The lottery was a rollover to Saturday, last night. Have you won anything?
I keep getting emails telling me that there is a financial storm brewing. I don’t watch the video, they tend to ramble on and you’re none the wiser afterwards. They are after my money, I can be sure of that. So will the recession in the UK get worse? Or better?
If the price of food keeps going up, I can see the geese in the picture ending up in people’s pots or even ending up as goose curry. There appears to less of them than there were last summer anyway. I’m told their numbers go down around Christmas too. I keep seeing union flags and English flags everywhere. The former for the Jubilee and the latter because of the soccer. The Bank of England seems on the verge of printing more money with it’s quantitative easing program. A number of executives are about to get even bigger bonuses. Some celebrities have revealed their tax avoidance schemes. Austerity still rules for the ordinary people. Even the doctors have been on strike; so I hear. The ruling classes have donned their top hats and funny hats in order to enjoy the champagne and horse racing at Royal Ascot. I’m proud to be bleeding British… (more…)
This week my phone bill with TalkTalk was reduced to just under 18 pounds. They offered me the reduction if I agreed to renew my contract for another 18 months. It’s usually just over 25 pounds for broadband (40 Gb), line rental, calls 24/7 and international calls to countries around Europe, the USA and Australia. They advertise 60 pounds a year off, if I pay my line rental a year in advance too and so I’ll check that offer out on the website. Another saving of five pounds a month has got to be worth looking at. (more…)
I went to Aldi again this week in search of few bargains! They sell Bank’s beer in my local Aldi which is a popular beer around this neck of the woods. I see the guys buy a few bottles which is very different from years ago when they would go to the pub for a few pints. Pubs keep closing down or going up market and serving meals. Some are showing sport as people go to sporting events less and prefer to watch them on TV. Men certainly seem to spend more time at home rather than in the pub. (more…)
Filettino, set in rugged hill country around 100 km (65 miles) east of Rome, is printing it’s own money to get around the austerity cuts. I like this idea! Localised quantitative easing and why not? If central bankers can do it, why not local people. Money is just paper, you can print anything to represent money, notes, vouchers, stamps; you don’t even have to print it with computers and smart phones, it can be just numbers on a computer screen; bits transferring from computer to computer. It just has to be credible. It has to mean something. The town council could issue notes or whatever with the town hall as security; that would be more solid and have more backing than the bank notes we use every day! (more…)
Money, emotions and belief
If you haven’t tried bubble and squeak it’s not hard to make. You just mash together some left over boiled potato with boiled white cabbage and mould into a shape and then fry it until golden brown. I put eggs on top of mine and served it up with green beans! Delicious! So what did it cost? The eggs are from caged hens and cost £1.25 for 15; so they are about 17p for 2 and the beans and bubble and squeak cost about 18p. I made a meal for 35p! It was nice too! (more…)
Stop coddling the super-rich: Buffett
I agree with Warren Buffett and I agree with David Cameron; but that’s another story! Warren Buffet actually wants to see tax increases for the super-rich in the United States; he is rich and a patriot, putting his country first. I think the UK can learn something from this. How about tax increases for everyone earning over £100,000 a year; at least temporarily until the deficit is paid off. (more…)
When I had the last MOT (annual safety test) done on my car, the mechanic advised I have the cam belt changed. I had that done this week and it needed a new water pump too. I also had the cigar lighter wired up so it’s on all the time. I intend to plug a solar panel in there to charge the battery in daylight hours. The bill for all that was £240; ouch! It is worth it though to keep it well maintained and the mechanic says it’s in excellent condition. It pays to use a small local garage that you trust and have a relationship with. They collect my car and do the work and return it the same day and so I get excellent service. (more…)
Most people can find something to photograph close by these days and it’s inexpensive with a digital camera. Then you can share your photographs using Windows Live, Photobucket or Facebook. We started at this lake and it’s relaxing walking around and sometimes we talk to people. It’s less than two miles away and I am quite often happy to just go there but we took some pictures and I shot some video clips and we moved on. Yes, I’m making a video! (more…)
Multi-test meter, batteries and LED torch
I bought the multi test meter a few years ago it was £2.99 at Maplin which shows you should grab a bargain when you see one; they are £9.99 today for the domestic multi-test meter. I had the 4 AA batteries from Lidl a couple of weeks ago for £2.79 and they fit my camera. I charged the AAA batteries today for the cordless phone, they were the same price. The torch is an LED torch with 2 bright LED’s and a handle that you press to make it light up. I assume the battery charges when you press the handle . I bought that a couple of months ago and the quality isn’t great but it works! I did drop it on the floor when I was arranging that photograph and it was fiddly to re-assemble the on-off switch; but it’s OK now! Guess how much it cost! I had it from Poundland!
You can buy good looks to a certain extent. Money will buy cosmetic surgery, make up and clothes. You look good when you are happy though, the inner beauty seems to show and when we are depressed the inner ugliness seems to show too. Cosmetic surgery never seems to quite work, does it? (more…)
The picture I have used is of my local Art gallery and museum. It’s free to go in and besides art there is lots of exhibits relating to local history. The same department on the council runs other museums and historic houses. You can’t get more thrifty than free for a day out! (more…)
In a recent survey the average family was said to have just over £3,000 in savings; not really enough to get into serious investing. You do have to start somewhere though. It is important to understand the nature of money and the way it is devalued by a constantly increasing money supply. The Bank of England keeps issuing the stuff and our money gets devalued by inflation. In real terms if you have £3,000 in savings, you need a return of 5% or £150 just to stand still and not lose money. This is virtually impossible because you want instant access to your money; in case of emergencies. Most instant access accounts offer pathetic interest and the rate often includes a ‘bonus’ for the first 12 months. You then have the hassle of moving it from one account to another, if not one bank to another. (more…)
I took this photograph yesterday afternoon. The light was reasonable but I did drive around a little when there was a shower. It was a frugal day out despite the fact I wasted a little petrol. I take a coat in case it rains, a mobile phone just in case of emergencies and money just in case I want to buy something although I rarely do. My friend was walking around talking to someone on his mobile phone, I can’t see the point. I can’t see the point of travelling miles to take some photographs, when I have a lake like this less than a mile away. I have taken the photograph before, but this one is different. The light is different, there are more leaves on the trees than in winter and there is more water in the lake. Many people want to come here to take photographs like this and many people here want to go somewhere else to laze on a beach and drink sangria. I can understand people wanting to come here and take photographs; but I never did understand the attraction of lying on a beach. (more…)
I’m trying to save and make money as usual. Yesterday was a good day for making it; today I’ll try to save a little on shopping. I checked out prices at the local supermarket last night and I eat a lot of chicken so checked out the prices. The halal chicken drumsticks were the cheapest at £2.87 per kilogram; the most expensive was £3.84 a Kg. Strangely enough the price has changed today and the cheapest is now; £2.42 a kg and that is frozen as opposed to fresh. I asked my neighbour to get me a bag of those; I didn’t fancy halal; I thought it may be imported and more likely to have salmonella in it. I read that chickens in this country are mostly vaccinated against salmonella and the eggs with a lion printed on them are salmonella free; I had some of those the other day. The most frugal meal is egg and chips with salad or vegetables; it tastes good and costs less than a £1.00. I cooked soup last night and that is waiting in the fridge for me to heat it up for lunch; it has loads of chicken and vegetables in and I suppose it’s more like a stew. It is very frugal anyway. I think tomorrow, I may do stir fried rice with chicken and vegetables. I had sardines, chips, broccoli and salad last night. The oily fish is loaded with vitamins and goodies that are essential to good health. Incidentally, the lecithin in eggs impedes the absorption of cholesterol which is handy.
Learning to cook a decent meal isn’t difficult; it ain’t rocket science! It can save you a fortune though and be a lot healthier than eating out. The fries that are served in many fast food places are loaded with fat; it is usually vegetable in origin and so low cholesterol but high in calories. I cooked my super soup yesterday; quite easily. I fried my chicken in a little sunflower oil, added some diced potato and then just kept adding vegetables. I use whatever I have but like to add white cabbage, a tin of carrots, frozen broccoli and I also added some frozen mixed vegetables. The mixed vegetables were peas, carrots, green beans and sweet corn. Then the herbs are added; thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley, oregano and basil; they come mixed and I just add a couple of heaped teaspoons. To bring out the flavour I add tomato puree, then pour on chicken or vegetable stock; cook it for an hour topping up with stock occasionally and that’s it. I nearly forgot add salt and black pepper to taste. It is loaded with vitamins and balanced so there are fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. It also has tryptophan to help you cope with the stress and depress of modern life. To absorb the tryptophan you need fructose but that is in the potato and other veggies. The egg and chips is loaded with tryptophan; writers need all the brain food we can get. If you really want to look after your brain and nervous system eat sardines or some other oily fish at least once a week and of course 5 portions of fruit and veggies a day.
Check for prices online
At my local supermarket here in England (a part of Wal-Mart) I found apples were £1 for a bag containing around 700g. They say ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ and apples have some good vitamins in a of course fructose. The root vegetable pack is ideal for soups, stews and casseroles and that was £1.00 too for 1Kg of veggies. Iceberg lettuce wasn’t the cheapest but it keeps well and tastes delicious and a side salad is so healthy! Of course when people are in hospital it’s traditional to take grapes. They were nearly £5 a Kg but buy two packs and they were 20% off so if you have a friend who needs a pack, you can save 20% – form a little personal co-operative!
6 cans of chopped tomatoes was also on special offer and so was tomato ketchup and so it’s worth stocking up while they are on offer. I had tinned carrots for my super soup!
More Frugal Friday tips coming soon; please comment…