Free Food…..almost!

A couple of days ago I found a till generated coupon for 84p on the ground in my local Tesco car park. I picked it up and filed it away in my purse for later use.


Later I had an idea that I’d give myself a project to see how much food I could buy for that 84p so in theory it would be food for free. Last night I nipped out to Tesco about the time they start reducing their food and slapping yellow stickers on the perishables. I was hoping that I could get a few reduced loaves of bread as I was running low on bread for the peanut butter sandwiches I put out for the foxes every evening. I was in luck, I managed to find 8 loaves (no fishes) with the most expensive ones costing 8p. Then I joined a little group of people who were waiting for the reduced veggies to come out. I got talking to a lovely old man who was waiting around and we had a great discussion on which supermarkets had the most discounts. He had been doing this for a long time and was definitely an expert in yellow sticker hunting. We were interrupted by a man standing close to the swing doors. With a big grin on his face he announced “Game On” and sure enough a few seconds later two big bins full of fruit and veggies were wheeled out and we all went diving in. I got parsnips, cauliflower and cucumber and two big bags of fresh veggie soup mixes. The soup mix bags weren’t that popular and it made me wonder if people didn’t want to be bothered to do the necessary cooking to make the soup. I was in my element as I love making soups.


I left then as I’d no need to wait for the meat to come out. I wished the old man happy hunting and with a big smile on my face set off for the self service tills. A couple of mins later with everything scanned and totted up and the 84p coupon applied I reached into my purse for the money to pay the excess which came to the grand total of 10p!!!!  Yes 10p!! Was so chuffed to get all this food which will keep me and the foxes going for some time for virtually nothing. Mission accomplished!!!


YS shopping

tesco receipt





Linda xxxxx

Puppets on a String

Any of you who read my Facebook Page will see how annoyed I am at Etsy’s recent “business tests”. Etsy is an online marketplace which consists of a large collection of artisan owned stores mainly selling unique handcrafted items. Etsy’s growth has been phenomenal over the last few years and a lot of their sellers have grown their businesses successfully under the Etsy umbrella.
I too have a tiny shop front on Etsy selling my little animal tea cosies and I’ve had quite a few sales there but I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that my sales are very much subject to the whims of the Etsy management. In one moment they could close down your shop  and wipe out any income stream. Indeed some shops have been closed down because their owners have been a bit too honest and vocal on the Etsy forums.
craft fair
I think that having your own domain name and separate online shop would be a very good back up plan and if you can plug it as much as possible you could in the future move away from Etsy’s not terribly altruistic grasp. I’ve done this already with (this is my shameless plug!)

This got me thinking on other ways we relinquish control to others. At the moment the energy companies have us by the short and curlies here in the UK. Because we depend on them for our heating and power they can up the prices whenever they want, usually when there’s an R in the month.   Same with petrol companies. I can drive past my local petrol station and see unleaded petrol at 128p per litre and an hour later I can drive back again and see it’s gone up to 129p per litre. (This usually happens right before a Bank Holiday).

sola -panels on roofs
car charge

Supermarkets can increase the price of your weekly shop at the push of a button. I remember once after years of shopping for my cat food at Tesco, I switched supermarket and started to buy it from Asda. After just a few weeks of this I got a load of money off vouchers for cat food through the post from Tesco. Coincidence or what? Of course they were able to track my buying habits through my use of their Clubcard.

Litter piling up in your street? Council street cleaning services not as thorough or as regular as they used to be. Your local MP developing selective deafness and or spending all their time cosying up to local bigwigs? OK we voted them into power and a certain degree of government control is necessary to run our Health Service, Foreign Trade, Police Force etc. But I would like to see our MPs a bit more accountable, a little more fearful of their constituents and that maybe cozying up to and actually listening to a homeless person without a film crew present would go a long way to giving a bit more control back to the ordinary man or woman.
In the meantime I think we could all be a little more self-sufficient. Granted installing solar panels or a water filtration plant in your garden is not cheap. But learning a bit of basic plumbing, carpentry, cooking from scratch can all help. Also insulating your home as well as you can afford to and maybe start saving up for a couple of solar panels. Has to be better for you than the latest 100 inch wide, 3d time travel, olfactory sensory tv screen that serves 3 course meals during the ads. As for litter in your street just go grab it and bin it! My lovely Bloggy friend Ilona from Life After Money just rolls up her sleeves and gets picking up. She describes one of her litter picking events here. Maybe if more of us did that we could take control of our streets again and restore a bit of civic pride.
Financial Independence has to be the key. To have enough money to cushion you from redundancies, interest rate cuts, burgeoning transport costs has to be the Holy Grail in terms of cutting your puppet strings. I have to recommend Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
Read this and you’ll be reaching for the scissors!


Linda xxx

The Sublime to the Ridiculous

Bargain time again – I found this pretty silk top by Alexon in my local charity/thrift shop for the bargain price of £1.50. Yes it is 100% silk!!


Alexon silk top5


Alexon silk top1


It will go beautifully with fuchsia or lilac summer skirts. I love it!! Well that was the sublime part of the post. Here follows the ridiculous bit. I spotted this table for sale in a garden centre. It has a drinks cooler built into the centre of it and costs a whopping £1100! Looks like the original price was £1440.


Fridge table


I stood there looking at it working out how many bottles of Bushmills Irish Whiskey that equated to! I think for that money I would rather have a bog standard garden table with a cooler bag and invest the rest in alcohol. Well maybe not all of the rest, just enough to fill the cooler bag. Think of the money saved!! What will they think of next (gosh that sounds old).


Here is a cheap date. This is Jasmine (Jazzy for short) lying in her own sun puddle. For more on sun puddles read Debs blog is where I first read the phrase sun puddle – very apt.


Jazzy sunbathing06


She’s got her arm around an old cat and fiddle statue I bought years ago from an antique shop in Arundel. My friend came with me and helped me load it into her car boot. It was sooooo heavy, I dread to think what it did to her car’s suspension! The end of the fiddle has broken off over the years, but the little mouse at the cat’s feet is still there. Jazzy is conveniently lying on it. When I want to move it around I have to roll it as it is too heavy for me to lift, needless to say it’s still stayed pretty much in the same area in the garden!




Linda xx

Bargain of the Year………so far!

I was having a browse in my favourite charity shop, mainly looking for fabric when I came across this beauty


Silk Monsoon Skirt3


A dark lilac embroidered linen and silk skirt from Monsoon. I just love it and the price I paid for it – £5. As you can guess from my last post I’m a big fan of embroidered clothes. My grandmother was a professional ecclesiastical embroiderer making all sorts of church stuff from robes to wall hangings. So I think she must have had some influence on me. I wonder what she would have thought about my home embroidery machine.


Silk Monsoon Skirt4


Silk Monsoon Skirt5


It won’t be dry cleaned, it’ll be hand washed in soft wool detergent! It’s such a gorgeous floaty skirt, definitely a warm summer evening job. I keep getting it out of the wardrobe and gazing lovingly at it!


As Doctor Who is on later tonight I thought I’d also share my latest embroidered baby bib. It will accompany the Dalek bib. Now if I could only get hold of a Cyberman embroidery pattern!!






Linda xx

New Year Restitutions


I never make resolutions, I make restitutions! I reckon that resolutions are really made to fix up what’s not gone right in the previous year. So what are my Restitutions for 2013. Well here they are and as they say on Strictly they are  in no particular order………….

Travel more but not necessarily to foreign exotic climbs. I’d quite like to become a tourist in my own country or even county. When I’m out driving about I pass so many interesting looking places that beg to be explored. I usually think when I’m passing, “I must go there one day” but by the time I’ve got home and parked the car I’ve forgotten where it is I’d like to visit. I suppose the best thing to do would be to get out a tourist map of the county and also a local history book from the library and to plan a diary of visits to the quirky, the beautiful and the historical places all around me.

Old map of the world

Take the guitar down from the wall and get strumming. I’ll never be the next Clapton but I would like to learn a tune or two to delight and amaze at parties.


Finish off all my UFOs (unfinished objects) that are currently languishing in drawers, backs of cupboards and tops of wardrobes. I could restock Hobbycraft single handed!


Get to know my beautiful embroidery machine inside out and be able to rethread my overlocker/serger blindfolded and with one arm tied behind my back. It took me a whole evening to work out how to thread it when I first got it. I’d like to improve on that.

And skills, need to practice my crochet, sewing and writing skills. They say it takes an amount 10,000 hours to achieve Master status at something.

old clock

So in 2013 if I never slept or ate I would be able to get 8,760 hours under my belt. So I could almost reach Master level, I would be knackered but what the hell. Must put a few large jars of strong coffee on my shopping list for next time.