Since my Dad passed away six weeks ago, I have been extremely disorganised! I think grief does that to you. It leaves you with scrambled brains and a lack of motivation. However, I have been determined to start organising my life again – whilst continuing to be frugal and save money, of course. Here’s what I have been up to this week.
One thing we were very grateful for when Dad died was that he had a paid-up funeral plan. I had never considered needing one before, but it was great not to have to worry about the cost of his funeral.
I decided to look into buying one and started by reading this article from Money Saving Expert. I know that such plans got a lot of negative publicity a few years ago when some funeral companies went bust. There wasn’t adequate protection for customer’s investments, and many people lost money. However, they are now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so I felt confident about purchasing one.
I went with one of MSE’s recommended providers, Plan With Grace. They offer a range of competitively priced plans to suit most pockets.
It felt like a big relief to have this sorted out so that Justin and my daughters won’t have financial stress as well as grief to cope with when I go.
Where there’s a will
Another thing my Dad’s passing made me realise was that I haven’t updated my will for years! It is very out of date and doesn’t reflect my current wishes at all. I could have taken advantage of the £49 will writing service offered to Plan With Grace customers, but as one of my good friends is the managing director of a firm of solicitors and gives me mate’s rates, I have an appointment with her company today!
I hit 60 this year, and it has created a desire in me to get all my affairs in order. Hopefully, I will have as many years as my lovely Dad had – 92 – but only time will tell. It’s not fun thinking about dying, but there’s no point in burying your head in the sand when it comes to us all eventually. So organising my life also means organising my death!
Enough of the morbid stuff. Here’s what else I have done this week.
Dealing with the tomato glut
My tomatoes have finally started ripening fast enough for me to need to preserve them in some way. I have frozen some, but my favourite way to use them is in tomato soup. So much more delicious than the tinned stuff!
I made a big pot full, most of which we have eaten for lunches, although there are a couple of portions in the freezer. The plan is to make some more at the weekend.
There are about 12 portions of courgette soup already frozen. I love being able to pull homemade soup out in the middle of winter knowing it was made for pennies from homegrown produce.
Organising our food stores
I built up quite a sizeable store of tinned and packet groceries leading up to Brexit and into the pandemic. It was very helpful to have it then. However, I have since been whittling it down so that things don’t sit around uneaten for years.
This week I decided to pull out everything in the cupboards to get it tidy, remind myself what we have and include some of it in this week’s meal plan.
There were a few items that I know we will never eat, so they have gone to the food bank. I have been looking through the Jack Monroe Tin Can Cook* book I found in the charity shop last week for inspiration for using up some of what’s left. It’s looking much emptier than it used to!
I filmed my reorganisation for my YouTube channel, which you can see on Sunday. If you subscribe you will receive a notification.
Read my book for free!
I decided to add my book to Kindle Unlimited this week. This means if you have subscribed you can read it for free.
If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited but you are a quick reader, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial*. Don’t forget to cancel it after that though, or it will cost you £9.49 a month going forward.
There will be a flash sale on the book during October too, so watch this space for news of that.
This week’s meal plan
It’s been a while since I published a weekly meal plan, but since I am organising my life I thought I would include it here. This is the plan:
Saag curry and rice using a Simply Cook mix I have lurking in the cupboard.
Vegetable risotto. Again, there is risotto rice sitting around that needs using!
Sausages, mashed potatoes and cabbage, with gravy.
Baked chicken with roasted new potatoes, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and garlic (much of it from our garden).
Ratatouille, rice and mozarella, all from the freezer.
Corned beef hash with cabbage.
Have a great week! Let me know in the comments your thoughts on funeral planning and making a will.
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