Wednesday, 28 November 2012

PLANNING TO EARN SOME MONEY IN THE NEW YEAR?

I know it's a bit soon to start thinking about the New Year, but we're all probably going to need to earn some extra cash! 
So here are a few ideas to get started with and start now, because they're not quick earners (is anything?)
  1. Complete online surveys such as YouGov (around 50 points per survey and pays out at 5000 (£50) by cheque) or Valued Opinions (50p-£5 per survey, pays out at £10 in the form of vouchers for all the high street brands).
  2. Cashback - sign up with Top Cashback and log in and go through the site before you make any online purchases. Cashback varies with retailer, but if you have to buy something anyway, you may as well get a little money back! Pays out when tracked, through Paypal or in the form of Amazon vouchers.
  3. Sell your unwanted presents on Ebay - this may also take a while, as many people won't be spending much in the first few months - unless they have Christmas money of course!
  4. Start blogging! A blog like this one is free from Blogger, join up with Google adsense, write regularly and write about what you are enthusiastic about, and eventually you may earn a little every month.
Good luck with it all! 


Monday, 19 November 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

BE FRUGAL THIS CHRISTMAS!

I'm going to be really frugal this Christmas (much more than usual) as we've just bought another house with a massive mortgage and it needed loads doing to it, so now we have no money to spare for Christmas presents!
I'm busy finding Christmas presents for £5 and under to buy, to make or a combination of both. Take a look over on my Happy Frugal Christmas blog to see what I've come up with so far... I'll update it regularly with ideas from around the internet as fast as I see them!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 26

Use your local Freegle and Freecycle!
One man's junk is another man's treasure as the saying goes and people really do give stuff away! They may be unable to sell on Ebay or the item may be too big or heavy for them to transport to the tip, but whatever the reason, there's useful stuff out there and you just have to connect with the people that have it.
This year my family has received 2 spades, a hoe, 2 rakes, a garden fork (all to help with our new allotment), several bags of apples (to make cider), demi-johns and other wine-making paraphernalia, glass storage jars, a leather armchair, carpet and 2 Cath Kidston sewing booklets that were freebies in a weekend paper that I don't buy. I'm sure there has been more - I just can't remember it all!
You can also ask for anything you need- you never know it may be cluttering up someone's loft, garden or garage! We all need to save money and save the planet - the less stuff that goes to landfill, the better.
Just Google Freecycle or Freegle and the name of your town to find your local group, sign up and watch out for the daily digest emails that list items offered and wanted!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A FEW WISE WORDS ABOUT MONEY...

Humorist and journalist Frank “Kin” Hubbard had some wise words for those who may consider a speculative gamble with their money: “The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” 
Great advice!

FREE MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES TO VISIT AT HALF-TERM!

Yes, half-term is nearly upon us again, and us frugalistas will be searching for things to do with the kids that don't cost!
So, MSE has a great interactive UK map of free museums and art galleries near you - check it out!
More things to do in the school holidays! 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

HALLOWEEN PARTY RECIPES

If you are having a Halloween party and really want some ghastly, gross recipes to horrify your guests, then look no further. I've found a truly grisly slection of eatables for you to create! 
So here we go - we have edible eyeballs, yucky green Swamp Dip, more Eerie Eyeballs recipes, Creepy Mummy Hotdogs, Brain Cupcakes, Jelly Worms (too realistic, yuck!), Goblin Tongues, Melon Brain, Witch's Hairy Finger Breadsticks, Brain Jelly, Pizza Mummies, Carrot Fingers and Forked Eyeballs, Witch's Finger Cookies, Halloween Graveyard Cake, Kitty Litter Cake (eeewww!), Pecan Caramel SpidersGreen Jellied Eyeballs, Halloween Meathead (gross!) and perhaps worst of all, a Severed Meat Hand!
That's it for me- I'm completely grossed out!

LAST MINUTE HALLOWEEN COSTUME IDEAS

If you thought you'd let Halloween just pass by unmentioned, but then your kids arrive with party invites or your friend thinks it's a great idea to throw a Halloween fancy dress party, then here's some ideas for last minute Halloween costumes. You can make a scary Jack O'Lantern costume with a free printable mask and some black clothes, a Glow-in-the-dark Skeleton costume with all the printable bones, or print out a free Werewolf, Frankenstein or Dracula mask to to team up with the appropriate clothes!
Happy Frugal Halloween!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 25

Loyalty doesn't pay!
It's sad and it really shouldn't be true, but loyalty to a brand or business just doesn't pay! You, the customer are just a money-making opportunity for any business and, hard as it may seem, you must go where the price is cheapest - and that will probably not be the company you bought from last year, last month or even last week. If you keep buying/paying every year without question, you are not a valued customer, you are a bit of a mug - and those companies know it!
For example, never pay your insurance renewals without using several price comparison websites to check if you can get cheaper - and then go back to your current insurer and ask them to BEAT, not match, that price or you will go elsewhere. 
Keep using this research method for everything you buy (type the product name/code etc into Google and find out who's selling it where and for how much) and even on the high street, you may save money by going to the store that has your product the cheapest - it's not always cheaper to buy online - factor in the postage/carriage charges and it may still be cheaper to buy on the high street.
Happy Frugal shopping around!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 23

Don't save if you have debts!
Interest rates on savings are at an all-time low, so if you have debts, pay them down before you start saving! The interest on your debts is costing you more than your savings are earning in the bank - simple!
Of course if you have a long-term debt like a mortgage, then  overpay if you can, but try to save a little as well for treats and emergencies - that's a bit more of a balancing act!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...
 

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 24

Overpay your mortgage!
It may seem impossible, but if you can overpay a little on your mortgage each month, it really will make a huge diffference in the long-term. 
Even just a £10 overpayment per month can shorten the life of your mortgage and save you thousands!
But on a £100,000 mortgage at 4% interest, just overpaying by £100 per month would shorten your mortgage by 6 years and save you £15647 in interest!

Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Friday, 5 October 2012

MORE FREE HALLOWEEN FUN STUFF!

Hershey's have a whole load of free Halloween fun stuff on offer on their website - screensavers, wallpapers, classroom resources (wordsearch, fill in the blanks, clip-art), colouring pages, even more clip-art, pumpkin stencils, decorating ideas, party ideas and booing essentials!
All you need for a fun Halloween is right HERE!
 More things to do in the school holidays!

Monday, 1 October 2012

FREE HALLOWEEN ACTIVITY SHEETS

Spooky potions to drink, silhouettes for your windows and Jeering Jars to make - give the kids something to keep them occupied at half-term with these  free Halloween ideas from DK!
More things to do in the school holidays! 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

7 DAY INTERACTIVE MEAL PLANNER COMPLETE WITH SHOPPING LIST!

If you're bored with the same old meals every night and also need to budget and plan to save money, then the NHS 7 day meal planner will provide you with recipes to choose from, your chosen menu plan and will even email you the shopping list to go with your choices!
The meals are low-fat, healthy and not complicated - a real bonus!

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING NUMBER 22

Close your curtains!
During the winter months when it's cold, closing your curtains will help to keep your house warm, meaning you save on heating costs. If your curtains are longer than radiators underneath windows, then try to tuck them behind the radiator.
If your front or back door lets in a draft, consider putting up a curtain behind it to keep the cold air out too. You'll need a good thick one to stop draughts and hook-on linings can help with this - or buy old curtains from a charity shop and double up by sewing them together. You can use any left over fabric to sew a draught excluder "sausage" and stuff it with old tights, worn our sheets or any other old clothes (cut up) you may have otherwise thrown out!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Thursday, 20 September 2012

THE WHOLE SORRY PPI RECLAIMING BUSINESS...

For anyone who hasn't yet heard, been phoned, received unwanted texts - the whole dirty business of people wanting to reclaim your PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) on your behalf, seems to be escalating beyond control.
Perhaps to begin with some of these firms who advertise that they can get you thousands back may have been genuine - insomuch as they would have got your refund of PPI (always supposing you ever paid any) and would have charged you 30% of whatever they got back. However, now we seem to be plagued by any number of shonky pop-up firms who may get your money back, but you never receive it and they then become "uncontactable" - shorthand for "gone into liquidation".
The truth is, you can get your own PPI back if you follow a few simple steps (which is all any PPI reclaiming company would do) and then all the money you reclaim is yours.
Firstly, if you know who you had the PPI with, then things should be fairly straightforward; you write to them and tell them you believe you've been missold PPI and that will start the process. If you don't know the details of your PPI payments, then you need to check your credit report (does cost a couple of pounds but there are ways to get it for free) this will give details going back 6 years of what loans etc you have had, thus providing contact details.
For template letters, FAQs and masses more info go to www.moneysavingexpert.com and start reclaiming!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 21

Check your bank statements every month!
Always, always check your bank statements every month. Checking will pick up any suspicious activity, any reckless over spending, tell you when you’ve gone overdrawn (and how much it cost you) and whether you have any forgotten (or even cancelled) direct debits that are still slipping unnoticed out of your account every month!
Know about your own finances and how much you spend every month - stay in touch with your money – or lack of it, because no-one else can do this for you and you’ll be all the richer for it!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Friday, 14 September 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 20

Don't pull up your lettuce! 
When you harvest any lettuce you've grown, don't pull the whole plant up, just cut across the stalk at ground level. You have your lettuce to eat now and in a couple of weeks, you'll also have some lovely baby leaves to eat, growing out of the stalk you've left behind!
This tip was really useful to me this year, because, due to the strange weather we had in early summer, my lettuces didn't grow - they bolted! The leaves of bolted lettuce tend to be tough and a bit bitter, so really the plants are no good. But, this year instead of pulling up and discarding them, I cut the plants off at ground level and a couple of weeks later, had a lovely crop of small tender leaves - so not quite a complete loss!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 19

Research!
This is just like planning your meals before you do your food shop, but this research can be about anything you buy.
I needed some of my usual eye cream recently and was horrified to see how much it had gone up in price since the last time I had bought it - so I Googled it to see what it costs in all the major high street retailers and, yes, guess what they were all within a few pence of each other on price (£9.95- £10.20), however, another result showed a seller on Ebay listing my cream for £4.50 + £1.00 p&p! 
Of course I checked out the seller's feedback and made sure they were a genuine supplier - done! And for around half the price of anywhere near me! My cream was with me in 2 days - no problem.
I now Google a lot of fairly common items that I buy for the home, especially if they are priced around £5 or more. This has resulted in me buying my coffee and my fabric softener from Amazon and even, once, my toilet rolls! And these were all delivered post free. 
Don't forget, mysupermarket.com also shows supermarket prices of Asda, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado to help with your comparisons.
Prices are going up and wages aren't - it pays to do your research!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

WARNING! CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

Okay, once again I am guilty of uttering the "C" word at the end of summer, but think on this - Christmas is on the 25th December every year, and every year we seem to get caught out thrashing the credit card in December and broke in January (and perhaps February and March too).
The average Christmas spend per family is around £600 and as this is more than can be managed in one month for most of us we need to start planning now.
Check your cupboards for last year's Christmas puddings - they'll probably still be in date! Well, it's one thing less to buy! Make a list of everything you usually buy in the way of food, start thinking what you can do without (those boxes of dates that no-one eats for example) and start buying a couple of items a week. 
Count up all the people you have to buy gifts for, set a budget for each present and start picking up items that are on special offer now. Search your cupboards for presents to "re-gift" - my other half always gets at least one scarf and one pack of sports socks every year - something has to go! This tip comes with a very big warning though - do make a note of who gave you these presents. I was once given a very unusual bottle of hand cream that I had given a relative 5 years before! Needless to say, it had gone off! So if you cannot remember who gave you the item, list it on Ebay now and sell it to get some "present money".
So re-gifting takes planning; sort your presents out in the New Year, label those items you cannot use, with post-it notes saying who gave them to you and then pack them away for next Christmas (or for birthdays if the gift is not "Christmassy").
As of today, Christmas is 103 days away, which is really not very long to buy a stack of food, decorations and presents! Get planning!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 18

Portion Control!
Keep track on just how much food you are allowing per person - we all sometimes have far too much rice or pasta cooked and often we eat it all anyway, sometimes it's thrown away (terrible!) and rarely it is used in leftover recipes (or more often, later found in a furry heap in the fridge!).
I've found that the amounts of pasta and rice recommended per portion on the back of packets are often ridiculously huge, and, even worse,  I know some people who just pour it in the saucepan and don't weigh it at all!
So my tip is to always weigh your rice and pasta, and always count out your potatoes. For a curry where rice is an accompaniment I use 2 ozs (approx 50g) per person. If I'm entertaining I may use 3ozs. For pasta I use 3 ozs per person (as an accompaniment), or where the meal is pasta based, 4ozs, and for potatoes; 4 baby new ones or 3 medium older ones. 
There are also portion guidelines for meat and fish (just Google it) which catering businesses use to avoid waste and expenditure - keeping to these will save you money too!
It's not being mean, it's being sensible, not wasteful - and frugal!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

FREE HALLOWEEN KNITTING PATTERNS


For all you crafty frugallers out there, you have a few weeks to create all your Halloween goodies! I've rounded up some lovely free Halloween knitting patterns created and generously given by those talented craft bloggers out there in the bloggerverse! These all take small quantities of yarn, so are suitably frugal!
So to begin - a quirky Halloween wig, shown in pink, but I  think it would also make a really great black witches' wig, then we have a cute pumpkin Jack O' Lantern HERE and a pumpkin decoration HERE, a fabulous pair of fingerless Halloween pumpkin mitts, a Halloween witch doll, a pumpkin tea-cosy, and a tiny ghost to spook us all out!

Happy Halloween knitting!
(and don't forget, if you're looking for free Christmas knitting patterns, check out my Free Christmas Knitting Patterns blog!)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 17

Use Shopping Lists! 
Plan, plan, plan! Before you spend anything, plan out your purchases - this also goes for your grocery shopping. 
Making a shopping list before you visit the supermarket always proves cheaper than not making one - think ahead, plan your week's menu, check what ingredients you already have in the fridge, cupboards and freezer and buy only what you will need. 
Do not be tempted by anything that's not on your list! Keep your list handy all through the week so that when you run out of cleaning stuff, kitchen roll or whatever, you can note it down straight away. No more walking around the supermarket picking up things you think you may have run out of only to get home and find you have 3 bottles of toilet cleaner hiding behind the toilet bowl! 
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 16


Skill swap!
No matter how much money you could save fixing your own car or painting the kitchen yourself, it's no good if you don't have the right skills. But if your strengths are in other areas, say jam making, hair-cutting or gardening - why not consider a skills swap?
Make a cake or mow a lawn in return for someone fixing your car. 
Register your skills with swapaskill.com, gumtree.com or localskillswap.com. You can sometimes also swap unwanted items for a service.
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

FREE PRINTABLE CAR GAMES FOR KIDS

If you've got to take kids on a long car journey this summer holidays then these free printable car games will help to keep them quiet!
More things to do in the school holidays! 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

CHEAP DEALS FOR SUMMER HOLDAY ZOO VISITS

There are some cheap deals, discounts and 2 for 1 offers on zoo visits this summer, at around 25 zoos and aquariums located all across the country.
Decide where you want to go and check in advance online for codes, vouchers etc. 
Nobody pays the gate price! (or if you do, you're paying for all those people who use the discounts!)
More things to do in the school holidays! 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 15


Dilute "natural" fruit juice.
Diluting fruit juices with water makes them last longer, while also reducing the amount of calories each time you drink it. "Pure" fruit juice can have a lot of sugar added without it being listed as an ingredient on the pack, so you're not only saving money, you're also keeping the calories down - it's win-win! 
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

FREE SUMMER FUN BOOKLET FROM DORLING KINDERSLEY

Well, the school summer holidays are just starting - pity that the weather doesn't get the message about it actually being summer! However, we've just got to get on with it and enjoy ourselves anyway! 
Dorling Kindersley is giving us a free16-page Summer Fun pdf booklet to help keep the children occupied. It has puzzles, colouring, a step-by-step cake recipe, instructions on how to make knitted roses, suggestions for days out and instructions on how to plant up a wildlife friendly window box.
Plus, don't forget there are lots more free ideas for Things To Do on their website!
More ideas for Happy frugal holidays!

Friday, 13 July 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 14

Use your local library!
Become a member of your local library. If you're spending out on paperbacks you only read once, it makes sense to join a library. It's free, and considering the price of the average paperback (even bought online) after borrowing three books, you'll probably have saved at least £20.  
 Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

BRITISH GAS FREE SWIMS

British Gas is offering free swims this summer. Vouchers are for 1 adult and up to 2 children (under twelves) and although its terms and conditions seem unnecessarily lengthy - I think it seems to be for 3 swims.
Find a pool near you (all swims have to be taken at the same pool) and get swimming!
More ideas for Happy frugal holidays!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 13

Swap your online supermarket shopping! 
It's worth changing who you shop with from time to time, especially if you shop online. Swap  between Ocado, Asda and Tesco and if you haven't shopped with them for a while, they tend to send you £10 vouchers to try to persuade you back!
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

RASPBERRY JAM RECIPE

Here's the recipe for my Raspberry Jam made with frozen raspberries;

500g frozen raspberries
500g granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon*
  1. Tip the frozen raspberries and lemon juice into the pan and warm very slowly. 
  2. When you see the fruit softening and the juice starting to run, add the sugar stirring all the time. 
  3. Bring to a rolling boil and use a jam thermometer to bring to setting point (or use a saucer from the fridge or freezer to do the setting test with teaspoon of jam). Turn off and remove from the heat immediately. 
  4. Pot up and label.
*If you double up on the quantities to make a larger batch, there's no need to use more lemon juice.
Enjoy!

8 CHEAP FOODS TO MAKE GOOD USE OF!

No food is really and truly cheap - I know, but some reasonably priced foods do stretch further than others. Here's a few ideas to get you started:-

Pulses – kidney beans, butter beans, chick peas use in chilli concarne, instead of meat in curry and bolgnaise sauces – or make my favourite Butter Bean Curry!

Eggs - make a Spanish omelette with fried onion and leftover veg, boil and slice for a lovely egg salad.

Oats – mix in crumble, make flapjack, mix a couple of handfuls in with mince to bulk up a shepherd’s pie or – make porridge!

Rice - protein-rich and filling, it makes a great surround to a smaller amount of meat or chicken curry!

Pasta – use as an accompaniment to a salad, toss with roasted peppers, onions and garlic with strips of ham or pepperoni for a meal in itself - or make macaroni cheese!

Chicken- not cheap, but buy a good-sized bird and roast it on Sunday, carving the breast, but saving the wings and legs for a curry and salad. Pick the carcass clean before it cools – it will be easier to get every last flake of meat off! Boil the carcass with an onion and a carrot and use the stock to make soup with or without chicken or make a vegetable soup with left over veg and then liquidise.

Canned fish- tuna, mackerel – all really good for us! Combine your tuna with pasta and mushroom soup and top with a sprinkle of grated cheese for a lovely main meal, or pile a plate high with salad and top with a tin of mackerel turned out and served with brown bread and butter triangles.

Meat – a large piece of tasty pork shoulder may cost £12-£14, but I’ve just slow cooked one in BBQ sauce for Sunday lunch for 4 people, chunked up another lot to heat up in left over sauce with new potatoes and veg for 3 people, then sliced the remainder to eat with salad for 4 people – so I did get 11 main meals from it! I’ve also got a suspicion that my other half ate at least a portion whilst he was carving- naughty and not very frugal!

Friday, 6 July 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 12

Don't spend money to impress other people! 
You know what I mean - a bigger, thirstier car than you need, the latest tech gadget, this year's new colour of garden furniture, a new outfit every week, a new flashy watch when your old one told the time just fine. 
The people who notice those things aren’t worth impressing and those who don’t notice – well, need I say more?

RASPBERRY JAM FROM FROZEN RASPBERRIES

I've just made some really tasty raspberry jam from frozen raspberries for the first time ever and it was a real success! Now, I hear you say, why are you using frozen raspberries when we are in the midst of (what passes for) summer? Well, frugality - of course! Fresh raspberries, even in season, are too expensive for jam making!
Raspberry jam costs anything from .80p to nearly £3 per jar and much of it is rubbish. Most of these jams have gelling agents in them and after the initial use where the "jelly-like" consistency is broken, all you get it pink watery stuff - yuck! And wasteful- that's water you can't use and have paid for.
So, I bought a 500g pack of frozen raspberries from Lidl (£1.99) and a 5kg bag of granulated sugar (I plan to make more jam and some marmalade - more about that later) and one lemon. My recipe uses 500g fruit and 500g sugar (8p per 100g) with the juice of a lemon (30p) - total cost for 3 jars, a very frugal £2.69 and it tastes like heaven! 
When making this jam I put all the raspberries in the pan with the juice of the lemon on a very low heat - when the raspberries were softening and some juice could be seen, I added the sugar and boiled as normal.
Next time I'm making a larger batch!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 11

Turn those lights off!
Make a habit of turning the lights off when you leave a room and switch to energy-saving light bulbs. It's now possible to get them in a large selection of (better looking) shapes and sizes, suitable for most lights and lamps and even though they can seem expensive to buy, compact fluorescent bulbs use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer. See the chart below for guidance as to equivalent wattage choices for your bulbs.

Traditional bulb Low-energy CFL bulb
100 W 20 – 25 W
60 W 13 – 18 W
40 W 8 – 11 W
25 W 6 W

Using a 13-watt compact fluorescent in place of a 60-watt incandescent could mean a saving of £15 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

IT'S ALMOST JULY - MAKE SOME ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL!

On a hot, sunny day (if we ever get one) nothing beats Elderflower cordial diluted with sparkling water and served with ice and a slice of lemon. 
July heralds the best time to get out and pick those flower heads and I've already seen a few on the hedge surrounding my allotment. 
If you know a good spot to pick some Elderflowers, keep an eye on the blooms and hopefully, you will be able to pick them when they are huge, like small tea plates - you'll need about 25-30 flower heads (and most of the small individual flowers need to be open, not still in buds) for your Elderflower cordial recipe lemons, an orange, sugar and citric acid
Enjoy!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 10

Use your washing line!
Try to line dry all your washing – even in the winter. Use the tumble dryer as an absolute last resort as they are very power hungry. 
Watch the weather forecast and put off washing a load if it’s raining - difficult I know, if you have a family. 
Trying to get your washing out on the line until it’s even half dry will help and it can finish drying on an airer. Using a conservatory if you have one will dry clothes as, even in winter, any sunshine there may be can make them very warm.
Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

TESCO AND THEIR SHOP 3 TIMES OFFER!

I am, today, not for the first time, severely disappointed in Tesco. I was eagerly awaiting my £20 off code for shopping 3 times between May 13th and 21st June as per their recent offer. My code however, did not arrive so I carefully reread their "reminder"  email to shop 3 times:
"Don’t forget to take advantage of this great offer – to qualify you just need to spend at least £40 with us on three separate occasions between 13th May and 21st June 2012 inclusive. If you do we'll send you an eCoupon on 24th June to use on your next shop when you spend £40 or more."
Note, it says nothing about where you do these 3 shops. After the message quoted above, the email then has a big white space until much further down I read:
"To qualify for the £20 offer you need to shop grocery online three times before 21st June, spending £40 or more each time."
So - I hadn't spotted this before and, thus - no £20 code for me - I shopped in store! 
Am I being paranoid - or is this just another strategy by Tesco to rip us off? 
I wonder how many other people were mislead like me?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 5

 Image result for full car boot
Clear your car out!
According to Quentin Wilson, you can save £25 per year in petrol costs by just clearing out your boot! Of course it depends how much stuff you've got in there! 
But anyway, "every little helps" - according to the large conglomerate supermarket which likes to rip us off every week!
 Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 7



Save petrol by keeping your tyres correctly inflated! According to the RAC it can improve your fuel consumption by 2%!
 Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 9

ISA, ISA, ISA!
Move your ISA (Individual Savings Account) every year – not got an ISA? If you're a taxpayer you should have! 
All interest is paid tax free and you can invest up to £5640 into a cash ISA each financial year (2012/13). 
Most interest rates on savings accounts are now made up of a base rate and a "bonus" rate which after one year is dropped - so if you do have an ISA and you've had it for over a year chances are your money is languishing in your bank's coffers at a really pathetic rate of interest - sometimes under half of one percent!
Check out some of the best cash ISA accounts HERE.

Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Monday, 11 June 2012

TESCO VERSUS AMAZON!

I was going to buy my Comfort Pure Fabric Conditioner from Tesco last Friday, but after picking it up and seeing the shelf price of £3.30 for 1.5 litres, I put it back! 
Instead I ordered it from Amazon who supplied me with two 1.5litre bottles of Comfort Pure for £4 - delivered free. 
So - 1.5 litres for £3.30 at Tesco or 3litres for £4 from Amazon- which would you buy?
How can this be? What is going on with pricing? 
Tesco may have lots of "deals" and "offers", but I believe their base prices are still far too high - the buzz is that folks are fed up with Tesco's cynical price tweaking. It's never nice to go shopping and believe we're being taken for idiots.

ANOTHER ZINGY THE EDF FLAME FREE KNITTING PATTERN

Just in case one free knitting patttern for Zingy the EDF flame wasn't enough, I've found you all another one! It's on the Nimble Needles website - just scroll down the page a little and you can download the pdf for free! 
And although every frugaller really should knit, if you can't knit or won't knit - then for £7 you can buy one already knitted for you!
Edit: please see comment below. This pattern is now being sold for £1 in aid of a charity that supports people with epilepsy. I do hope that you will support the designer and her charity - Thanks frugallers!

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 8


When it's raining outside and the children are bored, don’t take them out to the cinema or to some other indoor game/ballpit/bowling alley kind of place where you will spend £20 quicker than the time it takes for them to say “I want an ice-cream/milkshake/burger/chocolate bar!" Instead, wrap up in waterproof macs, put on your wellies, grab your umbrellas and go for a walk!
Try to have a circular route in mind, keep the pace up, try a “first one to spot a red car, oak tree, blue door” kind of game as you go and if they start flagging half way round, keep them going with the promise of a hot chocolate and biccies when you all get back.
You know what they say - there’s no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes!
 Catch up with all the Random Money-Saving Tips so far...

Thursday, 31 May 2012

RETRO FOOD TREATS FOR YOUR DIAMOND JUBILEE WEEKEND!


It seems that all things retro are popular for the coming Diamond Jubilee weekend - even recipes! 60 years ago (the wonderful 1950s) we were eating bowls of jelly or jelly whip, trifle, homemade jam tarts, Victoria sandwich cake, coronation chicken, salmon and cucumber sandwiches, sausages on sticks, butterfly cakes (not cupcakes!), scotch eggs, egg sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese straws - is your mouth watering yet? And it was usually all home-made!
With the average cost of a jubilee celebration tea party rising 5-fold from £1.27 per head for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, to £7.18 a head this year, we need to keep our celebrations frugal, so planning is the only way.
Decide upon the menu, let everyone contribute a dish of food - use mysupermarket.co.uk to find the cheapest supermarket to buy your ingredients - and get busy! Those who can't cook can make paper bunting, lend table cloths and tables, buy paper cups or bring ready made food.
Happy Frugal Diamond Jubilee!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

FREE DIAMOND JUBILEE UNION JACK PARTY DECORATIONS & RECIPES

If you are planning a Diamond Jubilee party on a budget and don't want to splash the cash on bunting and decorations, The Woodland Trust have some free printable bunting, paper chains, gold cup cake crowns, pinwheel windmills (in a choice of Union Jack, Blue, Red and White) and recipes
Party on!

Friday, 18 May 2012

RANDOM MONEYSAVING TIP NUMBER 6


If you like to use fresh ginger root in your cooking, but never use it all up in one go, leaving it to go soggy in the fridge, then next time you buy a root, cut it into roughly 3cm chunks and freeze in a polythene bag. You then have a convenient sized piece for most recipes to take out as you need it and it’s very easy to grate from frozen! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

HOW TO GET YOUR HIPPEASTRUM BULB TO FLOWER AGAIN!

If like me, you've often been given an Hippeastrum bulb which flowered gloriously, then left you with a pot of soil and a rotting bulb which never flowers again and which (guiltily) you put in the bin a year later, then this advice is for you!

So this is what you do:
  • after flowering keep the plant in a sunny spot, water and feed as normal.
  • in September, move to a cooler position for 8-10 weeks, stop feeding, water less (but don't let it dry out).
  • after this time cut off the leaves to within 10cm (4") of the bulb, take off and replace the top 2cm of compost.
  • now place in a warmer (around 20 degrees) well-lit place and water as normal.
And hopefully, you will see flowers again!