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Posts tagged “Zopa

Thrifty Thursday: Halloween preparations

The Aldi super-six this week are chantenay carrots (500g), parsnips (600g), cauliflower, leeks (500g), mild onions (4 pack) and baking potatoes (4 pack). They are all 69p. Those offers continue until next Wednesday.



Thrifty ideas to make you richer

The Aldi super-six this week are salad potatoes (1 Kg), chestnut mushrooms, fun-size pears (8 pack), plums (400g), fun-size apples (7) and pineapple. They are all 69p each and the offers end next Wednesday, 9th of October. There will be new offers on Thursday. I went to Aldi yesterday. I had some of those salad potatoes and cooked them with a fresh chicken and broccoli for dinner. Yummy…


Investments update

If you’re a regular reader then you know I opened an account with Zopa in 2011. It doesn’t make me a fortune, but the return has been more than from the banks. The current return for investing over 3 years is about 4.5% after fees. On the savings the average household in the UK has, that’s about £90 a year.


Surviving the cuts

A lot of people are going to be struggling because of government cuts. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, will keep benefit rises to 1% for three years from next April. This will hit a lot of people and save the government a couple of billion a year. That’s a lot of money. Not as much as the 12 billions the Olympics cost, but still a lot of money.


Looking for thrifty bargains

UK Money

The Aldi Super-six this week are pineapples, conference pears (6), Kiwis (8), granny smiths (6), oranges (6) and plums (500 grams) all at 69p each.  There are special buys today and on Sunday too. I think I’ll look at the appliance bulbs, the one in my fridge needs replacing. Other bargains this week include those at Matalan, they have some half price offers. I went on Sunday, there was a long queue at the checkout and the car park was packed.


There is more money, but are you getting your fair share?

Money - Seeing the future

News from over the pond in the USA this week was that the rich have increased their wealth by around 15% in the past year. That doesn’t surprise me, the rich are getting richer all over the world. Governments print more money and it disappears. Are you getting your share? Or are you even worse off?


Finance Friday | luck of the draw

Money - Seeing the future

Next Friday there is a Euro-millions draw and although the odds of winning the jackpot are over 100 million to one; we have a better chance in the UK Millionaire raffle. That will be creating 100 new millionaires next week and the odds are better. I think I will buy a ticket for that! I might be lucky! (more…)

Finance Friday | Frugal living

Money - Seeing the future

I edited a guest blog earlier by Fairy Dharawat about how we buy things habitually and how that tendency can be used to merchandise more successfully.  How can we resist the attempts by the larger retailers to persuade us to buy more, when we are trying to buy less and save? We can be aware that we do get into habits and buy the same things every week. Some retailers change their stores around a lot and we complain because we can’t find anything or because our shopping takes longer. We have to actually think instead of buying by force of habit. I went shopping the other day and I have got into the habit of buying a soft drink when I enter the store, but it wasn’t there. They had replaced it with cider and so I didn’t buy any. The changes can be more subtle and clever though and we do end up spending more money. (more…)

Investments | Death or Glory!

Money - Seeing the future

Premier Foods

Premier Foods went up for a third straight day on Tuesday, climbing 11.5 per cent to 17p after Investec Securities recommended the stock as a “death or glory” gamble. It has since fallen and is back at 16p but I’m happy with it’s progress. I bought at 4p last October and the “death or glory” description sums up my attitude not just to this investment, but to all my investments! Different people have different approaches to risk. Someone with a family to support would be more averse to risk than me. I only have myself to worry about and I take calculated risks. I have to admit, that it’s fun when it all goes right. (more…)

Investments | Zopa, ISA’s and other investments


Average or Typical?

I read that averages earning in the UK is around 25,000 and average savings per household is about 3,000; but these aren’t typical. Tell this to someone on a supermarket checkout earning minimum wage and they feel a bit hard done by! 3,000 pounds in savings is beyond many people and just a dream. I encourage people to be thrifty and frugal so that you can save, but what do you invest it in then? I like Zopa (Zone Of Possible Agreement) because it’s relatively low risk and you can get returns above the rate of inflation. (more…)

A midweek ramble…



I described this building in yesterday’s blog as a church. It does look like a church! I zoomed in on that coat of arms over the door, it says Tipton free library. Oops, it’s a library. It doesn’t appear to be in use, though. That would be a shame for such an amazing building not to be used. That is typical of Victorian architecture, even though it was built at the beginning of the 20th century. (more…)

Thrifty | Buying the basics


Christmas is over

Yes, Christmas is over and many people are counting the cost and it’s time to go back to basics. No luxuries in  January for many people because money is short! So we have to shop around a little and stop buying luxuries and spend less where ever we can; even on food. I went to Lidl in search of bargains on Sunday. I can eat chicken and chips for every meal and so the chicken drumsticks at £1.99 a kilo were a good bargain. The ones from Asda have  a lot more meat on them but are £3.50 a kilo even if you buy two packs for £7.00. I get a little annoyed at having to buy two packs of everything in Asda to get a reasonable price. Things that I can freeze aren’t so bad, but fruit tends to go off. (more…)

Frugal Friday | Read the ingredients

Junk in Junk food

Wheat Flour, Water, Whole Meal Wheat Flour, Rye Flour, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower), Sugar, Baking Agent (includes Emulsifying Agent (Sodium Stearoyl-2-lactylate), Wheat Swell Flour, Dextrose), Yeast, Salt, Malt Extract (Barley Malt Extract, Water). Chicken (60%), Coating [Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil (Rapeseed), Water, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Salt, Yeast), Maize Starch, Egg Albumen (Free Range Egg), Pepper, Potato Starch, Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt, Dried Parsley, Natural Flavouring (contains Milk, Mustard), Ground White Pepper, Milk Protein, Mustard Flour, Stabiliser (Methyl Cellulose), Colours (Capsanthin, Curcumin), Ground Red Pepper, Celery Seed], Water, Potato Starch, Natural Flavourings, Yeast Extract Powder, Salt, Ground White Pepper, Anti-caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Emulsifier (Polysorbate 80). Prepared in the restaurants using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Water, Vegetable Oil (Soya Bean or Rapeseed Oil) (38%), Free Range Egg Yolk (4%), Modified Maize Starch, Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Mustard Flour, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Lemon Juice Concentrate. 100% Batavia Lettuce.

The above list is the junk (ingredients) that go into a ‘chicken burger’ at a well known fast food ‘restaurant’.

This is the ingredients if I cook chicken, chips and peas – Chicken, potato, sunflower oil and garden peas. My meal is not only healthier, it’s very much cheaper. (more…)

Thrifty Thursday 14

Money - Seeing the future

Thrifty or Frugal ?

Being thrifty is spending your money wisely and being frugal is using what you buy wisely! I bought vegetables, chicken and herbs at Lidl on Sunday, that was thrifty. I made soup with them yesterday; that was frugal! (more…)

Money | Peer to peer lending

Money - Seeing the future

According to research by one in four workers in Britain are using 40% or more of their wages to pay off debt. The total debts are more than £9 billion and the average payment is £322 per person each month. You may be able to consolidate debts with a loan from Zopa. If you have a good credit rating the interest rate from Zopa might be less than on your loans or credit card debt. Another option is to transfer credit card debt to a interest free card, a number of banks are doing good deals now and up to 20 months interest free. If you need help with debt try the Consumer Credit Counselling Service. (more…)

Thrifty Thursday 13

Money - Seeing the future

Live for today!

People tell me to ‘live for today’ and spend my money. I have been careful and now have the money to pay cash for things and so I don’t need to pay that extra £50 for the privilege of paying my car insurance monthly. I don’t go for ‘interest free credit’ because I know the interest is included in the price. I don’t like contracts because it’s a pain to read all that small print and that’s where the scam usually is! (more…)

Frugal Friday | Saving on interest

Vauxhall Vectra LS


I have started with a picture of my car, now 14 years old. A smaller car would be cheaper to run but the depreciation on my car has been around £350 a year over a 7 year period. It’s still in quite good condition and I expect it to last a few more years so depreciation will be even less in the longer term.  I checked my fuel consumption today and it was about 6 miles to a litre of petrol; I could do better! It was 7.5 on a Sunday. (more…)

Money | Investments


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…)