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Category: frugal

An Invasion, but Sadly Not by Daleks

An Invasion, but Sadly Not by Daleks

If you squint very, very hard and have also had a couple of drinks it does look vaguely like Daleks have taken up residence on my allotment.

Fake Daleks

But no, the reality (remember the Dr Who episode with the Dalek Reality Bomb?) is they are bin bags full and half full of horse manure patiently waiting for me to be brave, open them up and tip out the contents and take up muck spreading. I have to do this really quickly now to get it into the soil before the sowing season. I get little thrills now and then when I think of harvesting my own organically growing veggies and fruit instead of harvesting at my local supermarket.

Fake Daleks who’ve moved slightly…honest!

However…….last night in the interests of frugality and maintaining ownership of most of the money in my purse I did do a Yellow Sticker shop at said supermarket. I came home with this little lot

Yellow Stickered Shopping

All marked down with the exception of the sugar which was a regular buy. Total cost £1.87, it did come to £1.89 but because I bought 3 x veg I got the “Buy 2 and get 3rd free” offer and got 2p refunded. Sorry about quality of pic, my hand was still quivering with excitement at the price. Loads of soups and stews will be created now.

I’ve been YS shopping before and sometimes it can be a bit of a scrum, but last night was great. Just a few people waiting and no barging etc. Loads of storytelling and jokes. One lovely man who knows I’m a vegetarian was handing me out all the veggie ready meals at 2p each! My kind of shopping!

I have to dedicate this post to Ilona – it was by reading her brilliant blog I first found out about it. Her latest entry is pure frugality and practicality combined. Well worth a read.

Gong back to the Daleks, I’ve seen compost bins turned into them. Note to self – add this to the ‘weird’ list


L xx

Knitting for my Allotment

Knitting for my Allotment

Every so often I open my cupboard door, gaze in wonder at the craft stash contained therein and then close it shaking my head and wondering how it got so bad. A while back when I was doing this my eye fell on my knitting mill. I picked it out and sat down and had a bit of a think on how to use it – I’ve done all the usual things with it like make a coaster or embellish a sweater.

Knitting Mill

It came to me – why not use it to make garden ties? They would be strong enough to hold up even big shrubs (you could plait 3 together to make a super tie), there is enough elasticity in them so they won’t harm the plant and you could make them in green tones to blend in or go for a riot of rainbow colours to cheer up a bland winter garden.

A Tie in the Making

They’ve been such a success that I’m now starting to knit a load for staking up plants on my allotment and maybe I can pass a few on to other allotment holders. It’s a great way to use up oddments of yarn and they last for ages. If you’ve got kids maybe you can get them crafting ties as well.


A Pile and a Smile

Daisy wasn’t available to pose this morning as she had a full diary, so here is little Poppy on her own looking cute in her sleep.

Poppy looking cute

L xx



Did I mention that as well as aiming to create a weird and wonderful allotment 2017 is also for me a “Buy Nothing But Experiences Year”. I’ve been reading loads of blogs of people who’ve successfully completed one of these years (spookily they’re usually women!).

My own self-imposed rules are –

Buy no stuff and that means clothes, books, sewing machines or 600mm prime camera lenses or Lear jets (new or secondhand).
Food is OK as without it I probably would not make it to February. I’m including coffees out as I like to write and eavesdrop in cafes.
Utilities and household running costs
No make-up, perfumes, lotions etc (I’m prepared to take the risk of scaring small children)
Experiences are allowed – I belong to a small group of friends who call ourselves The Extreme Day Trippers Club. We see how far we can get across Europe on a day return flight – we did Nice in the South of France in October and last month we got as far as Valencia in Spain (more on this in a future post).
Small experiences figure too like going to the local Seed Swap in February, attending a brilliant U3A Creative Writing course and I’m on the waiting list for a Beginners’ Watercolours Class.
I’m also not allowed to spend anything on my allotment as you’ve probably guessed.
Well, that little lot should keep me off the streets for a while.

Valencia – Christmas Decorations

I had a nice no spend thing at the weekend. I bitterly regret getting rid of my acoustic guitar a while back so I took a chance and asked for one on my local Freecycle network and lo and behold a lovely lady answered and I have a beautiful new guitar!

My “New” Guitar

This is a pic of a little Fox cleaning up the remains left from Scavenger Cam on Simon King’s Wild Meadows nature reserve. Nothing is wasted here. Also a couple of Badgers on – you guessed it – Badger Cam!

Cleaning Up!


Badger Night


L xx

A Seedy Sunday

A Seedy Sunday

I put a request out on my local Freecycle group for any spare flower and veggie seeds and look what a lovely generous Freecycler gave me yesterday!

free seeds

I’ve never grown pumpkins but I’m definitely going to give them a try. Likewise with melons and beetroot.

The same Freecycler told me that my local allotment association holds a seed swap in early Spring so I’ll be loitering around there as well.

I’m now saving jam jars and plastic tubs for chutneys and seedlings. I’ve also just finished glueing 2 CDs back to back shiny side out and I’ve added rhinestones for extra light to bounce off it, should make a fun bird scarer unless of course they come along to admire it. Will be making a few more as soon as I beg more unwanted CDs.

I’m a big fan of Simon King’s wildlife cams at his home at Wild Meadows in Somerset. I love Scavenger Cam.

He feeds a pair of wild Buzzards with scraps from the local butcher or roadkill. I got this still from the cam on Friday.


Isn’t it a magnificent bird?

And this is Daisy trying to work out how a Buzzard got into my laptop.

Daisy and Buzzard-small

My friend Stacey lent me an interesting book yesterday on crop circles.

crop circles

They’re all UK based and there are some amazing intricate shapes. I wonder how they are done. I suppose if I read the book I’ll find out……or will I?


Linda xx