Showing posts with label bills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bills. Show all posts

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!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

We are finally in our own home!

Just a quick post to say we finally completed last Friday!! It seems money is being sucked from our bank accounts from all angles at the moment, from the three months’ worth of service charges upfront (£370) (we thought we could pay this monthly) to paying for the second hand washing machine and fridge freezer (£100) council tax which has been wrongly taken for the old flat (£138- still waiting for the old housemates to transfer what they owe) to TV licenses, contents insurance, other insurances, the sofa and finally not forgetting household items. We had £850 (approx.) worth of vouchers which has almost depleted now by half, but has come in ridiculously handy.  Luckily our first mortgage payment isn't due until next month (thank god!) and we had a small buffer of £100 or so.

It’s been such a busy few days so far, the spare room is still covered in boxes but I LOVE having my own home. I have lots of ideas of how I want to furnish and decorate- if you are interested please check out my Pintrest boards which can be found here.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Pumpkin soup

I love this time of year when the supermarkets stock pumpkins ready for Halloween at great prices; at the beginning of the week I picked up a medium sized pumpkin for 87p to make some soup with. Last night I whipped a batch up to eat at work at lunchtime. I also wanted to use a few fresh ingredients up in the fridge as I'm heading home for the weekend in a few days time.


  • Half a medium pumpkin
  • One white skinned sweet potato
  • A small handful of shallots
  • Some sliced onion
  • Two cloves of fresh garlic
  • One stock cube 
  • Dried Italian herbs
  • Peanut butter
  • One yellow pepper 
I chopped all the ingredients up, boiled them for approximately 15 minutes and blended with a hand blender (£5 from Asda smart price, which was a moving in present from my mum). This made three portions of soup which was poured into old (clean!) glass jars, as well as one portion which I poured into a Heinz baked beans fridge pack carton which I'll probably freeze for next weeks lunches. I haven't tasted it yet- oopsy!- so I'll let you know how I get on at lunch. 

Has anyone noticed how the papers (or is it just one I pick up on my commute?) has been full of doom and gloom over the last few days- first energy is predicted to go up by 10% in the new year, then petrol prices are ever-increasing, and then I read this morning that food prices are set to rise due to the heavy rainfall. Ergh! We'll just have to keep plodding on with it all. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The fight over the central heating dial has started again

A snap from this mornings rain filled walk. 
Like last year the fight over the thermostat dial has begun, with me turning it down a couple of degrees so it doesn't come on and turning down the radiator dials and them turning it up and leaving windows open. Grr! I can't wait to control my own temperature and bills.

In other news, payday came and went. I was thinking of buying a new autumn jacket in the price range of up to £50. However, I just dug out my old jacket which is proving fine, so some money saved there. Money from this months pay has been shifted to the ISA and the saving spreadsheet will be updated this week.

Last month I made it through saving an additional £200, so tucked that away in the ISA. I also managed to have a pretty cheap last weekend and saved the money I need to pay for the next six month water bill. Even though its good news I'm feeling quite frustrated and just want to get to my end target quicker.

Anyone else feel like this?