This week’s five frugal achievements sees me actually spending some money on clothes, a bit more baking and plans for a holiday.
A new frugal cookbook
Eons ago (almost two years in fact), I enthusiastically joined in with a Kickstarter crowdfunding thing for Jack Monroe, raising money so that she could self-publish her new cook book, Cooking on a Bootstrap. Her first one, A Girl Called Jack, is one of my favourites.
It was supposed to arrive within 6 months or so but it didn’t, with no real explanation. Then there were odd updates, citing illness and depression as reasons the book wasn’t ready. There were long periods with no news, which made a lot of backers really angry. Quite a few demanded their money back.
We were asked for addresses but the book still didn’t come. In December it was apparently ready. However, Jack appeared to be signing and packing all the books herself, even dragging bags of them down to the post box! After all this, I was really excited when my copy finally arrived last week.
Having perused most of the recipes, my first impression is that it was worth the wait. I will be testing out some of her meals and will review the book in due course. It is not yet available in the shops, but is available for pre-order on Amazon.
Going gluten free
I have pretty much cut gluten out of my diet over the past month, which has hugely improved my IBS symptoms. I have been experimenting with making my favourite cake recipes gluten free. I have found that if I simply replace wheat flour with gluten free flour it can taste dry and a bit grainy. However, if I use 25% ground almonds instead of just gluten free flour it works a lot better.
Happily, I prefer Asda’s own gluten free flour to some of the more expensive branded ones!
A bit of xanthum gum also helps I am told, but I am a little nervous about that aggravating my digestive system as well.
I already posted about making Nigella’s banana loaf this way. This time I made a gluten free fruit cake, which wasn’t bad. I think it needs less time in the oven that when it is made with wheat flour, however, as it was slightly dry. Next time I will cut the time down. Baking my own gluten free stuff is cheaper than buying it ready-made, for sure.
Facebook may have been getting a lot of bad publicity this week, but Facebook Marketplace is still pretty popular here at Shoestring Cottage. In my last Five Frugal Achievements post, I wrote about listing some items for my parents on there. I have managed to sell five items in the past couple of weeks for them.
This week I have been buying. I have found a really nice king size iron bed frame for £50. We will be going to collect it at the weekend. Once we are sure it is OK, we will be looking for a bargain mattress, so if you have any recommendations…..
Planning a holiday
As winter drags on into spring, the only thing was to book a holiday! We haven’t booked an expensive trip to the Maldives, just a week in Norfolk. It’s so nice to have something to look forward to and north Norfolk is so lovely. We got mates’ rates as it is a friend’s cottage.
If we get some sunshine whilst we are away it would be wonderful. Even if we aren’t lucky with the weather there is a lot to see and do in the area.
I have said before that I get a lot of my work clothes from Everything5pounds.com. The clue as to why is in the name! You can get an awful lot for your money at £5 an item. They are general high street and generic brands. I have rarely received anything I wasn’t happy with and I have made four or five orders.
I am quite picky about what I buy and get several items at a time to make the postage worthwhile. I have just put in an order for 3 work tops and a skirt – not bad for twenty quid! My daughter bought a playsuit, an amazing pair of boots and a couple of cute pyjama sets.
So these are my five frugal achievements this week. How have you managed to save money?
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