Thursday, 20 October 2016

Day 304 - Things With Numbers

I've always been fascinated with 'things with numbers', set amounts, limits .... as you might have guessed from my various blogs and Challenges over the past few years. 

People that declutter to the point of only living with 100 possessions,  (see here), people that whittle that away to less and something that caught my attention a few years ago ... Project 333.   I'm just about to set to and put this into action properly again.  I've been doing it on and off for the last four years, but it seemed to slide last year because of Marie Kondo ...

...and her magic art of tidying.

After following Marie's instructions (and really enjoying the process), suddenly all my clothes and accessories fitted neatly into my half of the wardrobe and drawers instead of me sorting out seasonally and boxing somethings up, so they all stayed out.  But now I've decided to choose thirty three items of clothing to use for the final part of this year of living without new clothes ... it just makes sense. 

So I have decided to make the new clothes that I flipped out and bought last week the cornerstone of my Autumn Winter P333 collection, and so once I get off the computer I will be emptying out the wardrobe and drawers and picking my thirty three items.  It will be a bit easier now that the weather has settled down to proper Autumn chilly weather and no sudden freakishly hot days to upset the applecart.

This is a collage of the clothes I wore on the January 2014 round.

(To read more about my Project 333 adventures see HERE.)

I doubt I could ever manage living with just 100 items in total .... but I would love to try :-)

Today is a No Spend Day

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Day 303 - Like Buses

Money Spent Today - £6.40
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent - 0
Money Spent in Total - £328.71- All the Budget Now Gone
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent in Total - £300.75
Money left in Housekeeping Fund - 0
In the Red by -  £6.84p

My shopping days it would seem are like buses, none for ages then a few come along all at once.  This time I dropped into Tesco for a tub of ice-cream, Lovey Hubby likes it with his crumble, I like it too but I try not to succumb to temptation, I like breathing through my nose to much and anything with milk in it blocks my sinuses for twenty four hours  :-(

Everything else (apart from the Vienetta) was a yellow stickered bargain.  Not totally bargain-alicious but enough to tempt me into spending.  Seemingly I hit the store at just the right time, all the fridge section and half an aisle of ambient had been yellow stickered in a mass sort out of stock.  The reasons for the ambient reductions were on the shelf edge labels and varied from short dates, last of stock, change of packaging etc ... it made for interesting reading, but as you can see they only tempted me with the half price rice cakes.

The Vienetta is all gone .... somethings are just too tempting ...and breathing through your nose is vastly over-rated  ;-)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Day 302 - The Eleven Pence Shop

Money Spent Today - 11p
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent - £9
Money Spent in Total - £328.71- All the Budget Now Gone
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent in Total - £300.75
Money left in Housekeeping Fund - 0
In the Red by - 44p

We needed white pepper and salted peanuts, you wouldn't think the word 'needed' and salted peanuts were so inter-twined would you, but such is Lovely Hubby's fetish for his salted peanuts after a long sweaty day working outside, it really is a need rather than a want.  So off I go when needs must to replenish his little jar and keep my man happy.

The bread rolls were for lunch that day and the bread was thrown in the freezer.  I always see bread in one form or another as an ideal way to bring the shopping spend as close to the voucher amount as I possibly can, and in this instance my maths worked out pretty well.

The cakes were a treat, I need to set to and make some of these myself, I used to but have gotten out of the habit, maybe Winter is a good time to get back to baking some sweet treats occasionally.  As for the broccoli ... well as much as Lovely Hubby needs his salted peanuts I seem to have developed a need for a delicious biryani that contains half a head of broccoli .... guess what's for tea tonight then  ;-)

The unusual looking thing in the plastic bag is actually just a sweet potato :-)

Monday, 17 October 2016

Day 300/301 - Making Things Last

It's that time of year when I put my Summer shoes through the wash ready for only very occasional wear in the Autumn and Winter.  I don't like wet feet so unless it's a guaranteed dry day these don't see much daylight at this time of year.

I usually hold my breathe slightly when I come to open the door of the washing machine, to see if my shoes are still in one piece, but up to now I have always been able to take them out of the machine in one piece.  I was pleased the red ones survived as they had been bought quite cheaply in the Sainsbury's sale at the end of last Summer and hadn't been washed before.

The green ones were bought in 2013 from the Hotter shop and had been in use all though that Summer, all through the Summer of 2014 ....

and all through the good weather of 2015.

So after wearing them on and off throughout this year this was their fourth washing machine adventure ... and still they have come out looking fresh and ready for next Summer.

I can't remember how much they cost, a little bit more than I usually pay for canvas sneakers, but whatever it was they have been worth every penny.

Today is a No Spend Day
... as was yesterday when I didn't have time to post!!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Day 289 - Clothes ... Fail

What is it with me ... first I went into the red on the housekeeping part of the Challenge the other day, and then yesterday I got so frustrated with my clothes that while I was out I went and bought £100 worth of new tops from M&S, well it would have been almost £100 if ....

... this T shirt that was labelled as £22.50 hadn't come up on the till when the assistant scanned it ... at just £1.99. 

There things are not so bad after all  :-)

Proof of my bargain of the day.

But it's still a fail on the Challenge in the clothes department now.  Still I guess having my first clothes purchases of the year in the second week of October is not too bad.

Today is a No Spend Day
... this little tag applies to the housekeeping ... not clothes .... phew!!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Day 288 - Delicious Aromas

The house smells delicious this morning, the best sort of air freshener there is ... well as long as you like roasted vegetables and garlic, lots and lots of garlic ;-)

I spent the majority of yesterday both making Green Tomato chutney and roasting trays of garlic laced vegetables and then tipping them into my big jam pan and adding other ingredients to make us jars and jars of summer trapped in a bottle ....well that's what it will taste like when we use the sauces on our pasta, pizzas, in soups or as a side to other meals.

As we sat watching a bit of television last night we kept hearing the distinctive 'pop, pop, pop' of the lids as the vacuum was created, each one brought a smile to my face knowing that the sauce was preserved and safe to keep in the cupboard. 

The one that didn't 'pop' and the one that was only half full will be used first, well with the smell that is still lingering round the house one or more of them was always destined to be used straight away.  Never before have I fancied a big bowl of pasta drenched in tomato sauce for breakfast.

I did take a photo of the jars but it's downstairs trapped in my camera ... so you have got a photo of one of the chickens for no other reason than I like it  :-)

Today is a No Spend Day

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Day 287 - Into the Red .....

Money Spent Today - £5.06
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent - 0
Money Spent in Total - £328.71- All the Budget Now Gone
Vouchers/Coupons/Points Spent in Total - £291.75
Money left in Housekeeping Fund - 0
In the Red by - 33p

It had to happen.  I thought I might have squeezed a few more weeks out of my £4.73 but it wasn't to be.  I needed fuel yesterday and I also needed onions, it made more sense to get them both from the same place which in this instance happened to be Tesco.

So I shopped with cash and went slightly over what I actually had available, and the annoying thing was if I had just checked the cupboards before I left I would have noticed that I actually had two bottles of Red Wine vinegar, it as white I had run out of ... how ironic that it was Red Wine vinegar that plunged me into the red!!

The half carrot, in case you are wondering, was purchased for Suky the Pug who was with me, it was a full one when I paid, but she ate half on the way to Mum's house yesterday.

To try and soften the blow of having no cash left I picked up the latest free magazine  :-)

Today is the Day I Ran Out of Cash

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Day 286 - Making Good Use of Apples

After a windy day last week most of the apples came down off the 'Rosy Red' apple tree, we have no idea what variety of apple tree this is, it's a very old one,  but this describes the apples this year, they were much greener last year ... weird eh!!

Some of the apples we left on the ground for a while for the wildlife before transferring to the compost bins as they were pretty nibbled at but the best we brought in and turned into apple purees, apple tarts, apple and blackberry jams and a few were even eaten by Lovely Hubby as .... well just apples.

This week, every now and then the odd one has fallen from the top branches, I didn't even realise any were left until they appeared rosy and red lying on the grass, and I've been bringing the best of them in and leaving the rest for the wildlife and the chickens.

Yesterday I made a batch of Apple Turnovers with some basic shortcrust pastry and a small amount of sugar.  The kitchen smelt fantastic, sometimes it's worth baking just for the wonderful smell its leaves around the house.

One was eaten for supper and the rest are now wrapped and in the freezer .... somehow I got them in  ;-)

Today is a No Spend Day

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Day 285 - Rummaging Through Cupboards

Things are just starting to get interesting here, to be fair I thought it would happen a lot sooner, but now and only now am I reaching the back of some of the cupboards and finding things that I had either forgotten about, or put to the back of my mind for the time being while we have been living off the freshly harvested stuff, and the things from the freezer in my bid to empty it ready for the harvests to go in.

The other day I found these, a tin of strawberry jam base and an almost full bag of jam sugar.

As I had just picked a surprise late harvest of Blueberries from the net tunnel, and I knew there was a tub of mixed strawberries and raspberries in the big freezer, I knew straight away what I would make ....

... a few jars of mixed berry jam.

I like the feeling of pulling things in from here and there and making something useful and tasty out of them.  So these along with the other hundred or so jars of preserves (might be a slight exaggeration, I shall have to count) should last us easily through this Winter and beyond.

Today is a No Spend Day

Monday, 10 October 2016

Day 284 - Buying Books

Yesterday in the comments Beachcomber asked me this ... "Have you a long booklist waiting for January 1st?" ... a clever question. 

The answer is yes, of course I have .... after all I'm a bookaholic!!

But, and it's a huge big bold BUT, I won't be dashing out and buying all the books on my list in January of next year.  I have found that through doing this challenge,  although I do the usual 'ooh look there's Jamie Oliver's new book .... I don't have the urge to take it straight to the checkout and bring it home from the shop with me as I would have done this time last year pre-Challenge.

I have browsed through the just released books that have appeared on the shelves in the supermarkets and our local Waterstones, and even on occasion ran my fingers over the spines of the books on the shelves and pulled the occasional one down for a closer look.  I have felt a real pang of wanting to buy a nice new book but it has passed quickly and once home I don't dwell on what I might have owned as I once, not so long ago, would have.

I have parted with books I thought I loved at the car boot sale we did, after finding that in fact although they were full of lovely pictures, the recipes in them were not for me and would most likely never have been made, so they simply would not be earning their place on the shelves.

And we have made a decision over the last weekend that YES we will be doing a fresh Challenge next year, although it will be incorporated on my main blog  not on a blog of it's own.  Part of that will mean we finally get round to joining the local library.  So because of that the books on my list of 'must see, might own' will be picked up from the library first, and only if they fulfil the criteria of being very necessary for one reason or another will they be purchased and added to our bookshelves.

Today is a No Spend Day