Sunday, 1 June 2014

Recipe: Brown and wild rice salad with smoked mackerel and edamame

Brown and wild rice salad with mackerel and edamame

Bit of a health kick needed at Casa CutPriceKate - I have a wedding dress to fit into in a few months time (in a moment of braveness/madness I ordered it two sizes smaller than what I am now!) so am trying to plan my meals better to avoid unhealthy snacking. So packed lunches are very much the order of the day to avoid the temptation of buying a quick fix on the go. 

And I'm already looking forward to eating tomorrow's lunch that I've just made - brown and wild rice salad with mackerel and edamame beans and a few more veg thrown in to boot! 

I love edamame beans but usually just have them straight from the pot as a healthy snack. They're often pretty pricey though so I was delighted to find a pot in Waitrose today reduced from £2 to 65p. This time I decided to thrown the beans into a rice salad - here's how I made it:

1) Boil a mixture of brown and wild rice for 20-25 minutes.
2) Add a handful of frozen sweetcorn to the rice for the final few minutes of boiling.
3) Drain the rice and wash with cold water so the rice cools quickly.
4) Remove the edamame beans from the pods and place in a mixing bowl.
5) Chop a spring onion, red chilli and some fresh coriander and add to the bowl.
6) Flake a smoked mackerel fillet and add to the bowl.
7) Squeeze half a fresh lime over the mixture and then stir in the rice and sweetcorn.
8) Healthy and tasty packed lunch - done!

I think brown rice is really underrated - it's deliciously nutty and great for salads like this. Do give it a try if you never have before.

This salad cost around £1.20 to make - the most expensive ingredient being the reduced pot of edamame at 65p! The lime and spring onion were just 6p as both reduced. I used one mackerel fillet from a pack of four from Aldi - I've just started buying fish from there and have been pleasantly surprised at the quality for how cheap the prices are. Will definitely be trying more fresh meat and fish from there in the future.

Now I just can't wait until tomorrow's lunch to tuck into this!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

£5.10 worth of food for 51p

£5.10 worth of food for 51p

A quick nip in to Tesco Express on the way home tonight and I picked up £5.10 worth of food for just 51p. Two packs of cherry tomatoes each reduced from £1.70 to 17p and a pack of cinnamon and raisin bagels (Mr Kate's faves) again reduced from £1.70 to 17p. 90% savings!

At that price the fresh tomatoes are cheaper than a tin! Bargain!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Recipe: Smoky bean and chunky veg soup

Smoky bean and chunky veg soup

I had quite a bit of reduced veg left in the fridge at the weekend so decided to try and use lots of it up in a soup. I've had a jar of chipotle paste in my cupboard for a while now so thought I'd experiment and make a hot smoky soup.

Here's how I made it but please don't be limited by the veg I've used as you can pretty much throw in whatever veg you have and need to use up!

1) Dice an onion and soften in a pan on a low heat with a glug of oil.
2) Chop two leeks, a few carrots, half a swede and a few sticks of celery.
3) Add a teaspoon of smoked paprika and the chopped veg to the onion and continue to soften for five minutes or so.
4) Add a clove or two of chopped garlic - or a teaspoon from a jar of ready chopped garlic. (I buy jars of chopped garlic from Asian supermarkets as they're very cheap and keep in the fridge for weeks).
5) Stir in two teaspoons of chipotle paste - or more if you want the soup to be extra fiery!
6) Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and give it all a good stir.
7) Fill the empty tin with water and add to the soup.
8) Add a can of drained cannellini beans. (You could use other beans such as black-eye beans, flageolet beans, kidney beans etc.)
9) Add a good grind of black paper and a touch of salt and leave the soup to simmer for 20 minutes or until all the veg is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
10) Add a handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn for the final few minutes of cooking.
11) Serve with a sprinkling of coriander leaves and a dash of lime juice for extra zing.

I really enjoyed this soup - although as the weather is starting to turn warmer I need to start making more salads as soup in the summer months never seems quite right to me! A good job the lettuces in our fledgling veg patch look about ready to pick - time to start planning some interesting salads for lunch instead methinks!

Oh and the cost of this soup? About £1 for four portions - I won't list the individual prices for all the reduced vegetables as it was so packed full of veg we'll be here all night!

Smoked haddock fillets for 79p and ten sausages for 99p!

Smoked haddock fillets for 79p and ten sausages for 99p!

A fruitful five minutes in my local mini Co-op on the way home from work tonight! Picked up a pack of ten decent sausages reduced from £3.50 to 99p and smoked haddock fillets reduced from £3 to 79p.

Both straight in to the freezer to use another day. I'm thinking of creating my own take on kedgeree with the smoked haddock - time to plan a new recipe...!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Recipe: Rhubarb and clementine porridge

Rhubarb and clementine porridge

I've really got into eating porridge for breakfast of late. However I do have a confession to make - I've been having the individual sachets pre-packed with fruity bits. But the cost adds up and, when I saw this 1kg bag of porridge oats in Morrisons for just 75p, I decided it was time to change!

And I'm certainly glad I did - not just for the price but also for the taste. Today I made rhubarb and clementine porridge for a fraction of the price and a much better taste.

Here's how I made it to serve one - simply up the quantities to make for more people:

1) Chop a stalk of rhubarb and slice a clementine in half.
2) Put the rhubarb in a saucepan with the juice of the clementine and one or two teaspoons of brown sugar.
3) Heat gently on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for around 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft.
4) Add half a cup of porridge oats to a separate saucepan with one and a half cups of milk.
4) Bring to the boil and then simmer for around five minutes - making sure you stir now and then to avoid the porridge sticking to the pan.
5) Transfer the porridge to a bowl, add the rhubarb and then drizzle the remaining juice from the rhubarb around the edge of the porridge.
6) Enjoy!

I really loved this - the best bowl of porridge I've ever had. The clementine juice set the rhubarb off perfectly and added a lovely zing to the porridge.

The rhubarb was free from Mr Kate's Uncle Gerald's veg patch - we've got some growing in our fledgling veg patch at the mo as well but it doesn't seem to be doing too well unfortunately.

The clementine was left over from a bag of reduced fruit and cost just 7p. So allowing 3p for the sugar, 7p for the clementine, 15p for the milk and 5p for the oats, this came in at 30p per portion. If you need to keep the costs down even more you can of course replace the milk with water to make the porridge or use half water and half milk. It won't be as creamy but will still taste great.

If you have a satsuma, mandarin or orange lingering in your fruit bowl then these are a great replacement for the clementine - just make the most of whatever fruit you have and need to use up.

No more porridge sachets for me (well, when I've finished the two packs I've got left!) - it's proper porridge all the way from now!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Recipe: Tortilla wrap pizzas

Tortilla wrap pizzas 

Love pizza but don't love the calories? I made these lighter option pizzas when I stumbled across a packet of wholemeal wraps reduced from £1.89 to just 10p. We always seem to have a few wraps left in a packet whenever we have fajitas - wrap pizzas are the way forward to use them up! They're also a great way of using up leftover veg and meat from your fridge.

I made these by spreading a dollop of chilli pesto on each wrap as a replacement for a tomato base. I then lightly fried a few leftover slices of bacon chopped up with a yellow pepper, some spring onions and a sprinkling of cajun spices. I also threw in a handful of frozen sweetcorn. Once the topping was cooked I popped it on the bases along with a grating of cheese for Mr Kate. No cheese for me though as I'm really not a fan!

I then popped them into a pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese melted and the base was crisp. And there you have it - a pizza with about half the calories but still full of flavour. And they cost me next to nothing!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Recipe: Spicy cottage pie with root veg mash for 25p per portion

Recipe: Spicy cottage pie with root veg mash for 25p per portion

I was delighted to come home the other day to find that Mr Kate had bought two packs of mince reduced from £2 to 20p! They went straight in the freezer to use another day.

I love cooking with mince; it's so cheap and easy and proper comfort food too. But I do like to try creating different recipes with it instead of sticking to the usual chilli con carne or bolognese. So tonight I teamed up the mince with some reduced root vegetables to create a spicy cottage pie.

Here's how I made it (and my all important prices too!)...


500g of mince (20p)
Half a bag of parsnips (5p)
Half a swede (15p)
Three carrots (10p)
One onion (10p)
One fresh chilli (4p)
Garlic - I used a teaspoon from a jar of ready chopped garlic or you could use one or two cloves of fresh garlic. (5p) 
A handful of tomatoes (10p)
Glug of oil (5p)
Ground coriander (5p) 
Cumin (5p)
Beef stock cube (4p)
Salt and pepper (1p)

1) Chop the parsnips, swede and carrots and boil until tender.
2) Whilst the veg are boiling, dice an onion and soften on a low heat in a frying pan with a glug of oil.
3) Chop the chilli (leave the seeds in if you want it extra spicy) and add to the onions along with the garlic.
4) Add the mince to the onions and cook until browned.
5) Chop a few tomatoes and add to the mince along with a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of ground coriander and a crumbled stock cube.
6) Add a splash of water to the mince.
7) Spoon the mince into an oven-proof dish.
8) Mash the veg and add a dollop of butter or drop of milk if you like (I didn't as we're counting the calories at the mo!) and add to the top of the mince, using a fork to finish the top.
9) Grind a little black pepper and salt over the topping.
10) Cook in the oven for 30-45 minutes until nice and brown on the top.

Once my head had got round the fact that this wasn't a traditional cottage pie with the usual spuds, I really rather enjoyed this! A lighter and much healthier version of cottage pie and packed with veg.

We had the pie with Tenderstem broccoli - reduced of course from £1.49 to 19p!

The cottage pie came in at exactly £1 for four portions - 25p each. Bargainous!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Recipe: Stewed plums, peaches and mint with yoghurt

Stewed plums, peaches and mint with yoghurt

We often find bargain fruit in the reduced aisle and it's always good to do something different with it instead of leaving it in the fruit bowl to eat on its own.

Stewing fruit is an excellent way of making the most of reduced fruit. If you get a big haul of fruit in then simply stew it up and have in the fridge for several days worth of breakfast or desserts. Or even better - portion it off and freeze to enjoy another time.

Last night we stewed up some plums and peaches for this morning's breakfast - and tomorrow's too! It's really simple to do - we sliced the fruit, added to a saucepan with two spoons of brown sugar and a little lemon juice, and then simply let them stew over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft but still with a slight bite. We also chopped some fresh mint from the garden and added to the fruit to give it a little extra je ne sais quoi!

This morning we portioned the fruit into four glasses and poured over half an Actimel yoghurt drink (reduced of course!).
And the cost?

Two peaches = 19.5p (from a punnet of four reduced to 39p)
Six plums = 24p (reduced from £1.20)
Lemon = 5p
Sugar = 5p
Two bottles of Actimel = 25p (reduced from £2.95 to 99p for eight)
Mint = from the garden

So a total of 78.5p for four portions - just under 20p per portion for a healthy breakfast and two of your five a day!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

£18.49 worth of food and plants for £2.79

£18.49 worth of food and plants for £2.79

Well, I've had quite a busy day today - quite unexpectedly my blog was featured on the Daily Mail website and I've had so many lovely tweets, Facebook messages and emails as a result! (Oh and some rather hilarious negative comments on the Mail Online - my favourite being someone saying they hope I get worms, much to my amusement!).

Anyway, despite it being rather frantic, I still managed to pop into Tesco and Waitrose on my way home for my usual five minute check of the reduced section to see what I could make use of! And I'm certainly glad I did as I found some excellent bargains - in total I bought £18.49 worth of food (and plants!) for just £2.79.

Here's what I nabbed:

Two bags of parsnips reduced from £1 to 10p per bag
Seeded loaf reduced from £1.50 to 15p
Tenderstem broccoli reduced from £1.49 to 19p
Pears reduced from £2 to 39p
Peaches reduced from £2.50 to 39p
Three pot plants reduced from £3 to 49p each

The fruit and veg were all perfectly fine and nowhere near past their best - several days left to enjoy those at least.

Now I've just got to plan what to make with all the bargains - anyone got any good parsnip recipes?!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Day 5 #BelowTheLine: 99.5p for three meals

Day 5 #BelowTheLine: 99.5p for three meals

Finally it's the end of #BelowTheLine - what a week!

My last day living #BelowTheLine started with another smoothie - this time with strawberries and raspberry yoghurt. The yoghurt was the last of the reduced ones I bought a few days ago. About four days out of date but tasted absolutely fine and I'm still standing! Breakfast total = 17.5p

Lunch was tricky as I was travelling to Sheffield for work so needed a packed lunch. Egg rolls it was - a bit stinky on the train though! More reduced rolls (4.5p each) and two of our cheap farm eggs (6.5p each) meant 22p for lunch. I also managed to keep a few strawberries aside from the breakfast smoothie as a mid-afternoon snack.

Dinner was time for a bit of creativity with a pack of Morrisons sausage meat reduced from £2.99 to 69p. We chopped an onion (10p) and mixed it into the meat before shaping them in to patties and cooking them on a griddle. Add to that the leftover reduced potatoes (19.5p), the rest of the reduced spinach (16.5p) and a veg patch leek (5p) and we reached a total of £1.20 for two people. So dinner per person was 60p.

That made a grand total of 99.5p for my three meals today.

And there we have it - #BelowTheLine is over. I hope I've shown that it is possible to eat three decent, healthy and balanced meals on £1 a day - hard work, yes... but it is possible. However I'm acutely aware that if you're living in real poverty it would be a very different matter.

Last year I was invited to speak about cooking on a budget at Bromford Support - a social business that helps people who are dealing with issues such as unemployment, homelessness and poverty. I met a man who had been struggling but, thankfully, had got his life back on track. He told me how he had resorted to picking food out of bins to survive. He said he could live out of bins or turn to crime. He chose bins.

His reality at the time was that when he did have a little money to buy food he ended up buying ready to eat food or takeaways. Why? Because he had no cooking utensils. And no money for electricity and gas to power an oven or microwave - or even boil a kettle.

Eating cheaply is a fun challenge for me - not a necessity. I make the most of the yellow stickers and bargain offers to save money for the nicer things in life. So if you've ever read my blog and gone out and saved a few pounds here and there on your weekly shop as a result, please consider donating a little and sponsoring my #BelowTheLine £1 a day challenge. I'm raising money for The Global Poverty Project and there is still time to donate at:

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far and helped me to raise £220.

I'm back to eating normally tomorrow - no more £1 a day for the time being... but I'll still be hunting down bargains to turn them into something fabulous so watch this space for more cut-price action coming soon!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Day 4 #BelowTheLine: 96p for three meals

Day 4 #BelowTheLine: 96p for three meals

Day four of #BelowTheLine and I'm seriously getting bored of toast and reduced soup sachets. However, I'm just living on a pound a day for five days and have light at the end of the tunnel - other people aren't so lucky so I mustn't grumble.

Breakfast was plain wholemeal toast. Again. But it only cost 2p. Thank goodness that loaf is finished. 

Lunch was a 5p reduced soup sachet and toast. Again. But only cost 7p which meant I could spend 25p to enjoy half a punnet of strawberries that Mr Kate bought from the market yesterday for just 50p. 

So 34p for breakfast and lunch, leaving plenty to play with for dinner! Funny how I'm calling 66p plenty!

Cue another cut-price bargain - lamb mince reduced from £1.99 to 59p. And from Waitrose again! Time to use up some of the other ingredients from this week and make a bolognese. Here's how I kept it in budget:

59p mince
20p tomatoes (from the reduced pack the other day)
10p onion
5p chilli
5p oil
14.5p pasta (the rest of the pack we used on day one)
5p spices
5p soup sachet (the soup sachet saved the meal - it was one of these squeeze and stir soups so comes out like a tomato puree and made the bolognese nice and rich).

= 123.5p total for two

So 61.75p each - let's call it 62p! That makes a grand total of 96p for all three meals today.

The good news is I've now used up all my 5p soup sachets - if I never see another one it'll be too soon!

Tomorrow might be hard - I'm working out of the office and travelling to Sheffield. Time for some serious planning methinks.

One more day to go - thank goodness I don't have to live like this every day, unlike some poor souls.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Day 3 #Below The Line: 94p for three meals

Day 3 #Below The Line: 94p for three meals

Today was very much a game of two halves in the #BelowTheLine challenge. I spent very little on breakfast and lunch so we could enjoy a decent meal in the evening using some reduced pork fillet. So by the time I got home I was more than ready for dinner and delighted to see that Mr Kate was already cooking away in the kitchen. Which was a good job because I had been craving cups of tea at work and having to stick to water - I was ready for a proper feed!

So here's how the day went...

2p breakfast = Two plain slices of toast from our reduced loaf - some peanut butter would have gone down nicely!

15p lunch = The last two slices of Quorn and another reduced roll with a 5p reduced soup.

Dull, dull, dull - I'm used to a much livelier lunchbox than this!

14p afternoon snack = Two reduced clementines

63p dinner = Reduced pork fillet, new potatoes and spinach.

How did we manage to eat pork fillet from Waitrose on the #BelowTheLine challenge? Well, the pork was reduced from £4.02 to 59p! We had half the fillet each with a quarter of a bag of potatoes which were reduced to 39p for the bag. Add to that a quarter of a bag of spinach reduced to 55p so the total for each ingredient was:

Pork - 59p
Spinach - 27.5p
Potatoes - 19.5p
Herbs and oil - 20p

So the meal cost £1.26 for two - just 63p each!

That means a grand total of 94p for three meals and two pieces of fruit!

Quite amazing how far a pound can go if you plan really well and hunt down the bargains - but I'm lucky in that I'm not living below the line for real. I have a freezer, a fridge and all the utensils I need to make my pound a day stretch as far as possible. People living in real poverty don't have that luxury. If you've enjoyed reading my blog and have a pound or two to spare, please do sponsor me at:

All the money raised goes to The Global Poverty Project who are working to help people less fortunate around the world. To everyone who has donated so far - thank you!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Day 2 #BelowTheLine: 87p for three meals

Day 2 #BelowTheLine: 87p for three meals

Day two of living #BelowTheLine and I thought it was going to be a very beige day full of breads and carbs. Fortunately a post-work trip to the supermarkets on the way home secured us some reduced fruit and veg to use today and over the rest of the week.

A bag of seven clementines reduced from £2 to 50p means we've got a piece of fruit every day now for just over 7p per piece. A bag of spinach down from £1 to 55p and tomatoes down from £1 to 29p completed the fresh veg reduced haul - we're nicely set to keep up our five a day intake during the rest of the challenge now. 

So what was on the menu today?

10p breakfast = Toasted roll with reduced Quorn (an odd start to the day but actually quite nice!).

15p lunch = Two scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast.

A penny for each slice of toast from my reduced loaf and 6.5p for each egg (we get them cheap from a farm).

55p dinner = Reduced fish cakes, baked tomato and spinach.

The fish cakes were reduced from £1.29 to 39p - pricey for #BelowTheLine but as I'd not spent much on breakfast and lunch today I could afford them. 5p for one of the reduced tomatoes and about 11p's worth of the reduced spinach - we will use the rest of the spinach and tomatoes in tomorrow's meals. 

So 80p for the three meals and then a snack of a clementine at 7p means a grand total of 87p for the day. Not bad going at all! Keeping this up for five days is going to be hard though - and I'm missing the fizzy drink chemicals for sure!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Day 1 #BelowTheLine: 93p for three meals

Day 1 #BelowTheLine: 93p for three meals

This week I am taking part in a charity challenge to raise awareness of poverty. I will be raising money for The Global Poverty Project who work to improve the lives of people living in poverty. The challenge, called #BelowTheLine, is to survive on £1 per person, per day. That's just £1 a day for all meals and drinks for five days!

Regular readers of this blog will know that I live pretty frugally already. I blog about eating and cooking as cheaply and healthily as possible but for me it is simply to save money for the nicer things in life. For many people it is a necessity, so this week I will be really pushing my cut-price shopping habits to the limit to try to live off £1 per day - and forcing Mr Kate to do the same (he's delighted about that...).

If you have any spare cash please do sponsor me at:

Please donate as much as you can to raise money for the people for whom £1 a day is a reality instead of a five-day challenge.

So, how have I got on today? Surprisingly well as I managed to get some excellent end of day bargains last night! A 15p loaf, 24p punnet of raspberries, 20p pack of Quorn and four yoghurts for 25p has got me off to a great start! Here's what I had and how I got the meals so cheap:

20p breakfast = Two slices of wholemeal toast and fresh raspberry smoothie.

Bread - 2p (reduced 15p loaf)
Raspberries - 12p (half a reduced 24p punnet)
Yoghurt 6p (25p reduced pack of four)

34p lunch = Two rolls with Quorn, tomato and vegetable soup, pineapple pot.

Quorn - 10p (half a reduced 20p pack)
Rolls - 9p (two from a pack of 12 reduced to 55p)
Pineapple - 10p (reduced of course)
Soup - 5p (bargain reduction!)
39p dinner = Sausage and tomato pasta.

Sausages - 5p (half a reduced 10p pack)
Onion - 5p (half a 10p onion)
Tomatoes - 16.5p (half a 33p tin)
Chilli - 2.5p (half a reduced chilli)
Pasta - 5p (quarter of a bag of 500g of Tesco value penne pasta)
Paprika and chilli spices - 5p

So a grand total of 93p for three decent meals. And water is classed as free in the challenge so I've stuck to that all day long. With the raspberries, soup, pineapple, tinned tomatoes and onion I even got a good four of my five a day in too!

One day in and it's not going too bad... although a bar of chocolate wouldn't go amiss!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Restaurant review: The George at Brixworth

Restaurant review: The George at Brixworth

When a Groupon restaurant deal came up for the pub in the village next to my mum and dad's I jumped at the chance -  a good opportunity to take the parentals out for next to nothing I thought! Most of the Groupon restaurant deals I've had have been excellent or thoroughly decent. Unfortunately this wasn't one of them...

We arrived at The George at Brixworth with high hopes - the pub has new managers and the dining room and conservatory looked really inviting. We didn't get off to a great start as the waitress took a good 20 minutes to take our order - even taking orders from people who had arrived after us first. The waitresses were perfectly pleasant, just not particularly on top of their game and we were left waiting a long time between courses.

Mr Kate went for the Thai fish cake for his starter but unfortunately reported that they were severely lacking in the spice and flavour stakes. The parentals and I all went for the Brixworth pate which was absolutely fine and it was good to see a local pub putting a local producer on the menu.

After a long wait for our mains, mum, dad and Mr Kate all had the beer-battered cod with chips and mushy peas. Alas all reported that the batter was on the soggy side and the fish wasn't the freshest. I had chilli con carne with rice and tortilla chips. The presentation left a lot to be desired but the flavour of the chilli was decent.

It wasn't that there was anything particularly wrong with the food - it was more that there wasn't anything particularly right with it. Slow service and below average food. A real shame because the location and setting is excellent and could make for a strong local pub.

The deal was £30 for a two-course meal for four. Fortunately I had just been emailed a £10 off Groupon voucher so actually got it for only £20. So at just a fiver per person this didn't hurt the bank and I guess we shouldn't grumble too much at that price. Having said that, would I have paid full price (£52.70) for what we ate? I'm afraid to say I wouldn't. Not terrible but certainly disappointing. I wouldn't rush back in a hurry but would maybe try again in a few months to see if it has improved as it's a pub I really want to like!

The George, Northampton Road, Brixworth

Monday, 21 April 2014

Restaurant review: Dang's, Northampton

Restaurant review: Dang's Northampton

The best thing about buying Groupon deals for restaurants is that it gives you an opportunity to try out new places you might not have been to before - without the fear of paying over the odds for a meal. Once in a while you find a gem of a restaurant on Groupon and Dang's on Wellingborough Road in Northampton is exactly that.

The Groupon deal? A main course and a side dish for four people for £32 (or £19 for two people). A girl's night out on the cheap with some old work friends was on the cards! My friends had never had Vietnamese food before and I've only had it once or twice so it was a bit of a venture in to the unknown as we worked our way through the menu.

We shared the four main dishes between us so we all got to try a bit of everything. First up was the roast duck with bamboo shoots, spring onions, chilli and coriander. I'm not a huge duck fan (unless it's of the crispy variety!) but found this deliciously tender. 

My favourite dish of the four was the chicken breast with bamboo shoots and po ku mushrooms in lemongrass sauce - I could certainly have eaten the whole dish myself! The salmon with pak choi, spring onion, chilli and soy sauce came a close second to the chicken though - lovely and light and full of flavour.

For our fourth dish we decided to try a tofu dish - we were all tofu virgins but thought would give it a shot! And I was very pleasantly surprised - the lemongrass sauce was the star of the dish and worked really well with the tofu. Something I've never eaten but certainly would give another go.

Full price with the side dishes and mains our meal would have cost just short of £60. The Groupon deal made it just £32.

The big question is would I go back and pay full price? And the answer is a resounding yes - the food at Dang's was lovely and fresh with excellent flavours. And it all felt deliciously healthy so was very much eating out without the usual guilt factor!

Dang's, Wellingborough Road, Northampton

Thursday, 13 March 2014

£17.92 worth of Waitrose food for £4.94

£17.92 worth of Waitrose food for £4.94

I'm a happy bunny this evening! Why? That wonderful moment when you find a whole chicken in Waitrose reduced from £5.64 to £1.49, that's why! And plenty more bargains to boot - all now safely packed away in my freezer to cook another day.

In total I got £17.92 worth of food from Waitrose for £4.94. Here's what I nabbed:

Whole chicken - £5.64 down to £1.49
Chicken thighs - £4.64 down to £1.76
Two packs of cod fishcakes - £1.29 down to 39 per pack
Organic celeriac - £2.06 down to 28p
King Edward potatoes - £3 down to 89p

With an extra 26p taken off for having a myWaitrose card that meant a grand total of £4.94. Less than what the whole chicken should have cost on its own!

Waitrose might be one of the priciest supermarkets but their end of day reductions are some of the best around which makes them more than affordable. And sometimes if you get the right reductions they end up paying you to take the food off their hands, but that's another story for next time...!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

£41.27 worth of Waitrose food for £7.18!

£41.27 worth of Waitrose food for £7.18

Well I'm ashamed to say that this is my first blog of 2014 - life and a busy job has got in the way. But I'm back in action now and back on the cut-price food hunt! Oh and I found myself a new day-job too and will be starting in a few weeks time - new year, new me!

And what a good haul I got tonight in my local Waitrose for my first blog of the year - plenty of quality meat for the freezer makes me a happy bargain-hunter!

I was very surprised to find such good bargains at 5.30pm on my way home from work - the reductions were the sort usually kept for just before closing!

Here's what I bagged:

- Five packs of pork fillet varying in price (according to weight) but the most expensive was £5.66 reduced to 83p!
- Lamb neck fillet reduced from £3.60 to 64p
- Rack of lamb reduced from £7.92 to £1.15
- Three packs of smoked haddock fishcakes reduced from £1.29 to 49p
- Scotch bonnet chillies reduced from £1.50 to 49p

A grand total of £41.27 worth of food reduced to £7.18. The meat and fishcakes are now safely packed away in the freezer, other than one pork fillet which will be used to create a Valentine's Day cut-price romantic dinner of some description! And to spread the cut-price love I will be sharing some of the meat with my mum too - happy Valentine's Day, mother!