Monday, 19 December 2011

Its nearly here !!!

.................................................and dont we just know it , I have a very over exited 6 year old asking me how many more sleeps mum .

I did want to post a lot more regularly but I have been very busy and my laptop is dying a very slow and painful death ( keeps switching its self off , the H has come off and the bottom is held on with tape ) .

We have finished all the food shopping apart from the veggies and more milk , the kids pressies are wrapped and "hidden" and now we are just playing the waiting game . We have been to our youngest's nativity had a drive out to look at all the xmas lights and tonight have been for our family xmas meal ( carefully chosen at the Handmade burger Co as we get 30% as hubby is a student ) so im feeling very festive and looking forward to the weekend and the best part is this year none of it will be hanging over us on credit cards .

I was very cheeky in asda I had 2 "£5 off a £40 shop vouchers" which they let me use on one transaction as I asked them I also had £6 in other vouchers I had saved so got £16 off then checked my recipt online the day after and got a voucher for £9.74 so altogether I got the grand total of £25.74 of FREE shopping , then hubby's friend who works in a slaughter house got us 2 huge gammon and 2 huge pork joints (also FREE) which we cut in half so 8 joints of meat on top of all our xmas food this will keep us going probably well into february .

We did have a bit of a spend in Primark at the weekend we bought the most Vile tacky xmas jumpers we could find and wore them tonight for our meal out and will wear them on xmas day and when we go visiting they are pretty gross but lots of fun .

Cumbrian - Thankyou very much for your comment Merry Christmas to you


Friday, 9 December 2011

Santa's been early

Today santa came early well not really but I bought us a new toy last week with some of our paypal £ a waffle maker for £15 from Comet I have wanted one for ages as I do buy waffles and I have to say I wasn't dissapointed with the results , I used the basic recipe that came in the manual and we got 3 batches ( 15 waffles ) and as you can see below there are only a few left .

Well I finished my wrist warmers and tried them out today and they were very warm and cosy so I have started a matching scarf which I will be cracking on with tonight . I have also got an xmas garland on the go so hopefully that will be finished tomorrow so I can show it off on here .

I have been buying extra store cupboard items to get a bit of a stockpile so when we are feeling the pinch in January we will be ok for basics things I have been stocking up on are sugar , flour , teabags , pasta , loo rolls , shampoo , toothpaste you get the drift but I think I am going to carry on getting a bit extra so when the summer hols come we will be able to have some very low spend months which will free up some cash for my new found love ..........................CAMPING ! .

We hadn't had a holiday for 4 years and really couldn't afford one so on a whim last xmas I bought a cheap 4 man dome tent , 4 sleeping bags , and a couple of disposable bbq's and booked a 3 night stay in North Yorkshire in April ( oh how deluded  I was ) and wrapped it as surprise family pressie .
So as the weekend approached I started packing my "bags for life" and hubby's workmate offered to lend us a big 8 man 3 roomed tent so we were thrilled , so off we went with high spirits and zero knowledge of camping 5 hours after arriving we finally had the tent up it had bits missing and was leaning to the left and had a 10 inch gap from ground to the bottom of the tent so say it was cold is an understatement it was a bit of a nightmare really from start to finish but we really enjoyed it despite the cold and lack of equipment so what did we do ?
We sold every available item we no longer wanted needed or used and with the princely sum of £620 we bought a brand new Outwell Nevada XL 6 man 3 roomed tent with porch and panoramic view windows ( can you tell how much I love the tent  , 2 air beds , sleeping bags , cooking stove , pantry , table and chairs , outdoor picnic table , outdoor chairs , cutlery , crockery , storage containers , bbq , lanterns , camping heater ( very important piece of kit ) and probably a few more items I cant think of right now but we were now prepared .
We had another 3 camping holidays this summer and are totally hooked I love it and so does hubby and the kids so after xmas has been and gone that will be the savings target to get as many weekends away as possible  for as little as possible .

Stay warm


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Oh the weather outside is frightful ! ......................................

And it really is it is sooooooooooooo cold today ive had the heating on all day and the house still feels cold , had a nice pottering day today done some washing ( which I dried infront of the radiators) ironed and put away tidied a few drawers out  had a dust and vac searched the net for supermarket discount vouchers ( we are going for some of our december shopping tonight ) then made a small mountain of prawn crackers for snacks for the next couple of days ( still not made a dent in the huge 2kg bag we got from the Chinese supermarket ) and made some soup .

This pic looks very pale as I had the flash on but I love this soup its so quick easy and delicious

1 med butternut squash
1med onion
2 carrots
1 parsnip
1chicken stock cube in 1 pint hot water
salt & pepper
1 tbsp paprika

I just chop all veg put in a big heavy bottomed pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and brown
add stock salt pepper and paprika bring to the boil reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins
blend and serve

I get 4 servings out of this recipe for about £1.20

 This huge bag only cost £3.95
This was one good handful ( I have only got small hands ) naughty but nice !!!

So after the shopping I plan to do some more knitting and watch Kirstys Handmade Christmas
Ahhhhhh Bliss! Stay warm


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Silly Season has arrived !!!

                                      Here is my 6 year old tree with poundland and asda decorations .

Well its finally here and im so glad we have decided not to go completly loopy and try and spend every available penny and to hell with the concequeces ( sadly I have done this in the past ) .
The tree is up the presents ( carefully chosen by the kids within a budget and even more carefully sourced by me for the best possible deals ) are wrapped and we need to go food shopping within a budget of £100 .

We have had a busy week or so ( I keep meaning to post as its very theraputic but have been very tired ) I have done lots of cleaning and ironing the kids "helped" to decorate the tree last week when they were off school due to the strike so I feel quite prepared for xmas this year , I have started on some home made pressies I am having a practice with a pair of wristwarmers for myself it took 1hour20mins last night to do one start to finish so can quickly knock these up for mum & sis with a nice matching scarf ( the wool incidently is some I have had years bought for 75p a ball so very cheap pressies ) .


Another thing I have started to do ( well been doing for over a year now ) is cook a little bit extra and make some home made ready meals .

Just one example a bit of leftover lasagne which hubby will warm up one night when he gets in late after college , I also love my slow cooker its such an easy way to cook good hearty meals just chuck in a load of meat and veggies leave while you work or just get on with your day and hey presto a meal for practically no effort .

A lovely lady called Sally who I caht to on netmums has just told me how to make butter so I will be having a go at that its seems a bit too easy but I will let you know how I get on with that one .

Yesterdays frugal bake was 2 " brownie cakes" its an adapted recipe from when I havent had the right ingredients but now I use it all the time .

Pre-heat oven to 180oc

Grease and line 2 , 8" cake tins

Ing -   200g marg
          100g milk chocolate ( value will do )
          200g sugar
          4 eggs
          1tsp vanilla extarct ( optional )
          180g S R Flour
          40g cocoa
          good pinch of salt  

1 - In a bowl melt marg and chocolate in microwave mix together .
2 - Stir in sugar , eggs and vanilla .
3 - Add flour , cocoa and salt .
4 - Mix well and divide between tins .
5 - Bake for 25-30 mins ( depending on oven ) the cakes should be still slightly soft in the centre .
6 - Cool on a rack then slice .

I have also added 50g of either white choc , crushed smarties , nuts or raisins .

                                           Heres the finished product they never last very long !

I have estimated that the 2 cakes cost roughly £2.20 to make and I get 16 good sized slices so less than 14p a slice .