Remember when I was moaning about the trials and tribulations of January ages ago? Well, mind-bogglingly it’s still bloody January.

I don’t know how the rest of the country is doing, but it is swelteringly hot in Cape Town.

Going outside is like stepping into the world’s biggest convection oven. I feel I might as well whip up a cranberry sauce, pop an apple in my mouth and lie down on some cannibal’s grisly dinner table.

Only, I can’t afford the ingredients for cranberry sauce because the last time I was paid was SIX WEEKS AGO.

Being broke and sweaty is about as glamorous as it sounds: i.e, not at all. The situation was getting desperate over dry rice crackers this morning. I mean I’m quoting Simply Red lyrics here!

So, after a dismal breakfast Women24 and Food24 put our heads together and came up with some pro tips on surviving the next few days:

1.    Don’t socialise in malls and bars. Rather go for a hike with your friends. Pack a picnic (the bottled water and sarmies type, not the champagne and caviar type) or spend an afternoon next to a pool somewhere with a pack of cards. (No gambling, please!)

2.    Plan your meals cleverly. Food24 has an entire section on budget meals. You can serve a family of 6 for only R60 by making a tasty and healthy potato and onion frittata! Which brings me to my next point…

3.    Eggs are your friends. They make a cheap, easy, high protein alternative to meat and can be served for lunch or dinner in a pinch. The men in chick-lit and romance novels are forever making omelettes for dinner.

4.    Rather than going out to a restaurant, organise a braai. Everyone can bring their own – it’s not fair at this time to expect wealthier friends to host parties, and clubbing together for booze and food is much cheaper than spending money at a restaurant.

5.    Read. I’ve read more than 2 000 pages this January. My imagination feels rejuvenated.

6.    Sleep. Every now and again you should pretend you’re 8 years old and your bed time is half past 8. Eating dinner at 6, taking a bath at 7 and getting into bed with a book at 8 is one of the kindest things we can do to our bodies. The next day you’ll feel about 15 years younger. And your dreams are better than any 3D movie.

7.    If you haven’t watched 24 yet, rent all 7 seasons and you won’t be leaving the couch until you’ve watched all 7 days of TV time.

8.    Instead of buying new clothes, go through your closet carefully and reassess your wardrobe. You will find items you’ve forgotten about. Plan outfits and give all the clothes you’re not wearing to charity. Because no matter how broke you are at the moment, there will always be people who are worse off than you.

I feel better already. I hope this helped you too. If you have more clever tips, please write to us.

You can get one of our lovely new tees (have you seen them? Aren’t they gorgeous!) by emailing us and telling us how January has been treating you and how you’ve been treating it back.

I need to go make a frittata now.

Love and turned over cents.

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