Thursday, 3 October 2013

Eating on the Cheap .... and a Dilemma

 
While we've been travelling backwards and forwards and with no real cooking facilities inWales save for the microwave and the Remoska, and of course little time to cook anyway, because frankly who wants to down paintbrushes and start rustling up a three course meal ... not me for sure.  I've been spending the day before we travel bulk cooking things that can just about survive a journey and can then cope being kept in just a cool bag for a couple of days.
 
We have had two main meals of choice which have been homemade soups and curries.   The soup is simple and is just made with my brilliant value soup mix and different additions to use up what has been leftover in the fridge at the end of the week.  This time it was simply the end rindy bit of a Parmesan cheese, it really does add flavour and if I don't use them straight away I pop them in a tub in the freezer for future use.

 
If you decant lots of dried foodstuffs into jars it makes sense to put any cooking instructions somewhere you can refer to them if needed in the future.  I used to put them on the back or bottom of the jar but lately I've been taping them to the inside of the lid, nice and neat and it doesn't clutter up the outside of the jar. (just a little tip, I seem to have turned into a 'tipaholic')

 
It's amazing how manky the veggies can be and still taste gorgeous if you add them to a curry.
 
 
I added a couple of homegrown carrots to this one too, boy oh boy was it hot!! 
 
As well as being easy to reheat in the microwave most of these things were bought in bulk from Approved Foods so cost literally pennies, so much better than getting in a takeaway and so much quicker too, when our nearest takeaway would take us at least 20 minutes in the car each way.
 

 
Of course there are some tasty little treats too that I'm rustling up, this cupcake mix cost me just 25p a pack and when a spoonful of butter has been added and one of our own eggs it must only bring the cost to about 35 - 40p for 6 cupcakes.  I made them the 'old school' way like Butterfly Cakes but without splitting the 'wings', just so that there was sponge on top to stop the cream sticking to the box they travelled in.
 
So although we're eating a bit 'snacky' at the moment and having lots of 'ready meals' the cost is kept right down and I know that when we stop for a meal or a break we are eating something filling and tasty.
 
And the dilemma ?
 
This Blog has always been my 'online diary' and as such I write about what's happening in our lives on a day to day basis, the progress we are making, the mistakes we make and the things that we and our animals do.  All this is done with the idea that we can look back ourselves either weekly, monthly or way down the line in the future and see that progress was and is being made, and when we are losing hope of things ever being finished we can look back and say 'yes things have moved on, we have accomplished some or most of what we set out to do' there are the words and pictures to prove it.
 
I never set out to have hundreds of Followers or so many of you from all over the world reading my words each day, don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE that you do and I love the feedback and the comments you leave me.  I love the contact with each and every one of you and sometimes I'm downright amazed that you like being a part of our lives so much that you take the time to do so.
 
At the moment though I feel like a show off. 
 
I never liked the 'show-offs' at school or in the workplace when I was there, the folks that came in after a weekend away with a list of purchases and costs and then sat and planned what they would buy next time they 'hit the shops'.  I always sat and listened but could never bring myself to join in.
 
 And here I am showing all of you (or about to show you) 'befores' and 'afters', showing you things we have bought for our new home, showing you what we have spent our hard earned money on. I know the monetary cost of every single thing we are putting in our home and the figures are imprinted in my head.  We worked hard to earn the money and it is being spent on things we need and things that will we hope last us for the rest of our days.  But it feels, to me anyway, like 'mass consumerism'.  I can't help it, I've conditioned myself to make do and mend, to find alternative uses for things and suddenly there I am in the queue at Dunelm waiting to hand over cash for duvets, covers, rugs and lampshades and .... well you get the picture, the list goes on.
 
I can trot out the excuses, we've done without while we saved up, we've been in rented accommodation so we have to buy washing machines, fridge freezers etc because they have always come with the house before, I can trot them out to you and I can trot them out to myself, but still I feel like a show off ....
 
So the dilemma ... do I stop listing and showing and therefore lose a huge chunk of our history from my online diary or do I grit my teeth and carry on, and see if I can bring about a mindset that allows me to truly enjoy my purchases.  Because maybe once I could have stood up and said "my name is Sue and I'm a shopaholic and my new jug cost me £14.95", but now I am truly 100% cured.
 
Sue xx
 
 
 
 

61 comments:

  1. Hi Sue,

    I think showing off is more about the mindset than the information being given. If you show purchases with an attitude of how good am I (I've beaten the Joneses), then that is showing off. If you show your new things as part of your journey then that is fine and proper. I've been reading your blog for ages now and I love following what you are getting up to and how you get to your end goals. I'd hate to think you were editing your posts for other people and not doing what you want. At the end of the day you have oodles of followers so you must be doing something right. Love seeing your new home come together.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Whether you like it or not, (and I hope you do) your followers want to see the before and afters. So don't be a tease, please.

    Seriously though, surely everyone has a few times in their life when they need to spend a little money. I am sure you will spend it wisely and I hope you will show us your wisdom when you have spent it

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think investing in your future is hardly showing off. I personally love seeing what you are doing.

    In my opinion frugal living is about having the money to spend on what is important to you as an individual.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh sue, grit your teeth my lovely and please carry on! Anyone who reads your blog knows what you have been through, and the word 'show off' doesn't even enter our heads!

    Goodness me, you and LH have worked jolly hard to get where you are and you deserve to spend your hard saved money how you like, and to blog what you like! Anyone who says otherwise can quite frankly (my dear :D) sod off!

    I do hope the the 'show off' feeling that you have at the moment leaves you soon dear Sue, as it would be so nice if you could really enjoy spending your money and nesting! :D

    I'm proud of you as are many others who read this. Go for it girl, and enjoy your life. You deserve this, and life's too short to worry about getting a reputation :D. :D

    Take care, and have a great weekend.
    Rw

    ReplyDelete
  5. Show off? Nah!!!! It's interesting. We moved last year and had to spend a huge chunk of savings on flooring, decorating materials, shelving, bathroom fittings, blinds, storage items, lampshades (had some but needed 2 matching pairs for the first time), a rug, garden storage, a ladder and etc etc etc. If I had a blog, you'd have seen us do all that and then go back to not buying, not throwing money about, making, mending etc. You'll go back to that; it's just a stage in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Don't you dare stop Sue, I for one love seeing your comings and goings, the price of lampshades.......hun, you're certainly not showing off. I've followed for ages, and enjoy every single word you write. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Showing your purchases is living breathing proof that living a frugal life and saving up means that you can achieve, what
    in the beginning looks like, the impossible dream. I am sure that most of your followers are joining in with your excitement at getting there. Keep the reports flowing, we are "lovin it"

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with the others and hope that you will continue to post about what you are doing and what you have bought. The fact that you have been abstemious in the past might make all the shopping see like showing off to you but not to us readers at all and if you worked out how much you have bought and spent and spread it over the whole period you have been saving for your new home I am sure it wouldn't amount to that much anyway. It's your blog you write whatever you want and you will be able to look back one day and see how you managed to reach your goals.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sue, this is NOT showing off. Showing off is when you show what you have or have done in order to make other people look or feel bad about themselves. Seeing the pride in what you do and learning from how you live on a budget is why people visit your blog. Don't stop :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. No definitely NOT showing off. Like you I have had to buy new stuff and feel rather guilty as I've stated publicly that I want to use as many recycled/upcycled things as possible. Some things just can't be re used for sensible reasons like safety (eg my new gas cooker) or that you need curtains/rug/lampshades NOW to make your home habitable and warm.

    I agree with Sally A in that it's attitude. Frugal living isn't about being mean with your money, it's about how you choose to spend what you've saved. Please please keep sharing as it gives us all hope and inspiration

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a new reader of your blogs..cant remember which other blog led me to you ( was it Cro? ) You are definitely doing something right as I decided after my first read that you sounded interesting and my sort of person ( and you blog very regularly which helps to keep the interest). I love being in at the start of your new home, and look forward to hearing how you finally move in and continue in your new home. You are def not showing off! X

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know what you mean. I have travelled a lot and lived and worked abroad for years but am always hesitant to mention it because it sounds like I'm showing off. I'm not though, it's just my life. You carry on, you've worked and saved for what you have and that's what your blog is about (and anyway it makes good reading!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. We blog followers love to see the before and afters of your new home, so please carry on with it. It inspires and is ever so interesting! We just love nosing into your life. It`s lovingly done, though, and you are not `showing off', but showing it! Carry on doing what you are doing, as we all love to see your progress!

    ReplyDelete
  14. You're not showing off at all, you're just blogging about what you've worked hard all your lives for and earned. So you've bought a few new things.........well, doesn't everybody do that when they move into a new home? And I'm quite sure there's a load more things you're recycling - far more than you've bought. I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a couple of years now, you were kind enough to give us some pointers when we were looking to find our own 'new life in the country', and i'm sure you will be a big help when we finally get our hens and I come begging for advice! I, like all the others here, love reading about everything you're doing - so just jolly well carry on!!
    Love Sooze xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have got a lovely new home, so you need lovely new things to put in it! I don't call that showing off at all, that is making your life what you want. Call me nosey, but I look forward to seeing your recent purchases, especially the Aga, am VERY jealous about that!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. No you are not showing off, I love reading blogs and reading about peoples lives. Thank you for letting us share yours x

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's impossible to avoid spending when you are setting up in a new home. I for one am greatly looking forward to seeing what you do. But beware... I will nick all of your good ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bless your heart Sue!
    Please do not stop sharing and allowing us to peep in on your lives.
    For me and as others have said, you are inspirational and a great motivator.
    We know that you and your husband have worked hard and planned carefully for the wonderful life you are to enjoy. I am very thankful to be looking in on this chapter in your lives, I need to make changes myself and your blog lets me know it can be done.
    I look forward to your posts everyday and I wish you and your husband a very happy and healthy future.
    Pam in Texas USA

    ReplyDelete
  19. Please continue to list it all. It will help other people have an idea

    and you aren't showing off, people look for blogs like this so they can see how others live

    as Ali G would say, "keep it real"

    ReplyDelete
  20. To all the above - yes, exactly - PLEASE don't stop Sue. We love the tips, the pics, the bargains, the ideas, the makeovers...and your honest and open posts about what works [and what doesn't]
    autumn blessings, friend xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sorry I have not read any of the 20 comments up above ^, but I would imagine not one of them has said "YES YOU ARE A SHOW OFF", I will take a peek at them having sent this.

    Your writing style makes reading your exploits very pleasant, so let me go now to read comments above, knowing I will be proved correct in my assumption!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have never, ever, not for a moment, read any of your posts and thought "What a show off" ! Quite the opposite - reading your posts is like sitting down with a cuppa and a friend and catching up on what she's been up to. Blogs of that sort are my absolute favourites, and are probably close to the way I blog, too - because you can never have too many friends, and because sharing the small details of our day-to-day lives is one of the best ways to connect with kindred spirits.

    Ultimately, though.... You can never be all things to all people, so you should aim to please yourself first. Blog the way you want to - and that way you'll make sure that the people who are happy to follow what you write are people on the same wavelength as you. Anything else is just pointless.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh Sue, it's not showing off at all! If anything, it's being a good role model for proving that hard work reaps rewards. I've been so looking forward to seeing your before and after shots of your new home so I do hope you blog them. You're not flaunting, you're sharing and there's a big difference :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sue you are definitely not showing off and we love following the adventure with you !! Deb x

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sue
    Like you say you've worked hard and gone without to be able to buy the items that you need for your new home so just enjoy having them and telling us about them - what's the point in working hard if you can't enjoy the rewards
    Best wishes and good luck from me xxx

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think it is nice to read about what you are doing, it is very interesting. You have economised and saved for a purpose. Things are needed for a new home and during your life. Just imagine if nobody ever bought anything? Shops wouldn't sell anything, people would lose their jobs, the whole economy would crash. There is a balance between buying absolutely nothing and what you need. We need some people to spend money to keep the economy going.

    I think that the idea of 'showing off' is probably an inherited one, my Mum says that, but I think that if you can do something, tell people. If nobody 'showed off' everyone would be in the same rut that they were in years ago. If nobody had any ambition, where would anyone be. Does that make sense? I spent my earlier life shy and only gained confidence when I had a job where I had to play act a little to hide my lack of self confidence.

    Please keep posting. I don't always comment but do like to read.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please keep sharing. I hope to move somewhere rural next year and enjoy all the tips and ideas you post about. I love the thought of buying a new log burner and some rugs etc. Cosy thoughts after today's awful weather here in Cornwall. X

    ReplyDelete
  28. your 29th comment says the same as the other 28 - Don't be daft! Carry on blogging about the new home. Can anyone who has moved house or built an extension or whatever genuinely say they've bought nothing new for it - I doubt it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Please continue! I am enjoying the before and afters and have gotten a few ideas for my own home from them! It doesn't come across to me that you are "showing off" it comes across as you saved and worked hard to be able to afford what you really want at this time.
    Have a great day!
    deb

    ReplyDelete
  30. You carry on as you were .. as you say the blog is for you a record of your doings... and we like to share your adventures. Anyone who is miffed at what they read needn't join us again.
    Love the idea of the instructions on the inside of the jar lids .... like you I store a lot of dried goods in large sweet jars.

    Vicky x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Sue,
    Just want to add my support too (late as usual) but it is true. we all want to share this journey with you. I think this seed may have been sown a while ago by a commenter who said 'how can it be a year of less with all that you have' but of course this is a personal journey and you have achieved such a lot by way of your lifestyle. Secondly, I suspect that you are highly unlikely to continue to purchase this and that (ie trinkets) even for your new home too long into the future. I know the plan is to repay the mortgage as soon as possible, so to be honest it is unlikely you could do it all anyway. Life is all about choice; I do understand what you mean though. Before we went travelling we had a car each, a rented house, money in the bank and a nice motorhome that we used purely for recreation on weekends/holidays for 6 months. I was slightly embarrased by that expecially as there were people around me that were struggling moneywise. I have to remind myself that it was us who worked hard and acquired the money, and it should not actually matter what other people think. Enjoy your new house and keep those posts coming! X

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have just started following your blog and look forward to your next post. In no way have I found it show off at all. I really am enjoying your journey so please don't stop. X

    ReplyDelete
  33. I don't for a minute see you as a show-off Sue. You have worked hard and saved hard and this is your moment to start creating your dream home, which you are doing without waste or extravagance. I am so happy for you, you deserve this, and I am so enjoying seeing it all coming together. Thank you for sharing your happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Stop wittering, we all know that you are careful with money so that you can afford to pay for what is important to you. You would be showing off if you were forever buying stuff, but you aren't. It's your life, do what you like.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Don't stop showing us what you have scrimped and saved to finally get your dream house. I love popping in to see what new things you are doing. If anyone has been reading here for a while now knows, you have worked hard to get here and we are all sharing the good, bad and ugly bits with you. Congratulations and great job. Someday I hope to be able to have a house in the country and I need you and all the other frugal-type bloggers to keep providing me with ideas of ways to save so I can have that dream come true too.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I see it less as showing off and more about sharing your journey, which is what most bloggers are doing. And I suspect by all these positive and encouraging comments everyone very much enjoys sharing it with you. Keep on with your journey and keep on sharing and being an inspiration to others, but most of all enjoy doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I agree, enjoy these expenses as you invest in your new home. I'm sure there'll be many more frugal tips along the way. Your story is a great inspiration to others for working towards a goal. Claire xo

    ReplyDelete
  38. I enjoy your blog and also see that you have saved and scraped the $ to buy the things you need for your new home. Spending money isn't a dirty thing...as long as you have it. The difference between you and some blogs that "show off" is that you carefully consider your purchases, buy what you need and for the best price. Also, you may be buying new curtains, but I bet we won;t see you change them out next year. I personally can;t stand reading about the ever changing decor habits of many bloggers. It makes me cringe.

    ReplyDelete
  39. There are a few 'show-offs' in blogland but you are not one of them. You have worked and saved for this moment in your life so enjoy it and thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Has all this ^^^^^ convinced you it's not showing off? Lol!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think you are showing everyone what can be acheived when you work hard, save and stay focused. Showing off! Of course not. We all love seeing your results. Showing off is one of those places we call a "McMansion " here in the US. An over the top way too big place that is meant to show everyone what a big house you can afford.... (or not, but have anyway!)...
    So keepmposting those pics as I think we are a nosey lot!

    ReplyDelete
  42. If I were you I would celebrate my new home and your achievements and we will all be there to join in the celebration with you - I think whatever you choose to do or buy it will be money well spent - just don't forget to photograph it every step of the way 'cos we are all waiting to see the end results and like Jessica said maybe even copy some of them! Happy spending x

    ReplyDelete
  43. You daft thing :) Of course it is not showing off ! keep on blogging, it is useful and interesting :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Showing off ? I don't think so. We have all waited with baited breath (well I have anyway) to see the results of all your frugal living. I would be so disappointed if you didn't show us all the 'before and afters' and the new purchases. Please don't change a think. This is, after all, a documentation of your life. Love you guys and the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I second all of the above that are strongly FOR continuing the befores and afters. I have my own dream of doing this someday, my own little home and fixing it up. So, it is FUN to live vicariously through you, so please please don't stop!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Oh Gone on, show us everything. Its not like we can just pop over and have a look. I want to see it all. PS. I dont give two hoots how much you spend. When you got it, spend it and when you dont dont. We've all followed your journey of frugal living. What would be the point of endless saving if you never get to spend it? Endless scrimping without a splurge would make you mean and nasty and well, basically, a tight wad!

    ReplyDelete
  47. No way are you ever a show off! You've worked hard to get this home and I look forward to seeing your success at bringing it all together.

    ReplyDelete
  48. See !!!!!!

    Go for it girl, live your life as you want, and be happy. :D :D

    Rw xx

    ReplyDelete
  49. Oh I love your posts I really do and never think you are showing off! I think the most important thing is to be honest. There is something to be said about being accountable, if you list your spends you are move likely to keep them at a sensible level. You are promoting living sensibly, saving in areas of day to day expenses to be able to afford a few nice things -isn't that what we all aim to do? Keep up the posting, and please tell us everything, I love following your journey :-)
    Stacey at Mortgage Free Journey xxx

    ReplyDelete
  50. So many comments already saying the same thing, and I agree, but I'd add that your spending tips etc often make me think more carefully or creatively, so actually you're helping me save money too - so don't stop, you're doing good work!

    ReplyDelete
  51. No you are not a show off at all you are proving what can be done with a focused mind set to achieve your dreams, it has been hard on the way but now you are set to reap the rewards.

    I can only say well done, you deserve every penny you have saved towards your new life. Things have to be bought and I have to admit I would buy new, you never know whose problems you are inheriting when you buy second hand. Exception to this is the Aga, Carefully restored it will last you years.

    We had a Rayburn in the bungalow on the small holding I lived in as a child. When the bungalow was sold in the 1980's the Rayburn was still there and the new owners had it restored and it is still going strong.

    Let me have your new address, you can send it to my email addy.

    Good luck,

    Anne.

    ReplyDelete
  52. No - don't stop now - I want to see the end result (and all the bits in between) - it would be like reading a really good book then finding the last few pages were missing. I don't comment very often but read every couple of days and miss you when you don't post. To me you are like having another very good neighbour who I can pop in and see and feel very comfortably with. I have never seen any sign of "showing off" in your blog - and I am sure your followers want to share this happy time with you and your DH

    ReplyDelete
  53. I totally get where you are coming from, we saved and scrimped to be able to buy our dream home and start a smallholding . We are still (after a year) in what I call the start up phase where we need to invest in infrastructure , but I still feel guilty about spending the money. I also get the show off thing , one of the reasons my blog is so neglected is I hate the thought that people might think I am gloating about how wonderful our life is but do you know what our life is good because we worked hard to make it that way just as you and hubby have and we have nothing to be shamed of and should carry on sharing our lives with those who are interested

    Shaz

    ReplyDelete
  54. It is inspiring here any way you put it , don't stop and ~ don't feel guilty ... you earned everything you have and you are so very thoughtful.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Please don't feel guilty, I enjoy hearing about your spending for now, as I know it won't last, once you are settled, it will be back to frugal and saving, enjoy it while you can, I am enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I've just found your blog and I'm really enjoying reading it. Please don't stop sharing, I love reading about your new home and the exciting things you are doing/making/buying!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I've just found your blog and I'm really enjoying reading it. Please don't stop sharing, I love reading about your new home and the exciting things you are doing/making/buying!

    ReplyDelete
  58. You are definitely not a show off Sue , you are just showing us , that it can be done ,, you have gone from strength to strength ,, right from the start of your blogging ,, and look where you are now , in YOUR (and hubby) new home that you saved up a magnificent deposit ,, and what you have wanted ,, enjoy it . Anne x

    ReplyDelete
  59. Sue, Enjoy what your hard work and determination have managed to achieve and please allow us to continue sharing it with you. I am just starting my journey to the life I want and your blog is an education, inspiration, fun and has on more than on occasion stopped my reaching for the credit cards. If you stopped showing what is possible I could forget that it was worth it. Maysie x

    ReplyDelete

Sorry but I have added word verification to try and curtail the unprecedented amount of spammers recently posting comments. I will try this rather than stop Anonymous Users commenting for the time being to see if this will solve the problem. Thank you for your patience.