Sunday 29 October 2017

Sunday Frugalling

* Buying our pumpkins from a local farm rather than a supermarket.

* Buying 5 ears of corn for 35p each from the same farm. The children are fascinated with them.

* releasing a surplus book into the wild with book crossing. If you've  never tried it please look it up HERE  it's great fun.

* We recycled a cereal box, used envelopes, fabric scraps and linen fabric from a ruined pair of trousers into a notebook/sketch pad.

* removed the sequins from a broken husband before throwing it out. We will use them for arts and crafts later on. 

Friday 27 October 2017

Thoughts on breakfast

There's been a lot of talk locally about preparing for the big changeover to Universal credit. With delays of up to 12 weeks between applying and receiving money being reported, the local food book is recommending families start putting aside savings and building food stores.
 It sounds like great advice to me. We already save regularly but we are lacking an organised food store.
This needs to change! And now!
I'm planning to tackle the food issue one meal at a time, starting with breakfast.

After a morning of comparing supermarket prices and calculating portions per carton/packet, I have come up with the following plan.

12 x 1kg porridge oats - we all eat porridge and over night oats. Plus I add oats to bulk out meat based meals like Bolognese. Everyone eats flapjacks to so any surplus will be easily used.

6 x Smart price Corn flakes - a 500gm packet equals 16 portions. I use a scoop to make sure we stick to portion control. There's also the option of making cornflake cakes and cornflakes tart if there's surplus.

 6 x 24 pack Wheat Biscuits - a 24 pack equals 12 portions, however the two smallest share a portion of 1 biscuit each. I have a good wheatabix cake recipe for using any surplus.

So how much will a 12 week supply cost? 

£15.54 which isn't a huge amount when you consider the amount of food that includes (35 breakfast plus extra for snacking and baking)

I could go out a buy it today that might leave me with a use by date issue. You DO NOT want your food stores all reaching use by dates at once! 
So o my next food shop I will by just 4 weeks supply. (4 x porridge 2x wheat biscuit 2x cornflakes) each time we use a packet I will replace it with 2 of the same, until we are up to a 3 month supply. Then it's just a case of maintaining the stock. 1 in, 1 out. 

That should stagger the dates a little and spread the cost of restocking over a few weeks.

Anyone else stockpiling to beat Universal Credits or uncertain finances? Any tips would be welcome 

Thursday 26 October 2017

Today's frugalling

Today I saved money by;

* starting some plants to use as teacher gifts at Christmas.  I already owned the parent plant and the pots cost 10p each in the Wilco gardening sale. 

* I pulled out the box of Halloween goodies I tucked away last year. Nothing inside cost me more than 25p. 

* I made 8 boxes of stewed apple from the two bags of fallers I was gifted.
* I saved the seeds from the apples to grow. You can find a useful guide Here  if you are tempted to try. 

* We made bats using toilet roll tubes, tissue paper and scrap paper.

X x X

Monday 23 October 2017

Gifting books and upcycling

I love sweet and simple crafts. I saw the bookmark idea on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect to use up a few more cards.
The beads came from a broken bracelet so I had everything on hand to whip these up.

DD1 is a ferocious reader. I picked up the set of books above in the poundshop earlier in the year. It's not often DD1 gets brand new books so it felt nice to get them for her. 
I've tucked one of the  bookmarks in each one.

And while they were out of the gift cupboard I got them nicely wrapped ready for the big day. 
I'm determined not to leave all the wrapping to the last minute this year. I will be trying to do it as I go along. (She says!)

X x X

Sunday 22 October 2017

Greeting card pináta

This afternoon I took down the collection of greetings cards from the lounge and replaced them with yesterday's Halloween decorations.
But when I went to store the cards with the rest of them, I found the drawer was almost over flowing.

Pinterest provided several options for upcycling. My favourite was from Ruffles and Boots. Her easy to follow tutorial made creating my own pináta a breeze. 
 Each pináta used up one card each so I can easily make several of these over the course of an afternoon or an evening. 
Wouldn't they make sweet tree decorations for Christmas? Or Party favours? 

Let me know if you try them.

X x X

Saturday 21 October 2017

Halloween Half Term

On Friday DD1 attended her first school disco. I can't quite believe how grown up she looks in her costume!

While DD1 was out partying the night away, DD2 and I made this stunning box monster from an empty nappy box and random craft supplies. 

Today we visited the local library's Halloween craft party. They had 4 different activities to try and they all went down well.

The children where all as good as gold. I even had some lovely compliments on their behaviour from other parents and the library staff. 

Particularly when DD1 had finished all her activities and read stories to Gman while waiting for DD2 to finish. 
They made my heary melt.

X x X

Sunday 15 October 2017

It's been one of those days....

I'm writing this sat at my dining table, counting down the minutes until my Hubby walks in the front door.
He has precisely 5 minutes to get himself organised before I disappear to the bedroom for half an hour with some hot tea and my delicious peanut butter treat.
For every 1 thing I've cleaned and tidied today the kids have created 3 new ones....each!
I give up.
Tomorrow when they are all out the house I will roll up my sleeves, pull up my big girl pants and blitz the house. But for now I'm admitting defeat.


X x X

Saturday 7 October 2017

Freezer clearing part 1

Now I'm up to facing food again, I've rebooted my freezer clearing project. 
I'm working my way through each drawer turning raw ingredients in to meals and using up all the bits and piece.
The list above is the contents of drawer 1.

First I made a supersized pear and chocolate crumble from the free pears DD2s school handed out. DD1 is delighted as pears are her favourite fruit.
Next I made a supersized  apple and BlackBerry crumble. Both have been carefully taste tested for the families approval  before being frozen in double sized portions. 
Each box will either feed the three children or split between me and hubby. (If I'm fast enough)

For lunch I munched through the single portion of soup. It made for a nice change from sandwiches or toasties. 
Then I got to work on a few batches of fruit pies. I dumped all of the  remaining fruit into my jam pan, heating it and turned it into a thick compote.
I've made 48 pies, mostly covered but the pastry ran slightly short. Half have been frozen for later and the rest will be for this weeks lunch boxes and snacks. 

 Phew! Time for a sit down.

X x X