About hinukshines

I'm trying to be healthy. Skinny would be nice, but focussing on the healthy means less stress.

Fortnightly review

Okay, so for our first fortnight of $100 to fuel had $25 left over, and the $200 for the shopping… well… it was a bit weirder, but for a first effort I think it was pretty good.

I knew we’d done some extra shopping, and I don’t think I calculated everything in, because we only ended up being around $50 over… maybe it was right, maybe it wasn’t, but from now we’re keeping ALL the shopping receipts, regardless of how they’re paid for. I’ve tweaked the app in my phone to be for shopping only, so I can just deduct expenses straight from that too – to take the market vegetables and eggs into account. We’ll see how that goes over the next two weeks.

The bank accounts are *almost* open and set up on internet banking, so now it will be a matter of transferring everything over to the new account. I’ll start tomorrow. Little bit by little bit, but I’ve only got a month left until I go away, so I really need to pull my finger out and get it started. I should start with a list I think, on my phone, so I can tick them off as I go.

Meal planning this week was a success I must say. I’m very pleased that we stuck to it, and we used what we had. I don’t know if we’ll keep it up, but it’s a good start. We’ll need to do another list for the next week, but I’ll worry about that tomorrow night I think – it’s late night shopping. Or for Saturday.

Things to do for the next fortnight:

  • keep all grocery receipts
  • make a list of all of my expenses that need to be changed over to the new account
  • do meal planning for 5 days – remember lunches!
We’ll see how that pans out… hehehe

 

Things I intend to do today: Sat 14 Jan 12

My time at home this year is likely to be limited. Now that I’m back at work, I need to get myself into some sort of groove, or else NOTHING WILL GET DONE!

So, starting today, I’m going to make proper goals. Baby steps – just like eating and exercise, and see how it goes. In no particular order, today I would like to:

  1. sort out my damn linen cupboard, using the cute technique of putting all the sheet set into one of the pillow cases, so I don’t have to hunt!
  2. bake that damn bread mix that I brought 2 months ago!
  3. try to make black bean patties for mini hamburgers…
  4. take a bag to the charity bin/shop. Doesn’t have to be a whole box, but I’m tired of having four items of clothing sitting around waiting for the rest of the crap to join it.
  5. remove some items from the bedroom.
  6. go for a run
  7. do at least 30 mins of yoga/pilates.

I’m feeling mightily inspired, which could go either way… I’ll either be overwhelmed by the monumental task that is my house, or I shall overdo it, and then not attempt anything further for months. Hopefully by sorting it into manageable chunks, I can actually achieve something, and with a bit of luck, it’ll be a noticeable something! There’s nothing worse I think than working like a dog for something that you can’t see – aka skirting boards. hate those puppies with a vengeance!!

(The intent is that the mini burgers are either lunch or dinner today. Haven’t tried the bean patties before, so it will be interesting! Although I’m carnivorous, meat in Darwin is expensive, so it’s actually worth our while now investigating the non-meat options. Using quinoa for a pilaf too is also on the menu for the week…)

*Follow up: 1815
The gluten free bread was acceptable, but given that it’s made with starches, it’s as bad for me as normal bread, so next time I’d save my money and just make normal bread like I used to. Maybe I’ll use that burgul wheat in the cupboard tomorrow and try making ‘normal’ rolls – the ones today had to be made in muffin tins due to the consistency of the mixture, which also meant they weren’t suitable for burgers. Which was okay, because the bean patties were severely lacking in taste, something that we’ll have to remedy in the future. I think that will end up being a suitable meat substitute, once we get the flavour right!

Have thrown out a bag full of rubbish from the bedroom, and there is a bag ready to go to the charity shop. I had to have a little snooze today, and haven’t gone for exercise yet, but there’s still an hour or so of light left – plus I’d really like to try night running. I’m sure I’d get used to it with practice…

Update: 2115

Went for our waddle in the dark – it wasn’t so bad. Still hot and humid, but that’s life in the tropics. At least not getting sunburnt is a big plus!

Stuff done today!

Not an overly exciting day, but movement nonetheless!

  1. Managed to get rid of a box of junk to the Salvation Army shop,
  2. Also took them a pile of books (4 Thesaurus’… really? Never used ONE!),
  3. Went to the tip and picked up some chicken wire to build the birds a bigger run (hopefully we’ll pick up a few more birds this weekend) – had to buy the pickets, but there were none at the tip,
  4. FINALLY cooked those damn tacos! Funny thing though, they were out of date by a mile, so the only thing I could use was the seasoning for the meat… had a spare sauce luckily, and had to dash up the road for the taco shells!, 
  5. Opened up the three new bank accounts – a personal one each, and a joint one for the bills to come out of. We have an appointment to talk to the manager tomorrow regarding the mortgages, and
  6. Got a little coin purse for the fuel and shopping money, and put our estimated amount in them. I even used it for the taco shells tonight – it was so WEIRD paying cash!

The pantry is starting to look a lot more under control, and the fridge actually has space in it again at last. There is another box to go to the Salvos, and I have clothes that need to go as well. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get a bit more done, and a bit more, and eventually, it will all be done. 

Maybe… 

 

Time to stop procrastinating, and start DECLUTTERING!

Decluttering is something I seriously need to do. Every holiday I say I’m going to start, and yet every holiday is never long enough. Maybe today is a good day – particularly as it’s a project that needs to be undertaken in stages!

This article in Real Simple is inspiring, and helpful, to start the task of decluttering.

Carrot and Miso Soup



I was lucky enough to come across this lovely recipe today on Tumblr, for Carrot and Miso Soup. The items in the recipe are those which I most often have around the house, and although I was a little dubious of the flavours involved – carrots, miso, ginger and garlic – I was encouraged by the authors enthusiasm in creating the dish, plus the fact “It’s about one cube of tofu away from earning a halo, or at least being surrounded by singing cherubs”.

It was delicious, and even though I chopped the recipe in half it worked very well. I don’t think there’s anything I would change next time, but had a ‘lentil’ moment! It’s simple, easy and very tasty – it would freeze well, and would do just as well for lunch as dinner. (I’m lucky that I only made enough for 2, I would be eating it all night otherwise!). Definitely a keeper for the recipe book!

 

Simple Savings to the rescue!

Funny how trying to save money is a lot like dieting… the more you think about not spending or not eating something, the more you want to!

Today I’m going through the Simple Savings vault, and checking out for ideas that might suit us. Gotta be worth a crack, hey?

  • Using pencil cases to divide the cash allocated fortnightly (or weekly) to ‘Fuel’ and ‘Food’. Using cash will make it easier to see when the money runs out, as opposed to using the debit card, which isn’t quite as ‘in your face’. Any money left over (would be a hallelujah moment for me, I’m sure!!) could either come off the budget for the next period, or back into the savings account.
  • No drive days. This should ensure there is some money left in the fuel kitty! How much, is up to us. Okay, me. I haven’t ridden a pushbike so far for years and years…
and my idea for today:
  • Paying us wages for cooking and cleaning. I haven’t quite worked this totally, but the gist is that we were going to give ourselves spending money for personal items, so this could either make it seem like we were paying our way, or give us extra. I don’t clean anywhere near what I should, because a) I don’t like it, and b) it’s boring. I was going to get a cleaner, so my time should be worth theirs, surely? And if I’m getting paid to do it, it’s not the same as HAVING to do it, is it? He cooks all the time, so if I’m getting paid to clean, then he can get paid to cook – or we can swap, or help each other out. The plan is to reward ourselves for working, encourage us to work together, and to spend time together. Even if we give it a trial for a fortnight, we can see how it goes.

 

Phone and Internet costs… *le sigh*

I almost had a monumental saving… I’ve been studying phone and internet plans and bundles for the past 2 hours, and believed I had it.

Currently I pay for two separate providers, so by bundling I could save money… except my preferred provider doesn’t have phone bundling in this area, and the second provider can only offer slower speed internet.

So from the current $160pm, I had it down to $109, then $85 – and mentally I was spending that extra $900 per year… only to find out I can go slower for $105, or leave it the same… and with two gamers in the house, I think slower will get me smothered in my sleep. Or not asleep. .. *le sigh*

I suppose I can change the home phone down to a ‘pay as you go’ option – it’s a really crappy line, and most of our calls are via mobiles or internet now, so it’s likely to be no big deal – which will take it down to $121pm for both. It’s a $460 saving I guess, which is better than a kick in the teeth!

Why is Australia so DAMNED expensive, for crap service and shit quality?

**edited: Have just considered the fact I do actually use the phone sometimes, so would need to include $20 for the actual calls made… ARGH. I hate this stuff.