Saturday, 1 July 2017

Not Very Frugal(ish) and Money Info for June

Money saved, money received, bargains found, food harvested.

Got the refund from Ipswich Borough Council for council tax for the bit we had to pay before the bungalow sold.........a long winded business  that took weeks.

Then we got the refund from HMRC for having to pay 2nd house stamp duty which - surprisingly - was sorted quite quickly and was a big addition back into savings.

Applied to HMRC for the Marriage Allowance which is when a low earner can pass some of their tax free allowance to the higher earner as I will be earning nothing and Col's income from his County Council pension and Employment Support Allowance will be a fraction over the personal allowance.  (Thank you to my Penny Pincher friend S who reminded me of this possibility) Because of the way HMRC have allocated tax allowance to ESA and work pension we won't actually get this each month but will have to claim it back when we fill in tax returns next April. Annoying!

Car boot bargains were useful. 2 Box files 40p, shirt for Col 50p, muffin cases 20p. Things for grandchildren £4.50. Clothes and Box Duplo  for granddaughter £15. 2 Shoulder bags £3, roll of greaseproof paper 10p, double sided sticky tape 50p and 2 huge Sudoku books £1. A Little pop-up play tent for beach or garden £5, bundle of crafting bits included about 50 white envelopes £2.50. New oven gloves 75p; 30 Dolly pegs £1; Large Plastic container for storing part opened dry cat food 75p.

Strawberries from Col's brothers garden ........4lb into the freezer for jam, some used for strawberry vodka liqueur for Christmas hampers, some made into coulis and frozen and lots eaten fresh.

Sales of smallholding items including 2 old trailers, water pump,generator,large ladder etc etc at the Big collective auction at the end of May gave us just over £600. Not to be sneezed at although Col was disappointed that some  things went for less than he thought they ought. But really it was all things we won't use any more so they needed to go sooner rather than later.

First cucumbers from the greenhouse. Courgettes, potatoes, salad leaf,radishes and a few raspberries from the garden. Then first beetroot, chard, mange-tout peas and climbing French beans later in the month. Basil dried and used fresh.

Friends brought me a purple rose for my purple garden

Another box of £1 mushrooms from the local car-boot

£22 profit from selling bits and bobs at the car-boot sale.

Made  bread, bread rolls and cakes. Using recipe book from library to try new frugal recipes

Cross stitching cards using stuff from the stash.

Col sanded down the £10 bench and gave it a coat of wood stain ( which was among things left here) and put it down the bottom of the meadow - replacing the one he made from old pallets which was too uncomfortable to sit on!

I've been looking all over for an old wooden chair for my bedroom so a dining chair could come back downstairs and found one at car boor for £5.

On the other hand we have spent  out on materials for the lad who's going to re-do the garage roof, bought a new loo for downstairs which Col says he is well enough to replace and paint for the living room which I'm starting this week.
Lots of miles have been travelled with Colin to hospital twice weekly and visiting someone who is not well.
The boiler has been serviced as has the solar thermal thingy.
Col had to buy a new hedge cutter as he wore out our very old one!

Hope July is less spendy but I bet it isn't............the joy of restoring an old house!

Back tomorrow



  1. Lots of positives there Sue and some real frugal bargains from the car boot sale (who gets rid of baking paper?!!!)

    We had to pay a chunk out for yet MORE Earthborne clay paint yesterday (£35 for 2.5 L) but since I had had to water down the 1/3 of a tin we had left so I could paint one wall and window recesses down in what was mum's flat, and the wall was sucking the wetness out of the paint, it had to be done. The watering down meant another coat is needed but at least it is sealed now.

    Your garden is feeding you well. I still have just mostly seedlings growing slowly (B&Q cheap compost - won't buy again for seedlings) and my runner beans aren't being pollinated . . .

  2. I hope you won't mind me sharing this tip here. Certain medical conditions {Mum has Alzheimer's} qualify you for a reduction in your Council Tax, between 25% and up to 50%. They don't tell you this, it's a best kept secret, but it is certainly worth anyone asking if they qualify.

  3. Thought of you this morning when I picked my first cucumber from the greenhouse, tasted fab. A house doesn't have to be old to cost money to put right, just neglected, I am having a break from 'improvements ' for the summer. Prayers and positive vibes to Col. Sarah.

  4. Well done Sue on everything. Its great that you are still doing lots of bits which enable you to stay frugal.

  5. Lots of money saving and some good refunds! A hassle to get back but worth it in the end. It's a good idea to keep track. I really need to start doing it more as I think I'm doing well and then I look in the bank account and not so much!

  6. I am still sitting in this very large house waiting to move Sue - and it is very costly to run so can appreciate your costs.

  7. On balance, Sue, I think you came out on top last month...the list of frugal activities was long, and the list of outgo was short. I'll bet the $600 from the auction goes a long way for roofing materials. Like Col, I sometimes have a hard time reconciling what I paid for something new to what I sold it for used. Now that we are getting ready to move, I'm just glad to see it gone and happy to have $omething to show for it.

    1. I meant 600 pounds...don't know how to make the symbol. And it's more than $600 USD, so that's a good thing!

  8. I think you've done remarkably well...but the bestest information is that Col is feeling reasonably well at the moment...priceless. x

  9. It goes out as quickly as it comes in doesn't it. But at least it's coming in so that's a good thing! xx