Tuesday, 5 January 2016
New Years' Resolutions
Let's start as we mean to go on, eh?
Nah, that never, ever happens, right? I mean, how many of you actually make New Years' resolutions and rigidly, fervently, and religiously stick to them?
I know I don't.
I gave up making resolutions at the beginning of each year when I was in my teens because, let's face it, by the 4th January they were all broken anyway.
However, this year I have no choice. This year we made a decision and we are going to stick to it.
This little house is now Frugality HQ, frugality is the name of the game, and watching every single penny is the necessity that drives this resolution.
I know many of you are in the same boat. Over spending, not keeping an eye on the accounts, using the plastic all-too readily can just spiral out of control over the years. Well, not any more! It's time for all of that to change!
I remember Mr Micawber's famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness:
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." ~ Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
To this end I spent a long time over the Christmas period reading Elaine Colliar's blog Mortgage Free in 3.
She is one extremely motivating woman and as I listened to her podcast I agreed with her that the first place to start is with food. Sort out what you have, set a budget, make a list, and stick to it like superglue!
So, off I trundled to the kitchen and sorted out my larder cupboard. The result, as you can see is beyond a joke. It's truly laughable!
If I wanted to add herbs and spices to something, I'm sorted. Yes, that is an entire shelf dedicated to herbage and spiceage! (And yes, I do frequently make up words ;-) )
There's a lot of fish there, that's a good start for stockpiling and there's quite an array of gravies and stock cubes.
My mind went into overdrive. What can I do with all this stuff to start making a difference to my purse each week?
Recipe 1) Chicken stew.
Hubby loves chicken. With a passion. He could eat it all day, every day. He never grows tired of it. Therefore, naturally, my freezer has a lot of it. Also, in the deepest, darkest corners of the freezer I found a single packet of casserole veg. Good start, eh? Well, not really. Those packets are quite small and not enough to make some to eat and some to freeze, but in order to use up what's in the freezer and cupboards I went for it.
1 x casserole pack veg.
2x chicken drumsticks.
2 x chicken thighs.
2 x teaspoons gravy
2 x chicken oxo cubes. (stock)
I pre-cooked the chicken and hubby graciously stripped all the meat off. I, then, simply whacked everything else into the instantpot and set it on stew for 35 mins! Hurrah!
Recipe 2) Chili-con-veggie
I wanted to use up some of the beans in the cupboard so I go out my pan and set to! This recipe also is great for using that massive hoard of herbs and spices!
I'm not putting measurements for these ingredients because you can then adjust things to taste. Start out with a teaspoon and then add more if you want! :-)
Can chopped tomatoes
2 x vegetable oxo (stock)
There was enough there for six people. Obviously, you can make it larger but I don't have a bigger pan :-(
Add water until the lentils and split peas are cooked and season to taste.
I bagged it all up, into freezer bags - two portions per bag, and into the freezer it went!
Hurrah! Success! I'm feeling chuffed. I may not have reached the destination - being debt free - but I have started the journey!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step!