Friday, 27 April 2012

Food Waste Friday

I am intrinsically tight about a lot of things. I will not pay for tomato sauces for pizza / pasta etc. I make it. Now I cannot bear to pay for bread. I bake it. I do my own ironing and wash my own car.

So throwing food away really sits badly with me.

Because I was away for 4 days over last weekend, I had to chuck some mashed potato and leeks that has been cooked on the Thursday evening before we went and lay forgotten in a quiet corner of the fridge in that most furtive of camoflage gear - a clear tupperware box.

I forgot to take a picture I am afraid, there was about 1 portion of each.

This kind of food waste is the most irritating, as I could have simply placed it in the freezer for another evening.

As I live in a flat, I cannot even compost it. Just money in the bin. :o(

The last of my birthday treats are happening in the next couple of day. Tonight The Chap and I are being taken out to dinner by my parents and tomorrow morning my mummy and I are going material shopping in Birmingham - the fancy silk store . 4 floors of material. I walk in and normally just start dribbling as I want everything.

Mum, normally treats us to a drink and Krispy Kreme and then we wander our way home.

Is there anything better than a day spent with your mum shopping? Bliss!

However, I am hoping not to spend a penny as my last present is some material she is going to buy me to make a bag.

I will blog about the wrap dress over the weekend, as it is well on its way to being finished.

Frugally yours
P.S. Has anyone noticed their emailed updates of posts have stopped arriving from me?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

May's Debt Repayment

Welcome to my new follower - Judith, thanks so much for visiting. x

Today is Pay Day. As we know I love a Pay Day as it means more money from my debt.

I had a nice surprise when I got in last night and checked my payslip. I had thought with the tax code changes, I would be better off by £14/month. I was wrong. I am better off by £35/month. £420 per annum increase in my nett pay is very welcome. I want to say thank you.

£420 would pay for my car insurance for a year.
£420 would pay my service charge on W Towers for a year.
£420 would pay nearly 2 quarterly utilities bills.

So time to pay everyone back. I took my basic £150 debt repayment and have added £35 salary increase and £16 which was left over in my current account.

Credit Card 1          was £334.78       paid £175.78     now £159.00
Credit Card 2          was £608.02       paid £26.02       now £582.00
Overdraft                was £300           paid £0              now £300
Car Loan                 was £0               paid £0              now £0

Starting Debt: £1990.80
April's Debt: £1240.60
May's Repayment: £201.80
Total Left to Pay: £1041.00

47.7% of my debt has now been repaid since January and I am still on target to paying off all my debt by December 2012.

I have set my up a new page - Monthly Goals and have stated that this month during the next 5 weeks until it is Pay day again I would like to clear another £40 from my debt, either through economising or by making some money. I will blog how that is going through the month.

Thank you so much for your kind Birthday wishes yesterday. I had a super day  - family and friends were so generous, but even more, such thoughtful gifts. My mum had bought me 2 matching bread tins, as currently I have to make 1 large and 1 small loaf. The Chap bought me so much but amongst it was 2 items he thought about all by himself - a book on cupcakes and some hot chocolate I from Twinnings which I really love. Expect to see some recipes coming up shortly.

My sister gave me €uros to go to Amsterdam with as she knew I was a little short, but the cutest notebook to write posts in if I am every caught short.

But, look at this! My friend "P" made me this cake all by her own hand. How thoughtful is that, and the time it will have taken her.

It honestly made me feel very honoured!

People really in general are so kind.

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Happy Birthday To Me! Happy Birthday To Me!

So where are we?

April is coming to a close and tomorrow is pay day.  I like to give an update on my debt before pay day.

My debt currently is sitting at a total of £1240.60, down from £1990.80 in January. This includes this month’s interest on Credit Card 1 of £2.20.

My debt is split as follows

Credit Card 1   £334.78
Credit Card 2   £608.02
Overdraft        £300.00

Tomorrow I can pay more off.

Umm, today is my birthday. I turned 36. Let’s hope that this time next year at 37, I will be debt free. Having a great birthday everyone is so kind.

I turned up to my evening class yesterday with Banana and White Chocolate muffins for everyone. The recipe came from here and they were dead easy to make, though I did add some honey too.

Making cakes is such a small and cheap way to spread the joy around.

Look at the cake work got me! Brilliant! A Ma-hoo-sive Mr Kiplings’s French fancy. Who could not get excited about this? My day is now perfect.

Some Ideas For the next 5 weeks until June Pay Day
-          Shopping under £80.
-          Pay back an extra £40 off the debt by either selling items or economizing.
-          Try my hand at making a different bread.
-          Finish the wrap dress.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Hello Honey, I'm home!

Amsterdam was fantastic. Both The Chap and I loved it. The Dutch are such friendly folk and really welcome the tourist trade. The City is such a melting pot with different nationalities mixing. During our three days I saw Americans, Canadians, English. Germans, Japanese, Spanish and French.

The Dutch as a people speak English like a native and I mean everyone does, shop assistants, bar staff. Puts us Brits to shame.

It is a very pedestrian friendly city, but to be completely Dutch you have to ride a bike. Cars and parking spaces as like hens teeth. Quite a few companies rent out bikes and all routes are bike friendly. To be completely Dutch though you have to have a bike that looks like it was handed down from your great grandparents and is held together with string, glue and brown paper. I did not see one mountain bike. Well why would you need one in such a flat country?
Here is the bicycle park at the main train station, with room for 2500 bikes, unfortunately though 9500 bikes are parked there everyday. So you can imagine every bit of railing, lamp post etc in the surrounding area is fixed with bikes 3 or 4 deep.
TC and I walked everywhere though the trams make the whole city centre accessible. We think we probably walked about 15miles in total over three days, helped by the fact I had chosen a nice hotel but 3.5km from the city centre.

We stayed in the Manor Hotel (Hampshire Eden), which was immaculate inside, though the rooms were on the small side and when you walked into the room you could look into the bathroom and toilet through a window. These rooms are obviously designed for guests who are comfortable with each other. But, it was lovely, a boutique style hotel - aimed at young professionals and couples - certainly not child friendly.
Is it me? But I also thought it was a little strange to have an oversized picture of flesh eating fish (like the fish spas) over our bed.
TC said the hall ways reminded him of “The Shinning”.

As I stated in my previous post, TC and I avoided the main museums – we did walk past the Rijksmuseum. Ann Franks House and the Van Gogh Museum. All of which had long queues snaking round the block. So we avoided going inside. I took a picture of the Ann Frank House (on the left). Rather innocuous isn’t it?  The building to the right houses the attached museum.

We walked there and I kept thinking this is where she must have walked as they made there way there. Tragic. I also downloaded her diary to read again, as the last time I read it was for a school assignment.

We did visit the Rembrandt house to see where he lived and it was so beautiful apart from the ankle twisting staircases. All the beds are inside large wardrobes and only about 4-5ft lengthwise. Apparently in his era, the Dutch believed lying flat would send a rush of blood to your head, which could kill you.

All of the buildings in Amsterdam are so beautiful, tall and elegantly thin going up 4 or 5 stories. TC is terribly interested in buildings and so he took a lot of pictures especially when he saw wonky houses.

We spent Sunday hoping on and off the canal bus, my back at this point was pretty stiff, as the stop was so close to our hotel during the course of the day we circumnavigated the city including seeing the harbour. You can go 1-2 hour trips at a cost of about €12 pp, our tickets were for the whole day at €22 pp. Much more expensive but they really paid off and with 3 different routes to take you can see a whole lot of the city. Certainly not a cost effective way to travel, but a nice treat on our last day to save our weary feet.
Yes, that is me in the grey hat.

A quick hop off and then on again at the flower market.

We did of course visit the red light district for a wander, but only during the afternoon. We saw some of the “sexy ladies” in the window. My particular favourite was ‘Doris’ (not her real name) 50 yrs old if she was a day dressed in some revealing lingerie covered by a skin tight luminous yellow string vest style frock smoking a cigar. My goodness, now I have seen it all. If I was a chap and contemplating paying for a bit of a cuddle, surely you would choose the lithe young lady? Not allowed to take pictures there I am afraid.

There is a heck of a lot of marijuana cafes too. I would say about 1 every other street with a large concentration in the red light district. You can smell the drug a lot and it does encourage a youthful element inside (especially hen and stag dos). But it does also mean they are too stoned to drink, fight or engage in antisocial activity. You can see one such café in this picture just above the 2 hoodies drinking coffee in the foreground.

I can tell you, I felt safe everywhere I walked, and the city is incredibly clean. It has constant road sweepers around. However, I would not be keen to go for a weekend with young kids in tow as there are bikes coming from you in every direction and the roads are treacherous to cross having to take into consideration – cars, bikes and trams. In the end I gave up and The Chap took me by the hand at every cross roads.

Great weekend with perfect city break weather. TC and I both came back with a large chunk of our spending money, some cheese and a couple of small kilner jars for storing salt / pepper etc.

Unfortunately, TC also managed to pick up an absolutely stinking cold, which developed over the course of Friday. So, if you are planning to go to Amsterdam any time soon. My final advice would be take some over the counter cold / flu tablets with you as none of the shops sold them only souble asprin / paracetamol which does not dry up your cold and improve congestion. The pharmacies are only for prescription drugs and we were soon ushered out by an outraged Pharmacist when we entered waving his hands at signs stating colds are not a reason to be in there.

Would I go back? Hell, yeah! but not for another 7-8 yrs, and if you are planning to go soon and would like to indulge in a certain herbal element, then be quick  - as from Jan 2013 the drug laws are changing. All cafes will have to become private members clubs, which you have to apply to join. It is in an effort to cut down on the drug tourism.

And finally, Amsterdam is a vibrant clean city, the Dutch are so friendly and it is incredibly tourist friendly, but take some pumps to wander around and please please please try and visit the Alber Cyup market, which was just fantastic.

Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

Hmmm, now where to next???

Frugally yours

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Be Right Back

I am going to be incommunicardo for a few days. Tomorrow very early we fly off to Amsterdam for a long weekend to celebrate both of our birthdays. I am so looking forward to spending 3 glorious days wandering around with no plan.

Both TC and I have been there before, so really we just want to wander and avoid the touristy areas.

I would like to see some markets and perhaps have a wander around a windmill.

I want to drink hot chocolate covered with whipped cream and eat fatfilled pastries.

I want to wake up late and not think about sales targets, or KPIs.

I want to spend time with The Chap and just breathe.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Utilites Again...

Today around me is a very grey day. Infact a few horrible days. The heating is still on. Come the beginning of May it is being switched off for the summer.

Back in January, I received my utilities bill - £316.35 for 3 months gas and electricity combined. You can read about it here.

I back then made a decision to try and get the following 3 months to under £250. Well yesterday I completed a my online meter readings, so today my new bill was ready. Don't you just love that excitement of logging on to see how much you have to pay out to these robbing bastards utility companies.

Well unfortunately, it was just over - £259.00. An improvement, but money I can ill afford at the moment. It looks like no heating Monday has worked, along with switching off the heating when at TC's.

I have paid it today, but my savings are so severely depleted, honestly I am a bit worried.

On Friday The Chap and I are off to Amsterdam for a long weekend away to celebrate his birthday. Just the 2 of us and I am really looking forward to it. The money has already been changed to euros, so I can afford to eat and visit the sights. However in May I am going to have to make some big changes, and really start saving again.

The front door still needs to be replaced, and two windows have blown and also need to be replaced now.

Sigh... all money to spend.

So perhaps I can get the next bill to £200. Achievable? ... We shall see.

Frugally yours

Monday, 16 April 2012

The kindness of strangers. x

I am not above a little bit of subterfuge.

I have absolutely fallen in love with these knives I got from coupons at Tesco. They are £4.95 each with 5 of these Tesco Coupons.
The problem is you have to spend £25 to get one of these coupons. So to get the whole set of 5 knives (not including the sharpener) you need 25 coupons. A total spend of £625 before "buying" the knives for £4.95.

£649.75 in total. Suddenly a set of 5 new knives is looking REALLY expensive.

Hmmm, thinking cap on. There are only so many people you can ask for their vouchers.

A few days ago I went in to the Tesco petrol station and bought some petrol, only £20 worth. After the transaction had been processed. I asked if I could have a knife voucher please? "Sorry" was the response, you need to spend £25 to get one.

"Would it help" I replied, "If I told you, you were a very pretty lady?" I added on a winning toothy smile that said 'yup, I know I am trying it on, but you never know'.

She looked at me and started laughing, as we were the only 2 people in the petrol station and said "Give me a moment" She came back out 10 seconds later with her handbag, opened it and fished out a purse.

"Here you go" she stated with her own winning smile. She handed over all these!

25 in total! Enough for a full set! I was delighted apparently she had been saving coupons shoppers did not want and was going to give them to a friend of hers, but decided since I asked very nicely I could have them!

I was, and still am over the moon. A full set of knives and they are really good quality. In fact as I already have two, I said The Chap could have 2 too.

I have been using the same 3 knives bought 8 yrs ago from Woolworths when I got my first place.

Thinking that if someone is nice to you, you should pass it forward, I emptied all my change into the children's charity pot on the counter to say thank you, which I could tell pleased her - probably £3ish. 

Now this is probably against all Tesco regulations, which is why I am not saying where it happened. But, it is kind people like that who make my day. Yes, I was a little cheeky, but the worst that could have happened was she said "No" in which case I was no worse off.

Living alone, I could never have got the full set by the time the offer expired at the end of May. And, I would never have bought myself a set of beautiful knives of this quality. When I go and pick them up, I will share a picture if you are interested?

Thank you pretty lady at Tesco's, may your days be filled with happiness.

Frugally yours

Sunday, 15 April 2012

What a Difference 2 Days Make!

I have had a really busy weekend, but got so much done. Do you remember, I was stressed because of the state of W Towers. Tonight it is clean. I said I would so here are the before pictures.

It has taken, 7 hours from start to end, including 5 loads of washing and 2 hours of ironing. But, now for the big reveal...

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? Didn't cost a penny! Feel better than any shopping trip.

Frugally Yours
P.S. Was one nose hair away from winning on the National. Had the 2nd, awwww shucks!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Food Waste Friday.


What Friday? Again? Where has this week disappeared to?
You know what Friday means? A name and shame of the products who committed harakiri in my fridge.

2 items this week.
First of all and to my shame a whole unopened punnet of cherry tomatoes and we all know how much they cost. Actually they look okay(ish) in this photo. The reality is they smell……really bad.

For the last 24 hours I have opened the fridge and my delicate female sensibilities have been assaulted by a hideous aroma. It appears it was the swan song of these tomatoes. Rest In Peace..

And finally, what to do with the last half a glass of Lidl own brand cola (39p / bottle) which has gone flat? Answer. Stick in down the loo, swill the brush round and flush. Roberts your Mother’s Brother – it is sparkly clean.

Why does that not work on teeth?

I am going to spend the weekend tidying up The Towers, and plan tomorrow to shame myself with the "before pictures" for your viewing pleasure, and my shame.

Now once a year, I do something against the frugal grain. You see, I put a bet on. This weekend is the Grand National and the highlight of the racing season here in the UK. It is also somewhat of a controversial issue, as it is a dangerous race.

I understand people who hate it. But, it is annual event for this little lady and my family place a bet.

So today saw me at BetFred armed with £40 of various family members and work colleagues’ money to place on horses. Everyone wants to make a bet, but strangely all are unwilling to visit a betting shop. I normally gaily breeze through approach the desk and play the “ditsy female out of her depth card”

Do I feel guilty spending my hard earned cash on a bet once a year? No. I do not play the lottery. If you bought a ticket twice a week for a year it would cost - £104. So my £10 bet a year is a lot less.

Frugally yours

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I've given up..

This is me throwing in the towel, raising the white flag and accepting defeat.

This week I am not going to be frugal and I am just accepting it.

Please do not misunderstand, I have not gone out today and bought a Chanel Bag. I am just accepting that this week I cannot be as frugal and as organised as I would like.

Last night, I got home at about 8pm after work and some chores. Quite frankly getting home at that time means I have as much enthusiasm for ironing as Carmen Electra does for quantum physics . So I just headed for a bath, bowl of cereal, an episode of House and then bed. Sound like a healthy diet to me.

I did not buy bread, I did not clean and I did not sort out a work lunch for today.
So there it is. This week I am giving up and to hell with it. Bought boxed salads, may God save my soul.

Today is The Chaps' 40th Birthday. I could get home and clean and iron and knead dough etc, but sod it. We are going out for a Chinese, a 'vino collapso' and some snoggage (to clarify - with each other). I will do my best to look a sultry siren of the deep tonight. Ummm, now how does that go again? Suspect it involved matching underwear and the liberal application of a ladyshave.

I hereby promise from Sunday, I will be an organised Frugalite keen to spread the message from the highest rooftop and extol the virtues of substances like hemp, bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. I am not going to go shopping, I just am not going to worry about a clean house, or a perfect life for a few days.

Somethings are just more important, and The Chap most definitely qualifies!

Frugally yours
P.S. I loved reading your comments yesterday, thank you for taking the time to write them. It is good to know you are not alone x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Now, I need you take a seat dear friend!

Hello and Welcome to my new follower Michelle. Thank you so much for visiting! And, Jan thank you for your kind comments!

I think everyone, you need to sit down.

As, I have some BIG news.....I am not perfect.

I know, who would have guessed? What with my immaculate nails, perfect hair, and smooth legs. (cough! cough!) :o)

I do not know about you chaps, but is anyone else all a tiz after the Easter weekend? I am normally pretty organised, but eveything seems to have gone to pot.

I did not attend my evening class on Tuesday, I forgot to make bread and so far I have forgotten lunch yesterday and today. That means I have had to spend money on something to eat.

So far the running total is £6.80. Remember the good old days when I made £5 last 5 days?

I am not moaning about having had 4 days off or only doing two, 4 day weeks. But it has thrown out my schedule.
  • The the flat has not been cleaned
  • There is no petrol in the car
  • I have no bread
  • I forgot to buy milk for the office
  • The ironing is doing a good impression of the leaning tower of pisa
All this means more to do of a work evening.

So I am giving myself fair warning, "Do this again Abigail, and you are grounded!"

Oh, did I mention after all that chocolate this weekend, I suspect I am morbidly obese and having a battle of wills with the bathroom scales who currently want to weigh my fat ass Renaissance physique.

I bet Victoria Beckham does not have this problem..sigh

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Food Waste Friday on a Tuesday, As I Am A Crazy Kinda Gal!


Ok Ok, I know it is not Friday, but after a long weekend of doing nothing staying with The Chap at his house, well it was a bit tricky to blog.

Besides which he would want to know what I am writing and finds it hil-ar-ious to think people want to know about the mouldy food I throw away. Ofcourse, he also wants to know when I am going to become an internet millionaire so he can be a kept man. Pretty sure that if I become an internet millionaire due to a frugal blog, then I will probably have to give up the blog. Ironic?

Do you want to know what I chuck? I like to do it as it keeps me aware of not throwing food away, the shame of having a pile would be awful. But, if it is boring best to know.

I went back home Monday lunchtime and took the opportunity to surgically examine the fridge for toxic elements. I was not feeling hopeful and went in peg on nose prepared to be ashamed. Fully expected to find "strange new life forms"

This was it, some cheesy leeks I defrosted during the week and then left. So irritating as cheesy leeks are my favourite vegetable.

Yay me! Did the rumba round on my way to the disposal of the leeks.

This long weekend has been lovely and we spent it quietly, though vouchers have been the running theme to the last 96 hours.

Thursday we went to Frankie and Benny for dinner with the £10 voucher I downloaded from their website. I was actually quite disappointed. Some ribs and a pint for TC and a salad with lemon and lime drink for me - total was still c £23 with the money off. Food was ok, but we both agreed that it was not worth the cash even with a discount.

Friday we popped out for a bit of shopping, we needed to buy a rotary dryer for his garden and a few other chores. We also popped into Tesco, where I got these little beauties after having saved most of the vouchers and blatantly nicked the rest from The Chap and family.

Both knives should have been £15 each, I got them both for £9.90. I also bought a couple of other pieces mainly toiletries etc and offered to buy TC his xbox game- £25 to say thanks for dinner and all the food I was eating of his.

The bill came in at £43, I paid £23 because of the knife vouchers and another Valued Opinions £10 gift card. The Chap was utterly convinced Tesco had messed up and was doing that “Ushering me to towards the door whilst mumbling under his breath thing” trying to look innocent. I had to explain receipt in hand, how I had got the bill down by 50%. He was terribly impressed!

So apart from £23 spent in Tesco, No other cash was spent and Sunday / Monday were No Spend Days – Brilliant! Together we cleaned, painted and sorted his new house. We ate every meal together, exchanged Easter Eggs and watched rubbish tv. He cooked for me and I did Sunday lunch for him.

I wonder how many couples felt the need to spend to enjoy their weekend? New cars/ kitchens / clothes etc

I even made the ultimate sacrifice –Sunday from 7pm to 12.30am I watched The Masters golf tournament. I can now talk knowledgably about Birdies, Albatrosses, Eagles and Bogeys and even saw a hole in one!

In actual fact, it could have been worse and way to go Bubba Watson.

If Carslberg did girlfriends methinks!

Frugally yours

Thursday, 5 April 2012

3 Months and Still At It.

Tomorrow it is 3 months since I made my first blog entry. It has been such fun, and I am really enjoying it. Blogging focuses the frugal mind.

In that time I have paid off £752.00 off my £1990 debt, learnt new skills and discovered a whole new world.

I thought then today would be a good time to give you an update on past posts.

Back in February, I set myself the challenge of making all my own bread until the end of March.
I achieved it, and made everything from scratch, bar a packet of pitta pockets reduced in Tesco to 5p. I am really pleased with my new skill and for the time being am planning to continue. I am also hoping to add some more breads to my current limited repertoire.

You also may remember back in January I had a go at growing my own mushrooms from a free kit I got off Freecycle. I had been warned the kit was over 12m old, and I know spores have a certain shelf life. So no, no mushrooms, just some mould. :o(

In January, I also discussed the rainy day jar I have here I am still putting change into it every week, but not as much as usual as I am still trying to stop unnecessary trips to the cashpoint. So change gets used up. I am still hoping though for £100 by Christmas.

Life is going pretty well here at W Towers, but there is no doubt still a long way to go to be debt free by the end of 2012.

Plus this month has been expensive and I also need to start rebuilding my savings.

Seems like a 3 month plan is hatched. Save £600 by July.

Thank you everyone for all your support, I cannot tell you how much comments mean. I squeal when I get a new one from someone near by or half way around the world.

Easter beckons now, and I have been looking forward to the long break, The Chap and I have nothing planned except decorating his house and a dinner out courtesy of the £10 Frankie and Bennys voucher.

Happy Easter
Frugally yours

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My Idea of Extreme Couponing, "Abigail Style!"

At the moment, I always want to get the most for my money. If I am paying for an item, I always think

1. Can I get it cheaper somewhere else, and am I saving money by taking the cheaper option?
(e.g. if a bike is £100, at the shop down the road, but £95 a 20 mile drive away, it is better to buy it for £100)

2. Am I getting my money's worth?
Is it really worth it for the money.

3. Could I increase my money's return?
This for me is the big question over the last 6 months and it has made me ever so slightly obsessed.
An example, the foundation I bought on Friday.

By buying the bottle from House of Fraser I saved £2.45 and got 5 freebies with it, plus some loyalty points. Much better than going to Boots to only get my loyalty points or buying it online.

I was thinking about this today, as my mother asked me to pick up a present for The Chap. I paid for it and duly handed over my loyalty card to get the points.  I also then completed the competition to win Sheskpeare tickets and chose the free gift of a notepad with matching pen. Did I mention I bought it today as there was 20% off?

Such total obsessive behaviour can amuse those around me as I constantly struggle for a loyalty card, or bring out a voucher. But it DOES save money and give me free things.

Do not misunderstand, yes I have a Boots, House of Fraser, Tesco, and Subway loyalty card, but I do not blindly go to those stores to get my purchases. I price check and if one of those establishments has the best deal, then I also get my points to use at a later date.

If I forget lunch one day, well at least I am getting something 'extra' for the money I do spend.

I also love a voucher/ coupon, often using one means I can have a treat or make my money last longer, or even better get something free!

Currently I am sitting on these
The voucher at the back for Frankie and Benny's I printed off today, we are going tomorrow night as it is not valid from Good Friday to Easter Monday. It should cover a third of our bill.

Even If I am not sure I always grab a coupon, then every month I bin anything out of date. But, I also check them every time I do have to shop.

It saved me quite a bit, once I got over my middle class sensibilities about vouchers.

Now I do not care, I hand them over and wander off happy in the knowledge
1) If i had to buy it at least I had some points back
2) It reduced my shopping bill which means I can pay more of the debt back.

This is extreme couponing "Abigail Style". Ha!

Do you go shopping with a coupon / voucher or loyalty card always in hand?

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Shopping At Lidl.

I had visitors for a night over the weekend. They arrived mid afternoon on Saturday and left just before lunch time on Sunday.

It lovely to see my friend B, she brought her new chap for me to meet. He was nice too, which was good!

So on friday on the way home I did some more food shopping. Quite a bit of my monthly budget blown.
£33.64, but that does include £8.99 spent on a bottle of white rum, I am trying to not buy Bacardi anymore and am looking for cheaper alternatives.

I think looking back through this receipt what has shocked me is the amount I have been willing to spend on nutritionally dreadful foods.
lemon cheesecake      £2.99. (However this was a pudding after the lunch I cooked on Saturday and after costing it out for my homemade version. Buying it was a few pence extra)
Creme caramel          £0.72
Honey balls cereal     £1.59
12 toasting waffles    £0.55
Caramel Choc Bars    £1.29
Total                        £4.15
(not including the 2 frozen pizzas)

This is a warning I think to me,
do not go food shopping again without a list!

I always go with a list normally. The one time I do not, look what happens?

I will be fat and skint! ha ha ha!

So April Food spend - £33.64
Left to spend - £46.36 with 3 weeks to go.

No doubt in my mind Lidl is cheaper, but I cannot do a full shop there and like most places they do not cater for the single person.

So I am continuing to flutter between the market, Tescos, Lidl, Aldi and Morrisons.

Frugally yours

Monday, 2 April 2012

Ooo I love a voucher I do!

Is there anything better than free? I love free. It sends a shiver down my spine.

I went shopping after work today to buy Easter Eggs. Always an expensive time. I buy for my sister, brother in law, nephew, parents, The Chap and 5 children of friends. It can be an expensive visit.

Today, I bought these.

Total cost? £17. Total spent? £0.

You see with a little prudent forethought I paid for the whole lot only using vouchers.

My quarterly tesco club card vouchers arrived a few weeks ago £7. I saved them to use today.

I also joined Valued Opinions and complete their online consumer surveys, dead boring but I do it whilst I eat lunch at work, so time I can easily afford. 10 - 30 mins for each one and they pay anything from 50P to £3. You then redeem the money for vouchers. Every time I have £10, I redeem it and keep it for just such an occassion.

Here is the voucher I got a week ago.

So you see, Easter done on a budget of £0.00. Perfect!

Frugally yours