Friday, 17 November 2017

What is it?

I picked up a watermelon in Waitrose a few days ago. It was reduced to a very reasonable 99p.
I wasn't sure what the kids would make of it. If they would recognise it as watermelon  or if it would be a repeat of the whole suede fiasco. 
(I usually serve Swede mashed, DD1 took a lot of convincing that the ugly round ball in fhe shopping trolley was the yellow mashed vegetable she loved lol)

Being Friday, DD2 promptly ate her dinner and passed out for the night. DD1 was confident it was a melon, Gman wanted to kick it like a football.
 When DH carefully sliced it into two halfs they were fascinated.  DD1 had predicted it would be in segments inside like an orange, Gman suddenly recognised it as food and demanded a wedge.
One half was swiftly eaten with the second half set aside as a snack for tomorrow.
Definitely a well spent 99p!

X x X

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmas Central

I've had a lovely quiet day at home today. Lots of R&R and more naps than I care to admit.
I've also been pottering a little. 
Inspired by yesterday's festive find, I have created Christmas Central on the mantelpiece.
It's houses the advent calendars, Christmas themed books, DVDS, activity kits, craft activities, soft toys and anything else remotely Christmassy.

 Can't wait to see what the children make if it.

X x X

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Festive finds.

I found the most beautiful copy of A Christmas Carol today. It was in one of the local charity shops on a little shelf full of Christmas themed items. 
It looked quite dull with a plain red hardback cover but I liked the old fashioned text on the spine and picked it up to have a peek. 

The pages inside took my breath away! 
I fell instantly in love. With apprehension I turned to the back cover to see the price expecting to see something astronomical on the label. £1.50! 
I scurried to the till as fast my legs could carry me and snuggled it deep in my backpack to get it safely home. 
I'm looking forward to reading it with the children and introducing them to the world of Charles Dickens.  

X x X 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Bauble spellings

I've spent over week away from the internet and social media. It's given me some much needed head space to reassess a few things. Reminded me why I like to live simply and quietly. One big example is the fact I spend so much time finding ideas to do with the children than I don't actually have any time to do the said activities.
 Things need to change!

Today's activity is quick and easy to set up. A pipe cleaner, a dozen baubles and a felt tip pen.

DD1 wrote each of her homework spellings by writing one letter per bauble and threading them onto her pipe cleaner. She has some tricky words this week like beige and neice which sometimes need the letters rearranging.

DD2 enjoyed putting the letters of her name and surname in the right order. She also numbered the baubles 1 -12 and hung them in the right order. We also worked on finding the odd and even numbers.

Gman was just happy threading baubles onto pipe cleaners. I tried to tempt him into mark making on the baubles, simple dots or crosses but was firmly put in my place for messing up his game. Lol. Toddlers eh? Dangerous creatures to anger!

X x X

Friday, 3 November 2017

Universal Credit prep Part 2

 Breakfast has been covered. Now I am turning thoughts to dinners.
 A favourite meal in this house is always a simple pasta in sauce style meal. They can be cooked in a single pot on the hob, made as simple as 2 ingredients or more extravagant with extra ingredients and have delicious tasting leftovers.
 A single jar of Aldi pasta sauce is 65p, cheese and bacon or creamy tomato being our favourites. Add it a packet of smart price pasta (20-35p depending on type) and you have a filling tasty meal for less than £1. A 500gm packet of pasta will feed all 5 of us a hefty portion with plenty left over for 2-4 lunches.
 This make pasta sauces and dried pasta  an essential add to the food stores.
 12 jars and packets will cost me less than  £12 to purchase and ensure 1 meal a week is sorted out. I could even cook it twice a week for a paltry £24.
 I think I'd like a bit more variation than that though so for now I will keep it as a back up plan.
 I will get sauce and pasta early next week.

                                          X X X

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sunday Frugalling

* Buying our pumpkins from a local farm rather than a supermarket.

* Buying 5 ears of corn for 35p each from the same farm. The children are fascinated with them.

* releasing a surplus book into the wild with book crossing. If you've  never tried it please look it up HERE  it's great fun.

* We recycled a cereal box, used envelopes, fabric scraps and linen fabric from a ruined pair of trousers into a notebook/sketch pad.

* removed the sequins from a broken husband before throwing it out. We will use them for arts and crafts later on. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Thoughts on breakfast

There's been a lot of talk locally about preparing for the big changeover to Universal credit. With delays of up to 12 weeks between applying and receiving money being reported, the local food book is recommending families start putting aside savings and building food stores.
 It sounds like great advice to me. We already save regularly but we are lacking an organised food store.
This needs to change! And now!
I'm planning to tackle the food issue one meal at a time, starting with breakfast.

After a morning of comparing supermarket prices and calculating portions per carton/packet, I have come up with the following plan.

12 x 1kg porridge oats - we all eat porridge and over night oats. Plus I add oats to bulk out meat based meals like Bolognese. Everyone eats flapjacks to so any surplus will be easily used.

6 x Smart price Corn flakes - a 500gm packet equals 16 portions. I use a scoop to make sure we stick to portion control. There's also the option of making cornflake cakes and cornflakes tart if there's surplus.

 6 x 24 pack Wheat Biscuits - a 24 pack equals 12 portions, however the two smallest share a portion of 1 biscuit each. I have a good wheatabix cake recipe for using any surplus.

So how much will a 12 week supply cost? 

£15.54 which isn't a huge amount when you consider the amount of food that includes (35 breakfast plus extra for snacking and baking)

I could go out a buy it today that might leave me with a use by date issue. You DO NOT want your food stores all reaching use by dates at once! 
So o my next food shop I will by just 4 weeks supply. (4 x porridge 2x wheat biscuit 2x cornflakes) each time we use a packet I will replace it with 2 of the same, until we are up to a 3 month supply. Then it's just a case of maintaining the stock. 1 in, 1 out. 

That should stagger the dates a little and spread the cost of restocking over a few weeks.

Anyone else stockpiling to beat Universal Credits or uncertain finances? Any tips would be welcome