Hello Dear Reader,
I have two more days of Stoptober where I don’t spend any money I don’t have to spend for a month. I must confess, we had two coffees in a cafe on a day out to Looe, I went charity shop shopping to look for jeans for my friend in France who rescues dogs to the point she leaves herself until last and I want to help her out. I only managed to find her one pair of jeans, size 8 clothes are rare in charity shops. I’ve also spent about another £10 over the month but I’ve mostly stuck to my plan to spend no money.
When I do this for a month, it’s like stepping back in time for us. When we were in debt and paying the debt off as quickly as we could, we had a no spend 19 months and didn’t buy any more than the necessities to get by on. It can be done especially when there’s an end in sight. My end was just the end of the month to have as much money left as when we were paid back in September. We very almost did it.
As crazy as it sounds, we aim to do this again in November. We haven’t missed out on anything and we’ve done a lot more walking, our diets are healthier without any treats, wine or nibbles at the weekend and it’s reaffirmed what I’ve believed for a very long time. We don’t need much to be happy and we can get by really well, stay fit and healthy with very little.
Here’s my typical scrimping for the week. DB’s sandwiches for the week were half a pack of Aldi cooking bacon, cooked in the oven whilst lunch was cooking. Allowed to cool, chopped and added to chopped hard boiled eggs and a squirt of mayonnaise. The bread rolls were also from Aldi and the type that are long life and kept in the cupboard until he needs them. He also had the same for his ‘tea’ tonight. We are well fed but very easily pleased.
Even now, we don’t waste anything. Every bottle is stood on end to get the last dregs out, toothpaste tubes cut open, shampoo bottles rinsed out and the last bits used to wash our hair, small bits of soap are stuck to bigger bars and we just make every day a scrimping and not wasting day.
We eat way less meat now even though we could splash out, we stick to our small food budget and make sure it’s healthy and gives us exactly what we need. Lunch today was (apologies for the terrible photo) carrot, kidney bean and cumin burgers with quinoa cooked in veggie stock, cavolo nero kale and mushrooms. It was heavenly and cost pennies.
I still soak and cook my pulses for our meals, plus soaking quinoa as it takes away any bitterness. Both are full of protein and mean we can eat a lot less meat. I make a big batch of hummus almost every week or add the chick peas to spicy veggie stews. We love them and they are so cheap.
We still make sure we stuff ourselves with healthy cheap vegetables and lunch yesterday was roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, with steamed carrots and kale and a citrus and mint butter bean dip. Really cheap and tasty.
We keep busy with hobbies and I’ve been quilting, DB has been sorting through photographs of places we’ve visited and he likes to digitally improve them. We’ve been collecting frames from charity shops and will get some of them printed onto textured paper so we can get them on the walls. It’s a cheap way of getting lots of art work into the house as the digital effect can look like watercolour.
We’ve also filled ourselves up with chunky vegetable and bean soups such as homemade minestrone. DB will have his with a crusty bread roll and it’s enough for me just as it it.
We are going to continue with our no spend into next month as well. We’re saving up for our next round of renovations, ferry trips and essential replacements in our home and only every pay cash up front when ever we buy something or get something done. We don’t like to dip into long term savings and leave those where they are. You know what I mean when I say there’s always something to be prudent for and we never know when those rainy days will come. It’s always best to save in case. Even though we are many many years off retiring we still save as if it was just around the corner. We just carry on scrimping.
Watch this space for No-spend-vember!
Love Froogs xxx