Really thought I was going to cancel Christmas this year.....first my brother died and then I got a horrible dose of the flu - right up to Christmas Eve I felt dreadful...I am so glad I am always well in advance for Christmas because it really helped this year.
So - things that worked at Xmas
1 - Buying stuff in during the year - saved a lot of money
2 - Actually being ill was great for my purse - no last minute shopping as oh had to do it with a list and strict instructions nowt else! After the family came on Boxing Day for a left over buffet there was hardly anything left so very pleased indeed
3 - Trex makes the best mince pies ever! just like Mr Kiplings...mmmmm
4 - Homemade presents went down really well indeed
5 - Wrapping well in advance really helped too
Things to do better next year.....
1 - Try to buy every present in a sale
2 - Prepare more food in advance to put in the freezer
3 - Make more homemade presents i.e. knitting and chutneys
4 - Make homemade cards for family
5 - Accept help - I am not Superwoman and want to do everything for Crimbo myself - had to let go this year as I simply wasn't well enough
Managing number 1 quite nicely - my best bargains were Sainsburys on-line - 70% off toys so stocked up! Got all my cards, crackers and paper really cheaply (M&S cards for 50p)
So I am prepared for another Crimbo nice and early!
Will also be tweaking my budget this year - we are now running 2 cars and I need extra for my driving lessons so the food budget (which has been getting quite hairy) is the first to be looked at. Also I am giving my daughter a clothes allowance every month as from January so will see how that goes (will go to help her manage money when she grows up!)
We want to go away more in the caravan this year (I managed a total of 7 holidays last year so quite chuffed!)
I am also starting an Open University course in February - a bit of a dream but I would love to have a degree in History so this is a start at least. So need to be more organised as I will have studying to do as well as work.
So watch this blog for more of my attempts at frugality and making my money stretch as far as I can.....
A bit of progress on the latest picture.
5 hours ago