Isn't the Yoga Cat calendar just the best? I found it in a charity shop for a quid! I just couldn't leave it behind.
During the past few weeks I've probably read more books recently than since my university days in a bid to live an ever thrifty and frugal life.
I noticed a few people, part of an online Facebook group (Frugal Homemaking and Living), discussing the Super Scrimpers book which is based on the channel 4 programme which aims to educate the nation in leading a money-wise way of life.
One evening, I thought, I'd quite like to read that book so I searched on my county's online library records to see what they had.
I was surprised to see a whole host of great titles including the semi recent cookery book called A girl called Jack which was made famous by Jack Monroe's blog which documented her survival of life living on the breadline of society.
I quickly, requested quite a few of these titles and thought what a better and certainly frugal way of gaining some new literature.
Some I've found better than others and some aren't saying anything particularly new but I certainly implore you to visit your local library or check out cheap book retailers such as The Works and even charity shops.
The first two I picked up were Mrs Moneypenny's financial advice for independent women and Ausperity live the life you want for less by Lucy Tobin.
I enjoyed some of Mrs Moneypenny's ideas but I didn't connect with many of her experiences or examples. You will recognise her from the Super Scrimpers programme and may be familiar with her journalistic work. For example in the book, it refers to private school and other areas of life which I feel many cannot relate to although her 'getting your finances in order' section was superb.
Lucy Tobin's book was very different to that of Mrs Moneypenny's and I very much enjoyed her humorous take on life and advice. I would recommend this to pretty much anymore who is interested in frugal or thrifty living as it was very relatable. I wrote down quite a few tips and ideas from this book and even the librarian commented on how good they found it when I returned it.
Then as a result of me requesting some other titles, many of them were ready for collection really quickly and at once. Meaning, I collected all the above books and set about reading through them.
My partner and I absolutely love the Save book by Jamie Oliver but I felt I needed to extend our
thrifty meal variety.
I was interested to read A girl called Jack by Jack Monroe, as it is written by a blogger and single mother who lived on a very small income.
I earmarked some of the recipes and off we trotted, well drove to Aldi. We've made one of the recipes so far called Spring Piggy. I probably chose that because I love bacon!
Please excuse my mess! I'm a messy cook oops.
It was pretty delicious and certainly easy. Many of the recipes lend themselves to one another so there's no waste which is a big aim in our household. I won't ruin it but the extracts are tear-jerking and the photography and recipes inviting. We have a few more to make but I may even actually buy this book to add to our bulging recipe book shelf.
We've also been reading the Thrifty cookbook which holds some great family favourites. We enjoyed the beef and carrot casserole with cheesy dumplings yesterday and are looking forward to making some savoy cabbage patties. I wouldn't say this book is rocket science or as inspiring as Jamie's Save, but it certainly contains some easy home made favourites and some interesting lunch ideas.
I also chose the Martin Lewis Thrifty Ways for Modern Days (2006) book which was inspired by the Moneysavingexpert website. I found it was a little dated in parts but still held terrific tips from the money saving legend that Mr Lewis is. It contained lots of ideas from the forums on the website, old style ideas and even recipes. It's good for those who need somewhere to start reading about money saving. It was a quick read though and gave us food for thought as I wrote down some of the simple rescipes such as a traditional banana loaf pudding. Although, the last one I made was as dry as the Sahara Desert lol.
The final two I'm still reading are The Frugal Life and Perfect Money Saving. I can't really comment too much on these but they're quite similar in terms of subject mater.
I've really enjoyed reading all of these texts and haven't spent a penny in doing so, well apart from the food we bought to actually make some of the meals. I wouldn't say I've learned loads of new stuff but it has given me some inspiration.
One other cookery book we both enjoy and I've owned for ages is called Mince which gives the reader lots of delicious recipes which of course involve the use of mince. I would recommend the enchiladas mmm just sayin'.
I'd like to embrace a more minimalist life going forward, so I've been clearing out clutter this month, chucking out make-up and making sure I'm not tempted in Boots or Superdrug or TKmaxx as these are the danger zones.
I've already made quite a bit of progress towards saving towards our future, be that a holiday to The Shetlands, an unplanned emergency or a general future pot. But I'd like to take it even further and see what things we can both achieve this year.
I'm feeling inspired- lets go with it.
There's plenty of other thrifty and frugal texts; just have a look on Amazon or Google.
Thanks for reading,