ROME Baby!!!

You may have noticed that there have not been any blogs for a week and a bit, its because I have been preparing for a farmers market and stock for an exciting new project in the USA which I will give more details about when it is ready.

But aside from that, after thirteen long years of waiting I am off to ROME tomorrow!! I will of course post pictures when I get back!

Thursday, 29 September 2011 | 0 Comments

Thrifty Thursdays - Write a List

If you are looking to make small changes in the way you manage your money and finances then the way you do your weekly grocery shop at the supermarket may help.

Generally you will currently fall into one of two categories, the first is the "no list" shoppers and the second is the "list makers" shoppers. Which are you? If you don't make a list and just walk up and down every aisle grabbing what you think you need or what catches your eye you are likely to end up spending more money on impulse purchases, potentially buying store cupboard essentials you already have or forgetting things and having to make another trip a day or two later and on that trip spending even more money.

List makers however spend a short time before they leave home having a quick check of cupboards and the fridge/freezer to see what is running low, what is empty and if there is anything you might like as a treat that week. When shopping they will then stick to the list, only deviating if there is a special offer which will help reduce their bill.

There is also a third category, people who write a meal plan at the beginning of the week, work out what they will need each day and then buy only those things (if not already in the cupboard) for their weekly shop.

Ideally you will want to fall into the list maker or the meal planner type of shopper as it will help you focus only on what you need to buy rather than what ever takes your fancy that night!

So what kind of grocery shopper are you?

(This Thrifty Tip was suggested by Birdy from Birdy's Knits. Please suggest your tip here)

Thursday, 15 September 2011 | 0 Comments

Sunday Recipe: Chicken Apple Burgers

With autumn virtually here it is a great season for apples and this chicken apple burger is a good treat! Best served with a salad or (if you are me) chunky chips!!

You will need:
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (cored)
  • 1/2tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp ground black pepper
  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 stalk finely chopped celery (optional)
  • 4oz cranberry sauce
  • Burger buns or ciabatta buns
and this is what you do:
  1. Finely cut 6 slices from the apples to create 12 apple rings,
  2. From the remainder of the apples, coarsely grate approximately 10oz (3/4cup)
  3. Spray a rigid grill pan with spray oil and heat to a medium-high heat,
  4. In a bowl stir the grated apple with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper until blended,
  5. Mix in the chicken and celery (optional) until just combined,
  6. Shape the chicken mixture into burger patty shapes handling it as little as possible. You should get 4 1/2inch thick patties,
  7. Place the burgers in the grill pan and grill for 10-12 minutes until the chicken loses its pink colour throughout and turn over once.
  8. Serve in the buns with the apple rings and cranberry sauce.

Sunday, 11 September 2011 | 0 Comments

Friday Finds!

Don't you sometimes hate it when you get a song stuck in your head and it just won't go away? Well for the past day or so I have had a song jammed in my brain from a Disney movie and also one I used to sing when I had dance classes as a child.

I happened to be looking around on Artfire and I saw this painted wooden sign and well, it's what I've been singing

Friday, 9 September 2011 | 0 Comments

Thrifty Thursdays - Saving Water

Money saving doesn't just have to be good for your wallet, but for the environment too and saving water can really help.

In the UK, generally if you buy a new home the water board will install a water meter, this can be great as it shows the accuracy of what you are using and should also make you more aware of your water usage, for example not to keep the tap running whilst you brush your teeth or having a water butt in the garden (if you have one) to collect rain water to help with watering the garden.

One blog reader from The Beaded Branch has a bucket in their shower so they catch the water whilst it heats up and then use that for filling their washing machine or even filling up the toilet cistern.

If you have a water meter, think about how you can reduce your water consumption but also help the environment at the same time.

Thursday, 8 September 2011 | 0 Comments

Thrifty Thursdays - change your search engine

In times of economic difficulty you need to make every penny count and try and save as much as you can. But have you ever looked into ways you can earn money for free?

A friend of mine referred me to a USA search engine site called Swag Bucks which is basically a way to build up free money, just by searching, doing competitions etc.

SwagBucks is a search engine very much like Google or Bing etc except you sign up for an account and you are awarded a random amount of "bucks" for your searches. Not every search will give you "bucks", others will give you around 10 or others might give you 25! But they all add up.I once searched for "Facebook" and was rewarded with 49 bucks!

I use SwagBucks not only for searching but there is also a daily poll, questionnaires, tasks and for me, the easiest way to accrue the "bucks" is SBTV. For every 10 SBTV clips you watch you earn 3SB, some are really short and some a couple of minutes depending on which category you pick. I have a separate tab open at work and have the clips playing all the time, I just have to check and click into the next clip then enter the captcha.

So what do I use these Bucks for? There are loads of different options for vouchers and e-cards but the majority are for those in the USA but in the UK, in my opinion, the best way to redeem is to get up to 849SB and then claim a £5 Amazon voucher or let your bucks accrue even more and get a higher value voucher. It takes me about 3 weeks to get that number of bucks and redeem.

If you are interested in swagbucks you can sign up here, I wont lie, its my referral page because when you sign people up you get more bucks!

What are you waiting for? If you are an amazon shopper, switch your search engine and start saving!

UPDATE - Since January 2012 I have claimed well over £150 of products from Amazon for FREE just by using Swagbucks.

Thursday, 1 September 2011 | 0 Comments