Monday, 29 August 2016

Bank Holiday Chicken World Improvements

Chicken World is looking pretty picture perfect at the moment, and when I nip out and take another photo later on today will be looking even neater, because the stones for the pathway have just arrived.

The house has been cleaned out, sprayed and Diatom'd to make sure there are no bugs to annoy the chickens, and it has been filled with fresh bedding ready for their return, with an extra thick layer in the nesting boxes for their egg laying comfort.  The roof was re-creosoted a couple of weeks ago to keep out the rain and preserve the wood, and underneath the house the dust bathing area has been filled with freshly sifted soil ready for them to use to keep their feathers clean.

It's a shame we have to put the chickens back in there, they'll just make it look .... well like Chicken World again  ;-)

Sue xx

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Car Booting the Excess

This was our stall about two thirds of the way into the car boot sale today, I was too busy from the minute we drew up to take one before that.   The customers had gone down for a brief spell before a new influx of buyers thronged onto the field.  It was a good day, very hot with no sign of rain and we managed to sell off lots of our surplus 'clutter' and lots that Mum had been sorting out of hers over the last few months.

We started with lots of things in boxes for people to rummage through, as well as the two tables and the clothes rail.  My laundry basket was full of clothes as well as a couple of boxes but by the time this photo was taken we had at last managed to get down to just the rail and a couple of items in the basket, and the table was holding all the remaining books and Dvds displayed flat instead of on end in the boxes.

I've been asked a few times for my tips on selling at car boot sales, so here they are again:

Make sure all your things are clean and working.

Put clear price stickers on things.  
Some people will walk past and be too shy to ask for the price if you don't and you might lose sales.

Be friendly and if people want to haggle allow a little bit of wiggle room in your prices.  For instance if you want to sell something for £5 price it at six, so that when someone asks you if you will sell it at the lower price you can quite happily say yes.

Have a 10p box for bits and pieces, and add to it over the course of the car boot sale as you discover things that you would be happy to let go for this nominal fee.

Make sure all your clothes are clean, hung on hangers facing the same way, and labelled with the size and price ... and if you have the time colour block them.  Hanging similarly coloured clothes together makes them all look neater and more professional.

At the end of the day let people have bargains, if you want to take your things back home you can ... but remember you came out with the idea of selling them and giving yourself space at home, let things go.  We usually take the few more valuable things off the table and then tell everyone that all the clothes on the rail are down to £1 and everything left on the tables is 20p.

This way other more regular car booters will come and buy off you so they have new stock for their next car boot sale.

At the end of the day we came home with £230.19 ... and just one box of good clothes and one box of books and mixed items as a starter for our next sale.

Now it's time to do a bit more sorting out  :-)

Hope your Bank Holiday weekend is going well.

Oh ... and I priced the fireguards at £3 and sold all six of them to one person for £16 ... no doubt they will be being sold on for a higher price somewhere else  :-)

Sue xx

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lovely Peas .....

For the first year in ages our pea plants are doing really well and we are getting to eat lots of their lovely green peas, both snacking while we're working outside and bringing a few in to add to various meals.  We will never have a panful the way we have when we cook with frozen peas (which we still have lurking in the freezer) but they are enough to add their lovely freshness to so many dishes, things like fishcakes and salads.

However, the same can't be said for the Butternut Squashes  ;-)

Sue xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bargains ... But Not for Us to Use

I've just realised that I have yet to get around to showing you what I bought from the garden centre when I called in there last week with Mum.  

We had our lunch somewhere else but decided on the spur of the moment to drive to our usual lunch venue Wyevale in Altrincham, as Mum had heard there were final reductions in the end of season sale there.

And as soon as we walked in I spotted these fireguards, reduced from £14.99 to just £1 each.  Brilliant I thought if I buy three of these and sell them at the car boot sale for £3 each that will cover our entrance fee and the fuel we need to get there and so make it a completely cost neutral day ... and still give any purchaser a really good bargain for the coming Winter.

As I picked three up an assistant who was restocking the area must have overheard our conversation and shouted over to us 'there are some more of them if you want more', I said no thanks that I was more than happy with three and I went to pay for them and put them in the car while Mum ordered the coffees.

When I got to the checkout the assistant rang them through the till and then knocked an additional 70% off as that is what they were doing with ALL the sale goods.

So I got the fire guards for just 30p each!!

Needless to say, I went back and got three more after we had finished our coffee  :-)

So now we have six fireguards with a usual selling price total of £89.94, that cost me just £1.80 and that we will hopefully be able to sell for a total of £18.  So that will be our costs for the day covered and a little bit of spending money too.  Result!!

Sue xx

Monday, 22 August 2016

Three Years Ago Today .....

One thing I love about Facebook, apart from being able to keep in touch with family and friends from all over the country, is the little box that pops up each day with your 'Memories' for that day for each year that you have posted on Facebook.

One of today's was the photograph above and a link to THIS post. 

Wow .. how far we have come in three years!!  

In that post I talk of carrying on with the savings and over paying on the mortgage.  For the first two years that we were here we were allowed, under the terms of our mortgage, to pay off an additional 10% as an overpayment once a year.  We did just that, and then this time last year we left that restriction behind and although our interest level went up a smidge due to being out of the special offer period,  we could then start paying off as much extra as we like and can now pay off the whole amount whenever we want to.

We have been paying a double payment each month since last September and we are now on track for paying our mortgage off sometime in the first half of next year.  It's been a big ask, but we have stuck to our guns and challenged ourselves over and over and this has helped us stay on the straight and narrow with regards to spending.

Yes we do buy things when we need them, but that's just it .... it's when we need something not just because we want something.  I can now go round shops and admire what I see but not have the slightest inclination to buy anything.  It's nice getting home and having nothing to put away.

It's not been a hairshirt couple of years either, we do still have the occasional cup of coffee when we are out and about, we've been out for a couple of meals and even had holidays, well long weekends away here in other parts of Wales, but all that has been budgeted for and  been designed to be at the times when things might have been getting too much for us.

After all it's no good reaching the finishing line demoralised and totally knackered is it.  It's been a good three years, and thank you to all of you who have been along for the ride, and there's even more still to come  :-)

Sue xx

All the photos in today's post were taken when we viewed this house for the first time in June 2013.