£100 challenge – day two

Today’s spend: £3.35

Total spend for month so far: £3.35.

You might think that as I decided to do this challenge at least a week ago I’d have sneakily bought things in preparation back in September, but part of my reason for taking this on is that I’m regularly buying things so I’m prepared to withstand going shopless for a good while. Maybe reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter several times in my formative years overly influenced me, or listening to my granny’s stories of wartime rationing? Why else would I have felt the need to buy four heavily-reduced Christmas puddings in January, knowing that since they’re  “eat before” next spring, I could be comfortably confident for months, knowing I had thousands of calories of dense, fruity, cake-like-substance to turn into pudding-and-custard ice-lollies, or chop up and wrap in pastry with some apples to make a sort of strudel, or perhaps crumble into melted chocolate to make easy, rich fruit truffles?

Of course, I haven’t done any of those things. While I like Christmas pudding fine, it’s in strict moderation, and since my cupboards are always well-stocked with lots of things I like more, I just haven’t got around to my grand plans yet.

I really didn’t need to buy food today at all, however I did need washing up liquid, so after work I took a walk across town to the Co-operative supermarket. I will always buy washing up liquid from them for preference, they were the first mainstream shop I was aware of that proudly boasted of not testing their cleaning products on animals, and made it clear when the products didn’t include animal ingredients either. I love that they continue to boldly splash this on the front of their packaging, including the value range, so you don’t have to pay a premium for following your conscience.
bottles of washing up liquid with yellow labels on a shelf.

On my way to the Co-op i had to pass the market. They had HUGE bowls of bananas going for 50p, at least fifteen bananas to a bowl! And bananas are always useful… I only had a pound left in my purse of £3.50 at this point because before that I had passed a Big Issue seller, so £2.50 went to buy a Big Issue. In case you’re from outside the UK, this is our street magazine sold by homeless or precariously-housed people. I can’t deny that it gave me a slight pang to hand over £2.50 for a magazine, but I know times are particularly tough for the vendors at the moment, and in case it sounds like I’m trying to make myself look noble at a relatively small cost, I fully acknowledge I do get a heartwarming glow from things like this which, in however small a way, are giving people a helping hand. So, it was money well spent because I got a glow, a smile from the seller, and a magazine to boot!

The weather in Leicester is dull and gloomy today. At work I ate a handful of hazelnut for breakfast, and when I got back home I wanted something warm and filling, but not too heavy, so I made an experimental banana cake with ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, and an apple-cinnamon sauce to go with it. Apart from a spoonful of molasses, the only sweetness in the cake comes from the bananas. It’s not quite right yet, so I won’t post a recipe. I’ve got plenty more bananas to experiment with though, and at least I’ve made a start on those apples now!



(Oh, and in case my mum is reading this I also did some jacket potatoes, and had some hummus and tomatoes, and I’ll be doing something with those mushrooms and the rest of the runner beans later. Don’t worry, I’m not living on cake!)