• Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

    Have you ever thought about making a slow cooker chocolate cake? I really wish that I was with the 3% of the human population that really disliked chocolate, but unfortunately, I can hold my hand up and say that I am a fully-fledged chocaholic. Cadburys, Galaxy, and Nestle are top of my list, but when it comes to posh choccy you can keep it! Slow cookers are a dream for making cooking easy but many only use them for meals.

    In this recipe, I am letting you all in on the secret that you can make chocolate cake in a slow cooker too! This slow cooker chocolate cake is a game changer!

    First though a money-saving tip:

    The first couple of days in December are the best for buying chocolate, you can pick up unsold advent calendars for pennies, and spend an evening going through 24 little scrummy chocolates and even store them, ready to pop into brownies or meltdown into dipping sauces. Genius right! The same can be done with Easter Eggs or Valentine’s chocolates.

    Now this super simple slow cooker chocolate cake is magic, it has three advantages! Firstly, its ruddy lush, secondly it is something that you can prepare and leave, and thirdly your house will smell like a chocolate melting pot.

    Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

    All you need to prepare this dish is a Slow Cooker, your favourite chocolate and a basic chocolate cake mix, which you can pick up in Lidl or Aldi really cheaply. You can of course choose to make a cake mixture from scratch, but save yourself the time and effort by just using a cake mix you have picked up.

    I fancied being a tad healthy and used mint aero and matchmakers (mint is a leaf, so in my books that means a tad healthy !) but I have previously used Chocolate orange (OMG !!!) Galaxy, you name it. A fab previous cake I made was with Maltesers, and I added 2 tbsp of Horlicks in the cake mix, which gave it a really fab taste, but have a play around and please comment with any fab discoveries.

    Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

    So start off with your cake mix, and separate it into two portions. Grease the slow cooker bowl with some butter and pour half of the cake mix in the bowl. Then add a layer of your chosen chocolate.

    Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

    Then pour the remaining cake mix on top and add another layer of chocolate. Cover with the lid, turn the slow cooker on high and just leave it for around two hours. It should be really moist and gooey. A lovely slow cooker chocolate cake.

    You might also like:

    I saved a piece of aero to crumble over the top and served it with Ice cream, but it goes well with cream or on its own. I hope your all grabbing your coats and are off to buy a shed load of chocolate and if you’re as weird as me, you would be licking the computer screen as the pics are so ruddy lush. Anyway gang, here are some pics of a chocolate orange cake that I made. Enjoy, try and share (ha, ha !) and let me know what you think.

    choc cake 4.jpg

    Go forth, chocolate lover, and create away! I can’t wait to see your slow cooker chocolate cake.

    Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

  • Simple Homemade Cocktail Recipes

    Simple Homemade Cocktail Recipes

    So we are well into our lockdown, and unfortunately the novelty for some is really wearing thin. While I was in my mile long Aldi que this morning, I had the idea of making some supa dupa cocktails. These are officially on the naughty list, taste brill and most importantly, are really easy to make as one of the main ingredients is ice lollies, Yep, you did read it correct….Ice Lollies. 

    They make such a fantastic and affordable ingredient and are incredibly tasty too – plus are perfect for sipping on a hot summers day!

    With more of us socialising among ourselves, extremely short for cash and unable to go out to have a real fancy cocktail, these bad boys taste just as good and are a fraction of the price, with one cocktail coming in around 70p.

    homemade cocktail recipes
    Homemade Cocktails

    I am doing four basic cocktails and I am using 4 alcohol bases along with the relevant ice treat. My first cocktail will be The pina colada and with Aldi’s new coconut Lollies, and these makes it taste like your almost in Jamaica !

    Pina Colada

    • x4 coconut lollies
    • 3/4 carton of pineapple juice
    • 1 cup of cocobay
    • A handful of toasted coconut (pop coconut flakes in a dry frying pan and toast until brown !)
    1. Pop all of the wet mixture in a blender and blend until you have a lovely consistency.
    2. Pour over some ice and pop the toasted coconut on top to serve.
    3. If you fancy being very ruthless, add some condensed milk.
    Pina Colada

    The strawberry split

    If you have an outrageously decedent sweet tooth, how about a strawberry Split with a kick !

    You will need..

    • 4 strawberry splits
    • 1 cup of The Illusionist Strawberry Marsh Mallow gin
    • 4 scoops of strawberry ice cream
    • Squirty cream and strawberry syrup to decorate.
    1. Pop all of the ice cream and gin into the blender, and blend until you have a smooth but thick consistency. Pour into a glass and decorate with the cream and syrup.
    The Strawberry Split

    Iced Lemon deluxe

    This tart concoction almost makes you feel like your having the healthy alternative.

    You will need….

    • Half a tub of Lemon sorbet
    • 1/2 cup of Lemon sherbet liqueur
    • 1 litre of lemonade
    • Lemon to decorate
    Iced Lemon Deluxe

    The jog on Terry…..

    This has to be my favourite as it combines my favourite flavour of chocolate orange with compatible gin.

    You will need…..

    • 4 chocolate orange lollies ( I used magnum minis)
    • 1/2 cup of chocolate orange liqueur
    • 1/2 pint of whole milk.
    • Cream, chocolate syrup and grated orange peal to decorate.
    The Jog On Terry

    I hope these have put a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye, as these are so simple to make in advance and to serve them utterly chilled from the freezer is another top tip. With a jaunt to the cocktail bar still out of reach, these homemade cocktail recipes are surely the next best solution and bonus, they taste great too! 

    Boring nights during isolation was so yesterday, hopefully you will enjoy them as much as we do. Please comment and let me know how you have got on or grace us with some other fab ideas.

     

    Kelly XX

     

  • Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe

    simple tomato pasta sauce recipe

     

    Is this the real life?

    Is this just fantasy?

    Caught in a landslide

    No escape from reality

    Open your eyes………

    When this was played on the radio yesterday, it really rang true! Seriously what the Jeff is going on? It’s like we are living in a film, but not with zombies, just brain dead people walking around and having day trips out as if its a holiday!

    The Doctors and nurses pleading with us to stay home, yet a good 25% are sticking their fingers up to these heroes, the hero’s that will be saving their arse in their time of need !!!! GGGRRRRRRR Rant over ( but I could go on, and on, and on !!!!!!). However, we are all (most) stuck in our homes, trying to keep the kids entertained, stopping the sibling rivalry, trying not to continually scoff ( I am struggling !) rearranging every cupboard and trying to get over the shock of having an empty washing basket!

    My poor dog Millie is hiding because she has no paws left, we are all individually taking her for a walk every day, but now when someone now shakes her lead, instead of doing fifty excited 360* turns, she now looks at us with utter exasperation!

    I have always kept my freezer stocked, its a habit I have carried on since being a stewardess. You see, I always worried the kids would run out of food if I was stuck somewhere, so there was always an abundance of grub to keep them going. I stood back from the bulk buying, however, I did get some extra soups and tins of tomatoes, pasta etc. So easy to make some pasta and perhaps a quick and simple tomato pasta sauce recipe too.

    I really, REALLY want to avoid having to go out, so I have planned to utilise everything I already have, which will not only save me a bit of money, rotate my freezer and dry stores and also give me a bit of purpose, as I am sure I will be bored shitless soon.

    I have scouted through my freezer and planned all of my meals for two weeks, any leftovers will be for lunch the following day, and I can also jazz it up a bit so that it doesn’t become a bit repetitive. If I have mashed potato left, I will mix with some cheese and chutney, whip up some pastry and make pasties, left over curry or Bolognese can go into a jacket spud  etc.

    Pasta is a great staple to have during these times, as it’s super frugal, leftovers can be turned into a pasta bake with extra ingredients and you can experiment with sauces. I never EVER buy jar sauces, as they are generally full of rubbish (check out the ingredients ) are expensive and taste just OK. I love to make a tasty and simple sauce, using a tomato based one. Everyone in the house loves my tomato pasta sauce recipe so I hope you do too!

    Here is a really simple tomato pasta sauce recipe, it freezes really well and is super simple to whip up.

    Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe

    • . 1 Tin of tomatoes
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 1 tsp of sugar
    • Fresh Basil chopped.
    • A good pinch of black pepper
    • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • Cup of grated cheese.

    1. In a pop everything in a saucepan except the cheese, slowly let it simmer for about five minutes.
    2. Let it cool and blend it with a soup blender or transfer it to a blender.
    3. When it is a nice smooth consistency, pop it back on the hob let it simmer and add the cheese, mix it well and add to the pasta.
    4. To make the sauce go further you can add grated veg or Tuna to make it more substantial. I often add red wine and parmesan to my sauces but nothing too expensive.

    If you would like any help or have questions on how to be a frugal cook and make your food go a bit further, then please leave a comment.

    Stay Safe,

    Kelly x

  • Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

    This cardamom and pistachio syrup cake is unlike anything you have ever tasted!

    cardamom and pistachio syrup cake
    Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

    If your watching your weight and being so good in the process, then please look away, close the page or be prepared to lick the screen ! This cake is off the scale as it is both dripping in syrup and sex appeal. 

    Cardamom is a huge deal in the Indian world of cooking and flavours many of their deserts, but you can find it in curries and even rice dishes.  Often it is used whole, but I removed the outer shell and crushed my cardamom pods in the pestle and mortar so that the flavour would be stretched. Pick these up super cheaply in your local Asian Supermarket, or be prepared for them to be double the price at the Supermarket. 

    Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

    I decided to make this banger and combine the regular sponge cake, with an exotic element of the Cardamom and Pistachio to make something a little different. This was a task set to both myself and the Twins for the Shop Smart show. I can sometimes shoot myself in the trotter as I like to go a bit weird and different, but I think it’s always good to try something new and interesting. My granddad, would only ever eat a roast and three veg, and I am sure if he had tried a Korma or Adana Kebab, it would have rocked his world, but oh well, it is what it is !

    Fortunately, The family loved my idea for the cake and asked for the recipe, which always makes me smile.  So,here is the recipe, you could change the cream for fat-free yogurt, but really, if your eating a syrup cake, does it really matter ?

    Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

     

    Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

    3 eggs
    200g sugar
    juice of half a lemon
    5 cardamom pods
    ¼ cup of pistachio (grated)

    200g SR flour
    200g Butter
    vanilla essence

    runny honey

    mascarpone

     

    Cardamom and Pistachio Syrup Cake

     

    Pop the oven onto a mid heated setting (180*) and grease/line the baking tin of your choice. Melt the butter and add the sugar, give it a nice little whisk and then slowly add the flour, eggs, cardamom and vanilla essence, stir this really well and pour into the baking tin. While this is cooking, pour a cup of sugar into a pan, add the lemon juice and a drop of water and stir until the sugar dissolves and you have a nice runny syrup, remove from the hob. When the cake has finished cooking ( around 25 minutes), remove from the oven and pour the syrup over the cake while it is still in the baking tin. Let it cool for five minutes and turn it out onto a serving plate.



     

    Mix the mascarpone with some of the honey, so you have a nice thick but slightly runny mixture, pour this over the top of the cake and then sprinkle the grated green pistachios over the top, to make it look so darn pretty.

    Scoff Away XX

     

    • contains affiliate links

     

     

     

  • Moroccan lamb recipe from C5 Shop Smart Save Money

    A Moroccan lamb recipe that the whole family will enjoy.

    So Yesterday saw the launch of the third series of Channel 5’s Shop Smart Save money and what a build up that has been !

    The team and I have literally travelled the whole of the UK since January and to say it has been tough is an understatement. I think we have graced the majority of the UK,s train platforms, met ever kind of passenger from Chatty Patty to Miserable Mick and seen some of the most beautiful scenery along the way.

    Our first port of call was at the fab Mousley House cookery school in Warwickshire to show a family of four how to do a Lamb dinner on a budget of £20 or less . They family usually spend around £40 on a single roast for the four of them, and both the girls and I were given a mission to show them the bargain light !

    Moroccan lamb recipe
    Ahhhhh!

    The Twins decided to cook a traditional roast with some impressive Yorkshire puddings, and they have kindly shared the recipe on their blog. This went down really well and was followed by a Lemon Victoria Sponge cake. However, I wanted to opt for something a little different and decided to make a simple but effective flavoursome lamb dish. I love Arabic flavours and they are still relatively new to our shores, so with a bit of a gamble I prepared Moroccan lamb with Orzo rice followed by a Cardamom and pistachio syrup cake. This came in at a fab price of £14.85 which worked out at £3.71 per person, But most importantly, the family really enjoyed the meal and were pleased with there new taste discovery.

    Shop Smart Family Pic
    Shop Smart Family Pic

     

    The majority of my shop was picked up at Lidl, even the  leg of lamb which was around the £7 mark (Not an advert !). If you fancy having a go at this recipe, have a gander at the recipe below and please let me know how you get on.

    Good Luck, happy Easter and may you scoff loads of chocolate eggs without feeling guilty !

      x x

    Moroccan lamb

    Leg of Lamb
    2 cups long grain rice
    1 cup Orzo rice
    Aubergine finely diced
    red onion finely diced
    red pepper finely diced
     1 cup of plain yogurt
    fresh parsley

    75g Butter

    2 chicken stock cubes
     2 tbsp. dried mint
    olive oil
    salt
    black pepper
     2 tsp cumin
     2tsp ground coriander
    2tsp all spice
     garlic 2 cloves crushed

    Turn the oven on to a medium heat and put half a cup of water into a roasting tray. Make several scores in the lamb and pop to the side. In a bowl mix half a cup of olive oil with the  crushed garlic, spices and 1 tsp of salt and pepper, mix this well and then massage into the lamb. Cover the lamb loosely  with foil and then pop into the oven to cook for 2 hours, baste a couple of times while cooking. Throw the chopped veg into the bowl of spices and toss around so they pick up the last remaining bits of spices. Put the veg onto a baking tray, ready to go into the oven at the last 30 minutes of cooking time for the lamb.

    Dissolve the stock cubes in some boiling water and heat 75g of butter in a pan, put the orzo in and cook until it is golden. Add the rice and coat well in the butter. Add 2 tsp of salt and the stock, turn the heat down and cover. Cook until the water has disappeared, keep the rice covered until you need to use it.

    When the lamb has been removed from the oven, let it sit tight for around 15 minutes and then carve. If you fancy making a gravy, put some cornflour into the lamb juices and stir to get a paste, add some of the left over stock (slowly!) into the paste and stir over a low heat until it is hot and bubbly, but remember to continually stir the gravy or it will go lumpy. Serve with the rice and veg, but do sprinkle some fresh parsley over the top as this will add some extra taste that will compliment the lamb and also make it look prettier.

    if you like the idea of serving it with a nice mint yogurt, just add 2 tbsp of dried mint to some natural yogurt with a good pinch of salt and  granulated sweetener, stir and serve.

    Moroccan Lamb
    Moroccan Lamb

  • Spanish chicken and chorizo casserole recipe

    chicken and chorizo casserole

    This is probably one of my most favourite recipes that I wrote for C5 Shop smart show, it was designed for a fab couple called Lydia & Jimmy and it had to be low-cost, full of flavour and also Weight watchers friendly. This is where this chicken and chorizo casserole came into being.

    Luckily for me, they loved trying new foods, and as a boring palate is not on my agenda, this was right up my street and I could be adventurous as I liked. I had a gorgeous local weight watchers consultant called Rachel pop over and worked out the points and it came in at 12 points for the whole dish.

    The damn chorizo was the big player with 10 points for 75g but as it’s the star of the show with its smokey flavour, I really didn’t want to tell it to jog on, so I decided to keep it. This is a fab dish on its own, with rice or even a jacket spud, and its on the oh so easy cook scale, as you just bung it all on the slow cooker and forget about it for three hours ! Again, I bought my chicken from Muscle foods, portion them into portions of 3 and 4 and then freeze them, which makes life so simple.

    Chicken and chorizo casserole ingredients

    To create this chicken and chorizo casserole you will need:

    4 chicken breast (skin removed)

    2 red onions finely diced

    3 crushed fresh garlic gloves

    Tinned tomatoes

    2 tsp paprika

    1 tsp thyme

    1 diced celery stick

    2 chicken stock cubes made into one pint of stock (2 points)

    diced mixed peppers

    good handful of chopped parsley

    Cannellini beans

    75g diced chorizo (10 points)

    Seasoning

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    chicken and chorizo casserole

    So as this is a super simple dish, pop everything into the slow cooker, cover and turn it on high, blow it a kiss and tell it you will see it in 3 hours.

    Shred the chicken with two forks, to get the pulled chicken effect and serve with your chosen condiment.

    Buen provecho.

    chicken and chorizo casserole

     

  • Shop Smart Save Money Channel 5

    Ok, your reading my blog, so that shows you’re a super savvy and super smart kinda thang. With inflation on food on the up, our wages pretty much staying the same (gggrrrr!) and disposable income getting smaller, now is a fab time to get yourself financially clued up to the max.

    Smart shoppers save money!

    shop smart save money logo
    Shop Smart Save Money C5

    I have joined forces with Fiona Philips, Gaby Roslin and the brainbox of the money world Andy Super Cash, to bring a weekly hour-long show to share with you the latest deals, savvy shopping tricks and top tips on how to make your buck go further.

    Fiona Philips & Gaby Roslin
    shop smart Alexis and Andy

    Every week my savvy shopping Rivals the twins Joleisa and I go head to head to try to fetch you the best shopping bargains and give you shopping tips along the way.

    twins joleisa

    So please join my greatest fans ( AKA my mum and Nan !) and check out Shop Smart Save Money for yourself, the smile inducing and cost saving tricks we that we all share.

    Channel 5 Wednesday 8pm & Saturday 7.30pm

    Catch you soon….

    Kelly XX

    Why you should visit a Discount Store !!!

    help 3
  • Turkey Samosas Recipe

    turkey samosas

    Turkey Samosas only 20p EACH !

    We had several children over for tea last night, and I thought I would shy away from the usual pizza and chips, I had picked up some reduced Turkey mince and I had a bit of a brain wave. I always try and show my children different foods and tastes, and some times they like it and sometimes I get a big “JOG ON !” but it is always worth a try.

    This worked out super frugal at around 20p for the turkey samosas, and I made my own pastry which was simple, cheap as chips and much tastier than I expected. These can also accommodate a whole batch of fillings, so use up veg, meat or even cheese with these.

    turkey samosas

     

    For these turkey samosas you will need….

    250g Turkey mince

    2 carrots grated

    1 onion chopped finely

    2 tbsp curry powder

    2 tsp salt

    4 cups of plain flour

    50g butter

    1 tbsp coconut oil

    Oil for frying

     

    turkey samosas

     

    Heat some coconut oil in a large pan and add the onion , fry until they are clear, add the mince and the carrots and fry until the mince is no longer pink – you want to make sure your turkey samosas are well cooked.

    Add the 1 tsp of salt and the curry powder and mix well. Feel free to add potatoes, sweetcorn etc to the mix.

    turkey samosas

    Put the flour, salt and softened butter into a large mixing bowl and slowly add water, your aim is to make the dough form a ball that will be stretchy and not too sticky. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes, I always imagine someone that has hacked me off, and before I know it, I have a perfect dough ball.

    turkey samosas

    Turn it out onto a floured surface and pull the dough into 8 pieces (if you want big samosa leave the balls bigger, if you want small ones, make smaller balls !)

    turkey samosas

    Roll out the balls into a circular shape and  cut down the middle of each circle. Wet the edges of the pastry and roll up into a cone, push some of the mince ingredients into the cone, but try not to overfill it. Seal the edges and get ready to deep frying.

    Deep fry them until they are a light brown colour and place them on kitchen towel to absorb the access oil. Wait for several minutes before serving, We also made a batch of feta cheese samosa’s as we had a vegetarian in the group and they were equally yummy.

    turkey samosas

    If you like these turkey samosas then you might also like:

  • How to lose weight on a budget

    With the new year approaching many of us are looking to lose weight and to build healthier habits for the next year.

    Here are some of our top tips for losing weight on a budget

    Get your starting point

    Before you embark on a weight loss journey it is really important to get your starting point noted down.

    This can be as simple as just taking your starting weight, but I would also recommend that you take your measurements and some ‘before’ photographs.

    Comparing your ‘before’ photos is a great way to keep yourself motivated throughout your weight loss journey.

    It is also worth taking a look at a weight loss calculator so that you can accurately get your daily calorie allowance and see how long it should take you to reach your weight loss goal.

    Starting on the right foot helps you to get the right information for you as well as keeping you motivated as you progress through this journey.

    Drink more water

    Our bodies are 70% water so it is important that we make sure that we are drinking enough water for a number of reasons including maintaining blood pressure and promoting cell health.

    Switching expensive coffees and hot chocolates not only saves on calories but also saves money since water is almost free if you use a refillable cup from home.

    If you are struggling to drink more water then you could try to set yourself reminders throughout the day to drink, set yourself goals and try to drink a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning.

    Stacking these habits should help you to reach your daily water intake goal.

    Exercise for free

    Gym memberships can easily add anything from £20 – £50 per month to your outgoings, and that is before you account for transport to your gym if you don’t live within walking or cycling distance.

    There are plenty of exercises that you can do for free, either from the comfort of your own home or whilst out and about.

    Walking is a very effective exercise and can be done straight from your front door or you can even complete walking workouts on YouTube from the comfort of your own home.

    There are also plenty of free workout videos on YouTube, including Zumba, yoga, dance classes and so much more.

    You could also look around your home for materials to use in your workouts – for example two tins of baked beans could be used as weights for arm exercises.

    Cook your meals yourself

    Typically meals cooked at home are going to be healthier than processed or ready meals, and cooking from scratch is a great way to save money.

    Cooking meals yourself means that you can control exactly what does into every dish, and make some healthier swaps along the way. For example you might choose to use a low calorie cooking spray instead of oil, which cuts down on the calories that you consume.

    You can also batch cook meals to save time later on. Choose healthy meals and cook extra to freeze or use as leftovers for the following day. This also helps to reduce food waste which will save you money.

    Make a Fakeaway

    I love a takeaway as much as the next person, but not only can they be quite calorie laden, you also can’t control the portion sizes or the ingredients used. Then consider the cost, especially when you are feeding a family or guests. It all adds up.

    Learning to cook some of your favourite takeaways from scratch, like a curry, chicken kebab or even pizza means that you can control what goes into your meal as well as the calorie content.

    Plus cooking a fakeaway is the fraction of the cost of a takeaway.

    Eat before you go to the supermarket

    If you are looking to save money then never ever go to the supermarket when you are hungry.

    When we shop when we are hungry then we are often prone to shopping with our stomaches and then walking out with lots of snacks and meal ideas that we didn’t plan to buy.

    By having a healthy snack before going grocery shopping or by going to the supermarket after having a meal it will reduce your tendency to buy extra because you are hungry.

    If you haven’t managed to eat before you head to the supermarket then some healthy snacks you can buy for eating on the go include a snack pack of ham, a banana or piece of fruit or low calorie crisps.

    Meal planning to lose weight on a budget

    Meal planning is fantastic to help you with saving money and reducing food waste. It is also a brilliant tool when it comes to dieting because it helps you to plan ahead.

    This way you won’t get home and have no idea what to have for dinner then resort to an expensive takeaway. By creating a meal plan and then shopping for that meal plan you will have the ingredients at home to cook healthy meals.

    Shop the yellow sticker shelf

    I love the yellow sticker shelf, and it is a great place to pick up bargains that can help when trying to lose weight. Just last night I got a bag of salad for just 6p! It was perfect to have with some chicken last night, making a very low calorie and healthy dinner option for a fraction of the cost.

    Lots of the foods found on the reduction shelves can be frozen – especially meat and bread. If you are buying fruit from the yellow sticker shelf you can also freeze some of it to use in porridge or smoothies.

    Reduce your portion sizes

    Reducing your portion sizes is an easy way to cut the calorie and reduce your costs in one simple step.

    To do this you could serve less onto your plate or even consider using smaller plates and bowls to eat from.

  • Creamy Slow Cooker Mushroom Soup

    This satisfying, earthy soup is so warm and comforting. The wild rice is filling, while the finely minced and chopped vegetables give the soup consistent flavour throughout. What’s more, its “creaminess” comes from pureed cannellini beans and coconut milk, rather than dairy products, making it vegan.

    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Cook time: 3-8 hours
    Serves: 4-6

    slow cooker mushroom soup Ingredients:

    1 c. multi-color wild rice blend
    1 small white onion, roughly chopped

    3 stalks celery, roughly chopped

    2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

    3-4 cloves garlic, peeled

    12 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed, divided

    1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, undrained**

    1 whole bay leaf

    2 t. garlic powder

    6-8 c. vegetable stock, divided
    Salt and black pepper, to taste

    ½ c. full-fat coconut milk

    ¼ c. fresh parsley, finely chopped

    Tip: For less salt, rinse and drain the beans before pureeing them. 

    Directions:
    Rinse the wild rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker crock.

    1.  
    2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until very finely minced and transfer to slow cooker crock.  
    3. Add 2/3 of the mushrooms to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Thinly slice remaining mushrooms and add to slow cooker, along with the finely chopped mushrooms.  
    4. Add cannellini beans and a little water to food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into slow cooker crock with other ingredients. Add bay leaf, garlic powder, and 6 cups of vegetable stock. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.  
    5. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8. Actual cooking time will vary by individual slow cooker, so check for doneness after 2½ hours (or 5½ hours for low) and adjust cook time accordingly. (The rice should be tender, but not mushy, when finished).
    6.  
    7. When cooking time is complete, remove bay leaf and discard. Add coconut milk, chopped parsley, and additional vegetable stock, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency.  
    8. Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy! 
  • Win a velvetiser – giveaway

    Oh my goodness, hot chocolate season is upon us. It is FREEZING outside, making it the perfect time to curl up with a nice cup of hot chocolate. The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser has been on my wish list for ages and I am so happy that I get to bring you this giveaway to win one in copper – the most stunning colour there is in my opinion. Keep reading to find out how to enter for your own Hotel Chocolat velvetiser which could be a fantastic Christmas present to yourself.

    The bloggers taking part

    This giveaway couldn’t happen without the bloggers below taking part and contributing towards the prize. Please take a moment to visit them and show your support.

    At Home With Alice | Two Hearts One Roof | Catch Up With Claire | Make Money Without a Job | Nine to Three Thirty | Hannah and the Twiglets | Rice Cakes and Raisins | Jennie Pennie | Ecoralive | thriftychap | Life With Jupiter & Dann | The Geordie Grandma | Christmas With Katie | Doing the ImPCOSible | Real Girls Wobble | Mamma Prada | The Heaton Family | A Life of Lovely | Me, Him, the Dog and a Baby! | Pounds and Sense | Positively Lifestyle | Robyn’s Photography Academy | Stressed Mum | Life in a Break Down | Renovation Bay-Bee | Reduced Grub | The Mini Millionaire | Thrifty Husband | Mrs Pinch | Good Life and Mind

    The prize

    This prize is a copper Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser with 2 x Everything + Milky Pouch + Classic Pouch + 500ml Chocolate Cream Liqueur.

    Terms and Conditions

    1. There is one top prize of the Hotel Chocolat velvetiser and 2 x Everything + Milky Pouch + Classic Pouch + 500ml Chocolate Cream Liqueur.
    2. There are no runner up prizes.
    3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
    4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 12.12.2021
    5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
    6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
    7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
    8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
    9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
    10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
    11. The prizes will be dispatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details.
    12. The promoter is Drew Media LTD t/a http://www.MakeMoneyWithoutAJob.com
    13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

    ENTER NOW

    Simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Win a massive Lush hamper

    It is that time of the year when we want to start getting cosy – from cooking warming soups to having long hot candlelit baths. I don’t know about you but I love using Lush products and they make an amazing treat, which is why I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing giveaway where you can win a fantastic Lush hamper worth £185! Wow!

    I have teamed up with some of the other bloggers in the UK to bring you this prize, so please do take a moment to show your support by visiting them!

    You can find all of the information about the giveaway, including what is included, how to enter and the terms and conditions below.

    Good luck!

    The Bloggers Taking Part

    Here is a list of all of the bloggers taking part in this giveaway – please show your support by visiting them.

    The Heaton Family | HomeAndGardenThings | Positivity Lifestyle | Skinnedcartree | A Life Of Lovely | Crafting Her Scents | British Bride | Cherished By Me | CharlotteMusha |Surviving With Coffee | The Queen of Bargains | Monethalia | Ecoralive | Birds and Lilies | Cheat Planet | Mummy Vs Work | Rhian Westbury | My Tunbridge Wells | Twoheartsoneroof | Renovation Bay-Bee | Just Average Jen | Gift Guides UK | Stapo’s thrifty life hacks | Blogger SEO Tricks | Make Money Without A Job | Reduced Grub | Mumernity | Skinny Spending | What Mummy Thinks | Life with Jupiter and Dann | Stylish London Living | Millennial Saves | Make Changes Everyday | ThriftyChap | Money Saving Superhero | Alice in Sheffield | Best Things to do in Cambridge | Life in a Break Down | Twoplusdogs | Cats,Kids,Chaos | Youth n Trends | LondonFridge | Miss Manypennies | Happy Time Blog

    The prize

    We are really pleased to be giving away a WOW Gift hamper from LUSH, worth £185!

    This hamper includes:

    -I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas Bath Bomb
    -Snowman Dreaming Bath Bomb
    -Butterbear Bath Bomb
    -Sleepy Bear Bath Bomb
    -The Golden Pudding Bath Bomb
    -Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb
    -Snow Fairy Bath Bomb
    -Hey! Hollywood! Bath Bomb
    -Orange Pop Bath Bomb
    -Jingle Bells Bath Bomb
    -Snowball Bath Bomb
    -You Shall Go To The Ball Bath Bomb
    -Snow Fairy Roll Bubble Bar
    -The North Pole Bubble Bar
    -Cinnamon Roll Bubble Bar
    -Snow Fairy Shower Gel 100g
    -Jolly Shower Gel 100g
    -Yog Nog Shower Gel 100g
    -Plum Duff Shower Gel 100g
    -Golden Pear Body Scrub
    -Rudolph Nose Shower Bomb
    -Silver Bells Shower Bomb
    -Fairy Dust Dusting Powder
    -Galaxy Lip Scrub
    -Golden Pineapple Lip Scrub
    -Snow Fairy Soap 100g
    -Baked Alaska Soap 100g
    -Polar Bear Soap 100g
    -Snow Fairy Body Conditioner 50g
    -Snow Fairy Body Spray 100ml
    -Lord Of Misrule Shower Gel 100g
    -Candy Cane Reusable Bubble Bar

    Terms and conditions

    1. There is one top prize of the Lush WOW Gift Hamper.
    2. There are no runner up prizes.
    3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
    4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 31.10.21
    5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
    6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
    7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
    8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
    9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
    10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
    11. The prizes will be despatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details.
    12. The promoter is http://www.positivelylifestyle.com
    13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

    Enter now

    Simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Family gaming time

    Many parents are put off from online gaming because of some of the dangers that can come with online gaming. You might worry about your child or children being bullied online, getting addicted, becoming too competitive or even more harmful consequences that could arise from online gaming. Therefore it is really important that you find ways to keep your family safe during gaming time.

    Tips for gaming safely

    It is really important to keep your family safe and keep channels of communication open when it comes to gaming.

    Here are some of my top tips for gaming safely.

    Take regular breaks

    Taking regular breaks can be helpful when it comes to staying safe with online gaming. You should especially encourage your family to take a break if they are feeling tired or hungry, getting angry or upset at the game, not enjoying it anymore or ignoring other responsibilities such as completing their homework.

    Choose a username carefully

    If your child or children need to register online for gaming and choose a username, be sure that they choose a username with no identifying features, such as their year of birth, full name or email address. These usernames are usually displayed publicly, so encourage them to choose names that aren’t identifying.

    Play offline

    Online games are fantastic, but don’t forget to encourage play time away from online gaming, such as board games, outdoor play and Lego.

    Choose a safe gaming website

    With so many options out there for online gaming it is important to choose a safe gaming website.

    I really like encouraging my family to use Plays.org which has hundreds of games to choose from, from every genre you can think of, with more being added all the time. The games can be played directly from a web browser, meaning that there are no apps to download and no chance of your children buying in game loot for real money and driving up your phone bill.

    Fun for the whole family

    Plays offers a wide variety of games, suitable for the whole family. Here are some of our favourites:

    Classic Solitaire

    One of my favourites is classic solitaire – an absolute classic for me. Playing it helps me to wake up in the mornings, or chill out throughout the day.

    Learning Games

    Gaming is a great way to encourage your children to learn more, and Plays.org has tons of games to help with that, including math and memory games.

    Dinosaur Train Bridge Builder is very popular for younger children learning to count.

    No ads

    It is very rare to find a website that provides free content or games to have no adverts – after all, even we have adverts on our blog.

    This is where Plays.org is different.

    They don’t use ads or re-targeting, saying:

    We use Clicky web analytics to track our website performance to see where our site is discussed around the web and how popular various games are so we can create and publish more games similar to the most popular games. We do not serve ads on our site nor retarget users across the web.

    This is fantastic for helping to keep your family safe when gaming online, as no one will be tempted to click a potentially harmful advert.

    Play now

    I would definitely recommend that you take a look at Plays.org as a safe online gaming solution for the whole family.

  • How running a food blog has saved me money

    Both food waste and food poverty are massive problems in the United Kingdom – did you know that 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry in the UK every year (Figures from WRAP 2019) and a massive 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat (according to fareshare.org.uk) which is equivalent to the entire population of London.

    Reduced Grub

    Writing posts on Reduced Grub helps me to challenge myself to come up with recipes I wouldn’t normally think of and to push my comfort zone when it comes to cooking on a budget.

    I understand the struggles that families are facing at the moment, trying to feed their families on a tight budget. With so many people relying on food banks it is important to me that I share these money saving tips with my readers, but it also helps me to save money at the same time.

    I’ve found some great switches and savings to make – for example making my own flavoured olive oil at a fraction of the cost or using leftover Christmas turkey to make an amazing curry.

    I love pushing myself to create new recipes with the goodies found in the yellow sticker shelves at various supermarkets.

    Influencers and bloggers making money

    It is no secret that influencers and bloggers can make money from their platforms, which is a great way to reward them for the free content they create.

    I have been lucky enough to have a few partnerships from writing on Reduced Grub, which have either provided me with monetary payment or items to review – thus saving me money on buying items I would have loved to try.

    It is really important that bloggers and influencers are transparent about how much money they charge, so that they can help others to price their work accordingly.

    My top tips for lowering your supermarket spend and lowering your food waste

    Over the years I have come up with lots of top tips to help you to lower your supermarket spend, even when feeding your busy family.

    My top tip would be to meal plan. Meal planning is not only fantastic to help stop the Overwhelm when it comes to choosing your meals every day, but it also means you can shop for just the items that you need whilst at the supermarket – therefore lowering your spending and your food waste.

    Did you know that you can freeze cheese? This is a great tip for when you pick up cheese from the yellow sticker shelves or on special offer. Not only will it help to reduce your food waste but it will also help you to lower your grocery spending.

    Another tip is instead of getting a takeaway every week, start to cook your own fakeaways. Depending on the size of your family you can save £25 or more every time that you do this.

    Fakeaway ideas:

    Another idea is to pack your own lunch for work, school or university. A meal deal can easily set you back £3.50 a day, so switching to homemade sandwiches and taking in your own snack from a multipack can cost you a fraction of the cost of a meal deal. If you still enjoy your meal deals then you don’t have to give them up every day – just replace them a couple of times a week.

  • 5 Ways To Keep Your Car Clean While Raising Kids

    Keeping a clean car when you’re ferrying children about isn’t easy. Here are some tips on doing so.

     Get Help From Your Kids

    Perhaps the easiest and most important lesson to teach your kids early on is how to clean the car. Get them a bucket of water so they can get involved and teach them that when they leave their rubbish behind, they have to clean it all up. Getting kids to clean with you gives them a sense of understanding as to how much work and effort it takes to really keep a space neat and tidy.

    1. Do Not Stop Cleaning!

    Never stop or take a break from the objective of cleaning your car. Even taking a break for a day may mean candy wrappers, juice boxes, and whatever else piling up in your car. Whenever you go anywhere with your kids, constantly remind them to remove their toys and throw out their trash. Easier said than done in a small car like a Mini with only 3 doors. However, even in the case of a Mini you can make things easier to keep clean with these Mini car mats to cover your carpets in your car.

    1. Get Organizers

    The most often overlooked way to get organized is to use car organizers such as drawstring bags and pockets on the back of your seats. Most importantly, choose options that have a washable and waterproof exterior that can resist spills and messes. By having a designated spot for everything, your kids are twice as likely to sort and put things away where they belong. The Stow ‘N Go is a fantastic organizer for the back of your seats, and priced modestly at about $11, it can transform your vehicle!

    1. Don’t Wash The Car Yourself

    Sure, washing the car yourself with your kids may save you a few extra bucks, but think of the time it would take to get all hands on deck. Make it a point to schedule a car wash every month and run your car through the machines. This will ensure you reinforce cleanliness in your household while also saving some time and effort.

    1. Get A Mini Garbage Can Or Bag

    Plastic bags or a mini garbage can can help your kids throw away their trash while you’re on-the-go. Leave one in the second and third rows of your car because it reminds kids what they need to do with their trash. At the end of your day, you can just empty the mini cans or throw away the bags to keep your car clean.

    Between dropping your kids off at school to running errands in your car, it’s hard to ensure that your space isn’t invaded by wrappers, crumpled papers, and toys. Kids are willing to learn to clean as long as you’re willing to teach them, and what better way to get started than by choosing to keep your vehicle neat and tidy? A few simple tips and tricks from above are all it takes to reinforce good behavior and cut down on your own cleaning responsibilities.

  • How simple shopping swaps can help you to own your home sooner with mortgage overpayments

    Mortgage overpayments are something that I am really passionate about, and mortgage providers are also trying to encourage their borrowers to make overpayments where they can.

    What are mortgage overpayments?

    A mortgage overpayment is an extra payment you make to your mortgage, above your usual monthly mortgage payment. By overpaying your mortgage you can either shorten the term of your mortgage or lower your monthly payments throughout the term.

    This means that you can be in a good position to pay off your mortgage balance faster, and save lots of money in interest over the course of your mortgage term.

    You can choose to make overpayments as a one-off or set up regular overpayments.

    Every mortgage provider and mortgage type is different, but it is quite common to have an allowance of 10% of your remaining mortgage balance for overpayments every year (January – December).

    Any payments made over this amount could lead to an early repayment charge, so when you are making mortgage overpayments you want to bear that allowance in mind.

    Should you overpay your mortgage?

    There are lots of things to consider before you start overpaying your mortgage.

    If you have other consumer debts, like high interest credit cards then it might be worth paying them off first before making mortgage overpayments, since your mortgage is typically at a much lower rate of interest.

    You should also have an emergency fund in place to cover any emergencies that might crop up, whether they are related to your home or not.

    You should also consider how much making mortgage overpayments might impact your budget.

    How much should you overpay on your mortgage?

    When it comes to overpaying your mortgage every little helps.

    You don’t need to wait until you have a big bonus at work or a huge lottery win to make an overpayment on your mortgage.

    In fact, just swapping one takeaway to a fakeaway just once a month could free up £25 to overpay on your mortgage. It might not sound like much, but let’s take a look at how a regular overpayment of £25 a month on a £150,000 mortgage at 1.92%, with 24 years remaining can save you money.

    By making a £25 a month overpayment on your mortgage you will save £1,850 in interest AND be mortgage free an entire year and 1 month earlier.

    Fakeaway ideas:

    Imagine if you could double your efforts and cook two fakeaways a month, sending a £50 overpayment to your mortgage every month.

    By making a £50 a month overpayment on a mortgage of £150,000 at 1.92% interest with 24 years left, you can save a massive £3,523 in interest AND be mortgage free 2 years and 1 month earlier. Wow!

    How to save money on your food habits

    If this has inspired you to save money on your food shopping and eating habits in order to make overpayments to your mortgage then here are some ideas to help you to get started.

    Pack your own lunch for work

    A meal deal can easily set you back £3.50 a day, so switching to homemade sandwiches and taking in your own snack from a multipack can cost you a fraction of the cost of a meal deal. Give up your meal deals just twice a week and monthly you will have an extra £30 to overpay your mortgage with.

    Shop at the yellow stick shelves

    You know how much I love a yellow sticker shelf – not only do you save lots of money but you can also try out foods that you might not normally look at.

    The savings you can make from shopping at the reduction shelves will vary, but I estimate that you can easily save £20 – £50 a month to overpay your mortgage with.

    Meal plan

    Meal planning is fantastic if you struggle to come up with ideas for what to eat, but it can also save you money because you are only shopping for what you need to use that week to create meals for your family.


    I hope that these ideas have inspired you to consider making small swaps in order to make overpayments on your mortgage.

  • Morrisons Breakfast Deal – No More Fried Bread

    If there is one thing the Morrisons cafe does extremely well it is the all day breakfast. Many a fun days out have started with a hearty Morrisons breakfast deal – especially since they are one of the few places left to get fried bread with your breakfast. It is with great regret that we let you know that Morrisons are no longer doing fried bread with their breakfasts.

    Morrisons cafes are back and we are very excited.

    With their reopening after many lockdowns also comes a new menu, without fried bread.

    Gutted.

    The new opening also means a new way to order too.

    Morrisons breakfast deals

    What is the origin of breakfast

    Breakfast is the first meal of the day typically eaten early in the morning, typically after waking up. It is made up of the words ‘break’ and ‘fast’, to show that you are breaking fast.

    The first documented mention of breakfast was found in an Egyptian hieroglyph from around 1000 BC which declared that “the king should take breakfast while sitting on his throne,” and this meal consisted of fruit, bread, beef, vegetables and wine.

    I’m not sure how wine for breakfast would go down these days, but please sign me up!

    You might also like:

    How to order a Morrisons breakfast

    There are three ways to order your Morrisons breakfast deal.

    You can order at the special ordering point screens usually located at the front of the cafe, and pay using your card. You will need to know your table number.

    You can order at the end of the queue with a cashier, choosing to pay via cash or card.

    Or you can now order at your table by scanning the QR code using your smartphone. You will only be able to pay via card.

    Morrisons breakfast deals

    Morrisons Breakfast Serving Times

    Despite the name, Morrisons breakfast deals are served all day, every day – until the cafe closes.

    Morrisons Breakfast menu options

    The menu for Morrisons breakfast bowls includes:

    • Porridge
    • Porridge with berries and honey
    • Museli

    Eggs

    The egg selections include:

    • Eggs on toast
    • Poached eggs and avocado

    Toast

    The toast options on the Morrisons breakfast menu include:

    • White bloomer
    • Brown bloomer
    • Sourdough
    • Toasted fruit teacake with butter and preserve

    Breakfast plates

    The famous Morrisons breakfast plates include:

    • Full breakfast
    • Small breakfast
    • Full veggie
    • Full vegan

    Breakfast extras

    The breakfast extras are charged at 75p each and include: sausages, bacon, beans, eggs, hash browns, mushrooms, tomato and toast.

    As you can see, fried bread is no longer included.

    Morrisons vegan and vegetarian breakfast

    Morrisons now offer a wide range of breakfast options suitable for vegetarians and vegans, including:

    Porridge, veggie breakfast, vegan breakfast, muesli and more.

    Morrisons breakfast deals

  • 8 Ways to Save Money Supermarket Shopping

    No matter the reason, many of us could do with some help to save money supermarket shopping. If you are looking to save money at the supermarket then keep reading for 8 ideas to reduce your supermarket spending.

    1. Buy your groceries and other supplies in bulk

    In order to save money, you should buy your groceries and other supplies in bulk. You can take advantage of discounts by buying in bulk.

    The price per unit, or per 100g is often cheaper when you buy in bulk.

    You do need to be careful though, after all you won’t save money supermarket shopping if you then waste the food you buy in bulk.

    2. Plan your meals for the week to save money supermarket shopping

    It is important to plan and make grocery lists. This will help the individual save money and time. It is also a good idea to try different recipes from new cookbooks or magazines, which can be found at the library, a bookstore or online.

    3. Use coupons and discounts to save money

    Coupons and discounts can make the difference between a profitable sale or a loss. They can help the retailer save on advertising expenses as well as get customers to buy their product instead of going for a competitor’s.

    There are several ways that businesses use discounts and coupons to increase sales revenue, including:

    Using coupons and promotional codes to attract new customer

    • Offering discounts for repeat customers
    • Offering free shipping
    • Creating loyalty programs for frequent shoppers
    • Giving samples with new purchases

    You might want to try things like the Lidl plus app to save money at the supermarket.

    4. Skip processed foods and buy mostly whole foods

    If we are not careful with what we eat, then our health will suffer. Processed foods are high in sugar and sodium which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. There is also a lot of additives in processed foods that have been linked to cancer.

    Whole foods are much healthier for us as they do not come with all the preservatives and additives found in processed food. It is also cheaper in the long run because you won’t need to buy medication or visit your doctor as often.

    save money supermarket

    5. Limit food waste by shopping more often, monitoring expiration dates, and using leftovers

    Reducing food waste not only helps out the planet, but also your budget and helps you to save money at the supermarket.

    There are many ways to limit food waste in your home:

    – Shopping more often

    – Monitoring expiration dates

    – Using leftovers

    6. Consider what you can eat, not just what you want to eat

    To avoid the pitfalls of mindless eating, pay attention to what you are eating and don’t just focus on tastes.

    It’s not just about what you want to eat, but also about what you can eat. Emotional health is very important when it comes to eating well and we need to make sure that we are not depriving ourselves of the food that will actually improve our mood while also improving our health.

     

    save money supermarket

    7. Buy from the yellow sticker shelves to save money supermarket shopping

    You know how much we love a yellow sticker shelf. All the supermarkets have them, Morrisons, Co-op and Tesco certainly do.

    Shopping at the yellow sticker shelves not only saves you money, but also helps you to discover new ingredients and meals.

    8. Prepare your own food whenever possible

    Some of the benefits of prepping your own food include eating better, having a better variety of foods and flavors, knowing exactly what is in your food, and saving money. People who buy from restaurants or grocery stores often eat more calories than they need because they have no idea that a small amount of food can be overeating.

  • 6 Thrifty Ways to Update your Kitchen

    Are you thinking about updating your kitchen but don’t have or want to spend thousands of pounds? Spending so much time at home, we’re either bored of the same four walls or noticing the areas that need a bit of TLC. Fall in love with your kitchen all over again with these small changes that you can make today. You’ll be amazed at the difference they can make. 

    Organise your kitchen 

    Organising your kitchen cupboards and drawers will help you see what you have so you don’t buy any more of it and also what you can up-cycle. If things are hard to find or pots and pans are not easy to access, you’ll end up feeling frustrated when you are in the kitchen. Once organised you can see where you can make your life easier whether that’s with spice racks or pan and plate shelves that can slot into your cupboard. Even though organising can take a long time, the feeling is so rewarding afterwards! 

    Small touch-ups go a long way

    Maybe your kitchen doesn’t need a whole new look but could do with some repainting. Neutral colours can make a room look fresh and brand-new and will not go out of fashion. However, if you can’t afford to buy new pots of paint right now, you can pick up ‘magic erasers’ for the walls which remove stains and marks on the walls easily. 

    If you have radiators in your kitchen, you can buy spray paint specifically for them to either brighten them up or change their colour. 

    Accessorise

    You need to consider accessories when it comes to interior design within your kitchen. Update it by adding some colour and personality with plants and prints. 

    You can also decant products like washing-up liquid and hand wash into expensive looking bottles for as little as £2 or if you have containers already, spray paint them to refresh! Accents of black is on-trend at the moment and looks very sophisticated. 

    Change is good

    A simple yet thrifty way to make a big difference to your kitchen is by swapping your door handles for something new. They’re easy to replace and you can pick these up for reasonable prices online.

    Lighting is a great way to change the feel of a room and by adding under-cabinet lighting it can help create a calming mood. There are lots of inexpensive lighting options online and they’re easy to apply too.

    Tackle the floors 

    Update your kitchen by putting in new grouting on your floor tiles to give them that crisp look again, grout pens are a great option to help you do this. If you’d rather not do this, I highly recommend a steam clean, which really helps lift stubborn dirt and makes floor tiles look like new.

    Get creative 

    This is a big one as it requires some DIY and creativity, but is the thriftiest way to update your kitchen for a fraction of the cost of a new one. 

    You can transform your current cupboard doors by painting them a new colour (make sure you buy the paint specifically for this purpose) or you can buy vinyl to cover them and your worktops. Vinyl has come a long way since the 70’s and there are so many options now – from marble and wood effect to amazing patterns.  

    There is also the option of painting and stencilling your current floor tiles, where you can choose from different patterns to get the look you want, whether that’s country or traditional. 

    For more tips all on the home from DIY, interiors inspiration and wellbeing, check out Lockdown House.

  • Lidl quinoa for just 89p

    Wondering where to buy Quinoa? The Lidl quinoa is amazing and such a bargain.

    A great source of protein, calcium, and fibre. If you have to follow a gluten-free diet, this is a great wheat-free substitute.

    Lidl quinoa

    What IS Quinoa?

    You might be wondering what on earth quinoa is.

    First of all, let’s talk about how you pronounce it.

    Quinoa is actually pronounced ‘keen-waa’. I like to say the ‘waa’ as though I am saying ‘Mwah’ to someone.

    Did you know that Quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods? This is because it is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

    On top of that, quinoa is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and other beneficial antioxidants.

    Therefore it is a great ‘superfood‘.

    How to cook quinoa

    Quinoa is actually really easy to cook!

    Cook it as you would rice but wash well under cold water before you do.

    As for me, I’m using my cooker for brown rice, and it works great with quinoa.

    Here is a delicious recipe for coconut Quinoa !

    Lidl quinoa

    As quinoa has become more and more popular over the years it is much easier to find it in stores.

    However finding it for a bargain price can be an issue.

     

    Lidl quinoa

    The Lidl quinoa is just 89p per 300g.

    To put that into context, you can get a 300g bag from Amazon for £2.99.

    Lidl Quinoa

    Or a 300g bag from Tesco for £2.

    You are saving over 50% by buying the Lidl quinoa.

    What are the health benefits of Quinoa?

    There are so many great health benefits to quinoa!

    • Gluten-free – great for those of you who cannot eat gluten.
    • High in fiber.
    • High in protein – great if you are trying to get in more protein.
    • Low Glycemic Index (which means it is good to help you control blood sugar levels).
    • High in iron and magnesium.

    And probably best of all, it is really easy to incorporate into your diet.

    How to serve quinoa

    Now that we know some of the amazing health benefit of quinoa, you might be wondering what you can serve with your Lidl quinoa.

    The possibilities are endless!

    A really simple way to eat more quinoa is to use it in place of rice and cous cous. It can work well with curries.

    Quinoa works very well in salads – think about cous cous salads and just replace the cous cous with quinoa.

    You could make some vegetarian or even vegan burgers using quinoa. 

    Use it in place of breadcrumbs in recipes for meatballs, burgers, etc.

    This one is a little weird but I promise that it is a nice easy way to eat quinoa. Add it to your morning porridge!