Am I too poor to have principles?

Following on from yesterdays post I had the “Am I too poor to have principles” thought whilst browsing the shelves of Aldi and Tesco the other evening. I was in desperate need of some tea time inspiration, as although I intend to become Miss Organised, planning out the weeks meals and only buying items that I need and will use, at the moment it hasn’t happened.

Although I did do well when i bought reduced Kindey for 88p and it has so far lasted me 4 meals; two lunches, two teas (N.B: If i shouldn’t be eating cooked Kidney which has been sat in the fridge for a week please don’t tell me -I am very much working on what doesn’t kill me or give me food poisoning will make me stronger and save me money!!) However I toyed with the idea of buying the Kidneys for a long while before finally putting them into my basket and before finally buying them I walked the shelves of both Tesco and Aldi for over an hour putting in and taking things out of my basket.

The fact that I am living on kidneys for the week should highlight you to the fact I am not a vegetarian. I respect people that are, although I do sometimes get on my little soap box about why some veggies I won’t cook meat for a meat eater when they come for dinner yet I have to cook a separate veggie dish, but that’s for another post. However, I do love animals and I firmly think that ANY animal that gives its life should be treated with the utmost respect and compassion, and the end should be as quick, low stress and painless as physically possible! I do not agree with driving cattle across the country to kill, I do not agree with sow crates or battery hens or anything that causes pain and suffering. All animals are more knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, understanding and generally kick ass than we give them credit for. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cow, sheep, chicken, pig? Try doing that an then tell me these are just dumb animals – they have souls.

Therefore I aim to only every buy cruelty free, free range products. I will never knowingly give any money to a company for a product that is in any way tied to cruelty.

But going around the stores they make it as difficult as possible for you to find out where the meat has come from and what kind of life it had pre-fridge (or maybe it is just me?) So many products didn’t say anything about whether or not the meat was free range and I don’t know what happened to the brilliant free-range budget products that Tesco used to produced as I couldn’t find them for love nor money! Not being sure of the origins I put them back and wrote off meat for the week.

I headed to the tin isle and decided to look at the tuna. Same problem. Most of those tins didn’t advise ‘line-caught’ and those that did were significantly more expensive that the other tins.

When I get more settled, and stop DIYing on the weekends I will start taking advantage of my local green grocer and even source out a good butcher. I have used the green grocer before and not only are the staff friendly, but their produce seems to last longer than the store bought crap, meaning I throw less away. I think all the produce is local which pleases me and it has a proper caring about it’s customer feel. I have on occasion had to resort to buying their last less then perfect carrot or a tiny onion and because the quality is not as high as they would like I have been given the item free of charge – I didn’t ask they just said “we can’t charge you for that and put it into the bag!”. I don’t know about you, but knowing they care means a lot to me as a consumer and gives me confidence that they care about where they produce comes from.

Likewise I feel using a butcher who can trace the history of the piece of meat in front of me means that the quality of lives those animals have had before giving their lives will be of a higher quality, even if all the meat doesn’t carry the ‘free-range’ logo.

I am very aware that I could probably get my meat, fruit and veg cheaper if I bought it all from a big supermarket chain. But I can’t bring myself to do that. There will be occasions when I purchase supermarket meat – in a ready meal for example or when I’m broke and Kidneys are 88p. But I am a firm believer in quality over quantity and I would rather eat a little high welfare something than a whole load cheap crap.

However, branching out alone. Lo0king at the costs of my mortgage, bills, petrol, groceries, tv licences, council tax, water rates…..the list goes on. I am worried about being able to afford my principles.

How not to loose weight!

I want to start off by pointing out that despite once being identified as obese by a doctor (different rant, another time) I know that I am not fat and don’t have a particularly bad body. In fact since I started to cycle to work I have never felt healthier and happier in my body.

I average a UK size 10 – 12 depending on the store I am shopping in. Occasionally I will fit into a size 8, which results in my immediately buying it regardless of what the item is, whether or not I need the item or whether or not I like the item. occasionally I will need a size 14 which results in a walk out of the shop vowing never to return – just me?!
Annoyingly I come from a skinny family, my mother complains about size 6 clothes hanging off her and my little sister has to force feed herself ice-cream and chocolate to stay a size 6/8 (I know) so I have always been aware I am the ‘fat’ one, who has on many occasions disregarded every item in my wardrobe because no matter what I put on I look feel fat and you can see my muffin top. I think it’s why I love shoes – generally they don’t let you down and almost always fit!

The annoying thing about my body is that by ranging between a 10 – 12, I am actually a size 11. Size 10s give me a slight muffin top and (sorry guys) if it is that time of the month they can be a bit tight and sometimes a top button gets undone. However the size 12s grow as they are warn and so end up hanging off me thin but scruffy and sometimes this look results in adding on weight making me look fatter than I am (never a good look!).

Before the holiday I was on a bit of a health kick, cycling into work daily and so really fought against buying any new clothes until I had lost the weight, toned up and could always comfortably fit a 10. However my one generous pair of trousers had other ideas and fell apart before I went away (you can only hide that there is only 1 out of 4 buttons remaining on your trousers for so long) So I went into my local store and bought a pair of trousers that I knew would be big, baggy and fit me regardless of the date (sorry again guys, unless that meaning was missed in which case sorry for pointing it out!)

On my return from holiday broken hearted (melodramatic but true!) knowing I will have put on some weight. I took an educated guess that after 2 weeks of living on pain au chocolat for breakfast, red wine, good great food and reduced exercise, I couldn’t face the idea of squeezing into a pair of my smaller trousers which may or may not still fit. So I reached for the larger ones, which are being very well behaved and hanging off my hips giving the impression of a toned, tanned stomach. However this means that I am currently eating everything and anything I can get my hands on to distract my mind. I have single handily eaten the majority of biscuits I bought back from France for the office, I have eaten the chocolates offered round, the biscuits which were accidentally left open before holiday, treated myself to a couple of after lunch hot chocolates, puddings, a glass of wine or three….. the list goes on.

On the positive getting all the weight off will keep my mind occupied when I finally move out, but it isn’t going to be as much fun without my furry work out companion….. O and by that I mean BD not OH!!

Oops

Isn’t it Ironic!

So the first few days in my new house with OH has been eventful, and I am pleased to announce that I have stopped crying every time I walk into the kitchen and see the lovely fridge magnet that my folks got us as part of our house warming gift or looked at the cookbook that my aunty gave me and I can even mange to face putting my clothes into the wardrobe; although I have so many clothes that this will take a while to complete! (Notice I said so many and not too many – you can never have too many clothes or shoes – and yes I do still have nothing to wear!)

However I do want to share with you one incident that lead to a massive fight, more tears and 2 hours of me sobbing down the phone in my local supermarket about how the many I loved was an idiot and I was swearing off men forever (yes I did get some very funny looks from the other customers that night!)

Let me set the scene, it was Monday evening and I had come in from a very tiring day at work (note to self, if I ever move house again – take time off work, in fact better note to self, never move house again!!) and just wanted to go shopping to stock the cupboards before a week full of guests visiting as it was OH birthday this week (December is crazy busy for us!) and I thought it would make the house feel more like a home.

So I walk through the door and explain how I want to go shopping to stop the cupboards together and just get some stuff in so it feels more like a home (no tears) OH felt that two of us going shopping while the house was full of shopping was a waste of time and not going to happen (at this point I started to cry – I blame the tiredness) OH was less than impressed that I was upset and not being practical, I was heartbroken that maybe he didn’t understand me and what did this mean for our life together (I may have a slight tendency to over react!) He said we could just go later in the week, after his birthday.

As previously mentioned the conversation ended not as I had hoped, with me leaving the house and spending two hours walking aimlessly around our local supermarket, not knowing what I wanted to put in the trolley I had, but being very aware that we needed everything and I spent most of my time on the phone to various members of my family discussing my new problem that the guy of my dreams is also a huge ass (an insult to asses I know!) However 2 hours and £100 later I had filled a trolley and made myself feel slightly better by buying nuts on his credit card! (Side note: OH is mildly allergic to nuts – as in if he eats them he has to drink some water quickly not if I open the bag he will die, like I’ve said I don’t want to move house again so soon!)

So to the point… as I have previously mentioned this week was OH birthday and we had his folks coming for tea, I had offered to get some stuff in specifically for it and cook but he said it wasn’t needed, we would more than likely go out for tea. So his folks arrive and low and behold, OH changes his mind (it is his birthday after all) and instead decides he will just through something together……….. from what we have in our cupboards!!!!