Hello

Hello, I’m glad you made it 🙂this is my blog and it’s here to pass on the tips and tricks I use to save money and to budget. It’s all based on personal experience. I’m not about cheap, I’m about value. I am certainly not into false economy.

I want the best for my family but my budget is limited. This is how I do it. There are other ways, they may be better but these are what works for me

I’m also doing intermittent fasting (5:2) in an attempt to lose weight, although I do calorie count on 4 days of the week too. 

All my recipes can now be found here.. 

***Recipes***

this should make things easier to find

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Recipe – Crab Cakes

These were inspired by a Delia Smith recipe but hers are friend and mine are not. They would be wonderful fried but not suitable for a fasting day and that’s when we had them

Ingredients and Approximate Cost

  • 250g potatoes- waxy ones (£50p)
  • 1 can of crab meat in brine (£2)
  • 2 spring onions/scallions (10p)
  • Chilli flakes or seasoning you prefer
  • fresh herbs of choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Frylight

Total cost £2.60
Serves 2
calories per portion 159

Make sure that the potatoes are waxy you want them to hold their shape and not go mushy. Peel the potatoes and then grate. Do not wash you want the starch to remain in them. Drain well and then squeeze until as much moisture as possibly is removed. Salt slightly to help with this. When well drained add to a bowl.

Drain the crabmeat very well and add this, your herbs and seasonings and the finely chopped spring onion to the bowl and gently.

Pre-heat the oven to 200c and spritz a non-stick bun tin with Frylight place a tablespoon of the mix into each one and then spray with frylight. This makes 12 small crabcakes.

Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden

Slimming World – Syn Free on EE

Variations

  1. You can use any tinned crab, fish or even prawns as long as they are well drained
  2. I use Old Bay seasoning on mine but any seasoning will do, Delia uses fresh coriander
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Served with corn, salad and samphire

Fasting day lunches

I try to eat as late as possible on fasting days as I find this works best for me. I just have a cup of tea or more usually water. Then I have a light lunch. I try to make this as low cal as possible whilst seeming like a real meal.

I’ve already blogged about the soups I have for lunch but when the weather is warmer and the sun is shining you don’t really want a bowl of piping hot soup. So I’ve come up with a few alternatives all under 150 cals

Tuna Pate with Crispbread

1/2 can tuna in spring water – 70 cals (50p)
1 tsp fat free greek yoghurt – 7 cals (5p)
4 cracker bread – 64 cals (10p)
30g rocket – 5 cals (50p)

The cracker breads are these ones from Asda at 16 cals each, others may have different values.

Total Calories – 148 (I’d probably add two sprays of this to take it up to 150)
Total Cost – £1.15

Simply blitz the tuna and yoghurt and spread on the crispbreads then top with the rocket and add the Salad Lite if liked.

Fasting Fungus

This is a warm salad but very tasty and filling

150 g of baby button mushrooms – 26 cals (89p)
1 smoked turkey rasher – 26 cals (30p)
30g baby spinach – 9 cals (50p)
8 cherry tomatoes – 24  cals (15p)
One spring onion – 2 cals (5p)
1/2 tbsp grated Parmesan – 11 cals (10p)
1/2 tsp chopped basil (dried or fresh) *
1/2 tsp garlic granules *
1/2 tsp sweetener *
Spray of Frylight *
2 tbsp water

* these I estimate at 5 cals for all as the amounts and values are so small

Total Calories 102
Total Cost £1.99

Clean the mushrooms and cut any larger ones in half so that they are all about the same size. Chop the turkey rasher into small pieces, half the cherry tomatoes and slice the spring onion. Then heat a wok until very hot, spray briefly with the frylight and add the rasher and veg (not the spinach) stir fry until everything is coloured a little then add the garlic, sweetener, water and basil. Cover with a lid and leave for a couple of minutes shaking occasionally. Remove the lid, stir in the spinach until wilted and then serve with the Parmesan sprinkled on top

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Fasting Fungus 😉

 

Meal Planning – This Week’s Meals

Total weightloss is now at 49lb in 16 weeks. I was hoping it would be 50lb but it is 3 1/2 stone which is pretty impressive in less than 4 months isn’t it? I must be kinder to myself and not be disappointed

I didn’t get chance to blog yesterday as I wasn’t feeling too good and as it was a fast day I spent most of it in bed, not eating and trying to feel better. It worked – on both counts 🙂

Monday – Fasting Day

  • B – Tea
  • L – Mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach 1/2 turkey rasher and parmesan – or as I call it – “Fasting Fungus” 😉
  • D – Cajun Chicken with sweet potato chips, salad leaves and roasted tomato, courgette, mushroom and onion
  • S – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties, white coffee x 1, diet apple soda

Tuesday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, 2 rashers of bacon with grilled tomato, light mayo on 2 slices of small loaf Hovis
  • L – smoked salmon pate crudities and crispbreads
  • D – honey mustard pork medallions, actifry saute new potatoes with sage and garlic, asparagus and cheesy leeks
  • S – Milk in drinks, cheese curls may have something else will see how I feel.

Wednesday – Fasting Day

  • B – Tea
  • L – Tomato and Basil soup
  • D – Crab cakes in pitta with salsa and corn
  • S – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties, white coffee x 2, diet pepsi

Thursday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, 2 boiled eggs and soldiers
  • L – Roasted Veg couscous with low fat feta
  • D – Chicken, actifry chips, veg and gravy
  • S – milk in drinks and the rest TBC

Friday – Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, shredded wheat with semi skimmed milk
  • L – Pitta with chicken tikka and salad
  • D – Lamb Bhuna with bombay potatoes and salad
  • S – Gin and slimline

Saturday – Feast Day

Hopefully the weather will be fine as it’s BARBECUE time!

  • B – Sausage sarnies – Breakfast Barbecue
  • L – Minted lamb kebabs with Greek salad – Lunch Barbecue
  • D – Cheese burgers and belly pork slices – Dinner Barbecue
  • S – wine and crisps

Sunday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Bacon Sandwich
  • L – Sushi
  • D – Chili bowls
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Fasting Fungus

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300 cals of yum!

Meal Planning – This Week’s Meals

Total weightloss is now at 47lb in 15 weeks. It really is becoming a way of eating and a lifestyle change for me. So now it’s confession time…

I didn’t read the book at all, in fact I still haven’t. I read online stuff and then thought it could boost my weightloss and that I would try it whilst I was starting out the diet and motivated.

I am as surprised as anyone that I am still on with it and experiencing such good losses.

Monday – Fasting Day

  • B – Tea
  • L – Mushroom soup with cheese curls
  • D –  Fasting Fishcakes with salad and tartare sauce
  • S – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties, white coffee x 2, diet pepsi

Tuesday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, 2 soft boiled eggs,  2 x toast with Laughing Cow light
  • L – smoked mackerel pate crudities and crispbreads
  • D –  cottage cheese, spinach and mushroom lasagna with salad (yes a fasting meal on a normal day because we like it so much :))
  • S – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties, milk 100ml, cheese curls

Wednesday – Fasting Day

  • B – Tea
  • L – Warm salad of button mushroom, cherry tomato, asparagus and 1 x turkey rasher
  • D – Chicken and mushroom in oyster sauce with roasted broccoli
  • S – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties,  white coffee x 2, diet pepsi

Thursday –  Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, turkey rasher BLT
  • L – Tuna mayo with crispbreads and pickles
  • D –  Out for dinner but should have plenty of calories
  • S –  depends on what’s for dinner…  😉

Friday –  Dieting Day

  • B –  Coffee, turkey rashers, asparagus, button mushroom, tomato concoction
  • L  – Pitta with chicken tikka and salad
  • D – Moules with actifry Frites and french bread
  • S – White wine

Saturday – Feast Day

  • B – Almond croissant
  • L – Fish and chips
  • D – Baked camembert and picky things
  • S – wine and crisps

Sunday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – low fat sausage sandwich
  • L –  Roast lamb and all the trimmings
  • D – 2 slices from 400g wholemeal loaf , 1 slice LowLow for toasties

Meal Planning – This Week’s Meals

Lost another pound this week. I am starting to actually look forward to fast as odd as it may seem. I feel like I have eaten too much over the weekend. A combination of too much salt/sugar/fat and of course there has been alcohol have left me feeling bloated and I feel like I need a fast day to clear my body of all the crap. Which is quite a revelation 😉

Monday – Fasting Day

Tuesday – Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Coffee, 2 soft boiled eggs,  2 x toast with Laughing Cow light, fruit salad
  • L – smoked mackerel pate, crudities and crispbreads
  • D – roast chicken, actifry chips, veg and gravy
  • S – Cheese toastie, malteaser bunneh, milk 100ml, cheese curls

Wednesday – Fasting Day

Thursday –  Standard Dieting Day

  • B -Shredded wheat and semi skimmed milk
  • L – smoked mackerel pate, crudities and crispbreads
  • D – pulled pork, coleslaw, sweet potato fries (actifry) and corn
  • S – 2 Ryvita with Laughing Cow Light Blue, milk 100ml, cheese curls

Friday –  Standard Dieting Day

  • B – Shredded wheat and semi skimmed milk
  • L  –  Cheese toastie and salad
  • D –  Pasta Bolognese with salad
  • S – red  wine and a bag of cheese curls

Saturday – hungover dieting day 😉

  • B – Sausage sandwich
  • L – Cheese and biscuits
  • D –  duck with pancakes, tempura prawns and chicken fried rice
  • S – prawn crackers and wine

Sunday – Standard Dieting Day

Recipe – Fasting Family Friendly Fishcakes

That’s a lot of Fs…

Fasting is good but it’s sometimes difficult to fit around family meal times. I like family meal times and sitting down eating the same thing as my children. However when you are fasting you have to be creative in order to do this. I try to serve fish a minimum of once per week as it’s good for you, relatively cheap, tasty and low in calories. Fortunately my boys like it so I came up with the idea of fishcakes with a few tweaks to get them as low in calories as possible.

Ingredients and Approximate Cost

  • 750g potatoes peeled and chopped (£1)
  • 2 x 140g cans (drained weight) of tuna in spring water or brine (£2)
  • one small egg (20p)
  • 4 cracker breads (20p)
  • Frylight
  • Salt and pepper

Total cost £3.40
Serves 4
calories per portion 233

Make sure that the potatoes are suitable for mashing you want floury ones not the waxy ones. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain but leave a very small amount of water, just enough to cover the pan. You are not adding any milk or fat to the potatoes so the water will stop them becoming too dry when you mash them. Mash until smooth.

Drain the tuna and add to a large bowl, flake until it’s of even size then add the potato and mix well. The potato should still be warm at this point. Taste and season if required. Then leave to cool a little.

Beat the egg and leave in a fairly wide bowl, then blitz the cracker bread until they resemble very fine breadcrumbs, I use the Asda ones as they are 16 calories each but please check the calorie values of others.

Pre-heat the oven to 200c and spritz a non-stick baking tray with Frylight. Once the potato and tuna mix is cool enough to handle. Divide into 12 equal portions and roll into balls, then flatten slightly to make the classic fishcake shape. Dip each one in the egg and then the cracker crumbs. Place on the tray and then when they are all done spritz again with frylight.

Bake for 20 minutes until crisp and golden

Slimming World – 1 Syn on EE

Variations

  1. You can use any tinned fish and these are lovely with crab/salmon etc
  2. Add spices to the crumb if liked
  3. You could add a small amount of low fat feta instead of the tuna for veggie option as long as the calorie values are the same
  4. This would freeze very well, simple assemble and freeze and then cook once defrosted.
  5. Of course you can add parsely for a more traditional fish cake and make with fresh fish as long as the calories are similar

I like to serve mine with a little salad and a tartar like sauce which is made from 1 x pickled gherkin, 5 x pickled onions very finely chopped and added to1 tbsp very low fat mayo for around 30 cals.

The children had bread and butter, sweetcorn and ketchup with theirs too 🙂

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With the salad and the sauce – total calories 283

Tried and tested – Zero Noodles

These are a little odd. They come in a liquid filled packet and look like jelly. However they are only 4 calories per 100g which frankly you can burn off cooking them. So I thought I would give them a go. They are however eyewateringly expensive compared to standard noodles. I paid £3 for my pack. Not hugely expensive in the grand scheme of things but for 180g of noodles it’s pretty pricey especially as I could literally get kilos of the normal noodles for that price.

So I bought them and in my fridge they sat, wobbling gently in the crisper every time I got out fruit and vegetables. Taunting me with their gelatinous ways. They scared the hell out of me. I have no idea why but I was really, really reluctant to try them but they cost so much I felt I had to. So I researched them and found out the following

  1. When you open them they will smell faintly of fish
  2. They don’t taste of anything
  3. They have a slimy texture

Marvellous! Fishy smelling slime? Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Could anything at all sound less appetising? Couple that with the appearance of them in the liquid which has all the culinary appeal of jellied thread-worms. Could this be the reason they promote weightloss because the very thought of them is enough to put anyone off food for hours?

But I am a tight wad and I had forked out good money (well technically good Amazon vouchers from doing surveys not actual cold hard cash but it’s the principle isn’t it?) so try them I would.

Chicken and Vegetables in Oyster Sauce with Zero Noodles

  • 170g cooked chicken
  • 100g spring onions
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 courgette cut into matchsticks
  • 300g mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder

Serves 2 – calories per portion 215

Total cost around £7, I used leftover chicken and it depends on the cost of the noodles which varies dramatically.

Slice the onions, mushrooms and courgettes and stir fry with a little Frylight (I use the chinese one it’s very nice) add the chicken and cover to allow the veg and chicken to steam through then add the sauces and cook until the chicken is piping hot.

The Noodles

  1. Open the packet and drain into a colander. Try not to sniff. ** this is important** consider that they may be off when you do sniff them. Try a tiny little bit to check and realise that they do indeed taste of nothing and are indeed a bit slimy.
  2. Rinse them just in case and then realise it makes no difference at all, they are still slimy.
  3. Pat them dry with a paper towel until they are less wet but will still remain slimy.
  4. Throw them into a pan to dry fry having seized upon the idea that they may dry out and be less slimy.
  5. Add five spice powder and soy to flavour them.
  6. Keep frying, realise they lump together so chop them up with scissors…
  7. Keep frying, noodles are no longer as slimy! They are now like soy and five spice flavoured rubber bands! Partial success…
  8. Throw them in with the chicken and veg mix and serve.
  9. They are now slimy again but the other textures detract from it.
  10. The meal itself is actually very tasty and very low cal.
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Actually quite tasty

Verdict – They are OK, nothing special and if you are running out of calories then they are a good filler but I don’t think they are worth the cost. The dish would have been much nicer with some roasted broccoli seasoned with the five spice and that would only have been 25 cals or so more.