Monthly Archives: August 2016

Home made muesli bars

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I’ve been losing my motivation just a little bit this week. Not helped by the fact that I have a ‘not quite a cold’, one of those things where you are sniffling and miserable but not quite sick enough to use up any of your sick days.

However, last night I did get up enough energy to make a batch of muesli bars. They are very yummy. Quite sticky, but I think that is because the chocolate chips I put in melted and mixed with the melted butter and honey to form a syrupy chocolate goodness that is holding the whole thing together.

Now…just need to get the rest of my mojo back so I can get all the stuff done that I need to get done this weekend.

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Counting to 10 and bad drains

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I ended last weeks post with a decision to go and find something out about impulse control. I tried. Well…I googled it. It didn’t get me very far. The general consensus seems to be count to 10, or the try really hard to resist and if you keep trying you will eventually get better at it school. By contrast the other approach seems to be to remove all temptation.

The remove all temptation is pretty much impossible. I walk past about three 7-elevens and a dozen other shops on the way to work and sit 2 seconds from the work social fridge with all the goodies in it. Unless I become a hermit there is always going to be temptation. I suppose I can reduce it a little bit by staying out of certain types of shops and dumping my junk mail before I read it so I don’t get any wild buying ideas.

The practice method is difficult but maybe possible. My main objection is that it will take too long. Like anyone who has impulse control problems, if I want something, I want it now, preferably with as little effort as possible. Deep down I want someone to come along and flick a switch and instantaneously I will be the new me. Logically I know that isn’t going to happen, so I am psyching myself up for the hard work ahead.

So far this week I am not doing too badly. I have stuck to budget pretty much. The only fly in the ointment is my drains. I got in the shower this morning and after about 2 minutes realised that the water wasn’t going anywhere. My drains are blocked. Really blocked. Thankfully it is just the water drain and not the sewer so I can still flush the toilet. I just poured about 10 times the recommended dose of drain cleaner down the drain. Hopefully by morning it will have sorted itself out, because if it hasn’t I am going to have to call a plumber and that would completely blow my budget.

The other positive is that last weekend I planted some seeds, and pleasantly surprised that they are starting to grow. I may actually get some home-grown veggies out of this batch.

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Sunday trading, frugality and impulse control

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I am not wildly in favour of Sunday trading, not because of any religious feeling but more from a workers rights perspective. What is the point of work without balance. There should be at least one day a week where everyone gets to have all the family in one place. However, as a person who works everyday except the weekend Sunday is simply the best grocery shopping day. If Sunday is shopping day, that means that Saturday can be soup and baking day.

The idea being that anything that you throw out is a complete waste of money, so you use it before it goes off. Hence, soup and baking day. The day before I go shopping I gather all the vegetables, and other bits like the last bit of pasta in the bag that is too small to be a serving, and make a big batch of soup or stew or curry. Or…if it can’t go in the soup it gets baked into something. Not your show type baking. The type of baking where you get half way through, realise the only milk you have is chocolate and decide to use it anyway. Everything gets used up and then the finished product is either eaten or batched up and put in the freezer.

My last soup and baking day netted me 6 lunches and a week’s worth of morning tea, and despite everything lemon and sultana cake made with chocolate milk isn’t actually that bad.

What I find so frustrating is that while I am good at this, I can eat cheap and I can prepare a budget, none of it amounts to anything if you have no impulse control. Saving goes no where if you take a cheap, healthy prepared lunch into work and then decide the only thing you can possibly eat is hot chips, or you do up a budget and then the next day go out and buy a new laptop. Both things I have done, because I have absolutely terrible impulse control. Once I have an idea in my head I find it very hard to get rid of it without first acting on it. If I am going to get anywhere with saving then I need to work on impulse control and at the moment I am at a bit of a loss as to how to go about it. I suppose my next job is to do some research and find out, that and switch soup and baking day to Friday night so I can be non-hypocritical about my views on Sunday trading.

Holidays, more holidays and cash flow

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I have just finished my second day back at work after two and a half weeks off, and it is taking a little effort to get back into the swing of things. Not aided by the fact that I got back to find out my request for long service leave had been approved and I get to have three whole months off work later on this year. So I am already planning the next break, and trying to figure out how much I can cram into 3 months, and how much my rather limited budget will allow.

Any way you look at it, the next few months will be an exercise in absolute frugality while I endeavour to save up enough for three months of fun without putting a dent in my roof replacement fund. My initial endeavours at frugality have been thwarted by the need to get a new computer, but I am now focussed and committed. Am even contemplating making my own baked beans as I suspect they will be at least a 50c cheaper per serve than the canned variety.

I shall leave you with photos from my last few days of holiday when I was tour guide for some lovely relatives who were spending a few days in Brisbane. I got to see a few places that I had never been before and a few regular haunts through new eyes.

These are from the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

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