I was adding up how much todays outfit for work cost....M&s trousers, £2 charity shop, Bonne Marche top, £1.50 charity shop, Boots, £2 charity shop and my big padded duvet coat was £4...from a charity shop!!! The only thing I bought new (apart from underwear and I draw a line there! lol) was my handbag and I actually got that in Primark sale for £3. So top to tail for £12.50 - not too shabby!
Well I had carefully made out my weeks menu including lunches, given the troops the "we will be eating more pasta and pulses" speech.....got to Asda and struck really lucky on the reductions....£45 worth of stewing steak, braising steak, some lamb mince and chicken kievs for 10p per packet!!!! I spent £1.10 and have an extremely happy family!
I must admit I had always thought that the cartons of uht milk would work out cheaper than fresh milk but I was wrong!!! Fresh milk in Asda works out as 44p per litre whilst the cheapest uht milk is 57p per litre - although uht milk is handy as I always have a couple of cartons lurking in the cupboard.....you live and learn!
Well after yesterdays pity party I have girded my loins and got on with it....Todays menu is porrige made with water for breakfast, chicken and rice soup for lunch (made from Sundays chicken carcass and left over tiny bits of scrap chicken with rice, carrots and onions) Tea is Sausage hotpot (a la Frugal Queen) with pancakes and golden syrup for pud..
I checked and yes, the Child benefit Child tax credit will all stop.....heaven help us...deep doo doo......So, I have picked myself up and have looked again at our finances.... First, we have no debt at all except for our mortgage which is really small. I only work part time but it will enought to cover our mortgage and all our necessary bills (ie Housekeeping/electric/gas/phones/internet. I will cancel Netflix and my Gift giving from my wages. I run our money via a Freedom account where I have "virtual" envelopes for all our spending - its broken down into different accounts. So I earn enough to pay for following accounts - Car tax & insurance, Xmas, Birthdays (with a reduction in these both). The other accounts - Holidays, Household, Emergencie and Car repairs - will be added to when I can by selling stuff and car booting. We both had allowances we paid for clothes we needed and entertainment - I will not have enough for this....OH is looking to see if he can pick up any casual work but as he has back and neck problems its virtually impossible to find anything. We do have some savings but I need to keep them for emergencys only - its a slippery slope if you start using your savings for day to day stuff. I am looking for more hours at work but there isnt anything available at the moment.... Its dd I feel sorry for - she was getting £30 Education allowance for staying on at school and that will go - if she got into uni at least she would get a bursary but as it looks like it will just have to be college she will have to try and get a part time job but as we live in a very small town is really difficult. Sorry its a bit of a miserable post but its rather hard to be cheery at the moment...
Just when we thought things couldnt get worse it occurred to me that when youngest dd leaves school in June we will lose both CWTC and Child benefit... that will push us over the edge! She wants to go to college (didnt get into uni as she wants to be a midwife and there are only a few spaces and lots of applicants - still waiting for one uni to reply but shes not holding out much hope) so shes applied for a years course and will try again for uni next year...Im not sure when the child benefit stops so off to look that up now.....
Thank you everyone for your comments regarding the mango pulp....have been having great fun with it (its lovely just eaten from the jug I decanted it into! lol) Last night I got a sugar free jelly and used just enough boiling water to dissolve the crystals and topped it up with...guess...mango pulp! It was loveley! I added it to my normal chickpea curry recipe and it was great - its now my official thing to add to everything! Its lovely just swirled into plain fromage frais too and I made a lovely refreshing drink by adding some brighten up a 19p bottle of lemonade. I used the last of my housekeeping on the Approved food order and a free delivery from Sainsburys stocking up on heavy stuff like soap powder and tins so my store cupboard is looking fab.
My next plan of attack in March is to reduced my housekeeping budget by £50 - its quite difficult to reduce further when I already stretch it out by buying value/basics ranges but am working on it!