Tuesday 31 March 2015

Oh dear!

I am going great guns in the Room of Doom.  Honestly I am.

But life never runs smoothly.

Neither does the shredder.

I have ruined another shredder.  I blame it on my over-enthusiasm.

The shredder will now only run backwards.

Oh dear!

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Ins and Outs

Outs first.  I took six black bags to the Sally Ann yesterday.  A carrier bag of audiobooks actually left the premises.  My rubbish and recycling bins are much plumper than they were.   I feel so virtuous.

And virtue is rewarded.  I found this Christmas present which I had hunted high and low for.  The "ins" will be the plants which I am planning on buying very soon!

Just occasionally virtue is rewarded.

Or it may be that I am only occasionally virtuous. 

Monday 23 March 2015

A new home for some audiobooks

18th March
18th March
The heap that I decided to tackle seems awfully big!  I decided to record just how big it is now and compare that with the "before" pictures of that heap of shame.

23rd March

23rd March
The heap IS smaller - but not a lot!  However, I had a bright idea about my unwanted audiobooks.  They are going to a residential home for elderly people.  And that makes me happy.

Saturday 21 March 2015

Going to Brownies

No, not me!  I'm a little long in the tooth for Brownies!

I've sorted out some rubber stamps which I'm hoping they will like.

Which has freed this gorgeous bucket for something else.

I never knew plastic buckets could be this pretty
What else will I find in the Room of Doom?

Friday 20 March 2015

Going through the hoops

I've been into the Room of Doom again today.  It is indeed an adventure.

Do you remember that I thought i had only one embroidery hoop and I found these seven?  

Well, guess what.  

They've been breeding

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Back into the Room of Doom

I really am a very noble creature.  A woman with less nobility than me would quietly forget the Room of Doom.  After all, it has a door which can be shut, no need to take the camera when I do go in there, what reason could I have for mentioning it on this blog again?  And why am I suddenly claiming to be noble when anyone who knows anything about the Room of Doom knows that I am a slob?

The Heap of Shame
 Well, when I started to write about it back in January several people commented that I Am Not Alone.  Other people have basements, lofts, garages of doom and they were very encouraging.  And it sounded as though they needed encouragement.

So I’ll fess up – the Room of Doom is not much better than when I started.  I have photographed just one heap, a heap which it would be good to get sorted before Easter.  There are quite a lot of things to be listed for eBay which takes time and I am also involved in the major project of organising a 90th birthday party so I am giving myself a realistic time scale. And I am offering encouragement to anyone else who resolved to deal with the mess in 2015.

Monday 16 March 2015

Reflections on a £10 note

Tenner week surprised me.

One surprise was just how long I went without any personal spending.  I finally succumbed on Saturday night and blew the whole tenner on flowers for church but I had actually gone nine days without any personal spending.  To be honest I wasn't too surprised that it was something to give away which was the cause of my failure- I love giving things away and whilst I make most gifts, some things just have to be bought.

The second surprise was just how often I was tempted by a quick coffee whilst I am out.  On Friday I had one because I had to wait for photoprinting.  Yes, it was bought by someone else but it would be difficult to spend an hour wandering around a supermarket without spending anything so the coffee would probably have been the cheapest option.  On all other occasions I resisted.

I didn't do much about the activities which are suggested for tenner week.  These include menu planning, finding things to sell and selling them,getting a better deal on a bill, using freebies and coupons, spending gift cards or loyalty points and enjoying the great outdoors.  The selling of surplus stuff is part of the general decluttering which is going on anyway and I really didn't want to spend gift cards or loyalty points for the sake of it.  

So, as with all these sort of things, the real benefit is not in how I spent the tenner but in what I learnt by being so conscious of not spending the tenner.  And what I learnt is priceless

Sunday 15 March 2015

I blew it!

The whole tenner is no more!  Well, it is but the moths were disturbed from my purse and the tenner is now in the care of Mr Tesco along with a further two pounds.

The reason?  Today is Mothering Sunday and I wanted flowers to take to church today.  These will be given to everyone in church this morning (see http://trundlingthroughlife.blogspot.co.uk/ for why this is so important to me).  Last night I succumbed, fetched these roses and made them into posies.

So I didn't make it through tenner week.  And I really don't mind.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Almost there

Saturday is always spent in seclusion here at Frugal Follies.  Usually I do very little on Saturdays but today I have been gently busy.  I have been making a hundred an twenty invitations for somebody else's birthday party.  And all the stuff has come from my stash and is my gift for the birthday girl.

I'm really pleased to be able to do this.  It's a real win:win.  I haven't spent anything and the person hasn't got yet another "thing" to find a home for.  It would cost her a lot of money to have the invitations made professionally, more than I would have spent on a present, and she's got something totally unique.  

And I haven't broken into my tenner.

Friday 13 March 2015


I thought today might be the day that I broke into my tenner.

I took a friend to Grimsby and the arrangement was that I would get some photos printed for her while she whizzed around the supermarket.  The problem was that if I did it while she whizzed the cost would have been £39 but if I could leave it for an hour it would only be £25.  Now it was my friend's money but I really couldn't face wasting £14 so with a heavy heart I made my way to buy a coffee.  When I saw a deal on coffee and cake I knew I was sunk.

BUT my friend insisted on paying for the coffee and cake.  And a second coffee as we couldn't make the first ones last an hour.  I declined a second slice of cake so now I am back to feeling like this

Thursday 12 March 2015

Day 4

This can't last.  My £10 is still intact within the rules of Penny Golightly.  I've bought no food nor done any personal shopping, I've not paid to go out.  I've spent nothing on hobbies, clothes or any similar goodies.

I've had to have my sewing machine serviced but that's household maintenance and apart from that I have spent nothing.

In fact although this started on Monday so I've done only four days of the challenge so far, I spent nothing on the preceding Friday, Saturday or Sunday. My direct debits have been leaving my account but that's it.

I went out today but didn't have lunch out.

This can't last.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

I don't believe it!

No, I am not doing a Victor Meldrew.  I am not a Grumpy Old Woman even.  I am just amazed.

It is day three of my tenner week and Liz and Charlie are still safe in my purse.

I had intended going out this morning but for various reasons that didn't happen.  This afternoon I've had to take both my sewing machines to the sewing machine hospital and I didn't even call in at Coffee Costa.  Do you think that at the ripe old age of 63 I may be growing up?  I do hope not!

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Tenner week - day 2

Not spending has proved quite easy!  The moths are having an uninterrupted sojourn in my purse because quite simply I haven't been anywhere to spend anything (but that will change tomorrow),  At the moment I still have Elizabeth Regina sitting in there, backed by Charles Darwin.  They are both models of dignity and restraint, inspiring me to keep them safe and cosy.

The more difficult part of tenner week as advocated by Penny Golightly, is the activities and once again I have to say I am an abject failure.  Today I was supposed to declutter and find three things to sell.  All I can say is that the spirit was willing but the flesh succumbed to the lure of the sunniest day of the year so far in these parts.  And I make no apologies!

Monday 9 March 2015

Tenner week

This week I am joining with Sam Sam at A New Frame of Reference who is doing a tenner week as suggested by Penny Golightly.  Penny's week was actually last week but neither Sam nor I could manage that so we've decided to have a go this week.

So, I've got a crisp tenner in my purse today.  And it's supposed to last all week.

I hit pretty lucky today.  I went to a women's group that I belong to and it would usually have  cost me £2 but I had offered to teach the other members how to make a tote bag so for me today was a freebie!  It feels good to offer one's time/skill/ideas instead of spending cash.  Morning out, no spend day!

Sunday 8 March 2015

Allergic to free lunches

I'm not one of nature's ranters.  For the most part I'm happy with my lot but two companies with which I deal regularly cause me to have an occasional mutter.

The first is British Telecom.  I use them for telephone and broadband and for the most part I'm quite happy with them. However, I can't just have broadband, I have to have BT Sports.  The chances of me watching BT Sports are zero for two reasons.  The first is I have no interest in any sports whatsoever.  And the second is that I would have to buy (or subscribe to) things I haven't got in order to get BT Sports.  I realise there is no such thing as a free lunch but I feel I am being charged for a lunch which I can't have and which I'd be allergic to if it were served!

And then there's Amazon.  For years I have subscribed to Amazon Prime.  I find it very convenient as I to buy a lot of stuff on line rather than making a twenty five mile round trip to a shopping area so buying a "free" posting package made sense.  However, shortly after I paid my subscription last year Amazon announced that Prime would include "free" Amazon Prime Instant Video.  I have really struggled to find something I want to watch and in a whole year I have watched two videos!  Although this service is "free" my subscription has gone up from £49 to £79 - or it would if I renewed it.  I've decided to forget it for a while and see whether it would be worthwhile.  That may have the even better effect of stopping me shopping with them so much!

Hmmm.  Maybe I am glad about the changes to Amazon Prime!

Saturday 7 March 2015

The best sort of frugality

Remember this?  

It arrived on February 18th.  See http://frugallychallenged.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/look-what-arrived-today.html

This is what it looks like now.

And as it was for consumer testing I even got paid £10 for emptying it.  I like this frugality malarkey when it's like that!

Sunday 1 March 2015


We’ve all been there.  “There” is in front of the fridge, standing in the spotlight which always comes on when the fridge door is opened, wondering what on earth can be made with the odds and ends.  You know, the half onion, last Sundays leftovers, those few courgettes which someone gave you and you haven’t got a clue what to do with them – add your own variation.  I’m sure you’ve got a few.

“Bottom-Of-The-Fridge-Soup” features in my diet fairly frequently.  You won’t find it in any recipe book because it’s different every time it is made.  And, let’s be honest, it sounds pretty awful.

Well, not any more.  From now on, in this household at least, it will be known as Cheeky Bottom Soup.  Much more inviting.