Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Just a quickie dear readers, I wanted to wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2012. With best wishes for New Year, MPB xx

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sales Shopping

Hi there and welcome to my new followers Aubrey Rose and Penny Saver, thanks for following.

I had the urge to go shopping today. I think it was in part to the last few days just sitting around socialising, eating and drinking. I don't often get the urge to go shopping but I did fancy a walk in the fresh air. We went into the local town. I went into M&S , it was packed but I managed to find a quiet corner with some good bargains to hand. I bought some cards for next year, 50p reduced from £1.50 and a big card to grandparents which is hand embellished, £1 reduced from £3.50. I always find the hand embellished comment funny, they have probably stuck a sequin on before its wrapped ! I also picked up some gifts for next Christmas as well, a fleece scarf and glove set reduced from £12 to £5 and two hard back books reduced from £4 to £1 each. Then into Boots which was equally chaotic but more bargains to be had. A lot of Boots stuff is half price so for my two friends I got one Mango and one Cocoa butter set , reduced to £5 from £10. I was pleased with this as if you buy the items individually they cost a lot more. I also got two White Company soap sets: a soap ,a flannel in a porcelain soap dish for £2.50, reduced from £5. I got home and packed my goods away and began my new list. Each year as I buy stuff, I update my list so I know whats in stock and that way I don't replicate presents for people plus I can keep tabs on the spending as well.

Thank you for my five lovely Liebsters

Whilst I was absent I had five lovely nominations for the Liebster Awards from SFT, Pamela , Ruth Kelly , Justine and Penny Saver. Thank you so much for the nomination which I gratefully accept.

As part of the award you have to copy and paste the award to your blog.

Thank the giver and post a link back to them.

Reveal your top 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know.

So here are my five . They are ones that I really enjoy following and I hope you would too. They are :

Frugal Living uk

Lavendar fields forever

No Spend Days

SFT's Travel, Mortgage Freedom, 101 and life goals

Tales from Beyond the Nook

Here are the five blogs who nominated me ;

A Penny Saved

Feral homemaking

Jazzy's Place

Dian's Timpanalley


Please take a look at the ten blogs above. I am sure that you will find them as friendly and informative as I do !

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Just a quick message to wish you all a Happy and Holy Christmas. Thank you for all your good wishes. I have been out of the loop lately and have been so busy I haven't had much time for blogging. I do have some messages that I need to answer so I am hoping that next week when I have some time off I can do some blogging housekeeping and get up straight ! Have a lovely Christmas, with best wishes from MPB xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

A busy start to a busy month

I've got lots planned for this month but I have also got it all accounted for , time and money. This week has been busy but fun. I've seen lots of people and had a good time socially but managed to keep spending down to a minimum.

Wednesday , my daughter was off school due to the strikes. We spent the day together, firstly we went for a long walk then we went into town. We had a pizza buffet, my daughter ate free with the voucher downloaded off the Internet. It cost me £6.99 just for my buffet, her food and drink was free. In the afternoon we went to see the new film 'Arthur Christmas', for free ! This was due to a friend kindly giving me two tickets as they had no use for them. My daughter was delighted as she wanted to see the film and we had a nice day together. Afterwards we went to visit relatives.

Thursday , I went to meet a friend which was a longstanding arrangement. We went to the cinema again, this time to see ' My week with Marilyn'. Despite me insisting otherwise, my friend wanted to pay for me so I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon in the company of my friend and didn't spend any money. I also refrained from sharing her popcorn so was I being good too !

Friday, after school club for my daughter then we went to a Church Service. This was in respect of thanks giving for recent building works & improvements which was followed by a lovely buffet afterwards. No cost involved and a pleasant evening socialising with other people.

Saturday, the three of us went to the cinema again. This time to see Cars 2 which was released earlier in the summer. I always try to wait to see these films at the kids showings when they are drastically cheaper. We paid £1 each to see the film. After the cinema, some friends popped round to see us, then some relatives so we had a nice afternoon with a house full , drinking tea.

Today, cinema again !! We took my daughter and a friend to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2. A kids showing at another cinema, £1.25 each. Afterwards we went into Birmingham to see the German Market. It was really busy but we didn't buy anything, just window shopped. We did have a meal at Pizza Express. My husband was given some time ago two £15 gift vouchers that we decided to keep for a rainy day. I also had an email voucher for £5 off a £20 spend. Then this week they emailed me a voucher for a free bottle of prosecco as a birthday treat and upon enquiring they said I could use both vouchers together. The bill should have come to £66.65 but minus the email vouchers £24.95 then the £30 gift vouchers, I only had £11.70 of real money to pay. The meal was nice but not worth £66.65, but the wine should have been £19.95 which I find hard to believe, I'm just glad it was a birthday treat ! Its not something I would normally buy. My daughter and her friend had a great time and the meal and cinema came to £16.70, not bad for 4 people.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Chilli Addicts

Good evening and welcome to my new follower Teresa Alcantara, thanks for joining.

One of the ways that we saved money was to change the way we shopped for food. We often used to shop and just throw things in the trolley, like sheep, going round buying the same things each week, not looking at the price/size/weight. We all know that most things can be made cheaply and easily at home but its also convenience. One of the things we used to buy was Mexican taco sets, averaging around £2.50 per box for taco shells ( which always break when you eat them) taco mix and salsa ( which no one liked ! so always got binned ). However I liked taco's and made them with chicken or beef mince, always a tasty snack. Now recently , ie Bonfire Night !, I tried Chilli for the first time. Well actually the second time, the first time I thought it was that bad it put me off for years. So on Bonfire Night I liked it and decided to make it myself at home. It turned out remarkably like taco's but not as expensive. I used mince, onions, chilli powder, can of tomatoes, squirt of tomato paste so those ingredients came to about £2. No kidney beans though as I don't like them ! Then I had cheese and instead of taco shells I used Tortilla chips from Morrison's 25p a bag. The beauty of the tortilla chips is they are ready to eat and don't have to put the oven on to warm through. Anyway , my chilli was a big hit and we have had it now about 4 times. Last week I made a big batch of food and made Chilli on Tuesday and we ate it Friday evening. Nice and quick just warmed through on the hob and very tasty.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Buried Treasure !!!

Last year I bought this years Christmas Cards. It was Christmas Eve and we were at Lichfield Market. A stall was selling all the cards for 20p each, previously £1 upwards. I got all the family cards for about £1.20. Now I can't find them. Its most unlike me, I keep everything organised and all the Christmas stuff, Easter stuff etc all together. Its driving me mad !! I just hope I find them before Christmas because I don't want to buy more, but worse case scenario I will make them so its not all doom and gloom. Anyway back to the point, I have been searching for these cards high and low when I found a bag of paperwork. You know the kind, I'll keep this all together and sort it out later. I began searching through the bag when I came across my buried treasure. Morrison's saving stamps £81 worth :-) I began collecting these last year when my husband was being made redundant so I could get the Christmas shopping with them. Somehow  ( and I don't know how ?? ) they got stashed away in this bag with paperwork and forgotten about. So much for me being organised eh ? Nevertheless it was a great surprise and kind of takes the edge of the missing card situation. The good thing about the stamps is that they are not dated so you can spend them whenever you want but if you want to use the free bonus stamps , they have to be redeemed in November or December. Have you found anything you had forgotten about ?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Church Christmas Fete

Fete season continues, today the Church fete and later in the week the school and village fete. Last year we got to the fete about an hour into it and there was nothing left. This year we arrived promptly just as it began and picked up some goodies. For me, I bought two new Prestige circular cake tins at 20p each, and two more pots for my collection, a little blue one 50p and a large one £3. I also picked up a little blue and white jug for 30p. When I eventually move house I would like a little blue and white collection , maybe in the kitchen. My daughter found a game of Cluedo for 50p. Back home we checked it out and only the lead pipe piece is missing, so I'm sure we can improvise on that. A well known catalogue shop is advertising Cluedo at £15 so we had a real bargain with that, if she gets bored with it we can re donate it. We also picked up a brand new cotton blouse for my daughter, 50p still with the original price tag of £9.50. It is the next size up so I am keeping it for next summer. She also bought a brand new packaged ,charm style chunky bracelet, silver with 4 chunky heart charms .This was also 50p, I've seen similar in the shops for upwards of £5. I love mooching round the fete's , you can get the retail therapy fix for a fraction of the price and often the stuff can be brand new. Whilst there we took advantage of some home made bakewell tart, well it would be rude not too wouldn't it  !!
Cluedo - It was Miss Piggy Bank at the Church fete with a 50p piece

Nice cotton blouse, brand new with tag only 50p

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Making Progress - At Last !!

Been rather busy this week but feel like I am making progress and getting things done finally. No overtime at work but that has allowed me to concentrate on doing my own stuff. Meals have been planned and organised well. Monday we had a pork joint which we also finished off on Tuesday. Whilst I was doing tea on Tuesday I cooked a cottage pie , which we ate yesterday and also cooked a chilli, which we are eating tonight. There is loads of chilli so if we have any leftover we can have it tomorrow with wraps that I cook on the George Foreman. The wraps are tasty and quick so can't go wrong. Yesterday and today I have knuckled down and gotten on with painting. Its a bit of a foxtrot around the upstairs as I have to paint an area, put the furniture back then start again somewhere else. Then whilst the paint is drying in our room I have done the same in my daughters room. Yesterday was first coat and I have done the second coat today. I have also done part of the landing. I have painted upstairs in magnolia and have got about half a tub of paint left plus another full one. At this stage I'm not sure if I am going to do downstairs in the same colour, whilst I have got the paint it could look at bit 'samey' but then again when the house is put up for sale , I will inevitably get knocked down in price so in some respects it doesn't seem worth the time/effort/cost to paint it a different colour. Its being repainted to sell,  not for us to live in and whilst certain colour schemes may be your taste its not everyone else's so I may play it safe and stick with the neutral colours.After painting all day it seemed second wind kicked in, so then I cleaned the bathroom, kitchen and hoovered all through and then went shopping afterwards. I got to bed and was exhausted. This afternoon I am going to sit down and have a look at the bank accounts and work out our expenses for December.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Painting, Pasta and Pancakes.

I've been so busy this week I haven't had much time for blogging. More hospital appointments and overtime at work has occupied my time. I'm looking forward to getting some extra cash in my pay packet to put towards my 2012 savings goals. As my bank account depleted quickly I have been using up freezer and store cupboard ingredients. I have been to the shops as I am collecting the Morrison's receipts to claim the £25 voucher at Christmas but I have been buying non perishables that I can stock up on. A while ago I decided that I would dedicate a day a week towards getting jobs done at home in readiness for the house being put up for sale. Time has flown by and whilst I have got lots of decluttering done, the other jobs haven't. We decided in the week that we would spend today painting the bedroom. We managed to get quite a bit done so we will resume again next weekend. Hopefully we can get the redecorating done by New Year, not re papering just a lick of paint for a fresh look. Afterwards I cooked pasta for tea, Puttanesca. Recipes can vary but generally you can throw anything in, I usually use sausages for the meat but today I used diced pork from the freezer. It was OK but the sausages are tastier. Then after tea we all fancied something sweet. My husband suggested getting a Key Lime Pie from the local Spar but at £4 I declined his kind offer. Instead we had pancakes, tasty plus the pancake mix is only 7p from Morrison's. We have our pancakes with a spread of Nutella on top. We are going to relax this evening and watch the film ' Knowing' on Channel 4. I remember seeing this advertised a year or so ago at the cinema but films seem to come round to TV quickly these days, so it hardly seems worth paying to go sometimes. Have a nice evening :-)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Thinking ahead for 2012

Like lots of people I have been thinking ahead for financial outlay that I will have next year. I want to save as much as possible. We have very recently paid off the credit card so now we have no debt but so far this month I have found it almost impossible to save anything. We have had a few social functions and cash has just seemed to disappear down the plughole. Partly our fault, I think that mentally we have let things slip as the card has gone so no debts to pay , but now more then ever we need to be focused to achieve our own goals for the future as opposed to repaying debt from the past. I am lucky that I have bought all my Christmas gifts so I don't have that cost to worry about. We have been invited out for Christmas and New Year so food costs should be minimal. We have bought gifts for the host's and items so that we don't arrive empty handed but we won't be going mad and stocking the larder completely for the few days of Christmas. Some of my costs for 2012 are unknown , others are fixed , but here's what I have listed for the moment;

Move House - £ ????????????? Save as much as possible

Senior School - Budgeted £400 for the uniform and other unforeseen costs. Hope to have some left over :-)

Daughters School Trip £200 - They haven't decided the exact cost but last year was £160

Car Tax - £225 - A necessary evil :-(

New Laptop - £300 - Ours is old now and slowly dying. I don't think it will last much longer

Devon - £200 - We have been invited to stay in the summer so although we won't have to pay for accommodation, we will have to budget for petrol and other costs.

So far the fixed costs have totalled £1325. It's quite scary when you stop and think about the costs you will have to pay out. This is on top of utilities, food and other monthly outgoings. I am going to show my daughter the list, I wouldn't normally show her the normal list of outgoings, but I think that it will be good for her to see how much these things cost and to picture visually the financial outlay incurred. A lot of children think that the cashpoint 'gives' you the money, if only !!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

We have been out this morning to the local Remembrance Parade. I have gone each year since I was a small child and now my daughter is in the parade with the girl guides. I had relatives who served in both wars who luckily all survived and returned home. At the Cenotaph the town congregated and the local clergy read the names of all the fallen servicemen. So many names  and so many of the same surname, it makes you wonder if they were all from the same family.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Good Evening and a big hello to my new follower A Penny Saved.

I've had quite a busy time over the last week. My daughter had her confirmation so lots of preparation for that and then the event itself. I feel like I haven't stopped all week, getting in the car and driving back and forth from place to place. A hospital appointment where I was told something 'should'nt cause me too much bother'' but since I have looked into this , I think it should be investigated a little more so I have to follow that up. Also some overtime at work, very useful but tiring. Then all the usual house and family things to do. We went off today to a local church fete. Not much there to be honest but I did find this little marble pot for £1. I do like my little pots and this will live alongside my other recent find on the mantel piece. I saw an oval mirror for a pound but on close inspection the frame was a plasticy veneer, had it of been wooden I would have snapped it up and given it a bit of a refurb. There are fetes locally over the next two weekends so I hope to find some more gems.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Toy basket starts a new life

Hello and welcome to my new followers Jeanette and Aurora, thank you for joining.

Over recent months we have been decluttering and sorting things out ahead of putting our house on the market in the New Year. I have thrown away, recycled and donated lots of things and been surprised by the amount of stuff that we had. I was sorting through my daughters mountain of possessions and came across her old toy shopping basket. Unlike lots of plastic toys it is quite sturdy and robust but as she no longer plays 'shops' anymore she has no use for it. Then it occurred to me that I could use it. Like many households we have phones chargers, leads and general bits and pieces and I thought I would use the basket to house all these odds and ends. It now lives on the shelf in the cupboard and it is really handy as when I need it I just grab the handle and as it has holes in it , I can spot what I need quickly. I suppose it looks a bit wacky but it is out of sight and does the job.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Another bargain jacket

I got lucky again this week at the church clothes rail. I picked up this little black cotton jacket for my daughter, its age 12 and had a button missing at the back. Luckily the spare was still inside on the label. Its a nice jacket, I wouldn't mind one like it for myself. It has a big round scoop collar and three quarter length sleeves. She teamed it up with her new jeggings and it looked really good. Its from New Look so she was pleased with that. I paid 50p :-)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Frugal Friday Feast

Friday is always a busy day for us. Activities after school and then shopping on Friday night. We hadn't planned for tea so decided to get something from the supermarket. We ended up having a bit of a frugal hot buffet, cheap but tasty. This is what we had ; Meat ball pizza from £3.60 to 69p, King Prawn Thai noodles £2.49 to 45p, 2 packs of Spinach & Ricotta Beef Patties £3.49 to 49p each and for dessert 2 packs of Gu Hot Choc Souffles £3.29 to 49p each. The Gu's had the glass ramekins which we will use again which is an added bonus. Full price it would have cost £19.65, actual price £3.10 - not bad for 3 people !! The beef patties only had 4 per pack and they were not that big, they wouldn't be worth £3.49 each. I also had 2 packs of Gu Pots Au Choc for today , £2.19 each reduced to 49p. The Gu's are delicious but not worth full price in my opinion. Tonight we are off to a Bonfire party, lots of jacket potatoes and hot dogs ! Have a safe Bonfire Night :-)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Goodbye and good riddance to our flexible friend

Hello and welcome to my new followers Lula and Scarlet, thank you for following.

Today we have paid our credit card off. We have made the final payment and now have no debt other than the mortgage. We are back where we started 16 years ago, no cards, no loans and no finance. The money in the bank is ours and not sitting waiting to be paid to some high street bank later in the month. Its taken a very long time to repay the debt and we have had to re assess our spending habits and lifestyle. Someone who I know spends lots of money each month on store cards and despite moaning about a lack of money, continue to do this on the basis that they 'look good' in the latest threads. They look down their nose at me as I am not 'as up to the minute' as they think they are, I have the last laugh though as I am not in debt for last years fashions.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Back to Work Tomorrow :-(

Well its back to work for me tomorrow and I don't want to go. I've checked my lucky dip from last night and I only had one number so paid employment it is. I've had a quiet week, lots of lie in's and relaxing. Done quite a bit of walking, baking and cooking. I have a beef brisket in the slow cooker for this evening and it looks/smells great. I have also tried a gammon joint cooked in apple juice this week, was quite apprehensive about this beforehand but it was really moist and tasty. We will definitely be having that again. I have made a few cakes:  fruit , lemon madeira and choc chip madeira. The cakes are going down well, in fact too well ! And to top it off, I have wrapped most of my Christmas presents. Tonight I am going to catch up on my TV programmes, Kirsties Homemade & Beenys Restoration Nightmare - how the other half live !! Then like clockwork turn over at 9pm for Downton Abbey.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Morrisons Christmas Voucher

Start collecting receipts tomorrow. How do I know ? I spent £47 in Morrisons today to discover if I had spend it tomorrow I could have saved my receipt towards the scheme....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Friday, 28 October 2011

Making My Own - Christmas Gifts

 I have been making some Christmas Gifts this evening. My daughter goes to some clubs and they are all run by volunteers so I like to send them a little something as a thank you at Christmas time. Previously I have sent chocolates but it has been known that the chocolates have not lasted until December, which is not good for the wallet or the waistline. This year it is little home made gifts of toiletries. Here's what I used ;

Tuck the flannel over so the braid faces you. It should look like a little duvet on a bed ! Tuck the toiletries inside as if they are lying in the bed!

I used some wired ribbon to wrap the parcel up tightly , with a nice big bow on the front.

I will then put the toiletry parcel inside some gift bags I have ( recycled of course ) . My parcels cost 45p for the flannels ( picked up in Department store sale) 19p each for the Dove toiletries ( Home Bargains) = £1.02 per parcel. The wired ribbon I picked up for £1 in January sales which has done the 4 parcels I made up , so grand total £1.27 - what do you think ?

I have done the same thing before with larger towels putting in bubble baths, shower gels etc. You could also do it for a new baby: a gift of baby towel and baby toiletries.

Making My Own - Fruit Cake

Yesterday I had a go at baking my own fruit cake. I don't like fruit cake but hubby does so I thought I'd give it a try. I soaked the fruit in some alcohol overnight, a bit of port I had left in a bottle. I found a recipe on the Internet and I had enough to make two cakes. The one baked in the loaf tin looks best. Hubby said it tasted good but I found that the fruit had sunk to the bottom of the cake. Someone told me yesterday that I should have put the fruit in a bag with flour, given it a good shake , and that stops the fruit sinking ?? I will give that a try next time. I am going to make something I like next, lemon madeira cake. This sells in the local bakery at £1.85 per cake. A quick calculation costed my cakes at £1 each but that included the fruit, a lemon cake would be even cheaper.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Making my own - Tasty Savoury Treats

The creative vibe continues ! Yesterday I had a go at making sausage rolls. I had in stock some little sausages and some frozen puff pastry, which were both yellow sticker items at 20p & 39p. I fried the sausages and rolled out the pastry. I was doing this blindly as I had no instructions but how hard can a sausage roll be ? I was doing OK except that I had a mental block as to how one looked and I couldn't think how to roll the sausage inside. Some were OK but others looked rather sorry and mishaped ! I egg washed them and put them in the oven. I had some pastry left over so I thought I'd try making something else, with cheese and onion in stock, I made some savouries. These I found easier, just filled them then folded them over and egg washed them. Hubby arrived home just as I was taking them out of the oven. They were a big hit. We ate some last night then have some left for today, which I have sampled cold and they are delicious.Tasty treats for 59p !

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Making My Own - Dauphinoise Potatoes

I've had a bit of a creative urge these last few days to make my own things. Now if you have read my blog before you will know that I am no Delia Smith but I thought I would share with you how I made my Dauphinoise the other day.

We were having steak for tea . I didn't fancy chips so in the supermarket I saw their Dauphinoise, a small portion at £2.35. This portion would have only been sufficient for one person so I got the ingredients and made it myself. It was quite easy. Slice the potatoes and onions and layer them putting some creme fraiche on each layer. I also sprinkled garlic granules on each layer. Build up your layers as high as you want and then I put some white wine over the potatoes, about 100 ml. Then I baked them in the oven for about an hour. For the last 15 minutes I sprinkled some grated cheese on top. The end result was so tasty and much cheaper than the supermarkets alternative. I paid £1 for the creme fraiche and £1 for a bag of potatoes. The wine, cheese and onion I had in stock. There was enough for us to eat that night , then half again to eat the following night.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Asda Bargain Books

Good Evening all and welcome to my new follower dinavanessamercado - thanks for following.

I have been enjoying the half term break. I have annual leave this week and have had lazy lie ins and been in PJ's until lunchtime. Nothing on the agenda which is nice sometimes so you can just kick back and see where the day takes you. This afternoon my daughter and I went into town as we had to get a few bits and pieces. She needed a Guide top so I bought one about three sizes too big so it will last a good while. I also picked up two pairs of jeggings at £6 each. She had a pair last year and they have been a good wardrobe 'all rounder' so we chose black denim and blue denim. They had an adult pair in the blue denim and she wants me to buy a pair so we can ' dress the same'. She is young and slender and can get away with the style but I'm not sure I could pull it off ! Whilst in Asda I spotted these books, a dictionary and thesaurus which should be £4.99 and £6.99 each. They were on offer at the super bargain price of 25p each ! I'm not sure if this is every Asda or just our local one but a great bargain nonetheless.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Friday Night with Noddy

Last night we went to a charity quiz night at our local town hall. The quiz master was local lad ' Noddy Holder' from the 70's band Slade. It was a really good night. Noddy was very nice and friendly,chatting to all the teams, signing lots of things and having pictures taken. My husband had a copy of Noddy's book ' Who's Crazee Now' which Noddy signed for him. The evening raised lots of money for local causes and the Mayor thanked Noddy for attending , saying that Noddy and his family had given their time for free. Noddy seems a really nice guy. They played a few Slade songs but we didn't get to hear the classic ' Merry Xmas Everybody' maybe because we haven't even had Halloween yet !

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Festive Freezer Food

Hello and welcome to my my follower Lindjemp, thanks for joining.

Last night I ventured out for the first time since my mishap. I am walking a lot better now but I do still have some pain in my leg. I have been off work and home alone each day so it was nice to have a little normality and get back to the land of the living. I also had a drive in the car whilst the roads were quiet and I was OK so I shall be returning back to work. We had to go to the supermarket as the fridge was bare and I was out of essentials. The fresh meat section had pathetic reductions and I think they had priced them wrongly, only 10/20p off meat that was use by yesterday and this was at 8pm !I do still have quite a bit of meat in the freezer so it was no great loss. The deli aisle had better reductions which were all freezable. I picked up a pot of deli pasta sauce reduced to 29p from £1.89 and 4 large pizza's 39p each reduced from £2.99. To be honest I don't think they will last as long as Christmas, as its half term next week they may get gobbled up by my daughter and friends if they have a movie night, which at 39p each is a cheap night in ! I also bought some reductions from the new Morrison's Bistro range which should have been £2.49 each ! These were reduced to 45p each, I picked up Battered Calamari x2, Potatas Bravas x 2 ( Spanish potatoes with paprika, chilli and tomato sauce ) and also Prawn & Jalapeno Empanadas x2 ( little pastries shaped like pasties). I had 6 packs for £2.70 just slightly above the price for one ! I thought I would start picking up little bits and pieces for Christmas and New Year when I see them reduced. If I have an impromptu gathering at least I'll have some bits and pieces in stock that won't break the bank. I also picked up a gammon joint which I am going to try in the slow cooker with apple juice, I saw this on another blog and thought I'd give it ago.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New Years Eve is getting closer.....

Good Morning and welcome to my new follower Pamela.

Yes, New Years Eve is getting closer and it is only ten weeks away. Now in itself , that doesn't bother me, what does bother me is that we aim to put our house up for sale in the New Year and its nowhere near ready. We have made some progress by decluttering and getting rid of useless objects that we have stored needlessly for donkeys years. The house inside , we intend to give a fresh coat of paint and I have the paint already in stock. I just want to freshen it up and not spend a fortune. The garden is looking a bit weedy so hubby will be giving that a good clear up soon ahead of the winter weather. The bathroom was given a makeover about 18 months ago with new tiling and carpet so that still looks good. Finally a friend has a carpet cleaner so we will clean all the carpets as well. The only cash outlay we have to make is for a new carpet in the front reception room. It was about ten years old when we moved in 16 years ago and it is frankly an area that we have neglected. Its a shame really because it is an Axminster carpet and the quality is there but it is a creamy colour with a really dated pattern and because it is in the very front reception, it hits you as you walk in. I am reluctantly going to buy a new one as I think it would put people off. I think if I can make the house look clean, fresh and neutral then that should be OK. I am thinking of accessorising around the house with bits and pieces, ie coloured cushions etc to add a bit of visual interest. I'm hoping that 2012 will be the year we can sell up and move on.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Crikey , its Half Term next week !

I know its Half Term next week, but it just hit me as to how we will amuse ourselves with Payday falling at the end of the holiday. I have been thinking of cheap ways to keep us occupied. In the summer we went to the Black Country Living Museum, my daughter went free that day but I got a day ticket that came with 12 months free admission. I think we will go there again, the child ticket will cost £7.10 but she will get the 12 months free as well , so we can return again until next summer as often as we like ( plus they do fantastic old style fish & chips). My daughter has been invited to a sleepover with friends so that will occupy her for one day/night. I have been looking at the cinemas to see what Kids Showings they have, they can be fairly inexpensive at around £1.25 each, and of course we will take our own sweeties. Other than that it will be having friends over, (home) movie nights and trips to the park/walks and bike rides. The finances are looking a bit grim until Payday but unlike previous years, the credit card won't be touched. It will be fun on the cheap :-)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Recommend a Friend - and get a bad service

Recently we changed broadband supplier. Everything was going great until today when we have a large direct debit taken from our account. Called the supplier and it appears that the cowboy who came to the house to sell us the broadband has mucked it up. Here's how the story goes; A friend had an email to recommend a friend to the supplier, they would get £50 and the friend would get free installation worth £40. Our friend followed the instructions, gave our details and the company said they would call us to arrange things. Despite getting an acknowledgement email from the company, after a week they still had not called us. During this time the company had put a flyer through the door with the local sales rep's details on. We called the rep and he came round and signed us up. He was made aware of the recommendation, given the details and the reference number and said he would sort it. He signed us up for 18 mths ; 6 months at £23.00 then 12 months at £29.00 - all confirmed in writing on the contract .Activation/installation/other charges he wrote on the contract as NIL. So today when we queried the DD we were told it was made up of £23.90 x 2 and installation of £40. According to the supplier we are signed up as 6 x 23.90 then 12 x 33.90. We have to pay £40 installation fee plus the friend doesn't get the £50. They want to see a copy of the contract we have signed, strangely for us to send them OUR copy. We are sending them a photocopy of OUR copy - whats the betting it would get lost in the post etc etc. I am so annoyed.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Getting last little bits for Christmas

I have got nearly all my Christmas presents and I thought I would get some last bits and pieces for my daughter. This was earlier in the week prior to my mishap yesterday ! I set my self a budget of £20 . I actually spent £19.78 and here's what I bought;

Faux silk pillow - My daughter has wanted a 'posh pillow' for a while. I did look in Home Bargains. Theirs were £4.99 but weren't really very good quality. I saw this one in Sainsburys, should have been £10 but had 33% off = £6.66. I had a £5 Nectar reward which I used against it so actually cost me £1.66.

Zelda DS Game - My daughter saved her money earlier in the year and bought a Nintendo 3DS. They were around £199 but in August they dropped the price globally and she paid £120 from Morrison's on a special offer. I am not into this kind of stuff but I said if she wanted it she would have to save. She had pocket/birthday money and paid herself. Other friends have had them 'bought' for them as the latest must have toy. I think its good for kids to buy/budget for themselves. The game should have been £25. My husband was given £11 gift vouchers by someone who didn't want them. When he got to the shop the game was reduced to £22, so we paid £11.00.

Black Bag - Primark £4

Novelty Foot Sharpener - 12p from Tesco

Skirt and Waistcoat - These were from H&M. The skirt was reduced to £3 from £7.99. When I paid I was given a £5 promotion card. To be used fortnight commencing 10.10.11 with a minimum of £5 spend. I bought the waistcoat this week, £5 reduced from £9.99 paid for with the promotion card =£0. Total H&M spend £3

Saturday, 15 October 2011

This little Piggy has spend the morning in A&E...

The day started nicely. I had a lie in while Hubby dropped our daughter at her friends. I was lying in bed debating whether to have another ten minutes, but I decided to get up and peg the washing out. There was a church jumble sale due to start at 10am that I was going to go too. Got up and dressed then went outside to peg the washing. This is when the day went to pot ! I slipped ( somehow ) on the patio, it has a step up and I landed on my right knee with my left leg squished behind. The left leg was scraped badly from the ankle up to the knee. Hobbled back inside, Hubby returned to find me bleeding and blubbing in the kitchen. He said my ankle was looking a bit 'iffy' so off we went to A&E. Was in lots of pain and couldn't put my weight down. They thought I may have fractured my tibia but the X Ray came back OK , the doctor said I have strong healthy bones ! It is just soft tissue damage but still very bruised and painful. They advised pain killers and keep showering to clean wound. Luckily my daughter missed all the 'fun' and was playing happily at her friends unaware of the drama. We got home and had our 'breakfast' at 3pm. I had some painkillers and had a 3 hour sleep on the sofa. I'm feeling the pain now when I move around. I am a poor little piggy :-(

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Earning some extra pennies

Hello Readers and welcome to my latest follower Frugal Wife.

Today I had the rare opportunity to go into work and do some overtime. I haven't done any since early in the year, I had no plans today so in I went for 5 hours. The credit card will be paid off this month, the statement should be here any day now. We do have some things to pay out for in the next few weeks so the extra money will come in useful. Although I had a lucky escape at the dentist on Monday, my husband went along yesterday and he is looking at dental work of £204. It came as no surprise. When he was being made redundant last year we put off the work , which I think then was £196, but if he wants to keep his 'choppers' looking nice then we do have to pay it sooner rather than later. Also in November we also have the MOT for the car. Fingers crossed nothing seems to be wrong but you never can tell ! So although we have things to pay out for , it will be paid with lovely crisp cash and not sleazy credit cards like on previous occasions. I doubt if we will have any money to save but at least we won't be in debt. I also have a lovely sum of £50 coming my way soon. When my husband changed bank account, he got £100 joining incentive but as I recommnded him I got £50 as well. I think however that the bank forgot about me so I chased it up a few days ago. They have replied promptly saying I should get it in the next 28 days. I think I will use the £50 to start a savings pot for the new school uniform for next September.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Table Top Goodies

Good Evening Bloggers and welcome to my new follower Susan.

Tonight I have been mooching through the table top goodies at the place where my daughter goes to Guides. I saw a nice glass tea light holder but forgot about it until I'd got back home. They have a rail now with clothes so I took the opportunity to have a look through. I never see any of the other Moms looking which is good really as more bargains for me. For myself ,I am awkward to clothe anyway so I never really pick up anything for me but I do look for my daughter. Although she is only ten years old, she is quite tall so she can get away with some ladies clothes size 8 depending on the fit. Tonight I stumbled upon a brand new Regatta fleece, with the label still attached , and a jacket which is from Primark. I paid 50p each and I was really thrilled with them. My daughter likes the fleece and is pleased with the jacket , so much so that she wants to wear it for school tomorrow. We also picked up a book from the Percy Jackson series, which she is currently into. This was 30p and would have been £6.99 full price. I will be surveying the clothes rail each week to see what I can find. At a glance it does mainly look like clothing for the mature lady, but as tonight has shown its always worth taking a closer look.

Monday, 10 October 2011

My A-Z

Age - 36 in December
Bed Size - Has to be King Size
Chores I Hate - All of them but specifically ironing
Dog- If we were to have one it would be a Pug
Essential Start to Day - Cup of tea
Favourite Colour- Black, boring I know !
Gold or Silver - Gold
Height - 5ft 7
Interests - Travel, Cinema, Meeting people
Job Title - Clerical Officer
Kids - One daughter
Live - West Midlands
Mothers Name - I've always called her Mom
Nickname - Whatever daft mood my husband is in, depends upon the name at that given time
Overnight Hospital Stays - Maternity, Tonsillectomy
Pet Peeves- Bad manners, being ignored.
Quote from film - ' I hate manure' , Back to the Future
Right/Left handed - Right
Siblings - Two brothers
Time you wake - 7.30 ish, sometimes its more ish than 7.30 !
Underwear - Black/white cotton
Vegetables you hate - Cauliflower, swede, broccoli
What makes you late - Usually other people !
X Rays- Teeth, Arm, Neck
Yummy Food I make - Omelette's
Zoo Animal - Elephants

Happy Monday

Hello and welcome to Sandra who is my latest follower.
Today has been a Happy Monday. Rather pleasant day at work although tension still looms in the air. After work a quick trip to the dentist for my six monthly check up. Teeth are doing fine so £17 and five minutes later I am on my way home. I always have to chuckle to myself when the dentist says 'would you like a clean and polish?', I always say ' yes please' whilst thinking I am paying for one !! After school my daughter tells me she has had two invitations ; one to go to a friends house on Saturday , the other to go to the cinema after school this week with another friend. It seems just lately that her social life is far better than ours ! Nice family meal around the table at tea time and then we went for our evening walk together. Back home nice and early to relax. I just checked the bank accounts on line and my husband has had his joining incentive paid into his new bank account today, £100 - that will do nicely. It is 'already spent' as it will go towards paying off the remaining balance of the credit card.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Here's hoping for a nice week next week

First of all a big hello to my two new followers Rainbowchild and Michelle P.

This week has been complete pants. In no specific order I have had a horrible hospital appointment, a situation at work and a relative having a heart attack. Each day has been hard work and I'm trying to be positive and focus on a new start tomorrow. This seems to be a big of a regular thing now but I am looking forward to some Edwardian escapism with Downton Abbey and a nice cup of tea.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Getting Organised for October

September has flown by so quickly and it was a very busy month for us. Our senior school application is now logged on line so we have our fingers crossed for that, we hear on March 1st if as to where we have been successful. I took the opportunity today to try and get ahead for the month. I have sat down and looked at the 'books' which looks very healthy. We have £201 left to pay on the credit card so all being well that should be gone very soon. I have done a stock check of the freezer and meal planned for the forthcoming week. Its so good to know 'where we are at', the last few weeks felt very disorganised indeed ! This afternoon I'm having a good tidy up and my goal is to iron the big pile that has accumulated. Then a nice relaxing evening with Downton Abbey.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

September Goodies

Hello and welcome to my new follower Bryallen, thanks for stopping by.

The last two weeks have been so hectic and I am well and truly cream crackered !! I thought I would share with you tonight some of my recent acquisitions that I picked up over the last few weeks,

This is my favourite, a gold lidded pot that now lives on the mantel piece and houses odd little things. I got it at the church table top sale for the grand price of 50p. I think it has an exotic look about it but in fact it is a high street piece, with the M&S price tag of £6 still on the bottom.

Last week the paper bag on the left hand side was pushed through the letter box. We had to put it on the doorstep the following day if we wanted a free box of cereal worth £2.49. The cereal is nice, tastes even nicer when its free !

A new Playtex bra found in the oddment bin in a department store, £2.50 originally £22.50. The colour is not the best , its called antique rose which I would describe as boil wash pink ! But for £2.50 can't complain.

Clark's Shumagic polish 50p each reduced from £2.50. This goes on really well and is a quality shoe polish. Not a huge choice of colours but I picked up navy and brown. I have a pair of 'well loved' brown winter boots that I will be treating to some Shumagic very soon.

That's all for now. Have you picked up any bargains lately ?

Monday, 26 September 2011

School Trip; Time to start saving

Tonight's meeting was 'Meet the Teacher'. My daughters school do this each year in September and they talk you through the class work for the year and anything else that you may need to know. The teacher announced that the children will be going away for a residential break in June 2012 ,over three nights in Shropshire. It sounds really good , lots of fun activities and no doubt they will all have a fabulous time away from home. The trip will cost approx £160 which includes food, accommodation,transport,insurance and all the activities, the final cost will be confirmed in a meeting next month. So it looks like I will be starting a savings pot for this trip.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Stressful September

Hi Folks. Everything in my world is chaotic at the moment and I have no routine and things are very disorganised. Meals and exercise have gone completely out of the window ! We have spent the last week (and also next week) out nearly each night looking at senior schools. My head is buzzing with all the rules and regulations and I will be glad when the preference form has gone in. I am finding it to be very stressful indeed. These open evenings have played havoc with our evening routine, most open evenings are 6.30 to 9pm so you eat either very early or very late. By the time I get home with a head full of school facts, its too dark and late to go walking. All of this is coupled with some school events at primary school and tonight is our only 'night off' for a fortnight. I am going to have a relaxing bath shortly and settle down to watch Downton Abbey, I'm sure that the Dowager Countess Grantham never had these problems !

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nearly There !!

I have just made another payment towards the credit card, the balance now is £201 !!! I am so excited that it is nearly all gone. I had a bit of luck last month. I read the meters and promptly rang the readings through. Usually I tend to ignore the estimations and keep paying the monthly bill, how stupid is that ! Anyway we had overpaid by £166 which they refunded us within a few days. Now I know that energy costs are rising and I could have left the money to act as a buffer , should I need it later, but I wanted the money now to pay towards the credit card. To get rid of that is our top priority. Once that silly card has gone , we can start saving towards other things with our 'own' money. Money that is ours to do with what we want and not to be handed to some corporate giant on a designated day each month. On a lighter note, my daughter has just come home from school and has found £1 along the way. She gave it to me but I gave it her back and told her to put it in the piggy bank.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Walkies !!

Good Evening everyone and hello to my new follower magsw_20.

I have just gotten back from our evening walk. It is now something which we have incorporated into our daily routine. Even though it is dark and chilly we still go, it takes less than half an hour and its good to blow the cobwebs away. Last night we were walking and my daughter was cycling alongside on her bike. We passed two little old ladies, walking arm in arm each with a walking stick. As we walked past , one lady called out to us and said ' I wish I was your age again taking my girl out for a walk'. It makes you realise that you are not always going to be this young, fit and healthy. More so your children are not going to be young forever so you should get out there are enjoy the simple pleasures while you can.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

£5 Gift for a Friend

Welcome to new followers mrsneville999 and daisychain19.

I like to give gifts but I am conscious nowadays of how much I spend as it can be easy to get carried away. It was my friends birthday recently and I had been buying and accumulating things to give as a little box of goodies that she likes. My friend likes nice products but they are out of my price range so when I saw some Champneys reduced at Sainsburys I snapped them up. I bought a hand wash and shower gel for £2 each which should have been £5 each. I also bought a small bottle of vino for £1 and they all fitted nicely inside a little box I had. The box was actually a Body Shop gift box that I was given last Christmas with their products in, which was too nice to throw away. I then wrapped it up with a nice bow and put it in a gift bag, again what I had received previously. I was pleased with my little gift.I think it looks a little different and is more personal, what do you think ?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

I have internet !!

Hello and welcome to my new follower Gill. I am excited as I have my Internet sorted and I am back with it. I have ended up changing provider and everything was sorted today. I have logged onto my email and I have 230 emails to read !! I am going to catch up over the weekend, read my emails, other peoples blogs and generally get up straight. Its amazing how much the Internet affects our daily life and how we take it for granted. Over the last fortnight I've had to stop and think about things, normally I'd look it up on the net but I couldn't and it seemed really restrictive. I even had to go into the branch and get a paper mini statement, how outdated does that seem now ! Luckily no nasty surprises on the finance front, I like to check the bank accounts each day to keep on top of things. Anyway I will carry on reading my emails and blog something very soon. Bye for Now :-)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Hello and Welcome.

Hi there. Still having problems with my Internet, we are expecting a call today at 10.30 from the provider...hmmmm.. Anyway catching a sneaky peak on someone elses Internet and was able to view my followers today. Welcome to the new followers who are Hardup Hester, Poppy, Magsmcc, Jane & Chris, aurora.bent and last but least n.salkeld. I hope to be blogging again very soon. I've found it very weird not to be able to log on the net each day, I hadn't checked my bank account for a while and after recent fraudulent activities I was a bit concerned, but all is well thankfully. I have been managing to incorporate more exercise into my daily routine, we have been going out each evening after tea for a 20 minute walk. I have found this quite easy to fit in but the weather is OK at the moment, I don't know if I will feel as eager when snow is on the ground !! See you soon

Friday, 9 September 2011

I'm not AWOL !!!!

Hi, sorry for the recent absence. First I had problems with blogger then I've had problems with my broadband at home. I hope to be back to normal service very soon !!!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

What we spent in 2001 !!!!

When my daughter was born 10 years ago, I did an ' On this Day' record for her to look back on. I got a Times newspaper on the day she was born but I also recorded some things as an insight into life in 2001. I came across this recently and thought I would share with you some figures from August 2001.

This is what we paid for things back then !!!

Pint of beer £1.91
Warburtons loaf 72p
Times Newspaper 40p
First class stamp 26p
Pint of Milk 28p
Litre of Petrol 78.9p
Variable Mortgage Rate 6.99% ( Natwest)
Brand new Ford Ka £6960
US Dollar was $1.37 to the £1

UK number one record was Eternal Flame by Atomic Kitten

Flight from London to New York ( British Airways) was £523

I have also noted the prices for same items for 2011, and I think I will do it again in 2021. I like history and I find things fascinating from 'how we used to live'. |If only we could get petrol back to 78.9p a litre, what do you think ?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Meal Planning

I have a busy few days ahead and I have done a stock check of whats in the freezer and meal planned accordingly. I feel like all I have done lately is stock check but you need to know what you've got before you buy more. Here's what we are having;

Tuesday - Fish with jacket potatoes
Wednesday - Enchiladas - have all the ingredients in stock
Thursday - Have been invited out for tea :-)
Friday - Beefburgers
Saturday - Going to an outdoor prom so weather permitting it will be a picnic supper
Sunday - Spaghetti and Meatballs.

I am trying to get my freezer down again so I can defrost it. I hope that once empty I can do a big batch cooking session and fill the freezer back up with home cooked meals ready to warm through quickly.

Monday, 29 August 2011

School Uniform Stock Check

Its that time of year again when you have to buy new uniform so I have had a stock check today to see how we are fixed. I try and buy bits and pieces throughout the year to keep costs down but as this is my daughters last year at primary school, I am conscious not to buy stuff that won't get worn so we are going to try and make do with what we have. I have got her to try on last years uniform, the blouses are tight and so are the summer dresses so they will be donated to the school shop.
Winter Coat- Last years is still OK, fits well and has plenty of room. No replacement needed.
Fleece Jacket - I got one in the sale a few months ago in the school colour, reduced from £12.50 to £5.
School Cardigans - Still fit but I may have to get a new one. They have the school emblem sewn on so I can't get them from the supermarket. A new one will cost £15 but I may check in the school shop the first week back see if anyone has donated one in a bigger size.
Blouses - Managed to get a pack of 2 M&S blouses a few months ago for £3. My mom also bought her a 3 pack recently so she has 5 new blouses to wear.
Skirts- Last years still fit although a little short, I have told her to wear these with thick tights. She had a bigger size in stock from last year, when I got the other skirts from M&S. They had a deal on buy 2 get one free. Effectively the big skirt is the free one and it is quite long so will do nicely for this school year.
PE Kit - Lasts years fits so no replacement needed.
Pumps - Got these in the sale a while ago, reduced from £6 to £3.
School bag - Had to get a new one as last years had ripped and she will now have to carry a folder so the bag has to be big enough. Got a rucksack style bag which is big enough, reduced from £20 to £10. The bag also has reflectors which I like for the dark winter evenings.
School tights - I always buy these in summer when they are reduced. I got 2 three packs in the M&S sale a while ago, reduced to £2 per pack from £9.
Long socks - 5 pack , again reduced to £3 in M&S sale.

So all in all, not too bad and not much expense. Next year see's me buying the senior school uniform, so I will start saving each month from now so that next summer I have a lump sum to get it with. I can't stock pile for that as I don't know which school she will get a place at until early next year.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Car Boot

We have had a car boot this morning. Awake at 4.30 then set up shop by 5.30am. We were mobbed when we first arrived and got rid of some X Box games straight away. We sold mainly clutter from around the house, old clothes, old toys and other bits and pieces. We also sold the home brew equipment that had been in the loft for 15 years, we got £17 for two barrel's and two buckets. We didn't have a pasting table or a ground sheet so we had to improvise. When I was in the loft I found the plastic wrapping from when we had our suite 6 years ago (yes we have also been storing wrapping for many years ! ) and we used this as the ground sheet. We took drinks and snacks with us although before we left I was lured by the smell of onions to the hot dog stand, however we did share the hot dog which cost £2.50 out of our profits. We had a productive morning all in all, lots of clutter gone and we made £92. We are going to give our daughter some of the money as we did sell a lot of her stuff, albeit clutter. Back home now enjoying a well earned cup of tea.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Free Family Day Out- RAF Cosford

Today we headed over to RAF Cosford. Its about half hours drive from where we live and the weather was good again.  Admission is free but you do have to pay for car parking which was £2 for us. We went there as my daughter is learning about WW2 when she goes back in September and they have a hanger with lots of WW2 planes and things. Its quite interesting and you can meander round the hangers. They have some tiny planes and some huge ones. They do have some other things such as tanks, military vehicles but its not a bad afternoon out. We managed to dodge the cafe and gift shop and took our own drinks along. I did pick up two replica newspapers which were the editions for Battle of Britain and D Day Landings. These were £2.99 each and make for interesting reading as they include news stories and adverts of the day. I thought these were a better alternative for reading material on WW2 than just a history book.

Friday, 26 August 2011

With Thanks...

Welcome to my new follower ' A Tale from Toadstool House' and thank you for your comments on my posts.
I also wanted to say thank you to everyone for your kind words of encouragement following yesterdays blog. Circumstances today have prevented me from doing any extra exercise but I have done lots of extra walking at work today and used the stairs instead of the lifts, every little helps !! I intend to do some type of exercise over the weekend. At home I have a Wii and Wii fit, Just Dance, Michael Jackson The Experience ( he must have been so fit to dance like that !!) and also a Zumba DVD , none of which I have used yet for exercise purposes so a mini goal is to use them in the very near future.
Karen ; I share some of the same 'hates' as you, photos especially. I found my wedding day quite stressful having lots of photos taken !!
No Spend Days ; I don't mind swimming once I am in the water but I hate the 'walk of shame' getting into the pool. This is probably the fastest I ever walk ,to quickly get into the pool before anyone sees me. To add to the horror, our local pool has the showers poolside so everyone can see you showering which I think is a bit intrusive
Savings for Travel; My weight loss/exercise is also for health reasons but I would like to get into smaller clothes, truth be known :-)
Vix ; Thanks for the link , I will look into that over the weekend. I actually used to swim there as a child, we were bused there from primary school for our swimming lessons.
Angela; I think that the GI diet would be helpful to me as well and you have done so well with your exercise so far, it is a great achievement and I bet you feel great for it as well.

Thanks again everyone and have a great weekend.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Positive Mental Attitude

I always strive to have a positive mental attitude but there are times when I am knocked down very easily. There are a number of 'bags' that I am carrying and the debt was one of them. I am now very close to having it all paid off and it feels great. It has given us a real boost and shown us that although something may seem hard at the outset, you can achieve success if you apply yourself. So the debt is almost gone but I have the other 'bags' to unload. One of the 'bags' is exercise. You probably read this and think what on earth am I on about but it is an obstacle for me that I need to address. I am overweight, in part due to a medical condition. I can't do anything to change that and people probably think excuses, but I have medical notes to prove it and if somebody does'nt believe that, frankly I don't give a damn. But I will be honest , I am also lazy. In certain areas of my life I can be very organised and structured but here I am just idle. I completely lack enthusiasm to get up and do things. In part it is due to physical appearance, I hate having my picture taken and hate the idea of people looking at me . I know in all probability they are not looking at me but I feel self conscious. When I was a teenager I was very slim and self confident but as I got older that changed. I used to walk everywhere and be physically active but then I learned to drive and that was it. I have also worked my adult life in offices so that also doesn't help, sitting down all day. Anyway I could completely bore the pants off you so I will cut a long story short. Today my husband had the car and I didn't want to stay home like I would usually do. The weather was nice and my daughter and I walked to visit some relatives who live not far away. We probably walked about 4 miles there and back and we had a very pleasant time. I feel tired now and my legs feel achey. I read other blogs of people walking miles each day, if you are one of those people reading my blog you are probably thinking pull yourself together !! The fact is I need to incorporate more exercise into my sedentary life and I need to make time to do it. I feel great almost being debt free so I want to feel equally great being fitter and slimmer. I'm sorry to waffle on about my exercise phobia but sometimes you just have to put it out there.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Evening of clutter

We have had a productive evening tonight and have been up in our loft decluttering. Hopefully we will be having a car boot sale this weekend sometime so we have put aside a heap of stuff that we want to get rid of. The loft is beginning to look clearer, in the ten years since my daughter came along we have periodically used it as a dumping ground. We have sectioned little areas which is a bit more organised. We have an area of stuff to keep, decorating stuff, Christmas stuff and other areas not yet tackled. It is more tidy instead of just being a big room full of junk. We had empty cardboard boxes just lying around, they have gone. Lots of toys and baby stuff to go, despite pulling on the heart strings we have been a bit ruthless to get rid of the clutter and hopefully make some money. Realistically she will never play/wear the stuff again so it makes sense for it to go and also when the joyous day arrives that we finally sell our house, we would have to sort it all out anyway. Hopefully the little bit of time we spend decluttering now will save us time and effort later. My daughter has been out today so it was good to sort out in her absence, because she keeps putting everything back in her room !

Message for Mrs Moneypenny

I have just read your blog and left you a comment. However if you are having problems you may not get to view my comment so I thought if I left you a message on my blog , you may read it and know you've had a reply. Hope this makes sense !

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Cinema, Lunch and Christmas Pressie all for £10!

Today my daughter and I have had Girls Day, we do it from time to time and spend the day together. I like us to have a nice day for not a lot of expense. We started the day by going to see the kids film showing of Kung Fu Panda 2 at the cinema at Star City, Birmingham. Most cinemas now have kids showings at weekends, recent films but for a fraction of the usual cost. This film came out in May this year so its not on general release now but at the kids showing you can see it for £1.25 each. Had we of seen it in May it would have cost us ( at peak times) £8.30 adult and £5.30 child ticket, so its worth waiting to see it a few weeks later. We took our own drinks and snacks, naughty but saves money. The man next to us said he had bought two drinks and popcorn and it cost him £11 !! After the cinema we went for lunch at Pizza Hut. I had a voucher for regular pizza & salad for £5 and the kids eat free offer is still on, which you can use with the voucher. My pizza should have been £8.95 and my daughters meal should have been £3.99 but all I paid was £5 so we saved £7.94. I never buy a drink myself as I find them to be too bloaty so I have a sneaky sip of my daughters which is refillable anyway included in the cost of her meal ( which was free ). So far we had been fed and entertained for £7.50 !! After Star City we went to the nearby Fort Shopping centre. My daughter had a £15 birthday voucher to spend at WH Smiths. We walked all round the store choosing what to buy, in the end she chose a toy £5, two books £9 - on offer buy one get one half price (£5.99 plus £3), a new pen for school 49p , some sweets and 10x 1p toys ( see my previous blog) . The shops have lots of sales at the moments, it easy to pick up lots of stuff but I resisted the temptation. Last stop was Boots. I had a £5 No 7 money off voucher that I had been given recently. I picked up a Christmas gift for someone, some fake eyelashes £7.50 but only £2.50 to pay with the money off voucher. So another gift in the kitty and a nice day into the bargain, and only £10 of real money spent, cash not credit !!!

WH Smith 1p Bargains

A week or so ago I had an email from Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert and one of his features were 1p bargains at WH Smiths. Various end of lines were going through at 1p each but depending upon which cashier you got , some were taking them off sale and not putting them through. We went into WH Smith at The Fort, Birmingham earlier and came across some advertised as 1p on the shelf, Puppy and Ocean in my Pocket. When we paid the cashier put them all through so we got 10 for 10p !! My daughter had these some time ago and I think they were about £1.49 each then. The packs we got today contain a packet of sweets and the collectible toy figure and luckily all the ones we have got today , my daughter hasn't got already. I think it is just pure chance if you go in and A/ if they have any at all and B/ if they will sell them to you !!