This week’s blogger who is going to tell us what goes on in her kitchen is Kerry from Money Saving Journeys. I hope you are still enjoying discovering how other families meal plan, cook and eat as much as I am. If you would like to take part don’t forget to send me an email and I’ll send the questions over to you. Back to this weeks guest post.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am a working mum of two boys – 16 and 12. My husband and I have been married for 26 years. As a family, we love to travel and live a frugal lifestyle to enable us to do this. As a key part of our frugal living, we like to save money in all areas where we can, especially on groceries as this is a large expense each month, costing more than our mortgage. That’s the trouble with teenagers, they eat and eat and eat, never putting on an ounce of weight – it’s so unfair – ha ha.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
I do 90% of the cooking. I love cooking and wish I had more time for it. When the children were younger, and I didn’t have a blog, I used to cook everything from scratch – even our bread and cakes. I no longer have the time but do cook a meal every evening for us all.
Do you meal plan?
Yes. Meal planning has been an integral part of stopping us from overspending. It also helps with time management, as we all know what we are having when.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
My husband has two jobs – a morning job and an afternoon/evening job, so during the week, it is just me and the boys who eat together. We still sit at the dining table to eat each evening and talk (or argue) about our day.
At the weekend, it is great when all four of us get to sit down to eat together too.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
Our number one favourite meal is Spaghetti Bolognese. Closely followed by a roast dinner.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
Over the past few months, we have stuck to roughly the same type of meals. We plan our meals by day – so Monday is generally meatballs. This is then varied as one week I will make Swedish style meatballs and serve it with rice and the next week I will make a tomato style sauce and serve it with pasta.
Tuesday is pie day – again varying the flavour of the pie and its accompaniments.
Wednesday is either Spaghetti Bolognese or Chill with Rice.
Thursday has just recently become Jacket potato day and again, each week we vary the toppings based on everyone’s preferences (or almost everyone!).
Friday is cheese day – either Macaroni Cheese or Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese.
Saturday we change each week. It is the day when we can spend longer cooking so save this for more special type meals.
Sunday is what I call picky tea and my husband actually makes this – it is meats, cheese, fruit and garlic bread (this is the bit he cooks).
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
My eldest son doesn’t eat mushrooms, onions, tomatoes or peppers. I can get away with tomatoes only if I use Passata and onions if I chop them really small.
As a child, I was really fussy too and still have vivid memories of being made to sit at the table for ages until I had finished everything on my plate, all whilst sobbing. I vowed never to do that to my children.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
My two favourite cookbooks are my Bero Recipe Book and my Takeaway Secrets book.
Do you enjoy baking?
I love baking and my absolute favourite cake to make is my banana cake.
250g brown sugar
3 ripe bananas
200g self-raising flour
- Pre-heat your oven to GM4, 180C, 350F.
- I usually just throw everything into my food processor and mix until smooth.
- Without a food processor, you just need to cream the butter and sugar together. Mix in the egg. Chop up the bananas into small pieces and mix in. Fold in the flour.
- Pour the mixture into a well-greased loaf tin and bake for around 60 mins. Test with a skewer.
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
I like to batch cook. This saves me loads of time and I use my slow cooker for lots of meals. In fact, I would recommend a slow cooker to anyone if they want to save both time and money.
As an example, I make a mince base in my slow cooker once per month and split this into four portions and add the spices I want before freezing. I can then just take out a portion the night before we want to use it.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
My eldest has no interest at all. My youngest, however, loves to help. In fact, recently when I was too ill to cook and it was down to my husband to do it, he actually had to ask my youngest for help!
Where can we find you?