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. :-)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Just Keeping On, Keeping On...

Happy Friday one and all! I hope you are well.

OK so it's been over a month since I last posted. My inspiration dwindled somewhat and it has been busy as well work wise so both things combined equals lack of blogging! I did some overtime in March at the hospital so I am looking forward to April's pay day. It won't be a lot but it all helps doesn't it?

I am off this week and have been getting out and about seeing friends (it was my birthday) and spending time at home too, all a bit of a mixture.

Time at home has been all about housekeeping and also sorting out chores to save money in the long run i.e. getting work boots re-soled, finding people who can replace a zip in a pair of trousers rather than buy new ones, you know the kind of thing.

I have been trying to make the most of the better weather - my word how crap was March? - and have laundered a lot to get it dry outside rather than use the tumble drier as we've actually built up a bit of electricity credit and I want to keep hold of it.

On the subject of energy, I can't wait to be able to switch the gas central heating off altogether! We owe about £80 on the heating and I really don't want them to put the monthly direct debit up. I need to switch it off and let the Spring & Summer payments build up for the next cold spell as any more direct debit increases are liable to send me round the twist! It's off mostly at the moment but the nights are still quite cold. So although it does come on for the evening, I am switching it off earlier and either going to bed earlier or wrapping up in a fleece on the sofa for those last couple of hours. I can see how energy bills can cripple people financially, it's horrendous.

We did get a bit of a surprise last month though when Anglian Water read our meter and have actually put our direct debit down by a fiver a month! We've built up a small credit there too. So that was good. (Mind you they put their prices up 3.5% from April 1st so who knows what October's bill will show!)

Thinking about it, the water and the electricity credits are probably linked due to the new washing machine we had to have last year. As it is new, it's obviously better environmentally, being an A+. Also I have started running more 30 degree washes for some things rather than 40 degree i.e. jeans just worn around the house in the evenings, work trousers, jumpers & my tops which of course, being a lady, they don't get grubby or sweaty! :-)

I still use warmer washes for towels, bedding and our smalls oh and hubby's work shirts as he can work up a bit of a glow! Also it's not good for your machine so I read, to constantly use lower temperatures but it's obviously somewhat beneficial to your wallet when it comes to energy bills!

I am also able to do bigger loads in the machine so obviously I am using less water. We also had one of those gadgets fitted to our shower over the bath (plumbed into taps) which aerates the water so you use less. I also (when the bathroom is warm enough!) switch off the water when actually "washing" or doing my legs as that's just literally money down the drain otherwise. Hubby is in & out of shower fairly quickly which is a bonus.

We try to only wash up twice a day, sometimes it is only once if we're both out all day. The bathroom was replaced a few years ago and the loo is a dual flush which helps save water too.

So yeah, thinking about it...doing a lot of the right things!

I also try to plan in lots of meals which use the hob to prepare (rather than the oven itself) as it is one of those glass topped ones that the halogen light goes off when it gets to a certain temperature and only comes back on to "top up" if you know what I mean. Far better and they heat up so quickly as well. Our previous oven was absolutely diabolical. It used to take about 30 minutes to heat the oven and the ceramic rings almost as long to heat up ready to cook some peas! Rubbish. I was so glad to get shot of it. Luckily our new oven was a wedding present a few years ago as family & friends kindly gave us money rather than things we already had. That is how the bathroom got replaced as well.

Oh I bagged a bargain yesterday. I have been after a new quilt cover for ages but there's always been something else to spend money on. In a second hand shop there was a beautiful quilt cover & matching pillow cases reduced from £7.50 to £3.75! I was a bit reluctant at first as I have never bought second hand bedding but it was absolutely immaculate. I took into consideration that fabrics get steamed out back in second hand shops which would kill any nasties, I also took it home and obviously washed it immediately. I then tumble dried it on hot which would also kill anything the eye couldn't see. It's now on my bed and looks & smells fabulous! I treated myself to another new fabric conditioner recently: the Comfort Blush Poppy & Peach.

It is gorgeous. So fresh. It gives vanilla a run for it's money! Yes it was on offer by the way!

Has anyone else ever bought second hand bedding?

I suppose, every time you stay in a hotel or holiday home, you're effectively using second hand bedding and then some! It's not like you get box fresh linen every time is it?

I also got a desperately needed summers skirt (a Dorothy Perkins one) and a pair of work trousers (by NEXT) again both immaculate and less than a fiver each.

So I was quite pleased with my little haul.

Well that's about it from me, not much else to tell which is quite boring considering I have not been on here for a month! I'll try harder next time: perhaps I will have to make something up!

Take care, thanks for stopping by.



  1. ooh i do love a bargain. there is only a few charity shops that I will go now as some are charging silly prices all my little ones toys are from the barnados children s shops fabulous qaulity and i would buy second hand bedding too . I work on the prinicple if it can be cleaned I will buy it. Sounds like you got yourself a good deal there.

    1. Thanks Jen! Oh yeah, it definitely got cleaned!!

      I agree that some charity shops are charging disproportionate amounts now. I left about three simple tops yesterday as they were about £6 each!

  2. I've bought second hand bedding - a good wash and you're away.
    Love from Mum

  3. Hi. Your life sounds a lot like mine ,,, always trying to reduce my outgoings, avidly seeking bargains etc. I have bought quite a bit of second hand bedding. Like you I was a little apprehensive at first but a good hot wash and it's fine. I have found some bargains in charity shops but also on EBay where I have often been the only bidder.

    1. Hi Helen. It's an ongoing challenge isn't it, to keep outgoings as low as realistically possible and always looking for the best deal/bargains! Thanks for confirming another 2nd hand bedding user out there too.