Saturday, 31 December 2011

How I manage Christmas budget

I put away a set amount every month ready to budget for Christmas - this means that during the year if I come across any great bargains I have the money and can stash away presents. I dont have a huge amount of people to buy for which helps!

The presents I got at BHS are for the babies in the family because there the ones who cant ask for anything! lol - as they get older and know what they want it gets more difficult.

What I used to do is say I budget £20 for somebody - if I got something reduced from £20 to £10 I would also spend the other £10 on them to make it up. Now however, if I see something for £20 reduced to £10 thats all they get! £20 is what I would have spent if I hadnt got that thing reduced and if I save £10 that goes into my savings.

I was quite lucky last year - got nearly everything reduced - even before Xmas the on-line discounts were really good. I also used my Tesco credit card to pay for everything (direct debit set up to pay off in full every month) so I can collect the points for magazine subs as presents. I always go through Quidco - even 2% cashback all adds up. I also check various sites (including my favourite - moneysavingexpert.com) for vouchers and free delivery codes - didnt pay for any delivery at all this year.

Extra food is included in my budget - I do 2 shops for Christmas food which I keep seperate from my household budget - first one is for stuff that will keep and the 2nd one is for the fresh stuff. Got a great piece of brisket reduced from nearly £10 to £1.87 (I actually got a lot of bargains that day - have a picture on my camera and when I can find it under all the mess in this house I will post a picture!)

So on gifts and christmas stuff (cards etc bought in previous years sales!) for Xmas 2011...

Spent - £396.50
Would have cost - £703
So saved a whopping £306.50

Food - on both shops together spent just under £90 (including stuff for New Year)
My budget was £540 (12 x £45)

Total spend - £486.50

So very pleased I can put another £53.50 away in my savings!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas bargains

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas - I was very pleased that there was hardly any waste food wise and we didnt stint on getting nice nibbleys but nearly all were reduced too!

Hit the sales with xmas money given to me and had a great time!

Started my next years xmas shopping on-line today at BHS - got £87 worth of presents for £30 (scored an extra £5 off a £25 shop, got free delivery, got 8% cashback through Quidco and used my Tesco credit card to get points)

When it arrives it will be all added to my spreadsheet! I fully intend to wrap up the presents when they arrive to save time (bought a few birthday presents too)

And the best news......my son proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas day so will have a wedding to look forward too! Roll on 2012!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Refund from Scottish Power on its way.....

God it was like extracting teeth! First I emailed them to say I wanted a refund - I put on the boxes my meter readings.....2 days later I get another email from them saying before I can get a refund could I put my meter readings in! So I did that AGAIN and got a nice email this morning saying I will be getting a cheque for £179.33 (I originally thought it would be more) and they are putting my direct debits down from £122 per month to £88 per month!

Result!!!!!

I also went onto my account and compared previous years usages with this year.....

Electric - slightly more - 145 previous year and 150 this year - my electric heating in the caravan could be blamed for that

Gas - previous year I had used 3305 but this year is was only 2221 - very pleased with this. Although we used much more last year (thick snow) hopefully our cavity wall insulation we got put in for free in the summer will help too.

I am now being manic about switching off lights and the telly - we dont have anything except our freeview recorder on all the time - everything else is switched off - we have no phone chargers lurking anywhere - they are only plugged in when needed. Even the dishwasher and washing machine get switched off the minute they finish - you never know how many pennies that flashing red light it using up!

Its chilly here today but I have a thermal vest on under my jumper, thermal socks, a body warmer and havnt had to resort to hand warmers yet - that heating is not going on until we feel uncomfortable.

I am off to bake mince pies for Crimbo so the oven will keep me nice and warm for a while!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Busy, busy....

Lots been going on so havnt had time to blog!

Wrapped all dds birthday presents (19th December) and nearl all Christmas presents. Been very careful with the budget and am off to Asda later on this evening to get any stuff I need that doesnt have sell by dates.

Sent off my next OU essay - not too thrilled with it but was getting so stressed about it decided to stop trying to get it perfect and send it in...one thing less to worry about.

Had a driving lesson today which was pants - i have a lot on my mind and wasnt too happy about my driving at all! My test was booked for next week but I have cancelled it and am having no more driving lessons until the New Year.

Got the old sewing machine out and made 2 single duvets from a king size one I bought for £7. Also made some christmas gift bags out of material I bought for £1 from a car boot - bit lopsided but I am still a learner with a sewing machine!

Its extremely windy here - not looking forward to going out shopping but trying to go when its quieter at Asda.....

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Just passed first bit towards a History degree!

Have just got word I passed my Level 1 towards getting a History degree with the Open University - I now have 60 credits and you need 360 credits for the degree so it will be a while yet........but I'm still chuffed!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Raging at Scottish Power,...

Been a while since I blogged due to back/flu etc.....

We pay £90 per month direct debit to Scottish Power for our gas and electric - I got a lovely (?) email from them saying there were going to put my direct debits up to £122!!!!!! Thats a £32 price hike every month!

I logged onto my account and saw on their graphs I am actually using less electric than last year and much less then the year before AND I am £313 in credit with them!

Robbing swines......so I have sent off an email cancelling my direct debit and going back to paying quarterly and demanding a refund.

We went round the whole house last night and made sure there were no chargers etc on, have put the telly, dvd, wii etc all on 1 extension so when the telly is switched off everything else goes off too. All my lights are energy saving bulbs, we got cavity wall insulation in the summer so that has made a great difference to our heating as we either dont put it on or put it on very low.

So I am now on everyones backs about switching off lights when leaving a room, not leaving the telly on mute while go off and do something else (dh's favourite trick!)

I also got out my huge vacuum flask jug and instead of boiling a kettle every 10 mins (dh and his coffee habit) the kettle gets boiled and the hot water put into the flask. As its such a big one it keeps the water lovely and hot.

One of our big electric guzzlers is we have a huge (but very old) chest freezer in the shed - its great for stowing food bargains in but is never over half full - maybe with the refund we can get another more energy efficienct one - came across this site which looks interesting

http://www.sust-it.net/energy_saving.php?id=158

It shows which are the most energy saving applicances.

Nearly finished my Xmas shopping - mostly done on line with discounts and free delivery codes - noticed there have been a lot more discounts available this year - 30% off is not uncommon - last year it was quite hard to find discounts - sign of the times I;m afraidn.....

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A wee holiday

Just back from the weekend in our seasonal pitch at Ecchlefechan - didnt do much - just chilled, had a lovely drive in the sunshine and relaxed.......

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Large (for me) spend

Back is doing much better so thought I would accompany eldest dd to IKEA (turned into a family day out as dh and youngest dd wanted to come too!)Bought everyone a cheap breakfast - took it slowly round the shop and sat at every opportunity!

Eldest dd has got her money through from the disability office at Unit to get her a chair, desk, laptop etc - she has to get the stuff and send in the receipts - they gave her a large wad of cash which is burning a hole in her pocket!

She got a lovely corner desk with lots of shelves up above (has problems reaching down to drawers) so was very happy - saved £15 on delivery as dh put it in her car and unloaded it the other end......

I knew I wanted a new cushion for my free Poang chair (cream cover and a fisherman and cat do not mix!) so got a black one for £14.99

Then we hit the bed section. Since my back has been sore I have been sleeping on the spare bed as its a lot softer than my own mattress (we have a 6ft bed and 2 matteress - he prefers soft and I prefer harder) Now its getting better its too soft but my old matteress is still on the hard side. Its a smashing mattress - miracoil and really good nick but I usually put a couple of spare duvets under the sheet for a bit of softness and its been great until my back really kicked in.

So we looked at matteress toppers. Now this is a minefield! I remember when dh got a new matteress last year I went with him and couldnt find anything better than my mattress. I tried those memory foam ones and hated them.

So first we had to find one of the IKEA beds who had a firm matteress like mine, then drag all the different mattress toppers and try out each one (by the time I had got up and down I was knackered!) Out of all of them the memory foam was the best. I hummed and hawed as it was £99 but as all my family said, you cant put a price on comfort. What finally did it was that IKEA have a 90 day trial period on mattresses -if the one you get isnt comfy you can exhange for another one. So we bought it......

And last night was the best nights sleep I have had for a long time! Dh said I didnt toss and turn like I normally do.

So although its a big spend I suppose by my little frugal ways I had the £100 to spend and being comfy in your bed is really really important.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pictures of my gang hut




As promised weeks ago here are some pictures of my caravan/office/gang hut - a work in progress as my back problems stopped play but getting there! I have a desk, (complete with garden chair!), a garden relaxer chair, table for necessary tea stuff and a wee table just for decoration......nothing bought new - all from either jumbleys, car boots or already had.

I love my wee gang hut - I can concentrate on my Open Uni stuff and feel completely relaxed in it (havent taken photos of the back area as its used for storage and it a complete mess!) I also have a convecter heater in there to keep it warm. Have a wool rug I got at a car boot for £2 but really need a carpet - have gone after a few on freecycle but not been lucky - hey ho - will get one eventually!!!! Ihave a duvet cover (£1) ready to cut up for curtains and my friends mother gave me the net curtains.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Gradually getting better, made biscuits!

Back to work this week - just 2 days but they felt really long....back still a bit dodgy but doing lot more excercises and walking about so that helps. Have stopped my night time meds and halved the day time ones so getting there.....

Did an on-line shop this weeks - really big one which was £81.

Made biscuits this morning - known as Twinks hobnobs (got the recipe from Twins at moneysavingexpert.co.uk) - they are lovely! actually got 56 biscuits from the mix but I might have made them too big so will make them smaller next time. Next time I might add ginger or even omit some marg and put peanut butter in.....

8oz SR flour
8oz sugar
8oz oats
8oz margarine
1 tblesp golden syrup
1 tblesp hot water
1/2 tsp bicarb

Melt all ingredients in pan and stir well - I had to add more flour as the mix was a bit too sticky to roll into small balls in your hand. Put balls on baking trays and flatten with fork - could for 10-12 mins on gas mark 4

Friday, 28 October 2011

Getting the bettter of the back....

Slowly getting more movement - trying to reduce the painkillers as they really knock me for six - gradually building up excercises although the most walking outside I have managed was just round the scheme (about 5 minutes!)

So not much frugally happening here (apart from I cant go out and spend any money so thats good!) It also means dh has been having to do the shopping so thought I would total it up...

Up to me being ill - £108
Dh spends - £44.96
£64.23

Total - round to £217 - which means I put £83 in holiday fund! Hopefully when I am back to normal I can save even more next month...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Bad back

Wont be posting for a while - doing this one between druuuuuuugs as I have a horrible bad back........

Monday, 10 October 2011

Update on housekeeping money

Before I forget! This month so far....£51 on-line shop, £14 Aldi and today another £43 on-line shop (including £3.66 price promise back from last shop)

October total so far: £108

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Probably last car boot and jumble sale of the year

I'm sad! last jumbley and probably last car boot up here......

Jumbley - some of it quite expensive - I know they are raising funds for a good cause but £4 for a wee tiny brooch is going to put people off. My eldest dd spotted a tiny wee game in a box of skittles in the shape of penguins (table top skittles)Lady wanted £2 for it so she offered £1 - got a mouthful about how it was to raise money for a well somewhere in Africa so my naughty dd told her to send them the penquin game! She got it for £1! Its such a shame but they were left with loads of unsold stuff that if they had asked cheaper prices for it would have gone and they would have more funds - seems daft to me!

Anyhoo - I bought....

Single duvet cover - £1 (this is going to make curtains in my new caravan/office
4 cd set classical music - 50p
DVD about Scott of Antartica - 50p - for my dad
4 items clothing for youngest dd - £2
Hardback book - Prettiest villages in Scotland - £1
3 boots for £1

Todays car boot......

Lovely china tray decorated with cats to keep reading glasses on - £1
Pretty wooden box decorated with tea items - £1.50 -to keep teabags in caravan/office
Chrome wall clock - £1.50 - again for van/office
Large bag of tent pegs (rock ones for awnings) - £2
Small pink chinese style wool rug - £2 - again for van/office

My wee gang hut is coming along nicely = all mismatched stuff and its a great place to study in - will get camera out to show work in progress tomorrow.....

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Got a new office!

Well - its a a caravan in the garden actually! Its a small caravan that was used for the Caravan club towing courses so theres nothing in it at all. The lady we got it off used it for a potting shed as it was nice and dry! So for the princely sum of £50 (half of what I saved on my housekeeping last month) I have my very own gang hut!

It was filthy - dh has now washed down the outside and I am about to attack the inside - wish I had taken before pictures! Anyway, it all needs washed down inside with bleach just to make sure theres no beasties left....so busy, busy, busy for the next wee while - will put pictures up later...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Freecycle and night class

Isnt Freecycle fab? I got my free chair yesterday so decided I would ask on Freecycle if anyone had the matching footstool - ended up with 2! One is black leather look and the other is cream to match my chair. Took both as the chair and cream one will go in the caravan and the black one is really comfortable in my sitting room.

Went to my Aromatherapy night class last night - looks really good - we are going to learn to blend our own oils and make room sprays, lip balms, bath milks and creams for gifts. Will be a bit of an outlay getting some of the essential oils but I'm not buying anything yet until I know which ones I like (actually, most of them!)

Home-made lentil soup on the cooker and I had a good driving lesson this morning so its a good day!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Well under food budget! and a free chair

Did my online shop and it came to £57.95 so this months housekeeping is....

£209.96

As I allow £300 for my monthly housekeeping I can now put £90 away in my holiday fund! Great stuff! So thats a long weekend in the van!

Will do the same next month - although I could just put that money straight away its much more fun doing it this way!

(also did the Asda price promise and will be getting £3.66 off my next shop)

The free chair - went round to my friends for a cuppa and we were watching out of the window as a house across the way was getting emptyed...my pal spotted a small old fashioned sofa so went across and asked if she could have it for her sun room! So we brought it over and she gave me her Ikea Poang chair which was in there. The reason I took this is that we might be getting another caravan! This one is just small, its an empty shell as it was used for storage. I want to turn it into an office (and use it to store my camping stuff that I used to have in our caravan!) We are supposed to be getting it this weekend coming so I will have to live with the Ikea chair in the middle of my living room until then! The joy of the Ikea chair is that I can disassemble to get it into the caravan!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bit hungover and night class musings....

Our wee town has an annual music festival and for the past years and years me and my friend have always gone to see the same singer.....last night was the night so feeling a wee bitty fragile today! On a brighter note - hardly spend anything as I hardly ever drink anymore and it didnt take very many last night for me to start going on to lemonades!!!!!

The lady I get a lift in to work runs the council Adult education programmes - have done a few in the distant past (ECDL, Advanced ECDL, Cookery on a budget and Calligraphy) so I had a look at this years offerings. Lots I fancied but too far away so have signed up for Aromatherapy for Beginners - starts at our local school on Monday evenings for 10 weeks. Best of all it would normally cost £74 but cos I am on Working Tax credit I will get it for £19 (I remember when they were free!)So might pick up some tips for cheap home-made Christmas presents.

Doing well with my housekeeping budget this month too so very pleased....only 1 more shop to do - if I manage around the £50-£60 mark I can put nearly £100 away into our holiday account which is great.


September housekeeping - £152.01

Monday, 19 September 2011

Weird tea and cheap meals

My cupboards are empty until I get my on-line shopping tomorrow so tea was wee bitty challenging!!!

We had.....2 small lamb kebabs each (last of my meat bargains - reduced down to 20p), a tin of new potaotes fried (20p) and a packet of lemon and coriander cous cous (40p)

I tried to bulk it out by making a pud - had a tin of rhubarb lurking so used that with a crumble mix on top.....never thought but should have drained the rhubarb so it was a bit soggy but filled a hole!

The price of food is really going up all the time - dh fancied a Frey Bentos steak pie (the round ones in the tins - we call them landmines!) The last time we bought them they were £1 and we eat 2 of them for a meal - they are now up to £2 each! I refuse to pay £4 for a meal so it will be 1 between the 3 of us and loads of mashed potatoes and veg....

Same with Swankies fish - its the only fish in breadcrumbs dh and dd will eat - 2 pieces for £2 - usually I buy 2 packs and dh has 2 bits but he's going to have to start and only have 1 - and I will put the spare one back in the freezer to use when we get it again, I think £4 is far too much.

I must admit I try to work on £1 per portion per main meal (less if I can manage it) - this includes anything accompanying it (ie pots, veg etc) so £3 for the three of us but am finding this really difficult.

Am making lasagne this week - by adding grated carrot and a handful of oats I can get not only the lasagne but can freeze a portion for the next weeks Spag bolog.

Am giving Asda smart price frozen chicken breasts a go this week. We are having stir fry and chicken/broccoli pasta. I dont know how many portions are in the bag but its £3.99 per kilo which was the cheapest I could find. Bit dubious about this as I once bought frozen chicken breast from Iceland and they were only 85% chicken - the rest was water!!!!!!!

Im quite glad its getting the colder weather as stews and soups are much cheaper than summer meals!

A wee frugal holiday

Well we now have our tourer on a seasonal pitch near Dumfries - went down at the weekend and had a lovely quiet relaxing break. As I have said before its not a cheap way of holidaying as it will be costing me £58 per month to site it (paid for out of my holiday budget) but its a bolthole for the whole family and I must admit holidays are very important to us all.

So me, my eldest dd and my youngest dd went down - took food down, visitied a local farmers market for some nice goodies and went to Tesco and got messages while we were there. Including petrol it cost £25 per person (my eldest dd pays for herself) So out of my monthly holiday budget I can afford to pay for the van and have one weekend away at the moment.....or if we really cut back and plan our menus for the van and do some careful shopping maybe even 2! Any extra trips while we are down there (theres loads of castles I want to visit) will be paid for from my Entertainment budget.

Dh couldnt come down as we was working and instead of just using up stuff from the cupboards/freezer he went shopping - £16.19 to add to this months food budget.

Just did an on-line shop - bit heavy this week as I needs lots of staples like rice and pasta etc - had e-vouchers from previous shops so it came to £56.59 including delivery.

Septembers houskeeping - £129.01

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

History school trip - more outgoings!

Does it never end! lol - dh is going for a history trip with the school tomorrow to Beamish - so that was £18 and she'll need a packed lunch. I hate packed lunches on trips - she doestn mind eating Smart price stuff in the house but has to have "names" for her lunch which I suppose is fair enough (teenager.....) and anything homemade is a complete no-no!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Probably last car boot....

We have a Sunday market near us and my pal wanted a trip out so off we went.....

Car boot bit - got 6 soup spoons for 50p (a need - dont know where all my spoons go to!)
4 books - at 10p each (this really is the last of my allowance now gone)
Xmas mug, bowl and saucer for dd for Xmas - £1

The market had mens wool jumpers - 2 for £5 - now I have scoured second-hand shops, car boots etc for thick mens jumpers for dh for work (hes a fisherman so needs wool) and cant get them anywhere so bought 4 off this stall for £10 which is excellent value. I always buy wool jumpers the size larger than he needs just in case of shrinkage!

Might have a bakeathon this afternoon......or maybe tomorrow!....

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Table top sales are my downfall....

My pal asked me to go with her today (so no petrol spend lol) - very small table top sale at a village hall - only 5 stalls including a homebaking one (never buy from these as I can make my own cakes and they are usually a lot nicer!)

So spent......

50p entrance fee (including raffle ticket)
Book for dd - 50p
Goodnight Mr Tom book (for me!) - 20p
Shrek Junior monopoly - £2 (thought this was dear but it was unused)
Pride & predjudice and Tom Jones (the dvds you get in papers) - £1 for both
Interactive DVDs - The Weakest link and Horse racing - for the caravan - £2

And spent £2 on a bacon roll and 2 cups of tea....

And thats the last of my allowance gone! I have exactly 30p for a treat for me to last the rest of the month.......no wonder my money has been vanishing - this cash business is the mutts nuts. I cant overspend if I simply dont have it!

Popped into Aldi on the way back and stocked up on breakfast cereals and bits we like from there - spent just under £15

September housekeeping - £71.20

Friday, 9 September 2011

Pays to cost a recipe - syrup sponge pud

I am a bit obsessed with spreadsheets - they are great fun! sad or what!! lol

So I decided to cost a home-made recipe I found on the net somewhere (cant for the life of me remember where!)

2 oz sugar
2 oz marg
2 oz flour
1 egg
1 oz milk
1 tablespoon golden syrup

Mix the sponge mix, put in microwave bowl, pour the syrup over, cover with clingfilm and cook in the microwave for 3 mins - this made a lovely quick easy pudding for the three of us.

On todays prices at Asda on my supermarket it came to 34.13p - add a packet of instant custard for 10p (that was from Sainsburys) and the whole pud cost less that 15p per portion.

If you had bought one of those tins steamed puddings it would have cost over 3 times as much and I doubt if it would have done 2 of us never mind 3........

Cash is hard going!

Had to put on for a couple of birthday collections at work so that was another £4 gone.....dd has a school trip to Beamish - £18....

But on a brighter note I have taken lunches to work so thats saved me £10 - if I had paid for them out of my allowance I wouldnt have had anything to spend for the rest of the month. Now this is the point of my allowance - to spend on just small treats on myself - if I dont get that I tend to feel hard-done-by and splurge out on something larger!

Got flour, marg etc in my on-line shop so will have a baking/freezing weekend to help out eek our finances this month.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cash is painful!

Got my haircut today (costs £25) I really like my hairdresser and we dont have a lot of choice living in a small town. I could drop it to a dry cut but that still costs £17. So what I am doing is growing it into a chin length bob and that will only need trimming every 8 weeks or so - you get a free fringe trim inbetween which is great.

So out of my monthly allowance I do not have a lot left!

Had a look round the charity shops and didnt buy anything - this buisiness of cash only is quite scary and working really well!

Did buy some bits for lunches that I forgot to order with my on-line shop but even then I was very aware of how much I was spending - not a bad thing at all!


September houskeeping : £56.23

Monday, 5 September 2011

Asda order done....

Total - 49.74 - this is to last 10 days. Did the Asda price promise from my last shop and got £3.97 which I can use against my next on-line shop...

September houskeeping : £49.74

How my budgeting works

Thanks for the comments Froogs - its nice to know how other people manage their money!

I think I have explained my Freedom account before but for newbies who have joined me recently (welcome!) here goes....

I am an anal spreadsheet maker - everything is down on a huge one - its a work of art! I only have 3 different accounts with my bank - joint current, joint saver and my own saver.

All my regular bills (ie direct debits for gas, electric, council tax etc, mortgage,broadband etc) get left in my current account. When I started my Freedom account I had to go through all my outgoings that had to be paid - these are:

Road tax
Car insurance
Telephone

I divided the yearly amount by 12 and put this amount away (joint saver.

Then I figured out how much to spend on:

Birthdays
Christmas

and do the same.

Then I divided the rest of my money between the additional following

Emergencys
Clothes
Hoidays
Repairs
Household
Entertainment
Car repairs

Over the years I have tweaked and tweaked the amounts - the first 5 always got funding - then I managed to fund the last 7 - at first I could only put £1 in each of them but as I paid off my debts that rose and rose.

Then at long last I managed to have a proper savings account which is a nice feeling to have a wee bit of money behind you - this is the amount that got hammered when my dd was sick.

Again, its all on-line or on paper - as I was so bad with cash I tried not to use it as I always wrote down what I paid for with my debit card.

So for 8 years this stem's has worked well but by tyring just to use cash I think I can be more aware of my spending and open another account (Seasonal pitch) to put money in to pay for our seasonal caravan pitch.

I budget £300 for housekeeping - now this does seem a lot compared to what some people are living on......so I have had a re-think and dropped it to £250 - £50 is therefore going into my seasonal account which means I only have to save another £10 a month and that's it sorted. I must admit I am finding it more and more difficult to manage on my housekeeping. We do love our grub (dh and dd are total carnivores!!) so I am going to have to get a real grip on this. We cook from scratch really well but its also the portion sizes I have to deal with.

So off to do this weeks menu ready for my Asda on-line shop....

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Trying cash only

Me and t'other half were having "that discussion" about money.....since we became debt free in 2003 I have used the American idea of a Freedom account - I have certain budgets for certain things and only spend what is in that account.....

However, since my dds wee brush with cancer (which was a suprisingly expensive time) we dont seem to have been able to get out of the bit. We dont have any debt, we are living within our means but I do feel we could do better.I definitly have not been on top of our money as I used to be.

Now that we are going to have our caravan on a seasonal pitch we will need to put away money every month to pay for that.

So we have decided to trial using cash instead of plastic. I have always been really good about noting down our spending (and only ever used debit or credit cards) and then balanced our outgoings every month. Cash has a habit of vanishing from my purse...

So my first attempt at this was to take out my £50 allowance for this month. This is to buy fripperies - little treats that I like to have.....

First test - car boot sale (big yearly one)

No petrol money (dd took me)
Took flask with tea, made sarnies, dd made home-made shortbread.
Bought:

Coalport china daffodil brooch - 50p
6 melamine plates for caravan - £1.50
Books (for youngest dd) - £5.75 (a lot of books!)
Clock for caravan - £1
Kite (for me!) - £2

Then bust out and spent £4.50 on chips!

So I will be taking my lunch to work - been very lax about that too and it was costing me around £10 per week! eek!

So when this money is gone.......its gone.....no more plastic....

Have my car-share money in another purse so at least I know I will have that!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Wonderful jumble sale!


A yearly jumble sale and charity auction was yesterday....

Got some great stuff -

China mug with in-built tea strainer
Daffoldil tray
Cream and gold material thingy for the mantlepiece for xmas
Lasagne dish
2 small folding garden chairs for the caravan

Didnt buy anything at the aution but just love the atmosphere! Then while they were doing the auction it was announced "fill a bag for £1" so I got....

1000gms brown acrylic yarn
2 x 200gm pure new wool
Fleece scarf and mitts (were still in wrapper!)
Brown check scarf
Small red fleecy blanket
4 tops for dd
Skirt for dd
Jeans and Tommy Hillfigger top for dgd
2 pretty cotton serviettes
2 cotton place mats
Plastic apron with strawberries on
Tea towel

(eldest dd got the wool, brown scarf, mug and xmas thingy so they are not in the picture)

Spent a grand total of £6 +£2 entrance fee - very pleased!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

More reasons to be frugal

We have just come back from a lovely wee break in our touring caravan - the joy of going straight from work on Friday, reached the site in 2 hours and back Sunday night - rested and refreshed.

There was a reason behind this impromptu holiday - we have been talking about having our tourer on a seasonal pitch for a while now. While we love our caravan and have had some brilliant holidays in it (between the van and assorted tents we have been camping for about 10 years now) our car is now getting on and we cannot afford to replace it with a big enough beast to pull the van (our van is an older one - 1994 - and not huge compared to some of the goliaths you see nowadays! but you still need a decent car to pull it) Hence the idea of a seasonal pitch. We know it wont work out any cheaper than our trips but I really like the idea of having a bolthole to vanish too....it will take about 1 and 1/2 hrs to drive to the site we have chosen - long enought to feel like a holiday but a short enough drive to do after work.

The joy of the site we have in mind is that it is open 12 months of the year - there is no clubhouse - just peace and tranquility (its near Dumfries)Its had the best toilet block I have ever seen - including, joy of joys on a campsite - a bath! DHs youngest dd (4 kids) has chipped in towards the seasons fees and so had my eldest dd so they can all have holidays in it too.

And if we dont like having the van in one place after a year we can always take it off again.

So busy doing it up - its an old van and really looking its age so we are sprucing it up with special cleaners and paint. The running and hot water stopped working ages ago and we never got it sorted (I dont trust the pipes inside no matter how much we clean them!!!!) so we just have a jerry can for water. The sink is tiny - just about enough to wash 2 cups in so its no problem to use the sites pot washing sinks. Never used the on board shower as its the loo as well and tiny.

So we are siting it in September and have to come up with 5 months fees - the year runs from Jan so will have to cough up a years fees in Jan - some major saving ahead!

After that we will be putting aside £58 per month ready to pay the following years fees if we like it.

As I said its not a cheaper option but a more usuable one at the moment.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Car boot bits

Isnt it funny - you can go to a huge car boot sale (not many of them round here!) but come away with nothing but go to a teeny tiny one and get lots!

Our teeny tiny one came up trumps - a beautiful pair of red leather shoes for me (major comfort not looks!) not worn - £2, another pair of shoes for me (toe post sandals, tiny heel - again, not worn - £2, a nice wooden poppy for my office (will post pictures when tidy!!!) £1 and best of all a Belkin messenger style laptop bag - brand new, still with tags attached - looked on t'internet but it must be an old style but by the looks of them its in the £25-£30 price bracket - for £1!!!!! My eldest goes to uni in September and she was delighted with it!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Credit cards can be good

Now before everyone screams in disbelief - they can be used to your advantage...back in the day I had gawd knows how many all maxed out to the limit.....9 years on I only have 1 - my Tesco one. I set up a direct debit to pay off the balance in full every month and use it like a debit card. If I dont have the money I wont use it. I dont pay any fees but collect Tesco clubcard vouchers every time I use it which I then turn into Deals and buy magazine subscriptions as Christmas presents.

We dont have a Tesco near us but my eldest dd does and that where she mainly does her shopping. I got a wee leaflet offering 1000 points if I recomended a friend - talked to her about it and explained about the direct debit so shes going to apply for one and she also gets 1000 points,

So they can be a good thing if used properly.

Photos of bargian reductions....



As promised picture of my bargain haul at Asda - the chickens were 50p and everything else was 20p! Had the chicken on Sunday (fed 4), used the left-overs with a 50p pack of stir-fry, 12p pack of noodles, and Chinese5 spic.e in my drawer - made the sauce by adding cornflour to the liquor (fed 2) and 1/2 pack of diced turkey (10p) is in the slow cooker now to make a casserole to feed 4. Cut the pizzas in half which made nice lunches

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Busy busy

Dh got out on Friday - feels better today and is eating ok - still really tired...

Did an on-line Asda order and managed to come in just pennies under £50 - the only reason for this is I managed to hit the reductions bit last week and hit it hard - picture to follow but got £34 odd worth of meaty stuff for just under £3 - 20p for everything except 2 chickens - normal price 2 for £7 - reduced to 50p each! Just had one for Sunday dinner for 4 of us and theres enough left over for a curry (using a 9p jar of Asda smart price curry sauce of course!)

Had to spend £20 putting credit on mine and my youngest dds phone - we are with Tesco and so for every £10 your put on you get £20 free - used it a lot when dh was in hospital.

Big day tomorrow - 1st time for 1 1/2 hour driving lesson to start going up to the town where the test routes are! Really nervous but excited at the same time....

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Grrrr

DH spent all day yesterday fasting ready for his op and they had loads of emergencys so he didnt get taken - missed his tea so had to take emergency sarnies up and a flask of coffee for him!

Waited all day today and got taken about 5.45 pm so will phone the hospital later to see how he is.....

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wee bit back from Asda price promise....

Just checked my last months receipts - the on-line shop was cheaper so didnt get anything back but from 3 other receipts got...

54p
70p
39p

totalling £1.63 in my pocket not theirs....just need to remember to take my vouchers shopping next time!

Unexpected expense!

Came back from my driving lesson (quite bouncy as it went well) to find dh rolling on the floor in agony - ambulance trip and 9 hours in A&E later he was found a bed and it getting his gall bladder out today......

So by the time I had got sandwiches and water from vending machines, paid for petrol for lifts (our hospital is a 60 mile round trip)and had to pay for petrol for his uncle to take up toiletries and jamas today its quite an expensive business! Lucky I have an emergency fund for just that - an emergency! Thank goodness for the National Health and we dont have to pay for his treatment as well!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Ongoing...

Well I went to the haidressers and got my free fringe trim - so that was £25 saved! Felt a bit cheeky but hey ho - my hair is in a bob which is longer at the front than the back - thinking about growing it all one length to save on haircuts - might go for dry trims next time when its all one length...

Having a look at our finances today - our computer died and with it all my wonderful money and finance spreadsheets - this laptop only has Microsoft Works or Star office on it and neither of them do what I want them to do with my spreadsheets so I am going to have to spend a couple of hours re-jigging them.

My on-line shop worked well last week - in fact I am due a shop today but we have enough to last a couple more days so I will hang back doing an order.

When I first started this blog I blogged every day even if it was just a few lines but always listed what I had spent in that day - might go back to doing that as its a great way of keeping an eye on where your pennies go to!

Driving lesson today - another 2 weeks and I will have to come up with more money for lessons.....

Monday, 25 July 2011

More spending....

Honestly it never stops! DH glasses were so scratched he couldnt see out of them - new pair cost £85! we couldnt get any money off as his prescription hasnt changed but he did get free variofocals with them.

Need new knickers (my old ones are now being used for dusters!) Asda, £4 for 4 pairs and 2 new bras for £8 total.

Went to see Harry Potter today in 3d - fab - again, went on a Monday as its 25% cheaper than after 5 or the weekend and only paid for 1 ticket as I get in free as dh's carer since she had a cinema card. Had a nice early birthday lunch at Frankie and Bennies which was a nice treat.

Due my hair cut tomorrow - I actually dont need a cut so will cancel it and make another appointment as I have found out my hairdressers give free fringe trims in between (my hair is in a short bob so it doesnt really need cutting) Now that I have found out about the free trim I might make my appointments last a lot longer inbetween.

Had a wee chat to dh about money - we need a new car so as from this weekend we will be starting another savings account for one. Also for his 60th next year he wants to go to Orkeney. I have looked on the internet and ferry (at this years prices) for 4 of us is £220! Add £350 for a weeks cottage rental (and that was the cheapest!) and petrol to get there and back and its a lot of money......So did a bit of digging and came up with a cheaper smaller ferry - £150 and found a 3 bed static caravan for £190 - so thats more do-able.

So we had a chat about our outgoings - been bad recently as we have been having trips out involving meals and random shopping - this is going to stop - only necessesties from now on...

Also, food shopping - getting really difficult to save money in this area as prices are shooting up - will do an on-line shop as its much cheaper (although you dont get the nice whoopsies!)

I always work better when I have a goal....

Monday, 18 July 2011

Asda price guarantee....

Have done this with my on-line shops but never with a real life shop - much easier on-line - hardly anything to fill in and the vouchers are credited to your on-line account and used from there. Real life is a bit of a pain - cant do it until after 6am the next day, you have to put quite a few numbers in from your receipt - then print it off and attach your receipt to it and get it back in-store....this time is was a voucher for 39p! Well, every penny counts and its better in my pocket than theirs!

Definitley back to on-line shopping next week!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

And we start again....frugallness rules!

First shop after my hols - spent £58 but did real shopping (not online) - also spent another £12 on really good meat reductions so that will go towards next weeks menu. Will try and get back into on-line shopping as it really helps.....

There is so much we need to do to our flat - bathroom needs re-doing, kitchen still hasnt a floor yet (old scabby lino) - the whole place needs freshened up (there is only so much wall-washing you can do!) Our car is on its way out - need a slightly bigger one to tow the caravan better - thats a biggie to save up for as I refuse to get any kind of bank loan (debt free since 2003 and its staying that way!)

Youngest dd has turned into a proper teenager overnight and is now wanting to go out with her pals, spend money on clothes etc. She's not bad (gets her own clothes allowance) but its getting a bit much giving her £5/£10 when she goes out and I feel bad for her but I cant do it all the time.

Also I need to pay for more driving lessons - hope to book a test within the next couple or three months - my eldest has been driving 3 years today so can start coming down and sitting with me in my wee car (long story but dh managed to hit my car when he was reversing the caravan in the drive - dont know how much thats going to cost but hes paying for it!)

Seems all we are doing to putting money out........

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wonderful holiday!

Had a great time - weather could not have been better - did lots more than we expected too (Game fair, loads of museums etc) so spent a lot more than usual but still havnt gone over my holiday budget which is great.....

Going to re-jigger my finances so we can save up for more holidays like this!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Holidays booked!

Taking our caravan to the Costa Del Whitby followed by Barnard Castle - £16 per night for the first site and £18 a night for the second (paying a bit extra as there are laundry facilities at the second one!)

Top end of our nightly budget but have found the last couple of years now that everyone and their mother are going camping prices have shot up - our top whack used to be £15 and I would expect an all-singing-all-dancing site for that! alas, no more......

Have made up a menu for the holiday (leaving a few blanks for barbecues, odd meal out) and will pack the slow cooker.

Might manage a few long weekends in the summer holidays away in the tent but they will have to be very basic and cheap sites!

Monday, 20 June 2011

If its not one thing.....

Been hit with allsorts - £90 to sort out the computers, £304 for brakes/tyres for the car, need a new battery for the caravan (£90), new steps as ours are so rusty they are dangerous (around the £20 mark), oh needs new walking shoes as his are leaking (up to £30 for walking shoes), both the hairdryer and straighteners blew up within a couple of days of each other, - all this with only a few weeks until our holiday.....aaaarrghh!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Been very quiet.....

Busy doing my first big essay for my Open Uni course - its really hard when you have been out of education for sooooo long to try and get your head round it!

And my old computer finally died - had a panic attack when the computer shop phoned up and told me as I have all my family tree stuff on it - luckily they retrieved it.

So we are not getting another desktop computer at the moment - I have my laptop which we are using for wireless connection and we are using my daughters old laptop as the one plugged into the internet.

Have booked 6 days in our caravan at Whitby followed by 5 days at Barnard Castle for our summer holidays - will see how many wee trips in the tent we can also sneake in during the summer hols!!!!!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

BHS jewellry bargains


Had a treat today and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean in 3d - really long film but enjoyed it - used my dds disabled cinema card so that was one free and went to the 4pm showing as it was a lot cheaper.

On the way out we went through BHS and I noticed they had a jewellry sale - bought an earring and necklace set reduced to £2 from £15, matching bracelet - again reduced from £15 to £2, a ring reduced from £5 to £1 and another set with earrings, necklace and bracelet reduced from £15 to £2! I'm now all jewellryed out!!! £50 worth for £7 - not too shabby.

Monday, 23 May 2011

14 hours of solid rain


yet we still managed to enjoy ourselves! Sat was a wash out - but Friday and Sunday had lovely sunny spells....lovely bluebells woods and heres a picture of the tent in action with my 2 dds..

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Going away camping....

Going away in our new tent for a few days so no more blogging for a bit - at least we will be eating plenty of sandwiches!!! Weather forcast for Stirling area isnt great but we are prepared - wellies, raincoats,hot water bottles, sun tan lotion and midge cream - what else can be thrown at us!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

10 p bread in Asda

Filled my trolley! All ciabattas, paninis, olive bread, walnut bread and fancy rolls - all reduced down to 10p each! Added it up and totalled £24.16 for the grand total of £3!!!!! Well chuffed - thank heavens for a huge freezer!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Good car boot and jumble sale!

We dont have many car boots in our neck of the woods - tend to be annually and very small - todays was at my dds school - 10 cars tops!
Got a nice document drawer set £1, a cotton laundry bag (for your smalls) 50p and a fruit bowl for £1.
Me and eldest dd went for a nice walk and took a picnic while waiting for a scout jumble sale to start (Gullane - nice area so hoped to get some good stuff)
Managed to bag a travel Sanctuary set (£1), a back pack picnic set (only had 2 metal mugs, 2 napkins and a spoon) for £1 and a metal teapot with metal milk jug for the caravan for £1.50 and a blue/white checked tablecloth for 50p.
Eldest dd did very well, got 2 handbags, a knitting bag, picture, dinner service and salad plates!
I love looking at the stuff people give away - dds dinner service was the pyrex/arcopal type with a red rose on - its all stuff you couldnt buy in the shops and I love retro stuff.

Monday, 9 May 2011

6 week de-clutter rota

Well the curse of the back room has struck again! every time I tidy up a room anything I don't have a home for gets dumped in the back room - its an ongoing problem....

So I have devised a 6 week de-clutter and deep clean rota - every Monday I will do one room. The house isn't actually too bad (barr the back room) but I will feel happier if I know at least there's no more than 6 weeks cluttering to tidy up!)

Started off last week when I sorted out under my bathroom sink and towel cupboard in the bathroom.

This week was an ideal time to sort out my sitting room as I had to move the telly (ooooo behind that was scary!) I sorted out all my unit, baskets, moved all the furniture to clean - even took the cushions of the suite and brushed out all the crumbs. Everything that wasn't supposed to be in there ended up....yes you guessed it...the back room!

So have got our bedroom, kitchen, passage and the infamous back room to go.

I know its hefty at first but at least I know every 6 weeks my rooms will get a good going over.

Did my on-line shop - back to weekly at the moment - £52 - £50 is my budget but had to buy rabbit food.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Am I wasting my time.......

Well after much hooing and hawing we have ordered a new Freeview recorder and a new television....well I suppose thats what savings accounts are for!

So looked at how we could curb our spending for a while to build it back up again and suggested that we have 2 vegetarian meals a week - well - you think I had suggested living on bread and dripping!!!!! My family (well, dh and youngest dd) seem to think money grows on tree. As I pointed out we would not be in the position to buy these things if I didnt economise and save up.
Am I wasting my time? should I just be like everyone else and have a brand new car and caravan and shiny new sofas every year and be up to my eyeballs in debt????

Noooo - been there done it and paid it all back - I am never going there again.

So found 2 lovely recipes in the Asda free magazine - asparagus with feta in filo pastry and bean/mushroom burgers - so will report back to see how it goes!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Great start to the day...bad end....

It was my eldest dds checkup at Cancerland as she calls it - she has now been cancer free for 1 year and 2 months - had her check up and everything is fine so the next appointment is not for 6 months! Yayyy!

Followed this by retail therapy - bought some work clothes for myself in the Evans sale and bagged a half price maxi dress in Anne Harvey for a wedding I am going to (all of this paid for by my cashback cheque from Quidco which was even better!!!)

Then had a lovely Spanish meal at Tapas - full as anything....

Managed a half hour walk by the river.....

Then got home and disaster had struck...our Freeview recorder box has died! I sooo rely on it - I only record programmes I really want to watch - try not to watch telly too much as its such a time waster. Also, my heavy handed OH pulled the aerial socket out of the telly and we cant use it unless we have a Freeview box - so no telly for us until I buy another one.

So we will buy a cheap Freeview box from Asda tomorrow and I am off to hunt for a good deal on a Freeview recorder.

But still a happy day!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Love Freecycle and Gumtree!

Well after our holiday in our caravan we came to the conclusion we need an awning - its ok for 3 of us but if my partner comes as well it mucks up our sleeping arrangements so I am quite happy to sleep out in an awning (we have camped for the last 10 years so its no biggy - lurrve my air bed!) So had a look at some of the awnings on the campsite - went home and looked them up on the net and nearly fainted at the price of them!!! It has to be said on the site they were all brand new vans with full canvas awnings - must have cost thousands and thousands so presumbably they are all paying them up.....we on the other hand have a 17 year old van that was paid for cash. Yes, its a bit ropey, but its warm and dry and we love her. We also had a wonderful selection of mis-matched camping stuff we use that we have gathered over the years (no matching Lafuma chairs here!) so we do look a bit gypsy like.
So I put up a a request on Freecycle to see if anyone had an old one - bit of a long shot but worth a try - didnt hear anything so been looking on Ebay and Gumtree. Up popped the exact one I wanted (porch type, not canvas, puts up with flexible tent poles) - they are around £170 and I wanted the inner tent bed awning too (£35) and then you have to buy the skirt round the van seperate - this lovely lady was selling hers for £95 - used twice and then they got a bigger one! I was delighted and dispatched eldest dd to get it.
So the next thing it to try and put it up!!!!
THEN - got an email from a lady on Freecyle whos aunt was getting rid of a canvas awning and did we still want it! So off to get that one - much bigger than the first one - proper canvas with heavy poles (and no instructions!) but hey, it was free!
So tomorrow weather permitting, we will be trying out 2 awnings - wish us luck!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A lovely pic taken on holiday....



Isnt it nice? its now my screen saver....

Monday, 25 April 2011

Costing our holiday

Have been studying the cost of our holiday. We have a touring caravan and the site we stayed in was lovely but at the top of our budget - for myself and my 2 dds it was £18 per night - the last 2 nights my partner came costing an extra £3.50 per night. We stayed for a week. We did quite a few touristy things (went on a boat trip on the Falkik Wheel, did the open-topped bus tour in Edinburgh, my dd went climbing at Ratho) but most of the time was just going for nice walks and relaxing in the sunshine. Had 2 meals out as a treat, 1 chip shop tea and the rest of the time we cooked in the caravan and took out picnics (and yes, sad though it is I made a menu for what we were going to eat!!!)
So it cost just over £400 - my eldest dd will put a third towards it so it cost me about the £300 mark by the time I add petrol in. This comes out of my Holiday budget which I put money away every month.
We didn't skimp on nibbles, had a few ciders every night in the van and there was nothing we didn't do because it was too expensive so I am pleased with the overall budget.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Just got back from holidays.....

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible after I have gutted out the caravan and done a mountain of washing!!!!!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

I love a picnic

It was such lovely weather today we decided to go for a picnic - first thoughts were to go to Asda but knuckled down and rooted through the cupboards and managed tuna and cucumber sandwiches, smart price crisps, few grapes, smart price chocolate digestives, flask and smart price apple juice! who says eating out has to cost a fortune!

April housekeeping - left £144

Monday, 4 April 2011

Another Asda online order...

Had £7 left over from last months Housekeeping so used it to stock up on some basics (cat food, soap powder etc.) so spent £106 on 2 weeks (got free delivery) - just arrived with no substitutions and everything in stock so that's my cupboards stocked again.

This month I am starting to cut down on the amount of meat we eat as its getting dearer and dearer. Every meal I have budgeted for will have at least 2 portions of veg or salad to bulk it out. Now my family are complete carnivores so its going to be a bit of challenge - we have 1 totally meat free meal a week and 1 meal on a Saturday for instance, pizza or hot dogs in rolls, always like a proper Sunday dinner too.

April housekeeping - left £144

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Cant put my tent up cos of the weather!

Got my lovely new tent a couple of days ago and cant put it up in the garden to try it out because its rained on and off ever since or been so windy the tent will take off! Its a Vango Green Tee 500Dlx Eco Tent (2010) - we did get it out of the bag to check how big the 1 pole is and there is plenty of headroom (albeit just in the middle). There seems to be plenty of air vents (single skinned tents suffer from condensation) - cant wait to see it up in real life! Its a lovely fetching apple green colour and I bought a lovely pink whistling kettle from ebay to go with it!
Roll on camping weather!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Superscrimpers on Channel 4

Watched this earlier on - how the fuff can a couple that earn over £108,000 still overspend??? The mind boggles!

2 of the tips (dying underwear and keeping the cardboard out of loo rolls) made me laugh as I am currently wearing a very fetching pair of purple dyed Sloggis and have a carrier bag full of cardboard loo roll holders in the shed waiting to be filled up with seeds - nothing new there then! (note - the Sloggi pants have a lot of lycra in them and the dye doesnt exactly take to some bits and they have come out looking a bit like mens old fashioned y-fronts!!!!)

Did like the tip about putting crushed up eggshells down your kitchen sink waste to catch any nasties lurking there.....and the recipe for h/m nettle pasta looked interesting....will have a look at the website to see if there is any more info. Looking forward to next weeks show.

Had to give in and get some stuff from Asda but was very good and only got exactly what I wanted on my list - so thats £7 left over from Marchs h/k to put into my holiday fund!!

March housekeeping left - £7 left (£6.04 vouchers from Asda price guarantee)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £39.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £57.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

I love a jumble sale!


First one this year and its always the best! A better class area and its amazing the things you get....

Took a picture of some of it but somes been washed and is on the line....bought the following...

Pet carry box
2 mugs
5 books
Christmas pot holders
Plastic jug and 2 cups and tray
6 small and 2 large cotton retro placemats
Soap/shampoo dispenser
A slanket (fleece with arms)
2 jumper for dh work
2 polo shirts for dh work
2 games for the caravan
Hot water bottle and fleecy cover
Mixing jug
4 pasta bowls

Including £1 to get in I spent £17 - very pleased indeed - my youngest dd got 2 tops and a skirt and my eldest dd got too much to mention but spent less than £10

Then went today to our first car boot sale of the year....and got nothing! Nothing too my fancy at all. So since we were in Edinburgh we went to the big car boot at Greenside car park. Its indoors and feels like the bowels of the earth - its huge but I think something that big you kind of get "car boot blindness" as it all merges into one - so came away with nothing there (did spend £8 on rolls for us)

Washing drying on the line, chicken in the slow cooker and an afternoon devoted to being on the internet - nice relaxing day!

March housekeeping left - £18 left (£6.04 vouchers from Asda price guarantee)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £39.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £57.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Money out...lots of it!

Hummed and hawed today about going for a wee lunch before me and OH went for a walk that we haven't been on by a nice river.....so we lunched it! - £10 from my entertainment budget - were good and refused to buy the inviting cupcakes! So had a lovely stroll and on the way back popped in to collect a spare tyre which we had left - guy checked all the tyres on our car and it appears we need another one - so that was £130 thank you very much....

Then got out our tent we have had a few years as my and my eldest and youngest dds fancy camping but just at a weekend when its nice weather. We camped for years before getting our caravan and still have all the stuff and it seems a waste not to use it.

Anyhoo, the tent has built in poles and you pull a top spring down to tension them - its bust! it was only a cheap Tesco tent so we had our moneys worth. We also had a 3 man tent which I have just sold to my pals dd (you had to crawl into in and those days are loooong gone for me!) So after spending ages looking at tents I have bought one from Ebay - its brand new and a tepee but with a wee porch so the rain doesnt come in very time you open the door. As I said, its really just for overnights or a couple of days if the weather is going to be nice. Its an eco tent as its made from recycled plastic and its quick to put up and lightweight.



So both of those have to come out of my savings :(


March housekeeping left - £30 left (£6.04 vouchers from Asda price guarantee)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £31.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £40.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spring day

Had a lovely day today - walked round the garden centre, wee tea and cake (£6) and had a lovely walk round Smeaton Lake - carpets of snowdrops - sun was shining - at peace with the world!

Did my on-line shop - £100.35 for 2 weeks - actually got a lots stuff to stock my cupboards with so pleased - had £6.04 in vouchers sitting when I got the the checkout - must have been from previous price guarantees so that was a nice bonus! Will have to check as they have charged me delivery but as I used my Asda card delivery should be free if its over £100 unless they have changed their policy....we'll see.

Went to our local Sunday market - only spent £2 on 2 growing kits (wild rocket and red peppers) nice little kits with their own mini greenhouses which are just the right size for a windowsill.

March housekeeping left - £30 left (£6.04 vouchers from Asda price guarantee)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £21.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £40.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Happy day!

Had quite a good driving lesson today - might be actually getting the hang of it!!

And - I am beginning what I hope will be a degree course in History with the Open University - sweated blood over my first assignment (first essay in 35 years!!) and got the marked one back today - 76%! I am soooooo happy!

March housekeeping left - £130 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £27.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £38.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Few bits on ebay

Won 3 tops (total inc postage - £11.20)and 4 red seat pad covers (my dining room chairs have cushions on them but you can take the covers off to wash them) for £3.90 inc postage

March housekeeping left - £130 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £27.50
Spent - clothes - £50.20
Spent - household - £38.90
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bargains at Asda


Had to go to Asda to get the stuff that was missing from my order (they offered me substitues but not what I wanted) and hit lucky at the reductions again...

4 tear & share breads- £1.57 to 10p
2 packs rolls - 70p to 10p
Cake - £1 to 10p
2 packs cornish pasties - £1.37 to 10p
2 packs cheese pasties - £1.37 to 10p
3 packs steak bakes - £1.37 to 10p

So got £26.95 worth of goodies for £1.40! Had to buy sandwich stuff, stew, fish and vinegar and treated my dd to some nice ice cream cos shes had a hard week at school bless her!

(and bought a bag of pots from our local farm shop for £7 which lasts us weeks)



March housekeeping left - £130 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £27.50
Spent - clothes - £39
Spent - household - £35
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Been busy with the Family Tree

Bit of a hobby of mine over the past 3 years and have got mounds of info - got a lend of a dvd from John at work (ta muchly) called Family Tree Maker and have spent days putting in info. I have only done one lines (Bells) and never realised I had so much info! Its great to keep it altogether and the dvd prints out great reports. Its going to be a real labour of love putting all the rest of the stuff I have in! Even managed to resurrect my scanner which has been lurking in a cupboard and scanned loads of old photos in.

What spurred me on is I left a message on Rootschat.coms forum and got a reply from a lovely lady in Canada who husband turns out is my 3rd cousin once removed - she has loads of further info and we have been swapping photos etc.

So while thats been keeping me busy I havnt been spending money!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Magazine treat for me

In my pre-frugal days (loooong time ago!) I was a bit of a magazine freak. Not so much the glossys but every week I bought the Woman, Woman's Own and Bella. If I was bored I also got the Best and if desperate, the Woman's Weekly. Every month since it started I have bought Prima. I have been known to buy Essentials and home magazines.
Now I only get the Prima through using Tesco clubcard deals and don't buy any other mags - I can get what I want off the Internet. I do however, buy rubbishy mags (celebrity ones) while we are away in our caravan as a treat.
So when I saw a special offer for 12 issues of the She magazine for £12 I decided to treat myself...

March housekeeping left - £161 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £27.50
Spent - clothes - £39
Spent - household - £35
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

I actually like Asda today!

My Asda delivery arrived yesterday a whole hour early!! The driver said he thought he would take a chance to see if I was in which was good.
And did my Asda price-promise guarantee and am getting a whole £4.71 back so well chuffed!
Got my hair cut this morning and another driving lesson - slowly but surely but I am a long way off even thinking about a test.

March housekeeping left - £161 left (March price guarantee refund - £4.71)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55
Spent - entertainment - £15.50
Spent - clothes - £39
Spent - household - £35
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New curtains - before and after - pictures

I now remember why I dont often change my curtains - its taken me ages - ironing, taking the old ones down, taking the hooks off, putting the hooks on the new ones and back up again.....also I am going to have to take up the new curtains so they will have to come down again! Anyhoo - heres the pictures - before and then after - I'm very pleased with them.(also took down my fleece liners as we havent been using them recently)



Spending on the house

Probably about time! I cant even remember how long ago I bought my sitting room curtains - we get the sun all afternoon and although they are just plain cream they are yellowing badly in the middle.
Have been on the lookout for new ones but I need 2 pairs 60x90 and haven't been lucky at car boots. The price of ready made curtains is shocking so was amazed to find some I liked in Poundstretchers - £12.99 a pair which I thought was really good. Haven't put them up yet (they are patterned which I normally avoid) but will do it this afternoon and post up a picture. Also bought a 3 pronged device with microfibre cloths on it to clean Venetian blinds - 99p - as I had only put my blind up in the back room just before Christmas I though it wouldn't be too bad - WRONG! didn't realise how much dust accumulates on these things - so its all dust free now. Am going to attempt my bedroom blinds (wood look) later on - they have been up a lot longer! (sneaked another lunch in at Kentucky FC - must try better)

Did my Asda on-line shop - decided to try fortnightly to save on the delivery charge - ordered it to come earlier that the fiasco last week. Spent £101 but that included a new hair-dryer as ours is making funny smells so only £93 on food but that is stocking my cupboards with soap powder etc so I got free delivery by using my Asda credit card.

March housekeeping left - £161 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - £15.50
Spent - clothes - £39
Spent - household - £35
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Asda apology and ebay purchases

Been a busy bee - eventually after 3 emails I got a phone call from Asda apologising and giving me a refund of my delivery charges - ok I suppose but could have done better....

And have been on ebay. As I am a more traditionally built lady I find it hard to get clothes in shops to fit me so tend to rely on ebay. This time had a good haul but its getting more and more expensive. The days of real bargains are gone but I still managed to get some tops for 99p but the postage is £4! Anyway, got a grand total of 2 t-shirts, a cardi, a spring jacket and 3 tops for work for £39 (including postage) - seems dear but most of them were Evans and you would be lucky to get 2 tops for that in the shop (and the jacket would have probably cost more than that)I also got a nice melamine blue and white picnic set of 4 bowls, 4 beakers and 4 plates for £3.20 including postage - will do nicely in the caravan as I have noticed my old ones were getting awfully scratched.
Did have another lunch out with my daughter this week - shes just got a conditional offer from Edinburgh University so is chuffed to bits.

March housekeeping left - £254 left - £4 delivery charge refunded
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £30
Spent - entertainment - 50p
Spent - clothes - £39
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Disgusted with Asda

Ordered my on-line Asda shop for between 6-8pm yesterday - don't normally like doing it this late as they are always late but I was at a training course and couldn't get my usual time.
8pm came and went....no sign....9pm came and went....no sign....started phoning Asda customer service line..on hold...5 mins..rang back...on hold 10 mins...this went on until 9.50 with still no answer and by that time I was furious - why have a Customer helpline that you cant get through on????? Sent a stonking email off about their decided lack of customer service and asking if I was ever going to get this delivery.
At 9.52pm the drive actually phoned - he was down at Duns and would be at least another hour - did I still want my delivery? Of course I wanted the delivery!!!! why did I think I made an order? Cos my cupboards were full????? So at 11.05 he turned up - no apology just very grumpy "I'm supposed to finish at 10"
I have received an automated reply from my email and so far, nothing else - not a happy bunny.

(but I did get £1.34 in vouchers due to their price promise!)

So yesterday before I went on my course I had lunch with my job share partner - she works Mon/Tues and I work Weds/Thurs/Friday so we don't see each other so it was great to catch up. Also raked round the charity shops and got a bargain video set - The Barchester Chronicles - BBC costume drama from the 1980's featuring a very young Alan Rickman - for 50p

March housekeeping left - £250 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £5.95)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £15
Spent - entertainment - 50p
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A very frugal week

Well havnt spent anything this week - quite proud of myself! At some stage we will need to repair our fence between our front garden and next door as its now so bad there a hole in it but will have to wait until I save up the pennies.

Did another on-line Asda shop - totalled £51.10. Now that its working well I think I might make it fortnightly as from next week. If I did a weekly shop at £4 delivery it would be 52 x £4 = £208 but if I can half that I will be happy (ie £104) Still a waste of money but if I could only train myself when I go for my main shopping that I would just stick to my list it would really help - cant trust myself!!! And as I cant as yet drive (but working on it!) OH always has to take me in the car and he's even worse in the shops than me. Perhaps when I pass my test I will be able just to go once, take a list and stick to it.....

I could cut it down further but I know what would happen - we would all feel deprived and end up going out for treats - so around the £45-£50 mark is fine.

Feb housekeeping left - £16.27 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £4.61)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £19.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £72.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Baking....

Funny day today - my driving lesson wasn't until 12 so mooched around tidying up (the lesson actually didn't go too bad!) and then had a tea with my friend and decided to bake (after the mutterings last week)
Made jam muffins (basic muffins with a blob of jam in the middle) oat/peanut butter slices and tried a new recipe for chocolate and nut sponge fingers. This ended up tasting lovely but I cooked it in too small a tray and it overflowed - still even the crispy edgey bits tasted good.

H/m lasagne for tea - menu plan still working exceedingly well

Feb housekeeping left - £67.37 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £4.61)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £19.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £72.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Meal out

Youngest dd had a sleepover at eldest dds last night so me and oh decided to go to North Berwick for a mooch round the second hand shops and lunch (£12) Got a lovely "kag-in-a-bag" for dd - lovely coloured waterproof jacket that folds into its own wee bag (£5) and the 1st part of the 3rd series of Desperate Housewives which youngest dd loves (£5) - as you can tell North Berwick is quite an affluent area - some of the second hand shops I don't even go in as I know they are too expensive!
Did my Asda online shop - back to Week 1 menuwise so I had saved my shopping list as a favourite and it took hardly anytime at all to do it - £48.74 including delivery. Still don't like paying £4 delivery charge but it really is worth it to keep me away from the shops. I have been using my Asda credit card to pay for it (direct debit set up to always clear the balance every month) to gain points. I always used it when I did a big shop as I would get free delivery but as I am doing a weekly shop I dont get the free delivery. So I have changed to my Tesco credit card - will get less points but by using the Tesco deals will get a better return.
Started reading Dr Faustus as part of my Open University course - hard going but will keep at it.
Have another 2 driving lessons this week - lets see what other bad habits I can manage (last week it was coasting and even freewheeling!) My instructor must have nerves of steel!

Feb housekeeping left - £67.37 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £4.61)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £19.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £72.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Grumbles

There have been grumbles in our house - we no longer have snacky foods (and the disgust when I ordered Smart Price crisps!!!!) I pointed out that I have a budget and am sticking to it - food is getting dearer everytime I do a shop and I cant just have stuff in "in case" someone fancies it - since I have been doing my menus and on-line weekly shop there has been nothing (and I mean nothing) thrown out which is great.

I didn't get round to baking this week as I was busy so will try at the weekend to pacify the munchers!

I was very pleased with myself today - eldest dd wasn't feeling well so I did her housework and went to Tesco for her messages. Normally I would be getting quite a bit for myself and although I was eying up stuff I remained stalwart throughout and came out only having spent £3 on chocolate (time of the month - had to happen!)

Tea is one of the 20p chicken joints I got reduced with onions, parsnips, coarse grain mustard, thyme and veg stock done in the slow cooker with rice -smells lovely!

Feb housekeeping left - £116.11 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £4.61)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Monday, 14 February 2011

Small voucher from Asda...

This weeks price promise was only 64p but every little counts!

Feb housekeeping left - £119.11 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £4.61)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Small greenhouse

A couple of years ago me and eldest dd clubbed together to buy a walk-in plastic greenhouse - lasted well but the snows last year just finished it off so we decided to buy just a small one each. Wilkinson have theirs on sale (4 tier) at £12 so have ordered 2 and also a spare cover for each one at £5 each. Nothing much happening - my driving lesson went ok (well, I didn't hit anything or anyone - only hit the kerb once which is good going for me!) - still havent a clue what I am doing or why but still hoping one of these days it will just "click". Waiting patiently for my Asda delivery........

Feb housekeeping left - £119.11 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £3.97)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £55.49
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Great Asda reductions


Youngest dd announced at 9.35 that she needed a yellow t-shirt for her school house colours for tommorrow! Mad dash to Asda but no t-shirt (shes now managed to borrow one!) so of course we had to look at the bargain fridge and got lucky!

3 x Mr Kilping cakes reduced from £1 to 10p each
3 x chicken breasts (1 with stuffing and sausage) from £3.87 to 20p
18 sausages from £1.82 to 10p

Totatl - £16.73 for £1! Well pleased!
(also had to get some cranberry juice as I am going out to friends house for a curry and to drink the rest of Tia Maria from Xmas and some chocolate since youngest dd is staying with her dad!)
Total spent - £3.18




Feb housekeeping left - £119.11 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £3.97)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £33.34
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

I cant resisit wool!




Had a look at Kemps woolshop on line at their bargain wools - got some lovely lime green (80% cotton and 20% linen) for 49p for a 50gm ball (got 4 balls) and some lovely baby yarn for 89p for a 100gm ball (got 6 balls) - also treated myself to a set of bamboo knitting needles for £11.99 (all out of my allowance as treats!) Postage was £5 but its really quick delivery - I ordered it late Monday night and it arrived on Weds morning. Got a nice pattern for a summer jacket for the eldest gd (from one of my eldest dds knitting books)for the lime green and am off to look at Ravelry for a nice free pattern for a shrug for babies.
(Also had to pay for lunch today as I was running late and didnt have time to make it!)


Feb housekeeping left - £122.29 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £3.97)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £33.34
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Impressed with Asdas price guarantee

Last week I put my shopping in and I got a voucher for a whole 48p! This week was better - apparently Tesco would have been cheaper so I am getting a voucher for £3.49 - not too bad at all.

Feb housekeeping left - £122.29 left (Asda price match - total Feb refund - £3.97)
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £5.89
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Price of printer ink is shocking!

I have just ordered ink for my printer - nearly £40! and that was the cheapest HP one I could find (have had others in the past for previous printers but have always found that the HP original ones were the best)
Have been using a laser printer for the last 5 years (got it from my old job when I was made redundant) - it was on its last legs then but I managed to buy a cartridge for it (£35) and its lasted all that time - its now officially died...

So was very pleased when I applied for my Open University course that they would supply not only a laptop but a printer too - so cant really complain about forking out £40 - mind you everyone in the house is warned not to print unless really necessary!!!

Driving lesson today - nearly got cancelled because of the snow but it had all gone by the time I had it. 2 weeks since my last one and it showed - for some strange reason I seem to like 4th gear no matter what I am doing! Another one tomorrow - hopefully better!

Feb housekeeping left - £122.29 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £5.89
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £55.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Another Asda order done...

Doesn't time fly! No driving lesson at all last week :( but booked 2 this week coming.
Not spent much this week up until the moment I had to put my wee car in for its MOT - new exhaust later but its now passed and I am down £250 which had to come out of savings.

The reason I am doing a weekly on-line shop is to keep me out of Asda - I had to go as I had put sausage casserole on my menu and couldn't get the Shwarz slow cooker mix that my family like on-line so....aaarrgh...popped in for it. It was so hard not to get anything else but what I wanted (sausage mix, tin tomatoes, cheap chocolate) but I nearly managed it (looked at the reductions - cheese strings for 20p and 4 puds for 20p) but managed only to spend just under £4 so was sooo pleased with myself.

Did another online shop ready for Monday - they have put their delivery prices up! Got the cheapest one which is now £3.50 - spent £65.07 (£68.07 with delivery) So Week 3 menu is..

H/M Chicken (leftover) pie and chips
H/M Lasagne (making double bolog for next week)
Beef Stew
Fish and chips
Meatballs and pasta
Chicken tortillas & pud
Roast Pork
Leftover risotto

Looking at it its a lot of meat which is why it costs so much - must do better next time! I am trying to do 4 weekly menus and just rotate them. I am saving each shopping on Asda under a shopping list so it will make it quicker to order every time

Feb housekeeping left - £122.29 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £5.89
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £15.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Monday, 31 January 2011

Asda price guarantee

Well my Asda delivery came on time today! last week it was 55 minutes late - this week it arrived at 3.30 which was grand.

Substitutes were fine, my metal mixing bowl was out of stock :( (my plastic ones are really too big and I'm too much of a clutz to get a ceramic one).

Went to www.asdapriceguarantee.co.uk and logged in with my on-line account and they compared trolleys with all the major stores - didn't qualify for a voucher but at the moment they are doing some kind of 10% cheaper dealio so am entitled to a grand total of 48p! Oooo what will I spend it on??????

(my driving lesson was cancelled today - he had a sickness bug - he was not lying on the floor in a foetal position rocking back and forth as has been suggested by sceptics of my driving ability - due another one tomorrow - fingers crossed)

Feb housekeeping left - £194.36 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £5.89
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £15.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Knitted kindle cover


Sad or what! just using up some scraps from my stash....

Another menu plan

Spent a wee bit yesterday - went for a lovely drive in the country and had a visit with old friends - as its a long time since we did our "coffee and cake" (I'm getting anal about bringing a flask!!) so we had a treat - £15.85. Popped into a charity shop and OH got a thick jumper (£3.75) and a really nice navy wool 3/4 smart coat for £10.99 which he was delighted with (if had to buy new could never have afforded either!)

Went to a car boot sale this morning but it wasn't on :( - depressed so had a MacDonalds breakfast (me and eldest dd) so popped into Tesco to buy a new house phone as ours is playing up something terrible (one handset refuses to work completely) It was in the sale for £29.99 for 2 handsets so not too bad - also bought 2 nice big baking trays for £3 each.

Just finished my on-line Asda shop - spent quite a bit last week so it was only £55.64 this week including delivery.

So starting February's spendies......

Feb housekeeping left - £194.36 left
(£50 goes into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £5.89
Spent - clothes - £14.74
Spent - household - £35.99
Spent - entertainment - £15.85
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Kindle

I love my Kindle! got it from my mum and dad and am thrilled to bits with it.I'm an avid reader and will happily read anything so have downloaded loads of free books from Amazon and Project Gutenberg. Bought a cover with it at Xmas but have also knitted it a very fetching stripy sock cover in shades of brown and burgundy with some left over wool I had - wish my camera was working as it looks very preppy!

No more spending at the moment - the menu plan is working well - already have a list on my fridge of stuff we need next week so will do another weeks shopping on Monday. Trying to find free codes for shopping but even paying the £3 delivery charge saves me buying stuff willy nilly.


Jan housekeeping left - £10.24
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £50.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £18.50
Spent - entertainment - £44.40
Spent - clothes - £18.58
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Baking

Well was in a good mood cos my driving lessons weren't too harrowing (for me anyway - don't know about my driving instructor!) and got my haircut so decided to bake.

Made - Lemon curd muffins (basic muffin with a dollop of lemon curd in the middle)
Vanilla pound cake (a la Martha Stewart)
Carrot cake (again, a la Martha)

Never made the last 2 before - they are still in the oven as I type so will let you know how they turn out. A grand total of 45 minutes in the kitchen including tidying up after myself and brushing the flour....really, when you think about it this baking lark isnt too time consuming at all - and my family love it when I bake.

I am also wearing a full size pinny I bought of Ebay (99p + £1.89 p&p). At Xmas I borrowed my dds pinny to keep my good clothes clean and now love one - I'm a messy cook and as its cotton I can wipe my hands on it too! Its remarkable how domesticated you feel wearing a pinny!

I also bought a nice fleecy jacket and a top for work from ebay - £12.38

Jan housekeeping left - £10.24
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £50.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £18.50
Spent - entertainment - £44.40
Spent - clothes - £18.58
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Money out....

In my attempt to learn to drive I am just on my way out to my first lesson of 2 this week - got a cheque to give to him for £200 (faint) and that was left from my birthday money last year - so in 5 weeks that will bring me up to 20 lessons - surely after 20 lessons I might have a clue!!
Apart from that - didnt spend a penny yesterday as never left the house but have been looking at caravan parks for our summer holiday - not sure where to go yet but have a few ideas and we need a family discussion to see what everyone would like.

Off to wreak havoc on the roads!

Jan housekeeping left - £10.24
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £27.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £18.50
Spent - entertainment - £44.40
Spent - clothes - £6.20
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Starting new houskeeping trial

In the past I have usually stuck to my monthly budget for houskeeping by doing an Asda on-line shop and then weekly top-ups - trying something different and keep out of the shops....

From now on I will be doing a weekly on-line shop delivered on a Mon (cheapest delivery) - this week was a really dear one as I was running out of everything (loo roll, toiletries, soap powder,rice, etc) so I spent a massive £75.28

Weekly menu

Roast Lamb
Shepherds pie
Macaroni cheese
Pork casserole
Sausage and mash
Chicken curry
Hot dog rolls & pud
Brisket
Cold meat, bubble and squeak

Was oh's dgd first birthday yesterday - already bought present in the sales so only had to get a card (£1.50) - had lunch out as a nice treat (haven't been out for lunch with oh for quite a while!) - £10

Jan housekeeping left - £10.24
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £27.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £18.50
Spent - entertainment - £44.40
Spent - clothes - £6.20
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

2 no spend days

In a row! just work (packed lunches) but did have to spend on bus fare to get home as my lift share wasn't coming back - doesn't count as spending as I allow for it in my budget.
Bunny is off to the vet tomorrow so hopefully that wont be too much....

Jan housekeeping left - £85.52
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £27.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £17
Spent - entertainment - £34.40
Spent - clothes - £6.20
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Accepting stuff

I had to bite the bullet and go to Asda for stuff (damn those animals) - was very good indeed and spent £28.63 on stuff I really needed.

Been sorting out my dds mountains and mountains of stuff - and I have been very good about not accepting stuff from her (goes against the grain to get something for nothing but I really don't have room for it) so the charity shops are doing really well from her at the moment!

Popped into Boots to get my youngests prescription and had a mooch round. I love the Sanctuary stuff and got lots for Xmas but was going to buy some more body wash with my Boots points. Its £5.10 (horrific price!) but in the 1/2 price sale they had a lovely washbag with a full size body wash, full size body butter, small hand cream, small body scrub and a sachet of salt scrub for £7.50 so used my points for that instead. And bought myself some Sanctuary body spray with my points too.

I also had to splash out on new bamboo knitting needles - really like them much better than steel but this is now 2 pairs I have snapped cos I keep sitting on them! Must be more careful in future as they are dear! (£4.19) Got a huge ball of Aran cream fleck wool reduced to £3.75 so very pleased with that.

(and spent £3.70 on bus fare and bought me and dd 2 steak bakes at £2)

Jan housekeeping left - £85.52
(£50 went into holiday fund)
Spent - my allowance - £27.20
Spent - household - £58.60
Spent - emergency fund - £43.43
Spent - birthday fund - £17
Spent - entertainment - £34.40
Spent - clothes - £6.20
Spent - Christmas 2011 - £106.25 (saved - £202.45!)