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A newsletter about saving money, living with less and feeling all the more happier for it.
Delivered to your inbox every other Sunday.
Resourceful is now on Instagram! Follow it for daily affirmations on being happy with less and saving money along the way @getresourceful

This is a newsletter about living with less stuff. You know that, of course, that’s why you signed up. This applies to the buying of things, but I also think 'a life of less' can apply to ourselves, too. I was listening to this interview last week with the writer and mental health campaigner Matt Haig, where he said he believes the word of our times is ‘overload’. He believes this SO much he even wrote a whole book about it called Notes on a Nervous Planet. Talk about overload, right? (Sorry. My jokes are terrible and not even worthy of your Sunday afternoon. Anyway.)

Trying to consume more consciously, buy fewer things and Marie Kondo every aspect our lives (from our sock drawer to our social media feeds) can, ironically, be a lot to take on. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to strike the balance.

Btw, I really don’t want this newsletter to tell you how you should spend your money. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less about how you choose to spend the money you work to earn, it’s nothing to do with me - I’m just here to share my bargain hunter and frugal-bugle lifestyle tips.

It just so happens that I’m also thinking more and more about how sustainability links to consumption at the moment. Obviously, saying no to a plastic bag at the supermarket both helps the planet and helps you feel like you’re making a bit of a difference, which can feel powerful in the onslaught of bad press we’re seeing day in, day out, about the environment.

I don’t want to add to the voices making you feel bad if you fuck up once in a while. Going too far the other way - trying to maintain a perfect lifestyle, being peak-eco, suffocated by the confines of your meticulously-planned weekly budget - that can be a hard thing to maintain. Perfection is an impossible pursuit and your mental health comes first; first and foremost, treat yourself kindly and cut yourself some slack when necessary. 

Confession: I went to KFC straight after a gym workout the other day, mostly because I was sick of home-cooking and trying to be perfect and plant-based and healthy all of the time, and partly because I had the most insane craving for Crispy Strips. It was the tiniest of rebellions, but I was soooo smug for having done so. Yes, be mindful about money; yes, try not to buy stuff you don’t need, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself once in a while when you need to ease the pressure off.

The world is at peak-overload, and this newsletter is just another email that lands in your inbox at a different time each Sunday depending on how hungover I am. If you’re feeling a little frazzled, a little burned-out, know that you’re not alone and allow yourself a day off from restrictions. I’ll join you!

On that note, I’m going away to a remote Croatian village for a week (don’t worry, I’m fine! I just want to go solo-hiking through some mountains and flights were dead cheap). The next newsletter will be on how to cop a bargain break, and it’ll land in your inboxes mid-April). Until then, follow Resourceful on Instagram and tell all your friends about how great it is!

Read this.

Think offline.

A list of things that I'm grateful for this week. What are some of yours?
  • Washing machines
  • A drawn out, 'take your time' kinda workout
  • Beers with neighbours
  • Solo beers
  • Listening to music from your teenage years
  • Visits from family
  • Four pastries for breakfast
Make this. 

Homemade cleaning spray

Buying household cleaning spray in a big hunk of a plastic bottle is so two weeks ago before I found out about this frugal hack. This week I used orange and lemon peel and mixed it with white vinegar to make my own cleaning spray. Leave it in a well-secured jar for two weeks, then dilute with water if necessary and transfer to a reusable spray bottle. 

Do you have any great DIYs for household products? Reply to this email to let me know how you do it and I'll feature them in the next Resourceful.

Eat this. 

Vegan goulash
Serves 4-6

This simple stew makes for a delicious, warming dinner and is best enjoyed with a hearty chunk of your favourite bread. Any leftovers can be put in the fridge or freezer, or served in a cereal bowl for a spicy breakfast if you fancy kicking your day off with a bang.
  • 6 medium potatoes - peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots - peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion - roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin of lentils (or dry equivalent)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp pickle juice (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  1. Add your olive oil to a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Add your mustard seeds to the oil and when they start to pop add the onion and potato. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and the potatoes start to take on some colour. Add the carrots and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and all of your spices to the pot and mix well to combine and cook for around 2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. If you are using pickle juice add it to the pan and let it sizzle for around 30 seconds before adding your chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir well to combine, bring to the boil then cover with a lid and reduce to a low heat.
  4. If you are using tinned lentils let the stew simmer for around 30 minutes before adding them to the pot and cooking for a further 5-10 minutes uncovered. If using dry lentils add them to the pot after 10-15 minutes of simmering and let them cook according to the packet instructions (usually around 30 minutes)
  5. Once the stew has reduced to your preferred consistency remove from the heat, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve in a bowl with some crusty bread on the side for dipping.
Now, take me somewhere fun
That's all folks! Thanks for reading this newsletter. Want to share money-saving tips or compare frugal lifestyle notes? Reply to this email - I'd love to chat. Or, if you enjoyed it, forward on to a friend. 
Resourceful is curated twice a month by Tara Lepore.
Recipes are thoughtfully rustled up by Sam Dando.

Follow Tara on Twitter @taralepore
Visit her website

Copyright © 2019 Tara Lepore, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Praediniussingel (try saying that after a few beers), Groningen, The Netherlands

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Resourceful · An extremely messy desk · Groningen, 9711AB · Netherlands

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