The cost of living crisis is leaving thousands of families across the UK feeling the pinch, with skyrocketing inflation rates reminiscent of the 1980s; soaring fuel prices and extortionate energy costs reaching catastrophic heights in the latest price cap announcement. While there’s only so much UK households can do to reduce their food or gas bill, every little counts during such difficult times; meaning many families are searching for inventive money-saving hacks ahead of winter.
One savvy woman has left hundreds of people inspired after completing a 25 day ‘no buy food’ challenge that saw her avoid grocery shopping for nearly a whole month in favour of living out of her cupboards, remaining fridge food and freezer goods.
The frugal foodie, only known as @ me2udiary, took to TikTok to share her journey as she posted daily updates throughout the challenge. Many of her motivating videos have more than 100,000 likes on the platform.
Having revealed a passion for cooking that inspired her to create her social media page, the anonymous woman has been lauded for imaginative recipes and being resourceful with limited ingredients – particularly during the last few days of the challenge when the fridge was looking increasingly bare.
A keen cook, the money-saving TikTok user was fully transparent about the supplies she started with, sharing footage of each product in her fridge, freezer and cupboards before the began. She originally set out to complete a 30-day challenge, but only managed 25.
the woman, who lives alone, confesses to hoarding far too much food for one person, and felt inspired to take on the challenge in order to reduce her food waste.
Starting with a fridge and freezer brimming with groceries, the woman’s meals have included burrito bowls, sushi rolls and red lentil pakoras.
TikTok commenters have been left stunned by the savvy cook’s resourcefulness, as she makes her own soya milk when she runs out of normal milk, creates her own tofu and pickles her own radishes.
One person said: “The fact that you are still going blows my mind!!! Your creativity is amazing” while another added “You’ve inspired me to do the same!!”.
By day 19, the anonymous foodie’s fridge is looking rather bare, but she continues to make inspiring dishes that left many people running to their own cupboards for inspiration.
Some of her most creative concoctions include making her own soybean hummus, a ‘pizza on toast’ with leftover meatball sauce and rye bread from the freezer, as well as oat breakfast bars from porridge packets that were about to expire.
As part of the series, the thrifty cook shared tips on keeping food fresh, like dousing half an avocado in lemon juice before storing in a plastic bag or container, and keeping her homemade milks in sterilised jam jars.
Praising the woman for sticking to the challenge, one TikTok commenter wrote: “I really love seeing how creative and inventive you are with limited ingredients!”.
After completing the challenge, the food lover posted a final video to thank her followers for coming along the journey.
She said: “I started this challenge on a whim because I just had so much food and I really didn’t expect so many people to be interested.
“When I started this challenge I had just over 200 followers, and now there’s over 16,000 of you which is crazy. I’m just so grateful”.
Describing the pressures of documenting her journey, she added: “I can’t lie, at one point I did feel slightly intimidated like I had to make the coolest, most innovative sorts of foods, but I quickly realised that it’s not about that.
“As long as I’m making what I enjoy and cooking – which is one of my passions – that’s all that matters”.