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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Noah

Someone wrote 'it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark' which is a great example of forward planning. Christmas is on the 25th December every year and nothing will get in the way of that, not even another outbreak of Covid which already looks like its going to be sooner rather than later.  So it got me thinking what can I do in preparation for Christmas. I decided to give my girlfriends a small hamper each, consisting of sloe gin, blackberry jelly-jam,  wax food wraps, biscuits  and some chocolate. A slightly larger hamper will go to my mother in law with a supermarket gift card. 

I've ordered some 200ml bottles and beeswax beads off the internet for the gin and wraps. I'll pop into town for some  lovely cotton material next month and look for some suitable baskets to hold the goodies when done. 

Hubby returned to work on Monday and is working 4 days instead of his normal 2 days to cover people on annual leave. He has been given the OK to order what PPE he needs to stay safe. Which broadly translates that his company are putting the onus on him to stay safe and if anything happens it will be his fault. I'm very angry with him as he hasn't consulted HR at all, despite saying he would. The local boss(former owner) couldn't give a dam and is still working from home! My advice falls on deaf ears, so I've given up.

He did bring home a big tub of very ripe blackberries last night and soaked them overnight. This morning they've been rinsed, cooked through, mashed  and  are currently straining through muslin into a bowl. I really need a jelly bag thingy but in the mean time this works. The liquid will be weighed and instead of matching this with an equal part sugar, I will add 10% less, so that its a slightly looser jelly-jam. He says there are plenty more for the next few weeks. So I'll have one element of my Christmas hamper completed very soon. 

I did my first shop on my new budget last Friday having made a meal plan before shopping. This was adjusted when I got home having bought 4kg of chicken legs at Aldi for £2.79 per 2kg tray less 30% 85p(£3.90 for both). What a bargain. 
These were promptly cooked up, meat stripped, bones boiled for stock, then weighed out to cover  4 meals for 2 people and 2 tubs for Bertie. This shop came to £11.92. I took advantage of the 99p offers at Lidl and got some Birds Eye Chicken Burgers and Cod Fish Cakes. These are always handy to serve with salad for a quick light dinner. I also got 10 young lollo rosso lettuce for £1.99. I've planted them in the garden in the hope I'm not just feeding the snails and I get some cheap lettuce over the next few weeks. There was another £1.50 'waste not' box on the veg section but I didn't need it as I had my meals planned for the week. Weekly spend £11.92 +£5.94+£3.33=   £21.19
See the source image
I've been in conversation with Scottish Power for a while now over my smart meter home display unit. Just after Christmas it stopped displaying Electricity usage. I've done everything they've said, moving it, rebooting it and keeping it switched off for 72 hours but nothing has worked. I didn't ring during the pandemic as there was lots more important cases then mine but I got my bill this morning and my electricity usage is getting higher and higher. I've taken my eye of the ball due to the lack of display. After speaking with Gerrard and getting totally wrong information having Googled what he told me, I phoned straight back and spoke with Alex.  She was very professional and has ordered a new home display unit. She has also confirmed the soonest I can leave Scottish Power is on the 12th October without any penalties. So I've set a reminder on my phone to check for an alternative energy supplier.  Do you have a home display unit? Does it curb your usage?  Bye for now. Tx








29 comments:

  1. That's a great saying. The hampers sound lovely but what are the wax food wraps you'll be making? I'm quite happy to plan ahead for Christmas and for Brexit but the thought of combining the two makes me break out in a sweat so I've resorted to sticking my head in the sand for now lol. I think I need to get Amy back to Uni and Tom back to school so I can concentrate properly, assuming that's going to happen.

    Hope hubby stays safe at work. xx

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    1. Wax food wraps are an alternative to cling film. They are cloth with wax in them. They can mold around food and wiped clean ready for reusing. Bees wax is food grade and clean natural substance.

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    2. Thanks for explaining. I've never heard of them. xx

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  2. It's good to be prepared. I always set a budget for Christmas and save for it throughout the year so that I spread the cost. The chicken legs were a good deal. We've got a Lidl close by now and I'm really impressed with their meat, not only is it good value but it always looks much leaner than the meat in Tescos next door.

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    1. Yes I was lucky. Lidl and Aldi both support British farmers which is good to know. And they both have offers every week.

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  3. The hampers and prepapring now for Christmas seems like a very good idea.

    Yes we have a home display unit, we had to wait as while for ours to wait for the solar compatibility technology to be sorted out. But YES it does make me be a lot more careful, and if we are going away even for a couple of days we turn the Aga down a couple of levels and I'm a fiend for turning off lights AND reminding Alan that he has left his lap top charging when it is already fully charged!!

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    1. Its amazing how quickly we begin to rely on technology. I'm determined to get it down to last years consumption so I benefit from the cheaper rate I got this year.

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  4. We too love the meat at Lidl, always great quality. We do have a smart meter, which we keep an eye on, it's very easy to loose focus and things go up, there is enough prices on the rise.

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    1. If I can get it back to last years consumption or less I'll be pleased. I'll use the gas hob and slow cooker more over the next few months.

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  5. What a lovely, money saving post. I love blackberry jelly - they make really nice gin/vodka too, blackberries do.
    xx

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    1. That's good to know, as I've ordered 10 bottles, so blackberry gin may be on the cards too.

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  6. Those hampers sound lovely - looking forward to hearing how you get on making the wraps!

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    1. Once I have everything, I'll do a post about it. They are quite expensive to buy as a set.

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  7. Hi Tania, it pays to be organised and prepared, better than panicking buying things at the last minute, I have been snapping up bargains in the shops for Christmas, some good buys out there at the moment. There is a Lidl opening around the corner from me very soon, so I shall start shopping there, I have a Tesco order coming tomorrow but I would rather stop doing that after this one, we shall see. xx

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    1. They always do quite a few offers when they first open a new shop. At least you'll have a choice where you shop.

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  8. I want to make bramble jelly this year and did the first picking today with little GD. Will have to go again on my own. I haven't made this for ages so had thrown out my ancient jelly bag. I have a smart meter fitted after I moved but they had no display units. I'm still waiting for them to bring me one.

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    1. The display units are good when they work. You start to pick up on how much a wash is costing, how efficient the flow cooker is etc. I love the term Bramble jelly, I must get a bag!

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  9. I have been thinking of wax wraps for the sons for Christmas. I have a fairly large brick of beeswax that I am thinking of grating up instead of buying wax beads. I hope that works.

    God bless.

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    1. They texted me to say they were out of stick of beads so I've excepted small bars if beeswax to grate. Fingers crossed.

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  10. I don't have a smart meter, or a display unit. I don't want or need one.

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    1. I like mine. But I know theres lots of people had problems or don't want them.

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  11. I love the idea of a home made hamper and might borrow your idea. Plums will be ripening here soon so plum jam, brandied plums and plum brandy might be a nice addition. I would like a smart meter but Tony flatly refuses.

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    1. There are different thoughts regarding smart meters. I like it and know where I am. Lots of things you can do with plums. I made fruit rubber 2 years ago with plums as our neighbours had loads.

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  12. The blackberries have ripened early this year but before I can get my hands on windfall apples. I always make blackberry and apple jam as that is a favourite with all my extended family. They all expect a jar in their Christmas stocking : )

    We had a smart meter fitted by British Gas but the home display unit never worked properly and so was useless. When I phoned British Gas to complain, I was told that it depended on the strength of the mobile signal in my area and if that signal was not good, then the home display unit would not be accurate...... It did not help me save anything because I stopped looking at it.

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    1. Apparently they've had more problems with the electric side of things reading then has. Yet the gas meter runs on a battery! The good thing is it still gives me a meter reading without leaving the house. My brother likes blackberry and apple but I like the jelly.

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  13. I'm nothing as organised as you but I have painted my outdoor Christmas tree green this year. Last year it was silver.
    xx

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    1. I try to spread the tasks out which in turn spreads the cost.

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  14. You’re getting very organised for Christmas! I did think I was too. I ordered some lovely yarn, beautiful balls of variegated colours to make scarves etc. But when I started one for myself ( as a prototype) I really didn’t like the yarn for what I had planned. I shall still use it, at some point, but not for presents. Thought I was doing so well too!
    I normally make up hampers and really enjoy personalising them to eat persons’ likes :)

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