Wasting food, my secret shame

So, we’ve all read the articles and seen the TV programmes about food waste – 1.3 billion tonnes, was it? I read an article which said £60 a month is thrown away by the average family.

Okay, so I don’t throw away that much (being frugal-ish, £60 a month is over a quarter of my food budget) but I do throw food away. Last night’s victims were an elderly butternut squash (it’s crime was having lots of fuzzy, white mould or mildew on it, not just being elderly) and, the one that broke my heart, a honeydew melon that I had neglected then forgotten about. What’s that, £3 into the bin? Something like that.

So there’s my The Frugal Girl style confession – not quite food waste Friday but Saturday will have to do!

The one thing I do usually manage to save are the black bananas for banana bread –

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This one was a triumph – I think it’s the first one I’ve made that wasn’t soggy at the bottom, and it not only saved three bananas from the bin, it provided a less chemical laden snack for Mr Aspiring Frugalista to munch on over a few days.

I also like to donate to the local food bank run by The Trussell Trust – hey have drop off points all over the place and I was so glad to see that my local Tesco have FINALLY kept their donation point permanent this year. I’ve had tins etc that were bought in good faith for the hubs and when they remained uneaten (but still in date) they’ve been donated, rather than left to fester, go out of date, and never get eaten. If you can make room for a couple of pounds in your food budget to be spare, you’d be surprised what you can donate in food goods.

I’m also starting to frequent the Love Food Hate Waste site for ideas, and Abel and Cole have a great section on their site with veggie recipes, searchable by vegetable. Then of course, there’s the amazing A Girl Called Jack, whose site should be required reading for anyone wanting to cook on a low budget! She really can do so much with so little; and I admire the way she has used her success to benefit others and draw attention to the plight facing people on the poverty line.

And finally, please check out this Guardian article about food waste initiatives around the world – if nothing else it’s a really interesting read!

Thank you for reading, until next time!

 

Austere August Update #2

This week went much better than last, and although after our wee cycling trip where I paid for the parking I was still only left with one handsome pound, I made it through the week intact :) it really shows how much of my daily spending was just nonsense.

Mr AF and I are about to cycle into town to pick up some bits I forgot when shopping; today should be another no petrol day. I’m quite surprised how much petrol I’m saving by making the smallest of changes! A tank has lasted me two and a half weeks so far with plenty left. I do a lot of short journeys and I have been experimenting with hypermiling, mainly by trying not to use my brakes too much. I’ve been trying to judge my speed better and when to lift off to allow me to cruise around the corners sans brakes; slowing down not only helping my fuel consumption but reducing the likelihood of getting fined for speeding!

*edit to add- HOW DO PEOPLE CYCLE EVERYWHERE?? I’m knackered!*

How Do We Get Here?

I guess everyone in this position asks themselves this. How did I get here? How did I end up in this mess yet again after being bailed out or struggling my way out of it numerous times?

You spend too much, you idiot. It’s really not a mystery.

I was doing ok, overspending by a little every month but nothing major or exciting. Then my dog got sick. He’s not insured, as an ex racing greyhound who is also rather old, the premiums were extortionate. A hundred pounds here and there didn’t seem too bad until my savings had run out and I had a huge credit card bill. Then my other greyhound had to have a dental, and more money disappeared into the vet’s pocket.

Debt petrifies me; I come from a family who have always had savings, never overspent, were always careful with money and here I am, in a hole of debt.

Don’t get me wrong, it could be a whole lot worse. But yesterday I went into Tesco for a loaf of bread and came out £15 lighter, including a magazine I grabbed and didn’t realise until later cost £7.99. I could buy a book for that.

I think that’s the crux of the matter…mindless spending. My fiancé said later that he thinks that’s my problem and for a Lancashire man to open his mouth and make a comment like that, you have to sit up and listen.

The idea of this blog is to hopefully keep me on track to clear my debts as quickly as possible and to explore different ways of doing things, to find something that makes sense, and works.

Here goes, to the frugal life!