Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Food Inc.

My DD and i have watched Food Inc.This is an American Docu film about food standards and processing in the U.S.A.Its quite upsetting to watch in places .Its horrible to see the battery farms especially when my girls are having a mud bath and basking in a little bit of warmth in the garden.
I have said many times i really do wish my budget could match my morals but it doesn't .I wish i could buy Organic,free range but I'm trying to cut my grocery budget down.
In days gone by obesity used to be a disease of the rich but now the tables have turned.It is harder to eat healthy on a budget.
So this year i must try harder to grow more.
Eat more vegetarian
and try and buy a few bits of free range meat and poultry.

That last statement is going to be hard as I'm on a budget and trying to get my grocery spend down,
I feel proud that in January my grocery spend equates to £6 a day.(Sue i take my hat off to you that you can live on £2 a day)

Well that's food covered now entertainment.

I have had a Wii for quite a few years now and have never been able to attach it to my TV,This morning my son came around and voila its on.I have a free 3 month trial of Netflix and i have managed to get the Internet set up on the wii and now can watch netflix through my tv rather than on my laptop.

Back to food but only briefly.I mentioned in a previous post that i picked up a mushroom growing kit from Poundland,well it works, apparently you get 3 or 4 harvests from each kit,I know its small at the moment but give it time.

Welcome Home

Wouldn't you just love to see something like this.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

This is going round Facebook, so i thought i would share it with you all,I dont know if it was actually sent to Mr Cameron.

Letter to Mr. Cameron - Genius!!

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:
There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Today I'm feeling under the weather.It feels like a hangover( not had one of those in  very long time)
but without the alcohol consumption.

Hopefully it will all be back to normal tomorrow.
I have tried to do a few little bits,I have checked my car insurance and even though i cant do anything until March it looks like i will be able to get it down to under half what I'm paying now so really please with that.I hope i will be in the position to pay it off in one go so that will be one less thing coming out a month..

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Click & Collect at Asda

I have been hearing on local radio recently about a new service Asda is offering in my area.Click & Collect.I know this isn't unique in my area or in most over areas but this purely click & collect facility is one of only 2  in the country .

Well as it isn't far from home and i needed a few bits i thought i would give it ago.

I don't know about you but even if I'm really disciplined i always come out with a couple of extra items so i was able to order the exact items i needed and just collect  it from this purpose made unit which just consisted of a freezer a chiller a desk and a computer and a very helpful man to push the trolley to my car.

Friday, 25 January 2013

The wonders of Poundland

I have for a very long time sung the praises of Poundland.I don't go on a regular basis normally once a month.
Today's  trip i was able to get Highlights hot chocolate,Weight watchers snacks (3 for £2) Pizza Express Tomato base and La Tasca sauce(3 for £2)
Andrex toilet tissue 2 rolls for £1 ( i know you can get cheaper but it is very nice toilet roll)

Tonight's tea was homemade pizza and homemade coleslaw.OH is having sausage and mash as he seems to be moaning about everything i cook lately,so until hes a bit more grateful for what i serve up I'm just cooking him basics like sausage and mash,shepherds pie .He has moaned at risotto,chicken pie( done with mash as he doesn't like pastry) curry.All homemade.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

For my UK followers

Have you all seen this

On Fri 25 Jan, go to your nearest Sainsbury's store that has a fish counter and when you ask for any popular fish (cod, haddock, tuna, salmon or prawns), you'll be offered a more sustainable alternative (lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines, coley fillets or loch trout fillets) to your choice free of charge.

There's no obligation to purchase the original fish you ordered, so you can try the alternative either as well as or instead of your initial choice. Offer on while stocks last.

Check the store locator and filter results to include "fish counter" to find your nearest participating store.

Im going to try this tomorrow,will you?

A Gift

I was gifted a ball of CanCan wool ,this is the kind of wool you can make a frilly scarf.
The instructions on the label aren't very clear so you tube came in handy.
And voila a lovely looking scarf that was so easy to make and only took a few hours altogether to make.

I am going to give this to my lovely mother in law for Mothers day,DD( eldest has informed me that she would like one so I'm going to use some of my paypal money to buy another ball of wool.

My budget is going quite well at the moment (good job really with all this non earning weather we are having)
Petrol has been reduced drastically this month which is fantastic.I worked it out it costs me 20 p for every mile i do so even though its not always ideal if i am working near school and i finish with an hour or so before DD finishes i wait i park up and read a book.Its 6 miles from home to school so I'm saving myself 12 miles of journey and i get the opportunity to read.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Rubber Chicken

Tonight my eldest DD came over for dinner.Her budget is tighter than an elastic band so i like for her to have something she really likes for tea.So OH and DD had steak and mash which she loved.I had Chicken Risotto and this was the first time i had ever made it and it was delicious.

So now my chicken has done

Chicken pie
1 pint of stock
Chicken Risotto
2 leg meat frozen into 2 meal portions
and 3/4 of a cooked breast sent home with my daughter for her lunch tomorrow
That was £4.50 well spent.

I cant help my daughter financially but i could send her home with a full belly and some essential supplies
and my love ,lots of it


Monday, 21 January 2013

Mr Fox

Now i know its not a good idea to have a fox in your garden when you have chickens but i have a poorly or injured one laid on the snow in the garden.
I have phoned the RSPCA who informed me i had to do the broom test.You have to gently nudge it with the brush of the broom to see if it runs.It didn't, it looks very sad ( or is that my imagination running away with me) After lots of questions you then have to wait for someone else to ring you.Which has just happened.The inspector is going to leave now to come and rescue the fox.She is in Swindon which is about 40 mins on the M4 away from me and that doesn't cover her travelling distance to get to the motorway.

I will update later.

I have seen many blogs on how far can you stretch a chicken i am giving it ago.I purchased a chicken just over 2kg in weight for £ 4,50.Yesterday we had a Roast,Today i made mash potato topped pie ( delicious)
I'm going to put the carcass in the slow cooker tonight to make soup.I'm going to freeze the rest in portion sizes and make a risotto later in the week and i think i will have enough for one more meal.
I'm quite impressed with myself even if i do say so myself.


Mrs Fox has been rescued,shes in a sorry state.partially sighted or blind,underweight and a bad ear infection.She is being taken to a vet but they dont think she will survive.Very sad.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Could someone explain how you add tabs to your blog?

I braved it

Today i braved the snow and took the car out for the first time since Thursday.Apart from my lane and the other side roads the roads were fine and clear.

My trip out today was to get a pair of boots,my wellies disappeared last year,still haven't worked out how a pair of wellies can vanish but mine have.So i purchased these bright beauties they are a size too big but that's all they had left (and they were reduced) but with a thick pair of socks on they will be fine.You will definitely see me coming wearing these..

I also picked up a pair of weighing scales its no good being on a healthy and not seeing if you are actually loosing weight.I went for the normal ones as i have had digital ones before and they always break or it costs a small fortune to replace the battery.These cost me £14 and have a 15 year guarantee ( i used my Christmas money)

So tomorrow morning i can weigh myself and then plot how well  badly i am doing...

Lastly i stopped at Morrisons to pick up a chicken as they have them for £2 a kilo. mine cost me £4.50 and I'm going to try and get 4 meals out of it.
Roast tonight (3 - 4 adults)
Chicken pie
chicken risotto and chicken soup.
This is all dependent on getting to the chicken before OH as he has a habit of throwing it away..

The snow is steadily falling,quick question to any of you that are teachers.
School has said that even if school is closed the A level exams are still going ahead,DD has emailed school but only got a generic reply. I have to travel 6 miles to school if we are late or worse cant make it what happens if you miss a scheduled exam?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Well it ca

My Tesco delivery.My shopping made it through the snow an apparently my lane is horrible.

The snow has fallen for most of the day now although i have only been out in it to see that my chickens were ok.It does look very pretty but im hopping it goes soon or at least by Monday when DD has a full day of exams .

My day has been spent baking,blanching some veg to freeze and sorting out the contents of another freezer before adding a few new bits from my Mr T delivery.

I have also caught up with a couple of programmes i missed,one of which was last nights Tonight programme on food waste did anyone else watch it?

Im trying to be good but now im going to try even harder....

Ive listed 2 things on ebay and 1 already has a bid.

Ive done a bit of knitting

so all in all a good day


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Im ready for it

As everyone already knows as us Brits love to talk about the snow,

we are expecting a couple of inches of snow.The country will grind to a halt and it will be the main topic of news but I'm ready for it....ready in the sense I'm not going out.I have  done tomorrows jobs today and i have taken ironing back to its owner.

I have done an Internet shop which will hopefully be delivered tomorrow.

I don't have to do a school run so I'm staying put and hopefully it will all be gone by Monday ready for work again on Monday.

Now wheres my knitting......

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Tonights tea

This evening DD and i had homemade kedgeree for our dinner,this is the recipe i followed

I had the fish in the freezer,i used a reduced price piece of smoked cobbler and everything else came from the the cupboards .A very frugal and tasty dinner.OH is having a small piece of steak as he doesn't like kedgeree.
It is actually a nice feeling using things up and knowing what meals are coming up.

More shocking news announced today ,Blockbuster going into administration.In the last 5 weeks 16400 people have lost their jobs.What is our country coming to and how will it get better that's what worries me.It is one vicious circle,we all cut back don't hire dvds,buy music and this in turns makes business's fold.
Another one that i only found the week before Christmas is Rosspa, similar to approved foods but sold fresh food as well.Delivery was super quick but a little bit more expensive.

I know i have said this before but we( personally) have been affected by this recession since 2008 four years of hard struggle.Nobody is safe anymore.What job/career could you now class as secure i cant think of any.

well rant over

stay warm

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Waste and decluttering

My war on waste is going well.Last night OH and DD did eat the left overs from Sunday plus a neighbour had a plateful which i had hopped to eat when i got back from the cinema.The meat couldn't be reheated as it had been cooked then frozen and reheated once already but nobody complained to me.

Lack of money is certainly helping cut back on the grocery shopping but if I'm honest its not a problem.we are eating well and we really do need to empty some of the cupboards and freezers.

I'm also trying to declutter a few things every week from my house.This isn't going as well.I gave a couple of books to one of my customers who was extremely grateful.I put a few things on freecycle got great response but nobody is actually coming to collect.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Tonight i went to the cinema with my eldest daughter,some good old quality mother and daughter time.
This was another freebie and its a very funny British film with lots of laugh out loud moments.
Another one to add to my list of recommendations .


Sunday, 13 January 2013

January Blues

I'm suffering from the January Blues,everything and i mean everything that normally would float over the top of my head is annoying me. Mountain and mole hill  spring to mind.

Today my son and his partner and of course Isabelle came over for dinner.I cooked for 6 and my daughter text me 1/2 hour after we started eating to say that she wasn't coming home for dinner.I now have a huge amount of food left over which will have to be reheated to eat again tomorrow.Normally this wouldn't have bothered me but today it did.I have also snapped at her because she has done no revision today .So I'm putting it down to the January Blues....Or I'm becoming a grumpy middle aged woman.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Today i saw a bit of the white stuff falling from the sky,didn't come to much which in my opinion is a relief.
I'm hoping that it misses us completely as i hate driving in the stuff and DD HAS to attend school next week for her exams,even if the rest of the school is closed.
My lounge at least is nice and warm ,heating is off and we are just relying on this for our heat.We still do have our heating on but just briefly in the morning.

Dinner is in the slow cooker,today is pulled pork,never done this before so hoping its nice.

Hope you are all staying worm,


Friday, 11 January 2013

Meal planning and healthy eating

I'm now into day 5 of my healthy eating plan its not going too badly and hope to see results sometime in the near future.
January is always a really tough month in the nto household added to a difficult December it can be downright miserable.
Self employment means you have no control over when money comes in and we are struggling with an extreme lack of it.This recession is really starting to drag me down.We have struggled for 4 years now.Don't get me wrong its not all been bad.If the recession hadn't hit us we would still be living way above our means.
Debts wouldn't have been paid off but if any of you have ever added your yearly expenditure up ,you need a lot of money coming in just to cover basics.For example £1460 just for council tax a year.£1140 just for insurance for 2 vehicles .£ 3640 groceries (£70 a week) I know this is what i am aiming to reduce this year but your getting my drift we are up to £6240 just on these 3 items.So OH bringing in £20 in the last 2 weeks doesn't go along way in covering expenditure.

I have now used some of my whiteboard paper to draw up a meal planner.

Don't think my husband is too chuffed at seeing what he is eating for the next week and a  few faces were pulled.Wait until he sees the following weeks when more egg and vegetarian dishes are included.One thing about my OH is he doesn't get why i do this and how difficult it is to be frugal and reduce outgoings after 4 years of recession and 2 years of trying to sort things out hes still not on board and wont discuss money.

Visited baby yesterday she is Devinne ,she has put on over a lb in 3 weeks.
DD is struggling with her revision and has her 1st exam today.I'm still struggling internally with her being back with ex but im now trying to keep quite.She booked a girly holiday earlier in the week.Her boyfriend wasn't happy and reacted exactly as i expected him too.But at least she has done it.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Frugal Goals

I am trying very hard to eliminate food waste and be more organised.
One of my customers has given me a sheet of magic white board,This sheet sticks to any service and is easily removed.
I cut an A4 size sheet and put it on the door above my chest freezer.I then went through my freezer and wrote down everything in the freezer and quantities.As i use or add i mark the sheet with my whiteboard pen.
This hopefully should help me with my next stage,meal planning.I can see what is in the freezer and meal plan accordingly.
Hopefully this in turn will reduce my grocery budget and then i can get push that money in other directions.

We must start eating eggs for a meal more often as well.We are still getting 3 eggs a day from my girls and as I'm off cakes etc at the moment a nice omelette for tea one night wouldn't be a bad idea.

DD is all excited tonight she has just been out and booked her summer holiday with her girlfriends,so glad she has done this,10 girls and 1 boy all going to Crete after A levels.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

If you like musicals...

Go and see Les Miserables

Les Misérables Poster

Billy no mates went on her own as nobody else wanted to see it.It comes out soon in the UK.
I cried many times during the film and actually had to stifle sobs.It is so well done .
Don't go if you aren't a fan of musicals as there are only a few spoken words,I thought it was blooming amazing,probably the best thing i have seen.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Today i went to the cinema to see Wreck it Ralph a new Disney film coming out soon in 3D.Its a nice little film that seemed to keep all the young children in the cinema occupied.
Right next to the cinema is a huge Poundland and i had seen a few comments on MSE that the gardening stuff was in.So i picked up some seed potatoes and mushroom growing kits.Never grown mushrooms before so hopefully it will work.

Dinner tonight is a bit of an experiment, i have cooked a whole chicken in the pressure cooker.Not overly  sure it was a success but its now browning off in my little oven.

I am absolutely shattered now as couldn't sleep last night and was up at 2.30,so hopefully i will stay awake long enough to watch Dancing on Ice this evening.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Early start(but not as early as usual)

Last Monday i had work,i left at 8.45 am and neither my OH or my daughter got up to say goodbye.
I hear you all say whats the problem and there shouldn't be one really except this upset me.I get up especially to see everybody off even if i don't have too.I get up at 5 am to chat with DD and make her a drink if she starts work at 6 am.Same for OH.I ask to be woken(not that you sleep properly anyhow) when DD gets in from a late night out.Just so i know shes in ok and had a good night out.
So childish as it seems it hurt me that nobody thought of me and as this year is going to be more me,i didn't get up at 5 am this morning,DD came into me at 5.30 to ask who was taking her and i came down at 5.40.DD has the right hump with me as its something i always do and actually enjoy doing but sometimes you just feel people take you for granted because you do always do things.

Things are still a bit strained with DD we had another discussion yesterday over her being back with ex but i am going to keep quite about it to her.I will just rant in the privacy of my blog.
I feel so terribly sad as i see already that she will not be going out with her friends to soley be with him,she blames exams so i will wait and see if after her exams have finished she does see them but i have a funny feeling that she is going to see alot of her room whilst with him.

Friday, 4 January 2013

late Christmas present

Today i received a late Christmas present from one of my lovely customers.A bottle of Prosecco and a Portmerion teacup,saucer an side plate set,its absolutely beautiful.

This year I'm going to seriously tackle food waste.OH isn't very good at this and just throws things away but after a serious error a few days ago which meant i wasted £7 throwing chicken away.I'm going to make sure i don't make the same mistake again.

I have today found out my town has a huge B & M bargains store I'm going to have a look tomorrow.Hoping to find the olive oil i have just seen on hukd for 99p so fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

twice in one day.

Look at me don't post for ages then twice in one day.....

Back in September i posted this post

my youngest split up with her long time boyfriend,to say i was pleased was an understatement.
She continued to see the man she met on holiday until last week when she decided she wanted to get back with her ex.Saturday she informed me they were going out for dinner,she then text me to ask if he could come in after her very quick meal. I was polite for the short duration i saw him but it was so hard.I really don't like the lad,hes not a bad lad but i know he isn't good for my daughter.
I know i was probably wrong but a few things had to be said of how i was going to be with him.During the whole of there previous relationship if we went out.away or did anything,he never paid for anything.My daughter is my responsibility but hes not an i was beginning to recent the fact he never got anyone a drink or offered petrol money or went halves on anything.My daughter would offer me money but i wouldnt take her money,If they are to be back together i had to say this.My daughter was very upset about me saying this.
At this very moment in time i don't know how i will be able to be anything but polite to him because this far into them being back together i see no difference in the relationship,he still wants to sit indoors,I'm still picking her up .
I love my daughter and it is hurting me and i know i should be different but i don't know how to be...
She is right when she says i should be happy for her but do i know too much about their previous relationship to forgive and forget.

Other peoples rubbish

As some of you are no doubt aware i clean other peoples houses for a living.

Today whilst at work i had to empty all the waste paper baskets and on top of one was a the back of a hand knitted jumper, literally pulled off the needles and thrown away.So i rescued it and have now unravelled it and it will go into my crochet blanket.
My daughter always would say to me i have no shame as i will bring home magazines that are being recycled.
Is it just me?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

I did go to bed early but was awake at midnight,hard not to be really with all the fireworks in my area.
It was so nice to see the sun shining and still shining and it feels quite mild out.
I have started the New Year as i hope and i mean hope to carry on doing eliminating waste.

I had a little bit of money for Christmas so i got myself a pressure cooker.This morning was the first opportunity to play with it.
I had some sweet potatoes left over from Christmas so i popped them (once pealed )into the pressure cooker,The instruction booklet says once up to pressure they take 6 mins so i timed it.stopped at 6 mins opened it up and hey presto they were cooked. I then add stock and seasoning blitz down and made sweet potato soup ready for my healthy eating plan that starts tomorrow.

At the weekend i advertised on freecycle for ice cream or takeaway tubs and a lovely lady replied saying she had loads which i could have,so arranged to pick them up yesterday.So I'm going to fill them with my left overs .

I have loads of resolutions too many to mention but hope to stick to at least some of them.One of them is to do more for me.All frugal of course.

until later