Monday, 30 November 2015

We made it to the end of the month

I must start by saying a big Welcome to Jane, who has a  new blog called The love of Nostalgia, it looks as if it will be a good blog to read.

The last day of November and what a month......

We accepted an offer on the house and changed our minds about where to move to - for the time being at least ( i.e the hospital side of Ipswich rather than of our old home town 12 miles the other side of the County town ........will we ever get to our hovel in the hills?).

Cols acute allergic reaction to the stuff  he had to take to prepare for the camera thing meant they were only able to do part of the investigation so he is still lacking in energy and anemic and waiting for more tests next month to find out why.

It was our first month living entirely on savings.
How glad we are that we paid off the mortgage many years ago and so grateful we were sensible with the money inherited from my mum and dad - we could have gone on crazy spending sprees, cruises, foreign holidays etc. Instead what we invested in extending the house will be repaid when we sell and what we invested into savings accounts is still there for us to live on.

 My low/no spend challenge went quite well I think judging by the number of times I avoided buying a magazine! I have nothing to compare our spending with as no one else I know has ever shared what a low spending month in their home would be.
This is how it went :-
Direct Debits for Council Tax, water, phone/broadband and charities plus a birthday gift for our youngest came to £250. Diesel, the cats, the smallholding total about £140, The chemist, hospital car park, post office, a watch battery, clothes, kitchen and laundry was roughly £30. Food just over £100. And a really good amount of the 18 ( will need to re-think next year) Christmas presents that we are giving this year:- just over £300 making a grand total of money spent this month of  around £830.

 Is that good, bad or indifferent? I'd love to know.

In December we have car insurance, an electric bill, a big food shop and the rest of the Christmas presents to buy but again I will be avoiding all magazines and unnecessary spending. 

The very final tip of the 30 ways to save £1 list first published in 2013 was- Drive wisely, accelerate and brake slowly and don't carry more weight than you have to and take off the roof rack.

Out of all 30 tips I think the most useful one if you are serious about living on less is to STOP before you rush out to buy something and think if there is a way to use something you already have. Is the thing you are going to buy a need or a want? Are you buying something in order to save money - really? Is there something more useful you could do with that money? Will you regret what you have bought later?

And finally to cheer up a wet, grey end of November day here are a few busy bird feeder pictures

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Another dull day- or perhaps not

Did anyone out there watch the doubles tennis in the Davis Cup Finals yesterday? It was a really good advert for tennis, well done to Andy and Jamie Murray. More this afternoon - fingers crossed for one more win which will mean GB win the Davis cup for the first time since the 1930's.

Yesterday started off sunny and cold but by not long after midday it was raining, blowing a hooley and freezing. Today is not quite so cold but exceedingly grey and drizzly. We've done 20 minutes wood cutting and soon Col is taking our youngest and her bloke to look at a car in Woodbridge. I shall make a batch of pizza topping this morning and watch the tennis this afternoon, Strictly results show this evening and then delve into my lovely heap of library books. So another riveting  day of excitement, part of our quiet life in Suffolk. At least I don't force him to go Christmas shopping!

The 29th tip for saving £1 is :- Chutney is easy to make, cheaper than buying, you know what goes into it and it makes good presents. So there's lots of reasons for making rather than buying. There are several recipes on my separate recipe page and dozens of chutney books out there.

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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Wood and TV watching - a dull post!

A lovely sunny morning here, Col put the loader onto the tractor and we brought a couple of bags of logs into the wood shed. We get through such a lot of wood on the Rayburn and the wood burner. The door of the woodburner has got a bit bent over time and doesn't close as tightly as it once did so sometimes the wood burns too fast. If we were staying I think we would have got a new door for it.

Thank you for comments about libraries and Christmas cakes yesterday. I will be joining any campaign they have to avoid any scale down  of Suffolk libraries, that's for sure. Thank you to Bovey Belle for the note about the book by Alex Grecian. I've not read any of his before and I'm not sure where I came across the information about this one. If it's too dark and gruesome I won't bother with finishing. I like crime stories but not horror.

 Tip 28 from the list of ways to save £1 was :- Eat Less Meat. Vegetables are always cheaper than meat. So swap a meal a week then 2 or 3. There are loads of good veggie recipes on line, in library books or magazines.

Not a lot happening this weekend, we will probably bring some more of the scrap-wood from the cart shed to the wood shed ready for cutting, Col will probably need to sharpen the chainsaw again. I ought to do a pile of ironing and a bit of hoovering and I'll pop down to Knodishall for the Cancer Research Christmas Fair later. Then there is so much sport on TV so I shall be watching Tennis and Col watching Darts and the final Grand Prix tomorrow. What an exciting life we lead!!

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Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmas cakes and library van day

Yesterday I got the tins all ready for making the Christmas cakes, today I added all the other ingredients to the fruit that had been soaking for 3 days and stirred for ages then got the mix into the tins. Two have been topped with almonds for mini Dundee cakes and the others will be marzipaned and iced. 4 are for gifts.
 One of the things I like from Lakeland (as opposed to all their many, many silly gadgets) is the parchment mini roll for lining round cake tins, makes the job a lot less fiddley. I use a double layer for the bigger cakes.
Into the oven for long slow cooking and out again a few hours later
When they are cool I'll wrap them in grease proof and foil and the big one will get fed with a little brandy every week until it's decorated.

 The library van was round today so as usual I biked down to the village to collect my requests. A good haul to last me through to January as Decembers visit is cancelled because it clashes with Christmas.

Sorry it's a bit blurry, I'll re-do it when the Davis Cup tennis has finished on TV,  GB's first time in the final for umpteen years!
There are several Christmas stories there to get me in the right mood including two from Anne Perry who  has written several short Christmas Crime Novellas. A chicklit by Trisha Ashley, The Geogette Heyer - A Christmas Party has just been reprinted, it was originally published in 1941. I'm very excited by the Alys Clare new book, the next in the Hawkenlye historical crime series and the new Anne Perry in the Inspector Pitt series. There are a couple of books about the home front - The Taste of War by Lizzie Collingham and Our Land at War by Duff Hart Davis. Also several by authors new to me.

The 27th tip- very apt for library van day - is :- Do you need to buy a book straight away, wait for paperback or for secondhand or just borrow it from the library.

 Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday and for the information about recovering from strokes. I do hope our friend gets better soon.

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States and anyone else celebrating on this last Thursday in November.
Welcome to Lisa, number 326 on the followers chart and thanks for comments. Cro corrected the story about St Catherine - thank you for the info.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day until we had a phone call to ask if we knew a friend had had a stroke last week. No we didn't know, as she was a friend who came round every week for eggs and of course with no eggs to sell we hadn't seen her for a  few weeks. She has lost the use of one arm and her speech. Such a shock for someone who has been fit and well for most of her 78 years. She lives with her sister who was a nurse so that will be useful, but it's sad news.

Nothing much happening here at the moment  so I'll just mention...........

...........£1 saving tip number 26 is:- Make your own bread, it's easy and could save a lot of money. I first started making bread way way back in 1976 when, for a reason I don't remember, there was a bakers strike. I didn't bake bread often while the children were at home but started again a few years ago. Now that my wrists are not as strong as they used to be I use the dough hook on my Kenwood chef to do the hard work. I use the cheapest white bread flour which at present I'm mixing with the second huge bag of  malted wheat flour bought from Approved Food quite a while ago. Flour keeps well as long as it's cool, dry and out of the way of critters. I use Doves farm yeast which keeps in the fridge for ages after opening. I bought 12 packs off Amazon and they are still OK after a year. The only other ingredients are tepid water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and a knob of butter. I expect the last three could be missed out, but I stick with what works for me.
I see the 3 bread a-rising ( to the tune of Bad Moon Rising!)
One last thing, connected to my post about The Stuff sent from the Red Cross. Look what came through the door yesterday -
A very nice calendar from The Guide Dogs Association charity -How much did this cost them? Will it make me donate?

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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

25th November is........

..........St Catherine's Day. St Catherine was the 4th century martyr who was put to death on a spiked wheel which then gave the name to the spinning firework. She is the Patron Saint of Lacemakers among other things.
It was traditional on 25th Nov to make Cattern  Cakes. How do I know all this and what are Cattern cakes, I hear you asking (or not!).
It's all due to some of the books I have on the shelves. Years ago I found this book in a charity shop for 70p

 (I know 'cos it still says so inside) and it got me interested in special days of the past. Later I found other books with more information, like this one
 For many years I wrote a diary piece about our smallholding for The Suffolk Smallholders Newsletter and then one year I did a piece called " Country Days and Country Ways", which saw me searching through these two and all my books of weather sayings and odd facts, to fill a page of the newsletter every month.

 I love the way the year was marked by special days, some from Pagan times others from Christianity and how few remain -  Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Hot Cross buns on Good Friday. I wonder if Black Friday will become a day mentioned in books of the future? I hope not!

So what are Cattern Cakes? (Cattern being a corruption of Catherine)
Here's the recipe from the book, I've not tried it..........maybe next year.
Sift 9oz SR Flour and ¼ cinnamon into a bowl and stir in 1oz currants,2oz ground almonds, 2tsp caraway seeds and 7oz castor sugar. Add 4oz melted butter and 1 beaten egg. Mix well to make a dough and then roll out on a floured surface to make a rectangle about 12 x 10 inches. Brush the dough with water and sprinkle over a little cinnamon. Roll up like a swiss roll and cut into ¾ inch slices. Put these on a greased tray, spaced well apart and bake for 10 minutes at 200℃ ( less I guess for a fan oven).

This morning I've been and got lemons and oranges ready for Christmas cake making and hit a problem with my low/no spend November challenge - If you buy most of your clothes from charity shops, as I do, and have been looking for some good length tunic tops ready for winter and then you discover one that is just right, do you (a) leave it because you are doing a challenge to see how little can be spent this month or (b) do you buy it because you know very well that by 1st December it'll be gone?
ANSWER It was brand new, just right for over a tee-shirt and leggings and it cost me £6.

My money saving hint today from the 2013 list was never to use first class stamps by getting organised and posting earlier with second class. This is something I always try to do especially at Christmas.

Thanks for comments yesterday and thanks to the folks who said they would read my posts whatever I write about. One thing I won't be doing is making a video to tell you what you should and shouldn't do!

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

24th November and save a £1 tip 24 is.............

.......................grow something to eat, even if you buy a tomato plant for 50p from a car boot sale it will pay you back at least two or three times.
What does the average family without a garden spend on fruit and vegetables? I have absolutely no idea.
For the last 30ish years ( except for 6 months renting before we came here) we've grown as much as we can so it will come as quite a shock if we are unable to grow our food when we move.

I thought I'd spotted the first Fieldfare to arrive, in the Hawthorn tree yesterday - dashed to get the camera, took a photo, went through to show it to Col who said " yes, I thought I saw a couple in the apple tree a few minutes ago."  Darn It!

 The birds have got through loads of peanuts and  bird seed over the last couple of days, our neighbour is away so everything has crossed the road to our feeders and by the way this fieldfare and the blackbirds were attacking the hawthorn berries they'll soon be all gone too.

I've had the oven on for some baking today and chocolate cakes have been put in the freezer for when we have people here before and over Christmas.Then I got all the fruit for Christmas cakes soaking in a mix of cold tea and brandy. The recipe I use is on the separate recipe page, then scroll down. It's called Victorian Christmas cake and is a Mary Berry recipe but from  long before Bake Off  when she was famous first time round. I've done the recipe x 2¾ because of making several cakes for gifts. I'll take some photos and add them to the recipe page as the cake is made on Friday.

Although I'm sad that our world at the moment has shrunk so that I'm reduced to posting about TV programmes it was lovely to get so many comments about what we had watched over the weekend. I'm glad several people agreed with me about who was eliminated on Strictly and like Irene said I also can't imagine why Emma- the mud hut lady - has to pay council tax, although I guess everyone has to chip in for roads, fire-service etc.

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Monday, 23 November 2015

Did you see...........

I finally caught up on the Ben Fogle programme - Living in the Wild in the UK. The second in the series was about a lady living in a straw bale/ mud hut in the depths of Pembrokeshire. Although she lived alone she allowed other people to also live alone around her, shunning all mod cons except a landline phone - in it's own mud hut several 100 yards from her home. I found the whole idea fascinating. She and her husband bought 150 acres of wild woodland many years ago and lived in old buildings on the land and when she decided to move out of the family home her husband and children didn't go with her and eventually all moved back to England. She said electricity makes her feel strange and she only feels right in natural light,  which must make her winter days very short.

We watched Adele singing  on a special BBC programme Friday night. What a singer she is and how much she has accomplished already. She chatted with Graham Norton between songs and one hilarious bit showed her made up with false nose and chin to audition in an Adele Sound-Alike competition. None of the other girls taking part recognized who she was until it was her turn to sing and then it was really entertaining to watch them suddenly realising that "Hey this girl is good" then " it's her, it's Adele, No - Yes it really is!" We have both of her earlier CDs and I think the new one ought to be added to a wish list.

Col has been watching Darts on TV all weekend. Good Grief, some of those blokes are BIG but the two who got through to the final are a more normal size. Peter "Snakebite" Wright -one of the finalists actually lives in Suffolk. He is a man you couldn't miss in a crowd as he always wears the most incredible clothes and has a bright coloured mohican hairstyle and paintings done on the sides of his head. He certainly brings a different look to the stage when he's throwing his 'arrers'. In a former life, BC ( Before Col) I used to spend a lot of time playing or watching darts. An X boyfriend's aunt and uncle owned a pub so when we went to visit, which we did a lot in our mid teens, we would spend hours playing darts.Then later, boyfriend played in a team at work so I would go along too - mainly for the free food afterwards!

It was an enjoyable Strictly from the Blackpool Tower ballroom, I'm not sure the judges sent the right person through in the dance off? Not a very exciting appearance by Take That I thought and if that was their new single it was instantly forgettable.

Now you know what we were doing all weekend, and with a freezing North wind and a poorly husband, staying in by the fire really was the sensible thing to do.

Now we are on to Money Saving Hint number 23, which was - You need never buy note pads for shopping lists or for phone messages. If you cut up cereal boxes and similar thin card into tidy squares, then keep them in a kitchen drawer or in a box by the phone.

Jack Frost called last night, he left patterns on the conservatory roof, it's his first visit this autumn. Brrrrrr!
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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Chilly morning sunrise

It was quite a surprise to find a sprinkling of snow outside this morning, very unusual here as we have the warming influence of the North Sea just a few miles away.
The birds were soon searching for the windfall apples under the big Bramley tree and the sunrise over the farm buildings down the road certainly looked wintery.

The puddles on the road had no ice on them although there were some slippery bits.

I soon got the Rayburn going and the kettle on and toast in for breakfast and  I think it will be another day of staying at home and keeping warm.

Tip 22 from the 2013 list was :- Read local papers in your library, read news online or find a friend or neighbour to pass newspapers onto you.

Thanks again for comments yesterday, I'm off to see what everyone else in Blogland is up to on this chilly Sunday morning

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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Rough weather

I zoomed out in the wind, rain and gloomy skies to Saxmundham to pick up a few bits we needed. While  in Tesco I bought some gift voucher cards for other shops (Debenhams, B & Q etc) for the children and their partners, to go with things I've ordered off their Amazon wish lists.  I shall still need to go to Woodbridge or Ipswich for other cards as the range at Tesco is limited.. We could give them money but sometimes gift money get absorbed into the housekeeping - at least that's what happens here, so with a card they can go into a shop and choose something for themselves.
Keeping to the low spend November I only looked at the magazines (again!) and in the Original Factory Shop  also just looked at the Christmas decorations and Christmas jumpers without opening my purse. Not that I would want a Christmas jumper anyway - some of them are just dreadful.

Thank you for comment yesterday and welcome to Cornelia from Germany as a new follower. Margaret P jumped to the wrong conclusion when I mentioned gift cards, thinking I meant gift tags. But of course I had already said in one of the money saving tips that I make tags from old cards so I was hardly likely to be buying them!

Which reminds me to mention the £1 saving tip number 21.
Every time you come home put any 5p pieces into a savings tin. They get stuck in the corner of your purse(at least they do in mine) and are not missed from the housekeeping. You will be surprised at how they mount up during the year.
A few 10p's have crept into the tin too - every little helps!

We won't be venturing far today in this weather. I have a book to finish before library van day next Friday and when the oven is on for dinner tonight I want to roast some squash for soup and make a quiche for tomorrow.

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday again and nothing happening

First of all, welcome to Lavender Rosemary a new follower, but someone else has un-followed so numbers remain the same.

Friday has rushed round, after a very strange week. I fetched Col from hospital yesterday evening, they pumped some iron into him and he is back on the iron tablets until he has to prepare for the other camera thing (with a different sort of "stuff" which hopefully he will not be allergic to). The investigation that they were able to do showed nothing so it's a waiting game again.
Nothing is happening on the house selling/buying front either. Our estate agent has left messages but with no reply - I hope our buyers haven't gone off the whole idea, we can't move on with buying something until we know the expected timeline.

It's been bread making day today and I also made some leek and potato soup for lunch, it's ages since I made any and we'd forgotten how delicious it is. We are still eating our way through our Charlotte potatoes which we left in the ground much later than usual - they have so much flavour. What a shock it will be when we have buy spuds in the new year.

Tip number 20 to save a little cash is :- Cut the ends off tubes of toothpaste, hand cream etc to get out the last little bit. I must admit that the last time I tried this with toothpaste there was nothing left to get out so I've not bothered again.

Nothing much planned for the weekend, except for watching Strictly from Blackpool, and some more of the ATP tennis. Although I do need to go and get a bit of shopping (haven't bought any food or milk since last Friday and I have a £4.50 Tesco voucher) and maybe while I'm in Tesco I can get some gift cards for more Christmas presents.

Back with tip number 21 tomorrow

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Thursday - setting things straight

This is the tree or rather the top part of a tree that came down in the wind on Tuesday night. There was no other damage just things blown over.
Two more ideas for saving a few pence from the 2013 list.

Number 18 was/is :- borrow recipe books from the library and see how many recipes you will actually use before buying the book. [ This is a helpful idea especially for someone out there in blogland - you know who you are! :-)  ]
and if anyone comments again that they can't use their library because it is useless/too far away/in the wrong town or whatever, I shall scream!

Hint 19 was - Tip bottles upside down and leave to drain to get the last bit out. Apparently this is specially important for wine bottles ;-)

Thanks for comments yesterday.
 Tell me folks, did I anywhere in my post say that the NHS were not wonderful? The ambulance blokes who've been here 4 times now are always absolutely brilliant. The nurses who work with patience even if their patients are difficult are brilliant. The Doctors who do silly hours are brilliant. And we are hugely grateful for them looking after Col every time he has been in hospital. But if money wasn't wasted in some places then think how much better things could be.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Nothing goes to plan

It turned out that Col was allergic to the stuff he had to take to prepare for the camera procedure and ended up in hospital as an in-patient the day before he was due to be an out-patient. Then because he hadn't been told to stop one of his heart tablets he can only have half the procedure done and not today when it should have been done but he has to stay in and wait until tomorrow.
Are you with me?
He will now have to wait to get called for the other thing later. So we end up with 3 journeys there and back instead of 1.
Is it no wonder that we are planning to move closer to the hospital!

He heard a tale of how the hospital waste money today.
Someone was sent home from hospital yesterday but only half the medication they were supposed to take home with them was available. So the other half  was delivered to them today BY TAXI - a 50 mile round trip!! Honestly, you couldn't make it up.

Back Tomorrow

PS Thanks for all the good wishes, I've passed them on to him
and another PS Blimey it was windy here last night, things blown all over the place and one tree down on our field. Hope you were all safe and sound out there.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Quiet times, just waiting

 Not a lot happening here at the moment. I bring in wood for the fires, chop some kindling now and again, prepare meals, watch the ATP tennis in the afternoons and read in the evenings.
Col is not feeling up to doing much apart from a bit of sorting in his workshop and doing the washing up after meals and poor fella has to go without food today from breakfast onwards ready for the nasty hospital procedures tomorrow. I shall feel guilty tucking into my lunch and dinner while he has weak black tea but will be jolly glad to find out what's the matter with him even if it is something nasty, it's the not knowing that frightens me.

Here is another  £1 saving hint from my 2013 list. Make Christmas gift tags from old Christmas cards. Surely everyone does this?............ but maybe not as there are still gift tags aplenty for sale in the shops.

Back soon

Monday, 16 November 2015

Unexpected visitors

I keep forgetting to do the money saver tips on the right day -Duh - so once again here are 2 ideas for a little bit of money saving that first appeared in 2013.

Tip 15 provoked several comments back then. It is - If you have an answerphone set it on the longest number of rings so you can get to the phone in time to answer and save on calling people back.

Tip 16 - Poundland and 99p shops are not always the cheapest place to buy things, some prices are rounded up to make up for those rounded down! So you need to know the prices of your regular buys.

We were having a quiet Sunday afternoon when there was a knock at the door and a couple we had last seen in 2010, before they went off to work in Australia, appeared out of the blue. They had been regulars on our campsite for many years and there they were with an old caravan towed by a giant Land Cruiser truck which they had shipped back to this country, touring around family and friends before heading off to live in their house in Spain - retiring at the grand old age of 49! There was quite a lot to catch up on including Col's health problems, our house sale and of course their time Down Under. They've pitched on the campsite driveway for a couple of nights.

 This morning I hauled everything out of the roof cupboard to sort out. Why did we still have the frames for 2 gazebos without the covers? Into the scrap box they've gone. There are also some toys - Lego and Brio and a few childrens books. These need packing into new boxes and sealing up before storing somewhere awaiting future grandchildren.

Tennis on TV this afternoon and as the weather is grey and windy I shall settle down and watch.

Thank you for comments yesterday and for some comments I found on older posts
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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Halfway Through November

Quite a rough night last night, the gale woke me up a couple of times. My twenty minute quick walk up and down the road this morning was a bit hairy as it took me past a wood where the trees were creaking and groaning in the wind. One small branch was hanging down close to the road caught on another branch,  I was able to give it a tug and lay it in the ditch.

 Mincemeat was made yesterday using half measures of  Delia's recipe.
  I say her name through gritted teeth as she lives in Suffolk but owns much of Norwich City football club. There are even old photos of her when she first moved to the county at an Ipswich Town match sporting a blue and white scarf. Now she wears the 'enemies' colours! (Sorry, the above is only relevant to people born in Suffolk who have a passing interest in football!).

This morning we decided to use our NT card to go and look at the Christmas Fair at our nearest NT venue Sutton Hoo.  It's several years since we last went and they have improved the Ship Burial exhibition but unfortunately the Christmas Fair was mainly expensive craft items which were out of my price range. There was a big stall with Artisan bread, it smelled wonderful but I left the £8 loaves on the stall! Didn't even see anything of interest in the second-hand bookshop. I guess you could say it was a good morning out as we spent nothing.

Talking of spending - or not- the total outgoings for my Low Spend November Challenge at the halfway point are £590. This includes the direct debits for council tax, water, phone/computer and charity. Plus Daughters birthday gift, the first of the Christmas gifts, cat food, an item for the smallholding, pharmacy, postage, household cleaning and food. It sounds a lot but it will be easier to judge if I was successful at the end of the month.

Welcome to Catsngrams, a new follower. At the moment Google won't let me find out if you have a blog.
Thanks for comments yesterday.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Beanz Meanz........

 ........ more beans next year.
Wherever we are living next year I hope to grow a few things including runner beans, and here they are, shelled out yesterday from beans dried from this years crop.

Yesterday I just about got the washing dry before we had heavy blustery showers, followed by sun again later. We popped out in the afternoon for picking up tablets from the doctors and a few bits of shopping including an orange and lemon for the mincemeat. Col went and looked at the self-storage place in Leiston because there will be some furniture that won't fit in a small 2 bedroom bungalow. But what a lot they charge.To have somewhere for the dining table, chairs, boxes of crockery etc it would be a £100+ a month. That's crazy, it would be better to sell the stuff at auction and buy second-hand things later if we need them.

My low spend November saw me avoiding some yellow ticket reduced to clear boxes of local handmade chocolates and walking straight past the magazines again, just picking up the free Coastal Scene paper instead. So to add to last Tuesdays running total is £1.32 for fruit and veg and £4.19 for other stuff, 56p for pharmacy and £9 Christmas presents. I've also been ordering pressies from the childrens Amazon wish lists.
We've topped up the car with diesel after the hospital visit and house hunting trip because Col is up to hospital again next week. I shall do half monthly running totals tomorrow.

 I missed out the 13th money saver tip yesterday which was - If you need more than 2 prescriptions from your doctor each month then a prepayment card will save you money. This is quite apt for the-man-who-was-never-ill-until-he-hit-56 because now he has so many different tablets to take that it would cost us over £80 a month. The alternative to the prepayment card is to reach the age of 60- like me- then prescriptions are free. The odd thing is that while individual prescription costs go up each April the annual prepayment card hasn't gone up for a couple of years.

Tip number 14 was to find out about free events at local museums or look for things like National Trust free open days.Our local museum - The Long Shop  in Leiston is always free on the opening day each season.

Thank you for comments yesterday, are you like Dawn - very cynical  about the whole Children in Need thing or like me - just enjoying watching all the different things people will do to fund raise. Yes, in an ideal world there would be no need for charities, but the world we live in is far from ideal and probably never has been.

Today I plan to get my mincemeat started and then bike down to the village to support a charity sale there.

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Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday the 13th

I finished off the quince and apple jelly yesterday and got a good set quite quickly. 

4 jars made, a good golden colour. 2 for the hampers and 2 to keep.

Thanks for conversational comments yesterday. Margaret P was asking about our water treatment and I'm sure some clever person out there will know why some water smells of chlorine and other water doesn't. Our mains water here comes from a deep bore-hole aquifer  and the water tower which provides the pressure to get the water here  is at Saxmundham. The water in this area is what we call hard water and makes limescale easily it doesn't smell of chlorine at all.  

Quite a bright breezy day here so far today and washing is blowing merrily on the line. Bread is rising in the kitchen and I've been writing lists. I have the list of things that need making before Christmas and jobs that need doing and another list of plans for my December blog posts. That's as well as the lists in the Christmas book of presents and cards.
A bit of shopping needs doing later and then it will be an evening watching the Children In Need programmes.
That's our Friday 13th sorted - touch wood and crossing fingers.

 Stay safe
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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Yesterday + more money saver tips re-hashed from 2013

Yesterday was Saint Martin's Day or Martinmas, a date that featured often in rhymes about the weather, long before the days of weather forecasts.
If ice on Martinmas will bear a duck
The rest of the winter is mud and muck
According to my Chambers Book of Days, St Martin of Tours is the patron saint of soldiers he was born into a pagan family and served in the army. After sharing his cloak with a freezing beggar he saw a vision of Christ and was baptised in AD 354. The cloak became a sacred relic and was carried into battle by many French monarchs. When not in use it was stored in a special sanctuary called a chapella (from the old French chape - a cloak) This is where our word Chapel comes from.
A period of warm days often occurs around this time - so true this year and as the ice on the 11th this year was definitely not thick enough to bear a duck then we may be in for a cold winter.......or not! Because another weather say says that if the wind is SW - it was- then it will stay that way until February and that means a mild winter. I'm thinking we might as well just wait and see.

Yesterday was also the day I used my new jelly bag and stand for the first time. After this disaster back in February  I chucked out the slightly rusty metal jelly bag stand and didn't replace it until we were away in Cumbria and visited the Lakeland shop in Windermere. Then it's taken me until now to start the Quince and Apple Jelly using the easy snap together plastic stand. There are little hooks to catch the edges of  the jelly bag so hopefully I won't have the same messy problem again.
I left it to drip all night and will finish it  today, another item for the Christmas hampers I think.
While I was thinking about Christmas I decided to do another collection of goodies for Father in law. Not so many chutneys but a few bought food things added to the homemade. I can't think of anything he needs being well over 80 and quite poorly. Col's brother still lives with his dad and I have no idea what to find for him for Christmas. More food?
Then I got to thinking of all the things I could make for food hampers if I didn't have a garden and loads of produce and made a list which I will add to when I get new ideas, that's really planning ahead!

Also Yesterday Col had a bit more energy and spent a couple of hours sorting through more things that he wants to take with him. For years we've had a lot of stacking bread crates that we used to use  for taking books to country fairs now they will be handy for piling up with tools etc and stacking in the horse box trailer.

My 11th tip for saving money is one we use all the time so it must have saved us a fortune. It is to invest in a flask and take tea or coffee with you on a day out. We actually take a flask of boiling water, two mugs and a tub with coffee and a teaspoon. A bit of milk in a small bottle and we have a drink as good as we have at home. If we are taking lunch too then it's either a home made salad-in-a-box  and two forks when we've got salad in the garden or sandwiches or rolls the rest of the year.
Tip number 12 was on the same lines - Don't waste money on bottled water - stand a bottle of tap water in the fridge overnight to take with you next day. We almost always take a bottle of tap water with us when we go out, often handy.

Probably Back Tomorrow

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

11th November

Not a normal post today because I thought I would share this poem which was in our Parish Magazine, the author is unknown. I hadn't heard it before but when I googled it it popped up all over the place so more well known than I thought.

Picture from Google images
Why are they selling poppies,Mummy
Selling poppies in town today?
The poppies, child, are flowers of love
for the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a pretty rose?
because, my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppy grows.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child,
The blood that our soldiers shed.

Why is the middle so black Mummy?
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief
For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy, are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you, my child,
For the world is forgetting again.

Back Tomorrow

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Oh you lucky people - 2 moneysaving tips........ one day, because I forgot to do one yesterday!

The 9th tip for saving was cut down on how much shampoo, toothpaste lotions and potions that you use to see if less will do the same job
and the 10th was Before you buy anything STOP and think if you already have something that will do the same job. Which is why we don't have a dishwasher because I have a person who can do the washing up much more cheaply!

Did you see the programme about Aldi?  They didn't sound like very good employers and their attitude to health and safety regarding fire exits was dreadful. I wonder if Lidl are the same? Hugh FW War on Waste was good again, we've both signed his petition and I've vowed to try and use the fruit and veg shop in Leiston as much as possible. If I'm heading the other way to Saxmundham then there is no choice except Tesco and Waitrose.

We have no need to buy apples for a while. This is our late apple tree seen from the back door, it's behind the Bramley and still has a few apples hanging on,
  it's only when you get closer you realise there are actually quite a lot
So most have been picked wrapped and boxed, six layers deep. There is also a basket full that are either small or windfalls to eat first.
We've got a trug full of earlier apples out in the shed and another trug full in the craft room that will need eating before we even start on the ones in the box.

We had to pop to Woodbridge today to take all the forms to the solicitor and it seemed silly not to go to The Grape Tree to get the fruit I needed ready for mincemeat and Christmas cake although of course that meant spending money in November that would have waited until December.We also needed milk and yogurt and a few other bits.The last time I opened my purse was last Friday so to add to the £49.12 Food and £29.24 other stuff we have another £9 on store-cupboard stuff and £6.50 for things that go in the fridge. I also picked up just over £8 worth of food things that will be gifts  or made into gifts for the hampers.
No spend November? Ha Ha Ha ( But I was a good girl and only looked at the magazines in W.H Smiths- again!)

Thanks for comments yesterday. Bovey Belle asked if we were right off the Wales idea. The answer is not completely but because of this latest health issue and wanting to have a short chain we are basically looking for something empty that we can move into quickly. Not a forever house and not something perfect but just somewhere small and inexpensive(?) to live while everything is sorted out.When we know what is the matter with Colin this time we  can then either stay or rent it out and move somewhere else. Our original plan was to go back to the mid Suffolk area of Stowmarket that we know so well but there is nothing for sale there that's suitable at the moment AND it still means a 15 mile journey to hospital. Whereas where we looked yesterday, although we may pay a bit more for a smaller place, the rental return would be a lot more and it's only  a mile and a bit to hospital.

Back Tomorrow

Monday, 9 November 2015

9th November and a new-to-me author

I spent all yesterday afternoon and evening reading ( apart from watching the Strictly Results programme - Phew thank goodness Carol, obviously a lovely lady, has gone, her dancing was painful to watch) and finished a whole book.
Stella Cameron - Folly. This was written in 2013 and is crime fiction set in the Cotswolds but written by a popular American author who has been living in the States for many years. Now I have no problem with American authors setting their books over here but because  many words have different meanings here and there, every time you hit a "wrong" word it jumps out a mile. Take Vest - here it is a garment worn under everything when the weather is cold, there it is something worn over the top. Do we regularly use chains on our car wheels in winter? Not that I know of. There were other little things that made me wish it had been proof read by someone in this country before being published here. But saying that it was a good  read and there is a new book featuring the same characters which I've straight away ordered from the library.

Yet another grey day here, we went out this morning to look at a few bungalows near Ipswich one had been recently modernised but didn't feel right. One had a big garden with fruit trees but was such a tip both inside and out that is was difficult to see past the clutter and the other had been lived in by an old person and needed some work, the garden was what estate agents call "a blank canvas". We drove round the area and decided that it would be such a handy place to live, shops, post office, library and doctor all close. It would be a huge change from here obviously and maybe we wouldn't like it but then it would also be ideal to rent out for an income......some thought needed.

Back Tomorrow

Sunday, 8 November 2015

More wood cutting

It was a wet and windy afternoon here yesterday, with no reason to venture out we just watched Rugby on TV (I was wrong when I said yesterday we would be watching snooker on TV - that's next week  and tennis on the 15th) and read and  I got the Christmas list book out to see how many spaces could be filled in - several ideas still needed, although I've worked out exactly what's going in the hampers for sisters and brothers-in law. I'd like to say what will be included but that will spoil the surprise because my sister might read this. I'll have to take a photo and put it on the blog after Christmas.

Although this is what you see on our sale ad  I'm assuming we will here for Christmas, although the couple we are selling to want to be in by spring for planting, they are in a rented house in Suffolk with a flat in London which is almost sold so it will take a few weeks to sort out. I also need to find out who (family) is where over the holidays. So far we know our eldest is away at the in-laws in Devon and Col's Dad will probably be too poorly to travel over here from Mid Suffolk.

This morning - Sunday -we've been cutting more wood, it's good to have large amount cut as we get through a lot on the woodburner and Rayburn.
This is where I sit to chop kindling wood, I like to keep a few bags ready to bring in.

Clearing the big poly-tunnel is now finished, it's all ready for whatever the new owners want to grow
The middle polytunnel has carrots almost ready, swedes that might grow given time, beetroot at the back right. Lettuce that we are eating leaves from in the foreground, radish and rocket in the middle and at the back are small plants from a £1 living salad tray from Lidl. There were more than a dozen plants Col was able to divide and plant out. On the left the pepper plants are still hanging on with a few peppers still to be picked as we haven't had a frost yet.

The 8th money saving tip from the 2013 list  was swap an expensive hobby for a cheap one.
 Someone Col used to work with had a boat for a while and said it was like pouring money into a hole in the sea. I guess any hobby is as cheap or as expensive as you can afford it to be. Reading is cheap if you borrow library books but expensive if you want to buy everything in hardback and brand new.

Thanks for comments yesterday, it is a little cooler today- thankfully.

Back Tomorrow


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Warm November days and other notes from the diary

This was the time this morning when I took this photo of our thermometer on the outside of the kitchen window.
It's not very clear as the weather was so dull but it says16℃ that's 61F  at 8am on the 7th November, No wonder I'm hot all the time.
With Col not A1 I've been getting up and leaving him in bed, doing a quick 20 minute walk up and down the road, collecting a wheelbarrow full of wood from the shed on the way back in and then lighting the kitchen Rayburn, by which time I'm HOT. I don't like it this mild when you need a coat because it's drizzly and,  as the rather rude Kathy Burke said on Not The Nine O'Clock News last night, " I need a cool breeze up me ****** at my age!"

Yesterday we had some heavy rain again, for about the 4th day in a row. We'd decided to go and look at a couple of empty houses just down the road in our local town, booked up before the edge of Ipswich idea. Anyway we went and looked, one had had the garden chopped off the back for no apparent reason and the other needed too much work.Now we've gone off the idea of staying in this bit of Suffolk we're going to go and look at a few more empty properties near Ipswich next week. We are hoping to make a short chain by moving into something empty.

The rain started this morning not long after I'd got back from my walk so it was out into the poly-tunnel for more clearing and then we'll probably do a bit more woodcutting.

As well as the second Hugh FW programme on Monday there is also something on about Aldi on Channel 4 at 8pm which might be interesting. Tennis was on TV this time last year but I've searched through the listings and can't find it but there is some snooker on tonight. We are both enthusiastic armchair sports watchers!

Thanks for the comments yesterday, I shall pop over to finish replying to them. Also welcome to new followers numbers seem to have jumped by 3 without me realising. Hello and I hope you enjoy reading.

The 7th money saving tip from the 2013 list was - Christmas is the same day every year so don't get caught out and have to run up debts to fund the extra shopping - Start in the January sales!

Back Tomorrow

Friday, 6 November 2015

Thoughts on town life and the 6th £1 money saver tip

It took an age to get to Ipswich hospital yesterday evening during what is the Ipswich version of rush hour      (slow crawl through lots of traffic lights) and in pouring rain. Col was told what he knew already - that he has to have  cameras in various places to check things out! Hopefully within the next 2 weeks.
 On our equally slow drive out of town, probably because of a huge  firework etc display at Kesgrave High School, we were considering what a good idea it would be to live at this end of Ipswich, so handy for the hospital, buses down into the town centre all the time, a 10 minute cycle route through to a small  library and  shopping precinct including a charity shop and a bit further onto the big Tesco and the new Poundland. Col has his old boss living in this area and I've got a cousin here too. We could have a beach hut in Felixstowe and pop down on sunny days, it would only take 20 minutes.

Could we live on the edge of town?  All sounds quite appealing on an hours wet drive home!

Thinking I could get the Kenco de-caf refill packs at the big Tesco and get them price matched with the Asda special offer we called in - Ha! No, there's a catch, you have to buy 10 different  items before the price match thing kicks in. We didn't know this until we got to the checkout, so the coffee went back on the shelf. Also popped into to Poundland, so last nights spending - Xmas food gifts £3, Store cupboard food £7.45, Fridge £4, Fresh fish £2.20. Hospital Car park £2

Low spend/ No(?) spend November so far Food £49.12, other £29.24
I avoided the Christmas decorations and all the yellow ticket RTC items that we didn't really need.

The 6th money saver tip from 2013 was - Have a look round industrial estates to see what is being thrown out. We've been getting old pallets for burning for years and the 1000 litre IBC tanks to refurbish and sell and the strangest find ever was bundles of broom handles being chucked. They came in handy for all sorts of things and then we cleared the rest out at one of the car boot sales we did in the spring.

Many thanks for all the good wishes yesterday, I'll not be going on about his health problems too much I hope!

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Gunpowder,Treason and Plot

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Every year ( or maybe memory deceives) in primary school we would copy out this poem in our best handwriting and decorate around the edges of the page with pictures of fireworks, bonfires and Guy Fawkes.
Once home, after tea we would go outside for a bonfire and fireworks  which would have been bought a few at a time over the last month.Our neighbours on one side would come round and perhaps Grandad would be there too. The fireworks didn't last long then it would be back indoors for hot dogs.
It was such an adventure, looked forward to for weeks -  Simple times.

This year we won't be watching fireworks as Cols outpatients appointment at hospital is at 6.30pm tonight -an  odd time. I have to confess to being a bit concerned at this new problem which has come on rather suddenly. It may upset all our plans regarding house moving and leave us not knowing what to do next.

The fifth £1 money saver from April 2013 was/ is - Buy Refill packs if you can.
Years ago we had a shop locally where we could take Ecover empties and refill with washing up liquid and laundry liquid. No longer there. I used to buy refill packs of the Kenco De-caf coffee, now more often than not I can buy jars on special offer cheaper than the refill packs.

I may be back tomorrow

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

4th November

On 4th November 1987 our youngest arrived in the world. 6 years younger than her brother and 7½ years younger than her big sister. The oldest two were at school, I was older and somehow caring for a baby seemed much easier than it was before. I had more time to enjoy having a little one in the house and consequently she was a very easy baby and toddler to look after.
 She hardly remembers living anywhere before we came here - she was 4½- unlike the older two children who had lived in 3 or 4  different homes before this. Although she's made up for it since - renting 4 different places in Leiston since she moved out 9 years ago. She says it will be odd knowing someone else is living here.
 Happy Birthday A. Our "baby" is 28. Blimey we're old!

We have pouring rain here this morning but the weather was a bit brighter yesterday and no fog. Col went down to our farmer friends to get our grass topper but it was wedged in behind other machinery and he couldn't get it out of the shed. So he did some weeding instead and picked off all the green tomatoes to bring them in to ripen.

 Our tomatoes plants have virtually finished and we'll be clearing them all out of the poly-tunnel soon.
 I had a frustrating time trying to do the main monthly shop at Tescos in Saxmundham. NO milk powder - empty space,NO value range soft cheese, NO Kenco de-caf coffee refill packs and NO own brand de-caf - they've stopped selling all those here in Saxmundham. No value range  mackerel fillets ( Have to go to Sainsburys). I just end up cross and with a quarter of the shopping list not bought.

Tip number 4 re-hashed from 2013 is Re-read the instructions for your washing machine and see if you can use a shorter cycle.
 Because we dry stuff outside, I've turned down the spin speed, hope that saves a bit of energy. I do all washing on 40℃, our machine is quite old and there is no lower wash temperature and unlike machines in the States no way of doing a cold water wash as the machine is hot and cold intake.

November No/ Low Spend Challenge - spent yesterday - Milk £2 , Veg £2.68,  Food that goes in Fridge and freezer £20.13, Store Cupboard food £8.26, Meat 80p, Laundry(Washing Soda) £1, Kitchen roll ( for tissues and other odd jobs) £1. Cats £24 (enough for one and a half months).
Pharmacy 50p.
Then very annoyingly had to pay 74p to post 2 small bung bits for the water storage things that Col hadn't included when he delivered the tanks in September BUT that was cheaper than driving 25 miles!
£1.40 off at Tesco with vouchers and price match.
Total spend so far this month Food £32.47 Everything else £27.24

I avoided spending on some yellow ticket RTC chocolate eclairs and a Christmas magazine!

I'm not sure about this posting everyday - seems to take up more time than I remember from the spring, may have to slow down again.
Back Tomorrow - probably

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Two Tired Carrots and the 3rd £1 saver idea

Yesterday was another foggy day not quite as dense as Sunday and it even brightened up for a while early afternoon.
Col was out in the loo block turning off the water, draining the system and covering the basins and cisterns  with dust sheets to keep out the spiders and flies. The mats are laid up against the bottom of the doors to try to stop the leaves blowing in, but I bet when everything is opened up again in the spring there will be leaves and cobwebs everywhere. Dustbins and picnic tables are stored in the recreation room.  I had a big clean up indoors and chopped some more kindling.

I enjoyed  the Hugh FW programme about waste. I'm pleased to say we are NOT one of the millions who waste food like those featured on the programme! I'm guessing that most of the bloggy friends who read this don't waste much either.
There is only one more in the series so I'm not sure if Hugh can do anything to carry on this campaign. I hope so because all that waste is just criminal.

As I said not much gets wasted here. Since our youngest moved out I've had 9 years of cooking for 2 people, I know how much to prepare and we rarely have left overs after meals but sometimes things get left in the fridge a bit too long.
This is what I do with 2 tired carrots.

But before that I'll ask - how do you store your shop bought carrots? . If they are in a plastic bag, and the value ones usually are, I take them out of the bag and lay them on an old clean tea-towel in the salad drawer of the fridge. Then I cover with another clean tea towel. They are then dark, cool and dry and keep well for 3 or 4 weeks.

Anyway, when they get really ancient - Top, tail, wash and peel off any manky bits, grate the rest into a saucepan. Add one finely chopped onion, a vegetable stock cube and a little water to just cover the veg. Bring to the boil, turn down heat, put lid on and simmer gently until carrots and onions are soft, adding a little more hot water if needed. When they are soft stir in 2 tablespoons flour, add 1 tin of cheapest tomatoes and whizz the whole lot up in a liquidiser or whichever machine you have for whizzing. Add more water to thin it down then heat it up and enjoy a delicious bowl of tomato soup. This amount would make 4 bowls.

When I first began blogging someone( can't remember who) had a Food Waste Friday when they would take a picture of the food that had been chucked out for whatever reason. They reduced their food waste a lot over the months. Perhaps we should start this again?

The third Save a £1 tip from April 2013 was - Don't start pets on expensive food.
There is now a problem with this tip because as far as I can see there is now no such thing as cheap pet food!

No Spend/ Low spend November challenge - Yesterdays spending = Nothing

Back Tomorrow

Monday, 2 November 2015

Checking the freezer + another way to save £1

Welcome to Stephanie a new follower over there on the right.

I came across other poems with the title "November", one is by Ted Hughes and starts

The month of the drowned dog. After long rain the land 
was sodden as the bed of an ancient lake.

Another poet American William Cullen Bryant also wrote a November poem and that's weather related too it finishes

..............we will try to bear.
The piercing winter frost,and winds and darkened air

Whichever way you look at it, November poetry is depressing.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the freezer to get out some tomato and herb bread rolls and there were none there. I usually know when we are running low, so it was time to make a double batch of rolls and maybe time to do a freezer check just in case there is something else we are running short of.
I'm even re-hashing old photos too!

I've seen lots of freezer inventories in blog posts and I often think - Good Grief - what a lot of food people keep in their freezers, but then I remember that when the children were at home we had 2 chest freezers full and when we bred sheep there were 3 large freezers running when the lambs came back from the butchers, before we sold them in half lamb freezer packs.

Now we have 2 freezers - a medium sized chest freezer out in the shed and the bottom half of a normal sized fridge freezer in the kitchen and I don't want to store too much in case we move soon.

Got my gloves on, rummaged around and here's what I found

FRUIT:- Several small bags of apricots about 15-20 maybe more, a few bags of raspberries, cherries and a couple of pounds of pears and 4 bags of cooking apples left  from last year (Do I use them now we have tons outside or chuck?). All home grown. 6 small bags blackberries from the hedgerows.
VEG :- Lots and lots of chopped peppers, 1 bag cauliflower and 1 bag sweetcorn from here and half a bag shop bought frozen peas
CAKE:- Small box of sultana buns, one layer of coffee sponge, one layer plain sponge and a few chocolate sponge squares. All home made.
MEAL PORTIONS:- 2 boxes of pizza topping, 2 portions salmon and broccoli pasta bake, 1 portion bol. sauce, 1 portion veg curry,1 portion Liver and gravy, 1 portion Aubergine and tomato sauce. All home made.
PASTRY:- 2 Chicken and leek pies, 2 cheese pasties. 4 quiche bases, 1 pie bottom and top. 1 Apple pie. Home made except the cheese pasties.
MEAT. 400g and 200g beef mince. 4 chicken wings, 3 chicken thighs, 2 x 8oz chicken breasts, 2 x 6oz sausage meat, 4x4sausages, 2 x 2 pork belly slices, 2 bacon steaks, 4 x 6oz bacon bits.
FISH:- 5 pieces of Fish in crumbs,1 smoked mackerel fillet,1 random salmon steak
BREAD:- 10 Home Made Tomato and herb rolls, 8 HM Naan breads, 1½ packs Tortilla wraps, 6 finger rolls, 1 sliced Granary bread. 2 HM loaves.
ODDS & ENDS. Box crumble mix, box dried breadcrumbs,bag white breadcrumbs. ½ pack Chinese mini veg.spring rolls. 3 Tesco Vegetable quarter pounders, Remains of 2 litre value vanilla icecream. 2 choc/mint Tesco"Magnums"(His! I don't like them otherwise they would be long gone!) Small bag of chestnuts, pack of puff pastry divided into 3 and the too salty dried tomatoes that I can use in the tomato/herb rolls.

Save £1.... day 2 of the 2013 list
TRY VALUE RANGES IN SUPERMARKETS to see if you can use them in place of branded products.  Aldi and Lidl are more widely spread than when this list was first published and often better quality than value ranges but at much the same price. Use My Supermarket price comparison website to check before you shop. Especially if you live somewhere with choice - that is most places except here!!

I will be watching the new Hugh FW programme on TV later. When I mentioned it the other day Jen left a comment which I have only just come across about The Real Junk Food project, running cafes using food that would otherwise be wasted. There's one in Ipswich which we will try out when we go into town in December.

No Spend November Challenge - Yesterdays spending = Nothing

Back Tomorrow

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The woman who doesn't do challenges.........

.........does a challenge!........... NO SPEND NOVEMBER!..........Well sort of.

I'll be buying some food, feeding the cats, paying bills and starting some Christmas present shopping (because I'd panic if it was all left to December) but other than that I want to avoid opening my purse.

It could  be because after our  breaks last month we need to go more carefully
Or it could be that our income is now tiny and we are living on savings

The trouble is that because of the Direct Debits for Council Tax, water, phone/broadband and a small charity donation....... whooosh out of the bank goes £253 without me even getting my purse out of my bag!

I looked back at the accounts (posh term for notes in the diary!) for November 2014 to see where the money went last year and then looked back on here to see what we were doing, then out of interest I scrolled back to November 2013. That was the month I reprised the 30 ways to save a £1 from earlier in 2013 when lots of bloggers earned £30 for sending their list to one of the money websites.
Now I had been thinking about going back to daily posts,  so an ideal opportunity to re-reprise those old savings ideas and keep myself on the straight and narrow.
That's the plan.
I'll see how I get on.

Here was/is Number 1.
They can say two things, either " Yes" or "No". 
 in 2012 when we had a apple-less year due to the rotten weather, we asked for and were able to pick up windfalls from 2 different peoples trees. Without this we would have had hardly any fruit in the freezer for winter pies and crumbles. So asking saved us probably £20 - £30+.
For many years we fed windfalls to our goats, goats LOVE apples, but this year even though I've picked up loads for us to use and given lots away there are still more on the ground than the birds will need in the winter.
No one has ever asked if they could pick up windfalls here. I would say yes- help yourself!
 ( Why are the windfalls always the rosiest biggest apples?)

A box of windfalls for processing or giving away
Or if you wanted some picked off the tree they are £1 a bag

This "cheerful" November poem was published in 1844. It's perfect for today here in Suffolk where we have had thick fog for most of the day

 No sun, no moon
No morn, no noon
No dawn, no dusk, no proper time of day
No sky, no earthly view
No distance looking blue.................

...................No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease
No comfortable feel in any member
No shade,no shine,no butterflies,no bees 
No fruits,no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

The poet Thomas Hood was wrong about No fruit as you can see in the apple pictures and he's also wrong about  No Flowers because our Alstromeria are having a second flush so I brought these in today, the first frost will be the end of them but in the meantime we can enjoy them on the kitchen window sill.

 Thanks for comments yesterday, I think I answered them all and welcome to Phil a new follower. He has an interesting blog from the other side of the world that you can see HERE

Edited in to ask is anyone having trouble leaving comments on some blogs? I tried to comment on Joys Diary of a teacher and can't and  yesterday it was another blog I was unable to comment on.

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