Sunday, 2 September 2012

Fending For Myself

Okay so I know that most people probably cook their own food every day and for them this post may seem a little silly and irrelevant to them, but when the parents and my sister went away for a few days last week, it was the first time I truly had to organise my own meals completely. (This is opposed to picking and choosing which of my mum's meals I would eat, and when I would make my own!).
I really wanted to use this time to test out potential meals ready for when I move out next week (double eek!) and wanted to try and not spend any money on eating food out - especially Boots Meal Deals which always result in extra money being spent on things I don't need!
So here's a sample of some of the things I made myself during the week. :)
Cod in Parsley Sauce with Broccoli and Peas (cost: approx £1.50)
I bought a 4-pack of boil-in-the-bag Cod Steaks that are in a Parsley Sauce for £3.99 and this is the simplest meal to get ready! Literally just leave the bag in boiling water for 20 mins and whack some frozen veg in the microwave - BOOM.

Graze Box (£3.89 per box)
I probably mentioned this before, but Graze boxes really are a saviour to me when I'm trying to eat healthily. The four punnets you get per box are always really varied so you never get bored, and I love that the take away the hassle of getting a wide selection of fruit and nut mixtures without getting bored. Some may think they're a little expensive, but personally I love them! This week's favourite was the Chocolate Orange Granola - yummy! :)

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt with Strawberries & Toasted Muesli (cost: approx £1.20)
Sometimes I don't really fancy a massive breakfast in the morning, and this is perfect for those occasions. It's so nice and summery, and Sainsbury's had a punnet of strawberries for £1 so I could resist buying some! Greek yogurt has heaps of protein and hardly any fat, so it's great for keeping you feeling fuller for longer without the calories. For an added crunch I toasted some Jordan's Muesli in a dry frying pan which made it even better!

Thornton's Summer Collection Limited Edition Chocolates (not sure about cost as they were a prize!)
This was definitely my little guilty pleasure for the week. Our Area Manager came to our store today for a little surprise visit to check how we're getting on during Back To School, and he awarded me with a little bag of choccys because he was impressed with my customer service skills, the sales targets I was achieving, and because I got a customer compliment whilst he was there! I always try so hard to give the best service possible, and it's so lovely to have been recognised by the Area Manager for it! :)

Strawberries with YooMoo Frozen Yogurt (cost: approx £1.50)
I feel that I should mention that this wasn't eaten on the same day as the Thorntons! ;) i'm not even going to get started on my love for YooMoo's Fro-Yo - lets just say that it's awesome. Who wouldn't love strawberries and ice-cream without the guilt of the ice-cream?!

Turkey Stir Fry (cost: approx £2.50)
So quick and simple to make! I decided to use the really thin egg noodles over the thicker ones in it, simply because they're healthier. I also had a scan of the nutritional content of the sauces and opted for a Ginger Teriyaki Sauce as it seemed the best for me. :)

Sweet Chili & Lime Tuna Steak Salad (approx £2.30)
I was super intrigued when I saw a pack of John West Tuna Steak in Sweet Chilli and Lime Sauce on the shelf in Sainsbury's - because it was microwavable! Even though it was more expensive than just a bog standard tin of tuna, I couldn't resist trying it out, and it was another awesomely quick dish that I could whack in the microwave for 30 seconds and throw on top of a salad. It also tasted absolutely delicious which makes it even better! Tuna is an expensive food to buy, so I will have to be looking out for deals on multipacks to make it cheaper in the long run.

Obviously I did eat other things as well - like I had porridge for breakfast some of the days - but I doubt a photo of porridge would make an interesting photo. ;)
The main purpose of testing out a few recipe ideas and working out the costs was a success though, I spent just over £15 on food for the 4 days they were away, and there's still plenty of food left over meaning that it would probably do me for a whole week. Things like frozen veg would probably last me a couple of weeks as well so I guess even if I spend more than I've budgeted one week, it'll probably balance out by not needing to spend as much the next week. :)

Hope you all found it interesting, if you have any healthy recipes that are relatively cheap to make let me know! :) I'm also looking for people to share their healthy eating/diet and exercise stories with me for a monthly feature I want to run so if you're interested in taking part, don't hesitate to get in touch at :)

There's only a few days left to vote in my sidebar poll with what you want to see more of on The Barbelle, so check it out if you haven't voted yet to have your say! :)


  1. Please keep doing these posts- I love good healthy food inspiration!

    1. Thanks for commenting, I'm definitely planning on making more of them in the future so keep an eye out! :)

  2. I LOVE your food posts dear! I get so much inspiration from them, I'm about to go do the food shop now and I'm so thankful I read this first. It makes food shopping that bit easier. xx

    1. Aww thanks Katy! :) Hope I helped you find some tasty things to munch on! :) xx

  3. Loved this! I've just moved back to uni and this has given me lots of ideas so thank you! xx

    1. No problem glad I could help! You'll have to let us know how you get on! :)


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