Monday, 31 January 2022

Sell And Save

Firstly, thanks so much for the comments on yesterday's post.  They really were comforting x

My plan for February is to add to our savings by selling stuff I/we don't need even though we thought it essential when we moved to the bungalow a few short months ago.  When I went through the boxes in the 'understair' cupboard ( and, of course, we still don't have stairs!) I pondered why I thought some items were indispensable.  They are not.  They never get looked at let alone displayed so they can go! I can't face people coming to the bungalow to collect things so it will have to be fleabay sales.  I'm very out of practice but will give it a go.  I would like to raise £300 but any amount will be a result. I will update the total during the month if and when I have a sale of some sort.

I might try selling some of my craft work again too.  Before you-know-what I used to sell at a craft fair, a local shop and online but Covid put paid to all of that.  Now my cards are being donated to the Hospice shop but there might still be a market out there if I look hard enough.  If I can sell a few I will have the funds to carry on donating too.  When I dropped my latest batch at the CS I was told that they 'fly out' and people are sending friends in to buy some.  I must be doing something right 😃




We have the first home food delivery (since before Christmas) tomorrow afternoon so I'll begin the new challenge by adding the cost to the total below.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x



Sell & Save:

£0.00

February Shopping Challenge:

£0.00/ £220





Sunday, 30 January 2022

Feeling Sad

 I wanted this post to be upbeat and give details of February's challenge but.........I'm feeling so sad. 

 I heard a couple of weeks ago that my nephew and his wife have gone their separate ways after 10 years of marriage.  They have 2 small children of 4 and 5.  Yesterday I heard that her dad was diagnosed with cancer just a month ago and passed away 2 days ago.  I am gutted for her.  Why is life so unfair?

I'll be back with the post I had planned in a day or so.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x

Saturday, 29 January 2022

The Result! Cider Hotpot, and a New Challenge

 I am very pleased (and amazed!) to say that we spent very little actual cash on food this month: just £4.10 so £200.00 of the £220 monthly budget has been transferred to the savings 👍😁 leaving the surplus of £15.90 in the account should we need it next month for something else, like an  increase in the  energy bill 😓 

I  want to carry on with a shopping challenge of some sort during February, especially while G is still game to do it.  Our food budget for Feb is again £220 (a 4 week month) and I would like to spend less and save the difference but, at the same time, I want to gradually replenish our food store and freezer stocks, after all we still have a lot of Winter to come.  I know we will be close to the £55 per week allocated but let's see how we do.

I have been asked what cider hotpot on my menu plan is.  It's a bit of a faff but totally delicious 😜 I parboil 2 or 3 large sliced potatoes for 7 minutes then drain them and leave to dry in their own heat....


Whilst they are cooking, slice a couple of onions and a leek......


 ...chop a couple of carrots and a bit of brocolli or any other veg you have in ......

.....cook the onion and leek in a drop of oil until soft, then add the other veg. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring gently....



......add a pint of veg stock and 1/4 pint of dry cider ......



..... bring to a simmer, add plenty of black pepper and a heaped teaspoon of dried sage and tip into a baking dish. Layer on the new potatoes.....


......top with grated cheese and cook in the centre of the oven at 180c for approx 45 minutes....


It crisps up beautifully and serves 4 good portions......


Crusty bread is good to mop up the juices especially if you are extra hungry.  We ate a portion each last night which leaves another portion each for tonight just pinged in the microwave.  No cooking! Yay!

I  would like to do a Sell & Save Challenge in February and there will be more details in my next post. I am busy sorting through cupboards and boxes as we speak! eBay have regular offers on reduced fees at the moment and I would like to take advantage of that to keep a little more of the sale price in my own pocket. 

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x


February Shopping Challenge:

£0.00/ £220



Thursday, 27 January 2022

Final purchase for January

Final (I hope) purchase of the month is a TV guide costing 72p... 



Hopefully, we won't need anything else until we get our Sainsbury's home delivery on 1st February which we are aiming to be within our budget of £55 per week. Start as we mean to go on 👍

DD came to lunch today unexpectedly so I jiggled the menu and we had pasta bake with garlic bread. It served the 3 of us admirably.  Thank heavens for the menu plan!  She did, however, bring us a millionaire's shortbread each 😁 Delish!


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent 

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £4.10

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

To see the week out- meal plan

That's the food plan sorted and we not only have enough meals for the whole week but have a couple of alternative options if we feel the need..... 


Sue from A Smaller and Simpler Life has beaten me to the meal plan but I promise I had started this post last night.  I'm not copying, honestly! 😂  As before we might swap things around as the mood takes us but this is basically IT.
Breakfast will be cereal, porridge or toast
Lunches: sandwiches, jacket potatoes, or something on toast.

All we have left to spend in Loyalty points is £1.48 in Boots points and....



.....34p in Nectar points. Next month I will work on building them up again by taking advantage of special offers to ease spending later in the year. It's a fairly effortless way to get free food after all 👍

Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent 

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £3.38




Monday, 24 January 2022

Big Shop #4

 As we had run out of bread, coffee and were almost out of milk, we decided to do the last 'Big Shop' today instead of Wednesday.   This is all the stuff we bought with the remaining credit on the Asda gift voucher......



.....plus just 11p cash.  For that we bought salmon fillets, bacon, 2 pizzas and a ready meal for G which has gone into the freezer for the weekend after work.  For a quick lunch we shared one of the pizzas with some of the free salad and tomatoes I was gifted yesterday.  Sorry but I forgot to take a photo until I had eaten some of it! The salad is perfectly fine to eat, I just washed it well before eating.....





As you can see the total cash spend for the month so far is £3.38 and I don't think we will will need to buy much else during this last week other than a TV guide.  Now I need to write a meal plan to be on the safe side....

I notice that I have a couple of new followers, so welcome Deborah and Pam!


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent 

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £3.38

Sunday, 23 January 2022

A Productive Day

I've managed to get quite a lot done today. It started with a small sale on eBay last night. When I realised that the buyer lived just 10 minutes away I asked if she would like me to drop her purchase off at her home. I was driving that way anyway and it not only meant that she would get her item quicker than through the post, but that there would be no risk of it getting lost or damaged and it would save me £3 plus in postage too.  She was very happy for me to do that. She was a lovely lady and invited me to help myself from a box of veg and salad stuff she had just put out for Olio customers. I took some tomatoes and a bag of salad. Although past the best before date they both look perfectly good to eat...... 



I will use the tomatoes for grilling for breakfast tomorrow and the leaves will make a salad. I'm sure I've seen people use them in soups too? Any ideas? 


After lunch I spent a couple of hours finishing more cards for the Hospice CS. There are 28 so potentially £28 for the charity once sold..... 


Ready meals from the freezer now in the oven. That makes for an easy tea, then a bit of TV tonight. 📺☕😁


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £3.27

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Fancied bananas & got a bargain

 For some strange reason I woke up at 3.15am this morning with a dicky tummy 😓  I took some Buscopan and Paracetamol to try and settle the pain but struggled to get back to sleep for some time.  I finally awoke at 8.20am to brilliant sunshine and a very sharp frost. I did a lateral flow test, which was negative,  ate a bit of cereal with half a (tinned!) pear and a dollop of live yogurt then decided to have a walk in the fresh air in the village and join G at the allotment later.   I took my library book back and put my car through the carwash too.  Not being able to face lunch, I decided to buy a banana for later but had to pass the YS fruit and veg.  12p for potatoes, albeit wonky, and 17p for salad was too good to pass by.  The bananas cost 26p so a total of 55p cash spent.....



I noticed that the Sainsbury's magazine was half price @ £1.50 the last time we shopped there and I had a Nectar coupon for 26p which wouldn't scan at the smart shop checkout.  I tried it through a normal till point today and yes! I got my mag for £1.24...paid for from my pocket money of course 😁




Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £3.27




Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Little 'Big Shop' #3

 We had a change of plan.  Today we were meant to shop at Asda and use the gift card but G didn't fancy going there.  He wanted Sainsburys 👀 Ok...Sainsbury's it was ...... but that meant I had £5 to spend and G had £7.50 (rolls eyes) I got these for a total of £5.40. The Linda McCartney pies cost me £1.13 instead of £2.20 and will make us a nice meal with mash using 2 of the potatoes, peas and gravy, the pasta bake will be another meal served with garlic bread from the freezer, and that leaves 2 potatoes for jackets with cheese.....


I even got a red velvet cake which was reduced to £1.  It's best before date is today but it will last another couple of days.....


I had to pay 40p cash.....


G spent his £7.50 differently, spot the treats!  But he did buy 2 chicken portions which will make us 2 meals this week.  He spent £9.00 so £1.50 cash to be added to the total....



To sum up:  £2.72 cash spent so far , leaving a reasonable £29.62 for next week's shop in Asda.

Changing the subject, I think it's been quite cold today, despite the early morning burst of sunshine. It's 5.45pm and I'm sitting at the computer in layers of clothing and with a fleecy blanket over my knees.  Is it me?  Am I getting old? G has just dropped into the conversation that it's forecast to be even colder tomorrow 😏  Roll on Spring, I say......

Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds Nectar points £32.50 spent 

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  spent

            Cash spent £2.72

Monday, 17 January 2022

Happy Times 1959

 While G was at work this weekend I had a bit of a sort out, going through the plastic storage boxes we had brought with us and came across my Sister's wedding photos.  My Niece had popped this photo into our Christmas card. It's of me, aged 10, and my Brother, aged 5, on the big day.  My Brother was very upset when he had to hand back the hired outfit, he loved it so much!  A few years ago, on a visit to Scotland, he finally bought himself a hand made kilt with the jacket, sporran etc  After all we do have Scottish blood in our veins 😄



During the clear out I bundled up a box full of bubble wrap from the move and took it to the charity shop in the village to ask if they could use it.  They were very pleased to accept it.  Whilst I was there I enquired about my donated hand made cards as to whether they had had any interest from customers.  Yes, they had and, I quote, were "selling like hot cakes and almost gone" so I'll make another batch and pop them into the shop this week.  At around £1 each they should raise some useful funds for the Hospice as well as reducing my stash and making a bit of room.

During February my next challenge will be Sell And Save. I have found a few things which are just stored in a box and what is the point of that?  I might as well sell them and add to our emergency fund.  I'll decide on the target and details in time for the beginning of next month.

Meanwhile I will carry on with the shopping challenge.  Next food shop will be Asda on Wednesday when we have just under £30 max budget.....

Take care everyone 😘


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £27.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 82p

Friday, 14 January 2022

Waste Not Want Not..... And a Promotion!

I'm trying to use every bit of a product before I throw it away or recycle and yesterday morning cut open the plastic tube of toothpaste to get at the bit I couldn't squeeze out.  I got two more tooth cleaning sessions for 'free' 😁




My favourite cleanser is almost gone too so I cut off the top to scrape the last bit out ....


Actually, there is enough for about 3 days of twice a day cleansing to be had 👍  When you think it could all have been binned.....👀


I have been informed by Nectar that I am now #4 buyer of tinned pears in my local store! Up from #7 that is definitely a promotion in my book 😂




Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £27.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 82p


Wednesday, 12 January 2022

'Big' Shop # 2

I quite enjoyed a thoughtful shop on my own this morning.  I needed some household cleaning products which made a bit of  a dent in the budget at a total of £4.80 but I really don't want to run out.....


There were not many yellow stickers bargains to be had but I managed to get some tasty looking British tomatoes, some ham for G (I think it was wrongly priced because the use by date is a week away and others on the shelf were dated for tomorrow) and a ready meal for my lunch as G is away at the allotment until tea time.....



I spent a grand total of £25.06 which was made up of £25.00 Nectar points and just 6p cash!



I could have spent less but the idea is not to feel deprived but to spend as little actual cash as possible.  G has his piece of steak for tomorrow and the meal plan is complete for this week.

What I did notice is that prices are still rocketing; eggs up 10p per half dozen, fruit and veg up by a similar amount, a tub of Bisto gravy granules is £1.80 and I regularly used to buy it for £1. Most of the basic range of items has disappeared from the shelves.  There was no basic dried fruit, tinned fruit, cornflakes or pasta. 

What are you having to pay more for at the moment?  Don't even mention the energy prices 😕 I dread what will happen when the Price Cap is removed in April.....

Next week it will be the turn of Asda for a visit 😄 Watch this space!


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £27.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 82p


Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Books & Boots

We needed some more lateral flow test kits (vain hope, I know) so I popped to the village.  There were none to be had anywhere, of course, but I am running out of toothpaste so gave Boots pharmacy a visit too. I also bought some antibac hand wipes which I left in the shed at the allotment, very handy for when we want to eat a sandwich after gardening there 😎


I spent points worth £5.93, leaving £1.48 That will be enough to buy 3 more boxes of paracetamol over the next couple of weeks and will save using the food budget.....


The library had no test kits either but I did spot the new Barbara Erskine book that I fancied as well as a very interesting looking Rosie Clarke.  I'm not familiar with the author but the book looks promising. Has anyone read it?


I tried to borrow a book called Broke Vegan  as well which had some tasty looking(cheap!) vegan recipes in it but, when I scanned it, the machine gave out the message that it was booked by another person 😔 so I couldn't borrow it. Drat....

Food shopping tomorrow which I'm quite looking forward to 😃


Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £2.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £13.29

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 76p


Monday, 10 January 2022

First week over.....

The first week of the January challenge  is over and what have I learned?  Firstly, meal planning is key but secondly, the meals can be juggled if something crops up.  We have eaten heartily and fairly healthily although G has still been tucking into his stash of chocolates, not helped by the 2 boxes he has been given for his birthday 😕  He keeps offering them to me too and I don't want to be tempted!  I'm trying to increase my consumption of fruit and veg instead so this week's shopping will include more apples and some bananas. 



You might be interested to know that I did get a single lemon yesterday and G got his lemon drizzle cake for his birthday 😁  It cost 35p cash so that's been added to my total for the week making it just 76p  spent in the first week. I'm very 👍 happy with that

Do you know that I haven't found a single useful yellow sticker bargain this week? Typical 🙄

We have meals planned for today and tomorrow but then G fancies a bit of steak for later in the week so we'll shop on Wednesday again, this time at Sainsburys so we can use the Nectar points. I'm hoping the £30 worth of points will be plenty. 

Thanks for popping in and stay safe wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £2.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £7.36

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 76p

Saturday, 8 January 2022

My Kingdom for a Lemon!

 G tootled off to work just before 9am and won't be home until 4.30pm so it's been a day of catching up with chores and errands. I wanted to buy a single lemon so that I can make G a lemon drizzle cake for his birthday tomorrow so popped to Sainsburys. As luck would have it, they only had bags of lemons at £1.60 a bag 😳 I gave them a wide berth but took the opportunity of buying some groceries for the food bank trolley from my pocket money. One job done! 

Next stop was the hospice shop in the village to drop in some handmade cards for them to sell. I took 26, so potentially £26 worth if they sell well. I promised to pop back in a couple of weeks to see if they were selling. If so I will make them some more assorted ones. Two jobs done! 

I need petrol so might go to Morrisons tomorrow and see if they have a single lemon there. If not, I can make G something else while he's at work. 

The family were coming to visit this afternoon but our 14 Yr old Grandson had his second Covid jab yesterday and feels a bit under the weather so they are not coming. A pity but understandable.

 G has requested one of his ready meals tonight so it will be chilli and rice (the planned beef stew will stay in the freezer until another time)  I fancied something hot for lunch so I cooked a cheese and onion plait to have with all the past-their-best salad bits in the bottom drawer of the fridge. That reminds me.... I must put carrots on next week's shopping list.....


Nothing spent from the challenge budget....

Thanks for popping in.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £2.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £7.36

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 41p

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

'Big' Shop #1

When I did the inventory yesterday in readiness for our shopping trip, I found 3 out of date items.  I was cross with myself because we only moved to the bungalow 3 months ago so should have noticed when I first put them away.  There was a jar of pasta sauce, some chickpeas and a tin of chopped tomatoes all 6 months out of date.  I threw them in the bin to be on the safe side although I know some people would have tried them.  That cannot happen again!

If I had been left to my own devices I wouldn't have done a 'big' shop today, it would have been left until the weekend at least. But with G on board for this challenge he was uncomfortable with being out of routine so we shopped 🙄

We got some salmon for tonight which was on offer at £2.95, a pack of Youngs fish for £1.00 and 3 ready meals for G for £6.00. The fish and ready meals have been put in the freezer for next week (the ready meals are useful for when G comes home from work at the weekend as they are quick to microwave).  The frozen fruit will be useful for breakfasts and fruit crumbles or with yogurt or ice cream for a pudding.....


A TV guide and other bits and pieces.... 


It all came to £20.38, leaving a respectable £29.62 on the gift card... 


If there's one thing I learned today it's that I HATE shopping instore. I HATE queuing.  It was busy and I couldn't get out quickly enough 😱

Asda milk was 89p today so I took a quick trip to Sainsburys where I could buy it for 63p.  It seemed daft to spend £1.26 cash when I could buy some cakes as well and pay just 26p by using Nectar points 😁 Therefore £2.50 Nectar points and 26p cash was spent



Thanks for popping in.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50/ spent £2.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)spent £20.38

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £7.36

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 41p

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Second Spend of the Year

G decided to let slip this morning that he is almost out of shower gel 😕 and as we always order two boxes of paracetamol each week in the online delivery ( no deliveries booked for January )  it was deemed sensible to visit Boots Pharmacy in the village and use some of my loyalty points to pay for them.  I bought a couple of other things which  we were almost out of too.....


They cost a total of 736 points (£7.36) leaving 741 points (£7.41) for later in the month when we might need more paracetamol or things like toothpaste.  It saves using the small grocery budget for such things this month.....


I did a quick inventory of the contents of the fridge in readiness for our Asda shop tomorrow.  I really don't want to spend more than £25 of the gift card value so that we can do another shop with it in a couple of weeks,  G always buys loads of chocolate to take to work at the weekend and keeps it at the very top of the fridge door so that I'm not tempted.  Consequently, we end up with big wrappers from the multipack containing just one bar 😡 I emptied them all out and saw this message on the wrapper just as I was binning it....


WHAT a message!  What a bad example to set the kids of today.  If I saw my kids or Grandchildren doing that I would tell them off instantly. 

What do you think? Has anyone ever seen this before?

Thanks for popping in today.

Stay safe everyone wherever in the world you happen to be x


Funds:  Nectar points £32.50

            Asda Gift Voucher £50 (G's gift from work)

            Boots Loyalty points £14.77/ spent £7.36

            Tesco coupon     £1.50  (found a bit tatty and neglected in my purse) spent

            G's Nectar points £7.50  

            Cash spent 15p

30 a Week Challenge Day 7

Saturday meals: Breakfast: Porridge oats with cinnamon (1/4 point) Lunch : Lunch was a bit of a cheat.  I saw this little pot of Red Thai st...