Frugal Feeding

“Eating good-quality, ethically sourced food is possible on a tight budget. I don’t think there are many dishes out there that I couldn’t recreate for less and I just want to pass that information on.”

Fresh from the office, after being glued to our screens all day, you would think that team Crumbs could think of nothing worse than going home to trawl the web for new food blogs. Oh, how wrong you would be. They are our guilty pleasure, any time of day. We hunt for witty words, riveting recipes, fascinating feeds and scrumptious looking snaps. And our next culinary catch comes in the shape of Frugal Feeding.

We’re all feeling the pinch at the moment and never more so than with our weekly food shop. Thankfully our blog-crush of the moment knows a thing or two about how to make a little go a long way. With a penchant for showing us splurging spenders how to buy ethically and on a budget, we not only love cash-savvy creation and Bristolian Nick Livermore but so do our purses.

His mouth-watering recipes ignite our taste buds thanks to his clean, no-fuss photography. An hour scouring through Nick’s witty wonderings and inspiring recipes and never again will you look inside your empty fridge and disregard that lonesome egg, nib of chorizo, limp-looking spring onion and mouldy wedge of Cheddar. This man knows the difference between his pennies and pounds. Watch and learn…

This is what Nick has to say about his blog:

Location: Bedminster

How did Frugal Feeding come about? The idea first sprouted when I was at university, in Bristol, struggling financially after having enjoyed myself a little too much in my first year (you know what it’s like!). I never liked spending a lot on food but eating well was important to me. Thus, Frugal Feeding was born – it helped me really think about what I was eating.

What photography equipment do you use? I use a Nikon D3100 DSLR with kit lens. I have a fairly basic set-up and really like the freedom that not using a tripod affords me. Though I like working with natural light and shadow where possible, I find my Neewer reflector board indispensable.

What has been your favourite post? My recipe for mocha mousse is definitely up there as it has done so much for my blog in terms of views and getting me noticed. Besides, it’s utterly fool proof, which is a good job.

What other food blogs do you follow? I follow a million and one different blogs but I’d like to mention Marcus of CountryWoodSmoke since he has roots local to here and produces many a mouth-watering meat dish.

Why blog? Why food? Blogging is a great outlet for my creativity – I love to write and photograph – it seemed like the perfect fit. Food is simply one of my passions and the one most transferrable into writing and images – it was the natural choice. Besides, it’s addictive and becomes an extension of your personality.

What makes your blog special? There are a number of really good blogs out there aimed at eating on a budget but mine is firmly geared towards maintaining that aim while producing ethically sourced, genuinely luxurious food. Where I get my food from and how it relates to the area around me has become an important consideration in my life, but it’s something that can be tricky on a budget – that’s the area in which I specialize.

How long have you been blogging for? Pretty much constantly since January 2011 – two years and two months, though you may find my rather ugly first posts have disappeared.

What ingredient is your kitchen never without? Red lentils. They are so versatile and are a great, cheap way of bulking up or conveying a richer texture to soups, stews, casseroles and curries. A handful or two even find their way into my, rather smashing, Bolognese.

One thing we can learn from reading your blog Eating good-quality, ethically sourced food is possible on a tight budget. I don’t think there are many dishes out there that I couldn’t recreate for less and I just want to pass that information on.

Top frugal cooking tip? Bulk things out as much as possible. Doing this makes expensive ingredients, primarily meat, go that little bit further. Celery and lentils are the go-to bulkers, but there are other ingredients, too.

Top photography tip? Work with natural light where possible and don’t be scared of exploring the ISO settings on your camera – go manual!

What should we be cooking on a budget this weekend? New potatoes are starting to come into their own at this time of the year so I’d definitely have to say potato salad. But don’t slather it with mayonnaise, let their flavor sing using a simple oil and citrus dressing alongside a few chives.

A taste you could do without Miso – I’m fairly certain it’s the work of the Devil.

Your last meal on earth would be Beef Bourguignon. There’s something irresistible about slow-cooked beef with red wine, mushrooms and bacon. I mean, how can that not be amazing? It may not sound frugal but, trust me, it can be! It would have to be followed by a slice of cheesecake – I don’t mind which, as long as the base is thick and buttery.

By Sophie Rae