Thursday, October 17, 2019

Trying really hard



I have been very good as far as shopping has been concerned this week, I am determined to use up whats in the cupboards and freezer, this is what bought today.

I still have fruit, salad and some veg, I needed milk, the spinach and the mushrooms I needed for a recipe and I love spinach in my smoothies.  I wasn't going to leave a bag carrots for 25p on the shelf.

There were a few more items on my till receipt but that was because I am picking up a few extras for our son for Christmas, but that doesn't really count in my use it up challenge.




I did spot one good bargain on the toiletries side.

Soaps on the clearance shelf for 35p for a 4 pack.
Too good a bargain to leave and will save money in the long run.

I do pick up nice chemical free, cruelty free soaps now at the car boot when I see them as I am trying to go down the more organic and natural products route, but this is a difficult one when you are trying to save money as these things cost more. So for the time being it has to be about saving the pennies, I can make the desired changes I want to make when we own the four walls around us.

So as well as everday washing, when the hand wash by the sink runs out we shall use these instead of buying more hand wash.

Every penny really does count.

£2.45 for 28 bars of soap.



So a really low spend this week. Very pleased with myself.

We have our fingers crossed that the weather as predicted stays fine on Sunday, so we can sell at the car boot.
We have had a real think about whats important and whats not and we would rather have a small simple life in our own modest home, we have been talking a lot this week about different options, one thing for sure is "stuff" isn't really important. So even though we have been decluttering all year, much more of what we own will be going.

There is only one thing that's important now, and the is the need to slow down and simplify.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Autumn Walk & Seasonal Sideboard


This morning as soon as I was up I decided I was going for a walk, I am happiest outside in the fresh air, whether its out for a walk or being in the garden.

We live on the outskirts of a large town, but there is still beauty and nature everywhere if you take time to look.

I walked for an hour and 20 mins altogether, it didn't feel like that, time flies by when you are enjoying yourself.

Love walking amongst the trees.





Clumps of fungi everywhere in the damp grass.





All was quiet at the allotments.








Look at the size of this leaf.








Beautiful colours.





 I discovered an area with sloes, might go back and pick some tomorrow.





When I got home I thought I would make the sideboard look a bit more seasonal.







My angel never moves from the sideboard as she weighs a ton.


As it was a beautiful day much of the afternoon was spent in the garden, hopefully I might sleep tonight with all the fresh air I have had today. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Getting the balance right and fate.


Thankyou to everyone who takes the time to comment here and to all the encouraging comments on the last couple of posts.

Now as normal I get anonymous comments and also because I have a contact form emails from people who don't usually comment. I don't really publish these comments now unless the person is nice and seems genuine to me and also puts a name to themselves.

This is a personal blog but some of the comments and messages from yesterday (not published) I deleted, because frankly they were to damn nosey!  One suggested it would be a good idea to show our income and expenditure every month and break down the costs so everyone could see where money gets spent or saved. Another said can you write a little more about earning money and bringing extra income in. Well my answer is NO I BLOODY CAN'T, next you'll be wanting a look at my bank statement! 


Right got that off my chest.........

To be honest with you all, at the end of the day we could move tomorrow if we wanted to, we have the funds to buy a teeny tiny property if we wish, but at the end of the day it has to be right and in a nice area, and we can't be doing with moving here there and everywhere, we have moved 4 times in 10 years, we need roots.

So we shall plod on like we have been and stick with the plan of hopefully house hunting next year and be settled for this time next year.

I was thinking about the lovely Sadies comment on the "Reality Check" post.

She says...

You'll do it Marlene, I have no doubt of that. Something I will say about you is you seem to have the right balance. You cut corners where you can so you can strive for your goal, but you still live a good life and treat yourself when you want to too. x


She's right it is all about balance. 

John and myself had a long lengthy discussion whilst having breakfast in bed this morning at the end of the day we are going to carry on what we are doing, but at the end of the day it is not going to turn into a crazy obsession, which for me it has/had become.

We shouldn't deny ourself a treat or a day out if we wish, it's all got to be about moderation and balance.

I am also a great believer in fate, things happen in life for a reason and when they are ready to, no point in forcing it.

















Sunday, October 13, 2019

Saving Money on Sunday


We are really determined to crack on with this money saving.

The heating wasn't put on this morning, it's not that cold here at the moment, we are both wrapped up warm. We would never go without heat thats just silly but when it's cold it is set at a certain temperature, we can always put warmer clothes on and snuggle up under throws in the evenings.

It started off raining today but that doesn't mean I can't do any washing, at the side of the bungalow is an area where we park the car, John put up some line across the top so I can hang some washing even when the car is in there. The line is at both ends and its quite high up so doesn't dangle on the car.

So now whatever the weather the washing can go out, and the breeze gets under there,  even if it only half dries in the colder months that's something, I can finish it off on the airer in the spare room. We do have a dryer which only gets used a little when we have those days where the washing doesn't dry a bit, it mainly gets used for towels and sheets.




We always drink fruit and herbal teas in the morning, instead of reaching for the tea bags I picked some lemon balm from the garden and then added a few slices of lemon.



Makes a cheap and refreshing brew.




For breakfast there were bananas which needed using up so we had them with some small pancakes for a weekend treat breakfast.




This morning the slow cooker came out.

The slow cooker is going to be used much more, and also more cook once eat twice and batch cooking will be done to save electricity.

Did you know you can run a slow cooker for 6-8 hours and it will cost a third of the price of running your main cooker for an hour.

I filled it up with beef stew this morning.



I usually make dumplings but I had a pack of mix in the cupboard.



There will be plenty of stew for today and extras for tomorrow.


As far as groceries are concerned I am not going to get tempted by the bargains and use up what we have first, the freezer is stuffed, infact I can't squeeze anything else in and the cupboards are pretty much the same, I go through stages where I seem to buy lots and then start using it up before I go bargain hunting again. We have enough really to keep us going for around 2 months I reckon. So the only thing I will buy is fresh fruit, veg and salad, and dairy when it's needed.

I shall write about what I spend and what we eat if anyone is interested.

We have a new found determination, and are really going to work hard at it.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Reality Check!



Time to be realistic, this time next year we WILL be in a new home or in the process of making a purchase.

It's obvious the less spent and the more saved will be a big factor on what we can afford. The months are seem to me to be going by really quickly. I have let things slide on the spending and saving side of things, I'm not perfect, only human. 

This time of year is expensive to us all with Christmas coming. This year we are only giving presents to our son and his partner, and just one very small gift to each other, in previous years we have spent rather a lot. It is going to be a really simple Christmas this year compared to past years.

Also it is that time of year when fuel bills are higher, with using extra gas for heating and lights being on more. So we will be trying to spend as little as possible on all bills.

So apart from the small expense of Christmas, it really is time to scrimp and save and be frugal and thrifty. So when I am out and about the purse has to stay shut. 

I have to keep one image in my head to stay motivated.




We are both really ready now to slow down and have a really simple life, so hard work and determination on this last hurdle should hopefully see us get that by this time next year.

So it will be back to more posts about being thrifty here for a bit as I probably won't have much more to write about.






Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Money Saving at the Market



Today we were up bright and early and set off to the local Wednesday  market. 

Today's shopping..........

4 Pomegranates for £1

The chickens love them it's one of their favourite treats, I went to buy one up Asda the other day and they were £1.25 each so I left it, I see they are selling them on offer now with 45% off so they are 69p each at the moment. But mine cost 25p each.

The skins didn't look brilliant but inside they were fine.
I gave one to the chickens and they approved.






3 Pineapple's for £1.

In the supermarket they are usually about £1 each.


These huge Pears cost £1.


The one on the left is a supermarket one, look at the size difference.
The ones I bought had just been picked this morning from a local orchard.


10 Lemons for £1


4 Sweetcorn for £1, some for us and some for the Chickens.


Cauliflower for £1.

I bought one the other day from the supermarket for a £1 but it was small in comparison to this one.


There were huge trays of Satsumas so I had one of those, these were put into a really big bag, you cannot really see how many are in there but I counted them when I got back and was shocked, there were 57 and guess how much I paid? Well it was just £2.
£2 for 57 satsumas ... amazing!



And the last thing was 2 hairsprays for £1.




I will use the Pineapples for smoothies and also for breakfasts with other fruit and yogurt.

Lemons are can be used in various recipes and cakes, I also like a slice of lemon in hot water to start the day.

I have smoothies for lunch in the week so many of the Satsumas will be used in them.

Nothing ever goes to waste here.

You just get so much more for your money at a market, this is now going to become a regular weekly trip for us when it's not raining.

So if you have never been to your local market, why not give it a go, ours beats supermarket prices and supports locals.




Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Weekend Car Boot Buys & Baby Parakeets



Welcome to 2 new followers Jane and Phil who used to read my old blogs and have now joined me here.

The lack of posts here lately is due to the fact that I am suffering from real exhaustion, I just can't sleep, this has been going on for years, and the doc won't give me any meds for various reasons. I am just feeling so tired and exhausted, every day it is the same. I find myself nodding off in my chair of an evening, but as soon as my head hits the pillow I am wide awake and tossing and turning all night, I am not joking when I say I get less than 3 hours solid sleep a night, it's ridiculous. I have tried allsorts to help me relax, but it's just not happening and it's really bringing me down.

Right I will stop there as I don't want to whinge to much, that's not what I want to write about, but just to let you know if you wonder why I am not posting much.


Car boot buys from the weekend were things I collect. I am not a big collector or hoarder by any means, but collect crystal (not cheap tat), vintage brooches, kitchenalia, and vintage vanity items.



This large crystal was £2 it is quite big and heavy, and nice quality, it throws out all sorts of colours. 






This little book for £1.

Which features quite a lot of vintage kitchenalia.






These brooches were 50p each.




 I really love this Sycamore one, it is stamped Lisner on the back and is from the 70's,  it is nice quality.



And quite large.


The last thing was this picture for the kitchen. It cost just £2.

Vintage foods/packaging.

It is quite a large picture around 55 cm in length.
Really love it.









I shall leave you with a few photos of the baby Turquosine Parakeets which fledged last week.

They are so sweet.