Christmas Jumper

So, someone has a “wear a silly jumper to work” day tomorrow, and was going to buy an acrylic monstrosity for the best part of thirty quid. Instead I persuaded him that I could make him a Christmas jumper using an old item of clothing and synthetic felt.

I ended up finding a craft activity in the shops which just required sticking pre-cut shapes to other shapes to make a snowman and Santa which were then meant to go on sock shapes. Instead I stuck them to the jumper and made a tree, holly and present out of some of the sock fabric. And for the heck of it I just sewed one of the sock sections onto the back of the jumper. The top is open, so there’s scope for putting sweets in it, for bizarre novelty value.

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For a quick and cheap solution I think it turned out quite well! (yes, I am aware it’s ridiculous!)

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November ninety, days 2, 3 & 4

Total spend so far this month still £0. 

I did go out on Saturday, just to give my friend a present and card, but fortunately I was able to make a present and adjust a notelet card I already had to make into a birthday card. I counted on the recipient either having as childish a sense of humour as me, or being polite enough to pretend.

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I wasn’t feeling particularly sociable so just asked for a glass of tapwater when a round was being got, and left after drinking that, so the whole £90 is still intact so far, although my dental check up is on Thursday, so that’ll definitely cut into over twenty quid and more if anything needs doing.


Happy Halloween, and end of the £100 challenge!

I made it in under £100. Hoorah, and so forth.

Although I bought two bags of Starburst sweets earlier in the month in preparation for Halloween, I do like to give trick or treaters a choice, so just popped to the market earlier today to get some clementines (or possibly they are something else. Small orangey-type things, anyway). The best deal I found was twenty small fruits for a pound, which I got, brought home and put in a nice trashy plastic purple bowl. That brings my final total for the month to £89.02.

I suppose a brief round-up is in order. My cupboards are looking a bit barer than they did at the start of the month, but truthfully it hasn’t been that hard so far. Several people have done much more severe/interesting challenges and written them up, a notable example being Kath Kelly’s How I lived a year on just a pound a day. I’m not ready for a challenge that long and difficult, but I will take on another challenge next month to try to complete the cupboard clear-out that has begun. Call it an Autumn Clean!

Sorry if this has been a bit of a boring read. If I were writing this blog in order to get lots of hits and score a book deal I’d try to have some exciting no-money adventures, maybe crashing some weddings or trying to fare-dodge to interesting places, however the main reason I’ve been keeping track on here is because it keeps me accountable. I’ve found it much easier to resist the temptation of buying things I don’t really need if I know I’d have to write it down for the world to see, so thank you to everyone who has read, liked and commented so far, and I hope you will join me for the November Ninety challenge!

Happy Halloween from me and the small orangey-type things!
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£100 challenge – day twenty-six

Big, exciting news, everyone! Are you ready?….. wait for it….

I finally cracked open one of the four Christmas puddings that have been sitting in my cupboard since January!

And the crowd goes wild! They didn’t expect that!

Yeah, sorry, my life is pretty boring at the moment. Instead of steaming the whole thing for hours when there’s no way I can get through 400+ grams of pudding in one go, and the packaging says not to reheat it, I just cut a couple of slices, lightly oiled my cast iron frying pan and put them on a medium heat for a few minutes each side. Sure, they were a bit chewier than Christmas pudding generally is, but I just drowned them in sauce (which included leftover chestnut and leftover pumpkin pie filling). Yum yum.

No spending again today. I’m still on £67.79 at the moment, but my oven has gone peculiar in the last few days, taking a very long time to come up to anything near baking temperature. I’ve been wanting a toaster/mini oven for years, especially just to heat a beanburger or two – obviously turning on a full size oven to do that is pretty wasteful. Now I’m thinking that if I carry over £30 to next month that can go towards something halfway decent – I’ve seen some “rotisserie” mini ovens around fifty quid, but they also come with shelves, and have a grill/broiler function, which I don’t currently have in my oven even when it’s working properly. It’d be nice to have the ability to brown the tops of things!

So, say I get the mini oven. That’s £20 from next month’s £90 straight away. Another £22ish for the dentist leaves me with £48. I also really want to go to another gig, which is going to be another £12ish. There are also Christmas fairs I’ve said I’m going to. My mother has pointed out to me (and this had genuinely escaped my attention!) that I’ll probably want to buy Christmas presents at these fairs. Even if there’s only a tenner’s worth of stuff from a fair that leaves less than £30 for food, and cupboards are noticeably emptier now, though I do still have a lot of gluten-free flour I bought to experiment with, pumpkin, squash and onions. Plus three and a bit Christmas puddings, of course.

Maybe I just cook everything on the stovetop for a while, eh?

Finally, here’s a leaf I found on my way into town some time back. I didn’t tamper with it, it was this shape when I spotted it. Pretty, huh?

heart shaped leaf


£100 challenge – day one

Total spent today = £0

If you divide £100 by 31 you get £3.22, and I thought I’d be generous and put £3.50 into my little purse. I knew I probably wouldn’t need it today though.

Instead, today has been a day of receiving free food. First, the manager at work who grows chillies she can’t eat had been harvesting some more of those plus a handful of runner beans, and this afternoon I received a prize box of goodies, courtesy of a Vegan MoFo competition and Vegusto

I promised to blog about the Vegusto, but I’ve still not decided what to do with most of it. Just to get the ball rolling I made a cheese and tomato sandwich from some of the piquant flavour no-muh cheese.

sliced tomato and shredded vegan cheese in a bread roll on a plate

it’s been a really long time since I ate dairy cheese. I’m not confident I remember what it tastes like, but this does seem to tick a lot of the same boxes. It reminded me of a cross between cheddar and something a bit harder that would have a rind on it. It’s not quite the same consistency if eaten on its own, but it was really nice in a sandwich, where all the textures blend together. What I appreciated about this was that it tastes thoroughly pleasant from start to finish, there’s no unpleasant aftertaste, which I’ve unfortunately noticed with a couple of other brands of vegan cheese sub. It also grated nicely, without leaving smears on the grater or crumbling.

Below is a picture of my total Vegusto haul. If anyone has any interesting recipe ideas please leave a comment, otherwise I’ll probably end up eating everything in sandwiches!

vegusto melty, mild and piquant vegan cheeses, two mushroom burgers and a vegan sausage.

I was going to do a full foodstuffs inventory today, but only got as far as the fresh stuff. At present I have (all weights are estimated):

About 400g carrots
1.7 kilos of potatoes
150g mushrooms
Maybe 5 kilos apples
4 lemons
6.5 kilos onions (I gave some away!)
2 tomatoes
A few runner beans
9 red chilli peppers
Half bulb garlic
Fresh coriander going to seed in a pot
Rosemary in a pot
Mint and bay in the garden.

Tomorrow I’ll make my way through the cupboards and freezer. I suspect it’s about time I overhauled my herbs and spices anyway…