Author

Amy McDonnell

Browsing

Smol is a subscription-only laundry capsule and dishwasher tablet service that claims to be up to 50% cheaper than normal brands, eco-friendly and the most effective concentrated product in the world. 

After being bombarded (in a good way) with targeted social media ads, I finally swiped up and within minutes I’d started my free trial. 

It’s been six months since we received our first package and although my partner was dubious about the switch, we haven’t looked back. So, below is my totally honest, totally non-sponsored review.

How does it work?

When you sign up to smol, you’re asked a few questions about your laundry or dishwasher habits. 

  1. Do you prefer bio or non-bio? (laundry only)
  2. How many capsules/tablets do you use per wash?
  3. How often do you use your washing machine/dishwasher per week?

From there, it calculates how often you’ll need a pack so you never run out. Then, each month you’ll get an email with your charge date, giving you the option to delay the package if you’ve used less than you predicted. 

I quickly realised that we don’t use our dishwasher as much as I’d said, so I’ve delayed it a few times so we weren’t overflowing with tablets.

Once you’ve paid, your package arrives within five days. The products are small enough to fit through your letterbox, meaning you don’t have to be in for delivery. We live in a flat and our letterbox is smaller than a regular door one, and it fits perfectly!

Also, if you run out quicker than expected, you can request your next order quicker than scheduled.

Is it cheaper?

It’s great that you can get your laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets delivered to your door, but the cost is what really matters.

Smol claims to be up to 50% cheaper than your normal brand price. Personally, I never really looked too much into direct price comparisons because we’re a two-person household who put on the dishwasher and washing machine three to five times per week. 

But, for this review, I decided to investigate. So, smol’s 24-pack of bio laundry capsules is £4.50 (19p) and the 30-pack of dishwasher tablets is £4.60 (15p). 

I had a look at Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s to see how smol compares with both full-price and on-offer products. For this, I didn’t include washing powder, because I’ve never used it and I don’t know how to work it out. 

I found a few things:

On full-price branded items, it’s definitely cheaper

On most of the full-price branded items I saw, smol products are around 5-8p cheaper per capsule/tablet. And in some cases, like with Finish Quantum dishwashing tablets, smol is 13p cheaper!

It’s hit and miss when products are on offer

A few of the branded products are cheaper when on offer. For example, a 78 pack of Fairy Original All-in-One dishwasher tablets on offer worked out as 10.9p per tablet. However, a 36 pack of Ariel All In 1 Original laundry capsules is 19.4p per capsule.

Own brand items aren’t that much cheaper

Of course, there are budget options. At Morrisons, you can buy a 40-pack at 5p per tablet, but how good will it perform? The regular Morrisons dishwashing tablets are 13.3p per tablet. That’s still cheaper, but smol gives a higher-quality performance.

Does it work?

Okay, cool. It comes through your letterbox, it’s an alright price, but does it actually work?

The short answer, yes. Since switching both our laundry and dishwashing tablets, we’ve had no problem with the quality. 

I can’t do an in-depth review of the laundry capsules because we don’t have a child, pet or messy job. Our clothes don’t get overly filthy, so I haven’t tested it on tough stains. But our clothes are always clean and smell good.

If you want a mum’s review, Charlotte at mamamakesdo.com has an in-depth one.

The dishwasher tablets are also great. I worried at first because they don’t have the liquid conditioner like some of the others do, but they work really well and everything comes out sparkly clean.

Is it environmentally-friendly?

Like many of you, I’m actively supporting more ethical brands, meaning I’ve made a lot of changes to my buying habits, especially with cleaning products. 

One of smol’s major selling points is how great it is for the environment. The packaging is 100% plastic-free, the protective film is water-soluble and biodegradable and it claims that its laundry capsules use fewer chemicals than any other. 

Both products are Leaping Bunny approved (cruelty-free), and the packaging is made from sustainable materials and is 100% recyclable.

So yes, smol is environmentally-friendly and continues to improve its products. For example, before switching to 100% plastic-free packaging, it used boxes made from 90% recycled PET. This is the packaging I’m still receiving as smol are using up the old boxes before switching existing customers onto the new style.

So, is it worth the hype?

Yes! I’m very happy with smol.

The products are exactly what people want: convenient, affordable, quality and eco-friendly. I’d recommend smol to anyone and won’t go back to buying them in the supermarket.

I wouldn’t say that the product is consistently cheaper, but it’s always the same price, meaning you don’t have to wait for your favourite product to be on offer and bulk up. We live in a small flat and don’t have room to store multiple packs.

If you want to try it yourself, you can get a free trial* (£1 delivery). Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me @amywritesthings

This post contains a referral link, meaning I get 50% off my order if you sign up using my link.

Pin it for later!

Home budgeting is one of those things you either do or you don’t. It comes naturally to some people and for others, it bores them. 

I, for one, love budgeting and find money management calms my soul. Knowing how much my bills cost and what I have left to spend each month means I’m never worried about accidentally spending my council tax bill on a new pair of DMs. 

But whether you love it or not, budgeting is always a good idea. Even if you create a basic income and outgoing sheet, you’re never going to be worse off for it. 

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, I got ya. I’ve budgeted for years and ever since I moved out, I’ve impressed many people with my meticulous monthly home budget spreadsheet. 

Let’s walk through the basics. 

Where to make your home budget

You can create your monthly home budget using spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets but let’s be honest, the internet is crawling with free templates. 

I’ve even made my home budget spreadsheet available for anyone to download, amend and use. But if you don’t fancy getting techy, you can just use a pen and paper. 

What’s coming in

List your reliable monthly income, so that’s anything that comes in regularly and you can plan in advance. This is probably your salary or child maintenance. 

If you make money from odd jobs or a hobby, but it’s irregular, don’t include it here. The aim of this budget is to calculate a realistic outline of your cash flow. 

But if your income varies because you’re self-employed, use your average or estimated monthly income. 

What’s going out

Write down all your non-negotiable outgoings, from the mortgage and council tax to Netflix and that gin subscription you pay wayyyyy too much for.

If you can’t remember everything, check your recent bank statements and direct debits to capture everything. Don’t forget about any annual bills you may pay for like your car insurance or a Headspace subscription. 

I recommend writing both the company and the price. Once you’ve done that, split them into categories that make sense for you. I split mine into: 

Housing: Mortgage, service charge and utility bills 

Transport: Car finance, insurance and tax

Insurance: Life and contents insurance

Other: Netflix, gym and Spotify

If you have annual or quarterly bills, you should still note them down on your monthly home budget. For example, if you pay your car insurance annually, you can divide the estimated total cost by 12 and then save the money away each month so it’s easier to pay when you renew.

Also, think about your monthly costs that aren’t direct debited. Do you get your hair cut every four weeks? How much does your commute cost? Have you included your weekly food shop? 

Whatever it is, be honest and put these down because otherwise, you’ll get to the end of the month wondering why you have no money left.

Pro tip: I’d recommend opening a second current account for all your outgoings, or a joint one if you’re sharing the bills with your partner. This means you can transfer your expenses when you get paid and never need to worry about not having enough money for that pesky gin subscription. 

Save a bit

I recommend prioritising a bit of saving. No matter how much it is, you’re never going to regret putting some money aside for a rainy day. 

Be sure not to put too much away though, because there’s no point in saving if you’re left short each month and transferring the money across. It’s better to keep it small and consistent than unmanageable. 

You should open a separate savings account for this money, or use pots if you have a Monzo account. Out of sight, out of mind.

Pro tip: I go a step further and have separate Monzo pots for different savings including holidays, fun stuff and the do not touch fund. 

The rest

Finally, add up your expenses and savings and subtract them from your income (my spreadsheet does it for you automatically). This is what you have left to play with. 

If you’ve included things like your commute money and food shop, everything else should be free for you to do as you please.

If you’re confronted with less than you thought, you should review your expenses and see what you can live without, or whether you should try and get a cheaper deal. Your landlord is unlikely to reduce the rent, but maybe you don’t need a four-screen Netflix subscription. 

Even if you can’t reduce any of your outgoings, keeping a home budget will help you stay fully aware of your finances and manage your money.

Pin for later!

We’re living in a crazy time right now. So many of us are working from home, even though our bosses might have refused to do in the past.

Whatever your reason for doing it, planning your day isn’t always as easy as when you’re in a physical office. 

Your child might rudely demand your attention or your puppy might be just chilling, but they’re cute so why wouldn’t you want to snuggle them. 

Fortunately, I’m a casual WFH-er and have experience with working from home, somewhat successfully, so below are my tried-and-tested tips, or download my free PDF working from home schedule if you fancy copying me. 

Set an alarm

It doesn’t matter when, I’m not your boss, but set one. Even if you don’t get up at that time, it gives you the option to. 

Personally, I’m an early bird. I love waking up early, especially as my partner is lazy, sorry I mean a night owl. It means I can get on with my chores with the entire flat to myself. 

However, if I don’t set an alarm, it’s very likely I’ll stay snuggled up because I’m only human.

Make a to-do list

I don’t think you’d be shocked to know that I love a to-do list. It’s not even the satisfaction of ticking tasks off that appeals to me, it’s having a space to dump all of my ideas and tasks so I don’t have to think about them or worry I’ve forgotten anything. 

Personally, I hate physical to-do lists because I’m forever switching and changing my priorities so I like to use digital ones. 

Having tried-and-tested many types, I’ve found Todoist is the most helpful. I’ll write an entire post about this in the future.

For now, stick to whatever works for you, but creating a to-do list makes planning your day easier because you can visually see what you need to achieve. 

Change your underwear

Every ‘working from home’ blog mentions getting dressed, but I’m not going to tell you what to wear. I love loungewear and have spent many a productive WFH day in just an oversized t-shirt. 

What I am going to preach to you, however, is to change your underwear. We’ve all been there, woken up at five to nine, rolled out of bed and switched the laptop on. 

Three hours later, you’re still in the same position and have been wearing your knickers for 30 hours. Gross.

Just change them. 

Other than that, it’s up to you.

Create a dedicated workspace

Working from your bed is fun, until your back is in agony and no amount of Yoga With Adrienne can fix it. 

Setting up a desk makes distinguishing your work and non-work life easier and no matter what size your space is, it’s possible. 

I live in a 32m² studio flat with my partner and there’s certainly no space for a desk. Instead, I use my kitchen table, which also functions as my dressing table, cocktail making station and sometimes, a place to eat. 

The way I make it work is by having a wireless keyboard and mouse, second monitor and laptop stand that I set up every morning. It’s close to my in-office set-up and means I’m not hunching over my 12” laptop screen for eight hours.

You don’t have to go as extreme as that, obviously, but making your workspace separate and comfortable makes it easier to concentrate. 

End the day with something different

Without a commute, or engaging with the boring ‘so what are you doing this evening’ chat with co-workers, it’s hard to tell when your day actually ends. 

Whether it’s a walk, packing up your makeshift desk or whatever you want, do something at the end of each day that signifies that you’re done. 

This helps you wind down and switch off for the day. Personally, I like to go for a walk as some fresh air does wonders for my brain. 

Enjoy the flexibility

Yes, having dedicated working hours can be good for your productivity, but depending on your job, working from home probably means that you can work more flexibly. 

Enjoy it. 

Don’t feel guilty for taking a long lunch, or doing a 10 am workout. Working from home comes with plenty of cons, but it can actually be liberating if you let yourself enjoy the perks, including a 4 pm wine 🍷😉

Something that a lot of people suck at is decluttering. Yes, the simple act of getting rid of things seems to be difficult for a lot of people because we’re often afraid.

Afraid that we’ll need those takeaway menus cluttering up your drawers – despite the fact you always use Deliveroo to order food.

Yes, throwing away things can be difficult and often overwhelming, but the alternative is tripping over old trainers and struggling to find somewhere to store the things you actually need.

Stop hoarding and start taking control of your space with these tips.

Start small

Decluttering your home is a marathon, not a sprint. Take it slow and do small manageable bits. Overloading yourself with the bottom half of your home in an hour isn’t going to inspire you to keep going.

Instead, create a list of every area you want to declutter and work through it hour by hour, day by day, week by week, whatever suits. Something like this:

  • Bedroom: wardrobe, under-the-bed, bedside table
  • Living room: TV cabinet, bookshelf, coffee table
  • Kitchen: pantry, cupboards, drawers

If you try multi-tasking, you’ll only miss things and stress yourself out with it. Keep it simple and focus on one section at a time and you shouldn’t find it as overwhelming.

Create piles

I’d always suggest creating four piles (use baskets or boxes to keep everything together) whenever you’re tackling an area of your house.

  • Keep
  • Recycle
  • Throw away 
  • Donate

Once you’ve finished, you can then dispose of the boxes as necessary and avoid wasting time running back and forth to the recycling bin or faffing around with bin liners. These boxes will also keep you focused and make the task quicker.

Go paperless

A really quick and easy way to declutter your home is to go paperless as much as you can.

You should find a paperless option for common letter heavy businesses such as banks, utility suppliers and insurance companies. Not only is this good for the environment, but it’s good for your home.

You can finally say goodbye to monthly bank statements, unnecessary takeaway menus and payslips clogging up your precious drawer space.

Leave the past in the past 

It’s time to tackle that memory box (or three) that you’ve been storing away. We’re all guilty of holding onto train tickets, festival wristbands and old love letters from our exes, but at some point, we need to take a step back and declutter.

Get rid of things that have faded, duplicates and anything you’ve forgotten about and then condense your things into one, reasonably sized box.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping some things, but you don’t need every bus ticket you’ve ever bought or something so faded you don’t even know where it’s from.

If you live with someone else who also has a memory, buy matching boxes, preferably stackable ones so you can keep your things organised in a neat and tidy manner.

Be realistic

If you live in a huge home, then you can probably take the burden of the extra clutter. However, if you live in a one-bedroom flat with someone else, you probably can’t.

So, while you may hope to live the #fitspo life and make smoothies every day, if you haven’t used your blender in three years, it might be time to throw it away.

And I know it’s tempting to keep everything ‘just in case’, but you need to be realistic and know when it’s time to say goodbye. Remember, you can always borrow or buy things at a later date.

Donate, donate, donate

An easy way to sort through your books, clothes, CDs and DVDs quickly is to donate them.

Knowing that the time and effort you’re putting into this project is contributing to a good cause might make it easier to part with your Sex And The City box set.

Do you declutter regularly? Leave your tips down below.

I’m no stranger to decluttering. I live in a tiny studio flat with my partner, so I often throw away things we don’t need to gain valuable storage space.

And thanks to Marie Kondo and her Netflix series, everyone’s running around their home wondering what really sparks joy.

I certainly don’t discourage anyone parting from their unnecessary clutter. However, let’s do it in an eco-friendly way, rather than just black bagging everything.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s easier to throw everything in one bag than being mindful about how to correctly dispose of our belongings. But we can do better, so read on to find out how.

Firstly, here are a few things to avoid.

Wish-cycling

Have you ever thrown something in the recycling bin you didn’t think belonged there?

Then you’ve engaged in wish-cycling.

It’s the well-intentioned act of recycling things we hope will be recycled even when we know deep down it won’t. It may not seem like a big deal, but non-recyclable items can contaminate the rest of a batch, causing more items to end up in the landfill.

Avoid this by checking your local council’s website to find out what you can and can’t recycle in your bins.

Donating unsellable things

Some items simply can’t be resold in your local charity shop or thrift store. Yet, we’re all guilty of throwing a worn-out pair of shoes in the bag because it’s easier.

Doing this, however, can take up volunteers valuable time and effort wading through your unsellable items.

If you have some unusable clothes/materials you want to get rid of, you can always donate them to shops like H&M who’ll give you a £5 voucher per bag.

Okay, so how do you properly donate your unwanted clutter?

Sell

Before you send your donation boxes off to the charity shop, think about how you could make a quick buck. There are so many options to sell your unwanted items without having to pack up your car for a boot sale.

You can sell almost anything on Facebook Marketplace nowadays. It’s great because you can sell to local people and they’ll even come and pick it up from you.

Depop is another good option for clothes. It’s basically Instagram for selling stuff. Take some good pictures and list at a reasonable price, and you’ll have buyers in no time.

eBay is the digital boot sale veteran. You can list pretty much anything on your store, however, you’ll have to give eBay a cut of the sale price.

If you want to get rid of any old tech, DVDs or CDs quickly, you can visit your local CeX or use trade sites like musicMagpie. Envirophone is another option for old/unused phones.

Donate 

As long as the items are reusable, donating to your local charity shop is an easy (and charitable) way of getting rid of your unwanted items. If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can also donate items using Gift Aid so charities can claim an extra 25p for every £1 they make from the sale, and it won’t cost you a single penny.

You can also donate items to local shelters. It’s best to either visit or phone up to ask what they need rather than turning up with unusable items. Essential things like unwanted/extra hair care and medical supplies are a good start.

However, you can also donate unwanted bikes, sturdy bags and of course, clothes.

If you have any old towels, blankets or bedding that you’d like to get rid of, consider donating them to an animal shelter. They can be used to dry off animals, provide warmth and be comforting.

Recycle

Before you set out on a recycling journey, it’s important to get organised. There are so many different categories for your items that bundling everything into a couple of black bags is going to cause a headache down the line.

Split your recycling up as you go along into the following categories:

Paper

Paper is recyclable, however, check items like cartons as they often contain materials that aren’t.

Plastic

All plastic products have a triangle with a number from 1 to 7 inside called a Plastic Identification Code. Most recycling services accept codes 1 or 2.

Glass 

Most household glass is recyclable as it’s one of the easiest materials to recycle.

Metal

Anything made from aluminium or steel can be infinitely recycled thanks to its many uses.

Electronics

Keep your old cables, laptops and mobile phones separate as there’s a specific section at most recycling centres for them.

Regift

We’ve all received an unwanted gift that ends up stashed in a cupboard, never to see daylight again.

When you’re decluttering and come across items, you can consider regifting it to a family member or friend who might like it better than you did.

Just make sure the person who gave you it can’t find out!

What are your decluttering tips? Do you have any other tips to do it in a sustainable way? Let me know in the comments down below!

How To Declutter Your Home Sustainably

When I moved out in 2018, I was determined to keep my life in order and prove that I could adult like everyone else.

The prospect of juggling a full-time job, housework, bills, socialising and everything in between was overwhelming, but I knew I’d feel a whole lot worse if I didn’t try.

Fortunately, I already had a few organisation habits on the go and was ready to put them to the test. I’ve lived in my own home for well over a year now, so below are my tried-and-tested methods to keep your life in running order, without going mad.

Categorise your inbox

Looking at an empty inbox is one of the best feelings in the world, right? The only issue is you have to keep some emails.

I keep my inbox clean by organising everything into folders. My current system looks like this:

  • Bank. This isn’t very full anymore, thanks Monzo!
  • Bills. Accompanied by several sub-folders like Council Tax and Mortgage to keep track of pesky welcome emails or demand notices.
  • Bookings. This keeps my inbox free of restaurant confirmations.
  • Car stuff. For tax, MOT and finance emails.
  • Holidays. I usually separate this into sub-folders if I have more than one holiday booked and then create more sub-folders for flights, accommodation and entertainment.
  • Jobs. For any freelance work or old emails, I like to keep for sentimental reasons. For example, I still keep my work experience acceptance letter from More! Magazine (rip) when I was 18.
  • Misc. Because there’s always a misc email.
  • Moving. This contains all our old emails from when we bought the flat.
  • Online Orders. ASOS, Amazon, Nespresso, etc.
  • Tickets. To store tickets for upcoming events.
  • University. This folder is purely sentimental and contains all my grade emails from university – first-class honours degree baby! 
  • Website. All the admin for running this blog and Small Biz Writing.

This method makes it easier to find the email you need rather than searching through promo deals and emails from your Nan to find that one important email about your dream job.

I’d also advise decluttering it once a month or so to remove out-of-date emails taking up valuable space. Oh, and bonus points for colour coordination.

Unsubscribe from promo emails

Speaking of promo deals, if your inbox is constantly full of junk emails you don’t care about, it’s time to take action and finally say goodbye to that Dominos TwoForTuesday email you get every week.

This doesn’t need to be done all at once, slow and steady wins the race in this situation. Every time you get an unwanted promo email, scroll to the bottom, unsubscribe and delete it.

Wowcher won’t be offering you 56% off of toilet rolls anymore.

Buy an ‘adult folder’

Unfortunately, the world hasn’t gone paperless yet, meaning that just like my inbox, I need to organise my paperwork.

Enter my ‘adult folder,’ i.e. an expanding file organiser, i.e. a dream for people like me.

I keep everything separated into categories: driving, qualifications, bank, bills etc. So, when someone asks me for an important document, I know for sure it’s in my folder in the appropriate sub-section.

Create a finance spreadsheet

I created a home budget spreadsheet to track our monthly outgoings before we’d moved in. Not only does it help us stay on top of all our bills, but it gives me better headspace knowing my entire financial health is neatly organised in my Google Drive.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or pretty, it just needs to be maintained. If you’d like to use mine, I’ve created a downloadable version here for you.

Otherwise, you just need to note down every outgoing you have and every month adjust as necessary. That way, you should know how much is expected to leave your bank account and the amount you have leftover.

Create multiple calendars

Are you sensing a theme here? Just like my inbox and adult folder, I organise different parts of my life with multiple calendars.

For context, I use Google Calendar, and have seven separate calendars with different colours to make visualising my schedule easier. I currently have:

  • Events & appointments. This is the Amy-only calendar and tracks nights out, dentist appoints and everything that I’m doing by myself.
  • Amy & James. A tad unoriginal, but it’s our joint calendar filled with our joint ventures like date night or family events we’re required to attend together.
  • Bills. All of our bill due dates are noted so I can track it against our bank statement. 
  • Gym. Simply to track all of my booked classes.
  • Habits. This primarily schedules in meditation sessions to make sure I remember and do it!
  • Work. I schedule in my work days so I can visually see how my week looks.
  • James. We share our personal calendars to keep each other informed of the rare times we’re doing something apart.

What ways do you stay in control of your life? I’d love to hear some of your methods in the comments down below!

Pin it for later!

How To Organise Your Life Pinterest

At the end of 2019, I was feeling pretty shitty.

I’d spent most of December drinking copious amounts of alcohol, eating brie like my life depended on it and cancelling more exercise classes than I went to.

I’d also lost interest in my copywriting business and had absolutely no motivation to do anything that didn’t involve sitting in front of the TV, binging Jeffree Star videos.

So, like everyone else on the planet, I vowed it’d be different in January. I wanted to give up my vices and lead a better, healthier life. I quit alcohol for the month, donated my remaining tobacco and decided that in 2020, I’d give up meat.

Everyone around me was slightly confused about the last decision. Why did I want to go veggie? Was I trying to be trendy, or had I eaten a dodgy McDonald’s and couldn’t face the stuff anymore?

Yes, eating less or no meat is good for the planet and everyone’s doing it at the moment, but I was desperate to redefine my relationship with food.

While I enjoy cooking using fresh ingredients, there’s no denying that I should be eating more vegetables. My meals were often beige and veg was always the afterthought.

“Oh shit… I’ll shove some peas on, they only take a couple of minutes,” was something I said on a semi-regular basis.

Anyway, I had my last quarter-pounder on New Year’s Eve and the next day, I stopped eating meat. It’s now February and I wanted to reflect on how I did it, what I’ve learned and whether I’ll be continuing in the future (pssst, I am!).

It was even easier than I expected

Going from full carnivore to herbivore after 25 years is a tall ask, so I chose to go pesky instead of full veggie to start with. And yes, I know loads of people go full vegan without a transition period, but that’s not my vibe right now, get off my back.

Fortunately, going meat-free is pretty easy, especially when you live in Southern England. Shoreditch (where I work) is heaving with fantastic vegetarian restaurants, so finding some delicious burger alternatives also wasn’t difficult.

We also use a meal-planning app which has vegetarian/vegan options, so making our evening meals more exciting and nutritious than the potato or pasta heavy meals I’d have come up with alone.

Limiting my choices was a good thing

I 100% don’t condone diets or restrictive eating. Diets don’t work and restricting entire food groups to lose weight is dangerous and encourages disordered eating.

However, by cutting meat from the ‘food I can eat’ list, I’m forced to choose other alternatives that I’d previously shunned for a steak or burger. This means I’ve enjoyed delicious meals and eaten plenty of things outside my normal comfort zone.

It’s encouraged me to try food I didn’t like before, like tomatoes and chickpeas, and drastically increased the number of dishes I can make.

Cutting out meat has also stopped me from eating so much fast food. I’ve still enjoyed a pizza and veggie burgers, but instead of opting for a McDonald’s when I don’t want to cook, I’ve been kinda forced to make food instead. This has obviously had a positive impact on my diet and probably saved me a few quid here and there.

Meat-alternatives are better than they used to be

I’m well aware that going meat-free nowadays is easier because the meat-alternatives are so much better. You don’t have to say goodbye to burgers, sausages or mince.

The options available are so tasty and while they’re not the same as the original, sometimes they’re actually tastier.

The Beyond Meat patty is widely celebrated, but I tried a battered quinoa burger from Oasi in London and it was delicious. Thanks to the demand, people are creating innovative alternatives that make it easy to dump meat.

It’s reduced my shopping bill dramatically

My partner hasn’t gone meat-free with me, but we eat dinner together, so he’s a part-time pesky. However, this means that instead of dropping £10-20 a week on meat alone, our food shop primarily features vegetables, sauces and herbs.

And WOW, what a difference this has made. Before, we’d struggle to keep the bill below £60, but now I’m often unable to get it over the £40 minimum for my online shop.

This is a major plus, and while our weekly bill wasn’t unmanageable, being able to save money is always a plus.

I’m keeping it up

I spoilt this in the intro, but SURPRISE, I’m continuing my meat-free life.

One day, I want to phase out fish and head towards Vegan-Ville, but instead of feeling bad for not being a super eco-warrior, I’m focusing on changing my relationship with food for good.

I’m continuing to explore new recipes, create healthier meals and eating to fuel my body instead of always overindulging.

I don’t think most of my friends would have ever predicted I’d go kinda-veggie and if I’m honest, I didn’t either. But it’s 2020, and why the fuck not?