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This & That

January 23rd, 2017 at 03:10 am

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.

Scones Recipe

January 19th, 2017 at 04:59 am

Snafu asked about making scones. I found a recipe here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/scones_1285

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.

Day 18...

January 18th, 2017 at 07:33 am

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.

Eek!!!

January 16th, 2017 at 01:08 am

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

January 14th, 2017 at 05:28 am

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.

UFM Day 12

January 12th, 2017 at 02:31 am

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.

UFM: Gifts and Shopping

January 11th, 2017 at 04:21 am

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.

Meal planning etc

January 9th, 2017 at 09:49 am

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
-leftovers

Some Spending

January 8th, 2017 at 05:20 am

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.

UFM Day 6

January 6th, 2017 at 04:32 am

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.

Spending:

Groceries:9.84
Transport:9.40
Utilities:20.00
Eating Out:7.80

NSD: 3/21

Tomorrow should be better.

On the Fifth Day: Eat All the Things!!

January 5th, 2017 at 06:53 am

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.

NSD: 3/21

Abysmal

January 4th, 2017 at 05:37 am

My bank balance, that is. It's really bad. Payday is on Friday so it'll be better then.

We ran out of bread so I bought a few essential items today to last: eggs, pack of rolls, yogurt and fruit.

Now spending is:
Groceries:8.44
Transport:9.40
Kids:3.50

NSD:2/31

Hmm,more on transport than food. Interesting.



UFM: And on the third day there was some spending...

January 3rd, 2017 at 07:08 am

I was working today. I bought a few groceries afterwards. Spending is as follows:

Groceries:2.94
Kids: 3.50
Transport: 4.70

No Spend Days: 2/31

For a change today, when I finished work, I didn't buy an energy drink or chocolate. I usually buy this most days.

Yesterday I ordered shopping online from Tesco. I found the cheapest delivery slot (2.00 next Tuesday). Came up with a meal plan for next week too (I'm roughly copying from a meal plan I found online from another blogger: thrifty Lesley)

Had a quick look at how much dried pinto beans cost. It was easy enough, there's only one brand. I'll be trying Ceejay's recipe at some point.

UFM: Day 2

January 2nd, 2017 at 03:32 am

Yesterday went well. Although, I have leftover steak pie and potatoes because I made too much. We'll have them today.

I'm going to make some rice and beans today. I've never made it before. It can be lunches during the week after work. I found some recipes that I might try:

http://www.thekitchn.com/budget-but-not-boring-8-fresh-ways-to-eat-beans-rice-for-dinner-201467

I'm also going to make some soda bread. I found a packet mix in the cupboard. Again, I've never made it before.

We're out of porridge and onions now. I'll need to replace these because I use them in so much.

Not much else to report. I'm not going anywhere near a shop today.

Uber Frugal Month: Day 1

January 1st, 2017 at 05:21 am

I only got the daily email from Mrs Frugalwoods half an hour or so ago. Never mind, I'm still attempting the challenge.

Today has been a NSD. I've making lentil soup later today, and a steak pie for dinner later. The soup should do us a few lunches.

I found some quinoa in the cupboard that I forgot I had, so I'll need to remember and use that. I'm basically trying to use what we have in the cupboards.

I need to decide on the rest of the meal plan for this week.

Happy new year everyone!

Uber Frugal Month

December 30th, 2016 at 05:50 am

I just found out about this yesterday from Debt-free-by-33, so, unlike her, I haven't really had time to prep but I'll be giving it my best shot.

I've got a couple of challenges, namely a joint kids birthday party so I'll need to get a gift, eating out (spent 99.xx this month although that does include treating my mum on Christmas Eve and eating out in Edinburgh when we were there) and I desperately need to buy a washing machine filter.

Other than that, I'm going to do my best to have an Uber Frugal Month Smile

Goals for 2017: Vague

December 29th, 2016 at 12:52 am

I need to make these more specific, but right now, I'm thinking:

1. Payoff BOTH catalogues (1303.50) - I'll be ECSTATIC!! even though they're not in my name

2. Continue to pay credit cards and get another balance transfer

3. Save up for a holiday

4.Cash only Christmas (and birthdays too)

Also, work out how to kit us all out for two weddings next year. And buy J his first bed.

Christmas Fast Approaching

December 19th, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I can't believe it's nearly the end of the year! I still have presents to wrap!

Things have been busy here. We took the kids to Edinburgh's Christmas last week. We impulsively went on the ferris wheel. Hubby wanted to since he'd never been on it before - me either, actually. I saved 20% off the ticket price thanks to showing some ID. Next year, I'm booking the rides in advance.

I spent a lot on food. In the end, the kids were exhausted so we never went to see Santa. However, I had seen him the day before we went (didn't go well - lots of tears) and he is visiting SG's nursery tomorrow.

I baked brownies to give to SG's nursery staff. I handed them in today.

My mum's dog was put to sleep last week. I wish I had seen him recently,but it has been a few months. She had to borrow money from her friend to pay for it.

In other sad news, I found out that one of my neighbours died. I'd heard that he had cancer. I seen his wife shopping herself, but I wasn't sure if anything had happened, and it's not the sort of thing you can just bring up. Anyway, it was confirmed that he died a few weeks ago. I'm going to post through a Thinking of You card. Originally, they were getting a Christmas card but I can't send *both*

I better head to bed soon. That's all for now.

Cash is King

December 9th, 2016 at 06:58 am

It's been over a month now, I think, that I've been withdrawing cash for shopping. I think it's working out.

Speaking of cash ruling, it's my answer to everything when hubby suggests we need something. "We need to save up for it"

My phone has gone AWOL. It's been a week. I know I lost it at home but I can't find it anywhere. I'm ready to give up.

Told hubby I want to be done with one of the catalogues by this time next year - really I meant halfway through the year, ideally both will be gone by December 2017 - so I can focus on my credit card debt. Both 0% offers end next year.

December

December 4th, 2016 at 04:06 am

Trying to get everything organised for Christmas just now:

-asked hubby what he wanted for a starter (prawn cocktail) so I bought in a bag of frozen prawns with my shopping
-want to take the kids to see Santa this year since we didn't last year, and we want to go to Edinburgh's Christmas market. We're just going to combine the trip and take them to see Santa in Edinburgh
-used the high street vouchers my mum gave me in return for me buying SG's present from her. Was 2.16 out of pocket for 52.16 worth of food
-have to start wrapping soon. I only had to buy in a few rolls of wrapping paper.
-haven't bought Christmas crackers yet - I'm wondering if we'll miss them?
-arranged an uplift to get rid of some unwanted items before Christmas. It's getting picked up on Thursday.

I think that's all.

Update

November 30th, 2016 at 06:59 pm

Don't think I'll be sleeping anytime soon, so thought I'd quickly update.

Things are going well, I think. A few weeks ago I ordered SG's Christmas present from my mum and she gave me the equivalent in high street vouchers. I'll be using them for food shopping next week probably.

I'd say my Christmas shopping is basically done- just need to sort out a picture gift for my mum.

I'll be baking gifts for SG's teachers this year. I just need to order some bags.

Hubby is going to take SG to the cinema at some point, she's not been yet. They'll probably go to a matinee I think once we down the day.

I'm well into the habit of using cash for shopping. I had a few days of feeling under the weather when I didn't update my budgeting app, but it wasn't hard to catch up. Especially since I finally cleared out my purse and put the old receipts in the shredding pile.

Got our warm home discount of 140.00. It's in the electricity meter just now. I'm hoping it'll really help our budget. It's already good not having to worry about it.

Thankful

November 24th, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Hope you guys are having a great Thanksgiving!

I'm pretty thankful for SA. I'm so glad I started this blog so long ago.

Updated Sidebar

November 17th, 2016 at 01:32 am

I'm way behind updating my sidebar, so I did that now. It's nice to see the figures going down.

I'm doing quite good tracking spending. Well, at least I have been for the past few days. Today's spending should only be a pound for SG's nursery for Children in Need. I also need to hand in the form for nursery photos. That's 17.00.

Have a good day everyone!

Payday

November 11th, 2016 at 04:53 am

Today is payday. I need to figure out how much I actually spend each week on variable expenses. I'm still sticking with cash - except for my Tesco order, which comes on Monday.

I only have 37gbp left to pay on the last bnpl item from the catalogue.

I dont think we're going to visit my friend in Feb, it's looking expensive.

I'm basically done Christmas shopping - just need SG to pick something. She picked a toy for my mum to get her today. I also need to get my mum something, so I'm not really done, but I'm not stressing.

I need to buy a filter for the washing machine and a phone charger this pay. I've been putting off buying the filter.

Now & Then

October 31st, 2016 at 02:12 am

In my last post, Creditcardfree asked about my catalogue debt. Unfortunately, I still have it. The good news, however, is that if I compare it to 7th of April this year - days before the loan was deposited - it looks miles better:

7/4/16:
2655.99 (my catalogue)
3251.45 (hubby)
2404.83

Total: 8312.27 (eeek!!)

Today's figures are way better, thanks to the loan:
659.00
829.15

New total: 1488.15

In other news, I've finally seen the dietitian. She prescribed me supplement drinks and told me to have a milky pudding every night.

Since then, I've been signing back into my fitness pal. I neglected it for so long before.

Phew

October 19th, 2016 at 04:53 am

I think this is my first update this month. I never leave it this long normally. Things have been busy.

I've been spending a lot of time the past six weeks or so, working on a hobby, I guess you could call it that? I'm being optimistic and hoping that I can turn it into a career within the next year or so. I need to do some studying first, amongst other things.

I cancelled Amazon prime yesterday. I barely used it during the free trial. I barely had time to watch my usual programmes never mind adding more to my list.

Hubby joined something, I'm not sure exactly what it is. Anyway, every month he gets a 5GBP Amazon voucher. So that is sitting in my Amazon account now. It's something to do with tv or something. If I can make myself do a swag bucks survey I could get another voucher, for ten pounds I think.

Got the kids Halloween costumes. Spent less than a tenner.

I have one more BNPL item left to pay off. The catalogue keep trying to tempt hubby with offers but they're so bad. Also, he's not allowed to. He's banned.

I need to pay for nursery photos soon. We never got them last year, we just kept the little copy that they gave us.

I think that's all.

Odds and Ends

September 29th, 2016 at 10:48 am

I got a letter from our utility company saying they have received my request for Warm Home Discount. They will be in touch within the next twelve weeks.

A few weeks ago, hubby got a letter from the catalogue company saying one of his extended warranties would be renewed if he didn't get in touch by the end of the month. He phoned today and cancelled it, 98 pounds saved.

Trying to figure out where we're going in February. Hubby thinks it's too expensive to go away, but I told him I'm desperate for a change of scenery.

I'm considering my future recently. I've started to be interested in a particular area, so I'm hoping it will help my career prospects in the future. Time will tell.

Started Christmas shopping. I went to a baby and kids market. Spent 20,got two toys each for both kids plus books.

It's payday in eight days.

This & That

September 22nd, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Just a little update.

Nationwide sent me a letter about increasing my credit limit. I'm ignoring it; I don't want an increase.

I found husband's PIN in my budgeting notebook, so no need to get in touch with the bank.

I paid the last of my Christmas high street vouchers this pay. It's only half of what we saved last year. We should get them soon.

Bought a new winter jacket for J and some clothes, SG got clothes. Her jacket needs replaced next but J didn't have a warm enough jacket for winter.

I also bought a collection of Peter Rabbit books from Amazon. They were 29.99,originally over 100. When ordering I accidentally signed up for Amazon Prime so I'll have to remember to cancel.

Bought husband a book for his birthday. 12.91.

I planned meals for next week. I've got a Tesco order coming on Wednesday.

I applied for Warm Home Discount yesterday. I heard about it through Martin Lewis. I'll see if we qualify, it's first come, first served. If we do that's 140 towards our electricity.

I think that's all for now.

Payday etc

September 18th, 2016 at 12:36 am

Yesterday was payday. Nothing exciting. I paid both catalogues and the last of one of the Bnpl items - a hoover- that hubby bought this year. Just one more item to pay off now.

I've updated my sidebar. I'm hoping that by June 2017 most of the catalogue debt will be gone, and I can put that money towards my credit card. Hopefully I qualify for another 0% card, but I'm not counting on it, just in case.

Husband switched bank accounts a few months ago. We were both rewarded 100. I've transferred mine to savings (holiday fund). Need to sort hubby's PIN before we can transfer to my bank, then to savings. He's lost it. I told him that I'm really going to have to save if we want to go *anywhere* in February. Nothing will be going on a credit card (only if hell freezes over, or pigs fly).

SG's is a great consumer. She keeps asking for every single toy she sees. I told her we'll be writing a list for Santa. J, thankfully, is none the wiser.

My List (continued)

September 17th, 2016 at 10:02 am

I thought of a few more things:

11. I've never broken any bones
12. I hate sports
13. I'm Facebook friends with a few bloggers
14. Once I get round to it, I'll have one as a friend on My Fitness Pal too (it's on my list, luckily this password is easy to remember)
15. I've had two emergency surgeries - both while pregnant
16. I'm not religious at all
17. I hate haggis and black pudding. Not really a fan of shortbread either (these are all Scottish)

Ok I think that's all. There's some lame stuff there.


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