No Money No-Vember

It’s OVER

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on December 1, 2009

WOW No Money November draws to a close.

Did it work? Of course it didn’t. It was a total nightmare. This is mostly due to London’s transport network being such a massive rip off . Of course, had I been able to blag some free lights for my bike (the one I’ve had since I was 12 years old) I may have been able to get around a bit easier – and cheaper. But I failed on that count, too.

Despite this ‘experiment’ being a huge failure, I think this month has taught me the value of money and most importantly that I don’t need what I want, or what I think I need. From now on I am going to be a more thoughtful consumer! Or at least a cheaper person, and I vow to never again start a sentence with ‘I want’.

There are so many people out there for whom EVERY month is a No Money November. Without meaning to get preachy, I am going to keep these people in mind the next time I am moaning about not being able to buy something – in the grand scheme of things I’m really fortunate.

I wish to thank everyone who helped me, I really appreciate all of your donations and encouragement. Thanks also to the companies that promised to send me things to review and use but didn’t. Anticipation and disappointment are two free things I never really knew how to embrace and enjoy until just recently.

Thanks again, for helping, and reading!

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Shelton’s coffee cubes

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 16, 2009

coffee-and-cubesPeople are wondering where I am getting all of these ‘free things’ from. Well, I’m not stealing them, I’m doing something even less honourable which is BEGGING for them through the magical methods of PR alerts and mass emails. One company that took pity on me is Shelton’s Coffee, who sent me some dissolvable coffee cubes. I opted for the cinnamon flavoured ones – all I can say is that they are amazing.

A cube of soluble flavoured coffee (it looks suspiciously like an OXO cube) transforms a mug of water or milk (hot or cold) in to a delicious, cinnamonny,  coffee drink that has only 30 calories – a lot less than my usual tipple of a black coffee and shot of cinnamon syrup from corporate coffee whores, Starbucks. 

They do other flavours, including Sambuca  and Lemon which I’m dubious about, but also Vanilla and Amaretto – I am so excited about December as I can buy some more, I have already annihilated an entire box.

A box of 10 costs £3.90 and delivery is £1.50, so it’s quite pricey, but at least it’s a low-cal treat! Plus it works out cheaper than a daily Starbucks and the company works closely with their Columbian growers. I will probably also go for a bag of Chococafe, ‘Roasted gourmet coffee beans covered with a smooth layer of chocolate. The bitter high quality coffee bean combined with a layer of sweet chocolate make it a delicious snack for any occasion’ – mmmmmm!

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Megabus

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 14, 2009

Aaaargh I’ve had to spend money!

I am going up to York this weekend to visit a friend and somehow I don’t think I could bunk a train all the way there. However, by taking Megabus Plus (train AND a bus) it’s only costing me £18.50 RETURN – to take the train would be about £48 each way!

Good result!

Megabus go all over the place, and when it’s that cheap there really isn’t an excuse for not making an effort to visit old friends… or new places!

Martin Lewis cancels Christmas!

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 13, 2009

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis was on Radio 2 earlier saying that we shouldn’t buy Christmas gifts as it’s the recession. I like that idea, I don’t really need anything… there’s lots of stuff I want – but I can hardly ask Santa for a gold tooth and a pony can I?

Here are some fun and cheap interior decorating tips from the KLC School of Designs Principal Jenny Gibbs who is also the vice president of the BIID (previously known as the BIDA) to help you Spruce up your living room for Christmas in a single weekend!

 

‘Think Trimmings:  Don’t just trim your Tree, Trim your Room!’ 

  • Using a staple gun, from floor to ceiling, attach hanging lengths of either green or red felt covering one wall
  • Using a staple gun, attach light garden trellis work to a wall; thread through greenery and fairy lights
  • Buy a few inexpensive red and green cushions/cushion covers
  • Fill a bowl full of pomegranates/pinecones (you could also spray some of them gold)
  • Candles – everywhere!
  • Fix garlands of fresh ivy/greenery to the mantelpiece
  • Hang crystal balls at differing heights in the window
  • Drape sheets of fairy lights in/over/around the window 

 

GreenPeople organic cosmetics

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 13, 2009

Cat_PrincessAfter waking up to the news that they’ve grown human breasts on a pig [insert vitriolic Daily Mail style ‘Katie Price?’ joke here] I wanted to have as much of a frankenscience free Friday as possible.

So when it came to washing my hair, I felt there was no better option than GreenPeople’s Intensive Repair Shampoo for coloured or treated hair which is a super concentrated formula made with rose geranium and sandalwood, and the corresponding Intensive Repair Conditioner which also has a ‘SLS-free formula to strengthen weak and damaged, coloured, straightened and blow dried hair’ – as well as b vitamins, jojoba and Quinoa.

I’m pleased to report that my hair is clean, smells lovely, is super soft and has not mutated in to some sort of hideous creature comparable to that poor sow with the 32DDs.  

The conditioner was a winner at the Green Beauty Awards, whilst the shampoo was voted ‘Best Hair Treatment’ by Natural Health & Beauty magazine. Both the products are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, so it’s a guilt free wash and rinse for all!

There are some really lovely products on their website, a perfect essential for yourself or a thoughtful Christmas gifts for family, friends or the dreaded ‘work secret santa’.

Free lunch – Chilangos!

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 12, 2009

 I am a massive fan of Chilango – it’s like a fast food burrito place. Sadly there is one right near my office so I am often eating there.

I went for a wander during my lunchbreak today and they were giving out tortilla chips out front! Free lunch! (well lunch for a sparrow, free chips and dip for anyone with an average appetite).

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Green Metropolis book recycling

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 11, 2009

Books can’t be recycled in the same way as newspapers and magazines, however, they can be recycled in a very sustainable way! You simply need to ensure that they stay in circulation by finding them a new home. By doing this you’re not only helping the environment, you’re also increasing the pleasure a good book can give!

And guess what else if you register with Green Metropolis, they will help you sell each of your unwanted books for £3! I must admit, I am kind of at an advantage here as we get lots of review books sent to our office which end up in the bin (abhorrent! I know!) so I am technically sitting on a goldmine.

Imagine if Alan Partridge hadn’t had 14,ooo copies of his book pulped, creating a ‘word porridge’, and had instead sold them for £3.00 each?  

To test out the site, I and am going to help educate someone else about ‘SHAPING LONDON‘. The book’s RRP is actually over £30 so selling it for a 1/10 of the price seems a bit crazy – BUT beggars can’t be choosers, and as you can imagine, I am doing a LOT of begging this month…

There are no charges or fees for listing books for sale. The site pays you £3.00 for every book sold (plus any postage payment if it’s a heavier book). They sell books for just £3.75, of which £3.00 goes to the seller and 5p goes to the Woodland Trust. If you sell 10 books, that’s £30! Usually, I donate my old books to hospitals for sick people to read, so if I do use this site it’ll just be for non-novels and ‘freebies’. You could also look in to Book Aid if you are interested in another kind way of recycling your books.

The book will stay with me on my desk (of course I keep glancing at it and seeing £3 in its place, or a mozzarella pesto bloomer from Pret or other delicious item worth £3 like some sort of desert mirage) until someone contacts me and says they wish to buy it.

I hope someone wants to buy it soon or I might eat the book with some free sauce.

Good New For Polar Bears!

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 10, 2009

polar-bearGoodNewsForPolarbears.org, is an ingenious free local recycling website that combines the best features of Freecycle and eBay. It lets people recycle things they no longer need by simply giving them to other people that DO need them.

I don’t need anything, but I do have a TV I don’t need – I’ll list it up and tell you how I get on!

Manic Monday

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 9, 2009

The_Bangles_Manic_Monday

If you find trying to get all that free stuff is a bit stressful why not listen to the free relaxation download (a self hypnosis recording) from www.spacetobe.co.uk Just go to the website and click on the button in the middle / bottom right corner.

I took this advice, and to be honest I am now feeling more unrelaxed than ever. Perhaps as I feel sick after drinking too much of the tea sent to me by the lovely people at Make Mine A Builder’s. I’ll try again later when I’m not at work or up against some gruelling deadlines.

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Fruity Date!

Posted in Uncategorized by ksimsek on November 9, 2009

fruitySadly not an actual date (reminds me, perhaps I need to get on to some free dating websites! haha) but a box of organic fruity porridge from Rude Health.

I was wary of eating porridge, mostly as when I’ve made it before it’s ended up more rubbery than the tyres on a F1 car, and so dense it would have made Jade Goody look like Einstein.

I made the porridge (which contains  dates, apricots, apple pieces and a dash of cinnamon)on the stove using their ‘creamy recipe’ (i.e. using milk not 1/2 milk 1/2 water). I didn’t really know if it had turned out right as it looked a bit frothy. But just like Goldilocks I found it to be jusssssssst right after covering it in sugar… and letting it cool down. 

It was delicious!