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Resolutions for January 2020

Think it, Plan it, Do it
Tortoise1000
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Resolutions for January 2020

#274546

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 2nd, 2020, 9:44 am

Hallo again.

I was thinking of writing resolutions for the whole year, but I have not yet emerged from Christmas hibernation. I’ll start with small ones for this month, and take it from there.

1. Do my tax return. It’s mostly done, I just need to check and submit it and pay the bill. Musn’t forget, though.

2. Not spend any money. It was thinking it of this that brought me back to YTST. I haven’t had a ‘no spend’ month for years. But this tax year to date has been expensive, I’ve gone way over budget. I know from previous experience that not spending for a month makes a big impact. Time to give it a go. This will help with a longer term financial goal in due course.

3. Do some exercise 4 times a week, probably Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. That’s towards a fitness deadline later this year.

4. Write up this beautiful Pip Studio diary that Tortoise Junior gave me for Christmas. It is almost too beautiful to write in. I need to transfer the scribbled appointments at the back of 2019 to the appropriate pages of 2020. In my best handwriting. Maybe that another 2020 resolution, learn to write better. All this typing causes it to degenerate.

5. Chase up the chap who was supposed to be finishing the patio balustrade, if he does not reappear. He said he would be here at the end of last week. He must be hibernating too. I don't blame him. Everyone should hibernate until next Monday.

6. Help TJ move out. I hope. He has been staying here, temporarily between accommodations, over the holiday, and is moving to start a new job on the 13th. I am hoping he is going to take all his possessions with him. But do they ever?

Progress on the above goals, Day 1, Wednesday 1st:

Spent £1 on car parking. Lent £20 to a friend; just noting that in case he forgets to return it, not that it matters if he does but then it would have to count as a spend. Thought about writing a freezer list, but food stocks are so immense maybe I should use some of it up first. Lunch, just me, was a sardine sandwich and an orange. Dinner was African sweet potato stew with rice followed by luxurious Lidl chocolate cheesecake. Went for 2 walks so that can count for yesterday and today.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#274628

Postby Stonge » January 2nd, 2020, 3:37 pm

Welcome back. Glad that you're still alive.

Tortoise1000
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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#274749

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 3rd, 2020, 8:18 am

Thank you for the welcome, Stonge. Yes, still alive. 125 years to go to catch up with my distant very-great uncle Jonathan :-)

No spending yesterday. I resisted buying a cardigan in the Jaeger sale. I might have not liked it anyway, mightn't I? And had to send it back. I have probably saved myself an errand there. I have noticed before that not spending money seems to give one more time.

Bacon sandwiches and satsumas for lunch. Dinner was a casserole of lamb with red wine and lentils out of the freezer. I had forgotten how delicious it was; things look so boring frozen, don't they? Followed by fruit salad.

Normally I would walk up to the village today, the day the fishmonger comes with his van. But luckily he has gone to Florida for a month.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275157

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 4th, 2020, 3:31 pm

Day 3 report:

Going well. I inspected the various sad salad items that are left in the fridge, rescued what I could and made a layered salad for lunch. There was excellent home-made mayonnaise to make potato salad, along with a few tired spring onions and some cold cooked potatoes left from yesterday. I reviewed the carrots and grated the best ones. Also chopped lettuce and parsley, grated apple, sliced tomatoes and some cold roast chicken from the freezer. For dinner we had sea bass fillets from the freezer in a lemon and butter sauce, mashed potatoes and peas. I seem to have a lot of lemons at present, I shall have to think of more recipes with them in.

Zero spends despite going to the cinema. Someone told me a while ago that you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to buy cinema tickets, so I looked into the matter. I found I have £61 of Clubcard vouchers. Not that I shop there much but I have a Tesco credit card. Ive stoozed £32,000 of debt onto that and two other 0% cards, over the last 18 months. The money is in a Tesco Internet Saver account at 1.25%, which is not much but £400 a year more than I would have had otherwise. The only way to get any interest these days is by stoozing and switching bank accounts. It’s hard to find the motivation, except that over the year it does add up. The direct debits for the card payments were on a Tesco current account that used to pay interest, then when that stopped I switched it to NatWest for £125 and on to HSBC for £175. I am in the process of switching to M&S bank if they can get my name right. Opening current accounts with traditional banks is unbelievably slow, cumbersome and error-prone. It has been an eye-opener. I should have kept a log of all that went wrong along the way. It has confirmed that I am happy to keep my real current account with First Direct, as it had been since they opened.

Anyway, the point was that I got the £15-worth of cinema tickets for nothing with £5 of Clubcard vouchers. I bought them when we got there, to avoid the online booking fee. I didn’t realise until recently that you can get a discounted Senior ticket at Cineworld when you are over 60. I forgot to take ID but, unflatteringly, they did not ask for it. How wounding! For refreshments I took cans of Diet Coke from the stock I laid in for TJ before Christmas, and microwave popcorn I made from a packet I had in the cupboard. It was languishing there because microwave popcorn isn’t so good as normal bought popcorn . But eating at the cinema is pretty mindless, so it didn’t matter.

Is anyone else economising for January?

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275374

Postby OLTB » January 5th, 2020, 8:34 pm

Hi Tortoise1000

My money saving pledge is to make my lunches for work every day rather than buy any meal deals at Morrison’s.

I know it’s only a minor thing, but every little helps!

So far, with two days back at work I’m on track...

Cheers, OLTB.

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275394

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 5th, 2020, 9:45 pm

Good plan, OLTB! I always think those meal deals look sneaky. An apparently small number of £s, but they add up and I am sure you can get better nutritional value if you put something together yourself.

Day 4 report:

Another successful day. No spending, so the cumulative total to date stays at £1. Friend returned the £20.

TJ went out in the evening and invited me to join him. I decided not to out of laziness rather than economy. That was a bonus side effect though, and it turned out to be as well because he hit a pothole on a dark country road and got a flat tyre and then the battery went flat while he fixed it and he had to wait for the breakdown service, etc. More restful to have all the drama reported on the phone from a distance rather than be in the middle of it. Staying at home was less trouble as well as free. It occurred to me that I could economise by simply continuing to stay in the house for a month. Stay inside and post on the Lemon Fool about nothing, like this.

Lunch was good. I used up a pack of mussels in white wine sauce that was in the fridge, and made an onion and garlic loaf to go with it. Delicious for mopping up the juice. For dinner I made a Slimming World recipe called Nacho-style Feast. A spicy beef mince dish, spread over chips and put under the grill topped with cheese. It has the excellent quality of looking junky while actually not being, so went down well with TJ. Lidl crème brulee for dessert, last of the bought puddings.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275446

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 6th, 2020, 8:09 am

Day 5 report (Sunday):

I finished the marmalade on my toast, and there is no more spreadable butter. The Nutella jar is pretty well scraped out . I did wonder if TJ would say anything when he finally emerged for breakfast , but there is still some cherry jam and he used that without remark . I have hidden behind the cheese the pack of hard butter I use for bread making.

Lunch was home-made soup from the freezer with more of the garlic bread. Dinner was a casserole of beef in red wine, made from stewing beef that was in the freezer, served with broccoli and mashed potato. The green veg are running low, maybe 2 more meals’ worth. The potatoes were starting to sprout, so I cut , blanched and froze 4 portions of chips and boiled the offcuts to make mash for today plus 2 portions for the freezer. More fruit salad for desert, disguising an elderly pear and some slightly wizened grapes with chopped persimmon and oranges .

I had to throw out a pineapple. At Christmas, even when I try to be restrained buying the festive goodies, so there isn’t too much of a surplus of those, I still buy the same amount of fruit and veg and then it gets left while we eat the treats. I am puzzling now over how to use it up in the right order before it rots.

Imagine someone from the 18th century reading that; that I have thrown out a pineapple! Incredible! They are so bizarrely cheap these days. I do feel bad about wasting such an exotic fruit.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275585

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 6th, 2020, 6:41 pm

Day 6 (Monday)

Speaking of prices, here is an update on the Tortoise Cost of Food Index.



The food items are just some random ones I happened to mention in my original Spend Nothing September 2007 thread, but I suppose they are as good as any. I wonder why the price of butter has shot up so much while skimmed milk has not? The price of fish doubled over 2 years then stabilised. Flour doubled over 10 years and now has fallen back. Overall a 50% increase in 12 years.

Today I addressed the jam shortage. The Nutella jar got a thorough final scrape for my toast this morning, and there was some cherry conserve left for TJ. But no denying a looming crisis. Can you make jam out of tinned peaches, I googled? I had a large tin of them in the cupboard waiting to either go out of date or be donated to a food bank. Yes, you can:
https://www.southernplate.com/peach-pre ... nock-your/

Fortunately I had enough sugar. It came out quite well. Rather gluey, maybe I cooked it too long, but definitely jammy and better than the threatened famine. Not that one jar of jam would break the bank, but the point is to keep out of the shops. Once you step inside them you risk falling victim to those shopkeeper's wiles.

Chicken salad sandwiches for lunch, made with leftover roast chicken from the freezer and carefully eked out lettuce and tomatoes. As there was no butter I spread the bread thinly with fat from the top of a box of homemade chicken stock, mixed with a little bought mint sauce. Sliced bananas and grapes with Greek yoghurt and brown sugar for dessert.

Dinner was another excellent SW recipe, Chicken Faijita Sweet Potatoes, followed by mango and orange jelly.

While I was getting the frozen mango out to make the jelly, I made an amazing discovery. Three Magnum-style chocolate almond ices that I had forgotten all about! Luckily this was while TJ was out for a run. I shoved them carefully underneath the chips so he does not find them. He keeps gel icepacks in there for his knee. I mean, I will share the ices with him, I just don’t want him to polish off all three for a snack.

TJ seems to be entering into the spirit of this project, actually. He hasn’t complained, and he has asked me not to buy any more Coca-Cola or Nutella. Great! Not that I was going to. But we looked at the ingredients list of the Nutella, and it’s appalling. The top two are sugar and palm oil. I didn’t realise was so bad. The other thing he seems to have stopped doing is munching through packets of Doritos and popcorn in the evenings. I suppose he knows he wont get me to buy them, so thats half the willpower in place, so he just has to not buy them himself. He is training for a sub-17 minute 5k, aiming to get to 16.30 in the next couple of years, and is pleased to have lost 2.5 kg eating home cooking (instead of his usual diet of canteen food and takeaways) over Christmas. I wish I had! But perhaps I shall when I train for a sub-17.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275671

Postby Loup321 » January 7th, 2020, 9:58 am

Hi Tortoise,

It's lovely to see your updates each day, and I will look forward to reading them all. Some of your ideas are really interesting. I wouldn't think of using tinned fruit to make jam - it just doesn't fit in my head.
Your Cost of Food Index is really interesting. I keep thinking that I should do something like that myself. My Mum used to collect the prices of her staple items in each of the supermarkets she could get to, so she always bought the cheapest tin of tomatoes. Demanding to be driven back to the shop where it was 1p cheaper per tin, for just 2 tins, was perhaps a false economy.

I'm not economising this month, but I am trying to clear out the freezer, which seems to be full of individual portions of dinners, when the other half has not made it back from the pub in time to eat. They are certainly going to be cleaned out! I also try and cook for him when I am out, so he has something sensible, but he sees that as an excuse to go to the pub again. Ho Hum. We run separate finances, so nothing much I can say about it. I'm also going to switch from granola and yogurt to toast and jam for breakfast for a few weeks, to use up all the jam that is lying around the kitchen and fridge. We seem to have a glut of jars with only 1 slice of toast worth taken out. Not that we don't like toast and jam, we just don't eat it.

Looking forward to hearing how the jam goes down.

LouP

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275715

Postby kempiejon » January 7th, 2020, 11:28 am

Loup321 wrote:My Mum used to collect the prices of her staple items in each of the supermarkets she could get to, so she always bought the cheapest tin of tomatoes. Demanding to be driven back to the shop where it was 1p cheaper per tin, for just 2 tins, was perhaps a false economy.

I'm not economising this month, but I am trying to clear out the freezer, which seems to be full of individual portions of dinners.
LouP


LouP,

Years ago I had to explain to my parents that spending a few extra pence on a tin of tomatoes was actually a good idea as the quality of the tomatoes was so much better than the really cheapo ones, I did the taste test and checked out how much flesh compared to watery juice and I'll never buy the basics again.

In my house we're running down the freezer and store cupboard, I like to have a go most new years following the excess of Christmas. If you're anything like my family if you look at the back of cupboards and dig deep in the freezers you'll find you hold enough stock for several weeks of meals only needing to occasionally supplement with fresh veg or bread and milk, eggs etc.

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275809

Postby Stonge » January 7th, 2020, 5:16 pm

I don't make resolutions at this time. I make them all the time. I call them 'ideas for improving my life and making it less annoying'. The most successful strategy is to avoid stupid ideas and people. Mostly, for me these ideas and people appear on TV or in the newspapers. So apart from the odd drama, I don't watch TV. I get the local newspaper (it is reported that a one-legged Turnstone was spotted on the prom the other day but seemed to be coping OK) which isn't full of the usual filth you find in the nationals.

TV and newspapers basically full of filth which will rot your mind.

Also, just throw away stuff you don't need and don't replace it. Actually there's very little that you need.

Christmas can be a waste of time (if you let it) and is always a disappointment. I don't see anything magic about it. Apparently there is no Father Christmas. I still seem to get a load of junk to offload at the charity shop.

My wife and daughter think I'm a miserable old curmudgeon. It's not really true but I'm happy to challenge their soppy attitudes to the modern world of misinformation and garbage that we live in. They don't really appreciate how lucky they are to have me.

I'd scrap Christmas and have a joint 'end of year' (Dec 31 to look back on the old year with pleasure and regret) and 'beginning of new year' (Jan 1 to look forward to the coming cycle of seasons, experiences, disappointments and trials) celebration.

T, I think you're making your life far too complicated. I wouldn't bother, just go out for a walk every day. Stop posting lists on here, it'll become a burden.

I may not post here for another year, or maybe tomorrow, don't expect anything. I'll see how I feel.

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275814

Postby Howyoudoin » January 7th, 2020, 5:36 pm

Stonge wrote:I don't make resolutions at this time. I make them all the time. I call them 'ideas for improving my life and making it less annoying'.


Doesn't seem to be working if your Wife and Daughter think you are miserable, does it?

Stonge wrote:TV and newspapers basically full of filth which will rot your mind.


So's the Internet and life itself. You just need to learn how to filter it out.

Stonge wrote:Also, just throw away stuff you don't need and don't replace it. Actually there's very little that you need.


People who say this normally have big houses, with more bedrooms than they can sleep in. They just like telling other people how to live their lives . . .

Stonge wrote:T, I think you're making your life far too complicated. I wouldn't bother, just go out for a walk every day. Stop posting lists on here, it'll become a burden.


Yep, there's that telling other people what to do thing again.

Stonge wrote:I may not post here for another year, or maybe tomorrow, don't expect anything. I'll see how I feel.


I'm sure the suspense will kill us waiting for another uplifting post.

HYD

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#275857

Postby Stonge » January 7th, 2020, 9:37 pm

Howyoudoin wrote:
I'm sure the suspense will kill us waiting for another uplifting post.

HYD


Very kind of you to say so but I'll probably disappoint.

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#276038

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 8th, 2020, 8:24 pm

Stop posting lists, Stonge? I have hardly started. I will post one of my fabled freezer lists if you are not careful :-) then you will know about it. The jam went down well, LouP. Tortoise Junior remarked that it was good.

Day 7:

This is 7 days without food shopping. My records indicate that the average number of times I bought food, per week , over the last 9 months, was 8. That’s not only supermarket receipts; I generally walk up to the village once a week and visit the greengrocer, baker, fishmonger and M&S, so that would be 4 of them. Then there are oddments like online purchases, local growers who sell produce from their gardens, the off-licence etc. Still, 8 shops a week seems high. No wonder I am over-stocked. I am going to have to go food shopping at some point, but my goal for now it to get through until TJ’s departure on Sunday without doing so.

Another chicken salad sandwich for lunch, using the last of the frozen roast chicken. I cut the bread very thick and the lettuce and tomato very thin. Followed by wedges of persimmon. Dinner was the other half of the beef casserole and mashed potato, with broccoli. The bread crusts were starting to back up in the fridge, so I made Apple Brown Betty for pudding. I haven’t made that for years, it was delicious.

Day 8

More breadcrumb cookery. There was some of the garlic and onion loaf left, so I made Cranks Cheese and Lentil Wedges for lunch. Dessert was the rest of the mango and orange jelly. For dinner we had African Sweet Potato Stew (from Day 1) out of the freezer, with rice and broccoli, followed by cold Apple Brown Betty with Greek yoghurt. They both seemed tastier than first time round, as is often the case. Do the dried spices gradually soften and release more flavour, perhaps? It was the last of the broccoli, not much head and a lot of stalk, so I chopped all the stalk up finely in my small hand-pulled food processor and included that as well. I normally put it in the soup, but too much cabbagey stuff in soup is not ideal.

Speaking of breadcrumbs, did you know that you can buy them? Actual fresh breadcrunbs? Waitrose sell them. I was astonished when I found that out. Who is buying leftovers? Why? Amazing. They will be selling vegetable peelings next. Perhaps they do; I had better not look. I know I saw B&Q selling rags a while ago.

Other expenditure has taken a hit. It stood at £1 until the evening of Day 6, Monday. Then I went out that evening and yesterday evening, adding £32. A trip to the beauty salon yesterday was £19. A walk with a friend today, it was her turn to buy the coffees, but we took TJ with us. He went off for a run and rejoined us to consume a large breakfast for £11.30. Cumulative total £63.30. I paid the car’s Road Tax but I don’t count that because it is an unavoidable fixed expense. More significant was paying for a weekend away in February, £252.73. That was definitely avoidable, except that I should like to go. Can I not count that as well? It did cross my mind not to book it, but that would be ridiculous. The hermit plan will have to wait.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#276059

Postby Stonge » January 8th, 2020, 10:24 pm

Tortoise1000 wrote:Stop posting lists, Stonge? I have hardly started. I will post one of my fabled freezer lists if you are not careful :-) then you will know about it. .

T


Perhaps I should resolve to make more lists. No I don't have the stamina.

Talking of lists, here are the three main things that annoy me about the ways most minimalist blogs are written:

1. they always present their arguments as a list of numbered bullet points

2. the number of points has to add up to a 'magic' number like 3

3. they include superfluous entries purely to make the number of points add up the 'magic' number

It

Marie Kondo appears to worship at the temple of Mammon nowadays, instead of the temple of Shinto which inspires her book.

I have "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying" quite a poetic title, my daughter gave it to me. It appears to have changed to "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" now, quite prosaic. Way of the world.

I find the book quite inspirational but the global empire nauseating.

This minimalist website is quite entertaining. Perhaps I should resolve to do better.

simplicityvoices.com

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#276104

Postby Watis » January 9th, 2020, 9:01 am

Tortoise1000 wrote:<Snip>

Speaking of breadcrumbs, did you know that you can buy them? Actual fresh breadcrunbs? Waitrose sell them. I was astonished when I found that out. Who is buying leftovers? Why? Amazing. They will be selling vegetable peelings next. Perhaps they do; I had better not look. I know I saw B&Q selling rags a while ago.

<snip>

T


They do sell vegetable peelings!

Imagine my horror when I first perused a restaurant menu and found that I could buy their potato peelings - at great expense - as a starter!

Watis

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#276262

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 9th, 2020, 8:14 pm

Potato peelings are tasty apparently:

https://www.thekitchn.com/heres-why-you ... chn-212565

I stopped peeling potatoes some years ago. They say there are more vitamins near the skin, and it saves trouble, and this month it will make the potatoes last longer. But I must try them some time.

Day 9:

No spending today. I have been helping TJ here and there as he sorts, cleans and pack his possessions ready to move out. At least that is the theory. The mounds of gear that occupied the dining room are now spread fairly evenly throughout the house .

It’s been a curious little interlude, having him back here. At 24 he has been living away and independently for a while. It’s quaint having him living here and cooking him three meals a day as if he were a schoolboy again. As if we have temporarily gone back in time. Posting thriftily on here adds to the effect. All just the same is if it was Spend Nothing September 2007. That month I posted about mending his micro scooter, and this week I have been helping him get his pothole-damaged car wheel repaired.

Lunch today was Christmas soup from the freezer, made on Boxing Day with the surplus roast vegetables and the crispy bacon lattice that was on the M&S turkey crown roast.

Dinner was Tesco Citrus Salmon, using some beautiful salmon from the fishmonger of which I laid in a stock in the freezer before he went on holiday, plenty of lemon and orange and parsley and the last two spring onions. It’s an excellent recipe. It calls for bulgur wheat, fresh thyme and cucumber; successful substitutes were couscous, dried thyme and grated carrot.

I had enough carrots, and various other ingredients, for an American carrot cake recipe but I didn’t have ‘all purpose’ (plain) flour, pecans and vanilla essence. I made it with bread flour and extra mixed dried fruit, and omitted the vanilla. It was moist but moreish.

T

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#276885

Postby Stonge » January 12th, 2020, 5:37 pm

Lovely sunny day today here in Walmington-on-sea.

Wife went to the cinema to see Little Women. She said it was good. Sounded a bit boring to me.

I went down to the seafront to photograph every building on the esplanade. There's major works scheduled for this year on the sea protection front and a couple of buildings are being redeveloped. A funny little bat-faced woman asked me why I'd taken her photograph. I said I had a thing about rubbish bins but she was close enough.

Friday, they had a scrabble game at the library. There was only one letter left. Letter 'A'. You're not allowed one letter words and Koala is spelled with a K not a C so I was stumped.

Never mind, winsome lose some, my sore throat seems to be getting better and we have beef stew on the hob.

New series of Vera tonight. One of the few dramas I sometimes like, mainly because of the scenery. Hope they haven't screwed up the design.

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#277005

Postby Gostevie » January 13th, 2020, 11:05 am

Hi Tortoise,

Good to have you back! How time flies though. You mention TJ being 24 and I’m pretty sure I can recall you posting about when he was twelve back in the TMF days.

Your new posts have reminded me that I really do need to cut down on unnecessary spending. I didn’t achieve my goal of retiring at 55 but I do now only work four days a week, and in a more junior and much less well paid role than the one I had when I was clearing my debts back in the day.

Not that I have suddenly become a spendthrift but whereas I used to be really disciplined when it came to things like bringing a packed lunch into work, I now find that most days I am buying sandwiches from Pret instead.

Anyway, do keep posting the updates.

Gostevie

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Re: Resolutions for January 2020

#277052

Postby Tortoise1000 » January 13th, 2020, 2:01 pm

Hallo Gostevie! Good to see you too. Do you have an FI date in mind? Or a figure you aim to save before you retire?

Yes, TJ would have been 12 in Spend Nothing September. He left home yesterday, in theory. Except that of course he did not take all his stuff with him. He is on a residential course for 2 weeks, so he thought he would leave most of it here pro tem. I am assured that he will come back and remove it when he moves into his new lodgings. Ha! We shall see. It is back in the dining room, better packed but still very bulky. However at least I can get on with some cleaning. Or rather, post about cleaning while the dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, Roomba and Braava whirr away in the background.

I haven’t seen Little Women, Stonge, but I have heard several good reports. Perhaps although it is a quietly domestic tale it has the depth of a classic novel. I went to see ‘1917’ on Friday and thought it didn’t have much depth at all. The heroes’ quest felt as if it would have been better as a cartoon at times. I didn’t care if they made it or not. The reconstruction of the scenes in the trenches was impressive, but it was only what we saw for real in They Shall Not Grow Old. That was one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen. However the cameraman pulled out all the stops, and the bit where one of them fell in the river was terrific. I think rather than experience the whole thing straight through at the cinema, I’d rather have seen it at home and been able to stop it and study the detail.

The cinema trip was free with Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Also free with Clubcard was £36-worth of a meal at Pizza Express, so I just paid for the drinks £16.65 and a £5 tip. That brings the cumulative total of discretionary spending to £84.95, not counting the holiday.

Still nothing on food (eating out in restaurants I budget as entertainment). Dinners at the weekend, apart from the pizza, were sirloin steak out of the freezer and roast turkey with all the trimmings, also out of the freezer and left over from Christmas.

The good news from now on is I have only myself to feed. I don’t have to keep thinking of two 2-course meals per day that are suitable for a hungry young man. I don’t know how long I shall be able to get through without buying green vegetables. I normally eat a lot of them and they have just about run out. There is still some parsley so I shall make this tonight:
https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/cr ... lemon-kick

T


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