Monday, 26 June 2017

The Car Boot Sale

We have been going to car boot sales for years this is our preferred way to shop.

If you love a bargain and are on a budget then this is the place to go. Many people have never been to one and just associate them with being a load of old tat.  Yes you do find loads of tat, but there are treasures to be found as well.

The car boot sales here are huge, it takes us a couple of hours or more to look around, we go around several times as some people are unpacking still. We go prepared we have a shopping trolley each, which saves having to struggle with bags and keep running back to the car every five minutes, we also make sure we have some bottled water, also we have some carrier bags in the bottom of the trolley for wrapping anything breakable, my husband also carries a tape measure so if there is something we have been looking for we can check it is the right size.

So what can you expect to find at a car boot sale - the simple answer is everything.

For new parents you can find baby clothes, cots, prams, buggies, sterilisers etc.

Also for children, shoes, clothes, books and toys.

If you are looking to kit out a first time home, you can find kitchenware, small appliances, bedding, curtains, pictures, furniture and much more.

Ideal for uni students living in to set themselves up.

For the DIY enthusiast or man about the house there is always a good range of tools, paints etc - my husband always finds something useful for his shed.

Fruit and Veg can be bought very cheaply.

I paid just £2.00 for 24 apricots and 12 satsumas.

Gardeners can pick up tools, plants, ornaments

These two stone angels cost us only £28 in total, at the garden centre they would have probably charged around £60 each.

You will find plenty of cheap indoor entertainment, like books, cd's, dvd's and games.

You can revamp your wardrobe for next to nothing.

Also if you have a good eye you can look for items to resell.

There are lots of new items to be found which are ideal to give as gifts.

There is something for everyone, and you can save so much money.

A few of my purchases from the last few weeks.

Brand new Marks & Spencers sandals £2.00

New slippers £2.00

New oven gloves £2.00

Yesterday we bought nine plants for just £7.00

Cosmos were £2.00 for any three.

Fuschia also £2.00 for any three.

Then there was a section for any 3 for £3.00

I love this pot from "Past Times" £4.00

I found a stratton sweet pea design compact in immaculate condition for £5.00, I looked on the famous auction site to see how much it would be worth but couldn't find it, so I am hoping it is a rarer one, I could sell it but I love compacts, I once started collecting them then regrettably sold them. 

A make up mirror £5.00 it lights up and the other side is magnified.

Last week we had a bit of a sort out and went to sell on Saturday, and we were very pleased that we made £140.

We will try and do another one before the end of the season.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Simple Seed Cake

After doing a cook book declutter in the week I decided I would look through some books to try a new recipe, as I fancied some cake. So I decided to make seed cake.

Seed Cake


8oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Butter, softened
6oz Caster Sugar
3 eggs - separated
40ml Milk
1 heaped tsp Caraway Seeds ( + a pinch extra for sprinkling later)
4 drops of Almond Essence

Preheat the oven to 190 fan or equivalent. 
Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.
In another bowl whisk the egg whites and then beat in the egg yolks.

Picture 1 egg whites - Picture 2 with the egg yolks beaten in
Gradually mix the eggs into the butter and sugar. 

Stir in the caraway seeds, then fold in the flour and stir in the almond essence. 
Mix in the milk, you will end up with a very thick batter.

How sweet is this little jug.

Put in a tin and sprinkle a pinch of caraway seeds over the top.

Bake for around an hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

I wasn't sure at first how it would taste as I was a bit sceptical about using caraway seeds in a cake, but I have to say it was alright, there was just a slight delicate taste of the seeds,  I would describe it as a plain and simple cake. As with all cake around here it went down well, sometimes its nice instead of a really sweet cake to have something a little more simpler.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Cookery Books

This morning I decided I would go through my cookery books. I counted 43.

Some of my books for example like Nigel Slater are gifts from my loved ones. But others are second hand, I  would never go out and buy a brand new book, most are picked up from the car boot for £1.00.

I also keep recipe folders, and just bought a few more, I don't see the point of keeping a book for just one or two recipes and I also print recipes out from websites or jot down any good ones.

So after a sort out these are the ones going.

I also sorted out a few other books I have finished with.

A few other books have been sold on Ziffit.

All of the above will be going to the next car boot sale. 

I have lots more sorting out to do, seeing what I can find to sell. It's good to have a declutter.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Simple food

This weeks simple food........

Monday -  fish pie.

 Tuesday - butternut squash puff pizza and salad.

Wednesday - well we were naughty we popped up to Morrison's and had an all day breakfast for an early lunch.

Tea was bacon, egg and avocado salad.

Thursday was another fish pie, I made extra on Monday.

Friday - Quiche and salad

It was a shop bought quiche from the freezer, I prefer homemade, but it was only 20p

Some nice meals which didn't break the bank, just because we are on a budget doesn't mean we can't eat well.

I got two boxes of free ice creams from CheckoutSmart.

The offer is still on, you don't have to go to Asda, it is for stores own brand cones.

I also bought Granola for 50p, again I used checkout smart, I think this offer has finished now.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Grow your own?

With supermarket prices going up all the time I was just thinking  how many people who don't already will start to grow their own.

I am lucky enough to get yellow stickers sometimes, which gives me fruit, veg and salads so cheaply, but it is also nice just to step outside the back door and pick a few things.

We were lucky when we moved here to have the greenhouse and a raised bed already here.

We have potatoes, 2 courgette plants and 4 tomato plants in there, as well as some garlic in between and a few radishes growing along the edge near the tomatoes.
There are also peppers and salad leaves at different stages in the greenhouse.

Courgettes coming along nicely

We also have a few fruit bushes and an apple tree.

You don't even need a greenhouse or raised bed, things can be grown in pots successfully.

Herbs in Pots

Salad leaves sown today straight into the pot, just pick a few when you need them and they will carry on growing.

Buying compost can be expensive but I always re use it. 
Seeds can be bought very cheaply these days, a few days ago I picked up these 3 packs  they were 3 for £1.00 in Poundland, that's 950 seeds for just £1.00

So do you grow your own? Are you going to start doing it to save money?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Birds & the Bees

Today I have had a lazy day, I have been out in the garden for most of it, just relaxing and watching the birds. The robins and blackbirds are in all the time gathering food for their young, I am going through quite a lot of sultanas and mealworms, but I really don't mind, watching them gives me so much pleasure.

Mr Blackbird comes over to me asking for sultanas

Today was the first time I saw a thrush near the garden.

My favourites, I love the Robins, they are getting so friendly, I have been trying to get them feeding from my hand, they are growing in confidence and are always following me around so I don't think it will be long.

The bees hard at work

Lovely to see goldfinches coming in regularly now.

So this has been my day so far, we all need a lazy day sometimes.