Saturday, 19 August 2017

Another Lovely Trip Out !

Trustee business took me to the lovely East Sussex village of West Dean yesterday. Beautiful tiny village, so close to the sea hidden away in the fold of the South Downs. This is a gorgeous spot which people so often rush through on the way to the channel ports. I was lucky and the warm sun came out and it felt like there was nowhere better to be.

The village has a wonderful 12th Century church.

Even a white horse cut into the chalk just above the village. I can thoroughly recommend the forest walks too if the downs are a bit windy, which they were yesterday !

Friday, 18 August 2017

Frugal Friday

A quieter frugal week this week as MrShoestring and I were both away at different times visiting family and friends. We still did all the normal little things, which is just as well, as yesterday we got an enormous repair bill for the car ! We are driving to Italy next week and as the car is over 8 years old we thought that we better get it checked out. I've broken down in Italy in August before and did not want to repeat all that trauma and expense ! Anyway, 3 new tyres, several suspension things, a CVS joint and the brake fluid needed replaced before they said that it would be safe to drive across the Alps ! Fortunately, we do have car repair savings which paid for it all, but we have the savings because of all the little things we do every week, the sorts of things which are listed below !

I ordered cheaper Vitamin B12 capsules instead of just buying them at Holland and Barrett, I paid the same price but got 250 capsules instead of 100. We picked early apples, blackberries, the last of the blueberries, cucumber, courgettes, marrow and tomatoes. I made chutney with the marrow and some of the apples, it smelled amazing !

We also made bread, tortillas, rolls, soup, tomato sauce, iced ginger cake, date and apple flapjack cake, fajitas and pizza. We painted all the woodwork on the outside using trade quality paint ourselves. This paint is expensive but lasts, which means we have to paint less frequently. I weeded the driveway and out down cheap salt instead of weedkiller to stop them growing back.

I got a free dental check-up using our tax credit exemption card and re-used some aluminium foil. I downloaded some free ebooks for the Kindle and renewed books at the library online rather than driving in specially to do that. We enjoyed a couple of films using MissShoestring's Netflix subscription rather than going out !

I hope that you had a great week too !

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Every Penny


Every penny counts ! That is certainly true for those of us living on a shoestring and is the name of Kate Singh's new e-book which is available for download for free this week on Amazon ! It is not a book of tips or a schedule for thrifty bill payment but rather an autobiographical fragment which shows how she gradually matures in handling money.

The book is USA based and so some of the information about house buying does not apply here in Europe, but what I find so encouraging about this story is that she shows it is never too late to get to a better place and writes in a very warm and encouraging tone.

The whole book is a like a lovely chat with Kate across the fence and if you are feeling a bit down or worn-out with all your penny pinching I thoroughly recommend this gentle, quick read for helping you feel encouraged once more !

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Date and Apple Flapjack Cake

This is a cross between flapjack and cake and used up some of our vast quantity of dates and some early apples yesterday. Needless to say, it was all eaten by the evening !

4oz dairy free margarine
4tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
7oz oats
4ox self-raising flour
5 ox chopped dates
3 grated apples

Melt the margarine and honey together in a pan over a slow heat. Whilst it is melting grate the apples and put together with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a 12in by 8 in pan. Once the margarine has melted mix in to the rat of the ingredients and press into the pan. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool in the pan before slicing and eating !!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Spending a Penny !

I was a bit shocked yesterday to be asked for 20p to spend a penny at Bourton on the Water ! It was lucky that I had some change in my purse and was able to help out an American family who only had large notes ! I had forgotten that tourist hotspots often charge to visit their conveniences !

The picture above directs you to one of the few free public lavatories in the Cotswalds, at Chipping Camden and there is a handy website to let you know how much it will cost elsewhere !

Other ideas to spend a penny for free are to use service stations on the motorway and use the facilities in coffee shops and pubs that you stop at. The whole event reminded me that often in Europe you have to pay and that I better make sure we have some small Euro coins for our arrival in Belgium, as there even the motorway service stations charge !

Monday, 14 August 2017

A trip to see friends

Off to the lovely Cotswold village of Bourton on the Water today to visit with friends. We are going to walk along the lovely river there.

Possibly, have a paddle !

Keeping costs low by arriving once the free parking starts and bringing our own flasks and snacks !

Enjoy your day too !

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Easy Marrow Chutney

MrShoestring found the first marrow this weekend and since we already have plenty of courgettes in the freezer and marrow jam needs pectin I decided to use what I had and make a batch of chutney. This is very easy and tastes good after being left in the cupboard awhile.

11/2 kg marrow
225g onion
225g apple
225g sultanas
1tsp ginger or piece of ginger
225g demerara sugar
850ml malt vinegar
12 black peppercorns

Chop up the marrow and remove the seeds and skin, cover the chopped pieces with salt to draw out the water and leave for 12 hours.; Then rinse off the salt. Chop up the apples, onions and ginger (if using, but I find powder works fine too). Place in a big saucepan along with the marrow and other ingredients. Tie the peppercorns in muslin and add to the mixture. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the mixture is thick. Remove the peppercorns and wait 10 minutes until the mixture has cooled a bit before bottling in sterilised jars.

This is good with cold meats and cheeses.