A Back to Basics Challenge from Sainsburys. Living Well for Less and Making a Little Go A Long Way.

photo (40)One of the things I learnt as a child was how to make food last and go further, so when Sainsburys set some of us bloggers a challenge by sending us a £10 voucher to see how far we could make it go, I was up for it!

Being the eldest of 7 I cooked regularly and, even now, I seem to cook far too much! (you ask Ross and Grace) BUT I don’t always feel that this is a negative thing and tend to either freeze the leftovers or make something else with them for the next meal.

As a result, I am used to doing in respect of this is a big batch cook of savoury mince. One of the most versatile meals there is. You can add as much – or little – in the way of vegetables as you like and it can be used for all sorts of things such as spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, chilli and…well…watch the video below and I’ll explain a bit more!

Here is the list of food I purchased for under £10:

Basics Minced Beef x 2
Basics Carrots
Basics Potatoes
Basics Peppers
Basics Chopped Tomatoes
Basics Lasagne Sheets
Mature Grated Cheese
Basics Apples
Total: £9.81

This evening I made a massive batch of mince and included the carrots and chopped tomatoes. I already had garlic, herbs and worcestershire sauce. Whilst this was cooking I peeled and boiled half a bag of the potatoes and made some mash. I spooned the mince out into a baking dish and spread the mash on top and then topped that with a generous portion of the grated cheese. Voila! Cottage Pie:

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– and I had still have at least 2 meals worth of mince left!

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At the same time as the pie went into the oven, I sliced two of the peppers, placing them on a baking tray drizzled some olive oil over them and roasted them.

The apples became toffee apples this evening. We had no skewers (wasted money!) and I really don’t see the point in buying them so I did this!

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I said in the video that I would share a great recipe for Chocolate Apple Betty with you. Well, if you like melted chocolate then you are going to LOVE this!

Chocolate Apple Bettyphoto (32)


  • Bag of Apples (around 1kg), peeled and cored
  • 30g butter

For the crumb layer:

  • 125g soft breadcrumbs – I blended around 4 slices
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate, roughly broken up
  • 75g butter
  • 3 heaped tablespoons golden syrup


  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut the apples into large chunks, put them in a pan and toss with the butter and a couple of tablespoons of water over a moderate heat. When the apples start to soften but are still keeping their shape, tip them into a 1.5 litre baking dish.
  3. Mix the crumbs, sugar and chocolate and cover the apples loosely with the mixture.
  4. Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a small saucepan, then pour over the crumb mixture, soaking it all.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes until the apple is soft, the crumbs are golden and crisp and the chocolate is all gooey

Chocolate Apple Betty

This has to be one of the best ways to use apples – so tasty, easy and cheap ingredients and a lovely warming pudding for cold evenings.

I hope that this post and some of my suggestions given you some savvy ways to spend less money but make more from your meals.

Disclaimer: I was given a £10 Sainsburys voucher in order to purchase the food shown in this post. Please note all words and opinions are my own. With thanks to Sainsburys for this opportunity.





  1. March 13, 2014 / 2:18 pm

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  2. November 6, 2013 / 7:18 pm

    Wow you made that go a long way! I do love the Sainsburys Basics range I’ve always found it great quality and value for money. (P.S. you don’t sound anything like I expected on your video 😉 )
    Mummy of Two recently posted..Silly Moo from John Adams ToysMy Profile

  3. Mrs Teepot
    November 6, 2013 / 10:59 am

    mmmm that Chocolate Apple Betty looks delish!

    I really love mince, it is, like you say, so versatile, and tasty too!
    Mrs Teepot recently posted..What I Wore Wednesday: BlackMy Profile

  4. November 5, 2013 / 11:19 pm

    This has really inspired me – the chocolate apple Betty looks particularly easy and delicious to make

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