Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Carboot bargains!

Hi everyone!

This I what I got from the carboot sale...

Books for Daisy 


These lovely retro books only 10p each! 

There wasn't much in the way of clothes this week :(

Dolly clothes for Daisy...these are mainly hand knitted and another bit of retro loveliness!

Not sure if this is 1960s or 1970s (Dee can you help me here?) anyway I love it! I just wish the teapot had been there too. It is Pontesa...The Young Range...Ironstone...Made in Spain. Have a guess how much I paid for this lovely set...

Finally some toys for Daisy...all very much appreciated!

Has anyone else been carbooting yet this season?

Mandy x

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Trying something new...

Hi everyone!

It's been a busy household here...still decluttering and enjoying the feeling it brings. Our favourite carboot sale begins again on Saturday and I have a plan! I've been jotting down all the things I need to look out for and not entertaining impulsive buys! There are things that we need and I can pick them up much cheaper here but I don't want to undo all of my hard work. 

There has been a lot of cooking going on here too. I have been meal planning with new recipes as I talked about in my last post and this is working well. Here are a few of those meals...

Pasta bake



The beginnings of bubble and squeak!

Chicken pie

Cheesy leek, bacon and potato bake

Rock cakes

Bacon and tomato bake (we didn't like this one)

Pork chops with a creamy chive sauce and caramelised carrots 

Not cooked by me!!! My Mother's Day treat ;)

Now I need to concentrate on baking more. Lemon sponge is planned for today. 

Mandy x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Making changes and preparing for spring!

Hi everyone and sorry for my lack of blog posts. I have been so busy, but also haven't felt that I have anything to share with you. I have been cooking from scratch and baking as usual but nothing new really. The decluttering has been so important as I'm already seeing the benefits...I love to see a clear work top! I still have more to do (trying to rid myself of the feeling that I should keep things just-in-case). I do recycle...I'm not just binning things!! I'm working towards the nicer weather when we will be outside nearly all day (lots of plans for the garden too) so I need to be in a position that my housework is done quickly in the morning so we can make the most of the sunshine.  We go out now, but not for long because it gets so cold. 

So basically I've put some changes in place so I can be more organised. Before I tell you about my first change, here are some snippets of our recent thriftiness...

I haven't had my hair cut for over a year! Last weekend Charlotte cut and coloured it for me (I haven't got a photo of it now but will ask someone to help me there!) I bought a box dye from the supermarket when on offer, so my new look only cost me £4. She went on to give me a facial, manicure and did my make-up...so good to be pampered! 

Cornflake cakes...simple but a great treat! We had these as part of our living room picnic tea on Sunday. Daisy was in charge of the arrangements :)

I got a lovely joint of pork last week when on offer and it did two meals...Sunday roast 

then cold on Monday with bubble and squeak.

I put my washing out on Sunday and have been getting two loads dry a day ever since. It feels too cold outside but it has been drying well. I hate having laundry in the house so this makes me happy!

On Tuesday we made playdough. So simple and so much fun. 

While in a crafty mood, I found some bits and bobs for Daisy to stick with. I always cut pictures out of magazines and comics after reading them. I save old pots to use for pva glue too. I buy crafting supplies cheaply from Wilkos or the Works so we always have a stash. Old foil dishes make good containers and  the blue bowl contains old packaging. Thrifty and resourceful but using up what we have.

Ok, so my first change is the way I shop and meal plan...

Previously, I would look at what I've got and plan around that.

Now I am going through my huge amount of recipes and buying only what I need. I still have a few stock cupboard staples for emergency meals though. This has helped my kitchen cupboards...I now can see what I have instantly. There is no risk of things getting out of date too. 

In order to declutter my recipes, I decided to go through them week by week, chucking what I know we won't eat anymore and testing out the others. I will put my meal plan up if anyone is interested??? This is the sort of thing I mean...

As I've shown you before, this is full of recipes...

My recipes date back to my Home Economics lessons in the 1980s!! 

Most recipes have been cut out of magazines in years gone by.

The little box is full of clippings and above  is a folder with recent finds. I pick up the free magazines in the supermarket...these are always good for seasonal recipes.

If we like a recipe, it is transferred into a new folder that is divided into cooking and baking categories. I hope to be able to reduce my recipes by half at least. 

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x