Thursday, 29 August 2013

Clunk, clunk....sounds expensive !

Hi Bloggers. I have been driving in my car the last few days and it has been making an unwelcome sound. Clunking at certain times which doesn't sound good. The garage has been able to fit us in today so we should be getting a call later to advise of the 'damage' , damage as in the repair and then damage as in ££££ !!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tasty meal for pence.............Risotto

Welcome firstly to my new followers. Thank you all for joining. I have found a whole new world recently and that is the world of Risotto ! Previously it never really appealed to me. I'd watch Gordon Ramsey on TV tasting it at the hatch then rejecting it and I never thought much of it. It always looked like rice pudding which I don't like. Then recently I had it for a starter when I had a restaurant meal. It was delicious but even then it wasn't something I thought of doing myself. That was until my husband came home with a reduced box of 'Riso Gallo' for 50p from our local store. It sat in the cupboard for a few weeks until I bit the bullet and decided to try it out. I used half a box , an onion, some mushrooms, a chicken stock cube and some grated cheese. It was delicious and a great way to have a meat free meal that was relatively quick and easy and the whole family enjoyed. We have been thinking about when to make our next one and what to include. I imagine that any odd bits and pieces could be thrown in. We bought our first box reduced but I have seen online that I can get a pack for about £1 full price so even then it wouldn't break the bank and still come in as a cheap meal. Do you have Risotto ? If so what ingredients do you use ?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Four months today is Christmas Day

Love it or loathe it but Christmas is fast approaching. I ,like many people , prepare in advance and I have bought cards in the January sales and gifts throughout the year when money and time allows. I find this suits me as I then don't feel stressed again with time and money in December when most peoples shopping marathon begins. I also get any stamps I need well in advance and post my cards during the first week in December, wherever possible I hand deliver. I try and fit in any visits in the week running up to the day itself to hand out gifts and then that just leaves gifts for my immediate family and anyone else who I will be with on the day. This year I think we will be having dinner at home so soon I will be stocking up for the meal. I usually begin my 'Christmas Hamper' around now whereby I purchase something each week and put it aside in a box for Christmas. In fact I already have my first item, a Christmas pudding which I bought in the January sales half price. The puddings have long dates and mine is dated well into next years new year. I like Christmas but I don't like a big cost, that's why I always plan ahead as best I can.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Starting to prepare for the winter months

Although its still August I am thinking ahead to the dark nights and winter months. I've started to make a few preparations so I'm organised in good time. Here are some things I have been doing lately;

Central Heating and Gas fire check;

I've had them on for a very short while as I want to make sure that everything is in working order. If not I don't want any nasty surprises when its cold to find that it doesn't work and I have a huge bill for repairs. If you have to call someone out now they are probably not as much in demand either as when its cold and everyones boilers are breaking down.

Clothes and shoes;

In the good weather I have washed the winter coats, found all my scarves and gloves and put them all nicely together along with umberellas. I have sorted out my socks and thick tights and I have alos found out my snow boots and other winter boots ready for the bad weather. I have these all to hand so if I wake up to snow one day I am good to go.

Food Store;

I have started to restock my garage with non perishable items. In last years snow we were well stocked when the bad snow came so we had no worries about getting out to the shops.

Some change;

Again in the snow I had to get the bus into work some days. The main roads were not to bad but where I live the side roads were very slippy and dangerous. I didn't want to risk accident or injury with my own car so jumped on the bus a few times.

Scrapers. De icer and snow grit;

These are usually lurking around in bargain bins during the summer so I stock up.

Blankets and hot water bottles;

Again all blankets laundered and ready at hand if the cold strikes.

Candles and Matches;

Another store cupboard item just in case of any power cuts, I have strategically placed around my house a candle in each room. If the power goes I know exactly where the matches are and also spare candles.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A good day for bargains

We headed off into town this afternoon to buy school shoes. I always leave it as long as possible in the holidays to get the new shoes to avoid any last minute growth spurts. I already knew which shoes we wanted, a pair of Clark's brogues at £54.99. More expensive than the school shoe range but a better heal and sole that could be redone when they are worn down , so I didn't mind the extra expense. Feet measured and shoes collected , the sales assistant told me they had 20% off. The shoes cost me £43.99 which I was very happy with.

Then off to Boots to pick up some bits. The children's toys had a half price sale on selected items plus a 3for 2 offer. I managed to get three things that are a Christmas present and two birthday presents for next year;

Play Mobil Boat £7.50 from £15
Play Mobil Cafe £8.50 from £17
Richard Hammond's Blast Lab science kit £7.50 from £15... Total spend for 3 gifts £16

My last bargain was school blazer , £33 in one shop . I managed to find it in another shop for £26.

So bloggers I am quite chuffed with my bargains today !

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Food Banks

Hi Bloggers. Like many of you I have seen a few blogs about Food Banks over the last few days. Its something that I have heard about but never really thought about. I suppose that could be said for a lot of people that you see things and think what a good idea they are but then the thought stops there. Reading about Food Banks made me think about our own situation a few years ago when we faced redundancy and the dark days that consumed us until my husband was fortunate enough to get another job just three weeks before he was due to leave his employer. In the preceding months of his redundancy date I had made my own food bank. I stock piled lots of tins ,non perishable goods and toiletries etc and I bought as many supermarket stamps as I could to prepare ourselves. We were very lucky that it didn't come to that for our family and I suppose that we may have been in the position ourselves where we would have had to use the services of a Food Bank. After reading the articles yesterday I contacted my local councillor and he told me where I could take any donations locally. I think I will start to buy a few items each week and then maybe do a drop off once a month .