Saturday, 17 September 2016

That was a whoppa, no worries.

Hello. I've had a massive credit card bill this month, money spent on what I needed, vet, food, and petrol. The days of impulse spending have long gone, everything I buy is what I need, with some cash left over for wants and treats. My emergency fund easily covered the bill, and as always, the balance is cleared every month. 
Keeping a tight hold on my food spending is ongoing, as is eating healthily. I find I am eating less tinned food,  some rice/pasta, very few veggie burgers/Quorn products, and no convenience ready crap. Most of my meals are fresh or frozen veg, sometimes eggs and cheese added. I don't eat much bread, when I do it's always wholemeal or seeded, but I can take it or leave it, some days I eat no bread at all. 
I prefer to spend little time in the kitchen, it's not my favourite room in the house. If I can knock something up in ten minutes that will do nicely. Shorter cooking times saves on gas. 
I got some yellow stickers the other day. Soys beans from £1.50 to 38p. Ready chopped onions from £1 to 25p. Spinach £1.50 to 38p. Mushrooms from 90p to 24p. Stir fry some of these in a pan and scramble an egg into it when it's almost done. One cheap and healthy meal. 
No cooking is even better. Yellow sticker pasta and char grilled mushrooms, £2.15 to 54p. I love this and would never pay full price for it. Add it to salad and it makes a lovely light lunch.

I've only got four bean plants but they are producing quite a lot of runner beans. Some I am eating, and the rest are bagged up in portions for the freezer. I don't bother blanching, just break them into three pieces and into the bag.

My fridge is looking quite full. I have some prepared veg which I will cook up, make soup, and freeze it today. I do a regular fridge inspection checking on quality and dates, to make sure I eat things before they go off. I have some peaches and strawberries which will need eating over the weekend.

All these little money savers means I don't have to worry about out of the ordinary large bills. Planning ahead and being mindful of the cost of day to day living has become a habit for me. It means I can sleep peacefully in my bed at night.

It's the weekend, enjoy. Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

PS. Just remembered. If anyone is wondering what I am doing about the new rule that says you have to have a TV licence to watch BBC iplayer catch up, I have stopped watching it and switched to Channel 4od, and yooootoooob. Plenty on there to entertain me while I sit and eat a meal or do some hand sewing. I don't sit glued to programmes when I have other things to do. BBC ain't getting any money out of me.


  1. Very nice :) xx

  2. Yaaaay I'm with you on the youtube option. I haven't had a TV for years and there is so much on youtube as you say with the films. It's not just cats and dogs behaving badly anymore hee hee

  3. Ilona, thanks for the photos and information about Lincoln; it's a place I've never even considered visiting before now - so that's changed; it looked lovely and interesting. Your food looked appetising, must admit I haven't bought any processed or ready meals for months now and feel so much better for it. As for the BBC, well, it's a ridiculous situation, the TV licence needs to be abolished and the company put on adverts to generate the income; having said that, I can easily live without it and as pointed out by you and Christine, there's loads on youtube and other sites. Amanda

  4. I'm so glad that our TV licence is no longer subsidising people watching catch up!!!!

    1. I wouldn't be too sure about that. There will be a lot of people who still watch because it's going to be very difficult to catch them. In fact I will be surprised if anyone gets prosecuted. They can't come into your house to check your equipment. They can only detect the area it is being watched using wifi but can't pinpoint the actual address or computer because that information is protected by data protection and they don't have access. They can't detect who is watching using a landline broadband. They are relying mainly on people being honest.

  5. I didn't bother to blanch my runers when we used to grow them on the allotment, they came out of the frezer and were fine.
    I often play about with podcasts and love desert island discs, once downloaded I can listed to them anywhere.

    1. Hi. I've never downloaded a podcast, wouldn't know how to do it. I'm not that bothered about missing radio programmes. I have radio 4 on sometimes, or radio 2 if I fancy some music.

  6. Good for you - I do the other channels' catch up services now and also youtube. I doubt if I will ever run out of cute animal videos!!

    I reckon the Beeb's Eat Well for Less could do with your advice. And speaking of 4OD have you any idea when George Clarke's Amazing Spaces is coming back with a new series?

    Linda xx

    1. Hi. According to the web site it's on Thursday 22nd Sept at 8pm. Series 6 episode 1. If you put Amazing Spaces in the search at the top and go to the page, you can click on 'Remind me'.

  7. And if you still wish to watch BBC programmes there are many loaded on to Youtube. I'm living in the US at present, but actually do have a UK TV licence and have been catching up on Bake Off and other favourite programmes via Youtube. Having a licence doesn't allow me to watch programmes outside the UK, weird! Maybe they will start asking people to log in using the licence number?

  8. How do you feel about slowcookers.Only use energy of a light bulb.10 mins prep in the morning and glorious meal at night.I do all vegan casseroles and meals.Never put the oven on.Saves me time and cooking stress I hate cooking

  9. How do you feel about slowcookers.Only use energy of a light bulb.10 mins prep in the morning and glorious meal at night.I do all vegan casseroles and meals.Never put the oven on.Saves me time and cooking stress I hate cooking

  10. Hello Ilona, I haven't commented for a while as I've been very busy, and just been catching up on your posts this morning. I am very sorry to read about Rocky, he was a lovely dog, I hope you are okay. Take peace knowing he is not suffering anymore.
    The meals you have posted pictures of look lovely. I am wondering if you have ever considered going Vegan? Now is a better time than ever (I chose to go Vegan a while ago myself after doing a lot of research and watching videos on YouTube such as Earthlings and The Best Speech Ever) and I was amazed at the way animal products, especially dairy such as milk and eggs, are damaging our health and since going Vegan I feel better than ever - my IBS has dramatically improved in a short space of time and I have loads of energy. After all, we can get everything we need from what already grows, such as fruit, veg, beans, grains and legumes :) just curious as to whether it was something you had ever considered with you being a great lover of animals :)
    I also watched you on Shed Of The Year, and congratulations on winning your category - that's an amazing achievement! I voted for you and had my fingers crossed. You definitely deserved to win :)
    Hope you and the kitties are doing well,
    Alex :)


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