Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Thrifty tip...collect recipes and meal ideas

Thrifty tip number 2:

Collect recipes and meal ideas.

I have been cooking and baking since I was a child. I have collected many recipes along the way. I am lucky and I own quite a lot of cookery books, but I don't stop at that! For years I have been cutting recipes out of magazines and jotting them down as I find them. I use recipes from TV programmes and off the internet too. I have worked my way through many books!

Years ago I collected a Gary Rhodes  recipe collection. I think it was weekly and I had it put by for me at my local shop. When I looked at it recently, I realised that I hardly look at it or cook from it, so I got rid of all the recipes I would never cook ever. There were many different binders and I reduced it to one file. 

My odd scraps of paper jottings and magazine cuttings first went into this a4 book

Then when this became full...

This was a present from my lovely son x

Then I started to fill this a5 pad I had spare...

It's upside down??? Not sure how that happened!

The next is just for meat recipes...

This one is just for baking...

Finally, my daughter bought me this recipe book and I've almost filled it too. I am on the lookout for my next book now.

Collecting recipes is a thrifty tip because you can make your own book even if you can't afford to buy recipe books. 

You could also borrow cookery books to try out from the library before you actually buy one. 

I also pick them up really cheap from carboot  sales. I sell on the ones I don't use for pennies too, hopefully helping someone out, so they can have a go at cooking from scratch. 

Does anyone else make their own cookbooks?

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Friday, 24 January 2014

New sewing goodies...

First a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to comment and make me feel better about continuing with my blog. 

Thank you also for the birthday wishes.

I had a lovely evening... My son was working, but his girlfriend came round to have tea with us. My lovely hubby went to the chip shop because he doesn't think I should have to cook on my birthday. Not thrifty, I know, but it's one day... Oh but it will be two days because Ashley had to work yesterday, they are coming round this evening for an Indian takeaway ...not at all thrifty...oops! 

They bought me some lovely sewing goodies...

I can't wait to get started in my new sewing room. 

That's it for today, but a special thanks to my bloggy friends:

Frugal in Bucks

I do really appreciate your support xxx

Mandy x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

It's my birthday

Sorry I've not been around much lately. I came very close to stopping blogging altogether, but have reconsidered. I sometimes feel like I'm talking to myself and I don't want this to be an online diary for myself. I'm feeling uninspired  to carry on at the moment. 

On a more positive note, I am planning to start a new blog where I simply talk about my bakes and makes. My sewing room is nearly ready and I'm back doing what I love...baking.

Oh yes...and it's my birthday. I was given some lovely books by my wonderful hubby and Daisy...

More Mary berry delights to try and a quilting book to begin a new hobby. I'm a lucky lady! Also a bedtime read... A bit of social history. I love the 1950s.

Daisy and I have been baking (sorry no photos...I'm not allowed) and she loved it!  

You can follow me on Instagram mandymand95 if you're interested. Thank you Sara, I love your photos, always up to fun things x

I will of course let you know what my plans are when I have decided.

Mandy x

Monday, 13 January 2014

Thrifty tip... Use up every last drop

Hi everyone, not much to say at the moment, so I thought I would start sharing my thrifty tips and ways.

Thrifty tip number 1:

Use up every last drop

This means from any bottle, jar, tin or tube. I turn my sauce bottles upside down, I add a little water to tinned tomatoes to swill out what's left, I add water to the end of shampoo/conditioner/shower gel/anti-bacterial soap/washing-up liquid bottles, I cut open tubes of toothpaste or creams to scrape out every last bit. All of these containers end up in the recycling box completely empty so nothing is wasted. 

You have paid for a whole bottle, tin, jar or tube, so it's worth spending a little time getting at it all.


My meal planning has gone well and we've had some really tasty meals from my new Mary berry book. I've also done a little bit of baking...

Homemade coleslaw 

Fish pie 

That's it for now, but you can find me on Instagram mandymand95

Thanks for reading 

Mandy xx

Monday, 6 January 2014

Meal plans for the next two weeks...

Hi everyone, I'm using my iPhone to blog today. I hope it turns out ok! 

Yesterday we went shopping. We have plenty of food and I actually properly meal planned from my Mary berry cookbook. The following meals are not in any order or for any particular day. I decide the evening before what I want to cook the following day. I am led by what needs using up first, especially with fresh ingredients. So here are the 14 meals: 

Quiche and beans
Fish pie and peas
Fish cakes, wedges and beans
Roast chicken etc etc...
Chicken pie and veg
Coq au vin, dauphinois potatoes and veg
Tandoori chicken, rice and veg curry
Beef casserole, mash/dumplings 
Burgers, wedges, onion rings, sweet corn and hm coleslaw
Sausage, mustard mash, veg and onion gravy
Lamb chops, mash and veg/cheese and potato pie 
Veg lasagne and salad
Macaroni cheese, salad and French bread
Bacon and mushroom risotto 

I also plan to start making puddings even if only ice cream, because I can then reduce portion sizes of the more expensive potatoes but still fill everyone up. I have lots of puddings in my cupboards that I've been to lazy to make.

I will post recipes if requested by you.

To see photos of our daily life, please follow me on Instagram mandymand95.

Thanks for reading

Mandy x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Hopes and aspirations...

Happy New Year!

I hope you are all well and had a lovely Christmas.

Our Christmas was a little different to usual - it was just Daisy, my OH and me here on Christmas Day. When I got my turkey out to defrost, I discovered that it contained milk in the vegetable oil flavouring. This obviously upset me because Daisy couldn't eat it. Why did they need to do that? It wasn't even butter, but milk. So we didn't have a proper dinner :-(
Daisy had scrambled egg and beans and we had a turkey and stuffing sandwich. The whole day was strange and didn't feel like Christmas. Father Christmas did visit a very special little girl though and it took her several days to open all of her presents.
Boxing Day was better with my son, his girlfriend and Charlotte...Daisy loved the attention!

One thing I need to tell you is that Charlotte gave me an iphone 4s for Christmas and you can now find me on instagram. Just search mandymand95 and you'll have more chance of seeing photos on there than on my blog!

Right...2014...my hopes and aspirations...

I'm not making resolutions that I will fail to keep, I'm just chipping away at the parts of my life that I'm not happy with. I've got to realise that there's no point in feeling sorry for myself, I need to make changes for the better. I will not be talking about YKW, but I will focus on the future and try to make good things happen in 2014.

This year has to be all about positive thinking...I need to examine every aspect of my day-to-day life and how I run my home. My two main themes are saving money and establishing good routines...

Saving money - if we can save lots of money, we can finish renovating our house and move to a new area, not far away, but away from bad memories and people that used to be part of my family. This will hopefully mean a fresh new start for us, with new friends.

I will need to go back to some of my old ways and habits to save money where I can. I looked back at the beginning of my blog and I was doing much better than I am now. My blog is now 3 years old!!! I also need to learn new skills and actually use them, instead of just taking notes!

I can make money by continuing my carboot sales and by controlling any spending. The easiest area to change is our food shop which includes toiletries, baby stuff, cleaning and household items. I need to meal plan, waste nothing, stock up with approved food and make substitutions where possible. Some things will simply have to disappear for now because moving is more important.

Routines - to be able to save money in some areas, I need more time, so that's where routines come in. A tidy, uncluttered house makes it much quicker to clean, so the declutter continues and everything needs a home so it can be put away. I need lots of storage ideas and some throwing out sessions.

I need routine to keep up with the laundry and housework.
I need to take over the evening jobs my OH does around the house to free his time up for the house improvements. If I get more done during the day, I will have time for this.

To help with the happiness and positive thinking, I will learn new hobbies and create wonderful things for our home. My sewing room will be ready soon. I will read more and more and make time for myself. I started to keep a diary yesterday...I hope it will help me to reflect and get stuff off my chest when I feel stressed.

So what does this all mean for my blog???

Well, I will be sharing my tips with you and telling you how I'm getting on. I feel that I have learnt enough now about being thrifty and would like to share it properly. Some of it may not be relevant to everyone because it will be baby related, but each thing I do to save money will be posted here.

I will try to blog as much as possible, but I will be spending less time searching for frugal ideas on the internet because I need more hours in my day.

It's the thought that people are interested and reading that boosts my motivation, so please continue to read, comment and follow me on my thrifty journey to a new home.

Mandy x