[Money] Frugal Things That Have Made Me Happy This Week

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Using up leftovers from the Lamb  joint to make curry. Yummy.

Getting a Blow Dry for £5 from a junior overseen by a senior stylist at my regular salon.

Meeting friends for lunch.  I thought I was just going to her house but received a  text saying she would meet me at a local pub for an all day breakfast for £4.95 which includes tea or coffee and finished off by using the word “bargain”.  I wasn’t happy initially as I had just paid £5 for my hair and £4 for my bus fare that day but reluctantly went to the cashpoint and withdrew another £10, so mixed emotions really although it  made a nice change and was a very good breakfast.

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Free perfume samples.  These always come in handy. I pop them in my bag, ideal for freshening up if you are out and don’t want to carry a bottle of scent, plus it’s a great way to try fragrances you may not have had before.

A friend arriving with tulips.  I love tulips and is my first bunch this year.

Oh and you know the holiday I told you about in my last post, well it turns out hubby used some of our Avios points and got £72 off our BA return journey which only cost us £63 in total to get home in addition to our £32.99 each to fly out! Funny how he forgot to tell me about this and I know we have to wait until the end of August for our getaway but with this awful weather, all I can think about is sunshine, beaches and laying round the pool!

Have a safe weekend and I hope you haven’t been too badly affected by our adverse weather  conditions.  I really wish me and the kids were going somewhere warm for half term but sadly not!

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January Spend, Lessons Learned And Frugal February

 

Food:- £231.27.  Not bad for a family of four. My greatest success was last Sundays pork joint feeding us for three days and a couple of late night supermarket trips where I picked up lots of veggies which were made into soups etc

Utilities – Key Meters:- Gas: £70.00. Electricity £95.00. Always trying to be careful with our gas and electricity costs and consumption. Shame the rest of the family aren’t so good at it! Roll on summer when these costs will go down considerably! I know that the washing machine and tumble dryer use the bulk of the monthly costs but I refuse point blank to have wet washing hanging around the house after once reading it was bad for your lungs! I only dry things on an airer that can’t be tumbled dried as I always read the labels in an effort to look after our clothes.

Socialising:- £16.20. Lunch out with friends at a Brewers Fayre where meals were 2 for £10 and a top up Diet Pepsi was £2.35.  A bite to eat and drink last Sunday night at a local pub where my bar meal was £4.95 and I spent £3.90 on drinks.

Other:- £57.59. I bought two No7 Protect and Perfect gift sets in the Boots 70% off sale £4.80 each reduced from £16..  I bought 10 birthday cards for £1 in an effort to never get caught without a card! I bought a birthday card for a relatives birthday and put £10 in it.  I get my hair hi-lighted roughly every six weeks and that cost me £36 including blow dry.

Lessons Learned

Food: More than happy with the amount spent and the quality of food we eat. Will take advantage of half price meat deals in an effort to get more out of a roast dinner.

Utilities: Actually astonished by the gas and electricity costs, lets see how I can get it down for Frugal February.

Socialising: Very happy with the amount spent. I don’t go out often so there will be months with a zero spend.

Frugal February has kicked off with two no spend days so far and enough on the meters to last us a good few days yet!

How is your Frugal February going?

[Food] One Pork Joint, Three Tasty Dinners

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I took advantage of the Sainsburys half price on pork joints offer last week and had a delicious roast on Sunday with plenty of leftovers, enough in fact to recreate two tasty dinners.

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First up was the meal I had seen on the Sainsburys TV advert using pork leftovers from their “Live Well  For Less” campaign here.  Upon first looking at the recipe I thought it actually took an awful lot of ingredients, so could work out costly if you didn’t have the items already in the fridge, but luckily for me I did have a butternut squash and two leeks. I didn’t have any pearl barley so substituted this with red lentils.

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The recipe says to use any leftover green veg, I had cauliflower and broccoli but to be honest you could use carrots if you didn’t have or want to buy a butternut squash.

I think it’s important to tweak the recipes to the items you already have in the store cupboard/fridge and not spend out buying anything in,  as this defeats the object of saving money.  I only needed 300g of pork for this and had the same amount if not a little more, left for another meal.

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I toyed with the idea of buying an uncut loaf and making sandwiches with the remaining meat, a bit of pickle and all is well with the world.

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But instead I made the curry or “fry” as it is described, which I have featured in my leftovers page here.

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I had all the ingredients required in the house already, except a green chilli, but I had red so used one of those instead.  Upon eating, it made me realise how quick and easy it is to make something that is actually authentic and packed full of flavour.  It’s just herbs, spices, tomatoes and meat, so from a calorific point of view this can’t possibly be fattening, nor can the Sainsburys leftover pork recipe as it’s just veg, meat and stock, so both these meals get a thumbs up from me and they went down well with the family too!

One joint of pork costing £6.95 fed  a family of four three times this week and bearing in mind that both these dinners can be made using any left over meat, I look forward to finding a half price on lamb deal!

Have you had any tasty meals using leftovers this week?