Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Last months budget

My month runs from the 22nd to the 21st of any month as that's when I receive my pension.  Last months food spend was £123.71 which I'm pleased about. The yellow sticker shopping saved me £26.45.
I've already completed another yellow sticker shop saving another £6.19.

Although not huge savings on some of the items, the haul provided   some great meals. One tray of chicken legs went into the freezer with a pack of  20p soup base mix. The other tray of chicken legs went in the slow cooker along with a 33p stew pack and some of the 25p chestnut mushrooms. The legs were really meaty and provided over 3 meals, 2 of which went in the freezer. I had 2 Soreen fruit  loaves for 20p each. We had some sliced  with a cup of tea and  some has been made into bread and butter pudding with grated apple and black berries, absolutely delish.

Four of the 20p potato cakes were rolled out thinner and placed on a greased baking tray with some tomato salsa on top. I then added onion, ham and a more of the chestnut mushrooms, finally topping with cheese. This take on pizza was served with salad and a good dollop of luxury 29p coleslaw.  The following day the  remaining coleslaw was mixed with shredded lettuce and a tin of tuna, thus  topped some lovely fluffy baked potatoes that was served with fresh tomatoes, peas and corn.

I will head off later in the week to see what I can pick up yellow sticker wise. I quite like the challenge of turning my haul into meals. Plus  I'm able to buy Christmas food to put away. I already have the turkey crown, cheeses and chocolates. Im going to make my own sausage rolls and mince pies. There will probably be a veg price war as there has been the last couple of years, so I'll wait and buy fresh. Bye for now. Tx

Saturday, 23 November 2019

IT JUST GETS........

WORSE.  On Tuesday I had an email from my solicitor confirming costs for the sale of the rental. There were lots of things to be printed out and complete ready to get the ball rolling. I downloaded each file and pressed print........NOTHING. Just as I got to the printer to see what was going on it started making a lot of noise and promptly died! I delivered CPR in the form of a new fuse but still no joy.

Noooooo, just when I needed it. I was so  angry as I'd only just bought new ink for it last month. The colour cartridge has never been loaded. Printer companies make their money through the 'INK' rather than the printer itself, that's why printers are reasonably cheap.   The ink was almost more expensive than the printer.

I bit the bullet and bought a new one, but not before getting the broken printer  packaging down from the loft to check how old it was. I tape the receipt on the inside of the packaging. It was less than 10 months old, so I got a refund on the broken one.

Strangely enough sitting behind the counter of the well known high street shop was an identical model to the one I was also returning which made me smile. I am convinced that electrical stuff has  a little glitch built in ready  to quit once out of warranty.  Yes, mine was within the time frame  but I was still left with the ink.

After seeing the other defunct printer behind the counter I refused to have the same model, so I'm left with the ink which I'll sell because it doesn't fit this one. Why can't one cartridge fit all.........because it would seriously hurt their profits! It's a con, just like every mobile phone has a different power lead, why!! These companies are clever enough to have a universal power lead. Rant over.

Things are moving fast, the buyers have had their survey and I managed to get the first lot of paperwork to the solicitors. Fingers crossed for a tech failure free week.  Bye for now. Tx

Thursday, 21 November 2019

What a farce

Well my new power lead arrived for my laptop and it still doesn't work,  so the only thing it can be now is the power socket in the side. I'm not going to waste anymore money on it at the moment but as its only 2.5 years old I'll look around for a repair shop. 

In the mean time, I've dragged out my very old Acer laptop that the keyboard is Kaput on and bought a plug in keyboard to attach. And after 3 hours of updates it works perfectly, even if it is a little cumbersome.  Hubby has offered to buy me a new laptop for Christmas but I will look to get my HP one mended. 

I bought 2 Daily Mails on Saturday  9th for the Lidl £10 off voucher inside. I used one straight away spending £40.44 (Cost £30.44).  The next one will be spent on Thursday 14th but will be logged against next months budget as it will have quite a bit of Christmas food on it. I won't be going overboard but there will be a turkey crown and some long date cheeses. I'm determined to spend my normal budget for December leaving a little in the kitty to pick up some yellow sticker goodies. 

I did a Boots Sale online shop earlier this month but first I loaded my advantage card offer of spend £20 get 400 points. Its really worth having a look at their deals, don't forget to log any offers against your Advantage card. I bought:

Baby set £10 (£4 in sale)
3 Lynx sets £5 (£2.80 in sale)
Unicorn gift set £6(£4.50 in sale)
Champney nail set ££5 (£3.33)         

Cost £31.80 Discount cost £20.23 saving £11.57  plus £4 of points on my card.  Piggy backing offers does really give you a BARGAIN!  My month ends today. So I'll have a tot up and see how the budget went. Bye hor now. Tx 

Monday, 18 November 2019

We live and learn

When we moved last year the energy company we were with couldn't/wouldn't quote for my new area, I'm not entirely sure why but I was bereft. Ovo energy whom I'd been with  a long time were so easy to use in all aspects, I was worried I couldn't find a replacement. Well I ended up going with Scottish Power whom I'd had experience with many moons before and not a good one at that. 

The new build house we bought 19 years ago,  had meters installed by SP but on giving them the ID numbers from my meters they said they didn't own them. We were the last house on a small estate and they owned all the others. After an 18 month battle, they admitted they were wrong and zeroed the meters so I didn't have to pay. It was a kind gesture but no way did it make up for the 18 months of phone calls and stress. 

I digress, my annual plan was due to finish with Scottish Power next month and I'd had an email saying I should agree to one of the NEW attached tariffs or I'll be put on the standard variable tariff when the current offer ends. I looked at all the attached tariffs and they were all more expensive then what I was on, so I consulted a comparison website. 

After putting in all my details accurately Scottish Power came out the cheapest again, so I phoned and asked if the named  tariff was restricted to new customers. To my surprise he said no but he couldn't change it. I would have to use the comparison website and request it, just as if I was switching. 'But you are my supplier' I said. 'I know it's just the way things are set up' came the reply. 'No  offence, but that's CRAZY' I said. 

So that's exactly what I did, I applied online to stay  with my existing supplier but on a  new cheaper tariff. I was a little worried as I didn't get an immediate reply from SP, thanking me for applying. But the customer service guy assured me when I spoke to him previously that I'd hear something within in 7 days and sure enough I have had an email to confirm the new tariff change. They also offered a reduction in my direct debit but I've refused, I'd rather be in advance and request a refund when necessary.

More news, our rental property has sold after being on the market 12 days. The first time buyers have a  mortgage in place, so fingers crossed it goes through ok.

Back soon. Tx 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

A Yearly Challenge

Bearing in mind I wanted to start a challenge which meant clawing back the yearly costs of running my car (not Petrol)I went on line to order some grocery cards.  Hubby's company offer us discounts if we buy shopping cards and the discounts more than make up for any lost interest in the bank. You can't get 4% or 7% anywhere. 

Asda Grocery  £400   cost  £384  saving £16 4%
Tesco Grocery £500   cost  £480  saving £20 4%
Multi Card       £300   cost  £279  saving £21 7% (40stores including Iceland) 
         Total    £1200  cost £1143  saving £57

That's £57 towards my car costs £418.80.   £1200 is £100 a month which allows a further £20-30 to be spent at other stores. I've been actively looking out yellow stickers and I took advantage of a 25% Asda clothing to buy the usual underwear/socks stocking fillers for Christmas a further £26. Unfortunately Tesco's receipt doesn't give the original price so you have to look at every pack to do a tally.  I did get some beef in gravy for 88p instead of £3.50! 

I'll be seeking out as many yellow stickers as possible throughout the next year. I need to save on average £8  a week to reach my target. 

CAR  £263.80
BRAKES £90.00
MOT £65.00
Total Cost £418.80
Discount Place  Original Cost New Cost Savings Date
Supermarket Cards  £1,200.00 £1,143.00 £57.00 22.10.19
Yellow Sticker Tesco £4.56 £2.43 £2.13 22.10.19
Asda Clothes Discount 25% £104.00 £74.00 £26.00 17.1019 Xmas Bits
Yellow Sticker Tesco £14.32 £3.99 £10.33 22.10.19
Yellow Sticker Tesco £10.64 £4.71 £5.93 22.10.19
Yellow Sticker Asda £8.49 £5.09 £3.40 24.10.19
Bye for now. Tx 

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Digging Deep

I wrote this post on Monday but with one thing and another it never got uploaded. The weeks are passing so quickly.

The chest freezer in the garage is my main source of frozen stock. I almost always forget about the small built in one in my kitchen. So I had a dig through and found, peppers, kale, broccoli and sweetcorn all in leftover size portions. I sauteed these with onion and garlic and it became the base for 2 quiches. I also got out some ham that was in there and 2 pork chops ready to defrost.  Tonight we'll have ham egg and chips, tomorrow quiche, potatoes and salad. Tomorrow, the pork chops with potatoes, veg and gravy.
I also found was  a bargain pack of pork mince bought for 90p a while ago. Because it had a higher fat content than I normally buy I drained the lightly browned  meat before adding the onions and garlic. It was then split in two, one half became a cottage pie base and the other chilli. All 4 portions were frozen ready for later in the month.

While the oven was on I made a batch of apple cakes from Joy's recipe @ frugal food slimming world. They didnt turn out as large as hers but they are very nice. I also baked 3 apples that had gone a little tough and wrinkly, filling the cored centre with mixed fruit and the apricot puree  I made last week. I always make good use of the oven while it's on.

If you're looking for a great saving tomorrow get hold of a metro paper (free transport paper found on London and surrounding areas trains etc) or Daily Mail Saturday, I'll definitely be at the paper shop first thing. According to Money Saving Expert there is a Lidl voucher worth £10 off £40. Got to be worth it for getting Christmas bits in. 

Bye for now. Tx
Laptop lead arrives tomorrow!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

BILLS and more Bill's!

Crikey, the tenant only moved out on Thursday and already the Council and  Water supplier have sent  invoices for advance payment of charges. We did a check on the property earlier in the week and there is only a couple of  things need attention. A leak under the sink and a new shower screen which they are sourcing.

We met three estate agents yesterday and they all gave the same valuation. We're open to sensible offers but all of them said it's an attractive house because its modern and has parking for 3 cars which is quite rare.   It will go up for sale on Monday and I'd love to think we will get a first time buyer. It would be a great start to the new year if it was all done and dusted by end of January.

I went to power up my laptop this morning and it's dead. Unplugged in the power lead and it's still dead. The caps lock is flashing, so I removed the battery and nothing. I googled potential problems and it says could be charger as a lap top can work without a battery if connected to power supply. So I've ordered a new cable and pray that's what it is, after all it's only 3 years old.   So all posts will completed on my phone until I can get the laptop up and running. How I hate computers ......grrrrr

I'll leave you with a photo of my fur baby Bertie having a nap, he always makes me feel better. Oh how I've fallen for him, hook line and sinker. Bye for now, Tx