Sunday, 29 March 2015

Change of scene.

I should have posted this a long time ago, but I have started my own finance blog at:

which focuses on getting better with finances, and our dreams of early retirement and living in the country. 

It would be lovely to see people over there, if you fancy a visit!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Meals for the week.

Another week has finished, so it's time to look to the week again. 

Our meals for this week are:
today - roast chicken and trimmings
Monday - chicken fajitas
Tuesday - lasagne
Wednesday - quiche and salad
Thursday - pizza (DH) slim fast (me)
Friday - breaded fish with chips and peas

Short and sweet today. 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Our weekend in pictures.

We've been upto Scotland for the May day weekend. I think these pictures sum it up quite well. 

This was the view from our bedroom window. 

Lots of driving through country lanes. 

Met some lovely animals along the way. 

Walks through the woodland. 

It's been good. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Little things this week.

Little things that have happened over this past week:

We are trying to get the cats used to a carry case, as their annual booster vaccinations are due soon. Django likes to get stuff from outside to put in his. Hmm, I don't think he's grasped that he has to go in there yet...

Every time I have a cup of tea, this happens. Every time. At least this time I'd drunk about half the cup before he'd got his nose in. 

I've put this on our conservatory wall. Adding a little something to the wall, adding a little bit of personality in there. 

And finally, I appear to be obsessed with bananas this week. Not that that's a bad thing.

What little things have happened to you this week?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Monthly aims: May 2013

The month of May is here! We're going away for the long weekend this weekend, and I'm away again at the end of the month, which I'm looking forward to. This means that planning money carefully so that we can have the best time possible.

My aims for May are:
- lose 4lbs
- Overpay £550
- Get the Emergency Fund to 40%
- Have 18 NSDs

I'm going to try really hard with eating healthy this month. It's getting warmer, which means I can't continue to hide in big baggy jumpers. 

Slightly lower aim for the overpayment this month, which I'm hoping will balance out of the course of the year. 

Finally, the no spend days are self explanatory, but here's hoping I'll succeed this time!

Here's to May, I am looking forward to it. 

A month in review: April 2013

Wooosh. Another month over - goodbye April!

I have to say April was again mixed. I feel like we've taken our eye off the ball money-wise this month, starting with the weekend away and then downhill from there.

My aims for April were:
- lose 4lbs
- Overpay £600
- Get the Emergency Fund up to 25%
- Have 17 No Spend Days
- Have a date with DH

I'm really struggling with my weight at the moment - I appear to be an emotional/stress eater so I haven't been anywhere near weighing scales. I need to get a grip with this. 

We've OP'd £535.51 this month, which is short of the target but I'm not too worried. That's still a fantastic amount to pay off on top of our normal mortgage payment. 

The emergency fund now stands at 32.7% which is absolutely fantastic! I think I may focus more on this in the coming months, to try and get this finished by the end of 2013. 

Only managed 13 NSDs this month, which is a poor attempt really. Like I said, I've taken my eye off the ball.

Me and DH have been out for a meal, so I guess that counts as a date! :) 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Getting your grocery shopping cheaper.

I thought I'd write a post on grocery shopping and how to make your weekly shop cheaper. Food is one area where everyone spends, but not everybody really takes notice of what they are buying. 

We have some friends who are the same age as us, who don't understand why they never have any money. This weekend, I spent some time with them, and also went food shopping with me and, to be honest, I was amazed. They went round the supermarket, just popping any random thing that took their fancy in the shopping cart. 

At the end, I asked them what kind of meals they were going to have this week, and my friend answered "Oh, I don't know. We'll work that out when we're going to eat."

How can you possibly go shopping for food (they spent over £80 in that shop) when you don't know what you need, what you're going to eat during the week, and what you already have in at home?

My tips are:
- Plan your menu. I can't stress this enough - knowing what you're going to make during the week is helpful for two reasons. 1 - you know what you're having so that you don't have to think about it during the week. 2 - you know what meals you're having so you know what ingredients you need to get. 

- Eat seasonal. There's a reason why strawberries/raspberries/pineapples are really expensive in January - because they're not in season. Eat things that are seasonal, because they tend to be cheaper. 

- Go veggie. Have one or twos meals during the week that don't include meat, as it's healthier and also lots cheaper. Maybe have a soup night once a week, again another cheap, healthy option. 

- Check what you have before you go. Seriously, my friends didn't know if they needed anything, because they hadn't got a clue what was in their kitchen at home. Before you plan, check and see if anything needs eating up. That goes onto the menu first. Then, once you've written your menu, check and see what you have at home first - I bet it's more than you think! 

- Think about cost of food vs. calorie value. This may seem a bit strange, but some things are cheap and easy to cook, and very good for you at the same time! Take porridge oats - get the basic ones as they're pretty much all the same. Oats are really good for you, and yet they don't cost too much. There's so many varieties you can do with oats - breakfast is an obvious one, but use them to bulk out meals too. Bananas are always on our list too, as they're cheap and nutritionally very good too. Same goes for eggs, 

I hope that's helpful to someone. I've been to get some food today - a mixture of the market and the supermarket, and I've spent £21.32 on our weekly shop. Our menu for the week is:

today - roast pork with the trimmings
Monday - chicken fajitas
Tuesday - pizza
Wednesday - coq au vin with rice
Thursday - pasta with sauce
Friday - fish and chips 

I love food.