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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Right Place Right Time, and work update

Last week hubby and I went to the local outlet centre and had a mooch around. Just as we called past the Card Factory door the lady shouted everything hass 75% off today, it all needs to go,  so we went in.

I got 4 bottle bags for £1, 3 small gift bags for 50p, originally £2, 4 large gift bags for £1.49. They should have been £1.49 each.  I also picked up some £5  M&S cards for £1.75.

We called in another shop The Works and got some cards that I can enhance with some hand finished bits and bobs. 2 x 8 for £2. I also picked up some luxury gift paper and tags for 10p each.

Later we went to Tesco and they were selling off Loreal Revitalift for £4.50 instead of £11. They've gone in my present box ready for birthdays etc.

It was a good days savings and they'll keep me going through the year and the next Christmas.

I've done two 5 hour shifts which has consisted of sitting in front of a computer doing  e-learning package all about the stores practices, like rotating stock, spillages, write offs, health and safety and much more.  Each section has a test and practical assignment after. The pass mark is 80% for each section and if you dont pass you have to do it again.  I've passed everything do far and I'm ahead of schedule....so far so good.  Bye for now. Tx


Wednesday, 16 January 2019

I Survived

Well I survived my first training day at Lidl's head office in Kent. The journey was long as I had to go to London Stratford, then Stratford international, then catch a very, very fast train to Ebbsfleet. The ticket was supplied by Lidl and I was paid for my travel time too.  There were 6 newbies and we all got our induction to the German company.  We were told how we are paid, when we are paid and how to make sure you are paid.  Its all technically done via a clocking in machine that you tap with your personal fob. Every minute worked is paid for.  All pay rises and holiday allowance is  automatic each year till you reach top grade, holiday rises to 35 days after 4 years.

There was an element of Health and Safety, The Lidl working model  and how they are  environmentally concious.  It all sounds very good but proof of the pudding is on the shop floor, so I'll reserve judgement.

As well as my uniform I was given a little goody bag, not particularly healthy but it's the thought. Luxury crisps, Belgium chocolates, luxury shortbread biscuits, padlock  for locker, lunch box, pens, bag and  lanyard. I also received my staff discount card and fob.

My shifts are all over the place while I'm training but they should settle down to 2-3 shifts (15hrs), that's what I've been told. Back soon. Tx



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Patience is a Virtue..........2

Well blow me down I was only just talking about  having patience when shopping, when I got a phone call from Wickes who had planned and quoted  for the new kitchen. The quote offer was to run out yesterday 8th so John was asking if we'd made up our minds etc. We had decided we preferred Wickes style of unit to Wren despite being more expensive but previous experience tells me they normally come back with a further reduction and they did, £495 off the price plus and an  additional 24 hours to sign on the dotted line. I suspect this would have been extended further if we'd said we couldn't get there in time. The plan is below, sorry its a bit fuzzy.




Once a month we get a load of junk mail through the door, most ends up straight in the recycling. But some is quite  interesting.  Farmfoods don't have a website whereby you can browse products. So you physically have to go in. I pop in regularly as they are right next door to Screwfix my favourite shop but only  buy  bread and milk. 




In each months junk mail there is usually a Farmfoods leaflet and some of the products have caught my eye this month, especially as there are coupons attached to reduce the price further.  6 cans of Tuna for £3.99, less than 67p a tin, Finish dishwasher tablets 220 tablets for £15 and the Youngs Fish in sauce 3 for £5. Hubby loves Parsley whereas I don't, so a great way to mix and match. If I can bring down the price of the protein in our diet then it will help enormously. Once I have a proper kitchen again I will also be experimenting with more meat free dishes using pulses and beans not just meat substitutes. 

I'm getting a little anxious about starting work next week. I have to travel to Kent for my first day to see around a distribution centre and meet the big bosses. I haven't worked since retiring almost two snd a half years ago. Doesn't time fly. Back soon.Tx 



Monday, 7 January 2019

Patience is a Virtue

I may be more grumpy as I get older but I am certainly more patience (with certain things). The old saying  'Act in haste, repent at leisure'  would have applied to me in my younger years.  If I wanted something I wanted it NOW!


Patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to saving money.  Thanks to 'cookies' your shopping habits leave a virtual footprint for companies to see.  I have learnt to drop something in my basket but not complete the sale......walk away for at least 24 hours and on quite a few occasions I've received a money off code or notification of a new reduced price, then if I really want it I buy it. 

 I am a fan of the Boots after Christmas sale which starts at 00.01 Christmas Night on line and whenever the shops open on Boxing Day. They do slash their prices by 50%. I ordered a lovely English Heritage Gift set and some designer  children's outfits for half price and they have already been given as birthday presents.  I missed out this year on lots of gift sets online but then I stumbled across an out of town Boots that not only had  loads on its shelves, it allowed me to use some of the points vouchers that arrived that morning. 



The till receipt tells you not only did I save £18.20 I also received a 280 additional points (£2.80).  I have the Boots app on my phone and I have just activated 200 extra points when I shop in store before the 15th.  I do need some bits so I'll have a browse to see what is the best value as boots can be more expensive. 

We went into the Range to look for security lights but they don't stock them but I did come out with some 40% off tea towels and Christmas decorations.  The decorations will have family photos inserted ready for the tree later this year. The tea towels may be split up and put in hampers for family and friends. 




Finally the fish I purchased after Christmas, I can't believe the price it should be! I've used the salmon already but it was about £4-5 each and reduced to £1.10. 

The Cod Fillet should have been £5.03 I paid £1.26
The Sea Bass should have been £4.00 each I paid £1.  I'm hoping I can continue these sorts of savings throughout the year,  then Hubbies retirement may come around even quicker.  How do you shop to save money? Bye for now. Tx









































Thursday, 3 January 2019

Forging ahead

Happy New Year to one and all, I hope it brings you everything you wish for.   

Christmas and New year didn't really stop us forging ahead with the renovation.  Hubby is due back to work on the 7th for his 2 days and I start my 2 days a week job on the 14th, so we are trying to get as much done as possible.  I am a believer in things happening for a reason although they may not be apparent at the time.  Having to clear all the fixtures and fittings from the bathroom  when we had the  burst pipe has actually allowed us the opportunity to set up a kitchen in there.  So we spent a day kitting it out with bits of units, worktop, cupboards and the washing machine. There is no electricity in there so I just plug in an extension lead when required from the hallway. Yes its compact and bijou. Moreover, its taken the pressure of trying to prepare meals in a disorganised dirty area.  I still have the cooker and fridge/freezer in there but they are wiped down regularly. The rest of the cupboards will be removed once we have a date for the plasterer. 



As soon as the utility was cleared of the units and washing machine we set about taking down the rest of the wall.  Some of the rubble has been kept in bags in the garden ready for hardcore but a whole trailer load went to the local tip......another skip saved. 
Next came the job of blocking up the back door.  Hubby is not a bricklayer but after watching a few tutorials on YouTube he  removed the old door which we are swapping for the one on the garage and blocked it up from the inside.  The outside will be insulated then either bricked or blocked as soon as we have the time and warmer weather.  Its the side ally of the house which is fairly sheltered and  no one uses so it could be blocked and rendered, which would also save money.


The carpets and blinds are both on order and set to arrive in 2-3 weeks which is holding us up a little.  So we decided to utilise as much of the existing electrics as possible in the kitchen. There is more than enough wire for most of them to be moved to alternative positions. We have had a kitchen planned at Wickes and are off to Wren later today.  The layout will remain the same regardless of supplier. So this evening we will mark out the units on the floor and wall, then plot where we will need sockets and overhead lighting.  

My frugal ways are with me all the time.  I've managed to pick up some birthday presents in the sale for half price and once I have made some space in the freezer I will be tailoring my shopping to  times when I can pick up the best yellow sticker foods in particular fish and meat. Just after Christmas  I got over £20 worth of fish for less than £5. I can't wait to have cupboards to fill with bargains! There is something so reassuring about having a larder and freezer full of food. 

In general January will be a lower spend, apart from building stuff which I am keeping a log of.  Before any item is purchased we check on line to see where it is the best price for the right quality. Bye for now. Tx

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Merry Christmas

I've been making great use of the Tesco 29p vegetables. So far I've  bought 5 bags of carrots, 4 sprouts, 3 parsnips, 3 potatoes and 5 cauliflower. Tomorrow I'll be popping into Asda for their 29p broccoli and Aldi for their red/white  cabbage and swede. Most of the veg has been prepped, bagged and put in the freezer to see us through the next few months. 


My budget has gone over again this month and stands at £153.04 but that's because I've been stock piling a few bits.  I will continue with this next month as I think the prediction about food shortages and Brexit could be true. They are saying fruit and vegetables from Spain in particular will be held up. Having been a Border Force Officer for many years before I retired I know the huge range of goods that come from Europe other than veg.   The one that shocked me the most was a famous cake brand being made in Poland and shipped to the UK.  I remember thinking ….'Bloody Hell we can't even make cakes anymore!'

While the windows were being fitted we removed the step in front of the old patio doors.  We've stacked the slabs and bricks as they may come in handy. We've also kept the bricks and blocks from the kitchen where the window has been made into a French door.


They will be used to block up the old kitchen door in the utility room. Hubby couldn't control his urge any longer and started removing the utility room wall to see how the kitchen will look once its out and with the new door.  Its going to take some time ad the walls gave been rendered and plastered.  



A little while ago I wrote about this winter being the last one hubby will work.  After his bout of pneumonia  earlier this  year and working in a cold workshop 2 days a week, it's time for change. So I decided to look for a job for 6 to 11months. When he goes I'll go! A new Lidl has been built a 1.5 miles from my house and I applied for a part time post. I uploaded my CV, sat an on line test and had a telephone interview as well as a face to face one and I've been offered the hourly contract I asked for. 15 hours a week, 2 shifts and I start in the new year with 4 weeks initial training. The area manager asked me if I would be interested in promotion, I gave a true politicians answer neither confirming or denying. Of course I'm not interested in promotion, I just want to go to work twice a week and come home. The 10% discount will come in handy too and if I dont like it  or it gets too much, I'll  leave. On the other hand it could work out well and I may stay longer but ask for less hours, either way it will give me some retail experience because I've always wanted a winter seasonal post in a supermarket, were you just work for 3 months of the year. 

Anyway, enough said. Merry Christmas to you and yours.  We will take a 2 day break from the work and enjoy time with the family.  Enjoy yourself, drink eat and be merry. Tx 


Thursday, 20 December 2018

I Just Wanted To Cry....

..and I did, several times.  Its soul destroying when you have spent hours painting, tiling and cleaning, for someone to come along and destroy your work.  
I looked up at the newly plastered and painted bedroom ceiling to see two long hairline cracks, this is because we no longer needed the water tank and the weight of it being removed and the heating engineer going up and down has resulted in the movement cracks. I've filled them and repainted, yes it only took an hour but it seems to like groundhog day! The hall walls are covered in nicks and scratches from tools going in and out..... so this will have to be repainted.  

We were just on the finish line of the en-suite and the window man drops a tool and cracks a newly laid floor tile.  The basin has had a tool laid against it and its left metal marks on the china. Now I have to go and buy bicarb to use as a mild abrasive to get them off.  The 2 patio doors go in today and the kitchen one in particular is going to be a sod as the wall has to be cut out.  More dust and crap everywhere!  But on a good note we are generally pleased with the windows and doors so far.  They've given  the bungalow far more modern look. Once the tops of the bays are given a makeover with new faux timber cladding it will look great. 



 
Christmas is so close and I have 5 more things to get at some point over the weekend.  We are going to our eldest daughter on Christmas day and youngest onboxing day.  Hubby has finished work now until the new year. We were both hoping to get the 3 bedrooms and en-suite completely finished, with carpets, blinds and furniture but it wasn't to be.  The blinds are on order and won't arrive until the new year. The carpets will be ordered Saturday or Boxing day and will be laid in the new year. All the glossing will be completed by the end of next week and we will then replace any missing gripper before we  put down  the new underlay ready for the carpets. 


I mentioned on my last post that we were very pleased with the Ikea wardrobes.  They were very heavy but simple to put together and they look great.  Once the blue film is off, it will reveal white and grey gloss doors.  The two front bedrooms are identical in shape except one is 6 inches longer at 13ft.  You can tell by the bay reveal. 





I've gone very bling with my light fixtures which is very unusual for me, the curly one was a half price bargain from a Homebase which is closing down. The photos don't do then justice. 


We have been beavering away at removing the old grout from the bathroom walls ready for it to be plastered.  After googling the problem it said treat like wallpaper and wet it before scrapping off and this works brilliantly.  It also said you can use a wallpaper steamer. Its amazing what you can learn.  Hubby may have to lift more concrete as we would like to change to position of the toilet. The bathroom is next on the agenda together with the removal of the utility room walls.  I should be back with another post before Christmas, apologies for it being so long.  I've had a touch of the winter blues to and its hard motivating yourself when so much is in chaos around you. By the way I have a part time job and start in the new year.  More about that soon.  Bye for now. Tx