Spend a little, live a lot

Lucky for everyone I’ve nearly come to the end of telling everyone my resolutions. Seeing as it’s February and I’ve not really put anything to place to achieve any of them, it would suggest that I’m not taking it that seriously anyway. But hey, I will leave things neat and tidy and get up to number 10 tonight…then I can start talking about something else.

It’s unintentional, but the rest of them relate to eating. I could do as Shaun T says and do Insanity every day but even then, if I’m going to continue eating with gay abandon it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to waft around in a bikini this summer looking athletic. So I might as well carry on munching…

No. 7 – Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant

This was another one that was on the ‘before I’m 30’ list. I think one of the main reasons it didn’t happen was because we spent most of last year on holiday, and therefore with little leftover money to spend on extravagant food.

I thought I’d got a quick win with this though when making the list, as Michael Caines came on TV and started talking about his two Michelin stars. Brilliant I thought, I’ve already eaten at his restaurant in Manchester in 2012 (despite finding the whole experience quite unnerving). I’ve never had a glass of wine explained to me in as much detail. I suspect though that this is my lack of food and drink culture shining through, given that I’m very comfortable with questionable boiled burgers. Still, as it was a special lunchtime taster deal, it was a good opportunity to try a new food without worrying too much about the cost or the volume, seeing as I was only going to get a wafer thin piece of it. (I tried salmon linguine and it tasted like grit. But I digress).

It transpires that whilst it has two stars, he didn’t use either of them that day, and we were in one of his chain hotel restaurants which means that in the grand scheme of things, no tick off the list. A lovely dining experience none the less, though I believe we went to Subway before getting the x43 home.

So I still need to enjoy this experience if I’m to achieve my goal. The main problem I’ll have though is that if you’re shelling out for a Michelin starred restaurant you’re generally going to go with your most loved one for a real treat. However my loved one has pretty high standards when it comes to portion size, and has been known on more than one occasion to order a kebab after eating a perfectly reasonably sized evening meal, so I think the Michelin experience may end up being a test of my persuasion skills. If I was ever going to coax him into this you’d think my big birthday would have been my angle, so alas, this may remain on the list for another decade before I get the tick.

No. 8 – Reduce food shopping bills

The thinking behind this was quite straightforward, and to coin the phrase of my new favourite supermarket, spend a little live a lot, we’ve decided to try and make our money go even further this year.

It all started quite innocently. The less we waste on takeaways, and vegetables that we throw away, and buying butties at work when we could be making them, the more we’ve got to spend on holidays and beer and general merriment. (I mean, to save for a house deposit and other adult enterprises.)

Unfortunately this new ‘project’ quickly became the subject of my obsession, and now in just under 4 weeks I’ve turned into one of those people with far too much time on their hands, who goes into two or even three different stores to identify where items are the cheapest, then tells everybody they’ve ever met (and the whole online blogging community) how good they are at finding bargains. It’s been our primary topic of conversation for a good fortnight. I’ve started buying packets of butty meat based on exactly how many slices we’re going to use that week. I’ve eaten things I don’t even want, just to not throw them away. In short, I’ve turned into a complete lunatic. I’ve been walking round Aldi grinning to myself about the prices, exclaiming at the fact that ‘they even sell flowers’, and then working out exactly how many ml of premium German lager I will get if I buy six small bottles or four large. I’ve been in Lidl at 8am just because Lurpak is cheapest there. It was a surreal experience, I’m not sure it was even open when I walked in. I’ve made, and eaten, a pretty disgusting soup, just because I didn’t want to throw away the one leftover parsnip from Christmas Day. It was mid Jan at this point. However, for the first time in a very long time, I’ve not over spent this month. And the third holiday of the year has been booked. So I might have turned into an unstoppable bargain hunting weirdo who talks about food constantly, but I clearly am doing something right financially…

No. 9 Blog fortnightly about trying new things

Hmm. Well this started off as just ‘blogging fortnightly’. Which was fair enough, but the more I read online, the more it tells me you have to have a theme to keep people reading. Considering this started off as a running blog, but I stopped running, then a holiday blog, but it became winter, I felt that I needed something a bit more sustainable. It was suggested that I travel across the country eating and rating burgers, but that didn’t really fit in with Shaun T’s ethos, so I got to a bit of an impasse. I refuse to blog about how much TV I’ve been watching this year, because it’s ridiculous, I don’t know how I’ve got anything else done (by the way House of Cards? Only watched one episode and I’m already itching to finish this and crack on). So, it’s going to be me and my quest to become more adult in my food tastes. Given that I arrived at high school having never eaten strawberries, I didn’t like lamb until about 3 years ago, and seafood still completely terrifies me, I think it’s fair to say I’m not particularly adventurous. However this is going to change. Especially seeing as I’m now frequenting continental supermarkets that sell things like roll mops and canned haggis.

So watch this space. But if I ever eat a roll mop I think I’ll be wanting more than a blog post on it, I think I’ll want some kind of medal.

And finally… No. 10…

Well number ten is another story. Another blog, another time, maybe after some roll mops and a prawn cocktail…

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