3 Money Saving Ingredients for your Autumn Dishes

Money Saving Ingredients for your Autumn Dishes

Autumn is a wonderful time of year, with crisp weather and beautiful foliage. We all need a warming bowl of goodness to ease us into the autumn season. The good news is that autumn food doesn’t need to cost you lots of money. We’ve put together three budget ingredients that are good for your health and can open up a whole world of rich beef stews, warming risottos and more!

 

Squash

Butternut squash is packed with flavour, making it a perfect ingredient for boiling, roasting, and mashing. You can peel the skin, then toss it with salt, pepper and olive oil for a delicious daytime snack. You can even roast the seeds too. The best thing about the squash is the flesh. You can cut it into chunks and roast in the oven with big flavours like bacon, sun-dried tomatoes or chilli flakes. When it’s cooked, you can add it to salads, blend it into a soup or even try a delicious bacon and butternut squash risotto.

 

Puy lentils

The humble lentil doesn’t seem very popular, but it certainly should not be overlooked, as it’s full of nutrition and taste. There are a variety of lentils and they usually fit into two different categories. A great choice, however, is the puy, speckled or green lentils which hold their shape and taste amazing. These are perfect for hearty soups, lovely warm salads or lentil hotpots.

 

Cooking bacon

Bacon is wonderful, but cooking bacon is even better for making autumn dishes. If you aren’t sure what’s classified as ‘cooking bacon’, then it’s simply the part of bacon that isn’t the correct size to be packaged and sold as actual ‘bacon’, so just the leftovers. You can often buy it in bulk and you should cut it into smaller pieces and freeze some to use at a later date. Perfect to use in the butternut squash and bacon risotto or brilliant to add to soups, salads or stews. You could try a bacon and lentil soup on cold days.

For more money saving tips and tricks, why not check out Voucherism today!

Money Saving Tactics in the Kitchen

Money Saving Kitchen Tactics

Why is it that fruit and veg can cost an arm and a leg, but junk food is cheap as chips? When the nation is declaring that we should be fit and healthy to reduce obesity it seems more needs to be done. However, there are money saving tips that can mean you eat good food without breaking the bank.

 

Frozen foods

Fresh fruit and veg seem like a great option until you see the price at the supermarket, so how about opting for frozen fruit and veg instead? Studies have shown that they have just as many nutrients and vitamins as the fresh veggies, so you don’t need to worry about lacking any of the good stuff. The bonus of frozen food is that you can keep it in the freezer and bung it in your meal whenever you fancy without worry of it going off within a few days.

 

Batch cooking

Unless you live in a big house full of people, it can sometimes seem a bit of a chore eating through the huge meal you’ve made if you’ve cooked up a huge stew or curry that needs eating. Unfortunately foods only last a few days in the fridge, so you may find yourself eating the same meal for three days. Batch cooking is the way to resolve this. Cook up a big meal and put half of it in the freezer. Different meals last different times in the freezer so check out www.foodsafety.gov to check on times. They can generally last one to six months, so make sure you check out their recommendations.

 

Audit your fridge and shelves

How many times have you come to use a sauce or a packet of food and found it’s gone past the sell by date? Make sure you audit once in a while and put the products close to their use by date out in readiness to use up first.

Clean eating doesn’t have to cost a fortune, so there’s no excuse for not eating healthy foods and staying fit and well this winter: take our advice for money saving ways.

How to Practice Yoga without Spending a Penny!

How to Practice Yoga without Spending a Penny

Yoga is an ancient practice promoting wellness, mindfulness and relaxation. The movements and poses, or asanas, are designed to stretch the body and build strength to allow yogis to sit in meditation for extended periods of time. It’s a beautiful form of exercise that can help arthritis sufferers, those with anxiety or depression or just help you to focus on the important things in life.

However, yoga has recently been railroaded by modern day life. Consumerism has taken the simple practice of yoga and turned it into another commodity. So, here are our tips on how you can get into yoga without spending a penny!

 

1) Wear something comfy

Those expensive leggings that are all over Instagram won’t miraculously make you more flexible or increase your stamina. Practising yoga doesn’t really require any special clothes. Pyjamas would do – if you’re practising at home alone, wear nothing at all! It’s important to be comfortable and able to move. It’s not about getting yourself into debt for that particular pair of yoga pants.

 

2) YouTube!

Going to a class can be great, particularly if you have never practised before or you want to meet new people. However, in reality, there are plenty of ways to start your yoga journey without paying huge amounts to attend a class. Try typing ‘yoga’ into YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of videos. Pick one that you like the look of, commit to the time and give it a go.

 

3) The mat

Ok, so yoga mats are pretty important when practising yoga. If you have joint problems, you really are going to have to buy one. There are cheap ones out there, but if this is going to be a long-term commitment it’s a good idea to invest. However, bare feet on carpets and tiled floors can work. You might not get the grip you need, but to begin with, it will be fine until you decide if this is for you or not. You can also get yoga towels that have reasonable grip, or yoga socks, both of which are a more affordable option for yoga newbies.

Yoga is really rewarding and a great alternative to the usual competitive or results-driven forms of exercise out there. Why not give it a go? After all, if you can do it for free, there’s nothing to lose!

3 Healthy and Cheap Soups for October

Healthy and Cheap Soups for October

October is a month synonymous with colder weather, longer nights and autumn harvests. After the fresh salads and fruit cocktails of summer, autumnal recipes are most robust, comforting and jampacked with healthy wholefoods bursting with vitamins and minerals. Cooking on a budget is easier in autumn than it is for summer, with an abundance of recipes that can be made in large batches and last for days.

 

Soups

Soups are the ultimate comfort food; you can add almost any vegetable to any stock along with any meat, pulses or additional carbs to make a hearty meal. Not only can this be done on a shoestring budget, but it is a meal that is loaded with healthy goodies, as vegetables that have been cooked entirely in the broth lose none of their vitamins and minerals. Large batches of soup can also be frozen and defrosted without the loss of vitamins and minerals, making it an extremely useful way to create tasty meals that are not just extremely nutritious but also low on waste. Try adding seasonal root veggies, such as pumpkin, gourds and potatoes, and make the most of the autumnal flavours.

 

Stews

There is something magical about a chunky stew that instantly warms the soul. Whether you prefer them loaded with meat or a vegetarian option, stews are a flavoursome hug in a bowl. An added bonus to making a stew is that it can all be done in one pot or a slow cooker, meaning a lot less time and effort to create a healthy meal. Using a slow cooker for stews also means you can buy cheaper cuts of meat that slowly tenderise with prolonged cooking, allowing your money to go much further.

 

Casseroles

Casseroles differ from stews in that they are oven baked and not cooked from below, but they share the same preparation characteristics as a stew. Easy to make, you will only have to choose your ingredients and put them into a casserole dish, then leave it alone to cook in the oven. As the ingredients all cook together, meaning no nutrients are lost, it makes for another good way to cook healthy, cheap meals on a budget.

Tips to stay Fit and Halthy over the Winter (without Spending Money!)

Tops to stay Fit and Healthy over Winter

Your fitness goals don’t have to fly out of the window just because it’s getting colder – nor does your bank balance have to take a hit. Instead, there are many ways for you to maintain your health and fitness for free over the autumn and into the winter. Here are three top tips that will help you on your mission.

 

1. Don’t join the gym

Yes, the gym will be more alluring than ever as the temperature turns colder and the nights draw darker. However, you should fight the urge to part with your hard-earned money. Even though the sun may not be shining during your morning run, it’s important to know that your body will actually be burning more calories than usual. This is because your body will use energy to heat itself up in the chilly weather. Ultimately, you can get more out of your outside exercise sessions than you ever could in the summer.

 

2. Drink tap water

It’s vital that you fall into a good sleeping pattern during the winter. After all, a lack of (or too much) slumber can leave you feeling fatigued, prone to illness and with a poor metabolism. In the process, this can mean that you struggle with your energy levels and gain weight. Therefore, drink tap water – rather than beverages high in sugar or caffeine – to help your body clock fall into a solid sleeping routine during daylight savings.

 

3. Warm up before exercise

Of course, it’s always advisable that you warm up before partaking in physical activity. That said, it’s more necessary to do so in winter. Why? Well, your muscles will be tighter because of the chilly conditions, meaning that it’s more likely you will suffer an injury. Any damage – such as a pulled muscle – can cost you money if you require over-the-counter medicine or days off work to recover. All in all, it can be rather costly to jump into exercise without spending a fair chunk of time warming up.

 

Winter is coming!

Winter will be in full force before you know it. Rather than take a financial hit during the season, just follow these top tips for staying fit without spending money. For more information on saving money, check out our handy cost-cutting vouchers.