Thursday, 6 February 2014

Ending the month £70 better off and 7 pounds Lighter!

Well that's the first month of the year over already! I've not got as much gardening done as I'd hoped. Last weekend the weather was miserable and this weekend looks to be the same too, plus this weekend we are away (yippee). More hibernating methinks.

I thought I'd do a wee round up of my new years resolution-type plans...

Getting Fit and Losing Weight
Yes, I am sticking to the exercise and weight loss plan. I've upped the number of 15 minute workouts I do to two a night: hard work but worth it. I really do feel much fitter already. I've fallen off the better eating plan on a few occasions but toughened up the next day and not slid into the "well I've eaten something or eaten too much so what the hell, lets keep eating" habit of old and ta da ... I've lost half a stone since the beginning of January, which is a miracle. I've really struggled over the past year or so to lose this extra stone and a half that appeared from nowhere and I feel amazing. My clothes fit again and I feel fitter. Only 10 pounds to go and I'll be happy, a stone if I really push it.

Living Well while Spending Less
As for saving money, especially on the food bills, we are doing well. We have saved £70 over January, each week after shopping I have put the savings straight into a savings account so it doesn't get frittered away. We are not eating less,  but eating just as well by shopping in different, cheaper stores, not always buying brands and being more open-minded about our shopping. I shopped in one store all the time because it saved time and effort on my part as a busy working mum. Seeing the savings we can make has changed my mind a lot! I just did another monthly shop on the Approved foods website last night, spending £36  and saving £63 off the RRP! Over a year this should make a big difference and enable us to do something substantial, meaningful or fun. The list is endless, but here are a few of my ideas:

~ A poly tunnel (at last - please, please!)
~ A holiday for us and the kids abroad next year (fun, fun, fun)
~ Save up and pay a chunk of cash off the mortgage (sensible, but not so much fun)
~ A wedding? (Hmm, I said I'd never do it again, but if the missing bit of your jigsaw comes         along...)
~ Endless home improvements and new projects (fun and creative)

We're not only saving money by spending less on food, we're trying hard to avoid wasting any once we've bought it and making it go far. For example making one 2 kg chicken for £4.99 do 3 meals for 4 people. 

So tonight we had roast chicken for dinner (yum, my favourite). After the four of us had eaten I picked all the meat off the carcase and added it to the left over rice and soya bean salad with korma sauce left over from our Japanese night last week. This will be Sunday night's dinner. I put everything else in a pan with some water and made some stock. I will then add some veg that need used up to make a pot of soup, served with some crusty bread and cheeses this will make another meal. How cool is that? All left overs used up and no waste.

Getting my new business off the Ground
As for the business plans, I have to admit I haven't done nearly as much as I should. A few big ugly stumbling blocks have reared their head this year regarding the house, OK massive big boulders that have got in the way and need climbed over and dealt with, which is frustrating as they're all about timing, money, ex husband and legal stuff,  especially as we thought everything was tickety boo and sorted out. So my motivation in this department has hit a bit of a low.

Winter Colour on the decking

I've been reading a lot of frugal living, gardening and simplified life blogs, which are interesting and it's fun to see everyone else's ideas. Virtually everything they do I do already, but there are some great ideas and characters out there, some of which are on my blog roll to the right. 

All in all January has been a good month, apart from the house stress. I feel and look better, we are saving money and have made some progress in the garden, weather permitting. My eldest son is learning to drive, as is middle son, who is on study leave and sitting advanced higher prelims. The youngest continues to settle well into his new school and Bracken the dog takes amazing to a whole new leve, step daughter has just tuened 20 (eek) and Step son has become the poultry god, tending to our flock when comes to stay at the weekend.

This weekend David and I take a well earned break for our Christmas gift to each other: a long weekend away in a wee, cosy cottage by the sea. I can't wait, I'm ready for a rest and a break and hopefully I'll get rid of the lurgy that has lurked for weeks. 


  1. Sounds like you have made an amazing start to the year on all fronts. I hope you have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing some pictures x