Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bargains at Boots

Good Evening and a very warm welcome to the three new followers who have joined today, they are greenflag, Fariha and applevalley.

I had to go into Birmingham today with my husband. I had a quick look in Boots for any sale bargains that were lingering around the store. I had a good walk round , couldn't see anything then spotted the treasure close to the tills. Today's treasure was toys. I'm doing well with my gifts in stock for next Christmas, I have made a detailed list and everything is packed together in one place ready for the festive season. I spotted the toys under the 75% off banner. There was a lot of baby toys which I didn't bother with but I picked up these little gems ;
Star Wars Lego £26 reduced to £6.50
Meccano set £20 reduced to £5
Duplo Farm £10 reduced to £2.50
My First Duplo £10 reduced to £2.50....................Grand Total £16.50 with a saving of £49.50!!

I couldn't believe my luck. I now have some birthday presents as well to go in stock. Interestingly we went into WH Smith and they had the Star Wars Lego at £35.99, imagine my glee when I saw that with my £6.50 Lego safely in my bag.

So folks if you have any spare time/cash get down to Boots and bag the last of the bargains.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Last of the Sale Bargains and return of the missing Christmas Cards

Whilst delcuttering the missing Christmas Cards turned up. They had been hiding in with some of my husbands paperwork so now they are safely in the 'card bag' ready to be used next Christmas. I hate losing anything and it drove me mad trying to find them !

Last week when I was in town I nipped into Boots as they were advertising 75% off. There wasn't much left to be honest. I picked up a Wallace & Gromit Rocket soap reduced from £4 to £1 and two White Cranberry soaps reduced from £6 to £1.50 each. I was surprised by how nice the soaps smelt. I am keeping these for gifts for the two Guide leaders next Christmas.

Then I went in Matalan. I don't usually go in this shop but they had various sale items, nothing really took my fancy until I saw the costume jewellery. My daughters really into this so I picked a few bits to keep in stock for her birthday and Christmas. I bought a pearl necklace and bracelet set £6 down to £1, chunky bead bracelet £4 down to 50p, Silver Shape necklace £6 down to £1 and a leopard print corsage/hair accessory £5 to 50p. Things like this she really likes, mixes and matches with her clothes and they are nice, inexpensive stocking fillers.

High's and Low's

Good Evening and a big welcome to my new followers SammyLeia and Babybluewater, thank you both for joining.

Since my last post I have been really busy and I thought I would sum it up in bullet points as highs and lows just for a change. Here goes;


Home - We have made real progress decluttering and sorting out. The loft is now empty and we have taken  more stuff to the tip and the charity shop. I have sorted all my daughters baby clothes and been ruthless. I had three suitcases of things, I have now just got one. I have kept all the stuff I can't bear to throw and the rest is bagged up. I am going to take it to a local place that gives cash for clothes. I will re post as to how much I receive when I get round to taking it in.

Work - Overtime has returned and we are told it is available until the end of the financial year. I have done an extra 16 hours this month so that will be paid to me next month. I have decided to keep any overtime money in a separate pot for moving house as this would come in useful for fees etc.

Financial - Our mortgage statement arrived and the balance was a few hundred pounds less than we thought. Every little helps.

Mystery Situation ???? - I don't want to sound all mysterious but we have had something positive happen but I don't want to count my chickens before they have hatched. This is tricky because I haven't said anything in real life either and I have to think before I speak. More on this at a later date.

Lows ;

Work - My husband sent us overdrawn. By using his own debit card to pay for work expenses instead of using his credit card. Consequently we will be overdrawn until the expenses get paid in about a fortnight. Needless to say I was not amused.

Health - We have both had this nasty chest infection bug that is going around. I am still trying to shake it off but I am coughing and spluttering as if I am on 20 a day ( which I am not !! )

Home - Working over and decluttering has meant I have fallen behind with certain chores. I hope to catch up within the next few days.

Well I think that's it for now, has anything exciting been happening in your world ??

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Topping up the Freezer

Good Morning and a nice surprise today to find four new followers, they are Mrs Thrifty, Jo, Kim H and another Mrs Thrifty, welcome and thank you all for joining.

All this week I have been using up what I've got. On Sunday we had a roast and I made double of everything so we could have the same again on Monday. On Tuesday we had fishfingers and mash, then last night we had sausage and mash. The big bag of potatoes has now gone. Tonight my friend is coming over and we are having a takeaway so I am having a night off from cooking. The freezer was looking a bit bare but I topped it up last night at Sainsburys. I had to pop in for something. They are doing a good offer at the moment with towels but as we don't need any I didn't bother looking. I saw my favourite member of staff, the one holding the yellow sticker machine and he was reducing the stuff. There was a bit of a crowd but I managed to get what they had left. I picked up;

Chicken Breast Roasts , 2 packs at 79p each reduced from £4. They have a breast with stuffing, wrapped in bacon and a sausage.
Lamb Leg Steaks, 99p reduced from £4
Steak Pie, 79p reduced from £3.49
Pancetta and Parmesan sausages , 2 packs with 6 in each, 59p reduced from £2.79
Steak Diane Sauce, 2 sachets 25p each reduced from £1.50
Strawberry Cheesecake, 2 reduced from £1 to 15p each. These were sickly sweet and not very nice. Glad I only paid 15p.

I have at least 4 meals and I paid just over £5 for the lot. They had lots of bread reduced but I knew I didn't have much freezer space. I just about managed to get this little lot in. Have you picked up any bargains lately ?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Crunching the numbers

Thank you to my new follower Pink Fairy Vicky, thanks for joining.

The estate agents have been round this week, three local agents and now we have three valuations, one high , one medium and one low. To be fair, the lowest one is probably the most accurate and interestingly that agent has the lowest fees, which are less than half of the other two. It is also an independent family owned business as opposed to the other two which are part of national chains. I think that the family business would work harder for the customer. So now we have figures to work with. I am going to ask for a redemption statement as well this week from the bank to see what the mortgage balance is. We have been on the variable rate for a few years so we won't have any redemption penalties to pay for paying the loan off early.
I think I'm going to have to get a bigger notepad for all the sums we will be doing !

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Finding Cheaper Alternatives

Sometimes I write this blog and all I seem to talk about is spending money. With a young child I do inevitably have to buy things but I always look for cheaper alternatives and I always try to live better for less.

My daughter is in the girl guides and I bought her the guide top before Christmas. The guides nowadays are a bit more flexible, as long as they have the top they can mix and match with jeans and other clothes. They do have a hoody type jacket that can be bought as part of their uniform that they wear when they go out/parade etc. The jacket is basically navy with a hood and starts from £19.50. Over Christmas I saw a sale in the Edinburgh Wollen Mill shop. Its clothes are mainly for the mature lady but they do good discounts and you can pick up basic items quite cheaply. We saw this navy fleece in the sale, reduced from £24 to £7.20. This , I thought, will do nicely for the guides. The good thing is ,as it doesn't have any guide logo's on it she can wear it at other times.

When we do go shopping my daughter now likes to look in shops like Primark and New Look. The things are OK and quite cheap but it fast fashion and the quality is not really there. She saw a pair of fashion slip on shoes £13.99. They were made from awful mock suede material and looked as if they would dissolve if they came close to a puddle. I managed to persuade her they wouldn't last long and would be a waste of money. We then came across Clark's and they were having a sale. I spotted these black ( real ) leather pump style shoes for £12.99, originally £29.99. Even my daughter agreed they looked,felt and smelt so much better then the cheap shoes and were actually £1 cheaper ! So we picked them up, they are half a size bigger than her current size but should fit in a few weeks no doubt.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mug Tree starts a new life

Hello and welcome to my new followers Jo and Cross the Pond, thanks for joining.

One of the ways that I like to save money is to try and be inventive. Recently my daughter wanted a jewellery tree to hang all the beads and necklaces that she has acquired. Before Christmas they were upwards of £15 so I told her to wait for the sales. So we had another look and to be honest they were not really reduced and seemed quite flimsy as well. Most of them have four tiny hooks so you can't really hang much on them. As we were shopping I spotted this mug tree in Wilkinson's priced at £2.50. I put it to her that this would be good for the jewellery, its a lot cheaper and more sturdy. In fact it would hold a lot more stuff that the actual jewellery tree itself. After a bit of deliberating she agreed so we bought the mug tree and it rapidly was stocked up with all her stuff.
I think it was a good buy and doesn't look much like a mug tree any longer, what do you think ?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Busy week

Hello dear readers and a big welcome to my new follower The Log Cabin, thank you for joining.

I've had a busy week this week. Back to work and school and getting into a routine again after the Christmas break. I had the day off on Wednesday so we took down all the decorations and put away the remaining clutter from Christmas. I gave the house a good clean but it does look rather bare now ! I have recycled all the gift bags and ribbons/wrappings for next year, some things are so lovely it is a shame to throw them away. I have also been given chocolates for Christmas which to be honest I can't face eating. In previous years they would have been long gone by now but I just don't fancy them. I am going to regift them over the next few months, I always regift if I won't use an item. So people regard this as wrong, but I think it is wrong to waste something , its better used elsewhere in my opinion.
   We have also been busy doing jobs in the house, my husband is cleaning the shower cubicle as we are going to renew the sealant. I have got five more bags of rubbish for the tip. The decorating upstairs is almost complete, just need to give the bathroom a quick lick of white paint to freshen it up. We have also called some local estate agents as we want to put the house on the market asap. They are coming later in the week to give us a free market valuation. Once we know the figure, we can start doing some sums and make plans.
I just hope someone wants to buy it !!
    I have also been buying a few more bits and pieces for my gift stock. There have been some good reductions. I haven't walked the town but when I have been in shops I have had a quick look. In Sainsburys I bought this gift set for my daughters friend who is having a party in a few weeks, £1.50 reduced from £5. The mug set was from Dunelm and I picked that up for a gift for the class teacher for when they leave in summer, this I was very pleased with , £1.24 reduced from £5. There is a mug, coaster and a little tea tray. Recently in Boots they gave me two £5 off No 7 vouchers. There was nothing I wanted but then I noticed that they do No7 for men. I picked up two shaving gels £6.75 each but using the voucher I paid £1.75 each. These will go into stock for either Fathers Day or Christmas stocking fillers. I also saw some reductions online for Debenhams. I got two dressing gowns for relatives, reduced from £21 to £10 each. One has arrived, it is really thick and fluffy. I'm keeping these for Christmas as well. Some of my work mates think I am absolutely bonkers buying ahead but I think if you are able to , you should as you can get good bargains.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My Just Perfect

I have just been reading Tales from Beyond the Nook and today's entry Just perfect.............. regarding the presents received over Christmas and I thought I would share my pressies with you as well. It was also my birthday in December and I had a few pressies then as well;

Birthday ;

A pair of fleece pyjama bottoms which I had from a friend .These were exactly what I wanted and I was really pleased to received them.
Hot Styling Brush. I saw this earlier in the year and toyed with the idea of getting one. A relative got me one for a surprise. It is really good for quick styling and drying my mop of unmanageable hair.
Cash. Always useful, I have saved it and not spent it.
Just Dance 3. To try and dance away those extra inches
Skin Care & Toiletries. Always welcome to add to the depleting stock
Body Shop White Musk Eau De Toilette. My favourite , not too heavy or expensive


More Skincare & Toiletries. Based on what I received last year it saw me through until Christmas 2011. I hope this years haul will do the same.
Big box of Thornton's. Naughty but nice.
Cash. I have saved this and added it to the birthday coffers
Framed picture of my daughter. Nice gift of a snap shot of my daughter over the summer.
Wine. In the cupboard waiting for a nice occasion
Pair of China Mugs.

I was pleased with my December goodies and the fleece Pyjama bottoms are excellent, so warm and toasty.

What presents did you get ?

Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 - Back in the Black

Happy New Year !!

This year , for the first time in 16 years , we have began the year debt free. No credit cards, overdrafts or loans. In fact we ended the year with a credit balance of £249,  which I am highly delighted with after all the expense of Christmas and New Year . We spent New Year with friends in Devon and got back home today. On the mat was a gas bill. I opened it with great enthusiasm, strange you probably think but I had put the money away for it so I was keen to see the amount. It came in at £95 less than I anticipated so I have an extra £95 to put away. I really hope to make more progress this year and get into the habit of good saving and also careful spending.

Thank you frugal friends for your support in 2011 and I hope that we can all make great progress in 2012.
See you soon x