Posts Tagged ‘Frugal’

You can feed a family of four a satisfying meal for $5 in less than 15 minutes. It’s not sexy, it’s not fancy and you may not want to serve it at a dinner party…but it is:

1. Healthy

2. Cheap

3. Filling

4. Quick to prepare.

5. Easy to conceal vegies.

5. Passes the trifecta baby/toddler/adult tastebud test.

Tuna Pasta is our ‘go-to’ meal. The quickest, easiest, mid-week meal in my cooking repertoire. It’s the meal I go to if I’m considering ordering take-away, as the ingredients are always in my pantry. Works just as well with any vegies!

Tuna Pasta


1 x 700g jar homebrand pasta sauce

1 x 400g tin homebrand diced tomatoes

1 x 185g tin homebrand tuna, drained

1 packet of homebrand thin spaghetti

1 brown onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small zucchini, grated or blitzed in food processor

1 small carrot, grated or blitzed in food processor

Cheese to serve


1. Cook 3/4 packet of pasta in a large pot of boiling water.

2. Brown onion and garlic in a large saucepan.

3. Add sauce, diced tomatoes, vegies and tuna. Simmer while pasta cooks.

4. Serve with cheese.

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This recipe is adapted from a Chocolate and Coconut Slice recipe I discovered a while back on taste.com.au. Using home-brand ingredients, the total cost of the slice is $4.00, or $0.22 per piece based on 18 pieces. (Add an extra $1 for optional walnuts.) The best thing about this recipe is it’s tasty, cheap to make, most of the ingredients can already be found in your pantry/fridge and it’s simple enough for a toddler to help you make it.


3 Weet-Bix (blitzed in the food-proccessor or very finely crushed)

1 cup (85g) desiccated coconut

1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar

1 cup (150g) self-raising flour

2 tbs cocoa

150g butter

1 tsp vanilla extract or essence

Handful of lightly crushed walnuts (optional)

For the topping

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

2 tbsps cocoa

1-2 tbsps hot water

Dash of vanilla extract or essence


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Place coconut, sugar and processed Weet-Bix into a mixing bowl. Sift over flour and cocoa. Add walnuts if desired and mix together.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then pour over dry ingredients.
  4. Add vanilla and mix well.
  5. Scoop mixture into a lightly greased shallow pan.
  6. Press down very firmly all over until the slice is well compressed and flat.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  8. Remove slice from oven and let it cool on the bench.
  9. Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add a dash of vanilla and stir in a little water until you reach a nice consistency.
  10. Spread icing on slice and sprinkle with coconut.
  11. Place slice in the fridge and let it cool thoroughly (even overnight) before cutting it into pieces. Allowing it to cool thoroughly will prevent crumbling.

Serve on a fancy plate and enjoy!

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If a magic genie appeared out of a lamp and offered me my dream weekend, it might look a little something like this:

Now all I need this coming weekend is a babysitter.

Magic genie..?

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Yesterday I bought this little dripping pot at Salvos for $3. What a beautiful relic of times gone by. It’s from a more frugal era when everything was used and nothing was wasted.

After cooking your meat, you would pour your roasting tray full of remnants and juices into the dripping pot, over the metal sieve. The sieve would catch any chunks and separate all the fatty juices into the pot below where it would form a thick, jelly-like substance.

Dripping was very fatty and flavoursome and usually served with bread. I have relatives who lived on missions and this was one of their staple foods. It was poor man’s food, though perhaps the ultimate in comfort food.

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These past two weeks I’ve had an unexpected and extended stay with my sister in The Land of Bunt. Let’s say we were ‘focused’ making fabulous, pretty things to sell at her children’s school fete. Unfortunately these trips do not come without their price. A messy house, stressful last minute meals and of course those little tiny, teensy bits of fabric EVERYWHERE. Since my return I have been cleaning, cuddling my kids, washing, cooking and looking at the world anew. Six loads of washing later and I’m starting to make some inroads. Today when the novelty of cleaning was starting to wear thin, daughter and I decided on some retail therapy of the eco-friendly and frugalicious variety.

From L-R:

Woollen skirt, $5

Emu puppet, $1

New Bonds PJs, $2

Barbie doll with groovy hair, $1

Books, $2

Toys for the boy, $1.50

Clothes for the girl, $3

Thomas Beach Towel, $2

Doll’s house bath, 50c (You wouldn’t believe what a hit this has been with the 2 year old boy)

1970s Aboriginal print scarf, $7

$25, not a bad haul.

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