#FrugalFebruary – Slow your home


In her little book, The Simple Life, Rhonda Hetzel describes how becoming a homemaker helped her to see that it’s possible to live well in either of two ways:

  1. Increase your earning potential by earning as much as you possibly can
  2. Value becoming a skilled homemaker and change your definition of success

Certainly, by adopting the ‘slow’ approach to your home life, it’s possible not only to develop and enjoy new skills but – dare I say it – increase your happiness.

Hetzel argues that, by adopting a frugal mindset, we will naturally slow our spending thus adding value to the family ‘bottom line’ in ways that don’t involve work outside the home.

In today’s post, I’m going to explore some ways in which we can embrace the ethos of Hetzel’s ‘slow home’ philosophy.

‘In-source’ not ‘out-source’

What can you do yourself, rather than outsource it?

For a period of time last year, we employed a cleaner. The reality was that whilst this got the basics done, the cleaning was never as thorough as it would have been if we had done it ourselves. Stopping the cleaning enabled us to make a decent cost saving and – with a minimalist home – it’s not difficult to do the job ourselves.

When I was 21, I lived for a year in Switzerland as a ‘jeune-fille au-pair’.  The families for whom I worked set the bar high in terms of outsourcing; they bought in a lot of help. To balance this, they worked long hours in demanding jobs. By contrast, our little family  endeavours to ensure a work-life balance in terms of how we choose to live, but we do our all of our own ironing, gardening, car washing and so on. You get the picture.

Guard your hard-earned cash closely

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Don’t go to ‘shiny spending places’ because shopping is addictive. Instead of going to the mall, think how much time you’ll have to enjoy a walk in the fresh air, time to read, time to play, time to be with others.

If you need to buy something, ask yourself how much ‘life energy‘ you expended in order to be able to buy it. That is, if you think about your hourly rate of pay, how many hours did you have to work to be able to buy the item in question.

I’ve written before about how slow shopping is a minimalist thing. If you are going to shop, consider buying locally-produced consumables from the market. Slow down. Enjoy being out and about. It’s the frugal way.

Make do and mend

Consider how our grandparents would have lived. It’s about going back to basics to a place that is homely and comfortable. As Hetzel says, it’s about “warm oats soaked overnight and cooked slowly rather than cornflakes; it’s home-baked bread instead of sliced white in plastic wrap.”

Now, I can hear you say, “Well, I have a full-time job, kids, a dog, a house and… and…and.”

I know. I understand. I’m with you.

Find what works for you. Minimalism isn’t a rigid construct. It’s about identifying what adds value to your life. What works for you may not work for me. For example, I don’t compromise on food (I cook virtually everything from scratch) but I have no inclination to grow my own veggies because I know that wouldn’t fit with our family way of life. Our garden, full of woody shrubs, would also need a major overhaul to enable us to grow our own.

Take inspiration from others such as Jen Gale whose Make Do and Mend Year (of buying nothing new) turned into My Make Do and Mend Life.

Alternatively, listen to the Slow Home Podcast with Brooke McAlary.

Cheryl Magyar, writing on her blog, reminds us that’s it’s possible to combine traditional practices in contemporary life, especially when we can make the most of the teachings, insights and content available at our fingertips through the internet. Harnessing the power of the web enables us to have a ready source of instruction, guidance, advice, support and knowledge. Thus, we combine new technology with enduring traditions in a positive way.

As Hetzel points out, today’s work-and-spend cycle potentially takes away the ability to do things for ourselves, disconnecting us from a sense of personal pride in what we make and what we can do.

Consider different approaches towards a ‘slow home’ that works for you.

Spend out

Use what you have, before you buy more. Not keen on that particular brand of shampoo? Use it up! Don’t buy more until you have actually run out. You’ll save money if you take this approach.

Change your definition of success

Hetzel says, “I used to measure success by the amount of money I made and spent.” Her book reveals the joy in the small successes that can be achieved from the time spent at home.

Success can take many forms. It can be as simple as the satisfaction of a dish that turns out beautifully; a small DIY job around the house that you achieve yourself; time freed up to enjoy an activity you really love; or just feeling less rushed, less scheduled, less obligated.

So,what does success look like for you? Have you made attempts to slow your home? What were the outcomes? What worked well for you? What didn’t go so well? I’d love to know !


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#FrugalFebruary – Frugal Entertaining


Entertaining is something many of us enjoy, but entertaining on a budget can prove challenging. At the request of reader, Elaine, here are 12 tips on frugal entertaining.

Go veggie

Recently, we entertained a family of 4, so our party was 7 in total. The kids happily ate pizza; the grown-ups enjoyed a very delicious Happy Pear recipe. Plant-based meals are both healthy and tasty and are almost certainly to be more cost-effective than a meat or fish-based main course.

Bring and share

If you’re the host, you cook the main course and have your guests contribute a starter, pudding, cheese and biscuits or a side dish. We’ve followed this format over several years with a group of friends; it’s a lovely way to enjoy each other’s company without the host having to incur all the cost.

You can even ‘bring and share’ for an event like a wedding, which gives guests a real sense of having contributed to this special occasion. A ‘bring and share’ wedding we attended was one of the happiest I can remember.

Use your slow cooker

I made lunch for 9 the day after Boxing Day. With a cheaper cut of meat and a very good recipe from Nigella, the whole meal cost about £25.

Don’t use disposables

Use your table napkins and make do with whatever crockery you have. Mix and match is charming and frugal. If you need something like a larger dish or an extra chair or two, borrow these.

Cook from scratch

Start backwards when preparing, with pudding first (one large one is easy to prepare), then main course, then starter. This can take a few hours, but the effort, quality of food and cost-effectiveness is worth it.

Remember that your friends are here to see you

Your guests won’t judge you as though you were a competitor on Masterchef. Good food, simply cooked, is the best thing ever.

Look in the freezer cabinet

If you want pre-prepared or need bulk-buy foods, frozen foods may be cheaper than buying fresh. Iceland, for example, sells large packs of chicken breasts for a fraction of the cost of fresh. So, shop around.

Go tea-total

Catering for large numbers? Make homemade lemonade or fruit punch for a pre-dinner drink, instead of offering expensive alcoholic options.

Make savvy substitutions

If you intend to serve alcohol, make some savvy substitutions – Love a glass of fizz? The prestigious French brands are top-dollar, so opt for Prosecco. Even better, try Cava or a supermarket-own bottle of sparkling wine. Made into Buck’s Fizz with two parts of fizz to one of orange juice, this can also stretch a long way.

Plan, plan, plan

Look out for things you’ll need that might be on offer in the days or weeks leading up to your party.

Have a theme

Go back to your student days: jacket potatoes and chilli make a great bonfire night meal. Another idea is to get your guests to bring their favourite song and enjoy a ‘Desert island discs‘ evening. The food doesn’t have to be the main event.

Change the time

Make dinner high tea ; make tea lunch; make the whole thing brunch. This can prove to be less costly overall and more enjoyable for those who aren’t night owls!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 12 ideas on frugal entertaining, but I’d love to know what you do when you’re feeding a crowd but want to keep the cost down.

Further reading:

#FrugalFebruary – Food and groceries

#FrugalFebruary – 10 Frugal Fun ideas

#FrugalFebruary – 8 Tips to Minimize Everyday Disposables

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#FrugalFebruary – A word about credit cards


If you’ve paid off your credit card after the winter holidays, why not put your card away in the drawer now? If your goal is to live within your means and even get some savings behind you, I would suggest that the regular use of a credit card may not support this goal.

Can you be masterful with money without a ‘MasterCard’?

Some folks use a credit card for all of their discretionary spending, paying off the bill in full when it arrives at the end of the month. I’m not too comfortable with this. It means that your income is immediately devoted to paying off last month’s costs, so you’re always on the back foot.

Use cash

Here in the UK, the CAP Money Course is well-respected way of helping people break the cycle of debt and get on top of their finances. CAP advocate a cash system: withdraw the money you need for each item of discretionary spending (e.g. food and groceries), place the cash in an envelope and only spend the amount of money in the envelope until next week comes around.

I use ‘cash’ but with a debit card, tracking daily my spending against different budget categories, which I anticipate and plan for every month.

Emergencies only

I have one credit card account. I once cut up the actual card completely, but realised that this was probably an extreme move, as I do some international travel and having a credit card can be useful.

I now retain that single card but I use it only for genuine emergencies. Here’s one such example. Around Easter 2015, we took a trip to Dubai as a family. We all became very poorly, which we attributed to a meal we ate in the desert. My husband subsequently collapsed because of dehydration and gastroenteritis, following which he spent a night in one of the city’s hospitals where he was put on a drip to recover. Moral of the story? Keep a credit card for genuine emergencies. That was a real emergency, involving blue lights and a lot of other ‘excitement’ that I’d rather not repeat.

What if I’ve got more than one card?

There are varying different views on this.

If you are familiar with the work of Dave Ramsey, you’ll know that consolidating credit card debt onto one card (or onto a loan) is a no-no. Ramsey’s view is that you should work to pay down the smallest debt first, which results in a positive ‘snowball effect’ of paying down each debt one by one. Although you’ll keep paying the minimum payment on any other card/s you have, once you’ve paid off card 1, all of your efforts can be devoted to paying off card 2 and so on.

Another possible option is to buy yourself some breathing space by transferring your credit card debt onto an account where you pay zero interest for a given period. This could allow you to divide the money owed into manageable chunks, paying off the balance before the credit interest kicks in.

What I do see from Ramsey and others:

No debt is good debt. If you need to use a credit card to buy something, that suggests you can’t really afford it.

What’s your view? How does becoming minimalist support your financial goals?

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#FrugalFebruary – Review your Habits


Do you ever wonder how you can turn your finances around if you’re struggling with debt or wondering how to make ends meet? In today’s blog post, we’re going to consider the issue of habits.

Take the advice of PTMoney who say that if you’re getting started with improving your financial situation, you should probably take a look at reducing your expenses first. They call it the low ‘hanging fruit’.

But, how to get started when you have a full life and don’t want to lock yourself away?

The answer?

Review your habits

It’s easy to get into the habit of buying a skinny latte on your way into the office (you’ve all read about the ‘latte factor’). The fact of the matter is simple. That £3 per day represents £15 per week (for a 5 day week) and whopping £600 per year if you’re working 40 weeks of the year. These things soon add up.

So, reverse the maths in a positive way. PT Money’s 52 week Money Saving Challenge encourages savers to save just $1 in Week 1, $2 in Week 2 and so on. Result after a year? $1378! If you prefer, you can start with the higher amount ($52) then work downwards towards that final $1 in the last week of the year. Either way, as the year progresses, you’ll need to plan for the money to be saved in the upcoming weeks, so add this to your budget spreadsheet and pay yourself first.

Going with the crowd

If your friendship group is intent on doing a specific thing as a way of getting together, and you’re sticking with Frugal February, don’t be afraid to be different.

My colleagues are looking forward to an evening out next month. This involves both a meal and tickets for a comedy show. As I’m not especially keen on the comedian they’re planning to see, I’ve said I’d be really happy to have a bite to eat with them, but will pass on the entertainment. That’s fine with them; I don’t waste money on something I don’t feel is worth the ‘life energy‘ spent to pay for it and my bank balance is happier.

Splitting the bill on a night out with friends can also be another stressor for someone who’s watching the pennies. If you’re keeping an eye on costs, consider joining friends after a meal (you can pay for your preferred drink at the bar on arrival) or suggest a bring-and-share supper at home.

Spend time not money

Cultivate ways to spend your time that doesn’t involve going to ‘shiny spending places’. A walk, a bike ride or a cup of coffee at your friend’s kitchen table costs nothing and I promise you it’ll be more fun than a shopping trip or expensive lunch.

Sign up to the library and enjoy a wealth of free resources that you can borrow. eBooks are even better!

Watch out for free local events or explore if you can obtain a pass for a free local attraction. We’re close to Kenilworth Castle which, in 1958, was given to the people of Kenilworth. As a result, residents enjoy free access during normal opening hours.

Leave your purse at home

If you take your purse every time you go out, you’re more likely to pop into the corner shop to stock up on something. Make it a habit to only take your keys, phone and whatever you need. If you get into difficulties and need money, chances are you’re not going to be far away from help or you can nip home and pick up your debit card.

Buy second-hand or in the sale

If you need to buy something, don’t automatically buy new or at full price. Some things are just as good (if not better) second hand, so seek out excellent sources of second-hand products. Because I wear a particular brand of clothing (a dress) every day for work, I always buy in the sale and stock up with one new dress each summer and winter, always buying at half price. These days, there’s always a sale on, so you’ll never have too long to wait.

Use your budget spreadsheet every single day

My mum and I were comparing notes at Christmas. We didn’t realise before, but we each monitor our finances every single day and use a spreadsheet that has to balance. They say “look after the pennies and the pounds manage themselves”. Maybe that’s right.

My dual account budget spreadsheet is coming out with my next Community newsletter, so if you’ve not yet signed up, head over to our Community page!

Delete the apps that cause you to spend

One of the things that helped me was to delete the eBay app’ from my device. Even if you are ostensibly using eBay to sell your unwanted stuff, it’s all too easy to take a look round the shop while you’re there. Worse, if there’s money in your PayPal account, that doesn’t count, right? Of course, it matters. So remove any visual prompt from your field of vision. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ really works.

Look differently at leftovers

Last night’s leftovers often make a really great lunch, particularly if you have a microwave in your workplace kitchen where you can heat food. Where I work, a great many of us bring our lunch to work and (more often than not) it’s a small portion of what we cooked the night before. Recently, I made a huge amount of dhal; freezing portions has kept me well fed at lunchtime over many days.

In addition, it’s often possible to adapt something’s you have leftover from one meal to form the basis of the next. So, being frugal with food will reap financial benefits, too.

Happy helpful habits

Did you change any habits, which enabled you to save money? What frugal habits helped you? Let me know! And don’t forget, my dual account spreadsheet will be available through my Community newsletter, so click here to receive my next mailing when I’ll share the link to it.


#FrugalFebruary – 10 Frugal Fun ideas


Inspired by an email I received from reader, Wendi, Here’s a post on Frugal Fun. After all, the weekend is coming!

Even in frosty February*, here is a list of 10 things you can enjoy when you want to be frugal but still have a great time. These may be especially useful to you, as half-term approaches.


Voluntary simplicity

Those of us who belong to what Juliet Schor** calls ‘The Voluntary Simplicity Movement’ will naturally tend towards activities that limit spending. This means taking the ‘slow’ route to activities that might otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

Here’s my list!

10 Frugal Fun ideas

Get outside

Enjoy some fresh air, get some Vitamin D on board and get that heart pumping! Here in the UK, we are fortunate to be able to enjoy access to open country via public footpaths or public rights of way. Walking Britain has some fabulous walks. Check out the ones in your area.

Amusing museums

Modern-day museums are streets ahead of the latter-day, stuffy homes of dusty relics!

Last year, I was really inspired when I visited home of the codebreakers, Bletchley Park. Closer to home is Coventry Transport Museum whose admission is FREE!

Reading groups

Love to read? Start  (or join) a reading group. Our local library lends sets of books for reading groups or you could borrow a book online to discuss with your group. The group could be physical or virtual. What about a virtual group for aspiring minimalists?!


In this era of Kindle, iPad and Amazon, it’s often that we forget about one of the last bastions of civility: the library. Take some time, stop and read, borrow some books to take home and discover new authors or topics. Libraries’ resources are often more plentiful than just books. What else can you borrow?


Meet up with a pal, or make new friends via local meet-up groups. Check out Meetup; some groups offer free classes or have activities you can attend for FREE.

Rediscover a love of music

There are times in our lives when music is a constant backdrop. I remember summer 1990 when I was living in London and Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U was topping the charts and street entertainers belted out the Stones’ Angie

So, relive your youth by checking out Spotify or another digital music service. Better still, make your own music!


Baking or whipping up something special is a lovely thing to do. Even better, if you can get the kids involved, you’ll make something tasty and enjoy some time together. Don’t forget, it’s Pancake Day soon!

Treasure Trails

Adopt the role of tourist in your own area and enjoy a new perspective on familiar places. Check out Treasure Trails online for ideas.

Film Clubs

Newly-released films are expensive to see at the cinema. Instead, why not establish a film club at home? Bring friends together, make some homemade popcorn and watch your favourite movie. My local second-hand bookshop runs films nights; these are a great way to enjoy a movie-night experience without the attendant costs of going to a movie-theatre.

Stay in bed

Whether a duvet-day for one, or a snuggle with your loved one, get the newspapers or your favourite book, enjoy some tea or whatever you fancy.

Whatever you’re doing, enjoy the weekend and check out my upcoming blog post in the #FrugalFebruary series: next up, we’ll be talking about habits.

And if you’re a regular visitor to the blog, do join our community to receive unique content and news items straight to your inbox. 


*If it’s sunny where you are, substitute any other (more pleasant) weather-related adjective for “frosty”

** Juliet Schor is an Academic and author of books including The Overspent American

#FrugalFebruary – 8 Tips to Minimize Everyday Disposables


If we return to the true meaning of the word ‘frugal’, it’s about being sparing in the use of precious resources. This is especially true when it comes to everyday items whose repeated use impacts on the environment. So, here are 8 tips to minimize everyday disposables, as we continue our #FrugalFebruary series. 

Editor’s note:

This is a guest post, written by Cheryl Magyar from Handcrafted Travellers

8 Tips to Minimize Everyday Disposables

Everywhere we look we can find areas to minimize in our lives.

From the kitchen to the closet, most of us have enough stuff to keep us going for a year or longer without having to buy anything new (food and toilet paper aside), so why do we keep accumulating?

If we take a good look around our homes and start to analyse our clutter, it may appear that our stuff is, or was at one time, more ‘wants’ than ‘needs’. We frequently fall, all too easily, for impulse purchases and keep things in our store for that one day when we may need it. In any case, everyday disposables are partly to blame for the random clutter in our homes.

We are, often unknowingly, creating an ecological mess for the sake of using disposable plastic, a material that breaks fairly easily and will definitely outlast our lifetime. Most plastics purchased today will still be here 450 to 1,000 years later, ultimately ending up in bits and pieces in our rivers, lakes and oceans.

So, limiting, or even eliminating plastic is a serious factor to consider whether you are furnishing your home, creating a sustainable capsule wardrobe or simply going about day to day life.

If everyday disposables have your eco-conscience in a quandary, imagine how you could make the green switch to using longer lasting, quality products, many of which are recyclable.

8 areas where you can minimize everyday disposables

1. Bottled water – it comes in plastic, but if it came in a glass bottle would you be buying, and willing to carry, the same amount every week, or is it a convenience to sip every time you get thirsty? Truth be told, water fountains have gone out of fashion, yet we should all have access to clean drinking water, so where can we get it? Well, most of us still have access to water via the tap and it is only a matter of habit to carry our own water bottles made from glass or stainless steel. If you are out and about, chances are you can go without, until you get home, that is.

2. Plastic sandwich bags – they are reusable up to a point, but how many of us actually take the time and have the patience to wash and dry a flimsy bag? Food has been carried since the beginning of lunch and with human ingenuity it should not be such a difficult decision in modern times. Wrapping our meals in leaves is not the only green option. Stainless steel containers come in a plethora of shapes and sizes and a glass jar is perfect for carrying a salad to work in a pinch, just remember to put the dressing on the bottom and turn it upside down to coat the greens before eating your sustainably packaged meal.

3. Plastic cutlery – yes, plastic finds a way of showcasing its disposability again, yet in the realm of cutlery there are so many alternatives. Set an example and bring your own metal forks, knives and spoons when you know you will be dining out in a place that uses disposable stuff. Nowadays there are biodegradable and compostable utensils made from a variety of materials: bamboo, millet, corn and wheat. These are novel disposables, so it is wise to use them with limitations, keeping in mind that whatever you can use for longer is best.

4. Paper towels – great for a quick, hygienic clean-up and in many instances are not such a bad thing to have for accidental spills in the kitchen, so long as you do not take advantage of their presence. A true eco-alternative is reusable cloth, perhaps hemp, linen or organic cotton. You can buy them at the store, and if you have a sewing machine or simply have some DIY energy, thread and needles, then you can make your own cloth napkins and wipes at home. Stored on the counter or tucked away in a drawer they will never be too far away, just remember to wash/dry them as you use them. As a bonus, you can match the colour of the cloth to the interior of your home, becoming more than practical item, they can add an element of design as well.

5. Tissues – of the Kleenex, blow-your-nose, wipe-your-makeup kind. The convenience of small packages should set off alarm bells if you are wanting to minimize your impact on material production. Packaging waste will always be with us to some extent. In the meantime, however, would you consider blowing your nose with a fabric handkerchief?

6. Cosmetics – while not everyday disposables on their own, they do contribute to much cotton and chemical waste if the products you are using come from questionable origins. Try making your own facial cloths or consider the experience of living life with less makeup to reduce your demand. If you aren’t ready to give it up completely, make it a commitment instead to search for ethical brands that use only ecologically certified ingredients, such as mineral pigments. You could also use coconut oil liberally as a makeup remover and moisturizer.

7. Shopping bags – in some places you have to pay for plastic bags if you forgot your own. Again, it all comes down to creating good habits. Have a set of cloth bags and choose different weights of fabric for each sack, so that you can carry ten kilos of potatoes from the market or have one small and light enough to fit in your pocket.

8. Coffee and tea – we all drink it because, like water, it is essential to life! But it does create waste one way or another. If you stick to making it at home, you are already ahead of the game – you can use a stainless-steel strainer for loose leaf tea or slow brew your coffee. Whatever you do, avoid those non-recyclable coffee pods. When you do go out for a treat, take your own mug wherever possible, refuse plastic straws and never take more than you need.

Challenge the notion that plastic is the only option – it always has an alternative! It may have a higher initial cost, but the environmental benefits or reusable items quickly outweigh the convenience of a one-time use object any day.

About the writer:

Cheryl Magyar is an eco-minimalist. She lives out of a backpack and currently resides in the Romanian countryside with her husband and daughter – together they are Handcrafted Travellers. Subscribe to their newsletter here.

#FrugalFebruary – Food and groceries

The first blog post in this series looks at one our most significant spending categories: food and groceries.
After your mortgage (or rent) and any car payments you might have,  your food and grocery bill may be one of the largest items in your budget. But how can we combine our desire to eat healthily with our quest to keep costs down?

How we do it

First of all, eating healthily comes at a price, so don’t beat yourself up if your grocery bill is one of your highest expenses. We work hard to stick to our budget each month. There are some things you can do, however.

Shop online

Although I’ve previously written about slow shopping (which I do enjoy), for this significant spending category, I shop online with my recipe book in front me.

Walk around the kitchen and look in the cupboards before ordering anything. You may have enough of a particular item or have forgotten that you’d stocked up.

I typically buy what I need to make 3 or 4 different recipes (plus one dessert or sweet snack such as energy bites). After that, I improvise with what I have around.

When your online basket is complete, check if you can substitute anything you have selected for a cheaper version. Maybe you don’t really need something at all? Keep an eye on the way the value of an item is listed (i.e. £ per 100g or £ per 1kg). These aren’t always comparable. Offers on things you normally buy are worth having, but don’t be tricked into buying something you don’t need if it’s going to end up wasted.

Next time you shop, check what you still have. That way, you can make new recipes with existing supplies just by supplementing existing food items with one or two fresh ingredients. You’ll save money and use up what you have.

Finally, if you can’t shop online, don’t go to the store when hungry. You will spend more.

Watch the quantity or size if you’re buying online

Online shopping can be deceptive. Make sure you’re ordering size you want – check the weight or size before you order.

Consider the delivery charges

We paid £60 for an annual delivery pass with Morrisons. It’s well worth it when you consider that a premium delivery slot could add £5 to your bill. We benefit from the logistics of Ocado* (Morrisons’ logistics supplier) but pay Morrisons prices for the food.

Learn about food

When the fridge looks empty, an experienced cook will identify possible combinations that will help feed the family until the next order comes.

Eggs left over with a chunk of cheese? Make a cheese soufflé (I can do this, so you can!). Mixed beans in a can and some red peppers in the fridge? Concoct a chilli. The BBC Good Food website has some simple and tasty recipes that you can reply upon when you only have some carrots and a bag of lentils to inspire you.

Really use your recipe books

I’m down to just five books now and tend to get my culinary inspiration from one of them each week. I place a sticky tab against the recipes for which I’ve ordered ingredients, so I can remember why I bought a particular food item when it arrives.

Also, because these favourite books use the same ingredients in lots of recipes (Tamari, for example), I often have the basics in my storecupboard.

Make two recipes out of one

I’ve just made red pepper relish to go with home-made falafel. When warm, the relish will make a yummy pasta sauce. So, provided we go steady with the sauce on the falafel, we’ll have tomorrow’s dinner from this meal, as well.

Beans on toast never hurt anyone

You don’t have to deliver a gourmet meal to the family every night. There’s no reason why you can’t have something super simple. Some friends of ours always make a pizza on a Friday. When our fresh food stocks are down, we’re more inclined to make an omelette or simply have beans on toast. Boiled eggs and soldiers are yummy! These dishes are filling, homely and will be kind to your budget.

How do you do it?

How do you combine a desire for healthy eating with keeping a check on the pennies? I’d love to know! Do get in touch.


*Ocado is the UK’s premium online grocery store. Morrisons has both a physical and online supermarket presence.


Coming up:

Next, we look forward to a guest blog post from Cheryl Magyar of Handcrafted Travellers who offers 8 tops tips on reducing everyday disposables.

If you haven’t yet done so, Join the community for unique content and news updates.


Welcome to #FrugalFebruary


Those of you who follow the blog (thank you!) will know that I’ve been focusing on moving towards a clutter-free life during January, with my #Unclutter 2017 series of blog posts.

In February, I’ve decided to focus on money matters, with #FrugalFebruary being my phrase of the month.


Frugal is defined as “sparing in the use of things” according to T F Hoad’s English etymology. This is especially true of the use of money and resources such as food.

Why Frugal February?

  • February is a super-short month, which offers just 28 days to kick-start some new habits.
  • It’s a month in which we may have fewer bills to pay. Post holiday credit card bills may have been paid in January and (for those of us in the UK) there is no Council Tax to pay this month or next.
  • It’s not too late to build savings. On Twitter, check out the @PTMoney 52 week challenge. In January, those of us taking part put away just £10. Do that now and you’ll be on track to join the challenge for the remainder of the year.
  • For those of us in Northern climes, the kids are back at school for the spring term, the festive season is over but the summer holidays are still some time away. Now’s the chance to save.
  • If you’ve been decluttering in January, you might still have some stuff to sell. Now’s the time to do this to give your finances a mini boost!

So, even if we’ve not necessarily stuck to our New Year’s Resolution of starting that diet, or getting physically fitter, let’s get our finances in shape!

If you’d like to focus on anything in particular, let me know or Join the community so that we can engage one-to-one on email.

First up, we’ll be looking at one of your biggest spending categories – food and groceries.