Sunday, 18 January 2015

Marie Kondo decluttering!

I have just discovered this blogger app so bear with me & i will try to upload before and after photos of my de-cluttering attempts using the Marie Kondo idea of only having posessions that inspire joy...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Further de-cluttering - and musings on clutter...

I downloaded a sample of a book on de-cluttering into my Kindle (actually I got a load of samples as they are free!)Most de-cluttering books tend to be American and yes, there are some interesting things in it but I do like a British when I read the sample of Banish clutter forever by Sheila Chandra I was so impressed with it that I actually bought the Kindle edition! A major event for me as I simply wont buy Kindle books but I really like how she wrote about clutter basing things on the toothbrush principal (ie you always put your toothbrush back in the same place and never lose it) So bascially there is a home for everything. I really like this book - although its repetetive (and I need that) there is some really good ideas and insights into why some de-cluttering never seems to last. I have read it all now and am letting it sink in. I will read it again when I have time to do the excercises and see how it goes - a lot of it makes good sense to me and rings bells.
So on that note I attacked my too-small wardrobe - now regular readers now I have lost 4 stones and whilst on my diet journey I was putting away clothes I came across in jumlbe sales and car boots that I would like to get into.....the problem about losing so much is when you are bigger you have an idea of what you want to wear when you lost weight - however, when you lost that weight those clothes might no longer be what you want to wear and this has happened to me. So in my de-cluttering last night I put 11 (yes 11!) tops into the car boot pile!
Ongoing de-clutter total - 30
Money from sales - £3 (sold my iron!)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Cut price shopping and this weeks menu

This weeks menu (from the cupboards/freezers!) is
Spag bolog
Prawns/jacket pots
Turkey curry
Macaroni cheese
Barbecue chicken wings
Most involve left overs from Christmas. Wrote out a shopping list to accompany these and decided not to go to Asda as too many temptations so just went to our local Co-op - bought exactly what was on my list (thats a first for a long time! lol) - I spent £30, got £3 off by using my Student discount card and had a £3 voucher off so it only cost £24 for the week! The Co-op is more expensive but I am not tempted by lots of offers so with the discounts it worked out much better. Next week will be dearer as there are meals to be made for me and dd but will have to buy stuff for dh (dodgy tum) but will work on the same principle of the spreadsheet and see how it goes.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Spreadsheet for pantry, freezers and meals

I am going to change the way I do my shopping and meal planning - both seem to have vanished since I have been working full time and its all my fault so need to get a grip! I do love a spreadsheet! I have tried to be organised with food as in knowing whats in the cupboards and our 2 freezers but paper doesnt work (even when its on the fridge to fill in when folk take out stuff!)so me and dd went through all the cupboards and freezers today and wrote down what we had (chucking out all the out-of-date stuff as we went along!)
So wrote what we had on a spreadsheet under 7 headings
Mains ie meat, fish, chicken etc
Sides, such as veg, beans etc
Carbs, ie potaotes, chips, rice , bread etc
Sauces ie curry,stir-fry etc
Portions or frozen meals
Then at the end I made up a heading of Meals and then under another heading Shopping.
Went through everything we had to easily make up 7 meals, added any wee bits we needed to the shopping list and Robert is your mothers brother! Highlighted anything we were going to used for the meals and once the week is over I will take off those things
Once I can get my cupboards and freezers down I can take advantage of whatever is on special offers and both dd and oh will muck in with the menus instead of leaving me to think of everything
Well - thats the plan anyway!! Will post my menu and this weeks shopping list onces I have the go-ahead from the troops!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Bought a dress for my dds wedding in the sale!

Have been very good and not spent any money at all....then went on to the House of Fraser website...I bought a gorgeous dress for my sons wedding last year from their Eliza J range (full skirts - very 50's) and have been watching a grey dress for a while - got all excited as it was in the sale reduced from £140 to £39 but was out of stock!!!! But there was a lovely damson plum one very much like the one I got last time but this time with beaded cap sleeves - reduced from £140 to £78 so I ordered it and its arrived and is beautiful! It is also 2 sizes smaller than I am now so that will keep me on the straight and narrow of my healthy living plan! I lost 4 stones for my sons wedding, put a stone back on (over a year thats not bad!) - have now lost that stone but might have put a bit back on over Crimbo - so I reckon another 2 stone off and the dress will fit perfectly. The wedding isnt until September so plenty of time....
Havent done any de-cluttering as busy at work so total is still
3 x beanie hats for a lady with cancer
3 paperbacks for car boot sale
Ongoing de-clutter total - 19
Money from sales - £3 (sold my iron!)

Monday, 5 January 2015

Home made butter

I had a carton of double cream lurking at the back of the cupboard - still in date so decided to have a go at making butter - it was so easy and totally delicious! I put the cream and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl and using my trusty hand mixer it took exactly 7 mins to produce some butter! I drained it through an old pillow case and have kept the buttermilk ready for scones etc and was left with a lovely yellow creamy butter. So I have filled up small ramekins and froze it so when anyone fancies lovely crusty bread with soup you cant beat home made butter mmmmmmmm. Next time mind I will add more salt and apparantly to make it spreadable straight from the fridge you can add a wee bit of olive oil so might try that.
Decluttering continues....
3 x beanie hats for a lady with cancer (waiting to be picked up)
3 paperbacks for car boot sale
Ongoing de-clutter total - 19
Money from sales - £3 (sold my iron!)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

De-clutter - the start!

Doing a bit of de-cluttering at a time....todays efforts are......
3 t-shirts for rag bag
6 x lipsticks that dont suit me at all - bin
My ironing cover (done me 18 years - time for a change!!) - got a new one in the sales - bin
Iron - again, had it years and got it 2nd hand and its always been rubbish - got a shiny new one in the sales - Freecycle (might do someone a turn!) if not collected will be binned.
Ongoing de-clutter total - 13
Money from sales - £0

Friday, 2 January 2015

Nice day out, student discounts and some bargains

We always treat ourselves at New Year to a meal out and a trip to the movies - saw the last part of the Hobbit and it was brilliant! I have a student discount card (as Im with the OU) so got in a bit cheaper. Then met up with dd and her fiancee and had a lovely meal at the Handmade Burger Co in Ocean Terminal up in Edinburgh - really lovely meal and a great natter with dd and her df - got 15% student discount too! Then went shopping at Matalan as I had some Crimbo money left - got 2 packs of cards reduced from £2 to 50p and a present for next Christmas for £3 reduced from £8. My dd had forgotten her Matalan card so she gave me the money and put all the stuff through my card and got my student discount of that too! I also got £5.15 back in cashback for using my debit card (been months to get that much!) so with that and the student discount money I got back today I have put away £20 in our holiday account!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy and frugal 2015!

Have been low with some awful lurgy so did not go out last night and am going to have a quiet day today - steak is cooking ready for the traditional steak pie followed by the last of the mince pies with the last of the cream. Have been sorting out my yearly finances and re-assessing what amounts go into what pots (I use whats called a Freedom account to control my finances - basically I have virtual pots for various categories such as Holidays, Household etc and divide all my money into these) This year I was under budget with my Christmas spending due to some canny buys in the sales but as I am now working full time I dont have the time off to chase bargains. So I have had a re-think and have reduced how much I spend on birthdays and Christmas. The adults will get a token and a card and even partners grandkids will be reduced. I have a wedding to look forward to and my first grandchild is due end of May so the family is getting bigger all the time. My increase in hours last until end of June - have been finding it very stressful working full time and trying to run a house and do a History degree. Its been a bit of treadmill - I have had to increase my housekeeping cos I can cook as much from scratch, petrol has gone up, I need more clothes etc. I was actually wondering if it was more fun working part time and trying to manage on what I had.... We have also been discussing moving. We live in a bought flat with a council flat upstairs and a new family has moved in with kids and dogs (and no carpets!) We only have a small mortgage but are stuck in that even if we downsize from our 3 bed to a 2 bed we will still have to get a bigger mortgage as the prices in this town are very expensive. So we arent sure what to do - this place is needing more and more repairs too.... So our first steps are to de-clutter and see what we can make from car boot sales. Neither oh or myself can be bothered with the hassle of Ebay so we will also be selling stuff on Gumtree and Facebook - I help run a selling group just for our town on Facebook and its getting more and more popular. I also like to give things back so got rid of an old computer chair and a bobbly duvet only fit for a dog bed on Freecycle yesterday. I am also going down the route yet again of trying not to buy so much stuff - although its always at charity shops or car boots I really dont need it all. There is a fine line in that as I work full time I like to treat myself but again - I must stop and think IS IT A NEED OR A WANT? My house is bursting at the seams and if we do downsize heaven knows where it will all go. I am defintly a hoarder of the "just in case" theme - having had no money to buy anything at all I see to be always buying stuff nw just in case I run out of money and dont have anything! So when I figure out how to put photos from my phone direct to blogger I will put up photos of all the stuff I am letting go of! Had anyone else any plans to be better off this year?