Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Eggstra Special Easter... cheap, cheap!

Ok, so the title says it all... but seriously - how much should we really spend at Easter? Is it about expensive wrapping on chocolate eggs? Here are some ideas to get you inspired:

Between Easter gifts, food, trips out and about, snacks, cards and more, suddenly the costs can seem like they came out of nowhere. Food-wise we may buy some gammon this week, soak it overnight with spices & sliced lemon/oranges, then cook it. That will do at least 2 main meals (say Sunday and Monday) and plus say 5 packed lunches, plus if we freeze some bite-sized pieces, a couple of homemade pizza toppings - all for £5 as our local store has an offer on right now. I had never considered the flexibility of a joint of gammon until I realized you could freeze it quite well. I use tupperwares and freeze small amounts of the baked gammon. Great for sandwiches, main meals like stir-fries, special fried rice, toppings on a pizza, soups and so much more. Experiment with lentils for a lovely soup... then see what you come up with in terms of other tasty meals!

Ideas for Ham

I love this time of year - the sun is shining, we feel better, clothes can get lighter, we get more fresh air and feel happier in general. But just today I was aware that April will be an expensive month for us so got inspired to find ideas for Easter and Spring savings - starting with food.

This inspired me to think of light, but inexpensive meals. Winter tends to be much cheaper as we all eat more starchy comfort foods overall, which are cheaper.

What are your favourite Spring/Summer meals that don't cost the earth?

Mine are:

- Greek salad - salad, feta cheese, juicy tomatoes and black olievs with a sprinkling of oregano and sometimes some added roast chicken

- Nicoise salad - tinned tuna, cooked green beans, boiled eggs, black olives, some anchovies and tomatoes

- Griddled aubergines and courgettes with a mint and yoghurt dressing, with a cous cous salad on the side.

- Mozarella salad - simple but lovely especially with big ripe tomatoes!

- Grilled chicken lemon salad - just make a salad as normal but make a zesty lemon dressing to go with it )I like to use the grated lemon zest in the dressing as well).

These can be served with light bites such as Ryvita with hoummus, or some yoghurt dip, as well as some fresh fruit for dessert. The colourfulness of the food is lovely plus the heat means that overall we eat less, great for the pounds on our hips and the pounds in our purses!

Also see for the latest restaurant vouchers, because if you are going out to eat, you can almost guarantee MSE will have a money off voucher of some sort. Why not consider changing the restaurant, to ensure you go to one that does have a deal on and can save you money?Wagamamma, Giraffe, Pizza Express and Ask are just some of the chains that have had excellent vouchers on offer.

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