from them if we can. Damian does also want to learn to butcher our own meat chickens as well, but wants to watch someone experienced do this first so that we aren't learning as we go on an actual bird of our own.  Anyway....I am digressing a little :)
I think I am pretty good at using up what we have, and making cheap, nutritious meals out of not much. I think I can attribute that to Mum, as we didn't have a lot of money while I was growing up and Mum had to feed us all on a very limited budget...good on you Mum! xx I find that a good, hearty, filling meal can be made for very little money by making pies.  By mixing a little meat with lots of other fillings, a pie can be filling and healthy. One of my favourite pies to fall back on is a bacon, egg, silverbeet and cheese pie. I have a pie maker so I just lay a sheet of puff pastry in, fill it up, put on the pastry top, and 8 minutes later....yummo.
The egg and silverbeet are from our own produce, they only take a half rasher of bacon each, and a little bit of cheese to top. Another favourite is curried chicken pies, again very cheap.

 Just some shredded chicken, onion, peas, carrots, curry, stock etc. Out of $5 worth of shredded chicken I managed to get 8 pies. And I know exactly what is in them! Equivalent pies at our local pie shop which sells award winning pies which are just divine, are $5 each! I also find if I half bake the pies, I can freeze them, pull them out of the freezer to defrost when needed, and finish the cooking process then. Other pies I am going to make soon will be red wine and beef, steak and mushroom and steak and bacon.

Do you have a favourite pie that you like to make?


  1. I undertook this challenge for the next four weeks...I told my husband I could halve our food bill...eek.......but...I am determined to do it...the extra money is needed so badly at the moment...Im one week in and doing well, Im with you...I am a super frugal cook and can make little stretch far...its being organised and making sure the menu is up, and shopping only for the food we need...I am also going through the freezer and pantry and using up as we go...I wish you luck, and me as well...

  2. I have only made pies once and they were delicious, I divided up the mince and did some plain pies, curry and apple, and bolognese with cheese.
    I to have to stretch the budget and menu plan always.
    Love your blog

  3. the more you can grow yourself, the cheaper it gets! I hope you know someone who can show you how to butcher a chicken, otherwise I'm sure you'll find a tutorial on youtube, its really kind easy once you get some practice. I wish we could share our homekill with friends and neighbours etc, but unfortunately it can't leave the property unless its gone through the proper facilities, such a stupid law as its hard to get through a whole steer for two people!