Pancake Day – Wartime eggless pancakes

It’s Pancake Day! Why not celebrate in 1940’s style and use this eggless wartime pancake recipe! C xxx

5 small changes I’m making to save over £1000 this year..

It hasn’t been easy saying NO. Every trip to the supermarket is quite a challenge when having to stick to a very small shopping list. Gone are the days when I’d get a trolley full and spend £75! Today my weekly shop came to £10.44.

Yesterday I popped out to ‘Wetherspoons’ in Maltby for a slice of delicious vanilla cheesecake with a fruit compote, coffee and a chinwag with my friend Liz. The dessert was delicious as was the free refill fresh black coffee, it was a real treat and yet still within my weekly budget (only about £4!)

The great news for me was that at the end of the day when I did my spending calculations and counted the money in my purse, I had underspent for the 6th week in a row and was able to put £8.33 into my cash emergency/savings jar making a grand total of £116.03p!

Tonight is going to be a challenge, my weekly household/entertainment budget will be truly stretched as 18 of us ladies are attending a ladies night event at Carlton Park Hotel. But I’m on a roll and I know my £15 weekly budget will suffice! I’m determined!

So what have I been doing to save the pennies (so the pounds look after themselves!)

You may have read in some of my past posts about some of the smaller changes I am making that add up to quite a bit at the end of the year…. here are some of them.

  •  I am using an EcoEgg detergent free laundry egg with great success! So far I have been really pleased and its doing its job! I do use a stain remover spray which I already had, for anything that is heavily stained. The EcoEgg saves me £57.39 p per year – here is the review I wrote about it.
  •  I am using a Crystal Deodorant Mineral Stone rather than my normal roll-on deodorant saving me £33.50 a year (it pays itself back after the first couple of months). This works really well, there is a knack to applying it. Run the stone under the tap for a second, shake it to remove excess water, apply to under your arm rubbing back and forth like you would a normal roll on but instead rub it back and forth about 20 times covering all areas of the armpit. Repeat the process on the other side. I’ve not had a smelly pit yet!
  • I’ve switched my mobile phone Giff Gaff Goody Bag from £20 a month to £10 a month saving myself £120 per year.
  • I cancelled my Platinum level Natwest Account and moved to their FREE bank account. I was paying £17 per month with the Platinum Account. The benefit I lost was roadside assistance/breakdown so I signed up to GreenFlag at £5.75 per month. This works out as saving £135 a year!

Just these 4 changes alone will be saving me £345.89 this year!

A BIG EXPENSE I was prepared for..

My 19 year old car went in for it’s MOT on Monday. I knew if she was to get through her MOT it would end up being expensive as she has been suffering with corrosion. The last four months I have been putting at least £100 a month into a sinking fund for my car. Infact the amount of money I had put aside was £480.03 (not sure why there was a 3p but there was!). Poppy needed nearly £300 worth of repair/welding, she failed her emissions so the engine needed treating, her front drivers tyre needed replacing, the headlights needed adjusting and the wiper blades needed changing. To save money with the repair/welding I had the treated wheel arches hand painted with black instead of rubbed down and resprayed. In total, including the fee for the test, the bill came to £480.

My car is worth about £400, I could probably do without her at a push as I live just 2.5 miles away from work but I do have other responsibilities that take me further away. So I had the work done. It was difficult to lose all that hard earned and saved £480 in one go but I reminded myself that I had saved for this eventuality and imagine what a pickle I would be in if I hadn’t started saving! Despite the big bill It also felt good that I was able to pay for it without worrying how I was going to find the money for it!

I’m happy I have my car back. I’ll continue putting money into a car sinking fund every month as I fear that next February it will be time to find myself another car.


So looking at the 4 small changes I’ve made above AND the amount I am underspending every week by sticking to my shopping list and planning ahead I’ve worked out that this will save me over £1000 this year!

What changes are you making to save money, get out of debt and put some money away for a rainy day?

C xxx

Bread and Butter Pudding – Recipe No. 144

I have 1/4 loaf of very dry sliced bread, several days past it’s best before date so I think a ‘Bread and Butter Pudding’ is called for! This recipe is from Marguerite Patton’s Victory Cookbook and the recipe calls for 3 eggs which seems rather excessive during rationing so I think I’ll bake it without and use something else from my cupboard perhaps! I love this pudding…. cheap, delicious and comforting.

Budgeting with Google Spreadsheets

So I’m rapidly becoming all consumed with getting my shit together (sorry for the profanity but sh*t says it all…).

Today I’ve spent the best part of 3 hours familiarizing myself with ‘Google Spreadsheets’ for monthly budgeting. Although I love scribbling on paper and in my daily diary, I have to say after pulling my hair out initially, I now LOVE using this spreadsheet! The one I’m using is ‘Monthly Budget’ under the top right hand drop down menu for ‘Templates’. OK so I know in the 1940’s it would have all been done on paper, and I love to keep things simple BUT having this in addition to fill in and update at weekends is making me VERY HAPPY!

OK, I know you are probably thinking right now “for God’s sake woman, go and get a curvy, hairy, beardy man and misbehave” because quite frankly it is a little bit sad that I am getting so excited about  spreadsheets. Trust me, I’ve been thinking that myself recently…..

Infact I know exactly the man I’d pick (in Barnsley) but I’m still slightly “off” men in real-life and not quite ready to jump back in the sheets and do strange and wonderful things…soooooo for now ‘Google Spreadsheets’ it is!

I’m loving the ‘Monthly Budget’ template. CLICK HERE

First of all I worked out how to change the currency from $ to £, next to add extra rows while keeping the formula which does the calculations, I also then changed the spreadsheet to specify what country and time zone. Once that was all done then it was time to fill it in!

I’m filling it in real-time, once a week. This means that I’m adding in all my planned expenses and income and adding in the actual expenses and income as they come in. So when a direct debit comes out in the week I’ll update the spreadsheet, when my son pays me his weekly rent/bills contribution I’ll fill it in on the spreadsheet. By doing this it gives me a real-time up to date tally….isn’t that cool!

Even cooler is the fact that the template comes with a ‘Transaction’ ledger so when you fill it in on the ledger it updates the spreadsheet automatically!

So I’ve brought my February 2018 budget up to-date on my spreadsheet and I’ve taken a snap-shot and it’s below..

I’m hoping budgeting provides enough excitement for me in the coming months to keep me on the straight and narrow until the call of the curvy, hairy, beardy bloke becomes too much to resist….

C xxxxxx

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PS: I was asked about changing the currency settings on the Google Spreadsheet – here is what you have to do

1) Go to and select Monthly Budget from the template gallery.
2) Open up the sheet and select from the top drop down menu FILE > SPREADSHEET SETTINGS > ADJUST LOCALE/TIMEZONE > SAVE SETTINGS… return to main spread sheet.
3) You will notice that the currency symbol underneath the word format in the top drop down menu has now changed to a £ sign. If the sheet does not automatically change the symbols you will simply have to highlight the cell/cells you want to change the currency symbol in, once highlighted you click on the £ currency symbol from the top of the page and it will change all the $ to £ in the cells you have highlighted.
4) To highlight a cell you simply click once in the box then go and click on the £ symbol. To highlight multiple cells in a row then click on the top cell ie Food then hold down the shift button and select the bottom cell ie category 1 and all the cells inbetween will be highlighted too – then just click the £ symbol to change all of them. Alternatively to highlight several sporadically located cells click on 1 cell, hold down the CTRL key and select another anywhere on the page, keep the CTRL key depressed until you have finished selecting all the ones you want to change then goto the £ symbol and select.

I have changed currency and timezones on a spreadsheet for you. You’ll need to make sure that when you are logged in and save it that it is only viewable by yourself.


Mock Banana – Recipe No. 148

Just thought I’d reblog a video recipe I did a couple of years ago for ‘Mock Banana’.

Mock Banana really was a much used ration book recipe using parsnips and banana essence….it wasn’t as bad as it sounds!

C xxx