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Showing posts from September, 2015

Tenner Week

With all the generosity swishing around I forgot to mention the two plants I received, again from Father's friend. A hellebore and something else! I know at some point we'll probably need to take all the plants out and arrange them in a more sensible fashion, but everything is just in for now.

This week I'm also doing the Tenner Week on Penny Golightly's blog, I only have a fiver but I don't have much to buy so it should be straightforward, I've jiggled the menu plan so now it reads - 

Monday (yesterday) - roast nut roast and stuffing from the pantry, bubble and squeak made from the mash leftover from some potato skins we had at the weekend and some spring onions of dubious quality, some leftover cauli and more of the massive bag of peas.

Tuesday - Beans and veg in jerk sauce with garlic bread. Garlic bread from the freezer, roast tomatoes, courgettes and onions from my parents, a tin of butterbeans and a jar of sauce from the pantry and a sweet potato.

Wednesday -…

Freebies And Bargains of the Week

Starting with the freebies. We visited my parents yesterday as there was a bit of a birthday celebration going on. It was actually very nice to have everyone together, well, nearly everyone, my brother's girlfriend is ill so she couldn't come. 

My mum gave me all of the above. The courgettes and tomatoes are from their garden. I mainly received the tomatoes due to my niece picking them and declaring "apple" each time. The two books are from a friend of Father who thought I might like them. The peas are from Father himself. I was also given a dress by my mum's friend but it was impossible to photograph, it's a khaki lined halterneck affair, a very kind gesture. 

Next, bargains. We went to Lancaster at the weekend for the usual coffee, we also tried a bakery we had never been to before, but Dan had used some credit earned from doing surveys to buy the full version of the Happy Cow app and it pointed us in the direction of Filberts Bakery. They don't advertise…

Crying With Laughter

Dan and I had a great laugh after this conversation I had on the phone - 

Me: Hello
Man on phone : Hello, this is James from TNS (market research company) can I speak to an adult?
Me: There's no-one here
Man: OK, thanks.

I am small and of course have youthful good looks but I never knew I had a child like voice. My goodness.


Firstly, an update on my post yesterday (thank you for your comments). I didn't have to raise the matter with the manager as she, and the deputy manager, raised it with me. They were unaware of the conversation we had had, but they asked me how I was getting on with the other volunteer, so I told them. They said it wasn't the first issue they'd had, and had spoken to him about things (obviously I don't know what else has happened). That was a huge relief and it turns out it's not just me after all. 

In more positive news, the main part of the quilt top is complete. I am just going to add some scrappy strips to make it a bit wider, mainly because I don't have enough fabric to make additional blocks. This is where I am with it so far

I've also had to turn it sideways. I might have to have a think about it, although I doubt anyone would notice other than me. 

I thought it would never reach this point, what a relief!

It's Not You, It's Me

I think.

As I mentioned the other day I've been in a bit of a negative mood recently, add to this I'm still at the shop on a Tuesday it doesn't make a great mix. Thankfully I was in a very good mood yesterday which helped make the day a little better. This is a whinge, if you don't like whinging, you won't like this!

We were busy and I was mainly in the shop on my own, unless I shouted for someone to help. Some of the customers were pretty demanding which takes a lot of energy when you're on your own - I was on the receiving end of some negativity, usually prefaced with "I know it's not your fault, you're only doing your job but...". Then I accepted a donation that I shouldn't have done - I was serving someone at the time and someone asked me if she could bring it, I said yes and she brought it in, it was in awful condition. So when the manager came back she had a bit of a go at me about it. We had a full and frank exchange of views about it…

October Menu Plan

We're quickly coming to the best time of year food wise, at least for me. Loads of standing cuddling a slowcooker or leaning against the oven door for a bit of extra warmth is my idea of fun. The food is pretty god too. I'm trying to ease myself into it and not eat all my favourite things in one go.

1. sweet potato caes w. roast tofu
2. roast tofu sandwich
3. pasta

4. roast
5. maftoul stuffed squash
6. risotto
7. stirfry
8. chilli 
9. dhal w. freekeh
10 burgers w. sweet potato chips

11 roast
12 lentil bol
13 veg and barley stoup
14 out
15 lentil, garlic and butterbean stew
16 tacos
17 l/o

18 soup and sandwich
19 shepherdess pie
20 l/o
21 Autumn tabbouleh
22 empty-the-fridge one pot
23 curry
24 sushi

25 mushroom pot pie
26 lasagne
27 veg and bean jerk
28 jambalaya
29 leek and butterbean stew w. v-pud
30 curry
31 stuffed mushrooms

1 roast


I don't know why, but for some reason I woke up this morning feeling positive for the first time in weeks. It wasn't due to good sleep as I woke up at 4am to have a chat with Dan before he went to London.

I don't have anything to look forward to today, there's nothing on the horizon. I just felt calm and glad to be getting up. Everywhere is quiet, the sun is coming out and my cup of tea is just right. 

Things are nice.

We Want Cake

If I like doing something, I generally don't like watching it - so I like playing tennis but don't enjoy watching it, I love watching football, but am not a team player. I like sewing (sometimes) but don't like Sewing Bee, I never bake but have grown to love Bake Off. 

And baking is the theme of today.

Dan is having a cake based fund raiser for a charity at work. He's in two minds about it, his mum and step dad had a negative experience with this charity and we all pulled our unimpressed faces, but it's one of those things where everyone in the office is doing it etc. It's not that he disagrees with the idea or practice of the charity necessarily, if he did it would make things far easier.

We are having a charity bake off at the shop too, it's an idea from Head Office, and I'm not sure how it's going to work - would you eat a cake that's been baked who knows where and been hanging around in a charity shop all day? I know I wouldn't, I don't…

Happy Mundane 3

This weekend has been one buying and doing all of those thing we need to do but always delay because its a bit boring and it always seems there are better things to spend money on. But as we move towards the colder part of the year there are things that make life a bit more comfortable.

Dan bought some slippers (that's the second most exciting thing), we bought some bunny rugs, I started to clean the living area windows - it is taking longer than I thought, they're exceptionally dirty, we bought some candles, and most importantly we bought some new lino for under the bunny pen. We went to the slightly-dodgy-looking-from-the-outside place we bought our living area floorbecause we know there are bargains to be had. For various (getting a bit lost) reasons we ended up having to walk a short way to the warehouse and on our way we saw a very nicely dressed man foraging! That's the exciting thing that happened by the way. I'm not surprised his Lidl Bag For Life was full, ther…

Mid September Check In

Since the savings dropped off I haven't done much of a round up. 

The month started with a fair old bit of spending with the dining table, sideboard and chest of drawers, Dan also splurged on some very much needed work shoes from Wills. The only other real expense we've had is a birthday gift for my niece and that ended up being half price *hooray*.

We received our compensation from the water company, which has gone into savings, we didn't have to pay for someone to repair the washing machine. Dan bought two editions of the local paper in order to get some £10 train tickets which will save us a nice amount when we go to Manchester next month. The extra bonus of the newspaper is that I used it to absorb most of the water that came out of the washing machine yesterday! I received the first of my 3 for £3 magazines along with two packets of seeds, and I've arranged a seed swap with Father. Dan was in and out of the hospital so quickly the other day that he didn't need t…

Another Freebie Of The Week

I have fixed the washing machine!

The fact that it was my fault that the washing machine didn't work in the first place is not relevant as I am having working washing machine joy. All that was needed was the filter to be cleaned, but I have always been unable to open it, Dan loosened it and I took the plunge and opened it. 

I never wish to smell that smell ever again!

Freebie and Bargain of the Week

Maybe just over a week. 

Last Friday the supermarket voucher arrived (after we'd been shopping), someone gave me a dress they were chucking out, and it looks very nice on even though I do say so  myself. The next three things are all charity shop related, I bought the Vegan Tuck Box bag for 50p, the tomatoes were given to me by the lady I work with on a Wednesday, and they're amazing. Finally another charity shop person bought me a coffee, this was really repaying the favour as I bought him one a few weeks ago.

As you may or may not know, I go for coffee with someone from the shop most Wednesdays, a few weeks ago J was working too so I offered to buy him a drink as it seemed weird to leave him out. I was quite surprised when he offered to take me out this week, but it was quite fun so I'm happy about that. 

There are also three orange peppers in the garden. They are the smallest peppers I've ever seen but they exist and they will be eaten!

How Times Change

We bought some new furniture the other week, so we now share a nice wooden chest of drawers rather than me having a small set of drawers of my own which it turns out was scowled at by Dan every morning. Dan had a set of plastic drawers hidden in his wardrobe. 

The new drawers are huge and there is more than enough room for all of our stuff. To avoid a total mess Dan used the plastic drawers as dividers in the new chest, I don't yet have anything like that but am used to keeping things a bit more tidy. There's a shallow jewellery drawer right at the top, I'm using that for my hair and make up stuff, but we decided it probably was a good idea to get something to organise it.

So on the Friday night we went to Home Sense in Preston and I ended up with a really good drawer organiser, it was in the kitchen, rather than the bathroom section but it's as close to a perfect fit as you can get. 

I also bought some citrus scented drawer liners (pictured above) as there was a bit of a…

Working Through Stuff

Having been through a period of what Dan refers to as "low mood" I am re-reading The Desire MapI spoke about it ages ago, some of my "core desired feelings" have really stuck with me, but a few other things have fallen to one side for one reason or another. Although it is at odds with what I'm going to say after this, I spent the last pound in my desire map money purse on some of these sticky page markers to help me as I work through the book again. I've seen these before at a local shop for about £3, but £1 seemed far more my price range. 

Dan has mentioned replacing the kitchen a couple of times recently, which means the next round of saving is upon us. So I have £10 a week for the next couple of weeks for groceries to kick start the savings - it kind of seems appropriate. I have the menu plan for the month which was based around things we already have in so it should be fairly straightforward. I'm not sure where the bulk of the money will come from …


Last month as you may or may not know, we were under a boil water notice due to a parasite finding its way into our water system, this lasted for around 4 weeks, a little longer for some people.

This morning something appeared on my phone suggesting that I donate the refund cheque that came from the water company to the charity Water Aid. I started to read the page set up for donations, and the idea is to donate a percentage of the refund amount, all seemed sensible and an easy way for people to make a good one off donation, until I read something that set my teeth on edge. 

I've written about this sentiment before so I apologise for repeating myself but it really gets on my pip 

During this period i was at work boiling water for a coffee when I over heard someone saying this "water crisis is a bloody nightmare". I had to interject with "when your children have to walk 20 miles to get a cup of water that the uk wouldn't deem fit to wash in then you can call this a …

New Things

Dan arrived home safe and well last evening, I was very glad to have him back and I think he was glad too, even though he had a great time with his friend. He was the bearer of gifts too, a large piece of chocolate cake, my favourite lentil chips (tomato and basil flavour) and a tin of jackfruit.

So after visiting a local launderette (another first) to get the winter duvet and some towels washed we headed to our brand spanking new supermarket. It only opened on Wednesday, I have to confess I was a little bit put out that we hadn't received any money off vouchers to tempt us there as we are local folk, but you can't win them all. 

It very new and very bright and seemed to sell a lot of wine! We just about managed to find everything we needed/wanted and maybe one or two extras to keep us going on our journey to Coventry tomorrow. But we did get some BBQ sauce to use with the jackfruit to make pulled jackfruit - like pulled pork only different. It's been a bit of a thing for a …

Good Enough

Try your best, buy the best quality you can afford, live life to the full every day. 


It's one of the things I really disagree with when it comes to frugality, and something I fell foul of when I first got started, for me following that advise was as wasteful as some of the mindless purchases I'd made in the past. 

Often good enough is good enough.

As I've learned yet again this week, second class post is as good as first class a lot of the time. My 50p plastic sieve is still doing the job after a decade or more whereas the more expensive colander works, but lost a handle within a year or so of owning it. Our cheapo washing machine was way more robust than the supposedly great quality one we bought for this house which gave up the ghost last week after only five years. 

And as for trying my best at everything, why is that a good thing? Sometimes a really good job is absolutely the thing that's needed but most of the time, surely not? A lot of the time surely doing some…


I'm trying not to over Autumn in one go, but it has been a little chilly underfoot in the living room for the past couple of days. I love the hard floor, but warm it is not. So we have started the build up to maximum nesting by bringing in the rugs. The living area rug is a new one, and it's big enough to run under the sofa and armchairs so my feet don't get cold before I put my slippers back on. 

We were very brave/daft and went to Ikea to buy it on Sunday, it was pretty busy but weirdly I found that quite relaxing for some reason. Plus we had veggie balls for lunch.

The dining area has an old, small rug, just big enough to fit under the table. It's maybe not ideal but it's really warm so it is very welcome. 

The washing machine is still out of action so I've been handwashing everything, happily it's nice enough to get everything dry outside, not too chilly nor too damp for that. The thick duvet is off to the launderette to be washed so that will be ready to …

Good Things

I knew something would happen, everything was just running too smoothly. The washing machine has stopped working, it was always going to happen just after we'd bought some house stuff. Typical. 

Today I nipped into the town to drop a bag of scrap fabric off at the shop for someone, the monthly market was on so I bought some v-pud and on the next stall was the one thing that makes September the greatest of great months - greengages! I had quite forgotten and am now a happy little pumpkin.

Bargain Of The Week

First of all, a huge thank you to Mum, the package was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. I love the carrot! 

For the past couple of days I have been searching for a third something for my giveaway so I have been poking around the town (I have something now and will posting things out on Friday). I nipped into a charity shop I hadn't been into before and was a bit disappointed by the slim pickings until I saw this in a 99p basket

It's a nice Boden make up bag. I assume it was a freebie or something, but it is brand new, still in the original bag, complete with the wrapping on the zip pull bit. It will be ideal for our trip to London in November. Even Dan liked it. 

In other good news our boil water notice has been lifted, we found out last night. I still boiled water this morning to wash up though, 26 days of doing the same thing does create a habit apparently!

Don't Shop, Shop, Don't Shop

Over the bank holiday weekend did I relax with a nice walk on the beach, spend time at home primping and doing thrifty things with Dan or did I join the ridiculous masses of people mindlessly wandering around shops?

All of the above!

Dan finally had enough of storing his clothes in a small plastic storage unit and wanted something more suitable. While he was at it he'd had enough of quite a few other things too. So I offered them to my family on facebook (have I said this already?) and my brother very much wanted them. So it was time to shop. 

Luckily for us there's a mid century shop in the town, it used to be known as Second Hand Rose and I bought the recently painted tv unit from there. It's now known as The Attick and is far more fancy and right in the centre of town. I had window shopped a couple of things in there recently, so into the shopping basket they went, complete with free delivery and a discount for buying the two items. This freed up time to walk down the coas…