Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 days - day twenty two

Hurrah, school is out, half term holiday is here, we made it through the first half term of this year.

I'm wiped out.  Need some time to rest and have fun and enjoy life and not have to get up for the school run.

I'm also getting a bit burnt out on blogging, and I'm going away this weekend, so I will attempt to be back on Monday with something exciting to say.
I kow that breaks my streak,  but I think it's better to have something to say than to blog for the sake of it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

31 days - day 21

Today is back to the future day - it's the day in the future Marty travels to in the second film.
Fun random fact for you, which you probably know already if youve been anywhere on the Internet today!

I'm not even going to try to come up with anything else in this post because I have writers block

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

31 days - day twenty

It's half term next week for us, so the kids are off school for a week. Looking forward to having some fun as Menard is off work too. I will be looking for fun things that we an do, but we don't plan to spend lots of money.
Autumn is the perfect time for layering up and getting out, especially if you've got welly boots for squelching in the mud! Im hoping we can explore some of the parks and adventure places in our local and area and slightly further afield. If we can get some geo caches too then I'll be a happy mummy!

Monday, October 19, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day 19

Oops. Almost got to the end of today without posting.  Better write something quick.

Actually, when I was in Aldi this morning I stocked up on some of their super six offer veg since they'll be changing on Thursday, I believe, and since it's potatoes, onions and swede, they ought to last for a while, so it was worth stocking up.

It made me think abut writing - make use of sales and special offers. But don't buy things that you won't actually be using, because that's not really saving money at the end of the day.

Today's hint/tip - make use of special offers and buy fruit and veg in season because they'll be cheaper.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day 18

In a week where money is tight, or you need to pay some unexpected bills, try living out of pantry rather than going food shopping.  By that, I mean work on running down cupboards and fridge/freezer rather than buying fresh.

This serves two purposes, using up stock before it expires - this is good, if like me, you're not always good at rotating stock in the cupboard, making sure you use the old packets up before you use the most recent ones.

Secondly, it's an adventure! You're limited by what you have, so it's like an episode of ready steady cook. Think outside the box, think of ingredient substitutions you can make to switch up an ingredient in a recipe for something you have.  For example, it would be fairly easy to inter change fresh tomatoes/passata/chopped tomatoes/tomatoe purée.  It might change the consistsncy slightly, but overall the taste would be similar.
If you have a go, let me know what interesting concoctions you come up with!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day seventeen

Happy Saturday!
I've been enjoying reading bits of The Complete Tightwad Gazette these last few days, and it's been reminding me that we all have different amounts of time and money, and it's about finding the money saving methods that work for you.

For me, I shop for reduced meat, veg and bread products. I compare prices and use coupons.
Don't feel bad if you can't do the same, but work on finding out what you do enjoy.  Do what you can do, without getting stressed and upset that you can't do it exactly the same way as I do. (although I hope I'm not reducing any of you to tears by my posts, but instead inspiring and challenging!)

Friday, October 16, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day sixteen

Day sixteen! More than halfway through the month (just about!)

Hm, what to write about today?

A summary, perhaps?

I have a budget for my weekly shopping expenses. I make the most of supermarket price wars, supermarket offers, supermarket rewards and free stuff!

I think outside the box when it comes to things like present giving.

I like numbers.  I know in my head the cost of a lot of different items, but if you don't like numbers you can make a simple price comparison book (I say book, chances are a lot of you would want to use your phone, but I like paper and pencil lists!).  This can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, but at its simplest, you'd write the name of the product and then what price it's being sold at in different shops, and add the date so when you look back, you can see how up to date that information is. I know I thought about blogging about price comparison books, but I can't remember if I ever did. Please ask questions if you want more info or help setting one up.
An alternative is to use a comparison site like My Supermarket, but Ive never had that much success getting it to work quickly when I wanted it to!

That's about enough for this post, right? What else would you like me to write about for the rest of the month?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day 15


I can't talk about money saving without mentioning swagbucks.  Pretty much all my purchases on amazon are paid for with gift cards I bought from swagbucks using points I earned from doing simple tasks like answering the daily poll,and using swagbucks as my go to search engine rather than google.  You don't earn points every time you search, but they do add up. There are other things you can do like taking surveys, making purchases on other shop sites, but going through their site referral links.

If you follow my referral link below I will potentially earn some extra swagbucks for you doing so, but you won't lose out on anything :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day 14

Make the supermarkets work for you

Obviously you have to give supermarkets money if you want to buy things from them, that's a given (of course, there are other places you can buy stuff too, and I'm all for shopping local and supporting local businesses,etc, but today im talking about supermarkets)

If you shop somewhere, and are likely to return, sign up for the loyalty card. Sainsburys nectar, Tesco clubcard, etc
- this means you get to earn points as you shop
- you'll also get sent vouchers/coupons either in the post, or printed out with your receipts at the end of a shop

Work the system.  I don't shop in sainsburys that often, I find them more expensive for the things I buy.  But I have a nectar card and pop in every so often, then that means I often get print out vouchers enticing me back. Like spend £15 and get 400 bonus points.  I combine those print outs with offers on sainsburys my coupons and I'm quids in. (more on that below) Can't get links to embed nicely.  You need to sign up for an account and link your nectar card, but once you have, you get a virtual wallet which you can fill with up to five coupons.  Next time you go, spend the money or buy the items that qualify you for those offers, wait a few days - make sure you leave the coupons in the wallet until you're credited with your bonus points.  If can be offers like 40 points if you buy a certain product, or say 450 bonus points if you spend twenty quid. If you ever shop at sainsburys, it might be worth a look.

Tesco orchard.  You'll need to google that, but it should come up easily.  Putting links in this post isn't happening today I'm afraid.  This is a site which runs campaigns.  Basically, you answer some surveys and then they'll match you up on campaigns that might interest you.  Currently I'm on one where they've sent me some vouchers to buy exotic fruit and then tell people about it! There's slightly more to it than that, but they talk you through it all in a friendly way.

Know your prices.  I know that sweet potatoes are cheaper at Aldi, so I generally buy them there. There are other things I can't get in Aldi, or prefer from Tesco that I buy there.  If you can, know prices and shop around.

If you shop in asda, always go online at least three hours after your shop and check the asda price guarantee. You may be entitled to a voucher if your compatible shop was cheaper elsewhere. There are a few terms and conditions, but super easy to do. You need to have bought at lest eight different items

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

31 days - day thirteen

Hm. Mid October writers block!

Happy birthday to my big sister, Bekki.

I'm attempting to get my eating back on track with whole30 program of eating.  This is my third round (although I only did twenty days on the last time, but that's better than none!)

Life seems to be getting crazy busy. Suppose I needs start Christmas shopping soon.

Monday, October 12, 2015

31 days - day twelve

The tale of Anna and Gill's apples.

Anna, a friend from school, who I'd reconnected with on Facebook, posted on facebook she had apples from her tree if anyone would like them - she wanted to spread some love and kindness and such like.

I'm a sucker for free stuff, and I thought it would be interesting to see Anna again after all this time (about 17 years on!) so I asked, may I have some?

Anna said, sure, come over, so we did.  JJ loved playing with Anna's son's train set. Anna and I had a lovely time chatting and I definitely plan to see her again.  One person loved and blessed.

I gave some apples to my mummy. Two people loved and blessed.

My neighbour brought round some pears they grew in her garden, I gave her some of Anna's apples.
Three people.

Gill popped round with bags of apples.  I was blessed again.

I asked on facebook if any friends wanted to come eat leftover party food and help me process apples from Anna (and lots from Gill). Good times working and talking together. Three more adults plus three babies/children loved and blessed. And I was blessed again by their help.

In my freezer there are several bags of peeled and chopped apples. I will use them to make jam, cake, and crumbles.  Many more people the apples will be shared with, loved and blessed.

A tale of a bag of apples. Friendships rekindled, friendships strengthened, people fed, people loved, people blessed.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 days - day 11


Autumn is apple extravaganza time.

Lately I have made

Apple crumble - I don't have a recipe, but something useful I did try and it worked; I froze the butter and then grated it into the flour. Instead of having to rub it in with my fingers and get messy at just the moment my kids needed me, I could just use a fork to sort of mush/mix the grated butter into the flour.

Stewed apple in the slow cooker - just cut up a bunch of apples, after you peeled and cored them (and cut out buggy bits, if you're a realist and don't mind using apples with those in, so long as you cut them out).  I was using eating apples so I didn't add sugar. I just cut and cut and cut some more until the slow cooker was almost full and then cooked on high for a few hours or a bit longer on low, until it was yummy and mushy.  You can add a splash of water to stop it sticking and get it going, but remember the apple will probably release a lot of moisture when it gets going.  I've done it with cooking apples and added extra sugar.  I've also use the cooked apples from this to make apple crumble.  Means you're really warming through, browning top, rather than waiting for the apple to cook from scratch.

Apple pie jam -This will look horrid and messy, but I can't make blogger embed my links today, ad I'm running out of battery life and time to do it.
This may or may not be what I burnt my mouth n the other day, but it gates and smell yummy. Mine turned out a lot darker than the photos on there.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day ten

Present giving - give from what's 'in your hand'

This is about thinking outside the box, not wanting to give a present and immediately running to the shops (or the present box featured yesterday)

There are times that you want to show someone your appreciation, but your budget is already over stretched and sometimes that means you have to let the moment go.  But take stock for a minute what you have.  I don't mean give the shirt off your back, or out of your wardrobe, but that can be appropriate on occasion! I mean think outside the box and use your skills.
One of my favourites is giving jars of jam that we've made (sorry, if I've just spoilt the surprise for anyone expecting a gift from me soon!)
This year we have made jam from plums and apples that grew wild in our area. I've also been given rhubarb, gooseberries and apples from friends, blessing me out of their excess. (if you're my friend and you want to gift me with something like that, then honestly yes, it really does bless me. I don't think, oh they're a cheapskate for giving me that, I think, wow, I'm so lucky that they wanted to share their bounty with me!)

Other ideas
Look in your cupboards, do you have ingredients to bake a cake, cook a meal, share your homemade goodies (like jam/jelly/chutney, biscuits, cookies, cakes)

Share your skills.  Offer to cut a lawn, prune a bush, teach someone an instrument, offer to babysit, give your time.  Time is money.  You don't have to physically spend cold hard dosh to give someone a gift of value.

Give a gift of memories - homemade calendars or photos or pictures, handprints are always good from children cos they (the children) don't stay small forever.  Sew a cross stitch.  Knit a scarf.  Make a mix tape - I guess nowadays that might be an iplayer or YouTube playlist!

Let me know if you've given or are planning to think outside the box with your giving this year.

What else could you do?

Friday, October 09, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day nine

A present box

This is a specified place to put things away to be given as gifts.
Generally people use it in one of two ways (or both)

For specific people presents - it's the January sales and I see something that would be perfect for my sister at a reduced price (sales!) or it's a one off that I'm unlikely to see again.  I buy the present, put it in the box. When it comes to the birthday, I pull out the present and deliver it. Job done.

Just in case presents - A box of potential presents, for a money saver these may be bought reduced or on a bulk offer. I use our present box like this. If I see age appropriate items at reduced prices or on a good offer, I stock up, then when Sophia is given a birthday party invite from someone at school, say, our first port of call is the present box, to see if there's anything suitable to give to the birthday child.  This allows me to take advantage of good deals (we recently gave a friend a whole collection of joke-present bits and pieces which I'd bought when it was on end of range prices. Sophie and JJ could give him a whole collection of fun joke things (like stick on moustaches, fake sick, pretend bugs..) and it didn't cost more than our budget could afford. Of course, you don't have to nly buy reduced things, but I'm mentioning those because that's one of our ways to save money on unexpected expenses - you can't always plan when the next party invite will arrive!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day eight

This is a 'stuff' interlude

Life lessons learned/reminded of today*

Laundry detergent has a much better chance of working if you add it to the machine.

Slow cookers will start to cook if you actually turn them on.

It's a good start to unlock the hob (safety feature), it's even better if you turn on a burner so your chicken can start to cook in the frying pan.

Jam scrapings are hot and probably shouldn't be put into your mouth without a little cooling.

What have you 'learnt' lately?

*today, the day I wrote this, which may or may not be the day it's published

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day seven

Get to know your local area.

You may have lived there a few weeks or months, you may have lived there all your life, but I bet you don't even notice half the things around you (again, talking to myself!)

This summer I signed up to start geocaching.  Yes, ideally you need some sort of smart phone of device, and it was the not having one of those which stopped me signing up earlier. But all you have to do is go to the website, set up an account, which takes minutes, download an app (apple and android versions available) and stick in your postcode and start hunting.

The website explains it better than I, so go have a look. You get coordinates that help you find the rough area, then additional hints or clues in the description to find some sort of small box. It can be teeny tiny, or perhaps a film canister size, or a lunch box. There's always a log inside - a piece of paper you sign with your name, whatever username you used to sign up online. Then you additionally log your find on the app or website. That way the ower of the cache can check those who say they've found it on the website, have found it when they look at their paper blog.

Useful tools to help you with geocaching - a pen, a smart phone, tweezers (some of the caches are tiny and you need tweezers to pull out the log).

Let me know what you find/if you get addicted.
As at the 14th September I had logged  21 so far.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day six

Walk instead of taking the car.

You get exercise. You don't spend money on petrol. The world is a better place. Nuff said.

(this is totally a directed reminder to myself as much as anything else)

Monday, October 05, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day five

Steal ideas from other people

Some, ok, most of my money saving tips have come from other people. Most of the posts I've written so far on this subject haven't been original in the slightest.  Other people have said it before, and probably said it better, but hopefully you're still here reading anyway, and not just cos you're related to me (hi mum!)

My family will tell you I've always loved reading household hints and tips books, and absorbing random facts. One I learnt recently (from my sister Bekki's googling, in answer to a question from Hannah) is for those who want to know how much gas is left in their gas canister (say for a gas BBQ or camping stove)
Pour boiling water over it, the area filled with gas will cool immediately as the gas will absorb the best, whereas the empty area will stay hot

But anyway, I've wandered from the point, if I had one?

Feel free to take any of my ideas and implement, but equally feel free to laugh at me and say "really? She does that? What a waste of time!"

Join Facebook groups, read budget blogs, read books from the library or the charity shop (you can even buy them new, but consider collecting points on swagbucks and exchanging them for amazon gift cards and then using those to buy books (referral link included) (bonus tip for today)

Ask me questions. Is there anything you'd like my opinion on, with regards to money saving or anything really, since I threw the word 'stuff' in the title of this series!

I'll try to add some more links to useful resources in the next few posts. But blogger isn't fond of my having more than one link in this post, so I can't currently add them here without something crashing.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day four

Today (well, it was actually during the August bank holiday weekend) we saw an ice cream van.

Classic quote from Sophia "I'm not going to be an ice cream lady (driving an ice cream van). I'm going to be a normal grown up like you, mummy"
A. No offence intended to those who do drive ice cream vans
B. No idea where she got the idea that I'm a normal grown up.

Anyway, we looked at the ice cream van, we admired the picture on the back and the tune it played, and we all agreed (Soph, JJ and I) that we didn't want to buy an ice cream cos we had lollies in our freezer at home. And that was that, no arguments, no complaints (and actually, by the time we got inside, they'd forgotten all about ice cream and didn't even remember to ask for lollies. I also forgot, so it wasn't an intention omission!)
I threw in the comment "we've got lollies in our freezer and they cost less than buying them at the ice cream van" and they both nodded agreement.

I guess I have two points/tips here.
First,  you don't have to do the big spend big treat every time. Don't get me wrong, sure, we've bought from an ice cream van, but as a general rule we don't. I buy cheap lollies or ice pops and we eat those and spend significantly less money

Second, it's ok to tell the kids "no, because that costs a lot of money" or "no, a different option is better value". I could rant about this for ages, and I'm not saying I'm totally right, but I'm so aware of living in an age of entitlement, where kids get everything they want, at the expense of other things. I think it's ok to say no, and explain its for financial reasons. It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, but it can be in a way that teaches value of money,  (not, woe is me, we can't afford that. But look, if we go for this option, it's cheaper/we save money, and we still feel satisfied)

Saturday, October 03, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day three

This tip kind of comes before yesterday's post if you're starting to try to manage your money better
- know your income and outgoings
- have a budget

I'm going to focus on the second today.
We have a budget for household shopping. I have x amount of money for food, cleaning products, loo roll, and pretty much anything I might buy at the supermarket. Yesterday (by which I mean the yesterday to the day i wrote this, not actually october second, see confession in my first post) I bought JJ a packet of Fireman Sam stickers which cost a quid, this came out of my household budget.
It's a fairly realistic budget, as I said yesterday, we recently increased this by ten pounds a week (and now I'm having odds and ends to empty out into my jar at the end of the week, most weeks, so I think it's a slightly generous budget, but allows for the extra I was needing)
But it also does reign me in at times when I might be tempted to splurge for the sake of splurging.

There are a few ways to come up with a budget figure for your household
A. Trial and error. Pick a number and try to stick to it. Yeah, it's a simple method, but can be frustrating until you've got it fixed.

B. Keep your receipts for a few days/weeks/months and do a rough tally of what you're spending and average it for a figure for the week/month, whichever works for you. I do a week, cos I think I'd be in danger of splurging at the start of a month and running out halfway through if I had a months figure in cash in my purse at the start of the month.

C. Make a list of things you buy regularly, and price them. I tend to remember a lot of prices in my head, just because that's the sort of brain I have, but sites like your supermarket online store, or 'my supermarket' is agood site for uk users to compare prices at different stores.
Then use that price list and make a realistic guess how much of each item you need in a week. Do the sums and come up with a total. I'd prob add on five to ten per cent to allow for anything you forgot to put on the list.

D. Use an online budget calculator. I've not got any links at my finger tips, but I'll try to find some later in the month.

Friday, October 02, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day two

My tip for today

Use cash.

Each week we withdraw the shopping budget amount in cash and it goes in my purse. As the money decreases through the week (yeah, I'm one of those shop a few times, not do a big shop sort of girls most times), I start to think "do I actually need to buy this, or is it just a want". We did recently agree to slightly increase the weekly budget as I was regularly getting to day five or six and realising oh, we still need milk/bread/loo roll (the three most bought items in our house, probably) and the money was gone, or nearly gone. But if I'd been buying on the debit card all the time it would be a lot easier to go over budget/not keep track of what I was spending (and I'm talking from past experience)

The other thing I do is when I get the new money (usually crisp notes from the cash machine) I empty anything that is in my purse out into a jar. If I didn't already spend it, I clearly didn't need it that week. If I leave it in my purse, likihood is I will spend it the next week. But if it's out of the purse I can't spend it. Those dribs and drabs add up and can be used for treats, or, ad I often do, to go towards other money needs, like we pay our water bill by having a card scanned at the shop and giving them x amount to add on to our account, so having cash around to do that is a bonus.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

31 days of money saving and stuff - day one

I want to see if I can do 31days of posts in October, as many bloggers do. It's a 31 day thing. I think I've tried it before, but not sure if I've made it through.
I've been wanting to write some more posts about money saving and stuff like that, so I thought, hey, let's try to combine the two.

Confession, I'm starting writing posts on the 29th August, in the hope that I might manage to write enough posts by the end of October, but I will set it to auto post for October first. By the time the posts publish, I'll probably have forgotten what I wrote!

Every time I get in the shower I remember this one, and by the time I'm out and dressed, it's forgotten again, so let's see if I can actually blog it this time....
We went camping in the summer and I decanted my shampoo, conditioner and body wash into some of those little travel bottles, they're the ones with the lids that just click up a bit at the side and you squeeze out a bit of liquid. Well, at the time of writing this post, we've been back from camping 3 weeks and I'm still using those little bottles, I've showered almost every day. That's a lot of hair washes from little bottles I originally worried they wouldn't last the week. And then I realised, when I use my big bottles of shampoo etc, they have big holes and when I squirt it out on my hand, a lot comes out, and I just use it, but with the little bottles, you sort of have to apply a bit of force to squeeze the stuff out, and you automatically get a much smaller amount in your hand. But, and here's the important thing, the smaller amount of shampoo is enough to wash my hair. Sometimes I have to add a bit more water as I'm rubbing the shampoo in, to make it sud up and go all over, but it is enough. I'm using a significantly smaller amount at every hair wash, meaning the shampoo is going so much further. That sounds like a money saver to me.

I was going to take a photo of the little bottles, but I haven't, and I just remembered my tablet and blogger were not happy last time I tried to post pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Charity shop shopping - be in it for the long haul

Today I popped to a local charity shop. It's one I've identified as a good place to buy school uniform. They have two big boxes in there at the back all year round and I've discovered it's worth having a look every few weeks. This time last week I managed to pick up several school dresses for soph, and several skirts. I had to buy her school grey pinafore dresses new from Tesco (but I used club card vouchers, which were on a double up scheme, as I used ten quid worth, doubled up to twenty, and got three dresses), but I didn't buy any of the skirts or summer dresses or the tshirts new, but got them all at fifty pence each mostly from that charity shop.

There's a drawer under my bed which is where I store out of season uniform (so currently, grey dresses and skirts, grey tights, and the cardigans which go with those dresses. Sophia has one drawer in her room for uniform, so currently she's got the summer dresses, lighter weight cardigans and white socks in there.  Additionally in my under bed drawer I have summer dresses in a bigger size, and some skirts in a bigger size, as well as the tshirts which are in a variety of sizes, and extra PE kit, all purchased in charity shops at fifty pence each.

Today I bought six items in the charity shop, one is a pair of shorts that will fit jj now, two pairs of bigger shorts, two trousers for JJ and a skirt that will fit soph in a couple of years. Because I'm willing to store some things,  and spend a little now, I am able to plan ahead and avoid big spends when my kids get bigger and need new clothes. I can shop in my drawer rather than the high street!

I'd really encourage you to do this if you can. (happy to share my shop location with local folk!). This principle can be applied to all children's clothing really, but school uniform is a biggy, in my opinion, cos they have to wear it. My other tip would be to buy the more expensive brands. Most all of JJ's trousers are from M&S or next, Soph has clothes from M&S too. I also made sure that I check the, over for wear - particularly at the crotch and knees for boys! And, I'd advise keeping a running list of what you've got already, so you don't end up with too much in one size. Final tip, if you do have too much, or your child outgrows an item before it's worn out, consider gifting to a friend with smaller children (not necessarily younger!), passing on to the school as spare stuff, which is particularly in demand in the younger years, or selling on your local Facebook group to make back your money.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I want to blog about some of the ways I save our family's money and some of the ways I spend it, but I don't want to come across as presumptuous or preaching. Knowing what you know about me (many of you will have seen my reduced meat and veg hauls on Facebook) what would you like me to write about? Give me some questions to answer to get me started!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Where we are

Life in our house is noisy. Soph is five now, obsessed with school and writing and cutting and drawing and generally covering six million pieces of paper in mostly unintelligible scribbles. Actually, to be fair to her, they are becoming more comprehensible, as she puts her knowledge of phonics and blends to piece together words and sentences, although she hasn't really mastered the art of putting spaces inbetween words.

JJ is all boy, climbing, running, jumping and generally doing all the things you never even thought of banning them from doing, until he had done them. He's three, and goes to the school nursery at soph's school, he's ever so proud that he has a big boy uniform to wear too.

I am still being a stay at home mummy. Enjoying my time with the kids (mostly!) but also my time without them - oh how I love my time in the morning without them, although it gets rapidly filled with all the usual mummy stuff, volunteering in soph's class, and church stuff.

M is still around too, working all the crazy shifts his job throws at him, meaning sometimes the kids and I have to do weekends without him, but other times we have to put up with him around the place for several days on end. We mostly survive both. He's also really getting involved in church stuff, which is great, as that's exactly why we moved here about 14 months ago.

We've settled in well, more than well, and really enjoying being a part of this community.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Freezer survey

I've just done my freezer survey, I have a lot of pork. It's portioned up. If I'm cooking I'd probably use one. M usually uses two of the marinated ones

M curry for work o o o
Meatballs o
Fancy sausage pack of six o
Stock O o o (that means one big and two small pots)
Bolognaise tiny pot, and rice, tiny pot. Clearly needs to be a lunch one day!
Lasagne o
Soup o o o o o
Pastry o o
Quorn chorizo o o (not really sure what to do with this, maybe on a tart made with some of the pastry!)
chicken tikka masala o
Beef mince o o
Stewing beef o o
Turkey mince o o o o
Marinated pork portions o o o o o o o o o o
Chicken portions (boneless thighs mostly) o o o
Pork ribs o
Pork ( joint or chops) o o o o o o o
Chicken (whole) o
Wraps (forgot to count)
Sausages pack of twenty o o
Puréed veg sauce (for use with mince to make lasagne etc) o o o o o
Quorn 'mince' o
Quorn 'chicken' o
Mixed frozen veg o
Peppered slice (m will prob take to work) o
Curry sauce??? O
Fish fingers pack of ten o o
Pot of cooked chicken o
Daal o
Mashed bananas o
Ice cream
Ice pops

And there you have it, the delights of my freezer! ( well, freezer and freezer shelf in fridge)
Coming soon. Contents of my cupboards!

Ten Ten Fourteen

Well, I appear to have failed to blog every day in October, but I am getting back into the swing of blogging, so that's gotta be good,right?  Assuming anyone is out there reading!

Having done a couple of hops this week, preparing for Sophie's party tomorrow, I'm feeling that the bank account would appreciate a little less spending in the next week or two, so I'm having a minimal spend challenge for myself. And I welcome your support keeping me on track, or if anyone else wants to challenge themselves and comment or blog about it, that would be fantastic too.

I'm probably going to make the rules up as I go along, but so far I'm thinking
I'm allowed to buy
Bread (though I will be making my family eat wraps from the freezer, healthy muffins for breakfast instead of bread, and I may try to make some - I think I have some bread flour in the cupboard)
Loo roll. Nuff said!
Baby wipes/tissues if we need them. I have a fair number in the cupboard upstairs.
Any medication etc needs thst come up.

I need to do a freezer and cupboard survey,and I will post them here. So recipes/meal ideas welcomed! I know I have a lot of pork in the freezer, much of it marinated cuts like belly slices and chops.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October eighth

Blank mind.
Busy week
More busy to come - Sophie's party on Saturday, need to cook/decorate various things.
Ought to go to bed, but playing on iPad.
This is a nothing post, written cos I don't want to miss another post!

About October seventh

It was Sophia's birthday yesterday and then we had our first life group at our house which Menard and I are helping to lead. So it was a bit busy to post.

I did take photos from the day, but my iPad doesn't like talking to blogger, so it will have to wait until I can get on a computer.

Highlights of the day:
Sophia declaring it was the worsest birthday ever after being told off for hurting her brother a nd then daddy told her she had to put her shoes on to go to school (she really loves school, she just didn't want to stop playing with her presents!)

The hello kitty cake toppers I ordered late on Thursday, arriving on Saturday, meaning I could use them to put on top of cupcakes, which a) was like what Topsy and Tim had for their birthday, and b) softened the blow that the big hello kitty cake is being made for her party (so there are lots of people to eat it) and not for her birthday day.

Soph declaring it was the bestest birthday ever, after playing  with her hello kitty toy kitchen, play tent, and hoopla hoop all at once, and eating her hello kitty cupcakes!

Monday, October 06, 2014

October sixth

Tomorrow my Sophie baby turns five.those five years flew by! This time five years ago I was in labour, either on my way to hospital or sat on a birthing ball, or maybe the end of the bed, eating sausage and mash for the second time in a few hours. I hadn't eaten much all day, so they made me eat some more!

Tomorrow she'll go off to school as normal, and she's excited about taking sweets to give her friends at the end of the day. We'll do presents and cupcakes, and then on Saturday we're having her party with lots of friends coming over. She's very excited about the Hello Kitty cake I'll be making (I'm still working on my plans of exactly what I'm going to do!)

Sunday, October 05, 2014

October fifth

Had a lovely afternoon. Menard was at work, but Sophie was being my kitchen helper. She mashed up some bananas which were very ripe, so we could freeze them. She helped me wash up and put things away, and helped me peel onions and chop green tomatoes for making chutney. She and I both cried from the onions! But that's another job from the to-do list ticked off, and gets the bowls of green tomatoes off the counter, and possibly that will be a step forward in the fight against fruit flies, which are everywhere today. If anyone has any good ways to fight them, let me know!

About October fourth

Yesterday we went to visit my mum and dad and to do the 'jumble trail' around their local area - people could sign up on a site to say they would be putting out a stall to sell all sorts of things, aka jumble. Americans would probably call it a yard sale trail.

Unfortunately it rained and some of the folks obviously decided to call off their stalls, but the hard ones were out with gazebos or similar make-do shelters!

I picked up quite a few bargains...
Two kids scooters to live at nana's house (unless our current ones fall apart) £3 each
Books. Which will probably be Christmas presents £1.50
George pig top for JJ 50p
3 in one puzzle set 50p
Plastic divided kids plate 50p
In the night garden figures 25p for six!
Dressing up outfits 25p for fireman jacket and another outfit, can't remember what!
Duvet cover and pillow case with cars and trucks on for JJ £2
Wonderful tiger hat and mittens 30p
Christmas tin we'll use to put sweets in to give as a gift 10p
Another book-hardback collection of stories 30p
A shapes pairs game 20p
Foam sticky letters and foam smiley faces 40p
A make a doll kit with ribbons, buttons etc to make the clothes. Retailed £15, lady sold it to me for £3
Plus for free - carrier bag of clothes for Sophie, two pairs of shoes, cars for JJ, two clip on lights
And there may have been something else, I just can't remember what!

Had a lovely time anyway. And didn't get too wet, well, I dried out afterwards!