I am going to have to use all my frugal ways in 2013 - our income is going down a huge amount and its going to be a struggle.
So I will be blogging more as every penny will have to be accounted for - there are going to be some very hard times ahead but I have managed on very little before and will do again..
So heres to a very challenging New Year - best wishes to everyone....
I am on Weightwatchers (lost 2 stone and half a pound since July) so have been getting frugal with meals.
One thing I have been avoiding is mashed potato - love the stuff dripping in butter (I know how I got this big! lol) and theres been grumblings from youngest dd and oh as they are sick of new pots and want mash.
Had a look in Asda and a small pack of fresh mash was £1 and it would have barely fed those 2.....so I bought a bag of potatos for £1 from Asda and mashed them myself and froze them in 2 big portion sizes - so I got 5 out of the bought potato which even considering the gas it took to cook them is still a much better deal.
However, I love swede and to make mine and my eldests mash I use two of the smaller ones at 85p each. I had a look at the ready prepared turnip and got 2 bags of it for £1 and there was enough for 3 of us and another 3 person portion is now in the freezer!
So although it might seem cheaper always to prepare your own veg always keep an eye out for ready prepared stuff that works out cheaper.....
As my mum always says you wont get if you dont ask - as well as putting up a wanted post on Freecycle for a video player I put one up for a dishwasher as well....
Anyway, that was last week and I got offered loads of videos - got a combined video and dvd which was great and took another video player as a spare.
Then - got an email from someone who had a friend who was moving to a house with a full size dishwasher and was giving away his slimline! Went up this morning to collect it, plumbed it in and it works beautifully - it should do as its a Bosch and must have been dear. Its got a digital thingy to show how many minutes are left and although its the same size as my last one i can see to get so much more in as the racks seem much better organised - I am a happy bunny to say the least!
Went down to our caravan at the weekend - managed to bag a whole bag of videos for £1 at our recycling centre sale including the complete series of The Duchess of Duke Street and was fair looking forward to a couple of hours of watching that when disaster struck again - the video player went bang!So luckily, I put up a request on Freecycle and have had 2 offers of players - still waiting for confirmation of pick-up details but hopefully at least one will work!
Havnt blogged in ages so thought I would do a wee update.....
Driving - still wobbly - parking is still an issue and I am driving the same roads as new roads still terrify me......did drive in the dark for the first time (terrified as dark country roads) - ongoing....
Well not only did I have to get a new washing machine (luuuurve my Beko) but a new fridge freezer too and last night - the dishwasher went poof! I got my dishwasher from Freecycle so its doesnt owe me anything but just one night without it and I realise how much I hate washing dishes! So will order one today.
The joys of being frugal and always having something put by is I have paid every one of these items with cash - well, strictly not true - paid for by Tesco credit card so I could get points but paid for in total when the bill came through.
Also did extra hours at work so youngest dd could have a weeks holiday in Germany with the school - shes doing work experience to help her with her Higher German.
And....drum roll.....I bit the bullet and joined Weight Watchers with my eldest dd - my sons wedding is 21 September 2013 and I will not be the fattest one in the pictures! I have now lost 19 1/2 lbs which sounds a huge amount but I have a lot to lose. However, I have gone down a dress size and folk are starting to notice which is nice.
Well I havnt been driving as much as I thought I would as I am still pretty terrified! Doing short runs - parking is still a huge problem for me as I just cant seem to get the hang of it but practise, practise! So at the moment I can only drive to places that have big car parks - cant park on streets yet! lol
And at long last I am getting a new washing machine today - soooo excited its really sad! My last one was an Indesit - hated it from the moment I got it - even on a fast wash with a normal spin it took 1 1/2 hours for a 40 deg wash - there was a quicker option but the washing came out dripping and it still took an hour. I have never had a washing machine where the seal went mouldy and black. Being ever the frugal one I dropped my washing to 30 degrees and after a month the machine started to stink. It was so noisy you had to shut the internal doors when it was on - that just got worse and worse which is why we are getting a new one. Funnily enough my pal had the same one and had the same problems - its done us a turn - I think we have had it just over 5 years. I have put it on Freecycle (listing all its problems!) because at the end of the day its a washer that works and might do someone a turn until they could afford a new one.
My new one is a Beko - 9kg drum so I can wash sleeping bags - apparantly a full 9kg load only takes 39 minutes and theres a fast wash option of 14 mins - bliss! I have saved up for it - bought it from Tesco as I checked out the prices and it was £2 dearer on there but I got a £10 voucher off and free delivery. I paid for it with my Tesco credit card to get the extra points too! so that will be paid off in full when I get the bill. And I just got an automated message saying it will be delivered between 12 and 3......
Yup - it was that time again - my favourite jumble sale at Longniddry! Had a great time and spent...
£1 to get in
60p on crisps and a drink half way through as I was flagging!
Now for the good stuff!
King size red checked gingham duvet cover - never seen so much material! going to make tablecloths and napkins and outdoor cushion covers
3 heavy cotton white pillow cases
Brand new hand made lace beaded jug cover
2 X duck egg blue cushion covers
All the above for......£1!
Bought some china cups and plates - dd is going to make candles in the cups - £1
Lovely 4 place setting china tea set - £1.50
6 30's china fruit bowls - £2 (being sold on ebay for a fiver each - not that I sell anything - I just liked them)
Youngest dd spent £9.50 on a bag of clothes at 50p per item - Gap, Next, Miss Selfridge and Warhehouse etc
80p on books (10p per paperback, 20p per hardback)
4 sherry glasses for xmas - £1
So spent just under £20 and got some really lovely stuff......happy happy
Well had a great time on our Grannys bus trip - weather was cold but sunny which was fab....now have a post holiday slump....have my last essay on this years OU course (attempting a degree in History) due in this Thursday. Havent a clue what to write - going for a picnic with family tomorrow, pictures on Monday, driving lesson on Tuesday and back to work Weds so dont know when I am going to actually write the blessed thing - 2000 words - help jings ma boab.....
Ooo I go away for a few days and they change Blogger - not sure if I likey yet or not - too old to cope with change well!
Well, my and oh went away for his 60th last weekend - stayed at the fantastic Dalmunnzie Hotel near the Spittal of Glenshee for 1 night - special treat! - a dinner to die for..... and a lovely b&b in Callendar called Arden House - both great in different ways - had lovely weather and a great time.
My next trip away is with my dd on a Lochs and Glens coach trip - this is my 6th and I love them - great value for money and a nice treat for just the 2 of us....
Our bedroom was the first floor - you can see the 2 turrent rooms and the 2 windows and that was all our room!!!!! Full of antique furniture and a huge four poster bed...
The photos dont do the room justice - it was really huge...
Life has been getting in the way of my blog - attempted my first driving test and failed but not too badly - have to wait another few months to take another one but getting a wee bit more confident - not taking too many lessons as no pennies but will see if things improve.....
Reason we have no pennies is holidays-r-us! Been to our caravan for a long weekend, been to my pals mums static for a long weekend, dh birthday is coming up so we are planning on going up Aberdeen way for a long weekend and treating ourselfs to a b&b (luxury for us!) and me and my eldest dd are going on our annual Granny bus trip to Largs and Loch Lomond (again, long weekend) So every penny is going into the holiday fund at the moment!
Did manage a car boot last time we were across in Dumfries - got 3 lovely tops and a pair of cut-off trousers for £1 each. Great bargain as I am a "ahem" larger lady and its normally impossible to get bigger sizes so was dead pleased. Have 2 small car boot sales tomorrow at North Berwick so looking forward to that.
Been busy in the garden too - using last years paint we did our windowsills and painted what was left of our fence (the last high winds our fence between us and our neighbours vanished!) The new fence is nearly finished but it still a work in progress.
My youngest isnt very well at the moment - nasty sicknes bug bless her so shes been hogging to computer too!!!
My son and his girlfriend have decided on the venue for their wedding next year - Dirleton Castle - its one of my favourite castles so I am really pleased they are having it there. Lets hope the weather stays kind! The gardens are lovely there too and they are getting married in September so they should be really nice then.....
Toddled off to my left handed crochet class and thoroughly enjoyed it - learned to do a basic chain and treble stitch and made a tiny wee granny square in 3 colours! So I am now fired up to do more and am off to you tube to have a look at videos!
Havnt posted in a while - mucho happenings! dh got admitted to hospital again - turns out he had stones in his bile duct (after taking out his gall bladder) so has been really ill -took them out and hes home now but a lovley shade of yellow as his liver was affected and still quite poorly. Had my first mammogram (took 15 mins and was a bit uncomfortable but certainly not as bad as I had been told!) Dd is sick of her stookie but is getting it off next Friday - just to add to problems she was involved in a car crash as a passenger (someone reversed into the car) and has got whiplash!) and I had an essay to hand in for my OU course which nearly finished me off! And my driving lesson was a bit off last week but I put it down to the fact I had so much going on........ On a brigher note - 9am bus and off to my left-handed crochet class tomorrow! Whoop whoop! then me and my bright orange IKEA shopping trolley will be visiting Tesco to get messages from my daughter and duly walk the 30 minutes all up hill to get to her house and then 30 mins back to get the bus----- busy day!
I'm so excited! the Bead shop in Haddington is offering a left-handed crochet workshop - I have been trying to learn to crochet for years but cant find any other lefties to show me how. I have tried learning from videos on the net but cant get the hang of it...
So for 2 hours for £16 (materials included) I might at long last be able to crochet! Its not until early March - cant wait!
Well got the wheelchair off freecycle - lightweight one to push about so it did the trick - took dd to the fracture clinic and they are pleased with her - put another plaster on (this time below the knee - hurray!) so shes a bit more mobile. Got a wheelchair from the Red cross (dontation required - £5 per week) with a leg extension so she can keep her leg elevated and its a self propelled one so she can get out and about a bit more.
And tried out the Approved food website - have looked at in the past and never really found much I could try but there was loads this time - cous cous for 14p a packet, white sauce 5p a packet, nouvelle loo roll - 9 roll packs for £2.75, 450gms jam for 50p, 8 tortillas for 40p were some of the best bargains. Anyway, I put the suprise box for £1 to my order just for fun! So its cost me £46.81 including postage but I got gizillions of stuff so quite happy with it.
Having dd here means a lot extra on the food bill so might have to ask her for a wee donation!!!!!!
Housekeeping in Feb - £102 in Asda £47 Approved foods
Bit demented pushing dd about on a computer chair - couldnt get one from the docs (no idea why!) and was given 2 numbers to call for wheelchair lending. Both were miles away in remote parts of Edinburgh and Dalkeith (no idea how to even get there) so put a message up on Freecycle to see if I could get lucky and even get a loan of a wheelchair......lo and behold a lovely lady has replied and we are going in half an hour to pick one up! Turns out its only a few streets away from where my dd actually lives when shes not being out house guest! Arent people lovely.......
Well, off me and dh went on Friday to our caravan down near Dumfries - baltic weather but got all cosyed in and got the phone call......turns out eldest dd had a dizzy turn on getting up from the sofa and crumbled on to one leg.....managed to phone my son-and-heir who took her up to hospital as her ankle was agony and swelled up immediatly - after 5 hours turns out she has fractured just above her ankle AND fractured at the top near her knee! It was too late too come home on Friday night when we got the news so she was taken back to our house with a temporary cast on (up past her knee). We woke up Sat morning to a snow blizzard and werent going anywhere! Dreadful weather and because its a high road home we kept in touch but decided to stay where we were. So woke up this morning to nice crisp snow and managed to get back - by the time we had got over the hills back to Edinburh there wasnt a scrap of snow! So I am now back - shes in a lot of pain - has to go back on Friday am to see about getting a proper cast on - so looks like I will have a house guest for a while! Shes at Edinburgh uni so is going to phone them tomorrow and tell them whats happened. As shes disabled she had a lot of things sorted out already - they know she could miss lectures and tuturials because of her back pain but hopefully they can help her not to miss out on too much. Never rains but it pours!
Rummaging through my freezer I came across 2 bags of Quorn mince (well, 2 1/2 bags cos one had an extra 50% free in) and my big bag of potatoes was beginning to sprout....so I decided to make Shepherds pie(s)
Cooked the mince with beef stock, peas, carrots, celery - added worcestershire sauce and a wee bit brown sauce and gravy granules - boiled up pots and managed to get 3 large shepherds pies (4 good portion) and we ate one last night. Very tasty! Quorn does need a lot of flavouring but at only £1 per bag at the moment its cheap as chips - even the carnivoure dh gave it the seal of approval!
And....drum roll.....another holiday this weekend! I'm due a days flexi this weekend and youngest dd doesnt want to go to the caravan so shes staying with eldest dd and it will be just me and dh!
Went to the caravan for a long weekend me and my eldest dd - managed to scrape the money up and have bit the bullet and paid for the full years seasonal pitch. Its nice to have a bolt hole.
We had one cup of tea out at Carlaverock Castle. The castle was £5.50 per adult but I asked if they did a reduction for disability and they only charged £4.40 for dd and I got in free as her carer. So with that, messages and petrol it only cost us £35 each so thats not bad for a long weekend! It did cost my dd £16 for wool - theres a lovely wool shop in Annan and I also bought 5 books for 20p each at a church sale.
We forgot to put the stew in the slow cooker for tea yesterday so put it on overnight - before we left I put it on high for about an hour. Left it in the slow cooker and wrapped it up in towels so we stopped at Langholm on the way home and had a lovely warm stew while sitting by the river watching the birds! Freezing cold but very enjoyable!
Popped into my local Boots today and got some wee pressies in their 75% off sale - makeup set reduced from £12 to £3 and some nice eye shadows from £8 to £2 so my gift box is looking a bit better!
Also tried out quorn mince for the first time last night - Asda had it on special offer for £1 per pack. I put 2 tins of toms in and herbs and made spaghetti bolognese last night and there was enough left to add chilli and kidney beans to make chilli-con-carne. Although it was a bit strange consistency it was perfectly ok and cheap as chips! Very pleased.....
We usually go to the cinema on New Years Day and have a nice meal out but what with illness/hangovers etc we didnt get so went up to Edinburgh yesterday.
Went to see Puss in Boots in 3d - what a shocking price - £11 per adult! Im afraid it will be a long time before we got to the cinema again unless its a Tuesday and its me and my eldest dd who has gets her carer in free!
Had a nice meal in Frankie & Bennys - £48 and we didnt even have dessert but it was budgeted for in my Entertainment budget.
So really need to knuckle down this year - first thing I altered was birthday presents - have cut everyones (apart from my youngest dd) in half.
We are still running 3 cars (I will eventually pass my test!!!!!) so one is going as soon as we decided what to do about the caravan (we need the big car to bring it back)
I have a suscpicion 2012 is going to be a very lean year - my youngest dd turns 16 next December so our Working Tax and DLA for her will stop so we might as well tighten our belts to get ready for the drop in money....
We are trying not to spend anything at the moment......our bill is due for our caravan on its seasonal site at the end of this month - a lot of money to pay up front.
I must admit although I loved the idea of a bolt-hole its too expensive. Not only is it working out about £70 a month just to keep it there we have petrol and food on top of that. And the site is not as good as we first thought (the noise from the nearby motorway killed it for me!) Also they advertised heated toilet block and ever since we have been going down from September to November not once was the heating on. And charging £1 for a shower was far too expensive (we cant use the shower in our caravan - its in with the loo and too tiny to use)
So we are still debating about it - me against the family at the moment!
Did an on-line Asda shop (did miss getting bargains!!!!)
Re-started my driving lessons - 53 lessons I have had so far and I am still terrified! Not sure if I will ever get to pass standard......