Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


Pieday Friday – Using herbs in juicing + mojito juice recipe

I think you can probably guess from my recipe posts this year that I’m getting into juicing. I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve decided to live a more healthy lifestyle and want to reinvigorate my body, but that’s not really the reason. It’s as simple as ‘I don’t like fruit’. Sure, berries and dried fruits are fine with me; I’ll pop a handful on my soaked oats in the morning and get a little dose of goodness that way. But ‘proper’ fruits, y’know, the ones you have to chew (apples, pears, pineapple, peaches, oranges, plums etc) I just don’t like. I think it’s the texture that puts me off. I don’t mind the flavour of these fruits but I don’t like to eat them. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. If you cook them, I’m quite happy. Apple pie? Yum! Stewed plums and custard? Yes please! ANY fruits in a crumble? Mmmm! But that’s not a healthy way to eat fruit, is it? With added sugar and a dollop of ice cream on the side, you can see why I enjoy cooked fruits so much. So my solution to get some much-needed vitamins into my body is juicing.

I’m happy to guzzle down juice all day long, but who knows what goes into the cartons you buy in the supermarket? I’d rather see the whole fruit go into the juicer and lovely fresh juice come out so that I know what I’m drinking, and I know that it’s good for me. I’ve been inspired by the #ExperienceFresh campaign and want to eat more raw and organic foods as a result.

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Healthy Sunday brunch recipe – Fruity soaked oats

Sunday is the one day of the week when you don’t necessarily have to be up early, you’ve got nowhere to be rushing off to and you can take your time chilling out at home all morning long. For me, it’s my brunch day. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every other day of the week, but Sunday is the day that I take more time over my food and come up with something a little different. It the day of the week when eating breakfast in bed is 100% acceptable, and enjoying a bowl of something on your lap in front of TV is perfectly fine. If you can’t have a little fun with your breakfast on a Sunday, when can you??sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7This week I’ve been blinging up my usual soaked-oats breakfast with some delicious fresh toppings. Here’s a little step-by-step of what I added to my overnight oats to make my healthy breakfast a little more exciting this Sunday morning:sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-8

  1. Soak your oats in milk for at least an hour, or overnight if you like to plan ahead.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe
  2. Peel and slice a fresh kiwi and layer around the edge of the bowl. I’ve used a Zespri SunGold yellow flesh kiwi to add a different colour to my usual bowl of oats.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-2
  3. Slice up plenty of in-season strawberries and add to the bowl beside the kiwis.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-3
  4. Drizzle an arc of golden honey around the bowl.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-4

5. Sprinkle on some good-for-you seeds – I’ve chosen some honey seeds from Munchy Seeds for my recipe but you could use any seeds that you like to add a little crunch to the dish.sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-5You may remember that I’ve blogged some other breakfast recipes including my French toast waffles, a healthier breakfast wrap and an on-the-go breakfast smoothie recipe. I also wrote all about how cereal can improve your health earlier this week. So I think you can gather than I place a lot of importance on breakfast!sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-9 sunday brunch breakfast soasked oats fruit seeds healthy recipe-7Sunday is definitely the day of the week to try out something different so let me know what you would do to jazz up your breakfast on the weekends by leaving me a comment below.

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Pieday Friday – Thrifty in the kitchen: How frozen food helps reduce waste

I’m always on the look out for ways to save money and cut day-to-day living costs. Until now, the only thrifty cooking advice I’ve been able to give you is to make your own meals from scratch (rather than buying pricey takeaways or ready-meals) and to buy food when it’s in season. But today is different. Today I’d like to share another method of cutting costs in the kitcken and it’s as simple as this; reducing waste = less money in the bin. How do we reduce waste? By buying frozen food of course!cod fish healthy frozen mealAfter so many years of being told to ‘eat fresh’ and to ‘buy seasonal’ (and now it’s all about ‘raw food’ and ‘clean eating’) it may see like a rather outdated idea to buy frozen food at all. But I’m not harking back to the era when my mum first got a freezer and piled it high with cheap pizzas, ice cream and steak ‘n’ kidney pies. We’re not going back to the days when mum would freeze loaves of bread in order to keep the double-height freezer full and working more efficiently. No, this blog post is about using frozen food in order to reduce waste and therefore save you money. But how does that work? Let me tell you…chicken pasta healthy frozen meal thrifty

It’s always fresh

The trouble with buying fresh veg is that it’s perishable. It’s likely that the huge bag of carrots you just bought will go off before you get a chance to use them. And when you throw them into the compost bin, you might as well be throwing your money in with them. It’s the same with fish, meat, potatoes, even fresh pasta. It all has a use-by date and a limited shelf life – or should that be fridge-life? Unless you’re a whizz at planning your meals every week, or go to the shop daily to buy what you need, or never change your plans just and nip out for dinner on a whim, you’ll probably end up with some surplus supplies in your fridge that have to be thrown away. With frozen vegetables, fish and meat, they are always fresh. In fact, frozen veg is more likely to be fresher than the vegetables you find in the fresh section of the supermarket because it’s prepared and frozen almost as soon as it’s harvested.

chicken fajita wraps frozen food meal thrifty money savingOnly use what you need

With frozen food, you can just take out the portion you need and return the rest of the pack to the freezer. With fresh food, it’s likely that you’ve bought a whole tray of chicken, a whole pack of fish and a whole bag of vegetables, yet it’s unlikely that you’ll use it all up in one meal. So you’ll be storing the rest in the fridge until the next meal – and hope that it’s still fresh and edible by the time you get round to it – or it’ll end up in the bin. The only other way to keep your fresh food edible for another day is by freezing it! With already frozen food, you don’t have to do any of the work (preparing, bagging up, labelling etc) so it’s not only saving you money but time too. You can just take out the two chicken grills and portion of veg that you need for tonights meal – no waste – plus it’s already sliced, diced and ready to cook so takes no time at all.frozen food meals beef

You’ve always got something ‘in’

There’s nothing worse than looking in the fridge after a long day at work and finding nothing to eat. You don’t want to have to go out again to buy something for dinner – you’re already hungry and tired – so you resort to toast. I get really sad if I don’t have any food available when I need it. Frozen food to the rescue! It’s reassuring to know that I always always have something in my freezer to eat. PLUS when unexpected guests stay for dinner, I’ve already got enough portions for them too, phew. Nothing makes you feel more unwelcome than your host having to nip out to the shop for some more food to accomodate you. Plus, it’s so quick to throw a meal together that I can spend more time with my guests too!frozen vegetables healthy peas

It’s really healthy

Having a pack of vegetables in the freezer means that you can always add a portion of the healthy green stuff to any meal. Throw peas into a shepherds pie, add sweetcorn to a pasta dish and a side of broccoli, carrots or fine green beans to your sunday roast. I’ve got lean chicken breasts, fresh omega-packed fish, Steamfresh rice and even soya beans in my freezer. No longer will I have to turn to a packet of biscuits because I’ve not got anything else ‘in’ – I’ve always got a healthy option for dinner. And I’m not just limited to ready meals just because I’m eating food from the freezer; I can use my frozen food to make hearty soups, healthy pasta dishes and even chicken salads. Yum!frozen food healthy pasta mealWhat do you think about frozen food? Do you already have a freezer full of healthy meals at home or are you struggling to keep on top of a fridge full of fresh? Are you already a huge fan of Birds Eye and have tried all their healthy frozen dishes? I hope my suggestions and ideas for reducing waste in the kitchen will help you save some money in the future. Fingers crossed I might have given you some news ideas for family meals or using your frezer compartment for something other than ice cubes! Let me know what you think and please share your own ideas for freezer-based healthy meals by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.

This handy money-saving blog post has been sponsored by Birds Eye but, as always, all these thrifty ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own!

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Pieday Friday – Eat well & healthily this year

Are you taking part in the #WomanKind campaign this month? I’ve been really excited about getting stuck in to this ‘me-time’ project so you might have spotted a few posts over the last couple of weeks about looking great on a budget. If you miss them, here are my posts on starting your new year in style with a wardrobe makeover and hunting out payday footwear bargains. I’ve been sharing thrifty tips and really throwing myself into the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign by supporting my lovely readers to get some great fashion deals and grow in confidence at the same time.pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch dinnerI especially love joining in with this campaign because its aim is to encourage women to be kinder to themselves, and that’s something that we all need to work on. The survey I read on the #WomanKind site shows that a whopping 89% of women never compliment themselves and are much more likely to be kind and loving to others than they are to themselves. I really think it’s time to change that and this is precisely why I’m getting stuck into this campaign.healthy moroccan mint ginger lemon herb infusion tea recipe-11

My fresh Moroccan mint tea infusion – click here to find out how I made it

Today’s blog post is something a little different to my usual Pieday Friday recipe posts. In the spirit of the #WomanKind campaign I’m sharing money-saving tips for eating well and healthily this new year. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to make a change to the way you approach meal times AND treat yourself with the care that your body deserves.summer salad recipe-6

My favourite ever salad with pea puree – check out the recipe

Tip 1 – it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to eat healthily. You don’t need any specialist meal-replacement products or new kitchen equipment. Yes, swapping sugar for fruit-based sweetener and cooking oil for Fry-Light will help you make your meals and drinks much healthier, but these are probably the only two things you’ll need to make a big change. From here on in you can make your own healthy ‘instant’ meals, mix up your own fruity yoghurts and bake your own low-sugar snacks so there’s no need to invest in speciality foods. You just need to put a little effort into caring for yourself (yes, be #WomanKind to yourself again!) and spend some time preparing fresh dishes that will make you feel great on the inside, as well as on the outside.pieday friday recipe pastry-free quiche healthy snack hack lunch dinner-2

I shared a pastry-free “quiche” recipe in January

Tip 2 – take the time to eat well. This tip can be interpreted two ways and the first is to actually Continue reading “Pieday Friday – Eat well & healthily this year” »

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