Friday, 16 September 2011


Well, not strictly true is it?  After all that would be commandment number one for a thief!  But there is a lot of truth in this old adage, which set me thinking this week still along the lines of last week’s blog on thrift related topics.  So this week the blog is about 1) more domestic economy (yawn, I know!), 2) free puzzles for free time,
3) store cupboard recipe, 4) podcast review, 5) knitting is econcomical!
As mentioned last week, I subscribe to the weekly missive from
Quite why I do this I am not entirely sure as my current budget doesn’t actually lend itself to a great deal of investments, oh alright, it leads to absolutely no investments at all!  But there are some good articles on budgeting.  This week I obeyed the edict to check out if I had any unspent Tesco vouchers in my account.  Now, I knew for certain I hadn’t as I tend to use them upon receipt.  Surprise surprise!  I had ten pounds worth languishing, all ignored, all unspent.  Shame on me!  Well it took about five minutes in total to print them off, get coat on, lock the front door so I could hotfoot it to Tesco and spend the lot.  I now have a lovely new duvet cover for free.  Please don’t spoil the illusion that I have of it being for free.  I secretly know that I had to spend to accumulate the points, but it is a bonus anyway. 
Loyalty cards can come up trumps, and it is certainly worth putting up the Nectar toolbar, and/or downloading the app, as it is easy to “forget” to get the points.  There is even the bonus of points being added when a search is made on the internet, and all for free.
However, there is always the caveat with loyalty that it doesn’t always pay, which is why insurance comparison sites exist.  And store cards can be massively uneconomical. 
Sermon over.
There is an ugly rumour going round that I spend a lot of time on my laptop.  Like all addicts I play down the consumption, so like an alocoholic saying they only have the odd tipple now and then, I occasionally go on my laptop!
During one of these infrequent visits this morning I came across this site which I found fascinating because I like word games don’t groan at the sound of it until it has been visited.  And like a couple more sites below they enable one to spend “free” time, following “free” pursuits, and so keeping the purse zip tightly shut.  There are lots of word games on this next link, and also puzzles including jigsaws! and lots on here too  if the pop ups suggest signing up just don’t bother unless the idea appeals, the puzzles will still be available.    There are loads of such sites and I am sure there will be future recommendations.

2 for the price of 1 this week! Grandmother’s Jewels and pasta salad.  These are recipes pertinent to this blog’s theme as hopefully most or all the ingredients will be in the store cupboard.  If not, it will not break the bank.  As always, there is no ingredient that must be included, and others are always a welcome addition!  It is the colours of this salad that result in the name of the dish.   They dish benefits from being made in advance so that the ingredients can benefit from the dressing.  If desired the  Grandmother’s Jewels can be made, and halved.  Use half as it is and the other half is to be added to cooked pasta for the pasta salad. The dressing is given at the end
Grandmother’s Jewels:
Ingredients: Choose at least 3 of:
Tin of red kidney beans, tin of sweet corn, tin of flageolet beans, tin of chick peas (garbanzo across the pond!), tin of white kidney beans, tin of pinto beans
Use all or some of:
Bunch of spring onions chopped, or shallots, or ordinary onion
Red and/or Green Pepper chopped into chunks.
Drain the tinned ingredients and put in a bowl, add the onions, and peppers, and dressing, and leave till required.

Pasta Salad
Ingredients: Grandmother’s Jewels, 4 to 6 oz dried pasta.  The pasta can be shells, twists, penne, etc.  Just use what is in the cupboard.  Cook the pasta and add to the Grandmother’s Jewels. Add dressing and leave till required.

4tbs olive oil (don’t be frugal with this!)
2tbs white wine vinegar
1tsp sugar or honey
Seasoning to taste.
Mix all dressing ingredients well and pour over.  


This week it is Knit Spin Cake
And it is “what it says on the tin”, easy to listen to, the cake part is a recipe that is easy to follow and without exotic ingredients one can never find, the knitting and spinning will appeal to most crafters, and the reviews on knitting shops and sites are very informative,  This podcast makes for pleasant listening.

Ok, unless one undoes an existing garment and recyles the yarn it isn’t free, but tempting though it may be to only buy upmarket yarn and wallow in luxury, it is not a prerequisite. Small projects are not a drain on the finances, and can be as economical as buying ready made, for instance socks and gloves.  Hands go up in horror when some knitters hear the words “socks and gloves” because their creation is surrounded by mystique of knitting on four needles, or in the round etc.  Socks are easy, fingerless mitts/gloves are a doddle  Repeat after me “socks are easy fingerless mitts are a doddle.” So long as the knitter is not intent on creating lacy/cables/fair isle socks, and will actually read the pattern slowly and carefully, then any knitter can enjoy the sensation of wearing hand knitted socks.  If the leg is not knitted too long it is even possible to make a pair out of one 50g ball of 4ply.  It is suggested that a simple pattern like this is tried for first attempt.  But if knitting in the round is a new technique, then go for fingerless mitts, as they do not have a heel to learn.
Fingerless Mitts pattern: Using 3.5mm and sock wool or 4 ply, cast on 60, put 20 sts on 3 needles and join being careful not to twist, rib for 2 inches, then knit plain every row which creates stocking stitch, till base of thumb, then stop knitting in the round and go back and forth for about inch and half, revert to knitting in the round till base of fingers reached, then do 5 rows of rib.  Cast off in rib.  Hey presto fingerless mitts!

No comments:

Post a Comment