Frugal Fridays #20

I think the lesson at the top of the list for thrifty living is to readily accept free stuff. Not always, because some items will provide no use to you whatsoever. But if something comes along that you favour, or enjoy or can make use of, pride should not stop you from accepting free items. This edition of Frugal Fridays highlights all the lovely items that have come into my possession lately, for free!

IMG_0416

My housemate was clearing through her kitchen cupboard yesterday and pulled out this box of tea. It’s not one I’ve tried before, but seeing as tea is rationed, I saved it from the rubbish pile and snaffled it away.

IMG_0415

In another free stuff story, other housemates purchased a bag of potatoes this week. The supermarket had run out of loose potatoes, so they bought a huge bag instead. I found it a bit bizarre, seeing as they are only staying for a couple of days. But it meant good fortune as the remaining potatoes were gifted to me. My ration recipe books provide dozens of recipes for potatoes, as you can imagine, so these will go a long way I’m sure.

It’s two sides of a coin really. On one hand, I wish everyone was sensible and thrifty and didn’t waste unnecessarily. But on the other hand, I do benefit from other people’s flagrant behaviour. Is that bad?

In other frugal happenings, the chap returned from yet another adventure with yet another gift. I am now the proud owner of this exotic range of spices.

IMG_0421

I’m already imagining all the dishes that can be flavoured with this mix, but the one I’m particularly interested in is this one:

IMG_0422

Is Turkish Saffron different to regular saffron? I can see Paella happening in the near future.

Fuel for the day

Monday is shopping day. It’s the day I trawl around several different shops in order to get the best prices for my weekly rations. I love it. Shopping is a wonderful hobby, it never feels like a chore to me. From my unscientific research, it seems to be that males do not like taking them time perusing a shop and its wares. It’s more of an in-out-get-out-as-fast-as-you-can sort of job. But me and a girlfriend spent an hour this morning hopping from one store to the next and it was glorious.

But as today was shopping day, I woke up this morning with a dilemma. No apples for muesli, no bananas for porridge, I can’t make toast in this kitchen and I certainly wasn’t going to use an egg for just one meal. I had been browsing Carolyn’s famous blog and decided to try out her recipe for Eggless Pancakes. They were divine.

IMG_0405

As mine were made with g-f flour, they were not light and fluffy, but I do think the addition of a little bicarbonate of soda did help. They were quick to make, cheap, using few ingredients and tasted delicious drizzled with honey and served alongside a strong cup of tea.

IMG_0407 IMG_0406

It can be hard making supplies last the week, but when you get to the end of the week and there’s still goodies for breakfast, you know you’re doing ok.

Ingenuity

It’s one of those strange days that feels like a day off. I get to wake up slowly, peruse the blog world and wear my most comfiest black leggings. But alas, this afternoon I will be changing into my uniform and heading out to work. Sometimes it’s a burden, waiting around all day and being unable to settle because you’re constantly clock-watching. But today, I’m enjoying the relaxed pace of the morning.

The chap brought me back a darling souvenir from his travels. He collects tankards and fancy beer glasses, which I’ve always been envious of. But now I have my very own, all the way from Heidelberg, Germany.

IMG_0387

Being gluten-intolerant, I don’t in fact drink beer. I had been using my new tankard for water, which I guzzle all day. But this morning, I truly fancied a huge vat of tea. That’s one way of making my tea ration stretch, using one bag to create a half litre of tea 🙂 And saving electric, as you only have to boil the kettle once. It was a wonderful accompaniment to my muesli. (Sue – I’m yet to be organised enough to try your tip for muesli, but I will do soon!)

IMG_0388

I probably won’t do this regularly, as I fear staining my precious tankard, but I did enjoy reading my book this morning, large mug in hand. It’s the simple things that I find most relaxing of all.

Teatime

It seems impractical to deal with the concept of time on my little blog, but it plays such a crucial role in my life.

We are all servants to the mistress of Time. I do miss the bygone days of First Year where one could attend a lecture (two hours long, max) and then the rest of the day would be free. Now, every moment of the too few hours we are blessed with have to be filled. Each one has to be utilised and time wasting is almost as bad as food wastage.

I flit between Uni work, Cath Kidston work, seeing boyfriend, seeing friends, chores, cooking and sleeping on a daily basis. My life is hectic, but it is my own choices that have made it that way. The rare time off I had last week was blissful. After a joyous time at the farm shop, we went for a meander around town. Both me and my chap love browsing the charity shops, with the Oxfam bookshop being a favourite of ours. Chap walked away with a couple more classics to add to his evolving collection, and I found this . . .

DSCN1026

 

It really is the most charming piece of non-fiction. Nicey and Wifey (aka Stuart and Jenny Payne) have created an intriguing book, filled with factual information and witty anecdotes. It does what it says on the biscuit tin; it’s all about tea and biscuits. The history of tea, what makes a biscuit and different genres of biscuit are examples of chapters I’ve enjoyed so far. This little book has made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion, with the British traits that are so recognisable always prompting a chuckle.

It reminded me that taking time out is important. My morning cup of tea is fast becoming a moment of meditation, a snippet of free time that reminds me that everything is fine with the world. Maybe we could introduce “tea therapy” as the new fashionable evening class, yes?

Time flies, that’s its movement of choice. But at least it takes a pause to enjoy a good cup of tea. I would love to be able to add biscuits into the ritual, but gluten-free ones are slightly pricey and finding the time – oh, what am I like. Maybe I do need to rearrange my priorities in order to fit everything in. Or I could just dream of the upcoming summer where free time will return to me once more. One day, there will be time for morning tea, afternoon tea, tiffin and the like, but for now, my few minutes a day will still make me smile.

I’m off to put the kettle on.