Category Archives: frugal

All the “b’s” ..including the start of a Bobble Blanket

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It’s been a busy few weeks here at Holly Cottage, we’ve been giving our garden a bit of a Spring makeover (although like most places in the UK we are still awaiting the arrival of Spring!) Today has dawned lovely and sunny and dare I say …even warm!

So first thing this morning after our first bootsale of the year I set to baking some brownies and some yummy bread pudding from our leftover homemade loaves.

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I hate to see bread go to waste, but when you bake every day inevitably you will be left with remnants of loaves as you are tempted by the freshly baked loaf just made! The recipe I use is from the BBC Good Food website and is so easy and always produces scrumptious results.

Then it was out into the garden. Over the last couple of years we have collected old ladders from boot sales and painted them up to display plants on during the Summer months.

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However the winter this year has really taken its toll on them so we got some new paint yesterday to give them a bit of a spruce up…

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Whilst Mr Wonderful was doing this I was able to sneak indoors with a lovely cuppa to work a couple of rows on my new blanket which I am making for my brother.

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There isn’t a pattern as such it is just trebles and bobble stitches. I got the wool from Aldi last week…they had some balls of aran wool, 400g at £4.95 each so I snapped up two of the grey and two of the cream. Only problem being I probably could have done with another ball of each to make the blanket a generous size and now they have sold out and there’s no telling when, and if, they will have any more in. 😦

I’ve also repurposed an old picture frame this week by covering it in some underfloor heating boards and then recovering that with some pretty fabric and ribbons to make a pin board for my garden studio.

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I have also finished another blanket, but haven’t got any photos of it yet…I’ll get them done for the next post.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend…lets hope the sun stays!

Nikki

Using up……using again….

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I couldn’t resist these hyacinths in the supermarket this weekend, I know it’s not very frugal to spend a fiver on two pots, but I eased my conscience by telling myself I can plant them out in the garden after they have bloomed and they will flower again and again each year – so…quite a good use of a fiver really!

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I didn’t have any plant pots suitable for indoors so I used these giant tea cups to pop them into. I have seen this done before on the internet but have always wondered about watering them and drainage, but I guess if I just keep them moist they should be ok. Don’t you think?

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I also dragged my stash out of the cupboard this weekend…..I am sure those balls of yarn multiply behind closed doors!

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I visited my brother this weekend who was suffering from man flu. Perched on the back of his sofa was what was supposed to be a blanket…honestly, it was no thicker than a duster and certainly not suitable for snuggling under to watch the TV! Hence my dragging out the stash to see if I had anything I could make up into a blanket for him.

I decided a ripple would be a little more “manly” than my normal granny square blankets so set to work…

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Not my “normal” pinks, blues and greens so wasn’t quite sure at first, but now I have done a bit more I think it will be fine…and certainly better and more useful than what he already has!

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What are you using up your stash to make?

Nikki x

Super Frugal Soup

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Inspired by Sue at Our New Life in The Country, and her dilemma about what to cook with her leftover onions, I was reminded of one of my favourite frugal soup recipes.

Now, before we start, I have to tell you I am no Delia or Nigella…I’m not great at following recipes, preferring rather to make them up as I go along! So bearing that in mind here is my “recipe” for my Chicken, Onion and lentil soup (without any chicken but with the aid of chicken stock or stock cubes!). I did warn you! 🙂

You will need:

1 onion
Red lentils (I tend to use 3 part water to 1 part lentils, but it will depend on what consistency of soup you like)
Chicken stock or stock cubes (I use 3 cubes)
Water

That’s it……(apart from chilli powder to give it a bit of a kick)

Put the lentils water and chopped raw onion in a large soup pan or pot and bring to the boil.
Once the soup is boiling turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 mins, stirring regularly otherwise it will stick!
Add in chilli powder (the amount will depend on how spicy you like your soup …add it in in very small quantities until you get your desired taste)

That is it! As you can see…super easy and super frugal, but incredibly filling and tasty.

We normally eat it with just chunks of warm homemade bread, but you could easily grate so e cheese on top or add so e croutons if you wanted to.

Also, don’t worry if you make too much, the leftovers can always be frozen or used as a base or bulking agent for a warming casserole.

P.s. I haven’t suddenly become a professional photographer…this is a stock photo as I wanted to post the recipe today but haven’t got time to make the soup!

What are your super frugal recipes?

Nikki