Over the weekend, news broke that parents are spending £300 per month per child on 'essentials', items such as clothes, food and transport. I have to admit to spluttering my morning coffee when I read it; according to the study, I'm blowing £1500 a month just to feed and clothe my 5 kids. Seriously, where do they get these figures? I'm not actually expecting any of the Savoo community to agree they spend this sort of money on the regular costs of living - after all, you're all part of Savoo because you like to save money, not squander it. And yes, I honestly think anyone with those sort of everyday expenses is squandering their money.
However, on the off-chance that someone might be nodding and saying, 'Yes, I can see how essentials can add up to that, let me give you a few pointers on how to reduce those expenses dramatically. Many of our DealPros are parents who have fine-tuned the art of saving money when it comes to kids.
Although it's still five weeks to Christmas, yesterday - 20th November - was Stir-Up Sunday, the day when all our Christmas puds should have been made so that between now and Christmas dinner they can be infused with brandy every few days. Of course nowadays, most people buy their Christmas puddings already made and cooked in plastic little bowls so that, on Christmas Day, all you have to do is blast them in the microwave. However, if you have the time (and the inclination) making your own pudding isn't just incredibly satisfying, it's also a great chance for the kids to enjoy doing something other than 'Santa' stuff.
Strawberries are most associated with the British summer simply because, before the days of plastic polytunnels, we could only get them for about six weeks from early June to late August. Nowadays they're available for much more of the year but we still love to eat them most during our summer and, thanks to the tradition of Wimbledon, supermarkets like Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys are all running special savings on this yummy fruit. If smothering them in cream is as adventurous as you get, why not try your hand instead at some of my favourite (and simplest) recipes.
I know it might seem a bit odd to be talking about BBQs when
the weather is currently so, well, typically English but have you seen the weather
forecast for this weekend?!For someone
who values the UK summer extremely highly, this is great news.It means the golf course (if you read my last
post you'll know I like a bit of golf) will be hard and fast, the cricket
will not be washed out and, perhaps most importantly, I can spend ages
standing over my BBQ – a place and an activity that I not only enjoy but also
helps me feel like a man!
I won't bore you with my thoughts on the transformation of
masculinity in modern-day society but will simply say that some things will
never change and the role of the male cooking the BBQ is one.Why?I
have no idea, truth be told but, as a modern-day man, I don't mind the fact
there is one job that is getting us closer to our hunter/gatherer roots.
Christmas cake is a funny thing - you either love it or hate it (it's a bit like Marmite in that way). Personally, I love it - the rich, moist cake with delectable marzipan and smooth, white icing and, as indulgent as it is, there's a healthy dose of fruit in there that's bound to add to your 5-a-day somewhere along the line, so it's good for you too!
Anyway, there are numerous different ways to make a Christmas cake (Delia Smith's version has had an avid following for years) but for ease and pure yumminess (yes, I know that's not a real word) I've been making this one for nearly a decade to a resounding 'yes!' from all who have tried it (to be fair, none of those people have been safe to drive after a slice thanks to my exuberant dosing of brandy - however, the recipe below is perfectly safe for everyone).
Its not every day that you find 20 of Londons finest chefs
getting their aprons dirty in one kitchen. But if its for Whos
Cooking Dinner?, the fundraiser that, to date, has raised over
3.1million for the Catherine Lewis Centre at Hammersmith Hospital,
bring in extra ovens!
For the 11th year running, the creme de la creme of Londons
culinary scene gathered in March to cook a magnificent four-course
dinner for 200 guests. This years roster of participating chefs and
restaurants, studded with 14 Michelin stars, included Claude Bosi
of Hibiscus, Brett Graham of The Ledbury, and Phil Howard of The
Square(see table for full line-up).
at 10:55PM, 4 years ago |