Saturday, 18 January 2014

Taking Stock



Hello Dear Reader,

I like every day to have a clear purpose. I need each day to have a positive focus where, by the evening, I can take stock of every movement forward and achievement. You know me well enough know to know that I like to walk on the sunny side of the street and have a positive impact on my life every day. You won't find me kicking back, relaxing or lounging very often. I save that behaviour for occasional holidays. Life, for me, is about having purpose and living a whole real life where I am in charge of my own destiny. 

I took control of my financial destiny in 2009 and have worked solidly to make sure I start every day on a secure financial footing and do something simple every day to ensure we have a sustainable financial tomorrow.

Here's what I do through out the week.

Monday -  I read our electric, gas and water meters and submit the readings online. I check that we are using the amount we have budgeted for. In spite of increased costs, our standing orders have reduced. We don't pay any more now that we have a tumble drier.

Tuesday - I sort the mending basket. I sew up and reinforce pockets. I sew up loose seams on pillow cases. I re-edge a tatty towel. I fix a dog bed. I set aside one night to catch up on 'snagging list'. Dearly Beloved checks light bulbs, oils door hinges, checks the makeshift draught exclusion in our aging and soon to be replaced windows. The odd jobs get done, such as emptying out and cleaning our the vacuum cleaner and washing machine filters. The cooker hood filters go into the dishwasher and Bi-carb and vinegar gets put down the plug holes to keep them fresh and clear. 

Wednesday - I always have an evening a week where I iron and put away any clothes. I check we have everything clean and fresh. We usually wear something twice and we launder mid-week and the weekend. We buy clothes infrequently and by regular up-keep we keep them in good condition for longer.

Thursday - we take time to check our online bank accounts. Nothing really changes week by week. We incur no charges, no penalties, but we do move small amounts of money to saving accounts each week. If we can get by another week without spending any money then we'll do so. We make a point of spending as little as possible to allow for the expenses we know are coming. We know when every bill is due. We booked our car for the annual MOT and knew it would pass as we keep the car in good condition and have it serviced and ensure the upkeep is regular and everything is budgeted for. Neither of us carry money so have to plan  in advance with mutual consent any expense, even a contribution to a leaving present is discussed and budgeted for.

Friday- is when I take stock of the food in the house. I try to have a week a month where I buy no food at all. I make sure I use everything I have. This week's stock take will hopefully see us through until the end of the month without us buying anything except salad, vegetables and fruit. 

Here's the stock take

Fridge - lettuce, celeriac, carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, swedes, mushrooms, leeks, cheese.

Freezer - Sausages X 2, Bacon pieces X 1, Drawer full of frozen veg, Roast potatoes, Baked potatoes, Pork joint (will be cooked, sliced and frozen along with gravy to make 9 portions) Gammon joint (will be roasted and sliced and will make meals for two days) Chicken breasts X 2, Beef burgers, Braising steak, Sirloin steak, minced beef.

From that I will make

Basque Chicken with Roast Potatoes and steamed veggies.

Lemon Chicken with Remoulade.

Honey, ginger and soy roasted gammon with salad (meals for two days)

Roast pork, roast potatoes and steamed veggies.(meals for four days)

Spiced pork with lemon pasta (1 pack of sausages)

Gluten free cheese burgers with salad (pack of burgers - 100% beef from our butchers)

Beef Carbonade with gluten free croutons and steamed veggies.(beef cooked in beer)

Spicy meatballs in tomato sauce.(meatballs in a tomato sauce spiced with chilli)

Bangers, mash, onion gravy with greens.(meals for two days)

Gluten free carbonara with salad.

Sirloin steak with pepper sauce and salad.

Weekends - my weekends are all about being prepared for the week ahead. Planning what I am going to wear, planning what we will eat, planning my exercise routine and social life for the week ahead. Weekends are when the house gets a 'top to toe' clean, the car gets cleaned, the garden in tidied, in better weather the paths are swepts, windows washed and the lawn (now to size of a hanky) is cut. As I said, every day has a purpose and all contributes to a better life where we keep moving forward.

Over to you Dear Reader. What do you do every week, or every day, or every month that has a positive impact on your life? How do you make sure you never waste a day? What do you do or could you do to make sure your life is financially sustainable? Who could move a tiny amount of money each week (even if it's only £1) into a savings account so you have a financial buffer of some sort.

I'm off to my happy place, my sewing room to work on some quilting as I have a top to finish and then three to back and quilt. I will of course keep you informed.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx








16 comments:

  1. You are very productive!

    Because I work shifts, I find it hard to have such a strict routine, but I clean on Saturdays stock take on Wednesdays and shop on Thursdays. I try to hit the gym on a Tuesday and a Friday, then maybe also on Sunday depending on what we are doing. I have girls movie night with my daughter on Thursdays if I'm not on the late shift and I teach yoga on Monday evenings.

    The car is filthy and the ironing pile HUGE. I need more hours in my day!

    Jane
    shoestringcottage.wordpress.com

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  2. I just want to say that I love your blog. I don't post much and do a lot of lurking. It makes me feel good reading this.

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    1. Ditto!!! I've been lurking for the longest time and really should have commented before now.
      Fantastic blog. x

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  3. I love your idea of putting the cooker hood filters in the dishwasher. I'll have to try that as they get so greasy and when I tried to wash them before Christmas I found it hard to get rid of all the grease.

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  4. I check my bank accounts every day. I know exactly what's going to be there because I keep track of everything I spend nowadays. Not that long ago, I had 7 consumers' loans or store cards, all maxed out and I never knew where I was on the money front. I take great pride now in opening that web page knowing that my overdraft is my only debt left and I'm working hard to clear that too !x

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  5. I do find that using the clothes dryer really beats up my clothes and I get less use out of them..all of that lint is fiber being taken out at each drying...
    You are so right ti keep on top of things...my Mum was ill last year and between running down for care (and staying over), jughling pet care here and basic just-keep -your head -above wster things, it is really difficult now to catch up...

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  6. This is an area that poses great difficulty for me. I find it difficult to establish and maintain routines. We have day to day rhythm but not much else. I have to prioritise day to day.

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  7. I too spend the weekend cooking, cleaning, ironing and getting ready for work. I work part-time and care for my disabled daughter who is very dependent on me. I work out a menu plan as money is very tight so relaxation time is very limited - phew! I also try to go to an exercise class on a Monday evening and Saturday morning so always have a busy week but if the food is organised life is a little easier!

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  8. I also spend the weekends getting ready for work, washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking. I prepare meals for the week ahead, along with caring for my disabled daughter who is very dependent on me. Life is very busy. I also keep a check on the finances every day. Weekends are hard but it's worth it when the week is a bit easier because of it. I love this blog Frugal Queen and very much appreciate you sharing your thoughts and tips.

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  9. Hi Froogs! It is your consistency and discipline that is so inspiring. I struggle with routines. It's partly due to being exhausted after work and everything (cleaning/cooking etc.) seeming so insurmountable at times. I am, however, religious when it comes to money. I know what I have got and what is owed. No missing deadlines or not paying off in full here! ~ Pru

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  10. I too read my meters on Mondays & submit the reading online. Thursdays I receive texts from the bank - this time last year Thursdays would be a day of anxiety waiting to see how much we didn't have in the bank. Thank you so much for your blog - I'm sure we would still be deeply in debt if it wasn't for you. Now I look forward to my texts - a reminder of how far we have come!

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  11. I am not as organized as you but one thing I do weekly is shampoo our living room carpet. Four dogs in a country cabin can get very grim.

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  12. I'm not a high energy routine kind of gal and I cherish down time. Though I think well of those of you who are. I just don't feel the need to be doing something all the time. I love to read and the dust will wait if I am into a good book (which is often :o)). Things always seem to get done. I hate housework and really have to be in a mood to do it. My entire family chips in. I just insist on a picked up house all the time so a quick swipe here and there when the mood fits does the job. The floors get vacuumed frequently because of the dog. The toilets and bathroom vanities are wiped down frequently as I get out of the shower, when I change towels or cleaner in at bedtime swish, wipe and flush in the morning. The tub gets a good scrubbing almost weekly (when I can bribe my daughter to do it). My house is clean enough. I enjoy cooking but with my work hours and gym visits it is usually something simple or in the crockpot. I do love to cook so I enjoy making more elaborate meals on the weekends. Hubby is a real handy man. His work schedule gives him 4 days off and he usually takes the best parts of 2 of those and does whatever needs doing. I think our attitude comes from a lot of years in extreme stress jobs with long hours. Now we just like to listen to the quiet, read a good book, watch some TV and let the day just happen. At least our days and evenings off. Like I said, somehow everything gets done.

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  13. Hi Froogs,

    I loved this post. My daily routine includes getting out to the veggie garden first thing, and again after dinner. It also includes walking the dog. I was powering through all of the family washing on the weekend, but it's a huge job and I never felt like I had any time off. So this year I'm trialling giving myself a 'sabbath' - washing has to be tackled on a daily basis, and small cleaning jobs, with the big clean happening on a Saturday. Then Sunday becomes a true day of rest - no washing, vacuuming etc...Monday is grocery day as I can do it without the kids, and I'm aiming to do get back to doing this just once a month, saving lots of time and money.

    I don't count gardening as work, so that can happen on a Sunday, along with seeing friends, baking, reading etc...I'm hoping the complete day off will motivate me to really keep on top of things on a daily basis :)

    Madeleine.X

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  14. What a lovely photo of you - don't you look great? Your new diet and exercise regime obviously suits you! x

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  15. I totally agree with you Froogs that every day should have a purpose, and I live by this as well.

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