My usual schedule is work in the mornings, hunting for food around 14:00 and picking up the kids from school before the hectic afternoon routine starts (twins – being in two places at the same time) …

This hunting for food thing became extremely difficult when I lost my usual hunting weapon (income and therefore money), at the beginning of this year.  What do I buy with R200, or preferably less, depending on the daily budget, for a family of 5 and sometimes 6? (We LOVE the 6th ‘family member’ dearly) :).

Most of the time fighting tears, because of my struggle, I buy the cheapest ingredients after thorough inspection, sometimes pottering around in store for quite some time.

This had to stop, so, on this 21st day of September 2016, Mom-on-Thyme was born.  Mom-on-Thyme, an ordinary mother, just like you, is me, Liesl and on this day I decided to stop feeling poor and rather think creative about feeding my family on a shoe-string budget.  Therefore, from now on, I’ll journal and share my not-so-pricy dinner ideas and frame of mind with you.

21 September 2016:

Today was a good day.  I coached a morning session and was let of the cooking hook because I had an after-hours coaching session scheduled as well.  So, I had to buy affordable, easy cooking ingredients for the family to cook while I was busy.  My choice fell on, baked beans (which was on special), mince and poppy & sesame seed bread to be toasted.  We call this, cowboy-food as this is typical Dad food when Mom is out of kitchen – a.k.a. out of town.

I expected the usual , but this is what they came up with …  The latest version of Cowboy food  enhanced, courtesy of a more food-savvy daughter than years ago, when Cowboy food was more of a stew like dish.

Here goes …



Enough for 5 adults

Total cost:  Around R120

Baked beans special at Pick a Pay



15 ml Sunflower Oil

½ Onion (left over from the previous evening’s food prep) finely diced

400 g Beef mince

1 Tin baked beans

Worcestershire sauce to taste

10 ml Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce (left over from a previous Nacho dish)

Salt and white pepper to taste

Around 30 ml bolognaise sauce (not exactly sure how much was left from a previous meal rinsed from the bottle with hot water)

300ml of any left over pasta (we had slightly less than half a packet of sea-shell pasta and 2 lasagne sheets)

3 tomatoes sliced

Cheddar cheese grated

Preheat oven to 180 C

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion until soft

Add the beef mince and fry until well browned

Season with Worcestershire sauce, Nando’s peri-peri sauce, salt and white pepper.

Add beans and bolognaise sauce

Simmer while cooking pasta

Pack in layers – 1 layer meat-bean mix, 1 layer pasta mix (or 1 of the 2 sheets lasagne), 1 layer meat-bean mix, 1 layer pasta mix.  Lastly a thin layer of meat-bean mix.

Top with 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced (this is supposed to make two layers of tomato)

Cover with grated cheese and fresh rosemary (rosemary fresh from the garden)

Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned


As I was not part of the cooking process, and because this is my first blog on this matter, the whole family helped in writing the blog and thinking of cool hashtags to use, so please, like the Instagram post on the Thyme for Stories Instagram page, share the blog, test the recipe and let us know what you think of it, or how you’ve changed it – (using the leftover ingredients in your cupboards and fridge).

PS.  I decided to do something different and only show after-meal pictures as a taste of how the meal was enjoyed …

Will journal soon again.


Thyme greetings!

Liesl – Mom on Thyme

Recipe inspired by and transformed by Mom on Thyme’s family.


Liesl is a life-and business coach with her own coaching company named Thyme2B.