Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Single Room Thing

So I happen to have a one-bedroom flat, with "heating". But the heating in the living room just... isn't up to the task. It tries, but the best it really achieves is taking the chill out of the air, and on keyed electric (boooo!) I was spending about £20 a week just trying to stop from freezing. I kept waking up shivering and then having to turn the blow heater on in the mornings just to get dressed, and that's not so fun when you're heading out into temps close to zero.

I'd intentionally kept the bedroom door shut and out of use until I received all my furniture, which happened yesterday, so I have boxes everywhere. But when I switched on the heating in there to help dry the newly-cleaned carpet, it's like an oven! So... guess what I've done for the past two days? Yep, set myself up in the bedroom. I have my desk and laptop in here, and my bed. I figure the space is smaller and it should save me some money if I just stop heating the living area during the week. Realistically I only need the living room for making my meals - maybe I'll feel differently once all my lovely living room furniture is in place in there! :)

I've also gotten cheeky a couple of times and left my front door open for half an hour when I arrive home from work... being at the top of the warm stairwell, it helps warm up a cold room nicely.

In other news I have sadly failed in signing up to a contract for my mobile phone. I get a corporate discount if I join EE. But I keep failing the address check verification when EE tries to confirm my card, even though I've confirmed that EE have the correct billing address. The bank says it's EE's fault. EE say it's the bank. I'm tired of making phone calls... will try again once I have received and returned the official "change of address" form for the bank. In the meantime I had to buy more pay-as-you-go credit with my current provider, so that's twenty-five extra pound down the drain that I really didn't want to spend... hey ho, not much I can do about it now!

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Washer Debacle

I've mentioned my washing machine more than once... I love the idea of that tiny washer, but truth be told this particular one has been a nightmare. It arrived banged up, broken, dirty and definitely not new. The seller had seemed willing to split the cost with me, but after repeated requests I'd gotten nowhere. Long story short it's now been returned and I'm waiting on a full refund from eBay.

That refund will come in handy, since ka-ching-wise, I'm scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

I must admit, it's easier not to spend money when you simply don't have it. But I'm a little bit nervous about finances and lasting until payday. I haven't bought a single Christmas gift either, but I'm trying to put that aside until I get paid... all my gifts will be bought online (and apparently all on the two days before Christmas).

I do already have one gift... bought with Nectar points. Thumbs up there, I know I could have used those points more efficiently on something for myself that I needed, but never mind, it's one less gift to worry about.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Remiss

I'm late with this update, but I've been pretty busy.

This week I've been updating my Level 3 First Aid. It's amazing how much I remember, how much I had forgotten and how much has changed since I last did my training. I am thoroughly in awe of new defibrillator machines, they now talk you through and are quite reassuring considering it's what most people would consider a scary thing to witness.

So how is this frugal? I'm adopting poetic licence here. I am going to say instead that First Aid Training is incredibly good value. Think about it, people. What is the point of paying all our bills, saving all our pennies, getting financial independence, if we don't have our health and the health of those we care about?

If there is one extravagant purchase you make in 2018, make it a first aid course. Humans only have three minutes of oxygen saved up. Ambulances never arrive in that first three minutes. Putting it quite simply, you need first aid to live. If you're in trouble, your life - or the life of someone you care about - depends on someone near you knowing what to do. And watching "House" on tv is not good enough!

First Aid Saves Lives.

Please do this for your loved ones.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Whirlwind

...my days, that is. Or should I say, my weeks. Only one day off work this week and a day of rest and relaxation was not to be had!

I've been busy still trying to arrange my flat (suitcase living is not so fabulous) and also get the caravan ready for the winter... rather late. More than once I've caught myself thinking: what's this full-time malarkey?

Anyway. Unsurprisingly there have been unexpected spends, but on the plus side I've been reasonably good at bringing lunch from home. I only have a four-day week (thank dog!) and as I'll be off-site there will not even be free fruit or salads or coffee, so the gauntlet is thrown: can I manage to stick to packed lunches for the whole week? (Challenge accepted!)

Unrelated purchase with no excuses offered: Christmas tree £2, baubles £2 (half are still in the box as they're too big for the tree), lights £7.

Friday, 1 December 2017

It's December Already

Eeek! Of course I'm aware that Christmas is around the corner but even so, I still do a double-take to see Christmas decorations up in the shops. I think it's because I'm mostly disconnected from it this year, I'll be off work and spending Christmas by myself (no sympathetic responses please as I'm perfectly ok with this).

I suppose I should update on my latest purchases?

Jumper £2, scarf £1, hat 50p and a belt 50p which somehow escaped the photo. Nothing fancy but some basics so I look vaguely respectable when leaving the front door.









Casserole dish £1 so that I could feed a guest.









Entertainment which I'll leave in the caravan for guests - £12.50 for the three (Trivial Pursuit was a tenner, which was a bit of a nostalgic indulgence).







I cannot wait until I'm in walking distance to my local car boot sale!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

El's Budget Fish

Again this isn't a recipe, just posting what I've eaten for my dinner :)



I grilled this, and I am not usually a fan of fish, but it was absolutely delicious so I can definitely recommend the brand. As you can see the fish portion is generous at 100g.

Cost (November 2017)
Tesco value breaded fish (100g portion) 24p
Small potato 6p
½ cup mixed frozen vegetables 6p
Squirt of lemon juice 3p

cost per portion 39p

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Into Gear

I've finally gotten my new flat arranged and collected the keys - about time! It's been an absolutely exhausting time at work lately, with a really long commute and barely any time to even fart.


Because of the timing of my new job starting, my pay this month is also really, really tiny. I'd expected this, but the reality of seeing it in black and white is quite sobering. On top of that, I own zero furniture for my new place, so I have to buy everything and time is against me. I've been keeping an eye on free items, but without transport it's a little tricky and I'm virtually forced to buy it all at once, from one place, to keep the delivery charges reasonable. So I took a trip to two used furniture charity shops, but unfortunately I've come away disappointed. One was frightfully expensive and all I bought was a tiny ottoman and a rug. The second one had good prices, but they didn't have any furniture that really met my needs. On the plus side this second one has some lovely accent pieces like mirrors, lamps and wall art, so I'll go back there when I am a little richer...

So the most practical/frugal has been to buy the furniture brand new. Ouch. On the plus side, I do work for a great company, and I have been incredibly fortunate that they've given me three days' paid leave as a thank you for relocating to another store, an interest-free loan to pay the flat deposit, plus a VERY generous one-off staff discount in our own store, to help me furnish my new place. End result is that I ordered a houseful of furniture from them so their coffers are quite a lot richer, but I did get £270 in discounts and will get an extra months' rent as a loan in my Christmas pay cheque. So all up, I think that's a win.

In not-so-great news it won't be delivered for several weeks, so it's very lucky that there's an air bed in the caravan which I can take with me! :)

Friday, 24 November 2017

What's New?

Well, I'm completely and utterly exhausted. But that's to be expected given that I've moved job locations and am currently enjoying (hahahaha!) a ridiculously long commute via shank's pony and public transport. Yesterday involved two hours of walking, two and a half hours of bus, three hours of car, and six hours of training at a new position. Today there is no brain in my head.

Salted Caramel Latte at M & S Café
Not only that, I've fallen off the wagon a few times in my frugal efforts. The new team is a lovely bunch of people so I must admit I've left my packed lunch in my bag a few times and gone for lunch with them. I might be sad that the money is gone, but I don't regret making the choice - we silly humans spend a LOT of our waking hours at work so it's really, really important that we're doing something that we love, and getting to know my colleagues and enjoying my time at work, that's a must for me. It helps that we're doing so much travel - we took a "road trip" selfie yesterday and had some laughs at our silly facial expressions (not pictured - I can't be sure they'd like to be featured in my blog!)

Golf. And from only 9 holes.
A friend came to stay with me recently for a weekend on the park, so we spent some time in the arcade and drank cocktails at home. We did go through some cash playing the mini bowling (I won, by the way!) and also on the air hockey (I lost), but compared with going out on the town, it was definitely the frugal option. We also played mini golf, where I was soundly defeated. That one was free entertainment :)

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

El's Beef Casserole

I adapted this from a recipe titled "Chinese Pepper Steak", because, quite frankly, there is nothing remotely Asian-inspired about this in the least. Also because when I think of Pepper Steak I imagine a rump steak crusted with peppercorns, which this is not. Ahem. But anyway, this is what I cooked up for my buddy when he visited recently and I still have leftovers in my fridge and they're delicious.

Not my pic, because I forgot to take a photo - but this is what it looks like!
As it's made with beef, it's not really the cheapest food in the world, but it's definitely a yummy budget casserole when we're talking about beef.

If you have a slow cooker, you can use that, otherwise preheat your oven to a low temperature. On cheap meats we cook very slowly so they're nice and tender. The temperature you use will depend how much time you have. The minimum time is two hours (at 160 C) but if you have the time and are happy for the oven to help warm your home, 120 for six hours will make it melt in your mouth.

400g beef, sliced (you can use the cheapest cuts you can find - and remember this is probably in steaks!)
splash of vegetable oil
half a teaspoon of garlic powder (or one fresh garlic clove, crushed and added to the beef)
2 tbsp flour
1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice
1 stock cube (I use chicken, but any is ok)
1 onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (any colour but green is usually cheapest)
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tbsp soy sauce (optional)

Sprinkle the beef with the garlic powder then brown the beef quickly on a hot frypan in a splash of oil. As soon as the beef has some colour, tip it into your pot. On the same frypan, stir the flour over the heat until it's toasted brown. Add to the pot.

Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Add it in, plus all the other ingredients, and mix well.

Cover your pot and put into the oven. Wait some hours. Then enjoy! I do mine with mashed potato, but you could have rice, cous cous, noodles or pasta with it. Serves 4.

Tip: you can skip the frypan to save time (use cornflour dissolved in a little cold water, instead of plain flour).

Cost (Tesco November 2017)
Beef  £2.60
Oil 1p
Garlic powder 2p
Flour 1p
Tomatoes 31p
Stock cube 5p
Onion 8p
Bell peppers 65p
Soy sauce 11p
Total cost £3.96

96p per serve

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Wage rise

In what is absolutely brilliant news, the Living Wage Foundation announced its new hourly wage for 2018 not long ago, and it has gone up by 30p to £8.75 per hour (cheering goes here). This happens to cover me, as my employer is a voluntary signatory to their scheme. :)

But what's the reaction? Trolls, trolls and more trolls, whining at huge volume that either they don't get a payrise or that the new rate is still a pittance. I must confess I'm taken aback. The clincher was one commenter who lives on the living wage and posted his expenses, to "prove" to us that he can't afford to live on it - and in it was his food expense of £300 per month.

There is only one way that a single person can manage to go through that much food in a month and it's quite simply by wasting money. Either they're buying caviar, they're ordering take-away, or half their food goes into the bin. Even if I bought all ready meals and brand names I am not sure I could go through that much food. Maybe if I were also buying takeaway for lunch and tea every day.

I completely understand that there are people whose full time jobs involve a long commute and they're left exhausted by the end of the day without the energy to cook. Right now I am facing 14-hour days next week unless I manage to rent a flat nearer to work (please cross your fingers) and I know that will leave me drained, at least in the beginning. But I am sure not going to "solve" that issue with a quick call to a pizza place every evening! Even buying ready meals is cheaper than that, and I'm sure that if I drag my butt into the kitchen on a Sunday for a couple of hours, I can create five home-made meals for a fiver.

It's not rocket surgery! If money is tight then stop wasting it!

Friday, 17 November 2017

Double Savings

It's been an interesting week - I say "interesting" because as I noted before, the tiny caravan freezer just wasn't up to the task of freezing more than one or two items at a time. It became too frustrating to be unable to cook in bulk, so I've just shopped online for a new freezer. Since the tiny freezer will be fine for a family just wanting to store tonight's instant pizza, I'll be able to take the new one with me to my new place.

But I'm rather chuffed at the one I found. First of all, I nosed around some of the big retailer sites and a few lesser-known ones, and I found that the cheapest one was even better, on sale. (Applause!) In a fit of rather late, but uncharacteristic intelligence, I checked out TopCashBack to see whether they had a deal for this retailer. They did! (More Applause.) So I cleared my cookies, started from the TopCashBack website, clicked through to the retailer and added the freezer to my cart.

I then saw their checkout page had an option for applying a gift card. Did Zeek.me perhaps have any of their online gift codes for sale, at a discount? (They did! Extra money off! More Applause.) So, a quick trip over to the Zeek site to buy an online gift code at a discount, and it was instantly ready to use. Typed it into the retailer's website and entered my delivery details (Free Delivery! The Applause continues.)

Within a few minutes I had my order confirmed and TopCashBack emailed me that there was cashback in my account.

This is the first time I've used TopCashBack and I have to say I'm impressed. So what is the catch, I hear you ask? Of course there's a catch. The catch is that some customers will probably choose to shop at retailers which are partnered with TopCashBack. Retailers get more business, which is the reason they can offer deals like this through the partner site.

But you and I are smarter than the average bear. We won't waste money just to get a cashback and we won't be tempted into adding extra things into our shopping cart and spending more. So... there are ways to always come out in front and now you know how. Stay frugal, friends!



*join links are affiliate links, so I get a small bonus when you join. However, I only post such links when they really can benefit YOU.

PS. Of course I didn't get it perfect. I found out later that Zeek is also a TopCashBack site, which means I could have got a further cashback for the voucher code that I bought. I will remember this in future!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

El's Budget Microwave Frittata Lorraine (Crustless Quiche)

A triple-serve of yumminess.
When I'm eating on a budget, eggs are my go-to for getting my daily protein. They are one of the cheapest non-vegetarian protein foods you can get, and sometimes I feel like eggs just seem like a nicer food than ten cups of lentils or a truckload of beans.

This is a simple frittata recipe that you can easily adapt to the number of servings you need. And no, there's nothing difficult or weird about "frittata", it's just quiche without the pastry. Or if you like, it's a yummy omelette.

Serves 1 as a side dish, which you can have with salad, vegies or even toast. If you want to make this to feed more than one person, just double or triple the amounts.

1 egg
about 50mL milk
10g cheese, finely cubed (about a tablespoon)
20g tinned sandwich ham, or sliced lunch meat, finely diced
a sprinkle of black pepper

In a small bowl or a pie ramekin, lightly beat one egg, then add the same amount of milk a little at a time, mixing well. Add most of the cheese, then the ham. Sprinkle with black pepper, then the remaining cheese. Use the fork to push all the cheese and ham under the surface.

Cook for two minutes on high, in the centre of the microwave. You will know it is cooked when you insert a spoon into the centre, push the mixture apart slightly, and you cannot see any liquid egg mixture. If you are cooking more than one serve at a time in the same bowl, cooking time will be affected. Add at least 90 extra seconds for each serve.

You can experiment with the flavours by trying mushrooms, spinach, broccoli or whatever cooked leftovers you have on hand.

Cost (UK - Tesco October 2017)
Egg 8p
Black pepper 1p
Milk  3p
Cheese 5p
Ham 7p

24p per serve

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Yellow Stickers and more

I've keep coming across pictures that I've taken and forgotten to post. Oops!

Here are my bargains from Tesco the other day. I must admit that I pour scorn on the idea that these are "cooking" peppers. Green peppers, perhaps you can say that, as sometimes they're bitter. But I adore orange & yellow in salads, and this sort of price definitely made them in my kinda budget. Salad vegies stay fresh for a good amount of time in my crisper, so I never panic over dates on them unless something is obviously wilted or going soft.

As for the other item, that might be a bag of five jam donuts reduced to 32p. Might. I also might have ripped greedily into the bag before I remembered to take a photo. The donuts had a same-day best-before date, which meant they were fine to eat for two more days, and also fine to freeze for another time.

I also need to show an update on the endive seedlings. Here they were in their five-day-old glory. Yes, I forgot to post this on time as well. You'll have to trust me that this is day five. :)

Friday, 10 November 2017

Washing the Laundry

So I knew that eventually I'd need a washer if my rental doesn't have one, and I had my eye on a little portable model that I could use here at the caravan in the interim. But I thought, no, for the time I need it, it will be cheaper for me to use the onsite laundrette. So I checked out the prices of the laundrette and in five loads of washing I'd have paid for a new twin tub camping washer. Here is my reaction to the price for each load, as posed by the Skype emoji model:


So I found and bought a brand new camping washer online and went to collect it from the next town, and managed to get it home on the bus. Since nothing in my life is ever simple, I opened the box and (fantastic) the washer was neither new nor intact, and the damage was definitely not done by me. It's got lint in the filter, a broken carry handle and a dinged-up cover, but does seem to work. So, faced with the brouhaha of getting it replaced and waiting and collecting it all over again, I've spoken politely to the seller, who assures me that we can split the cost if I'm happy to keep it. This works for me, so I'll call it a silver lining :)

Two of my eBay auctions sold (out of ten) which is a disappointing strike rate, but on the plus side, one of those sold for a very decent price. So I'm walking/scootering over to the town postbox today.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

El's Easy French Toast

French toast is easy to make, it's delicious, and it costs pennies - each slice costs about 9p.

I promise it wasn't burnt, as this poor photo makes it look!
1 tsp cinnamon 5p
pinch salt 1p
3 tbsp sugar 3p
2 eggs 16p
2 tbsp milk 2p
4 slices bread 10p

In a small bowl mix the cinnamon, salt and sugar.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten, then add the milk and mix it together. Add in the spice mix and stir it well. Pour this onto a small plate and dip each slice of bread into the mix, making sure both sides are coated.

Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Place the bread onto the pan and cook until golden. You can also serve it with a knob of butter, or some cream, custard, sliced banana or ice cream.

It's versatile too and can be a breakfast or a dessert, and you can add almost anything sweet you can think of. YUM!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Windowsill Endives, Day 3

Endives day 3
Aw, isn't it cute? There were actually two other seedlings emerging at the time I took this pic, but I don't think they're really visible in the picture. It's even possible that it's grass coming up. Hopefully all the emerging plants end up looking the same, otherwise who knows what will end up in my salads?

Today I am waiting for a text to tell me that my package is ready to go and collect - the portable washing machine I ordered, which (long story) didn't happen back when I first ordered it. I am not holding my breath, something tells me that I won't get the collection notification before the weekend, which is beyond inconvenient. Because who wants to hand-wash a double flannelette duvet cover? Not I.

I tidied up yesterday, and I even vacuumed! I'm calling this frugal, for reasons of carpet preservation. Let's go with that, shall we?

Also very frugally, I have had the heating completely off for a good portion of the day. The sun is absolutely glorious today and merrily greenhouse-effect-ing my living room, keeping it nice and warm.

Irritatingly, as I have a bad habit of doing, I haven't eaten all my ham by the use by date of today. This is due to laziness and me wanting to eat fresher things instead of using up what needs to be eaten. I will make myself create a quiche tonight for dinner and then freeze the rest for future sandwiches and quiches. Yes, you can freeze sliced sandwich ham - now you know - I just roll each slice and pop it into a sealed container, or you can put a piece of plastic wrap between each slice and store it all flat. It's perfectly fine once defrosted, in fact you can just pop the frozen slices into your sandwiches and they're ready within minutes. Thumbs up for that one!



Friday, 3 November 2017

Surveys For Extra Cash

I've been doing surveys with a little bit more gusto of late and one of them I was a member of in Finland, so I know it actually sends out surveys and actually pays. I have rejoined it now that I've moved over to the UK. It's YouGov, which you might have seen on the tv and in the papers, since they often ask people their opinions on politics or something that's happened in the news. The earnings for each survey are decent and every penny helps, right? Here's my referral link if you would like to join: https://yougov.co.uk/refer/kbOW2h06bn7EF0iEr6_GJg/

I am still discovering things that I don't have in my new place, and having to buy them. Not very frugal really. Also, I had planned to go along to a car boot sale in a nearby town (I haven't been to one of those in more than eight years) but sadly, the first bus going in that direction would have gotten me there four hours after it opens. Good thing I checked that, as they have casual work going and I almost applied for the job! "Erm sorry boss, I will be four hours late for work today..."

Endives, day 1
I had also decided that I wouldn't plant anything until I move into my rental. Huh? Well, the place I bought (a static caravan on a spectacular park) will become my side-project income, and I will need to live somewhere else (a flat, nearer to my work). I'm staying in the caravan for a few weeks in the interim. So as I said... I was sure I wouldn't plant anything until I move. Well obviously I was kidding myself, looking at my lovely warm living room window every day. So, a compromise. This rather unassuming fashionable plant pot is a hunk of dirt from outside and some endive seeds which were a gift from my old boss Johanna <3

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

El's Budget Chicken Curry

I just called it "my" recipe but realistically this is just a "how to eat something nice, on the cheap", not a recipe.

I tend to assume I'm doing ok in the budget books, but a friend asked me the other day why on earth I'm buying cooked chicken - even the supermarket brand - when I can get a whole chicken for two pound in Tesco?

Turns out he wasn't quite correct, but I will admit I had been ignoring the raw meat aisle lately because of my lack of freezer space. Anyway, I decided to give it my best shot and I went home with a pack of six chicken thighs for £1.49 (750g). Here's my dinner from tonight and here's the cost to make it. I cooked three and froze the other three.

2 small carrots 4p
3/4 cup of frozen beans 14p (I used fresh, which costs double this, but again with the lack of freezer space. Ouch.)
90g rice 4p
3 chicken thighs 75p
half a jar of curry sauce 15p (I used a different one which I had in my cupboard, but I've costed it on the Tesco value curry sauce.)

Incidentally, I cooked the whole lot in the microwave. I'm not keen on heating my gas oven unless I'm doing a lot of cooking, so I tend to go with the electric option. Microwaves are insanely cheap to run and generally a lot cheaper than both the oven and the stovetop.

I cooked the chicken thighs with the curry sauce in a container with the lid slightly open (a "vented" container) for about 14 minutes, stirring a few times. I knew they were cooked when I cut into a thigh and the juice ran clear. I then took them out of the micro, closed the lid and let them sit while I cooked the vegies and rice. I add a cm of water to the vegetables and they are cooked for about 5 minutes or until I see that the water is bubbling (again, remove them from the micro, close the lid and let them sit, the steam will continue to cook them). The rice is also really easy, measure the rice you need into your handy Sistema microwave soup cup, cover with water, cook 2 minutes at a time, stirring, until all the water is absorbed, then cover with water again and continue. Adding only a little water at a time helps to stop it overflowing everywhere in your microwave if like me you do not have a microwave rice cooker :) Repeat until the rice is tender.



The pic is taken on a rather small plate. I will admit I am not fond of huge portions, so I deliberately chose a package with six smaller thighs - most of the packages in the supermarket were five-packs. If you're a bigger eater than I am, aim for the bigger thighs and increase the vegetables. Adults generally need about 100g of meat per day to meet their protein needs and these chicken thighs are about 125 each including the bone, so the protein portion size is fine.

Cost per portion, about 38p (or 49p if you like a larger serve)

I have two "ready meals" now made up and waiting in my fridge, ready to eat during the week.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Scooter - Acquired!

It was a decidedly unfrugal day for me. While I paid for the scooter a few days back, I had to travel by bus to collect it from Argos. I did manage to make that bus trip do double-duty though, as I met my new boss for a chat (frugal!) but as we were meeting in a coffee house, I had to buy a coffee (not frugal, but at least it was lovely coffee).

So then I went to get the scooter, and of course I didn't have the right allen key to assemble it - and it was far too heavy to carry the scooter home in pieces, in its box, which made for some very awkward box-dragging shenanigans through the shopping mall to buy a set of allen keys. I then sat merrily on the floor of Wilko, ikea'ing myself a scooter. I'm sure the staff were a little bemused. (Yes, "to ikea something" is a verb. Shake your head if you wish, but I guarantee if you tell someone you're ikea'ing some furniture that you have just bought, they will understand immediately what you mean.)

I managed to test the scooter just a little bit after getting off the bus again. Then I stopped in at Tesco for the short list of essentials that I needed, and that has blown the £50/month food budget. Ah well, couldn't be helped, I needed too many things that don't get bought often.

Dinner tonight was a fish finger sandwich with lettuce and mayo. I'm calling this "fast food" as I was tired and didn't feel like creating anything fancy. Besides, I made up for it by eating an apple afterwards. That counts, right?

Friday, 27 October 2017

Hooray Bonuses?

So after the sale of the Helsinki apartment, I knew I'd have a capital gains tax bill. Fortunately I'm UK-resident, where the tax is lower. But this week I learned, while reading another blog, that UK residents also have a capital gains tax-free allowance (currently about £11,000). And I'm well below it. No tax bill for me? Score!

I also listed ten items for sale on eBay. None of them are worth very much but it'll hopefully be a few extra pounds in pocket.

What's been frugal in your week?