Friday, 6 November 2015

Preparing for the big day.

Welcome to my new followers Pat & Laura.

Not long now until Christmas, I have usually bought all presents before the summer, I am so disorganised this time, only got a few things for our son so far,  I am not going to panic and waste money, I will seek out the bargains as always.

The last two properties we have lived in we didn't have any room for a big tree so had a table top one, it was sold before we moved as we now have room for a bigger one, we have been looking out at the car boot, but people have been asking silly money, last week someone was trying to sell one for £50 and it was nothing special, Monday night we took our son to do his weekly shop, we went to Morrisons.

6ft tree for £15.00

Good enough. We still have decorations and lights.




I try and buy a few Christmas bits every year just so its not the same year in year out.

I will use these which we got on Saturday at the carboot for £1.00




With some silver baubles as well and silver tinsel, it will be nice.

One other thing I couldn't resist up Morrisons was this glitter stag for £3.00.





I also found some sprouts for 19p.

These have been blanched and frozen ready for the big day.



I have plenty of cards and wrap, bows and tags.

I always buy the wrap and bows in the January sales.



Some of the cards and tags are recycled from old christmas cards, which is what I do every year.




The car has been in for a service this week  and we looked around the retail park whilst waiting, found a few more pressies, we have three big parcels to send to family so we need to look out for things which aren't  going to be to heavy to post.

Found a few tee shirts at a bargain price at Sports Direct.


The first two were originally £14.99, down to £2.00 each.





I bought this little lot the other day it cost £1.75 because I used a £10 voucher (from surveys)




So I used the sweet crust pastry to make some mince pies.


The mincemeat was bought after Christmas last year.




These are now frozen and I can just warm them through before serving.



I have been buying a few bits of the food for the stores everyweek which helps spread the cost.

So that's a start. So how are your preparations going ?

21 comments:

  1. Can I please come to yours for Christmas? I haven't done much at all yet. I still need to finish making my tree decorations. I really need to get a move on. X

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  2. You would be welcome, would love to see what you are making x

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  3. Goodness you are getting yourself organised. I'm not buying as much this year so it shouldn't tame long to sort.

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    1. Spending on presents is being cut right down

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  4. You are well organised already - well done. I also have cards, tags, wrapping from the sales or car boot. The 3 children and partners all get money nowadays -it's too complicated otherwise. Hampers for sisters and Bro-in-laws BUT big problem is Cols brother and Dad -every year!

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    1. Hi Sue we were going to do money or vouchers, but were worried about it going missing, I always find men difficult to buy for.

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    2. For some of the men in my life I've been making jars of caramelised red onion marmalade (like a sweet chutney) which I shall pack with a box of luxury oatcakes or savoury crackers with a note saying "Just add cheese". A couple of face flannels often find their way into my parcels - I like having them too and the old ones get recycled for cleaning cloths.

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    3. Give the chaps that perennial male gift: socks! But make sure they're really spectacular ones! Gorgeous stripy ones or at least the very best quality you can afford (dare I suggest cashmere?) And slippers are back in fashion! Yes, in fashion!
      Margaret P

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    4. Sara that sounds like a good idea.

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    5. How about bamboo socks? They come in lovely stripes and patterns and aren't nearly as expensive as cashmere. Try www.traidcraftshop.co.uk

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    6. Hubby has had a look through his wardrobe and found a few packs which were given to him do we are going to use them, that will save a bit of money.

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  5. oh yes, I've made a little start. I learned my lesson years ago when I would shop for the apocalypse leading up to Christmas, then end up chucking out loads afterwards. Now I don't really bother with much. It's just Bill, Violet and me, and they prefer chicken, so that's what I get. I have already got cranberry sauce, bread sauce mix, paxo, and a teeny pud as I'm the only one who eats it. The rest I just get as part of my normal weekly shop closer to the time.
    pressies are usually gift vouchers, so don't need wrapping ... I'm kind of lazy like that!

    Thanks for the visit to my blog & the kind comment. Am currently working on a nice little thrifty craft project that I hope to be able to show next week. (if it goes well!).
    Enjoy your weekend x

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    1. Hi Sadie we are not going over board I am going to keep it quite simple, looking forward to reading through your blog next week, x

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  6. I reckon I must be the odd one out here because I don't start any preparations for Christmas until at least mid November and so, having bought three packs of cards and 50 second class stamps (insufficient, but it's a start!) I feel I'm well ahead in my own preparations. I think we all lose sight of the fact that Christmas is ONE DAY. We overspend, over-prepare and we tend to over-eat, too, and for why? Surely stuffing our faces and buying in lots of drinks that we'd not give house room to at any other time of the year is just plain silly? We have a lovely Christmas dinner with our family, we lack for nothing, but we don't go buying unnecessary things for half the year for one day. I enjoy Christmas day when it's here but boy, and I glad when the 2nd of January arrives and normal service has been resumed, both on TV and at home.
    Two things that are sacrosanct, though: we have a real tree. We would never have an artificial one, regardless of how perfect they look these days and how economical. It is the fact that it is real, not quite perfect, that is magical, going to choose it at the local Christmas Tree Farm, and then giving it a good drink in a bucket of water in the garage before bringing it ceremoniously into the house and decorating it with a glass of port to hand and perhaps a slice of cake (but not the Christmas cake, that's for Christmas Day tea.)
    And that's the other thing which is sacrosanct: I bake a proper Christmas cake and make my own almond paste (I don't call it marzipan, it's real almond paste made from ground almonds, icing sugar and caster sugar) and my own royal icing, even if the scene on the cake is simply a snow scene and a pretty ribbon around the cake. With a real tree, a homemade cake, a bowl of fruit and nuts decorated with bay leaves from the garden, skimmia over the pictures if holly isn't available, and a larder and fridge filled with some nice goodies, what more do we need? As for presents, thank goodness we are quite a small family, so it's presents for sons and their partners, for our grandson and for a couple of close friends. But starting to make preparations in the summer for just one day seems a little excessive, does it not? But I dare say I'm the one marching out of step. PS I've been known to make the cake a day or so before Christmas and even almond paste and ice it on Christmas Eve, and it's always been delicious. We don't need to bake it weeks in advance, believe me.
    Margaret P

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    1. Hello Margaret you can get some nice socks so might do that for the men, you have lots of cards to post, I have started writing ours out, Our food shopping will be a fraction of what it usually is, we don't want to over indugle, we want to keep it simple, x

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  7. Our card list used to be around 140 cards, but not all to post - some were to my writers' group friends and some to my husband's work colleagues. He's been retired for 18 years and so that list disappeared overnight, apart from a couple of special collagues who were also friends, and I only send to a couple of people now to people who I used to see in the writers' group as I no longer attend meetings. The neighbours (there are 19 houses in our Close, so that's 18 cards to deliver - we all give to one another, which is a bit daft really, but it's almost a tradition now!) and do I suppose the List is now between 50 and 60. When the children were young we used to have a card-writing evening, when I had the pile of cards and envelopes and we would sit around the table and we would pass the cards to each other and each sign them. It taught the children that this is quite an onerous annual job and not one 'just' for Mum to deal with! They complained, as children are wont to do, but with some cake as incentive, we tried to make it a fun evening.
    Margaret P

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    1. Yes when we sent lots it was when we were working, Margaret have you ever thought about starting a blog?

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    2. Yes, lots of people have suggested I do a blog. It would be fun, I know, but then I'd not get my writing done ... I just love reading the blogs of others!

      By the way, I learned something new today, which I can share with others. On seeing the latest Farrow & Ball colour chart (OK, I might be the only fan of their paints reading your blog ... they are not exactly 'frugal'!) I found that some of my favourite colours aren't there. So I had a word with them, as you do, and they have the old colours in their archive and you can have them mixed up and you don't have to have a set quantity, i.e. you don't have to order huge vats of the stuff. But, as I say, maybe everyone else is into B&Q own brand or Dulux. But once you've used a quality paint, there's no turning back.
      Margaret P

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    3. I would use it for upcycling furniture.

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    4. Yes, we have up-cycled (although I prefer to use the term renovated) some items with F& B eggshell paint - garden seat, garden table, ole tea trolleys, and a little chest of drawers for the bedside table in the 'new' guest room.
      Margaret P

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    5. I am looking for furniture to renovate for the spare room from freecycle

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