Thrifty, Healthful, Sparkling, Sweet Soda!

I used to love soda.

♥ swoon ♥

Unfortunately my beloved pancreas did not share my fondness for sugary soft drink, and neither did my wallet.

So this is what I do in summer when it’s warm, and I want a treat.

I buy large bottles of orange or apple juice which contain no added sugar, then I fill a glass 30–40% juice, with ice, fresh fruit and soda water!

This is luscious in summer and doesn’t harm me in the way that sugar-laden fizzy drinks do. It’s light and refreshing and at 79¢ for a 1.5L bottle of soda water it makes the juice last a long time. If I’m out of soda I water down the juice so I don’t get a sugar rush – as orange juice is pretty sweet.

This is a great way to make up sweet punch for friends and children.

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A New Banana Trick

We scored at the farmer’s market. I suggest you do the same.

We got an entire box of over-ripe bananas for $3.

This was possibly the single best budgeting score we have ever made. That was about a month ago, and we’re still making use of our bananas!

Here’s what you do.

Skin all of the bananas and separate them out into two grades – heavily bruised ones for baking and lightly bruised ones for smoothies. Then freeze the lot in sealed containers. They won’t get browner in the fridge and you’ll save yourself the hassle of trying to de-skin a frozen banana. (Trust me, it’s a real pain in the butt).

When you want to bake, just put a few baking bananas out of the freezer and bake-away! We substitute 1 banana for 1 egg, in baking.

When you want to make a delicious smoothie, or  soft serve ice cream or feel the urge for some raw chocolate cake, just whip them out and use them as desired.

 

Luscious Ice Cream

Children adore this. They have no idea it’s healthy. Muahahahaharrr!

It’s a great alternative to expensive store-bought vegan ice creams which are loaded with sugar and fat and costs up to $10 a tub.

Most importantly, it looks super cute. I put this in fancy wine glasses, in cute pink teacups, I put it on warm cake and I use it as a base for parfait. If you add more water or milk it turns into a smoothie, and if you make too much, just freeze it, then blend it up with more soy milk or water later.

To make raw ice cream:

Blend chopped frozen banana, vanilla and cocoa. Slowly drizzle in water, while blending, to reach desired consistency.

To make vegan ice cream:

Blend chopped frozen banana, vanilla and cocoa. Slowly drizzle in soy milk, while blending, to reach desired consistency. ♥

Feeding Two People on $60 a Week

We have figured out how to feed ourselves very cheaply. The vegan diet is ideal for frugal living.

Our $60 budget also covers sundries such as toilet paper, shampoo and dishwashing liquid. We eat beautifully. We always have extra food for guests and I believe we could feed three on this amount of money.

For carbohydrates we buy bulk flour, bulk potatoes, bulk rice and bulk pasta.

For protein we rely mostly on tinned legumes such as; red kidney beans, four bean mix, chickpeas, lentils, cannelloni beans, baked beans and chili beans. These are usually a-dollar-a-can. Sometimes if we have a little extra money left over we might buy some vegan sausages, or inexpensive dry lentils. It’s amazing how much you can do with tinned legumes.

For everything else we buy tinned and fresh vegetables.

We buy our fresh vegetables exclusively from the farmer’s market – where you can save up to $2 on each item.

Each week we get a little play food – such as a couple of bags of chips – and I make us sweet play foods using dates and sultanas instead of sugar. We keep a whiteboard marker on our fridge and note down the items that are getting low. We buy what we need.

A typical weekly spend goes like this….

$20 of vegetables from the farmers market, where there is a huge seasonal variety including bulk bags of potatoes for $5
$10 for tinned legumes, which cost approximately $1 per tin
$1 for 1kg rice or cheap pasta
$4 for tinned tomatoes and coconut cream
$9 for tahini
$2 for chips
$3 for soy milk
$10 to routinely stock up items, such as haircare products, coconut oil, cocoa, spices, vinegars, flour ($6 for 5kg) , baking aids, oats or sultanas.
___
$59

Our supermarket of choice is Pak n’ Save.

“Help me! I want to make hummus but I’ve run out of tahini!”

OK. Don’t panic.

Many people don’t know it, but hummus is actually a food group in the vegan home; so when there is no tahini in the house does that mean we must starve?

No it does not! Because you can make hummus without tahini.

The trick is to smother the chickpeas with enough spice and flavour that you forget you are searching for tahini and mistake the hummus for something else.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tin of chickpeas, drained
A couple of tablespoons of oil
Lime, lots
Garlic (optional)
Sundried tomatoes or cumin
Salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend the chickpeas with lime, salt, garlic (if you dare), drop in some oil and salt to taste. Then add sundried tomatoes or cumin. Once you forget about tahini, serve it on rice or corn crackers with avocado and pepper.

If you want to make regular hummus just use a tin of chickpeas, tahini, lime, water, garlic, salt and then season as desired. ♥