Saturday, 31 July 2021

Last Day of July

A Saturday and a last of the month round-up.

It's been a mostly dull week........... that's the weather...... not my life........as I'm having a great time making the most of the opportunity to watch as much Olympic sport as possible!

Once Upon a Time I used to do a round up of frugal things on the last of the month but as this month I paid for the concreting of the greenhouse base, the greenhouse itself and a whirly washing line and May and June were equally spendy there's not been much thrifty-ness for ages. Am I right in thinking prices of fruit and vegetables seem to be at a high - or is that just because I've got none of my own and I'm just not used to buying.
With my first proper State Pension going into the bank and HMRC now 'kindly' taxing my spouses pension, I now know what my monthly income is and hopefully I won't need to dip into the downsizing savings/kids inheritance quite as much as was needed in the last 3 years.
There should be much less spent in August as all I need to do here has been done for the moment. I also need to spend less to fund the second-hand book buying!!

 Shopping in Asda in Stowmarket is now a frustrating business, they are still re-arranging and modernising the whole store so it's a muddle with lots of empty spaces (due to the delivery driver shortage I suppose) but my biggest gripe is the absence of manned (or woman-ed!) check-outs. They've cut down to just 3. The rest of the space has been taken by a bigger area for self-service checking out - one bit for trolleys and another for baskets as a staff member bossily told me when I entered the wrong bit - oh dear me! They've also got a huge bay of hand held self-scanner things  - no idea how they work. I guess you have to have a credit card registered before you can use one. 

'Flowers on the Table' this week - although they are on the bookshelves for a change - are a mix of colour from the garden. Mostly Dahlias - gorgeous big orange and dark pink.


 Summer of Sport Olympic update........
Blue, Colors, Competition, Event, Fiveit's getting more and more exciting...as the athletics begins.
It was raining and dull yesterday morning(Storm Evert apparently) and I got up late for me, so by the time the TV went on GB had won loads-a-medals on Day 7. Duncan Scott in the swimming pool won his 3rd of the games. Then another Bronze in the pool. A medal for trampolining. Then 2 medals in the BMX .... A gold for Bethany and a Silver for Kye. The first sport I watched was the men's Kayak slalom but a mistake saw the GB man come 6th.
Much discussion today about the lack of medals for the Rowers after the last 3 Olympics when they won several. Lots of money thrown at the sport so there will be talk of them losing funding no doubt.Watched some hockey, football and on the track the 4 x 400m mixed relay. I think GB& NI ended the day with 24 medals.

This week I'm grateful for

  • Enough fine weather to get the grass cut
  • Lovely heap of library books 
  • Being able to watch all the Olympic sport from the comfort of my armchair

I'm hoping for some help with getting the whirly washing line sorted this weekend. BiL will supply the tools and knowledge and son will provide the brute force to get the spike in the ground. (BiL is now waiting for all the hospital stuff connected with needing a stent - just like his brother in 2013, so is having to be a bit careful. I've re-assured him that Col was fine after having the stent and it had nothing to do with all the later illness)

Also hoping to get a car boot sale (or 2) this weekend - the weather has been dismal every boot sale morning so I've not bothered to go for ages..............well, just a week and a half but  seems ages to me!

Have a lovely weekend
Back Monday
Sue

41 comments:

  1. At Tesco self service scanning you hold your club card to the scanner in the middle then one of the hand held scanners light up. You san as you go round at the till you point your scanner at the till press the trigger and it does the bill then you use your card. In the beginning at Tesco there were assistants to help, it is very simple I like it as I can make sure how much I am being charged.

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    1. I never go to a Tesco so don't have a club card. I shall have to see how it works at Asda as they don't have club cards as far as I know

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  2. Most of our grocery and hardware stores have the self scanners. I'd rather they did not have them because it means fewer jobs for the cashiers. Great Britain has been doing great at the Olympics and getting a nice collection of Gold Medals!

    I hope you have a sunny morning this weekend so you can make it to a car boot sale!

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    1. From having about 8 people working check-outs they have gone down to 3 - annoying.
      I'm loving the Olympics and yes have just been out to a small boot sale

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  3. At Sainsbury's you tap the screen which releases the scanner. Then you scan your Nectar card to start shopping. I think you can still pay with cash.

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    1. Thank you for this. I have been wondering how it worked. xx

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    2. I shall have a look at Asda to see how it works as they don't have store cards. I never go to a Sainsburys its right out the other side of Ipswich

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  4. I haven't noticed any price differences in fruit and veg. Most of the summer season stuff is reasonably priced around here.

    For zappers you need to have registered for something first, they don't just come by magic. I have only one store card, Waitrose, and that gets me the zapper. I guess store cards are the way in.

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    1. I don't have a store card for Tesco, Waitrose or Sainsburys so this may be a problem!

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  5. They're a rotten lot, aren't they, taxing what has already been taxed - well, sort of anyway. When I get grumpy about it and tell myself how lucky I am to still have an income that needs taxing. That usually brings me up short again. :-)
    I think things generally have gone up quite a lot but also, because you've always been used to eating your own produce, maybe it's just more obvious for you. It makes one realise quite how thrifty growing your own actually is, especially at the level you used to.
    Love the flowers.
    xx

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    1. I'm only a fraction over the tax allowance so not being taxed very much.
      We had months at the smallholding when we were completely self-sufficient in fruit and veg - now I seem to be spending a fortune on fresh fruit which I love so buy lots

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  6. We may go to the car boot tomorrow (if dry), but it's an hour's drive, over near Hereford (NOTHING is local in Wales!) and they don't let the punters in until about an hour and a half from the sellers going in - which means any dealers there have first dibs on what's for sale and less bargains for the punters. So, unless you are selling yourself, you don't get a look-in. This from a disgruntled dealer (pre-Covid that is, nowt happening at the moment).

    I think food prices have gone up a fair bit - not just fruit and veg. The market stall here and in Llandod (same people) - sell good quality produced, but DEARER than you would pay in the Co-op, who are already dear, so no bargains to be had.

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    1. There were 3 people with strawberries at the car boot this morning - all 3 had mouldy and damaged fruit in the punnets among the few decent strawbs - I didn't buy any!

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  7. Gorgeous flowers. I applied for my pension back in April. Other than saying thanks, haven’t heard anything. So much for being in contact within 14 days of my birthday, which is today.

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    Replies
    1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY have a nice day.
      🌈🌈

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    2. Happy Birthday. Hope you hear about the pension soon, state pension pays out 4 weeks in arrears so maybe that's why you haven't heard?

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  8. Glad you are enjoying the Olympics we are doing well.
    I hope the rain keeps away this weekend we are having a Car Show at our sports ground with about 50 Antique cars and craft stalks etc. I hope to get to it.
    Enjoy the weekend and get some bargains at the car boot.
    Hazel 🌈🌈

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    1. Weather forecast is so mixed so hope its lucky for your town

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  9. I use Tesco scan as you shop. You can check instantly whether the price on the shelf is the price you are going to be charged. It helps with budgeting too as it totals as you go. The main thing I like though is not having to heft all my shopping out again at the end; it's already scanned and packed in my trolley. All I have to do is pay (card or cash) and go. They do carry out the occasional 'service check' where they randomly scan items - very rarely everything - to make sure people are scanning everything. That happened to me when I was rushing to get home on Wimbledon men's semi-finals day. The assistant very kindly only did a few items so I could go quickly.

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    1. Youngest daughter uses Tesco scanners - she says it's easy too. I shall have to find out how they work at Asda

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  10. Hi Sue, I have been reading your blog for many years and always enjoy your posts. I know you do a lot of craft and was wondering if you could give me some advice, I’ve been given a beautiful cross stitch picture that is framed and mounted but there is no glass in the frame so I was wondering if I should get a new frame with glass in or would it be ok as it is. Thanks, Heather.

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    1. Glass would keep it clean. If it's not stuck to the back board you can wash very gently and iron stitching down on a towel. Depends how it's been framed, sometimes they are laced at the back and sometime stuck. Good luck whatever you decide

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    2. Thanks for the advice. Heather

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  11. It appears we can't function without technology as it has been forced upon us without choices.

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    1. The choice is now A Long queue or DIY! - I expect everywhere will be the same soon.

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  12. Fruit and veg prices are up in the US, for sure. A fair amount of "shrinkflation" of things, too--same size boxes, but less inside; smaller bread sizes, etc.. I noticed that a thin bagel I have bought for ages is now so thin I can barely toast it without it bursting into flames and shriveling up. :) All for the same price or more.

    Weather aside, sounds like a good week. Hope the weather cooperates for the boot sale. If not, you've lots of lovely books to read.

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    1. Yes its the same here with things getting smaller. I love fresh fruit and have really noticed the expense this summer.

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  13. I too have so enjoyed the Olympics Sue - isn't it good to see our young people doing so well.

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    1. It's amazing to know they've trained for so long for just a few minutes (unless it the marathon or triathlon of course!) So pleased that Japan were brave enough to hold the games

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  14. I went into our local Asda yesterday. In the intervening week since my last visit, they have put in a group of about 12 DIY tills and got rid of four "proper" tills. They already had a little group of DIY tills but now have more and in a different set-up. I am wondering now what happened to the jobs of those who used to work on the tills.

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    1. Sounds exactly like Stowmarket's new till system. - 'Progress' is So annoying!

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  15. I'm loving the Olympics and do have some dahlias in pots that I could cut for the house but as there isn't much else in the garden, I'll leave them there.. I feel very sad when I look out at this awful expanse of weedy grass remembering the lovely garden I had grown in Suffolk, but it will be better next year!

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    1. I'm sure you will get your garden organised soon and you might not need to do much watering compared to the Suffolk coast

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  16. Lovely bouquet. My dahlias just are not growing at all.

    God bless.

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    1. I kept finding labels for Dahlias stuck in the ground all around the borders. But it looks as if only 3 plants survived the winter

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  17. Many of our grocery stores are half self scanners and half staffed cash registers. Both take cards and the staffed registers take cash, cards or checks. Everything at our stores has increased in price and the packages are often smaller. Moving and setting up a new household is costly. Growing your own fruit and veg will be a cost saving and guarantee good taste. Our grocery store produce looks good but is often not tasty.

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    1. Moving and getting things organised is certainly costly - hopefully I can pause on spending now.
      Next year I hope to have some home grown veg to help save me money - although not much room for fruit

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  18. I like your dahlias. I bought one on Friday that is called Berry Blast. A purple/white flower. I posted it on my blog post. It is so pretty! I have not used the scanner at Fred Meyer. I am sure I could figure out how to use it but there are many registers open. There are some things at restaurants and stores that you can't get. When my daughter was at a restaurant on Saturday she wanted a napkin but they didn't have any. They had to get paper towels from their stock and use for napkins. Not able to order them. I decided to get a box of neoprene gloves as they were available finally. I like to use them outdoors at times and cleaning. When the pandemic hit here in Oregon, it was hard to find disposable gloves.I am stocking up a bit in case things get weird again. On sale items, grab some that I use and I try to keep track of my money always so I don't go too low in our account. Have a good week!

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  19. Asda hand held scanners are really easy, you don't need to register a credit card you just put in your address/phone number etc the first time you use it to register then in future you just put in your phone number and it finds you.
    I don't go to Stowmarket to shop much anymore as I work in Bury more but went to Asda there last week and even the staff seemed confused about where to find things!

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