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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Some B& M bargains and a little titivating in the garden.

We went to B & M yesterday for some draught excluder's for the bottom of the doors , much cheaper than anywhere else at £2.49 each , so i had a look around , I dont succumb to impulse buys but i can spot a bargain a mile off . We had only just got out of the car and my nose started to twitch , these were outside the door .





wow 99p



I gave them a haircut , seems lethal i know but they will be beautiful next yaer just you wait and see. 




While I was in the garden I rescued ( hopefully ) the begonias.



Dug them out of the hanging baskets and cut them right back , Re potted them into individual pots, gave them a feed and bought them inside for the winter , I can remember growing begonias as house plants in the 70s so hopefully they will do well 



I have re potted my peace lilly house plant too

  


Cut the ivy back and left it in the hanging baskets usually i replace the begonias with winter pansy's but this year as the garden is still under construction I'm not going to bother and save my money until  its finished


Then i bought some tinned mandarins from b & m too , 5 tins for £1,00 so i bought ten , you might now.




As fresh fruit is so expensive and truth being its not so fresh as its been stored for months before we buy it ,  I also got so fed up with buying apples that go soft ( I love a crisp apples ). I  have started to buy some more tinned fruit and wait until next year to hopefully have some apples of my tree.    



Morrisons Savers range have the best tasting for the price.



The pineapples are 25p each and the peaches are, ohh i forgot lol , well they are cheaper than anywhere else , i just drain the syrup from them


I have visited four jumble sales this weekend sourcing stock  and have found some beauties, I will update sometime next week. 


xxxx

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The bathroom is finally finished

Things take a lot longer to do nowadays as we have to  rely on other people to help us when they have the time , but its finally finished.


Changing the bathroom suite or layout of the bathroom is not an option at the moment and wont be for a couple of years so we had to work with what we had. 




We used three colours to get the look on the painted wood , two were from Aldi reduced to 99p a can.




The roses pictures were from a boot sale two for £3.00 , i have some similar in my bedroom.




Ikea pine storage unit from my stock room surplus to requirements  cut down to fit behind the door jug and bowl £5.00 from a boot sale , baskets from car boot sales for £1.00 each sprayed with 99p spray paint.





Gingham shower curtains from dunellm in the sale £1.99 each.




Pine towel rail 50p from a jumble sale.





Dave made me this painted shelf unit about 5 years ago , lined with a sample of Laura Ashley wallpaper, plus boot sale finds nothing was more than £2.00, notice the Aldi night cream £1.99 and Lidl perfume £3.99. 





The bathroom cabinet was £2.00 from a boot sale, sorry about the image it couldn't be no less faltering lol.  





A quirky toilet roll holder from a boot sale for £5.00





Everything else in this room is what we already have, picked up for less than £5.00 over the years including this set of jugs. 




I topped the curtains i made earlier this year out of antique linen with some pretty fabric.


we used the original wallpaper and painted it a duck egg blue. 


Sorry wish i could take a picture of it all together but its a small room and i had to get in the bath to take some pictures, the only thing left to do is put the beading around the flooring we have to wait for our son in law to come and help, with that but i couldn't wait any longer to post about it

The before pictures.












The whole thing cost less than £100




What do you think . 



xxxx


































Monday, 13 October 2014

what does frugal really mean

In my opinion frugality means something different for everybody, some people do without an awful lot through necessity as they have only enough to live on some people dont have enough to live on and rely on food banks  waiting for money to come in, others do it  to get out of debt ,then there are the ones that are doing it to be completely debt free so they are frugal  to pay of the mortgage , then there are those who live frugally to fund what they believe to be life's luxury's , holidays new car etc.


We were not always frugal  and have learned by our mistakes we know  realise what is important to spend money on and what to do without ,We now consider ourselves lucky if we have a roof over our heads , food in our bellies ( maybe a bit too much at times) and can afford to heat our house when it really needs it, when its raining or cold it makes you think of the less fortunate homeless.

I believe apart from health issues  we are most fortunate to be able to do this as many cannot , but it takes effort & forward planning, It does not come effortless.  
It could be quite easy to revert back to old times where we would just choose one supermarket and think nothing of spending £70 a week on food , Admitted this was when our daughter was at home ( when she left home we wondered why the toilet roll and washing powder lasted so long) but this was about 8 years ago.
 If we wanted something ( notice i said want and not need) we just used to take out a loan or  extend the mortgage thinking we have good jobs we will pay it off, Not thinking or even believing our health issues were around the corner but that was then .
 We are now frugal because we had to be in the end and now would not like to  live  any other way,   By buying carefully and dividing everything between the weeks we spend on average £25/30 per week , this includes cleaning products and toiletries.
We are now trying to save energy , this is something that we have never done.
But now I have skimmed money of our washing, As yet I  have not used my dryer this year  and most of my washing is done on  half an hour 30 degrees wash  , I am hoping i will not have to use my dryer unless we have a run of wet damp weather as i prefer to dry outside (Friday looks good this week).

We have a water tank that heats the water and when we moved in we set it to come on for a hour twice a day but being more efficient with the way we use it have now set it for just one hour a day instead of two as we have showers not baths , this hour this will go towards putting the heating on to keep warm , Today is the first day we have had the heating on as this is a warm house and we cant walk around the house in blankets like we do when sitting in the evening. 

The only thing we spend money on are car boot and jumble sale bargains , sometimes charity shops ,but that's very rare nowadays , This has enabled us to create a nice rented home with vintage finds that we are becoming to love even more than our old house that we had a mortgage on , Its cosy and easy to look after .

Most of the bargains i buy now are for my self employed business that i work around my health issues , this enables me not to have to live on benefits as i cannot work a normal full time job.

Anyway , enough of that here are some bargains that i have had this year and not blogged about


 Pretty brass frames 50p




This picture was 50p. 





Two vintage baby dresses 50p








Three decorative mirrors £5.00





Two crinoline lady plaques 50p for the two.




A retro lamp for £1.00.




xxxxx
  

Thursday, 9 October 2014

We try and find the cheapest best quality item of food/toiletries/household etc , Bread flour is one of the things that we cant find an alternative to what we use, sainsbury's strong flour , its £1.10 a bag ( it makes three loaves) although it still works out with yeast less than 40p a loaf  its still more expensive than lidl or Aldi  flour but we have tried them both and the results are not as good as sainsbury's in our bread machine, so yesterday we visited sainsburys for a couple of bags of flour , that's all we buy from sainsbury's, at the checkout the machine produced a coupon after i had paid, it was for £2.25 of £15.00 so i cheekily went back in the store and stocked up on bread flour buying  14 bags of bread flour using the coupon. its like having two bags free. plus there is  the fuel saving as we dont need to go again until after Christmas. 



I cant get anything else in my baking cupboard or my tins cupboard, the sweets were a present for daves birthday,the  sugar from farm foods its 59p at the moment so when i was there for toilet rolls last week i stocked up on that too.






Then we went to lidl for the eggs and washing up liquid i like from there, The eggs are £1.25 for 15 and the Branston packs of  4 tins of baked beans are £1.25  ( morrisons have them the same price at the moment) so i bought 4 packs , the vegetable oil is on offer at the moment too is 99p so i bought two of those as well.








 Then i had a look at the meat and saw this xxl pork loin it was £6.38 , its on offer at the moment , the chicken pieces £2.09 they had a 30% markdown as the date was up yesterday , this is what i did with the meat.


The joint of pork i cut in to 4 small joints as there is only the two of us ,but you could cut it into three ( i'm hoping it doesn't shrink to much) , that's £1.59 per joint , the chicken thighs were portioned up, the drumsticks i put them all together in one lot as i plan to do marinated chicken drumsticks one day in the bottom of the oven when baking something else , the thighs will be used for either casseroles or chicken pies that's 20p per portion of meat , they have all gone in the freezer.




I had a bargain with the labels too , this great big roll from a car boot for £1.00, the roll is as big as a dinner plate.





The main reason i visited  lidl was to check the prices of the dried  fruit , marzipan and Icing , Guess What for, It will soon be here , Christmas cakes .


These are the last two years efforts.


The recipe i use, i have used for years  its expensive because it has so much  fruit in it , I make two for us one Iced  the other i top with nuts like a Dundee cake, then i make three for presents , I buy currants , raisins, cherries and sultanas , we dont like mixed peel , then the marzipan and Icing,
 My friend mel supplies the brandy as i make her one as a present,    I googled "my supermarket"   to see which  was the cheapest and morrisons came out top Until i visited lidl  as there prices were not on line , Aldi have not had any in yet , So in lidl  , the fondant Icing was 99p , its £1.58 in morrisons and like i said that was cheaper than the other supermarkets , the currants were ,  £1.35 so i have saved a lot of money in lidl , I still need the marzipan and raisins that i will get from morrison's , We dont drive about to save money i plan my supermarket visits around dropping my parcels off from my ebay sales depending on where they have to be 
posted.    



So with all the money i am saving i treated myself , these flowers were £3.00 at lidl  







I used extra greenery from my garden would you believe carrot tops.





The carrots are in the stew for tea.

I have tried the "using what we have" that so many bloggers favour but its false economy for us because then i run out of something vital and have to pay over the odds,  having no stock has been really tough this year as now i am self employed and  when sales are slow we struggle even more ,we  also now live 2 mile from the nearest supermarket  , The freezer is filling up now once again with home made meals and ingredients for them, 
Right I'm off to make suet free dumplings for my stew.

xxxx  

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Rainy day bargains & Practicality.

What a day , Its been tipping down most of the day but we had to go in to town  for an unavoidable visit to the bank , I am glad we did , Regular readers of my blog will remember that when we did the kitchen , I put an Arm chair in the there by the side of the table only a small wooden one that i have had for years. 







I love it but as the kitchen is only small every time the door was opened it banged the chair , This as well as Dave telling me that since we moved here it hurts him to eat his meals on a tray ( I know all this time) As there is nowhere else in this house for a table and chairs to eat our meals it started us thinking how we can make our situation better, so this is what we did.



We bought this pair of chairs from Barnados  charity shop for £9.99 the pair today, Thats why i am glad we went in to town. 








They fit nicely under the 1950s table. 










We put some casters on the table so when we eat a meal we just pull it out in to the room.




I have this Ikea fabric left from when i did the cafe curtain so  will cover the seats with it .


Then my vegetable box which is an old wine box really got the castor treatment too , It will make our lives a lot easier.   







I have found a local farm that we now get a 56 1b bag of potatoes for £5.00 they are so fresh they last ages, I share them with my daughter



Coming soon the hall and bathroom done on a strict budget. 





Some of this weeks bargains



This is gorgeous its form the 40/50s unused  £1.00. 




Queen Anne tea set 





1950s book shelf £3.99




1950s mirror an amazing £1.00


Two brass ceiling lights which i wanted to use until  Dave reminded me we have to change the bulbs more regular than one single light fitting , these are all things we have to think about with our health issues ,





Just going to watch excessive cleaners after cleaning my oven with this its  from poundland you have a bag inside the kit that you place your bars in and it melts away any grime, It comes in a box, Its a chemical cleaner so you have to be careful if you have any animals or children, I do mine in the shed and when i do the oven i place a thick plastic sheet on the floor to do the inside , Its amazing the best cleaning product i have used , Its my kind of cleaning , less elbow grease needed. 

OMG somebody on excessive cleaners uses a bottle of bleach a day on there house ,on the other scale they said that 1 in 5 people only change there bed linen once a month all i can say is dirty people ( I dont swear lol )



And on a last note we inherited this planter by the front door , I didnt like it at first but i think it looks ok now things are growing nicely.There are some bricks missing but the ivy will fill the gaps when it grows.




XXXX