Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Long update on caravan living!

Well everything came together in the end! We have now been living in our static caravan for 3 months and love it! We wake up every morning to no traffic/neighbours noise - just the sound of the sea.. We took the decision to down-size to live more simply and have some money as a wee cushion and to enjoy some holidays but I am still being as frugal as I can as we want to be able to pay all our bills and manage without touching the capital unless necessary - I am working 3 days a week and OH (although a casual worker) is working 2 days every week at the moment so things are ticking along.... One of my budgeting problems is going to be gas and electric - in our old flat I paid it by direct debit of £108 per month - here we get an electric bill twice a year from the site and gas bottles are £65 each but lord knows how long one will last - we are still on our first bottle. W have gas central heating but only put it on for a while in the morning and boost it at night and use an oil filled radiator on low to keep it from getting too cold - its a new caravan with residential standard insulation but at the end of the day we are still living in basically a tin can!. We do cook at lot and because its bottled gas we are becoming a lot more aware of ways to save on the gas - I only ever use the oven if I can have something on all 3 shelves. I always use steamer pans (sometimes I have 3 steamers on one pan!) and we are using the slow cooker a lot more. So I am still budgeting the same amount every month and after a year will see how it matches up. Housekeeping - the problem is we only have a 3 drawer freezer and I was used to a huge freezer in my old shed -I relied a lot of buying reduced bargains and freezing them but now we cant (also dd has been on a gluten free diet and is feeling so much better but its working out rather expensive) We have a plastic shed outside the van (to house the washing machine) and are thinking about buying a small freezer to out out there too but not too sure how it would fare in the winter. I have noticed we seem to be throwing out food which I have never done before but I am still not back into making menus etc cos we have had so much to do. Although we are sticking to our budget I always feel I can do better... We only got our washing machine a few weeks back - we are not allowed to have washing lines so have caravan drying racks on my decking but stuff does not dry like a good old washing line. THere is a launderette on site so I have been using their tumble dryer (£2 a shot which is well worth it as it saves the inside of the van being full of wet washing) Our treats have been 2 new (second hand) cars - OHs car died the day we moved so defintly a need not a want! And a bus trip holiday to Oxford, the Cotswolds and Bletchley Park which was great but exhausting. Christmas is going to be a challenge too - I have always bought in the Jan sales and picked up barginas during the year but we do not have the room to store excess stuff so will have to re-think presents and probably give vouchers which will be more costly. The storage aspect is definlty a challenge and making decisions about buying wants not needs a lot easier as we dont have a lot of room for unnescessary stuff!