I started watching a new show this week: Save Money, Good Food. It's given me some new recipe ideas. Well, apparently people are complaining because "they only help rich people" Some people are just never happy.
I can't remember when I last posted...
SG's birthday went well. She really enjoyed bowling and now wants to save to go again. The next time we go, we'll be eating first, J was tired and grumpy by the time we got to the second game. We got a taxi home, but it was worth it. People before money and all that.
We've been invited to another wedding. This time, it's evening only. Kids aren't invited so hubby is going on the stag night and I'll go to the reception. This particular couple have a honeymoon gift list. I read through it the other day, it's mostly flight upgrades, hotel stays and experiences. They will probably just get cash from us (the most extreme gift is something for 300gbp)
I worked some overtime today.
I'm using up what we have this week then going to Aldi on payday. Usually I order from Tesco, so this should save us some money.
I've been seriously thinking about increasing my pension contributions, especially after seeing how well you guys are doing. Asking around at work, I found out that one person in their fifties is still only contributing the minimum (2%), although I think her husband has a good pension. There's also my co-worker who only just started contributing in the past year or so, when they made it compulsory.
Anyway, I was doing some shredding yesterday and I found hubby's pension statement. His pension is in the same place as mine. I found their contact details so I'm going to email them to increase my contribution, at least by a little. I still have all of this debt hanging over me so I don't want to increase it by too much (even though I know I should)
It's payday, but I'm a week short, so I'm going to have to take it from savings. My supervisor obviously didn't put my holidays through last month. I'll need to talk to personnel when I'm back in.
I got a bonus from work:144. I transferred 140 to savings to cover the hotel in April, so that's 290 saved now. I left the 4 in my account. I'm pretty sure that last year I had to use my bonus for daily expenses, so it's nice to use it for something different for a change.
I've been handwashing clothes. I'm hoping hubby can fix the machine though. He looked at it yesterday, tried it but it stopped with two minutes left in the cycle. Then he mentioned something about a ball... I'm hoping it's fixable anyway. He's checking again later.
I'm dropping off a couple of bags of donations soon. It's so nice to get rid of stuff. I've been doing my best to find a bag a day, which Creditcardfree talks about in her other blog. We have so much stuff.
The washing machine isn't working. Hubby is taking another look at it today. I had to buy the kids some new pyjamas in the meantime. Found some in the sale: 11.70
I've been thinking about upcoming expenses. I still need to buy an outfit for the weddings (although, we found out the kids aren't invited to the second one. We're all still staying in the hotel anyway.) I need to give both couples money and have money to get there and spend on the day. Also, SG's birthday is next month. I'm so glad I put the money for her dress aside earlier.
Yesterday we got another letter from the council. It said that they had made a mistake sending the last letter, so we were to ignore it.
On my birthday Swagbucks emailed me. I went to my account and seen that I had enough to redeem two 5GBP PayPal rewards, which were on sale. I transferred the money to my account today, then to savings for the hotel.
I booked an activity for SG's birthday, although it'll be a surprise for her. The day after her birthday we're all going bowling and then for lunch (she's at nursery on her birthday). It's called Bowl and Dine, you get two games of bowling and a two course meal. I made sure to go during off-peak times so it's cheaper. I also need us to be home at a reasonable time, too. All in all, it'll be 48.00 (excluding drinks).
I had two butternut squashes to use up, so I roasted one with red onion and feta, and I made the other into a curry for tomorrow.
This month is depressing me. So far, less than two weeks since payday, I've spent 143.09 on groceries. I did include the money DH spent on snacks for the kids today while they were out. Tomorrow I actually need to buy a few more groceries, but it'll be the bare minimum.
Tomorrow I need to buy a new jacket for SG and jeans for hubby.
On the plus side:
-I've paid 209 to the catalogues this pay (less debt)
-I've put money aside for SG's birthday present (dress) next month (we might be going out for it too, but I don't want to splurge too much...)
-we have food to eat
I made saag also and lentil tomato Dahl for the first time tonight. I'm freezing the leftover dahl, I really don't want it tomorrow.
At work, the system for holidays is this: fill in the form, give to your supervisor or manager, get the form back which tells you whether it's been authorised. I did this, a year in advance. I have the slips.
Last week I left work knowing I was on holiday. The next day, there was a phone call from work. I had to call them back. It rang out. When I finally did get in touch I was told that they didn't know I was on holiday (therefore, no pay). I told my supervisor I had the slips right here. Luckily, she was fine with it and it's now been sorted (and I don't have to withdraw a week's pay from savings)
Got a letter this morning saying we're no longer getting Housing Benefit (aka rent paid) because we had ignored other letters asking for details. We never got any other letters. I'm still going through this one, we're waiting on somebody phoning us back - probably next week, I'd guess.
Had a birthday. We went our for lunch. Spent 28.xx. The plan was to have tacos that night for dinner but we were all really full, so we're having them tonight instead.
Hubby got invited to a stag weekend in England. He can't go because we don't have enough money for both. It's still nice to be invited.
My shopping arrived today - all 80.63 of it.The fridge,freezer and cupboards are all full.Its the first timr that shopping has arrived and the salad drawer has been empty - usually we end up throwing some out. Im feeling a bit bad about all the spending though. But we did need the stuff
I booked us two nights in the hotel for the wedding. Almost 300.Sigh. Ive got money set aside from the current account transfer last year,and im getting a small bonus soon.
It's SG's birthday next month. For J's birthday I ordered him a waistcoat from a girl who has a small business designing clothes, amongst other things. I've asked the same girl to make a dress for her birthday. She told me that it'll cost 25 so I transferred the money to savings for when I get the invoice. The money is essentially spent, right? I even input it into my app. I figured it made sense to transfer it now. I should really do things like this more often. If I don't, it really upsets my budget.
Speaking of budgeting, I'm a bit annoyed at myself because my online food shop is more than last month. This one is 78.xx and last month's was 58.xx.i have added extra because hubby is baking me a cake for my birthday.
I got in touch with hubby's friend about hotels near where he's getting married. I'm waiting on a reply. I want to get it sorted soon. I also need to decide how much money we're giving both couples...
Not much to report as I've only just paid the catalogues. I paid 147 to the smaller balance. Catalogue Debt is now 819.06. I'm looking forward to getting rid of this!
Almost all of us are ill. I went to bed at 8 last night and I'm still shattered today. Took kids to the doctors and let SG pick a meal for dinner. This is the worst she's been.
I got it wrong. I have 105 in my bank, so I must have miscalculated.
I have to finalize my meal plan for next week - probably not today though...
Payday on Friday. I'm not planning on going anywhere tomorrow.
I think that was a quick month. I was definitely more conscious of my spending. I said goodbye to impulse buys at the checkout (sweets and cola, usually) - they were replaced with a bag of nuts that I got from Poundland, and I drank the water I had with me.
We also didn't get a takeaway at all, despite Pizza Hut regularly texting hubby and the Indian texting me. My only eating out was 7.40 and that was with J.
For the first time ever - except for when we were really struggling - we made an effort to eat what we had.
Now, my totals might be a bit off because my spending app was playing up in the beginning and I uninstalled it - which meant I lost my data. But I spent 154.24 on groceries (less than normal), 34.24 on repairs, 7.40 on eating out, 50 on utilities (will be more next month when the 140 we got in November finally runs out), 67.40 on bus fares and 46.22 on kiddy stuff. All in all, I should have an extra 112 to put towards the catalogue on Friday (I'm just going to pay it on payday as normal).
I'd love to continue another month of uberfrugalness but I have to start getting organised for SG's birthday and I know we're going out for lunch for my birthday next month. Either way, I'll still be paying attention to my spending because I've got goals I want to reach.
I've been at home all day. I baked raisin biscuits with SG then made a fruit loaf. There's rice pudding in the slow cooker for later. We had butter bean and vegetable curry for dinner. I'm going to use the last tin to make butter bean dip.
I've started an online food shopping order to arrive after payday. I want to make the pinto beans and rice recipe that Ceejay gave me so I've ordered a bag of those, and chickpeas too. I've decided that they're cheaper so I'm getting those from now on.
Last night we finished watching Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think I want to read the books now. Suits is back tonight so we'll probably watch that.
I think that's all.
I woke up this morning to find that our heating wasn't working. I was getting ready for work so I text hubby about it. Later, he said that he'd fixed it. So, crisis averted.
I had a long day at work. Bought a couple of frozen pizzas and garlic bread for dinner. Only spent 2.xx. Way cheaper than a takeaway. We're having peach crumble for pudding (homemade)
I have to total up what I've spent this month. I do have to get a few things on Tuesday though.
I'm not sure if this will work. The blogs weren't working earlier. It looks like they are now though.
Here's some meals we will be having, in no particular order:
-lentil meatloaf recipe with potatoes and veg http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/5969/lentil-meatloaf.aspx?o_is=LV
-belly pork strips in barbecue sauce http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/collections/barbecue-recipes/belly-pork-strips-in-barbecue-sauce
-falafel with pitta bread and salad (uses up chickpeas)
-cottage pie/lasagne (ragu in freezer)
-butterbean and veg curry http://www.thriftylesley.com/butter-bean-and-vegetable-curry-24p-a-se/
We had a leak on Sunday. Luckily, we got a plumber out via the council at no cost to us.
What I did have to spend money on, however, was a new pump and filter for the washing machine. Spent 34.42.They tried to charge me 9.xx for next day delivery but I noticed and changed it to standard.
I haven't read Frugalwoods' email yet.
Had leftover soup for lunch. I feel like all my posts this month have been about food. I guess that's one area that I can control.
Not much going on. Still trying to be Uber Frugal. I made creamy tomato soup yesterday rather than buy a tin of Heinz. Everyone loved it. Kids are eating it for lunch today. I also made tomato and bacon spaghetti - we've got a full tub leftover!
I'm making us salmon and rice for dinner tonight. I need to start making more dishes using lentils again, I've still got a bag of red and green lentils to use.
I need to buy some baby wipes this week, and some fresh stuff.
I'm going to attempt to make apple pie for pudding later. I bought a shortcrust pastry mix for 38p so I want to try it out.
Hmm, I don't think there's much else.
Snafu asked about making scones. I found a recipe here:
It's basically the one I've been using. I'm sure a few of you have baked scones before - I'm thinking My English Castle, CJ and Brenda? - but I could be wrong.
Yesterday I felt as though I was losing some of my motivation for UFM. I was just not feeling it. Then I had a bad sleep - thanks J! I woke up absolutely shattered this morning...
This sounds as though this is leading somewhere (like an insane spending spree) but it isn't. I remembered that one catalogue will be gone soon - fingers crossed - and that I have other stuff I need to put money aside for (SG's birthday, weddings,gifts)
We're having leftover chicken and rice for dinner. Tomorrow I'll cook something from scratch. I spent 11.26 on groceries today - we're at 100 or so spending so far. Next few weeks should be minimal - they will be.
Well my Monday morning is officially going well: I just signed on to check hubby's catalogue payments for next pay (they always update about now) and one catalogue is in the three hundreds!! I never expected that! It's obviously because I just paid off the final ever Buy Now Pay Later item, and they've deducted the interest that was already added to the account. I'm so happy. It's a couple of hundred less to pay off.
In other news, I have to come up with a meal plan for the rest of the week. Yesterday I had to buy milk and I ended up spending 7.xx on reduced stuff too (including salmon for 1.25 and a cheesecake for 62p). We're having soup or leftover lentil casserole for lunch.
Eleven years ago today I started this blog. Crazy!
In other news, Thursday and Friday were NSDs. I baked some more, then today I took some of it to work with me.
SG got a party invite this week for next Saturday. If I ever book a party for my kids, I won't send the invites out that late. That's just bad, isn't it? Ten days before the event? I'm just going to buy this girl a colouring book.
It should hopefully be a NSD. It's snowing here so I've just made a batch of lentil, veg and bacon soup. I'm making cottage pie for dinner tonight instead of bolognaise to use up some potatoes that I bought with shopping.
My loan updated today: it's now at 5947.01. Slowly getting there.
Nothing else to report. Pretty boring really.
I mentioned at the start of the month that I had to buy a couple of birthday presents for a birthday party this month. Yesterday I bought two gifts from the nearly-new baby and kids shop. I bought two cards too from the local card shop. Total spent: 6.82.
My shopping was delivered yesterday too. Total spent was 58.32.
We had leftover lentil bolognaise (from the freezer) last night because I was too tired to make toad in the hole. I'll be making it later though.
My only spending today was 4.70 on my bus fares. It's quite nice finishing work then not having to buy anything.
Tonight we had leftover tuna pasta and veg. The rest of the week looks like this, roughly:
-toad in the hole with veg
-peanut butter noodles
-bacon, veg, tomato and soft cheese casserole
-bolognaise or chilli
I bought some groceries yesterday and today. Today's ones were all reduced. I bought more bread to freeze. Grocery spending is now at 22.45 for the month so far; I've got shopping arriving on Tuesday late afternoon.
I found a bag of wholegrain rice in the cupboard. Everyone likes it, so that's good.
Tomorrow won't be a NSD because I have to pay for SG's snacks at nursery.
Today I'm baking some biscuits with SG. We can have them as snacks for a few days.
I broke a rule: I ate out. Hubby wanted us all to go to the local pub for lunch. I said I'm trying to spend as little as possible this month, so he suggested I take J to the local cafe for some one-to-one time instead (we're going to the pub next month for my birthday). I spent 7.80 total and that included bringing some food back for hubby and SG.
I also spent 1.40 on reduced naan breads (froze those), reduced mince pies and bread (half in the freezer).
I'm defrosting some hummus to have on a sandwich at work tomorrow, and I'll defrost some fruit for breakfast.
Tomorrow should be better.
That works out quite nicely, since that's what I've been doing. Today I used up the last of some sad veg to make a soup (that'll be our dinner) plus I made pancakes, scones and flapjacks - although I must have used too much golden syrup because they fell apart. We're going to have them with milk now, like granola.
I think we've used up most of the good stuff now, which is why I did some baking today. I need to think about what I can put together for work on Saturday.
I spent so long in the kitchen today. I've been nowhere.
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