An eco-friendly week #5frugalthings

I am continuing to live a little greener with less waste. I find this saves money too. This has been quite an eco-friendly week.

Pumpkin muffins


As promised in last week’s Five Frugal Things post, I used the flesh from our Halloween pumpkin rather than throwing it away. First came a batch of muffins. I used this recipe from Aldi. It made so many! They must have been using giant muffin cases as they said it would make 12. It made 30 fairy cake sized ones. Some we have eaten and some are in the freezer. They are lovely and moist.

Pumpkin soup


Secondly, I used my home made vegetable stock to prepare some yummy curried pumpkin soup.  Again, we have eaten some and frozen some.

It makes me mad that people just throw away their pumpkins once Halloween is over. Why waste good food?

A more eco-friendly cuppa

I wandered into TK Maxx the other day. I rarely go in there – too much temptation! However, I was after a couple of Christmas presents, which they had. I was impressed that, amongst the general tat, there was  a nice selection of items to help those, like me, who are trying to cut back on single use plastics.


They had a lovely selection of glass water bottles, protected with silicone. Water tastes so much nicer out of glass, I think. I purchased a single cup tea diffuser with some black tea. Teabags aren’t made entirely of paper, as you might assume, but also contain a form of plastic. This means that they aren’t fully biodegradable. The tea and diffuser cost just £4.99.

I also splashed out on a bamboo lunch box for £8. It is a good size and, again, no plastic.

Trip to the food coop


As I mentioned in last week’s low waste meal plan, I had my first visit to a food coop I recently joined. I need to get my head around it as I have missed their monthly order, but they keep a stock of some basics anyway. I purchased refills of hair conditioner and fabric softener, some organic sultanas, plain flour and some nuts.  Only the nuts came in single use plastic.


I also bought, for just 87p, these scouring pads made from recycled plastic.

It is much cheaper to buy a lot of these things through a coop. I like that they sell a lot of organic items much more cheaply than I can find elsewhere. We don’t buy organic all the time as we can’t afford it, so any way to save money in order to achieve more organic is good news.

Shoestring Cottage in the news

I am working with the Money Advice Service on a new campaign called Talk Money Week. There will be a blog post next week when it starts. In the meantime, I was asked by a Daily Mirror journalist to be interviewed for a piece she was writing for the campaign. You can read it here. Luckily no embarrassing photos this time!

What frugal things have you achieved? Have you had an eco-friendly week too? As ever, I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky.

10 thoughts on “An eco-friendly week #5frugalthings

  1. Each of the items you selected would make lovely gifts for a couple people on my list. I tire reusing jackolantern pumpkin once before and the flavor was not good. Perhaps the variety of pumpkins you have int he UK compared to the US sold for Halloween are of a different variety?

  2. Speaking about dealing with pumpkins, in addition to the items you mentioned, you might be interested in making pumpkin pickles.
    It is actually quite easy to make and they are soooo yummy.

    I just googled for the recipe a couple of years ago, and have been making the pickles every year. When I mention it to friends, they look at me funny, but when they try a little bit, they love them.

  3. I wonder if there is a coop thing like that near me? It’s something I’d love to do. When I visited my friend in Holland years ago, they did have one that was lively and thriving.
    I need to do better about using these single use plastics too. Afterall, we can’t just be saying and not doing. Thanks for sharing your tips and winning ways with us this week.

  4. I have added those pumpkin muffins to my to-bake list, they sound amazing! We are on an eco-friendly mission too, and I would LOVE to switch to a tea diffuser but I’m yet to find somewhere affordable that sells decaff loose-leaf tea (compared to regular tea bags), please do let me if you find any at a good price. You would think that loose-tea would be cheaper because it uses less packaging! I think I heard that one of the major brands has committed to removing the plastic from their teabags too – which is a brilliant step forward! Well done for the feature, have a lovely week. Hannah

  5. I’m glad you got some bargains, I often find anything “green”, organic or recycled costs loads. I’m amazed (and a bit upset) about the tea bag thing, I drink vast amounts of the stuff and thought they were biodegradable. I shall have to have a look at loose tea.

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