Tag: inspiration

How to cook when you don’t want to go to the shops

Tips for when you’re too Sick, Tired or Broke to do a Food Shop

Budgeting, Food April 17, 2018

I’ve spent the last week with the flu and food shopping has seemed like an unachievable task. Here are a few ways to improvise with what you have and avoid going to the shops.

Use your Slow Cooker

Slow coolers are great for sickness because they require minimal effort on your part and you can throw in random ingredients and it somehow turns out edible! Use up vegetables you have lying around in casseroles and stews. You can make vegetarian versions if you have no meat in the house. I made a veggie chilli in mine with what I had left. If you season it well and add extras like chocolate and chilli flakes and coriander it won’t taste bland.

Make Minestrone

Soups are good in general for using up what you already have. I find I always have the ingredients to make minestrone, if nothing else. I always have tinned tomatoes, pasta and tinned or frozen veg even if I don’t have fresh veg. You can put anything you want in it: carrots, courgettes, peas or beans, corn, etc.

Top things with cheese

I find that even a dish made from simple ingredients tastes better with cheese on top. You can mix some into a rice dish or pasta to make it more substantial too. If you roast or fry vegetables and mix it with rice/pasta, oil and cheese it tastes surprisingly good for how little effort is involved.

Improvise with breakfast

If you don’t have essentials like bread or milk there are ways round it that don’t involve trailing yourself to the shops. Make porridge with water and liven it up by adding some butter and sugar/peanut butter/Nutella/honey and raisins, etc. Use old bananas to make banana bread for a breakfast treat. Make omelettes using whatever fillings you have on hand. Make your own cereal bars using oats, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, Rice Krispies or cornflakes, golden syrup, seeds, etc.

Add sauces and crispy toppings

Macaroni cheese is a good staple when you’re running out of food. You can also omit the cheese and make a plain white sauce. Use it over chicken or just with vegetables. Top with breadcrumbs, crackers or crisps and bake in the oven. This is a good way to use up stale ingredients too, as they will crisp up again in the oven.

Change your idea of what counts as a meal

A meal is something that fills you and that hopefully tastes good. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, or always contain certain ingredients, or have three courses. Sometimes my kids appreciate the simple things best, like a peanut butter sandwich, or hotdogs, or tinned soup. You don’t have to put pressure on yourself to follow a meal plan formula when you don’t feel like it.

 

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Ways to Have a More Peaceful Life

20 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Life

Activities For Adults, Mindfulness Tips, Self-Care March 21, 2018

I was getting snappy this afternoon; I’d had enough of the onslaught of requests from my kids. So, I decided to have a cup of tea in the garden and be still for a while. It’s windy but I’m wrapped up and watching the girls’ windmills go round in the breeze. Here are a few ideas of ways to have a more peaceful life:

1. Have a cup of tea and a biscuit in your garden.

2. Don’t allow housework after a certain time of the day.

3. Listen to Nick Drake and Tim Buckley.

4. Go to a place with shades of green everywhere and let it calm you.

5. Book appointments with yourself to have a bath, pamper yourself, go for coffee alone, read a magazine in its entirety. It is as important as obligatory appointments.

6. Have a long shower with lavender scented products (when your kids are asleep, if you have kids.)

7. Care about people’s problems, but be there without fixing everything for them.

8. Drink less caffeine and more herbal tea when you’re winding down for bed.

9. Make more time to read on paper instead of on a screen.

10. Do puzzles, crosswords and word searches.

11. Use your hands more and let your mind switch off. Start a picture journal or if words are your thing, write down all the beautiful details of your day.

12. Listen to recordings of sea sounds if you can’t get close to the real thing.

13. Learn about types of flowers and trees. Get books from the library and teach your kids too. Go for nature walks with them and identify them.

14. Make your own fairy garden or gnome garden. Use a pot if you don’t have a garden.

15. Take an umbrella and go for a walk in the rain. Let the rainwater wash away your worries.

16. Go for walks with no destination in mind.

17. Make your own bunting with fabric scraps or coloured paper.

18. Take a basket to the beach and collect pretty shells and stones.

19. Read books about mindfulness.

20. Make your own bread. Kneading it is cathartic and you can add any interesting ingredients you like.

Hope you manage to incorporate peacefulness into your day in little ways 🙂

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Ways to live a more frugal life that doesn’t suck

20 Tips for a More Frugal Life that doesn’t Suck.

How To Save Money UK, Living a Frugal Life February 23, 2018

Here are some simple tips to help you lead a more frugal life with fewer money worries and unnecessary expenses (without depriving yourself of everything enjoyable.)

1. Buy house plants instead of freshly cut flowers that will wilt after a few days. Although, if you’re like me it’ll be a miracle if the plants outlive the flowers.

2. Buy your kids’ toys second hand. My kids’ favourite toy is a dolls house I bought in a charity shop for £40 including dolls and furniture.

3. If you want to go out for lunch, go for picnic using items you already have in your house instead. Bring fresh coffee or hot chocolate in a flask.

4. Stop drinking fizzy drinks all the time. I always see people carrying around bottles of fizzy drinks, everywhere they go. Try and save them for treats and bring a reusable water bottle instead. Add cucumber, lemon or blueberries to ice cold water to make it more interesting.

5. Stop making going to shopping centres an outing. Go to a museum, a nature reserve, the library, a new park, or a friend’s house instead. You’ll feel like you have spent your time in a much more valuable way.

6. Buy own-brand cereals; most of them taste the same and are so much cheaper.

7. Replace half of the TV you watch with reading, going for a walk or making something. It will make you feel more satisfied and energised.

8. Only buy books you can’t order at the library/read as ebooks for free.

9. Compare cinema ticket prices before booking a ticket. Save it for films you are dying to see so it feels like a treat. Get a discount card if they have one, to get cheaper tickets, popcorn or drinks.

10. Stop feeling pressured to keep up with others. Who cares if their kid has more stuff than yours? They probably just feel overwhelmed by it all and are already learning to be materialistic.

11. Don’t make over-complicated meals with a huge variety of ingredients that go to waste because they are only used in one meal. Simplify your life in whatever ways you can.

12. Learn basic sewing skills so you can fix clothes rather than throwing them out/ make friends with someone who sews 🙂

13. Check in newspapers for free local events. You might find a one-off event you would have missed otherwise.

14. Exchange magazines with friends so you each only have to buy one but still get to read a variety.

15. Get rid of any TV channels you are paying for but never use. Save the extra money towards something you really want instead.

16. Start buying value range long grain rice. It is less than 50p and is really versatile. You can easily make sticky rice and I have also used it in risottos and rice pudding.

17. If you are going to eat out, have one course and have dessert or coffees at home or at a friend’s house after.

18. Instead of having wardrobes that are specific to each season, make a wardrobe that can be used year-round, by adding layers in Winter and taking them away in Summer. It saves you having to find storage space too.

19. Stop drinking juice like it is coming out of a tap; the goodness of the fruit is cancelled out by the sugar content anyway. Buy different kinds of tea instead: it will last longer and give you more variety.

20. Don’t deprive yourself of everything you want just to save money; you will only end up splurging at intervals instead. Find cheaper alternatives that still make you feel like you are treating yourself, without the financial fallout 🙂

Hope these tips give you some ideas to help you to have a more frugal way of life with less stress 🙂

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