Wednesday, October 22, 2008

hick... well, hickory actually

Guh. Not a good day. Fretful night's sleep. Really not liking Netherland at the moment. Then, late afternoon, I headed for Blanch shopping centre to buy a present for my niece and ended up spending e55 at Borders, e40 at TK Maxx, e10 at Smyths and e11.20 at Bombay Pantry on way home. In a fit of domestic fiscal efficiency, I'd already whipped out the credit card to pay for my long-overdue TV licence (e160) and my mobile phone bill (e61). Worst of all, I started the day by going over to the Centra at around 8am, buying a packet of hickory rashers, and eating them all. That's not a good sign, is it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A pretty good day for cash-conscious old people like myself. Fairly modest outlay over the day: about e5 went to the Centra across the way for paper, bread, milk; another e2 to the chemist for plasters and tissues; and about e1.50 for yogurt (to go with homemade curry) and an apple (because I've been skimping on fresh fruit). AND the pensioners got their medical card back! Yay! You see? Who needs a pension? *sticks fingers in ears* La la la la

Friday, October 17, 2008

Candle light supper burnout...

I'm tired. Feel like I'm approaching the end of some nasty project. Woke up with scratchy, burning eyes. Need to get going and prepare for the three friends who are calling over this evening. Found myself under a bit of pressure yesterday. Thought it would be thrifty to invite my cousin over for lunch. Which it was. And it was kinda smart in that I was forced to make a nice midday meal AND I partially cleaned the flat. So the burden ahead of tonight isn't so great. But there's been a lot of washing up in the last few weeks.
After a lot of too-ing and fro-ing, the menu tonight will comprise a vegetable moussaka and - perhaps - broccoli in red wine. Easing the pressure a lot is the fact that Soos has to leave at 9 and it won't be a late night for any of us.
Meanwhile, a friend who has loads of holidays to take has suggested a quick break away in the sun for next month... Mmm, tempting...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hillwalking... It sounds so worthy and cleanliving and cheap - doesn't it? Sigh. It should have been. The e12 for the bus and walk, nobody could begrudge. But the taxi ride from my office (I had to swing in to do a favour for a friend) to my thrifty friend's dinner was a waste. And the 90 minutes it took me to get home, with my sore legs, was not pleasant. Still, I slept like a log. And had a pleasant day with my Mum, badgering her to buy much-needed sensible sweaters and jackets. It's the pensioners of this country who are keeping the economy afloat, you know...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well, it's one way of beating the recession...

... Forgetting your wallet when you leave for work, that is... It was lunchtime before I realised I'd left it at home. Took car to work, didn't buy a paper or coffee on the way... it happens. Thanks to the girl I was sitting beside, I was able to get my lunch of a E4.95 bowl of soup (with 1 slice of brown bread, hm) so I owe herself E20. No, it's not quite the cost cutting I was hoping for. At any rate, at least I was obliged to go straight home after work. Though, facing into a dinner comprising a defrosted homemade coq au vin, I decided to treat myself to an apple and posh-looking potato with gruyere cheese from Tesco. How swish, I thought. Harrumph. Stodgy, greasy, heavy as a brick... so not worth the E2.99 the portion cost me...

Friday, October 10, 2008

falling off the wagon

Okay, I've slackened my hold on the purse strings. Going to the hairdresser to day was a non-negotiable - a e135 (e145 with tip) non-negotiable - buying four balls of wool yesterday probably wasn't. But there are days when expenditure is inevitable. Sending a birthday package to a friend had to be done. That card to a former colleague who recently lost his mother, ditto. But at least I talked myself out of visiting that fortune teller. Right? And resisted the temptation to drop into Penneys. Right? Amn't I right?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Entertaining on a shoe string...

Hey! I'm really proud of myself: I fed and entertained three friends for just E12 on Monday night! Cheap-as-chips bean chilli followed by apple and plum pudding. And, if I may say so, it was a pretty decent spread - on any money. The following day, I spent the morning cooking a chicken curry, had naughty hummus on bread plus a banana for lunch, and then had leftover chilli for my tea at work. Actually, on Tuesday, I spent a total of one euro over the entire day. Had my bus ticket to get me to work... Had my dinner in a lunchbox in my bag... And then booked an office taxi to take me home. My only expenditure was a newspaper!
Of course, I undid all my good work yesterday by going for a burger with a girl at work... Sigh. But I'm getting there!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I can't believe this: I've just arrived in from my weekly shop with a paella dish in my hand. Followed same routine as last week: made out a list of meals for the week, and made a list accordingly. Ended up spending E46.36 - including E2.49 for little plastic food containers (kinda justifiable: think of the dinners I can freeze), E4.99 for a cable to connect my laptop to the stereo (good for entertaining...) AND E7.99 for a paella pan... A fugging paella pan! I'll end up in the poorhouse thanks to my inability to stop picking up useless Things!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Well, this is thrify, isn't it? Sitting in on a Friday night, watching the Late, Late. I can't bring myself to turn the sound up but at least I cooked my own dinner (from supplies in the fridge) and did not have to spend a heap of money today (as long as you don't count the E6 I fed into the parking meter at work). With my new crush on a celebrity (Mark Ronson, you're so dreamy...) I've definitely come full circle. The only difference between myself now and the 14-year-old version of myself is the fact that I can drive. Ah, it's like having your whole life open out before you once again...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Isn't it amazing just how much cool stuff there is in the shops when you've just got paid? On my first day with a healthy bank account in four weeks, I staggered around the shopping centre beside my office, swaying like a recovering alcoholic negotiating the pub on Christmas Eve. Ooh, Argos. And there's an overpriced sandwich shop - Gasp! In the end, I couldn't pass the sandwich shop, and ended up going for the most expensive sandwich on the menu. I justified it by reminding myself that I'd cooked lunch for myself, and hadn't spent much money since Sunday. But I'm certainly going to have that strict talk with myself. In the end, I spent about E3.50 on spices (pretty large packets in the Asian foodstore). E6 on the sandwich (gulp). And about E10 on face wash from the Body Shop (it's got tea tree oil in it, and I have bad skin). Really, that wasn't a bad day. I got my fill of Things without spending a shedload of money...
On a related point, found this article yesterday. It kinda makes sense. Our consumption of animal protein certainly isn't sustainable, and just yesterday, I found myself throwing out a heap of food. What I need to do is work my way through the vegetables that I buy instead of simply grabbing a few chicken fillets on my way home from work.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So, fair enough, the markets have responded (moderately) well to the Government's bank deposit guarantee announcement, but that doesn't change things for yours truly.
Let's take the shambles that are my finances. I've been living on my credit card since, ooh, about September 2. And I figured that the wages from one job (worth about e2,000) would cover the mortgage and minimal lifestyle expenses for October. But when I went to the ATM on Sunday (after taking e100 out late on Thursday) I found I had, gulp, less than e500 there. It wasn't even enough to cover the mortgage.
Utter disaster.
I've just been burying my head in the sand for too long. Concerts, meals out, fugging e500 handbags... I've been spending money, hand over fist, without any thought for the consequences. So, on Sunday, I sat down and made out a list of my meals for the week, and what I needed to buy. And I'm going to stop myself buying hair straighteners, plants for the balcony, and little pick-me-ups from Penneys.
The madness ends here