Another new year post…

January 7, 2015
I didn’t want to do a ‘new years resolution’ post.
I just feel like the whole bloggersphere writes about the same thing at this time of year and does anybody actually care? Well maybe some of you do (and thanks very much for stopping by), but surely there are only so many ‘New year, new me!’ type posts you can read.
This new year, I don’t want a new me. I’m happy as I am. There are a few things in my life I would like to change however.
They are, in no particular order…
  1. Finances
  2. Organisation and clutter control
  3. Healthy eating/cooking

So, here are my intentions for 2015…

Issue: We spend a lot of money we don’t have on things we don’t need. I don’t want to live in a rented house for the rest of my life. I would like us to be able to actually buy a place some time in the near future. I want a forever home. Don’t get me wrong, our landlady is pretty easy going, she lets us decorate the place however we like, we’re allowed pets etc, so we’ve made it our own… but its just not our own at the end of the day.  Also, today is our first wedding anniversary, 11 years in total and Liam and I have never been on holiday together. The last holiday I had was when I was 18… I’m now 31! I know money isn’t the be all and end all to life but we work hard for the money we earn so I would like to start seeing the benefit of it and use it a lot more strategically.
Resolution: I have found (and hidden) a pot for saving £2 coins. I only have £6 so far and I will most likely take some out every now and then but it’s just one coin that I can take out of my change and put aside and it’s saved. Having it in my purse or pocket would most likely mean that it just goes in to the vending machine at work, so if it’s squirrelled away, I can’t spend/waste it.  I have also taken part in a couple of surveys today and earned a little money on that. I have gone through the settings on our Tesco Clubcard and set it to save our points throughout the year so that we just get one load of vouchers in November, ready for Christmas. I’ve updated settings on our Tesco Orchard scheme to get more benefits and offers from that. I have joined topcashback and I have decided to set up a standing order to pay £30 in to a savings account each month. We’ve not spent any money on takeaways this month either. We are allowing ourselves one this evening as its our anniversary but then no more unless its a special occasion.
We have also pledged to do one morning a of the weekend of overtime each whenever it is available just to get that little bit extra in each month.
All little changes but a good start for the first week of the year in my opinion. I have an idea of some more websites I’d like to join and take advantage of, I’d like to be a bit more savvy with our grocery shopping and Liam and I have a date on sunday with Martin Lewis and the online budget planner. I am not looking forward to seeing how much money we throw away but I know we will both feel so much better and more positive once we are on track. 
Organisation and Clutter Control-
Crap. Junk everywhere! Unfinished projects, supplies for unstarted projects. Crap that we haven’t thrown away because we “could use that for something” TOYS! So many toys! Books that we will never read, clothes that we will no longer wear. Random household stuff like clocks and laptop bags and tv units. Just so much junk and all so unorganised and ‘cluttery’. Our house is not big, not by a long shot so why oh why do we keep filling it with all this crap that we don’t need?
Also, all of those ‘once a month jobs’ that never get done once a month and then all need doing at the same time… Like cleaning the condenser unit in the dryer, sorting the vacuum filters etc.  Urgh! Too much.
Resolution: PURGE! Over the last week or so I have slowly started going through small areas in our home and just being ruthless. Just one 5 minute job at a time will make you feel loads better… and its kind of addictive. I have gone through our medicine box and thrown out any outdated medicines, first aid supplies and general stuff we didn’t need any more. I have done this to our cutlery drawer, our bathroom/toiletries, 3 different kitchen cupboards, and have started on our big junk cupboard. Every time I do a different area I get more and more ruthless. We are starting to get 3 huge piles. One to go to the tip, one to go to the charity shop and one to sell. Once I’ve covered every area, I will go back round and start again.  We have already cleared out so much but there is still so much here that we don’t need! My mother will laugh if she reads this but I am drowning in clutter! To help organise I have started to schedule reminders in my calendar for example, the first Sunday of every month will be the day for cleaning filters of all kinds and so on. I’m sure I will probably end up with reminders for all sorts but it if it works, then so be it. I’ve also got rid of various junk hiding places. The junk drawer we all have in the kitchen for example – Gone! if there is no junk drawer, you can’t hide your junk so it either has to be put away properly or thrown out.
Healthy Eating/Cooking-
Issue:  We tend to eat the same things over and over. We buy the same things on our food shop and then still buy takeaways on top. When Dexter started weaning I was all over looking up new recipes and flavours but slowly slipped back in to old habits. We don’t eat a huge amount of junk and when I cook I generally cook from scratch but there are some things we buy out of laziness, foods we eat out of habit and boredom and not out of need or hunger. The takeaways over the last month or 3 have become increasingly more common and all the weight I worked so hard to lose 3 years ago has slowly started creeping back on.
Resolution: We already have a big slow cooker and we use it quite often but I have spent some of my Christmas money on buying a new smaller one thats more suitable for our family size. Liam has changed his hours at work recently which means we now have time to  eat as a family before I rush off to work so I can now actually cook a decent meal and eat it with my 2 boys. I like to have something nice on the table for Liam when he gets in. It gives him something else to look forward to and its nice to share meal times. Not only that, I think its important that Dexter grows up eating meals as part of a family around the table.
I plan on doing one basic shop each month for basic ingredients or cupboard staples and then top up each week with fresh stuff. This way we can never say we’ve got nothing in. I have joined a few cooking groups on facebook and enjoy trying new recipes I find. I have also created a board on pinterest for freezer cooking ideas. Freezer cooking is basically where you can prepare so many meals in one go by dividing up fresh/ raw ingredients into food bags, freezing them and then taking out one bag to defrost before throwing it all in the slow cooker. It makes the whole process so much easier and you just do several meals worth of prep all in one go so you aren’t spending ages in the kitchen every day. It’s easy, convenient and I know exactly what I will be feeding my family.
So there you go. Those are my goals/aims/plans/intentions for 2015. I’ll reassess in the middle of the year and see how we’re getting on.
What are resolutions? Have you made any? I’d love for you to share them with me. Please leave a comment.

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