Monday, 31 August 2015

Menu Plan Monday 31/08/15

Good evening dear friends. I hope you had a lovely weekend and are looking forward to the week ahead.
It's time to plan our menu's for the forthcoming week. Have you done yours yet?

  • Monday - Chicken fajitas and salad
  • Tuesday - Soup and fresh bread
  • Wednesday- Toad in the hole, roast potatoes and green beans
  • Thursday - Pork steaks, new potatoes and corn on the cob
  • Friday- Pizza and garlic bread
  • Saturday - Chilli and Rice
  • Sunday - Leftover chilli and rice
Today I popped over to see my mum and dad for a couple of hours. When I came home sweet man had fixed dinner for us. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am.

Cajun spiced onions and peppers

Chicken with fajita spices

Everything ready to go into the wraps.

It was a very tasty dinner and I will miss dinner being made for me when sweet man goes back to work on Wednesday.

This evening after everything being finalised for my son starting university on the 21st September and his timetable being sent to him we decided it was time to celebrate with him.

We splashed out a little and bought a bottle of champagne and macaroons which are his favourite desert. We have told him to keep the cork because the next bottle that we get him will be when he is wearing his cap and gown celebrating passing his degree.

Well I am off to drink my champagne so have a lovely evening.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sunday spending update 31/08/15

Good afternoon, I hope you have had a good weekend!

This week we have quite a lot of receipts to go through mainly because we have had a couple of items break that needed replacing.  I would have been quite happy to not replace our ironing board but I think the rest of the family might have got upset if they had to leave the house in creased clothes.

Here is our new ironing board which we got for £29.99 the rrp on this was £70.00 so a great deal. I bought the largest ironing board that I could get because we have seven of us in the house and whilst I don't iron everything there is still quite a lot of ironing to do.

We bought another curtain pole this week for sweet boy 3&4's bedroom as there one kept falling apart so that was another £17.99.

We also bought a barbeque cover which was reduced from £30.00 to £12.99 so a better than half price deal. Sweet man has been quite concerned recently that the barbeque that we bought last year will go rusty if we don't keep putting it away after each use. So now we have a happier Sweet man (yay) and our barbeque should last longer.

23/08/15 £4.00 Co-op
23/08/15 £18.57 Sainsbury
24/08/15 £25.78 Asda
24/08/15 £1.30 Asda
26/08/15 £14.46 Asda
26/08/15 £22.65 Home bargains
27/08/15 £4.89 Asda
27/08/15 £6.95 B&M
28/08/15 £13.70 Asda
29/08/15 £2.49 Asda
29/08/15 £3.55 Asda

Total £118.52

As you can see our food bill this week is £118.52 and is 18.52 above our £100 a week budget, that is about £7.00 less than what our food has come in at for the past two weeks.
This week I did include some bits required for our medicine cabinet. It also included a lot of cleaning materials and a large washing powder.
Whilst I am not happy that our spending is not coming down by more, I am happy that this weeks shopping included additional items and not just food and that it did come down a little.

I do believe that next week I might see a bigger difference in our shopping bill as sweet man goes back to work on Wednesday (he does insist on popping to the shops every morning) and I go back to work on Thursday.

Over the next week I do need to organise our packed lunch menu as buying lunch is a very expensive alternative.

Have a great afternoon and if you are in the UK a wonderful bank holiday.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Clean Fridge Friday 28/08/15

Morning, I hope you are having a relaxing Friday.

Its clean fridge Friday again, this week I have mixed feelings on our food waste.  We didn't have much waste (big yay). However we did waste quite a few potatoes in a potatoes salad. This is the second possibly even third time we have done this recently. I had a chat with sweet man and we have decided to only use half a bag next time we make potatoes salad. Then make more if we need to.

Before photo of the fridge! Not too crowded today (ha ha)

After photo of the fridge.

There wasn't really anything that I needed to freeze today. We do have some ham that needs to be used up by the 30th but it is only about three slices and I think we will use this on sandwiches for a picnic tomorrow.
This is our food waste for this week. (Feeling a bit disappointed about this).

On a brighter note look at the lovely tomatoes I was given today from my mums garden. Yummy I love home grown food. Mum also gave me a pot of strawberry jam that she made earlier in the week.

I received these beautiful flowers today from my darling dad aren't I lucky! Yellow are my favourite colour flowers and the lilies will be pink when they flower which is another one of my favourite colours.

Thank you Kristen from The Frugal Girl and Jo from Simply being mum for the inspiration. I aspire to have no waste.

Have a nice relaxing evening, my dear friends!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Daily Update 27/08/15

Good Evening, I hope you have had a great day!

First thing this morning I popped out on my own to a new shop that has opened in town called B&M, this is a discount store that seems to sell everything that you can think of. I only bought toilet rolls and kitchen rolls. Unfortunately as the store has only just opened there was so many people in the store so I started to feel a little claustrophobic.

I got dinner out of the freezer Spaghetti Bolognese, pasta and parmesan cheese. (yay easy tea!)

My daughters best friend and her mum (one of the nicest people I have ever met) popped over for an hour as the girls had not seen each other for five weeks and were missing each other lots. We had a nice cup of tea and caught up on each others news whilst the girls got dressed up and danced and sang on the patio.

 Then we went into town to get the boys their yearly pre-school haircuts. I would normally get this done just before we go back to school but sweet boy 2 has been invited to Chessington World of Adventures theme park with a friend on Saturday and I didn't want him to look messy.
sweet boy 2
sweet boy 3
sweet boy 4

Thank you for dropping by and have a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Extra Money made week commencing 23/08/15

Good evening, its a late one tonight. It's been a busy day today so I am just quickly dropping in to let you know the money we have made in addition to our normal salaries.


This week we have sold five dresses that my daughter had grin out of on Ebay making £22.00

Cash for clothes

I took three bags of clothes down to the cash for clothes centre. This is the first time I have ever used this and I am not sure that I would use them again. For three large black bags full of clothes I received £7.25. Considering I had to drive across town to drop these off and this probably cost me a couple of pounds. I probably only made about £5.00.

That finalises the additional earnings we made this week resulting in a total of £29.25.

I hope you have all had a good day.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Different to what was Planned

Hi, I had a post planned for today and then life got in the way, sometimes it throws you a curve ball and all your plans get changed, and even the ones you love have to accept that the day will be different to what they expected.

We as a family have known for a couple of months that my darling dad was unwell, it was obvious but today we got the full diagnosis. I do not feel able to go into details at this time but suffice to say it has been a long and difficult day.

I left my little ones this morning after a game of swingball and promised I would be back in a bit to give them all a second game.

I have just walked in the door nine hours later just in time to give them a cuddle goodnight.  They are not used to this as mummy is always there but just for today that is what had to happen. My sweet man took over the lunch, the dinner, the bath and teeth brush. Then finally my cuddle because although it can't make things better it shows he cares and for that I am forever grateful.

Now I need to have a drink and climb into bed and sleep so I am going to say goodnight to you my friends.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Menu Plan Monday 24/08/15

Hi my lovelies, I hope you are feeling bright and ready for the week ahead. We are back to a fairly normal week, no birthdays but sweet man is off work again this week. We are really on countdown now I have a week and a half until I am back to work and the children have two weeks until they are back to school.

Lets have a look at the menu for this week:-

  • Monday - Moroccan Chicken and chips
  • Tuesday - Left over Moroccan Chicken and couscous
  • Wednesday - Freezer Food (spaghetti Bolognese/bacon an potatoes hotpot)
  • Thursday - breakfast for dinner
  • Friday - pizza and salad
  • Saturday - Chilli and rice
  • Sunday - Roast Lamb, potatoes and vegetables in a mint gravy

    Do you have your menu planned for this week? If so, drop by and let me know what you are having for the week.
    Have a great day! I'm off to help cook dinner now, meals like this are a joint affair in our house and I chop whilst sweet man cooks. Its nice to spend time doing things together.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sunday spending update 23/08/15

Hello my friends, this is going to be a long one so please get yourself a cup of tea and stay a while whilst I sit and wallow in the self pity of just how much has gone out of our bank accounts in the last week. (only joking its a worthy cause sweet boy 4's birthday).

  1. £15.40 Sainsbury's 17/08/15
  2. £28.80 ASDA 18/08/15
  3. £13.28  ASDA 19/08/15
  4. £2.25 Asda 19/08/15
  5. £8.95 ASDA 19/08/15
  6. £3.39 Asda 19/08/15
  7. £8.47 ASDA 20/08/15
  8. £22.20 Asda 21/08/15
  9. £6.24 Sainsbury's 22/08/15
  10. £11.23 ASDA 22/08/15
  11. £5.63 Nita local 22/08/15
Total on food £125.84

Birthday Expenses

Swimming £23.40 22/08/15
McDonald's £33.80 22/08/15 (the children were allowed Mccafes each)
Argos presents £123.93
Next tops present £10.50
Next sunglasses presents £6.00
Total £197.63

Additional Expenses

Curtain pole £17.99

Total Expenses


Wow and ouch is all I have to say. I feel sometimes as fast as I try to get it in, it seems to go back out again. But all of the children birthdays are over for this year now. We have all five of their birthdays within seven weeks and this year it included my eldest sons eighteenth birthday so it has been an expensive time.

Do you ever feel that sometimes you don't make any saving headway?

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and thank you for taking the time out of your day to come and visit.


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Birthday Celebrations 22.08.15

Hello, wow it was so hot today, long may it continue, if were lucky we may get another couple of days of sun!

Today was sweet boy fours birthday, a big seven year old.
We started the day with the sweet boy having yummy chocolate pancakes (his favourite) for breakfast and then opening his presents.
Here he is with his super cool sun glasses from his brother and his new Minion t-shirt from his other brother.

One of his favourite presents was this Robot-Turtle set that all of them had great fun watching. The cute little turtles dive off the rock and swim around the pond. They loved it so much they now want to get the other two turtles that complete the set and some robot fish so that they have their own aquarium.

 We then took them swimming to the local pool that had a water slide, they had great fun although they didn't swim too much as most of their time was spent on he slide.

Sweet boys favourite meal is chicken nuggets and chips, so it was always going to be McDonald's for dinner. And then movie time together and with his auntie and uncle.

It was a great day spent with our favourite people.

I hope you had a great day and enjoy he rest of your weekend!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Clean Fridge Friday

Hi Friends. Friday has rolled around quickly again!

Before I start telling you about my waste for this week I just wanted to say how grateful I am to the blogging community for making me so welcome. I would especially like to thank Nathalie from imperfectly frugal who has been so helpful and given me so many tips. She really is a lovely lady who goes out of her way to give advise that is relevant. I would also like to thank Jo from solstice-days who again was kind and welcoming from the very start and has always been there to offer helpful advise. Thank you ladies your kindness is very appreciated.

Now down to this weeks food waste, I have to admit to reducing my food waste this week and doing a little twirl in the kitchen! Not a sight I would wish on any of you.
This is the before photo of the fridge as you can see its fairly crowded as normal.
Yay, a nice clean fridge again!

This is the after photo of the fridge. The bowl of new potatoes are going to my MIL's to go with a barbeque that she is making for lunch.

This is this weeks food waste, two spoonful's of tzaziki and a pot of ricotta which I should have used up earlier in the week.

I had one left over leek that I chopped and put in the freezer to go into soup. 

We had half a bag of spinach leftover which I chopped and froze to go into curries.

Finally, I had half a pack of parmesan cheese which I grated and put into the freezer to go with the left over Spaghetti Bolognese that I froze at the start of the week.

As usual I am joining up with The Frugal girl and Simply being mum for #foodwastefriday
Have a wonderful evening. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Daily Rambling and Update

Good Evening my dear friends.

I don't really feel like we have achieved very much today. I think laziness took hold and the knowledge that I only have a week and a half until I have to go back to work. So sad!

The curtains and bedding that I bought from Next with my vouchers came into store today so I went and picked them up. Whilst I was at the shops I decided they desperately needed a new curtain rail, so I popped into Argos and found a black nickel one that gives a lovely shine, it had £2.00 off so I got this for £17.99 not too much of a bargain but better than nothing.
Unfortunately I do need to wait for sweet man to put this up for me (hopefully tomorrow). But I have put the bedding on.

And also hung the curtains on the old pole without pulling them to fit, just to get the creases out.
I am really pleased with the quality of both the bedding and the curtains and was really impressed that the curtains came with a free bag of hooks inside them. I know I've said it before but I love Next.
I still need to buy a lampshade and lamp, and a desk. But I am waiting for these to go into the sale and a desk that is suitable to come up on Ebay. I have £40 worth of vouchers left so I should be able to complete their room using these.

This is how the bedroom looks so far!

Seeing as I have been so lazy I haven't got around to making any cakes and I usually like to give the children a cake or a biscuit with their lunch. So today I bought a box of broken biscuits for £2.99. Once opened I noticed hardly any of the biscuits inside are broken and the children love the variety.

The final thing that we achieved today was getting sweet boy one an NUS card which is a card that gives students discounts off of all sorts of things ranging from 25% off cinema tickets, 40% off a lot of restaurants (less off some), discounts off rail cards, clothes shops and many more things. If you have a son or daughter going to university I would certainly recommend getting them this card.

Well that's all I have to tell you today but I'll be back tomorrow with Clean Fridge Friday and I could be getting ahead of myself but I don't think there will be too much waste!

Have a lovely evening.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Weekly additional funds update 19/08/15

Hello dear friends, I thought today I would update you on how much money we have managed to add to our funds over the last week.

Ebay £22.00 16/08/15

I put six items on Ebay and five of them sold.

I have put six books on Ziffit but I have not got reached the minimum amount of £5.00 only having £4.40 so I have had to put this into the save basket until I find more items.

I still have two bags to go to the clothing people. I need to sort out two further bedrooms so I thought it would be best to do this first.

There are a further five items that need to be listed on Ebay. I will try to do this today.

So, whilst we have only increased our fund by £22.00 this week, over the last two weeks we have achieved an additional £94.85.

I hope you are finding a way to increase your funds. If you have any ideas please drop me a line I would be really interested to hear your ideas and recommendations.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The happiest place in the world

Good morning friends.

Two years ago today we woke up at 6am, the house was filled with excitement and cases were stacked up in the front room waiting for the arrival of family members coming to deliver us to the airport (quite a task when there are seven of you).

The first family member arrived and in piled four of the children giving us an excited wave and off they went. Then my darling dad arrived and in we got, with dad swiftly making sure that I hadn't forgotten passports/money etc, I may be forty but its a dad thing!

We arrived at the airport, the excitement level was bubbling over, the next couple of hours were a blur of breakfast, duty free, until we heard the announcement that the Virgin Airways flight to Orlando International was now boarding.

The flight was relaxed and comfortable (Yes even with five kids!) and we arrived at the airport full of anticipation. We found our coach and was swiftly taken to our hotel.

Once, at the hotel, I got out my lists and itinerary (and yes, this is still a standing joke to this day) we went to have something to eat, the sweet ones marvelling at the lizards running around in front of them as we walked, and went to bed.

We spent our first few days following the itinerary to the letter getting soaked watching the amazing Shamu at SeaWorld, drifting in the lazy river at Aquatica, having a rest day and just chilling by the pool eating subway.

Then the 22nd August, the day that is etched in my memory forever, Sweet boy 4 (our baby) fifth birthday, he got up opened his presents and cards, we had some breakfast and headed off in a coach towards Magic Kingdom.

We arrived and got on the boat to make our journey towards Cinderella's castle, sweet girl, standing open mouthed in awe that we were finally seeing the castle she had been dreaming of for the last eight months.

We got off the boat and entered the park, getting sweet boy 4 a birthday badge, and then started to walk down Main street. Within those first few minutes sweet boy 4 had been sung to, given a cookie, and wished happy birthday more times than I think he ever had in the previous five years. I stood back and the look on not just his, but all five childrens faces was one I will never forget, pure happiness!

The day was perfect. We got signatures from Mickey, Goofy, Aurora (sleeping beauty), the toy soldiers from Toy Story. We went on Splash Mountain more times than I can remember. We laughed our way through the Monster Inc laugh floor when sweet man was picked to be Who's that Guy!, we became pirates with Jack Sparrow on the pirates of the Caribbean ride, we watched the Little Mermaid show with sweet girl singing along to all the songs.

Towards the end of the day as the sweet ones were starting to feel tired, we sat on the curb by Cinderella's Castle and happily watched the parade, followed by the Fireworks that signalled the end of a perfect day.

As I tucked sweet boy into bed that night he gave me the biggest cuddle and said "Mum, that was the best day of my life" and it was certainly one of mine too.

We spent the next ten days visiting and seeing some amazing things like Discovery Cove where you can swim with Dolphins, Universal Studios and Islands of adventure where we met Spiderman and Optimus Prime, we bought Bertie Betts every flavour Bean and each chose a wand from Ollivanders.

We went on the Tower of Terror (my favourite ride) at Hollywood studios, visited many different countries at Epcot and did a safari at Animal Kingdom but our final day we returned to Magic Kingdom and everything was just as magical as it had been on that day that first day, that none of us will ever forget.

Thank you for listening to my random memories. It was good to remember!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Menu plan monday 17/08/15 - 23/08/15

Good morning, it's Monday again, wow these weeks go by quickly before we know it we will be heading back to school.

I need to start shopping for school things soon. On that note Sainsbury's has 25% off their clothing starting tomorrow 18/08/15, for anyone that is interested.


 chicken fajitas and salad


Dinner at mother-in-laws


Fish, mashed Potatoes and corn on the cob


Leftovers from the freezer


Pizza and Garlic bread


Birthday tea (This will be sweet boy 4's choice)


Breakfast for dinner

Breakfasts will be the usual cereal, toast, bagels, crumpets and maybe croissants for sweet boy 4's birthday.

Lunches will be sandwiches, fruit, crisps and cake or a biscuit.

Last week we stuck to our menu for the first part of the week however we did have McDonald's instead of freezer leftovers which is why it has been moved to this week, we had Spaghetti Bolognese instead of a barbeque mainly because I fancied it but the weather wasn't too good either and finally instead of a roast we had breakfast for dinner.

This week we have a birthday, our youngest, is going to be seven (I don't know where the time has gone), its a tradition in our house that the birthday boy/girl gets to choose dinner.

Have a lovely day, I am going birthday shopping now!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday spending update 09/08/15-15/08/15

Good afternoon, I hope you have all had a nice weekend!

Its time for our weekly spending update. I am going to separate the spending between food and other items we paid for this week.


ASDA £17.03 09/08/15                                                                   Window cleaner £12.50
ASDA £27.27 10/08/15                                                                          
ASDA £24.83 12/08/15                                                                    Total expenses cash £160.26
BP GARAGE £4.08 13/08/15
ASDA £55.15 15/08/15

TOTAL - £125.76

McDonald's £22.00 13/08/15

TOTAL - 147.76

Oh dear, It felt as if we had improved this week but with the McDonald's (which was an A level results day treat) we actually spent more than last week. We went to the shops less this week but the large shop yesterday really topped it up.

Ideally, I would like to get our food shopping down to £80.00 per week. Once we get paid I am planning on doing a once a week online shop with Tesco to see if this makes a difference.

In addition to the above, I bought some curtains for my eldest boys room which were £15.00 in the Next sale but I used a gift card so I'm not counting this as money spent.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Saturday update

Good Evening, I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

I thought today I would give you a little update of what has been happening in our humble abode!

I was very lucky to receive some vouchers on the last day of school from my lovely colleagues and the delightful children that I worked with. Since clearing out sweet boy one and two's bedroom I have been thinking about how I can update it a little so I spent this morning looking at Next sale and found some lovely blue and white checked blackout curtains, they were half price and a bargain at £15.00.
I am watching a desk that is currently on Ebay, as I think it is important for them to have somewhere that the can go and quietly get their homework done, currently they use the table with the little ones.
I just need to keep an eye out for some bedding, a lampshade, lamp and rug on sale.
Things are a little up in he air with sweet boy one at he moment because he has had offers from a couple of universities that he did not think he would get offers from because the grades were higher than he expected, so he has a lot of decision making to do and I wait patiently to see if my baby is going to be moving away for three years. I am finding this very hard, I want him to be happy and do what is right for him but silently I am nervous about the possibility of him going and I know we will all miss him terribly. He is the one that makes us laugh every day, cheers us up if we have had a bad day and can always be relied on to help with anything.
Today we strayed a little from our menu plan and had Spaghetti Bolognese. I woke up really fancying it! Does that ever happen to you? And no it really wasn't because its sweet boy ones favourite meal and it might convince him to stay!
It had lots of hidden veggies in it (ha ha the kids will never know!)

It was very yummy and there are lots of leftovers for the freezer
Well that's about all I have to tell you today. Have a great evening and sleep well my friends.