This week I shall mostly be eating the unknown.
Due to my prolonged period of poor finances, this week took an extra bad turn in the form of exceeding my overdraft by a tenner as my card repayment came out. And this will accumulate in the form of a £25 Payment review fee and £15 for exceeding overdraft fine for three days (at £5 a day), as well as the usual overdraft usage fees and interest payable on the overdraft.
The upshot is that I can’t buy food this week.
But I was supposed to be in that same situation last week wasn’t I? Yes, and if I hadn’t I wouldn’t now be staring at an extra £40 hole in my accounts. And when you only get £50 a week, that’s rather a lot.
(If you’re curious why I’m not simply paying myself more it’s because the business coffers, while a lot healthier than they were, still have a long way to go before I can pay myself anything out of them. The only steady “income” I currently take from the business is £25 a month to one of the credit cards minimum payments. I live day to day entirely on my tax credit payments, while all the money I make is immediately reinvested into the business to try and build it further and faster. Hopefully with a view of getting that comfortable income from it before I become ineligible for said tax credits.)
Now, I should have nearly a fiver in my penny jars, and if things get desperate I can borrow something from the business kitty. Also my dad has kindly offered to loan me the money to repay the credit cards (which were originally only gotten because I was told I wasn’t eligible for a business loan) which I’ll only have to repay to him with the equivalent lost interest, which will remove some pressure. But that will still take months to arrange.
I hate accepting charity. It’s a mark of personal failure in survival terms. And this comes as close as I ever have to that. Psychologically I don’t have much to loose now. It’s relieving in a sickening sort of way.
So my survival task this week is not only to complete more business projects, but do so while living on a budget of about £4.92 and whatever I have in my cupboards. And it will be a challenge. Adapting recipes I can do, coming up with recipes from scratch I can do too. Cobbling together from what’s on hand for some reason I’m not so good at. But adversity breeds creativity, right? Hopefully more interesting than soup+pasta.
Tonight’s dinner was a baked potato with a healthy dollop of butter and caramelised onions. It worked together pretty well. Simple but tasty. My granddads old advice about cooking the onions slowly worked very well.
I also bottled up the Elderflower Champagne I started brewing last week by this recipe. It’s bucket-brew week had developed it a healthy crust that came away with the use of only two wooden spoons. All bottled in Grolsh-style bottles I scavenged from a home-brew clear-out some years back.
They’re all stored away inside the old cast-iron stove now, where it’s cool and dark. And where any pressure related bottle explosions will be neatly contained. It smelt nice though, and what little I tasted from the spills tasted all right. Not like cats piss at all.
Tomorrow I’ll have to attack the ornamental plum tree in the alleyway. The fruit may be small, but it’s very tastey. The low-hanging fruit’s all gone, so I’ll cut a snag in some PVC pipe and use it to snare them. Hopefully they’ll run down the centre of the pipe and into a bag on the end.
I have a fair amount of old frozen veg in the freezer, some dried pasta and rice, and a few odd tinned things. I’ll be able to eat, I just don’t want to make endless things that are nutritious but flavourless mush.