Thursday, 31 May 2012

June's Debt Repayment

Today is a good day. Today is Pay Day. You know I love a Pay Day!

I made some commission this month, not enough for a round the world cruise, just some. Plus I got an expenses cheque for just a touch over £100.

This lunchtime I really went for the debt. Whooo Hoooooo!

Here is the breakdown.

Credit Card 1
Was £80.71         Paid £80.71      New Balance £0.00 Another debt down!!!

Credit Card 2
Was £582.00       Paid £319.29    New Balance £262.71

Was £300            Paid £0           New Balance £300.00

Car Loan
Was £0.00           Paid £0           New Balance £0.00

I am so delighted, £400 is more than I have paid off before and means that over 6 months I have paid off two of my debts that had a starting total of £980.94.

The End is Nigh Kids!

Starting Debt in January - £1990.80
Debt By the End of May - £962.71
Debt Paid This Month - £400.00
New Total Debt - £562.71
Percentage of Debt Paid May – 20%
Percentage Paid to Date – 72%

Plus I managed to put £200 into my savings account. I really need to try and increase my savings going forward, but that might be at the expense of debt repayment.

I need to have a think about that.

£562.71 left to pay seems really achievable and so today I am over the moon!

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Time & Attendance, Nope Time & Criticism.

Firstly, hello and welcome to my new follower Harriet. I am so grateful you stopped by.

I got asked this question the other day
“Have you finished X? (a personal project)

“Nope” I replied “Not had the time yet”

The response was a large scoff, by my inquisitor, stating what utter rot as what did I do after I had finished work with no kids and just myself to look after. The sub text was definitely “You are lazy”

I went home and thought about this. 
  • Once a month I attend book club 7-8pm on a Monday.
  • Every Tuesday I go my evening sewing class from 7 –9pm and get home about 9.20ish I then have to cook and shower. 
  • One evening a week I see The Chap, I get home eat and shower and get round to his for about 8pm..
  • One evening a week I see my parents for dinner and again get home about 8.30-9pm.
That leaves one evening a week free.

At weekends (fri – sun) I stay at TCs place but often pop home to take washing out and put a new load in. That means, Sunday when I go home I can clean and iron before doing some more sewing and perhaps starting on the new Months book.

Plus on top of this I make sure I see my friends, bake my own bread, and of course take care of my cul de sac’s admin as I am Secretary of our Resident’s Association.

Oh, plus I leave to go to work at 7am and get home at 7pm.

Conclusion, nope not lazy, just busy.

But, after thinking about this I got really cross. I often find people believe they have the right to comment on me. They think that my life is quiet / meaningless / selfish as I do not have children, or sometimes others believe that they should say what they think as it is honesty.

I decided long ago not to cause waves by trying not to get offended, but now I find the criticism is more overt

“People who do not have kids are selfish”
“Of course you have put on bit of weight recently…I am just being honest”
“Could you do x, y ,z for me as you do not have children and so have the time”
My personal favourite in the days before The Chap “Never mind Abigail, someday someone will see past your outside and realize are are beautiful…inside”

I realize now that I am much more aware of how I was brought up – If you cannot say anything nice then do not say anything at all. Is it me or does anyone else suffer from these verbal smacks in a kamikaze style attack whilst your Frenemy smiles sweetly?

Ok rant over, sorry not talk about thrift today!

And finally, pay day tomorrow. This is the total of my remaining cash. £2.98.
Contemplating an ice cream on my way home.

Thank you everyone for your nice comments about my hair. I am pleased with it and have ordered more dye whilst it is on offer for a few months hence. It seems I am not alone is disliking the whole dyeing process.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Been Dyeing To Do This.

At 36, I have noticed that middle age is trying it’s best to creep up on me. One minute I was in black velvet hot pants clubbing until the early hours. I blink and the next thing I know I am happiest whilst perusing soft furnishings on a Saturday afternoon and know everything there is to know about mortgages. How did that happen??

One of the side effects of “growing up” is that the odd grey colourless hair has started to creep through. Not a lot I hasten to add, just the odd one or two. I last had my hair coloured before Christmas at a discount price of £85. I cannot afford that again for a while.

Recently I have noticed that the grey colourless hairs have started covert action again taking up strategic positions ready for a full head on attack. I don’t think so Sunshine!

So yesterday evening I got home from work and opened Avon’s Advanced Techniques Medium Brown Hair Dye after of course a 24 hr test patch. Price £6. I have not dyed my own hair for about 3 years. It is not a job I enjoy or am any good at. My aim is to hide the grey and try not to change my own hair colour too drastically.. oh and to try and keep the bathroom undamaged.

So what do we think? It does look a bit patchy in this picture as the sun is shinning only on part of my hair.
£6 is a lot cheaper than £85, plus in Brochure 10 (Fergie, Black Eyed Peas on the front) Page 24 they are selling them for £3.50 each on special offer. (I ordered another for stock today.)

So my hints for dyeing your own hair
1)    Take 2 old towels in with you – 1 to stand on and 1 to have for after the rinse off.
2)    Take a big crocodile clip in with you to the bathroom so longer hair can be put up to stop dye getting your neck during the development period.
3)    Have an extra pair of plastic gloves. You need 1 pair (supplied) for applying the dye and I prefer to have another pair for rinsing my hair after.  TOP TIP I ‘borrow’ gloves from the petrol station forecourt.
4)    Have cotton wool and an astringent cleaner (toner works very well) for after application to remove dye from forehead ear and nape of neck etc.
5)    If safe to do so, do it naked. That way no dye gets on anything that cannot be cleaned.
6)    Oh yes and open a window, the stuff reeks!

Frugally yours
P.S. 48 Hrs until Pay Day.

Monday, 28 May 2012

May's Monthly tasks

It is Monday and I am on the countdown to Friday and the long weekend.
This weekend is the Queen's jubilee - 60 years since she commenced her reign. As part of the celebration the government have given us Brits an extra day off work tagged onto a normal bank holiday weekend. 4 days off work, here I come!
More on that over the weekend.

May finishes on Thursday, however our sales period finished on Friday 25th, so I am already in "June mode". Pay Day is Thursday and I am so looking forward to it.
I thought you might be interested to know what happened with the May Tasks that I set at the beginning of the month.
Here, they are
- Finish my second wrap dress. Done you can see a picture here
- Make some different type of bread. Done, I made cheese Focaccia. Here it is again.
- Bring Food shopping in at under £80 for the month. This was tough, as May was a 5 week month for me and some items that you only buy every few months went together e.g. washing powder, polish, anti bac spray etc. Final spend for May £87.27. Mmmm I think I can live with going over by less than 10%.
 - Pay off an extra £40 from credit card during the month.
Credit card 1 in my last debt post was £159.00. This month I bagged up coins - £60 and then went through every single online account I have and discovered another £15, plus small bits of random pence I came across as I checked my online banking. So I managed to pay off an extra £79 over the course of the month. I am  really pleased with this, as it is about 50% of a normal monthly payment I would make on pay day. Credit Card 1 New Total: £80.17 (the .17 is interest)
Perhaps it is time now then to set June's Tasks
- Pay off an extra £40 from Credit Card 2.
- Try making a French loaf or other rustic loaf
- Bring supermarket shop in under £80 between today and 25th June
- Sell 2 items on Ebay (The one item I put on did not sell)

And finally, do you remember The Chap and I were having an afternoon out on Saturday, followed by dinner and a movie? Well, it all went beautifully until we took a look at films to watch. Nothing caught our eye and the evening was so beautiful we just decided to go home and wait until the new Alien film comes out next weekend.
Anyhoo, I have just bought tickets lunchtime today after TC decided he would like to see it at the IMAX next weekend.
I am never booking tickets through them again! £5.50 booking fee, plus another £1.50 for P&P for two tickets to the cinema! Final cost £28.80 (posh seats). Ok it is 3D and on a huge screen. I got them as TC  has been looking forward to this film for months. It had better be AMAZING.

Frugally yours

Friday, 25 May 2012

Food Waste Friday. It Is All Soft.


Food Waste Friday again.

Unfortunately 2 things to report.

First of all 4 potatoes, all soft and sponge like. I cannot think of a thing to do with them. So into the bin they had to go. Damn

On Monday I went into work with a whole cucumber I had bought last weekend to have on toast for lunch this week.

Unfortunately though by Wednesday I had run out of bread. I meant to make some Sunday afternoon, but I went to see The Chap. Then I meant to make some on Wednesday, but I went for tea at my parents instead. Then last night, I was absolutely postively going to bake 2 loaves.

The Chap was ill and off work last night, so I went round to his instead to give some TLC. Result no bread to put my cucumber on, which means the cucumber went soft and yucky (technical term) as well.

So this afternoon I am blogging about 2 different fridges, both of which were holding dirty little secrets. Bum!

On a more positive note, next week I get paid and I am really excited, be prepared to see a big chunk coming off the outstanding debt I have. I managed to pay off extra over the course of May from Credit Card 1, plus this Pay Day looks to be a good one! I cannot wait for Thursday.

The sun is shinning here in Staffordshire, this weekend is the official weekend The Chap and I have chosen to celebrate 12months together. So tomorrow afternoon we are off to Tamworth for a little bit of shopping, then dinner and a movie. He is lovely, and I am lucky.

I should of course weed the communal area in my cul de sac or sand the bathroom skirting board, or sort through my clothes. But I shan't. I am going out. Thrrrrrrrppppppp! to chores.

Frugally yours

Thursday, 24 May 2012

When Is Thrift, Really Thrifty?

I often deliberate when is being frugal really thrift?

An example.

Earlier this week I was in Stoke on Trent at the end of the day and was walking back to my car when I happened to walk past the factory shop for Royal Stafford.

So I popped in.

It is full of beautiful items, like all the factory shops for ceramic ware in Staffordshire. Visiting any one of them is a lovely day out and you will get a good deal compared to high street stores.

I especially like the “seconds” which are imperfect goods sold at a fraction of their perfect siblings’ price. E.g. perfect price for a plate £29.95 seconds price £10.50.

In Royal Stafford they had a section of items on the floor, baskets filled to overflowing with mugs, cups, saucers, plates etc. All seconds and end of lines. And, all reduced to 50p. Yup 50p!!!

I saw these

And fell in love immediately.

So I bought some……..umm, actually I bought 10. Total cost £5.00 yes they have almost imperceptible marks (I went though all 50 or so plates to find the best) but I like them a lot.

So is this frugal? Surely the thrifty way, would have been to not buy them at all and keep my £5.

And, why the hell did I buy 10? When there is only little old me at W Towers.

However, I did reason that I could give them as gifts with a cake.

Actually, all is not lost my friend K at sewing class fell in love with them too and said she would have them off me if I decided to sell.

Currently they are in the halfway house of my car boot awaiting a decision.

What do you think I should do?

And, did I save money by buying the plates at 50p, or spend £5?

I am not sure, but I do still really like them.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Frugal Feasting!


Blogging lunchtime today as I have a work meeting all afternoon, then a doctors appointment, rounded off with my sewing circle this evening.

I have written before about how I like to turn off the radio on the way home from work in the car and just let my mind wander. It is often in this 6-7pm hour that I remember chores or plan projects etc. Last night as I drove home I started to think about what I could eat for dinner.

Ages ago I bought some fresh vacuumed packed ravioli stuffed with mozerella and parma ham. It is delicious and was on offer 3 packs for £3 (not to mention a BB date 3 months in advance) and each pack does a meal for 2 people. It does need a sauce though. Hmmmm…

So I got home and started through the cupboards, 2 large mushrooms were sliced and fried with half an onion and a teaspoon of garlic granules. I added a tin of Tesco value tomatoes (31p you do need to chop them). A stock cube, tablespoon of mixed herbs and then a huge splash of balsamic vinegar, which makes the sauce really rich.

I then allow the pan to simmer for 3-4minutes to thicken.

Finally took the pan off the heat and stirred in half a carton of left over sour cream from the weekend. Do not do it on the heat as the cream will separate.

Result? A really delicious sauce for my ravioli that will also feed me this evening for pennies. Sorry forgot to take a photo, far to hungry!

Following recipes is good, following your gut is better for this frugal feaster. It was so yummy.

Frugally yours

Monday, 21 May 2012

UFOs Identified and Eliminated.

Firstly, hello and welcome to my new follower “adventures in dinner”. Thanks so much for visiting and Donna, I really appreciated your comment on my post about Mum. So thanks, it cheered me up no end!

It was a really productive weekend, if (being really honest now) a little bit lonely.
I had dinner with my parents on the way home on Friday, then popped into the supermarket. I will update my shopping page when I get a moment this week. £34.52 spent in Tesco. However, I did buy the final knife from their offer before it closed yesterday.

So I am not sure if it is allowed, if it is then this was my first ever No Spend Weekend.

I went to bed early Friday night and was up at 7.30am with the flat totally cleaned and vacuumed by 11.30am. “J” can round at 12.30 and I was able to serve up salmon steaks (donated by my mum) with baked potato served with sour cream and chives (courtesy of mum’s garden) and some reduced sugar snap peas / mini sweetcorn medley. Then I did jelly and ice cream for pudding. Yes, jelly and ice cream. Honestly, try it, give an adult jelly and ice cream this weekend and they love it as a one off. Takes you back to your childhood.  I also gave her my left over knife vouchers and she went off to buy 3 delighted.

“J” left about 3ish and I went and got out my sewing machine and overlocker. I moved my tailors dummy into the lounge and unfolded the ironing board.
Time to start on the Unfinished Objects (UFOs) that have been littering W Towers

1) So until about 8pm I then just concentrated on finishing my second wrap dress. I cut the piping and attached it to the neckline. Fitted the sleeves and hand sewed the sleeve ends and piping. I then put some detailing work on the ties and attached then after hemming the edge from both fold overs.

Basically the whole thing is done bar the hemming. The dress is far too long and needs a good foot cutting off. Whilst I could have done it on the mannequin, I decided to leave it until another pair of eyes was around. The last bit of hemming should take 20minutes. What do you think?

2) Shortened The Chaps new work suit trousers as they were far too long. I messed this up to begin with (more haste, less…) and got into a right panic thinking I had ruined them. I find in these situations, it is best to put everything down. Make yourself a cup of tea……ok or a rum and cola and not think about it. 30 Mins later I went back and looked at them. Realised I could sort it out with a lot of unpicking and went to bed. I finished them the next day.

3) I repaired the holes in my bed linen (base fitted sheets just pop open at the corner I find). It takes 10 seconds to repair on the sewing machine. Another UFO down

4) Repaired the holes in both pockets of my white winter jackets. As I normally bung my house and car keys in there small holes 2 months ago had grown in size until I could put my whole hand through into the lining of the jacket. I will admit I did not patch them properly. But as they are pockets, no-one will know and it means I can use my jacket again.

5) Sewed a button back on my work black trousers.

6) Sewed button back on my favourite TK Max winter wool smart coat.
7) Put my first item on eBay to sell, a sticky fingers blue suit. We will see how it goes.

I have not done as much as I wanted, as on Sunday as I woke up with a dreadful headache and could not get going until about 1 o’clock.

I also did all my washing and ironing and started out sorting this pile ready to file this week.

I was hoping to get on with my bag I am making too, but The Chap rang, he was back from traversing Tryan in Wales and had cooked a Thai curry and invited me round.
A quick bath and I was there. It had been a week since I had seen him and I was so glad he was back.

After a year together spending all weekends with him, not having him around I was a bit lonely. But, my gosh I am pleased all those nagging sewing jobs got done.

What about you, did you tackle a UFO?

Frugally yours

Friday, 18 May 2012

Food Waste Friday, and UFOs


It’s Friday Folks! POETS day. (P*ss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday)

But more importantly It is Food Waste Friday.

The holy grail of food waste this week….. get ready for it….. nothing to report.

Zilch, Zero, and Nada.


The Chap is away walking in Wales this weekend, so at a bit of a loose end. My friend J is coming for lunch tomorrow and apart from a food shop tonight I am going to try and have a No Spend Weekend.

I want to really concentrate on a few UFOs. For those thinking I am a bit loopy. UFOs are Unfinished Objects. I.e. sewing / repair project that got shoved to one side and forgotten about in lieu of more exciting undertakings.

So home tonight, clean W Towers. Then set up sewing machine and overlocker ready for Saturday and Sunday.

I say this weekend lets all get one thing done that has been hanging over us for weeks. Perhaps:-
-         Filing the paperwork
-         Emptying the shredder
-         Washing the pillows
-         Feeding the lawn
-         Taking dry cleaning to be done.
-         Washing the windows

We all have UFOs in our lives and I do not know about you, but just getting one or two crossed off makes me walk with a lighter step. And, often repairing / mending or filing means we save ourselves some time and / or money in the long run.

What would you like to get done if you suddenly had a free weekend?

Frugally yours

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Somewhere A Door Opens.

Following yesterdays blog 2 readers came up with good ideas for making a pizza using a non wheat base. So something to look into over the next day or two.

Finally after weeks of wrangling, my front door got fitted today.

This is what it used to look like

In the summer dry months, you could see daylight round the edges and in the winter wet months the only way to open it is to thrust the side of your hip into the middle of the door then slam it to make sure it was properly closed.

Now look at it,

Nothing says swanky like a plastic front door.... :o) I also got a couple of panes of glass replaced in the lounge window as the double glazing had blown. Total cost £520 incl VAT. Cost a fortune, but the cheapest by far for what I wanted. There were cheaper alternative doors, but with one pane of glass at the top. They looked like back doors to me and I wanted something a little sturdier. As, after all I do live alone.

I am pleased with it. Now just got to save for the new garage door to match.

Changing the subject entirely, I have always thought I ate quite badly. A case in point the packet of chunky chocolate cookies I bought from Aldi on Friday were gone by Monday.

Well, I was thinking today I felt a little lighter. More Victoria Beckham, less Roseanne Barr. It started me thinking that this week I have only eaten food prepared by myself and made from scratch or basic fruit / vegetables. Eggs with baked asparagus, homemade bread with ratatouille, apples and cashews for breakfast, or bowls of branflakes with semi skinned milk. It appears my brain has put my body on a diet. This often happens to me when I get to a certain size. I find I loose the taste for convenience food and just crave vegetables / fruit and wholesome food. Not to mention it heps clear up my skin.

Frugal and skinny. Now that would be a result.

Does anyone else find this, or are you all good all the time surviving on grains, seeds and pulses?

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Book Review & Other Stuff

Half way through the working week, and I feel exhausted already.

Book Club was great on Monday, I do so enjoy meeting my friends once a month and having a natter, plus 30p for a lime and soda does not break the bank.

This week we discussed “Remarkable Creatures” By Tracey Chevalier. The same woman who wrote the book “The girl with a pearl earring”, aka the Colin Firth / Scarlet Johansson film.

I loved that film, and though I had never read the book, I was looking forward to starting this novel.

It is a fictionalised account of historical figures Elizabeth Philpott and Mary Anning’s life. They were avid fossil collectors in Lyme Regis who were there at the very birth of natural history exploration in Europe / The States. But, they remain overlooked by the men of their time.

In this blogger's humble opinion the book is a bit boring with very little happening apart from a random bonk towards the end. The general consensus was the novel was okay, and an easy read. If it had not been for book club none of us would have finished it I think. 

However, we are a very low brow group and spent the first 10 mins of our time together discussing boob jobs and the plastic surgery we would have given the choice. So, perhaps best not to take our opinion seriously.

With the summer break approaching (we always have July / August off) the next two books have been chosen
-         June: “The Help” By Kathryn Stockett
-         September: “A Stolen Life, A Memoir” By Jaycee Dugard. (my choice)

I have also booked us into a restaurant for our June meeting as we like to have dinner out twice a year whilst we discuss the book.

On Monday, I had a little muse in my post. It was probably apparent I was a little down at the financial mountain I have to face – Debt, repairs to the flat etc.

If honest, I am still a little fed up about it, but after starting to plan I realised something. In one of my very first posts I talked about trying to pay off half my debt by the end of 2012. Now I am upset because I cannot pay it all off by September. Silly me, look how far I have come!

Really the only reason that I need these repairs doing so soon is there are some changes going to happen over the next few months. Those changes are exciting. I should not moan, but be happy.

Some initial investigation has given me a ballpark figure of £390 incl VAT and installation for the garage door. Up and over white steel door with 3point lock. I think this sounds reasonable, but never having bought one before I cannot be certain. What do you think? Plus they will take the old door away. Anyway, I am going to the show room on Saturday for a mooch.

Also on Saturday my friend “J” is coming over. She only has a shower at her place, so every now and again she pops over for a bath at mine. I offered to make lunch for us both forgetting she is wheat intolerant. Normally, I would have made a pizza or done posh club sandwiches. So I now have to come up with a cheap lunch using no flour. Ummmmm...... nope no ideas. I would also like to make it look good, that effort has been spent.  Any ideas?

So with The Chap away walking Wales this coming weekend, it appears I will not be lonely. I am also, looking forward to starting to sell on eBay and really getting cracking on with the sewing.

And finally, Bless You Frugal Wife for your kind comments on Monday. Aren’t thrifty bloggers just the nicest people?

Frugally yours

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Little Bit Of A Muse.

I have a really busy week this week. Obviously 8.30am – 6pm working, but after that I am out every evening.

Tonight – Book Club
Tuesday – Evening Sewing Class
Wednesday – Friend’s for dinner
Thursday – Seeing The Chap
Friday – and relax

I actually do not like it when I am this booked up after work, as I find it stressful. Obviously seeing TC is not stressful and neither is book club or sewing class or even being invited for dinner by a friend.

However, after having spent the last 9 years living alone, I get a teeny bit antsy when I do not have my “down time” which generally consists of a bath or some rubbish tv, or even housework in my pjs. The general theme is me by myself doing what I want to do.

This selfishness of my character concerns me even more with some general changes afoot over the next few months. I used to have a Great Uncle who never married, and pretty much the whole family thought he was a little strange. Not creepy or weird, just a little off centre. I actually get quite worried at the thought of what I could become living alone.

Anyway, with these few changes in the medium term, it has made me look more critically at my financial situation. Savings after Amsterdam weekend / Spanish flights and the about to be replaced front door (Thursday! Whoo Hoo!) are at an all time low.

Plus, it looks like over the summer I am going to have to undertake a few more repairs than anticipated.

-         New garage door
-         Change the hob
-         Replace a couple of light fittings.

After doing some hard sums, I think part of the debt repayment budget is going to have to give, if I cannot find a way of earning some extra money in the near term.

With this is mind, I am spending some time with Mum next weekend, and she is going to show me how to sell on eBay. What tends to sell best? Any hints? I thought I would start with some “shrunk in the wardrobe clothes”  specifically Sticky Fingers suit worn 2 or 3 times and absolutely pristine. 

It has got me a bit down if honest, more so when I finally got my P60 (for those not UK based it is a statement given at the end of the financial year to an employee stating earnings over 12 months). I realised that my earnings have dropped 42.8% compared to 2009, that is a shed load of cash to have you income reduced by.

Whilst I am desperate to pay off my debt, and still hope to do so by December 2012, over the summer months these household repairs are going to have to take precedence. I am just really hoping to make a little extra cash to help the summer run a little more smoothly and in an ideal world, enough to pay for the garage door. 

This post is a little rambling, sorry about that. I just feel a little scrambled today at the though of paying off the rest of my debt and finding the money to undertake these repairs by September, 3-4months time.

Frugally Yours

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Ratatouille, A Freezer Favourite

Evening, hope you have had a good weekend. Sunday evening, perhaps the most depressing part of the week.

I went and did a shop on they way home from work, I will update the shopping page tomorrow, but here is a quick look at what I got minus a massive box of soap powder, 6 bottles of coke and some Lidl own brand white rum which comes in at the bargain price of £8.99.
Lidl is very good for some cupboard staples, decaf tea, nuts, coke (39p / bottle) and a large box of soap powder. I bought my last box at xmas so I can definately live with buying soap powder 4 x per annum. Buying in bulk with those things means I reduce the amount of times I go food shopping and therefore reduce those impule (radish) buys. Yea, Go Lidl!

I saw some aubergines, officially my favourite veg and there and then decided to make ratatouille over the weekend, it is so simple especially with a slow cooker. Plus it is virtually fat free, packed with veg and freezes brilliantly.

You will need
  • 1 Aubergine
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pepper - i prefer red
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 small tin of tomato puree
  • some garlic, I used garlic granules for the first time
  • 2 stock cubes, I used 1 chicken and 1 beef
  • and some mixed herbs

Cut all the veg into smallish chunks and bung in the slow cooker with the courgettes at the bottom. Turn onto high and leave for 6-8 hours until the vegetables are cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Leave to cool and decant into Tupperware ready to freeze.

It is great with a BBQ, but I love it best taken to work and put cold on hot toast for a very cheap and healthy lunch. Ooo or add a teaspoon of chilli powder if you like a bit of kick.

Did I mention it is very cheap too - about £3 worth of ingredient provdies abou 12 portions. 25p / portion.

I have told you before I am no cook, but really you cannot go wrong.

Just call me Delia...

Frugally yours