Monday, 30 September 2019

End of September Financial etc. Round-Up

Well, that's ¾ of the year done and dusted, I'm sure September has less than 30 days as it's whizzed by. The shops have been gradually filling with Christmas stuff as the month progressed..............
The Christmas magazines, the boxes of biscuits and the chocolate oranges are all there already. None of those have been brought home and won't be. The Christmas magazines in my opinion (and lots of people wouldn't agree!) are the biggest waste of money.....variations on the same every year and not even edible!
Apart from making things for the hampers I'm not thinking about  the 12 days yet.

 Looking back and my month has consisted of lots of inexpensive visiting.....WI centenary fair, Heritage Open Day in Ipswich. Car boot sales, a rural bygones auction, archaeological dig, book sale, village garage sales, churches and family.

Preserving has been done namely Chilli Jelly, Beetroot and Ginger Chutney, Rosemary and Redcurrant Jelly and my "Branston" pickle which I'm still waiting to test for accuracy on BiL.

The Great Autumn Garden Tidy-up has begun......slowly......... I shelled and stored this years saved climbing French beans seeds and chucked out some that were 4 years old and I've looked in the seed tin to see what I need for next year although as I didn't actually write anything down I'll need to look again! and the garden catalogues have arrived. Most of the greenhouse has been cleared and I've cut back lots of stuff outside. I daren't write a list of what still needs would be too long.

 The frugal bits
  • Eating from the garden and greenhouse.......beetroot, potatoes, butternut squash, last courgette, peppers, tomatoes, last cucumbers. Autumn raspberries, few cooking apples, few figs, very  few eating apples and pears. Hazelnuts.
  • Beetroot from BiL for making chutney
  • More boxes of roast vegetables put in freezer, homegrown except for carrots
  • Things for presents for Grandchildren from boot sales
  • Books from car boot sale
  • Still mixing milk half and half with water
  • Still using bread-maker for my bread
  • Made home made play-dough for Florence
If you have children or grandchildren and buy play-dough this recipe could save you a few pennies. It's probably 25 or more years since I made any but thank goodness the recipe was still in my folder.

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups water
Food colouring
 Cook the mixture in a pan over low-medium heat, stirring all the time to prevent sticking
Stir like mad as the mixture starts to thicken and remove from heat when the mixture comes away from the side of the pan.
Tip out onto a hard surface and knead well as soon as its cool enough to handle. Leave to cool. Store airtight in a plastic bag. Keeps very well.

The Financial Ins................
Nothing except the County Council spouses pension and some bits of interest and repayments from family. Lots of savings were needed this month.

The Financial Outs............
The usual food for me and the cat, diesel for the car, direct debits for phones and charity.
A big expense this month was my dentist visit. I had the big tooth rebuilt with a massive filling and  a check-up, scale and polish. An hour in the dentist chair - horrible!
Also spent on peanuts etc. for bird feeding, DiL Birthday, paid for the WI birthday meal, the window cleaner, firebricks for the wood-burner, hair cut and boiler service.
 And Gates ............ I'm having some gates to make everywhere safer, to better define the boundaries and to stop everyone driving up the lane, round the oak tree and out again. My next-door-but-one neighbour runs his own garden maintenance company and is doing the gates and fencing, fitting them in with other work as I said there was no hurry. He had one gate that he could use already so that's saved some money. I've paid for the other gates, hinges and catches and will pay for his time when he's finished. Suffolk County Council Public Rights of Way have sent me some new little Footpath arrows ready for when the small gate is fixed. It's going to have one of those spring things so it will just push open and close again.

I kept the (easy for me) pledge to buy no new clothes in September - actually didn't buy any secondhand either.

And clearing right out of the house continues.............
21 books to charity shop to make up for several that came in
2 items of clothes ditto
1 jigsaw puzzle ditto
Some children's books to grandchildren

Looking forward.........
 October might be a  good financial month,  chimney sweep and the septic-tank emptying are the only definites ...............unless I go on a world cruise!!

And looking forward to six more weeks of the new BBC programme World on Fire . I thought it was very good but why am I and so many other people still so fascinated by WWII?

And last but definitely not least Hello and Welcome to new some followers who've clicked the button. Hope you enjoy reading.

Back Tomorrow


  1. I used to make that playdough a lot, both for my own two and also with my class. Fantasic stuff. I used to store it in the fridge (in an airtight bag). With all the vibrant food colourings you can get nowadays, it's easy to make a rainbow of it!

  2. I'm not sure that I ever purchased any "proper" Playdough. It has always been homemade in this family too.

  3. I wouldn't buy magazines either,but I do like reading them and get them free online to download to tablet/computer from the library (and my library books) it's nice to see things like Country Living for painting inspiration and Gardening Magazine is on their list, and some travel mags, also radio and tv times; I hope your library offers the digital service - it's definitely worth asking.

  4. I could never get past the awful smell of the bought playdough - we had plasticine! I do however like to buy one Christmas mag for a bit of inspiration - Country Living usually though was disappointed to find repeats in it.
    Gates are expensive we had to buy two large ones for our cottage. Ouch is all I can say! Makes the Christmas mags seem positively cheap!

  5. I never liked playdough so it was always plasticine and my daughter has never (in a good humoured way) forgiven me, lol. Because of that my eldest grand-daughter did have playdough which didn't change my mind. I am always tempted with the Christmas magazines, but from my experience with them they are all the same year after year, so am resisting the urge this year.

    We have a solid wooden 6' high gate and side panel to our back garden and my husband is in the process of painting it and we shall get some gekkos and other ornaments for a bit of interest to it. We have a fairy door with fairy dust to put on the panel for our youngest grand-daughter when the weather is drier. I like fun things in the garden, lol.

  6. Somewhere I have a book with a whole section of home made finger paints, play doh, and the like. If it surfaces as I clear out this winter I shall let you have some of the recipes if you like. oh, a Chocolate Orange will be coming to this house, it's part of my Christmas treat, not that I 'do' Christmas any longer.

    1. Hopefully my grandchildren will never be doing finger painting here!!

  7. A good round up of the month … and yes hasn't it whizzed by SO quickly!!

    You should feel a lot safer with gates, I know I do when ours are just closed. We have a lot of folk pull onto the bottom of our drive to turn round or simply to sit and use their phones.

  8. Do you ever have a glut of green tomatoes? If so, what do you do with them? I don't like chutney and feel sure that it must be possible to make jam with them. I'm sure you are just the right person to come up with a suitable recipe. I would be very grateful if you could help with this. Many thanks, Susan

    1. I used to make green tomato chutney with them for Colin but I don't like it so no longer. Tend not to get a glut now as I only grow in a greenhouse and they will keep ripening OK in there.
      You can also ripen them by laying them spread out on a tray in a cool room with a couple of ripe tomatoes among them - they will mostly turn red given time.

  9. Interesting to read the monthly round-up. One of my goals for October is cutting down on the food budget. I feel like I've been doing a lot better but I can still do better!

  10. Thank you for sharing the play dough recipe Sue. I am definitely going to make some for Scarlett. Jane xx

    1. I've added it to the labels column so it's easy to find under Play-dough Recipe -

  11. Our local library bus has a good selection of magazines to borrow , so lucky to have this service

  12. I thought you did quite well with the no clothes buying. Me, I fell off the wagon as I found a fall/spring coat to replace the tatty one I had. Mind you I got it for almost 80% off, so pretty good savings.

    God bless.

  13. Your list of preserves made my mouth water!