Sunday, 26 November 2017

Five(ish) frugal things






I am glad I copied this idea from so many bloggers. It really does help with a bit of focus.



  1. 'Big shopping' was due on Friday. We didn't go. We have a fridge full of veggies, freezer full of meat and fish, the larder is pretty full too. 
  2. The meat order from the farm worked really well for us. The freezer is still very full (see above) except for chicken. I have worked out this months order which is basically just chicken and then some big joints of meat for Christmas when we have visitors. We wont eat more than usual but its looks and tastes good for the visitors and we get days of leftovers and no cooking :)
  3. Jamal, my youngest son, and I are looking at whether to apply for an allotment. The ones right by our house are full but there are others a little further away which could work for us. We are planning to visit this week. Its a bit tricky where its dark before I get home from work but we will sort something out.
  4. Fahed is in hospital having had his knee operation. He had an Osteotomy. Which is basically the bone below the knee cut 3/4 across and then wedge open to almost 1 cm, then a bone graph put in place. He is still in hospital at the moment as its too painful to put any weight on. Apparently if we had to pay for this is would be £8000. Surgeon is very happy with the work and with him and if all goes well they will talk about doing the second knee in the middle of next year.
  5. This is more money saving for someone else than me. I have sorted out my cook books and five bags of them are today being picked up by some young friends, who I am sure will make good use of them.
  6. I remembered that we need to plant garlic in December. Last year we did it in about April so its wasn't brilliant but this year I am on it!
  7. Milk in my coffee this morning went out of date on 21st November but its still fine. At the very least this must indicate that people have been opening the fridge door less. This is because Jamal has a job and isn't here to eat us out of house and home all day long! Actually I guess this is why we still have so much food in the house!
  8. I have completed almost all of my Christmas gift shopping. Woohoo. I created a wish list on Amazon. Decided on a theme for this years gifts and I was off. We have a £10 limit so i had to be creative....but I was! I need a couple more things for my kids, as i do like to spoil them a bit, but overall I am about there.
  9. Last month Fahed didn't receive any sick pay. I cant even tell you how hopeless his company is at admin, they are a nightmare. However we sucked it up and managed without. This month we seem to have 2.5 months worth of sick pay coming our way. Which is great. Why? I dont know but hey, why not. I still cant wait for him to be back at work. The rhythm of life is all weird at the moment. He misses his work, the students and his work mates. I miss tucking lots of his money into our renovation savings account!



Monday, 20 November 2017

Yes, me again.



I like rabbiting away so here I am again :)

I have been looking at my 2017 goals. Oh dear! I am not full of excuses (except maybe distracted by Fahed's numerous operations etc, can i use that one??).

I did a couple of good things.

Got my Greek house legalised and paid up the bulk of my Greek tax (from the year when we had to pay two years as we no longer pay in arrears....and my professional services person failed to mention it until after I was fined).

Just missed my mortgage target by less than £1000. I have now included a sizeable monthly overpayment in next years budget.

I had my hair spectacularly cut short (the offcuts looks like a sleeping dog in the hairdressers floor) but found I still don't like wearing more than basic eyeliner and my makeup, most of the time. I also like my uniform of straight back jeans, back boots and a long top and wont be changing it anytime soon

On the flipside, fFirst year in my life when I didnt travel anywhere, deary me.

So now I am taking a lot more time to pull my 2018 goals togther


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Five(ish) Frugal Things



Fahed has his last operation this coming Friday, and assuming everything goes well he should be back at work when the new term starts in January. Yay! So we shall be approx £1000 better off each month. So the first thing on my frugal to do this week was to update my budget/plan.



  1. New budget to accommodate changed (reduced) insurance costs and additional income. I want to save £10k for work on the Crete houses by September.
  2. We have started to shop 2 weekly instead of weekly. Its mostly veg as we stock up with meat from the farm and we have a larder full of other stuff, so we definitely wont starve. Seems to work for us so far. No waste and we get creative near the end of the 2 week period. Coffee situation is looking a bit dire at the moment though!
  3. My car is booked in to have the bonnet and some other rusted bits sprayed on Monday. Bargain basement price, then mid week we swap the cars over and he does some work on Fahed car. Total cost is £150. Surely the paint must cost more than that??
  4. Ah, was i moaning about Faheds car last week? It died and we had to tow it tot he shop. In fact my lovely neighbour had to tow it with Fahed as he also have a 4x4. Very kind so no tow truck cost. Repair costs were only £130. It really pays to use the small, local guys ahead of the main dealerships (lets hope i still think this in a few weeks time)
  5. Eve and I booked our flights to Malaga for our little Spanish trek in April. £100. Thats for both directions....for both of us! Admittedly we changed our days to find the cheapest flights but darn, some kind of a bargain.
  6. Our rail ticket is 15% reduced as long as we buy before 31/12, so that is also in our plans.
  7. Fahed cooked from scratch all the week, as he normally does, except yesterday. Jamal treated us to KFC. Sadly it was soggy and horrid, however Fahed  had made a hot and spicy salad with it (with home pickled chillies), some pitta and hm humus, so overall not bad. And it inspired is to make our own fried chicken, which we did when Jamal came home from Texas and Alabama, but we haven't really done since.
  8. Today I am sanding down the woodwork in the bathroom, to save Fahed from replacing it. He need to fix a few bits where I dropped something heavy and broke it but overall I think it can be saved. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Five Frugal things



Apparently this is a thing. So I am trying it for a bit of inspiration. they will be frugal but maybe not always five.

I cant remember if we talked about this already but I changed car insurance provider when the exciting insurer wanted increase my premium by about 300% when Jamal passed his test. I changed to Admiral and instead of 300% we had 50% decrease. Yay! And then they rang me and said we can do a second car cheaper and you get discount, so I added Fahed's car and saved, in total across both cars, approx 1200. Then the guy rang again and asked about house insurance. I couldn't find the paperwork so had to call them and get info. It turns out that it was being renewed that day, 1st November, so I had to leap into action a bit more than usual and get the Admiral quote. Saved me another £100. I am gobsmacked actually as I do shop around but hadnt realised multi policy discount was quite as worthwhile.

Oh yes, we bought meat from the farm instead of the supermarket and saved about £70. This will probably be more in later months as we discover some of the cheaper cuts.

I sorted out my sons tax and tax code and he got last years back and this years will adjust in the next pay period, so an extra £1000 in their pockets.

I haven't done this yet but I am almost on it. This app rounds up all debit card payments, and this is how i pay for everything except normal bills, and the balances goes into an investment account. Moneybox. Looks like it works and I will be setting it up

Not really frugal but I did help my sons girlfriend with her business plan to ramp up her podiatry business. New website is now launched here and new customers are coming thick and fast


Very cross Lizzie

Someone stole Faheds bike yesterday form outside of our house. I am very cross. And more annoyingly I changed insurance providers the previous day and i am fairly sure you cant claim in the first 14 days or something to avoid people starting insurance after an event. So today I am very growly!  Grrrr! I;ll go for a walk down the lane when the rain stops and see if anyone took it and abandoned it. I'll send him further afield with the car as well. Pretty sure we wont see it again. I am monitoring face-bay, eBay and gum tree though, just in case


Grrrr!

Summer Rain

The middle of summer on the sunny south coast of England, and the rain is falling heavily enough to keep us indoors again. We were hoping to...