Monday, 5 December 2016

The True Cost of Christmas

I have just read an article from an newspaper website.
They say the average British household spends over £750 on Christmas.
This would be for gifts for friends and family, food, decorations, new outfits for the works Christmas party etc.

I bet most of that probably gets put on the credit card,and then obviously if you don't pay off the balance when the statement arrives the interest gets added on, and this is how people end up in debt.

It is just crazy.

We love Christmas, we do not buy many other family member presents, we do exchange gifts ourselves, and we do enjoy the traditional food, but will not be going overboard, we have all sat down and discussed about what we will be doing with regards to food.

We  will have a small buffet /finger food with a glass of wine on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day we have decided we don't really want a three course meal followed by cheese and biscuits. We will be have a roast turkey dinner followed by dessert, we have decided to have a light dessert, we will have turkey sandwiches on boxing day followed by some Christmas Pudding. Tea will be some Yule Log and Christmas cake etc, and that's it, we will not feel deprived. I have made a Christmas cake which I will finish off at the end of the week, I will also make Gingerbread, Shortbread from store cupboard ingredients. We try and eat healthily in the week but do have a sweet tooth and have treats at the weekends and special occasions. Then after these few days it will be back to normal sensible healthy eating.

I have £25 of Morrisons' vouchers which I have collected over the year.
£10 Sainsburys gift card from doing some surveys.
Jack has just given us a voucher which he got,(he also does surveys and product trials)

So we will not spend more than this.

So that will be our Christmas, some people go over the top , some people will not bother, we are somewhere in between.

I will leave you with some photos of the decorations.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Welcome to my new follower Jess y.

Hope you are all keeping well and warm, temperatures have really dropped it was -4 here last night.

It has just been a normal thrifty week for us so far.

This week I noticed the dishwasher tablets I buy had gone up 30p, saving money is going to get a lot harder with all the price rises, so I need to be more thrifty.

I have never bothered much with batch cooking for the freezer, we have only got a small freezer, and I don't want to fill it up with all the same things. But when making something it is a sensible to cook a double lot. So I have decided that when I get my reduced bargains instead of just putting all the meat right in the freezer I should do something with it, saving me time and electric.

So I made two Cottage Pies - one to eat and one for the freezer.

Using reduced items of course.

I bought one pack of mince for £1.75 and the next day bought the other one for just 75p, I visit a little local shop daily now as they have so many bargains if you get there first thing in the morning.

Whilst the potatoes were boiling I thought it was a good idea to cook some veg, so this will just be popped in the microwave later to go with this weeks Cottage Pie. Also I used the water from the steamer to make the jug of gravy.

Some reduced plums stewed down with some apple and spices- to be used for breakfast with yogurt or to go on the top of porridge.

I buy our cheese from Farm Foods as it is such good value. But if served in great big chunks in a sandwich it disappears in no time, so it gets grated and put into tubs, this way it uses less in a sandwich and it makes life easy when there is grated cheese to hand.

Tonight's tea will be a sausage plait with some baked beans.

Sausage Meat - which I have had in the freezer for ages , it was 9p, yes 9p, The pastry was 55p as where the mushrooms, a few onions, and some homegrown peppers from the freezer, that will be another cheap and tasty meal.

More thrifty things.

I have done a bit of hand washing as well, when there has just been an odd few items to wash. Saving the water of course.

I have just sorted out more books and dvd's and sold on ,and made another £23.99, which is amazing as they were all second hand and I got more than what I paid for them.

Still more to sort out in the next day or two.

I received a £10 gift voucher, this will go towards a Turkey Crown. I also have £25 of vouchers from Morrisons's which I saved in the last year, I did have more but I had to use some before they expired.
We are going to have a simple Christmas, we usually have a little buffet Christmas Eve, then there will be a three course lunch on Christmas Day, Boxing Day is leftovers, I have made our Christmas cake, just need to decorate it, a few mince pies and a yule log, and a tub of chocolates, a few bottles of wine, what more do you need, we shan't be filling a trolley up to the brim at the supermarket and then gorging ourselves silly for the following weeks after.

I do love plants and flowers indoors, but avoiding the potted bulbs in the Supermarkets for £5.00 upwards I planted my own.

I have several pots of Hyacinths all planted at different times, I am hoping when one finishes I can bring another one in.

I have bought a couple in from the greenhouse which are just coming through.

Amaryliss just starting to show - the first time I have grown one of these.

The Christmas Decorations will be coming out at the weekend so I will be back then with a festive post.

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Saturday, 26 November 2016


Hello & Welcome to my new followers Melissa & Helen .

I can't believe it has been over a week since I posted here, I guess it is that time of year when there is always so much to do, and also I seem to spend more time on Instagram now.

Now I am not a naturally crafty person, I sold both of my sewing machines this year, I had a basic one and I won a really expensive one in a competition, I don't really enjoy sewing and am not really good at it, and another factor my eyes are getting worse, I have two pairs of glasses, one for computer work and one for reading/ close up work.

I have done a few crafty things this week though.

I was looking for a really large pinecone but couldn't find one, but spotted a pinecone candle.

With a few bits and bobs I turned it into a little Christmas Tree. The base is an empty tea light holder with some glittery tape wrapped around it.

As I say sewing is not my thing but I spotted a felt decoration kit in Poundland , it had everthing you need apart from glue to make three heart Christmas Decorations, ( I did modify mine a bit ) .The stitching is not brilliant but not to bad for the first time doing blanket stitch.

Then I made some more gift tags.

I have a big bag of recycled greetings cards and magazine scraps/images, so I have decided I should make a few cards every week.

This was one of the slate hearts which I bought at the Christmas Market for £1.00 .

I have always fancied trying Decoupage, so thought I would give it a go.

I gave the heart two coats of emulsion, I bought several of these from Asda for the bargain price of 40p a while back.

Then I found these lovely Robin serviettes.

First you have to remove  the top layer of the serviette , then slightly dampen a paint brush and go around the image.

 Then you go around gently tear it away, it doesn't matter how scruffy it looks as long as you use a suitable background paint colour it will blend in.

Then I used some of this wonderful Mod Podge stuff , it acts as a glue, sealer and finish all in one.
 I placed the image on the heart and glued over the top of it, it is a very delicate job as you have to be careful not to tear the serviette. I allowed to dry over night and then gave the whole heart covering with it to finish it off, it just gives it a slight varnished look.

Just to mention if it looks a bit blotchy in a few areas, it is because it wasn't completely dry when I took this picture.

I have to say I really enjoyed making it and was quite impressed, not bad for my first go, and it was easy, I think I have found a craft I will enjoy, I have some more projects in mind now.

So are you crafty or not ? What is your favourite craft ?