No Zero Days (unless it's zero spending!! πŸ˜‰)

edited 20 August 2020 at 8:06AM in Debt free diaries
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    It's been a busy day! As I've had no internet due to an outage with BT, I decided to have a day of cooking stuff that needed using up 😊 
    I had two courgettes (marrows! πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚) in the garden, a job lot of runner beans, a huge bag of bramleys, a few carrots, some new potatoes and the remains of the cooked tomatoes in the fridge.
    I have made :-
    stuffed marrow with tomatoes, onions and a packet of 'rice' (the rice is made from green peas - bought it to give it a tryπŸ˜‰);
    some seitan then made a seitan, carrot, courgette and potato casserole;
    a bolognese by mincing the remaining seitan with the remaining tomatoes;
    a couple of jars of runner bean and courgette chutney with berebere spice and pineapple vinegar.Β 
    I peeled and chopped half the apples and they're in the dehydrator - they'll be added to porridge or hm granola; the other half I blitzed and am dehydrating for either apple powder or fruit leathers πŸ˜‰Β 
    I'm exhausted now πŸ˜‚ There's enough food to see us through the rest of this week though - next week it will all be from the freezer, I'm determined to seriously reduce our grocery spends!Β 
    I'm going to clean the house soon - just having an hour off to recuperate!! πŸ˜‰
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Another payday and another target reached!! πŸ™Œ I now have the health and garden costs covered which is great - next on the list are the house costs πŸ˜‰Β 

    I've started working on my new annual budgets (my 'new year' starts on November 1st) but as our household will shrink at the end of February, estimating figures is going to be tough πŸ€” I may just keep them at the levels I would normally then adjust at the 6 month point at the end of April....

    Yesterday was a good day - I was alcohol free and drank plenty of water! 😊 We are still eating the stuff from Tuesdays cookathon and will do the same tonight so I can just concentrate on catching up with work following my internet outage πŸ™ˆΒ 

    I need to get some housework done at some point - I didn't get round to it on Tuesday after all and I'm regretting that now πŸ˜‚ I will do a big clean at the weekend after I've done some more garden stuff - just hope the weather holds!Β 
    Anyway, I'm off to strip the beds and sort the laundry and dishwasher before I start work - have a fab day!! 😊

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Budget sorted!! πŸ™Œ I've included everything I can think of and although the figures are scary, I have overestimated everything as it makes me more comfortable πŸ˜‰ I'm ready now and will make sure I stay on track- spreadsheet has been made up and I'm actually looking forward to starting it and being more accountable for all our spending!Β 
    I haven't made any food for tonight- we've still got some rice stuff left which I may just add a few chickpeas to and bake - tomorrow I'll make sure that I get stuff out of the freezer for the weekend  😊 
    I'm off to do a quick freezer inventory then I can do the food plan for next week πŸ™Œ
  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    Well done. Β It's always scary when you do the figures but things will get better! Β You'll definitely save money if you menu plan and "shop" from home first. Β I always check what we're having the next day and make sure I get anything needed out of the freezer so it's defrosted for when I'm ready to cook.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Thanks @joedenise 😊 It's mainly dh who goes 'off-piste' with the grocery shopping but we had a long convo last night about the budget and he's on board with the plan πŸ˜‰Β 
    MEGA LONG POST ALERT!!Β 
    As it's my final weekend before my 'new year' celebration weekend, I'm getting some thoughts about my budget etc down that I can reflect on throughout the year so feel free to tune out! πŸ˜‰Β 

    Budget wise, our fixed costs are quite high - we both work full time and live in the sticks so need 2 cars; we are locked in to our internet costs as ther are only 2 providers locally who can provide us with high speed and as I work from home speed is esential; our council tax is pretty high as are the water rates (I don't have a meter as it would probably cost more) - but I have a bit of wiggle room elsewhere.Β 
    On the variables, there are things that I could reduce but am unwilling to - we feed a multitude of wild creatures throughout the year, we support a paticular charity, I employ my dd as a cleaner for the sake of my sanity and also to help her out financially and we have a healthy 'persie' allowance because we have spent years being massively careful with money so that we could pay the mortgage off πŸ˜‰ The running costs are all paid from one salary - the other salary will be used this year for savings, debt repayment (very old debts that incur no interest) and a couple of other things that we need to buy but haven't got round to yet! πŸ™ˆ
    My plan this year is to keep a very close eye on my actual costs and see what is left over at the end - I will do what I can to reduce my grocery bill, my electric, oil and petrol bills.
    I will be growing more of my own food, foraging when I can and 'shop' from our very healthy stores πŸ˜‰ I will waste nothing, gluts or excesses will be preserved and then written in to meal plans (no point in having hundreds of jars of things we never use up!πŸ˜‰)Β 
    Obviously I will shop around for the best deals on insurances too - I need to just check out the renewal dates so that I don't leave it to the last minute and panic buy! πŸ˜‚
    It's all looking pretty good really, I feel organised properly this time around and it's also the first year in a long time that we haven't got masses of work to do on the house - that is a major bonus as I felt like I was haemorrhaging money with that and was out of control 😩 The garden will be taking up plenty of our time though - still got lots to do on that! πŸ™ˆ However, I have a very strict budget for it and will not exceed that!Β 

    Okay, essay is over now πŸ˜‚ I just needed to get it all down so that I can refer to it if I have a wobble!! πŸ˜‰
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Busy day today! πŸ™Œ 5 raised beds made and filled with topsoil then planted up with bulbs and flowers 😊 beetroot harvested, cooked and pickled; carrots harvested and cooked; gem sweetcorn picked ready for an autumn decorative bowl; spaghetti squash harvested and tomatoes cut down and cleared πŸ‘ I'm exhausted now but really pleased with what we've achieved!Β 
    Tomorrow will be another garden day if weather permits - I still have to weed the beds, take out all of the plants that are no longer productive, plant my sweetpea seeds and my broadbeans, sort the compost bins and tidy up the broken branches that came down a few weeks ago...hopefully I'll be able to breathe after all that! πŸ˜‚Β Β 
    Another NSD today too - I am really pleased with how things are going 😊
  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    We took out our tomato plants too over the last couple of days as only had some green tomatoes left on them. Β The green tomatoes have been turned into a couple of jars of chutney for later.

    Now need to think about planning for next year. Β Thinking we might do some chard, more chillies and more tomatoes.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    I'm planning for next year too @joedenise 😊 I can highly recommend chard - I've grown rainbow chard this year as it looks attractive - its done really well and is very much a 'cut and come again' veg so worth the money! I cook the stalks in 'butter' then add the leaves for a couple of minutes towards the end - I also dehydrate the stalks and leaves separately and use the stalks in casseroles and add the leaves later πŸ˜‰Β 

    I haven't grown chillis before but will be doing so next year, along with sweet peppers. Tomatoes will always be on my list - I love them!!! 😍 I've got a whole list of stuff that I will be growing but I think I'm going to steer clear of brassicas- for me they're just not worth the time, effort or space πŸ€” I've got some that I started in the summer which I will plant up today but they will be the last - I'm happy to go to my local farm shop and buy them from there πŸ˜‰Β 
    This also means that I will be able to free up an entire bed - I'm deciding on what to put in at the moment- I'm tempted to do a whole bed of beetroot but dh thinks that's excessive! πŸ˜‚Β 

  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    I can't grow very much stuff at all as only have a small bed - about 5 metres x 1 metre so I'm very limited in what I can do. Β I certainly won't be growing as many chillies as I did this year!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    @joedenise, I feel the same about courgettes! πŸ˜‚ I put in 3 plants this year and had enough courgettes to feed an army!! πŸ™ˆΒ 

    So, this is the final week for me to get things in place before my 'new year' starts - I've written a list of stuff I need to do and am feeling very motivated to achieve it all 😊

    I've got a meal plan for this week which will use up a lot of stuff that has been in my freezer for a while and intend to do no grocery shopping this week! πŸ™Œ

    Work is going to be crazy this week- I've got a couple of new systems I need to finalise and several events to organise which are very time consuming but I'm looking forward to the sense of satisfaction I know I'll have once I've achieved it all πŸ˜‰Β Β 

    The house is clean finally so it's just a case of keeping it up over the week - I'm planning on doing that before I start work so that I get back into the routine, I'm much more of a morning person so getting stuff that I don't enjoy doing out of the way early in the day works best for me πŸ˜‰Β 

    Alcohol is still far too much but I'm having two alcohol free days this week before I quit for the whole of November - I'm also going to reduce the amount on the days I do drink and start later πŸ˜‰Β 

    So, that's my plans sorted - just need to get on with it now!! πŸ˜‚
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