Tuesday, 29 October 2013

making money

Today I have spent a large portion of the day looking into ways for me to save/make money. I have seen lots of other bloggers saying that they have used quidco to earn extra cash. So today I have signed up, I did some Christmas shopping and have earned around £3.00 cash back. I then switched my gas and electricity supplier- something that has been on my to do list for a little while. This has earned me £25.00 cash back. Not bad for a little while spent browsing the net.
I also used my nectar/clubcard where appropriate which means I have more points to save up for our trips out when there are enough there.

I have some more money making schemes I want to organise this week; I have some items to list on eBay and some clothes I want to take to the 'cash for clothes' outlet near my current supermarket of choice.

Monday, 28 October 2013


I am a little confused with the days today, I thought it was Sunday but actually it's Monday- half term here making things very confused.
Saturday Dylan and I went shopping, as Friday was payday I decided to make a start ion the Christmas shopping.

Some of the gifts we found. I have bought for all of my nieces/nephews, Stephanie and a few other family members. I still need to buy Dylan's but I refuse when he is with me. He has sent me an emailed list of a few bits and pieces he wants, so I will have a look and select a few bits off of there to get later in the month.

I had dinner with my sister and her family yesterday, then my niece and nephew came to sleep at my house. It is the first time my nephew has had a sleepover so we were all feeling dubious about how long he wold last. He stayed all night and didn't ask to go home until after lunch.

The children having fun after breakfast. I got Stephanie some new cork matts when I was out shopping as the original board that came with the tap tap art set got broken. She is very impressed as they came as a set of 3, so all 3 children were able to play together. They spent a long time making their pictures and working together. I was very pleased to see this as I had picked a set up for my nephew for his Christmas present.
Once I dropped them home Stephanie and I came home and had a pamper evening; we had a face mask each;

And painted each others nails whilst watching a film. Stephanie has now gone to bed ready for her busy day tomorrow and I have flipped the computer on to catch up with blogs and see what others are up to.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Feeling spoilt

Last night I stood and made these;

These are gingerbread cupcakes. I made some in school with my class for our Macmillan coffee morning tomorrow but something went very wrong with the cakes the children made, they bubbled out of the cases and all over the oven?!!
As we made them at the end of the day the children didn't see the mess as they were still cooking when the children went home. So I came home and made a fresh batch and took them in for the children to decorate tomorrow.
As is tradition in many staff rooms the country over I needed to take cake in today to celebrate my birthday. I decided to make a chocolate fudge cake. It lasted until the end of lunchtime! LOL

There was a little mix left over so I made some cupcakes for our lunch boxes for the rest of the week.
I woke up this morning to discover I had been well and truly spoilt look what I got;
bath things from Dylan, a toy cat and my fav sweeties from Stephanie, wine and chocs from a friend, make up bags from the children's grandparents, socks and maltesers from 2 of my colleagues.

I have had a lovely birthday and got to spend it with many different people and ended it at Stephanie's school disco doing masses of mental maths with small children as I was in charge of the sweet stall!

I am absolutely exhausted and off to bed now- night all.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sunday figures!

Today I did our weekly shop I spent ever so slightly over the £20.00 budget with the total shop coming in at £20.16. However, there was a pair of tights for Stephanie in that at £1.50 plus £3.00 worth of Christmas treats for the stash.

So all in all I'm happy enough with that.

In total this last week I have had 5 no spend days! Result. I'm hoping to have the same again this week. I will need to go to the shops after work one day as I am cooking in school but that is reimbursed so as long as I am good and don't buy anything for home that doesn't count! LOL

This afternoon Stephanie and I went to the local pumpkin farm https://www.facebook.com/PYOPumpkins?fref=ts. We went last year and it is so much fun, the staff are so friendly and really try to make it fun, as well as raising money for charity at the same time. We paid £6.00 for our 4 pumpkins, I'm very impressed with this. If I have time I might go back next weekend when I have more cash to get some for storing. As I learnt last year that if clean and dry they store for months! So perfect for soup making throughout the cold winter months.

spooky trailer!

The only spider she is brave enough to touch!

puddle fun- finding out which is deepest and how deceivingly deep they are. The wellies got flooded LOL

"I want this one mum!"
Once we finished playing in the mud we came home and cleaned the pumpkins and foot wear off. All are now drying on a plastic mat in the kitchen. Stephanie is relaxing in the bath.
I'm off to find my knitting- if I can stop sneezing for long enough, a cold started yesterday and is in full swing today. I am determined to keep going and not let it beat me though.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

winteryifying the house.

As we have all heard the energy companies are putting their prices up -AGAIN!
I have enough trouble paying for our heating as it is and always try not to put the heating on until November and turn it off as close to March as I can. To help reduce the time our heating is on for I have upgraded all of our curtains to lined curtains earlier in the year. Today I have put a curtain up in front of our drafty front door.

A small change but I am hoping it will make a big difference to us. I am also getting better at closing doors around the house, I hate closing the doors as it makes me feel closed in which I hate. But slowly I am getting myself trained at this as it does make a big difference to keeping a room warm.

Do you have any other tips for saving money on the heating bill that could help me and others?

Friday, 18 October 2013


Tonight I am feeling tired, and I want something sweet to eat. I have no sweets/chocolate in the house to eat. I did have a chocolate sponge I cooked for our lunches and we have barely eaten. So a quick Google and I found how to make chocolate fudge topping. Chocolate fudge cake is my favourite- I always have it if we eat out but I have never considered making it. the fudge topping was so simple to make I poured it over the top of the sponge for instant fudge cake;

instant sugar hit- for no extra pennies.
Incidentally I have managed 4 no spend days so far this week. I needed to get petrol and milk on Wednesday and haven't been near a shop except then. Yay me!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

What's a girl to do when....

her pencil case breaks due to being over crammed with essential things! Does she head to the shops with her purse- not when she's being frugal. She head to her bedroom where she keeps her stash and the sewing machine. Within 5 minutes she has carried the sewing machine down to the table, made a pencil case and put the sewing machine away again!

Take a scrap of material and a zip from the stash.

And here it is- a perfect pencil case with plenty of space.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

knitting on a Wednesday

I cast on a new knitting pattern the other evening, Stephanie has requested a jumper for school, rather than the cardigans she usually wears.

I am finding it tiring, I have been knitting chunky knits with big needles, now I am using double knit with 4mm needles, it is growing oh so slowly!

this is 2 evenings of work so far! You can't see the pattern as the yarn is so dark. Hopefully as it grows you will see the pattern more, it makes a heart pattern across the jumper as you knit. The most tricky knit I have attempted, so hopefully mine will have the intended heart pattern! LOL

I am off to blog hop for a few minutes before knuckling down with the knitting again.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Another item off of a list

I have managed to make another item off of my 'things I am loving list'. I have made myself these;

a lovely warm, cosy pair of socks. I love them.

Well that's all there is to say tonight really. I am tired, so off to get some cold custard from the fridge and then I'm going to plonk in front of the tv.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


I've had a busy weekend (what weekend isn't!)
Yesterday I went to visit my sister as she seemed a bit fed up, baby is feeding almost constantly, the older two are feeling the new baby and her partner has an abscess on his tail bone so is in a lot of pain. I went a round with the intention of offering to take the older two out for a bit. Ended up taking her partner to the hospital as his abscess had burst while we were chatting. It's all drained now but still sore. After I dropped him at hospital I took the children to the park before heading back to my sisters. Then home for dinner Dylan cooked  a lovely chicken curry then back to the hospital to collect sisters partner and drop him home.

Then this morning I got up and completed 3 1/2 hours of school work, before popping to see my cousin and her baby. Quick run to Tesco then home to cook dinner as my sister and family came for dinner. they left a little while ago and I have spent an hour or so ironing and getting everything prepped for the week.

I should never go to Tesco before I have lunch, I ended up buying some expensive (for me!) treats. We bought £1 worth of blueberry cheese, £1 of Mexicana cheese, 80p of brie (on offer) and a pot of olives. Although it is an expensive treat it will last me for several lunches I will take the same for lunch in the week until it is gone. Even with the slight over spend I saved a few pound as I had several vouchers to use my weekly shop this week came  to £26.19 instead of the £20.00 I had budgeted for. which means I will have less for next weeks. I will need to be very careful, although I could just pop to the coop, as their prices tend to be higher I am reluctant to buy anything.

In the sealed pot this week went 23p I found whilst cleaning.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

More finished projects

last night Stephanie finished her first sewing project. I helped her  a little, mostly with organising the pieces she needed to stitch. I'd start of the sewing by doing 2/3 stitches at each piece and then she completed the project herself. She was most amused by shoving the stuffing up the poor rabbits bottom!

I have been following Elaine's sock pattern. It is one of the few patterns that I have been able to knit in the time specified! Elaine says you can knit one sock in an evening, she doesn't exaggerate! Here is one sock completed;
I have cast on the next sock, once I have made my way through today's to do list (which seems to be forever growing!) I will get the second one finished. I may even make another pair they are so simple to knit.
I have been making the to do list and the shopping list whilst sorting other things I need to do on the computer. The most important thing I still need to do is to source a decent bike for Stephanie as she has outgrown her current bike- off to scour gum tree and the like for an 18" girls bike as her Christmas present.
Have a good day all

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A finished knit!

I have finished the scarf I was making from Elaine's stash busting pattern. It used almost a  whole ball of yarn. It took me about 10 days of 40 mins a day. It was claimed by Stephanie before it was even half done!

here she is the moment I had finished casting off and sewing in the ends!

she is very pleased with it. It was finished just I time as the temperatures dropped drastically last night. I have been freezing all day!

I have had a good week, I have had 2 no spend days so far. I needed to buy a new shower curtain Monday as ours ripper and was barely staying up. I shopped around and found a lovely thick good quality one for £4.00. Tuesday was a no spend day. Wednesday I had Stephanie's Brownie uniform to pay for- £30! OMG I had no idea Brownies was s expensive. Thursday a no spend day. I should manage tomorrow as a No spend day as well. I am sure there is nothing I need. I am hoping to make Saturday a No spend day as well. Sunday I plan to do a little food shop for the fruit/veg etc that we need for our lunches. I have a maximum budget of £20 per week until the end of the month. Which should be easy to stay under as I have a freezer and a large cupboard full of food.

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Today we went for a swim after a lazy (thanks to the teenager!) start to the day. As usual swimming didn't cost any extra as we have our gym memberships and can use any of the local authority pools as much as we want with this. After swimming I have spent some time sewing with Stephanie;

She is making a cuddly toy, I am so proud of how well she is doing with this. She has really got into crafts at the moment and concentrates for long periods of time.
We have also completed all of her homework so will have no more to do until the next lot comes home on Friday- good job as I have 2 late nights for parents evenings this week!
I have made dinner on a shoestring, we had tuna fishcakes
tin of tuna- 75p
potatoes- 28p (from a large sack bought at the farm shop
1 egg- 17p
breadcrumbs- 12p
total cost £1.32. I made 10 fishcakes for this so they come in at just over 13p for one fishcake. Stephanie and I had 2 each for dinner so dinner this evening cost about 53p for 2 of us. Dylan had some noodles and chicken as he doesn't like tuna. the noodles cost pennies as they are from the 9kg box I bought for £3.99 at the beginning of the year, the chicken was some we had in the fridge probably about 25p worth.so for less than 80p we have all eaten this evening.
I am going to try and cost each of our meals this week as I like seeing how cheap I can be it really spurs me on to reduce spending and I desperately need to cut costs as far as possible as the bank account looks very short this month.
Lets see how stretchy I can make October!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

London again!

Yesterday was Dylan's 15th birthday- where did that time go? We had a meal out with family to celebrate in the evening. Stephanie helped me to make his birthday cake;

Regular readers may have noticed we LOVE London. We decided to have a day out today in London. We started by going to the Canal Museum it was smaller than expected from the leaflet. It was more about ice cream/ ice collecting than canals. Due mostly to the person who owned the building when it was used as an ice house bringing the ice in on the barges. It was advertised that you could see a model lock, which I assumed to mean it would be a small version of a lock, in reality there was not even any water in it.

There was one canal boat there you could get on which was good to see but there was no information on  the boat how they are used/built etc which I found very disappointing. The museum wasn't expensive to get in (Thank fully!) it cost £8.00 for the three of us. From here we went to sit along the canal and eat our pack up before we went to the M and M shop. we had a look around Paddington station, Stephanie is mad on Paddington and she was impressed with the Paddington bear shop there, but she had expected some sort of Paddington statue I think.
Outside the M and m shop there is a water feature- yes you guessed it Stephanie couldn't resist touching it
She also tested out the water in the canal earlier in the day.

Next we went to the Museum of London where we had a good look around the roman section as Stephanie is studying this in school at the moment.

testing out the kitchen equipment in the roman house
 testing out  a roman bed

Not roman but fascinating all the same!

We have had a good day despite some things not being as we expected, it was nice to have a day out together.