Thursday, 12 December 2013

'Tis The Season To Be Jolly.

If you are anything like me then December is running away with you and Christmas is edging ever closer.

I have been out a few times as Christmas party season hits full throttle.

Tuesday was my sewing class dinner out £20, then Wednesday was a night out with Sarah Millican. I purchased my ticket back at the beginning of the year and was just brilliant.

This was on top of a night out with friends on Saturday, for which TC kindly picked up the tab.

Then this weekend is my book club do and we have afternoon tea booked at Netherstowe House in Lichfield. I am really looking forward to it, but at £19 plus tip it's not cheap. 

And finally on 23rd my work is taking us out to dinner. 

December is soooo expensive. I am enjoying having some social life, but no-one is could keep up this level of spending. Especially when you factor in Christmas presents. 

January is going to be the start of some big changes in the way I view savings as I plan to start putting away some serious cash.

Want some good news? 
Well, I had my review at work after the end of my probationary period. Every single area of my work was rated either "Exceeds Expectation" or "Outstanding". The two top ratings. I am thrilled. When you look back to how unhappy i was at the beginning of the year. 

So enjoy Christmas folks, as long as you can afford it.

Frugally yours
Abigail 
X


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Trips for Food.

I take great pleasure in keeping my wobbly bits wobbly with food.

As I am guessing many of the main chefs in families are women, you may be like me and mentally planning meals weeks in advance. I can normally tell you the meals I have available for the next  three weeks even if I am not a person who has it all planned out on an Excel spreadsheet.

I do a two monthly trip to Costco, a monthly big shop at the supermarket and then just pop in for fresh milk and veg.

Today was my Costco trip and as last time I went with my friend P who introduced me to the The Chap. She is a retired lady, and as she does not have a Costco card we go together and I pay then she gives me her share back when we get to her house.

I mainly go for the meat, picking up two months supply at a good reduction to supermarket prices.
4 racks of ribs for £9.48. £6  for one rack in Tesco for less meat. I have to add the sauce, but at a Pound from Poundland that's not a problem.

16 chicken breasts for about £12, 2.2kg of strewing steak for £9. And a 2kg pack of bacon containing about 50 thick slices for £7.78.

 You buy in big catering size trays, so as there are only two of  us I have to bag it into portion sizes. The chicken is so big I bag it in singles as one breast will do two of us in a curry.

So the freezer is full tonight.

You would think tonight we would be munching our way through it. Not true as this week week I got given this..

2 free pheasants shot by my new boss. I was delighted as the freezer still contains some salmon steaks after he gave me a whole line caught Scottish salmon a month ago.

Free food is even better than discounted food.

Costco is not only good for meat, I also buy wine there as Barefoot Merlot is £7 in the supermarket, but there I get a box of six bottles for £26.38, less than a fiver a bottle.

I still have to do the main shop, but if by chance we have a zombie apocalypse in the near future TC and I will be eating like kings for a considerable amount of time without having broken the bank.

I am always interested in what other people think is good at Costco, so suggestions would be welcome. 

I have learnt after a few trips that if I do not get their pistachios TC will pout.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Monday, 25 November 2013

Sneaky sneaky

The Chap gave me a weird compliment the other day.

"Since you moved in, I've been a lot more regular"

Once, I caught my breath and stopped laughing I gave him a big kiss, as really he thought he was being nice.

I always knew he didn't eat very well, think frozen chicken nuggets and chips.

But I am a big believer in vegetables. I always thought TC didn't like vegetables, as when I asked him which veg he fancied with dinner I always got the slightly disgruntled look of a man offered an insect stir fry.

But after nearly 12 months living together, I have found a new way of dealing with it. I don't ask I just present him with his dinner with a variety of sides. He now eats corn on the cob once I bought some nifty spiked handles, asparagus, mange tout, cabbage, beans..... Well the list is endless.

I also sneak veg in to dinners without telling him. Tonight was a good examples. I cooked a cottage pie, including peas and carrots into the mince and then gave him a side salad with it. It all got eaten and seconds were asked for. 

You see sneaky sneaky!

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Saving

Christmas Is coming blah blah blah...

If you are anything like me then I suspect most of the shopping is done.

Judicious use of vouchers has really reduced my outlay.

Take the beginning of the month for example. The Chap is getting a SamsungTab 3 retails for £299.
I managed to get it for £235. By using my tesco club card vouchers and then buying it online to get an extra £20 off, plus another tender as it was my first online Tesco shop. I only had to wait two days, and considering it is still only November that's no hardship.

I have also picked up a couple of surprises, he knows nothing about. The Chap is not at all curious so I am not expecting him to go a searching. But, I am keen to know what his Christmas ideas are for me. He has not asked for any suggestiones and never visits shops. I have arranged all his family's gifts. 

So I am currently reviewing all post office cards saying there is a parcel waiting for him and as the sorting office is 200 yardsfrom my office have also been very helpful by picking them all up for him. If I am being given a Return of the Jedi poster I shall be most unhappy.

Also TC if you are reading (which he never does) any cleaning or cooking implement also comes under the "that is a shit present" heading. 

As it is our first proper Christmas living together I have invested in a special Christmas decoration that the cats cannot destroy.

Isn't he just precious.



eBay  has come up trumps again when it comes to work shoes..check out these bad boys for £1.24
So many nice comments from my lovely new colleagues.

And finally I had my 3 month appraisal (1 and a half months late, but hey who is counting.) and it went so very well. What a change 12 months has brought.. I am now happier, closer to home and saving a bloody fortune walking to work, not to mention 3 and a half hours better off every day.

Whoop de whoop! Wonder what next year will bring?

Frugally yours
Abigail
Sluice

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Warmth In Your Bones?

We have just comeback from our holiday just over a week staying at the inlaws villa in Murcia Spain.

The weather was glorious so much sun that I really felt my bones were being warmed. We did nothing whilst there.

We got up mid morning then sat outside until about seven at night before retreating inside to have a shower before walking down to the local restaurants.

Last year we did ten days and only ate out half of that time, this year we threw caution to the wind and ate out every night.

It's not cheap, and as we didn't want to pay for taxis (30 Euros returns trip) to the local town it was cheaper in the end to eat on the complex.

Considering the flights cost us £200 each back in January and the accommodation was free, it was an expense we felt was justified. We rarely eat out at home. 

I spent £200 whilst we were away. And I am fine with that. £400 in total for a week in the sun. You could go away for a weekend in the UK and it would cost a whole lot more without the weather.

So I have started saving, big time! I want to go long haul next year with The Chap. He is completely uninterested in planning it. So destination, dates and accommodation is all down to me.

I am also starting to plan ready for Christmas, as only three pay checks until Santa arrives.

I also have a big tax bill due on the flat I rent out, I need to be ready for.

The washing is done, the ironing completed so time to put the heat of the summer behind us and knuckle down for winter.

I don't know about you, but it is bloody freezing here. I don't like using the dryer so am planning the washing according to the weather forecast.

I cannot reduce the water bill by not washing but i can keep electricity usage to a minimum. 

The heating is not on here at South Fork, so I am writing this wearing a vest, shirt, jumper and hoodie . I am sure The Chap is raging with hormones at my pink fluffy and very thick socks. 

If you are sitting at home shivering like us, then I suggest some early nights under the covers with long chats about the state of the economy or Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball. 

Better pop off, need to empty the washing machine so TC doesn't have to go to work in his under pants and socks rather than trousers and shirt.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Monday, 26 August 2013

Division Of Labour

I often think that living with a guy successfully is all about hiding the CRAZY.

My crazy I mean, not The Chap's.

I don't mean clown wearing, axe wielding, rocking uncontrollably crazy. I mean hiding the fact I am obsessed about cleaning between my toes and not telling him  I count everything from steps to windows or those times when I suddenly think of the perfect comeback to a situation I faced years ago and say it out loud.

The Chap is not weird at all. The strangest thing I can say about him is sometimes he can through 3 pairs of socks a day. I don't know why or how, but I find them all over the place.

So, today is a case in point, TC needed a new suit for work, as he flies out to Norway this week, before returning to fly out with me on a much longed holiday.

So we were in M&S moaning about the machine washable suits were mainly slim fit for skinny jean wearing boys and not manly broad chested hunks of testosterone. Clothes shopping, is a chore for TC as he prefers to order items from the Internet, so clothes shopping is somewhere on a par with Ikea, Macros and queuing at the the post office in his mind.

Well, I had a wander off, only looking I promise! And was trying on some shoes when I realised that only half of my toes were painted, literally every other toe on each foot. The lady sitting next to me also noticed and was nudging her friend trying to get her to look.

I had been painting my toes before bed a couple of days ago and had only done every other so they would not smudge then I decided I was tired and meant to paint the rest the following day. I forgot.

So this morning I quickly grabbed my socks, and made a lunge for my trainers shoving them on.

It turns out ....on the wrong feet.

I couldn't then put them on the right feet as TC wandered over, and I was too embarrassed to change them over. 

 I spent the next twenty minutes as he paid for his suit with my shoes on the wrong feet.

I am thirty seven years old..this is a complete fail.

TC is none the wiser.

You see, hiding the CRAZY.

He is happily ignorant and together we are perfectly happy.

What crazy do you hide from your other half?

Frugally yours
Abigail
X






Saturday, 24 August 2013

New Shades

I have been after some new curtains for the spare box room for ages.

But finding something nice and reasonable had proved tricky.

Imagine my delight at finding these..
Brand new!

And only, wait for it..

£4.

Yes that's right four pound coins.

I picked them up a couple of weeks ago from a car boot and finally got round to putting them up this week when I had a good go at getting the room cleared of junk.

I expected them to be too long / big etc. So was thrilled I did not have to fish out the old sewing machine.

Now if I could get some carpet for a fiver, life would be prefect. Lol

Frugally Yours
Abigail
X

Friday, 16 August 2013

Sorry Sorry Sorry

Sorry for the blogging break, but with my new job life has been hectic but I am back now and raring to go.

Firstly, work is great! getting home at five is AWESOME, The Chap loves it. Proper meals every night and no frozen food. I am finding my love of cooking agin as I am not doing it shattered after a ten hour day. he is just working is little socks off and going away to Europe at least twice a month for a few days at a time. 

So I have been spending a lot of evenings trying to clean up the mess all the DIY created. The kitchen is so very nearly finished all that's left is hanging the new door and putting a blind up so hopefully I can debut it soon.

We have been up to Scotland for a wedding which was so much fun.

But I think I told you all about that last time.

My potato crop has been harvested, a little early but still a good amount.

A lot of boiled spuds have been eaten, and we were getting sick of them, so now it's potato salad. 

We've even had the odd spring onion from the garden.

But my favourite thing about the last few months is I have finally got a Costco card.

Being so tight I refused to pay the annual membership fee of £25. So The Chap got a card through work as he is in the favoured professions, then his work very kindly paid for my membership too. I knew that I would never get him to go again (it's on a par with Ikea) in his mind. Hence the reason I had to get my own card.

We spent a lot on our first visit, but it is so worth a trip. Good savings to be had. Meat and fish is getting so expensive to buy at the supermarket, buying in bulk is a great idea.

I bought 48 loo rolls, very good quality for £13
* 4 huge tenderloins for £11.51 that will do eight meals for the two of us .
*4 huge racks of ribs for £10.25' I pay £5.99 for one rack in the supermarket. 4 meals there. Tonight I roasted one rack for 25 mins in dry rub and BBQ sauce  then put it in the slow cooker for 2 and a half hours. Salad and more home grown boiled spuds finished it off with Aldi mayo at 89p / bottle.

*4 huge haddock fillets for £7.98 again 4 meals there for the pair of us.
* 10 chicken fillets that are massive and so much better that the little things from the supermarket at £10.23. One fillet does both of us in a curry.
*of course have the The Chap with you whilst shopping also meant I got conned to also buying a catering size bag of chicken nuggets for 10.69 and another 2kg bag of hash browns for £2.49. Perhaps it's not a bad idea he does not go again.
* Every week we take a bottle of our favourite wine Barefoot Merlot to his parents for Sunday lunch. £7.99 a bottle in Tesco. We got a box of 6 bottles for £26.39 a saving of £20.
*Cat items were also a lot cheaper. I pay £10 for 10kg bag of Catsan in the supermarket and pet superstores, there it £7. And a 4kg bag of GoCat for 6.19 also a lot cheaper.

We spent a small fortune on our trip, but enjoyed spending some time together and I have only been buying vegetables, milk etc since and we went on the 27th July. I am definitely going again in 2-3 months.

In conclusion, it is worth spending the £25 to join and 2-3 trips and you will be in pocket, especially if looking at big ticket items. But, if you can get work to pay, even better!

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Monday, 15 July 2013

Oh Lordy

If you live in the UK then you will know we are in the middle of a heat wave. If not, well then you do now.

We spend 51 weeks and 6 days of the year moaning about the weather here and the twenty four hours it is scorching, us Brits moan, whine and whinge about how hot we are.

Our homes do not come with air conditioning and the best we can do is run down to Argos to buy a fan so the hot air is redistributed in our homes.

Last night was unbearable and so at about eleven pm I wrapped my pillow in a bin liner and shoved it in the freezer. When I went to bed it did provide some relief, at a fraction of the cost of the fan going all night.

The weekend was glorious and made all the better as my little 4yo nephew came to stay and I had him all day Saturday.

I picked him up from my parents at eight thirty and we went to Asda to spend the money his Grandpa had given him.  We then went to near Stoke on Trent where they have a monkey forest. £7 for adults and £5 for kids. You then walked around a forest where monkeys roamed free. You were not allowed within 1 metre of the primates, but they were lovely and it is great to see these little things playing and interacting around you. "M" was enthralled! He also loved the sausages for lunch and a good hour in the free adventure playground, before back to look at the monkeys again.

We then went to a local summer fete which only cost a pound to enter. He fished for ducks, watched the acrobatic team, and dog show and them vigorously entered all the races, getting two firsts and a second. Such home spun and typically British activities that were all wonderful fun in the sun. Made all the more perfect in a 4 yo eyes as he had the superman logo painted on his face.

Back to my house to see the cats and have an ice cream with The Chap before we wended our way home to my parents where I was babysitting. We ate scrambled eggs and had a bath before reading dinosaur books and going to bed at eight thirtyish. At this point I am not sure who was most tired, but he had dark circles under his eyes and kept rubbing them though of course he was not tired!!

I did spend money taking him to the forest and having lunch out, but really such precious memories are priceless and the fete cost me all of £5 including entry, face painting money and plastic duck fishing. Really we could have both gone for a long walk and taken a picnic as all he ever wants is someone to play with.

If you do have a family, or have memories of spending time with little ones, they are the most amazing entertainment and fun to be with. 

I read with interest this week that padding pool sales are up 816% in the Uk  with this weather and getting hold of buns, salad and sausages is virtually impossible.

But really if the rain was coming down, wouldn't you go to the cinema? Or visit an undercover shopping centre? Spending far more than the cash I laid out for a fabulous day!

On the positive side the kitchen is almost finished, TC has done an amazing job and I hope to have pics shortly.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Unexpected Benefits

I have been working in my new job for two weeks now. So far I am loving it!

Every morning I wake up at my normal time six thirty, I then lie in bed for half an hour whilst The Chap has a shower. I slowly come to with the cats walking all over me. At seven I get up and wrap myself in my dressing gown before wandering downstairs for a cup of tea and to make a sandwich for lucnh before the chap gets ready to go to work.

Seven thirty, I wave TC off and go upstairs for a shower. I then go into the spare room where I keep all my clothes and products. I grab my new IPad and watch an episode of The West Wing as I dry my hair and actually have time to put make up on. 

At eight thirty I am out the front door and walking to work arriving 10 mins before nine, and so at my desk before all my new colleagues arrive. Thus also creating a great first impression.

All very different to the 30 mins I used to have leaving at 7.15am before a horrendous hour long journey to the office in a car.

I am so much happier now, yesterday I had enough time to do a load of washing before going to work and hang it out,

The sword of Damocles that used to hang over my professional head has disappeared, and my new boss keeps passing words of encouragement and trusts my opinion. So far it is all going so well.

I now walk through the door at 5.30pm rather than seven pm and am not shattered. 

I have only driven once in the last seven days to visit my parents on Sunday and life generally seems better. 

Not only has my petrol bill been drastically reduced, but also my new 30 mins lunchtimes means I can no longer go out half way through the day. Indeed, I am not so desperate for a few minutes out of a depressing environment either! However much you try not to spend, when you work in a town centre and you go out every day then money does get spent.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to no longer be a sales person. 

I wish I had got this job years ago.

My personal life has been a joy since I met TC, it got better when we moved in together at Christmas and now my professional life has followed. I think he is a little jealous though, as recently he is not getting in until 8,9 or 10pm often after getting up at 5am. As I write this, he is asleep on the sofa next to me exhausted. 

This extra  time at home does mean I have taken all responsibility for the house from him and he gets home to dinner and I make him a cup of tea as soon as he walks through the door. It is the least I can do. Plus, nowadays I am not too tired to do it.

If I had one wish it would be that my good and long time friend "G" who I used to work with would get another job too. I know how I would have felt if she had left and I had still been there . The one thing my new job lacks is you to share an office with. Xxx Miss you honey!

Frugally yours
Abigail
X




Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Touch Of Luxury

My new job has sent me away for a night as I have a training day starting early tomorrow nearly 200 miles from home.

The negative? The Chap flew off to Norway on Monday for two night and arrived home this evening well after I had left to go "up north".

So I will only see him tomorrow evening.

The positive? I was expecting a Premier Inn or Travel Lodge, and I got a Radisson Blu. It is so luxurious.

After some pub grub, I wandered my way back to the hotel and have had a lovely bath using all their pots of silliness.

I am now lying on the bed about to watch old episodes of The West Wing on the IPad, using the free wifi that is available to guests. All without the guilt of "I should clean the bathroom / do the ironing".

I could never be a commercial sales person, on the road day after day, night after night in some soulless hotel. But as a one off this is pure bliss.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X


A Weekend Away

I am 37 years old and have lived in the UK all that time and never until Friday visited Scotland.

I was supposed to go a few years back, unfortunately the afternoon before I was due to fly I had a nasty accident involving a kerb. I broke my knee and spent weeks in plaster ankle to groin. On crutches and totally unable to fly.

So I was delighted to be invited to wedding up near Sterling.

It was such a lovely day, and great to meet The Chap's extended family who were all so friendly.

The castle was fairy tale.

The decoration was just beautiful.


I felt so smart in my new super cheap coat.

The hat was a loaner from my Mum.

I wore a dress that was bought years ago from Monsoon in better times.

We travelled up by car, putting the miles onto TC's company vehicle, which is also cheaper as it is diesel. 600 miles on one tank at £70.

Going to a wedding is never cheap, but your travel and outfit shouldn't have to break the bank.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X
 

Friday, 28 June 2013

The Coin Challenge Week 3

So not a bean to be had this week.. Bugger.

We drove to Scotland today, over five hours in a car, and we are both shattered.

So there it is, nothing to report .....so um off to bed.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Week Off

So I start my new job tomorrow after a week off.

I have been busy today getting ready for starting and we are off to a wedding in Scotland on Friday. So up for an appointment at 8.30am this morning then off to buy a new tie for The Chap and matching pocket chief. Then picked up our dry cleaning. Back to pick up something my sister ordered before putting it in the post to her.  I finally got home at around 3pm. Then as always washing and ironing etc.

I got a great deal today as Debenhams had a sale on of up to 70%.

There has been a coat in Debenhams for weeks I loved but at £100 it was too expensive for my taste. Last week it was reduced to £49 in the sale. Nope, sorry still to expensive.

When I was in there today it was reduced again to £29.70. A massive 70% discount. 


1EF86361-3D1B-463C-A70A-582705616472

All the back is box pleated and it is so smart. My dress for the wedding is black and white, as is my hat.  This will be perfect if it rains or doesn't get any warmer up north!

Whilst out last week I picked up a new pair of black trousers for work too from M&S. £16 is pretty good to start with, but I got them on a day with a 20% discount off all tops and bottoms so for £12.80.

Bargain can still be had peeps! You just need to keep an eye out.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X



Friday, 21 June 2013

The Coin Challenge Week 2

Another week gone by and it has been pretty fine. I left my job and managed to add to my collection of found coins.

To clarify all money must be found and not just discovered down the back of the sofa or at the bottom of a handbag.

It all started well last Saturday as I was walking back from the Sorting Office after picking up some parcels. 

There it was just lying on the floor... 1p on the pavement. I swooped in and pocketed the cash pleased I would have more money to blog about.

So imagine my delight on my last lunchtime on Monday when as I wandered off to pick up some cat treats there was more money lying on the pavement. Three 1p coins begging to add to the pot. 4pence in one week, almost enough to retire.

I have since scanned all walkways in the hope of more funds. No luck... 

But yesterday it was time for the big guns. This time thanks to my Mum.

We went to M & S together as she offered to buy me an outfit for my new job.

As you walk in there were trolleys, the kind you have to put £1 in to release the trolley.

Knowing of my new feature on finding money she spotted a solitary pound coin lying under the trolleys. I suspect a customer had dropped it whilst returning their trolley, dropped it and it had rolled under the line. Is a pound coin worth loosing one's dignity. It sure was!!

30 seconds later I was to be found lying full length on my stomach at the entrance to Marks and Spencer's Tamworth arm outstretched to obtain the cash.

Money found this week: £1.04

Total Money Found: £1.09.

£999,998.91 left to go

What £1.09 could buy me? 30mm price labels http://www.labelsonline.co.uk/RE1763R

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

That's That Then

So I am no longer a sales person...that's that done! 

I finished work today and have a glorious week off work before starting with my new employer.

Sad really after 16 years. My friend G at work and I both cried a little after 7 hours together 5 days per week. I am really going to miss that lady. She has been so supportive and friendly and in the last few years the only thing that made going to work bearable. Thanks G and good luck!! Xxx

Because of holiday owed I was able to leave at lunchtime.

The plan was to mow the lawn and do some tidying at home.

Then I discovered my friend D was off work for a week and was gardening.

So we went shopping. Well, we went looking....

And then a cup of tea and a cake.

What a wonderful day!!

Frugally yours
Abigail
Xx

Monday, 17 June 2013

I Bought An IPad

I bought an IPad over the weekend.

It is a purchase I have been thinking about a long time.

The Chap has a tablet, but it is clunky and The Chap often gets fed up with its functionality.

I have been saving ready to pick one up. I had the money saved and ready to go for a couple of months. I just could not get to the final stage and actually buy it £399 is so much money to spend. I could not bring myself to spend the money. 

I was at an impasse, my natural frugality was holding me back. That is not a bad thing, it gives you time to think. £400 is a lot of my money. The first thing with spending so much money is to be sure you really want to buy it

Friday night I went off to get food for the next two weeks at Tesco. As I was wandering round, I noticed a sign up offering 6 months interest free credit for electrical purchases over £389.

Getting a deal on iPads is impossible, Apple just do not allow it and they do not need to. It is brand that everyone wants.

So I checked that they would let me buy an IPad on this deal. 

They would.

I still walked away to think about it.

Saturday I popped off after to breakfast and signed up.It's way I keep my capital and am paying no interest so six months at £65 per month.

I can pay the money back early if need be and the agreement is done via Barclays a reputable high street bank.

It's a good deal, plus I got £400 worth of stickers for Tesco's new promotion on saucepans and club card points too. 

I also bought an own brand Tesco iPad case. So far just as good as Apple's case at less money.

I am pleased to keep my capital and spread the cost, plus if I do change my mind it is no problem to pay it back.

And finally, it's amazing!!! I have been playing on it all weekend and love it. I have also been face timing my family which is so easy.

Living frugally means you can make these decisions. 

Frugally yours

Abigail

X

Friday, 14 June 2013

Coin Challenge Week 1

Did you know that an estimated 2% of all coins ever minted have been lost?

They are lying stuck in the crevices of our couches, the cracks in our pavements and trodden into the mud in our back garden.

According to Royal Mint’s own website (you can view it here) they produce almost 5 billion coins per year.

In the UK alone 100 million coins are lost in 365 days, and that is only last year.

If all those coins were 1 pennies, that means 1 million pounds is lost every year. But they are not all one pennies, there are 2pennies, and 5 pennies, and 10 pence and 20 pence and 50 pence and one pound coins.
 
I calculate there are millions of pounds under our feet, in our sofas and buried in the garden. (have you heard of the staffordshire hoard?)

Careful consideration of the problem has led me to the decision I could manage on £1million pounds. Of course there would have to be some economies here and there. But I am confident it could be done..

So from now on I am making it my task to start finding this cash. It is mine for the taking.

I am calling this new feature The Coin Challenge, and every Friday will post about the amount of money I have found and where.

I started thinking about this post middle of the week after I had cleared the bottom of my handbag and managed to amass over £1, enough to buy me a can of pop to go with my homemade sandwich.

As I started thinking about it, my eyes drifted downwards and a flash of silver caught my eye. With all the grace and elegance of a ballet trained magpie I stooped down and picked up said coin. A 5p.
 
An excellent start. £999,999.95 to go.

Total Found this week:- 5p
Total to Date – 5p.

5pence would buy me a plastic bag.

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Keep Working

Thank you all so much for all your Congratulations and good wishes in my new job! X

My head is down and I am beavering away at the office trying to leave everything tidy and ready for a replacement.

I have agreed with my employer that I can leave Tuesday lunchtime and so have a week off before starting my new role.

I cannot wait, so very excited. I had a long chat with my new boss today about what to expect and my timetable for the first couple of weeks.

I really feel so energised at the thought!

2013 is so far a life changing year for me. Moved in with The Chap after 10 yrs leaving alone and new job after 14 yrs with the same company.

My Goodness it is only June!!

What's going to have happened by the end of the year?

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Drumroll Please...

I have been a bit lax in blogging of recent weeks.

I know I have.

There has been a reason.

Remember a while ago I mentioned in a post script I had some good news The Chap and I had celebrated with a nice dinner out?




Well, I got a new job!!

Today I handed in my notice, after 16 years working for the same company.

There has been so much to sort out, it has taken up a lot of my time over the last 4-5 weeks. Interview preparation, time off work etc.

I was delighted to be selected out of over 100 applicants. Whoo Hoo - look at me blowing my own trumpet!

THE BENEFITS
  • My new working week is 37.5 hrs compared to 42 hours per week
  • My new journey will take 15 mins WALKING, comparied to 60 mins driving.
  • I will save £200 per month on my petrol costs, plus no more buying a new car every 4 yrs. My insurance will reduce as no more stating i do c25000miles per annum. Longer time frames between services and I get healthier!
  • A little bit more money.
  • No working in sales anymore, this is an operational role
  • Bigger company, new faces
  • Less holidays initially as I will drop 2 days per annum, but after 2 years there I will re-gain them and then gain more! AND I will be better off by 3 hrs per day, with less working hours and less commute.
I had been looking a while and this fitted everything I wanted. I am SOOO excited!

I start the end of this month as I have a 2 week notice period and am really looking forward to it.

It is the beginning of a new era!

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Primark

I used to hate cheap shops and Primark is a good example.

Walking into an evironment which looks like a church hall jumble sale on a Saturday morning is not a pleasant shopping environment. I do not care how cheap it is.

I will only enter the shop, if a friend has specifically recommended I buy something from there.

I recently bought 4 or 5 differently coloured vest tops in microfiber that I wear a lot under low cut dresses to save my modesty. Too much boobage is not really office appropriate. They were £3 each and just brilliant, no ironing and come in such a variety of colours.

Today I walked into the office and my friend "G" was pouring us both a brew (what a woman!). The first thing I noticed about her? Great pins! I mean her legs looked fabulous! And I told her straight away. They were a lovely natural tan and very shiny.

She had bought a box of tights out of desperation from Primark. 5 pairs in a box for £3.
Primark £3 / box

I have paid £6 per pair for shiny posh summer tights before now and not looked any better.
60 pence per pair!

So today I went and bought 10 pairs for £6 to last me through the summer. At that price they are great value. And they come in small, medium, large and x large. I am 5ft 7 and need a large otherwise I get penguin crotch.
A classic example of penguin crotch.

I am fully expecting, wolf whistles and random bouquets of flowers being thrown my way june, july and august in these babies ....


 I also threw in 30 hair bands for £1 and a batman flannel for my nephew at £1 too. A good little stocking filler for him when I want to send him a well done present.
£1 each
The truth is I still hate Primark as a shopping experience, but have got to admit. You cannot beat it for a bargain.

Frugally yours
Abigail
x


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Living With Boys

It has been 5 months, since I packed up my collection of beauty products and moved lock, stock and moisturising mask to The Chap’s house.

Life has remain pretty smooth, no arguments just the odd mood as I take offense at an imagined slight. Woe betide the boyfriend who doesn’t state “That was Deeee-licious!” after I emerge with a culinary delight every evening.

However, the odd situation does throw me for six as I contemplate the best way of tackling it.

Last night was a case in point.

I knew the day was probably going to be a disaster after I accidently managed to spray my hair with furniture polish and not hairspray as I was getting ready in the morning. God darn Tesco and their similarly festooned aerosols!

Yesterday evening, I had dinner booked with the girls from book club. It really is an excuse now to meet up every 2months for a good chin wag. We have even given up the pretence of actually reading a book and normally sit for 2 hours talking about partners, babies, jobs and last night weirdly washing. (??)

I always enjoy my evening out and last night was no exception. I chomped my way through a sticky chilli chicken salad and then rounded up my feast with a chocolate sponge pudding. All the while feeling vaguely guilty about the email I had hurriedly sent to The Chap during the day reminding I would not be home until late and there was frozen pizza and / or frozen scampi and baked beans in the cupboard. I do not know what he ended up eating and have not asked as I am guessing it was a 6 pack of Wheat Crunchies.

On the drive home from our feast, my stomach stated clenching and knotting, and by the time I got home the inside of the car had a faintly green atmosphere from the gaseous emissions.

By the time I walked through the door, I had to dash upstairs and proceeded to lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes, hoping that the noxious aromas would shortly pass. Twinkle who had snuck in with me, by this point was clawing at the door probably contemplating using a loofer in a desperate bid to dig a tunnel to freedom.

No change, my abdomen was tying itself up and the wind kept coming and Boy! if the instigator finds it most offensive then you know it could probably strip paint from steel.

Luckily, I found an old box of Buscopan, which is specifically for abdominal cramps, and took one ignoring the Best Before of 2011.

20 minutes and a hot shower later, I snuck into the lounge in attractive pair of pjs teamed with some thick bed socks and a dressing gown … buttocks clenched.

The Cats were studiously avoiding eye contact and I am sure Belle was sniggering!

I really could have done with an arthritic camel with a love of picked onions to blame it all on.

I casually mentioned my dinner was not agreeing with me whilst watching Game of Thrones, but as always TC was much more interested in discovering which Stark / Lannister (delete as appropriate) was going to murder whom and how.

Why do I feel the need to hide my flatulence, which really was the result of a dodgy dish, whilst The Chap thinks nothing of where we are and lets rip?

My feminine allure remains intact for another 24 hours..

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Abigail's Tip Of The Day

As this...

38p

Looks like this..
37p
Probably not a good idea to leave the polish on your dressing table post cleaning the bedroom..

I have smelled like Mr Shine all day..

It could only happen to me!

Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Friday, 31 May 2013

Bag A Bargain

Being frugal means not spending more than you have to. So I am always deligted when I bag a bargain. Especially with clothes, as they are so expensive.

I know a lot of thrifty-ies who obtain most of their wardrobe via charity shops. I am never that lucky, when I go in everything looks like it has been used to clean the bath before being donated. I still have a wander around, but rarely find anything I want / need.

I have had a lot of success with Ebay and get a lot from Dorothy Perkins as they have fantastic pop up sales. This weekend for instance there is 30% off for 72 hours

3 weeks ago whilst in Lichfield, a new market stall appeared selling ex Marks and Spencers clothes. All brand new but with the labels cut out. I bought a georgous red wool coat from them 2 years ago for £15, but have never seen the stall since. So was delighted to see it again and made a bee line.

I bought this.
 


For £7!
Brand new and they gave me the hanger.

Best thing? It was a size 10 and it fit. I reckon it would cost £22 –25 retail.

Must have looked nice on, as I wore it a week later to visit my friend P (she introduced me to The Chap) and as I walked home a man stopped and asked me out for a drink. I am 37 years old, slightly porky and that made my day!!!

Frugally yours
Abigail
x
P.S. No post yesterday as The Chap took me out to dinner to celebrate some good news. A proper restaurant with no vouchers and proper starched cloth napkins. Swanky!!! Cannot say anything just yet, but watch this space
P.P.S No, its nothing to do with babies!