Monday, 30 December 2013

New year .......... I don't do resolutions but ...

I don't "do" new year resolutions but this coming year I have three things I want to achieve at the very least...

1. Get fit, lose weight and get back to the fitness I used to have and weight I used to be.

2. Save money, cut spending and live well for less. This will give us money for the things we want to do this year.

3. Get my business off the ground, to give me money to make ends meet and work satisfaction.

Fingers crossed!

Getting Fit and Losing Weight

I know I am no spring chicken and losing weight and keeping fit gets harder as you get older, but you kinda never think it will happen to you, ha ha. Knowing you have put on weight because you feel uncomfortable and your clothes don't fit is bad enough. Stepping on the scales and having to face the reality is worse! I have had a few years of dramatic upheavals in my life, leading to lack of motivation to keep fit or keep up my hill walking. I had no time to do either of those things as a single parent. Then there's comfort eating, the medication that makes you put on weight but no one warned me about and then meeting the love of my life who, like me is a real foodie, being happy and content... So many reasons for that stone and a half to creep up on me and go BOO!

Like so many people I have tried so many diets and failed because I love my food, I love good food and I am a chocoholic. I recently read about the 5:2 diet. I bought the books and thought "here we go again - good intentions grinding to a halt a few weeks down the line". But I feel so unfit and unhealthy I really need a kick up the backside! So come next week when we are all back to work and school and back into a routine I will be doing it!

And exercise: how do I fit that into a full time working life, with a partner and three or four teenagers to look after, a house and garden to run and a new business being started up? It has to be something that motivates and is short but impactful. Another internet surf brought me to Davina McCall's DVD "Fit in 15". It has had great reviews and is broken up into 15 minute segments that can be done on their own or a few together as a longer work out. 15 minutes out of my day or yours, that isn't much is it? I bought the DVD (yup, been there before) and trialled it on and off last week to get a feel for it. I really enjoyed the work outs, I could do them and I felt I'd done something productive in only a few minutes. So again next week once we're back in the routine I shall be doing those 15 minute routines.

Living Well while Spending Less
How to save £90 on food shopping each month... Our biggest expense is food. With three to four hungry teenage lads to feed every week that's not surprising, but we need to cut costs. So this week we have saved £38, not by changing what we buy, but where we buy it. I bought some short-coded goods from and saved £25 on the normal retail price, then we shopped at Aldi instead of Tesco and saved £13, The rest of the shopping we got in our usual store. If we can do that over a month then we will save approx £90 a month! That's £1080 a year, which could buy a poly tunnel for our new business, a family holiday or perhaps an over payment on the mortgage, what's not to like about that?

This week's challenge (in keeping with the spend less plan) is not to do any food shopping! The cupboards, fridge and freezer are laden with food stock-piled for Christmas and gifts we have received. I want to see just how long we can go without doing a full food shop. I have set a small budget for fresh items such as milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. It could be an interesting week and potentially £140 saved if I succeed! Last night I fed seven on pork shops in marmalade sauce with mashed tatties and vegetables, followed by mince pies and Christmas cake for dessert. Tonight's dinner is for six: a winter vegetable curry with rice, naan and onion bhajis. I had found the naan and bhajis reduced at 17p and 29p respectively, the rest we had in the house. Total cost for 6 people £1.89. Brilliant.

Getting my New Business off the ground.
If you read the previous post on my workshops you will know this is part of the grand plan for Easter Mosshat Gardens. We have such a great resource here in the gardens and want to share our knowledge and experience with people and show that you can create a beautiful garden in difficult growing conditions. As well as the workshops we will be opening the garden to the public and eventually supplying B&B accommodation with home-cooked food and lots of luxurious attention to detail: somewhere cosy and quirky to stay!


  1. Great resolutions, pretty much the same as mine! I have just started a blog to document 2014 and living well on less after trying to achieve this for the last three years x

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting, I'll look up your blog, its always great to see what everyone else is doing. We dont want to compromise our standard of living but know we can definatly make savings. We've already saved £60 on our food bills and are still eating well. Good luck with your blog x