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Showing posts from July, 2019

Plastic Free July - Conclusion

I wasn't very plastic free. In fact I think I became less plastic free as the month went on. 

In the town centre we have an Aldi, M&S Foodhall, a small Sainsbury's and a mini Tesco. Three of those are not very good at all for unpackaged foods, understandably perhaps, Sainsbury's is better for fruit and veg, I have to give them that.

So the issues I've come up against are the ones I've outlined before - access and cost. I would love to jauntily wander around the market filling my basket with lovely produce but there isn't one for miles and I just have no desire, time, energy or money to devote to that cause.

We did have a veg box delivery for a while and I might be tempted to return to that but there were just so many things I didn't really like (broad beans), or received too many of the same thing (carrots, the never ending stream of carrots, so many!). undeniably there were benefits - staying away from the shops, lower weekly spend, less packaging, really…

What We Ate - Third Week Of July

It wasn't really a week for cooking much as I was really busy and just so warm, I also deleted most of the photographs I took so that's not very useful. Here's what we ate. 

Sunday - Just snacking, we were decorating so didn't do anything proper just houmous and salady bits.

Monday and Tuesday- Jackfruit with chermoula roasted squash and cous cous.

I am not a huge fan of jackfruit, it's fine but I just can't get excited about it, as a result there's been a tin in the pantry since January, so this needed to be the first thing to leave the pantry. 

This was a savoury, slightly spicy recipe with just onion, mushrooms and jackfruit along with paprika, chipotle and liquid aminos, I based it on this I Love Vegan recipe, I really enjoyed it, not enough to buy another tin of jackfruit for quite a while but I would eat it again. I roasted a butternut squash and coated half of it with the rest of a jar of chermoula I've had in the fridge for probably longer than idea…

Frugal Friday - Two

We didn't spend much this week so I had to think.

1. Phone contracts, we both have new contracts, mine is down by £5 to £12 a month and Dan's is I can't remember how much but at least half what it was before, we kept our "old" phones. 

2. Although I complained about having no summer tops to wear all week I didn't look at the charity shop for any new ones. I have quite a few short summer dresses so I wore them under a skirt. I've seen capsule wardrobe people do this and always thought it would be swelteringly hot but it wasn't any worse than other options.

3. Put all important dates and events into my phone calendar so things don't sneak up on me. I've added alerts for birthdays, so I'll be notified two week before so I don't have to panic buy and post gifts and cards, something that always costs more!

4. Moved all my garden pots into one area which made them easier to water, using my shower runoff. I think I read something about that helpi…


Or growth, not sure which, maybe both.

Last week when my boss gave me the roses she asked me to not put a picture of them on Instagram because the flaky friend I've spoken about in previous posts would kick up a fuss. 

When you reach that point when someone can't cope with not having something you have and you're changing your behaviour to avoid conflict rather than celebrating being surrounded with lovely people then it's a lightbulb moment. 

I don't know what else to say without it sounding like I'm hurt or feel like I've been taken advantage of, I don't feel that at all. The only thing I do feel is that there have been times my energy has gone in their direction rather than towards working - the reason for me being at the shop in the first place.

The shop manager made a comment this week about my work rate, it wasn't negative, but it illustrated my inconsistency, and the times I'm inconsistent are the times I'm bogged down in the microproblem…

Supermarket Haul - July

I really did haul the shopping back this week, I was so thankful to have my trolley with me. 

I actually forgot a few things, such as an onion but the shop was a bit hectic so I couldn't face going back. From Sainsbury's I bought bread, buns, almond drink, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, spring onions, butternut squash and mushrooms and tea. There seemed to be less loose veg than the week before, but there you go. That came to £10.80 

I went to Home Bargains looking for some stain remover but came out with a bag of crisps, 99p. Then, having forgot Oatly at Sainsbury's I went to Holland and Barrett for some soya drink and I was tempted by a white Vego as I approached the till. £3.78.

Total £15.57

This isn't food but I did find some laundry bleach/stain remover at Oxfam, it was £1.99, we also bought a carton of Oatly drink which was £1.80, so we've hovering around £20 for this week. 

My boss bought me a gift on Friday, can you believe what it was - 

Roses! And a little sneaky…

What We Ate - July

Here's what we ate this week (July 13-19). based on the things we bought in this post.

Saturday - Veggie finger panini with potato wedges

Dan went a bit overboard with the amount of potato wedges. We used potatoes, bread, veg fingers and tomatoes from the shopping trip. 

Sunday - I have no clue, there's no photographic evidence, but as we'd bought 4 boxes of pasta I'm going to guess pasta with something. 

Monday & Tuesday - baked tortillas/ not quite enchiladas

Not as depressing as they look, nor were they eaten at the bottom of a well, despite the darkness. I drizzled over some chermoula for a bit of zing and pep and to make them look less beige. Inside were black eyed and black beans, mushrooms, peppers and onion in a spicy tomato sauce.  

Wednesday - Jacket potato with tomato sauce and meatball-style items.

I have never eaten meatballs so have no way to compare what I ate to the animal version. As I have said before I'm not a regular meat substitute eater (I don…

Frugal Friday - Premiere

So it turns out it is abad thing to talk about removing the sacred roses, goodbye followers, I'll miss you!

Frugal Friday is a novel, never seen before concept in blogging* where I make a note of good things I've done this week. I am on a money saving push at the moment as we've pretty much used up the emergency fund lite, we also have the other emergency fund but that's not to be touched unless the house will fall down without it. It's really been hammered home to me over the past few weeks as a couple of friends have found themselves without a safety net when they needed it most, and it was awful. Everything is working out but it made me feel like I need more of a buffer. 

I, of course, started writing this without ever wondering if I had some money saving things to add to the list but let's not get bogged down with the details.

1. Dan has started paying himself £2 each time he cycles to work. 

He used to do this years ago but he didn't set the cash aside so …

I Don't Want To Be An Expert

We have a few roses in the garden, they used to form part of the plant jumble, and while I quite like them I think the fact they're there is what stops the back bed looking any good.

First of all it's perilous to garden there due to the spikes. Then there's just that specialness that roses have, they're always there at special occasions representing, love or peace or whatever else. Having said that there's always cake at special occasions and I have no problems getting rid of that. 

Also, the original owner of the house was clearly an excellent gardener so I think I felt that because I'm not a good gardener, I don't know much about it at all so it seemed that I should leave it because they knew more. But then I reminded myself that my aim is not to be a plantswoman, to be a top amateur gardener. My aim is to have a nice tidy(ish) garden with something to look at throughout the year, and to attract some wildlife. 

But why, out of all the plants, do I feel it…

Supermarket haul - July

This week I feel nothing but gratitude for my life, we have money to get by plus some left over to put aside for a rainy day, and some for fun, we have beautiful friends and family, wonderful neighbours and a happy home. 

On to shopping matters, in addition to the things I showed last week I spent just under £10 on soy drink, nuts, seeds, bunny veg and some bread. 

This week we were going out in the car so we headed to Morrisons and also took a look at the new Food Warehouse that had opened nearby - we don't have an Iceland store nearby so I was interested to see what was on offer here.

Although these pictures give the illusion I was at the bottom of a well I was not, it was just a dark morning! I don't know what I expected from the Food Warehouse but I was quite impressed, there was a fruit and veg section as well as tinned and tried foods along with the frozen foods. We bought a few bready things - naan, panini and a loaf were £1 each. Among the many many meat freezers were mea…

What We Ate - July

I posted our shopping last weekend (here), I had to rejig the menu plan as Dan ended up being away a few evenings during the week. This is what I ate 

Sunday, a really rubbish looking sandwich houmous, falafel and salad, it was later covered with avocado.

Monday - roast sweet potatoes, peppers stuffed with lentils, salad, pesto, houmous, all the things slung onto a plate. 

Tuesday I made a really delicious Thai Green curry but forgot to take a picture, I had the leftovers on Wednesday and forgot to photograph that too. It was peas, sweetcorn, onion, mushrooms, broccoli and peppers, topped with cashews.

Thursday we had a cooked brunch as Dan was going out in the evening.

Just toast, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and tofu scramble.

On Friday I kept it really simple as I was a bit tired after work so just a bottom of the fridge froed rice with the rest of the tofu and some roast cauliflower. 

Nice and simple, a perfect way to get through yet another busy week, I never used to be this busy, h…

Booze, Sleep, Exercise, Sugar

It's time to add to the things I'm working on this year and I think my new target will be hardest of all - sugar. I am coming to terms with the fact I am now slap bang in the middle of my 40s and really want to make some positive lifestyle changes before I need to or before it's too late (I know bad health can strike any of us regardless of our lifestyle but I want to be as healthy as possible). 

Giving up drinking was easy for me, in fact I met my friend for a drink yesterday and she was surprised to hear I've stopped drinking alcohol as we've been out a couple of times since Christmas and she hadn't noticed I was on the AF lager. While she's never going to give up drinking herself she seemed genuinely interested in my reasons and we had a good chat about health which was brilliant. 

Getting into an exercise routine was simple too, as the brand says it was was a case of just do it!

Sleep has been more tricky. Switching to decaff tea and coffee after 10.30 am …

Supermarket Hauls - July

The budget for July was already tight, then the iron stopped working, typical. So that was the first purchase of the month, I just went for the cheapest model available to me, and so far I quite like it. The previous iron was a free gift my mum received from a catalogue or something like that so, as she would put it, it didn't owe me anything. 

The plan for this month is to keep things simple. We've paused the veg box for a while as it was getting a bit much, apparently I don't cook as much as I think I do, also broad beans, wow they are unpleasant, I still haven't recovered from the ones we had in a tin a few years ago. I don't want to relive it.

So, for the first time in a while we went to the supermarket together and had a good look around. 

I spent £18.83. Quite a bit of bread, things have been so hectic recently Dan hasn't even been making our usual pitta which is a real shame. There was also almond and oat drinks - almond for baking and cereal, oat for drink…

Be Early - Waste Less

We've been to two gigs this week, one at Sage in Gateshead, one at the O2 Apollo in Manchester. We like to arrive at these things in good time because who wants to feel stressed during leisure time? In the words of The Beach Boys - we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow.

On Saturday we ate lunch before setting off, and although we did take a few snacks, my mum came to look after Bundy and brought some chocolate treats for us. we also took our water bottle as usual and some cashews. this meant we didn't stop on the way as we usually would and we arrived at the venue early enough that we could enjoy our drinks served in glass rather than disposable plastic - mine was a glass bottle as there was no alcohol free beer on tap but Dan had a pint in a regular glass. We also had enough time for a wander along the riverfront to decompress after the drive (which was about 3 hours) and spent no extra money doing that. 

Last night we got to Manchester about an hour before t…