Well it’s Thursday again and I thought I would do another 7 Hints and Tips, as it’s been a while. This time it’s for using a slow cooker and some easy recipe ideas to go with it.
Earlier in the year we bought a slow cooker, and it has been a life saver with a new baby. I am sure we wouldn’t have been eating as healthy if we did not have it.
We have found we can eat so much more cheaply while using a slow cooker, great if you are on a strict food budget.
Beef and Vegetables

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                 cooking and freezing tips
This is my collection of cooking book wins, from various Twitter competitions over the past 18 months. I have a huge sweet tooth and the recipes in these books are to die for. My favourite book out of the three is Freeze written by Justine Pattison. It’s one of the most useful books I own! It contains not only recipes but ways to make the most out of your freezer. Some of the top tips inside include different reasons to freeze. A couple of the reasons are you have less waste, which in turn saves you money and you have the flexibility to store various meals without extra supermarket trips, costing again less money!
I use my freezer like its going out of fashion! I freeze bread and only take out what I need, so it’s kept fresh and soft. On Sundays my husband and I do big batch cooking and make enormous cottage pies and lasagne’s to freeze for the coming week as we are both very busy with work. Sometimes when we have been out of the house for 12 hours or more its hard to get the motivation to start cooking a meal, so our freezer batches come in quite handy in these situations! 
Here is another top tip I recommend! If like me your freezer is not the biggest, and after a couple of tubs of ice-cream you have hardly any room whatsoever for anything moderately bigger than a chicken. Take all the outside cardboard packaging off all the food products and cut out the cooking instructions to place on the front of the fridge with magnet. Instantly you have room for that steak and ale pie that you slaved over by making the pastry by hand! Who needs all that extra cardboard on a box of ice-lollies? when you can slide them individually into gaps in the freezer drawers amongst the bag of frozen peas and turkey dinosaurs! So not only will you be saving money by using your freezer economically, but you will also be creating a wonderful colourful collage of bits of cardboard cooking times on your fridge-freezer! 
Rachel xx

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