Friday, 28 February 2014

That Was February, That Was!

Hello and welcome to Ali and did I say hi to Janice Piper yet? Damn my appalling memory.

Right, so it's already the last day of February and time for a review. Did I live up to my Super-Duper-No-Spend-Fabulous-Frugal-February promises.

Well...not exactly. Although I haven't been too terrible.

I have managed to seriously reduce my stockpile...but, unfortunately, not simply by eating everything down.

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I've had a massive clear out of my food stockpile and with tears streaming (okay, that's a bit dramatic, but I did feel really bad about it) I binned a load of stuff that was up to 5 years out of date. Seriously, I found a jar of roasted peppers dated 2009. But, I have also eaten mostly from my stores too. I only added to it a little by stocking up on chicken, bacon and pork for the freezer to add variety to meals. My freezer is also now groaning under the weight of all the out-of-date dried beans I cooked and bagged up.  I feel a spate of vegetarian meals coming on, easier for me to serve without feeling guilty now that DD3 and her carnivore boyfriend have moved out. And there's always cassoulet or chicken chilli I can make. That's next week's meals sorted then. 

I have broken my no charity shopping resolution, and my no new wool one too. However, I'm hoping that by selling this -

I'll be able to fund this:-

 And also make a profit.


is Rowan Wool Cotton yarn. 

Internet research tells me the RRP is around £6.50 per 50g ball. In the Hospice charity shop I bought 6 full balls plus several part balls for a total price of just £8. Now, I've always fancied knitting something with Rowan yarn but it's so, so expensive, and there's not enough here to make a full garment so I'm going to sell it on Ebay. Even if I only charge half the RRP for each ball and maybe another £10 for all the part balls I'll still make a profit which will repay what it cost, and also pay for this:-

which I bought to make socks for my daughters and DS2's girlfriend for Xmas. The purple, grey and black yarns were from Poundland at £1 per ball or 3 for the price of 2 (so £6 for 9 balls) and the blue was from Aldi at £2.99 for a pack of 3 balls, so total for all of it was £8.99.

So, I think I'm vindicated because I spent money to make/save money, and hopefully will come out with cash in hand.

The Rowan yarn is the second time I've had a really good bargain from this charity shop. Last year I bought a length of Laura Ashley fabric for £7. When I got it home and measured it there was over 10 yards and research showed it was a vintage 1980s fabric. I sold most of it in 1 and 2 metre lengths on Ebay and made over £100 profit. If only I could have such luck every week.

Anyway, February has been a mixed lot with some necessary spends such as DH's fares to Wales and helping DD3 and BF with their move, and some not so necessary spends such as a couple of lunches out. On the whole though I'm quite pleased with how its gone, especially with how many dinners I've made with foods I already had in stock.

Speaking of which, this was tonight's dinner:-

I made it in my slow cooker and just bunged everything in without any pre-frying. 

I did buy the chorizo ring for £1.49 for a 170g from Aldi, and the kale was from a £1 bag I got from a lovely greengrocers in Deal yesterday, but I only used two-thirds of each of those so the remainders will go into another meal. Instead of butter beans I substituted a bag of the haricot beans I cooked and froze from dried earlier this week, and the butternut squash was half of one I bought for 69p on offer in Aldi a couple of weeks ago. Everything else was from my stocks and, so it didn't go to waste, I tipped in some baked bean sauce leftover from yesterday. 

To go with it I also made cheese and onion rolls using white and wholemeal flours from my stocks and grated cheese from the freezer.Yeast I buy from Aldi for 59p for a box of foil sachets.

The meal was pronounced delicious by my dear husband and one for me to make again.

Right, I think that's all for now. I'm going to watch the Duggars on 19 Kids and Counting tonight at 9 while I knit some more of the baby cardigan. I've done the back and fronts and I'm just about to start on the sleeves. More pictures when it's finished.

Why not drop me a line and let me know how your February's gone.


  1. Hi, only just discovered your blog from MFin 3.Lots of luck with your ventures and I shall now be a regular lurker here :)

    1. Hi there, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. Well mine didnt quite go to plan, we are redecorating the house and splurged a little more than planned all while saving for a wedding :-/
    But.... we didnt run out of money and we have a large stock of food so i dont feel too bad.
    March however will be considerably more frugal and has the budget set in stone already!
    Has to be done sometimes when you hit a certain point with those best befores i think but it does go against tge grain doesnt it!

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment. You did very well not to run out of money; somehow with decorating there always seems to be something unaccounted for to buy. I'll have to be extra frugal for the next couple of weeks since its my youngest son's 21st on the 23rd March and a 21st birthday means we always treat the family for a meal out. We'll be eating all those beans up so we can splurge a bit on the day. Thank goodness he's the last one. Actually having that clear out means I've now got everything else much more organised and can plan meals and use it up much more easily.

  3. I love the Duggars. Unfortunately we cut our TV package down to save some money so I don't get to watch it now. I've been given a couple of their books for Christmas/birthdays and I love them

    1. I have 2 of the Duggars' books too, and there's a new one out soon written by the 4 eldest girls. I might ask for it for Mother's Day.

  4. I keep count of my weekly spending and can report that I have spent at least £20 less in Feb. than I did in Jan. That`s quite an achievement on an already low budget. I`m going to try and top that in March if I can, too. Every penny saved goes towards our spending fund for the holiday to Morocco.

    1. You did very well and your holiday will be all the more enjoyable for knowing you've saved hard for it. I'm a bit haphazard about keeping track of my weekly spending. I do have a book I'm supposed to write every spend in and then add it up at the end of each week...when I remember. I've been rather lax the past couple of weeks but must get back to it. I do keep a close eye on our bank accounts by checking online several times a week.

  5. I am visiting Poundland today. I never thought of looking for wool there. :)

    1. I hadn't thought of it either, I just noticed it as I was wandering around looking for something else and thought it would make great socks.