Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Eek. End of January already

I am still contemplating the end of 2016 and we are 8% through 2017 already. Argh!
So I was super frugal through January. I paid all of my money to the Greek bank account as soon as I got it so that I didn't weaken. We have been pleasantly creative with food and eating from the freezer and larder and I experimented with a lovely cheap and healthy lentil dish which everyone was fighting over, so win:win.

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Tip in some chopped potatoes, carrots and parsnips, turn up the heat and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are golden.Stir in a teaspoon each of ground coriander  ground cumin and ground turmeric. Add a couple of points of chicken stock ( i used Knorr stock cubes)and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the lentils, cover and simmer for around 45 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened. I topped up again with stock as I dont like lentils to be too bitey
I was working a on list of fifty thinngs I did in 2016 but somehow havent got to 50 but here it is anyway.
  1. Finally started legalisation of Crete House
  2. Changed Greek water account to my name
  3. Opened a Greek bank account (and therefore circumvented capital controls, ssssh!)
  4. Went to the Borough Market
  5. Went to Camden Lock (and drank it dry!)
  6. Taught to cook Thai Curry by Thai cook in my house
  7. Started dancing classes
  8. Walked to work on a regular basis (thats two hours a day of soliday walking and listening to the radio, right there)
  9. Seriously de-cluttered
  10. Went to the casino (twice). Avoided gambling asi ts dull but ate very good value dinner :)
  11. Lost 25kg
  12. Bought lovely new bedding
  13. Visited Newcastle and ate in a cave!
  14. Visited Liverpool for the first time
  15. Learned to make risotto
  16. Got a fitbit
  17. Had a book published and sold some copies
  18. Arranged a Christmas breakfast event at work
  19. Went to Ventnor fringe, music and arts event
  20. Saw The Mousetrap at Shanklin theatre
  21. Reduced diabetic medication by 2/3
  22. Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol without meds
  23. Attended pilates  for 6 months (and then got bored with it)
  24. Went LED on 90% of lighting
  25. Fixed boiler (but made plans for its replacement)
  26. Had a cheese fondue 'party'
  27. Went to aerobics lessons regularly but got bored with it.
  28. Held a Greek Themed dinner party
  29. Priced up and investigate wood burning stove for the sitting room
  30. Made perfect (yes, perfect) pavlova!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Contemplation

I am finding current affairs thoroughly depressing at the moment so am avoid news programmes and BBC radio 4 but its not enough. Its invading my facebook too! All I want is pictures of kittens doing cute things!

This month I am going to buy a few new kindle books and find some new blogs to follow. And also try to do more crochet (how long have I been doing this blanket??) and maybe some cross stitch which I found. Also when its a bit lighter and a the temperature rises above freezing then some more exercise in the outdoors. Actually I don't mind the cold but not crazy about the dark, especially near the house where its country lanes with no street lighting (whinge, whinge, whinge). My Wednesday dance fitness class has temporarily moved to Tuesday as we join the younger dancers for a few months whilst we are short of people. In a month or so we move back to Wednesday but my friend and I will also attend to Tuesday. It was for fitness as I am definitely feeling better all the time, but also 'screen avoidance'! I am actually such an avoider of going out, especially after a busy work day, but even I cant wait until dance time, so hopefully 2 days will be even more fun.

Enough. Time to go cook brunch for the family. The younger generation are off up to London today, to the O2 for a gig, so am going to feed them up a bit first.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

2017 target and uber frugal update

I have made my plans. They are similar to2016 but just slightly 'more' of it.

Pay more off mortgage.
Sort out all the legal and tax for the other house
Lose more weight ( I did okay last year - go me!)
Do more fitnessy things.
Do a few things i wouldn't normally do. I had five things in that category so that is quite exciting and have already set the ball in motion for a couple..

My uber frugal month has remained frugal (so far) as far as personal spending goes. Groceries etc have also been good. I did have 3 major purchases though. This Tuesday we are having delivered a new dishwasher and new washing machine. And i went for new and a lot further up market than i would have once. I am in a constant battle with our ancient machine with the dishwasher that doesn't get hot and therefore doesn't really wash, and the washing machine that does 3/4 of a wash and then errors, the un-un-lockable door and the sopping wet and soapy washing. No more!

Last thing was to have the hippo bag removed and have visions of my lovely garden so much closer. However its a hipposkip and i mis read how much it could contain so consequently i have paid my £200 and i still have an overloaded skip in my garden. I have to half empty and call again. Happy days! How fortunate that extra exercise was on my list, as Fahed is awaiting a serious knee operation and Jamal has a sprained ankle. Doh!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Uber frugal month challenge

I am doing the Uber Frugal Months Challenge (to capitalise or not to capitalise that is the question)

So far not so bad actually.

1st January was my dads birthday but I used a voucher I had been given to buy his gift and the card came from home bargains.

That;s evening we had dinner at home with the kids visiting and used up some meatballs from the freezer, They were one of our many attempts at the Greek dish Souzoukakia and were fantastic. We had them with potato wedges.

And actually I have just remembered we were even more frugal by having a 1am New Year snack of baked brie with crispy pitta bread strips. All already in stock.

Yesterday was also a bank holiday and I yet again resisted the shops. Not much resistance required to be honest as home was warm and lovely and the shops were not.

Fahed made an amazing Thai Green Curry in the style that his mate Yotika showed us back before Christmas. He used up about half of the left over veg we had in the fridge. Thai Green Curry is very forgiven and you seem to be able to put just about anything in it.

Today I was back at work (boooo!). I spent some money packaging parcels for stuff sold on ebay - net gain there though. Also I bought some lemsip as I feel awful. Looking on the bright side it stops me wanting to spend or indeed eat.

Tomorrow I predict a no spend day and more creative use of leftovers. I need lentils in my life!

Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 goals round up

££££:
£170k left on mortgage - failed by £6k but have upped my game (and standing order) for 2017


Greek House:
Pay taxes  done
Commence Legalisation   done

Health:
90kg
10000 steps a day on average by end of year. Not sure as my fitbit broke but I think I made it. Some days I was in the 20s. Go Lizzie!
Dancing - done
Pilates - done
No wheat except weekend and holidays   I did well most of the time on this and I think it did help wiht my overall weight loss
No booze and sweets/biscuits in January. Review in Feb complete Done
Add in two extra weekly exercise sessions DOne
4 times short gym sessions Done but got bored with this very quickly 

Sales (ebay etsy etc):
£1000 income - Done. Ebay and products from Crete sold very well but its a faff and not really worth it so probably wont bother again
Stall at market  investigated and found no-one buying

Trips:
USA train trip 2018? Postponed even though it is 2 years away (from when i set the goal( as we are legalising the CRete house and it leaves me very short of money.
Reykjavik 2017 Postponed due to legalisation
Madeira 2016 Cancelled as Eves mum unwell. I went to Newcastle with my son instead
Crete long trip Autumn 2016 Booked flights Done

Challenge:
Scuba :(  Failed - I have done 3 discover scuba courses and it still frightens me. I also failed to try again on hols. Next year!

Swimming underwater Doh. Somehow this got forgotten

Overall I am not unhappy with this list. 2016 was a pretty crappy year in the world so I feel very much ahead of the game. Roll on 2017


Lets talk about something good!

I went to the other house and it was lovely! My dad came with us, with my youngest son, for the first 5 days.  Its his first time since ...