Friday, 3 October 2008

Soooo making do!

It's a big change becoming a student. Suddenly I'm a freaking church mouse! It's been a shock to the system because as well as paying a few thousand for the course, my income had dropped in half plus I've an extra day of nursery fees to pay for the petit garcon.

It's enough to turn me into a moany old bat...oh that's what I'm doing now. In truth I'd been enjoying my last couple of years belt tightening as it was the right thing to do what with a move to London. My grand allotment plans came to nowt. I got one but it was the most overgrown plot imaginable and we just got defeated by trying to clear it. The bread making has been delightful. How gorgeous is homemade bread and how blissful is it to make it. I haven't got a breadmaker so do it all by hand. It literally takes about 15 mins to knead together and then a further 30 mins to rise and 35 mins in the oven. The really funny thing is since I stopped buying shop bread I don't eat it as much. I think your own bread is so nice one slice is very satisfactory.

The other thing that has been a big hit for sticking to a budget is a weekly meal planner. Okay having the same meals week after week is repetitive but this is how you make real savings. I don't buy any things like cakes, crisps or biscuits, instead I make my own fairy (cup) cakes from a Nigella recipe every week. Again I'm amazed how 12 little cakes seem to last, mind you I practically lick the bowl clean!

I'm hoping my efforts will make a difference but I do miss my treats i.e. clothes. I have no money for these at all now, not even a penny. I've put a few things on ebay to raise some funds just to help with my course funding not to buy anything new. I'm quite happy to make do with what I've got as it does require invention and dressing up time to check out different looks. Yes it's hard not to be tempted and I'd love a pair of biker boots plus a few other items but when I read my course books I know I've made the right choice.

And today I really wanted to get a shoe rack for the hallway as I'm fed up of tripping over Mr MD&Ms shoes. Then I found the one in the garage which is rather functional and not very nice, just grey metal. I've decided I'll spray it a deep fucshia pink to match my Andy Warhol print.

Once I've made the shoe rack a brighter colour it should look OK.

Spurred on by my resourcefulness I decided to add some greenery. I've really missed having flowers in the house. Students don't spend their money on flowers, mind you I've got no beer fund either. I noticed my poor sunflowers in the garden haven't enjoyed the sunshine they've needed so I've brought them in doors. I added a few other outdoor trimmings and voila! Fingers crossed the flowers will bloom now.

Followed by a real successful little grocery shop at Sainsbury I treated myself to a copy of Grazia (it'll have to last a month!) and the petit garcon to Thomas the Tank Engine comic.

You see it's not all bad making do!

PS The Shirley Bassey bag isn't for me! Quite understated but plenty of bids already for a great cause!


  1. amazing!

    a kiss!!

    have a great weekend!

  2. Oh my dear how I understand you.
    The life of a student is everything but easy.
    I toke my university degree as a working student, so I've been there...
    But at last when you'll achive to take your degree you'll be proud and it seems that everything worth it.
    So keep it up, you're brave and have the straingh.


  3. Very resourceful - we always live like this. It's the result of choosing a creative life, and needing the freedom to do that sometimes means sacrificing material stuff. It's amazing what I just don't miss though.

  4. I really admire the sacrifices you are making for your goal. And, OMG, you can make bread without a bread machine and you are chic and lovely and smart? If I didn't like you so much I might not like you.;-) I am impressed!!

    Truly, between Observations Mode no-shopping spree and your not shopping as you are using your funds to do what you really want to do--I feel inspired to take a cold hard look at my never ending want machine,i.e. my thoughts.

  5. You have some creative ideas for addressing the issues, and you sound happy with the choices you've made, happy with "making do."

  6. Very good! You're doing v well. And you've reminded me - must buy a couple of house plants. Have a lovely weekend. :-)

  7. I understand you perfectly... but it will all be worth the effort! Looing forward to see the change in the shoe rack!

  8. Hi there-you are doing amazingly well and love your little touches to the hallway area!! I have a stand in the cupboard plus a row of shoes in the hall too! Have a great weekend and keep up the excellent work!

  9. Kira - thanks!

    The Seeker - I know it will be worth it and good on you for doing it too. It's just such a shock financially and you can't factor that in.

    Skye - you are so right about the freedom, I love the freedom! Also you are so good at making do so its people like you that help to inspire and motivae me.

    La Belette Rouge - my never ending want machine isn't silent I'm afraid! I need a hair cut, a colour, some decent moisturiser blah, blah! I don't mind having to change for a while and i hope it will mean I never spend or buy in the way I used to ever again. But I think everyone has been caught up in consumerisim - I'm reading a brilliant essay right now on Hollywoood and consumerism pre second world war.
    Thanks for the kind words, I dunno about chic more boderline barking!

    Enc - I must be mad! I need a three figure salary now! Ok I do think it is worth doing and thanks to the blogging community it makes it easier for me to achieve, you all make me smile, make me think and laugh.

    Everybodysaysdon't - I needed a house plan too and I nearly went to IKEA to get plant and shoe rack. I reckon I saved myself about £20 by rummaging around. Don't buy any I'll bring you some cuttings in pots from my house plants for you to grow in London!

    Aliena - I'll have to wait for a sunny day to do it outside so I don't kill myself with the fumes. I usually buy car paint sprays as they have more colour ranges and last.

    SharonRose - the shoe rack has made all the difference, how come boys/men are rubbish without them! You have a fab wekend too x

  10. Your plans sounds great! I think you are doing a great job.

  11. WHAT? No beer fund, but there's always money for beer (and shoes)!

    I know, maybe you could brew your own beer!

  12. I know that you are already a brilliant and tasteful shopper but these sorts of cutbacks can really make your wardrobe stronger. When you have to think about and justify every darn purchase, you make sure those purchases work, don't you?.


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