Thursday, 17 September 2009

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BANANAS LAST LONGER

I don't know about you - but no-one in my family will eat bananas when the skin has gone brown (or even a bit brown and spotty) and the fruit tastes very strong. I hate waste, so it's usually me who has to eat them! I'm not that keen either as I prefer mine to have very clear, deep yellow skins - mmmm just right!
Never store your bananas in the fridge - this makes them go brown and they aren't very tasty cold anyway. I store my bananas in a pull out tray in a cool cupboard and have recently discovered that if you separate them all from the bunch they last very much longer. Greenish ones will continue to ripen slightly, but yellow ones do not go brown and overipe so quickly, and, as I only buy my bananas once a week, that's a bonus for me!

Monday, 14 September 2009

WINTER FUEL PAYMENT - APPLY NOW

If you qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you should apply before 25th September to get your payment before Christmas. Actually, if you qualify for it you shouldn't actually need to apply - but if, for example, you've never had it before you may need to check that you are going to get it. If it hasn't arrived by Christmas 2009 then contact the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline on 08459 15 15 15 (0845 601 5613 for textphone users). Lines are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Charges are the same as for local calls. You can also send an email from the Pension Service web page - more info HERE.
Men over 60 years old but under 65 years old often miss out as they are still working, not drawing the state pension and so don't automatically get it. The payment (depending on age and circumstances) is between £125 and £400, and not taxable, so it's well worth finding out about. Don't leave it because if you don't apply before March 30th, 2010, you will miss out altogether - not very frugal!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

YOU CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL TOO!

If you're thinking about trying to improve your job prospects - or just wanting to study to keep your brain active, The Open Study College has loads of courses to choose from , including GCSE's and "A" levels. There are also many vocational courses which may help you progress in the career you already have and they are offering 15% off the cost of courses at the moment.
It's September, so there will also be loads of evening classes starting soon (check your local further ed college, secondary school or library for details). These can be costly, but if you are on certain benefits, they are sometimes a little cheaper. But they often don't cost more than around £6-7 per week - this, apart from being enjoyable, could be an investment in your future (or your future well-being) and the cost really only equates to a couple of beers or a takeaway - something we could all probably do without for a while!
Plus, the OU's list of free courses is fabulous (do them on-line and join in with others for support) or if you need to do one of their full courses you may be able to get help with the fees - take a look at their site - and don't forget you can use your Tesco deals tokens to pay for them!
Happy Frugal Studying!

Friday, 4 September 2009

TRY THIS...

If you pop into Waitrose you can pick up (free) from the checkout (you don't have to buy anything) their Waitrose NEW booklet for September - now, I know these books are really just soft sell adverts, but they do have some useful frugal info - the pages have seasonal fruit and veg ideas called "Try This". For example for red onions: "Drizzle red onions, halved waxy potatoes, unpeeled garlic cloves and rosemary, with olive oil, then roast until tender. Serve as an accompaniment to roast meats".
There are also a couple of full recipes and lots of other ideas which make these little booklets worth collecting (at least for a year!) like a page each full of suggestions for using herbs, mushrooms and English apples.
So when you see any of seasonal veg reduced or on offer anywhere, you can snap them up, knowing you can actually use them for something - try that!