Thursday, 8 December 2016

Food bank update

I am very happy with how the reverse advent calendar box(es) of food goodies is going at work. I have taken in the whole months worth already but we are on our second box full already and its only the 8th. One of my friends/colleagues asked if I had put stuff in yet and we talked about it and he said he and another mate were off at lunch time to buy stuff, and apparently they do it every few months and help top up the supplies of the food bank at work. How lovely. I must get in the habit of buying a few more things when i shop and handing them over. Nice to do it at Christmas but a bit poor I didn't think to do it before :(

Friday, 2 December 2016

Christmas shopping

I dont really 'do' Christmas until December, except for the planning.

Years ago I would save all year to cover the cost. I used to overpay my rent so that I covered it for the year in 11 months and then I had all of my December rent money to pay for the food etc.

These day I hesitate to say it but we are better off. We aren't great spenders, i much prefer to throw extra money at the mortgage than buy 'stuff'. This means I can absorb Christmas in my day to day spending, Well, pretty much. But nonetheless this does need planning.

I dont think we buy any more food. We feed others for a few days but we also get fed by others so it evens out. We do buy nicer things but that's okay because the larder and freezer are pretty full already (thats a part of the plan, keep stocks up so you can concentrate on good deals) so we can avoid to go for quality over quantity. We can remember quite well what it was like to be seriously hard up which is why we dont waste and also why the larder and freezer are always packed full.

I dont do Christmas cards. Massively pointless.

Wrapping paper came from January sales of the stuff at ASDA and I always buy inconspicuous designs which are also suitable for birthdays all year.

Pressies. We have a £10 limit per person. That means you have to be creative to make it fun. Its been ten for as long as i can recall actually. Last year I made homemade sweeties to go with the gifts, the year before it was Sloe Gin in little bottles. One year I remember rhubarb raki. Hic.

So this year I used Amazon wish lists to keep my present info. During the year I noticed something taht people mentioned and buy accordingly. At end of November I signed up for a free month of Amazon prime and then moved it all to my basket. So far I am happy with this. Stuck to my budget and actually generally got things cheaper than the shops, most importantly I didn't have to go to the shops!

Decorations. I am using the same ones as last year, some of which are as old as the kids! However I love them (decs and kids!). I did consider a new tree until I saw the price and now find myself happy with the old one! I might need extra fairly lights to cover the barer branches but hey!

All that.s left know to drain my resources are the Christmas parties. I am invited to quite a few but have cut it down to 3 and a breakfast. We paid in chunks since August so that's covered, so now its just wine on the night.

So then its just the charitable bits. I have signed up for the reverse advent calendar and also a secret santa, which is basically just giving a gift to a stranger. Not sure I can economise there really. Perhaps a step too far!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

DO try this at home (or work or anywhere)

We are doing a 'thing' this year at work. The place is always awash for yummy snacks, chocolate advent calendars etc for the whole of December but this year we had a few suggestions to share the love around.

My boss suggested a Reverse Advent Calendar after seeing the idea on Facebook. Those of us who have signed up are taking an item for the food bank into work every day of advent. Naturally we have a foodbank at work (all liberal lefties here) and have checked that those that run it can cope so hopefully our goodies should get to people who need them just ahead of Christmas. Its obviously not brilliant to live in a time when a foodbank is necessary but we can do what we can do.

Counting down to Christmas without a chocolate advent calendar is probably betetr for me anyway :)

Friday, 4 November 2016

Woohoo Friday

My favourite day of the week. I love my job and today was a good day, shortlisting, team re-organising and all my favourite things but nonetheless the weekend still wins! I especially like Friday as the weekend hasn't yet started so it feels so full of possibilities.

So, in a break with tradition, minimal 'housework' tomorrow. Last load of laundry is already in, a quick sweep around will be all of the cleaning. Instead I have plans. & to me they are exciting!

Saturday -
Take 5 things (or ten if it goes well) form the attic to sort and dispose. Ebay, charity or bin as appropriate.
Jamal is going to show me some exercises for my tummy
Go for a bike ride also with Jamal
Make a cottage pie for Sunday supper (Sunday is expected to be a busier day)
Sew a bunch of my clothes which are too big to wear but too nice to ditch. Loads of other stuff is being ditched but these bits are too nice, for now.
Evening at my parents house with my sister and brother in law, always a great giggle

Sunday -
All about preparing both gardens for winter. Cutting, pruning, binning and tidying. I am expecting it to take all day. Fahed is out in the evening as he has won a ticket to a big poker game (he only plays when he wins a free ticket as he is just a tight as me!) eldest son and girlfriend will be round int he evening for supper and for me to do their tax returns. lol. The joys of being an accountant!