Simple living in the country - back to basics

Hi all, 

I'm Cheery, been round here a long time now, and feeling in need of a new space to spread out for the new year :smile:

We are two, Mr Cheery and I, and at the start of 2018 we moved from a terraced house in a city to a detached house with 11 acres of very soggy fields in the middle of nowhere. It's been a steep, and rather expensive, learning curve. Our nearest shop is 2 miles away, nearest town 7 miles, and my job is 27 miles away - an hour's drive each way. 

We used to be very thrifty, and we paid off the mortgage in the old house (not particularly through thrift - Mr Cheery is older than me and just paid it for 25 years), and LOVED throwing lots of spare dosh into a savings account. However, we spent most of those savings on moving here - and also took out another 25 year mortgage. 

Last year we took Mr Cheery's pension (early). The lump sum has paid for a big chunk of building work in the house - kitchen/dining room, and bedroom above. There's still DIY to do (painting, skirting boards, finishing plaster boarding between the joists on the kitchen ceiling) but the builders are (mostly) gone now, thank goodness. They were here for almost 4 months, and it was VERY stressful. 

So the lump sum has been VERY severely depleted, and since I went down to four days a week in September, we've actually been spending just over what we earn. Clearly that needs to stop.

So this coming year I want to get back into my thrifty old ways! We were without a proper kitchen for two years, and now we have one again (hooray!) I want to go back to cooking from scratch, batch cooking for the freezer, making soap, making my own household cleaners, experimenting with making cheese... We have a lovely veg patch which was sadly neglected last year, and currently have 6 chickens, so a steady supply of eggs (and vets bills). 

I'm going to be doing the FrugalWoods Uber Frugal Month in January again (first did in 2017) so I'll start off with a few posts about that to get my head back into thriftiness. 

I should confess I type quickly and am a dreadful waffler, so apologies in advance... 

If you're nosey, my previous diary (started when we first moved out to the countryside) is HERE
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