Sunday, August 27, 2017

F is for Frugality

Frugality - the quality of being economical with money or food; thriftiness.

We really like saving money or making money we spend go further. We like the philosophy of making do instead of buying more and we don't like things to be wasted. Here's a list of things we do to try save our money. 

1. Menu Planning

We've done this for a few years now and it cuts down our supermarket spend. Once a week I write a menu and we only buy food for meals and planned snacks. Leigh and Erin know what we'll be eating and when so it cuts down on 'What's for tea?' questions. We spend between £60-70 per week but it covers all our lunches too.

2. Ziffit

Ziffit is a site/app you can sell books, games, DVDs and CDs to. They make it very simple because they pay for postage, you just parcel up what you want to sell (a minimum of £5 worth) and post it to them. Then they pay you via Paypal within a couple of days. For someone that reads a lot it's a handy way to sell on books. You'd get more if you sold them on ebay or similar but it's really convenient.

3. Reduced Food

We're always on the lookout for reduced food in supermarkets. Whenever we go to Asda we'll seek out the reduced section or in our Sainsbury's Local we'll keep an eye out for yellow stickers. Last week we bought 5 packs of reduced Puff Pastry in Co-op and put them in the freezer when we got home. This week I put chorizo sausage rolls on the menu using the pastry and we've also had chocolate & custard twists and cheese straws for snacks. If we get something reduced it gets used up in a meal saving us money on that weeks food shopping. Unless its something like muffins which we shamelessly scoff as soon as we get home, haha!

4. Budget

Our finances are mostly a series of budgets. JD and I each have a personal spending budget each month. Like I said earlier, we stick to a food budget. We have a monthly spending budget for days out, clothes and treats etc. If we want to buy something too expensive for the budget or have a trip out that's costly we owe it to ourselves like we've loaned ourselves the money. Then we have to pay it back over the next few weeks or months. It might seem weird to other people but it works for us. Thinking about how much we've spent and keeping a budget stops us from spending too much. But if we do spend too much, we have the best loan rates in town at 0%!

5. Groupon

Days out are often quite costly so when I'm planning something fun to do I always check out sites like Groupon for money off. We've had some good deals through these recently. This summer we've done an Escape Room at £36 instead of £50. Gone to the Proms with 2 for 1 tickets, £32 instead of £64. Eaten out with 50% off. Me and Erin have a reduced Spa Day planned and Leigh and I will be having a cut-price Afternoon Tea. There's plenty of offers on things to do and places to eat but you have to check the original price on the company's website to make sure you're actually getting a saving. A lot of times you can save money by going at a quieter time of day so this only works if you check the details of use before you buy.

6. Buying Second Hand

A lot of things we buy we try not to buy new. We look in charity shops for items we need or search sites like eBay or Gumtree for listings. Today we carried home a bed for Leigh that we bought on Gumtree for £30 and last month we picked up a stand mixer that I bought on eBay for £50. JD's really good at searching online for things we need. I often manage to find some nice clothes for myself in charity shops too. The internet has made it so much easier to buy second hand, you can easily look up the price of things on your phone to check you're getting a good price. Buying second hand isn't everyone's cup of tea but we really like saving money plus making use of something someone else doesn't want anymore.

7. Vypr.

I use quite a few apps to make a bit of extra money but this one is the easiest. It's a survey app where you just have to answer a few questions for each survey. It's quick to do and the money soons adds up. You get more points for surveys answered while you're actually in the store running the survey too. The questions are sometimes bizarre and repetitive, you don't have to mind answering questions about which packaging you prefer or if you think milk is sensual. But apart from that it's worth doing. They pay out at just £5 into Paypal within 48 hours. Nice :)

8. Be Inventive

We like going to the cinema or having fun days out as much as the next person but to save money you can always try being a bit more inventive about having fun. We've had just as much fun doing silly stuff at home. We've held Beetle Drives, Bingo Nights, Guiness World Records Olympics, Minecraft events and much more. We have a film night every Friday with homemade pizza and snacks, watching a film from Netflix or Lovefilm. We play cards or board games and try to find cheap ways of making our own fun. If it means you have to to see how many post it notes you can put on your face or dress up as your own invented super hero (watch this space!) then just go for it. :D

Anyway, that's your lot. Some of the ways we try to be frugal with our money.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

You Cheeky Burger 3: Chicken Caesar Burger

I kind of regret starting the burger/bugger puns in the post titles, I'm going to run out before I finish the burgers! Send help! In the form of puns :D

Now, I love a chicken caesar salad so this burger has to be good. Let's find out.

Add parmesan, lemon juice, spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper to chicken mince. Form into burger patties and wrap in some streaky bacon. Cook in oil in a frying pan until fully cooked.

The burger is bunned (probably not a word) in a section of baguette along with lettuce and caesar salad dressing.

I don't usually like when burgers are served this way (not fully bunned) but it looks stupid with the top baguette on top. A bit like me wearing a hat. Haha.

This burger was delicious, all the moistness was kept inside by the bacon making for a juicy burger. Chicken and bacon go really well together so the only thing letting it down was the choice of bread. I wasn't keen on the baguette and prefer a softer bread bun for burgers. Still, I wouldn't kick it out of bed. (Not that I'd have it in bed with me in the first place, I'm not a burger weirdo!)

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 4
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