Thursday, 31 March 2011

The law of sod and research!

Well it had to happen - a pine headboard on freecycle - I have emailed for it just to see what happens.... I had to-  I need to test my theory regarding the law of sod. I drove an 80 mile round trip for the headboard I purchased from Ebay. I live in the sticks so I am not adverse to travelling to save money - taking overall costs into account of course. Two days later up pops the precise item I have been trying to snafffle on freecycle for ages always being beaten to the post- also beaten on the divan or bed frame post too. and in a village only a few miles down the road!!! I do need a bed and hope the new divan base comes soon - one day my frame will give out while I am sleeping or Roo is bouncing on it and we will prob go through the ceiling!!!

Have emailed other institutions regarding PGCE's for next year - School centred training. Good to find out. I really cannot afford to get into more debt before I have sold the house.  And what is wrong with 40 for a career change!!!! 40 years young!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gammon, pineapple , baked potato, peas and sweetcorn for tea - cheap gammon. I need to remember to split the pack before freezing . There are only two rounds (for a pound) in the pack and one is enough for Weeny Roo girl and I.  Oh with mayo dollop and mustard dollop- mustard kept away from pineapple which was left over from the sweet and sour pork on Tuesday. We will eat the rest at pudding tomorrow.

At work today I introduced a client to the benefits of free cycle and other frugaling sites. He mentioned that he found it hard to feed himself on benefits and we discussed food- I said what about soup but he refuses to eat vegetables preferring to go for the cheap and nasty burgers and sausages and other frozen food (despite not having a freezer hence free cycle) from Heron and Farm foods for approx 50p a pack. He even went as far as to say that for two days a fortnight he has been unable to buy food. He had best make chums with the cheap veg then!
My meal tonight if I don't count stupidly defrosting the extra gammon round was probably around  £1 - 1.20 - one largish potato, one portion of peas and sweetcorn from large cheap frozen bag of peas and of sweetcorn, one slice of pineapple ( this was by no means essential and was a left over and could be left out easily) one gammon steak at 50p and a few dollops of condiments! (you could even pinch sachets- as I used to  when on the dole may moons ago -from the condiment boxes in restaurants-  tuts at self and shakes head)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Tourism and truth!

Interesting BBC3 doc on Thailand tourism and truth looking at the lives of employees and communities in Thailand. Full moon parties look rank. Minimum wage is barely livable. Rescue volunteers on the beach in Ko Pang Yang to  pick up pissed westerners.  Eurgh am ashamed! Very ashamed.

Need to get some sleep. Also pondering health and social care pgce - more part time options available and I feel there may be more opportunities available given the popularity of the subject at colleges.

I may begin emailing again. I really don't want to add to my debt and feel part time may be the way forward!

Never thought my ancient degree would be eligible nor was I interested until I read the syllabus - most of its covered and the rest has been relevant to me in one way or another. Can train in a school  rather than a uni which given my experience in schools may be advantageous. I shall research and email!!!

Uni interview, Carlisle and t'other tales.... To debt or not to debt...

Well uni interview went OK I think. If I am offered a place do I student loan it or not! Given I have additional debts to repay la famile after the credit card debt I have a big decision to make. If I am offered this place I will be able to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time but it will involve more debt and I will have to rent out the house ( no sign of a sale - no one even viewing the damn thing) and will have to add to the rent  to cover the mortgage meaning I need to borrow more/trounce savings. My initially thoughts are maybe try next year............ but the course may be scrapped by next year - I need more information on this point.

Alternatively I could apply for a part time course for next year 2012 start which would take approx two years to complete if the course is still running. I need more information. I also need to find out if I am offered a place. Regardless of whether I go or not I would like to be offered a place for purposes of ego!

I have financial things to sort out first and a new job to start as well as a current job to complete - I have a ridiculous amount of admin to do for this thing. Grrrr stupid IT that relies on your home internet connection.

Don't think they allow people to defer.... would be good if they did then may have a chance to sell the house and be in a better financial position. Ho hum 

Weeny girl had a fun time and really enjoyed her 121 time with Biggles. She adores him but is a natural child around him- comfortable enough to be naughty lol She went to soft play and scored for a rainbow coloured alice band for her hair which she will wear with pride to nursery tomorrow. 

I get paid tomorrow and will start the frugalling plan anew. With silly interviews and such I have over spent this month. I have also thrown away a receipt for work expenses and it was approx £9!!!  This  silly behaviour annoys me big time - I deserve a slap for wasting money!

I am now on the hunt for a dust ruffle - valance sheet for a king size bed. Plain - cream, beige, ecru, brown - all shades ( BORING but goes with the rest of the plain stuff till I get busy with the paint brush.. not sure when this will be as I have plenty projects and things I need to do before its a priority!!!)

Paper work is a calling - personal admin as well as work - booooo 

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Fabulous ebay headboard!

Picked up my fabulous £5 headboard today!!!  It is shabby chic'd already- Pine painted an antique matt cream with gold scuffed inlaid bits - a bit french I think. Picked it up form a lovely  chief air steward who is moving house and does not have the space for it.  Considering the cheapest in Argos is Forty quid and nasty looking I have a find!!!

Weeny girl still wearing boots. We have made cards, drawn spiders oh and had chips and a sausage sandwich and drinks at her cafe in town on the way home. She was very good being dragged all the way to Dunstan for the Headboard this morning so deserved a treat. She loves to sit in the window of the cafe on the window seats and eat her chips like a grown up. We made up for the naff food with a yogurt, kiwi and apple when we came home.

Another interview tomorrow - so am doing prep on internet while Cinderella DVD is on ( thats after I have written this)   Cheap sweet and sour pork with  peppers and rice this evening.  Biggles is coming with me tomorrow and will take the weeny girl to a soft play place and then for lunch and we will have tea later. NB need to pack the buggy for him just in case. That man is a diamond and a life saver- literally!!!

The headboard may inspire me to paint the horrid bland pine and distress it. May even look to change the handles if I can find some cheap enough!!!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Pink Cowboy boots and an over payment but not in a good way !!!

Good news or bad news first....??? hmmm
Ok when I was signing on they over paid me by £420. Boo - I have it and can pay it. Such is life- No arguing with HMRC/ benefits agency. Just puts debt plan back a bit.
As regards money I need to contact tax credits on April 1st ( fools day and contacting HMRC.... This has to be funny) change details for job, update claim to to be judged on what I am earning this year and take account of change in wages,hours and child care. Will wait with baited breath as per the outcome!!!

Have put notice in at work and start new job in a fortnight!!! Eeek back to full time!!!! but maybe in time If I do not go to uni I can wrangle 30 hours a week or term time only with a bit extra in order to do the job properly.

On a lighter note..........

Perusing the Whitley bay charity shops supposedly only for a look I came across my stockpiling kiddies clothes bargains - not breaching the £2.00 rule and all for 4-5yr olds (- I collect a year in advance)

Shirt dresses  for £1.25 each ( x2 ) one 'ecru/stone whatever' and one a wine purple colour, a funky M&S top for 50p and a brand new never been worn purple and lighter purple style dress for 50p. The best bargain of all were Dusky pink cowboy boots - brand new never been worn perfect size 8 for £1.00.

Dresses - Primarni - I wouldn't pay full price for Primarni, Funky Top M&S, Other Dress unknown!

She loves them to bits. I wouldn't ever have considered purchasing these full price as they are incredibly impractical and a silly design and colour for children's shoes but for £1.00!!!!!!! And she so does enjoy dressing up!!!  Mummy got a ring to make up for the stress of the repayment issue.

Dusky pink suede type cowboy boots!!! My ring - just plastic  and cheap tin but I like the chunky green /black swirly bits!

  Watching Scooby Doo!

Well even the RSPCA Charity shop is catching onto the vintage thing - More miserable children seen - a set of four at £4 each!  Not likely!!!  So not just fashion but home wares too are victim to the Charity shop book. Vix I do believe you will have a veritable miserable children antique collection in a few years- highly sort after and worth much more! 


Sunday, 27 March 2011


My goals regarding finances. Hmm as I am in a state of flux re work and  future plans etc my goals are unclear.
If I go back to Uni it will be a case of  keeping ones head above water till the house is sold and I get another job. If I don't go then the house is still being sold and I am looking for somewhere cheaper.
I would like to be debt free- initially get rid of the credito cardio debt then repay the mater/sister with proceeds from the house sale. I will need a new car soonish though hope to get another not too expensive year at least from my chugger. I would like not to add to any debt. I would also like to save more.
I like things to be clear and I am sure they will become so at some point. Regardless of whether I stay or go away to uni the house will be rented so I will need at some point soon to begin decluttering and decorating!
I will either be in Carlisle or living cheaply in Biggles house when he is posted somewhere returning at weekends! 

So goals at the very moment are paying off the credito card and not adding to the debt. I have budgeted for  £70 per month to go to the debt. This will take 13 months to clear the debt. I have alot less time than this. So I need to make approx 500 to clear it by September. Any extras after the bed frame will be directed towards the 500 quid mark, as will proceeds form car boots, enviroclothes, ebay ventures, spare money at the end of the week.

Once Wednesday is over with I shall  reinstate the budget watching. It is pay day on Thursday and the unaccounted for expenses of  uni interviews etc will be over.

That's the initial goal anyway September to loose the credit card!!!

Once I move to somewhere cheaper the next goal will be the family debt, car stuffs, mortgage and ongoing frugalness!!! Might have a look at the property market in potential areas just to be nosy!

Daily Fail Middle classes!!!!! an example that leaves me cold.

Why do I ever look at the Daily Mail!!! It only server to infuriate! the first example can work - she has one child at school and there is a child care element to child tax credit which will pay 70% of her fees which will not be astronomical as her child is at school.

The others and their superficial vacuous lives leave me cold. The last woman is vacuous. I have some time for the woman married to the landed gentry  but that's it.

If I had lots of money like the examples I would still wear preloved, drive economical cars, camp, bargain hunt - I may indulge more in locally grown farmers market produce but that's about it etc Not very green people are they ( shakes head wrinkles nose  and screws up mouth at he same time as if driving past a slurry tip in the country)   Now I am not the deepest most philosophical type but I like to think I have a little more depth than a puddle on a hot day in August in Spain and I bet  no one turned off their lights for Earth Hour!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Earth hour and other stories!

Well we have  cleaned out and re organised the shed, a couple of  drawers and a cupboard in the kitchen and planted anything salvageable from the tubs to the garden in prep for the planting of seeds! Carrots, cauliflower, kale,  I like my garden, pottering, planting, barbecuing - its nothing to shout about but considering it was a postage stamp of mud it has plants and flowers and shrubs and grass and bushes and hanging basket things. I am not a patient gardener more of a chuck it in and hope for the best type.  In the name of frugaldom I am removing the flowers form the planters/bucket type things and replacing them with food!! I would plant in the ground but I have a cat turd problem so would prefer the edible stuff to be a bit removed.  The weather changed before we could get any  finger painting accomplished so we retreated inside and made dens till Biggles called in for Thai green chicken curry which we stuffed our faces on - all of us! Roo is fond of spice not too hot but flavoursome! Got prepared for Earth Hour - tea lights, story time and she fell asleep.  Yes it was a bit late but I thought it would be fun with the candles and stuff.Still a fair few lights on around - I checked the street - which is a shame - Am sure the awareness raising will grow albeit slowly!!! Its only an hour - read, sing, dance, bath by candlelight - bake ,  Its only candlelight and think about how you can save energy good for you pocket and as a bonus good for the earth! Lots of other things you can do by candlelight some say it could even be romantic! No luck as Biggles was off home as is on early's tomorrow
( double early's given the hour we loose for the clocks.)

Pork Sundays dinner tomorrow with white sauce and the usual trimmings. I am tempted to go booting tomorrow but I cannot justify it in petrol or spends or needs... just wants. Hmph - maybe the cupboard under the stairs may get a good going over after the joys of house work, hoovering, brushing, dusting and washing the floor not to mention horrid horrid evil ironing!!!!

Making dens! I am not precious with furniture!

Little windy spot of pennies!

I have some expenses from my  court experience - only £41 but if I add this to my pot of £39 I can afford a new divan base to be delivered all in  for £70. one of the hassles of living in the country being that you need to factor in delivery.  I am desperate for a bed base given the frame that I have is on its last legs given age, use and a bed bouncing child!!!

There is a headboard I  have my eye on  for £5 on ebay! See what happens eh- its only in Newcastle.  My freecycling attempts  to get a king size bed base or frame have failed on several  occasions and I am now getting desperate. I could go for another frame and save the space under the bed but risk developing an annoying squeak thanks to  the jumper roo weeny girl. She loves a bounce!!! They always sneak in when you are not looking !!!

Not a bad  start to the weekend!!!

I really need to get into Ebay as well. Have a car boot provisionally arranged with my chum (s) for a weekend in May so am stock piling for that. Will also do enviroclothes again  once the sister has gone through the old clothes pile!!!

A cheery Eeek off to get grubby in the garden!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Sleepy Thursdays and TGI Friday.........

Finished days at school - all went fine - have some research and finishing prep to do. Good news have been offered said job at the local FE college so have accepted and need to hand notice in on Monday!!!!!!!  whay hey - Money not great and I will be working full time again but at least when I come home I can focus on the small child properly rather than be stressed about targets, doing crappy admin that I should be able to do during work hours and not rely on my personal broadband connection!!! Its more money but still nothing close to the previous salary  or the hourly rate I am on working part time and I will be travelling everyday but  its not a horrendous target driven job and I am no longer Pauline from the League of Gentlemen!!!! yay No more ''Pens are our friends Mickey love''

Treated oneself to a a necklace and two flowery tops - no labels in them just liked them. All second hand!!!

Me and weeny  girl will be shed and gardening tomorrow and maybe some hand/finger/foot painting!!!

Fell asleep early yesterday - We went to bed early to snuggle! We are off to bed again now after the Friday ritual of  Doctor Who!  Biggles keeping the terrorists away this weekend monitoring the skies for threats and erratic plane type things. Thai curry tomorrow - love it and Sundays dinner on ... you guessed it Sunday all made with Lidl produce and cheapies!!! Ok not the green curry paste or coconut milk but they were bargains too!
PGCE interview next Wednesday see if I get in then see if I can do some financial wizardry and house renting to actually finance the damn thing!

Enjoy the weekend Bloggers!!!!

A much happier Eeek

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ahhhh the silence and some free cycle!!

Well after the boring changing of the bank accounts I picked up a freecycled small three drawer chest of drawers and hit Lidl! Only spent £25 but need to pick up yoghurt's and cat food, children's toothpaste and some fruit not a great deal of fruit apples maybe and whatever is cheap! - should get away with only spending £30 this week  Ahhhh bread flour - sold out at Lidl - Over a pound a bag at other stores so plumbed for the 99p stuff - only 1kg rather than the 1.5 bags but no choice. Will keep monitoring!!!! Roo is at the beach - I sent her off on her own for some fun am sure she Will be fine -very sensible three year old  - not really away with friends - mine not hers so I have enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee and some uninterrupted blog reading.  Have  admin for work work to do later so will be busy and bored senseless. I do hope I get some sort of other job/direction soon  this current post is sucking my soul away!!!!!!

The freecycle item was much like the ret of my furniture - nothing interesting all rather bland- all second hand hand and given to me/ free cycled. Its every where!! I have alot of that cheap mock pine effect stuff. None of it has cost me a bean however so I am not complaining. It has no character, personality - it is all bland and very plain but gives me somewhere to put the books, photos. I don't really have Nick knacks anymore they were deemed non essential during one of the my house moves and as such boot sold, gave to charity. I would love a dresser however to collect and display my own particular brand of crap!!!

One day maybe when I am resettled again.... shame I will say tarrah to the kitchen - excellent space and lots of room for a dresser.......... ho hum soon I hope

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

enough to do.... when can I have a proper life again...

Ok first of my three prep days at school. Twas grand. Tomorrow I have the bank accounts to change back again!  How dull, some boring work stuff to do and if time the job application. Sigh. The weather is getting nice and all I really want to do is be outside. I have numerous gardening and decorating jobs but I suppose the prep comes first.  On with trying to establish the new life or rather career!!!  Apart from the money aspect being made redundant is a real pain in the butt. I really want to be focusing wholeheartedly on  Roo at the moment and what is best for her not splitting my time with a new career! But money being the root of all evil is also important ..... at the moment - well having the potential to earn enough to keep a roof over our head and have a reasonable standard of frugal living. Enough to live and make provisions for our future. Nothing consumerist required - no need. I have no interest in the high street, shopping centres, retail parks, package holidays, flash cars, furniture, spa days, expensive hobbies -Zilch, nadda, nothing, leaves me cold cold cold. Or gadgets, dvds, games consoles, brand named food, ready made frozen food, delicacies, jewellery ( expensive)........

Enough for wholesome food, my bills and worthy enriching experiences for my darling daughter not necessarily expensive ones. A few classes - ballet, swimming, music maybe one day, camping, the occasional holiday non flash type - Euro camp for the foreign experience type thing. I def do not want her to be used to the med every year!!! eurgh - fish and chips Spanish style!!! One day I would like a dog if I am ever in the position to have enough time to meet its needs satisfactorily.

Dave you are a git!!! If it was just me then I wouldn't be bothered I wouldn't be here anyway but the life I had crafted was not for me alone and the changes from you choices effect the most precious person and that makes you a super shitty little git.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Treasures.............. very pricey treasures!!!

My my those charity shops know a find and how to price one!!! Everything I looked at today was priced accordingly  from handbags to a fabulous pink maxi dress - lots of sparkle and polyester- very 70's. I wouldn't have bought it as no where to wear it but..... and  for £24.99...... not my price range!  Anything of age is priced accordingly. Lots of shirts  too but all size 18 including polyester pussy bows  also made in England and a great handbag  - patent brown with snap lock circa 1970 which was £9.99

I really don't think they will sell particularly well in the area but ho hum. I checked out Relate in Ashington and then done the usual circuit in Alnwick. It was lunch time and post interview I figured I deserved some relax time!!! Interview went well I feel. How well time will tell. I would like the job but the money is truely pants and the college is being taken over by another college so can only offer a fixed contract till end of July. The  likelihood of being kept on and given  a perm contract is good. If offered I will probably take it on  4 days a week and look for other stuff just in case. I could really get my teeth into it and would enjoy it so.... travel could be worse. On four days I will do 120 miles. On Mondays I do over 80miles so some savings to be made in petrol me thinks. ( 60 miles on Thursday and 40 on Fridays  meaning a bit of a difference) Better than dreading work and hating most of the time spent there and bringing work home due to the dire state of the ICT available working remotely. You also don't really  get to see your colleagues which is half the fun of working- well ok a perk.  I see people but only once a week.  Have another to draft and also prep for the uni interview next week.

Busy day tomorrow - up early  to take Roo to a friends for the day as its typically a non nursery day then to  Alnwick. Will be doing approx 100 miles tomorrow!!! 

Roo wants feeding - tut tut how dare she!!!  Then  we are off to an early bed!! Its pretty chilly now after a glorious day so warmest place is bed!

Sad about frugal queen her frugal examples and tips were great.

Maybe she is still reading blogs just not writing. Sending small hand wave if so

Have a picture of the very pink dress which I will  post at some point. its fabulous darrrrrrrrhlings! High necked sleeveless, Flash of sequins and beads around the middle....... garish!!!

I have dided the facebook thang! Here is the dress - 22/3/11
 Doesn't do it justice really - Anyway it says it was a size 14 - more like 12 so too small for me!!! A saving thus of 25 quid!!!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Nothing on a Sunday!

Well I achieved very little today.. best laid plans of mice and men eh Slept in till 11am!!! I couldn't believe the time when I got up!!!! Biggles was already on his way home. Managed all but a quick tidy, breakfast, and food prep and long conversaqtion with my sister re future mum plans before he turned up around 2;30ish Hadn't even managed a shower!!! 

I have made a timetable re how to get the copious amounts of stuff I have to do this week done!

Roo returned at 5pm - hadn't been anywhere despite being late. She was OK a little subdued as ever. I would feel happier if I knew she was the focus of his weekend - or rather the kids were the focus of the adults weekend and not just additions to be sent to the garden to play while the smoking of fags and watching of telly takes place. This may change as I will have a lot of running around to do in the future and Roo has other family to see who may be living in Clackmannanshire which is not that far away from the northern reaches and also a grandmother in a care home in Ayr.

Cheapie chicken pasta bake was rather nice and will feed me again tomorrow.
cheap passata, pasta, chicken breasts, array of veg to hand,onions, garlic, mozzarella and cheese to top seasonings of choice - rather yummy and Biggles who is just a little fussy about anything with tomato in it  enjoyed it and looks forward to the next batch.

Interview tomorrow - job sounds grand but the pay is absolutely rubbish.   Have another application to complete for the 28th and the uni interview to prepare for. Ahhhhh I am juggling so many balls that related to plan b,c and d as well as trying to sell up. Plan A is a bit personal and rather a long shot so am keeping mum on that one.  

It would be nice to have just one goal to achieve at a time  (and I mean goal outside of the really important parenting stuff.)

Back to the grind - I will get my camera at some point!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Disappearing Frugal Queen???

Has frugal queen disappeared or is it just me??  When I try to access her blog  - Zilch, Nada, Nowt! Do hope she hasn't given up the ghost or her blog has become lost in the ether!!!Her frugal example is excellent! Much missed Frugal Queen!!! 

Drying outside is lovely and makes your clothes smell so fresh!!!


And now feeling guilty over the uneccessary spend, use of petrol and wasting of time...... oh well tis done now. Must do better next time!!!. Found out today that council tax is only going to be £43 per month so that alleviates the guilt a little!!

I cannot help myself..........tales of a waistcoat, jelly mould and barbie!

Have managed  one of the things on my list so far! But did nip out after dropping off the Weeny Roo with her 'other family' to help a chum with an application form! On the way back drove through Morpeth and told myself would only call in at the charity shops for a perusal  if I could find an easy peasy high street parking spot!!  not easy in Morpeth High Street on a Saturday. I Kind of did just as I was on my out of the main shopping drag opposite the Relate shop!!! Now I can walk away from most goodies but not a waistcoat - Black fitted, plain (- not the leather or special variety but a cheap one in good nick from the high street), a small jelly mould - just enough for 2.3! and a winter coat for 2.99 for Roo aged 4-5!! Full length, very pink made by........ barbie  - boooo (Am not a fan of the out of proportion plastic moulded thing with a waist the same width as her neck!)  Couldn't turn it down though -  in too good  condition! It has barbie written on the back and on the front. I have a cunning plan however to tart it up ( as if it needs tarting up with that name on the back!)  Daisy, flower and other style girly  patches!!!!  I have a goodly while to find said customising items at a reasonable price - very very cheap other wise could have bought a coat from primarni new!!! And if I don't it will be fine for playing and daycare and getting grubby!!!!

Waistcoat - 3.49. Cheaper than the ones I saw on ebay with postage which were nonetheless equally plain and black and nowt to shout about. Dinky knobbly jelly mould 1.49 and coast 2.99!!!  Put away for next year.

Have managed one of the work tasks, have a few more to do - OK 2 items to put onto a database online and then an article to read and make notes on and a skeleton job application to draft! (I have a hand written application to complete! Boooo much prefer online.) 

My left leg is missing, my heart beats slower with a dull thud- I miss her lots. She didn't want to leave me this morning and has been saying that she does not like her dad's girlfriends son. He is about 7, her half sister is also there and is 7 as well. She has an older cousin 9ish who often goes over as well. The entire crew were there today which is nice in a way but they are older than her and I think they get a bit tired of the small one spoiling their grown up games. I know that the kids will be left to amuse themselves while the adults do adult stuff- watch telly and smoke fags. I hope she is OK. Time will tell. She comes back tomorrow at 5pm. Sigh
I know he was going out to work and leaving her with the entire crew of kids and his girlfriend. He  was outside with his work van and in work clothes. Shame - he only sees her every other weekend for approx 30 hours and she spends 12 of them asleep ( OK closer to ten as she sleeps light)

OK I look for excuses not to work!!!!!!!!! Biggles back tomorrow afternoon. Mother Biggles liked her birthday pressie from us and from Roo and the cards. All good. Now I really really must get on!!!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Todays fun..........

Was unable to make the phone calls due to that other thing called work getting in the way. OK  day however- have cleared the family loan with the relevant people so good good!!! Putting the super frugal plan into action asap after Easter. Easter will be an expense. I am going to the old country  (Scotland) to  collect my dear ole Mum from the airport avec big sister and take her to her new home - care home- she has advancing dementia/Alzheimer's. I will then spend a few days making sure she is settled. I have chosen Ayr as I really do not know how long I am going to be here and I would not want to move her again. She is from Ayr and other relatives will be able to visit her. I am just not sure how often I will be able to visit. Train may be cheaper mid week - leave on Monday night after work or Tuesday morning and come back Wednesday - will have to investigate . Weeny girl Roo will be joining me. These things always cost extra money - coffee, food stops  etc etc but cannot be avoided.  Not part of the financial plan and def not one the folks from CAP had budgetted for. Am looking forward to seeing mum interact with Roo - last time she responded very well to her and was smiley and happy. It will break my heart having to leave her so far away with strangers and not her familiar carers and in a new routine but its got to be done.

The  rest of today....... no charity window shopping just a quick trip to Morrison's for essentials!!

Look at my food booty!!! For only £10!! approx  Essential lasagna sheets  x4 - 23p each,  fruit and veg essentials - onions, carrots, broccoli, apples, pears, apple juice, 56p,  milk , yoghurts 44p, butter for baking, 55p, lower fat spread on special offer 62p!! Yorkshires - as I am pants at making them, I think they were a pound and last for three meals for 2.3 of us!! Bargain of the day -five jars of curry sauce 9p yes that's a whole 9p each!!!  45p Enough for five curry meals for two and a bit if needed or one and some for the freezer. We tried some this evening with some chunky homemade in their skins  oven chips and naan -Its  much like 70's school curry but spicier with a few raisins - fry up some chook and onions and its not half bad. (Curry powder would only last for 5/6 meals and cost more. Think it was about 80p  last time - Makway mild curry powder - bright yellow stuff) This way I also get jars for jam making!!! Large ones!!!

I will have to call in at Lidl next week for bread flour ( its only 69p)  light mayonaise and Salad stuffs but that's about it really. Apart from fresh produce should be an easy one on the budget for a while.  I always figure that if I want a proper Balti I will go out to a restaurant or takeaway - last one was new years eve with Biggles ( My birthday) and it was great, oh and a takeaway with Mother Biggles!!!! Who was  a big Goa fan  for many years but has now moved on to Kenya!

I don't have my camera software yet I uploaded photos to fb from my mobile then downloaded them to the lap top and uploaded to blogger from there!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't really do anything for comic relief - Weeny girl had to do something funny for nursery. We went for the Mr Tumble look - Those with kids and a TV will know Mr Tumble!!! Here she is in her glory: We had lots of random sticky out plaits which she is sleeping in so she gets frizzy hair tomorrow!She was very impressed with her look and couln't wait to show off!!

I also had some pics on my phone of childrens clothes finds which I will add too!!!

 99p Marks and Spencers floaty blue dress!!!
Has bed head hair in this pic - but she wanted to put it on!!! Good sign she likes it!!
 For age 4-5 - nothing over £2 mostly below as I recall - love the flowers and the colour of the cardighan!
A sweatshirt is missing from the haul!
I just like this one - looking out to sea!!! Can't wait for summer!
This year I have a promise that Biggles will spend it with me regardless of the military type things in Libya. Last year he was away  in the land of red dust  and long haired dogs doing war things. I made him promise over his curry that no more this year and no volunteering till ...well October when he is due to be posted anyway!!! He would volunteer for it  eagerly despite doing his over seas bit last year so no expectation on him to do so. Promised me no volunteering!!!!  Like he says its what he signed up for and its his job and he does it well......just give me summer then go answer your call xx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Frugaling and creative debt juggling!!!

20 months interest free on balance transfers with Barclay card! This is worth looking into.  I  have also contacted child tax credit and got loan amount for repayment - 3.5k Will be less in a few days as I will have paid a wee bit more off the balance. I think I can be more creative than the CAP people and def more frugal.

I get the saving bit - that is now essential for me. I need to save £71 per month for car stuff etc etc etc. However I feel  over £200 on food /household per month is ridiculous!!!! I do fine on £40 and often have change when I am not feeding Biggles! We always have fruit and yoghurt's and veg with chicken or other lean meat. Hmmm I think If I meal planned more and if it was just me and darling Roo girl weeny one it would be less than £40 per month on a regular basis (though I do like to take advantage of a bargains and stock pile!!
I also need to get the results of council tax investigations to help me.  I  wasn't impressed with the drop the mobile phone and also cut the uncuttable fixed price or pay a penalty BT package. (Eyes roll)

Will put them on hold and not piss off my creditors Just yet!  I may have to borrow from family for the loan till the house goes which is not ideal but .... If all else fail s Roo and I are going to move into Biggles house when he moves ( posted with work - yes he is a bit military hence Biggles) and live at a much reduced rate and so can pay off debt.I may be in Carlisle or want to get to Carlisle so will look more into renting for a year. Will still have to add to cover the mortgage but will cross that bridge when I get there.

Mortgage companies are really annoying. I now get paid on the last working day of the month. The latest the Mortgage can come out is the 28th of the month - This is fine...... mostly. Hmm before I paid on the 17th or next working day to 17th. I can't go back to that either or else will cost myself an extra payment. FFS

So tomorrow/initial list to do.....

Ring council tax
Ring loans people again
Whinge at child tax credit to get realistic figures for actual salary . FFS how complicated is CTC and WTC!!!!

Work out and draw up new budget to appease CAP!!!  If this all goes to plan I will need to cnage my bank accounts back to my old favourite bank not the new one -  I really cannot be arsed to remember another sodding password/ pin number.

A hippier more positive Eeek and damn  I look good in my charity shop clothes - Could do with a hair cut though. lol ( No provision for haircuts in my budget btw  not even a trim tut tut or money for the window cleaner - an indulgence but necessary and only a fiver once a month or every two months. Maybe I will cancel it - upstairs would never get cleaned!! Eurgh!

The charity shop price book!!!! and Nasty Northumberland County Council

I thought it existed!!!  It does - I have it on good authority from a client who does voluntary work in Oxfam!!

They have a guide price book!!!  It is up to the shops discretion however as to what to actually price items but they use the book as a guide!!! How I would love to get hold of a copy of that book!!!!  For eg I was told of a Versace dress ( never went to look as its not my thing Versace - anyway prob from Turkey) in the window at a reduced price ( thanks to the managers discretion )of £25. Should have been £39.99 but Manager felt that no one in Blyth was going to pay that price for a dress!!!!! 

Also saw some fabulous items in Charity Shops today - gorgeous pink glass art decco dressing table set complete with  candle stick, ring holder, glass tray and numerous square type pots with lids. ( £20).......... My mum had a clear glass set with perfume bottle that puffed - Don't know what happened to it - such a shame.............. Great jewelery - the  bue flower brooch is still there but I cannot justify shopping I am just looking!!!! Boooooooo   (OK I caved -I bought an umberella - its oldish with a shaped clear plastic handle, brown colour with little twee leafy flower patterns on it - loved it for £1.25 and I need a brolly!!!! a ni ce one not a boring black one) Some fab homeware type things available as well .............pity. My plans for a welsh dresser for bits and pieces was shelved last year.......  Portmerion cups and saucers..... sigh, bigger sigh... and  lots of lovely treasures  - coloured glass things - One gorgeous blue one.Clothes were sparse, shoes rubbish.

Scandal!!! Happened upon this  story on in the local Gazette - The local council is now selling the contents of the textile recycling bins!!! Donors who believed they were giving to charity via the council are being ripped off. The council are now selling the clothes to a recycling company and keeping the profits!!! Enviroclothes do this for the inidivdual - I have made a few quid this way. Depending on what I want to get rid of sometimes its the charity shop other times not and given that most of mine come from a charity shop sometimes enviroclothes is the better option lol Seemingly the council have been doing this for a while. Naughty - people should be able to make the choice regarding whos pockets they want to line - greedy council who pay for ridiculous consultants, and chief exec on 175k per year!!!! or a charity!

Disgusting verging on fraudulent!!!! Ok if the charity shop has stock they cannot sell then yes sell it to a recycling company in the name of charity not fat council big wigs!!!!!!!!!!!!

Working on alternative debt plan - there must be another alternative considering I have money in the bank - not a great deal but..... I need a tide over till this house sells/I get a better job. One must happen at some point.... shouldn't it????   Few things I was not happy with with the CAP budget and that they immediately felt I should move to poor mans bankruptcy while owning a house.  I am sure I will not be eligible!!! I shall ring them tomorrow and take them to task - ok ask a few assertive questions!

Joys !!!

Off to play with the jumping child - jumping and hopping are the preferred mode of travel at present!!!!


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Am pondering.............

Am pondering options........ not sure the whole cap thing sits that well with me..... am pondering lots..... may have to tweak what they feel is right to what I feel is right... may be able to make a bulk payment to one of creditors to bring debt down, credit card can get transferred and transferred for 0% interest till its paid off. They are lovely but I don't think any of them have actually been in real debt..... must decide tomorrow and make investigative phone calls...

And so the descent to insolvency begins...........

More dealing with debt day today - spent the day moving direct debits to the new bank account and such then had my meeting with the folks from CAP.

Bad news - according to their budgeting which includes saving £70 per month for car type stuff, household maintenance, saving for clothes essentials for both of us etc it will take over 20 years to pay off my just under 5k debt. (I still have to hand in wage slips for council tax benefit and also get child tax credits rejigged but given new government policy I have little faith)

I have to get rid of my contract mobile £25 per month and am unable to save a poxy £10 a month for my daughter straight into her child trust fund account.  I don't use the landline as they all have mobiles, my landline package only affords me free calls at weekends so I do not use the phone till then etc  For £25 per month I get 300 mins. I text lots. But ok it has to go. More issues with the phone company to face. 
My petrol is limited to 100 per month -  This is what I aim for. I get an extra £10 for food per week and £15 for leisure per month.

Anyway the upshot is they feel I should apply for a debt reversal order - poor mans bankruptcy so I am told but I get to keep the house????? not my credit reference however. I suppose this is not too much of an issue as I have no intentions of getting any debt ever again however I will have to remortgage at some point and I do want to own a house as I have a long time to pay rent. I so hope it sells soon. I love living here but .......I am also unable to take a mortgage break if I go back to uni. I am going to drop the price on the house again by 5k. If I am lucky I will get some of my 15K deposit back. I don't even want to think about the state of my pension............ non existent.

Oh well so much for frugalism as a lifestyle choice - (Choosing it so you can reap the rewards and make progress is very different as well I know) Ha frugal sounds better than poor I suppose but lets face facts I ain't got no cash and def no spare cash or disposeable income for owt.

Cheers Dave thanks for taking my career, self respect, financial independence, credit rating. Before being made redundant on my 29k including maintenance and child benefit I could be frugal and make progress now on 16,500k its time to go backwards. I get the austere times and the cuts ( kind of maybe not as harsh), VAT rise didn't bother me - choose wisely I thought- luxuries like booze and fags, Chelsea tractor 4x4 cars, expensive hobbies  designer clothes. primarni every week for the latest t shirt/item to fit in, made in sweatshops for buttons - that's your choice wants not needs unessential and as such choose wisely. Even faced redundancy - I had a plan  I will sell up - be prepared to move just as Dave said to  retrain/find work where ever I can.People need to move to the jobs he said!!  I will out of necessity uproot my daughter from all she knows, our support network, friends and start again somewhere..... hopefully cheaper........ No sale, no interest either!

The gorgeous one is missing out too - she has stressed mummy, no swimming lessons and is desperate to begin ballet like her little friends. I am sure she will survive without them plenty other kids do but that doesn't really cut it with me. I used to make the choices being frugal, buying preloved etc so that we could do these things. I couldn't afford the petrol to get there on my budget anyway! We don't heat the water at night for a bath either - its just showers these days. Short ones. Got to get that electricity down.

Only one family have viewed the house in 7 months. If I was getting viewings I would be happier but no one is buying starter family homes. My end of the market has come to a griding halt.

 Ahhhhh feck it - nowt I can do but ride the wave - all in the lap of the gods now.....  nice bit of fatalism why the hell not!!!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Wardrobe shuffle!

Nothing like a good wardrobe re organisation to cheer me up!! I moved alot of stuff to the recycling pile. I also have a box of things  that I love but am not wearing at the moment IYKWIM - Eg really soft black leather pencil skirt, some dresses, lace top thing - one day just not right now!  I change my wardrobe according to the seasons - jumpers away or jumpers out.  summer tops in  or summer tops out. Very satisfying!  Also played stylist wiith a few items - took stock! Am now after a waistcoat - black fitted one - will know it when I see it!!! Shoes, skirts, jeans etc Also called in to the RSPCA shop. It has been maryised -  re decorated and repriced - no more sale rail of cut price items and lots of items now over priced if you ask me but such is the way of things..........

Would love to find some jumble sales - proper jumble sales with lots of jumble to rumble through but never see them advertised locally. Carboot maybe at the weekend.
Collected vouchers for the residents festival  - Cragside is a must not sure  for other days - some attractions are doing two for one which is still in the case of Alnwick Garden adn Castle £16 plus child price! tut tut
Uni Interview has been put back which is excellent - so have more time to prepare at a more sensible pace.
Debt - opened bank account today, need to transfer direct debits tomorrow, and also carry on with the care home search for the returning mother. We are on lots of lists and are waiting.........

Checked out Iceland today - needed milk and fruit, not bad for some items.

More debt sorting tomorrow and I may even dig out my camera software if there is time!!! I have lots of treasures to show!!! lol

Monday, 14 March 2011

Netto - I have no control!!!

OK I resisted any Charity Shopping and had access to areas I hardly ever venture into!  However when killing time I popped into Netto ans have spent the princely sum of £10 ish on 8 pork steaks £3.50, two tins of pineapple juice ( 98p) Brown sugar 75p  bumper pack crisps 1.00 and large jar 200g of Dow Egbert's coffee 3.89 I think. Was there anything else....... Ok the Coffee aint my favoured gold blend but I am open to alternatives as the cheapest 200g jar is £4.50! I would have opted for GB for £4.00 but a 61p difference..... Think not!!!

The pork steaks were reduced by 50p - Each steak should have been 50p however with  the 50p off  43.7p per steak which I feel is quite acceptable!  I see sweet and sour pork on  the horizon this week at some point most def - sweet and sour  pork or pork in oyster sauce.

Easy tea - pizza, left over salad from Friday - waste not want not - last tiddly bits in a sandwich for lunch tomorrow - keep up the veg intake for health!!!

Eyes really sore so am off to give them a rest - have enjoyed catching up on all of your blogs and drooling over your finds!!!!!!!!! Keep up the good bargain hunting work!!!!!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sunday sunday..........

I wish everyday was like Sunday, time to enjoy and just be. The weather has been bloody awful and I have much organising and such to do - so much going on at the moment thank goodness for the anti deps otherwise I would be standing in a corner facing the wall saying wibble. I am trying  to deal with my debt and make arrangements, I have interviews to prepare for- work to be getting on with for the place of no integrity, and also trying to find my mother a care home in Scotland - she is returning from overseas, we have her name down for a lovely one in Ayr which I really want but need to find an interim one in the mean time as of April 22nd. So all this and parenting which is pretty important after all.

So what do  I ..........   we made very chocolately rice crispy cakes! Using up some rice crackles cereal that Gorgeous one is no longer fond of preferring bran flakes, 30p bar of chocolate, some baking butter, syrup, sugar, cocoa powder and raisins with purple sprinkles that I have had in the cupboard! Very yummy and the process was enjoyed by all! Wee one and I had a long bath and we went for a walk and play in the park. We prepared dinner and I checked work emails. So life 95% work stuff 5%. Thats even too much for a weekend really but I still have a presentation to organise on  a dull as fish subject and do some inputting on he work database at some point ( The hassle of part time work - actually work  a fair wack in three days as compared and in relation to five.)

Will eat dinner, get into pyjamas and then do some proper  work stuff. No problem doing the other stuff just this work crap. I do not get paid enough to work outside of work time. I gernerally when it comes to work/emp;oymnet I prefer to stay late and complete tasks if needed rather then bring my work home. When working in a school  for eg I have always treated it as a 9-5 job and not  taken work home or snuck off early...... mostly lol. And if i am lucky enough to get onto the PGCE I shall treat it similarly - a proper working day each day and holidays treated the same.

Sunday sunday.............. da da da da da da

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Thrift by choice or not..... being grateful and thankful of the option of thrift!

Called in to source some vouchers for the residents weekend and had to have a  scan around Lidl.

Fabulous bargains but unfortunately am not in a position to stock pile anymore. Sigh. This is where thrifting is falling short these day. Previously thrift was a choice. I had a slightly above average wage but have never been able to shop a the upper end of the high street and to be honest wouldn't have wanted to anyway. I could never afford expensive moisturiser, budget versions of cars new to me was fine.  It  is difficult and there is no financial freedom in sight for me now. I look back and am not proud that I was a smugly virtuous thrifter who said no to consumerism from the moral high ground. I have been knocked off my perch unceremoniously. Now when I look around a charity shop I see 'types' - the smug middle class greeny, the arty type and those who are there because its all they can afford.  I am embarrassed to say I was once one of those smug types. I didn't appreciate the best bit that I had choice to get out of debt and chose frugality as opposed to  frugal living being the the only option available to me and as such not being able to really  benefit from it - ie financial freedom shall not be mine, my savings will not increase and if I stray from the frugal path its a disaster not a slip up I can correct next month and get back on track. I have at least 12 years of repayments I figure.... unless something drastically changes.  Last year when thrifting by choice I never knew I had it so good!!!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday yet again........ tragic

Happenings in Japan are awful. I  feel for those who have lost family, friends, homes, lives, livelihoods. Puts things into perspective when you see what can be taken away in  an instant and so dramatically.

On a different note I have an interview date for uni earlier than was indicated  so not excellent but I will manage. Quite annoyed as they told me April and have brought it forward. I had made plans around April and arranged to  visit and talk to people who could help me with the course/interview. Also means no trip to the Land of Whippets as I will need to stay at home and take advantage of the peace while gorgeous one is visiting her other family.

May be busy and unable to blog for a while as now have a list of things to do including job applications, work-  horrible stuff and better more interesting interview stuff - loads of it to read. Boooo Dull as shite.

Baked spuds, salad and Tuna for 2.3 again. Fajitas tomorrow - its Saturday! And Roast on Sunday. Lunch is typically a late bigger breakfast  or rather second breakfast for gorgeous one with later snacks, or beans on toast or toasties or soup. Breakfast is toast or toast or cereal or special days bacon sandwiches - normally when bacon is on special offer. Bacon sarnies mean not a lot of lunch - pass direct to supper, do not pass teatime and do not collect further food! Ok fruit is allowed!  I always have a stash of fruit, yoghurt and ice cream and cheapie digestive biscuits in for the for the gorgeous one. I find cooking therapeutic and enjoyable.Not as much as bargain hunting but not bad.  When I get the time I will budget each meal that I cook on a regular basis.

Enjoy the weekend !!!

Love Eeek

Rugby!!!! Biggles is bringing beer!  Bless him!!!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Chip shop curry Thursday and a job interview!!

Ahhh another day - and another indulgence. Three quid for a syrup brown leather handbag with a flower motif - Its lovely and I love it - not good as I have a plan but.............

In response  to this over spend I have had another clear out and will sell some clothes and curtains - its good to de clutter! Am also stock piling for a car boot sale! Car boots are great  when you are a seller you don't have time to buy!!!

I shall also post pics of the finds when I dig out the software for the camera!

Job interview is positive - its still about 10k less than I was on and less per hour than I am now but more if I work full time. Its with a local college which is good and only about 20miles away and I can get the bus however its only guaranteed till July 31st when the college is taken over by another college so I don't know if I can take the risk.... I shall go to the interview anyway - good practice.

Had the delights of chip shop home made curry!! You know school curry - makway curry sauce special  with onion, chicken and peas and sweetcorn thrown in for good measure with a naan bread and a bag of boil in the bag rice!  Biggles came over for tea again. He is on leave and considering the pressies of this lap top ( his old one) and a TV for looking after him when he was in hospital plus all the other nice stuff we do hes worth it!!!!

Small gorgeous one loves having him around too. Nearly time for weekend number two. Apart from another two job applications I may get one or two things from the list accomplished!

  • Under stairs cupboard to sort and retrieve software for camera
  • Kitchen draws to sort - numerous bits for boot sale
  • Clothes to further sort with view to stuff to save for sister, stuff to recycle for cash
  • Sewing projects - smock top thing to hem the sleeves, curtains to hem ( I feel a wonder web moment coming on)
  • Curtains to re hang
  • Car to valet - its disgusting - need to fit wheel trims
  • Glass to recycle
  • Upstairs floors to sweep
  • Shed to sort out - I have a chest of drawers to revamp
  • Plan the garden for this year - I have seeds to plant and pots to re pot and ferns to plant etc
  • I have decorating also but am waiting for better weather (- prob the same for the garden and shed and car valeting )


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

CAP = Highly recommended!

What a lovely organisation. Really understanding and very supportive. Technically I am not behind with payments at all but the savings are significantly depleted and I am not earning enough to deal with emergencies as they present and require savings.  CAP  ( Christians against Poverty) people were brilliant and will negotiate with my creditors (3 of them) on my behalf. I pay CAP and  CAP pays them. I agree to not take out anymore debt and only deal with CAP ( this is not an issue- really its not). Am still sour about things generally -  having to do this and not have choice in my life and that being debt free will take longer than I had hoped ( unless the house sells) but at least its manageable. takes the fun out of  thrifting a bit - as I always went for preloved and new to me on point of principle and green leanings. Will  keep you posted re the progress with CAP. Have a new bank account to open next week - they got the time mixed up today so only got bits of it complete.

Biggles paid for coffee and cake ( nice chap that he is) and Gorgeous one had an accident. I had to buy trousers from Oxfam £2 and socks and pants - not from Oxfam but M and Co which came to £9!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Should have made her put up with being commando and barefoot  in shoes but we had a while to go before home and she would have created big stylee!!! I will put the socks away for next year. No pants a larger size either only smaller or far too big so that was a bit of a waste too. Oh well and she is normally so very very good! And its one of the only high street kids shops in the town!!! ( Sainsbury's, a very posh shop, and a local one with outlets in the wider area - mostly school outfitters but not that much cheaper and closed half day on a Wednesdays!!) I really miss Woolworth's in cases like this! living in a small town this is a draw back not having cheap high street shops at your disposal in cases like this.

Quick tea this evening - oven chips ( they have to be used up and chicken/fish fingers/ beans etc. I may have egg as I am a fan of the family Friday classic of yesteryear! )

Saw a  fabulous blue Edinay Ronay short mac style jacket on sale for £20 in Oxfam - was really tempted and got as far as trying it on - was a bit too tight so I am really really glad!!!!! After yesterdays find I am unable to justify further  expenditure and it was rather lovely............ and another Paul Smith skirt that I refused to pay £15 for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gorgeous Day earlier - bit cold after 1pmish.. can't wait for warm spring days heralding summer!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

I need to find my camera!!! Positive finds and 'new to me' kitchen stuffs!!

or rather the discy thingamybob that means I can upload photos of finds, gifts, fun stuff to the laptop nd illustrate the blog. Methinks it may be in the old standalone PC which is hiding in the back of the cupboard just in case!!!

I have loads of new kitchen stuff - well new to me! Biggles was having a clear out!! I have had a habit over the years, since my mid twenties of deserting, running for the hills taking only the cats after a relationship cohabitation break up. Even in non cohabiting relationships I never ask for stuff back. I just go - has always been me heading for the hills - I figure if you decide its over then off you go! Anyways my haul of kitchen equipment has never recovered! When I think about the gems I have left behind...... Proper hardy equipment built for longevity - stuff inherited from my mum and granny built in the 50's, 60's 70's to last!

Todays' donations are all  modern type things but am not complaining (- I do enjoy therapeutic cooking - doesn't always turn out how I want but I do enjoy the journey! ) Cake tins, pans, dishes and a deep fat fryer  to be used for special occasion chips!! I can make proper cakes now!!

(Later we christened the 'new to me goods' with cauliflower cheese  avec les bonuses- with added bacon, onions, carrots and broccoli and a few home made oven chips .............followed by pancakes for the Shroves of course)

We had some goods to donate to the Charity shop. - bits that no one needed. (That man had 7 frying pans -for example - I now have three and he has two) While donating  I found a find!!!!!!!!!!!! Brand new dark grey marks and spencer dress suit - for job interviews/course interviews for only £15 - the gods of finds and bargains hath blessed me. It is very 'boring' and only really good for interviews, funerals, serious work days. May be this is a sign of positive things to come...........hmmmm Will have to wait and see...............
 Can't afford it especially after the hike in bills but I really need to keep the good omens on my  side!!

Lots of  fabulous kitsch crockery and If I had the time and money to start a collection then........ahhhhhh sign. lol

Muchos lovos!


A new really useful frugalling site!

A new really useful frugalling site!!!
Chose the option to find alternative tel numbers to the 0870, 0845 numbers that you cannot ring from your mobile without being charged for them - IE they won't come out of your minute allowance.I am assuming this would also be useful for landlines that have free calls and only charge for certain tel numbers!!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Bills, Bills and More Bills..........

After a lovely weekend Monday heralds the arrival of Bills! Broadband and mobile have both gone over download limits and I have some call charges - extra tenner on broad band and seven quid on the mobile! I will investigate. Also service charge has increased for this year by  £10 and my electricity by £20. Ahhhhhhh that's an extra £47 to find this month!!!!  Am on track with shopping however and I will not compromise further as I have a child to feed who deserves decent food. £ 40 for our entire food, household stuff budget I feel is pretty reasonable.

I shall monitor the  electricity and give another reading in a month. I am incredibly frugal int his area. I only use one storage heater - living room and it will be turned off very soon.  I think it may have been the rotten winter we had. Last year I was away for three weeks and did work full time to I suppose less electricity used during the day. Though TV and PC really can't use that much for an additional two days. I am a bit flabbergasted re the increase by 33% effectively!!!!!!!!!

I have a download monitor now- I really don't get how I have gone over my limit as I don't download anymore as I have a BT Vision box. Also the mobile must be 08 numbers or something as I never use my limit!!! One shall investigate and analyse more tomorrow.

Plus side I went to the tip and got rid of the wood weighing down the car. I as late home framework so we had pizza for tea - They cost £1 each and we had 2.5 and a garlic baguette with cucumber and extra cheese.  Biggles collected the gorgeous one from nursery so we had tea together. I would have been completely stuck without him. On that note I need to really find a more compatible job with some integrity. The wages are barely acceptable and I have to travel lots even for three days so financially less money  may make sense in a strange kind of way. And I hate it.

Ho ho on with the totaling of pennies spent in the frugal notebook!

Friday, 4 March 2011

That Friday feeling!!! Enjoy the Weekend fellow frugallers!!

Another week comes to a close............ I took a fellow frugal bloggers advice and when popping into Morrison's for a single pepper stocked up on the pasta for 20p - got three times the amount I would have in Lidl. well ok 2.5 approx times as much their pasta was 49p a bag - same size bags. As I am away to Whippetland for Saturday I bought a few essentials that I will need at the start of the week as well and purchased the things I will need for next weeks shop that are cheapest in Morrison's - tuna, beans, salt, frozen pizza. I indulge in frozen pizza as a quick meal on Monday nights when I am typically later home form work and need to feed gorgeous one pronto before BBB time-  bath, bed, book. Have managed to go over my broad band limit and also mobile phone limit by ten pounds each. tut tut. I shall query the mobile and request itemised bills again. I need to know where this money is going. I have also downloaded a free download monitor. I really do not understand how I am going over my 10gb or whatever it is broadband limit. No unchecked broadband in the area - no talk talk or other cheap deals. One of the issues of rural frugaldom!

Am also pondering frugal driving. I typically go faster than 30mph as there are many country roads around me and the typical speed of traffic is 40mph+ I also drive on motorways a lot and so am doing 60-70 on a regular basis. To conserve I think I will have to decide to do so with rural frugaldom in mind - 40mph on country roads only and 70 max on motorways preferably 60mph.  And its better for the environment. I have however been driving with the boot full of wood for the dump. In my haste I filled the car in prep for the next visit to Alnwick and completely forgot about it! tut tut - the heavier the car the greater the effort the greater the fuel consumption!!!

I have popped my totals in my little monitoring book. £15 49 spent today. That leave only £25 max for food next week.

Enjoy the weekend fellow frugallers! Find lots of free, satisfying free things to do!!! I shall be charity window shopping and generally window shopping in Sheffield and seeking bargains in poundland and other cheapie home bargain shops!!

This weekend will cost me coffee for the driver which is cheap at half the price!!!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Ok I forgot....

Ha Forgot was filling the car up today! Was in the smoke - not the big smoke but a smoke with an ASDA and as such cheaper fuel - filled up and spent £43!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will see how long it lasts. Grrrrr Tea was grand - fish in batter from freezer with real chips and peas. Bought four portions on special offer for 1.99 we used three of them and three fishfingers - for 2.3 people of course!

I love the game of being frugal and saving money! Its a challenge and while I prefered it to be choice I can cope with circumstance.

A Quiet Thursday........

At the employment that lacks integrity today - not spending any money - no lunch required and straight home do not pass the charity shops do not pass go do not spend - You do not need anything and your money has other uses. (Well may be a small window shop)  Other than that shall be doing very little this evening - Telly and fish and chips- cheap fish portions from the freezer and home made chips!!! Chuck on a few peas. All good to go!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

NO spend Wednesday!!! Useless CAB

Not a penny did I spend today! The Roo and I have walked to the beach and back searching for snow drops. The Roo is also the  weeny girl, the beautiful one called Roo since a baby as she was so tiny she could fit in a pouch!  Glorious spring day - fresh, sunshiney and very mild despite the frost last night.  'OOOO Lovely drops' was all I could hear as we strolled back . I am very lucky to live in the country and have lovely walks on my door step. Few shots of our local beach found on the internert. Low Stead Links part of the heritage coastline, an area of outstanding natural beauty and looked after by the National Trust.

We had homemade soup and buffet bits ( bits of fruit, some ham,) bread for the weeny girl )for lunch. bread - home made of course- all very cheap and cheerful and tasty - Spicy lentil soup Mmmmm.  I am the soup dragon! I have inherited  skills at making a decent 'pot o' or 'pan o' soup from my mater who heralded from the Scotlandshire!  Many a night we would be fed a 'plate o soup'. Food that would stick to your ribs and keep the cold out. Pretty much any veg can become soup and taste bloody good. All left over veg, veg about to go off, past its best.. I stockpile it in the freezer till I have enough and then it  becomes soup.(Not keen on gazpacho however and salad never lasts in my house)

Am feeding  Biggles the Owl lover as well this week. he is on leave from work- its about the only thing I can do in return these days apart from the odd football fridge magnet or silly football badge (All coming in under the £2.00 rule - I don't like paying over this amount for anything £3 at a push for select items) He likes the silly football stuff depicting his team as supreme to a rival so it makes him do a smile. Ah bless.  So  its tuna and cheese baked potatoes with salad this evening - salad will be used up for fajitas on Thursday or Friday. We are away at the weekend to the land of whippets and flat caps and steel. Only for the night to see Mother Biggles but this means food - great food and a good natter while Biggles watches his beloved football team.  Roo is also off to visit her other family so we get a rest from each other.

Contacted the CAB today to find out about debt management options - They were useless. Offered  me a telephone interview/chat with debt adviser ( have already done this) or a Video link interview!!!!
IE Webcam. Said I would prefer to speak to someone in person and was told this was not possible. Person on the phone was ok - didn't really know alot about benefits and how they were awarded IE Working tax Credit and I had to explain it to her. She had no direct experience of it herself.... you could tell. It is a complete pain in the backside to apply for and goes off last tax years earnings not what you currently earn. So many people who do not get Working tax credit seem to think its a cure all for everything and that the government are paying out thousands each month  to individuals to enable them to ride around in flash cars, buy flat screen TV's etc Errrrr Not in this case.

In the end I have made an appointment with CAP not to be confused with CAB. CAP Christians against Poverty area reputable charity who help you to contact your creditors etc and intervene on your behalf so that you are not bullied into paying more than you can reasonably afford. They will visit you at home  to discuss your needs and situation which is very civilised better than a web cam.

Also got the spring/summer clothes out of storage today - floral and colour are back brightening up my wardrobe once again!  I still need to work on the sweeping -I find some domestics incredibly mind numbingly dull.

I have an interview for a PGCE   (Secondary Citizenship and Social sciences)sometime in April. Would be fabulous to get a place and  achieve QTS however that will open up a financial mine field! Thought I may have sold the sodding house by now post redundancy six months ago and house on market for 7 months.
But one step at a time - have arranged to  go into a school for a week and then see if I get accepted before I start to worry  or work on alternative plans!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Some frugal finds and some financial meanderings...

Ok couldn't resist! More clothes for the future - for the weeny beautiful one who has been unceremoniously put to bed due to bad behaviour. 99p for a dress!  Blue, floaty, embroidered bits also in blue - size 3yrs.
I actually spent 9.42 or something like that - She who shall not be named snuck in a cuddly puppy thing as well  which I thought was 99p but was actually a Ty baby thing and was £1.99 !!!!!!!!!!!!!however I didn't go over my two pound rule per item! two sweat shirts, one long cardigan, one fleecey jumper, one t shirt, one dress and a top for me! Cheapest was 59p most expensive 1.99. All to be put away (bar the dress) for next years play clothes ( ages 4-5).   We indulged in lunch out as well - Ok a large plate of chips, one juice, one coffee and a parking fee - all in all £5.20!!!! OMG OMG She enjoyed it however and felt very grown up.  And it was payday! Won't be happening again for a while!

We had jobs to do - financial ones - made an appointment to open a new bank account, gave in docs for council tax benefit, got CAB number - couldn't make appointment as was too late, emptied car of old wooden bits  that used to be a chest of drawers at the dump. ( Falling to pieces and nothing could be done with them) Good news on the council tax benefit - should be entitled to something taking my payments down next year to £45 per month. Am not relying on this till it happens and I hand in next months pay slip.   That could potentially be another £20 !!! To share between savings, creditors and car............ lol

Am waiting on electric company getting back to me re some readings - I like to monitor usage and make sure I am on track. Not a bad day - reasonably productive, also made enough shep pie for 2.3 people ( she is the .3) and enough for the freezer for 1.3 people.

I have a whole list of jobs for tomorrow as well! Joy of Joys! Then back to the horrid job on Thursday and Friday! 

Speak soonish! Keep penny pinching! Financial freedom is on the horizon .............its just that I keep walking backwards!