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Archive for September, 2013

Meal Planning

September 29th, 2013 at 06:05 am

I've started watching a new show, Save With Jamie. I watched one of the episodes yesterday. He made "mothership sunday roast chicken". Then he made the leftovers into chicken stew.

After watching the episode, I went and bought a fresh chicken (£4.50). I'm going to try and make these recipes this week, but I won't buy in any extra ingredients, I'll just use what I have on hand.

Hubby was watching it with me, he commented how his last show was aiming to save the viewers time, while this show aims to save us money. It didn't even occur to me; I just like getting meal ideas.

So here's this week's meal plan:

-roast chicken with potatoes, cauliflower, brocolli and carrots
- chicken stew with dumplings
- vegetable frittata with chips
- carrot soup with crusty bread
- leftovers

Guilt-free anniversary

September 26th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Yesterday it was our fourth wedding anniversary. This year we did things a little differently though: we didn't exchange cards and, more importantly, I didn't use my credit card. (I think I used my CC last year to get a takeaway) I made us chilli minced beef in the slow cooker with tortilla chips. We had a glass of wine with dinner (a gift from my mum) and just relaxed.

Hubby did get a card though... from SG, a belated home made birthday card.

It's all in black and white now

September 24th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I asked hubby to write down all of his outgoings last night. He didn't want me to be there while he was doing it - he said I would stress out - so he waited until I was sleeping. Well, I've woken up this morning to a list in the livingroom. At least I know now how much his bills are. It's obvious that there's too much going out and not enough coming in. We both know that, so it was nice to see that he had written a note at the bottom of what he was planning to cut/reduce.

I copied his list into my daily notebook, compared with my outgoings and noticed he had missed a couple of things. As far as I can see, there's a £60 difference (not including bank charges) He's going to shop around for insurance for his phone and cancel LoveFilm. He pays for Netflix too but isn't willing to give that up because he loves it. I'm going to try to help without stressing. Also, it's pretty clear that I need to step in now and manage his finances.

Christmas Shopping

September 24th, 2013 at 01:05 am

On payday I ordered a personalised Christmas stocking for SG. It was on sale for £10 plus £3.49 P&P so in total 13.49. Of course afterwards I googled stocking fillers for toddlers and managed to write a list of possible stocking fillers - 13 items! Now I'm not going to buy all of these. It does make me realise how easy I could throw away money by buying all of this.

So far I've got:

- my first playdoh set (free, used rewards)
- 4 finger paints 90p
- 4 dough tubs 90p
- wooden puzzle 1.75

Total: 3.55

Should I count the stocking as a present?

Delayed Plans

September 24th, 2013 at 12:05 am

A while ago, I mentioned that we were planning on buying a carpet for our room with my savings. Well my savings have dwindled down recently because I had to help DH out. Although he didn't ask me to take the money out of savings, I did.

I found out the other day that DH was over his credit card limit again. The last time he was over I gave him money out of savings to put towards his card. That was in July. As it turns out, that was the last payment he made to his card. He said he couldn't find his login details and he had to phone the company.

I was feeling depressed last night since that money was meant for other things. Hubby didn't want to talk about it. He does think we can get the carpet in a few months, but I don't know.

This situation did make me think, what if that money hadn't been there? I need to replace the money so that it's there when we need it in the future. It all comes down to my lack of emergency fund. I've been blogging on and off for years, so I should have one, there's no excuse.

Shopping, meal planning

September 23rd, 2013 at 02:57 am

We went to Aldi at the weekend for some food shopping. I had a trolley full and it came to £60.21. This included £11.46 of misc items for SG and £2.69 worth of household items. I think we will be going back to Aldi. Right now, the fridge, freezer and cupboards are full.

This week we are going to have:

- tortilla bake with salad
- baked potatoes
- fish, chips and peas
- chicken stir fry

Payday

September 20th, 2013 at 11:18 am

Today is payday. Not much to report though. I bought some groceries (£14.88) and some clothes that were on sale for SG in her next size (£13.50)

I bought some small document holders a few days ago, a four pack for £1. I will use these instead of envelopes for my cash-only purchases: food shopping, household items and nappies/misc.

I've increased my food budget by £20 to £140. Household and nappies/misc remains the same: £20 and £40 respectively.

Hubby got paid less than he thought he would, especially since he done overtime. Not good. Spending will be kept to a minimum, even though we are both on holiday from work. Hubby has been off for almost a week, my holiday doesn't officially start until Sunday.

A small snowflake

September 16th, 2013 at 12:19 am

The other day I read CCF's post about withdrawing money from PayPal. That reminded me to check mine. Sure enough, I had £1.10 in my account so I transferred it to my bank account, then made a payment to CC1.

I bought a wooden puzzle on Saturday for SG's Christmas. I bought it from our local shop that relies on donations. It was still in its original packaging. I also handed in a bag of SG's old clothes.

Observations

September 12th, 2013 at 12:35 am

After using the envelope system for almost three weeks, it's obvious there are a couple of problems:

- Two out of three envelopes have fallen apart so I had to put the money in new envelopes. I'm going to have a good look through what I already own to see if I have something better than envelopes to put my money in - maybe a little folder or a pencil case?

- I've not budgeted enough for food shopping. Yesterday I went to buy fruit and veg because we were running low, and I overspent by £5. I guess 120 for a family of three is too little. I'm unsure whether to increase this by ten or twenty pounds though. ( I took the money from my household envelope) Eight days till payday and we will need milk before then.

Hopefully I can fix these problems soon.

September Snowflakes

September 6th, 2013 at 08:19 am

I found three shopping receipts from this month that I took out of my envelope earlier. In total there was £3.39 worth of savings (discount and 50p coupon) So, I've sent a payment of £3.39 to CC1. My first snowflake for September. Feels good.

Full Disclosure

September 6th, 2013 at 07:42 am

My catalogue statement came through the other day. I saved myself £276.60 worth of interest by paying off the fridge freezer. There's a list of my other BNPL items on this statement too. Payment due date in brackets (D/M/Y)

1) £306.94 (15/11/13)
Interest £327.80 - I won't get this paid off

2) £75.00 (13/12/13)
Interest £61.03

3) £92.00 (10/1/14)
Interest £74.86

4) £193.00 (4/4/14)
Interest £157.04

5) £199 (30/5/14)
Interest £212.52

Of course my goal is to pay off as much as possible before the interest-free period ends.

Trial and Error

September 5th, 2013 at 03:27 am

My grocery money is disappearing fast - next pay I may have to increase my budget. I thought I had less than £10 less then I found a pile of pound coins at the bottom of my handbag. Quick calculation found that the household envelope was short £4, misc has barely been touched so it went back into a new grocery envelope. They're all sealed now and back in my bag. Maybe next pay I'll keep the coins in a money bag instead of in the envelope.

Fifteen days until payday. Dinner is in the slow cooker just now. It's chilli minced beef with tortillas. I found a reduced pork joint yesterday for £2.28 so that is in the freezer.

Saved myself some money

September 2nd, 2013 at 05:47 am

A few weeks ago I got a couple of letters from my catalogue about renewing some guarantees I have with them. One was for a tumble dryer, which I actually bought for my mum a few years ago. The other was for a laptop (£198 a year or £3.81/wk) I told the customer service representative that I couldn't afford to renew. She did say I was entitled to a discount but I declined. If I hadn't phoned to renew they would have renewed automatically and it would have been added to my bill.