Friday again!

What can I say? The week had flown by, probably because a lot has happened. Firstly as I’ve posted previously I was unwell, and am just now feeling much better. Secondly we had a leak from our toilet which made our kitchen ceiling bow and when pressed we created a hole in the ceiling and a puddle in the bowl we placed underneath. Then the plumber came and fixed it, and where the landing carpet had turned brown (on the edge) was in fact damage done by the leak. So I decided to see if we could make a claim on the house insurance, the biggest problem being the carpet, which I did think was down to spilling tea on the mat (not that a cup of tea ever gets over to that part of the carpet as it is right on the edge). So I rung up and the people so far (apart from one) have been very helpful and kind, The first assessor is coming this afternoon with the second coming next Wednesday.

Have I mentioned lately that I have a ‘thing’ for oven baked jacket potatoes? Already this week we have had them twice at least, and I think the rest of the family are getting a bit fed up with them. I love the crispy skin, the melted butter taste mixing with the baked beans (although we have had a tin of free beans from Heinz which we currently prefer to Baked beans and one tin is FOUR of your FIVE a day) (See here for free tin)

Another freebie we got this week was for spam, although you have to buy one you get one free with a coupon, and as I love spam and didn’t have any the cupboard  it was a very welcome treat. (See here for Spam coupon)

And next came the Vanish Sensitive sample, as I have Vitiligo anything sensitive is a good thing. (See here for Vanish sensitive sample).

Next came a free sample of Boss Nuit fragrance, a touch a luxury for nothing can;t be a bad thing can it? (See here for sample offer)

So that is my freebies this week so far, that I can remember – that is.

 

For my USA fans I found the following for you on your side of the pond: Free Simply U hair care sample, 2 Free Atkins bars, Free Sample of Spark pet food, Free Necafe Memento sample, Free Nivea Whitening deodorant sample

 

Take care

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Angry birds

Whether you play or not, you will have undoubtedly heard about the hugely popular angry birds game! In fact the game is so popular you can now buy clothing, mobile phone games, and all types of accessories!

And I have to confess I am addicted to the game, especially as you can now play in tournaments on Facebook! So what is the hype all about? Well, it is a simple enough game, the aim of it being that you need to ‘pop’ all the birds/pigs on the game page with the given tools (which vary). Some of your tools can explode and cause more havoc, some shoot through wooden blocks and you can play against your friends too – which makes it more addictive. But for me another addiction (and I do use the term addict/ion loosely), each game has three stars and you gain the stars by scoring high scores. So for example if you pop all the birds you might get 100,000 points and one star. But if you try again and pop all the birds and score 110,000 you might get 2 stars and so forth up to three stars!  There is no telling about how many points you need to get the maximum scores, but I always try to get three stars on each level.

There are plenty of different levels and versions to play depending on where you are playing, and if you use Google chrome as your browser you can even download the game into your browser to play! If your travelling and have an appropriate mobile phone, you can also play on that too. Unfortunately, my phone isn’t capable of playing games like that so  I travel with music via my ipod.

So if you play you will know what I am talking about, if you don’t head over to Angry bird website and check it out

 

 

 

P.S Did you notice my new tune of the week? I try to update it on Sunday or Monday, please do check it out>>>

Freebies galore

I love freebies! And boy have I had my fair share over the years. But there are also freebies to be used on your computer as alternatives or replacements or just for new.

For example there are alternatives to Microsoft Word:

Libre Office is a highly recommended office suite, that offers a host of things from word through to

spreadsheets and presentations and all for FREE. I’ve been using it for some time now and have had no

problems with it whatsoever, an din turn have no worries about recomneding it. I mean why would

you pay hard earned money for something that ultimately does the same job? I think only the rich or

silly would pay for something because of the name (of course it would be different if you think a

payable version is ‘better’) Alternative Free office suite include Open Office,  and Star Office


Now let’s turn our attention to Free anti-virus software:

Firstly, it may be worth checking with your bank if they provide Free anti-virus software. Currently in the UK Barclays offer free Kaspersky protection for their online customers, and for RBS and Nat West customer there is security from Rapport (also with Santander). But if you don’t have an account with these there are options available…

These include AVG which is one of the better known names, also well-known is Avast! We’ve used both of these in the past before getting the free software from our bank, and can vouch they both have good reports and work well.  Alternatives which we haven’t tried but have heard good calls to include: Avira,  and Zone Alarm


Next we go to on-line blogs, and obviously the best include WordPress and Blogger. I am obviously with WordPress at the moment, but have been worth blogger too and liked both. It was a difficult decision to move from Blogger to here WordPress, but I decided I preferred the layout. Blogs are a great way to let the world know about your life, a passion, a recipe, or hobby or anything else that you wish. Obviously, there are limits to their willingness to obligate certain items, and no affiliate links are usually allowed.


There are lots and lots of freebie tools and downloads you can use from games to crossword and puzzle creators, and much much more.
Tucows, Download are two top spots and why not try computeractive if you  follow the popular British magazine (or not come to that)

I missed my nurse…

You may be forgiven from the title to thinking that my nurse has left the practise, or perhaps died. Neither are true! It is true to say that my diabetes care has been far from perfect since my last regular nurse retire a few years back! And it is true that one of my favourite doctors at my surgery recently died from cancer and another is leaving for South Africa (good riddance if you ask me). But my title means nothing quite so drastic, in fact it draws to the fact I missed my nurse appointment on Monday. Well, I say missed: In fact I cancelled it. You see I woke up and it was tipping down of rain, and I had the dressing at home to do the wound so I thought; I’m not going out in that weather – and didn’t!

Are you like me and love a freebie? I’ve recently had two McVites cakes (1 x Hob nob flap jacks pack, and 1 x Jaffa cake bars), I also got my wife a seven-day trial of a new cream which she thinks is great! Additionally, I have had a bottle (mini) of whiskey (great for the Christmas cake),some free orange juice, some free cereal, a free razor (hydra 5), some free chocolate, two pints of free milk, and much more.

I get some freebies through Facebook, others through freebie websites, other through email invites, and some through printing off vouchers. Some of the vouchers can be money off coupons, but the item is already reduced in store which makes it free usually (and in some cases I have even had the remaining few pence off the rest of my shop! But in the UK at least there seems to be a stigma about cutting and using coupons, and there really shouldn’t be! I  simply cannot understand why anyone would pay full price when they can get it cheaper!

My top tips for saving money

  1. Use a site like http://www.mysupermarket.com to check prices of items you want in all the major supermarkets
  2. Always check online for printable vouchers to take with you
  3. Try to haggle the price down, and be prepared to walk away and stick to a maximum price you want to pay
  4. Take advantage of BOGOF offers, freezing the unwanted items until you need them, or share with neighbours or family
  5. Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach. It is proven that if you do you pick up extra items that you fancy and always spend more than needed
  6. If you go to the store for just a loaf of bread, make sure that you go to that aisle only and then leave the store. Supermarkets do a great job of getting you to buy things we don;t really want.
  7. Always check dates of everything and freshness of fruit and vegetables etc. Check market prices to see if they can save you money, and buy more if on offer and freeze for a later date
  8. Use money when shopping. It’s proven that if you only have a certain amount of money in your wallet then you shop more sensibly!
  9. Cut all money off products in magazines  and put in an envelope. Check the envelope before you go to the shops, and take any in date coupons that you may have for products you are going to buy
  10. Write into companies offering feedback on products (good or bad), often they reply with a small token gesture of money off coupons!

 

Bargains and freebies and haggling

It’s been a day for personalised greeting cards codes today we’ve managed to get three cards personalised and printed for about £2.80 (ish)! We got one from http://www.tesco-cards.com using code £1OFF leaving 79p to pay. Next we got a code from http://www.personalisedcards.com and paid just 60p with code 5KFREE. Then we popped over to http://www.winstonandharry.com and got 50% off our card leaving just £1.44 to pay with code EURO50.

Then we got a free bag of Walkers crisps from their Facebook page.  While at Facebook we got a free Aloe Vera sample. Also on Facebook McVities gave us a FREE cake . Next we popped over to Yorkshire tea Facebook page and got some free tea bags. And then we got some more tea bags from Twinings Facebook page.

But as much as we love freebie and bargains, you have to beware of a few things. Firstly, I try to check the website owners are authentic, I do this by visiting a domain name registrar and typing in the url. They will tell you whether it’s a company or individual. I have lost count of the number of freebies that have been offered by individuals. If the website looks unprofessional or insecure then it’s best avoided too. If you enter details about your name and address into a website that is not safe then you can expect lots of spam, and junk mail, as they are probably willing to make money by selling on your details in some way! So it’s best to be safe.

Obviously not all freebies and deals are unsafe, I’ve had freebies and free spends from major companies including La redoute, Isme, Kit Kat, and many – many more.

And when you go into a shop and buy, why not try haggling? It’s not easily done for some people, but it does work! I recently bought a pair of glasses and they initially quoted me over £400 for them with varifocals and reactalites. However, I said we only had a certain amount to spend and we eventually got the price down to about £150. Quite a saving, and within our budget!

But why not try it in other shops, when you go to pay just ask something like: “I shop here regularly can I have a discount on this top as I really like it”. Be prepared to walk away though and leave the shop, and get a figure in your head that is the maximum you want to pay. It is entirely possible to get discounts from many many shops and restaurants! I got one in a smart restaurant when we went out with my daughter and her then boyfriend, we got 20% off the bill! Just for asking! Even in the pizza hut I asked and although we didn’t get money off, we did get a FREE dessert!  Like the old adage goes: “If you don’t ask, you won’t get”

The UK could take some lessons from our American cousins, who apparently love nothing more than to cut and shop with coupons! I saw a TV show the other month which showed American families actively hunting out online vouchers printing them off and going shopping with them. They saved dollars! And I check for vouchers too, the main place is http://www.beforeishop.co.uk (have a nose at http://www.coupons.com in the USA). Companies often offer coupons directly too, so always check out for them. I mean why would anyone want to pay £3.00 for something when you can get it for £2.00?

It’s Monday folks!

A weekend is supposed to be a relaxing time when you are able to be free from work/ week ties and basically have a good old rest to recharge your batteries! Unfortunately this wasn’t the case this weekend for us, as I may have said last week my father in law was taken to hospital for an urgent operation which he had on Thursday afternoon. In the meantime Mother in law has gone to pieces, so we have in effect been ‘granny sitting her’.  She is unable to do anything basically, due to her osteoporosis and her nerves. But the problem comes is when we try to do something to help – it isn’t good enough. For example, I thought I’d help out by cooking some cheese on toast (I’m not particularly able-bodied myself). So I promptly put six slices of wholemeal bread on the grill pan; only for mother in law to snap at me informing me that the slices should be turned the other way! Another incident was when my wife was ‘putting the clean washing on their airer, she naturally put then over a rail; mother in law snapped into action again “No, they go over two rails” and promptly took over the task herself, while trying to find energy and strength to stand! And in the early hours of Sunday morning she was taken by ambulance to A & E. They said she has mild angina and she was released.

So you’d think with her two siblings and three grandchildren the care of them would be pretty regulated and easy? Wrong. The two brother siblings of my wife, can’t do anything as one works full-time and it’s understandable as he works long hours. But the other only has excuses, and here are a couple of them: “I can’t stay with my as I got to write my shopping list!. “I got to go at 8am as I have a lot to do (washing for one)”. And “I can’t ring up to find out how dad is because I don’t like hospitals”!  You may be asking what about the grandchildren? Well, they aren’t bothered with their grand parents as they have never ever been there for anything for them, and like I say and believe “What goes around comes around”.

Friday’s visit to the practise nurse went OK. She doesn’t think it’s infected (which is good), but took a swab just in case. She says the smell is probably from the dead skin that clings to the area. I need t re-attend next the surgery next week, and book an appointment at the Prosthetic clinic.

In another news I have started another trial of the Graze box (Use code 2F7MT6RD for a FREE box), in my box this time I had delicious Jaffa cake (Nuts raisins and a few giant dark chocolate buttons), White chocolate raspberry cheesecake ( white chocolate buttons, raspberry’s, cranberries and hazelnuts) and two other delicious cartons!  I used them as a treat when having the chocolate buttons (not all have got chocolate in though), even though they might only have three or four buttons in.  was offered three boxes at half price, which I will use and then cancel again.

I have forgotten how many times I have lost money on the lotto, in fact I do it online automatically and in the past six month to a year I have won a staggering £8.50 all told! I keep waiting to get the finger pointing at me and the deep voice saying “It is you”…

If you fancy a ckae why not try this one for a rich fruit cake ring:

 

Ingredients
* 85 g (3 oz) dried cranberries
* 85 g (3 oz) sultanas
* 85 g (3 oz) dried pears, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) stoned prunes, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) dried figs, chopped
* 85 g (3 oz) stoned dried dates, chopped
* 250 ml (8½ fl oz) apple juice
* 50 g (1¾ oz) pecan nuts, chopped
* 50 g (1¾ oz) candied ginger, chopped
* finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
* 5 tbsp sunflower oil
* 1 egg
* 75 g (2½ oz) molasses sugar
* 115 g (4 oz) self-raising white flour
* 115 g (4 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 2 tsp ground mixed spice
* 3–4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, as needed

Method
# Place all the dried fruit in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the apple juice, place over a moderate heat and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes or until the fruit begins to absorb the liquid.
# Remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, until completely cold. Stir in the pecan nuts, ginger, and lemon zest and juice.
# Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF, gas mark 2). Brush a 23 cm (9 in) ring tin with a little oil. In a bowl, beat together the sunflower oil, egg and sugar until smooth.
# Sift the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl, tipping in any bran in the sieve. Add the soaked fruit and the egg mixture, and stir well to combine thoroughly. Stir in enough milk to make a fairly soft mixture.
# Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1¼ – 1½ hours or until risen, firm and golden brown, and just beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
# Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least 1 hour before running a knife around the edge and turning it out. Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, and store for 2–3 weeks before serving, to allow the flavours to mature.
# To decorate the cake, gently heat the jam with 1 tsp water, then press through a sieve. Brush the top of the cake with the jam. Arrange the cherries, nuts and candied ginger on top, pressing them gently into the jam. Finally, dust with sifted icing sugar.