Thursday, 28 April 2016


A couple of years ago I bought a Delivery Saver Pass for midweek deliveries from Tesco.  It seemed like a good idea as going to anything other than a convenience store involves a round trip of about twenty miles so £30 for a year’s deliveries was AOK.

A year later I got the same pass for £15 which I paid mostly in Clubcard vouchers but during the year the minimum delivery went up from £25 to £40 so I stopped using it so often.  It was great to have frozen food and heavy items delivered right into my kitchen but a delivery every two or three weeks was a better idea.

A few weeks ago I decided that I wouldn’t renew the delivery pass again.  Some delivery slots are just £1 and I am very flexible about when I can have deliveries so £30 didn’t seem quite so much like a bargain.  And then I sat back to see what would happen.

Sure enough I’ve been sent coupons for £9 off the next delivery and £6 for the following five.  Unfortunately each was for a minimum spend of £60!  I’ve decided to use the £9 one and hang onto the others in case I want another large shop before 5th June when they expire.

In the same post Mr Tesco sent another letter telling me that May will be the last Clubcard Boost event.  This is a blow as I have previously bought my spectacles effectively for half price.  I’m not sure how I will use my vouchers now.

Asda has a minimum delivery of £25 and I understand Iceland deliver free.  So Mr Tesco you are going to have to work a lot harder for my custom.  

Sunday, 24 April 2016

In the dim and distant days of my youth

In the far distant days of my youth I was financially feckless and sadly that fecklessness lasted well into middle age.  I should be a wealthier woman, indeed I would be a wealthier woman if I had been as careful with my money as I am now but you can't put an old head on young shoulders.

Anyway, no good crying over spilt milk.  Things have now changed and I am rather more prudent.  I wanted to mention two things which have facilitated that change.

The first is that a few months ago I won some budgetting software.  It's You Need A Budget (YNAB) and I can't speak highly enough of it.  The software which I won was a one-off download with continuing support and but sadly new customers have to take out a a monthly or annual subscription service which I would not find so appealing and I would have to think long and hard before I made the financial commitment to that.  However, the general fact remains: I have found a method of budgetting which suits me and which I actually enjoy using.  I never thought I would say that I enjoy budgetting but I enjoy budgetting!

The second thing which has helped me change is t'interweb itself.  On-line shopping is a terrible temptation, there are sites a-plenty encouraging us to buy the latest this or the most expensive that, but the fact remains that for money saving ideas and strategies the web is superb.  There are price comparison sites, cashback sites, coupon and voucher sites but best of all there are blogs written by ordinary people who need to stretch their pennies.  There is an incredible amount of inspiration out there!  

Thank you , all you lovely bloggers who share your stories.  

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Serendipity Casserole


I love that word - serendipity!  It makes simple things super without adding calories.

Last weekend I hosted a birthday lunch for my aunt and I was more than a bit shattered but I had invited a friend for lunch on Tuesday so I had to do some cooking.  I really didn't want to go shopping so the meal had to come from the freezer - and my head!

I'd got a bag of frozen chicken thighs lurking in there so that was the starting point.  I love chicken thighs - not only are they the tastiest part of the bird they are also the cheapest.  Anyway, I put the whole bagful into the slow cooker.  I chopped a couple of onions and sweated them with a little oil and then added a little cornflour.  I then added to the onions a can of chopped tomatoes and some crushed garlic, chopped ginger,  coriander, saffron, cayenne and cinnamon.  (Sorry about the lack of quantities but this is a serendipity casserole!)  A little honey seemed like a good idea so I added that.  I bunged the lot into the slow cooker with the chicken.  I found a can of chickpeas in the food cupboard so that went in along with some dried apricots and prunes.  Last but not least I chopped the last few carrots from the fridge and added those.

Four hours later I served it with couscous and sultanas.  It was wonderful.

Yesterday I found a pack of haricot beans in the cupboard.  I'm going to have a bash at the same recipe using these beans instead of chicken and chickpeas