Monday, 30 September 2013

Welcome to October.

Well September was a complete write off, I had to pinch money from my savings to pay my credit card off and then again to bail a friend out. So savings are down.

However going into October I'm not in a great position either I'm afraid, and to top it off i'm now looking at mortgages! So watch this space for news on that.

Going in I have £750 on my creditcard before I even start,so all spare pennies will be diverted there.Thankfully I've been paying enough to not have any interest however it means I've been using it to live so having to do the same next month, however this months payment is nearly half last months so i must be doing something right.

Gym will be canceled however this won't take effect until the end of next month. As we may be moving it takes longer to cancel it than reinstate it.

Personal training will be stopped after this week.

Food budget is slashed to £100 and the actual aim is £50.

I will list some stuff on ebay.

I have some broken jewelry to go to cash for gold.

I will keep desil costs to a minimum, however we will spend more if we start viewing houses.

I will save any spare pound coins or 50p's I have in a sealed tin, only to be opened when full. this will hopefully pay next years fuel bill.

I will not use the drier unless I have to (and it broke again so I can't, I need to phone and sort that)

and lastly I will think all purchases out properly, if its not food or desil it's not needed.

By the end of this month I'm hoping to have my creditcard sorted (forever) and maybe even have found a house to buy.

In good news £200 added to my savings today :)

Monday, 16 September 2013

I'm still here...

Sorry for the lack of posting I've been so busy. Someones coming to fix my drier on Friday. Kids are all in school till lunchtime now.

Tomorrow someones coming to clean my mat aswell. Now i got this mat for free the price is still on the back of it at £495!! now I have a Vax and 2 arms and some elbows that can produce grease. However this is a heavy shag pile mat in cream! it's very grubby looking and i'm worried if i try to clean it it will never dry and the last thing i want is a musty smell. So £10 spent tomorrow i couldn't replace it with anything similar for that. I might post some before and after pictures if I remember to take any.

Now I want to talk about eBay. I love eBay and i know lots of people don't and i'm not keen as a seller, I'd much rather sell locally buy as a buyer it's fab. I have lots of cheap china jewelry that only cost me £1. i buy cheap bundles of clothes and sometimes if i can find anything local furniture aswell .But today i was buying something I needed. This.....

This is part of my potbelly stove it seals the flue. When i bought it last year I went round about 6 shops before i finally found one and it cost me £5 for the wee tiny bit you see cut. I have bought that whole sheet for £4 and it will do us 3 years as we will get 6 out of it.

I bought a Vax floor steamer on offer a few weeks back and when I have some money I will buy 3 new cloths for the price of 1.

I have a Henry hoover, to buy hoover bags in the local hardware shop is £6 for 10, I can get 20 for that off eBay.

You can also buy branded crushed laundry and dishwasher powders off eBay for pennies. sadly as i'm in Northern Ireland postage is always too high for me.

It's always worth checking eBay for things you don't need straight away as you may find them cheaper.

My winter coat this year will come from eBay and will cost less than £15. I will be ordering it soon as it will be coming from china. Charity shops around here would charge you the same for a 2nd hand coat.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

It never rains but it pours!

Got up this morning and went to get the kids uniform from the drier and it was soaking! i thought maybe i hadn't switched it on, well i had the damn things broken! Thankfully i have insurance on it but it's unlikely to be fixed before the end of next week :(

Now I have the problem that the weathers awful and i only have 2 sets of uniform for my youngest. I could go to tesco and spend £5 on another set to help but there unlikely to have any stock. If i order it online i may find that it's fixed before it even arrives...I'm really unsure what to do :(

keep your fingers crossed I get warm weather, I'm going to iron tomorrows uniform dryish now and hope it's ok in the morning. I was standing ironing uniform dry at half 8 this morning and we ended up very late for school :(

Just a wee note the insurance on my drier is £76.68 a year so only £6.39 a month. I have a rather fancy drier and it's given me nothing but issues. without this unsurance i would have had to replace it twins by now and it's only 3 years old!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Had a small bump and now I'm £150 down :(

Bumped my car yesterday, thankfully only into brother in laws car and there's no damage to his. However it's going to cost me £150 to get it sprayed.

How it's only a bad scratch it doesn't NEED fixed however i did have a bump in my old car and ended up driving around for 2 years in a white car with a blue door. So hubby is insisting we keep this one good, and lets face it if we put it off and don't do it right now we'll never actually do it.

It is however £150 from my savings which makes me sad :(

I'm feeling slightly better today, spent all morning in bed then had a nice hot bath. I'm off to the gym in the morning so that should hopefully make me feel much better.

Oh and that gammon I pulled out of my freezer was pork so made Pulled pork. This is from the lovely Elaine over at Mortgage Free in Three I use alot of her recipes her blogs a great read if you have a few hours spare.

Thats it for me today, it's abit nippy so I suspect and early night watching a film in bed. Hope your all well.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Monday, 9 September 2013

Stuck at home all day :(

I woke up to a sickly boy today so it's a day at home, lots of ironing to catch up on! but I am abit gutted i'm missing the gym. Anyway he's tucked up in bed watching a dvd.

I usually go shopping on a monday, now my shopping list for this week is pretty small-bread, milk, ham, salad items, frozen veg. So thats out so i went freezer shopping instead.

Spag bol is in the slowcooker

This will make a good 8 dinners worth for the kids (my slowcooker is massive you can fit 2 small chickens in it)

750g Value mince £2.85
2 packets of soup veg bought fresh reduced and frozen 20p
frozen peppers 30p
2 passata £1.28

total cost £4.68 which is just 19p a portion. I will serve this with value dried spagetti this is a fav meal for our kids and packed full of veggies.

So basically you just throw it all in the slowcooker, half refill the passata jars with water, shake and throw that in aswell so rinse the jar and to add water. cook on low for 6rs.

Remeber this? well i lifted the last 1/3 of it out to cook and use in sandwiches this week aswell.

I also found a packet of pancakes which will do for the none sick kids break at school.

Thats about it i do have some frozen veg and i'll get hubby to grab milk. It's amazing what you can find in your freezer.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

value stew.

We've all seen those tons of value stew right. They cost 49p each, as a dinner we'd need one each for the kids and 1 1/2 for me and hubby (we like our stew) so that would cost £3 for 12% mutton and lots of odd extras. So I make my own it's much nicer anyway :)

Meat £1.20 (half a pack I've used less than this in stew before.The rest is frozen for beef casarole)
potatoes 70p (again half the bag)
onion 10p
carrots 30p (i used 1/3 bag)
gravy 20p
seasoning 10p

Total cost £2.60 so not cheaper at all when you take into account extra cooking, but hubby had seconds and we still had a portion left for lunch.

*these are all tesco value items except for the gravy and seasonings.

Slice it all up and pop it in a pan cover with water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for an hour. Once done stir in gravy to thicken it up. When dicing if you like a mushy gravy like me dice some of your carrots and potatoes really small.

This works great with no meat as I found out once when I forgot to add it!

This also cooks great in the slowcooker but you don't get the nice mushyness I like.

You can make this with tinned potatoes if you like.

I forgot to take any after picture but I'll add one in next time i make stew. Given the recent weather I'd say that will be pretty soon.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Not much happening here.

Hubby did a sponsored cycle this morning. So I've just stayed at home and cleaned.

Off to an 80th birthday party at 5 so no dinner needed. gift was on offer and i got my mums discount on it.

It's so cold I've given in and lit my fire! I'll keep it just lit and not roaring to save coal as we don't have much left.

Thats it from me today told you there wasn't much happening.

Friday, 6 September 2013

A whole chicken

Hi all this is a post for Jen over at Stretching the pennies to save the pounds who wanted to know how to cook a chicken well I had this in my freezer.

Which i paid £1.60 for :)

First of pop it on the scales, this says it's 1.37kg it's actually over 1.6kg

As a general rule you cook for 40mins for every 1kg and then an extra 20mins, I rounded mine up to 2 hrs.

Mine already has seasoning but if your cooking a fresh one i like to add the following to a bowl and rub it on (after washing)

teaspoon on veg oil/sunflower oil
sprinkle of paprika,.
garlic salt,
mixed herbs.

Next you wrap in tin foil adding half a cup of water to the bottom, make sure not to wrap it too tight while also making sure the juices/water stays in. And pop in a preheated oven at 180.

20mins before it's done open the tin foil and fold down the sides so the liquid stays in but so the skin can crisp. We don't eat the skin and I don't make stock* so the skin is no use to me so i didn't bother.

You know your chickens done when the juices run clear.

Use the stock to make gravy.

*We don't like proper chicken stock I've tried it a few times with no success so it's really not worth the effort or cost in making it for it to go in the bin.

This chicken will feed 5 for dinner tonight and i will pick the carcass clean and it will do lunch tomorrow for sandwiches and whats left will go into a pasta bake the kids tea tomorrow. Not bad for £1.60

You can cook chicken in the slowcooker, pop it in with a small amount of water on low for 6hrs and off you go :)

I hope this was a help Jen and everyone else. Personally i find chicken breast better value but then I have access to good quality reasonably priced ones. If i was just eating supeermarket ones i'd go for a whole chicken every time.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Look what I found!


Now this pudding rice has moved house with me, I'm pretty sure I bought it to up a spend so I could use a voucher. Most of the best before date on it has rubbed off all i can make out is the 2012 now rice keeps for ages so that gives you an idea of how old this is. This post is more a method than a recipe as you don't need a recipe.

Pudding rice (I have no clue how much this actually cost i can't even find it on tesco site)
ground cinnamon
skimmed milk powder

I used half the packet of rice. pour it into the slowcooker, and cover with around 4pints of made up milk powder. add a sprinkle of cinnamon. Turn on low and leave for 4hrs.

We all know what rice pudding looks like. If yours looks like this don't leave it in the slowcooker as it will start to burn.

Mines all portioned up ready for puddings. Not including the rice as most people would bin it this cost around 30p. You can buy tins of rice pudding for cheaper but this is good if you want to know whats in your food or use things up or maybe you just can't get out to the shops.You can make this with value rice that costs 40p a bag I have done before but you need to give it a good rinse in warm water first and add extra milk.

You can add brown sugar if you like, skimmed milk powder has sugar in to it so i really didn't want to add more and it didn't need any.

You can make this with normal fresh milk, condensed milk, or even uht.

If you don't like cinnamon i would suggest adding sugar or using a full fat milk to make it creamy.

This is a prefectly acceptable lunchbox idea

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Homemade mini pizzas.

When I was little I used to love those pizza finger thing, but they have been discontinued I think and aswell as that were very expensive a good offer on them would be £1 for 8-10 fingers!

So now I'm making my own version.

Flour 250g-I use self raising for eveything. =8p
oil 1 table spoon (you can use any fat, if using a hard fat i do half the amount of fat to flour so 100g you can use more or less) 10p
yeast- 8p
passata (I used under half a jar) 34p
cheese (I used 1/3 bag, normally i use value grated so even better value) 50p
salt 1p
dried herbs (i added these on a whim you don't need them) 3p

Total cost £114, this made 36 so 3p each, 4 is more than enough for lunch.

Add 200g flour to a large bowl, add salt and yeast (and herbs if using any), mix, make a well, add oil, mix, add warm water until you get a dough like consistancy, I do this by eye so I'm no help but I used a small mug. it should form a ball and your bowl should be pretty clean. your dough should be sticky but not so much as it leaves lumps behind when you handle it.This is mine

Leave it somewhere warm with a towel over it for around 30mins-half an hr (I collected the child from nursery)

When you come back knock it down(just knock the air out of it but kneading), you can allow to rise again but I didn't.

Flour your bench/board and oven trays and turn you oven on to 180.

Turn your dough onto the bench, cut into 2 for ease. roll nice and thin if you like crispy bases like us. If you prefer deep pan style pizzas you will get less pizzas aswell. Cut to size, I used a pasty cutter you can use anything you like, a small glass would work well, or you can form into small balls and just push them down on the tray. Make sure to flour you bench well as a few of mine got stuck, keep going until you run out of dough.If your having a deep pan style you need to bake the bases slightly before you add the toppings so pop into the oven now for 10-15mins until it feels slightly hard when you press on it.

Add passata you don't need much, mine has less than  half a teaspoon on each, spead it with the back of your spoon, add a tiny bit of cheese

Trust me this is plenty of cheese!

Then it's as simple as straight in then oven 7-10mins will he do it depending on the size of your pizza.

Told you it was enough cheese :)

Value cheese and passata would make this alot cheaper at just 63p for the whole lot!

Add sweetcorn, mushrooms and peppers to make it more healthy.

Making a pasta style sauce with hidden veggies and using it in place of the passata is a great way to sneak some veggies into your kids.

You will always have leftover dough unless your rolling it into balls, add abit of cheese to this and some passata mix it well in your hands and cook it for a mini dough ball :)

These are yummy cold aswell so can be popped into lunch boxes.

To freeze simply open freeze on a tray and not in a bag, when frozen pop off the tray and into a bag that way they won't stick together, these freeze great if they last long enough.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Slowcooker sausage casserole

HI everyone as you all know i love my slowcooker. Today i'm making sausage casserole.

8 sausages- 40p (these are the frozen iceland ones at 40 for £2 these are great for sausage casserole but not for much else)
carrots-20p (these are the carrots i cooked a few days ago)
passtata 29p (mine cost 68p but just showing you my normal costings)
spices 20p- i used paprika aswell as the pictured spices pinch of everything.

Total cost £1.09, this will do the kids 2 dinners so 6 portions 19p, I will serve it with the cabbage I frozen 2p and a tin of potatoes at 13p with a knob of butter 5p- Dinner for the 3 kids will cost 26p each and include 3 portions of veg (passata, carrots and cabbage) you could throw in a tin of kidney beans or washed baked beans aswell if you have any.

Cut sausages length ways and in 4's (so you get 8 pieces per sausage) this is easier slightly frozen, then throw them and everything else in the slowcooker, 3/4 fill the jar of passata to rinse it out and pour that in aswell. Cook on high for 2 hrs or low for 6hrs. Don't open it or poke it too much trust me it's fine.

Sometimes the packet mix is cheaper when you take into account the cost of passata ect but I don't have any and I did have all this. If we were all eating this i would have added an onion but as the kids leave them on the plate it didn't seem worth it.

Lots of people brown meat before slowcookering. i clearly don't :)

Oh the spends from i bought 2 litres of milk and 4 tins of potatoes and 2 tins of tinned spag bol as i noticed it's down to 15p and is a good back up dinner for the kids :)

Monday, 2 September 2013

First day of small spends september

Hi all just a quick update. Went shopping today. Only bought dog food, bread and milk as planned :) Paid off some of my creditcard and £200 went into the savings :)

See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Small Spends September

Hi everyone setting myself a small challenge your all welcome to join in if you like.

In Septemeber i will..

Go whoospie shopping once a week.

Not eat out except for the girly night out planned at the end of the month.

Use up as much food in my freezer as possible (look out for some strange recipe posts)

Keep my weekly spends under £80- £30 desil, £14 to school and £20 personal training leaves £16 for food.

Keep my food spends as low as possible. hopefully whoospie shopping will help if not the freezer and cupboard will.

List 5 items a week on ebay or local selling pages, 99p is better than nothing.

Do a small batch cook every week with dinners for the kids, week 1 spag bol, week 2 stew, week 3 sheperds pie, week 4 potatoe bake, week 5 sausage casarole and so on.

Go shopping with a list every week and stick to it unless it's a very reduced item.

Take a bottle of water with me everywhere i go and aim to drink 4 bottles a day, my bottle holds a litre.

Go for a walk every Sunday afternoon with the kids and possibly the dogs providing it's not pouring down (we have no tow bar on our new car so not sure how that would work)

Make as few trips to town as possible, kids are back to school, and we go in to the gym so hoping my desil costs won't go up too much.

Keep a running total of all moneys spent and all extra moneys earners from selling stuff (I've already sold £37.50 worth of stuff)

Post of my blog everyday, even if it's just to say hello and let you all know i haven't fallen off the savings wagon.


Wish me luck i'll be back here at the end of the month to let you all know how i got on.