This review of February has to begin by admitting that it hasn’t been a particularly frugal month for a few different reasons. However, it’s also been a really fun month! Here is my review of February 2020.
Becoming puppy parents
Regular readers will know, that after two years of discussion, we finally got a dog! We have both owned dogs in the past, but haven’t had a puppy for years. I wanted a rescue dog, but we had to consider our cats. We either needed a very gentle dog who was very used to cats or a puppy who they could put in his place from the beginning. After scouring the animal shelter websites and Facebook groups without finding anything suitable, we also began looking at adverts for puppies for sale. Mr S spotted a litter of cockerpoo puppies nearby, we went to see them and instantly fell in love with little Archie. After all the prevarication, the decision was made in one day. But puppies take up a lot of time and energy! No more lazy Sunday mornings and breakfast in bed. He wants attention early in the mornings, we need to get up in the night and first thing to encourage him to do his business in the garden, rather than on the hall rug. Puppy training is going well though. He is a dear little thing and we can’t wait until we can take him out for walks. Even the cats are coming round to his presence – slowly though.
An expensive business
As well as the cost of buying Archie, we have had to factor in things like paying for vaccinations, insurance, upgrading his microchip, food, a bed and crate, toys, etc. Getting any animal, particularly a dog, isn’t a cheap business. But we are frugal for this very reason – so that we can afford the things that will add value to our lives. He is pretty full on at the moment, but hopefully will be a wonderful companion for years to come.
I had got minimising the grocery budget down to a fine art in recent months. However, that was before I decided to start a keto diet. This means eating high fat and low carbs. I have explained in my February meal planning posts some of the theory behind the keto diet. When you cut your carb intake down to an absolute minimum, your body goes into a state of ketosis. This means that it stops providing you with energy from the carbs and begins to use the fat in your body instead. This causes fast weight loss without starvation and gives many other benefits, such as increased energy and mental clarity. I absolutely love it and am finding it so easy and satisfying. I have lost 5lb in two weeks and I feel great.
The food bill has gone up
However, I have been eating a lot more meat and fish, which is more expensive than the many vegetarian options I usually focus on. I have been trying to stick to my budget, but have definitely gone over. But it is possible to do a veggie version of keto, as a few readers have mentioned, so I am going to focus on eating more nuts, cheese and eggs this month, rather than just meat. I have also under estimated how much of certain items I need to buy, which has meant more frequent trips to the supermarket. Now I know that I will be snacking a lot on nuts, eating tons of berries and pretty much having a yogurt based smoothie every morning for breakfast, I will make sure I buy enough to last the week. I find that frequent trips to the shops means buying extra bits and pieces whilst I am there and spending more. Let’s see if I can get the bill down again during March.
Having a puppy around wanting constant love and attention makes working from home something of a challenge! I have to time sitting down to write for his nap times. He is perfectly happy curled up on the sofa next to me whilst I do this. You might have noticed fewer blog posts appearing though! Some of the things I had planned for the blog and some freelance work have had to be put on hold due to lack of time. I haven’t been able to get out to source items to sell on my eBay business very much as Archie can’t be left on his own yet. In fact, I have only risked a couple of trips to the post office without him. We are training him to go in his puppy crate, but he can’t be left for long at this point.
Trying to prep and photograph things to list on eBay is pretty much impossible with Archie around. He wants to eat everything! Or goes very quiet and you realise he is either chewing the rug or pooping on it! We are getting ourselves organised and taking it in turns to look after Archie so that one of the other of us can get stuff done. However, he has certainly slowed us down, which means we potentially earn less. Hopefully, the baby stage will soon pass and he will settle down. As I say, it is fun though. Nothing so sweet as puppy cuddles! So I guess this review of the month should really be renamed monthly money losses rather than monthly money wins! But because I feel pretty good about all of the above, I reckon I am winning overall.