careful, sparing (of), economical, esp. as regards food; sparingly used or supplied, costing little
So says the Concise Oxford Dictionary.
There was a deeply unpleasant comment on a blog post (not this blog) yesterday which implied that unless one was truly poor then one had no right to blog about frugality. Well I am by no means poor and I say -utter rubbish to that. I practise frugality in many areas of my life, not all, but many and I have as much right to blog about it as anyone.
Here are some things that give pleasure which are either sparing of food, cost little or are completely free.
1) Eating leftovers for lunch. In this case leftover baked lentils with cheese with the end of a homemade loaf.
2) Making a roast stretch to at least three meals. On Sunday I roasted a free-range duck. It cost £11 and was reduced from £16. Out of many people's price range for sure and not often in mine. I didn't buy any other meat that week.
In order to ensure the duck was used as frugally as possible I first of all made some stock with the giblets. This was used to make gravy to eat with the roast duck.
Next I saved all the fat from the roast (being extremely careful not to splash any on my person). Some of the fat was used to roast the potatoes which we ate with the roast duck.
On Monday I stripped the remaining meat from the duck (I only allowed one serving each on Sunday as there is not a huge amount of meat on a duck) and used it to make a stew with some little grey lentils which we ate with mash.
The carcass went into a big pot to be made into stock. I used some of the stock to make my lentil and duck stew and some to make the lentil dish in the picture above. The rest I froze for future soups and stews. The fat is in a basin in the fridge and will be used for future roast potatoes. It will keep there for a long time.
An expensive food frugally used.
3) Using every last crumb of a loaf. Because I make all our bread the last thing I want to do is throw it away. I wouldn't throw food away anyway.
The picture above shows some breadcrumbs I made with the end of a loaf last week . I made them to top some frozen fillets of white fish. First I processed the bread- crust and all until fairly finely crumbed, then I added the last fifth of a jar of sun-dried tomatoes plus their oil, a small chunk of Parmesan and some parsley. I processed it again and produced rather wonderful flavoured breadcrumbs which, because of the oil crisped up marvellously in the oven. I had too much so I froze the rest for another time thinking they would be good fried up and tossed with spaghetti or sprinkled over chicken pieces and baked, or as a topping for something.
Other things I do with the ends of a loaf apart from simply placing it crumb-side down on a board and slicing it the other way to eat with soup are; cubing it and frying to make croutons and making into breadcrumbs and freezing to use later in bread pudding, treacle tart or to coat fishcakes, chicken, fish or to add to burgers and meatballs.
4) Something from the garden. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden but there are catkins and pussy willow about in the hedges at the moment and they would look lovely in a jam jar or an old beer bottle like the one my forsythia is in.
5) The public library. When I was in my local library the other day not only did they have the latest Jamie Oliver but they also had the baking book I showed on my last post. Both pristine and new. Completely free. So, to the anonymous commenter who said they couldn't afford the baking book check out your library.
Free meat sorry couldn't resist. What I really mean is the pleasure of watching wildlife. I get enormous pleasure out of watching the birds in my garden and the squirrels even though many regard them as pests. If you sit in our garden long enough without moving you see hedgehogs and woodmice and sometimes frogs.
7) Line-dried washing. Available only to those fortunate enough to have some outdoor space but such a pleasure, for me anyway. The smell of fresh washing, the sight of it blowing in the wind, the joy in simply pegging out each item. I love it.
(unless it results in another mouth to feed).