Monday, 17 January 2011

Waste not want not.

This new year, I am resolving to waste less and use what we have more carefully.  This is partly due to the constraints of being on Maternity leave, but also because we seem to live in a throwaway culture, and I want to try and not conform (I regularly slip up here, but I am trying anyway!).

So. We were given a lovely gingerbread house before Christmas, and ate some of it, but inevitably some of it got left, and started to go hard.... so what better way to use up the spare than by making a Cheesecake and using the gingerbread house as the base?

This is one of my favourite recipes, and I have used it many times before- a Chocolate Cheesecake by Mary Berry, that a friend copied out for me about 5 years ago (which, as you can see, is rather battered, bruised and chocolate covered!).  It makes me think of her every time I bake it, and it is great as a 'snack' option to stay in the fridge and munch away at, or as something a little fancier to take out to dinner with you.

It's very quick to make, and super economical too (I used basic ingredients for everything!). It also looks rather lovely when it is cooked.

Also, along the lines of being thrifty this new year, one of our Changing mats was starting to break, and rather than throw it away and buy a new one, I bought some oilcloth (at rather a bargain price) and covered it.  The new one is rather more robust now, and a nice pink polka-dot pattern! (As modelled here by William)

I think I shall use some of the spare oil cloth left over, along side some of my fabric stash (and a 20p bundle of polka dot ribbon) to make a little portable changing mat too...

Fun, and not very pricey. What are your money-saving crafty ideas for the new year?
Happy Monday.


  1. Hey Caroline, great to see that the oilcloth changing mat worked out. I've been planning the exact same renovation after being astounded that after not even a year my Mothercare one was splitting and is now all sad and cracked. Where did you get your oilcloth? I can only think of eBay without traveling further than Allders, which doesn't have any cheap enough to make it a worthwhile thrifty makeover. Also, excellent use of the gingerbread... bet it was divine! Fay x x x

  2. Hi Fay!
    I got my material from Masons, a near(ish) by fabric shop. I will most likely go there again in the next month or so, and it was about £4.99 for a metre, which was more than enough for a pillow-case style cover (for maximum strength!) and then there was enough left over for a portable changing mat and some more after that. They went from about £4.99 up to £11.99 I think.
    We shall sample the Cheesecake later when it is properly cold.... Mmmmmm!
    C xx

  3. (meant to include, if I go there again I will let you know and I could get some for you and post it/deliver it when I'm next in your end of town?) x

  4. You will have to visit Broadway Bargains in Worcester Park. It's like stepping back in time but at least you pay 1970s prices too for all sorts of craft/materials/random stuff.