Hello my fellow thrifty folks, hope you are all having a great week! Its been exactly a month since I started the Big Budget Challenge, and what an interesting month it has been!

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Although I managed to stay within my £50 ‘pocket’ money budget I did go over my £250 a month grocery budget. As that included a week when we were on holiday at home I’m not too bothered, but this month I am determined to stick within budget! This month was also a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride when James got finished from his job, and then very luckily, got a new job the following week – talk about a big relief! I’ve become an expert on which supermarket sells each of my grocery staples at the best price, I’ve embraced the discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl and I’ve got the hang of proper prioritising!

This week I have…

  • Made a large jar of home made raw cashew butter. I found a 250g bag of cashews in Asda for £1.40ish, and thought I’d buy it in addition to the 300g bag I bought from Tesco (which worked out way more expensive by the way – will definitely be sticking to Asda in future!) I made the whole bag into nut butter, it is delicious and I’ve saved a couple of quid on buying a jar of it.
  • I’ve been embracing my favourite ‘basics’ products from Sainburys (my regular super market as its my closest) including these apples:


These may be ‘basic’ but they taste really crunchy and sweet! I also love these big bags of basic courgettes:


You get about 6 courgettes for £1.60 – and as I’ve been experimenting with them in raw breakfasts, as well as using them for my beloved raw spaghetti, they are a great deal. I love the bags of basic frozen mixed berries too:


These are about £1.09 and are perfect for using in smoothies or defrosting to add to porridge or pancakes.

  • I found some maple syrup for £2.99 in Asda (thanks for the tip Maria!) instead of the almost £5 in Holland and Barrat.
  • I took a tip from Sarah and roasted some squash seeds with shoyu sauce:


These taste gorgeous, I’ve been snacking on handfuls of these from the jar!

  • I scoped out eBay and ordered some muslin cloth for when I’m sprouting alfalfa seeds. The squares I had bought from Lakeland cost about a fiver, but I’ve ordered 2 metres of cloth for just £2.
  • I got another great shop in from the green grocers on Saturday:


A large head of kale, bunch of parsley, 3 shogun apples, 4 persimmons, 3 figs, 5 satsumas, 3 russet apples, 2 William pears, 1 avocado, 2 heads of cos lettuce, 1 head of celery, 1 cauliflower – all this came to £9.25 (using their discount password), not bad!

Other Big Budgeters joining in so far:

Sarah @ Every Day’s a Picnic, check out this weeks update

Deise Gal @ Witty Blog Name Pending… check out her huge shopping haul from Northern Ireland!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

True Penny @ Cool Beans, if you missed it last week, check out her excellent post about how the Big Budget Challenge has given her perspective

Danielle @ Love Life Eat Laugh

Alissa @ Not Just Apples, check out her great recipe for rice salad and how the budget challenge has helped her assess what are ‘wants’ and what are ‘needs’

Sarah @ Sweet Potato Sarah

Sharon@ Bit of the good stuff

Emma @ Coming up easy

Al @ Al’s Food and Fitness

Eleanor @ Eating like a horse

Maria @ Running Cupcake – check out her update and how to make home made almond milk!

I’m so happy that many of you guys have said that doing the challenge has really affected you and made you think about how you spend money. Its really having a profound affect on me! You can still join in if you like – just check out the details in this post :-)

6154276359_cdc8b6d1b6_oI have yet another cheap and cheerful little recipe for you this week that makes good use of leftover squash and transforms it into a delicious dessert or snack:


Sweet Autumn Squash Dip (Vegan, makes 4 servings, or 2 Laura sized servings ;-)

  • 2 cups of roast squash – I used crown prince with the skin left on, but peeled butternut would be best, and would result in a better colour
  • 2 tbsp of almond butter
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add water or non dairy milk to achieve your desired texture. Serve with sliced apples for dipping, or even spread on crackers, or eat as a pudding on its own!


This is so delicious, and a great cheap and inventive way of using up leftover roast squash. You could easily add some chocolate chips or chopped nuts for additional flavour and texture – how lush would that be?

Other Big Budgeters – how are things going for you? Do you have any favourite ‘basics’ products from your regular supermarket? Squash: sweet or savoury?