Wow, another month has zipped by for 2020. I can’t believe I am writing another monthly round up! Here is what happened during August in a nutshell, along with my plans for September.
Favourite blog posts
For the past few years, we have been trying hard to reduce waste in all areas of our lives. This has become challenging in some ways during the pandemic, with disposable masks and gloves now littering our streets. Nevertheless, I am gearing up to redouble my efforts as Zero Waste Week 2020 approaches. I wrote a post about it here.
As we slide into Autumn, my intention is to get well ahead with my Christmas preparation. I like to take away the stress on our finances and time by putting money aside and buying presents early, as I explained on Instagram (and in this post from July).
As times are tough for many of us, I thought I would share some of my tips for living debt free on a small income here. I think developing some frugal habits might be a good move for many of us in these uncertain times.
Low carb eating
My monthly round up has to include my eating habits. Food is, after all, a central part of our lives.
I have been up and down with my low carb eating regime for months now. It’s not always easy to follow when our food culture is so carb heavy. Carbs are a tricky habit to give up.
Nonetheless, I know that I feel so much better on a low carb diet. Sugar and gluten particularly seem to cause my fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up. I get so exhausted and all of my joints ache, my stomach is bloated and, without going into detail, I spend too much time in the loo!
However, I would say I have settled on a moderately low carb regime rather than a keto diet. I eat more fruit and vegetables than I should to get myself into ketosis. This approach suits me, though, and over the past few weeks I have got myself properly organised to make it easier to stick to.
One of the essential things to sort were some easy snacks. They may not be the healthiest of choices in terms of salt content, but I bought pork scratchings in bulk on my recent trip to B&M, along with the low carb chocolate bars I mentioned in my recent meal planning post.
The Atkins coconut chocolate bars* arrived from Amazon and I really like them! They are like a cross between a Bounty Bar and a Mrs Crimble’s coconut macaroon.
So when Mr S comes home with a huge bar of Cadbury’s, I can avoid temptation and go for something sugar free but equally satisfying!
Christmas is coming!
As I mentioned above, I am getting ahead with my Christmas prep. I have started a new spreadsheet detailing all the gifts and other things I would like to buy for.
I have bought three gifts this month, and will start in earnest now that September is upon us. The money has already been put aside, although I am scaling down as much as possible. We don’t currently have a lodger, so our income is down a bit.
Work work work
Every month I set myself a target to source and list 100 items on my eBay account and every month I come just under! However, during August I finally nailed it, and managed 111.
I just need to be more focused and organised to achieve this.
It’s all about the tomatoes this month. They are delicious, which is just as well as they are coming through thick and fast. We have enjoyed them particularly roasted with courgettes and peppers.
In addition, there will be some kale ready in the next couple of weeks too, hopefully. I seem to eat a lot of greens on a low carb diet.
We were also given quite a lot of fruit in the way of damsons, plums and apples, plus we have more apples arriving on the little tree we planted three or four years ago.
I made a lower carb version of Delia Smith’s apple and almond pudding last week, using sweetener instead of sugar. It worked really well and was lovely with a blob of cream. I made one with sugar too, as Mr S is not a fan of stevia. His version has the blueberry in the middle, so that we could tell which was which. Mine came out slightly firmer.
A day by the sea
In usual times, we love to go on lots of days out. Obviously, we haven’t been able to go to so many places recently, partly due to the virus and partly because we now have a dog with separation anxiety. We can’t leave him for more than 10 minutes or he stresses out and barks the house down – we need to work on this!
The heat has also been so energy zapping this month. I found it a huge relief when the weather suddenly became cool and wet. However, bank holiday Monday was lovely here. It was overcast but warm, so we decided to have trip to Frinton and a long walk along the seafront.
When we got there, the sun came out and it was quite hot. We were in jeans and jumpers, expecting a stiff sea breeze!
Still, Mr S and Archie enjoyed a paddle and we took a picnic, so it was a super cheap day out. We need to do this sort of thing more often.
Planning a trip
As long as Norfolk doesn’t go into a local lock down, Archie should have plenty more trips to the sea during September. We booked a chalet right on the coast, just for a few days.
It is very much a low budget affair, but a change of scene will be nice. We are hoping the weather will by sunny and dry but not boiling hot. We shall see…
I ordered a free copy of The Barking Bugle, a Dog’s Holiday Guide to Norfolk so that we can check out good places to go with a mutt.
My goals for September are as follows.
120 eBay listings. I’m on a roll, so why not?
- Stick to low carb eating. As above…
- Spend some time tidying up the garden and attacking the bindweed (bane of my life!).
- Start painting the hallway. I wanted to get going this month on this project, but it was too hot for DIY.
- Organise the family Secret Santa so we can get buying early! Anyone who is still in full time education gets a present from all the adults, but the rest of us have one person to buy for with a budget of around £25. This works brilliantly.
So that’s my monthly round up for August and onto September. How was your month, and do you have any goals for September?
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