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!