Welcome to a shiny new month at Shoestring Cottage! Having genuinely lost track of time last week, this week I have been keeping a close eye on what day and date it is. I can say with confidence that today is Fizzday the firth of Fliptember…. Lock-down lunacy is absolutely setting in.
Generally speaking, nothing very exciting has happened, as you would expect. However, I did receive some thoughtful friend mail on Wednesday from a lovely lady who follows me on Instagram.
Her name is Alison, as you can see from the card, and she hand knits eco-friendly and reusable dishcloths. She very kindly knitted me some, along with some little round face scrubs.That really cheered me up. Thanks Alison, if you are reading!
A ruthless declutter
I have had quite a productive week, all in all. I had a thorough sort through of everything in my wardrobe and ruthlessly removed anything that I hadn’t worn for a while. I also sorted all the pillows and blankets that live on the top shelf, as when I do a wardrobe declutter these often get ignored.
Several items are now in my pile to be sold on eBay, and there is another huge bag of items in the shed to be donated to a charity shop or the Scout jumble sale at some point in the future. As everybody appears to be using this enforced period at home to have a good clear out, I genuinely think charity shops will be completely overwhelmed when they are allowed to reopen.
I find shedding clutter incredibly therapeutic. At the moment, when there is a constant low-level anxiety and it is hard to concentrate, simple tasks like this can be quite absorbing and satisfying. My chest of drawers will be next. It is so messy and disorganised!
(Almost) free dog food
My daughter signed up for a free trial of Tails dog food for me, and she received a huge bag (two week’s worth) of good quality kibble for just a £2 delivery charge. She then cancelled her subscription, but then I signed up myself and got another large bag for £2. They are really big bags, so this was a huge bargain.
If you want to try it on your dog, you can use my referral code and get an even better deal – a month’s worth for free. All you pay is the £1 delivery charge, which is even better than the deal we got.
Archie really likes it so I am going to carry on for a while. I do buy wet food when I get a grocery shop to ring the changes, but at the moment the more I can get delivered to my door the better.
The other night he spat something on the floor and it was one of his teeth! When we looked in his mouth we could see that he had lost several of his puppy teeth. He must have swallowed the others.
This explains his relentless chewing. He needs to do it to relieve the pressure on his gums and help his adult teeth through. I haven’t bought him any new toys for a while to chew on, but my daughter did donate her stinky old slippers, which he loves!
How many chews should the doggy tooth fairy leave under his pillow?
Back to real tea and less stressful shopping
I managed to get another Tesco’s slot the other day and bought some more loose tea. We had run out of it and I much prefer it. Not only is it cheaper, it tastes better and doesn’t involve a tea bag, most of which still contain plastic.
I don’t drink it all day, however, as I can’t take too much caffeine. Frustratingly, the only decaff loose tea I have managed to find is about four times the price and not as tasty as the ones I buy (either the supermarkets’ only blend or PG Tips).
I refuse to spend that much on my tea, lock down lunacy or not, so I am still using decaff tea bags a lot of the time.
Despite it being a relief not to have to go to a supermarket, I don’t like online shopping! For a start, Tesco’s is so much more expensive than Aldi or Lidl, plus I like to look at things, compare prices, check the quality and freshness, etc.
On the odd occasions I have ventured out for food, I have gone to the little Coop or Sainsbury’s near me. Yes, they are still dearer than Aldi, but you can pretty much always go straight in, buy most of what you need and experience a lot less stress.
I think that in future, whilst lock down continues anyway, I will aim to get the odd online shop shared between us, my daughter and Mr S’s mum, but will do most of the rest of the shopping at the smaller local shops and the farm shop.
Reduced price food
There seem to be a lot more yellow-stickered items wherever I shop at the moment. This week I bought swede and cabbage at half price, butter reduced by 50p and some perfectly good avocados for just 10p.
This was from the little Coop near to us – they always have good reductions anyway, but at the moment even more so. My lodger got a temporary job at Asda when all the madness began and says it is the same there.
She is staying at her boyfriend’s flat rather than here to look after his cat. He is in the army and has been posted abroad, so I can’t take advantage of all the reductions she finds. Shame!
Taking the edge off the lock down lunacy
I have been messing around with some paid online surveys this week. You don’t earn masses of money, but they help to pass the time.
Do you have any survey sites that are worth trying and don’t spam you too much?
Have you had an equally thrilling week of lock down lunacy? What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?