Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Odds and Ends

How are some people able to buy 4 pints of milk for £1? I've read this on a couple of blogs lately. Around here CO-OP and Tesco have just both put their semi skimmed up by 10p to £1.39. Waitrose are the only other shop locally, I expect they are the same. I know some people have swapped to powdered but too many years of Scout Camps with horrible powdered milk - with lumps- has somewhat put me off, although I expect it is better quality nowadays.

We had even more stuff out on the stall-at-the-gate this morning as the runner beans have finally got going. They were covered in flowers which set then seemed to go slow. I was only able to give them a good watering two or three times over the last couple of weeks but with rain a day or so ago and another good downpour last night they are now  growing quickly.

Sara at Afrugalwife has been blogging about ways of cutting  laundry costs, this made me look at at my laundry costs over the last year. (I know there are only 2 of us , so with Sara's two tots a lot more washing would be done! and she has done really well.) My laundry costs - not counting electric - for the last 15 months have been about £22 ! I bought an Ecover Non-Bio Bag in a Box 5L laundry liquid. This is decanted into an old 5L container and then again into a smaller bottle as needed. I have a plastic thing once used to fill an iron with water and into this I put about 2 Tablespoons of the liquid and then top up with hot water and add about a tablespoonful of Washing Soda Crystals (99p kg). This goes into the machine. I don't use fabric softener and keep a bar of Vanish soap in the cupboard for stains. I guess we do about 4 or 5 loads of washing a week. Bath Towels are hung over the banister at the top of the stairs to dry after one use and only put in the wash after the second or even third use. When we go out and are forced to wear 'good clothes',  I change out of them the minute I come in the door and then hang them up at the end of the rail to wear again. Old work clothes are worn until they are dirty. I don't think we smell!! We do have a tumble dryer as we rescued it from my Dad's house after he died, but it is out in the shed and doesn't get used much. Clothes are dried outside whenever possible, over the airer above the Rayburn to finish them off  in winter. We have the advantage of living in the dryest part of the country so I can usually guarantee enough dry days in a week to get the washing at least partly dry outside. To save electric on days when I know the washing will dry outside, I turn the spin speed down. All washing is done at 40 degrees with an occasional hot wash to help clean the washing machine( We use Ecover as it is better for the septic tank and also because we  LOATHE the smell of both the cheap and the posh soap powders.)

It was bread baking day today. I'm very puzzled at the price of bread flour which seems to be going up and down at random. Allinsons was still £1 last time we went to Aldi so I stocked up with 4 bags and Tesco own brand was also £1 after going up and then down again. If I didn't have to cut costs I would buy Marriages flour from the CO-OP as they are an Essex Company using wheat from East Anglia. They do a lovely Malted Grain flour which, many years ago when there were 5 of us at home, I would buy by the sackful from a wholefood warehouse in Norwich.

GRRRRRRR - another cancellation for the campsite today from a family who were due to be here all next week. I suppose I should be used to it after all these years.But I still hate doing the crossing out in the bookings diary.

I'm now going to have another look at the Approved Foods site. Everyone keeps raving about their bargain buys yet every time I look I can't seem to find anything I would normally buy and is a bargain really a bargain if it is something that would normally not be bought?


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