Category Archives: Budgeting

Stop Wasting Your Money

inflation is taxation by another name

your government is lying to you

Just in case you hadn’t noticed the price of everything is going up, starting with how much it costs to fill your car’s petrol tank.  Here in England petrol costs about £6.00 a gallon, while in the USA it’s around $4.00 for a smaller gallon.  Don’t expect the cost of petrol / gasoline to get cheaper, ever.

The inexorable increase in the price of everything is called inflation, and it’s currently standing at 3.3% per year in the UK and maybe 2.25% in the USA.  The snag is that wages and salaries are not increasing in line with inflation, so we all need to make the most of our money.

  • Don’t use your car for a short journey, walk instead.
  • Cancel your gym membership, you probably don’t use it, and you don’t need it, especially if you walk more.
  • Cancel your subscription TV channels, you don’t need them.
  • Stop buying things you don’t need, never go shopping without a proper list, and stop making impulse purchases.
  • Pay off your credit cards, even if it means using your savings and part of your pension fund.
  • If you can, pay off any other borrowing you have.
  • Stop borrowing money, no matter how easy it seems, paying it back, plus interest, is damned expensive.
  • Don’t cool your home so much, turn up the thermostat on your AC.
  • Don’t heat your home so much, turn down the thermostat on your heating.
  • Stop hanging about in bars drinking and looking for casual sex.
  • Eat out much less, stop buying takeouts, learn to cook instead.
  • Start growing your own produce, gardening is healthier exercise than going to the gym.
  • Sell things that you never wear, use, need, and probably don’t like any more.

Or do as I do and lead a minimalist life instead of a life of conspicuous consumption.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

some of us have to count every penny

Ecological Thrift

save money and stop trying to save the planet

consider living in a smaller place

~

walk don’t drive

~

drive something smaller

cheaper and more fuel efficient

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stop driving like an idiot

too fast, breaking too hard and too late

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quit your addictions

drinking, smoking, gambling, shopping, promiscuity

~

don’t buy stuff you don’t need

never, ever, go shopping without proper list

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sell stuff you don’t use, wear, or has no purpose

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turn your heating down and your AC thermostat up

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

learn to cook

Seems I Have OCD

OCD is not about being a ‘neat freak’

that is wrong on so many levels

Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I have fairly mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  There are a few obvious signs; for example I am always clean, neat, and tidy, always doing the very best I can in every situation.  I think that everything is my fault and my problem to solve.  My music is all sorted in alphabetical order, and I know where everything is, all the time.  I also go back and check that I really have locked my door when I’ve left the garret.  I know every detail of my finances, down to the last penny and I check my bank accounts on-line every damn day.

But the real give-away is counting.  When my mind is doing nothing else I count, to no purpose whatsoever, and it’s a completely unconscious thing.

I’ve now read that there are 4 types of OCD; contamination, perfection, doubt/harm, forbidden thoughts.  Or it might be that there are 7 types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, if you include; staring, relationship, and existential.  I think I can identify perfectionism and a little of forbidden thoughts, (but who doesn’t have weird sexual fantasies).  But none of it is ruining my life.  What almost ruined my life was judgemental angry jealousy, (retroactive angry jealousy too), and some would say that is Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  I would say that it was being in a toxic relationship with the wrong woman.

So how to ‘cure’ my OCD?  Actually the only bit I want to cure is the counting thing.

Typically dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involves drugs and therapy.  I’m NOT having either of those, except the honest, open, down to earth therapy talking with my friends gives me.  And writing this blog, of course.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.  ~  Sun Tzu

Knowing that I have ‘a problem’ is more than half the battle.

The rest is down to me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some say that mental illness is like a black dog

 

Living Normally

All I want is to live a normal life

the beach at Cancun

As we gradually come out of lockdown, some normal things I haven’t been able to do for months have become possible ~ like getting my hair cut, or even booking a vacation.

One of the good things about having been in self-isolation for over a year is that I haven’t spent much money, so now I am almost out of lockdown I can afford to take my friend to anywhere we would like to go.

Should be fun.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this might be the route to normality

Food on Friday ~ Soup

only the pure in heart can make a good soup

In many parts of England and the USA it’s cold, dark, and miserable.  At times like these I believe that we all need comfort food, and what better than a nourishing, warming, interesting soup?

And, if you are pure in heart, then you can make a decent soup over an open fire, if you have to.  Better still would be an unfashionable wood burning stove.  The people of Texas will tell you that relying on electricity is not always a good idea, nor mains gas either.  BTW, never, ever use petrol, (gasoline) to start a fire ~ not if you want to go on living.

First up this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have this Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.  You know what?  If you don’t have a slow cooker, then get one.  At this time of year it will be a brilliant investment.

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has a recipe for Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup.  Tuscany is one of my favourite places in the entire world.

Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

Holly at Spend with Pennies has a wonderful looking recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon; how very American!  This really is a meal in a bowl.

Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon

Dana the Minimalist Baker has a collection; Healthy Winter Recipes for Cold People, and from that I’ve chosen to feature her very easy, very healthy, gluten free, one pot, Curried Potato and Lentil Soup, (with kale).

Curried Potato and Lentil Soup

Meanwhile, Jessica at How Sweet Eats offers us 20 of Her Favorite Soup Recipes for Winter; from which I give you this Easy Lemon Chicken Soup.  OK it’s the second lemon chicken recipe this week but they are very different.

Easy Lemon Chicken Soup

Finally for this week Country Living has a collection of 55+ Extra Comforting Soups and Stews to Warm You Up on Chilly Winter Nights.  How about this Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup for something very different?

Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

they even get snow in Arizona

I know, I was there

 

Moroccan Beef Tagine

first, use what you have to hand

On Friday, looking through my refrigerator and store cupboard I found an eclectic mixture of bits and pieces; steak, red onion, garlic, olives, and dried apricots.  All of that’s been there a little while, and it’s either use it or lose it into the trash.

I thought I could turn these into something like a Moroccan Beef Tagine for Saturday’s dinner.  I’ve no doubt I have enough in my spice rack to come up with vaguely the correct blend.  (I have some baby bell peppers too.)

Moroccan Beef Tagine

That wasn’t my picture because I hadn’t made it yet….

As it happened it turned out well, especially for a first attempt at the recipe.

 

Next time it will be better.

I’m not quite certain what tweaks I need to make, but hey, I cook for Marmy and me……  I need to practice my food photography too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

except I don’t think Marmaduke likes Moroccan food very much ~ he is an English bear

Food on Friday ~ Moroccan Beef Tagine

first, use what you have to hand

Looking through my refrigerator and store cupboard I found an eclectic mixtire of bits and pieces; steak, red onion, garlic, olives, and dried apricots.  All of that’s been there a little while, and it’s either use it or lose it into the trash.

I think I can turn these into something like a Moroccan Beef Tagine for Saturday’s dinner.  I’ve no doubt I have enough in my spice rack to come up with vaguely the correct blend.  (I have some baby bell peppers too.)

Moroccan Beef Tagine

That’s not my picture because I haven’t made it yet….

I will let you know how it works out.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

I don’t think Marmaduke likes Moroccan food

Food on Friday ~ With Friends

one should not merely eat to live

Life should be fun, filled with enjoyment, good friends, good times, and great memories.  Too much of our mealtimes today are snatched, eaten on the run, filled with convenience food, fast food, and takeouts.  And, in all honesty, too many of my meals are from a can or the freezer, and eaten alone.  I guess that’s a lockdown thing.

Let’s see if we can change that lonely, bland, and unhealthy life for the better.  Let’s taste our food again.

Despite having spent quite a lot of time in Southern California I’ve never had anything like these Queso Fundido Taquitos ~ from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest.  Served with avocado lime crema.

Queso Fundido Taquitos

I’ve never had a Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla either.  This from Ali at Gimme Some Oven.  Easy, delicious, perfect to share with friends.

Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this very nice-looking recipe for Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken.  It’s a 45 minute dish, but I think most people I know could spend a very relaxing hour making this yummy concoction.

Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken

Joy the Baker says these Mediterranean Salmon Parcels are a weeknight dinner.  I think you could serve this recipe to your friends any time.  I really like cooking in foil.

Mediterranean Salmon Parcels

Another seafood dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Brown Butter Scallops.  Quick, easy, and very healthy.  You could serve this with rice, salad, or just some crusty bread.

Brown Butter Scallops

It turns out that over in the USA it’s about to be Super Bowl Sunday.  Ergo our collection this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 21 Favourite Recipes for Superbowl Sunday.  From her collection I’ve chosen to feature a Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons ~ very pretty.

Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Gear Patrol has a list of the 13 best brews for this Sunday watching Sports

Wants, Needs, Desires, and Shoes

why women desire more shoes and men don’t have a clue

hideous fuck me heels

It’s a funny thing, most men will buy themselves a new pair of shoes for a very special occasion, a new job, a first date, getting married…..  Or, if the shoes they habitually wear are so down at heal and scruffy that even spit and polish will no longer make them presentable.

In contrast most women will buy new shoes just because they like them, or to feel better, or because they like shopping, or they’ve bought a new dress / suit and they need shoes and a purse to match.  Women will also buy new shoes for a very special occasion, a new job, meeting old friends, vacations, a first date, getting married…..

But then most women like shopping, especially with his credit card, and most men don’t like shopping at all.  And most men can’t understand that at all, but then most men don’t have a clue about women.

A woman needs to know but one man to understand all men; whereas a man may know many women and not understand one of them.  ~  Helen Rowland

But then, most women know that most men are just a life-support system for their penis.

It’s a fact that women write almost all the books on human relationships, marriage, sex, and love ~ and that 80% of the people who buy these books are women.  Perhaps men would understand women better if they made an effort, and yet men don’t even listen when their partner is trying to talk with them.  A lot of men equate their wife / partner / girlfriend attempting to have a conversation as nagging.  And only women nag.  A man may criticise, find fault, complain, and go into ‘problem-solving mode’ ~ but that’s not nagging, that’s just passing on their years of accumulated masculine wisdom.

When women nag, go on and on about something, they firmly believe that their ‘nagging’ shows that they care about their man.  She might know she is being irritating, but she can’t help it because she’s a nest-builder, nurse, manager, and mother.  And, she knows that she’s telling then truth.

The fact is men and women are very different, right down to the structure of their brains, bodies, emotions, feelings, and instincts.  There is no equality of the sexes, which is why women desire more shoes, and men don’t have a clue.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the holy grail?

five inch Jimmy Choos

Food on Friday ~ Paleo Diet

save power and protect the planet
eat raw meat

from Delicious Magazine ~ Beef Carpaccio

There is solid evidence that that ‘people’ were using and controlling fire at least a million years ago, so Paleolithic man undoubtedly knew how to cook, even if it was only toasting a haunch of bison over an open fire.  Unless you’re very keen on sushi and carpaccio you won’t be eating a lot of raw meat on a Paleo Diet, and because of the possibility of parasites there is no way I would eat raw fish.

The Paleolithic Era lasted from about 2.5 million years ago until 10,000 years ago, just after the last ice age.  (lithic means stone, so our ancestors were using flint tools)  Theoretically the Paleo Diet is based upon what our stone age ancestors were eating.

So, going forward my diet will be:  fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, lean meat, (especially good quality from grass-fed animals or wild game), fresh fish, (especially salmon, mackeral, pilchards, and tuna).  For cooking we should use oil from fruits and nuts like olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.  Having said that, as our paleolithic ancestors were cooking and eating lots of meat I see nothing wrong with using lard and dripping.

The foods to avoid are things that our ancestors would never have had access to; grains like wheat, oats, barley, rice, (anyway grains are all drenched in poisonous Roundup / Glyphosate), legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas, any and all dairy products like butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, milk.  On a Paleo diet there is no refined sugar, (which lets out cakes, candy, chocolate, and sweetened drinks), root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, turnips, and not too much salt, (right up until the middle ages salt was a very precious commodity).  Neither would Paleolithic man have access to processed food, canned food, breakfast cereals, chips, crisps, pies, microwave meals, and ready meals ~ all of which are full of crap.

Booze is mostly out too ~ the earliest known beer dates from about 5,000 years ago ~ but perhaps hard liquor sneaks in as evidence for that dates back at least 9,000 years.

The main reason I’m going onto the pretty strict paleo diet are that all through lockdown I’ve been putting on weight, and now I want to get my trim body back.  Other benefits of a Paleo Diet are; better resistance to diabetes, improved cardio vascular health, more energy, and better resistance to all the diseases linked to inflammation.

Some say that modern life is injurious to our health.  And that wheat is so unhealthy we should probably stop eating it.  All I know is that lockdown is the unhealthiest way of living I know.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

best easy baked salmon

from Creme de la Crumb

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