Category Archives: Monthly Reviews

Review of the Month: November

1st December already! November has flown by. I would love to say I have spent no money but actually I bought almost all of my Christmas presents. This didn’t hurt at all as I have been putting money aside and still have £300 in my fund which will kick off next year’s present and holiday fund. It pays to plan ahead!

I have discovered a fantastic charity shop nearby that sells all of its clothing items for 99p so I have allowed myself a bit of retail therapy and spent a whole £10 on 10 new (to me) items. These included a pair of Monsoon jeans, a good black coat and a skirt from Zara.

I also decided to start eating gluten free this month. I stopped eating dairy containing lactose a couple of years ago to counter my long running IBS issues. This helped a lot, but the issue wasn’t resolved. I didn’t want to believe that gluten was a problem but October was a particularly bad month for me with my IBS so I decided it was time to try cutting the gluten out as well. I do without doubt feel a lot better. As yet I haven’t been 100% strict about it: I have sauces and gravy mixes in the store cupboard that I don’t want to waste for example. But I haven’t eaten any bread, cakes or pasta unless it was gluten free. I have my work Christmas meal booked for Tuesday, which was arranged before I changed my diet and thus won’t be gluten free. My plan is to gradually cut it out completely.

On the right path

On the right path

An unexpected bonus so far is that I have lost 3lbs with zero effort!

I made my Christmas pudding, gluten free of course. I had already bought an Aldi five bird roast which isn’t GF but I will avoid anything else contains gluten over Christmas.

I had intended to get on top of the garden but the weather put paid to that. I have only managed about 5 hours work when it needs several long days to sort it out.

The leak from the roof and damage to the bedroom ceiling that I blogged about yesterday caused me some consternation as I can see this costing some money. The £300 left over the Christmas fund might have to be diverted to sort this out.

Mr S bought me a wood burner at the start of the month. There is a lot of work to do to prepare the chimney and fireplace for its installation so we won’t start that until after Christmas.

I managed to host a frugal and GF dinner party too. I spent about £20 on this.

My goals for December?

I have 2 meals out to pay for with work colleagues and a tiny bit more shopping to do. Other than that I intend to spend as little as possible and work through all the food in my store cupboard. I also need to research gluten free eating and cooking on a shoestring and will share my experiments as I go. I want to do a lot more exercise. Just yoga, walking and digging, none of which costs me anything but all of which makes me happier and healthier.

We are going to sort out all the sheds. They are full of junk so it is time for a clear out. I have some days off over Christmas so I should be able to find the time. Then we will be off to the tip and listing things on eBay and Freecycle.

What have you achieved in November and how are your Christmas preparations going? Does anyone have any tips on the cheapest way to eat gluten free?