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Month: July 2016


We spend on average $100-$130 a week on groceries for our family – 2 adults, 2 children 4.5 year old & 1.5 year old.

I often get asked how? Here are my three tips to save money on your grocery bill regardless of how many mouths you have to feed:

#1 Shop in Season

Buy only fruit & veg that is in season. Produce in season is sourced locally and will always be lower in cost. Retailers are saving money from local purchases, not importing foreign produce and the savings are passed on to you

#2 Meal Plan

Make a weekly meal plan. It will take you no more than 30 minutes one day to meal plan for the week. You can write up a shopping list too. Going shopping on one day will saves you so much time during the week. Not to mention not having to think “what am I going to cook today?” everyday. And then having to pop into the store everyday, save yourself the time and get organised.

You will save money by cutting down on wastage and food spoilage because produce will always be used.

#3 Go to Fruit & Veg Markets before closing time

Scout out your closest fruit & veg market and go on the last day of trading for the week and close to closing time. Grocers heavily discount their produce at this time because they don’t want to have any stock on hand.

You can also use this inforgraphic by Foodwise to help you determine which produce is in season.

tips to save money

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gingerbread cookies

I imagine many people living in the West would have gingerbread cookie memories from their childhood. Whilst we don’t celebrate Christmas, when during this time gingerbread houses make a popular feature, gingerbread cookies and gingerbread men are always found at our local supermarket.

I remember many a time begging my mum for a gingerbread man when I accompanied her shopping. My mum was strict with what we ate most of the time and she’d only give in sometimes to my begging. Fast forward 20 years and I can confidently say I’ve inherited her strictness with food choices now with my own children. I understand that she only wanted the best for us just as I do for my children, too.

When we go shopping and Zayd asks for a treat he sees on the shelf instead of refusing completely, I offer that we bake it together at home. He loves baking with me and I do with him and yes, although it isn’t the quick fix for his demand as just buying it off the shelf is, I feel good in my conscience that I’m doing right by him by fulfilling two of his desires – together time and treat – by taking this road. I’m not a perfect mum, I’m far from that, but this is our routine 95% of the time and I’m ok with that.

Zayd absolutely loved making these gingerbread cookies together and they will be his treat now and then later in his lunchbox which is more than what a quick fix at the supermarket would have supplied him with.

The texture is exactly like store bought gingerbread cookies, minus the sugar laden icing on top, and also made from whole food ingredients. They are simple to prepare and an ideal gingerbread cookie recipe for a mummy/daddy/carer – child/ren baking day.

gingerbread cookies inside

Serves: 30-35
  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon LSA or ground flax seed (linseed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine the flour, almond meal, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, coconut sugar, molasses, and coconut oil. Stir and bring the mixture just to a simmer so that the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat. Let cool for 5 minutes, then add the LSA/ground flax seed, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Mix well to combine.
  3. When this mixture is fully cooled, pour it all into the flour and almond mixture and stir with a large spoon to fully incorporate. The dough may appear sticky at first but it will absorb the excess moisture. When your cookie dough has completely come together, seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. The dough should feel more dense now. Using a heaped teaspoon of dough, roll between your hands into a ball.
  6. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes. Turn one over to check doneness--if the bottom is golden browned, it's done. Remove from oven and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
  7. Once cool store in an airtight container.


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banana crumble muffins

New recipe testing again with Zayd: Banana Crumble Muffins. A spin on apple crumble and might I add it was incredibly difficult to have to wait until after I broke my fast after sunset to eat one. The smell is divine!

It was the first time Yunus was baking with us and while it seemed like he was more interested in the whisk and bowls, I really adored how gentle Zayd was with him and how he was leading him on the steps to do next. One of my biggest fears in life is to have children who don’t get along. I’m not going to be deluded and think that they will never quarrel with each other and they probably will; I can only pray to God He will protect their relationship and bond.

Back to the banana crumble muffins! I used Aquafaba instead of oil and if you don’t know about this magical liquid yet, join the original Facebook group Vegan Meringue – Hit’s and Misses and be wowed at what the humble brine from a can of chickpeas can do. I use aquafaba mainly as an egg replacement in recipes and this is the first instance as a substitute for oil. The banana crumble muffins turned out wonderfully soft with a good rise and crumb. Both the boys loved them so we know this is a winner for the lunchbox!

banana crumble muffins top

Serves: 12
  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • ½-3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup banana puree
  • ¾ cup soy milk OR milk of choice
  • ¼ cup aquafaba OR vegetable oil
  • *Optional: 12 slices/coins of banana for garnish
Crumble Topping
  • ⅓ cup wholemeal flour
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons plant based butter (Nuttelex, Earth Balance etc)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Divide batter into cases evenly (approx. 1.5 Tablespoons per case).
  6. Add the crumble topping ingredients into a bowl and using a fork in a chopping motion, mix ingredients until a crumble is formed.
  7. Place one banana coin on top of each muffin and crumble some topping over, distributing evenly.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cook in pan completely and store in an airtight container. Alternatively individually wrap and freeze for easy lunchbox snacks later.


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