First - got my marked essay back from the OU (attempt at History degree) and got 78% which I was exceptionally pleased about as I really struggled with it...
Second - lost 4 lbs (over 2 weeks) at Weight watchers bringing my total to 3 stone 2.5 lbs!
Third - when my teensy car went in for its MOT they said the lights were set all wrong and re-set them - drove home in the dark tonight and what a difference! normal lights were much better than my main beam and my main beam is fantastic! One of the reasons I hate driving in the dark was I could ruddy see - so much better now..
Our poor car is a write off - bought for £3,700 but only get back market value which insurance company say is £1800 - less the excess (didnt realise oh had put such a high one on) of £500 means £1300 to get a decent car.... However, I didnt realise you can bargain with the insurance company (oh's pal told him) so when they offered £1800 he refused. They came back to him with £2000 - again, he refused - and at this point said he was going to discuss it with a lawyer.....they rang back and offered him £2,200 - he said he would accept a final offer of £2,500 and they agreed! Still doesnt make up for losing a damn good car but its better than £1800 they originally offered.
Well, managed to stick to £50 per week food budget for the last 4 weeks - actually £1.32 over which was a bit naughty but serves me right for taking oh shopping! Had a look at Approved Foods but nothing was tempting me - taking account of the postage (£5 odds) I would be looking at doing a big order but there was nothing there that we would eat.We still havent finished stuff from the last order so will keep an eye on it - changes all the time so it might not be too long before theres anything that interests me.
DD went to the B&M store and got me 4 x £1 pump toothpastes and 4 x£1 Simple shower gel for youngest dd as its the only kind she can use. I have tried to use cheaper toothpaste in the tubes but the mess my family make with them (and can never put the lid back on!!!) its worth buying the pumps at this price. This came out of my houskeeping budget but will save me money in the long run. I dont have a pantry cupboard - would love one but my teeny flat is too small so my pantry stuff goes in IKEA drawers (the antonius wire kind) and under the spare bed (full of loo roll at the moment)
So I am looking to do an on-line order this week as I have run out of heavier stuff such as tins and soap powder.
Dh went off to collect our touring caravan from Dumfries - on his way he hit a patch of black ice in a blizzard and end up in a field! Both he and my eldest dd who was with him are fine - cars bumper is ripped off, dents in doors and back bumper gone but nobody was hurt - 3 other accidents on the same stretch of road - 1 car completely flipped but again, nobody hurt. So its an insurance job but we still have a £250 excess to pay.........
In the meanwhile - bagged a great 5 foot bed from freecycle for my youngest - been used in a spare room - IKEA complete with mattress and mattress topper.
And took my eldest home via Asda as she wanted stuff (I had already done an on-line shop!) but as it was late we hit the bargain corner - everything was 10p!!!! So for the princely sum of £1.70 I got the following
6 loaves bread
2 sticks garlic bread
2 tomato foccaia
2 custard slices
2 family cherry pies
2 packs cherry toms
Pack of pork pies
Got my order yesterday - thought it looked huge in 3 boxes....
Everything was great - exactly what I wanted and still had a box to go - mmm, strange....i have had orders from them in the past and there is always something extra but they went over board this time!
ExtrasI got for free - 7 family size packs of Walker crisps, 4 x 500 gm tortilla chips, 12 packs of cigarette papers!, 17 cans of some energy drink and, wait for it, 56 bottles of Powerade!
The crisps and tortilla chips are great - went out of date end dec 12 but sealed so fine, our neighbour got the cigarette papers, another neighbour got the cans but I am left with 56 bottles so have txt loads of folk to see if they want them!
So will leave it for another month and see if it is worth doing an order then...
Did an online order for Asda coming tomorrow and now have £53 left to last me until the end of the month but I have lots in my cupboards and freezer so hopefully it should be ok.....
Answered an offer on Freecycle and got 2 childrens bikes for our grandchildren - better still they were just a few streets away! Will take them to the caravan.....
And the clothes selling is going great guns - £82 sold so far!
Took ages to take photos of my clothes but managed it and after a few false starts managed to post them on a local Plus size group on Facebook. So far have sold £27 worth! Not pricing them too much (£4 for an Evans top) but a bit more than I would get at a car boot sale. Only trouble is we live quite far out and folk arent really prepared to travel out here for one top but its cost me nothing to advertise. And now I have got the pictures I can post them on other For Sale groups on Facebook - its a start!
Been on the ball again today....reviewed my Freedom account which is how I manage all my money on my spreadsheets on my laptop - then using an app on my phone called EEBA which is bascially like an envelope system I have set all my accounts up and can record transactions straight away on my phone when I spend something. These will all be added to my spreadsheets on a Sunday morning.
Had our family meeting after tea to discuss our weekly meal plan, whos doing what etc and put in one sheet which is up in the kitchen where everyone can see it. Downloaded a freezer inventory sheet and put it up on the fridge for our inside and outside freezers.
Been really cold today but only put the heating on for an hour this morning and when dd wanted a bath before she went out, for an hour about 2pm. Its not been on since and seems ok - we had wall cavity insulation put in for free at the beginning of last year and we have noticed that the house defintley keeps warmed for a lot longer after turning the heating off. Everyone seems really on board about turning lights etc off so thats keeping me happy too!
And after being reminded on another blog, had a look at Approved foods. I have only ordered once before, was very pleased but got out of the way of looking at the site so decided to have another go. Although it could be very easy to order loads of goodies and snacks I was very sensible and ordered all things we use (but with cheap crisps and biscuits for the hungry hoardes which will be rationed out!) - one of the best buys was a 12 pack of tortillas for 33p. So it cost me just under £40 but according to the site I saved £82!
(and oh went to the Co-op for me for loo roll and meatballs on offer)
Housekeeping spent - £72.82/£200
After doing my inventorys and realising just how much food I have I did a shopping list and off to Asda early - stuck to my list (apart from the reductions) and spent £28.57 which will last us until my next shopping on Monday. Thinking about going back to on-line shopping but did bag some reduced stuff today which is in the freezer and added to my inventory list to make meals out of. So although on-line is definitly better for not getting anything extra you dont get the reductions...... But I did buy a new handbag - a need as the strap broke on my last one and it is unmendable (I did try!) - reduced from £9 to £2 so kept me happy.
I am going to drop my housekeeping buget to £200 - it was creeping up again but will see how this goes this month - would like to reduce it further if I can (2 adults and a teenager that eats more than an adult!!!)
My household notebook is looking fab - added polypockets today to put recipes in to try - got Asdas free magazine and normally look at it, put it away, forget what I wanted out of it and end up just recycling it so straightaway today I put 2 recipes in my notebook and entered a competition that was free to do on-line.
Other frugal doings
1 - Sewed a hole up in my bra (normally I would just chuck it!) - cost - free - saved - £16 on new bra
2 - Make a phone/mp3 player/tablet charging station - using an old basket and putting all the plugs into one of those extensions where you can turn each plug off seperatley (nicked off my eldest dd) - cost - free - saving - probably pennies but I hated the idea of all these chargers being on all the time as we could reach down behind furniture to switch off the plugs.
3 - DVD player and Wii put on seperate plugs so not left on standbye and got OH on board to turn all the plugs off a night including the printer and wi-fi - just little things but it all adds up.
Looked on-line and the Co-op have meatballs half price at £1.25 and Nouvelle loo roll at £2.59 for 9 rolls so when OH goes up the street to pick other stuff up I will get him to pop in and we can stock up.
Housekeeping - £28.57/£200
I am on a mission! About to do a total inventory of what I have in my cuboards/freezers and see what meals I can come up with...
Have made up a houshold notebook (re-cycled one of my dds arch lever files - was actually going to buy a new one for this project but stopped myself!) I have downloaded a wonderful month by month calender to keep the housework going
weekly meal planner sheets and a weekly reminder to do list
We are going back to me doing our on-line banking on a Sunday morning - I have a really excellent app on my phone to monitor daily spends and will tot it all up and put in on my mountainous spreadsheets on a Sunday. Sunday tea time will be family meeting time - plan weeks menus, see what everyone is up to etc and write it all down. And I am going back to on-line food shopping but will use mysupermarket to keep an eye out for good deals and plan my menus accordingly. Although I am on Weight Watchers (2 stone 11 lbs down so far!) I still eat the same meals as everyone else - just smaller portions!
The only way to be frugal is to plan, plan, plan!
Now that the Crimbo deccies are down and out of the way its time to think about getting rid of the stuff I have but dont use.....
So this year I am going to start doing car boots. I do love a car boot but only ever sold at one twice and never liked it (I am not a people person!) but needs must. Since losing weight I have a huge amount of clothes to get rid of - now I know ebay is the best bet but its a huge hassle posting things off etc. There are sites on Facebook to sell things but again, hassle of taking photos, explaining why I wont deliver a top for a few pounds to a place where it will cost a tenner in petrol etc so that leaves a car boot.....
And anything not sellable will go to the charity shop - I have someone coming from Freecycle to pick up a small remote telly with built-in video which we have had for years JUST IN CASE.....of what????? its too small to watch and we dont have videos any more (do in the caravan but have a bigget telly to watch them on there)
T'other half is taking his dd to Asda so hes picking up cooking oil and eggs so hopefully that will be all the spending we have today.
My daughter wants a double bed in her room so will be keeping an eye on freecycle for that (and will then freecycle her single bed!)
And to continue the frugal theme....downloaded 7 free books onto my Kindle (bought as a Christmas present when they first came out)
Happy New Year to everyone!
I have just put my old calendar in the recycling bin and I bought one in the sales for £1 and cant find it!
Dinner tonight is a leg of lamb reduced from £14 to £7 - in the slow cooker and is smelling gorgeous - may be a long time before we can afford lamb again so making the most of it.
And I am wearing a new jumper bought with my Christmas money - reduced of course to £7....
So not a penny spent today!