Thursday, 21 November 2013

November news

It seems like these bi-monthly blogs are becoming a bit of a habit due to life getting in the way. However, I have kept up with the reading of my favourite blogs on a daily basis, so conscious spending is never too far from my mind. 

Maisie approx 7 weeks. x
Firstly, the little kitty has taken up lots of time- from trips to the vets (v.expensive- have now set up accident insurance £3.60 per month can't quibble, much cheaper than vets fees) to chasing her around the flat making sure she doesn't get into mischief. These are the photos from our first little photo shoot.

Second of all work has been manic! And in between all of that I decided I had had enough, updated my LinkedIn profile and CV and uploaded it to a job board. I had about five interviews within the space of a few days, followed by second interviews. 

Work spotted I looked all done up on my half days and offered me a decent pay rise to stay which was nice as was quite unexpected. However, a few weeks later I had a new job offer on the table, 4.5k more than I have been on which will come in extremely handy and might even start paying into my pension again (I am just that crazy!) haha. 

Consequently, this month I haven't tracked my spending in the usual way but have put some money away into my savings and am having a very frugal week this week (hence the blog post). Lunches will be bought from home, I'll be raiding the cupboards for dinner ideas and I will be resisting those extra cute, extra yummy Christmas coffee shop cups. 

From Monday (payday) I will be tracking my spending so as to avoid any Christmas financial hangovers. I will also be hitting the shops this weekend for a tree (on offer saving of £30, paid for with vouchers) and some decorations to take advantage of the lower price and in an attempt to beat the rush. 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Stoptober.... what it means to me.

I haven't blogged in a while, mainly due to being horrendously busy at work and trying to decorate our flat at the same time. This month is going to be a bit of a tough one- in addition to our usual monthly bills the service charge and water bill have also come out of our joint account- leaving £24 left to pay our TV provider, meaning we will no doubt be in our interest free overdraft by the end of the month if we use it to pay for food. We have also had to buy a new washing machine due to the one here being ancient and washing is taking about a week to dry leaving the flat resembling a sauna!

Furthermore, I have also bought a new pedigree crossbreed kitten who is due to arrive on the 16th Oct- she's a little white bundle of cuteness! However, because of these factors the food budget is being reigned in even further.

In an attempt to put off going food shopping I cobbled together enough ingredients to make this delicious chunky winter soup in my slow cooker- inspired by Frugal Queen's post a few days ago.

Otherwise I know I would have ended up grabbing something from one of the overpriced cafe chains in London, which everyone knows don't come cheap. This one dish has made four portions of soup- ideal for an Autumn lunch.

Here's my recipe:

1. Chicken stock made from the left overs from a roast dinner which I froze in Tupperware boxes and stored in the freezer
2. Tinned tomatoes- I used plum but chopped will be fine
3. Sliced onion
4. One sweet potato (sprouting crazy purple bits- I just removed these)
5. Two small white potatoes
6. One tin of chickpeas rinsed (three tins for £1.00 I think- worth stocking up on when cheap)
7. Cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Put all of the above into a slow cooker and put on high for approx 4.5 hours, then blend.

By the time I got home one eve this week I was pretty hungry and with not much food indoors I was very tempted to head for Nandos- especially as I have to walk past it on my way home. However, thankfully the BF suggested just going food shopping instead so we picked up a cooked rotisserie chicken for £5.50 (made four dinners for us) some spicy Nandos sauce (which I thought was kind of expensive- but not compared to eating out) and some frozen fries and salad- coming in at a fraction of the cost of eating out.

We will be eating up our stores of food (I have lots of pasta/rice/noodles) and trying hard not to waste any food. I have also been checking out the cash back websites and considering whether I can sell some of my photos to stock websites.

Until next time!