A Week Of Organising…..

This week has been a busy week in the ‘Thrift’ household for me.  It has been a week of catching up with some of the jobs that I just haven’t had time to do over the last few months.

The first Snowdrop at my allotment

The first Snowdrop at my allotment

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As I said previously, the last few months have been quite stressful for myself and Mr Thrift and unfortunately my usual routines have gone out of the window and leading up to Christmas, I felt exhausted.  This has certainly had a knock-on effect, as I have noticed we have spent more and more money at the supermarket on products that I would usually make myself.

I bought washing powder for the first time in ages (and my goodness isn’t it expensive) and more dishwasher tablets than I would usually buy.   I have also been buying vegetables that I would normally just go and dig up from my allotment over winter (cabbages, carrots, leeks, kale, brussells etc) and I have been buying bread and pizza’s to save time…..but this has all had an effect on the bank account and I’ve got to say we also started to get out of the routine of sitting down as a family for our meals.

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“So onwards and upwards”…. it’s time for a change!

So I decided it was time for me to establish a new routine (as best I can at the moment) and start to go back to basics again.

I started this week by making my own laundry liquid.  It took just 15 – 20 minutes to make and it will last me approximately 70 washes and last time I worked it out, it cost me just £1.75 to make (far cheaper than buying it).  The recipe is here if you are interested in how I make it.

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I then set about making some dishwasher liquid using the soap nuts I have in my cupboard.  Again it is cheap and quick to make and it washes well.  However, I do use a supermarket dishwasher tablet every third wash as I find this stops the grease from building up inside my dishwasher.

Again the recipe is here if you are interested in making it.

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I then gave my food cupboards and pantry a really good clean and tidy and discovered that I have more things in them than I remembered:

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I even found some Christmas cake that needs eating up , that I had completely forgotten about:

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I also took stock of what I have left in my freezers too (this took quite some time as I have three large freezers).  I found I still have a lot of fruit and vegetables still to be used up, which is good news.

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One of my three freezers

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I then looked at my stored crops and I found I still have a big pumpkin and lots of butternut squashes to use.  As it’s January and they have been stored a while, I will need to think about using them up soon:

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Outside in my vegetable storage boxes I also still have potatoes waiting to be used and a few apples are left too:

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So I have discovered that we still have lots left to eat in my cupboards and storage.

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I then decided it was time to keep organised and on top of things:

Firstly at the end of last week I started to hang my washing out in the morning on a regular basis again.  It seldom completely dries outside in winter (unless it is windy), but it does partly dry which means I can usually just air it inside to finish it off.  This saves money as I don’t need to use the tumble dryer so much.

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An Organised Shopping List:

A long time ago I typed up a big list of products I regularly brought from the supermarket, so I could compare prices (this was before Mysupermarket.co.uk existed, which now does the hard work for you).  I decided to update this list and print out a few copies to hang on my pantry door.  This way I can quickly mark down which products I need to buy when I next go to the shops.

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Batch Baking:

I then set about batch baking some chocolate brownies ready to freeze for my daughters lunchbox (it’s easy to just pop a frozen brownie in her lunchbox each morning and it will be defrosted by lunchtime):

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 I also made some rolls for the first time in ages and they tasted so delicious, they were eaten up really quickly.

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Meals From Scratch:

This week I have finally started to cook my meals from scratch again.  We have also started to have some nice puddings too (even though they were very quick to make, especially the microwave chocolate sponge) :

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So all in all it has been a good, positive week for me at home.

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Other bits and pieces:

After my blog post last week (Problems With Our Rescue Dog Judy), I had some lovely comments – thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.

Mrs Yub said something that stuck in my head:

“Your wee doggie has a different look in her eyes in the last picture from what she had in her first! I can see the difference. It’s a calmer, more confident look”

So I dug out a photograph which I took of Judy when she first arrived home with us in October from the RSPCA and compared it with a photograph I took this week.  I can really see how much she has changed and how she looks so much better now, so thank you for pointing this out to me as I just hadn’t noticed this.

  In the first photo she looks very thin……

Her first week with us in October

Her first week with us in October

….but I am glad to say that Mrs Yub you are right…I think she does look a lot happier and healthier in the photograph that I took this week:

This week

This week

Her training is still going well and I am starting to have some nice, longer walks with her now she isn’t reacting quite so badly at other dogs.  However, the walk to and from the park is still hard with her as she is still so scared of the buses, motorbikes and lorries on the main road outside the park……but we are working on this slowly with lots of treats.

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Finally I want to show you something my daughter made.  It was her friend’s birthday and she wanted to give her something special, so she made her some cup cakes and iced them beautifully.  She didn’t have a box to put them in so she used wrapping paper to decorate an empty sweet tub too:

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I think it looked great and I would love to receive this birthday present.  I was very proud of her!

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back next Friday at my usual time.

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21 thoughts on “A Week Of Organising…..

  1. Thank you for this lovely reminder that there is so much we can do in our own homes. Cooking from scratch, growing our own veggies, making preserves … all these jobs slow me down and bring me great satisfaction. Fortunately I am retired so have the luxury of time. I admire the fact that you are achieving this in your busy life. Well done.
    Well done to your daughter too in creating the beautiful and thoughtful birthday present.

  2. Lots of jobs done there. I think January is the type of month that makes us sluggish as we can hardly wait to get back outdoors and get some long lost fresh air.I, myself got outside today and can feel uplifted and with a glow on my face. Your daughter did a good job with those cupcakes and container.
    Cheers, Catherine C.

  3. Things always feel better when you are in a routine and in control!I am just getting myself back to it again now!But sometimes life gets in the way!!!Hope all gets sorted and those cupcakes look fab!

  4. i must go to the routine,too. i have many fruits,veggies and meat in my(3) freezer and many things in my cupbord and pantry,too.those rolls looks good. have you a recipe for the rolls?
    the birthday present which your daughter made is grandios!!!!!
    we have cold weather with frosty night …..no snowdrops in sight.
    have a wonderful weekend,
    hugs and love regina

  5. Wow, what a week! And your stored goodies look amazing too. It looks like roasted squash might be on your menu soon, yum. I only have two squashes left. I have quite a lot of potatoes though and other bits in the freezer, chutney and jams etc.
    I hope you continue to have positive weeks (and your doggie looks very cute too).

  6. Its just great to get on top of things and feel more “in control” it does have an effect on so much when things arnt running right, you have done so well to get so much done. What a wonderful gift your daughter made her friend must have been so pleased, i do love homemade gifts.
    Have a good week,
    Sue

  7. My mouth waters just looking at those cakes and cupcakes! I bed they didn’t last long!
    It’s amazing how long food lasts when you don’t have time to use it! Lol! Do you think your food there will last you while you get organised growing again?
    I love that look into your garden with the hanging washing and the dug ground in the background!
    I’m also loving the cocky lift of your wee doggies tail! You see that? It almost touches the ceiling, lol!

  8. I love hanging my washing out in the garden, it always smells so much nicer doesn’t it and it always makes me feel satified with life (I must be a very easily pleased lady lol). Yes, she really does look happier in the 2nd photo-thank you so much for pointing this out to me….I think it was a case of ‘I couldn’t see the woods for the trees’…..I am glad she is happier now as it makes all the hard work worth it-though we have a long long way to go.

  9. I know what you mean about how things can to pot once you have an upset, so you end spending loads on things you wouldn’t ordinarily buy. Great that you’ve had this week of organising – wish I could have your skill in this department! Anyway, your daughter’s present to her friend is most impressive. I love the box as much as the cakes 😊.

    • Yes I am lucky aren’t I…..and yet most people in modern life choose not to have one. When we had our building work done in our kitchen in 2013 I insisted we kept the pantry and just put the door in the hallway instead of the kitchen (to increase kitchen space) and everyone laughed at me….but I so love it!

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