Monday, 31 October 2016

Christmas Pudding

We made 2 small Christmas puddings last weekend and cooked them in the slow cooker for 4 hours. This method creates much less steam in the kitchen and also means that you do not have to be in the kitchen the whole time ready to top up the water as the pan nearly boils dry.

We first started to use this recipe when Mr Shoestring needed a sugar free, egg free pudding, now he does not have to be so careful he still prefers this lighter version to a traditional Christmas pudding. You can set it alight just the same as the usual kind !

11/2 cups of non-dairy milk
1 cup of sugar or sugar equivalent
1 cup currants
1 cup mixed fruit
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon oil
1tsp mixed spice

Mix all the dry ingredients together and add enough of the milk to make a pudding consistency, you might not need all of it. Place half of the mixture in a greased 1pint pudding bowl and cover as usual with pleated greaseproof or foil. Steam in slow cooked for 4 hours.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Frugal Halloween

Not everyone celebrates Halloween but we have always had a bit of fun the old-fashioned Scottish way. That usually means a turnip lantern rather than a pumpkin one and a homemade costume if you are a little one. Homebaked treats like biscuits and doughnuts and a few games such as doughnuts on a string and cooking for apples.

No trick or treating and no spending lots of money on sweets !

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Master Shoestring has a new favourite ice cream, coconut milk ice cream made at home. This is the reason I am a bit late posting today as he just had to make a cookie dough version first thing this morning !

The recipe is really easy, just coconut milk, a sweetener like maple syrup and arrowroot to thicken  and then you can flavour it as you wish. His favourite so far is still the vanilla, he is not so keen on the chocolate and will try the cookie dough at lunchtime, as soon as it is sufficiently frozen !

I can thoroughly recommend it as a frugal ice cream too as even full price 500ml costs around £1.50 to make which is half the price of buying it in the shops. This ice cream is smooth and creamy and much easier to scoop than homemade sorbet,which is what we had been making !

Right, off to make mincemeat, Halloween biscuits, doughnuts, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding as back to commuting on Monday !

Friday, 28 October 2016

Blanching vegetables for later

I found a bunch of reduced brussels sprouts in Waitrose and decided to buy them to freeze for later. Lots of vegetables are quite cheap at the moment and will increase in price as we get nearer Christmas and into the Winter so doing this can save quite a bit of money.

Vegetables need to be blanched before you can freeze them and this involves adding them to boiling water for a few minutes and then cooling them rapidly. The you are supposed to open freeze them so they will be free flowing out of the packet when you need them. I never bother with this stage but just package them in serving portions for 4, so I can get a whole packet out when I need them.

Of course the best savings are with vegetables you have grown yourself, so I'll be aiming to do more of that next year !

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Charity Shop Haul

I do not shop in charity shops as often as I used to as the quality has declined and the prices have increased. I like jumble sales better now but it has been half term so I have had the chance just to look through a few.

Yesterday I did really well. The first prize goes to a brand new pair of thermal capris in small mens size which will fit me fine and only cost £1. These were not only cheap but will help to save on the cost of heating during the winter !

The second prize find was a copy of this book at £1.99. I have wanted a copy for ages and have borrowed it a few times from the library. Brand new it costs nearly fifteen pounds and with so many other gardening books I couldn't really justify the cost. One 99 is much more reasonable !

The final good find was a copy of this book on jams and preserves by Val and John Harrison. It only cost £1 and has an excellent recipe for damson cheese and one for apple butter made from crab apples. We have plenty of both and I didn't fancy all the palaver of making crab apple jelly so the apple butter will make a great substitute. I have another book by the Harrisons about Low Cost Living which I find really useful so I'm sure this one about preserves will be too !

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Love2Shop Vouchers

I think that I have written about these vouchers before. I got them for participating in the Royal Mail Postal Surveys. Two pounds worth were for posting a parcel for them but then I also got two lots of a £5 voucher for doing 2 Correctly Delivered surveys.

Now I had £12 worth of vouchers the question was what to spend them on to get the best value. Ten pounds was spent in Waterstones on a book I need for the course I am doing, that meant that I got the book for free ! The other £2 was spent in Robert Dyas as they have washing up liquid on special offer, so I got over a litre of washing up liquid for free.

I was well-pleased to get these items for free and if I get anymore I think that I shall save them for buying gifts as they are accepted in many, many different high street stores including Boots and WHSmith.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Buying Potatoes Locally

Inspired by 'An English Homestead' we decided to get a 25kg sack of potatoes to see us through until the Christmas holidays. Prices should be lower just now as there are plenty of potatoes and they will keep well in the garage. So we set off for the nearest greengrocers shop that we knew had them, about 20 miles away.

On the way I remembered seeing a little sign advertising local potatoes much closer to home, about 5 miles away. Off we went down the country lanes and found the farm and they had 2 different sorts of potatoes in stock. They were only doing 1/2 bags and I thought that when the farmer quoted the price that was for a 1/2 bag. It turned out that it was £7 for a whole bag or 25kg. This is 28p a kilo so I quickly changed my mind ! The farmer also told us that he knew the wholesaler and his potatoes were cheaper !

We got 25kg of 'Wilja' which is a versatile white potato that is good for boiling, roasting and making jackets so I can't wait to taste them !

Monday, 24 October 2016

Master Shoestring's Favourite Meatloaf

So we have been taking menu requests for the November meal plan and when asked whether he would rather have meatloaf or roast chicken on Sundays Master Shoestring was eager to make sure that his preference for meatloaf was heard !

It took a long time to find a recipe that we could use because of all the food allergy restrictions but this one hits the spot and you can even drizzle it with a pot of tomato ketchup before you put it in the oven. It uses grated potato rather than egg to hold all the ingredients together.

500g minced meat
1 grated onion
1 grated potato
1 teaspoom marjoram
1 squished clove of garlic
1 grated slice of bread
pepper, salt, other herbs to taste

Mix all of the above in a bowl and then pack into a loaf pan. Drizzle tomato ketchup on top if you like. Cook at 180C for 1 hour and then stand back and watch it all get eaten by a teenage boy unless you are very quick !

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Pause to say 'Thank You'

I am just a toddler blogger at present, but writing here everyday gives me as much pleasure as those bubbles gave Master Shoestring a few years ago ! 

I just wanted to say a huge 'Thank you' to all the people who are followers ;- Jackie, Gary, Barbara, Jada, Jean, Over The Top, Kev, Abbi, Chrissy, flour girl, Nim and Christine. I never believed that anyone would want to read what I write, let alone have people follow along ! Thank you so much for wanting to encourage a fellow frugalista !

Also a big 'Thank You' to all of you who read but don't want to follow ! You are by far the majority and also sometimes add a comment or two ( you know who you are and I love to read a comment  and always respond within a day or two!)

One of the funniest things I find when I come back to the blog to see what the post looks like is that there are often quite funny typo mistakes in the post, we were 'maling' leaf mould last week ! So another 'Thank you ' is in order for putting up with all my mistakes.

I will have more time to spend on the blog in January and would love to hear what sort of posts you would like to see ? My most popular one so far was about an IKEA voucher. Do you want more deals and vouchers or do you prefer the more everyday stuff ? Do add a comment to let me know !

I'm also thinking that the blog could do with a makeover to celebrate its first birthday and I hope to get around blog land a bit more and comment on other people's posts and join in with gatherings like Frugal Friday. It would also be good to hear  what you think about adverts and monetising a blog. One of my favourite bloggers, Crystal over at Moneysaving Mom does do this but one of my other favourites, Angela at Tracing Rainbows does not, I would love to hear what you think ?

Enjoy your Sunday and have a think about who you would like to thank !

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Things to do for Half Term

So it is half term, time to find out all the free things in your area ! Master Shoestring started his holiday on Friday already and as a teenager likes to do his own thing so that makes moneysaving easy for me ! However, I well remember how essential it was to have a plan, especially for this time of year when the weather can be unreliable.

First thing to do is to block in some play dates. One day when yours go to someone else and one day when you have someone over. This costs only the food for the extra mouth or two which comes over to you and is a great chance to get the children to learn how to cook something themselves. So that is 2 days taken care of. Then have 1 special day when perhaps you catch a bus or a train or go somewhere in the car. If you live near the sea or countryside that could mean a visit to a local beauty spot to run around to let off some steam and then have a picnic. Only cost is the transport.

The remaining 2 days can be based on something which involves indoor activity, crafting for Christmas and making your own Halloween costume from what is on hand around the house are both good moneysaving activities which the children will enjoy. We have also done a pyjama day and watched movies and played board games all day which was great for a cold , wet day.

Lots of memories, lots of fun and NOT lots of money spent !

Friday, 21 October 2016

Five Frugal Things we did this Week

The first thing we did was park one of the cars on the driveway and decide not to drive it until we get paid again. There is plenty of petrol in the other car, whereas the little one is almost out of fuel. This way we only need to buy a single tank of fuel for each car once a month.

The second thing we did was travel into London all week at off peak times and avoid Zone 1, this makes the daily commute cost £5.80, much cheaper than driving or the cost of taking the direct route at peak time which would be £14 a day.

The third thing was we bought a few items to stockpile, tinned tomatoes at 4 tins for £1, so 25p a tin as opposed to 33p for the cheapest own brand. If they are still on offer next week I shall buy some more as this is the cheapest they ever get. Also corn oil at £5 for 5 litres whereas normal price if £6.49 for 5 litres.

The fourth thing was to ask Miss Shoestring to sort out the muddle with our LoveFilm subscription, this costs us £7.99 a month and we watch about 8-10 films a month for that. Sorting out the muddle meant that this went back to being a gift to us rather than us paying for it.

The fifth thing was we checked our pension forecast online and Mr Shoestring was delighted to discover that he will qualify for a state pension as long as he goes on paying national insurance for another 7 years. We have big gaps in our contributions because of all the voluntary work we did so this was a big boost in terms of saving for early retirement.

What frugal things did you do this week ?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Maling Leaf Mould

With all of the leaves turning beautiful colours and starting to fall now is the time to make leaf mould. Leaf mould is an excellent conditioner for your soil, especially clay soil like we have.

Leaf mould is also very easy to make. Just gather up the leaves and leave them to rot down safely in an out of the way bit of the garden. Mr Shoestring has made some bins at the back of the garden but you can also use very strong garden waste sacks. You just fill the sacks with leaves, tie them off and then leave them in the garden until next Spring.

Mr Shoestring's other favourite thing is to the run the lawnmower on fine over any leaves which have dropped on the lawn. This chops up the leaves very small and makes a sort of instant leaf mould to fertilise the lawn. It only works with very light coverings of leaves. Heavy falls have to be cleared away with a rake and put in the leaf piles otherwise they will smother the lawn

Good luck with your leaf mould making !

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Lawnmower Care

Mr Shoestring has been busy this week taking care of the lawnmower so that it will be in good order next Spring. Having a big petrol lawnmower, like we have, serviced can cost well over a hundred pounds, so a bit of care now is very cost effective.

First of all, after the last cut of the year, add fuel stabiliser to the fuel that is left. Then fill up the mower with fuel. Run the machine for a few minutes to circulate the stabiliser throughout the engine. If you don't do that the fuel can go sludgy and make the mower difficult to start next year. Filling the mower up stops moisture getting into the engine. Also, use the service kit which came with the mower, or get one from a garden service machinery outlet so you can sharpen and grease your mower. This will mean that it does not rust and get blunt in storage over the winter. Finally, store the mower in a dry place as moisture is the enemy of mowers !

Do all of the above to ensure an easy start to Spring mowing with no expensive bills !

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Pancakes and Syrup

My Dad was over from the USA last week and very kindly brought us some high fructose corn syrup free pancake syrup, two big bottles so we just had to make pancakes. They were also very nice with the Autumn fruiting raspberries which we are still getting a small bowlful every day.

1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Mix all together with a whisk. Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan ( lightweight pans often mean the pancakes stick) and when it is hot add 1/3 of the pancake mix. Cook until set on one side and flip over with a spatula to cook on the other. Store under silver foil to keep hot until all the pancakes are cooked. This amount makes 3 large oatcakes or 4 medium sized ones, multiply the recipe to make more ! Yummy !

Monday, 17 October 2016

Leek and Potato Soup

We have decided to break into the leeks still growing in the garden now that everything else is starting to die off. We also have some little potatoes from the garden so a nice batch of leek and potato soup was on the cards. This is so easy to make and is a favourite with everyone, especially with some homemade rolls.

2 leeks
500g potatoes
herbs to taste
salt and pepper
1 litre chicken stock, preferably homemade

Chop leeks and potatoes and fry in some oil together with herbs and salt and pepper. When nicely brown add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Keep on a slow beta for 20 minutes then blitx with a hand blender.
Delicious !

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Pause for Reflection

The study course I have started at the local college is all about caring for others but the session this week was also talking about caring for yourself. It made me think that so often we go and buy something to make ourselves feel better, to give us a lift but actually all we need to do is practise self-acceptance. God made you and loves you just as you are. God does not care whether you have a lovely handbag, drink organic wine or what kind of gifts you give. Give yourself the gift of knowing that you are loved today and knowing that you will be able to go and help others feel that love !

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Frugal Things we did this week

It is the things we do to save money day in and day out which make a difference to our bottom line and enable us to save. I thought it might be interesting to make a list of them. Some of them you may do as well, others you may not have thought of !

Only put the central heating on when the thermostat gets down to 16C and only have it on long enough to bring the temperature back up to 18C.
Hot water heater only on for an hour at a time and then we use the hot water until it is gone.
Washing clothes at 30C and hanging them to dry.
Bringing our own food and drink to work and days out.
Travelling by the cheapest route to work even though it takes slightly longer.
Looking after our own pension money so we don't have to pay a fee.
Opening tea bags to use the tea rather than the bag.
Maintaining a healthy weight so we don't have to eat so much or have so many clothes.
Cutting our own hair.
Saving for big ticket items.
Investing for the long term.
Learning new skills so we don't have to pay for others to do jobs around the house.
Have a water meter.
Shop around for utilities, car and house insurance, telephone and broadband etc.
Don't have a smartphone.
Use open software.
Make your own entertainment or have it bought as a present.
Enjoy the beautiful countryside by rambling rather than paying for attractions.
Vary where you shop and what you eat to pay the least you can.
Pick wild flowers rather than buy them.
Use the library for best sellers.

I think that we have done all of these things this week and we enjoyed the week very much !

Friday, 14 October 2016

Calculating the cost of saving

This week I have been giving some thought to how much it can cost you to save money. For instance I have a set radius that I am prepared to drive to a jumble sale, around 10 miles, as otherwise it is beginning to cost me a significant amount in petrol. Similarly I won't take the car out unless I can do more than 1 errand on the way.

This feel I was planning to go to Lidl to do my grocery shopping as the savings are so great and the saving on chocolate would have paid for the petrol. However, I was tired, it was Friday night and I decided that my time was also worth something. So, I went to the closest store and spent the same as if I had gone to Lidl but without the peril cost. Your time is also worth something, especially if you could be doing something else with it to help build a healthy lifestyle. I spent the extra time saying 'hi' to Miss Shoestring who is just back from USA. Well worth it !

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Save on Children's Party Presents

I've written before about keeping a present cupboard but mostly I just stock it with presents that I know I will need, for example for birthdays and christmas in the family. However, Master Shoestring still sometimes comes home with an unexpected party invitation, as he did last week and then I need to have  a few other strategies up my sleeve as teenagers are often not keen on the sorts of generic presents I might have in stock.

For circumstances like this, where you might need to buy something a bot more personal I have found it useful to hold onto any gift cards we are given and then use these to purchase a present. That is what we did for Master Shoestring's party invitation. He needed two presents, one for a girl and one for a boy and he was able to choose something nice and pay for it with a gift card that he had been given for his birthday but did not want to use as the store had nothing he wanted. Everybody was pleased, no-one spent any money and the recipients still got nice gifts !

I always keep birthday cards, ribbon and paper in stock so Master Shoestring did not have to spend anything for a night's entertainment !

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Saving on Printer Cartidges

Over the years we have spent quite a bit of money on printer cartridges. One, rather annoying printer, would refuse to print unless it had a manufacturers cartridge installed. The only way to save money with that printer was to set the print size to very small and not very dark. Also to look to see who had special offers on those particular cartridges and then stock up. However, we were caught out one day when the printer died and we had to put the rest of the stockpiled cartridges on Freecycle !

Now we have a printer that will accept cheaper cartridges and these cost about half the price of the other ones. We also have a place in town which will refill your cartridges for you and you can buy kits to do this yourself. We have done both of these things but could never get the cartridges to work in the printer afterwards. Perhaps it is time to try again, now we have a less fussy printer ?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Buy Toiletries Online

I cannot recall the last time I was in Boots the Chemist as I almost always buy the things they sell more cheaply online now. A case in point would be disclosing tablets which I use to cut down on expensive visits to the dental hygienist ! A little pack of 20 in Boots is over £4, online I can get double the quantity for the same price with free postage. It is the same with the eye drops I sue and several other things. I even order glasses online now that I have a little device for measuring pupillary distance accurately so the glasses will fit !

Prices are not always cheaper online, especially if you get a quick sale, such as those on Black Friday, bit it is certainly worth shopping around to find out who has the best price for things you regularly buy !

Monday, 10 October 2016

Jumble Sale Haul

I went to one sale this week and did really well. Ten books for the long commute at £2 for the whole lot and fill a bag for £1 clothing. I was not able to fill the bag but in went 2 very expensive looking wrap dresses, a pair of Canadian mittens, a linen skirt and jacket and a really thick navy blue corduroy skirt. I have just got rid of a linen skirt and jacket after spilling watercolour paint on them, so was very pleased with this find. However, it was the wrap dresses which were the real bargain !  I looked them up when I got home and the full price is £89 ! All the other items fitted and looked really nice too so a great haul!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Chocolate covered Strabwrries

A friend asked me to make some of these for a teenage party after she discovered that her fridge was so full of food to feed the hordes that she could not fit anything else in !

They are easy to do and doing them myself means that I could be sure that the chocolate used was one that Master Shoestring could have.

All you have to do is melt the chocolate of your choice and then swirl the strawberries in. I did buy other fruit but there were enough strawberries in the value packs that I bought to feed 30 teenagers so I shall just use the other fruit for something else. The whole platter also only used a single 100g bar of chocolate so that was pretty economical too. A bit more expensive was finding strawberries at this time of year. At first I was planning to use raspberries and kiwi but then found 400g strawberries for £1.09, which was a greater weight for a smaller price so just went with those in the end.

The strawberries were a hit and the whole platter cost less than £5 to make so I was well pleased !

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Making your own Shortbread

I had planned to make a few rounds of shortbread for some Christmas gifts this year and have been saving pretty tins to package them up in. However, in Lidl this week they had really pretty tins of shortbread biscuits with lovely watercolour pictures of Paris on them so I picked up a few of them. Each tin only cost £1.99 and thinking about how busy I am up until the holidays made me very tempted to buy them. They nearly went into the trolley at a cost of just under £8 which I had not budgeted for.Then I reminded myself about how good homemade shortbread tastes, that I already had pretty tins at home and that I could make shortbread at home for far less and make lots of it !

When I got home I costed my recipe.

4oz butter = 42.5p (85p unsalted butter at Lidl)
2oz caster sugar = 2.5p (45p sugar from Lidl, ground finer at home)
6oz plain flour = 5.4p ( 45p plain flour at Lidl)

Grand total for ingredients is just over 50p ! Even allowing for a bit of power to grind the sugar finer or cooking in the oven the cost is going to be far less and the result much nicer. I just have to find the time at the weekend to do it. If I'm really pushed I could also do it one day during half term and pop all the biscuits in the freezer until I need them.

I was so glad that I had put the tins back !

Friday, 7 October 2016

Mending a Duvet

We have a double duvet which has a very high tog rating, 15 rather than the usual 13.5. We've had it a few years and it is very handy for very cold days or particularly chilly guests. A few months ago we noticed that the thin cover, which keeps all the filling in place had split. I didn't want to through away the duvet so had a go at mending the cover by hand. The tear just got worse as the new stitches pulled on the thin cover material. I knew that it really needed machine mending, but I couldn't wrestle a double duvet under the food of my sewing machine. So I just left it in the cupboard and every time I took it out a bit more filling escaped.

Then I had a brainwave. What it really needed was a new cover. Perhaps an ordinary double duvet cover would do. So I found one and tried it out. It worked a treat. Only problem was that I only keep 2 sets of linen for each bed so now our bed was one duvet cover down. This works in the Summer when washing dried quickly on the line but would not work later on in the year.

Last Saturday at the jumble sale I found the perfect replacement cover. The duvet is as good as new, the new cover only cost £1 and we have our duvet cover back. We have also saved the cost of a new duvet and saved a mass of filling from landfill, a definite win-win. The scouts also got £1 !

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Homemade Granola

Mr Shoestring is enjoying some homemade granola as part of his weight loss plan and finds it much more interesting than porridge. It is really simple to make, you just have to watch that it does not catch in the oven.

My recipe comes from 'The Tightwad Gazette' but you can find lots of others if you search. The good thing about it is that you can stir in lots of additions once it is cool. At the moment we're adding poppy and sunflower seeds and some coconut , which adds a few health benefits as well as taste.

Do you make your own breakfast cereals ? This one costs under 50p to make nearly 1kg, which is a big saving compared to granola in the shops.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Checking your Tyres

We have started checking our tyres every time we drive the car. Last month we had a nail in one of the tyres and had to pay for a new tyre at short notice, this cost just over £115.00 and was money we had not budgeted for. We have an emergency fund so no harm done but we realised that if we had checked the tyres we would have seen the nail and not driven the car. That way we could have planned for a tyre replacement and had time to shop around for the best deal.

There are other advantages to checking your tyres regularly as shown in the graphic above. Having your tyres correctly inflated will save on fuel  costs and checking the tyre depth will increase safety and possibly save you a large fine. It takes seconds to do it and can save in many ways !

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Shopping at Lidl

This month I had picked up a £5 off a £40 spend voucher for Lidl out of the Metro paper. The voucher expired on 30th September so I decided to do my October grocery shopping 1 day early to take advantage of the discount. The only problem with that was that it meant that I would have to go late in the evening after work on a Friday.

What I discovered was that this was a quiet time to go, which meant that I got round the shop faster than usual. However, it also meant that they were out of stock of a number of items which I had been planning to get, most particularly, chocolate and meat. In the end it was alright because I just substituted the missing items for something else. In all cases the substitutions were cheaper than the original items so I was able to give my second money saving voucher to the people behind me in the queue. They were delighted and I was pleased to help someone out at a time of the week when everyone is tired.

I was very pleased that the whole shop came to under £50. So I was able to go and buy a few organic items somewhere else this month and have some surplus for any unexpected bargains later on !

Monday, 3 October 2016

Jumble Sale Haul

I went to 2 jumble sales over the weekend and was delighted at the number of good books I got at such a good price. At the first one the books were 20p each and I bought 3 good ones for the commute, much cheaper than a paper or magazine for the train. The entry fee was only 20p as well which is much cheaper than normal round here. 

At the second one, in the afternoon, I arrived a bit later and they had just reduced the price of the books to 10 for a £1. I had not planned to buy so many but at that price the challenge was on to find 10 that I would read. One of the books was this less well known one by Trollope which I have not read. I like Anthony Trollope, as although his books are quite wordy his observation of people is so accurate that I think the stories remain relevant today, so I am looking forward to reading that one. Since the price was so little I was also able to take a chance on a few more popular books which I otherwise would not have bought.

I've also been to the library this week, so no chance of running out of reading matter this week !

Sunday, 2 October 2016

December Travel !

If you are thinking of visiting family and friends for the festive season this week and next are when the cheap advanced tickets will be on sale. We usually get a ticket from Watford to Glasgow return for under £40. However, this time when I tried all the return tickets at the cheap prices were gone ! So Mr Shoestring will be going up one day and down 2 days later in order to make sure that the fare is still a cheap one.

I wanted to warn other people that these tickets are selling fast or else they have made fewer of them available so don't miss out ! For us booking the cheapest ticket was a saving of £85 this year making the train as cheap as driving and much quicker !

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Reckoning !

I have been updating the accounts last week and now it is 1st October can see the final results for September. We underspent on food a bit since Master Shoestring thought that he would eat more school lunch than he did. This is good news as it gives me a few more pounds to spend on meals which are not school lunches. Not so good were the over £500 worth of medical bills, a visit to the chiropodist for Mr Shoestring and my annual visit to the national specialist for my eyes. Without those expenses we would have done fairly well at sticking to £1500 for all our expenses which I would be pleased with as we are spending over £200 a month extra commuting into London. This should mean that eventually we can stick to our monthly budget for early retirement. That is encouraging as at the moment the figures look way out ! Roll on January when we shall go back to spending less on transport again !