Friday, 11 January 2013

Mission Statement, Tested.

11th January, and already my mission statement for 2013 has been put to the test.

Allow me to elaborate.

Imagine it is Saturday night, you have been clearing kitchen cupboards all day and furtively filling up neighbour’s bins with rubbish from your soon to be rented flat.

You return home and have 25 minutes to shower and change before meeting friends for a curry that has been re-arranged from November.

Your almost-but-not-quite-perfect-boyfriend then decides to wear one of the new shirts you bought him for Christmas from Ted Baker that cost an arm, leg and a couple of kidneys.

Now imagine the shirt is too small, you didn’t know, as someone had not tried it on before….

Hmm, now I was a little shirty… (boom boom!)

Well, as TC sorry the almost-but-not-quite-perfect-boyfriend is violently allergic to returning anything, I then folded it up and dug out the original bag and on Wednesday lunch time took it back to my local House Of Fraser for an exchange.

Wednesday 9th January was the last day House of Fraser would refund Christmas gifts, and the item needed to be refunded as my local HoF did not carry that line.

To cut a long and rather tedious story short, I had to take the shirt back home with me and search out the receipt, which of course had been packed into one of the 64,392 boxes during the move. All of which are now spread across, TC’s house, my parents house and the cupboard under the stairs back at the flat.

It is a minor miracle I found it at all, but I was a woman on a mission as HoF would now only give me a credit voucher / or exchange if I presented the receipt or proof of purchase and I was not going to loose out, nor was I about to wave a bank statement under the nose of some snotty faced sales assistant in the menswear department.

Last night when TC and I were watching the final episode of The Polar Bear Family and Me (amazing btw!) I said I had returned his shirt and got the money put on a gift card.

I realised by his response that the chance of him going in to buy another shirt was between nil and zero.

He told me to pick up some pans for the kitchen instead.

The Chap has been working on our new kitchen since well before Christmas and had paid to have a brand new induction hob put in. If you know nothing about induction hobs, well all I can tell you is that they don’t get hot, though the pan does. It is all to do with magnets, and mirrors and quite possibly magic. It was one of those Physics type moments when TC starts talking and I find it easier to nod, smile and intersperse both actions with an “Oh, okay!” and “Well isn’t technology clever?”

The sauce / frying pans TC had and the pans I have are not compatible with induction technology. So since November, if it could not be baked or microwaved then we couldn’t cook it at “Southfork”. Even though the induction hob was in, and ready to use.

As I am always happy to go shopping, lunchtime today I popped back to House of Fraser, with the mission statement in mind.

"Keeping It Simply Thrifty will endeavour over the next 12 months to reduce debt to £0.00, increase savings and whenever possible seek out cheaper alternatives to branded goods whilst ensuring that items purchased are done so to ensure longevity of use or (as frugal girl puts it) heirloom quality."

I was going to buy the best quality we could afford, so it would last forever, even if that only meant buying one pan today and slowly adding to it over the next 12 months.

My idea was to buy some Le Creuset, which are the price of a small bungalow on the coast to start off my collection.

I went in fully intending to purchase a saucepan. Until two things happened
1) I saw the price
2) (this was the deal breaker) I lifted one.

Seriously, as good as these pans are and look, they are the weight of a baby rhinoceros being ridden by a kangaroo… in wellies….juggling barbells.

And this is before being filled with chocolate sauce water and vegetables.

Remembering a female’s right to change her mind at the last moment, I asked some advice from the helpful lady in the department and bought some Tefal Preference Pro, after wandering off pretending to think about it when actually I was using my smart phone to check reviews online (all good, bar the usual miserable sod).

A Stirfry Pan and an 18inch saucepan. (see below for a picture)

This will start us off nicely and allow me to introduce fresh vegetables to the “Southfork” diet next week, as well as stop a reliance on pizza and expensive pre-prepared food.

The best part?
House of Fraser had both pans reduced in the January sales with 20% off and they gave me recognition points, even though I had already got them from buying the shirt, and the combined price was £67.20, which leaves me with 80 pence left on the gift card. The shire was £85, and I bought it during one of their 20% off 48hour promotions.

Only one thing remains that worries me greatly…….does this mean that I bought The Chap kitchen utensils for Christmas? and if so does this mean he can buy me an ironing board or something awful like that in return on my birthday?

I think I feel sick…..

Frugally yours


  1. LOL. :D Yep, I'd say you are getting an ironing board for your birthday :)

    You have brought some memories back, and made me laugh :) Thankyou for that :)

    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. I think you're getting power tools for your birthday! ;-)

  3. I checked out Le Creuset. Some of their stuff is cast iron. I briefly lived with a man who only believed in cooking in cast iron. And expected me to do the same. I don't know how my arms weren't super toned by the time I moved out of his house.

    Made all other pots and pans I've used since seem very light and easy to manage though. ^____^

    I hope you don't get an ironing board. Though if somebody bought me power tools for my birthday (as Hawaii Planner suggests you might get) I would be super excited. I love power tools.

    1. I think birthdays should be about what you nee / want. I definately want / need either!

  4. LOL I just got a bread machine after 21 years so go figure, so yes, I think you are getting something totally utilitarian for your birthday. I made my husband come listen while I read this. You are so funny. Have a great weekend.

    1. I would be delighted with a bread maker!

  5. I am impressed that you were able to find the receipt. I love to cook with cast iron, but it is very heavy.

    1. yes, too heavy for this girl I am afraid. Though I could be tempted with a heart shaped casserole dish. They are lovely!

  6. Hi, I've just found your great blog...I've been laughing away to write very well. This one about the Le Creuset made me OH came complete with a set of these pans and they immediately went in the cupboard under the stairs after I nearly broke my wrist trying to lift an empty one. Also, clearing out the spirits is something I must do. I keep looking at our bottle of Peach Schnapps wondering if it would be considered thrifty to drink it rather than throw it away...seriously considering taking it out in a hip flask to a works night out on Saturday now as it would also save money on the bar bill!....Look forward to reading more! Claire

    1. Thanks Claire. Some of those spirits were years old. The vodka was left over from a boyfirend I broke up with in my twenties!
      Peach schnapps is nice with either lemonade or orange juice (called a fuzzy navel in the UK.
      A friend of mine always takes a hip flask on a night out. I just know I would get caught if I tried that!
      Thanks for reading!
      Abigail x


I really love reading all comments. So please tell me what you think. Abigail