50 ways to cut the cost of your household shopping

bank notes
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Hi everybody,

To celebrate there only being 50 days left till I become debt free I thought I would do a bumper post about how to save money on your household shopping!

Looking to cut the cost on your household shopping is one of the easiest ways to make savings to your spending. It is one of the areas we have the most control over, and therefore it is a good place to start.

Here we go.

  1. Store your food correctly. Not every fruit/vegetable needs to go in the fridge. Onions for instance are happiest in a cool dark place, though don’t keep them with your potatoes as both emit a chemical that will make both of them go bad twice as quickly. Onions love scurrying about in an old clean pair of tights (perverts) and will last for ages if there.
  2. Obey Use by Dates, but Best before Dates are just a guidance as to when the food will be at its best quality and may last for absolute ages after that date. I regularly make cakes out of tinned fruit that were BBE nearly 2 years ago and I’m yet to get sick. Use your judgement. If it looks fine, smells fine, tastes fine then it is fine. If it looks bad, smells bad and tastes bad then get rid of it. As for sell by dates if these still exist as there are calls to abolish them, they are just about stock rotation for a supermarket and have no other importance than that. Ignore them.
  3. Eggs can be fine long after their date. They way to check is to fill a glass with water and gently place the egg inside. If it just lays there at the bottom, then it is fine. If it sits up, it’s getting old and should be eaten soon. If it floats chuck it, it’s bad. Eggs should never be washed as their shells become porous in water, so only do this glass test if you plan on eating the eggs straight away.
  4. Buy a loaf of bread and freeze half of it. Use the fresh slices for sandwiches and the frozen slices for toast, they’ll defrost straight away on the toaster. Sometimes I ended up with a huge amount of frozen bread slices in my freezer so then I would make a savoury bread and butter pudding with eggs and cheese. Nice. That’s a bonus tip for you.
  5. Star drops is a miracle product. It sells in places like Home Bargains, Savers and on Amazon. I am only just beginning to find out all its uses. The simplest thing I use it for is as a surface cleaner. Diluting 1 part star drops to 9 parts water will turn it into a surface spray. Decant into an old spray bottle and bingo!
  6. Anti-bacterial wipes are convenient, but they are also expensive and bad for the environment. Following the tip above you could also buy some reusable dish clothes and use one every day and then throw it in the wash to reuse again.
  7. When you buy a nice jar of sundried tomatoes or similar in oil you can save the oil and use it in cooking. It will be nicely infused with the taste of whatever was contained in the jar and is one way to stretch your food budget better.
  8. Measure out your ingredients to prevent waste. 75g of rice and pasta is all you need for one person, especially if you are having other things with it. Therefore measuring out 75g per person when cooking will give you the right portion amounts and this means there won’t be any waste.
  9. A lot of people wax lyrical about reduced items. I tend not to bother too much with them but it is true you can get some good savings on them but think practically. Reduced items should be used on the day or frozen on the day ideally, therefore it is hard to plan your life and weekly food plan around them. When perusing the reduced aisle really think about whether you need the item and if it is going to be used in time.
  10. I live my life around meal planning. I base it around how much time I’m going to have on a particular day (so I’m not making a three course meal on a day when I’ve only got one hour to spare) and also on what needs to be eaten first and before it goes off.
  11. Eating up fresh items first means they won’t get wasted. Do not put your money in the bin.
  12. When times are really tough financially I tend to meal plan every meal, though in easier times I tend to just plan the dinners, though this usually extends over into lunches as I batch cook. During lockdown I once went two weeks before I had to go shopping again as I had fanatically meal planned and made use of everything in the cupboards.
  13. Batch cooking is my saving grace. I tend to spend either Sunday or Monday prepping a lot of meals for the week – Dinners like pasta dishes and curries, lunches like soups, breakfasts like overnight oats. This saves me so much time during the week as it means I can have a nice tasty meal ready at the ping of a microwave button and being able to take something into work means it keeps me out of the workplace canteen spending money.
  14. Batch cooking is a really good thing, but you must make sure to prep the food safely. Look up what things can be frozen and what can be kept in the fridge and for how long. You don’t want to throw away food that has gone off. Likewise you don’t want to get food poisoning and take time off work or spend it in hospital.
  15. Make sure to reheat leftovers to the correct temperature, to prevent the above maladies. 82 degrees is best. You can buy an inexpensive food thermometer to check the temperature.
  16. Using an oven for a long time uses a lot of energy and can be expensive, particularly if you are only heating up just one thing. Why not cook two things at once?
  17. Herbs and spices are a great way to make food taste better, but you can end up with a lot of them languishing in your cupboards for years, particularly if you buy one for a specific recipe and never use it again. Try seeing if there is a zero waste shop near where you live where you could buy a smaller amount of the desired herb/spice so that it won’t go off. This can often cost just pennies. Or try and learn a little bit about herbs and spices and see what ones can be substituted for another in a recipe and still give the desired taste.
  18. Personally I feel that herbs and spices are still good long after they’ve been opened. The taste may dull a little. I would find it a nonsense to still keep an herb for 13 years as I have heard in some cases, it’s clear you don’t need that one in your life. But I have been known to use herbs and spices a year past their best before date.
  19. Food can be an inexpensive and thoughtful gift at seasonal times. In Nigella Lawson’s ‘Nigella Christmas’ book she gives a recipe for making a gift of vanilla sugar – a literal jar of caster sugar with a scraped vanilla pod in. This can be a fun way to get children involved at gift making stage, and with placing the treats in a sterilized kilner jar with a nice ribbon it can look delightful. A nonfood tip would be to decorate the jars with paints or pens and make them look pretty that way.
  20. I recommend doing a food inventory once a month, ideally around the time of the first big shop of the payday that month. I get a notebook and write down everything in the cupboards, on the surfaces and in the fridge and freezer to get an idea of what I have, what needs to be eaten first, and what I need to replace of add. This saves me money because it means when I go to the shops I am buying what I need, I am not wasting food and I can come up with food ideas using what I already have in stock. Some people like to take a ‘shelfie’ which is a photo of your cupboards so that when you go to the supermarket you remember what you already have. Whatever works for you is best, but the premise is to get an idea of what you have. Oh, and get rid of those 13 year old spices.
  21. Facebook groups like ‘feed yourself for 1 a day’ and ‘scrimping on a budget’ are great low cost ways of getting ideas and tips for your food and meal plans. The members often post great low cost and kid friendly recipes, and something I often see is a member asking whether they can substitute a particular ingredient for another, or what they can make with the ingredients they have in.
  22. Save old vegetable scraps, celery stubs, carrot tops and peel, onion scraps, potato peelings etc in a zip lock bag in the freezer. When you have a large enough collection add to a large pan of water with black peppercorns, a bay leaf and bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour. Strain over another pan and you will have homemade vegetable stock and you can feel all smug and domestic goddessy. Add a chicken carcass and extend the process for about 2 hours and you will have chicken stock.
  23. Life is about treats as much as it is about being sensible with your money. There will always be something you won’t compromise on taste wise or brand wise. That is fine, I’m the same! I love ground coffee. I have a subscription to a coffee service. Not very frugal when a small bag costs much more than a larger jar of instant, but I won’t compromise on this, but there are things I don’t mind buying cheaper versions of and that’s how I make my savings.
  24. Having said that, when I do buy one of those large jars of instant coffee I wash the label off the jar and sterilize it in a dishwasher and I keep it to store things in, like nuts, lentils etc. My grandparents had exactly the same in their kitchen and when I see my appropriated coffee jars in my cupboards it always makes me think of them and smile.
  25. I relaunched this blog during lockdown. You may remember how hard it was to buy pasta and other grains. I thought I’d share what I adapted that situation with during that time. Cauliflower can be processed in a food processor or bashed about in a bag with a rolling pin to make cauliflower ‘rice’. Rice itself is quite cheap, perhaps cheaper than what rice can be produced from the average Tesco cauliflower, but if you can’t get rice but can get cauliflower then the rice is a nice carb type substitute.
  26. You might have seen ‘courgetti’ (spaghetti made out of courgettes) produced with a spiralizer, but spiralizers are quite expensive for something you might not need very often. Courgetti can be produced to a similar effect with a potato peeler. Again this is a carb type substitute and will count towards one of your five a day.
  27. Pearl Barley is a nice grain and can be used to make a ‘barlotto’ which is a risotto like dish just made with this grain instead. I made a really nice one once with a bag of frozen mushroom mix and it tasted great.
  28. The freezer is not a place for chicken kiev’s to go and die. It is also not just your random storage container. But it can be quite forgiving to odds and ends. Your ice cube tray is your friend. You can freeze individual portions of wine, herbs, hummus, and various other bits and bobs and store them in a bag and just throw in one or two when you’re making a sauce or similar.
  29. When you do store things in the freezer, label them. You don’t want to tip what you think is vegetable stock into a curry only to find out it is gooseberry sauce.
  30. Freezer bags can easily be reused. Don’t just throw them away. Wash them each time you use them. This will not only save you money but will save the planet too.
  31. Likewise tin foil can be washed and dried and used again, as can baking parchment. Sometimes it can’t be saved, but usually it is good for another one or two goes.
  32. Whatever you do on Pancake Day just make sure you don’t buy a packet of instant mix pancake batter. You can make this for literal pennies with flour and milk and egg. This does not require any fancy cooking skills, believe me if I could make pancakes at the beginning of my food cooking experiments then so can you.
  33. A portion of juice is 150ml. Only 150ml once a day counts towards your five a day. Therefore you do not really gain anything from drinking a pint of it. Measure out your 150ml, get your dose of vitamins, and then put the juice back in the fridge.
  34. Likewise a portion of fruit and vegetables is usually about 80g of fresh produce for an adult. You might benefit from having 125g of tomatoes if you are adding 35g of olives as combined that would be two portions, but likewise with the juice you can save loads of money across a few days if you measure out your portions.
  35. Milk that is on the turn can be used to make scones. Cream on the turn can be used to make butter. Yogurt on the turn is quite forgiving in smoothies, cakes and homemade frozen yogurt. Use your judgement, if it is bad don’t use it, but if it is just about fine then use it up and don’t waste it.
  36. Buying a 9p reduced bag of parsnips to then batch cook and make curried parsnip soup is a great way to play the reduced food cabinet to your advantage. This is where buying from the reduced section can save you huge amounts of money, but you do have to be prepared to use the food straight away.
  37. Cooking food often extends its shelf life a little longer, so if you buy reduced fish or meat it is wise to either freeze it straight away or cook it straight away. Anything else is a bit risky.
  38. A small glass of wine is 125ml, a medium glass is 175ml, a large glass is 250ml. Getting wine glasses that have measurement lines on them is a great way to practice portion control and make that bottle last longer. Or use a set of kitchen scales. Simply put the glass on the scales, set it to zero, then measure out your required amount. Of course, I’m not saying you need to do this on a good night out/in, live a little! But if you are having just a random glass during the week measuring it is a good place to start.
  39. Wrap hard cheese in baking parchment to keep it from going sweaty in the bag. And then follow the practice of an earlier tip and reuse the baking parchment after that use.
  40. Worried about the eggs in your fridge might have gone off? Place it gently in a glass of water. If it stays on the bottom it is fresh. If it stands upright it’s a bit old and should be used quickly, if it floats you should chuck it. Eggs become porous after coming in contact with water so only do this if you are sure you’re about to use the eggs.
  41. If you’re vegan you might give making your own oat milk or almond milk a try. Don’t throw away the pulp once you’re done. Use it in cakes, flapjacks or overnight oats. It’s still perfectly edible.
  42. Dried lentils and other pulses are a fraction of the cost of tinned, but you must be sure to cook them correctly otherwise they can be poisonous. Usually they require an overnight soak and then a cook for about an hour for them to be edible. You might not be bothered about going to this much effort and will just stick with tinned but there are serious savings to be made.
  43. Both Tesco and Holland and Barrett do a dried soya vegetarian protein product range which when prepped correctly is similar to Quorn mince. This is a good way to make a saving.
  44. An economy bottle of bath foam decanted into an old hand wash dispenser and watered down slightly is an easy way to get cheap hand wash.
  45. Tinned fruit is a great addition to cakes, I made a lovely coconut and mango cake using an old tin of mango. I then used the syrup of the mango to mix with icing sugar and drizzle on top. Don’t be afraid to use every part of a food item.
  46. Most of the good nutrients in a vegetable is in the peel, so buy a nice vegetable scrubbing brush and get into the habit of pre-scrubbing your vegetables and then using every bit of it.
  47. If you have the space for it and are a keen gardener why not start a composting patch? That way you are repurposing your food waste. Or see if there is anyone you can donate the waste to such as a local allotment.
  48. If you are a keen baker you might want to look into wartime cook books which would should you how to make dishes when there was very little available due to rationing. Museums and of course online retailers are good places to find such delights.
  49. Personally I think some things are worth investing in and paying more for. Ice cream is one such item. A sign of a good ice cream is if it was to melt it would taste and look like a delicious milkshake. If however it looks like the cream has separated and gone watery, then this is a bad ice cream and isn’t worth bothering with.
  50. Herbs and spices are an inexpensive way of lifting flavour in a dish and making your food taste great. The ones I can’t live without are basil, chives, bay leaves, oregano, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, mixed spice, cinnamon, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, paprika and ground black pepper. They are perfect for making bland and simple dishes taste amazing.

So there we have it, 50 ways to cut the cost of your household shopping. Thanks for joining me on the 50 day countdown to being debt free.




Banana Loaf Cake


Banana Loaf Cake

Hi everybody,

I’ve finally given in to the call of lock down bingo and made banana bread.

I have jazzed mine up slightly, to make use of things expiring in my cupboards. This is always the way, I usually end up creating a recipe to make use of things I have in stock.


225g self-raising flour

60g soft brown sugar

75ml rapeseed/vegetable oil

3 squishy bananas

50g coconut, ground

75g dates, chopped

A splash of water

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. mixed spice

2 tsp. baking powder



Mix the dry ingredients – flour, spices, coconut, and baking powder – in a bowl.

Add the chopped dates to a pan with some water and heat up until it forms a paste.

Mash the bananas together, then add to the dates and add the oil.

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.

Add to a lined and/or greased loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool (if you can contain yourself) then eat!


Spending Diary 29th June to 5th July 2020

Hi everybody,

Welcome to another week in the life of Flo’s wallet!

I’ll take you through my spending.


Today is a glorious day because today is pay day! Is there any better day? Who knows? I spent some time paying off my credit card bill this morning that was £117.19. This is just a credit card I use to do some flexible payments, I always pay it off in full on pay day. My goal for July is to not use it at all, let’s see how that goes!

I also transferred money into my sinking fund pots on Monzo. A sinking fund is where you put money aside each month for an expense that happens at irregular periods, such as annual things like insurance, Christmas etc. Or you could also have a pot you put money in for things like ‘Car repairs’, so you always have money set aside for when you need to buy new tires or similar. My pots on my Monzo card include Christmas, Home Insurance, TV License, Water Bill, Web Domain Names and Word Press. So I transferred what I put into them each month and that left me with £100 spending money for the month.

I needed new moisturisers so I took advantage of a voucher Cult Beauty had sent me for 15% off my first order. I’ve been really eager to buy from them. I chose two moisturisers, a day one and a night one, from a company called Versed and that came to £30 but after discount it was £25.50. A bit more than I would have liked to have spent but my friend who knows everything and anything about skincare had recommended some products to me previously and my skin cleared up immediately so I wanted to continue trying products she recommends.

I had £20 come out of my account as my first deposit for a mail order wine company. This will be split on the food bill as the flat mate benefits from the wine as well. I ordered my first crate with them last month and have loved it! I don’t think I’ll continue with this after lockdown is over and I’m back working in the office, just because I think it would be too difficult to order wine to be delivered, but it is nice for now.

I went to the shops as I have the day off work and bought cleaning supplies in Savers which came to £18.85 that will be split with the flat mate on the food and household shopping budget. I also bought myself a few beauty supplies in the same store, which came to £9.95.

I then went to Tesco and it’s hard to say what I bought that made the cost of the shopping come to £69.28, but nowadays nothing surprises me price wise during lockdown. It was a big food stock up shop. The shopping included a 1kg tub of peanut butter, loads of different herbal tea bags as I have finally used up my complete stash in lockdown, and various tins and long life stuff. I made sure to buy a jar of jalapenos just in case I get another craving to spend all my money on a Domino’s again.

I then went and bought the flowers I will be sending to someone for their birthday. The flowers and card came to £27.98, they were worth it.

I’m going to have to be a bit careful with money as I’ve now spent most of it and still have some birthday’s to come this month and the takeaway I need to get my flat mate in exchange for branding work. I have enough money for all those things, it’s just if I get a sudden impulse to buy a bunch of random crap that I’ll get in trouble! And it would be really nice to not use the credit card this month.

All in all an expensive day, but pay day usually is a spendy day isn’t it? Everyone is excited about having money again so goes and buys the things they couldn’t just the day before. And I really do have everything I need now.


It was back to work today. I had a lot of stuff to catch up on from having the day off yesterday. There were a few things to wrap up as it was the end of Quarter 1 at one and that means soon I’ll be having a review with my line managers about how it has gone. There were a few niggly tasks to do as well. At lunchtime I did a strength session, mainly bodyweight exercises. After work I ran a 5km which brings my mileage for this month up to 75 miles. Go me! I’m going to reflect on the goals I set myself for June. It was a bit of a mixed bag. Some stuff I didn’t do at all and a lot of the things I did do was a real rush to get done in the last week of June. I hope I’m better prepared in July.

I made a huge lasagna on Sunday where the main ingredient was carrot. It’s because I had a load of sad looking vegetables at the bottom of the fridge I had forgotten about and I didn’t want to waste them. I’m a big fan of batch cooking, making that lasagna has taken care of dinner for three days in a row. It’s a nice little treat to have a nice dinner to look forward to each night.

In the end I didn’t spend any money today, woo hoo.


I had a few things come out of my account today. I had my monthly crate of craft beer be taken from my account. That was £26.90. I also had my subscription to Tribe protein bars come out, that was £22. Finally I had a £20 amount be taken which took me a long time to figure out what it was. I later realised it was another deposit to the mail order wine company because I had tried to change my payment date to the beginning of the month not the end, and it had taken the payment twice. Oh well, at least my wine fund is nicely funded now. All of these will be split with my flat mate, so the £68.90 is actually £34.45.

The water bill finally arrived, the post has been a bit slow obviously because of lockdown. It was less than I was expecting, by which I mean it was similar to the last bill’s amount and I figured it would be more since the flat mate and I have been at home full time for three months. My share of the bill was £110.70. It is my flat mate who has the account set up to pay it so I left it for him to deal with.


The beer delivery came today, as did my order of moisturisers. I love getting post, even if it is stuff I knew I had ordered.

The flat mate and I split the final portion of lasagna and had it with sweet potato wedges and broccoli. We have now run out of some things and I expect we’ll be hitting the shops at the weekend, we should really go back to food planning and making sure we use up what we have in stock first.

On my run today I went a route that would go by a postbox so I could post the letter to my Grandpa. The run streak I’ve been doing has really helped me be creative about fitting in my runs, such as doing my errands on the run. I probably wouldn’t have figured that out if I hadn’t decided to do a run streak.

At work it is another colleague’s birthday soon and I’ve been in charge of organizing their gift. I’ll leave the amount out of this in case the work colleague reads this, but I’ll include my share in the week’s total. I had nearly all of the other team member’s shares come back into my account so I am now nearly fully funded again.


I missed out on tickets to see Fontaines DC in my home city, boo. I didn’t think it would sell out that quickly even though everyone said it would. To cheer myself up I bought a ticket to see Echo and the Bunnymen next year, a band I’ve always wanted to see since getting into them. The ticket was £54.15. I made sure to sign up to insurance on the ticket. If this year has taught me anything it is that you never know what is going to happen!

The flat mate wanted something nice for dinner, so off he went to the shops and came back with take away style pizzas and a whole bunch of other unhealthy stuff. Yummy. He spent £24.55 in one shop and £8.40 in another, but we will split the costs. The pizza was so big that I could only eat half of it which is unheard of for me. We watched wrestling in the evening. I had already gone for my run that day. A good thing too because that pizza really was huge.

My friend is going to be copy editing some written work of mine. I wanted to pay her for her work but she wasn’t keen for whatever reason. We eventually compromised on a donation to a food bank in return for her services, so I sent £33 to my city’s local food bank tonight.

I probably didn’t imagine when I woke up today that I would spend all the money I did, but I feel everything I bought has had a good value.


I woke up late, boo. I had a quick coffee and breakfast then I ran into town. I was under the belief my bank was open, I had checked online yesterday. When I got there however it was very much shut. But at least I had gotten my exercise in for the day.

On the way back from the ill-fated trip to town I stopped off at the shops to pick up tomato ketchup for my flat mate because last night with dinner he was devastated when he discovered he didn’t have any ketchup. He really was devastated! So I bought him some today to cheer him up.

I had a zoom session with my book writing masterclass, and then I spent about 2 hours finishing a course on Duolingo that I was really struggling with. I’m learning French, technically I have a GCSE in French, but that was 15 years ago and it was a mediocre grade C so I definitely wouldn’t say I am skilled in the language. To be honest I think Duolingo is a better teacher than any actual teacher I had in high school. One teacher would write the lesson on the board and not even speak to the class during the lesson at all. That same teacher also once didn’t show up to class and we all bunked off and it was never discovered. No wonder I did so poorly.

I had another zoom call in the evening with friends from work. My poor phone got a bit overworked today, I’m always having to charge it. My laptop is over 9 years old and I’m amazed it still does anything at this stage, though there is an awful lot it doesn’t do. I would love to get a new laptop but that is a far off purchase for when I am richer which is probably going to be never. Oh well. I can dream.


Disaster. I woke up at 12:30pm. I didn’t go to bed till after 1am but I am still disappointed with this waking up time. I have got to get my sleep under control again. I always struggle to sleep well in summer.

I went for a small run with my flat mate, then I made some banana bread. I made banana bread all the time before lockdown but I almost refused to make it during lockdown because it’s one of the lockdown bingo things to do. But I love banana bread and I had three bananas turning black and squishy so it had to be done. I jazzed it up with coconut flakes and dates, yummy.

I will be doing my pub quiz in the evening with my siblings, and other than that I have no plans for the rest of the day. I’ve already done my 5 French lessons on Duolingo, je suis chez moi is the latest sentence I’ve learnt (I am at my place). I might watch Rocky III in the evening with my flat mate, and eat some banana bread of course.

So with that I will sign off the week.


FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £212.78 / £106.39 (my half)









Spending Diary 22nd to 28th June 2020

Hi everybody,

I hope you are all well. I had a really good week, though my wallet took a bit of a beating.

I’ll take you through my week.


I had the day off work today. I booked off every Monday in June. It was definitely what I needed at the time of booking them off but I’m actually looking forward to when I go back to a 5 day working week again. I did a really nice run and had leftover salmon curry for dinner which was lovely. I had a meet up on zoom with the people in my book writing masterclass which went very well. In terms of spending I have run out of the products I previously ordered from Lush and I was really debating whether to buy more as they are great, but they are expensive. In the end I caved and bought another small bottle of American Cream conditioner and a small pot of Ultrabland cleanser. The bigger sizes are better value for money, but I can’t afford that upfront cost at the moment. The Lush order came to £26.95. I also saw that my subscription to SMOL laundry capsules came out, so they will be coming to me in the post. They are £3.85, but that will be split between the flat mate and me. We are now over the food shopping budget and will have to sort that out at the end of the month. Because I’m having trouble sleeping I decided to take advantage of that and stayed up late to watch Call Me By Your Name on Film 4 as I had heard it recommended on the radio. Such a beautiful film.


My subscription to Pact coffee came out of my account today. I order one bag of coffee from them each month and they are divine. I love trying new things, even if they are on the small scale. That was £7.95 but it goes on the food shopping budget, so we are still over budget. I did such a big shop on Sunday though that I won’t really need to buy anything for the rest of the week, if I’m careful. It was back to work today and I had a really productive day. After work I went for my daily run, 5km today. I ran nearly 4km yesterday running to and from the pharmacy, I find doing things like literally running my errands means I can fit the exercise in. I made a pizza dough from scratch and covered it liberally in anchovies and olives, a taste not everyone will enjoy but I love.


I felt really nauseated today. It was the hottest day of the year in the UK and I was just melting. My sourdough started had exploded everywhere as well, I guess that means it’s really active. I had to pick up a new prescription so I did my same run commute to the pharmacy to pick it up. I felt terrible when I first started the run and walked a couple of bits, but I felt much better as the run went on. I didn’t spend any money today either, yippee!


My flat mate went to a big supermarket and picked up a wide selection of non-alcoholic beers. The ones I bought from Flavourly last month were great but very expensive, they cost more than my crate of alcoholic beers did! I knew the big supermarket would be cheaper. He came back with £31.40 worth of beers for the both of us, so in the end it was a similar spend but we did end up with many more so it was cheaper. As part of my book writing masterclass I had been watching videos with special guests and one is a writer called Penny Haslam who has written a book called How to be a little bit famous about self-promotion, so I decided to buy the Kindle version of that for £6.02, saving £2.59 on the print edition. I also took out a mini trial subscription to Women’s Health magazine as I had been looking out for a good deal and saw a ‘3 issues for £3’ deal. I had been considering buying a copy in the shops as I have been really craving reading it, so buying 3 issues for £3 and delaying the gratification was a much better deal than just buying one issue for £4.70 or however much it is.


Today I put forward my contribution to a joint gift which I will include in my weekly total and not here as I don’t want the giftee to see. I did that through Monzo which I absolutely love for helping me manage my money. I went for my usual run after work, the same 5km route I usually do. I did a strength session and some Duolingo French lessons and I watched some Netflix. I had a small dinner that wasn’t actually that nice as I had overcooked the salmon, bleurgh. It’s weigh in day for me tomorrow. I don’t do slimming world or any nonsense like that, but I did used to go to it once upon a time and one principle I’ve taken from it is the weekly weigh in, so Saturday mornings are my weigh in day which I use to record my progress on the MyFitnessPal app, which is why I tend to be quite good on Friday evenings.


Had a rubbish night’s sleep. I really struggle in the heat and my sleep has fallen apart anyway so it was bad on both counts. I had insomnia the night before which did mean I was up till 2am finishing the book I was reading, so at least I was productive with my insomnia. I watched an old Euro 96 Germany versus England football match on TV, I had never seen it before but I knew how it was going to end. I went for my run after that. I ended up running at a very comfortable pace and really enjoyed it. If I can go at that pace tomorrow I should be able to do a 10km without too many problems. I wrote a bit in the morning, I did loads of lessons on Duolingo and I made store cupboard fish cakes. I’m going to chill in the evening. I’m going to start compiling a shopping list for when I get paid as we do need more things but I am trying to spend as little money as possible until then. I have plenty of food but will probably go to the shops on pay day. I’ve really been craving jalapeno’s, especially on a pizza. I nearly ordered a Domino’s on Tuesday as I was craving these so much. I just made a pizza instead.

I caved in to another magazine deal, this time three issues of Women’s Running magazine for £5. I hope I have time to read all these magazines! This was a bit of an impulsive purchase, but it was another thing I was going to buy just after I had found a good deal.


And another week draws to a close. I don’t plan on spending much money today, well, truth be told I don’t plan on spending any money. But I’ve said that before! Tomorrow is pay day and I really want to end the month in good financial health with some money in my account.

I have been putting things on my credit card this month. I keep a track of every single purchase and incorporate it into my spreadsheet of bills so that I know to pay it off as soon as I get paid. I spent £117.19 on my credit card this month and it is all listed ready to be paid off as soon as I get paid. I am in control of my money at this point and I never spend more than I can afford to, so I am not concerned by spending money on my credit card. It is more about being flexible with when I buy things, though my goal for next month is to not use the credit card at all.

I’m going to sign off this week as completed spending wise. I’ll take you through what I’ve spent.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING = £43.20 / 2 = £21.60



That’s better than I thought it would be this week! Right, I’m off to do a food plan and bake some bread and think about how I’m going to use up all those sweet potatoes and carrots I bought.



3 Flour Pizza Dough

Hi everybody,

I really fancied a pizza on Tuesday, but didn’t want to go to the shops for just that, so I decided to make a dough myself. It was such a hot day that I didn’t think it would take long to make the dough rise, I was right, it was ready when I came back from my run.

As we all know in the UK flour was highly in demand and I tend to buy it as soon as I see it, so I had some wholemeal flour I had never used before and I thought why not give it a try now Flo?

So I did!


100g plain flour

100g bread flour

100g wholemeal flour

1 tbsp. olive oil

195ml warm, not hot, water

¾ tsp fast action dried yeast

MAKES ONE HUMUNGOUS PIZZA (I don’t believe in portion control) or 2 smaller pizzas


Mix all the flours and yeast together

In a jug mix the water and oil

Add the water/oil mix to the flours/yeast and bring together

Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes

Add a tiny amount of olive oil to a mixing bowl, and mix it around the sides

Add the dough to the oil bowl, cover with a tea towel and wait for it to rise in a warm place


After about an hour check to see if the dough has doubled in size, wait until it has

If it has then bring it back to your floured surface, knock back, and then roll into shape

I’ll admit I had what would very accurately be described as a large pizza so you could make a larger amount of small pizzas

Either way shape out and then decorate to your hearts content

Place on a baking tray in the oven and cook until it is how you like it

I tend to put it on about 200 degrees

Salmon Curry

Hi everybody,

I tend to get a little bit sad if I don’t eat a curry at least once a week, so here is one I made from a few days ago.


1 tbsp. olive oil

2 white onions, chopped

1 tablespoon lazy garlic (or two cloves)

1 tsp lazy chilli

1 tsp lazy ginger

2 x 400ml can light coconut milk

100g frozen sliced peppers

3 frozen salmon fillets

2 tbsp. tomato puree

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp cumin

200g frozen peas




Heat the oil in a large pot and then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and onion and spices

Cook, being careful not to burn

Add the coconut milk, frozen vegetables, frozen salmon, tomato puree and cook all together

It was ok cooking the salmon from frozen in the pot but I didn’t serve it up until I had checked it with a food thermometer making sure it was ready

Dish out into the waiting diners bowls, or if like me you’re batch cooking then dish them out into Tupperware’s and eat one for your dinner

Black Treacle and Date Bars

I fancied making a sweet treat today, and I impulsively had bought a tin of black treacle during the start of lockdown, so I decided to make the most of it now. It turns out my pack of dates, also bought on impulse during lockdown, and were nearing expiration, so it was good to use them up too.


250G self-raising flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. mixed spice

1 tsp. cinnamon

175g dried dates, chopped

100g black treacle

80g vitalite

80g coconut oil

100ml warm water




Mix all the dry ingredients together

In a pan add the dates, vitalite, coconut oil, water and black treacle and cook over a low heat until combined

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together

Place in a greased and/or lined baking tin and cook at 220 degrees for about 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean


3 Tin Store Cupboard Fish Cakes


Hi all,

This is an update on the fish cakes recipe I posted back in April, I think this one is much better!


1 x tin of mackerel in olive oil

1 x tin of sardines in olive oil

1 x jar of anchovies

3 x potatoes, chopped, skins on

2 heaped tbsp. of plain flour




Chop the potatoes up small (so they cook quicker) and bring to the boil

Cook until they are tender

Drain, mash, then set aside to cool

Once cool open up all the tins and jars of fish and drain the olive

Mix the fish up so it is in smaller pieces, then add to the cool mash

Add the two spoons of plain flour and combine everything all together

Shape into 5 fishcakes

Place on a greased baking tray and cook in the oven on 220 degrees for about 30 minutes until crisp

Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce

65 Days

In 65 days time I will be debt free. I made my monthly credit card payment today which brought my debt down to £450. That’s probably the lowest I’ve ever had it since my debt began. I get closer.

Spending Diary 15th – 21st June 2020

Hi everybody,

Where does the time go?

This week started off frugal and then rapidly got a bit more spendy as the days went on. I’ll take you through it.


Another Monday where I had booked the day off work. I have two more Mondays like this in June to look forward to as well.

Sadly this day did not get off to a good start. I had missed a call from my Step Mum and she had left a message asking me to call her back. I had a feeling about what had happened. Sure enough my Step Mum told me that my 19 year old cat Skittles had passed away in the night. I spent most of Monday holding back tears. I loved that cat so much. But she had a good life and couldn’t have asked for more.

Other than my book writing course and a short run I didn’t achieve much of significance today. This is partly because my sleep has gone to hell recently and I am struggling to fall asleep at night, and as a result I wake up late in the morning. I’m really trying to work on it.


The flat mate wanted to do some shopping today, so he went to the shops and bought burger buns, cookies, dessert pots, breakfast biscuits, milk, bread, Pepsi, cucumber and rice. It was £13.93, so £6.96 for my half. The smol laundry tablets subscription came out of my account today as well, so that was £4.50 or £2.25 split between us.

I am still running every day, and learning French on Duolingo every day, but I don’t seem to be getting as much other stuff done as I was at the start of lockdown.


I did a 5.39km run today, my longest run in a while. I managed to get caught in a shower of rain, however I consider myself lucky because it had stopped when I got back to the house but my flat mate who had set out for his run after me ended up in a biblical storm and got absolutely drenched, so I can’t complain.

We’ve been making use of what is in the house food wise, though obviously we did the shopping yesterday. In general we do have a good stock of stuff in the house and can last with minimal supplies, which is good as we only have about £15 of the food shopping budget left now.


I had my most productive week at work this week. I have been really struggling with my mental health and it has greatly affected my productivity. I had a telephone counselling session with the employee assistance programme my employer has, and confided in my line manager, so both of those really helped me. It is always good to be open about things.


I suddenly remember I hadn’t got my Dad a Father’s Day present. I had sent him a card, but had completely forgotten about getting him a gift. I hurriedly bought him a CD off Amazon and sent it to his address. That was £11.38. I think he will really like what I bought him, it’s my favourite album by The Kinks ‘Arthur…’ and I had decided long ago that this would be a good gift for him. So although it was a hurried decision to make the purchase today, I did always have that CD in mind.


My oldest niece is learning Japanese in lockdown, and as I am learning French I really wanted to support her learning, so I had decided to get her a Japanese dictionary. However, to keep things fair between all my nieces and nephews this meant I had to get her brother a book, and I also purchased a game for my other set of nephew and niece. The books were £15.28 and the game was £17.48. I can’t really afford these purchases, but I do want to show them kindness as lockdown isn’t easy for anyone.

We all had a pub quiz on skype with them later, I can’t wait for the deliveries to arrive to them all.


I had to get up early to have a phone call with my personal trainer, I mean, early for me. I’ve been struggling to wake up before 9.30am and the phone call was for 9.30am, so getting up at 8.30am was a struggle. I was still awake at 12.30am. I really must work on my sleep, but I’ve been saying that for weeks.

As a result of getting up early I was able to go to the shops very soon after they opened, posting some letters to my family on the way. I’m really struggling to lose weight in lockdown, but I’ll admit I haven’t been making the same efforts as I have done previously. I bought without really having a plan in place, so I did spend more than I wanted to. I bought oranges, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potatoes, potatoes, bananas, carrots, tomatoes. I also bought anchovies, a large pizza, Greek yogurt, Pepsi, 4 tins of chopped tomatoes, spices, orange juice, coconut milk and eggs. I should have had a plan in place, oh well. The shopping was £28.81 but I used £8 of club card vouchers in Tesco to bring it down to £20.81 (£10.40 once split with my flat mate).

I also am all out of stamps so I bought a 12 pack of 1st class stamps for £9.12. That might last me a little while, though at the rate I write letters it probably won’t.

And with that I’ll bid you goodbye as I don’t plan on spending any more money for the rest of today, I really can’t afford to even if I wanted to.