The frugal grumps

Well, I’m afraid that you find me feeling altogether a bit grumpy today, and it’s not just the miserable weather we’ve had this week. I wish that I could say it was all down to my outrage at the pathetic so-called ‘fuel poverty action plan’ (fuel poverty no-action plan, more like!) unveiled by the government this week, which they claim will help people struggling to pay their energy bills, but that many poverty and age-related charities have criticised as next to useless. Four million people are thought to be suffering in fuel poverty while our MPs are clamouring for inflation-busting pay rises and grants so they no longer have to suffer the indignity of having their expense claims made public! The hypocrisy of it all makes my blood boil! And more price rises are predicted, so what will people do?

But frankly this isn’t really what’s at the root of my bad mood. I’m grumpy because the old frugal wallet has taken something of an unexpected and unwanted bashing this week. No less than two pets have been taken sick and I’ve had to splash out on vets appointments and treatments, which is hardly ideal. Dougal the cat has been up to his old tricks again of getting into punch-ups and got yet another abscess thanks to a bite from a sparring partner, which cost a tidy £60 to clean up. Luckily unlike last autumn when he had one before, it didn’t have to be lanced (eek…apologies for the gory details), which would have been closer to £200 – some small comfort I suppose. But I’m not sure whether I can claim anything back on the pet insurance policy I still hold for him – not that it would be much because of the excess – because he’s had the condition before.

And part of the recovery process has involved keeping him indoors all day and night, to avoid him meeting up with his fight club mates again and opening up the wound. This is proving to be a total nightmare as he is a confirmed outdoor cat who gets bored to death inside. I have barely slept over the past three nights because of the incessant howling, whinging and scratching at the door. All I can say is that I saw someone on our local Freecycle email is offering a cat’s Christmas dressing up outfit to give away, and another sleepless night and Dougal will soon find himself kitted out as Santa’s little helper in revenge…At least he hasn’t spurned the ground-up antibiotics in his food for once…

Poor Ellie the lizard was also feeling under the weather and was taken to the vets too, which while not very serious (worms…yuck) was another £59 – the downside to keeping exotic pets as vets tend to charge extra to impart their specialist reptile knowledge. Here’s wishing both poor chaps a speedy recovery.

Have a great weekend. xxx Piper

Are you struggling to pay your energy bills? What do you think the government and energy companies should do to help people finding it difficult to pay for heat and energy? Leave a comment and let me know.


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3 Responses to The frugal grumps

  1. Christine says:

    The fuel poverty planning is ridiculous – because I have an on-line dual
    fuel account for gas and electricity as well as paying by direct debit, I got walloping discount. Having used slightly more gas and
    same electricity against the same period last year according to the site
    electricity tracker – I have paid less than the same period in 2007
    despite the rises in prices since then.  All because I can find and change to a
    lower tariff on-line. Yep and I changed from a "social" tariff to a lower one. Don\’t ever believe that social tariffs are the best ones on offer. I\’d say that a lot of the poor and older people are
    discriminated against because so much information on the best rates for heating
    is ONLY available on the web – so many groups aren\’t well enough off to have a computer, be even computer literate
    enough to be able to sort themselves out a better deal let alone set themselves
    up for the discounts available on-line.If price rises continue to be steep, there will be a lot more cut backs. Pets are often the first things that go in times of hardship. Apparently there is already a considerable rise in abandoned pets to save money. Will you honestly be able to afford the heat loving lizards and say that you are frugal? I fear that a lot of the more "exotic" pets like lizards and even common aquariums will no longer be kept in many households due to the heating and running costs involved.

  2. rik says:

    MP\’s never have and never will really care about people but themselves, I think it\’s part of the make up of the type of person who actually sets out to become an MP. There may be the odd exception, on the surface at least, and they\’ll pretend to care come voting time of course. At the end of the day they\’re (supposedly, although I have my doubts – who knows what they do with real votes when they\’re in power!) put there by the same people who complain about them.I\’d avoid dressing the cat up as Santa, the others are likely to pick on him more! I can sympathize with you though as we\’ve just had a similar thing with my daughters pony who we\’ve only had for just over a week, (on loan so it\’s not as expensive as you\’d think), he got "beaten up" by the whole herd when we put him in with them. The poor old chaps got about 15 bites and a nasty looking slash (for want of a better word) on his back where he tried to escape from them under a fence. He\’ll be tried with them one at a time under close supervision when he\’s up to it, to find out where the problem is though. Luckily he didn\’t need a vet as the wounds were mostly superficial, just a couple of nasty bites treated by the owner of the yard (who really does know what she\’s doing).

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