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 Resourceful. 

A newsletter about saving money, living with less stuff and feeling all the more happier for it.
Delivered to your inbox every other Sunday.
This weekend's newsletter will be shorter than usual because I'm writing this at 9:30PM on a Saturday night and I'd like to be running a bath in half an hour (soz). Also, I'm going on holiday next Wednesday and have LOADS to squeeze in between now and then. Trigger warning: My brother works for Thomas Cook and managed to get a ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED POUND (£1,300) discount off a 7-day all-inclusive hotel stay in Greece. I have no practical tip for you on how to achieve that, other than to persuade a family member to work for a travel agent (read actual tips on how to save on holidays here). 

The summer is a time for doing things. Let's go to this music festival! Come on holiday with us! You're invited to my wedding! Now fork out £600 for my hen do! The summertime should enjoyed and lapped up for all it's worth (light evenings, eating lunch on street corner cafes, sunsets, etc), but it is possible to do so without emptying your savings account. 

If you're welcoming a fair few visitors over the next couple of months, the responsibility to "host" and organise cheap things to do can be a bit of a head-scratcher - especially if you (or your mates) don't have a lot of money to throw around. Since moving to the Netherlands several months ago, the writer-of-the-Resourceful-recipes and I have been lucky enough to play host to lots of friends and family this year, sometimes with back-to-back weeks of visitors. We've had so much fun and I can confirm that hanging out with people you love is truly the best thing in the world. Plus, the literal act of hanging out is free!

But in case you want to do a bit more than just "hanging, dude", here are some suggestions if you need a bit of money-conscious inspiration for things to do with beloved guests this summer. 

 

Cook!

 

If you have visitors, it's - of course - wonderful to go out and eat at a restaurant. But there's nothing like a spread you lay out yourself. The most memorable meal I've ever had with my friends was a few Christmases back when a few people were in charge of one course (or one vital element, like the roast potatoes). It was such a laugh because while we did encourage dressing up, you could shuffle around in slippers. Plus, because vegetables cost so little and Lidl exists, we got to dine and wine for a fraction of what it would've cost at a restaurant. Need cheap recipe ideas? Here's your link
 

If you're feeling the pinch, ask for a contribution


Two summers ago, we went to Italy for a long weekend at my boyfriend's friend's beachhouse (that is the fanciest sentence I've ever written). The host of the weekend asked for €20 each day from each guest - there were about 12 people there - and all the food and booze would be supplied. It was perfect because there were no arguments about who owed whom what, and I got to sit and drink wine on the veranda as people cooked for me. 

If you're hosting lots this summer, maybe you could do the same thing. I truly don't think that people will think it's rude to ask for a little money towards the cost of the weekend, *especially* if you're cooking for them every night. Saying that, don't go too mad on the monetisation of your life as a professional host, and be prepared to spend a little more than you usually would when you've got company. 

 

Do one tourist-y thing, and take loads of pictures

Chances are, if you're living in London, Paris, Amsterdam [insert plenty of other covetable tourist destinations], your visitor will want to check out the sights. If you can't afford to see it all with them but they really want to check off everything in the Rough Guide, do one with them and milk it to the max! Take a billion selfies on the London Eye (and of course, check out voucher code sites first).

Don't be afraid to say if you can't afford to do everything with them if it means you're going to be plunging deeper into your overdraft. Perhaps suggest they see some things on their own and you can meet up later (this will give you a chance to head home and start cooking the unforgettable feast you've got in mind).

 

Get out into nature

The weather helps of course, but there's lots of free fun to be had outside. Walking, swimming, or just "hanging, dude" - getting out into nature costs nothing and you might even learn something. Here are some of the best apps to identify flowers and plants in case you were interested. 
 

Stay in


Finally, who says you have to go out every night when you have guests over? The chances are your beloved ones have travelled over (whether it's on a bus, train or plane) to see you and simply catch up. Two bottles of wine (or a softer equivalent) and you'll be sure to have a great night chatting 'til sunrise.

(Btw, this idea for a newsletter came via Twitter from journalist Portia Crowe who has recently moved to Paris and asked if I'd write a Resourceful on how to entertain friends without breaking the bank. Thanks, Portia! Any other ideas you have for the newsletter, send 'em my way!)

Read this.

  • British supermarket Waitrose is introducing trials to sell loose rice, pasta and veg in refillable containers to save on packaging! Tupperware fans, unite!
  • We already know this, but there is way too much stuff for sale in the world. Yet "research has consistently held that people who are presented with a few options make better, easier decisions than those presented with many".
  • I didn't go as I couldn't afford to at the time (sob), so I'm v happy to see Barcelona music fest Primavera Sound has posted a huge variety of full sets from artists last week (for free!), including the much-hyped-about one from Robyn. Popcorn and beer at the ready. 

Think offline.


A list of things that I'm grateful for this week. What are some of yours?
 
  • Being safely indoors during a thunderstorm
  • Adding mustard to seriously up your cheese toastie game
  • This Twitter thread of a guy who has a bad day turned around by nursing a bee
  • Siblings who work for travel agents... Resourceful will be on hiatus for the rest of this month, so take care and see you in July! 👋

Save money. 

Are you getting the best value for your streaming services?


Netflix has just hiked up its prices. If you're not one of the lucky people who use someone else's account (I of course do not condone such activity!!), maybe it's time to see if you can get a better deal or switch to another service.

Pro tip: I subscribe to Mubi, which is possibly the most hipster thing I do (they have lots of foreign language films on there). It's meant to be £10 a month, but I almost left just before the free trial and they offered it to me for £6 if I stayed. So, essentially, be a tease and get a better deal.


Check out this from Martin Lewis on Netflix-specific saving hacks, including a rundown of what sites you could be watching for less money

Eat this. 

Vegetable stock
Serves plenty


Definitely not the most glamorous recipe we’ve shared on here but by far the most useful. Not only is food waste bad for the planet, it can also cost you a lot of money. You can reuse vegetables that are past their best or you’d otherwise throw away and make this delicious stock, which is great for risotto and soups and will keep in the fridge for around 3-4 weeks. This is resourcefulness at its finest!
 
Ingredients
  • Leftover carrots
  • Past-best celery
  • Saved mushroom stalks
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Leftover thyme
     
  • Add: Soy sauce (for more flavour depth)

Note: You can use most left over veggies and herbs you like, except things in the broccoli family because they over power the flavour too much.

Method
  1. Heat 3 litres of water in a big pot with all the ingredients in. 
  2. Go low and slow for 2 hours, then strain out all the veggies and reduce on low heat for another hour. 
  3. Once time’s up, add salt and pepper to taste. 
Want to try something new?

Head to getresourcefulrecipes.tumblr.com to view the whole recipe archive
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. 
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Resourceful is curated twice a month by Tara Lepore.
Recipes are thoughtfully rustled up by Sam Dando.


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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