This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lovely, sunny weekend

It has been a lovely weekend apart from a couple of small showers on Saturday afternoon.  There are three scientists leaving at school - two retiring and one emigrating - so the "prep room" crowd got together for a bbq yesterday.  It was lovely and the couple of showers didn't spoil the fun at all.  Everybody brought something to drink or a dessert or something for the bbq and it was certainly a tasty spread.  One person made a baked cheesecake and I've got to get that recipe.  I just don't have enough superlatives to describe how wonderful it was...

I'd been to Aldi in the morning to spend my £5 off voucher from the Daily Mirror.  Church was low in tea and coffee supplies and as Aldi sell fair trade coffee, I stocked up.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to spend just the £45 required for the £5 off voucher as my husband spotted the petrol chainsaw...  Now if I'd realised that they had a chainsaw on offer this week, I'd have bought TWO newspapers so that I could use two coupons.

So there was music rehearsal followed by church this morning and I called into Lidl on the way home and bought some of their fair trade tea which is still on offer.  Then a quick sandwich followed by a trip to Tesco.  I had a 73p price promise voucher and a £7 off a spend of £50 voucher plus several other coupons so we did even more shopping.  I also stocked up on the decaff fair trade coffee for church since it was on offer.  And I got lots of bread at 10p - 15p and bags of salad and some veg for the same sort of prices.  On the way home we delivered a bag of yellow stickered items to both son and daughter's houses.  These were well received, cost me about 60p and earned me lots of Brownie points (except that there is no such thing).  Isn't it nice to be able to spread a little cheer!  And I'm totally shopped out now.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

1 down and 4 to go

It feels like it has been another long week.  Why do the weeks feel like they are getting longer?  It didn't help that there has been a bug going round school and it stopped off for a visit with me too : (  Now I know that a lot of the weight loss is down to water loss but if only I can manage not to put it all back on... 

Just four weeks to go to the end of the school year.  There is one reason why the weeks feel like they are getting longer. I've set myself the task of finding the back of my stock cupboard by the end of term.  It hasn't been seen for many a long day - too many boxes full of stuff in the way.  I've already managed to clear a bit of the easy stuff and lose it to the bin or to another home.  I've lost just enough to be able to spread some of the rest out so that it can be sorted through.  Some of it will end up filling up my house until the woodburner is in use again because I can't bring myself to throw away anything which we can burn and can be useful in that way. The nice lady who cleans my area has noticed and is muttering encouraging words because she has obviously been itching to give my cupboard a good clean and there is not enough room to get her vacuum in...


Saturday, June 21, 2014

National Picnic Week

I discovered today that it is National Picnic Week.  Who knew?

Well we had a picnic in the park last Sunday for Fathers' Day.  We went to a park nearby which is not as popular as some in the area.  There are no ice cream vans or swings or fancy flower beds - just large areas of green.  Near the car park there is a huge area of green which must be a couple of acres or maybe more.  There was one family gathering having a picnic at one end and all of us having a picnic at the other end.  We couldn't even hear their children shouting as they played so it was as good as having the place to ourselves.

We had a lovely time and my husband really enjoyed it as the whole family had managed to come.  It is lovely how they all get on with each other and enjoy getting together, including the spouses. And there were three fathers present and they all enjoyed the picnic : )


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nice dinner

My husband fetched me from work today and I persuaded him that we wanted to go shopping.  He is not exactly the keenest shopper in the world.  I wanted to go to Asda and buy the pizza that I mentioned in the previous post. It was Goodfella's Smiler Pizza  and it was indeed £1.47 and using my £1 coupon, that made it 47p. We had it for dinner tonight with a 25p bag of salad and some of the cherry tomatoes that were half price in Lidl last weekend.  It was very nice too for a bought one (I prefer homemade really) and there is a second one in the freezer for another time. And there are a couple of loaves of bread now in the freezer for less money than it would cost me to make them.

We had to pass Sainsburys on the way home from Asda so I popped in to get the Millicano using the £1 coupon so I've got a couple of those now too and my Danio yoghurt. They had a huge quantity of melons at 50p and the packs of asparagus were all reduced to 60p.  My husband can't stand asparagus so I've got 2 packs to eat all by myself. Yum! I did buy him a treat of a bag of doughnuts for 30p and he'll probably eat those all himself.  Each to our own : )

So I'm really just confirming that those nice coupons do work and the offers in the supermarket are still running.  There don't seem to be so many nice coupons around any more.  A few years ago there were lots around for the things I wanted to buy.  Today I needed to go to a supermarket to get milk so it cost me just a few pennies extra to drive to Asda instead of just stopping at Sainsburys.  Today it was worth it but usually it isn't.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

One of my favourite photo subjects : )

My gorgeous little girl on the walk home from dropping Ben at school.

This is my granddaughter who was round playing with me this morning.  She is just 22 months and can walk for miles. Definitely not a toddler any longer but fast becoming a young lady. 


End of a long week

Well, it was just the same length as usual but it felt long...  I was so tired that I went to bed really early last night and watched the last of the series of "Castle" that I had recorded - and now I've got to wait many months to see what happened to stop the wedding.  At least they said that it was the end of this series and implied that there would be another series but what a cliffhanger!  They can't kill off the character after whom the series is named, or can they?

When I am tired, a whodunnit that is not too gory, is just the ticket : )

On a more frugal note, there are a couple of interesting coupons around at the moment.  One is for Kenco Millicano.  The coupon is for £1 off and although it usually costs £3.99, I've been told that Sainsburys have it on offer at £1.99 right now.  And £0.99 for 100g of coffee sounds good to me so I'll be going to check it out and hope that I've been informed correctly.  Our local Sainsburys is fairly small so I'll have to get to a larger branch as I doubt that our local will carry many varieties of Kenco.

Secondly, Goodfella's Smiler Pizza is on offer for £1.47 at Asda at the moment.  This link will take you to a coupon for £1 off that  : )  All I have to do is persuade the good people at my local Asda that the coupon is valid and that they can accept it - they are not very trusting.  I'm not sure how they think that I can invent a Safe coupon...

Thirdly, if you go on to the Danio Facebook page and "like" it (you can always "unlike" it afterwards) then you can print off a coupon for a free 160g single pot of any flavour of Danio yoghurt.

In May, Sainsburys kindly sent me a series of six vouchers for £4 off a £40 shop and 500 extra points if I used all the vouchers.  I haven't used any of them yet because I just find it difficult to spend that much every week.  I note that they give just one week to use each voucher whereas Tesco give two weeks which is more easily done. Yesterday, I got in the post another series of vouchers from Sainsburys but this time just four vouchers giving me £5 off each £50 shop and again with an extra 500 points if I use all four.  I might use one of the vouchers as I haven't done a big shop for a bit but that will be all.  If I can't spend £40 a week, then there is no way that I'll be able to spend £50...  Now if they sent me vouchers for money off a £20 or £30 spend, that might be different.

I did a middling size shop in May because I had a pile of Tesco vouchers that were up at the end of May and we had to go to visit someone that lived not far from a bigger Tesco with a petrol station. Normally it costs a litre and a half of diesel to do a round trip to the closest Tesco with a petrol station so we only go there if we are passing nearby for another reason. I had managed to accumulate (finally!) enough spending at Tesco to get a couple of pence off each litre of diesel so we filled the tank up and also the cans for the strimmer and rotavator.  I was pleased to find that their price was 2p cheaper than our usual local filling station too : )  The main thing that I wanted to spend my Tesco vouchers on was a new microwave as mine was defunct.  My new one cost me £8 after the vouchers so I was happy with that.  Also, with a little bit of shopping on top of the microwave, I now have another couple of pence off a litre of diesel for a fill up towards the end of June if we are passing anywhere near a Tesco filling station.

Every little helps!


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Lightbulb Moment!

I've been following Jen's progress through her year of not buying anything new and now she is trying to reduce her use of energy.  You can find her blog at:

It is a good read and I'm sure she would welcome your visit.  She had a giveaway recently and I was one of the recipients of an LED light bulb courtesy of the nice folk at LightBulbs Direct:

They have an infographic about LED bulbs that makes interesting reading.  The link above will take you to that article.  I tried to copy and paste the article here but it was way too large for this page.  There was a link which I was supposed to copy and paste here but that didn't work either.  Anyway, my poor blogging skills should not detract from finding out about how to not only save money but also to save energy.  I love it when things come together and I can keep money in the coffers at the same time as being environmentally friendly : )

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