Monday, 1 January 2018

Welcome to Our Challenge 2018


So here we are it's 2018, a New Year, a fresh start with a new blog ... and a brand new Challenge.

We have both talked about this, discussed ideas and made plans over the last few weeks.  There has been lots of reading of all sorts of books ...


... country living books of all types ...


... thrifty books, foraging books, self sufficiency books ...


...challenge books and 'eating well for less' type books.


But the books which inspired us the most and which rang true to what we want to do over the course of the coming year ...


... were the ones with right back to basics type recipes and tips.

The ones where people had to tighten their belts and make the best possible use of everything they had, could get hold of or could produce for themselves.


So we have been taking inspiration from recipe books that took the most minimum of ingredients to help feed a nation at the time of the most stringent belt tightening period of our recent history.


Using all the know how that we've picked up over the last few years of living our country lifestyle, we intend to spend this year living as frugally as we possibly can, so that we can put every spare penny we earn this year into paying off the small mortgage we took out eighteen months ago to buy the tiny property that is our pension fund. 

This has now had a lovely couple and their young baby as tenants for six months, and it is their wish to stay for as long as they can, which is very reassuring for us.  Then in the future when we can no longer manage living here on our Welsh hillside surrounded by the five acres we currently call our own, the little flat with it's pocket handkerchief sized garden will be our own little easy to care for home and the money released from the sale of our smallholding will be our retirement pot ... and our children's inheritance. 

But in order to live comfortably here we now need to pay off the mortgage we owe on this, so that the rent we receive, instead of being swallowed by the mortgage repayments becomes instead our regular income to pay for things we cannot and never will be able to produce ourselves.

So now you know the why of this Challenge I guess you'll be interested in knowing the how!!


Well as you know for the last few years we've been gearing up more and more to growing the majority of our own food and this is where the 'Digging for Victory' part of the sub-heading comes in.  The more we can grow ourselves the less we have to buy and this will hopefully lead us to victory in that we can pay off this mortgage.   

So the polytunnel, the net tunnel and the veggie patch will be our main food suppliers, the chickens will supply the eggs, with the surplus being sold to pay for their feed, corn and bedding.  Meat for Alan will come in the form of bargain buys with our limited money *, rabbits from the hillside, that which he can produce himself and the occasional meat bartered from friends for other services, for example the half lamb currently residing in the chest freezer that we got from Will at Christmas for letting him graze his sheep in our fields.

We will refrain from buying anything that we do not actually need.  For example clothes, unless I miraculously wake up a size 12 I will not need to buy any clothes for the coming year as I have enough T shirts to see  me through the Summer, and enough cardigans to pop on over them when the weather turns colder later in the year.  We both bought new underwear a few months ago and we have enough shoes to more than last the year out.  I am actually going to keep a list of all the personal items we buy during the course of the year to inspire us to be good and stick to our plans.

For entertainment during the coming year we have our cinema passes, which as we have enjoyed having them so much for the last two years, we renewed at the beginning of December as Christmas gifts to each other.  We also have a small 'splurge' budget for the occasional cup of coffee or bag of chips when we are out with the dogs.  This is not a 'hair shirt' type of year, we know ourselves well enough to know that a small relaxation of the rules every now and then will re-invigorate and renew our resolve to carry on.

Enough for now, if you have read this far you will be ready for a break and I have waffled on for long enough.  If you want to join us for the year and follow our progress please click on the Follow button, or simply save the web address however you normally save it.

I will also leave a link on the old blog for you to continue using if this is easier.

* I'll be back tomorrow with a post about our limited money.

Sue xx

46 comments:

  1. Best of luck with your new challenge! Happy New Year.
    Arilx

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    1. Thank you. Congratulations on being the first to comment on a new blog in the New Year. I had this set to publish at 8am ... unfortunately I had it in a completely different time zone 🤣🤣🤣

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  2. Ooh, this looks good. I'm really looking forward to seeing how you manage. Which you will.

    And I love the header photo!

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  3. Good luck in your challenge. I'm looking forward to reading. X

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  4. As you have found in the past, and we did when fully on war rations, determination and enjoyment see you through.

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    1. You did so well with this, I'm hoping we can follow your example.

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  5. Happy New Year. I Shall be following you closely, I need to cut my spending back this year. Good luck!

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  6. I KNEW that saucepan was a clue!!
    Good luck - you will succeed I know
    (are you sure you've not popped over here and nicked all my books!they look awfully familiar)

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  7. Happy New Year to you both, all your blogs have been such an inspiration, I am really looking forward to reading this one, we have a challenging year ahead ourselves, our son finishes uni this year and when he has sorted employment out we will search for our home at last, so this time next year who knows where we will be, so a lot of hard work, making more and cutting back is on the cards.

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  8. Good luck with your new challenge. I look forward to reading this new blog and wish you every success :)

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  9. Good luck! I'm loving this blog already. I could happily get stuck into your book pile. We're also tightening our belts this year - I've resolved to buy no clothes or shoes for at least a year - barring an outfit for son no.2's wedding in June. Hopefully by the end of the year we will be slimmer, a bit richer and a lot less cluttered.

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  10. I emptied my Penguin savings pot yesterday, with my 2 x £2 lottery ticket money that I posted into Penguin instead of doing the 'stupid tax' (what family calls the lottery), plus any loose change under £1,for 2017, I had £605! This, plus some Waitrose vouchers and my Co-op divvy comes to a total of £665 so I'm using that for groceries and will see how far I can get in 2018 without having to take food money out of the bank. Will be following you closely for inspiration!

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    1. Wow!! That's a fantastic total, well done 😊

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  11. Fantastic Challenge! Happy new year! Wishing you very success, I will be following you closely and taking careful notes ...

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  12. Sorry about the above, I’m not technosavvy. So happy you’re continuing to blog,it inspires and reminds me! Have a happy year.when we first came to England just after the war we lived on a very basic welsh farm, no electricity, no running water, however with milk, butter, cottage cheese,we lived, as I remember, pretty well, as my mother made soups every day...potato soup, sorrel soup, mushroom soup...certainly better than when we later moved to east end of london...more another time, if you’re interested

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  13. happy new year and good luck in your challenge, I look forward to seeing some of your meals
    Tilly

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  14. Happy new year to you both. I'm so looking forward to reading about your challenge as I know we could never hope to emulate it. I'm not a meat eater but OH is and I don't think we would be able to kill a rabbit to eat, for example. Anyway, I'm hoping to glean a few tips for healthy eating on less money. Good luck!

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  15. All the best with the new challenge, I am sure you will succeed!

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  16. i love your going without challenges they are so opulent look forward to reading

    tessa

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  17. Nice opening post, love the look of some of those books. That's our goal for this year to, to eat and make the best use of what we grow, so looking forward to your recipes in particular.

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  18. Happy New Year to you all - looking forward to another interesting and informative blog!
    Cheers from a sunny part of Scotland....Lesley.

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  19. It's looking good already - I watched the TV program recently where one family celebrated Christmas through the different decades and during the 1940's house they had a meagre Christmas dinner with carrot fudge for afters. They said it was nothing like fudge and to me it just looked like mashed carrot! Hope you will be trying lots of the war recipes from your books.

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    1. I watched this too. As for csrrot fudge ... I think I'd rather just eat a carrot 😉

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  20. I'm sure you'll manage. Having watched you go through a challenge in 2016 I'm sure you'll accomplish this one too.

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  21. This sounds very exciting and I am so looking forward to following your adventures through the year.
    J x

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  22. Brilliant! I look forward to your progress, particularly the war recipes.

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  23. Happy New Year! Can't wait to read this blog - will you keep a book list?
    KJ

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    1. Yes, this is something that I meant to have on the sidebar. I will add it now :-)

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  24. Happy New Year Sue and Alan! So looking forward to reading about your next challenge. I know, with your determination, you will succeed!

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  25. Happy New Year to you both. Ooh I love a challenge. I've got quite a few of the books that you showed so I'm going to look through them again over the next few days and plan a less stricter challenge for myself. Thank you for the inspiration, look forward to reading all about yours.

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  26. Did you mention chips? Off now to make some oven ones out of the bag of potatoes I have left over from Christmas.Years just roll one into the other for me, nothing really ever is different and I am the same old same old me, who either does or doesn't do all the things.

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  27. I will be following with interest! Good luck and happy new year.

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  28. I have loved reading all your past challenges and look forward to getting even more tips and inspiration from this one! Good luck and Happy New Year to you both.

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  29. Good Luck, I will enjoy reading about how you get on :)

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  30. Good luck, I love reading your other blog and have been inspired. I am determined to pay off a chunk of the mortgage this year to do this I will need to save as much as possible. My mum and dad lived through the war as children and were always very frugal, they passed that good habit onto me. However, it so easy to spend these days so I lost my way a bit, I didn't get into debt but I was not as careful as I could have been, but I am now back on track. I will be following you with interest.

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  31. I very much look forward to your 2018 posts and updates about your thrifty ways. We are living our lives in a similar vein, although we're still spending on our house renovation. We're two thirds of the way through now, so by the Summer we should be all done. Then any extra money will be put towards our mortgage to pay it off as early as possible.
    All the best
    Jean

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  32. That's a massive challenge you've set yourself, but I'm sure you will do it. I shall be watching.

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  33. Hi Sue! Greeetings from Tennessee in the USA! I love reading blogs from all over the world and seeing how everyone greets the day. It really is true that we are more alike than we could have imagined. I have a favorite blog from Australia that I love to read and I think you will to! Here is a link: http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com/2018/01/welcome-to-2018-setting-scene.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBluebirdsAreNesting+%28The+Bluebirds+are+Nesting...%29

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  34. Hello from Texas! I love your blog and I am looking forward to following you as you challenge yourself to live more consciously and frugally. I have always been fascinated to read and learn about how the courageous people on the British home front survived during and after WW2. We can learn so much from them. I have read most of the books you mention in this post, so I am ready to follow along with you. Thanks for an inspiring post. :-)

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  35. have followed looking forward to your new blog, Julie

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  36. What a challenge it is!
    I've added your blog at the sidebar of my own blog, so I know whenever you've added a new story. Because I intend to follow your challenge the whole year!
    My parents were born in 1930 (in The Netherlands) so I grew up with all the WW2-stories first hand.
    Good luck and thanks for the inspiration you give.

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  37. Hello from Central Virginia in the US! I am very interested in following your challenge. I was born at the end of WWII so I experienced the aftermath of the war. My dad was born in Mo. in 1909 and left home at 13 or 14 to work as a logger because they had no money for food. Mom was born in 1918. When they were married, they lived in an empty deserted house and had 75 cents for groceries when they started out. Less than one dollar. Raised 4 kids and did well for such a poor start. I love reading frugal blogs and one of most interesting I've read was started during our last Great Recession. The woman has kids and no income for a year due to her husband being a real estate salesperson. I've never heard of anyone in this day and age who stretched money like she did/does. I thought you might enjoy reading how she made every penny count. http://theprudenthomemaker.com/start-here Good luck on your challenge and Happy New Year! Ann M

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  38. Hang on a minute...thought you'd stopped blogging a year ago....I feel some backdated reading coming up! x

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    1. Haha ... I only lasted about 6 weeks away from blog world before I resumed Our New Life in the Country. If you need to catch up there's a lot of reading to do, but nothing astounding has happened really.

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