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Saving on parking

November 15th, 2004 at 08:09 am

So far I have been able to park my car for R15 a week at work. There is small side street, which is visible from the office windows, so several of us park there and pay the self employed car washers once a week. If the traffic cops arrive, we all rush down and move our cars- parking is free for 60 minutes, so because there are several of us we just shuffle our cars. Here's hoping we don't get tickets- but the underground garage costs R400($70) a month vs our , slightly illegal, system of about R60($10) a month.

Free Gifts

November 12th, 2004 at 09:34 am

Managed to get some free gifts for the birthdays I have this month. I received two lovely wall/ desk flower shaped clocks, when I ordered a complete skincare set- which I would have ordered anyway. One of the clocks will be for my goddaughter's birthday this month.
I also managed to get DH a free electric razor for his birthday- the drug store where I do most of my shopping( is a bit like Boots in England) gives you cash back vouchers every quarter. I get about 8% of what I have spent back , so if I save them they really do mount up.

Adjusting to work

November 9th, 2004 at 09:11 am

It's quite an adjustment being back at work.
I found shopping this Saturday to be a quite an experience- the shops were packed, when I was at home I would go in the week. I spent quite a bit, but I have got the bulk of the shopping done till at least mid December- so that helps.
I am taking my own lunch most days of the week- I either make extra when cooking supper, or pack some salad, tuna etc and make my sandwiches with rolls from the bakery. I prefer to treat myself to something I really enjoy ( like a falafel)once a week, rather than buy a boring sandwich everyday
I don't have to wear suits or heels to work, as long as I look respectable( to quote my boss). I've started getting to get into the habit of changing when I get back from work, means the clothes last longer and I'm more comfortable at home


November 5th, 2004 at 09:33 am

It has been a tiring week- not used to missing my power naps. There is a bakery right next to the building where I work- this is both a frugal help and a challenge. A help because instead of fixing sandwiches at home, I bring the filling- cheese, veggie polony (spam) salad and buy fresh rolls- no more soggy sandwiches.I also buy my bread from there, so if I have long life milk at home, can go for quite a while without shopping.
A challenge- well you can guess- very tempting, so I try to limit it to one treat a week for DH and myself- their gingerbread men are very good, as are there Chelsea buns.. I could continue
Now to relax watching Friends reruns

Gonna be a Bear

November 4th, 2004 at 07:17 am

I received this email from a very dear friend today- this for all the women on line Ėenjoy.
In this life I am a woman. In my next life, Iíd like to come back as a bear. When youíre a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, youíre supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that.
When youíre a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while youíre sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If youíre a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers youíre cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If youíre a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
Yup, gonna be a bear!!!!

Back to work

November 1st, 2004 at 12:26 pm

Went back to work today, after almost a year at home. Quite an adjustment, but one I'm looking forward to. I'm not planning on working full time but rather temping for about 4 months so that I can earn enough to renovate my kitchen cash instead of borrowing against the mortgage( house is already paid up) . I used to work for this company, so I know some of the the people and systems.
And I will be packing my own lunch- didn't today because I didn't have access to a fridge- was in training-but after nearly passing out at he price of a toasted sandwich, as soon as I'm back in the old office I will be packing lunch. My old boss organized an employees lunchroom, with a kitchen attached- sink, microwave, fridge and kettle- which makes it really easy to bring your own food.
Hope everyone had a good Halloween


October 30th, 2004 at 07:31 am

Went to the library this week. They have a brilliant idea for recycling magazines-they have dedicated a large magazine rack where you can leave your unwanted magazines and take any other ones that you fancy. I take all the old Time magazines that my Dad sends me- so I know they get read at least 3 times. They also have a small table selling crafts of some of the members and staff.
Managed to get some good books this week. I always try and take out at least one author i have never tried before- I figure it's free so if I don't like take it back- I have discovered some wonderful authors this way- I buy books by authors that I like and collect

Summer Knitting

October 29th, 2004 at 03:15 am

I've just finished piecing together some of my patchwork knitted throw- half of it anyway. It's made of individually knitted triangles, sewn together in pattern. It's great to knit in summer as the triangles are small( about 30 stitches across) so it's not difficult in the heat- I find large pieces too heavy to work with in the heat- so I'm knitting in summer for it to be ready by winter- trust me it will take that long. This thing is going to be massive, big enough to be a bedspread on a double bed, and the triangles are small- so many more pleasant hours knitting- I knit while I watch TV, makes it feel more productive.It's quite a frugal pattern as it uses mostly small scraps of wool, so I'm able to use up all my project leftovers.


October 22nd, 2004 at 05:55 am

Baked some choc oatmeal cookies( called crunchies in SA) today-. I was shopping yesterday- cat food was on sale- and decided not to buy more biscuits but to buy new cookie sheet instead- the old ones are rather scratched- fine for baking fish but not biscuits.
I figured the cost of a new cookie sheet at R30( $5) would pay for itself rather quickly as nice biscuits sell for about R6 a pack - 5 packets of biscuits or cookie sheet that should at least a year- about 52 packets of biscuits.
I allways keep some biscuits on hand for unexpected guests, must always be prepared. I find the idea of guests useful as a guide for cleaning the house- I do a walk through every day to make sure public areas are OK- if it's behind a door it can wait.

Cheesy Rolls

October 21st, 2004 at 01:05 pm

Made cheesy rolls for a light supper tonight- it's hot.
It's so quick and easy- take one hamburger roll, don't butter and fill with sliced cheese- just one slice should do- nuke for about 30 secs till cheese is soft and gooey but not runny- delicous and easy. I suppose you could serve with salads etc for more filling meal

Kitty Kibble

October 20th, 2004 at 08:17 am

I have started feeding the kitties dry food in the morning- vetís recommendation as it helps keep their teeth clean. I also find in summer it means the food can be left out all day for them, and doesnít go off. No waste. They get cans in the evening. But the food they like is expensive- Whiskas, Meow are their favorites. So what I do is mix a cheaper, quality brand with the more expensive brand at about half and half and keep it in a large Tupperware like container. This keeps it fresh, and the flavors mingle so they donít seem to notice the cheaper kibble- happy kitties, happy budget.

Xmas List

October 18th, 2004 at 06:38 am

Iíve started getting Christmas presents together- found a great deal online- all 3 videos of the Lord of the Rings for R100 ($20) Ė so I ordered several, and because the order was over a certain amount there was no shipping cost- one set is for us, one for my godson and the other will probably go to my nephew for his birthday in January. Iíve also bought some books for my nieces- I like to keep the idea of something to read, something to wear and something to play with as the guideline for their presents- last year I did Barbie theme for my one niece, and fairy theme for my goddaughter- they loved it as all the presents tied in together. My parents prefer ďexperience ď presents- nothing to dust- so I will probably give them theater or concert tickets.

Quite Saturday

October 16th, 2004 at 08:23 am

Spending a quite Saturday at home- my financial adviser came around so DH could sign some documents for our RA's( retirement annuities). Changing and updating our portfolios- one of the old accounts wasn't performing as well as we would have liked so we've shifted our monthly premium to another investment company.
Did some gardening- lots of lavender to dry. Will probably use for some Christmas presents.
Welcome back to crana( Rosemary is my Mom's name and she's originally from England)- hope you enjoy university- I know I really did.Spending a quite Saturday at home- my financial advisor


October 15th, 2004 at 01:27 am

Bought a new turntable today- our young neighbour was getting rid of some of his DJ equipment- so we got a turntable at R200($18)- which was cheaper than getting the stylus on our old one fixed.Try asking for a stylus from anyone under 30 and watch the reaction..:-)) So now we can play the old vinyl again- got Roxy Music playing now(ageing myself). This means we can now play everything from LPs, cassettes, CDs and also MP3s- which play on the DVD player

Shower Gels

October 14th, 2004 at 12:48 am

Shower gels are a weakness of mine- love them, but not the price
So this morning I decided to try my hand at making my own- I brought a large bottle of very ordinary shower gel, 1 liter cost R10( $1.50) compare to the more expensive and my favourite brands at R16 ( $2.50) for 250ml. I decanted it into smaller prettier bottles and added some lavender and rosemary sprigs from the garden- herbal shower gel. I also use this as hand soap in the bathroom- again decant, as is, into saved pump bottle.
I also took some aqueos cream- water based no fragrance or colourant- and thinned to a poring consistency with boiling water and added a few drops of essentail oil- very good for dry skin and smells wonderful- able to make 2 small bottles for about 25c each

Supper from the Freezer

October 13th, 2004 at 02:46 am

We are in the middle of a cold rainy spell- wasn't my last post about how hot it was- oh well
It's the first summer rains and it's been cold and wet- so for supper last night I took out some homemade veggie soup from the freezer, which was made in the middle of winter, and some frozen baked choc pudding- lovely warming and yummy meal with very little effort
Brought some strawberries on sale today- looking forward to strawberries and cream for dessert tonight- even if it's freezing :-))


October 9th, 2004 at 07:17 am

Itís been really hot the last few days- 30C at least
I find one of the nicest suppers in the heat is to make open sandwiches- I cut up some health bread, boil eggs, open a can
of tuna, and slice some Tomatoes and other veggies etc, lay it out buffet style and everyone makes their own. Easy to do, nutritious and light.
Must remember to take the frozen juice out of the freezer- only problem with frozen stuff Ė got to remember to take it out in time- otherwise hunk of ice in bottle
Was a bit cooler today so was able to do some gardening - moved a conifer tree from the front flower garden, where it just didnít fit to the back yard, where at least it helps to obscure some wall- it was still fairly small so it could be moved

No cost cushion covers- Winter Version

October 7th, 2004 at 04:25 am

Remembering that the majority of readers are approaching winter- I did exactly the same thing in winter- except I used woolen shawls and wraps to wrap the cushions. Again no cost. The rest of the covers I hand-knitted while watching TV, and fastened using some old coat buttons from the button jar. Some cost, but fairly minimal.

No cost cushion covers

October 5th, 2004 at 01:38 pm

Spring has sprung and I wanted to update the look and feel of the lounge- out with the knitted throws and pillows and in with lighter colors and textures. I wanted to recover a few throw pillows, so I went looking for what we had in the house already- I have several lovely silk type scarves that I have received as presents but which I donít wear very often- so I used my favorite very pretty ones-matching color to lounge color scheme and made ďno sewĒ cushion covers- I donít cut them as I donít want to ruin the original fabric and I might want it as a scarf again one day. I wrap the scarf around the cushion and finish with a knot/ bow in the middle. All throw pillows updated- took me about 30 minutes total and cost NOTHING and they look great and very unique

Juice for cheap

October 2nd, 2004 at 05:03 am

Went shopping for fruit and veggies yesterday _ I go to a warehouse type store that only sells fresh produce, juices and milk. If you take your own bottles the juice and milk are very cheap. Juice is about R4 a liter and milk R3. And as bonus they pack everything into a box, so the kitties get a toy as well.
Brought lots of juice as DH doesnít like veggies, but he does drink a lot of juice. We donít drink alcohol so I figure spending money on juice, not soda, is a healthy choice
Froze some of the juice so it should last longer and keep me out of the shops

Books on sale

September 30th, 2004 at 11:12 am

Went grocery shopping this week and at the one end of the hypermarket (big store that sells more than just food) was a table of new books on sale for R10- a lot of it was junk- but I did find a really nice SF short story collection (Ray Bradbury) for DH.
Which proves that when you see books on sale you should always look- I find that often people donít always know what they are selling- often the SF is on sale as theyíre isnít a very big readership

Experimental Muffins

September 30th, 2004 at 01:22 am

I had several jars of fruit mince (the type to make Xmas mince pies) in the fridge- some from 2 Christmases ago- and I have been wondering what to do with them, other than mince pies
So I made muffins- and they are surprisingly good. I used a choc chip muffin recipe, added a few spices- ginger and cinnamon- about a half jar of fruit mince- Christmas muffins. A nice touch is to dust them with icing sugar when they come out of the oven- as you would with Mince pies.
DH has taken several to work- I often make extra for him to take- he works as a sys admin- there are 12 of them and they all love muffins

Frugal Supper

September 26th, 2004 at 01:03 am

I cooked up a large pot of Dhal( split lentil curry), which we had with brown rice and boiled eggs. I can make a pot of dhal for about R10($2) and it makes at least 7 servings. Thats why I needed my spices:-)
Had strwberries, cream and straberry jelly( i think you call it jello in the states- in SA jelly is the sweet stuff that wobbles and jam is what you put on bread)for dessert
Frugal and very yummy
Also means I have good leftovers for lunch or supper today

Long Weekend

September 24th, 2004 at 03:20 am

Tody is a public holiday in SA- Heritage Day. It's a day when the focus is on celebrating our different and common heritages, and the various cultures and languages in South Africa. Did you know that SA is the country with the most official languages - we have 11. It's also " Proudly South African" week , where the focus is on buying and supporting SA goods and business.
DH has taken Monday off- so we are looking forward to nice quiet long weekend

Organising Spices

September 23rd, 2004 at 06:01 am

I've reorganising my spices.
Why are spices sold in funny little containers, which you can't access with a teaspoon. My local indian spice shop sells them in little plastic bags- great till first use. And spice racks- I have yet to find one that works for consistent use. Looks good for dispaly, not for cooking with every night.
So I have been putting all my spices into old glass jars, with screw on lids. This way I can see how much spice I have left, and can measure out with a teaspoon. The spices stay dry this way.
Iam also labelling them- has anyone ever had to try and identify whether a unidentified spice is chilli powder, meat masala, hot masala- you get the picture.
My DH normally get given this job- "here taste- what do you think this is? "Guess what he's going to be doing when he gets home.

Uses for Fabric Paint

September 20th, 2004 at 12:46 pm

I'm really chuffed with this tip- I sent it to one of our local magazines, and won a prize for the best tip of the month so I thought I would share it with all of you:

I recently spilled bleach on a favourite skirt (purple colour made of patches of velvet and satin).
The stain was small but very noticeable. As it was such a small stain I was reluctant to dye the whole skirt-
when I found fabric paint on sale at my local craft shop for R15 for a large jar. I painted the skirt where the stain was
( took three thin coats) and now it's as good as new.
This might not work on very smooth fabrics, but as the skirt was already textured any texture just fits right in
Favourite skirt saved for R15 or $2.50

Cheap Cleaning Materials

September 18th, 2004 at 04:10 am

Cheap Cleaning Materials
Managed to get quite a bargain on cleaning mateials today- a small supplier near us has a factory shop where if you bring your own container/ bottele they'll fill it up for you
so for R60- about $10- I got 3 litres fabric softener, 2 pounds washing powder, 2 lits dishwashing liquid, 2 lits bleach, 3 lits disinfectant- pine sented, and2 lts all purpose cleaner
Everything is about R3.50 a litre
You can buy in their containers but it's cheaper if you bring your own- also means I can use use up all the juice and soda bottles

Choc mousse

September 16th, 2004 at 11:53 pm

Here is my choc mousse recipe- it's really easy and looks terribly impressive
To serve about 8- 10- you can double or halve this as you need:

500g DARK chocolate
1 tbs butter
1 heaped tbs cocoa
9 eggs- separated
500ml( 2cups) cream
flavouring- I use coffee( 2tsps strong instant in 1 tbs hot water) or you can use 2 tbs of your favourite liquer if u drink

Melt choc , add butter , cocoa, and when slightly cooled, egg yolks, and flavour
Whisk egg whites till stiff - fold in
Whisk cream till stiff- fold in
pour into glass bowl and leave in fridge at least overnight
Decorate with whatever- I use choc curls
and there you have very impressive mousse
TBS= tablespoon= 15 ml
TSP= teaspoon= 5 ml
500g= 1 pound

Shopping at Traffic Lights

September 16th, 2004 at 08:39 am

Don't laugh- Traffic lights are where you can buy anything and get good bargains- any major traffic light( we call them robots) or intersection in Johannsburg.
You can buy anything, and I mean anything- toys, cell chargers and covers, caps, posters, curios, fruit, clothes hangers, refuse bags, bean bags, key rings, bags, cologne and that's some of it
Most of the poople selling have no other source of income, so this is there only livelihood
Must remember to carry some cash with me tommoorw- need some more hangers- at R20 for 20( that's $3)

Leftovers are wonderful

September 16th, 2004 at 12:57 am

It's been wonderful spring weather this week- 24C
Today we finish the last leftovers from the BBQ- it's been wonderful that I haven't had to cook since sunday- guess it makes up for cooking whole of saturday
Choc mousee keeps so well, and tastes better after being in the fridge for a few days, carrotsald lasts- I allways make sure we finish the meat and mayo salads first
Also haven't spent any money this week- ok R5( less than a $) for 1 loaf of bread-but that's it- feels good

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