Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to School

I must admit I have always steered away from printed name labels to put in school uniform, because of the cost. School uniform shops can be quite costly so I normally just use a biro, although have to frequently check, after washing, that the writing hasn't faded. I have also in the past used the iron labels, I used to get these from Woolworths but have no idea where I would get them now and they weren't that effective anyway!
So you can imagine my joy when I picked up the Laptop and the first thing I saw was printed name labels on ebay for £1.20 for 72 labels with only 99p postage, next day despatch and you can choose from four different colours and four different fonts, check out the link here

Monday, August 24, 2009

5 Things to help Women boost their financial position in Retirement and other information regarding pensions, mortgages etc at any age"

According to The Times, Money Central, here are five things women can do to boost their financial position in retirement, although I would have put "Secure a Fair Divorce" and "never give up your rights to half of your ex husbands pension, if he has one", at the top of the list!

1) Ensure entitlement to the full state pension

From April 6, 2010 both men and women will need to have 30 qualifying years to claim the full basic state pension. It makes sense to get as near as possible to the minimum figure, so as to be entitled to a full basic state pension, currently £95.25 per week for a single person.

2) Pay into a private pension

Even if you have no income a husband or civil partner can pay up to £2,880 into a pension for you each year. With basic rate tax relief, the contribution is worth £3,600.

3) Make the most of Individual Savings Accounts (Isas).

Contribute as much as you can to stocks and shares Isas. If you invested your full annual Isa allowance, soon to be boosted to £10,200, for the next 25 years, this would build up to a nest-egg of £511,157, assuming real growth of 5 per cent. You can cash Isas in at any time and also take an income from them. Your savings build up in a tax-privileged environment.

4) Secure a fair divorce

Ensure that any husband's pension is properly valued when splitting assets and consider splitting a pension rather than giving up all rights to it in exchange for the matrimonial home.

5) Make the most of tax breaks

Women who are higher-rate taxpayers should make the most of the higher rate tax relief that applies to pension contributions. This means that every £1,000 put into your pension costs you only £600.

Recessionista advice in addition to this: be careful if you have a private pension. I can only quote from experience of a relative of mine, who lives in a Council Property, is in receipt of a State Pension and a small NHS pension. When disabilty meant that the person concerned could no longer bath, they went through a lengthy process of trying to get the Council to put in, a walk in shower. Eventually the work was done, a couple of years back now, but they had to pay £1,000 of their own money towards it. It seems the more money you have, the less you are entitled to from the State, a real catch twenty two situation, as they still have to pay towards their Council Rent and still pay Council Tax, although they do get a reduction. So unless you have a big pension and real financial security set up for old age, I wouldn't bother trying to do anything on a small scale, as you will dip out when you reach retirement age. I also know another elderly person who at 76 years of age, still pays her own mortgage, because once, many years ago (37 in fact) she split up with her husband who had once remortgaged the property and Income Support does not pay anything towards a re-mortgage, they only pay interest on the original amount borrowed to purchase the property, so if you borrowed 20,000, 10 years ago to get a new kitchen and a conservatory for example, they would never pay the interest on that amount. Also, don't be fooled into thinking if you don't fit the above criteria, you won't get a full state pension, all that will happen is your money will get topped up with Income Support so that you will still get the same amount to live on.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Creamy Mushroom Pasta - Simple money saving supper that can use up leftovers

Cook 200g of spagetti according to packet instructions. When pasta is cooked, drain well and set aside. Put the pan back on the heat and add 5 or 6 chopped button or any mushrooms. After a few minutes add 150g of diced ham, 150ml of cream, 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese and warm through. Return pasta to the pan, stir and season. Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley if you have them or more parmesan if you don't. Serves 2. A quick, easy and delicious supper that can use up a few left over mushrooms and any ham you have nearing its use by date.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A womans right to shoes

Lots of Fashionista's and Fashion Blogs I read, were going crazy for the Christian Louboutin sale at The Outnet yesterday and if you missed my shout out on Twitter, then you will be pleased to know that there are still some styles left in stock, but be quick they won't last much longer! As the Recessionista has mentioned before, if you only buy one pair of evening shoes, go for black or a metallic colour, like these fab silver ones, Original Price £415 Now £166 60% off! They will be a fab wardrobe staple and last you for years - investment dressing at its best!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

5 Things to be grateful for this weekend

Now I don't normally do posts like this, but I dropped by at a new blog I have found and liked her post on 5 things to be grateful for this weekend and decided I would participate!

1. In light of yesterdays post regarding food shopping, I logged on last night to check my email and had a £10 voucher from Sainsburys off of my next online shopping spend over £50! So I am really grateful for that!

2. I am grateful for the Alex Curran wedges I have ordered off Amazon for £24 (although they haven't arrived yet). See post from earlier this week.

3. I too, am grateful for the weather, the lack of a holiday this year was getting me down, but if the sun is shining I don't feel quite so bad about it (still want one though).

4. I am grateful that August is a busy month for me workwise, as come September things will really die down.

5. I am grateful, as ever, for the health of my family and for my beautiful children.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Changing the way we do Food Shopping

I had already made a decision about the weekly shop this morning before friend S rang and said she was going to Aldi today. I had been thinking back to when I was a child and my Mother used to go to the Butcher, the Baker and the Greengrocer for her shopping each week. As we are all aware, when the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys started to pitch up in every town the whole idea behind the concept of Super or Hypermarket shopping was being able to buy everything under one roof, to save time but sometimes at a premium. OK, all these stores have great special offers at any one time, but to make real savings if you are on a tight budget, you really need to reconsider how to Shop.
My first change in Supermarket shopping habits, when I started this Blog, was to shop online at Sainsburys rather than visit Tesco each week. The reason for the switch in loyalty was that Sainsburys are always synomous with good quality and what I was happy to eat in their basic range I wouldn't touch with a barge pole in the Tesco Value Department. Shopping online also means you are not tempted to buy things just because they are on special offer and end up throwing them away at a later date and with Sainsburys, another major factor was the tempting "feed your family for a fiver" recipes/adverts on T.V.. By switching Supermarkets and shopping online, I save at least £30 per week.
Another thing I began to do was to buy toiletries, washing powder, loo roll and medicine from Savers, something I have told you many times before.
So this morning my decision for this weeks shopping was that I wouldn't really need to do a Sainsburys shop this week as I have quite a lot in the freezer and the plan was to pop to Aldi for a few bits, but also to visit Iceland. I never go in Iceland, don't ask me why, but when I saw a 4 pint carton of milk advertised in the window for £1, decision was made to give them a visit.
So friend S picked me up and we hot footed it into town. First Stop Aldi. Lettuce, Toms and Cue at 29p each and a Savoy Cabbage for 49p. Their equivalent of Coco Pops for 99p, a pack of Gouda slices for £1.15 and a pack of 4 bagels for 89p along with a pack of marinated Smoked Salmon slices for £1.99. A few other bits and my total came to £12.28. These were all things that would be required this week and would have been a part of my normal weekly shop so I wasn't tempted by anything I didn't want or need.
Then on to Iceland. 4 pint cartons of milk for £1, I bought 2 to freeze. I picked up an Iceland Pizza then moved along the freezer and saw a Chicago Town stuffed crust, which was bigger for the same price, only £1.50. A pack of 18 ice lollies for £2. 6 chicken kievs for £2.50. 2 packs of Willow butter for £1 (now that has to be the deal of week). Buy 2 loaves of Kingsmill for £1.50, bargain, where can you get branded bread for that price? the cheapest is normally £1 when its on offer, if you are lucky! A few other bits and pieces and the total spent in Iceland was £15.
All I need to do now is pop into Savers and buy Loo Roll £1.89 for 6 rolls of Kleenex (it was £2 in Iceland!) and my Aerial liquigel washing powder and my total spent this week will be approx £32 for a family of 5.

So if you want to make real savings there is no doubt you need to shop around and you have to be a savvy shopper as some things in Aldi were cheaper in Iceland and vice versa, but with a little time and effort, it can be done. Next week I will be going to the cheaper shops first and then buy the remainder of what I need at the Supermarket, but you won't do better than the salad stuff in Aldi at 29p or the milk and butter at Iceland. If you sign up for the Iceland Bonus card and spend over £25 instore, they will deliver your shopping for free, storing it in their freezers until your scheduled delivery time. Having a bonus card also means you will recieve money offer coupons throughout the year and get entered in regular competitions to win free shopping - can't be bad can it? I might even spend £25 once a month and get it delivered, making life even easier!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

40% off at Yo! Sushi

Get 40% off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 26th August. You will need one voucher per person, per visit, and you can use it on up to 10 plates. Print off your vouchers here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alex Gerrards Wedge Sandals by Steve Madden for £24 and Designer wedges from Matches for £38!

I was totally gobsmacked when I saw Alex Gerrards column in todays edition of New magazine, showing her wearing a pair of Steve Madden studded wedges and looking as great, as always, I had to buy it! Even more surprising was the fact that these funky shoes are currently on sale at Amazon for only £24 if you get them in black! I just couldn't resist such a bargain and you can get them here.
I didn't buy a thing all last winter and was no better off for it, just ended up feeling totally depressed about my drab and boring winter wardrobe, so if you are feeling down in the dumps a bit of £24 retail therapy didn't hurt anyone right? especially if you actually have an item owned and worn by a WAG!


Looking for something more understated and still have a holiday to look forward to? even if you don't, these fab Castaner raffia wedges will serve as a great wardrobe staple for many summers to come, so are well worth the £38 investment (down from £108!). Wear them with white summer dresses, capri pants, flared jeans and a red vest for a nautical appeal, the list is endless as they are such a versatile sandal. Get them at here.

Free Kids workshops at Covent Garden

Planning a day out in London? then consider taking the little ones to the free Kids workshops at Covent Garden. There are also special offers on family meals at various restaurants all running now, until 23rd August. Get full details here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free Cookies and Teats at Millies Cookies

Fancy a sweet treat when you are out shopping, or how about a delicious smoothie? Well at Millies cookies, you can print off vouchers and get lots of freebies, such as buy 6 cookies, get 6 free or get 2 free cookies when you buy an ice cream, just click here to print off your vouchers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cut off point

I was quite surprised to see that some of the London free hand out papers are still covering Summer clothing on their Fashion pages, especially this article on Cut off Denim Shorts.

Cut offs hit most of the Fashion pages months ago, but are a wardrobe summer staple which don't really go in and out of fashion each year as you will always see girls slipping on a pair of denim shorts over their bikini's when you are on holiday or sporting them in this country with a vest top and gladiators on hot days. The thing that really got me about this article was the cost of the garments. The cheapest items being from Topshop or Asos at £25, Current Elliott at £155 and True Religion at an astonishing £199! £200 seems an awful lot of money for a pair of what is basically "jeans without legs"! Then I remembered 2 things. 1. The pair of True Religion jeans I have upstairs which have "gone" at the top of the legs and got me thinking that if I cut off the legs in the same way as in the pic i.e. from the holes in an upward slant going under the pockets, that these wonderful jeans which I loved so, will still be completely useable and thus saved from the Charity Bag and
2. How many times have I shared the outlet section with you guys, when I have told you about the premium denim brands such as True Religion, Superfine and Earnest Sewn, where the jeans can start as low as £35 and go up to approx £70 for what normally would be anywhere between £150 and £200. If you are looking for a cheaper option, I saw in New Look yesterday, rails of reduced jeans are starting at £7 and the great thing about doing your own version of cut - offs is they can be done from any style whether skinny, straight, bootcut or flared, plus you can cut them as high or as long as you like.

In the newspaper, the article shows Lynsey Lohan, Rihanna, Agy Deyn and VB all sporting the trend and they seem to have turn-ups on the cut offs with the pockets hanging down below at the front. So an easy look to achieve. In a Recession, fashion is often about making do, and there is no easier trend to achieve than this! The Times did an article a while back, saying that women over 40 could buy into this trend - Recessionista Advice - Yes if on holiday or the Beach - only in the Supermarket if you have the body of Demi Moore!
The summer may soon be over, but lots of you will still be going on holiday and this trend will be wearable year after year, so what are you waiting for - grab those sissors!

Friday, August 7, 2009

1,000 free text messages worth £100 with free orange sim card

This card is well worth applying for, as have I have mentioned before, once you have an orange sim card you are entitled to all the other benefits this phone provider offers, such as 2 for 1 on cinema tickets etc. To apply for your free sim log on to You will need to top up £10 to recieve these free texts, an ideal sim card for teens or pay as you go customers. If your phone is not compatible with Orange, remember it is not illegal to get a phone unlocked, which costs between £5 and £10.

£20 off Shopping in Tesco with the Daily Mail

Starting in tomorrows Daily Mail, there will be a collection of tokens to obtain money off your weekly grocery shop. For full details of the value of Tokens and what items they refer to, check here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kids to see Shows for free with one full paying adult

A big thanks to Penny Golightly for pointing this one out, Children aged 5-16 years old can see an awesome selection of over 28 dazzling shows for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult paying full price between 14th and 28th August. For full details and book here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A great way to sell DVD's, CD's and Games online

Fed up with Ebay, I think most of us are, then there is a great site for you to use to sell DVD's, CD's and Games. These are often the items that don't fetch a great deal of money when sold on ebay but you still have to pay your listing fee, whereas with you can type in the barcode on your item to get a value straight away, no sitting around checking to see if your item has received a bid - you know straight away what you will get for an item. Postage is free as you will be sent a freepost sticker and you are paid by cheque, so get decluttering and make some cash!