Thursday, 27 February 2014

Day 27 of Extremely Frugal February

Day 27 of 28 - the Penultimate Day of this Pound-Stretching Challenge!

Stretching my money as far as possible
 
February has been all about putting even more effort into wasting even less than normal, trying harder to keep the non-essential spending minimised without compromising quality of life and stretching every pound even further. Some might say that my life doesn't consist of much but I happen to like living within my meagre means, maintaining my debt freedom and helping support others who want to try to live a simpler, self-sustainable life. I'm neither penniless nor poverty-stricken, it's a simple case of 'the less I spend, the more I can afford'. Hopefully I'll continue to sleep soundly in my bed at night without worrying about money problems.
 
After last night's efforts at baking the chocolate cake in a mug, I had a second attempt at lunchtime today, this time using quarter of the mix in each mug. This worked out far better and tasted just as delicious as last night's, although this time it was served with some of the homemade coconut and mango ice cream.
 
It's pure greed, really, because despite breakfast being porridge, lunch was filling homemade soup with a thick slice of homemade bread, followed by the delicious 'cakiness' of the Guinness and chocolate sponge cake. I should have used up the remaining pittas from the open pack, so they'll need to get 'pizzafied' tomorrow lunchtime.
 
The big pan of soup has now been decanted into recycled margarine tubs and moved into the freezer for safe keeping. After having had two lunches for two from it, there's still enough in the freezer for another 16 good-sized servings. That's 20 servings for less than £2.00!
 
Today is National Chili Day (possibly more of a celebration in USA), so I thought we'd celebrate with the addition of some chilli in tonight's frugal dinner. The little character on the left is 'Chilli McGonk'. I made him for a  local start-up company that is now growing from strength to strength, (no pun intended) with their chilli based preserves. (www.gallowaychillies.co.uk) Being a frugaler, I make all my own preserves but it doesn't mean I don't try my best to help support local business.
 
I'd taken a carton of the 'Nile' mince from the freezer to defrost, then had a quick survey of the fridge for any leftovers - it brought about an odd combination!
 
I still have several tins of the 9p Red Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce, so guess what all got added to the mince and left to simmer while the rice cooked?

Dinner was a somewhat strange chilli concoction, rather than con carne! The 'Nile' mince already had peas, carrots and sweetcorn in it, then there was the addition of a couple of cooked potatoes, along with the last of the steamed red cabbage and the last of the bottle of Guinness.

Tasted fine but was very filling - definitely no pudding required.
 
I've been pricing dehumidifiers for H's studio but this is definitely the wrong time of year to be looking for a bargain in that department, what with the general winter weather and the atrocious flooding in England. A temporary compromise has had to be made, so the bargain air conditioner, which also has a dehumidifier, has been retrieved from its space in the shed and is being cleaned up to prepare it for going into the studio.

This worked well for drying clothes last year, so let's hope it can help stabilise the temperature and clear the dampness in the studio while helping to create better atmospheric conditions for fine artwork. If it doesn't suit the purpose, this unit will end up being sold. IU traded through our local LETS group for this one so, technically, homemade lemon curd and eggs from the garden feathered friends paid for it.

Having raked out all my seeds this week and discovering that the dampness had got into the beans and peas, I was loath to throw them out, despite the crumbling, green fuzzy appearance of some of them... so I washed each and every one of them! A few disintegrated and a few more felt a bit too delicate for washing individually, so I dumped them all into a dish of water last night and left them to soak. By this morning, the absolute worst of them were floating, so I scooped those out for the compost bin, rinsed the others again and will soak them another night. They are looking quite rejuvenated, don't you think?

I really hope some of the peas and beans grow. I know fine well that most other 'normal' people would simply have binned these, but we don't really do 'normal' here in Frugaldom. If I hadn't challenged myself to a fantastic frugal February, I have to admit to the fact that I would have binned these! There is a mix of runner beans, dwarf beans and peas. I'll get them started off in March and keep my gingers crossed that some of them grow.

I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the last day of the month! One more day of extreme frugaling and it will need to include using up the rest of tonight's chilli and the leftover rice, as I cooked a little too much. The bantams have laid us another egg, the coal has been sufficient to see out the month, we still have some logs remaining and joy oh joys... I checked my Topcashback* account and found £24.57 waiting to be collected. This 'cyberdosh' (money I raise through my online endeavours) will go into my Amazon vouchers account towards gifts and any little extras I need.

NYK, Frugaldom

* Denotes my friend referral link

8 comments:

  1. Well done! You look as though you have had a fabulous February!

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    1. It isn't over yet :) Just uploaded today's report and looking forward to starting the March challenge. I really appreciate everyone's comments and hope others are able to take part in some way, shape or form.

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  2. I agree you have done really well. Has it been a mainly stay at home month as well? I can't remember.

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    1. It's been a frugal hermit home month, haven't been anywhere but seldom do unless it's a big adventure. :)

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  3. I love your spirit and energy! I've got a bit of blog reading catch up to do, but it sounds like you've had a fabulous time with your extremely frugal February. I was doing my own wee challenge this month and it has me worn out! :)

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    1. I get your updates by email, Sara, I was stunned by your daily savings plan - it entailed saving more over a month than I actually earn! LOL I do sometimes imagine how rich I'd be if I was earning fulltime national minimum wage, but now that the family has grown and moved out, I don't think I'd know where to begin. LOL Well done you for achieving what is impossible for me to even contemplate. :)

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    2. Oh my, you've made me feel rich (in the money sense)!! LOL that never happens! But proof yet again that money doesn't bring happiness. Lucky that, since my preferred 'job' of SAHM pays nothing and the Mister's choice to work in the homeless sector is unlikely to change, or bring in the big bucks, any time soon! :)

      I'm also a very bad blogger. I suppose I should really look at my email subscribers list... I didn't realise anyone but myself was on it!

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    3. I seldom seem to have time to read anything, that's why I link blog addresses to the side bar, in the hope of catching some updates. :)

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