Friday, 31 August 2012

Food Waste Friday

Every week, I link with Frugal Girl in an effort to curb unneccesary food waste.
Well Kids, it is another Food Waste Win this week, nothing to report. Made even impressive by the fact I am going away tomorrow so would normally be clearing the fridge. But nothing there that cannot wait out the 10 days I am away. Brrrrrrriliant!
So back in the UK on Tuesday 10th and I will upload all the pics if you like, save ones of me in a bikini... shudder shudder!
Frugally and very joyfully yours

Thursday, 30 August 2012

September's Debt Repayment & Working In Sales

Today is Pay Day, and I should be doing the conga around the room.

I am not.

Today I earned commission for the first time in a while £600 net to be exact, plus I got an added bonus of £100 for my expenses.

I should be whooping, laughing and paying off the additional debt I accumulated over the last couple of weeks and blogged about yesterday.

I am not.

When you work in sales, your financial life becomes feast or famine. You work from month to month never able to plan based on a salary as you never know what you will take home.

This month I have a nice amount to play with however, some of the work I have done is looking decidedly wobbly and I am concerned that my employer may claw some money back if things go badly.

So today I made a very small repayment of £50 across credit card 1 and credit card 2. My total debt has now been reduced to £837.70.

I am hopeful that by the time I return from holiday I will know more and can throw much more at the credit cards if everything looks stable.

I would be crackers to blow the lot on paying off my credit cards to then find myself in a position where I had to hand it back and end up owing my boss £600.  *shudder shudder* 

Life's tough in sales, and it I could my past self one piece of advice it would be to find a trade and avoid sales.

Yes, you make a lot of money quickly. The highs are fantastic. I remember one month taking home "£price of a new car" but the downs are so bad.

Stress, as the pressure is piled on by an employer, no money and living hand to mouth as basic salary is low to encourage 'hunger' for commission / bonus and a feeling of being trapped as you find you are used to large bonus payments and need them to pay mortgage, cars etc - items it is not easy to downsize quickly.

Yes, I would change a lot if I could and trying to swap careers in the middle of a recession is tricky to say the least.

However, Saturday I fly off with The Chap to Spain for 10 days. At least I know I paid a little off and have met my financial obligations without defaulting on anything EVER. And, when I get back it might be to good news that everything is stable and the commission can be flung at the credit cards with gay abandon!!!

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

An Update....Ok Ok A Confession.

Sorry for the radio silence, time just got away with me I suppose.

Thursday I did not feel I had anything relevent to say. Friday, I had no food waste, and I rarely blog over a weekend. Tuesday I was working until late and suddenly here we are and it is Wednesday. Must try harder!

Hope you are keeping well, As per usual this weekend was filled with running around. I took Friday afternoon off work to have my new washing machine delivered.

Isn't it beautiful. It is a Daewoo (I thought they did cars, but hey what do I know?) I now realise how broken the old machine was as I hear my new one whisper it's way to clean clothes. Loving the display too which states how many minutes until the cycle is complete.

Saturday I hitched a lift with my parents to my nephew's 4th birthday party down near London for the day. An early pick up at 8am and M seemed delighted with the Spiderman alarm clock, Spiderman 'colour me' poster set and spiderman back pack. We then had his party at 3pm which was.....superhero themed. Really wish I could show you the pics, but it does not seem right to put up photos of of kids without parental permission. (Oh, to live in past innocent times). Needless to say everyone came dressed as either batman or spiderman. Noticing a theme here?

However, I wish I could look you in the eye and say it was a Low Spend long weekend.

I have been thinking long and hard about whether to admit to the following. But, I think on blogs, honesty is all too important and I find so many frugal blogs are about reducing what you pay for things or never spending again. They all live happy thrifty lives making do and mending never being 'bad' in anyway financially.

Well, that is not the case for me. Sometimes, I just muck up. It has been a long time since I did, but I do think I should admit it.


A brief recap.

At the end of July my debt stood at £500.71 (£200.71 on a credit card and £300 overdraft). Well today my total debt stands at £887.70 (£487.70 across 2 credit cards and my overdraft is now £400.

I bought my new washing machine on a credit card - £249.99, paid for a meal for The Chap and I on the credit card £37 and then increased my overdraft so I could get my hair cut and buy some new foundation for my holiday etc etc.

Total debt increased by £386.99.

I am pissed off about the £137 on hair do, make up and fripperies, but cannot find it to be upset about the washing machine. Everyone, after all, does need clean clothes.

However, tomorrow is Pay Day and I should have a lump sum of a considerable amount coming in commission to have a hard go at it. So please think before criticising me and watch this space.

Frugally (and ashamedly) yours

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Slow Cooked Guinness Stew, Nom Nom.

A couple of weeks ago I got some Tesco loyalty vouchers. They send them out every quarter in recognition of what you spent in their supermarket over 12 weeks.

I obviously have been a very frugal shopper for the last 3 months as I only got £2.50 plus some money off vouchers.

So over the weekend I went off and bought a bottle of Guinness using the 50p off a 500ml bottle of Guinness token I had and my vouchers. I also bought an onion and a Tesco Everyday value tin of mushrooms. It came to practically nothing with my vouchers / tokens.

I had bought some stewing beef months ago and only used half, so I defrosted the other half over the weekend. Cost £2.25 (for the half that was left).

I chopped the beef up, my goodness it was so tough I had to keep resharpening the knife! I then coated the beef in a dusting of plain flour, and fried it to brown it off with the chopped onion.

I transferred the lot to my slow cooker, then put the Guinness into my pan to collect all the tasty bits for 20 seconds before then adding it to my slow cooker too with the tin of mushrooms and 3 "about to put into a Food Waste Friday post" mushrooms which were gasping their last breaths.

Hmm, a scooch through the cupboards. Yup, add a reduced salt stock cube, and "Oh thats brown, so what the hell" big dollop of Reggea Reggea Sauce.

I put the lid on and left on high for 3 hrs (7.30pm - 10.30pm) before reducing it to low overnight.

Tuesday I woke up to an amazing aroma permeating the flat at 7am. I quickly turned it all off and transferred the contents to a cold mixing bowl and sat it in a sink of cold water for 20 minutes whilst occasionally stirring to get the heat out.
As the sauce was still thin I was planning on thickening it when I got home, however after I had covered it with tin foil and left it in the fridge during the working day it thickened up by itself.

So last night I got home decanted a bowl full into the microwave and nuked it for a couple of minutes, I served it sitting on the sofa watching rubbish tv with a defrosted buttered Warburton's roll (reduced aisle 12 for 10p). Probably should have had some vegetables too, but Aww Heck it was too delicious to wait and I had a salad for lunch. The meat after 12 hours of slow cooking just fell apart.
I know I should not say how delicious my own cooking was, but "Oh My It Was So Yummy!" and I always love being able to walk in from work and eat something homemade within 5 minutes. It will do 4 meals, so at 56p per portion. Frrrrrruuuuugal!

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Arrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhh! Falling Off The Wagon.

A cute little story to start today.

I was on the phone last night with my sister who has returned from her  summer holiday just spent with her husband and 3 yo son.

On the flight on the way home they were playing "I Spy" with my nephew and the following exchange took place.

Nephew "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with G!"

After a few minutes of incorrect guesses...

Nephew "Would you like a clue mommy?"

Mummy "Yes , please"

Nephew "It wears glasses and it lives with my Grandma"

The answer.... Grandpa... who was safely at home in Staffordshire.


I love these stories of kids and their logic and yesterday as I was thinking about our telephone exchange, I thought how much I wanted to go back to being a kid.

The reason?

As I mentioned at the end of yesterdays post, my washing machine has broken.

It sounds as if it is trying to take off, the whole kitchen rattles when it is on and the last straw ..... all my whites are now brown in places, rust coloured tie dye is not a good look on bed linen, towels and most especially knickers.

Completely depressed about it yesterday.

The call out fee for a washing machine repair man is £25 plus parts.

I bought this Hotpoint machine second hand (2yo) for £60 10 years ago from an old lady moving into sheltered housing. In exchange for 10 years service it has washed my clothes, bedding, pillows, etc without a murmur or a call out from the repair man EVER.

I was really mulling over the repair / replace issue again yesterday. But I just do not believe it is worth looking at a repair as I am fairly certain it now has multiple issues.

So time to buy a new washing machine after the 2 new tyres, the shower repair, the new hob, the new front door etc etc.

I called a local business for a quote on a similar machine. For £170 I could get a reconditioned machine with 6M warranty or for £250 I could get a new machine with 2 yrs warranty and they would remove my old machine, and deliver / install the new machine on Friday.

Before you start shouting "You can buy a new machine for £170 you silly cow!", I know, but installation / delivery / removal of the old machine is extra and I am buying from a small local privately owned business where they remember my name surely that is worth paying a little extra? I feel comfortable dealing with them and not some corporation.

My new machine is being delivered on Friday.

Now for the kicker, I had to use the damn credit card. First time in 4 years I had used it, and last night I had to dig them out from the cupboard then look up the pin number, then ring up and check they were actually actioned as they were still attached to the paperwork they were sent on.

So a massive fail, but if I had used my savings then I would have absolutely nothing left.

As we know I have 2 credit cards. CC1 has a balance of £0 and CC2 has a balance of £200.71.

CC1 has an APR of 24.9% and CC2 has an APR of 15.9%, so I should probably choose CC2 to use then, right?

Wrong! As CC2 is currently on a 0% balance transfer deal my new purchase of £250 would go under the existing balance of £200.71 and continue to attract interest of 15.9% until I was able to pay off the £200.71.

CC1 will offer me interest free purchases for 52 days by which time I should have the majority cleared, keep your fingers crossed about commission this month kids!

I am fed up about falling of the wagon (please don't hate me, but I want this blog to be honest at all times) and using my credit card after 4 years abstinence, but I need a reliable machine especially with renting the flat out shortly.

So there it is, at least I thought about how to buy it as wisely as I could.

To return to my original point, I want to be a kid again when all your money was spent on toys and sweets. Credit meant borrowing £1 from your mum to buy an umbrella hat, and most importantly if you put a muddy top in the washing basket 2 days later it turned up laundered / ironed and on your bed for you to put away.


Not so frugally yours

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hurting Like Hell, or How To Realise How Unfit You Are...

A very low spend weekend this weekend, just some food. More on that later.

For the last few weekends, The Chap and I have been working hard outside at his place.

After we come back from our holiday, I will be spending a lot of time at my flat packing everything up and hopefully will be moving in with TC before Christmas. Hence the reason I have been changing the front door and hob - getting everything up to code so I can rent it out.

With this in mind, TC had his drive paved a couple of weeks ago so we could fit both of our cars.

In doing so, he had to sacrifice his front lawn for my little Polo, displacing 3 tons of topsoil which was then wheel barrowed round to the back garden, ready for the next project.

A few weeks ago we demolished the shed / workroom built by the previous owner which encompassed about 20% of the garden, TC then borrowed a jack hammer from his father and split all of the concrete whilst I donned my pink gardening gloves and put in into the skip.

We were left 2 weeks ago with 3 tons of topsoil in a massive mountain in the back garden. Last weekend, after I replanted the front garden around the newly laid drive, We spent 4 hours shifting the lot into a level space to meet the other half of the lawned garden.

This weekend after demolishing all the garage cupboards (to make room for TC's new toy...a punching bag) we then had to go to the tip with the fruit of our labour and popped to my parents for more tool borrowing. 

A roller.

Me looking very glamorous rolling the damn thing. 

It took hours, rolling, picking up stones, then more rolling, more stones... TC seeing a lump and levelling it out, more rolling, stones, rolling, stones .. well you get the idea.

Followed by raking and sowing of grass seed, then more raking and finally
watering. Ta Dah!

Our new lawn, or hopefully it will be by the time we fly out to Espana.
Back breaking labour that today and last Monday has left me shattered and stiff. Still money saved by doing it ourselves and a few brownie points banked.

About two weeks ago I spent 25p on a bottle of Tesco Everday Value All Purpose Cleaner (750ml).

This weekend my old cleaning spray ran out, and I decanted some TEDV into an old spray bottle. Excellent product for pennies. Cleaned the kitchen work surface and all the bathroom a treat, plus a cap full in a sink of hot water also bought the kitchen floor up to sparkling shinyness (sic). 25P!! You'd be mad to buy anything else.

A quick stop off at Iceland again for some frozen food on Sunday and that was the only cash to leave my pocket - £9.50.

STOP PRESS..... Washing machine broken.....sigh

Frugally yours

Friday, 17 August 2012

Food Waste Friday & A Surprise.

Every week I link with frugal girl in an effort to reduce my food waste and live according to my needs.
After last week's success of nothing to report, this week..
4 poor mushrooms, shrivelled up, with the consistency of golf balls. What a shame, I love mushrooms and could have
  • fried them and added it to some pasta
  • had them raw in a salad
Poor little things. Rest in peace. x

On a happier note:-

I got home last night from work and opened my front door to find a carrier bag in my hall. ??

Inside was this loot
My mum had read yesterday's blog entry, and bought everything I required on the list for my holiday in 2 weeks time.

How sweet was that?

Thanks mum. I love you x.

I am 36 yrs old, and she STILL takes care of me.

Frugally yours


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Those Irritating Jobs, Or How To Loose A Lunch Hour.

Hello and Welcome to my 2(!) new followers - Ronniie and Justine. Thanks so much for visiting! x

Another No Spend Day Today, which pleases me, but I worry that by not spending today, I am just accumulating all the things I do need to one big spend day, probably on Pay Day.

TC and I are now only just over 2 weeks away from our Holiday and we both are very much looking forward to the break. We plan to do nothing, but lie by the pool drinking rum and and soaking up the rays. We are self catering (keeping the cost down) in his parent's holiday home in Spain. As both of our parents own holiday homes in Espana, it invariably led to a 'discussion' on which one we should use (free of charge of course). He won..... this time.

I started my list today of things I need to purchase before we go, so far it includes sun tan lotion, cold remedies (the dangers of air travel noted from our previous trip in April when The Chap was poorly) some new foundation, razors and after sun. I think that is £40 of lotions and potions.

I do not know if it just me, but the holiday planning has very much fallen in my direction, with TC's contribution consisting of "Yes ok then" in answer to the following questions:-

"Shall we go away in September?" "Are these dates good for you?" etc

I then booked the flights and today arranged our holiday insurance (for couples it was cheaper), booked the car in to the car park, ordered the EHIC cards and sorted out the dates we need to check in by. Does everyone else find that men are generally ignorant / not bothered by such 'minor details'?

Actually, I do not mind sorting out as TC has a very important job often working late and at least I know it is done in plenty of time if I do it.

I also today rang up my local Housing Association to resolve some issues on my street. I own my own home, but 75% are HA managed and I have to pay a service charge to them to pay my share of any repairs and grounds maintenance. To ensure this money was spent effectively I then joined the Committee, and normally spend 1-2 hours per week moaning on the phone or doing paperwork or arranging gardening ...well you get the idea.

Today it was about the broken stone retention wall. The words "health and safety issue" were banded around loftily by myself and "danger to residents / kids" as I tend to find they lead to more immediate results.

Phew.... and by then my lunch hour had drifted past in a whirl of irritating small and time consuming chores.

If you want a job doing properly, ask a woman!

.....And relax!

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

What A Weekend!

Firstly, Hello and Welcome to my New Follower, "Doo". Thank you so much for visiting. x

Secondly, I really must sort out taking more pictures for the blog. I know I prefer reading posts with photos.

Anyhoo, What a weekend! The sun around Staffordshire was glorious and we won yet more medals at the Olympics.

I have refrained from mentioning the Olympics before, as I was very vocal with friends and family in my opposition to The Games. In this time of austerity here in the UK, I was totally against the billions being spent on hosting a globalised event, especially considering the size of the national debt.

On every possible occasion, I took the opportunity to lam bast Lord Coe and his team for the expense and the disruption caused. I also believed as a small nation not known for our organisational abilities that the required spectacle of the opening and closing ceremonies would only go to embarass GB on the world stage. Especially, after the impressive show of Beijing 4 years ago.

Plus, I never watch sport...ever!

I sit here in front of you, head hung low ashamed of my stance and eating a large slice of humble pie.

The Cauldron
What an AMAZING 16 days. I live about 3 hours from London, and even up here we were caught up on the sense of national pride. Excited at every event and glued to the TV from dawn to dusk at the weekends with surreptitious visits to sporting websites whilst at work for a quick Olympic fix.

For this Couch Potato, I have been exhilarated from the first few seconds of the opening ceremony until the last firework died down on Sunday night.

I watched 3 hours of Archery one afternoon, and have consistently been on the edge of my seat willing our athleters to pedal faster, run quicker, row strongly, jump further, sail strategically, shoot accurately, hit harder and swim swiftly.

I have cried with so many, and jumped for joy screeching all alone in delight, I have sang the national anthemn with the windows open and wanted to hug so many of our athletes.

Team GB, you make me feel ashamed of my initial stance and make me proud to be British. 3rd in the medal table!!!

29 Gold Medals
17 Silver Medals
19 Bronze Medals

To each and every Athlete - thank you! x

Isn't it wonderful to see the world coming together to compete, and I feel privileged that my home nation hosted it, and the used the opportunity to demonstrate to the world in our opening and closing ceremonies what it is to be British.

Thanks for some wonderful memories!

Frugally yours

P.S. I also over the course of Saturday
1) Dug over and replanted The Chap's front garden following a new drive being laid
2) Assisted with the redistribution of 3 tons of topsoil from the front drive to the back garden
3) Defrosted TC's freezer (The freezer door would not close due to the ice and it was bothering me)
4) Cleaned TC's kitchen
5) And finally, screwed together TC new BBQ from flat pack.

Is there a girlfirend of the year competition? and can I enter?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Food Waste Friday

A really great week, nothing to report.
Whoo Hoo! Am a Consumer winner for 7 days.
Frugally yours

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Last night, I faced my fear..

I tried a 44p chicken kiev from the Tesco Everyday value range. Whilst I have bought from this range before I have never tried this product expecting it to be pretty nasty for that price.

It comes in a pack of 2 for 88p.

It was about 5 inches by 4 inches in size and looked fine. Lots of breadcrumbs.

25 minutes in a hot oven, and I coupled it with half a pack of couscous and some peas.

It made such a tasty dinner. Lots of chicken, probably reformulated but tasty and the garlic sauce was delicious. It also turned to a golden brown during baking, which makes it look so much more appetising.

Will definitely be buying it again, and for that price I am sure it will be gracing my table every month.

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Stuffed Again, And It Is My Own Fault.

I have the leaning Tower of Paperwork in my spare room..

If you walk past my desk with eyes dead centre you can do a good impression of pretending it does not exist, but you do have to be careful when closing the door that the pile does not tip over.

I hate piles of paperwork, as you know 40% can be shredded, 40% can be filed. 10% need to be actioned and the other 10% will be left to seed a new generation of paper piles.

Anyway in an effort to clear the pile, or at least negate some guilt at not tackling it, I randomly grabbed 3 letters to look at whilst working my way through a chocolate wafer.

2 items were easily relegated to guinea pig bedding. The third??


It was a letter about my contents insurance renewal. Which ran out... yup you guessed it.... 31st July 2012. Oh dear, oh dear oh dear.

This has happened once before 14 yrs ago with my car insurance. So to have it happen again is dreadful. Especially, when everything is noted on multiple calendars.

The renewal premium was £223. I was going to just agree for a quiet life, then I thought of my readers, and just thought... I cannot.

I hopped on the interweb and started filling in forms on comparison websites. However, after 20 minutes loosing the will to live, and discovering grey matter leaking from my ears - I gave up.

I loathe, detest and hate having to provide personal details to some numpties online. To get quotes on contents insurance from all the comparison websites, I had to provide my email, dob, address, profession etc etc not to mention the date my car insurance need renewing.... for contents insurance!!!!

It drives me potty!

Oh did I mention also they wanted me to create an 8 digit password too etc etc...Some other sodding password to forget in 3 nanoseconds.

So lunchtime today saw me on the phone to my insurance broker who handles my car insurance. Within 15 minutes he called me back.

The quote was reduced by £20, with my cover increased by £20,000 and all major issues handled without me crawling around doors for information on how many levers my locks had.

He also offered to hold photos of key precious items in case of loss.

Three cheers for David!

Whether, you decide to compare prices on insurance online or not, the best piece of advice I can give when it comes to contents insurance is regularly review your policies to ensure your contents are being covered fully and try to ensure you have proof of the major items stored offsite.

Imagine loosing all your belongs and discovering you were only entitled to enough money to cover 30% replacement.

I like my insurance broker, he manages multiple policies for me and when I have had a problem he has liaised with the insurers for me too, taking the hassle out of a stressful situation.

However, insurance brokers undertake their work to get paid and as such be aware you may get the policy cheaper going direct.

I have known David for years and all my family use him, so I am comfortable with his assistance in this matter that needed to be sorted quickly during my working hours.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A Shopping Trip

Firstly, Hello and Welcome to my new follower - Mrs M. Thank you so much for visiting and your supportive comment. x

I did a shopping trip late last week which I forgot to photograph, but I thought you might be interested in how much I managed to get for £13.76. This list will cover me for 8 evening meals, 2 weeks of work lunches, and breakfast.

Tesco Every Day Value = TEDV

2 x 2L bottle of own brand diet cola          78p
2x peach barley squash                           1.59 bogof
TEDV Antibac surface cleaner                    25p
TEDV Bleach                                           29p
TEDV Value Instant Mash                         20p
2x loaf                                                  20p (reduced)
12x baps                                               10p (reduced)
TEDV 2 x cottage cheese                         1.18
TEDV Kitchen Towel                                1.10
tin of mushrooms                                    41p
TEDV Cornflakes                                     31p
TEDV Caramel wafers                              40p
TEDV 2x chicken kiev                               88p
TEDV 2x Baked beans                              52p
Beef mince                                            2.00
2x milk                                                  1.10
I x cabbage                                            76p
reggea sauce                                          1.00
Tom puree                                              29p
3 x mushrooms                                       25p
Total -                                                  £13.76

I am really pleased with the frugality of this shop. The mince lasts me 3 meals, I do not buy the TEDV mince as £2 is cheap enough for mince.
By changing and buying the low cost alternatives that Tesco have I was able to reduce my shop by quite a considerable amount.

For example in Tesco the Daisy Kitchen antibac in a spray bottle which is their cheap range is about 89p. By buying the TEDV Antibac which comes in a screw top bottle I reduced the cost by approx 50p, and only need to decant it into a spray to use. Plus it is larger than a spray bottle.

I am nervous about 2 chicken kievs for 88p, but I suppose the taste test will let me know if it is worth purchasing again.

The TEDV Cornflakes at 31p a box are indistinguishable from Kelloggs, and the TEDV cottage cheese well as nice as cottage cheese can be, but again no difference from more expensive brands.

I also then over the weekend popped into Iceland for a freezer fill up.

3 x Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza   £4.50 (for those days when you cannot be bothered)
1 bag of chips                         £1
1 bag of mixed frozen veg        £1
1 box of Mr Brains faggotts      £1
Total                                     £7.50

So for about £21 I think I should have the majority of the month's food covered, with maybe a trip for some milk later on in August. 

A convert to the frugal brands at Tesco? Time will tell and I think next month I might try similar frugal own brands at Morrisons.

Any recommendations on TEDV products to try?

Frugally yours

Monday, 6 August 2012

Ahh Heck!

You know that feeling when you think finally you are ahead of the game?

That was how I was on Thursday when it was Pay Day. I was finally beginning to get my savings to some sort of respectability.

Then Friday happened.

I had a meeting in the late afternoon for work. As, I got back into the car , I happened to glance at my front wheel as I had gone into the space at an angle and the wheels were turned out.

Oh Dear!.... Oh Sh*t!

That front driver side wheel did not look good..... neither for that matter does the the passenger side.

I had thought the car was being a little odd, but with an MOT booked for September I had decided it could wait.

Apparently not.

I stopped at the first available garage on my way home, and got them to check the tread. Yup, both tyres needed changing on my little VW POLO. Cost?

£130 plus another £45 to check the balance.

Umm, I don't think so!

So the drive back to W Towers was interspersed with 4 stops at garages for quotes.

I managed to get the price down to £50 per tyre.... actually they wanted £51 per tyre, but I gave then my winning smile and they knocked £2 off.

Saturday then saw me at this tyre specialist, getting them replaced.

I could have REALLY done without this additional cost, but the reality is tyres save lives and if I had been in an accident my insurance would have not have covered me.

Plus the POLO has it's first MOT next month, so I suppose I am just spreading the cost.

Lesson.... never accept the first price on car repairs. Get quotes, I saved £30 from the first garage.

Frugally yours.

Food Waste Friday.

Food Waste Friday, On A Monday...I Am That Kind Of Rebel!

So 1 or 4 things to report today, depending on how you look at it.

Spuds, or potatoes for our international friends.

These were left over from a bag I bought about 3 months ago. I kept them cool and not touching, but still they are now the consistency of of a sponge.

Wonder if I can re purpose them for my showers??

I did mange to save 3 last week by making homemade chips, but these babies were left..

So off they went to the great fridge tray in the sky. Farewell!

Better luck this week i suppose.

Frugally yours

Thursday, 2 August 2012

August's Debt Repayment

Firstly - Hello and Welcome to my new follower - Mabel and Maisy. I am so delighted to meet you!

Well that time of the month again today, Pay Day.

Normally I get really excited about Pay Day, not today. I seems like I have 5 fishes to feed 5000. Mind you I suppose we do know how that turned out! :o)

Salary was waiting for me first thing this morning and I started as I normally do by putting £300 into savings ready for my holiday next month, the car MOT and the next bloody utility bill. Savings are still dangerously low and i do not like it.

I then transferred £68 to my mother. Partly to pay for the window cleaners and partly to repay some cash I owed from earlier in July (mum's interest rate of 0% is always appreciated).

After then paying my flat service charge, allowing for petrol and a few other adhoc expenses. It leaves me £122 for August. To cover food and any fun I want to have..... what bloody fun could I have with £122 less food??? Answers on a postcard.



Credit Card 1     Was: £0.00     Paid: £0.00    New Balance: £0.00
Credit Card 2     Was: £232.71  Paid:£32.00   New Balance: £200.71
Overdraft          Was: £300.00   Paid: £0.00    New Balance: £300.00
Car Loan           Was: £0.00     Paid: £0.00    New Balance: £0.00 

Starting Debt in January - £1990.80
Debt By the End of July - £532.71
Debt Paid This Month - £32.00
New Total Debt - £500.71
Percentage of Debt Paid August – 1.6%
Percentage Paid to Date – 74.84%

Still a long way to go, but for a time this month I did think I would have to use my credit card again after about 3 years to make ends meet. So I suppose I am paying it off little by little.

Frugally yours

Repair / Replace?

My shower broke about 2 weeks ago.

I was in the middle of trying out a new system, turning off the hot water and only using the shower for my daily ablutions.

Of course 3 days in, the shower broke.

In the middle of me having a shower.

Covered in shampoo.

With no hot water left in the tank to rinse my hair.


I then had to do a dash to the kitchenn, boil the kettle mix it with some cold water and rinse my hair.

I thought I was going to have to buy a new shower at well over a £100 plus fitting. I have been in a right decline over the thought.

However, on Friday, Ian my saviour of an odd job came round and had a look. He declared it was the Solenoid valve which had broken. 20 minutes later he had ordered a new part via the glorious internet for £19.

Last night he came round and fitted it for £20.

A huge "Hurray!" for Ian methinks.

Repair v replace is a thorny issue. A new shower costs anywhere between £90 (cheap naff shower) to £100s. 

I had to have the shower repaired about 6 months ago when another part broke - flux capacitor or some other technical term. Again part plus labour was about £40.

So far I have spent £80 on repairing a shower that cost about £150 plus labour to fit about 8 years ago. I am aware that such machinery only has a limited working life. And if it does break again, I will have to think about whether it is prudent to repair it again.

However, today I am glad to get it repaired, and hope perhaps to get another 6-12months out of it before having to face the repair v replace issue again.

Frugally yours