Thursday, 31 October 2013

My mortgage plans - Month 1

So I moved the DD for the mortgage to my 'cashback account' with a certain Spanish Bank. I also moved the date as far forward as they would allow because the current account also pays interest (yes, i know it pays less than I pay but if I pay the gap at the beginning then I think it works out straight).

Today the nice lady from the Spanish bank phoned up to tell me I was in mortgage arrears and she was charging me £40!

Whaaaat??

Fortunately I have the letter from them confirming the DD dates and amounts. Big fat fail on their part and not my part.

She went from shirty and superior to 'oops, silly me' in about 2 minutes.

I am very pleased I was so aware of my finances that I would put my hand on my heart if need be and not e frightened that it was really my fault, and more importantly not be charged an extra £40!!

Understanding and being in control of finances is a great gift.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

TV Adverts



I am home alone tonight.
I am watching TV. All the lovely cookery and gardening shows that no-one ever wants to watch normally.
In fact I am half way through an episode of Hairy Bikers:Mum Knows Best. Today though, the odd thing I am seeing the adverts between the programmes. Normally I watch only what is prerecorded and we fast forward through the ads.

Well what a load of old tripe. Now I know for sure that I am forever cured from any desire to shop for sport. Every thing they show makes me 'hurumph' about the cost, the waste, the unnecessary expense. i am a right old killjoy but I would rather have fewer & better possession than loads of old rubbish, any day. Second hand is fine with me but I dont want clothes that last for three wears

Okay, had my rant Feeling fine now :)


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Property


I have been faffing about with HTML (about which i know approximately nothing) for hours in an attempt to create an inspirational chart to keep us on track with mortgage repayments. Its not brilliant and I cant work out how to post it as a sidebar anyway. Maybe it is a start. The blue and purple need to be paid, the rest is effectively equity. I have left the Syria stuff out completely as I am sure it is worth nothing, I owe nothing on it and I think it wont be worth anything in future.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Stoptober:Money Diet

My month runs from 24th to 23rd so Stoptober:Money Diet month is over for me. We made it with £44 left in the, very tight, budget. We learned a lot, although not apparently how to cut down on electric usage as much as I imagined.

We certainly were very good with food including the men of the house understanding that meat is not compulsory.  I wasted very little food. Two very small bags of frozen red cabbage which had both seen better days and defrosted when I left them on the counter top by accident, following a near miss of adding them to my plum jam. Some stewed fruit that I had in a dish on the bottom shelf of the fridge but perched on top of a horizontally stored 3l milk container. I just didn't see it or remember it until too late, which is sad because I was taking it to work for breakfasts before I forgot it. At least there was a lot left. And the freezer is crammed to capacity with food.

No takeaways. Sometimes when we are tired and it has been a long day then we are tempted but so far so good. Our challenge for this month is to make a home made 'Chinese takeaway' which is good enough for us to wonder why we ever thought we needed to buy one.

It didn't stop us going out but we were somewhat conservative in our spending. I went to one of my sons gigs and allowed a friend, who I had given a lift to, to buy me a thank you drink. Fahed went to poker three times. He came third twice, so his winnings were higher than his outlay, and broke even when they went to a proper casino to play, by stopping once his 'free money' was gone. Apparently the casino offers free money to the poker players to get them in and when it is gone they normally buy more chips. I dont think they make much from the poker boys but apparently it makes a nice atmosphere for the big spenders who are playing roulette and machines. Luckily for me Fahed just enjoys to play so he isn't tempted on the other stuff. |One documentary about Las Vegas was enough to cure him.

Back to talking about food, I also cooked a lot with my home grown apples.

So basically we did okay, so now lets do it all again in November. Same budget as October but with two cars to tax as well. So glad I filled that freezer when I did!

Great British Bake Off inspired (hopefully)

I love weekends. Nothing special planned and those are my favourite sort.
Had my flu jab (freebie at work) and so feeling a little not quite right but otherwise all good.

Bills are paid, shopping is bought and put away, vacuum is calling me (without much enthusiasm), laundry is half way there (and is a bit of an undertaking since we don't have a tumble dryer anymore). A trip to the Asian Supermarket to stock up on a few things still on the list.
.

Tomorrow is a baking day. A lot of my colleagues are running the Great South Run to raise money for Epilepsy Action. On Monday we will have a cake sale to add a little more to their pot of gold.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Food Waste Friday

FoodWasteFriday
I had stopped participating in food waste Friday lately. I have to be honest and say i think that I am getting the hang of 'food management' and since I am now 51 it really was about time.

However I am back to joining in to ensure I really stick with it.  We have this new thing where we are trying very hard to pay the mortgage off early so food waste (any waste) just became even more important. And this week i sadly did waste something, so time to 'fess up. When i was finding all of the various bags of frozen fruit to make the jam I almost added two bags of something  which looked like mushed up blackberries. I noticed just in time that it was a couple of ounces of red cabbage prepared in the German style. It wasn't much but it went it the recycling. I should have been more creative and am disappointed in myself.

I avoided bread waste by keeping sliced bread, pitta and wraps in the freezer and taking out only as it is used. My son does take out the whole packet of wraps because I believe they stick together but the packet stays in the fridge so still no waste. There was a rather hard and stale wrap/tortilla left earlier in the week. I fried a little cooking bacon & some sliced onion. Removed this from the pan and put my tortilla in the pan. Added back my bacony onion and some grated cheese. Folded the tortilla over and dry friend it on both sides. Yum.

I used up all of the miscellaneous fruit in my freezer to make 9 pots of jam. And despite how random that sounds it does taste really nice.

On one day I made our staple mid week soup/stew of minced beef, onions and potatoes with a nice gravy. I normally add sliced green cabbage but we had a half of a red cabbage in the fridge, so in it went. I wont lie, it wasn't as good. It lacked taste and was tougher than a juicy green one. Plus it made the stew go a random bluey/purple colour but it was still good and we didn't miss out on the vitamins.

I hid a half tin of chickpeas in a bowl of soup that my husband had for lunch. (just the chickpeas, not the tin!)

My husband has finally started to eat his potatoes complete with their skins as the boys and I do when he isnt about. I have agreed he can have peeled potatoes for the chips (fries) which he makes  on birthdays but otherwise chips, mashed or baked potatoes are all with skin. We don't lose so many vitamins and the extra fibre is good for him too.

4/5, must try harder.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sticky Toffee Pudding (the real thing)



Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

Ingredients :

                     75g Dates, stoned and chopped
                     75g Butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
                     50g Light brown soft sugar
                     2 Eggs
                     1 tsp Vanilla extract
                     140g Self-raising Flour
                     1 tsp Baking powder

For the Sauce :

                     150ml Double cream
                     75g Light brown soft sugar
                     25g Butter



Method



1.    Put the dates in a small saucepan and pour over 75ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 mins until the dates are mushy and have absorbed the water. Gently stir to blend.

2. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 4 x 150ml pudding moulds. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the blended date purée and divide between the moulds. Transfer to a roasting tin and pour enough boiling water in to reach halfway up the moulds. Cover the tin with foil and cook for 25 mins until risen and firm to the touch.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour half the cream and all the sugar and butter into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3-4 mins until the sauce is glossy and thick, then stir in the remaining cream. Re-heat the sauce when the puddings are cooked and serve poured on top.


 Not money saving especially, although cheaper than going out to eat, but so good. My sons girlfriend made this recipe for us last night and kindly mailed me the recipe.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Gardening for non gardeners

Every year I say this is going to be the year when I get a harvest from our garden.

This year I managed:

A tree full of cooking apples - because they grow without help from me and it doesn't matter if I forget them.
Load of cherries - stolen by the birds because I didn't net them in time. Last year we had 5kg
Lots of currants, black and red - again the birds got there first.
Chilies - with all my efforts I think i got five in total
Herbs - I did much better with the woody herbs but the parsley wasn't so good.

So next year I am putting it in the diary to net the cherry tree and currant bushes.
And this winter I am going to plant garlic. I have done it before and we got a really good crop so no idea why I stopped again (forgetful - if I was one of the seven dwarves I would be Dopey)


And here is an unrelated picture of a Gloxinia, just because!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Next, please




Aged 51 this year and I managed to learn more this year than I have in many years.

Like how to make:

  • Soap
  • Mayonnaise
  • My grocery money stretch until it squeaks
  • Burgers that taste like Burger King burgers ( I know what you are thinking but they are good)
  • The best use of my freezer
  • How to feed the family with minimal waste
  • and decorate special cakes (don't look too closely and they are good)
I already knew a whole bunch of stuff, like how to:
  • Make the best beef stew ever
  • Be happy (that's a biggy, not everyone knows that one)
  • Go out with friends and have fun once in a while
  • Have ideas for every occasion
  • Make lovely cakes
  • Be a good mummy (my children said so - must be true)
Now I am contemplating what to learn next, such as, maybe, how to:
  • Make cheese
  • Overpay my mortgage in a scarily efficient fashion
  • Cut back on any more extraneous spending
  • Do a bit of saving
  • Ice Cupcakes (well)
  • Finish writing a book - I was a half manuscript on Rupert the little red laptop when his hard drive broke :(
  • Make wine that tastes good
  • Adapt to getting a new cat/s from the rescue centre

Anyone else have some vague plans that have waited long enough to come to fruition?




Working on my 'Old Style'

I like the creativity that comes with being frugal. I love the actual word frugal, although in my head it is spelled frooogal, just so lovely.

I have already embraced 'New Style' and shop on the net, buying and selling on eBay, comparing utilities with the meerkats, using (free) software which monitors our mobile calls and tells us the best contract to be on, weekly email telling me the cheapest place to buy my fuel in the immediate area.  This morning already I set up a spreadsheet to work through the various pricing options to get me the most appropriate deal of energy suppliers. Popped in to see my parents first thing and had coffee and toast, looked up best utilities provider for them, sorted out something on one of my dads investments and found them a reasonably priced hotel with a good write up for when they go to visit my son in a couple of weeks. All good use of technology to be money saving but until lately I haven't been so good on the Old Style pure frugalness of managing the money.

The two big things we are changing old style is to really cut down on wasting utilities. No-one uses a half full oven around here anymore, baths have been postponed until well, who knows when. We are never wasteful with food but there has been way more veggies, pulses and so on lately, and a lot less meat. All the laundry is dried in the conservatory. A ton of time spent on other blogs, mostly frugal queen and mortgage free in three, nicking all their recipes.

I am sure I will continue to discover new things but I have to say I really, really like the feeling of control.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Getting more 'Old Style'

I have been cooking, cooking, cooking,

I made this 10 second mayonnaise from MFi3. I then added a bunch of fresh parsley to make it even more amazing

Then I made Jamies Flatbreads which was an astounding success (only two left) and gave me an opportunity to test the smoke alarm (yay, it works, especially when you forget to put the extractor fan on)

Main meal was a big roasting tin with potatoes, leftover on the edge mushrooms and tomatoes, parsnips and beetroot from this mornings market. All chops up, sprinkled with salt and cumin and some olive oil. Top up with a cm of chicken stock. Yum, some more.

One more plan for the afternoon or tomorrow. Scots tablet. Basically so bad for you that it will kill you outright but nonetheless deliciously amazing,

Tonight I am out to a gig with the kids, will be fun.

Still get used to new tablets, just want to sleep all of the time

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, 18 October 2013

Takeaways

Yesterday I had a meeting in London. Left to get the train at 7am and got back at 7pm. If there is ever a day when a takeaway would be acceptable, eh?

But I didn't fall from grace

Bacon & Potato fry up

20% of pack of bacon off cuts from the pound shop = 20p
Half tin of value potatoes = 28p
Mushrooms (saved from the compost) = 20p
Stir fry all of the above until it looks yummily ready and then stir in

A tablespoon of Philadelphia = 10p
Dinner for two for 78p

With the benefit of hindsight I should have chopped a small onion and fried it in as well


Today I have less excuse but still tired (adapting to new medication for the arthritis in my spine) so going hungry seriously crossed my mind but my adorable, mostly, husband had cooked ready for us to eat together when he got home this evening.

Rice cooked Arabic style ( I will ask Fahed for details at some point) but i noticed it is sprinkled with lovely friend onion bits.
Some of the meat balls we prepared and froze when I was on holiday. Cooked in a sauce of tinned tomatoes and onions spiced with coriander (spice not herb).
I didnt know the quantities for pricing up but I bet it was less than £4 to feed three adults.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Cutting down on gas usage

The gas boiler has gone out. Ah, whoops. The weather has got a lot colder this week so I might have been toying with the idea of some heating. Or even a bath.

Now my Mortgage Free Wannabee persona has taken over and I am thinking lets not fix it and then we wont use any gas. It could work, we have an electric powered shower, a washing machine and a dishwasher that heats its own water.


I am feeling cold at the thought

Sunday, 13 October 2013

How do you like them apples?

I had a baking day, got through maybe slightly less than half of the apples from my tree.




Apple crumble for today
2 x apple crumble for the freezer 9ready for when baby comes home from uni)
Apple Cake

House smells amazingly delicious

Apple Crumble
8 parts flour
6 parts butter
6 parts sugar
Cooking apples - peeled and chopped

Blitz dry ingredients in the food processor on and off for a minute or so until resembling breadcrumbs
Peel and chop cooking apples and put a layer in the bottom of an oven dish.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnnmon or mixed spice
Sprinkle on a good thick layer of crumble
Cook in a medium hot oven until looking pleasantly brown and just plain yum . 40 minutes
Be sure to fill the oven up!
Those red bits are from a big pan of leftover fruit which I am stewing for another couple of crumbles. Apple, plum and some blueberries.


Apple Cake
Weigh eggs - I used 4 small ones (try it - i promise perfect cake each time)
Same weight each of:
Butter/Margerine
Sugar
Self raising flour



Blitz up together or beat with a wooden sppon if you are feeling energetic
Stir in as many pieces of  prepared apple as you fancy
Cook in same oven, same amount of time. Test with a knife but be sure that the knife is in the cake not just in the apple when you are looking for a dry knife.
Beautiful in a rather rustic way!
I didn't cook the two for the freezer as I find they freeze better when raw.



I did my stroganoff pies in the same oven at the same time too, try to be energy sensible with my ridiculously inefficient oven


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Beef Stroganoff Pies




I defrosted two small packages of stewing beef last evening. 99p each.
Beef spent the evening marinating in sauce sauce, maybe 1p
Today I chopped three onions 15p
Some celery which was almost in the compost 15p
and cooked it all the pressure cooker (scared? Moi? Indeed)
Then i added some chopped cabbage from the fridge, which was on its last legs (stalks) 5p
Half the economy pack of mushrooms 50p
Cooked it down and then tipped in a reduced cartoon of cream 70p

A quarter of this went a very long way with some friend potato to feed three adults this pm
Cost for those meals £3.54 divided by 4 divided by 3
= 29.5p per per meal plus the spuds.

The balance, with excess spuds stirred in is being made in baby pies for lunches.


Raining



Okay, its England and its October so hardly needs mentioning. But it does mean slothing about on the sofa this afternoon with a clear conscience. Its not gardening weather, its not bike riding weather, although no doubt it will be once I get used to cycling again but not appealing today. In fact I hope I get used to cycling in the rain or my bike isn't going to see much action. Oh, and its definitely not car cleaning weather, but I wasnt really thinking about doing that anyway.

However I do have a pile of books and cuttings which are calling to me.

So:
to the shops to pick up all the things I forgot when I did the shopping yesterday. Should still just about scrape in under budget.
A bundle of laundry which i will set to dry in the conservatory as I am without tumble dryer.
Dishwasher is already doing its thing.
Bins all need emptying but I will do that on the way to the car.
Sorting and putting away clean clothes.
Cooking some lunch.
Oh, and re advertise some stuff on ebay as it is free listing but they are all re-lists so I cant say there is effort involved
Also making an apple crumble for tea, but that is probably tomorrow as we always have a nice old fashioned pudding on cold, wintery Sunday evenings.

Pretty low effort day i think you will agree.
Anyone have more exciting plans??? Okay, I know, everyone does.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Arabian Butterbeans

I made up the name! Just thought it sounded nice!!

So my lovely husband is really embracing the whole super frugal thing (on the whole) and two days this week we had this surprisingly lovely dish. I say surprisingly because I don't actually like butter beans,

1 tin of tomatoes                48p
2 tins of butter beans    2 x 67p = £1.34 or get even cheaper, but plan ahead better than us, by soaking and boiling dried butter beans
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (not that weird green stuck, yucky) 10p
3 cloves of garlic, crushed in salt 10p
1 teaspoon of ground cumin 1p
I onion finely chop 6p
A little olive oil (free from my friend with the Olive Farm)


Fry up onions and spices, add chop tomatoes and cook them up for a few minutes until the tomato looks more saucy and less like a tin of toms :)
Add the beans and heat through
Serve with a couple of chucks of home made bread - unless, like me, your bread was a failure and you ended up with a lovely smelling small concrete blob. We had it with rice which is better for us anyway!


Total cost was £2.09 and it served 3 hungry folk for dinner and two of them for the next days dinner too.

I dove in to eating it when I should have photographed it but I will add a photo when he makes it again, hopefully this coming weekend

Now looking for a nice way to eat chick peas

and my full stop has stopped working (sigh)

Well here's a thing

Back to work last Monday, now it is Thursday night. You know why it passes in a flash? I think it is because I actually love my job. Not fashionable to admit it but I do. I don't want to do it forever (as with most things) but it is great fun and I do love it. So how lucky am I?

The job itself is enjoyable and I really like the organisation. Today we had a lunch time event where anyone who had a good idea, good for the business or our residents, could come along and give their idea(s), claim a free sticky bun and generally join in with running the business. This would have meant missing our singing class but we had the class in the corner of the breakout area so that people could see a previous 'good idea' in action. Was really nice how everyone stopped their discussions to applaud us at change of song.

Oh and I missed out on an Indian head massage yesterday because I had a meeting. Monday we had curry for lunch, made by my staff, raising money for Epilepsy UK. Made £500 by the way.

This is the curry lunch :)







And on top of that I had great fun mucking around starting idea conversations with some folk for a possible outside of work project.

And one of my bright ideas was to help finance (with a grant or loan) staff who want to work towards a degree outside of their normal vocation. Oh, and all my ideas were amazing wonderful obviously :)

I am so full of bounce with all of the excitement. The phrase dog with tails suits me today!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Home made Ginger Beer (in the style of River Cottage)



Using a two litre fizzy drinks bottle (don't use glass, it is way too exciting when things start happening and then booofff, glass everywhere)

Ring the bottle and then rinse again with some light sterilizing fluid, Milton's fluid or maybe a part of a Camden table dissolved and swilled around.

Shred around an ounce of fresh ginger and add to the bottle.
Juice half a lemon and add to the bottle.
Add a half teaspoon of wine yeast (another recipe says any yeast but I cant confirm)
Add a cup of sugar
Half fill the bottle with warm water and give it a serious shake.
Top up with water and store somewhere warmish for at least 48 hours

Leave it longer for a less sweet, more alcoholic ginger beer.
If you want to keep it longer but keep it sweet/lower on alcohol then add a dissolved Camden tablet (not sure I fancy that)

Oh, and release the extra gas most days or there will be explosions in your larder

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Stupid Tax

So starting the day a little cross with myself for being such a doughnut but I guess that at least I noticed it now.

I am paying £25.12 repayment option on my credit card. This apparently means cover if I lose my job. Just on the phone to them now to get rid of it and of course that takes a goodly time (@ 7p per minute). Grrr at me for being such a bozo.

I wonder how many other things I think I am slick on and I am actually still a financial dope.

So, I have a 'to do' list:
Ginger beer
Finish pickling onions
Make bread (special request from son)
Cut grass, last cut before winter (not me, I am supervising from the kitchen).  
Wooden feet on kitchen cupboard & a few other little carpentry type things (again, supervising)
Sort out apple crop.
Dry washing outside
Colour Hair - looking too much like a badger to go outside
Pick up car from the mechanic - nothing saves fuel usage like not be able to drive your car
Bike ride - if not raining

Oh, and Fahed came third at poker last night. So yaay.

Fahed is being really good actually since we decided to sort out the mortgage. He fished a ten pounds voucher out of the bin last night at 1am, still awake from excitement of poker - we are not normally up at 1am, when he realised he will visit that place on the last day it is valid And, much to my amusement, when I was making his coffee yesterday he noticed I put in one too many sweeteners. He fished it out from the instant coffee granules and tried to put it back into the sweeteners container. Once upon a time he would have just thrown out the coffee granules and started over. Old dogs can do new tricks, especially when they sniff at financial freedom. Why do we have to be a half century old before we get this much common sense?

Anyone out there who still has credit cards? Make sure you are not paying stupid tax just because you don't read your statements properly.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Stoptober:Money Diet - Day 4

This weeks shopping came to £48. Budget was £50. Fuel budget was £50 but one tank is still full (yep, still at the mechanics) and the other still has 350 available miles, and is about 3/4 full..

I haven't been to the shop except to buy that actual shopping. My basket of shop did include a massive, and massively expensive, piece of lamb, which I have hidden away in the deepest reaches of the freezer. It was discounted by £4 and I bought it for my sons welcome home from uni dinner in December. It is his favourite, it was discounted and I absorbed the cost into my normal weekly shopping, which I think we can agree ticks all of the boxes.

And in other news. We have two racks of DVD's in the sitting room. They are neat enough but make the place look a bit messy so I was thinking of fitting doors to the book shelves which they are on. I also decided yesterday to advertise two large but narrow doors that we bought for 99p but found unsuitable for our project,, as they were actually wardrobe doors and looked weird from one side. I have just realized that
they could be cut, stripped and re-framed to fit the shelves. I broke this happy news to the old fella. he looked distinctly under-whelmed.

Blog Play

Blogging for about four years and this morning I took 30 minutes to mooch about on blogger and found a whole bunch of things!

I have changed my ID from a Google+ back to a blogger ID. Not much point in me using a Google+ as I only use it to store photos.

Found out a whole of you follow me by feed or email. Very cool, thank you and I am sorry I didn't know this before. I also added the options to follow to the top of my blog in case anyone else prefers to do that. I was a google reader fan,now using 'the old reader', so wasn't really thinking about other methods of following.

I simplified the blog design even further, sort of a  blog de-clutter.  Might have over de-cluttered it a bit there!

I wanted to add a widget to monitor paying down my mortgage ( flouting my new Mortgage Free Wannabee status) but cant find one. Anyone have any ideas?

Back with more rabbiting later. Off to do some work in the real world  for a while.


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Disappearing Frugal Mummy

One of my other favourite superfroogals, Frugal Mummy of My Beautiful Life fame, has dropped of the electronic page.

However she is back. Here www.frugalmummy.blogspot.co.uk

FM. I cant still read your old posts in my reader but obviously not sure for how long. I can try to  retrieve anything specific you are after :)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

I did a guest post!

Over at 'My 1/2 Dozen Daily'

Come on over :)

The superfrooogals

Time to do a bit more blog reading this week (love it)

In between the scrubby, pruning and jammin' I have been reading:

Mortgagefreeinthree is new to me but very readable. And talk about squeeze a penny until it squawks. I am reading older posts for inspiration.

My other favourtite of the 'Superfroogalers' is Frugal Queen.She certainly seems to practice whats she preaches and looks very well on it too. Froogs once gave me an online roasting (quite rightly) for frittering away some holiday savings which had been leftover. I haven't been so daft with my cash since then proving that even the daftest of us can be taught.

Obviously I have loads of other favourite blogs, hence the side bar, but I thought I would mention these too as I have been following them with even more enthusiasm than usual since we joined the Mortgage Free Wannabes.

This morning, more jam. All the fruit which was stashed in the freezer is used up.
Later today someone collects the sofa (why does freecycling feel so good? knowing something is not wasted is amazing).
I finish pickling my red cabbage - currently salted and giving up its fluids.
I start pickling my onions - an afternoon of tears ahead.
I look at chutney and piccalilli recipes but not sure if i am pushing my luck with creating yummy stuff as I venture into the unknown.
Tonight I am popping to see my sister, to share my apples and jam amongst other things. Also thinking I might bring up the idea of homemade Christmas present too :)

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

STOP-tober:The Money Diet

I am in there! Joining Mortgage Free in Three by being more than careful between now and 23rd October (my months run 24 to 23 - I am weird but this suits me)

I am budgeting £150 for food & a further £150 for petrol/diesel. I have another £300 available in the budget but it is my intention not to spend the little fellas if I can avoid it.

This week I am on hols at home. Normally that would involve expenditure but I am keeping my hand closed as best I can.

Yesterday was a lovely productive day and I am trying to ensure that today is the same. I freecycled three bikes and a tumble dryer and they were picked up by their happy new owner last night.

Today I have offered a beige sofa on freecycle and have three interested parties. Hopefully one of them wants it. This gives me a chance to make some changes in our room set up.

I have a £4 off £20 voucher for Sainbury. I am investing a red cabbage, 2 bags of shallots, large bag of sugar, 2 jars of pickling vinegar (special offer) and 4 packets of lamb mince (very special offer).

I plan on making pickled shallots and pickled cabbage, more plum jam as twp pounds of plums remaining, four lamb meatloaves for the freezer. I am following a recipe from 'The Takeaway Secret' for homemade lamb donner.

Ho w long before I get bored of being at home. So far no sign of that.

Lets talk about something good!

I went to the other house and it was lovely! My dad came with us, with my youngest son, for the first 5 days.  Its his first time since ...