Friday, 28 September 2012

Food Waste Fr... Erm Actually No It Is Not

Well normally on a Friday I would blog about the food I need to throw away. But nothing to report today.
So here are some photos instead.

The kittens are just getting so sweet and really finding their confidence. Twinkle the slightly browner coloured one is very precocious, climbing up your leg and prancing on any random feet which may be close.

Belle, is a lot quieter, and more nervy around The Chap and I, but every now and again she clambers onto a lap, or arm or shoulder and drifts off to sleep purring whilst being stroked. I feel very honoured every time she does that to me.

And finally...
I got given a £3 voucher a while ago for the needlecraft centre at Trentham Gardens. Not much you can buy nowadays for £3 so the plan was to buy some cotton, until I saw this.
I added 39p and bought it and am loving learning french knitting again (30 years since I last had a go) I now have well over a metre and not a clue what to do with it. Any ideas?

Frugally yours

Thursday, 27 September 2012

October Pay Day

Pay Day Today! *singing happy days are here again!*

Had a go at The Debt.

Credit Card 1   was £164.05      paid £24.50    now £139.55
Credit Card 2   was £174.00      paid £26.50    now £147.50
Overdraft:       was £400          paid £0.00      now £400.00

Starting Debt: £1990.80
New Total: £687.05 in the red.
% Debt Paid off: 65%

I am not paying off huge amounts at the moments, but I am trying to keep the momentum going as I do not want another month like September, where ultimately the debt has increased.

Still not great, but I have put £200 into savings, which means I hopefully now have enough to complete the task preparing the flat ready for rental.

I still need to
  • Get the carpets cleaned.
  • Obtain the electricity safety certificate
  • Obtain the gas safety certificate
  • Arrange a Man with a Van to move furniture
BANG! There goes the majority of the savings

I also now only have 3 more weekends to complete the clear out, that is, if someone wants to rent W Towers. Watch this space M'dears!

Frugally yours

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Debt, An Update.

Tomorrow is Pay Day. So, I thought today I would give you a bit of an update about where I am with The Debt.

Credit Card 1  Currently: £166.00
Credit Card 2  Currently: £174.00
Overdraft        Currently: £400.00

Total: £740.00

So my debt has increased after having to buy the washing machine and increasing my overdraft by £100.

But, I am still determined to pay it off and have now set myself 6 months to do so. March 2012.

I cannot set much more than minimal amounts in October, as most spare cash will be funnelled towards paying workmen to ensure the flat is ready to let.

Frugally yours

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Frozen Food

I had a guest to stay this weekend and wanted to feed her frugally and tastily on Friday evening.

I found this..

A new addition to the Tesco Everyday Value range (oh, read this if you get a minute. Tesco customers were too embarrassed to buy the old Tesco value range, that is why it has been rebranded)

The joint weighs 560g and is supposed to feed 2-3 (true if the 3rd person just fancies a vegetarian meal) and comes in at £3. It's nearest rival is Iceland's roast from frozen chicken which is £3.50 for 520g.

I was a bit dubious, being completely honest, and did worry what it would be like. However, I have to say it was juicy and a proper roast (no reconstituted rubbish) and browned up a treat in the last 20minutes once I removed the packaging.

I then bulked it up with some potatoes, extra stuffing, sugar snap peas and mini corns (they were reduced to sell last week). Pudding was treacle sponge with custard. Sometimes, only such comfort food will do. Besides "S", must have enjoyed it as both our plates were squeaky clean.

S also has started me on the big tidy! Ready for the new tenants (assuming someone wants to rent Chez Thrifty!) So every evening I am trying to pack one box or clear one area. Today I turned up to work with 2 carriers of clothes for the British Heart Foundation

(OMG, and I caught a man shop lifting a pewter tankard! Can you believe it? I saw him pick up the mug and then it was gone. So I guessed he must have dropped it in his carrier bag. I was so incensed I followed him round the shop staring at him and the carrier until he got the message and pretended to tie his shoe lace whilst removing the tankard. I then retrieved it, gave him the evil eye and proceeded to tell the staff who were not interested at all!)

And finally... my mum rang me this afternoon she went to Tesco today and spent £20, yet managed to charm extra tokens from the Cashier. I now have enough to get three boxes of Alessi cutlery and we are only a week in! Whoo Hoo!

Frugally yours

Monday, 24 September 2012

You Have Got To Love A Deal

I thought I should let you know, I got really excited on Thursday when I went to my local Tesco. As you see they have started a new promotion running until the 24th December.

Alessi cutlery.

I love Alessi items, and think they are functional, fun and a design classic. I only have a few items of theirs, mainly that were given as gifts.

I like the ice cream bowls I was given a few years ago. Look at the cute heart shaped spoons!
A di Alessi Big Love Ice Cream Bowl & Spoon, Blue, (AMMI01S AZ)
So you can imagine my delight when I realised the new promotion is for Alessi cutlery. I loved the knives I bought using the Tesco promotion a few months ago. So new cutlery would be ideal.

I calculate I want a 10 piece table set with 8 pastry knives and then 2 sets of serving spoons.

That means I require 70  vouchers. And to obtain 1 voucher you need to spend £20.

Well of course this thrifty girl is not going to spend £1400.00 on obtaining the vouchers.... crackers money.

But previous experience tells me you can "charm" additional vouchers from the Cashiers. Well, since Wednesday I have spent probably £30 on petrol and food combined and currently have 11 vouchers already.

After cheekily asking every time I go if I can have a voucher, or can I have some extra. I even yesterday got given 1 from the lady behind me in the queue.

Friends and family, plus The Chap and his parents have all been roped in so by Christmas I can have a new set of very expensive cutlery and serving spoons for the grand total £69.86. They should last a life time.

Watch this space for an update.

Frugally yours
P.S. Oh and if you happen to have some spare vouchers going you do not need ....... :o)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Every Day...

Every day, I try to be frugal, I try not to spend and try to be a better person.

That is my philosophy.

Recently I have increased my debt a little bit, but overall I have paid off very nearly 70% in 9months.

But the next few weeks are going to be expensive.

The cost of moving means Christmas may be a little less cheery this year.

When you rent your property there are a lot of checks etc that need legally to be carried out.
Gas and electricity certificate. c£55 each.

I also need to close off the EDF energy accounts for gas and electrcity. I need to pay for storage for 3months whilst we get organised and I want to get the oven professionally cleaned ready for some new tennants.

Finally, the garage door has been broken now for circa 10 years (yes I know! But I know the knack!) so that either needs to be fixed or replaced £90-350.

Oh and did I mention the £350 required to pass to the letting agents  to find the reliable and checked tennant.

I think in total I am looking about c£600-800 just to move out.

So I will continue to chip away at the credit card bill, but realistically this last £600 odd pounds is not going to get cleared until next year.


However, Hurrayyyyyyy! for moving in together.

Even something really exciting costs!

Frugally yours

Monday, 17 September 2012

Some New Additions...x


Hope you had a good weekend, up to much?

I had dinner out courtesy of the inlaws on Saturday and really spent nothing during the course of the weekend (except petrol which does not count)


But The Chap did get something...

Actually, he got 2..

Don't you just love them?

The Chap and I have been looking for two female Whiskers kittens for nearly a year, and finally last week he saw two. We were then able to pick them up on Sunday.

Both The Chap and I have had pets in the past and felt we wanted them again.

It was up to The Chap to decide as I could not afford to have a pet, but with me moving in shortly I consider them 50% mine.

Two very distinctive personalities one is bigger and very placid, likes a fuss but nervy, the other smaller kitten is feisty and hard to catch. We both want two lap cats and once after a few days of settling in and finding the courage to remove themselves from the pet bed or the behind the sofa we are going to start training them to enjoy fuss.

I have always have dogs, so cats are new territory for me, but already falling in love with them.

Nice too, that a pair of sisters can keep each other company whilst we are at work.

In the meantime off to the vets this week for a check over, microchipping and to set a date they can both be neutered, even though they will only be allowed out under supervision in the back garden.

But aren't they the cutest??

We also met Mum, who was so beautiful too!

Names to be decided when we get to know them better though, Leia and Padme are making an early bid.... Star Wars Princesses in case you did not know. Guess who thought of that?

Frugally yours

Friday, 14 September 2012

Food Waste Friday

Every Friday in an effort to reduce my Food Waste I link with other bloggers to shame myself with produce which I have had to chuck.
Since I have just returned from 10 days away, you would think I had nothing to report, correct? Well ... wrong.
I managed to overlook these tomatoes on the run up to my trip.
They actually look okay-ish though tomato no1 is about about 24 hrs away from being a pulpy mess. Normally I eat tomatoes cold on toast with balsamic vinegar and a little salt. I cannot face them served this way as I had it every morning for breakfast in Spain.
And I loathe grilled tomatoes, so any ideas gratefully received?
When I started writing this blog I had three aims in mind.
1) Pay off that darn debt.
2) Live more frugally
3) Live a simpler more organised life.
I have been concentrating on Number 3 recently, and therefore arranging my diary between now and Christmas.
I have a friend coming to stay next weekend as I prepare to say farewell to W Towers. We are going to have a day out on the Saturday and she is going to help me sort out some stuff prior to moving.
October I am away 2 weekends, 1 weekend The Chap and I are going away to a convention (don't ask!) and the following weekend it is my annual catch up with the girls, Kent this year.
I have been invited to Durham too in November, but am not sure it is either a 4.5hr train journey (well over £100) or a 200m drive.
I want to arrange a weekend with my sister too before Christmas. Plus I am about to pay my deposit for the first Christmas party meal I have been booked into.
Phew! so much to do on top or clearing out the flat.
The plan is this weekend to clean the flat thoroughly prior to starting "The Big Clear Out", also the agents want to photograph it next week.
If I can just clear the holiday washing and ironing, then I feel I am in a position to start chucking and packing. I am hoping that in doing so I can realise how much less stuff I need.
Posting my hols photos this weekend.
Frugally yours

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hola, My Engleeeesh Chums!

Hello Honey, I'm Home!

Returned home in the early hours of Tuesday morning and back to work today with a bump.

I had such a wonderful holiday and really feel like my batteries have been recharged.

I am for me, mind numbingly tanned and just feel so much more healthier than I did for seeing the sun (skin cancer aside) and doing nothing strenuous for 10 days.

The Chap and I got on so well, which augurs only good for moving in together and we spent our days by the pool, me reading and him listening to his ipod with drinks in hand. We stayed out there until about 7-8pm before heading in for a shower and either a BBQ out the back or dinner in a local restaurant. (photos to follow)

Aside from dinners out and the food bought, I spent little and even managed to come home with over £100.

Good news from The Office, in that everything is looking stable and I can rest assured that my commission is my own so I threw £240.07 at the credit card nearly paying off my new washing machine. In fact I also threw another £30 at my other credit card. HOWEVER I managed to pay it off my old credit card by mistake that has been cancelled. So so so stupid and I am currently desperately trying to get in contact with my bank to get it back.

A careless mistake, and one that has really upset me this afternoon.

I did a food shop upon my return and will shortly update the relevant page, as it was quite a large shop for me and did entail a £7 mascara which was an impulse purchase.

I also paid for a beautiful bouquet of flowers for TC's parents to say thank you for letting me stay in their lovely holiday villa.

Yesterday, was not spent lulling in bed, I got up well before 9 and put on a load of washing. I then went and changed my Euros back using the MSE site to ensure I got the most for my dosh. I then went and put most of it straight into the bank before taking a note or two out to pay for the flowers.

Then off to see the Estate Agents as I had booked an appointment to discuss letting my flat. An hour and a half later I am well aware of all the responsibilities involved as a landlord and opted to pay a one off fee for finding and vetting a tenant. I will then manage it myself on an ongoing basis. I now have to be out by the 1st of November which seems precious little time to pack up 10 yrs worth of junk. So exciting though for this gf.

And finally, the reason for my nervousness all day at work. It was my little POLO's first MOT. The little beauty passed with only a new reg plate bulb (cost £1, with free fitting) required. So the tyres acquired last month have done me well. My local VW Dealership, picked it up, did the MOT and the bulb thingy for £30.20 inc VAT and then dropped it back washed, hoovered and with an air freshener. Excellent value, I thought.

In actual fact it needs a service too, but that can wait a month or two when it is coming in at £139. I am legal, that is sufficient for the time being.

Frugally yours