Challenges – An Update

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We are now more than halfway through the month of October so I thought it was time I posted an update of my progress with my twin challenges of ‘Frocktober’ and ‘Stoptober’.

Frocktober is going well.  I have worn a dress or skirt and top every time I have left the house, apart from a couple of weeks ago when it was quite cool and I wore jeans for our casual Friday.  I have managed the additional challenge of not wearing an identical outfit twice in the month so far.  Hopefully, I can get to through the next 13 days as well.

Stoptober has been less of a stellar success, possibly because I started it on a whim and did not have any great plans.  Mind you, I think it is a bit of a fruitless exercise if you buy up big the month before in order not to spend during a particular time.  We have continued to buy modest amounts of groceries as well as fruit and vegetables.  I have thought carefully about what I needed and bought only the basics.  Our ‘essential’ spending has included a doctor’s appointment for me as well as a trip to the dentist for The Duke.  He has a follow-up appointment for more treatment next week.  On the weekend we bought some wire to fence the vegetable garden, seedlings and more grain for the chickens.  I see these purchases as an investment because the returns will always outweigh the outlay.

Our one real ‘failure’ was a decision to eat out last Friday.  We went to the local pizza restaurant and I tried the gluten-free bases which were very acceptable.  We have taken our packed lunches to work each day and I managed to dodge a couple of lunches at work which has meant that I have saved the money but also have not had to confront the issue of what to eat while maintaining my grain-free, sugar-free eating plan as much as possible.

The mortgage will look a bit healthier with the additional money saved!

Still On Track


My tandem challenges for October are both still on track.

Frocktober – I have accepted the challenge to wear either a dress or skirt each time I leave the house.  In order to add a degree of complexity to the challenge I am trying not to wear the same outfit twice during the month.  So far this is going well.

Stoptober – in conjunction with Frugal Queen I am endeavouring to spend as little as possible this month.  In addition to my haircut and fruit and vegetable shopping which I mentioned in an earlier blog, I bought some hem binding to complete a false hem on a skirt for Missy.  My total spend in 9 days has been $59.70.  The Duke has ordered a new DVD player online since our old one simply ceased to work.  He searched for a good deal and this one is less than $5o, including delivery.

My organising has been fairly limited recently but I am working on completing mending and sewing projects.

I am busily making lists of what I need to achieve before Christmas which is only 11 weeks away.  Composing my Christmas letter and writing cards are things that I like to get done fairly early so will be starting those soon.  I am also keeping an eye out for recipes to include in our Christmas menu.  It will be a little different this year as I am eating a gluten-free diet.  I try to make it grain and sugar free as much as possible, too.  Creativity will be the key.

Have you started thinking about Christmas or do you have your head buried firmly in the sand?

Frocktober – What I Wore Last week

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I promised I would post photos of what I wore during the week as part of my personal challenge to wear only skirts or dresses during the month of October.

2012-10-07 01Unfortunately, there was not time to take photos each morning  but here is my outfit from Thursday.

On Friday I wore a black and white striped denim skirt with a red t-shirt.  On Saturday evening when we went out the spotted skirt was given another airing with the red t-shirt.

I am enjoying the fact that my planned pieces are truly versatile and can be worn as several different combinations.

Spending for Stoptober – $35 for haircut, $20.75 for fruit and vegetables.  Tomorrow I need to buy some olive oil and also look for some vegetable seedlings.

I will report back tomorrow after I have been to the shops.

Stoptober – Days 1 & 2

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Well, I am off to a flying start.

Day 1 – Monday was a public holiday here and despite the fact that we are into the second month of spring it was cold and wet.  The clouds were right down over the mountains and it was definitely a day for staying at home.  I washed (dried in front of the fire), ironed, planned our meals for the rest of the week and caught up on some routine housework.  $0 spent.

Day 2 – Tuesday was back to work.  As usual we packed our lunches to take with us.  I also pack my breakfast and eat that when I get to work since we leave home quite early.  I went into the city at lunchtime to run some errands but did not go shopping – I did not need anything.  $0 spent.

I expect that the next 3 days will be more of the same.

Our train fares are budgeted for and are automatically debited to our card.

I have identified a couple of expenses that I will have this month.  One is $21 for the annual renewal of my Simple Savings membership.  I regard this as good value for money and will continue to renew my membership in the foreseeable future.  The other thing is that it is almost 7 weeks since I had my hair cut so I will probably get it cut again at the end of next week.  I have very straight hair which I keep cut short.  A haircut costs me $35 and it is the only money I spend on my hair.

How are you going with stopping your spending?

Party, Party, Party……..Now For *STOPTOBER*


We have been home for 2 weeks now and life just seems to have been an endless whirl.  I feel as though my feet have barely touched the ground.  The whirl culminated yesterday with taking Miss O and Izz to a friend’s birthday party, then we headed off to a picnic for a belated celebration of Belle’s 30th birthday and finally dinner with our neighbours.  These were all enjoyable but now it is time to stop and take stock.

There are jobs to do at home which have been neglected so now is the time to get organised.  The everyday stuff that keep the wheels running smoothly – making sure the washing and ironing is all up to date, menus planned so that we have meals ready for when we arrive home from work, gardens prepared for summer vegetable growing and so on.  My sewing and other creative pursuits are waiting for me and I am itching to get back to them.

I also read this post from Frugal Queen and I am definitely joining in *STOPTOBER*  While I am not sure that I can spend NOTHING for the whole month I intend to spend the absolute minimum, stop and think before I spend and generally make do with what we have. To keep me accountable I will post each day about my success (or otherwise) of not spending and keep a tally of how much I spend and what I buy.

I am really looking forward to this challenge and sharing with you.  Please consider joining in (you can make your own rules) and let me know how you go.