Saturday, 14 May 2011

quackers about the locals...

Had a very productive afternoon despite the rain! Bought some live mealworms for our OAP (old aged poultry), we have a raggedy little ex battery hen who we think is on her last legs so we're spoiling her with tasty grub, or should I say tasty grubs!

Collected 9 unopened copies (still with the wool in them) with a binder of 'the art of crochet' from a freecycle user, then headed into rural Cheshire. Passed several farms/farm shops and bought local asparagus and home grown Hereford rump steaks, mince and burgers.

Then on to a friend of ours, who runs her own cake-making business, and swapped some of her ducks' eggs and some of her yummy cake for 2 dozen of our quail eggs, and a spare egg skelter I had for some of her rhubarb plants.

On the way home we went to the Co-op for lottery tickets and a birthday card for my sis and Ian managed to get some lovely french bread reduced from 80p to 10p. Looking forward to steamed asparagus with poached duck eggs for tea :0)

steak, mince and burgers from 'Brosters beef' clay lane farm cw7 2qh
asparagus from 'cherry orchard farm' CW8 2HN
duck eggs from a friend's ducks

While driving around Cheshire today it was great to see so many producers selling direct from their farms.

and that, my friends, is un oeuf! :0)

Friday, 6 May 2011

there's no such thing as a free lunch...

...but there are other free things you can get if you keep your eyes and ears open!

Our local authority reward residents who recycle glass, paper and plastic via the 'recyclebank' scheme. Every time your special bin containing recycleable stuff is emptied you are awarded points, which you can exchange for vouchers to use locally.
I've just got 30 litres of peat free compost for free from the local garden centre. I've also got a voucher for a tea room in frodsham for a 'buy one get one free' cream tea and a voucher for a local cafe for a 'buy one get one free' breakfast. Mum and i will use those at some point during the week while Ian is at work, sorry Ian!

My mum also changed her bank to mine recently and as a reward the bank gave her and me (for recommending her) some 'airmiles'. I used some of my allocation to get 20 x 500ml bottles of speciality ales and bitters via virgin wines. They arrived today and if they are nice I'm going to use mum's allocation to get some more. You can also choose to exchange them for wine, amongst lots of other treats.

I've also started to use a web site called 'readitswapit' where you can exchange unwanted books with other readers. You choose a book from their list and if they like any of the books on your list, you just send them to each other and all you pay is the postage. As a voracious reader I find it very useful and have swapped several books so far.

Then there's the 'freecycle' network where people ask for things thry'd like and offer things they no longer need. Recently, for example, I've responded to someone offering lots of copies of a magazine called 'the art of crochet'. And, while i don't really agree with freecycle being used to give animals away, we did get 5 free quail from there too. We've also given away several items; a cast iron chimnea, an old set of garden furniture, a couple of guitars, a couple of bird cages, a dog kennel and even chicken poo from our chickens for fertiliser!

I've also recently been on the 'Twinings' web site to register for free tea samples.

And, the elderflowers are almost ready around here so we'll be helping ourselves to the local umbels to produce some lovely elderflower cordial in the near future!

Oh, I almost forgot, I got 2 free tickets to a comedy club in Liverpool recently just by keeping an eye on their facebook page and entering a competition! The tickets were worth about £30!

So, while I might not have been able to get a free lunch as yet, I've not done badly getting other free stuff!

If you'd like to share any other tips for garnering gratis goodies, feel free to leave a comment! :0)