Reducing the food budget to £5.00 per person per week for all meals may seem challenging to some but for others, it's a bit of a game where we try to use up everything so we are wasting nothing. Puff pastry pizza seems like a great idea to me, but does it work?
I had half a block of puff pastry defrosted after making a pie at the start of the week - it is National Pie Week this week, did you know that? Anyhow, I had defrosted the pastry, therefore I couldn't refreeze it, so I decided to try making a flaky bake, puff pastry pizza. Rake out the rolling pin and let pastry flattening begin! I rolled it into a circle large enough to fit into my pizza tray.
I have a tube of double concentrate tomato paste with chilli, so I diluted a half cupful and spread that on as the tomato base. Next up, some of the bacon bits retrieved from making this week's pan of soup (bacon & lentil), as these all get removed from the stock before I add the vegetables and pulses.
The cooking bacon costs 80p per 500g pack from supermarkets, it makes a full pan of stock for soup and at least 2 meals for two of us after that, so it's a fabulous bargain to have as back-up in your freezer.
Meanwhile, I diced an onion, chopped a tomato and added a portion each of mixed peppers and sliced mushrooms with seasoning and herbs to quickly fry these for faster cooking.
A bit of added luxury for any frugal budget has to be some mozzarella cheese! At only 46p per pack from supermarkets, a half pack is sufficient for a large pizza. (This is a 30cm/12" diameter pizza tray.) You can pretty much add any leftovers to a pizza but I have never, until now, tried making one from leftover puff pastry. Wish me luck!
The quickly fried vegetables got poured over the top - onions, mixed peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes - but anything goes when it's pizza, especially if you are adding more cheese.
I used supermarket's own smart price cheddar to top my pizza tonight, so here's hoping the mini oven can cope with baking all this lot into something tasty!
I needn't have worried. The puff pastry pizza worked out a real treat when baked at 200C for about 25 minutes. However, I can't recommend this temperature or time, as my mini oven is now running on just the lower element, so keep an eye on your pizza if baking in a conventional oven. This one will do us for two meals, so guess what's for dinner tomorrow night? I'll probably follow that with more of the raspberries set in jelly, too, as I'm now trying to use up all the garden-grown berries I have stashed in my freezer.
Don't get me wrong, if you are one of these people fortunate enough to have access to coupons and live within walking distance of a supermarket, chances are you will be able to buy discounted pizzas cheaper than us rural dwelling frugalites can make them, but we know exactly what's in our pizzas, they are made to our specifications and appreciated for what they are - open top pies that can be adorned with all sorts of leftovers. No easy access to shops is one of the things that townies often overlook when trying to state the obvious about money-saving in the kitchen. From here, our nearest supermarket is 20+ miles away and we don't have a car, but recently, we have been blessed with a trial delivery service by Asda, so their vans have suddenly become a very familiar site on our back roads and farm lanes.
Join us in www.frugalforums.co.uk to keep up to date with the £5 per person per week for all meals challenge.