Review

Clearance XL REVIEW & best before/use by descriptions

After this post about money saving I was contacted by Clearance XL to do a review of their service. This I was excited about because I love the idea of what they are doing, way too much food is wasted now a days and its really not needed! When we have people on the streets and families like mine struggling to feed themselves week after week why are people still throwing out stuff which is still edible?

When I first got the code I had a look on the website but didn’t buy as I wanted to keep a watch over how often new things are added and how long items tend to stay etc. So I left it about 10 days before I actually ordered. The website isnt the easiest to get around but it does what its supposed to. Its hard to tell what links on the side are part of the website or external links to other websites. However Once you get to ordering its brilliant, you can add items to the basket easily and see your totals.

So i ordered my items, paid my shipping fee (£4.50 for upto 30KG and then £3.50 for each box after) Im useless at weights/sizes etc so really underestimated how much food i had ordered!

My delivery arrived the day after I ordered it! On the website it says it could take between 1-5 days, this was one reason I had held off ordering before, because I couldn’t afford to pay out for food I may not get until the week after. Now seeing how fast it arrived I think I would definitely use them again. T+he box was massive and there was LOADS of food! we are sorted for snacks for a while now! The food is brilliant, unless you look for the best before dates then you’d never know they where out of date.  The fizzy drinks are still fizzy, the crisps are still crunchy and the chocolate is still yummy!!

I will definitely order again, the amount that my shopping totaled to is hardly anything compared to what we as a family usually spend on snack type foods. And it is a huge area that we really struggle to get the amount down in so this will help us big time! I’ve just had a look again and there are more items I would like to order!

I did have 2 popped bags of crisps and a smashed tin of pringles but for the amount that was included that’s fine by me!

Oh and for anyone like me who cant tell sizes/amounts very well, Sassy fitted in the box stood up and there was still a bit of space above her.*

BEST BEFORE

These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. Foods with a ‘best before’ date should be safe to eat after the ‘best before’ date, but they may no longer be at their best.

USE-BY

These dates refer to safety. Food can be eaten up to the end of this date but not after even if it looks and smells fine. Always follow the storage instructions on packs

DISPLAY UNTIL & SELL BY

You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff not for shoppers.

DID YOU KNOW?

To extend the life of food beyond its date, freeze it before the date and defrost and use within 24 hours.

Providing eggs are cooked thoroughly, they can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date.

Taken from lovefoodhatewaste

*yes I put my daughter in the box!

Another page definitely worth a look is also on lovefoodhatewaste website about how to store food and how to waste less! fantastic ideas HERE

Money Saving

Money saving (yes again im sorry!)

I know these posts have been done OVER AND OVER! But after watching ITV’s bargain fever and reading through the #bargainfever hashtag I cant believe how many people still either don’t understand the benefits or don’t know how to do it. There are so many advantages for us, for business’, for the planet.

And I do apologize HUGELY if this appears a bit ranty.

I make no secret of the fact I am SKINT, not just a little bit but I am in debt, some weeks I struggle to buy food, my proper internet has currently been turned off and I have no land line because of not being able to afford the bills, I’m currently using BT wifi, about 85% of both of my children’s clothes are second hand from someone on freecycle and the other 15% have been bought by my family when I’ve mentioned the kids need things. My heating and water accounts are getting bigger and bigger because I struggle to afford them. Me & my partner are in a dire position but we make the most of what we have and we always manage somehow.

Birthdays and Christmas our kids get £30 spent on them. In this day and age thats nothing! Birthday cake is a 20p cake mix which I quickly rustle up with a bit of melted chocolate/chocolate chips. My parents spend more on my children for birthdays & Christmas than we do.

So any chance we get to save money or get anything free we grab!

Coupons

I love coupons, I did once have a shop which I managed to reduce from £112 to £4 using coupons. I do get Healthy start vouchers which helps with the likes of fruit and veg and milk (we get through tonnes of milk) but for everything else I try find vouchers. Using the vouchers is best when the item is also on offer.

some of the websites I use for coupons are
http://ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk/coupons-and-freebies/ – I LOVE this site, ashleigh has done really well, theres a huge amount of coupons there are fantastic tips and loads of help on this site.

http://www.caringeveryday.co.uk/ – this site is brilliant for personal care vouchers

https://www.supersavvyme.co.uk/ – this site is great for vouchers but also for free samples!

There are more but these are my 3 main go to’s for vouchers. Most supermarkets accept them but each supermarket has their own ‘couponing code’ so some wont allow you to use over a certain amount, some will check you’ve bought the item before letting you use the coupon (which annoys people behind you) but most are pretty cool with it all and scan them on through. I tend to try use self service tills so I’m not holding people up too much and can do my coupons in peace, the people who oversee self service all know me now and always give me a hand with coupons which are playing up! I have also had him keep back a couple of vouchers which someone wasn’t able to use and give them to me (I think he feels sorry for me)

OUT OF DATE FOOD

Food which is close to best before or just out of best before is FINE! All a best before date means is that the item will be at its optimum before that date, after that fizzy pop may not be as fizzy, crisps may not be so crunchy, the flavours may not be as intense, but generally its still exactly the same! As far as I know food isn’t able to tell the time or read a calender. Does a magic chime at midnight suddenly render food of certain dates uneatable? I dont understand the obsession with throwing things away. Generations of people before us didnt have use by, or best before dates. We all have senses which should be used to judge whether something is edible or not. Have a look, does it look okay? yes, does it smell okay? yeah, try a tiny bit, does it still taste okay? yes, then it is fine to eat! If you are worried that meat/fish or other things are going to go out of date freeze them. You can freeze most things now. It keeps things for longer, your able to take advantage of reduced items it just makes sense. We have a big chest freezer out in our shed so that when we get offers we can fill up our spare freezer, meaning then there are times I don’t have to shop! I spent £80 on my last shop and that was 3 weeks ago, since then I’ve bought a couple of top up bits and I’m going to do a small £20 shop today, just a few top up bits. Because I have stocked up cupboards, freezers, fridge I’ve not had to do a shop for 3 weeks!

http://www.clearancexl.co.uk/ – short dated/out of date bulk food supplys

http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/ – short dated/ out of date food

TV/INTERNET

Tv and internet are things which most of us couldn’t live without (especially with children!) as I said earlier I’m currently using BT wifi which is free for all BT customers. But on Friday I am having broadband provided by Fuel broadband, free broadband for 12 months just pay line rental £15 + unlimited phone calls for £3 so I will be paying £18 a month for unlimited broadband and phone, with BT I was paying £60+ and as for tv the best thing everyone could do is get rid of sky/freeview/freesat, all of it and get nowtv/chromecast or something like that, you get to watch what you want, when you want to watch it, you wont have to pay tv licence, you arnt paying for 101 channels which you’ve never even glanced at. There are so many options now for watching tv on the internet I don’t understand why anyone still pays tv licence or sky. 

freecycle/freegle/freeloved

I spend so much time on freecycle and freegle. We have picked up numerous things on there and its a really fantastic way of getting things you need and want and helping keep landfill levels down! We’ve had my daughters bed, loads of kids clothes, lawn mower, a massive gas bbq, kids bikes and scooters, freestanding metal clothes rail for daughters room, two tvs which are in our bedrooms and lots more but they are the ones which come to mind. And we’ve even had stuff dropped off to us as we cant drive. People on there are generally really understanding and brilliant. I love it and the buzz if getting free items is brilliant (yes I’m sad!) and freeloved is part of preloved, ive personally not had anything off of there but its basically free classifieds like in newspapers etc. 

https://www.freecycle.org/

https://ilovefreegle.org/

http://www.preloved.co.uk/free

Competitions!

Before everyone breaks out the competition sites this is NOT a quick, easy or guaranteed way of getting anything! There are people who are able to say they have massive tvs & game stations in every room, have traveled the world  & taken pictures on a brand new camera, won cars and thousands of pounds. But chances are to win them they will have put in HOURS of work. The average serious comper will enter over 150 competitions a day. And all to often people will arrive on the forum and say I’ve entered 20 competitions since I started 3 days ago and not won anything! Well no, the average win takes approx 4000 entries. Some people will have a couple of months where they win loads and then go through a dry patch when they win nothing. End of last year October till December ish I had a real good streak I was winning things once a week and it really helped at Christmas but this year so far ive won two things. And neither have been big or worth much money. But I spend 3 hours of a morning entering competitions, then through the day I enter all of the twitter ones I see. And I will bob on and off the pc between sorting the children and my OH being on it. And even then its not certain you will win, some people have been entering for years and never won a thing! 

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=72

But read this first:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4896515

I know there’s lots more but I have run out of steam… I had them all listed in my head before I started but once I started waffling on ive lost the other things somewhere amongst the other 1381 words which I had typed up to that point!

If you find a voucher use it! Dont throw away things just because a packet says best before! Always try get things on freecycle or second hand before buying new.

Times are hard for everyone, but things will get better.. when I don’t know, but they will.

Review

BurgerKing Delivers!

Occasionally we like a takeaway. We got a flyer through the door about BurgerKing’s trial delivery service! This got me very excited, when sassy was born I used to go into BurgerKing every couple of days, I could walk in the door and hand over my money without saying a word and my food would appear at my table in no time. *BAD MUMMY ALERT* Sassy was pretty much weaned on burger king chips.

I love BurgerKing over any other take away. So we tried the website.. Nope, wouldnt accept our address! Stupid website, so I rang the number on the flyer.. Told the lady about my problem and she said they could deliver to me.. Woopeee! So I ordered (which was a difficult feat as I struggled to understand the lady on the phone) the store rang to confirm and then I just had to wait, the driver got sent to a different address because our address didn’t show to the woman on the phone she just gave them a different address. Delivery driver rang to get our actual address and off I went to wait.. Then another call, delivery driver was lost. In the end he got here, an hour and a half after I ordered, when I opened it up they hadn’t put in the sauces which I asked for and the chips where gross! It was all cold.

so I emailed and complained, the whole point of a trial is to iron out the creases, if no one commented on less than perfect service then they would never improve it! And the reaction from BurgerKing was fantastic!

I got a phone call from the store and the man on the phone was massively apologetic! And offered to do the order again and get the delivery driver who now knows where we are to show the other drivers so it doesn’t happen to anyone else around here!

This time when the food arrived it was piping hot, the chips where the amazing proper BurgerKing chips which I remembered, the sauces where all there and the meal was absolutely amazing. Everyone I spoke to throughout this situation was so apologetic and wanted to do all they could to keep my custom. And I am hugely appreciative about how well they handled it.

BurgerKing, well done on handling my complaint so well, for responding brilliantly and showing that customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. It has firmly cemented you at the top of my takeaway choice list.

Has blogging made me more critical of companies? yes, Has blogging made me more likely to pull a company up on any issues I have? yes.. But without this feedback things wont improve. Has blogging changed your perspective on business’ and products?

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The Girls

Sassy- 3 years, 5 months, and 9 days or 1258 days old.
Blonde haired blue eyed, messy summer beachy hair. Can be slightly shy in the beginning but will soon be dancing and singing for you. Loves being the centre of attention. Goes to nursery 3 times a week and LOVES it. However shes always happy to come home to her sister! Loves to draw and read, sing and dance. Scared of lots of things. Been out of nappies since she was 2, is a fussy eater and survives on chicken nuggets, pizza and fish fingers but will eat fruit untill shes sick! Favourites being strawberries and blueberries. Happy to walk for quite a distance for little legs. Loves watching Peppa pig, Ben & Holly, and nursery rhyme youtube channels. Real girly girl. very dizzy, send her to do something and within 2 minutes shes forgotten and been distracted. Very rarely listens to what your actually saying!

Midge- 1 years, 9 months, and 11 days or 652 days old.
Strawberry blonde haired with blue/grey eyes. straight hair. Very outgoing and will talk to anyone. Sings wheels on the bus every time we catch a bus. Loves her big sister to bits and misses her when shes gone. Has no fear what so ever, falls over, falls off but very rarely sheds a tear. Loves pasta, isnt keen on bread! Soya milk drinker. Loves walking and exploring. Loves peppa pig and thomas the tank engine. Sings the ABC (not 100% but shes got the rhythm & the letters all get thrown in!) she can also count to 5 on her own and upto 10 when prompted. Picks up words and is able to use them in context. Midge amazes us daily with her vocabulary and how clever she seems to be!

Together the girls scheme and come up with all sorts of ideas! They will often disappear for a while and then when we find them they are sat quietly trying to open things they shouldn’t be, soaking each other in the bathroom, or jumping on the beds! They follow each other around the house and if one is in a different room they ask for each other. They are both really close and I love that. Yes they squabble and fight, what siblings don’t?! they also do each others heads in quite a bit. But I know as they grow up they will be there for each other.

This post highlights the positive sides of my girls.. One day I may have time to point out their snotty nosed gross rude devil side! But for now we will bathe in the awesome glow they cast 😉

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well it is my CRAZY life!

I was expecting to come on here to see a weeks worth of no views, but my views and other stats are climbing! 😀 thank you so much to every single one of you, read and never come back, read and keep checking back accidentally stumble across me however you got here i thank you! 😀

lifes been really busy these last few days, halloween was brilliant! i took the girls out, it was the first time either had been trick or treating and they loved it. midge kept shouting please every time the door was opened, before the doors where opened i had to hold her back as she was trying to bang on them and open them with the handles! :O everyone commented how cute they where (well how many 3 year olds & 18 month olds do you see out trick or treating?) they loved it. they still have some sweets left too!

we are trying to get sassy a bit more settled.. shes fallen into the trap of ‘i want, i want, i want’ and throwing almighty tantrums if she doesnt get, she started refusing to help tidy up, being bossy, shouting instructions at everyone, and repeating herself over & over. so were working with her getting her to wait for things, getting her to share with midge, improving her manners in general! its working, shes just said ‘thank you mummy for making my breakfast’ now i know thats a little over the top but it shows shes listening and picking it up!

Midge is amazing us every day and at 18 months is forming correct short sentences, and recignises pictures on tv/in books/ little toys. she will go through catalogs and point out characters from books we have or programmes shes watched, she sings wheels on the bus and will copy other nursery rhymes too. AND shes starting to sleep through the night!

in the not too far future i have many reviews to come:
the Dinosaur who pooped series (kids book)
the owl and the pussy cat (kids book)
a triliogy of erotic/romance novels (adult)
the pornographers daughter (book)
pedometer
the next part of the Santa letters review started here
h
opefully another zingology review

and fingers crossed for other bits and bobs too! Im so excited to be sharing this all with you!
thanks you again for the continued support!

Review

Zingology Carrot Powder

I was given the chance to test zingology powders!

“Introducing

the most fun way to enjoy your seven a day. Zingology fruit and vegetable whole food and juice powders provide the real flavour and nutrition from the freshly harvested products for months – and they are so easy to use”

i can agree at how easy these are to use! i was sent a single serving, but i managed to split it between 2 meals (because on the sausage rolls it seems OTT!)

so it was dinner time and i fancied some sausage rolls, so i got out the pastry & the hotdog sausages, and then caught sight of the zingology tube id been sent.. why not?!

DSCF0159
theres a little bit of tomato puree down the side too as i like it in my sausage rolls! so i sprinkled some on..

rolled them up and put them in the oven…

DSCF0161
the carrot powder gave the pastry a gorgeous orange colouring. they tasted very yummy, and where better for us than ‘normal’ sausage rolls.

i also have a curry in the slowcooker with the remainder of the powder in.

220g is equivalent the juice of 60 carrots
Organic Carrot Juice Powder – 220g
Contains 23 servings.
One 11g serving is equivalent to juice of 3 carrots
1/2 cup carrot juice contains 47 calories

theres some recipes on their website, i would recommend getting it to sneak into kiddies food for the extra goodness, they can also be used in juices, or just mixed with water if your into that kind of thing.

kids will love to help you add it to their food too as it sparkles in the tube! my girls are amazed by it 🙂 im pretty impressed too definitely a good way to get some extra nutrients!

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Birthdays, animals and goodness knows what

well its been a busy few weeks, sassy’s birthday 19th September, my dads 24th September & mine was the 5th October! 😀 im now at the grand age of 24! that means next year im half way to 50! now im planning Halloween, im so excited, last year both my girls where to small to have any idea, this year they will both see the pumpkins and be able to get involved 😀 weve all eaten so much cake recently, and i still have half a huge chocolate cake in the microwave. i got lovely presents from everyone and had a wonderful family day. However Mr was poorly 🙁 so he spent my birthday in bed. hes got a really bad cough & flu-y symptoms but wont take anything for it! hes up all night coughing so is getting hardly any sleep 🙁

the dog we are currently fostering has developed an awful cough too! poor old boy, hes a 13 year old staffy with one eye. ive contacted his owners and were going to try get him into the vets tomorrow! fingers crossed he will be okay!

my 2 rats are off to a new home on friday too, they are too shy and really need someone who can work with them and bring them out of their shell.

so, a lovely few weeks of celebrations, but now a couple of difficult days with vets visits and goodbyes