Tuesday, 11 February 2014
You can only spend it once . . .
The big de-cluttering continues. We have found stuff we had forgotten we had. A lot of "stuff" we didn't need. What we do need is a spare room which is going to be called the Library instead of the Junk Room (!) and it's nice to have some money back on these unwanted possessions. So we took a car full off to auction yesterday. The auction was very very busy last Saturday, so definitely the best time to sell our stuff. We don't want to spend weekends trying to sell it at car boot sales either. We need to spend our time more realistically, as once the house is back on the market it has to look its best at all times, and the garden takes a lot of hard work in the spring and summer.
Meanwhile, I am still diligently writing down all our expenditures, day by day, keeping meter readings, pruning the outgoings to the bare minimum and using up the contents of freezers and storecupboard. I am listing my collectable books on eBay, along with various other possessions which I am hoping will sell better on eBay than at auction. Put it this way, I'm not willing to give these things away for a pittance. Unwanted books and unfashionable china are another matter and will have to find their own level.
In the kitchen, I am using the heel end of every loaf - if not for toast, then blitzed in the blender and dried to breadcrumbs in a slow oven for home made stuffing and coverings for fish or chicken breast. Vegetables we can't use up quickly enough, get turned into soup, or frozen before thhey reach the stage of needing to be used up. I hate waste. My daughter used to have me grinding my teeth when, back in her student days, she would tell me what her house-mates had been doing - chucking out last week's loaf as they bought this week's fresh one (cheapest supermarket white pappy sliced - yuk!), chucking out unopened packets of perfectly usable pasta or rice just because "they'd been in the cupboard a few weeks now". And there was my daughter, seeing unopened packets of stuff on top of the bin, removing them to use herself!!
Leftovers are religiously used up - last night's meal for me was the last portion of 4 day old curry, which had improved with keeping, flavourwise. My husband had beans on toast and some ham on the bone which had been reduced in the supermarket yesterday. You don't have to have an exciting specially-cooked meal every night - sometimes you need to slum it!
There's an old saying from my childhood, something along the lines of not having BOTH butter AND jam on your bread - it was always one OR the other. A fact some folks would do well to remember in these leaner times.
In the meantime, we watch the scenes of the flooding on television and feel so sorry for all those people, so desperate, and worried sick about their homes (at risk from looting, as much as from the flood damage) whilst the powers that be are saying sagely, oh well, you chose to live on a flood plain, or we won't play the blame game at the moment, (Cameron), let's just deal with the job in hand. It seems that they can't even do that properly - my husband says because of the severe shortage of Armed forces available to help. I think with more weather on the way and the wettest winter for 250 years, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Try HERE for photos of recent flooding on the Somerset levels, where things are getting worse rather than better.