Monday, 22 April 2013

Whoo hoo £30

Yep got the email to say you will have £30 in your account. Thank you Money Supermarket.

And Thank You Bloggers re how to go about claiming. Esp Scarlet - many thanks for the explanation. I would be £30 down, it will go towards Small girls Christmas.

After a great weekend we are looking at a dull one! Biggles is off to America with work so he will be away next weekend. Small girl is off to the Y chromosome. Spose she has too eh!

leaves me on my todd. However I have a fun filled not at all fun filled weekend.

I will accomplish those terribly dull jobs one needs peace and quiet for,

1. Course work for the end of my PTTLS course. nearly finished and all gone well so far.
2. tax return for my mother
3. Cleaning - house Boo
4. Gardening - have a few bags for life I want filled with spuds and carrots and some ferns conifer things in pots that need replanting.
5. Ebay a few bits

May also drink wine and watch crap TV/films and stay away from the plethora of charity shops in Alnwick. I don't need anything!

The summer clothes may get an outing and into the wardrobe properly.

Have plenty grub this week and probably no need for shopping or only fresh stuff like milk and fruit.


Micro managing and a lack of initiative.

Just a grump really!

I have a small team of four people to manage as well as other agencies that come into where I work.
Anyway got held up this morning as I had to travel to one campus then get back to the other campus. Activities going on had not even been set up- not as if people did not know what to do. They were briefed but if I am not there to herd in the right direction no one uses initiative.

Bags put out but not opened. grrrr so annoying.  It doesn't take a lot and its not as if I havent got a well educated well qualified team. Just sometimes they mooch around in a bubble.

Oh well if I go it Italy someone elses problem.

And its bloody freezing in work - the heating was turned off and not put back on again in time for it not to be an icebox.  Shut over the weekend so it gets cold.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hints and tips for College based beauty and hairdressing bargains!

I partake of the developing skills of students training to be beauty therapists or hairdressers.

There are however a few things to bare in mind if you also choose to use college students.

At the beginning of the academic year ask for a level 3 student. A bit more expensive normally but still dirt cheap. They are quicker and a level 2 hair dressing qual is experienced enough and can be relied on for most simple cuts and colour. You can still go for level 2 students however they will take much much longer, Don't think you will be finished in a hour for a cut and blow dry.

Generally a college hair cut will take longer as the students will be methodical and go through all the steps. They will also have client record books to keep and will need to get their tutor to check progress at certain points.

By March - you level student is more than capable and will be a lot quicker at cutting your hair. At level 2 they are cheaper as well.

I pay £5 for level 3 and £3 for level 2 - If the level 2 does a grand job  towards the end of the year I normally just give them a fiver anyway. Much cheaper than £20 odd quid.

They will stick to lengths. If you say 1.5 inches that's what you will get. They want to pass and not make a cock up.

Tutors check with you directly as to what you want exactly and also check instructions/requests written in the students client book.

Its pretty much the same for L3/L2 beauty therapy students. Some treatments will only be carried out by a L3 and others by L2. They are more capable towards the end of the academic year.

Remember colleges do not operate over school holidays and typically will start summer at the end of June not the end of July. Also not open Saturdays.

For all cut and blow drys or trims I am off to college.  I dye my own hair from the comfort of my own home for £1 so am fine on that point.

Eye brow shaping,  leg wax, massage, etc all good and for a minuscule price at a beauty therapy spa at a college.

Typically - Students start at level 1= 1yr, then go onto level 2 = 1 yr and then level 3 = 1yr
Sometimes they may combine beauty and hair at level 3 which takes 2 yrS.

Recently featured on Super Scrimpers!



Frugal things this week.....

Yellow stickers for stewing steak enough for me and small girl for small tea this week - 55p

College Hairdressing Salon haircut - £3.00

National trust free day at Cragside with small girl and two other children. Great day- we took packet lunches and picnics. We were there from 10-5pm. We then popped to Rothbury for an ice cream and a drink. I don't mind supporting rural tea rooms every so often. Only fair as they rely on tourist trade. Independent of course- not a Costa or other type- just won't do it.

Extra meals- cooked extra noodles on Friday. and flavoured them by using the last remnants of veg, some soy sauce and wiping round the wok! Got the last bits of goodness and flavour. Now frozen for lunches for next week.

Sundays Chicken roast dinner - we now buy bags of chicken legs and bags of chicken breasts. One large chicken breast and one leg will feed the three off us easily. Biggles still gets some chicken skin and feels like it s a proper roast. A chicken a week would leave me with a lot of left over chicken - even the small ones!  Cats would be fat and my freezer bursting! We eat a lot of chicken breast in stir frys, curries etc etc so this works for us.

Healthy scrambled egg - made three eggs stretch to three of us for breakfast - goodly portions of scrambled egg and three slices of eggy bread for Small girl.  Defrosted my saved egg whites and added them to three eggs. Egg whites were saved from recipes using egg yolk only! Seemed a waste to drop all that protein down the sink plug hole!

Grated some cheese near its best before date and froze it working really well!
Will def do this with cheese in the future- excellent for putting on pizzas, defrosts in no time at all.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

30 ways to save a pound

Well I might not get to 30 but here goes and I am not claiming the £30 lol

Just for fun!

1. Make up your own cleaning spray using an old spray bottle. Dilute cleaner, bleach etc with some washing up liquid and bobs your uncle!

2. Use the pound shop hair dye - it costs a £1 and is just as good as the expensive ones 1

3. Double curtain and use draft excluders- save on heat

4. I cook extra pasta or rice just enough for a lunch portion when making Curry's or pasta sauces. The extra pasta gets chucked in the pan with the dregs of the sauce and maybe some frozen veg, heated through then frozen for quick lunches to take to work

5. Freecycle! If you wait long enough it shall come to thee and there is hardly anything I am desperate for!

6. Who needs pyjamas- I recycle old T shirts a bit past their best as night wear

7. Old clothes can be cut up into cleaning cloths. Dead easy to sew round the edges if you have a sewing machine. T shirts or polo shirts work well I find!

8. Buy a foot measure for kids feet and then buy your Clark's shoes from Ebay! Saves loads! I never pay anymore than £20 for good quality kids shoes that fit just as well as the ones bought from the stores.

9. Check your super market prices and buy certain items at different shops. You can get phone apps to check prices, Phone apps are free! Only works on smart phones or iphones of course

10. Make your own Christmas cards- you can do this on line using publisher and customise them with festive pics of the family . Email them to people and its up to them if they want to print them off or not!

11. Turn beach detritus into works of art, pebbles, drift wood, shells cost nothing! If you have kids this is cheap and fun.

12. Keep an eye on national trust website for free weekends. If like me you live somewhere so pretty that you can't justify joining then you still get to go but save loads.

13. Bulk out food - stews etc with a grated carrot, oats etc etc Grated carrot is cheap and easily disguised especially in mince dishes!

14. Mini oven - god send and beats utilities prices. Heat up a much smaller space. Can be bought very cheaply or acquired via freecycle

15. Freecycle your stuff instead of going to the tip. Save money on petrol.

16. Cinema trips - most will have a cheap day! Check out when online! Tuesdays are half price. Great if you have kids and you can still go but save a fortune!

17. Cinema again - popcorn is great but make your own at home and take it with you.

18. Packed lunches- instead of using cling film to wrap sandwiches use a sandwich box- spend a little so save alot over time. Same with drinks- squash in a drinks bottle is cheaper than cartons. Alot of day care places do not like fizzy drinks as they make a right mess.

19. Make your own cakes and biscuits for packed lunches for kids or if you are buying value take the wrapper off. No one will know the difference.

20. If a recipe calls for yolk but not whites save the whites by freezing them. Defrost to make merangues or add to a full egg to bulk out when making healthy omelette's or scrambled egg

21. Buy yellow stickered bread and freeze. Toasters do not care and toast tastes the same. If you are toasting use the cheap bread. Sandwiches are different I think and taste better fresher.

22. Sell bundles of clothes on Ebay if they won't sell individually.

23. Check petrol prices and fill up where its cheap. Living in the country sometimes it works out cheaper to travel and fill your tank than pay £1.59 per litre for diesel, get your shopping at the same time at a large supermarket. Forward planning saves money.

24. Halloween - save the string bags you get fruit in - tack  them together to make spider webs

24. Collect green bits and bobs - evergreen of course from wasteland to make your Christmas wreath. Rustic and free and highly original

25. Make Christmas tree decorations from old Christmas cards or make gift tags. A pair of crimping shears works wonders as does a bit of glitter. Keeps kids busy as well  and quiet....

26. If you do Christmas in a big way buy your wrapping paper and cards for the next Christmas in January and put them with your decorations. mark on your calendar that you have bought them in case you forget, This serves as a reminder.

27. Drive steadily. Saves on petrol and wear and tear on your car.

28. Party invites are available on line for nothing - saves money and time writing them out.  Use a colour printer if you want to be flash or if b/w make an invite that little kids can colour in.

29. Save paper for drawing and scribbling only.  Most kids love to draw. Save letters that are blank on one side and flatten between books.

30. Recycle envelopes. Easy to do if you have stickers or sellotape. Especially big ones that you use infrequently

31. Save margarine tubs and ice cream tubs for freezing left overs.

32. Freeze. So much stuff can be frozen especially if it will end up in a stew or a fruit pie. Brambles, apples, rhubarb,carrots, broccoli stalks taste just fine in a veg soup.

Bargain basement- got two extra!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A fond farewell...................and everybody is at it!

I don't think so. Yes you know of whom I speak. Also I completely disagree about paying for her funeral. Didn't agree with the Royal wedding either so there and that prob boosted the economy and tourism.

Yes yes  Arthur Scargill and the unions and industry needed an overhaul but not to that extent. Decimating communities, soup kitchens in the Durham coal fields, unemployment rising astrononimcally.Privatising national industry  including utilities ( now I am paying profits to share holders so I can heat my house), not building social housing stock so now my taxes go to greedy landlords to house the poor who are on council housing waiting lists. I remember the recession in the late 80s, I remember the poll tax and I remember interest rates going ballistic and home repossessed when the yuppie bubble burst. We had tea with Pol Pott who was not such a bad chap non??? Pinochet on our Christmas card list?? Why yes!!!!  Lets keep Germany separate - no to bringing down the wall!!!
Buy your council house, start your own business- make the loans available.... then boom and bust.

Gordon Brown adn labour spend all the money.  There were two wars we financed ( Afghanistan and Iraq- don't come cheap) and the banks and a global crisis. Gordon brown is still well respected by economists for his decision to bail out the banks. FTSE drop in 2008 not been seen since hmmm 1987 in the time of Thatcher.

But its all yay broke the miners, The Falklands... which if diplomacy was her string point by expert opinions conflict could have been avoided. Wonder if Cameloon will try some heavy handed tactics to win the next gen election ... hmmm

Nough Said.

Some young peeps who were born in the 80's fall for the same political crap now, that the Tory party spewed forth then.  The 80's yuppies have left their materialistic legacy.

We shall refer to her as the fair haired one. The faired haired one at work. TFHOAW is a supported of the right. We discussed the benefits situation. Yes I agree its not right to de fraud the system. However the poor are being demonised. The deficit is not solely their fault. Nor can the blame be laid with the welfare budget 50%+ of which goes to pensioners in one way or another -winter fuel payments, bus passes etc etc those who have not worked for long enough have their pensions topped up etc etc. Any means testing here????

We came to an agreement that de frauding the system into which we all pay our taxes is wrong. Paying your tax is good. I then asked if her partner paid tax on the work he does outside of his normal job- employment where he is taxed by the usual method. No this is cash in hand says she. I said that this in effect was also defrauding the system... .IE should be taxed....and if this money was to be taken as their income then they may not qualify for child benefit or child tax credit, or child care element of working tax credit. Who is also defrauding the system??? If we are going to demonise all benefit recipients then this should include those who receive child benefit. It is now means tested.We should include those who receive Child tax credit etc. They need to be checked for fraud as well.

Fraud is fraud is it not???? Not so happy now. Sorry but had to point it out. Creative accounting etc etc cash in hand etc If you work and receive your tax allowance from your main job then its tax on everything else isn't it???? And what do they spend this on??? Materialistic tat!

If people work overtime they are taxed and what they declare they earn on P60's is taken into account or child tax credit payments the following year.


Are we still using coal........???? Where do they buy it from???????:-)


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Daily Mail and Precariat status!

Every time I see that rag I fume more and more.

As a benefits claimant - yes that's child tax credit and child care element of working tax credit I am insulted by the accusations of the hate rag. I cannot even begin to comment on their horrid claims that the Philpott bloke is an example of welfare Britain!

How dare they use this tragic tale to further their diatribe against the welfare state. AN Wilson- I have no words to describe your vileness.

People are falling for this moral panic!  Good sense will tell most people that there are some frauds and cheats who work the system. This is wrong. There are many more who get paid a pish wage and to raise a family and  work require support from the state either in payment or in the provision of social housing.  Those such as I would be royally fucked without child care assistance and would be claiming a lot more and paying nothing back in, not paying a pension and not paying national insurance.

Where are the what welfare enables people to do stories???? There are many out there frugalling away making their pennies stretch. What are the figures for the long term unemployed? Overall how many are in this category? Not as many as those who are temporarily unemployed and move back into work. I would hazard a bet that its more fluid than the cretins of the Daily Mail and their non thinking readership would have us believe!

There but for the grace of god!  Stock markets can falter and pension investments can be wiped out and house prices descend to negative equity.....

Our new class system!

Apparently I am a precariat. New social status - The lowest of the low if you go in for all that crap. The new social class takes account of your cultural and economical capital and social preferences/connections.

WTF Precariat means I really don't know.Apparently something to do with having a precarious lifestyle! Its below Marx's proletariat clearly! Working class people now own property. So not me then! If I work the answers and use preferences to reply rather than what I actually can afford to do socially then I become an emergent worker... Again WTF????

I am not emergent. I have been at the working game for a long time.  I am not young.

If you want to take the test its here! As social scientists I am sure they have a well though out methodology and rationale. Ok society ain't what it used to be  - see the two Ronnies and John Cleese clip from the 60's, 70's - upper, middle and working class nice and easy distinctions but I don't know enough to comment as to whether this new structure is the best description . Interesting bits are the percentages for each new tier I suppose.

Life's looser that's me - I shall shout it from the roof tops to all Daily Mail readers and Tory voters and doff my cap and catch crumbs from their lordships tables....  yellow stickered grub that no bugger else wants approved foods etc ! Technically the waste that I am truly  thankful for!

Yes my life is precarious!  If I crash my car tomorrow it will be a disaster, If my fridge breaks down it will take a chunk out of my meagre savings. New furniture is not an option. Yellow stickers are my staple. Second hand clothes make up my entire wardrobe. Foreign holidays not in my league. I am not the only one. There are plenty of us out there, More than the moralisers think. Charity shops and 'vintage' has never been more popular. Free cycle and skip diving - more and more competition!

Daily Mail readers have an open invite to walk a mile in my shoes with my finances but be warned I do not shop at Waitrose or M & S not sleep between Egyptian cotton sheets not use the central heating.

My washing liquid is nearing its end. I bought in bulk last time from AppFood lets see if some Daily mail reader can find me as good a deal or maybe I shall set them to work making me some washing liquid??? Just because its good.

NB. I treat my finances separately to that of Biggles who is apparently in a much high class than me. He is slumming it with precariat me!