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.
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:
Hmm,more on transport than food. Interesting.
I was working today. I bought a few groceries afterwards. Spending is as follows:
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.
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:
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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