Sunday, 31 January 2016

Grocery Round Up

We've come to the end of our month of vouchers. We used most of them, some were for products I wouldn't tend to buy so we gave them a miss, but we used the ones we received through the post. 

This is what we used - 

£4.50 off £30 
£1 brand match
£1.50 off £10 
£ .87 loyalty card 

The £1.50 and 87p were for Booths, this was the only spending we did there this month for the first time in... 11 years or so. I thought I'd miss it but I didn't, it's only a shop after all. 

£4 off £20
£4 off £20
£4 off £20
£ .13 price match
£4 off £20
£1.47 price match.

Total £25.47

Dan also swiped the card whenever he bought petrol, we had a couple of other buy x get y points vouchers too from till spits and the My Coupons site. For example, this week we had till spits for 60 bonus points for buying fresh soya milk, 80 points for buying Alpro yoghurt, we also had one for triple points on our next shop. I loaded vouchers onto the card for 40 points for buying potatoes, avocado and melon. All of those things were on the list so it was just a few mini boosts that will add up to money off something in the future. 

We started the month with points worth £2.21 and ended the month with £12.58, with another £6.50 worth points still to be added from a bonus for using all the vouchers, one for a bonus for spending £20 aaaand points for using a "Local" shop.   

We are well under budget and we bought so much more than usual. We had to buy everything for the buns which came to £53.65, I bought Dan's bluetooth speaker, treats for two birthdays, a much needed bathmat and an oven glove. It's also the first time in months that we won't need to buy anything on the first of the month too. I'm impressed. As such, the budget is going down to £90 for February. 

 
*I know this isn't an essential, we did without it for years but Dan won't use a cloth to clean the surfaces and it makes the bunny pen far easier to clean.  

Friday, 29 January 2016

How Are Things?

I've just finished reading How Are Things by Roger-Pol Droit. As I mentioned yesterday this is a book I've had for years but never got into, I don't know why as it was such a straightforward, funny and interesting page turner. The author sets out to discover if there is anything to learn from the items we use every day, and if so what is their nature? It is a book not to be taken too lightly nor too seriously. If anyone is interested I've added a page tab at the top here to list the books I read this year, it's called Books 2016!

I say things and stuff a lot, you may have noticed and thought what an uneducated puppy I must be. It's not for want of more illustrative language, it's a conscious choice. When I removed the hoard from my house and started to organise myself  I also shed a lot of mental associations, it was a physical and mental getting my house in order. I now use stuff and things to remind myself that although an item may have memories associated with it, it is not the memory or the experience itself. I may have been given something by a friend or other loved one but it is not the emotion itself, it means I can recycle my cinema tickets and donate my favourite ever skirt to the rag bag at a charity shop*. 

Spending time volunteering and shopping in charity shops (there are 14 at last count in the town, hence all the bargains), markets and antique places has helped a lot too. I used to find it sad that all this stuff that was once a treasured possession is now just a pile of nothing until that one person comes along. But that's not something that came from the stuff, that came from me. It's not a pile of people sat around waiting, it's just things things they can no longer use. Things that once cost money and had value but have no value in themselves. It's sounds a bit melancholy and I suppose it could be taken that way, but I see it as freeing, I don't need to feel sorry for something that can't feel sorry for itself, it's misplaced emotion.

Things are things, they are not me, they are something other.

*I realise if you've never had a problem with stuff you might find this odd, but there you go, not everyone is the same. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Food Hangover

I have a food hangover and feel terrible. Last night we were both home late so we just ate the remaining junk that was in the house left over from Christmas. Last night I was starting to feel odd, but this morning I feel awful. I've just about managed a cup of herbal tea but nothing else, I just can't cope with all that fat!

So it would be an ideal duvet day, only I left my bottle of milk at the charity shop yesterday, if I don't collect it someone will sell it, especially as we are replacing the fridge today so there will be a sort out (it's a second hand fridge, no charity money was used to buy it).

Hopefully a windy walk will do me good, it is slightly more sunny today so not having a full day in the gloom will cheer me up. I may stretch my legs a bit further and go to the library, I haven't been for months, but I am happy to report I've nearly finished my current book. I've had this book for 10 years and hadn't got further than page seven before. 



I have also started a new craft project, it's a new version of something I did years ago and will hopefully end up as a bed throw. 


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Freebie And Bargain of the Week

Another dark, wet, windy day. 

No freebies this week. Although I was very happy to hear from the roofer that he is delighted to be doing a roof for someone who wants to keep the original look of their house.

I did indeed find a top for gardening on the sale rack at a charity shop, I wasn't picky which made it easy. 

you get the idea

I also bought three packets of chestnuts (200g) for 50p each from M&S, they're dated August of this year. 


That's it!


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Duvet Day


I love having a duvet day occasionally, sadly today is not one of them. Due to my terror of using the phone I've already had to go out into the wind and the rain, and the rain without the wind, to rearrange my haircut. I think I realised I'd procrastinated long enough when I received a facebook message from Jay telling me that my hairdresser had been into the charity shop looking for me.

It's a glum day today, the coffee table is full of things I've picked up and abandoned, not the end of the world, only a few minutes away from tidy. 

I was glum yesterday too, it all started when I went into the kitchen and saw a pile of washing up. I was not too chuffed, but it inspired me to do some cooking and get the steam cleaner out. Who'd have thought that doing something about the thing that was annoying me would make that thing go away?

After about eight months of thinking about it I moved the hay rack from the back to the front of the bunny pen. It's not really a hay rack, it's a hedgehog hanging basket. 



Today I am on the hunt for a jumper. We had a chat about the garden last night, and I would like to have a jumper to wear when I'm out there as I don't have one, my last one was shredded by the garden. Hopefully one of the charity shops will have a 99p rail with something suitable. I have braved the garage to get the propagator. 

The roofer is booked to start just after Easter. He's going to drop off a few samples, and he has a tile with a very similar look to the original. I fear for my onions as we need a large scaffold and the veg patch is right near the house. Would it be OK for me to move them? They've been in since before Christmas.

I have ironed Dan's work shirts. 

When I look at it that way, my glum days haven't been too bad after all. I'm still not looking to walking to the shop though!



Monday, 25 January 2016

The Big Screen

We spent £7 at the weekend which wasn't too bad. Saturday was a no spend day, Sunday was supposed to be a no spend day as Dan had to work. It was going well until the work IT system locked him out and wouldn't let him back in. So we went to the cinema to see The Big Short.

I love our cinema and hope to visit lots this year, its £3.50 per ticket, they are also part of the Meerkat Movies scheme so if you qualify you can get two tickets for £3.50. What a bargain! Snacks are cheap, the smallest tub of popcorn they sell costs 50p. Of course the building itself is no frills but who cares?

Before I met Dan I used to visit the cinema at least twice a week. Over the past decade and a half that's dropped to maybe twice a year. I hope we'll make more use of the cinema this year, it only re-opened a few years ago so we're in a use it or lose it situation. For such a reasonable price it's an affordable luxury. 

Speaking of luxury, we decided to spend our change jar money on some artwork, so we've ordered two screenprinted panels. The seller has been busy with his family this month so has just started on our order. When we were arranging courier costs we discovered he lives in the next village to my parents, so we're going to save a few bob and collect them rather than have them come to us. We need to drop some furniture off with Chris, my brother who lives on The Wirral so we can have a full day out, improve the house, and get rid of some junk from the garage.  

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Tyranny of Loyalty

We arrived at week three of our "spend £20 get £4 off vouchers" and I found it really hard to write a list. There are some things that I can't get or won't buy from the supermarket because they're just too expensive. So to get up to the minimum spend became quite hard, the balancing act of buying things we wanted/needed without spending more on individual items than I usually would, or just buying for the sake of it was hard. It really has made me wonder how I have burned through the grocery budget in the past. 

Switching this month to a cheaper supermarket has helped of course, but I wouldn't want to, and couldn't afford to just shop at one place all the time. By the time we got into the car to go shopping I still hadn't reached £20 worth of groceries, Dan kindly offered to have a bottle of beer and some falafel to help things along. It did help and we were all happy. 

Just next week to get through and then it's over. We received some decent till spits this week too, £1.47 price match, which I assume is something to do with soy/ almond milks and some bonus points for things we buy anyway.  It's been a worthwhile project and has given me lots of insight into our shopping habits, I can now see why the extreme coupon people get excited!

Friday, 22 January 2016

I Have It, Use It

During my use it up period I've been making a note of everything we have and when we use it up. When I came to look at the breakfast cupboard there is a lot of money in there. When they were on special offer we bought a huge box of the individual packets of porridge, not the cheapest way to do it but they're convenient for Dan to take to work etc. We had a full box - 22 sachets, 22 breakfast times for me just hanging around. Yes, I only spent one pound odd on them but even so. 

Same with seeds, we have loads, we eat them every day but there are still lots of other things I can do with them. The last time I made soup I roasted the squash seeds and sprinkled them onto the soup. Well, we ate most of them while we waited for the soup, but even so. So the seeds can be our new weekend snack. I tend to use the oven on a Thursday or Friday so I can roast the seeds at the same time ready to ad to lunch or just to munch over the weekend so we're not tempted to sneak some crisps into the shopping basket. 

Flour. This is a big one for us, again it's only cheap but it tends to hang around forever. Dan is king of the raspberry bun so we're starting to have them occasionally - I had them instead of a birthday cake *yum*. To use up the plain flour we've been making flatbreads and things like that.  

We bought some toiletries not too long ago, then when Dan was sorting out his various drawers he found not one, but five bars of the soap we made last year! His drawers do smell nice though so at least they've been working hard in that regard. 

Stationery, people just keep giving me notebooks! Every birthday and Christmas I will receive at least one notebook. I am still using paper I had when I did my A-Levels in 1996. I may take some to the shop as we always need scrap paper for things, good idea. 

We still own quite a lot of books but we have slimmed them down a lot, same with clothes, there are some things I wear infrequently but I think I'm at the point where everything in the wardrobe is useful, other than two pairs of shoes I wish I wore more but it just doesn't seem practical. I almost certainly own more pyjamas than necessary but they all stay where they are, they're pretty much my favourite outfit!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A Nice Tight Belt

The roofer came back to us with his quote for the new roof, it was a painful experience. By the time we have the work done, whether it be by him or someone else, we will have the cash which is a very good thing. We've had to cancel our trip to Manchester next week for the Manchester Modernist film showing, but we can't justify the expense, we've seen the Keith Ingham film already so not the end of the world. 

There is a bit (lot) of expense pulling in to take care of in the meantime. I have taken another look at the pantry and freezer and have rewritten the menu plan for the rest of the month.

Here it is - 

20. l/o chilli w. sweet potato fries, this was a small lunch-size serving of chilli but as we ate late it did the job. 
21. chestnut orzotto, to use up a small amount of freekeh and to make headway with the big bag of pearl barley, leftover for lunch on Friday, using some leeks from the garden *yum*
22. curry already in the freezer 
23. shepherdess pie, to use up a few bits of fresh veg and some sprouty potatoes
24. shepherdess pie lunch at the weekend will be the rest of the frozen disappointing soup with a drizzle of chilli dipping sauce - hopefully this will finish off the bottle. 

25. chestnut and puy lentil stew with garlic bread, already in the freezer
26. lentil bol, should use up the spaghetti
27. berbere with maftoul, berbere is in the freezer, the maftoul should be used up after this 
28. dhal with roti, dhal from the freezer with ancient chutneys
29. lasagne, to make headway with the never ending box of lasagne sheets, roast veg from the freezer
30. curry with cous cous and naan, from the freezer
31. pilaf with sweetcorn patties and ancient chutneys

By that time I imagine we will be desperate for some fresh food! I'll be doing a week by week plan for the next few months, we'll have a budget of £90, not including pet food so I'll just have to base meals around super six and other offers. 

I nipped into the charity shop this morning as one  of the other vols has moved house and now has a garden, she mentioned needing a soil sieve and wanting a wild flower area. We had two sieves so I gave her one and some of the seeds we bought for 10p from Wilko last year. We were running low on biscuits too so I bought a pack from Home Bargains for 49p and left them there too, they'll be needed to keep morale up, it was freezing in there today!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

No Day At The Beach




Yesterday the doorbell rang and it was the roofer, he'd got a few feww ours and nipped by to see if I wanted the chimney sorting out. Of course I said yes so he got on with it and I went out, of course I made him a cup of tea first. Dan had also asked him about something else to do with the roof so he said he'd have a look. 

I decided to have a stroll to the beach as there was plenty of time before my stint at the charity shop, as the tide was really far out, so far I couldn't see the sea at all just a few large puddles, I wandered out to this structure, what's left of the pier's landing jetty. 



looking back towards the pier and town

The pier, as you can tell, used to be far longer but much of it was destroyed by fire years ago. 

I had a bit of a wander around, and although the beach looks pretty empty from these pictures there were plenty of people around, mainly dog walkers but there was lots of life. 


Although I didn't have time to walk all the way over, on my way back to the town I could see the council workers putting everyone's old Christmas trees to work as part of the sand dunes management system. 

Dan returned home from work last night having spoken to the roofer. The chimney is fine, but we need the rest of the roof replacing. Somehow I don't think I'm getting a new kitchen this year!

Monday, 18 January 2016

All The Junk

The drawer in the sideboard had silted up with junk, it's all pretty much Christmas related, ribbon and braid from the stockings I made for the shop, the rest of the junk is from Christmas presents. MIL bought me the notebook and the person shaped book light, the tin was a gift from my manager.  They had certainly been stashed and dashed. 

before

after

The log pencil case was a gift from Dan as I am a huge fan of the tv show Twin Peaks, so of course I love The Log Lady. It has come in very useful this morning. Then I moved on to the junk drawer proper.   

before

I received a calendar for Christmas so my chalkboard was relegated, even though it's probably more useful than the calendar, I'll have to find a place for it. In the junk drawer I discovered eleven pens/pencils, plus the sharpie I keep to label freezer cooking, they now live in the pencil case. 


There's not much left in the junk drawer, but I still notice that many of the items in there are things other people gave to me rather than things I obtained myself. 

after
I also noticed that the broken Christmas decoration from two years ago is still there, unglued...

Friday, 15 January 2016

Bits And Bobs

Along with the cotton box I bought a new coat from the charity shop the other day. It was the only one I even remotely liked, it's a size 10 so it's a little bit big but it means I can wear a thick jumper or layers underneath without being too constricted. It was £6.99, so not absolute bargain basement price but it's a good price for a nice coat - I was starting to worry I'd have to look at real shops for one. I bought it not a moment too soon, the temperature has really dropped and it looks like I'll get some good wear out of it this weekend. 

We visited Dan's mum last night to set up the tablet. That all went fairly well, Dan showed her how to do the very basic things and downloaded a few apps and games. They have already exchanged emails so that part of it is sorted out. 

I bought quite a bit of veg at the supermarket this week so today I'm doing some cooking for the weekend and the freezer, it's as much to keep warm as it is to fill the freezer. I made a really nice and spicy berbere last night using onions, a green pepper, sweet potato, butternut squash and aduki beans, it was delicious there's enough for my lunch today and another portion has gone into the freezer. 

Today I'm going to make chestnut and mushroom casserole, chestnut pie,  a curry of some kind, shepherdess pie and some other kind of veg stew that I haven't dug out a recipe for yet. This will do us for over the weekend and a nice stash for some time in the future. We have gone well off the menu plan, but that doesn't matter, it's a guide not a restriction. 

This weekend should be a nice, relaxing, quiet affair. There's lots of football on the tv so we'll watch some of that and I bought a cookbook, Isa Does It with a gift voucher I received for my birthday so I'll have a look through that too. I'd had a look at this book before when Dan dropped me off at Burnley library for the afternoon, I think it will be a good one for us. I've also started some embroidery so that is set to feature heavily. It's felt like a long week, but I also can't believe it's nearly a week since we were at Bowes Museum, a real mish mash of a week, but nothing to complain about. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Useful and Beautiful

Apologies, this is picture heavy.

I was picking something up off the floor at the charity shop yesterday when I spotted a box, I mainly had a look at it as I liked the design, I thought it was just a box of thread. It was not, it was a box that became a birthday gift for myself. 


I love how Industry Relations is crossed out!
When I opened the lid this is what was inside. 



Big Grey Bunny refused to be relocated

It's an education kit all about British cotton!






Along with the raw materials and fabric swatches there is lot of printed information. 








I just love it, Dan also loves it, I think I mentioned before that his Great Grandfather was an engineer in the mills in East Lancs and worked all over the world setting up cotton machinery.




Not bad for £4. 

It All Adds Up

That's what they say isn't it, things come in threes.

Expense one. On Sunday we noticed The White Bunny had been chewing her front foot, so much so that it was bald and very very pink. As the day went on she wouldn't put any weight on it at all, so we took he to the vet on Monday. The vet seemed to think that the chewing was a symptom as there was nothing wrong with her foot, so she poked and prodded her and we think she has sprained her leg somehow. The White One is a bit of a hunting, shooting, fishing action rabbit so it wouldn't surprise me. She had a painkilling injection and we brought some pain relief syrup home for her.  

Expense two. The power steering pipe had been leaking for quite a while, the man at the garage said it was nowhere near as bad as some he'd seen so he did a temporary fix a little while ago and he would fix it in the new year. the new year has arrived so Dan took it in yesterday, we had been warned that the new pipe was reasonably inexpensive but the labour would be hefty as half of the car has to be taken apart to get to it. We braced ourselves. When Dan went to collect it last night the man said there was no split in the pipe so he's used some better quality clips for the pipe and that should do the trick for now, so it was well under £100, rather than the £200+ we were expecting. 

Expense three. We've had some pretty bad rain and water started coming into our bedroom. The exceptionally nice roofer came round for a look the other day and we need to have some work done to the chimney. He gave us two options, one was to replace the lead and re-point the brickwork at a cost of £1200. The other option, the one he recommended was to apply a resin to the lead to cover the cracks, and to re-point at a cost of £750. So we're going for that. The roofer said the first option of replacing the lead may cause more problems than it solves due to the way our roof is constructed. So we're going to take a deep breath and get it done. 

Let's hope that's that for a while. 

I read on MSE yesterday about the My Coupons site from Sainsbury's, I'd never heard of it before so had a look. Does anyone else use the site? There are lots of bonus Nectar point offers, you can load up to five offers onto the card at any one time and use them when you're shopping. I have one for double points on my next shopping trip and another for 40 bonus points for buying soya milk, something I'd buy anyway. Small amounts but it all adds up. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Don't Panic!


There was minor uproar in the living room last night. Dan was obviously in a bit of a grump and I didn't know why, it turned out he'd found a chewed patch on the reasonably new rug. So we decided to rotate the rug to hide the patch. I wanted to do this anyway so it wears more evenly. 

This did not go down well with the rabbits, it was worse than going-to-the-vet time with running around, loud sniffing and general carrying on, they had clearly just got their side as they liked it and any change means starting afreshWe rotated the rug and it turned out the bald patch was just a small squidged down part with a bit of a mark on it, some spot cleaning and an ice cube later and it was fine.  Unlike our relationship with the buns who were most upset for the rest of the evening, although a small amount of broccoli started to make amends. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Taking The Tablet

Here's a really good thing to happen this week. 

Dan's mum uses an old mobile phone, Dan texts her every night and she texts back. It costs her 14p every time she texts, it's a lot of money for someone who is learning to live on a reduced budget, but she's a bit scared of newer technology, let's not dwell on that. 

Over the months things have got to a point where Dan has said "ENOUGH!!!" and informed her last week that we were buying her a tablet whether she thought she wanted one or not. There are many reasons why we know she would benefit from owning one, but the main reason is so we can email each other, send pictures etc without it costing her anything (she already has internet access). After much back and forth she agreed and they planned to go shopping. 

A couple of days later Dan received a text. Dan's mum has made friends with one of the taxi drivers that takes her and her mum around the place, and he seems like a generally nice bloke. They'd obviously been talking about the tablet (and I should imagine the phrase backwards technology was used at some point) lo and behold, the bloke had bought himself a new tablet in the sales so has an old one going spare and has given it to her free of charge! How great is that?

So we're going round in order for Dan to wipe everything off it and show her how to use it. It's one of those things that as soon as she starts to use it she'll love it, she enjoys computer games so once she's knows they're an option we'll probably never hear from her!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Day Trip To Llandudno



We've taken to having a day out on my birthday, I don't know when this started or why, but it's now a tradition. We packed some falafel sandwiches - made with the 29p ciabatta, falafel and some tomatoes left over from new year, some raspberry buns made by Dan and a bottle of water and we set off. 

Some of you may have already noticed the above building is not in Llandudno, or even in Wales, we ended up in Barnard Castle at Bowes Museum. 

What a great choice it was too, along with the permanent displays - from the silver swan to paintings by Goya and Canaletto there were three excellent exhibitions. Firstly, the one we knew about another Artist Rooms featuring the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe (if you think you don't know him you've probably seen his work, he shot the cover of Horses by Patti Smith, for example). Then there was New Light, an exhibition of contemporary northern art, some of the pieces there were just fantastic. Finally Quiltscapes and Quiltline by Pauline Burbidge - this was so inspirational for me. I have picked up my old embroidered quilt and am using that as the sketchbook to help me with a new one. The Pauline Burbidge show is at Bowes Museum until 10th April then moves to Ruthin Craft Centre from 23rd April until 12th July and is well worth a look. 

As I thought we would be eating out on two days this week, one on a day out and the other when my parents visited, I hadn't planned, as it was we ate at home both days as my parents have the lurgy. We spent £1 on some veggie sausages for a brunchy treat and ate soup from the freezer one day and we cobbled together some leftovers for the other day instead. Added to the shopping list is a food flask, this is a good thing as it will bump up the shopping total so I can use another voucher. It's very odd that now I'm being so careful with money it's hard to think of things to spend money on without buying for the sake of it. It's a good test, I shouldn't have this happy problem next month when the pantry is bare. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Freebie And Bargain Of The Week



A few things this week.

We have been using our vouchers, at the minute it feels lie we're overshopping but we're buying things to last for a few months so I'm planning bargain basement shopping next month to make up for the extra spending*. 

I needed a birthday card so went to the cheapy card shop in the town, I used to use the independent one, but it closed last year. I picked up a card for 59p thinking it was a good price then the lady at the counter told me I could pick another four cards and it would only cost me a pound! Fantastic. So I have cards for all the children for the year. 

My brother passed the Owen Jones book onto us when he visited last week, we'll both read it so it's very much appreciated. 

Dan has been after a bluetooth speaker for ages, we saw one in the sale the other day at the supermarket so he went off and did a bit of research and decided it would be good for his needs. It was £20 which meant even before we'd bought our bread and veg we could use our £4 off £20 voucher. We also went to Booths and used my 86p loyalty card voucher, plus a £1.50 off £10. We also bought 4 packs of part bake ciabatta for 29p each. 

Oh and I found a pound coin in my bag. 

*I say extra spending, it's the same budget, just more stuff!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Simple Pleasure



Along with the XXL savings tin MIL bought me another very useful thing, a notebook. There are many things to love about it, firstly it's a notebook and that's always a good thing, secondly the cover is a nice colour, thirdly it's a cheapy with thin paper which make a very pleasing sound when I flick through. But at the minute the most important thing for me are the see-through flaps at the front and back. They are ideal for me to keep my coupons and vouchers. 

I'm using this book to keep my pantry lists, menu plan, shopping lists and spending diary. So having the vouchers to hand makes things lots easier, plus they're not going to languish in the junk drawer for me to find when they've expired. 

I am far too happy about this.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Change, No Change

The washing machine is on, the windows are open, the kettle has just boiled and there are piles of stuff in different places around the house. I am, for the first time in ages, alone and able to get on with anything or nothing. 

There's a bonus £8 for the savings pot as the window cleaner didn't come last month. I have been around collecting up the small coins that have scattered themselves around the house. 

As I bought a new pair of shoes I have added things to the charity bag, these are things I've been keeping for assorted reasons, none of the reasons involved me liking or wearing the items. There's a long glittery tunic that I thought would be useful for festive evenings at the pub or visiting people. I have had it since 2014 and wore it once when we went to the theatre and I could hardly concentrate on the play as it was so prickly. 

The other things are a really unflattering t-shirt that I kept for layering, it doesn't matter how many layers I put on, it still makes me look weird. The other two things are the Boden skirts I bought from the charity shop. In nearly two years I have worn one of them twice, and that's because I forced myself to wear it, the other hasn't been on my body since the day I bought it. 

I'm trying to decide what, if anything, to do on my birthday. 

I am drinking tea, lots of tea.


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Getting Through It

Having Chris and Holly here over New Year went very well, thank you to everyone for your kind comments about my buffet - we're still eating it! Holly emptied their fridge and brought it over so they didn't return to anything stinky. On Thursday evening we ate some of the things I'd made and she made lasagne. Dan ate the last of that yesterday. They also brought a bottle of gin and a couple of other bits and bobs, so between us we had a lot to eat and drink!

We ate and sat around chatting, it's not that often we are all together without the rest of the family, so we came to the conclusion we'd rather stay in and catch up than go out into the windy evening. It was great - and we saved so much money! The following day they went for a walk on the beach and we met them for drinks later, it's always good to have a bit of time to yourself when you're staying with people I think. We were going to go out for a meal but as there was so much food left we came home, watched tv and ate from the fridge. 

It was just what was needed as I've had a bit of a cold and was pretty worn out. 

I have also managed to cross a few things off my shopping list, I was after some smartish shoes and bought some Crocs in the sale, half price, they are so comfortable and good for my knee so I am delighted. We had some cash to spend in TK Maxx and we decided to put a pamper box together, so we chose some really nice body stuff (plus basics like nail clippers). The money we didn't spend on going out has gone into savings and the change from the money we did spend is in the giant change jar. 

Today I am working on a big shopping list. We received yet more supermarket vouchers through the post yesterday so I'm juggling our list and when we'll need things with offers, vouchers and expiry dates. I think it's going to work, even if it does mean visiting three shops this week, luckily I have a lot of space to store toilet paper and rabbit litter. I'm using my favourite mechanical pencil to write the lists, given to me when I went to college in 1994 by Father, the leads are the same age - now that's value for money!