Friday, 4 August 2017

The Frugalish (Ha.Ha) Notes for July

One day we will get to the end of all the work that needs doing here and stop spending money but in the mean time it's a money pit!
The thermostat on the hot water tank is the latest thing to go wrong!And we must get the garage doors done before the weather turns cold so we can put the car away. Then there are lots of branches that need cutting down and of course the oil tank replacement and the en-suite to be built. Ho Hum!

On the plus side of the equation
First runner beans from garden and first tomatoes from greenhouse. More Mange Tout peas, French Beans, potatoes, chard, beetroot, salad-leaves, radishes, courgettes, cucumbers .

Mange-tout peas, French Beans and courgettes put into freezer

I decorated the Living room - saving several hundred £s

Col replaced downstairs loo saving more £s

Bought two side tables with drawers from auction saving £s against the alternative of new. Living room now tidier and old coffee table now in conservatory.

Cooked meals from scratch and  baked cakes

Green Tomato Chutney made for us and hampers.

Marrow and Ginger Preserve ditto

Cherry plums picked from the wild and some put in freezer.

2lb damsons picked from hedgerow trees and turned into jam

Bulk purchase of Ecover laundry liquid saving £15

Bulk Purchase of kitchen roll - made from recycled paper - which we use for tissues as well - same price as buying un-recycled from supermarket.

Bulk Purchase of Sodium Bicarbonate for cleaning saving £6 on shop price

Col's brother gave us some leek plants and a load of wood off-cuts for the woodburner.

Brought home cakes,quiche and sandwiches from the 'after the funeral' food

Took packed lunch and had free coffees from the clinic while at Addenbrookes

Made cards from stash

Ordered from Approved Foods saving over £30 (unless you count the Lindt Lindor box of chocs which brings the saving down a bit!)

Used vouchers and divi at Co-op and got yellow sticker and local produced sausages and other things £14 worth for £8.

Small cheque back from solicitor - an over payment

Toys for grandchildren from carboot- including huge amount of Brio type railway for £4

On the other hand...................
Paid for new roof for garage
Didn't bake bread this month.
Bought new curtains for living room and another bookcase.
Bought a dehydrator which might be a money saver but might not.
Had to buy food at hospital when we were there for longer than we thought we would be.
Lots of diesel needed for cars due to all the hospital stuff
Part exchanged old huge ride on mower for new smaller one

August might be better but I doubt it

Back Soon


  1. I think you've done brilliantly - all that doing it yourself has saved a fortune and I'm sure that balances the necessary spends. After all, you've hardly wasted huge amounts.
    Good luck for August!
    J x

  2. You've done great with what you have saved. Focus on the positives (I'm including the Lindor in that). X

  3. It all comes round and goes round and you will get round it all in the end I am sure!

  4. Sometimes you just have to accept all these expenses.....
    I wish the two of you a happy August, budget and health-wise.

  5. Is the bathroom out of reach in a far off part of the house?

    1. No but we have a random shower in the corner of the bedroom which needs a wall round it otherwise stepping out is like stepping into a fridge. There is a stupid big bath in the bathroom and low water pressure so it's not used.and a ensuite would be easy to do around the shower with room for a loo and basin, and I had one before at the smallholding and it makes life so much easier when family are staying.

  6. We moved here in 2009, our's was a lovely house with some work done, but loads left unfinished, at first our's too was a money pit. But once we had done all the necessary tasks, plus a few extra's. Now we enjoy having a solid comfortable home, which we know is safe and nothing nasty hiding in the wings. It takes time but is worth it to get everything done.

  7. You've done well with all the savings, Sue. I know exactly where you are coming from with the expense, as we moved earlier in the year and the house needs more work than we thought. It was a major triumph yesterday that we managed to sort the garage out enough to squeeze the car in! Eilidh x
    PS. How do you manage to grow vegetables without insects eating it all?

    1. Which veg do you have problems with? From our list above of things we've eaten so far none are prone to much trouble except radishes to flea beetle. Pollen beetle stopped the runner beans and courgettes setting early on but they've gone now. Ants are a pain in dry weather but when we find a nest I always sprinkle with ant killer powder. Brassicas get attacked by cabbage white butterfly caterpillars but we've got net over and then check them.

    2. Sounds like lots to be proud of! But don't feel guilty about adding the chocolates to the order from Approved Foods - life is for enjoying and in the scheme of things it little treats like that which make every other saving worthwhile. Elosie at

    3. It was mainly carrots, something was eating them, but I didn't use any nets or anything. Also didn't have much luck with broccoli, although to be fair it was mainly the dog that kept eating the small plants as she loved it. I've always wanted to try asparagus so maybe I'll give it a go next year, inspired by your successes. Eilidh x

    4. Carrots get attacked by carrot fly, to avoid it build a plastic fence round the carrots about 2 foot tall then the flys wont smell the carrots when they fly over as they will be too high.
      Asparagus take a couple of years to get established but worth waiting for because they are such a treat early in the year.

    5. The pigeons ate my carrot tops so I ended up netting them (as well as building a wire barrier round the bed to stop the rabbits digging it up) and after 2 weeks my carrot leaves look like carrots should!!!

  8. I'm exhausted reading all you've achieved last month. Ourcentral heating bit the dust so new system in two weeks time. It's been limping along for ages so at least it went in what passes for summer! Catriona

  9. Fingers crossed for a bit cheaper August for you-x-

  10. As I am finding out Sue - house moving costs more than one expects. Good luck for August.

  11. I must remind my dearly beloved just how much I have saved him in decorating costs down the years. Must be THOUSANDS by now!

    When you buy a new-to-you house there are bound to be expenses you hadn't reckoned on, but then when all these little jobs are done you will be ship-shape and Bristol fashion. We have a growing list here (several involving me with a paintbrush, strange to tell!)

    You've been doing really well with the spending sensibly side of things though, so take a bow.

  12. I read with interest your "frugalish notes for July." Actually, I was taking notes, and wondering if I might not do a bit better in this way or that. You must be a person with lots of energy." I think I might have been worn down a bit about mid-July. Best wishes for a great August!