Sunday, 30 March 2014

Free story book readalouds

This is a link to a site that has lots of storybooks read aloud by american actors - the funny voices are excellent.  Definitely not a replacement for going to the library or reading to my littlest one myself but as an "extra" when I'm up to my eyes in something else it is a good free resource which is a rare thing these days.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saving Money on Notepads

There used to be a time when I could have a stack of notepads, pens and other stationary and knew exactly where they were.  Then I had children over 18 months old.  Now I live in a house where I can never find a pen, sharpener or note pad when I need one.The other day i even wrote a phone number given to me over the phone on an envelope with a crayon, if that doesn't say "Mum" I don't know what does.

However, one thing we always have is sheets of paper and now I've come across this tutorial for folding them into little mini books.  No more stolen notepads as they can now make their own, and of course no more grabbing half a dozen each time I go past the poundshop to feed my six year olds addiction to "writing".

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Tinned Tomatoes versus Passata

Habits are the things that add most to the grocery bill. Chances are if you find a brand you like you stick with it rather than risk not liking a cheaper alternative. So it was with us and tinned tomatoes.  Not a brand thing, more a habit.
Before we lived in Germany and the Netherlands I would buy chopped tinned tomatoes every week without fail. But since they can be kind of watery I would also throw in a tube of tomato puree to the trolley for good measure.  When we moved to Stuttgart I inevitably tried to carry on this habit. BUT tins of tomatoes are not a German staple and they were very expensive.  As an alternative I tried the cartons of passata and found to my surprise that they were actually a better product for (in Germany) half the price and they didn't need to tomato puree boost.  Since we have moved back to the UK many of the supermarkets now sell basic passata in cartons.  Usually it is the same price or even a few pennies cheaper than tins, but of course now I'm not buying puree alongside. Probably saves me 35p on my weekly spag bol or about £18 a year.  Just goes to show trying something new can help if you are 1) brave enough to try (it's only one meal not a life sentence) and 2) not lazy and sticking to habit.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Jacket Potatoes with Leeks and Mackerel

Jacket Potatoes with Leeks and Mackerel

4 Baking Potatoes
2 Leeks sliced
2 tbsp creamed horseradish
4 smoked mackerel
lemon juice
50g butter

Bake the potatoes in oven. 
Heat butter in pan and cook the leeks for about 5 minutes, add the horseradish, flaked fish and lemon juice. Season with pepper.
Halve the potatoes and mash the top with a fork, spread mixture on top and serve.

From  Moneysavingexpert you could also use sliced spring onions in place of the leeks and tinned fish (NOT the kind in tom sauce!) in place of the mackerel or kippers in place of the mackerel.