Thursday, 1 January 2009

Another year, another chance to start afresh

Well, there are a number of reasons to make a fresh start, one being keeping this blog up to date!

Life has thrown a number of lemons my way lately but I am going to make lemonade from them & add a shot of vodka just for the hell of it!

We are going to simplify our lives where we can, not by removing things so much as changing how we use what we have. Projected income reduction due to the current economic climate is a motivating factor of course, & increasing the family happiness factor is the other!

We've started menu planning again, not sure why we stopped really but it's underway again to be economical & to think about what we do buy. Joe mentioned ice cream, so I realised there was a tub of cream that needed to be used now, we had eggs & milk & sugar, so the egg custard is chilling now! There is left over Xmas pud to stir in some & some toffees to melt to pour over the rest! The egg whites are now turning slowly into meringues in the oven for another pud at a later date as they will keep a week or two.

And the anorak has said he wants another allotment. YES. This time we will make sure we find enough time as that was the final deciding factor to give it up last time. I have so missed our own grown veg & fruit. In fact I just used up the last blackcurrant syrup last week when I was suffering from a lousy cold. Sloe gin helps as well. Got to make the 2007 vintage last, there were no sloes in 2008.

Guess what? I discovered that the microfibre cloths that only need water to work on cleaning actually do just what it says on the label! Feeling guilty as I hadn't cleaned the bathroom for a week, I thought I'd try one out. It works no problem. Next I need to make up some disinfectant using some essential oils, about time I used the knowledge from my now defunct aromatherapy qualification. That's another small economy to contribute to the bigger picture.

Yes you guessed correct, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are hot just now!
Actually we already recycle quite a lot, the usual plastic, paper, glass & cans. So it's just a case of taking things one step further.
Reduce, what? Well if we buy meat from the butcher instead of the supermarket, like I did at Christmas I can reduce the plastic wrapping. This isn't quite so simple as the supermarket is very handy, very close & cheaper in many cases than the butcher who I can only get to once a week as long as I continue to go into town at the weekend. No big deal as it isn't very far but it does mean I have to be organised. Ha ha. Fuel, well I aleady cut down the milage by walking or cycling as many places as I can so I can't reduce that any more right now but I can remember to give DH the fabric carrier bags for the shoppping more often to reduce the ones he usually brings home. Also I am going make net bags for the loose fruit & veg shopping so that's less plastic bags too. Water, I'm going to be keeping a careful watch over the loads in the washing machine. Leading on from this & as above, the cleaning products I use are going to gradually change as I reduce the bought where sensible & efficient, to use the simpler, but still as effective, methods.

Reuse, well we already share the bath water some days as an economy. Plastic bags that we do get, get used over & over for shopping, dog poop, rubbish where necessary, I haven't bought bin liners now for months. Foil containers, not acquired very often but the ones that do come home if DH splurges on a ready meal, are often strong enough to be reused for baking or freezing. Fabric is already reused for bags of varying sizes.

Recycle, the afore mentioned fabric bags are usually old curtains from work that would otherwise go to landfill. Terrible waste but I already got rid of loads to the local animal shelters & charities. Compost. I have to admit we have a neglected bin on the back garden, but we are going to clear a path & start over with it this week.

Another wordy post, I really do need to get out & about with the camera & my new lens to see what I can snap.

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