What’s for tea?

For me and our family, good quality and tasty meals are a main part of  happy life…mealtimes are not just there for the basic need of actually having to eat, but a time to sit, relax and enjoy something together while talking over the day.  However, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen (I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen!) or lots of money on expensive ingredients so I try to plan and be as creative as possible to ensure what we eat is lovely for less!  There will be more posts coming on shopping and how I have saved money so far this year by tweaking my shopping habits, but for now…what are we having this week?

 A plan is vital…the stress is gone if you know what you are having and that you have the ingredients for it.  This week we will have :

Ready meal (weight watchers pasta for me, pie and cauli cheese for Bruce…its Monday! I go to zumba and B eats alone later)

 Belly pork slices (reduced to £2 per pack and been loitering in freezer) in homemade BBQ sauce (ingredients from store cupboard) with brown rice (I batch cook brown rice a whole packet at a time and then freeze in individual portions for quicker teatime)

 Gammon, baked pots and veg (kindly supplied and cooker here by my mum and dad as B is away!)

 Pasta and red pesto…Plums absolute current favourite

 Bumper mac and cheese…I will add a little interest and extra nutrition to this classic with a couple of slices of bacon from the butcher and some sprouts and spinach from the freezer

 Pan fried trout (B caught it last week on a fishing trip) with gnocchi (we drizzle them in oil and bake in oven…like lovely tasty roasties…yum!) and green beans

 Homemade chunky soup

 Then its Monday again!

 Our eating patterns vary around the shifts B is working, whether I am going to zumba (1 or 2 nights per week) and Prunella and bedtime…but as a rule we aim to eat as a whole family once a week, I eat with Prunella another 2 times (she eats slightly differently from us and also as requires full assistance to feed it does mean someone ends up with a cold meal as they are helping her and that is not great every night but it is important that we create family mealtimes as much as we can manage!)  and the other nights B and I eat together once Plum is down at 7 so I like to have something I can have mostly prepared and is cooking away while I do bath and bed and is ready to tuck into by 7.15ish. Oh, and although B doesn’t work a Monday to Friday pattern I like to mark the weekend by having a nice tea on Saturday and often a kind of roast (not the works but some meat and veg combo!) and wine!!!

 So what are you eating this week? What is your eating pattern and are you happy with it? What changes would you make to it?  Love to hear what and how you eat….xx


A few recent cheap thrills to get us started


2 packs of buttons from Tiger (£1 per pack)…so many ideas of what to do with them…or just lovely to look at and play with!




I love this tape from Tiger (£1 per roll)  I post off quite a lot of parcels through selling pages and I think its nice to add a bit of interest to a boring brown parcel!



I am a big fan of a black bic and this little ribbon wrapped stash made me very happy when B gave them to me!


OK…so strictly speaking Chanel No 5 is not cheap (£52 per bottle!) BUT….a tiny squirt lasts all day (and can still smell next day if wearing same top which I often am!) and I know this bottle will last at least a year…therefore I am claiming it as a cheap thrill as for 15p a day I can smell posh and feel lovely!!


A pot of narcissi for £1 in a charity shop bowl £1.99….makes me smile every time my eye rests on them!


Could not resist this red and white spotty bag…made of lovely thick cotton and a great size for throwing all plums stuff in for going out..£1.50 Primark!


Love a good cuppa and when I saw these posher than my usual brew tea bags reduced to 95p in asda I decided a treat was in order!


This may divide opinion but I love picalilli…and this huuuuuge jar was rolled back to 10p a jar! And in date until Nov 2014! Total bargain!


Zumba zumba zumba…energy boosting, endorphin releasing, can’t help but smile when doing it fun…the best £3.50 you can spend!


My first 9 patch square completed for my 9 patch square quilt…there will be more of this I am sure in posts to come!

So these are some of my recent cheap thrills…what are yours? xx






Welcome to a life of cheap thrills!

Welcome to Life of Cheap Thrills…which is essentially all about my quest to live a lovely life for less…whether that’s less money, less stress, less time…just about stripping things back a bit and focussing on whats important to me and my family rather than being swept along at the terrifying pace that can be dictated by society around us…telling us we need to have this, we need to do that, we need to go here etc in order to be happy.  I believe that in fact you don’t need to do any of these things to be happy.  To live a lovely life for you, I think you simply have to look at what makes you and the people around you happy and then focus on how to achieve that in the easiest and cheapest way.

Now you may be reading this intro and thinking that actually I do need the latest gadget/handbag/holiday/visit latest restaurant etc to achieve  happiness..I hope if you do, you will still stick with reading as perhaps you may pick up some tips about how to save in other areas of your life to generate even greater pleasure from these things (perhaps for example the joy of saving up for it rather than buying on credit and having the pleasure of your thing marred by the headache of paying it back!)

So what makes me happy is going to be come quickly apparent as posts emerge and you see how I go about my funny little life (B’s description!), however I will share a few aims for the year ahead that I set myself, and living towards achieving these aims and having more conscious thought about the way I live my life I guess has formed the basis of deciding to blog about it.

  1. Save money wherever possible…since I no longer work having given up to care for Plum I have no real means of making a great deal of money (dabbling in my little craft venture, pink gingham, is never going to regenerate enough money to be significant!) so I decided to look to see where I could save..starting with ensuring outgoings are cheapest available for what we need and assessing if really need to spend as much as have done on other areas..clothes and food mainly! Which leads nicely onto the next challenge…
  1. Embrace the Love What You Wear project http://thelovewhatyouwearproject.blogspot.co.uk where you don’t buy any new clothes for a year…second hand and vintage is fine (and shoes and underwear is allowed) but apart from that basically embrace your existing wardrobe or make/adapt what you have…its great fun!
  1. Get fitter and healthier…eat less, exercise more…simples!
  1. Embrace the simple pleasures in life…whatever that may be…a charity shop find, a walk by the beach with the dogs, playing on the slide with Plum…anything that is cheap, easy, simple and fun!

More on all of these as the blog unfolds…hope you enjoy the cheap thrills as much as I do!

PS…its always hard when starting a blog to know exactly where to start so the first few posts may be a bit jumbled and random until get into regular pattern…I feel I have so much to say and share its hard to know where to begin and end at the moment! x