Do you go to the supermarket with a list or are you someone that shops on the fly? I was thinking about this yesterday and I'm definitely a meal planning type of person and I always go to the shops with a list. Yes, I might deviate from that list (because who can resist chocolate on special) but for the most part, I buy only what we need.
The first thing I do is look in the fridge and see what needs eating up. I'm pretty good at creating my meals around this thrifty theory....I don't like to throw out wasted food. For example, I save the broccoli stems off the florets and I chop them up and put them in spaghetti bolognese rather than throwing them out. Yoghurt, cream or milk that is close or at it's used by date will go into a batch of my muffins and floppy carrots or celery will find their way into a stew or casserole. Using this routine each week before my trip to the supermarket means a lot less waste, and a lot of money saved.
Yesterday I was going through this usual ritual prior to going to the shops and I came across 5 different bags of different apples and pears that had been living in my bottom crisper in the fridge for months. I'm not exaggerating when I say that, some of them have seriously been there for months but whilst a little wrinkly, they weren't rotten so I decided to do the ultimate "thrift meal" and turned them into a delicious apple pie!
Easiest pie ever I think. First peel and cut up the apples before placing them into a saucepan with a dash of water and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Stew/simmer for approx 20 minutes, making sure you stir them as they cook so they don't burn on the bottom of the pan.
Whilst you are stewing the apples, thaw two sheets of ready made puff pastry, lining the bottom of a pie dish with one of them. Then spoon a couple tablespoons of jam into the dish, spreading all along the bottom.
Once your apples are cooked, put them in the pie dish on top of the layer of pastry and jam. Place the second layer of pastry on top of your apples, sealing the edges with a bit of whisked egg yolk. Press the sides with your fingers, place a pretty pattern on top of the pie with a scrap of pastry and brush the remainder of the egg yolk wash over the top of the pastry. Sprinkle a bit of sugar over this for an extra nice taste.
Cook in a medium heated (180 degree) oven until the pastry is golden brown and viola, the yummiest and cheapest pie ever.
Yesterday my husband named me "wife of the century", little did he know that the pie was just a bunch of old apples, a bit of jam dregs that had been in the fridge for ages and a few sheets of cheap pastry! It was however made with love and while he enjoys the treat of having a dessert in the house, I enjoyed the satisfaction of not wasting those apples that were destined to go to "the divas" (my chooks).
So how do you shop? Do you have any tips for me on what else I can do to save myself money on my meals each week because I'd love to hear them. A dollar saved for us means a dollar more to go towards that new house extension I'm planning so if that's not something to motivate me to save then I don't know what else will!