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Big Budget Challenge: November Update

November 18, 2011

Hello! I’m sure that I say this every Friday, but I’m so glad that it’s the weekend! I’m not travelling anywhere for a change and staying in Leeds because I’m taking part in the Abbey Dash 10k race on Sunday morning. This is my fourth race and I’m feeling a lot more chilled about it than previous races. I entered it because it’s local and it’s meant to be a brilliant course for getting a PB. Apparently all 8000 places have been taken up, so it might be quite crowded!

Last night I skipped running club because I wasn’t sure that there would be a suitable run. My group was doing 8 miles, which would be too long and too hilly for me this close to a race. Instead I went out for a slow, flat 5 mile run after work. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but I took it very steady and just enjoyed moving my body and loosening up my legs. It was actually blissful to do an easy run without any hills and without feeling the need to push myself.

I was more than peckish when I got home, so I tucked into one of the Seed Stacked bars that I won in Maria’s giveaway.

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I love flapjack anyway, but this was even better than I expected. It was completely stacked with seeds (as you might expect!) and was pleasantly sweet with a lovely honey flavour. What took me most by surprise was the strong nutmeg flavour. I never use nutmeg and it seems very underrated in the blog world compared to cinnamon. I need to use it more, especially because it always reminds me of yummy egg custards.

This morning I did an easy strength and core workout. I didn’t have any plan at all and just set out to do whatever exercises I felt like for 20 minutes. I have a very haphazard approach to strength training! I didn’t do any leg exercises like I normally would because I don’t want any soreness for Sunday. The good news was that my shoulder didn’t feel sore at all, even though I did a few moves that sometimes aggravate it. I won’t call myself cured just yet though because sometimes it can be sore the day after a workout.

Afterwards I made an experimental (for me) smoothie using the beetroot that I got in my organic veggie box this week.

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Look at that fantastic colour! I cooked the beetroot last night to use this morning. I know Laura uses raw beets, but I wasn’t convinced that my smoothie maker would be up to it. In fact, it’s my housemate’s smoothie maker, so I definitely didn’t want to take the risk.

Into the blender went:

  • 1 beet, cooked
  • Frozen banana
  • Curly kale
  • Cocoa powder
  • Pea protein powder
  • Cracked linseeds
  • Kara coconut milk
  • Water

As usual, topped with fruit and nut muesli.

Now on to the Big Budget Challenge.

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If you’re catching up, Laura at Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish set a two month budget challenge and invited fellow bloggers and readers to join in. Head over to her blog to read the latest round-up post.

I’ve been slacking on keeping you updated with my efforts this month, but I’ve actually been doing quite well with sticking to a budget so far this month. I feel that being a bit more frugal has become a habit now and I’m not having to make so much of an effort to spend less.

  • My grocery bill has almost halved and that mainly consists of fresh produce. I have cupboards full of tins and packets that can be used to bulk up meals.
  • I’ve also been buying cheaper, in season produce. There are some delicious British apples in the supermarkets at the moment that are very inexpensive, so when I found myself picking up a bag of pink ladies I slapped my own hand. I do love pink ladies, but it seems criminal to buy them when there are so many yummy alternatives at this times of year.
  • I’ve been avoiding the health food shop like the plague. I can’t help but spend money in that place!  There’s a smaller health shop near work that I’ve popped in to to get essentials like nutritional yeast and herbal tea.
  • I’ve cut down my veggie box delivery to every other week. I was finding that some of the produce was going to waste, which made me very sad. Getting a veggie box isn’t a cheap option, but I like the fact that it’s organic (I found a maggot in my kale last night!) and that I get produce that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy like celeriac and swede (I have a mistrust of root vegetables).

I was very pleased at the end of last month that I was able to transfer a some money into my savings account, whereas I normally end up spending most of my salary. This month I have enough money left in my budget to treat us to a nice meal this weekend and perhaps to buy some winter running clothes that I’m beginning to need now that there’s a nip in the air.

What are your biggest spending temptations? Mine are definitely health food shops and eating out at restaurants.

What are you up to at the weekend?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 6:04 pm

    Yes health food shops are a big temptation for me- and also buying things in the supermarket which is why I much prefer internet shopping.
    Yes I love those seed stacked bars and you are right the nutmeg is lovely. I choose cinnamon as getting the grater out for the nutmeg seems like a faff!

  2. November 18, 2011 8:01 pm

    My biggest spends are in Boots (I avoid it totally if I need to save!) and right now, stuff for the kitten that he doesn’t need 🙂 Sounds like you are doing really well with the challenge though!

  3. Errign permalink
    November 18, 2011 8:22 pm

    Definitely Whole Foods for me. I keep telling myself the stuff they have is too expensive and not worth it to buy!

  4. November 18, 2011 8:30 pm

    Well done for being able to transfer some money into your savings! I’m always buying clothes/makeup/bits at health food shops. My money situation is appalling at the moment really! x

  5. November 18, 2011 8:35 pm

    I’m avoiding the health food shop too, its hard! Nutmeg makes me think of egg custard too, I think I might add some to my breakfast whether that me oats, pancakes or muffins!

  6. November 18, 2011 8:40 pm

    Temptation for me is running and exercise clothing, I almost need a whole chest of drawers for them & am eyeballing the spare room one for just such uses 😉

  7. November 19, 2011 12:04 am

    I tend to splurge at the grocery store and I’m also pretty bad about browsing online for clothes to buy. Need to rein it in a little since we’re fast approaching the holidays and I need cash for gifts!

  8. November 19, 2011 2:21 am

    Yeah, health food stores totally kill my wallet. I can get by shopping at the regular grocery store, but I always want to buy fancy things at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s!

  9. November 19, 2011 11:17 am

    Books, health food, coffee on my way to work and wine!

  10. November 19, 2011 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the update! I just get my veg box every two weeks as well, it is much less wasteful for me too. I have to say I’m a lot better than I used to be buying random health foods, I think I’ve had my experimental phase and now I know what stuff I like and want to buy more of! I’m still useless at avoiding starbucks though! But a little treat every now and then is good for you!

  11. November 19, 2011 2:37 pm

    Thank you for the update! I am sooo the same way… most of my money goes to exotic foods and health food items! Ugh I wish it didn’t, but they are so darn tempting haha

  12. November 19, 2011 5:22 pm

    Good job on being able to put some money to your savings. Always a good idea!

  13. November 20, 2011 10:13 pm

    Hope the run went well!
    I love the beautiful smoothie and the slapping your own hand; I have to do that too, especially when it comes to health food shops or online orders. Sounds like your budgeting is going great, brilliant to be able to treat yourself and save 🙂

  14. November 21, 2011 9:43 am

    Avoiding the health food shop is something I have been doing too! It’s so so easy to spend money in there, so I just haven’t gone in… And I agree with the seasonal produce thing, I’ve been storing up wild apples (of very random varieties) for a while, and freezing down apple sauce for the next year. I’m a little tired of peeling, coring and dicing, but it will save soo much money in the long run ♥

    Well done on your savings 🙂

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