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Showing posts from January, 2013

Totting Up January

And how we did was quite shocking. We took to spending like rabbits to destroying carpet. I've mentioned it a few times already but December and January have been different to all the previous months for years. We just did what we wanted. If we wanted to go out then we did, if we wanted to shop, we shopped, if we wanted to watch the footie at the pub then that's where we went. So I shouldn't be all that surprised at how much money we burned through. 

But totting it up on Monday I discovered that including the £10 per weekend we have as safety value fun money we spent as much on food and drinks as we have for the grocery budget. Luckily it's out of our system. The menu plan states "out" for two of the first three days of February but one day will be takeaway paid for by someone else for DH's birthday (probably a chip butty) and the other "out" is out trip to Nottingham for DH's birthday. I think we're going to take a picnic then maybe just…


It's amazing how quickly "new" becomes "normal". I knew there was something I'd missed from my birthday list but couldn't for the life of me think what it was. Then this morning as I was sweeping the living area it hit me - a jute rug! I only bought the rug last week (at a bargain price) after being on the lookout for one for months. After only seven days I'm already taking it for granted, even though it does look lovely and my feet are far warmer. 

If I can forget about something I'd wanted for ages even when it's staring me in the face it makes me appreciate how easy it is to make an impulse purchase then let it hide in a cupboard unused.

February Menu Plan

DH was the main author of this month's menu plan, so let's see how it goes! It is what it is, I don't give things exciting names to make them sound more exotic than they are and have a basic formula. the most obvious part of that is Friday night curry. This is only our third month of doing a monthly rather than weekly plan but it seems to work better for us than weekly. 

Week One

1. out
2. gnocci

Week Two

3. out
4. lentil bol
5. mini roast
6. chilli (freezer)
7. pasties w. wedges
8. curry
9. pizza

Week Three 

10. beans on toast (rugby)
11. rendang curry w. tofu
12. shepherdess pie
13. shepherdess pie
14. pasta bake w. garlic bread
15. curry
16. beanburgers

Week Four

17. haggis
18. leek and butterbean stew w. fried haggis
19. risotto
20. thanksgiving pot pie
21. tacos
22. curry
23. ciabatta pizza

Week Five

24. roast
25. rendang curry
26. mustardy veg and bean cobbler
27. jambalaya
28. enchiladas


We have lived the life of Riley this month, birthday, 10th wedding anniversary, general jollity and it has been fun. Costly fun. I can't say it hasn't been worth it though as we've had such a great time and it's been a really relaxing start to the year.

For the past 8 or 9 years our Christmas and birthday cash has been used for sensible things like clothes, things we need for the house, new tyres or whatever. This year we haven't done that. We bought each other Christmas gifts for the first time ever (£75 budget) and it was a really enjoyable thing. I don't know if we'll do that again for 2013 but it was the right thing to do for 2012.

I spent the last of my gift money this weekend. Maybe I didn't stretch it as far as I could but it has been wonderful to take a year off from making gifts work hard to allowing gifts to be massive treats. Having said that I have 5 new tea towels, a light pull for the bathroom and two new soap dispensers so maybe not all fli…

On The Beach

Went for a stroll to watch dogs and people with kites on the beach and saw a Jewson bag full of sand right next to the dunes. It made me laugh anyway. 

Peace and Quiet

For the fifth or sixth time I deactivated my Twitter account. I did the same with facebook last week, it is so peaceful.

I started to think about how I'd removed facebook first even though it's full of people I really know but kept the other thing. Lots of people complain about the ads on facebook but twitter is just as bad, everything is an ad there, it's just that they're all links to things I like rather than for all manner of things whether I'm interested or not. So I suppose it's a bit of snootiness to say that you're on the more cool one rather than the one your mum's on. But it's all the same thing. 

One of my mates said that facebook is the face you have to put out to the world whereas t'other one is the face you want to put out. That's the interesting thing to me, why does there have to be a difference? If we want to be who we are then why would we compromise in something that's meant to be our own space? It's the same with bl…

What To Wear

For about 10 years I worked in various charity shops, both paid as a manager then later as a volunteer. Obviously the temptation is huge, every day bags and boxes came through the door and the game of nice or nasty roulette began. I had to make a very deliberate decision to only buy something that I'd never see again or was in such amazing condition that it would be crazy not to buy. So I'd have my eye on something and hold my breath as it sat in the shop for at least one day before I could buy it. Sometimes I missed out sometimes the item was still there so I could go for it. 

I loved my charity shop bargains, friends would always ask me about where I'd bought things and I'd be happy to tell them all about how great charity shops are and I thought that was that. So I was pretty surprised when I did a wardrobe audit last year. My wardrobe in the new house (I say new, we've been here for two years) is tiny compared to the huge bank of wardrobes we had in the old hous…

the safety net

The goal for this year is to bulk up the Emergency Fund, as I thought I'd better mention something about money saving. We have a basic aim which will just happen - we became debt free for the second time (don't tell Dave Ramsey) last year so the money we were using to pay off the debt is being redirected to savings. Then we have an additional aim to save 80% of that again just from day to day savings.

We're not car boot folk, we don't have enough belongings to sell any really, I have never been on ebay so the savings will be from not spending rather than earning. As I've said we've been through the initial student loan-credit card-car loan debt free frenzy where we sold things, took on work, cut to the bone. That's not where we are for the time being and hopefully never again. We turned our finances around by paying off the debt, overpaying/ reducing the term on the mortgage and switching to just wanting less. Well, maybe not wanting less but certainly buyin…

what i thought about on monday and intro

On reflection, the fantastic cupboard is still fantastic but it doesn't remove the wrapping paper curse. I used up all the wrapping paper I had over the festive time and didn't buy more in the sales. Breaking a number of my usual rules there - not buying in the sales, not having a stock of something, using more paper than I needed to just to get rid of it. I didn't cut cards up to make gift tags or new cards. It was great. Yes I'll have to pay a quid more for wrapping paper but on the other hand my feud with wrapping paper will be over.

I'm a normal person, not a super-frugal, black belt, frugaller than thou frugalista type. I don't want to live in a cottage or have an allotment or live in the countryside. In fact if I drop a bar on my phone reception or see a road with the words "quiet lane" or "passing places" I break into a sweat. I am a townie, but not in a cake and crochet kind of a way. Just in a normal person doing normal person things…

What I thought about on Thursday.

This was written in August or some other time ages ago.

Yesterday I had my first quilting problem, the bias binding was too narrow. Sitting under an unbound quilt wasn't the end of the world. I also had a conversation about the difference between a MILF and a Yummy Mummy and while I was at it learned that there is a drink called a babyccino and I think it's a cup of hot milk.

Today I am happy about the cupboard that is above the cupboard that used to contain the hot air blower. Instead of solid shelves there are poles, and removing the pole at the back means I can store rolls of wrapping paper without them getting scrunched. A small thing but it stops gift wrapping fury. I also heard about something called a "funpod", having done an image search the fun is not contained within the appearance of the structure or the fact that it obviously involves a child.