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Oooh, my title is a little depressing! We are in the depths of winter here in the UK. The weather’s not too unkind, but it’s so dark. I am not a fan of short, dark days and long for the spring at this point of the year. I need to take my own advice for dealing with the winter blues in this post I think! Anyway, I thought it was a good time for a no spend January update.
I am enjoying my no spend January so far. It doesn’t feel difficult not to spend any money. There is plenty of other stuff I can be getting on with.
I am inspired to be as frugal as possible at this point in the year. Keeping our costs low now mean we will reap the benefits later in the year when we have the money to spend on what makes us happy! With that in mind, here is my five frugal things round up for the week.
Kick Starting my holiday fund
When it’s so dark and depressing, planning our holidays keeps me going. We are looking at going back to Wales, as we do most years, but possibly also have a foray into Scotland. I fancy the west coast, but there are so many lovely places it is hard to decide.
This week I downloaded the Chip app**,which automatically puts money aside in small amounts to help you reach whatever your financial goals might be. The money will go towards our holiday spending!
New customers can get a £10 welcome bonus by downloading Chip using my promo code, SHOESTRING10**. I wrote a post explaining how it works here, so give it a read and get your finances in order this year.
Shopping at Aldi
I did have to top up with fresh fruit and veg, milk, bread and other perishables in Aldi this week, but I only spent £35. As planned, I am trying to use some of our food stores. Even though the canned and frozen food lasts a long time, it’s good to rotate it, so I am pulling things from the back.
We still have a good Brexit stockpile! No shortage of provisions here. However, I won’t let them go down low at this point as it seems Brexit will very soon be upon us and who knows what will happen.
Aldi is so much cheaper than everywhere except Lidl, which is similarly priced. I prefer the whole set up in Aldi, as I explained in my post Aldi vs Lidl? Most of you seemed to agree.
Last week I mentioned that I had rescued some black bananas from my daughter and planned to make some vegan banana and chocolate muffins. I did, and they tasted delicious, but due to a general lack of organisation they didn’t rise as much as they might. This is because I was trying to cook a roast dinner at the same time and they had to wait for the oven.
I also ran out of muffin cases, so had to make one large cake too. This has been stored in the freezer for another time. A reader asked for the recipe. My friend sent me it and I think it came from a Dove’s Farm cook book. The recipe calls for half gluten free flour, but I used the ordinary stuff.
Here it is:
4.5 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups golden caster sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1.5 cups of almond or soya milk
1.5 cups rapeseed or sunflower oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
Half bar of dark chocolate, chopped up (it doesn’t say the weight, so I went for 50 g)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and place the muffin cases on a tray. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add the bananas, milk, oil and vanilla and mix well. Then add your chocolate chunks and stir through. Spoon the mix into the cases and bake for 22 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.
These are nice, and ideal if you are doing Veganuary!
McJane breakfast wrap
My eldest daughter loves a McDonald’s breakfast, particularly their cheese and bacon wraps. I pointed out to her that these would be ridiculously easy to make and save her time and money.
It was easy enough to prove my point when I found some Mediterranean style pitta breads in Aldi. They are much softer than the usual pittas you can buy; very similar to the wraps used by McD’s, in fact. Plus they only cost 85p for six.
I grilled some bacon, warmed the pitta slightly so that I could cut it in half, then filled it with the bacon and some cheese and toasted it until it was melted. Quite delicious! Not very, very healthy, though, so I will try not to get too addicted!
Reading for fun
I have one that I got for my Kindle that is super perfect for this month, so I have started reading The No-Spend Challenge Guide: How to Stop Spending Money Impulsively, Pay off Debt Fast, & Make Your Finances Fit Your Dreams*. My first impressions are that it is going to be an inspiring little read, but I will write a full review once I have finished and share it on my books page.
I got this for free as I took out a 30 day free trial on Amazon Kindle*. Better read it before it runs out! Although it is only £7.99 per month to continue it so I might….
If you are on a no spend month, how is yours going? Been tempted to spend or are you focusing on saving money in 2020? As usual, I’m linking up with this Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Frugal Friday’ linky.