Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sensible saving head on.

Dear reader,

Approaching Christmas and I know I haven’t been great this year with saving for the festive period.
There always seems to be something to pay out for. I haven’t gone overboard this year, not that we do but I’ve definitely bought less presents than I usually would.
We go to my parents so don’t have to stock up on food as my lovely mum does all that and they treat us extremely well.  I enjoy the family time and seeing friends more than anything. I’m sure we all do.

I don’t really enjoy traipsing round the shops, getting stuck in the car park and traffic jams is not my idea of fun, so have done it online and am just waiting on deliveries to arrive.

The past few years I have been plagued with a bit of a lemon car. It was 11 years old when I bought it and I must have spent well over what I paid on repairing it. It was a case of, “Well, we’ve spent this much, so if nothing else goes wrong, it’s worth it.” We also didn’t have enough money to buy a replacement so I carried on until it was 15. Not wanting to go into debt, I cashed in my savings plans that I had through work and had been planned for retirement and bought a newer car. Public transport to work is neither cost effective nor feasible I’m afriad.
That’s life.

I have now set up some more bank accounts to put money aside. This year is gifts, Christmas and Birthdays which I will give £50 a month and just a general savings of £50 a month. We also have a car account for insurance, breakdown cover, mot and servicing which we feed £200 a month. The house insurance and boiler service comes from the two months we don’t pay council tax.

What do you save for and how do you do it? Accounts, glass jar, Premium bonds?

I’m really interested as I know there are some ingenious ways to save out there, I just need to know them.......

Monday, 11 December 2017

Leftovers dish -dirty rice.

Dear reader,

Snow still thick here, roads slushy and I just can’t be bothered to go out in the cold. I did check on a couple of older neighbours. One doesn’t go out anyway and the other was already up and shovelling his driveway. I hate the stories this time of year about people on their own or can’t afford the heating bill when we give so many millions away to other countries. (Some who don’t even want it) hey, I’m getting political. I’d just like to see this country sorted and then we move on to help others. Here’s a little snippet from the internet. Approx 9,000 people died last winter as they could not afford to,put the heating on. That’s horrendous.

I’m trying to save money this month and the first thing to tackle is the food bill. Too easy to just wander round the supermarket and pick up what I fancy so am making a conscious effort to use up what we already have.

What to eat? My go to leftovers dish, dirty rice. Not sure why it’s called this but it is a Cajun type rice dish and we love it.

A broccoli stalk, half an onion, clove of garlic, fresh chillis x2, lamb mince ( yellow sticker-organic reduced from £5.50 to £1.20) and some saved and frozen pork belly strips, herbs and spices and stock cube. Couple of eggs if you like egg fried. Cooked some rice in the rice cooker which is brilliant if you eat a lot of rice.
You can just chop and add whatever veg you have. I save and use cauliflower stalks, broccoli stalks, spring onions that are a bit shrivelled, tomatoes that are soft, carrots, cooked leftover spuds, sprouts, cabbage, peas,  honestly this dish will take anything.

Fry onions, garlic, chilli in a little oil, add mince and diced pork belly, add your spices. I used spicy chicken rub and some BBQ powder and a beef stock cube.. Fry until golden and meat is cooked through. Add some water just to wet it, perhaps a mug ful and let simmer. Add more chilli or whatever you like to flavour. Ketchup, salt and pepper, soy sauce are all good. I went for a spicy, Cajun flavour.
I also made a thin omelette from 3eggs, rolled it up and chopped into squares.
I Fried the rice in oil and garlic paste and added the meet mixture until rice coated, added the chopped egg omelette.

Very very tasty and a really good way to use up leftovers.

This recipe can easily be adapted for vegetarian eaters and slimming world followers.

What your use it up dish? I’d be really interested to know.

Have a good evening.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

It’s snow time

Dear reader,

Woken up to thick snow. It looks lovely.

We live in  a no through lane now and the walkers are already out,heading to the small shop for their papers. It’s coming down fast as well. We cannot walk to any other shops from here so are a bit stuck for food top ups today.
I was due to go to work today but shall take a day off as it’s a long drive and motorway traffic too and I just can’t envisage getting there. Will have a day indoors instead. There’s always something to do.

I think I will have a cooking day ready for the week but not actually sure what we have in. I know there are chicken breasts and we have lots of spices, lentils and onions so I’m thinking a curry.
There’s also flour and butter so may make a pic. There’s no potatoes or any veg as I had planned a food shop tomorrow.
We have milk, eggs and bread. Ham, cheese and some frozen veg so we will be fine.

 It does make you think about parts of the world or even in the U.K. where weather is far, far worse and people are really stuck. They must have to plan well ahead with provisions.

I can see the tiny birds in the garden pecking under the tree where we put the seed so off to feed them.
Might make a snowman later.

Enjoy your Sunday. X

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Where’s Frugal Queen?

Dear reader,

I’ve been away from my blog for ages now. I kind of just didn’t have anything to say and not sure anyone would want to know.
I’ve been prompted to write this as I still read other blogs and have noticed our dear Froogs, from Frugal Queen seems to have gone missing. All social media has gone and I’m rather worried.
I hope she is ok.
Quite a few blogs just suddenly stop and I do often wonder what happened and hope it’s just writers block and nothing serious.

We haven’t been that Frugal as we have been spending all our money on this house. Another artex ceiling disappeared today as the lounge was skimmed and is now drying. Always seems to take on a Mexican brothel look with the terracotta colour of it all but then goes Salmon pink.

Went to B&M Home bargains today for cleaning products and needed some cheese. Ended up spending £76. However, it will all be used and nothing wasted. We don’t waste any food here. Any left overs go to the birds or foxes and we have Red Kites so they have the chicken carcass or any other meat bones.
There were some items that came in bulk like the 12 kitchen towel rolls so it all added up in the end. Lots of stocking fillers and some looked well priced. Smelly sets and the like.

I noticed their Chocolate Oranges were only £1 which seems to be the best price I have seen. They also do (the much loved at Slimming World) Mayflower curry powder. It’s like Chinese curry sauce and it’s 99p for a box. I just add to cooked chicken, mushrooms and peas for a quick dinner.

I am using up the food in the house this week. Breakfast was instant mash mixed with lightly fried onion, salt and pepper which I fried with streaky bacon and fried eggs on top and tinned tomatoes. Lunch was ham and cheese baguettes and dinner will be “burger in a bowl” with sweet potato and normal potato chips and salad. It’s basically a burger without the bun sitting on a bowl of salad with gherkins, onions and tomatoes.

Have a good evening.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Nowt much.

Nothing much to say really.

I go to work
I shop at Lidl
I cook
I garden
I clean
My car is pissing me off- it's old and keeps breaking.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Artex and green carpet.


It's been a while......Hope you are well.  Sometimes just don't have the time or inclination to write but have decided to get back on with writing. It's nice to have an online diary to look back on.

Since I last wrote we have moved house. We bought a bungalow in 2012 that hadn't been decorated since about 1960 and we re decorated and installed a new bathroom, log burner, wooden floors which is our taste. Lots of white walls as I like to add colour with accessories. We sold it and moved on. No particular reason but I seem to be restless in a house when it's finished.

Last November we moved into another chalet bungalow in a slightly different area. Bigger and in a nicer location, location, location. That's what they say don't they? "Buy the worst house in the best road." We are now in a lane with about 10 neighbours. The lane is no through and finishes with a farm and a bridle path and several footpaths into woods.

There is a lot of artex and green carpet and it will be a long and no doubt expensive process. We are doing most of the work ourselves with professionals for electricals and other jobs beyond our skills.
I say "We" when I mean "He" will do most of the work.

What's been going on in Blog land? I see Karen at Chelmarsh Chunterings is also back with some gorgeous looking food. How does she do those Yorkies?
A few good blogs I enjoyed have gone- Saving for travel, Miss Piggybank but some of my favourites remain. Going gently, Frugal Queen, Mean Queen ( she got me to stop smoking) Growing in the Fens,  Frugal in Norfolk, Sue, Mandy and others.

This year is all about the house. We have no money really so will be saving to get things done.
We are being frugal with heating (no log burner here) . I set it at 19 max- a couple of hours in the morning and evening.
Food- I really struggle with this. We both take food to work and have access to a microwave so it's often, scrambled eggs, curry, chilli or lasagne. I spend about £70-£80 a week for everything.
There will be no holidays this year and possibly next year. We have been watching Ben Fogle visiting  people who have chosen to go off grid. We have also watched Bargain loving Brits in Benidorm.
Not sure on Benidorm but can definitely see us living abroad in latter years.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Are you ok?

Dear reader,

Been quiet for a while but I have been reading yours and trying to comment as I go.

It's funny this blog land sometimes, I sometimes feel as if I know the person especially as so many bloggers share wonderful photos of their homes, where they live and even family events such as weddings.
I believe some bloggers meet up as well sometimes. I have to admit I really want to meet John Gray of Going gently blog. He is hilarious and an animal lover, my two favourite things!

Sometimes bloggers go missing and i get worried about them. It's odd after reading about someones life every day and they suddenly disappear. I have commented a couple of them to enquire of their welfare but to no avail. If you are one of two ladies I have been missing, please let us know you are safe and well. I'm a worrier.

There's been a lot in the press recently about elderly people who are on their own and how seeing someone for even a short while makes such a difference. There's a disabled man in my road who I pop in on sometimes. He has a live in carer.
He's got family in the next road who haven't bothered with him for years.

It's a sad old world sometimes.