Sunday, 26 January 2014

Quick foodie post

Once again I hit the yellow sticker jackpot on Wednesday night.  It was a really wet evening so they started early.  As well as the above I got a large parsley pot for 10p and Smarties cookies reduced to 20p (for the sweet toothed family members!)

Here was Thursday's lunch.  I added my last mug of turkey soup from the freezer and some oatcakes.

I've been living out of the freezer this month as I'm getting home late from school and am too tired (and sick!!) to cook.  But a quick recce this morning has revealed empty shelves.  Eek!! Need to get it stocked up again with some batch cooking and bargains. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

With help from my mum

I had a lovely visit from my mum today.  I'm now into the 6th week of this rotten filthy cold and struggling a bit with lots of things.  I'm managing work but very little else is being done.  Look at the next 2 wee mice she's knitted for my class!!  A Scottish knight and a jester who has his own wee tiny jester puppet!!!
She had also cleared out her cupboard of paper and card.  Lots of lovely free craft stuff for my wee ones to use.  Paper in schools is very expensive and infants use a LOT!!!!

We also dismantled an old single bed and took it to the recycling centre.  It was a lot easier than dismantling my old sofa.  LOL!!!  We moved another bed and built a third.  Slowly getting things done but without my mum's help nothing would have been done this weekend.

I've done a little bit of clothes shopping.  I got a warm ski jacket on eBay for 99p.  I don't need top of the range stuff, I'm just a beginner so that'll do me nicely.  I also got some salopettes (padded trousers with braces really!) for £4.99.  Haven't got them yet but I'll be happy with them at that price :-)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A wee bit of good news

I'm a very lucky girl!  Today I heard that my short term contract has been changed into a long term one.  This means I'm going to be working in the same school until next January! :-)  This means I don't have to move between schools to keep working which is what short term supply involves. It means financial security for the next 12 months.  How brilliant is that?? 

In order to save as much as I can I'm using up leftovers for lunch.  Remember those bargain veggies?  I made soup with some bendy carrots, the celery, lettuce leaves and peppers.  Carrot and celery batons with egg mayo, pepper and tomatoes and satsumas on the side.

Next day was leftover chicken with sweet chilli sauce with more carrots/peppers/celery and soup.

Yum! Leftover lunches needn't be boring.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Of mice and kings

As much as I'm loving my job atm I am soooo glad it's the weekend!  Going to work in the dark staying indoors all day and then coming home in the dark has made it a long week.  So it was with great glee I went on a long muddy dog walk under a clear blue sky this morning.  It felt good to be outside for a few hours. 

On my return the postie had left me a parcel with these wee adorable Alan Dart medieval mice.  My class starts a new topic next week on 'Who lives in a castle?' Stirling is celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and all local schools are taking part in a very special project.  Each infant class is looking at a different aspect so we're all trying to find different approaches to stimulate discussion and activities (senior pupils are looking at the historical facts of the battle etc)  My lovely mum (herself a retired Head teacher) has knitted these in leftover yarn from other projects for my kids to play with and hopefully learn something. For example, in 1314 peasants were not allowed to wear bright colours, only the nobles could wear red and purple.  Beautifully illustrated by the wee mice :-) The crowns have wee beads knitted into them and the peasant has a basket on his back filled with red berries!!

This afternoon the Teenager and I had a ski lesson, a Christmas present from OH.  It was awesome!! On the way home I scored some reduced veg at Waitrose.  Organic peppers reduced to 10p a pack so 6 for 30p.  I also got 4 Little Gem lettuces reduced to 10p, 2 celery hearts reduced to 10p and a tub of smoked salmon pate for 15p

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Back to work

Back to work tomorrow, that's the first time I've said that for 5 years!  Thanks to feeling so poorly for the full 2 weeks all my big plans for doing stuff to the house have gone out the window.  Ah well!  But I have spent time thinking and planning.  I re wrote my About Me page (linky at top of blog) which helped clarify what I want/need to do with this opportunity of returning to paid work.  In a nutshell, I have no pension other than a tiny one with a few years worth of part time teaching contributions.  So my reason for working is simply to build up savings for my retirement.  I have potentially 20 years of teaching in me so could put away enough for a decent retirement. Simple when I look at it now.

In my internet wanderings I came across this beautiful necklace with the Latin phrase alis volat propriis.  The English translation is She flies with her own wings.  I thought this summed up beautifully what I want to do with my life.  Having a little bit of Christmas money left I decided to buy it (changing the pearl for a red crystal as I don't do pearls).  Can't wait for it to arrive :-)

Remember my black fridge freezer?  I'm delighted to say that it's fully operational and already filled with lots of home made ready meals and supermarket bargains.

I had a voucher for £15 off a supermarket delivery worth £60 so bought 1.5kg of steak mince and 2kg frozen (British) chicken breast pieces.  The mince became 6 cottage pies, 6 portions of taco mince and 6 Burritos.  Half of the chicken became 6 generous portions of chicken in white wine casserole using up leftover half bottle of wine from Christmas Day and a load of veg lurking in the fridge. The other half is still to be cooked.

There are also 7 portions of turkey soup and 4 portions of basic risotto, all portioned up perfectly for me to take for lunch.  There's a microwave in the staff room so 2 weeks of cheap lunches ahead!

Today's plan is to make some pizza dough (if I can dig out my breadmaker!!) and a vat of tomato sauce so the Teenager has pizzas on hand.

Hopefully I'll get everything done and be tucked up in my wee bed by half ten tonight, ready for that 6.10am alarm tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Being ill on a budget

I guess it was inevitable that I'd come down with something over the holidays. It will take a few months for my immune system to get used to kiddie bugs again so once this nasty sucker dies off I'll be taking preventative measures.  But for now it's hot honey and lemon, cold and flu capsules and a cough syrup.

Because of the holidays everywhere has been closed so my supply of basic medicines was very run down.  I  popped out to the supermarket earlier and stocked up, all own brands of course.  But just to compare I made a note of the prices compared to the big brand names sitting beside them on the same shelf!

Cold and flu capsules £1.60 v £3.50 (Lemsip)
Paracetamol 25p v £1 (Nurofen)
Chesty cough syrup £1.30 v £4.20 (Benylin)
Sinus relief capsules 55p v £3.50 (Sudafed)
Ibuprofen 25p v £2 (Nurofen)

Huge savings so worth shopping around for good prices and always look at the label for the active ingredient.  If in doubt ask the pharmacist, they're very good at suggesting cheaper alternatives.

We're very lucky to have free access to medical care here in the UK and in Scotland everyone gets free prescriptions (although technically we pay our taxes for it) so being ill isn't a financial strain like it can be in other countries.

And just to point out on a legal note, you can only buy 32 tablets at a time.  I had to make 4 separate transactions to buy the above

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

I do love the thought of a shiny new year, starting afresh.  And if I weren't so full of a rotten stinking cold I'd be out there seizing the day instead of wrapped up on my sofa!!

Ah well, there's always tomorrow.

I've updated my About Me page so any new readers can find out more about me.

Happy New Year everyone :-) xxx