My life in Ipswich - incorporating One Step at a Time, my account of how I am slowly changing my life

Monday, 16 January 2012

Another week........

 Last week was truly a very mixed bag. Harry’s car developed a fault and is certainly proving to be a b*gger to fix. He seems determined to try and fix it himself and not give Vauxhall his hard earnt cash. Anyway he’s now down to last attempt – changing a sensor – if that doesn’t work , then Vauxhall will have won.

All this has meant he’s been using my car a lot and my petrol budget for the month is well and truly blown. Not only that, but on Saturday in Cambridgeshire on the way to Whittlesey Straw Bear, a lorry threw up a ‘boulder’ and I now have a large bullet type hole and some very long cracks in my windscreen. It’s going to be fixed tomorrow but I have £100 excess to pay. So much for all my budgeting.

We had a really good day at Whittlesey [ if you discount the broken windscreen]. It was cold but thermals under my jeans and jumper seem to have worked and I didn’t feel too cold. Watching the straw bear dance was interesting – he certainly must have been very fit to dance with all that straw weighing him down. Pretty Grim [ Harry’s border morris side] had a slow start to the day but finished with some excellent dancing on their last spot outside the Letter B pub.
Just been disturbed by the postman bringing the two Spot flap books I’ve ordered as part of Ella’s birthday present. She loves Spot so I think these are going to be well read. This week I need to sort out all the things I have to take for her birthday party on Saturday, make her card and wrap her presents. Also need to make Harry’s daughters’ cards and sort out presents for them – will be a busy week.

As to my budgeting in 2012, this is having its ups and downs. My grocery shopping budget is going fine and I have spent very little since Christmas but all my other budgets keep getting hit by unexpected events. Latest [after the windscreen] is now the breadmaker that is making crunching noises when kneading. I am unsure what to do about all this as I feel I may have gone into this 2012 budget challenge too deeply and really should have taken it slowly. The time for decision making has come. I am wondering if I should not be quite so harsh with myself and just take it step by step.

Another reason perhaps to ease off pressure on the budget challenge is that I don’t seem to have been able to find the energy/willpower/motivation to go back to my weight loss programme. I put on about 5lb over Christmas and it still hasn’t gone. Since I know my weight affects my health, I must do something this week to tackle this situation especially as I am not feeling too good at the moment. My chest is painful and my stomach is rather unsettled. Actually writing all this down has made me decide – I am going to cut back on being so hard on the budget and concentrate just on the grocery budget, watching household fuel consumption, and on my weight loss and fitness programme. Wow – I’ve made a decision!!

Really must stop now and go and get some of the dreaded housework done – see you all soon. xx

Thursday, 12 January 2012

2012 Grocery Budget Challenge

Today I have been doing a stock take of the freezer and have started on the cupboards. Have the basis for 45 meals in the freezer so with the addition of vegetables that should cover until approx end of Feb for our main meals. As to the storecupboard , it is embarrassing how much there is - 20 + tins of soup; loads of pasta, rice, coucous; 16 tins of beans; 15 tins of tomatoes ; 8 tins of sweetcorn; 7 stirfry sauces;21 cup a soups; and there's loads more as I haven't finished yet.  It should be even possible to stretch into March without doing any big shop, especially as I also have 4 packs of sausages, lots of cheese and 14 eggs in the fridge.

So far I have spent £39. 47 on food since January 1st. Aim is now to spend no more than an average of £20 a week til at least March 10th. As my annual budget works out at £35 a week, that will really help when I come to restock the freezer. When that happens I want to buy all the ingredients and make up lots and lots of meals to put in the freezer. Wish me luck......

How are you trying to cut grocery spending this year?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

4th January 2012

Have woken up feeling really cold – don’t seem to have mastered the central heating controls. I know what I need to do to rectify the situation but doing it is another matter. Why can’t they make instructions easy to follow?
The bread I made last night is gorgeous. It was a cheating packet mix – sun dried tomato one. I am slicing it with the electric slicer so am getting really thin slices but 3 slices for breakfast is a bit much , don’t you think?  I seem to have lost a bit off the bottom of the breadmaking pan, which will stop it working. Harry has said he will sort it for me – it’s good being married to an engineer!!
 Have listed 6 items on ebay last night and already have 5 followers on 3 items and a bid on another item. Would really like to make £50 from these items but am unsure whether that is actually possible. Have quite a few other items to list so hopefully will manage to get some of that done later today.
Why is it so difficult to get going when it’s cold? I know that if I move my fat butt from this chair and start moving I’ll get warmer but can’t seem to get motivated. Will someone please give me a kick.