Frugal living – Part 7 (Hay fever medication)

This frugal living focuses on hayfever.

I have had hayfever since my teens. At my worst, I have had to not only take tablets for my hayfever, but also nasal spray and eye drops.
When I was learning to drive, I changed my hayfever tablets as suggested by my driving instructor. These tablets were the same I had been in since a teenager and I think the change to having something different did a world of good. This was because for a few years, I had no symptoms to start with, until last year a slight touch. But this year a little more, that I have had to put myself back on my nasal spray.

Now last year, because of cutbacks, it was decided hay fever medication were not to be provided by prescription on the NHS. I was lucky I could still get it when I heard others were paying.
Now moving areas, meaning new doctors and hay fever season already in season for me as I write this, I already knew last October that I would have to buy my hayfever medication this year, in preparation for when that time of year came.

Even though I am buying my own medication for my hayfever this year, doesn’t mean I have to change what I take. But I have looked around and price things up, to get it as cheap as I can for myself.

What have I learnt?

Shop around – one place may be cheaper than the other for the same thing.

Avoid brand names – brand names cost more and you can buy a shops own with the same ingredients. They work just the same.
When you buy your medication, just look at the important active ingredient in your medication. So for example, my nasal spray is Beclometasone Dipropionate nasal spray. The important thing I look for when looking around at Beclometasone Dipropionate nasal sprays, is making sure my dose says 50 micrograms on the box, for that Beclometasone Dipropionate nasal spray. I have also read in a magazine that to look at the “PL code” on the back of products, resting assured it it is the exact same product, so buy the cheapest.

I been getting my nasal spray and tablets from Boots and I have bought their own brand.
My eyes have been a little itchy, but it’s manageable at the moment. But if I feel I need to get my usual eye drops, I will be back at Boots, buying their own brand.

As tight as money is, I can’t leave off my hay fever medication.

I have tried alternatives in the past from health shops, that seamt cheaper in the past, but they don’t work for me.

I hope it’s not going to get more difficult this year

As you know, since January, it’s been difficult money-wise. Even the overtime I did the other month that appeared on my pay slip in March did not make things easy as I thought they would.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my local council that I was no longer entitled to council tax reduction. No explanation why. If I want to find out, just write. Why don’t they save themselves time and just say why in original letter?
No suggestions to bring in April wage slip. So a letter has been written ready for Monday, that I will take in personally to the reception, to get passed on to appropriate department begging not to close my account down yet because when you have my April pay slip, you will see I am still entitled to it from that month.
The letter is much longer than just that though, explaining how they already know I am only on a contract of 16 hours per week from every wage slip they have had so far, they will know my wages vary depending on if I do overtime or not and that mostly I have been entitled to it, since being with them.
I wrote that I assume the letter was based on March wage slip for it stopping, but as they already know this is not permanent hours, this is overtime, so not to close it and wait till they have April wage slip, because they will see I am entitled to it then, as I have had no overtime since up to writing that letter.

The letter sent says it takes up to two months to look at it if you write back to appeal, but I wrote at the end of my letter that I would like to hear within the month to know what I am doing. Like if I have to go through palaver of filling in a form to apply for council reduction again, which if that is the case then it doesn’t give me an incentive to do overtime where I can, with an employer I like to work for, until I can get more permanent hours in addition elsewhere, just so I am not short unexpectedly, with overtime being so random.

I also have a letter ready to post, to my local MP in a lot of matters that affect me:

  • My money difficulties since January
  • Why I won’t claim Universal Credit for the fear I am in a situation if having to pay any overpayments back.
  • Also, I won’t have unnecessary stress of working to what ever agreement they give just to get it, when there are no jobs out there in cleaning.
  • How I have been looking for extra work in a mornings in cleaning since last year, but having no employer taking me on, regardless of my experience and qualifications.
  • I have also mentioned about the above and how I am writing back, hoping this will soon be sorted quickly.
  • I have mentioned how and why I am taking on more of a role as a carer with my mum. How I am told I can get help for this, but when I looked into, I am not entitled. Also, how one day, me and mum will be living together, when I can start picking, as currently in a contract till then, where I am living.
  • I have also asked him who do you complain to when Working Tax Credit don’t write back to you. Told him how I owe them, so they say due to losing my DLA when I was one of those affected by having to apply for PIP, but deemed basically ok to put short. I have been waiting since 2017 with this money on one side ever since that day, waiting to pay it back. I want done with.
  • Which lead on to explains how I would no way put mum through PIP, just for me to receive carers allowance. I rather mum have little money, then no money.

So basically he, had my life story, which hopefully comes across to him just how fed up I am that I cannot get a morning job of 8 hours or more, to go along with my current job, because I just get fobbed off by employers that they found someone better, regardless of my experience and qualifications. And the difficulties I am in and frustration.

 

Frugal living – part 6

I’ve not mentioned it in a frugal post before, but I did talk about it in a post somewhere how I was planning on paying a slightly more for a different tariff for my mobile phone, so I had more internet data. I wasn’t planning on doing this until I moved to Mansfield and settled, so I could make sure I could afford, as well as still need it.
Well it turns out I did not need it, which was a good job I waited as I did, because I would not have been able to afford it now budget-wise. So keeping it as it is and using WiFi in my area I can balance my internet just right. I have only ran out once while living in Mansfield, but that’s because I got carried away looking at everyone else’s Elves on the Shelf. Lol.

Some of the places are at coffee shops where I use the WiFi, when I can afford to. Yes, it might mean buying a coffee, or something, but I’m not going out of my way to do this. For free options, there’s the library and in the town centre.

In Frugal Living – part 3 and part 5, I talked about things I wasn’t allowing myself to buy, until I ran out. Since the last frugal post, nothing much as changed. I am still not allowing myself to buy body moisturiser, because I have plenty and also received one at Christmas.
Shampoo and hand cream are on the allowed list, but only when I have run out.
Shower gel will not be needed for a while with already having one in, as well as another I had for Christmas.
My toothpaste I buy when needed and I have plenty of perfume still, so I won’t need to buy any for over a year, especially as I had some at Christmas too.

I talked in last frugal post how I hope to save in gas and electric, with living in a smaller place now. I feel at the moment I can’t compare due to issues with gas supplier when I first moved in, then changing it over to same supplier as currently electric and having issues with the electric side of things because my readings were not be used.
I then decided in the end to change supplier, due to new issues. So due to all this, time will tell in the end.

In the meantime, the spot lights in my living room and, bedroom all have LED bulbs and partly in kitchen. No plans of replacing any others with no plan of staying here now. All lights in property are spotlights. One thing I noticed when buying LED bulbs, they are not as expensive as they were just a few years ago.

Although I have changed my bulbs in the living room, I now have my lamp as you know. I use the lamp mainly, unless I am crafting in some way. The bulb in the lamp is 4 Watts and so it is cheaper to run than my main lights.

Frugal living – part 5

I have not done anything new, than doing what I’m doing already, as discussed in past frugal posts.
I am though changing how I cut my hair. I have been using this technique originally, as shared in this post, How to trim your own long hair at home. But now, I use this technique, which you will find in the link below. There are nine variations of how to cut your hair in this link and the one I use is method seven of nine, cutting pigtails.
After using the pigtail method, the only difference I do, is I don’t bring my hair to the nape of my neck, instead, I bring it into a ponytail at the front and point scissors upwards to cut, so not a blunt straight cut on the hair length.

Nine methods of cutting your own hair

The new method I now use, I have been doing a few times now. I changed the technique because I wanted to cut my hair shorter, but using the old technique would have made layers in my hair very short. This technique prevents that and it works for me.
As my hair is wavy, I find cutting my hair wet best, for previous technique I used and the one I use now.

In Frugal Living – part 3 I talked about thing’s I wasn’t going to allow myself to buy, until I ran out. I’m on my last bottle of shampoo now, so when I have run out, I will buy another. I’m also allowing myself to buy hand cream, after running out. But this is the only moisturiser I’m allowing myself, as I still have plenty of the other.

With downsizing from a two bed house, to a one bed flat, I’m hoping to see some savings. My rent is more than before, but I still hope to see some savings when it comes to heating. So this is what I will be observing the coming months.

What have you been doing in the frugal side of things? Anything new, or are you just continuing with what you have done so far?

Frugal Living – part 4

Food can be interesting when you are on a budget and you are just using up what you have already in the cupboard, or fridge-freezer. Food can be random to what you normally have, but this adds up interest I feel.

Some random meals I have been having, when it just comes to using what I have:

  • Mashed potato, some tuna out of tin, peas, Black Eye Beans and Haricot Beans.
  • Mash potato, broccoli, carrots and fish cake.
  • Brown rice, mixed veg, mixed beans, with drizzle of mint sauce over my veg.
  • Noodles and mixed veg.

Freezing bread

I started freezing bread, as mentioned in “Frugal Living – part 3.” I have found doing it this way much better for me. It’s certainly made an impact and I notice how much I don’t buy bread, to before, even though before I hardly wasted bread.

Selling old gadgets for new

In my post, “Challenging a need and a want,” I mentioned how I needed a new phone, that would cope with the internet and my needs. But as I mentioned in that post, I wasn’t just going to draw out money and buy it. So due to the way I access the internet now, which is just on my phone, meant I no longer needed my Macbook Air laptop.
If by chance I was to have internet at home again, I have my desktop computer anyway, that I also use to play DVD’s on.
Knowing I will stick with Apple when it comes to computers, should this break down and can’t be fixed, I will buy another second-hand like the one I already own, or a new one. So it was obvious to me I had to sell my laptop for cash. Selling my laptop, paid for my new phone, I also had lunch and I had change.
Being happy with my new phone, I sold the old one for cash and put it away towards holiday next year I hope to have.

Still saving inners from cereal boxes and glass jars

I’m still saving inners from cereal boxes and glass jars. But it won’t be long before I don’t need to save anymore glass jars.

Frugal Living – part 3

A difficult month money-wise, between last post and this. My budget did not go to plan either – money I wanted to save, I ended up touching. I did end up putting some away, but not what I originally planned. I suppose I should be thankful that I did put something away, because I wasn’t expecting it to happen.

Starting to freeze my bread

I know a few of my friends do this and just take out what bread they need. I have just started doing this myself now and it makes it so much easier for me, than I realised. I wish I did this sooner. I have been careful in the past when buying bread, to reduce wastage. But doing it this way, is much easier I have discovered and I totally recommend it.

Do you freeze your bread and only take out what you need?

My monthly phone contract

I ran out of internet allowance on the final week, so I had to buy an add-on. This did not help my budget and I hope to not do this on next month’s. I do use wifi, but because of where I was and what I needed to do, I had to get one.

No more cling film

Now I have no microwave, I don’t need to buy anymore cling film, when I run out. The remainder I have, I have had since last year because I hardly used it. I don’t know how much I have left, as I have not really looked. But I would not be surprised if I still had this box next year.

What I am not allowing myself to buy

You may remember the book review I did, “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders. I’m using one of her tips I have not used before and that’s creating a list of items I am not allowed to buy, because I have plenty of it.

What I have banned myself from buying:

  • Perfumes
  • Moisturisers
  • Shampoo
  • Nail varnish

I meant to share this in an earlier frugal living post.

If you liked this post, you can find past frugal living posts by scrolling either to the right, or further down, depending on whether you are viewing my page from laptop, or a mobile device, clicking on frugal living, under the categories.

Frugal Living – part 2

At the end of the post of, “Chit-chat June, with a bit of frugal living,” I talked about how I was looking at alternatives for my internet. I shared there, how I found having a contract sim on my mobile was best and cheapest for me. Although I still was in a contract for my  internet, I decided to cut my losses with them and end my contract early and change to do what I need to now, to save money in the long-term.
I was so glad to see the back of them, due to their no customer service that I have experienced this year, which was not like them, in all the years I was with them before. With saving money as well on top, I just did not want to wait till end of contract.
I sorted out my monthly contract sim for my phone and this is where I will do everything, saving me mostly £3.52 per month, if I compare to how I did it before. But sometimes £13.52, when I had to top my phone up again. So if you see some weird typos in my blog posts, then this is the predictive text on my phone and me not being very watchful. But hopefully, I will get on with it this way, it just will take me longer to write-up a blog post possibly. I have to get on with it this way. 🙂 (This post was started on my computer, but finished on my phone.)

My new diary from next year, will be looking like this.

 

I know this is a long way off, but I wanted to sort out a diary that I would use at home, that I knew would work for me. Each year, I would normally buy two. A very small one that would fit in my work pocket and then an A5 size for home and to carry in my bag, when out and, about and not at work. Both diaries would have the same thing in, but the larger one with a little more detail at times. I like a larger diary to write in, so buying a smaller one for work, has been needed.

Last year, I had to create a large A3 monthly view calendar, because I found that I was double-booking myself. To explain how this was happening, would make it a very long post, but to put it short, what I was reading, my brain was feeling a bit scrambled by. So I used this in conjunction with my home diary, while at home and it worked for me.
As I know that a diary where I can see monthly works best for me visually and by printing off my own blanks to fill in, I thought I would look for free monthly A5 size blanks to fill in.
I bought an A5 folder from Amazon and punch my papers to place it inside and this is what I will be using next year. As I will be using this, I have saved some money by not buying an A5 size diary. Also, because I will be using an A5 size monthly planner, I won’t need to create my own A3 size version anymore. The the only diary I will be buying, is my pocket-size one, for work.

Sold some books

I sold four books via an online website and made just under £9 for them. These books were what I bought when learning to drive and as I know I will never have any intentions of future lessons, or wanting to drive, even if I had the money, so I was happy for the money received on these unwanted books.
This is something I have felt for the last three months now, where I know in my heart I don’t want to drive.
This feeling came about after chatting with a friend when she asked me, would I continue my driving lessons, had I had the money to? Originally I said yes, but when I got home, the days and now months later, I realise more that I don’t want to.

Saving inners from cereal boxes

I started the last few years, the lazy way of using instant mash, when I wanted mash potato. But I realise that if I start to buy my potatoes again for mash, as well as boiled, it would work out better savings wise. But I am aware that even just with a small bag of potatoes I buy, that I don’t want to let the others go to waste. So I have started doing something that my friend Kathryn suggested in a comment on, “Frugal living – part 1” and that’s save the inners from cereal boxes. As these bags are like a greaseproofy type bag, they will be excellent to save my diced potatoes in the freezer, for future mash potato.