Frugal Living – part 4

Food can be interesting when you are on a budget and you are just using up what you have already in the cupboard, or fridge-freezer. Food can be random to what you normally have, but this adds up interest I feel.

Some random meals I have been having, when it just comes to using what I have:

  • Mashed potato, some tuna out of tin, peas, Black Eye Beans and Haricot Beans.
  • Mash potato, broccoli, carrots and fish cake.
  • Brown rice, mixed veg, mixed beans, with drizzle of mint sauce over my veg.
  • Noodles and mixed veg.

Freezing bread

I started freezing bread, as mentioned in “Frugal Living – part 3.” I have found doing it this way much better for me. It’s certainly made an impact and I notice how much I don’t buy bread, to before, even though before I hardly wasted bread.

Selling old gadgets for new

In my post, “Challenging a need and a want,” I mentioned how I needed a new phone, that would cope with the internet and my needs. But as I mentioned in that post, I wasn’t just going to draw out money and buy it. So due to the way I access the internet now, which is just on my phone, meant I no longer needed my Macbook Air laptop.
If by chance I was to have internet at home again, I have my desktop computer anyway, that I also use to play DVD’s on.
Knowing I will stick with Apple when it comes to computers, should this break down and can’t be fixed, I will buy another second-hand like the one I already own, or a new one. So it was obvious to me I had to sell my laptop for cash. Selling my laptop, paid for my new phone, I also had lunch and I had change.
Being happy with my new phone, I sold the old one for cash and put it away towards holiday next year I hope to have.

Still saving inners from cereal boxes and glass jars

I’m still saving inners from cereal boxes and glass jars. But it won’t be long before I don’t need to save anymore glass jars.

Frugal Living – part 3

A difficult month money-wise, between last post and this. My budget did not go to plan either – money I wanted to save, I ended up touching. I did end up putting some away, but not what I originally planned. I suppose I should be thankful that I did put something away, because I wasn’t expecting it to happen.

Starting to freeze my bread

I know a few of my friends do this and just take out what bread they need. I have just started doing this myself now and it makes it so much easier for me, than I realised. I wish I did this sooner. I have been careful in the past when buying bread, to reduce wastage. But doing it this way, is much easier I have discovered and I totally recommend it.

Do you freeze your bread and only take out what you need?

My monthly phone contract

I ran out of internet allowance on the final week, so I had to buy an add-on. This did not help my budget and I hope to not do this on next month’s. I do use wifi, but because of where I was and what I needed to do, I had to get one.

No more cling film

Now I have no microwave, I don’t need to buy anymore cling film, when I run out. The remainder I have, I have had since last year because I hardly used it. I don’t know how much I have left, as I have not really looked. But I would not be surprised if I still had this box next year.

What I am not allowing myself to buy

You may remember the book review I did, “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders. I’m using one of her tips I have not used before and that’s creating a list of items I am not allowed to buy, because I have plenty of it.

What I have banned myself from buying:

  • Perfumes
  • Moisturisers
  • Shampoo
  • Nail varnish

I meant to share this in an earlier frugal living post.

If you liked this post, you can find past frugal living posts by scrolling either to the right, or further down, depending on whether you are viewing my page from laptop, or a mobile device, clicking on frugal living, under the categories.

Book review: “Heartfelt,” by Pippa Middleton

“Heartfelt,” by Pippa Middleton is a book that Pippa Middleton worked alongside a team of experts to produce this book. All the proceeds from the book go to British Heart Foundation.
This book came out 2 years ago and I have had my own copy for about just over a year when I spotted this book for sale in The British Heart Foundation shop.You can still get this book here:, which will take you the The British Heart Foundation. The hardback book has over 100 delicious recipes and there is healthy eating advice.

Contents of book:

  • A Heartfelt hello
  • The foundation of a healthy heart
  • I Heart Breakfast
  • I Heart on-the-go
  • I Heart family
  • I heart date night
  • I heart hosting

Some recipes that are in this book:

  • Oaty drop scones with cranberries
  • Quinoa porridge with blueberry compote
  • Seeded soda bread
  • Spicy tomato and spinach baked eggs
  • Beef and lentil cottage pie
  • Terragon chicken goujons
  • Lemon, red onion and fennel cod traybake
  • Banana, blueberry and oat muffins
  • Steamed date puddings
  • Rhubarb and custard semi freddo
  • Berry roulade

Food Chit-Chat

This is a question for readers who have to avoid gluten and wheat.

If you ate out, would you expect your food to be cooked in a pan, that had not been used to cook products that contained gluten and wheat?

I would assume that you would said yes, but as I don’t have to watch my diet on this level, this is why I ask you.

The reason I ask this, is because I went to a usual store recently that I visit quiet often and as I sat down with my cake and latte, I seen a sign I’d not seen before that said, “Please be advised that all our fried products share a fryer with products that contain WHEAT and GLUTEN.”

After seeing this, I decided to email them, using their contact form:

This is about the cafe in

First, I would like to say that this a welcoming and relaxing cafe. I have enjoyed eating what ever I choose to eat. But today, while sat down to enjoy my latte and cake, I seen a notice that advised that all of their fried products shared a fryer with products that contain wheat and gluten. Now surely you should have a fryer separate as not to contaminate? I shall be asking a couple of my friends about this, as they must have gluten-free.
But I would assume by doing this and for all of a sudden seeing this notice, you are putting people at risk?
Those who have to avoid wheat and gluten in their diets will no doubt avoid meals now, which means you are not providing gluten-free options in the long run, because there will be those that would not risk it? 

Seeing this also, brings me to another question? When I ask for a vegetarian breakfast, do you treat me the same way? ie it is cooked in the same fryer as the meat products?

As you can see from my message written to them, this issue also made me query something on a personal level from myself, while raising this other concern. I expect a pan to be used, that was not used beforehand cooking other meats.

Going back to those of you who have to avoid gluten and wheat, if you had learnt your favourite place of eating was using the same fryer to cook your food, as well as foods that contain what you need to avoid, would you avoid having food there? Would it affect your stomach, because of your food being fried in the same fryer as other foods that contained gluten, or wheat?

Reassurance from place I messaged

I received a quick reply to my query and my concern was put at eased. They also included a photo of their three fryers. They admitted that this sign was misleading and I totally agree, as they don’t have one fryer, they have three.
Their fryers are labelled as to what can only be cooked in each fryer, but their photo was focused on middle fryer mainly and the other two either side were partially on, so I written  follow-up email to make sure I had all the facts I were seeing. I was right what I assumed in the end and that was that the same fryer is used to cook fish as well as southern fried chicken. Now this does not affect me, but someone who only eats fish and no meat at all, would not like this set up and I pointed this out.
They said in my response that they would advise their customers accordingly. But I think that unless that customer who chooses their food off the menu, points out they don’t eat meat at all, when choosing fish, are they going to be told? I think, unless you ask, you are not going to know.

I think also, if you have to avoid gluten and wheat, to make sure there is no contamination at cooking, if this would affect you.

Blog post share: Chia jam – the healthy alternative

Recently, I discovered Chia jam via “Still Waters.” I got round to making it this morning and I was impressed.

my raspberry chia jam

It looks just like jam, but not sweet as I find jam.
Regular readers will know that after I changed the way I eat, my taste buds also changed and I found some things too sweet. This is a good alternative for me, when I would like jam and it does not take long to make. I used raspberries for my first go and I will probably have raspberry version now and again in the future, but I love strawberries, so more likely it will be strawberries for me when I make chia jam. But I will enjoy experimenting.

Some related posts to my healthy eating, for those who may not have read them:

Post share: Autumn has arrived — Confections of a redhead

I have printed off this recipe, so at some point in the future, I can make this delicious looking apple cake. Do pop on over and visit this post.

The seasons have changed. October is here (how the actual hell did that happen exactly??) The weather is getting colder. The days are getting shorter. The air is most definitely crisper, and the leaves are falling all over the place. The colours are incredible, and we are all making that “is it cold enough to […]

via Autumn has arrived — Confections of a redhead

Self-destruct: sugar

For a few weeks and more so in last two weeks, I have been on self-destruct eating more sweet stuff than normal. I even went out and bought it, which is how bad I was feeling.
I was feeling low and at times depressed with the idea I still have this same job and not anywhere else. Some mornings I just did not want to get up because I was that tired, but I had to, with what was happening that day ahead. Eating sweet things have been done in secret, until I mentioned here and recently to a friend because of saying why I refused to accept a sweet she offered because I thought I had enough sweet stuff today.
I wasn’t eating what I would usually allow myself as part of my new healthy eating, I went in overdrive. I won’t go into detail of some of the amount, because I find it embarrassing and I feel I have let myself down. I have even done where after I have felt bad eating what I have done, I noticed I was eating a bit more for that emotion. So if I don’t watch, I will go on a vicious new circle here, which I have not done before.
My friend who I tried to explain to, why I was not accepting a sweet, (which I accepted later in the night after further offers to have one) said, “there was more fat on a bone.” But like you my readers, she does not know the secret quantity I ate. But also, she herself is now enjoying food more since she quit smoking and has admittedly said she can’t stop. But she is not bothered, as she said she needed to put the weight on. (Which she looks better for.) The difference is, I don’t want to be going back to putting more weight on. I was happy at 11 stone which I last weighed many months ago and even though I wanted to go to 10.5 stone, I wasn’t to concerned with maintaining 11 stone at one time. But now I am over 11.5 stone.
She may not know the full details, but I would have thought there would have been an understanding before in how I felt and why I said no thanks to offerings of sweets.
Also when I have said where I have put the weight on how I feel and she says I haven’t when the jacket I wear is starting to look tighter than it was and I can’t layer winter things under it as it will be tighter looking, or wear my fleece jacket with it, like I originally could.
My favourite red winter coat that she knew about (at the beginning of this year I think it happened, otherwise it was end of last year,) the stitches ripped completely halfway around, under the arm of one coat when I went to reach for the seat belt. Even though I could zip it up, I was aware of that difference and then that happened.

I know I am responsible for what I put in my own mouth and that by accepting this friends offering of sweets, it’s my own doing. But it makes it hard. But I am determined that I don’t want to be buying a new coat in a size up.
I may not be fully happy in life, but when I lost that weight, I was happier with my body at that point. When you are not confident and you end up hating your body, it can be a vicious circle and I don’t want to go back there.

Sweet things that were sickly sweet for me before, I have found they are not, so I know I will have to go back to my 10-day sugar challenge again, to kick off this sweet tooth I now have. It’s a wonder I have not been sick on a couple of occasions.

I know also that I have to motivate myself into exercise. Regular readers will know I sold my exercise bike after I wanted my living room to look like a room again and with giving up the TV, I knew I would never get on the bike again. But I like Zumba and I have a Zumba DVD, I need to get motivated and get that DVD playing and get off my arse and do it, for an hour at least once a week, but preferably twice a week.

I need to remember how good I felt when I achieved what I achieved before and for the health reasons I did this. I need to remember when I choose food as emotional eating, that I am not treating myself right and I need to make sure I practise self-care.

To say how I have felt with my moods, I have been able to motivate myself with study, which I am surprised about. But then, it could be my get out card and do something different with my future.

That’s my rant out of my system towards myself. Now I need to kick my butt!

For new readers who have not read about my healthy eating originally, then links to the related posts are below: