Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been getting some thoughts & feelings, exasperations and the odd happy moment down on the blog which helps my sanity and, I hope, provides a little entertaining read for you for a couple of minutes!

Right now I am mostly concentrating on getting through a rocky financial patch which I really hope will be cleared (all being well) by the end of Summer 2013. In the meantime I need to concentrate on continuing to do well in my "new" job (actually got it in Sept 2011 but it still feels new!) and living my life as frugally as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and if you leave me an encouraging comment, it'll make my day. :-)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Through The New Window


Well the three rotten windows have gone and the new windows are in.  They look really smart, they match the remaining windows really well and we have some new "cappit" boards as well to go over the awful windowsills we had in the bedroom and lounge too.  Awful because of the previous house owners I must stress not because of us.  We like to try and take care of our home whereas the previous family seemed hell bent on destroying it bit by bit!  But that's another story for another day.

ANYWAY....this morning I had to punch my PIN in to pay for it and so here I am again with another credit card bill over my head.  Although this time, unlike in a previous life, it is for something that adds value to the home, is useful, should save us money on heating and is interest free until March 2013.  I have done a forecast for the next year to include the monthly payments.  I don't think I could improve on this given our circumstances and lack of savings.  This time there is light at the end of the tunnel albeit a twelve month tunnel.

I went shopping at ALDI today after work and berated myself for going £1.74 over budget!  I can't believe the difference in myself these days.   Not that it's a bad thing.  Well, I got 35 items for £26.74 which will keep us going till next Tuesday bar a few fresh things I may need to pick up at the weekend.  In one of the big supermarkets I know I would have been shelling out at least £40 on the same items.  Got to try and stick to the budget of £25 though as even at their reasonable costs it soon adds up if you just pop one little thing here & there into the trolley on a whim.

I have a long weekend this weekend, got Friday off.  I am really looking forward to it, the last few Fridays at work have been really hard work due to other colleagues being on holiday so I am looking forward to the break.  My turn!  The car is going into the garage for a repair on the day so that'll stop me going further afield and being tempted to spend money I can't afford to spend so I will probably busy myself around the home and see what money saving things I can do or plan!

Did anyone watch SuperScrimpers last night?  I thought it was a little better than the previous week.  I can't believe though that there are still people left who want to buy ALL BRANDED food?  Really?  I was struggling to believe it.  I wished they had shown *how* to take in the dress that was slightly too big for that young girl as I would be prepared to give that a go but I don't know how.  I guess I can look it up but I thought that was a missed opportunity on the episode.  Didn't think much of that lady's DIY bath bombs though.  Nice idea but when she popped it in the bath it looked foul!   I wouldn't have wanted to get in with that.

Well that's about it for now, I do hope you are all well.  I am off now to study my Excel spreadsheet and see if there is anywhere I can make any more improvements for the next few months which are going to be rather crap financially but like I said before.....light at the end of the tunnel and all that.

Take care. x x x

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Free Music Saturday!

Today has a musical theme.  I hope you enjoy it.  (And I really hope that they come out ok!)

The other day I very naughtily indulged in a packet of hula hoops from the canteen at work.  I know...I know...

Anyway, there was a code on the back for a free music download so tonight I browsed the site and stumbled across this song which I absolutely love but I haven't heard it for years so I had forgotten just how much I do love it.  Here it is off YouTube but it's not brilliant quality though unfortunately :-(

Following on from that, here is a song that always sorts me out whenever I am feeling sorry for myself.  At this point in time I am lucky enough not to have that much to worry about apart from crappy money and it could be (and has been) so much worse, so, I really should stop stressing about it and do the best I can with this one life I have with the resources I have, whilst I can.

And finally here is a song I heard on the car radio the other week which was such a treat...it always makes me turn it up loud, sing along (badly) and never fails to cheer me up.  You just don't get a man in a red cod piece on prime time Thursday night TV these days do you?  (Anyone my age will remember this legendary Top of the Pops performance back in the eighties...)

Enjoy!  And happy Saturday to you all. x x x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I Love It When I Find Bargains!

Hello there, and how are you today?  I hope, well.

I wasn't feeling too well tonight when I popped out for a quick appointment so it was touch and go whether I would be popping into Morrisons on the way home for a couple of bits we needed.  I did go though and I am glad I did!  What a sight greeted me as I walked in.....two small tables of reduced bread products. 

I could have stocked up on reduced tea cakes or a spiced loaf but to me that would be a bit gluttonous and I wanted more practical things so I dug out a handful of products we could use for actual meals. 

  • A large brown loaf (large baguette shaped but not a baguette...bigger...) which will be perfect with home made soup.  29p.
  • A 2 pack of wholemeal sub rolls which will make for a decent lunch for hubby one day. 25p.
  • A pack of wholemeal large rolls...large enough to accommodate a veggie burger which will be a perfect weekend lunch.  19p.
  • Further down the store I found a pack of Cauldron veggie sausages for 50p.  We will make a sausage casserole out of these.  

Oh and the rubber gloves I had popped in for were reduced as well!  So I was quite pleased with that little lot.  Every penny is going to have to count especially right now.

Someone also tried to bully me in my little car!  Sometimes I can let it wash over me....my thoughts being 'men with small willies in big cars trying to make themselves feel better by trying to push around a woman in a small hatchback'.  Yeah whatever mate, whatever makes you feel good.  Then other times, I'm not having any of it!  Tonight was one of the latter. 

I was simply waiting at a roundabout which has traffic lights on it, and they were red.  The roundabout has three lanes on it and I was in the left hand lane minding my own business.  As the lights turned amber I started to pull away and before I was probably even a couple of metres down the road some eejit taxi driver in a big car comes whizzing round the middle lane of the roundabout through the barely green lights and gives me a huge "MEEHHHHHHHHHHHHH" with his horn.  For WHAT?  I hadn't done anything except stop at a red light and pull away at amber...and I hadn't encroached on the next lane at all!  I was completely baffled.

So I call him something naughty and let him speed away......then to my delight, about 200 metres down the road as I need to turn left into Morrisons car park, he is stuck in the third lane at another set of traffic lights which are red (but I can turn left on a green filter).  So as I cruise past I stick my hand on the horn and my little car goes "mehhhhhhhhhhhh" which is very weak in comparison to his baritone "MEEHHHHHHHHHHHHH" but anyway it was enough to get his attention so I could flip him the bird. 

Childish yes.  Made me feel better though.

Well it's nearly the weekend - any plans?  I have to get up quite early on Saturday to get a few bits done and also pick up a touch up paint pen for my little car as when I cleaned it on Sunday I noticed some lovely people had bashed into the passenger side door and put some nicks in it.  Hubby has used these types of pens before on a previous car so I am going to let him sort them out seems I think I am so ham fisted at anything like that.

Then I am off to a friend's house for my haircut and colour which is *not* a luxury, not with my hair type.  And today I looked in the mirror and thought thank goodness my hair appointment is nearly here as I look like a cave woman.  With grey roots.

Hubby is out all day on Sunday so I have the house to myself and all I plan to do is watch the Cardiff v Liverpool Carling Cup Final drinking tea out of my Liverpool mug and maybe, just maybe, treating myself to a bag of something savoury.  Bliss!  Come on you Reds!

And that's about it really.  Apart from the washing, the cleaning, the polishing, the tidying, you know...the usual delightful weekend chores. 

Well I hope you all have something nice to look forward to.  OH!  Recently I tried some Rosetti rose wine from Aldi for £3.49...it was rather nice.  So if you like rose wine and you want to try something for a few quid I can recommend that.  It is slightly watery compared to something by say Ernest & Gallo but for £3.49 you can't complain and I did think it was completely palatable.  No more of that for me for a while though.  I think my penance for buying that wine was three broken electrical items the next day!

Take care and bye bye for now.

x x x 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Slipped Down the Slippery Slope

Hello and firstly welcome to my new follower.  Really nice to have you here!

Secondly.......and excuse the fruity language but....oh bloody hell and bugger it.  Sodding sodding overdraft.  Will I never be smart enough to avoid it?   It's like stepping on bloody quicksand. 

Why does everything seem to happen at once?  Why does the car need a suspension arm replacing when I least could do with another bill?  Bloody sod's law that's why.  And it's not just the overdraft either.  Some urgent home repair/replacement stuff needs doing next week that's going to cost in excess of £1300.  I don't want to go into detail but I can't put off the work any longer.  The only way I can fund it though is by a 0% on purchases for 15 months credit card - so that's what is going to have to happen.

Well upwards and onwards with it I suppose.   Mortgage aside I have been debt free before (and from a lot higher total than this) so I can get there again.  But not for a while.

Bloody bugger it though!  WHEN OH WHEN will I become that woman who is able to put the money aside every month to cover emergencies when they happen?  Well when hubby is working full time again maybe but even then I wonder.  My financial life is like a game of snakes & ladders!  Know the feeling any of you?

I watched Superscrimpers tonight.  I know quite a lot of people in Blogland watch it too and I am in agreement with those who have said it seems to have shifted it's course.  I felt quite disappointed with it tonight.  The trailer for next week looked a bit more promising though.  I shall continue to watch for now...

TTFN my lovelies.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

So Much For Saving!

What a disastrous weekend from a "try not to spend any money" perspective!

  • Iron:  cable splits exposing wires underneath.
  • Ironing board cover:  Splits.  And has looked rank for a while now.
  • Kettle:  lid will not stop popping open before it finishes boiling, husband's swearing at it makes my ears bleed.
  • Digital radio:  gives up the ghost on the day Liverpool play Brighton in the FA Cup (and 6Music is a must in this house).

So down to Argos I go today. And a few more Avios points collected.....enough said.  Beans on toast for the rest of the month now probably!

On the plus side I have thoroughly cleaned my car inside & out in the cold sunshine and felt very virtuous for it.  I've also kept myself busy with other chores, watching cycling on the internet from the new London velodrome (in the past I would have tried to get tickets) and now I am listening to the match on the new little radio.  Chris Hoy is a true sporting hero, a bone fide legend.  The rest of the squad are great too but what an ambassador he is for the sport.  Scotland are rightly proud of him as is GB as a whole I am sure.

I have submitted meter readings again today....gas is up to £170 and electric up to £101.  Next bill is due 16th March.  The gas bill is horrendous but we've been as frugal with it as we could be given we had snow on the ground for over a week.  Electric has been pushed up as I have had to use the extra haolgen heater to keep warm when the central heating was off plus the tumble dryer a hell of a lot during the very cold, snowy spell.  No choice.  I found mildew on the wall behind our sofa in the lounge last weekend and that's without drying clothes in here.  Happy to report that I have managed to get quite a bit of washing dry on the line this weekend as it's been windy if a little cold though the sunshine today has made part of our garden warmer which helped. 

Whilst out in the garden today I noticed the shoots of some daffodils coming through - what a happy sight that was for me!  Spring is definitely approaching.  I just hope Winter hasn't got a sting in it's tail!

Well on a final note today, I would just like to say RIP to one of my teenage idols, Ms Whitney Houston.  A fabulous voice, a beautiful woman, a Mother, a daughter and a whole host more to many people.  Sleep well.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Chilly or WHAT?

Well now I realise some people who might read this blog may experience temperatures each winter that make our current cold snap feel like high summer but I have to say....I'm COLD!!  How about you?

My poor hubby has been off work today (day off....and again tomorrow) and because of the cost of gas, he's sitting at home with the central heating off and just puts the halogen heater on from time to time.  I feel so bad for him but he says he's ok, he's got layers on etc but I wonder if he's just putting a brave face on it!  I know how cold our house gets. 

I did a gas reading last Friday and our bill was up to £138 and we've still got till the end of March to go before the next bill is due.  We're just having to be frugal with it (heating) being on but it's such a sad state of affairs when there is snow on the ground outside!  But as ever, I know there are people worse off so I'm not grumbling too much.

How true is that?

Well it was hubby's birthday this week...we didn't go anywhere because the weather was cold & snowy so we just huggled down at home and watched films together.  A quiet day but we were happy.  We are off out this Sunday though as I bought him two tickets for his birthday to a gig so we're off to that.  Fingers crossed for slightly warmer weather as it's about 40 miles away and I don't fancy driving home in the dark if it is icy on the roads! 

I continue my experiments with Aldi's products and for the first time in a long time I have to report there is something I'm not happy with.  It's their Almat washing powder.  It just doesn't dissolve in the drawer for me at all!  I have to manually pour some warm water into the detergent drawer and mix it up with a spoon then wash it down with some more water!  Not good.  I won't be buying that again.  Such a shame - I had hoped for more as their fabric conditioner "So Soft" (or similarly named) in the yellow bottle is really good.

I bought some of their green olives with herbs yesterday to go into a pasta dish tonight and they were YUMMY.  So I will buy them again for sure.  I also picked up a packet of their dark chocolate digestive biscuits (very very naughty of me) for 59p...total bargain as they are delicious.  I shouldn't buy them again for the sake of my hips but I probably will!

Have you got any bargain products you can recommend (remembering we're vegetarian) from UK shops or websites?

Sunday, 5 February 2012

WHAT is that awful noise?

Oh it's Nicki Minaj.

Oh my good GOD.  I had a look on YouTube as everywhere I look at the moment I see a picture of this girl (and I think I read she performed or is performing at the Super Bowl?  Something else that bypasses me annually.....no offence my USA readers but I am sure our soccer FA Cup doesn't interest you either!) so I thought I would take a look.

Oh man.  How bad is music (and I use that word loosely I really do) now?  I know every generation has listened to younger generations music and thought theirs was better but honestly, the word dirge comes to mind.  I only managed to listen for about half a minute then I had to turn it off.  I'm so glad I haven't got children.  I feel sorry for them.  No jobs at the moment, no great prospects to look forward to, less industry every year producing even fewer opportunities, a Government seemingly hell bent on making everything as bleak as possible and on top of all that, really really awful music as well.

Still, looking on the bright side, I did watch a programme last week that said there are no asteroids large enough to cause a global catastrophe due to hit the earth within the next 100 years.  Hooray!