We're over halfway there - saving our way through July 2012

(167 Posts)
Leilandri Sat 30-Jun-12 22:47:48

We've done over 6 months of penny-pinching, practical, prudent, scrimping money-saving. Well done to us grin

June didn't end too badly for me overall, not going to total it up tho
I hope the weather in July is better than it has been - plenty of NSD's at the allotment would be lovely.

FaceCrack Sun 01-Jul-12 07:20:42

Marking my place

FaceCrack Sun 01-Jul-12 07:23:36

leilandri don't worry about signing on, these things happens. It's what its there for.

Yesterday was more expensive than I anticipated. £10 on lunch, £5 in Sainsbos and £24 in the new butchers on 2 steaks and 2 chicken breasts. Won't be going back unless it's a very special occasion!
Today I need milk and will get a coffee after DD swimming lesson. That's it though.

danebury Sun 01-Jul-12 09:27:52

I follow these threads but rarely contribute....I'm going to change that this month. My cupboards and freezer are full and our petrol tanks are as full as they need to be for our mutual 8 minute commutes (yes, honestly!). DD and I are vegetarian and dh has his meat supplied by a friend who is an organic butcher and won't let dh pay for it as he does his web page - proper bartering!

So in an ideal world it should all be about buying just fruit, veg and salad.

I'm really tight now about spending money - that can only be a good thing. I hate going out to eat now - I honestly think I can do better. I hate eating lunches at school - the vegetarian options always make me feel like I've eaten a brick.

I'm going to Tescos at about 3 to pick up (hopefully) reduced goodies and then that should be it for the week.

I'm going to spend no more than a tenner for the week and then my purse will be left firmly at home.

duchesse Sun 01-Jul-12 12:11:43

Well, some of us have fallen off the wagon at points in the last 6 months blush namely June and half of May. Didn't overspend massively but definitely not the tight rein I had on spending in the previous months.

duchesse Sun 01-Jul-12 12:12:39

By which I mean that I carried on spending wisely but a) didn't keep track and b) bought things that I wouldn't have had I been scrimping.

Littleredant Sun 01-Jul-12 18:08:46

I've not been on these threads for ages, but have been keeping tabs on how you're all doing which has motivated me to keep going. At the moment our finances are very tight, however with the aid of this series of threads I'm managing to keep pretty much on the straight and narrow. Sticking to a daily cash spend limit within an overall weekly/monthly spending limit seems to work for me, although it took a bit of discipline to get going. As do tricks like no spend days, menu planning and going out with no money so I can't spend - sounds rather obvious that last one and why it took me so long to learn I don't know! Another big motivator has been steady growth in the 'end of year/December festivities' fund. £10/week is now a lump sum of £260 and will hopefully be £500 by the time it's ready to be spent. So keep up the good work one and all!

Leilandri Sun 01-Jul-12 19:52:40

littleredant the idea of leaving the house with NO money whatsoever took me along time to adjust too. My weakness was the nursery run - either 8am in the morning, stopping into the bakery for fresh, still warm, bread, or at 5pm into the co-op for reduced bits and wine and chocs. I now do the nursery run without any money. I have emptied the car of all spare change too, as another habit was to pop in for some milk with the £1odd in the car, then spot some "bargains" and end up bunging £10 on the card.

NSD today - went to Cardiff to visit my Nan for her 85th birthday, my mum paid for petrol, and the bridge toll, so I had a lovely day with my nan, my mum and my DS's for free grin

NSD planned for tomorrow too. Helping a friend move house in the morning, then down to the allotment in the afternoon.

Trish1200 Sun 01-Jul-12 19:59:00

I want to join smile

Leilandri Sun 01-Jul-12 20:07:39

welcome Trish the more the merrier smile

Trish1200 Sun 01-Jul-12 20:53:51

Thank you smile

As I'm new to this, any good tips to get me started?

Greedygirl Sun 01-Jul-12 22:36:22

Hi everyone.

Louiespence it kind of resolved itself - unfortunately the couple we were going out with are having some problems sad so the meal was cancelled! Feel awful now for bellyaching about it. I had decided to go to both though.

Welcome Trish. I only joined last month and have not been very good so far! A good tip I was given last month was to set a budget for the week and then draw out the cash and not spend on cards. I am going to do that this month.

I am going away this weekend and, inspired by this thread, I am resolved not to buy any new clothes for the occassion. I have looked in my wardrobe and cobbled together some nice outfits. I am not even going to buy any accessories! Oh, i have bought a new swimming costume though blush but that was in the sale and I needed a new one anyway.

I hope July is a good NSM for everyone!

AdoraBell Mon 02-Jul-12 00:46:17

Hello Trish and welcomesmile

Okay, I'm starting afresh, I have forgiven the OH for buying two pedigree puppies last month, with all the attendant- and ongoing- vet bills. July is a new monthgrin

There's no money coming in this month, so DDs hard earned, they do chores, cash is being saved in the Bank of Mum until said bank returns to liquidity.

Freezer and cupboards are full to bursting <food hoarder> so it's just perishables and dog food, plus vet bills, petrol and the dentist this month. Spent nada over the weekend.

jenduck Mon 02-Jul-12 09:22:11

I was doing this a few months back but kind of lapsed blush, so I am rejoining.

Am very much spurred on by the news that a close family member's job is finishing in a month's time (as pay would be downgraded so much due to cutbacks that it would be infeasible to stay working there sad) & thinking of being in that position ourselves.

Also, we are trying to pay off credit cards/loans atm as we want to move in a year or so & our credit rating isn't great as so much debt blush

Things are looking OK this month, but have to pay big nursery bill for DS1 for July & August (he is 3.6, so in termtime bills are practically nothing due to free hours). However, from September he will be going to local preschool, so using free hours only, so no big bills. I will also be starting to work 1 day a week in 3 weeks' time, when my DM is back from her hols as she will look after DSes (I know I am very lucky, she is positively looking forward to it!), so more money coming in there.

Anticipated spend today £2 spending money for DS1's nursery trip to farm (trip paid for with nursery bill), £1 for milk at Tesco + possibly some spuds, 50p for toddler group with DS2.

Sorry for such a long introduction blush

jenduck Mon 02-Jul-12 11:38:25

OK, actual spend at Tesco £3.05. This was for big bag of carrots which I shall peel, chop & freeze for later use (saves soooo much time & effort), bag of potatoes for the week, 4 pints milk & jeans for DS1 reduced from £5 to £1 (he keeps wearing holes in the knees of his trousers hmm). Had 30p coupon to help. Quite pleased with my haul, although I forgot yoghurts so will have to go out again tomorrow!

Mum2Fergus Mon 02-Jul-12 18:20:18

Oooh carrot bulk buy! Do you cook before freezing or ok to freeze raw?!

jenduck Mon 02-Jul-12 18:25:38

I just freeze raw as I only use them in casseroles, pies, soups etc, and if in pies (such as shepherd's pie) I zap them for about 1 minute in the microwave from frozen or they stay too hard. None of my family eat cooked carrots as a veg, but if you do, I would think you'd need to blanch them first.

economymode Mon 02-Jul-12 18:39:14

Hi everyone - welcome newbies and good to see jenduck and duchesse back.

So, just back from a weekend with the in-laws - spent around £50 on lunch out, parking in Bristol centre (way way cheaper than Oxford!), soft-play (damn this rain) and a jar of dolmio sauce to replace the one that MiniEconomy broke.

Just spent around £10 on some lego silicone moulds from ebay (triple nectar points on there at the mo) - going to make a chocolate lego set for MrEconomy's birthday. The plan is to melt down some dairy milk and make it into little lego men and bricks. It's not a lot, but we're on a budget. Plus I'll make him a cake. He's working on the actual day, so we'll save by not having a day out to celebrate.

Just over £20 at Aldi stocking up for the week. Now we're going to have a use-up-the-freezer couple of weeks.

CremeEggThief Mon 02-Jul-12 19:17:12

Hi All! Glad to have found you again. Lovely to see some old hands back and welcome to any newbies.

FaceCrack Mon 02-Jul-12 20:54:03

Hi everyone! <waves to new people>
<air kisses the old lot>

NSD here. Tomorrow won't be. I need to go and get my friend a housewarming gift. She is having a tough time at the moment so I want it to be something good. We are on holiday next week so need to save up cash for that. We are just going to Sussex and the weather will probably be crap so our plan to have free picnics is scuppered!

Leilandri Mon 02-Jul-12 21:41:37

Spent £2.65 today at the library on fines blush kept the books 1 week longer then I should've, but I have scanned almost an entire book from all the useful pages!! Was expecting it be worse, as DS1 decided to colour in a few pages in the book he borrowed, but because he carried his book in and apologised so nicely he got away with it!!

Will be spending about £30 tomorrow, £20 on a brew-your-beer-kit for DH, and £10 on chilled goods - milk, butter etc.
Did a massive shop in Aldi yesterday while visiting my Nan, to the tune of £81, but as she lives over an hour from me I decided against getting anything chilled or frozen grin

Welcome back to some old-timers x

Some more tips trish
- Meal plan, whether weekly,fortnightly etc, then only buy what you need for those meals.
- Checkout poundland/99p stores for cleaning materials, toiletries etc.
- Use Quidco for online purchases where possible to get cashback tho I have no idea how it works
- Downshift your supermarket to Aldi/Lidl if possible, local butchers/markets etc, or drop branded names in favour of own brands/value brands where appropriate.
- Batch cook and freeze when cooking meals like chilli, stew etc. Easy meal ready for when you can't be bothered to cook, without reaching for the takeaway menu.
- www.approvedfood.co.uk/ good site, fab prices. Can be very good for stocking storecupboard

We've had more hints and tips but I've forgotten loads blush
Oh and sorry for mammoth post

Originalplurker Mon 02-Jul-12 22:11:08

Hi all, I've read this thread and I'm in awe of you all having NSD's and being disciplined enough to save. Well done....so can I join too?

It just so happens that we have gone through our finances today as DH off work. Our main aims are to pay off credit cards and to get the best out of our money. I have my own budget for houehold bills, food shopping and petrol, children's clothes, and my pocket money.

My credit card balance is zero at the moment and would really like to get to the end of month Witt having to out stuff on it for the last week as I want to close this account. I need to pay off a storecard.

But most of all still feel I should be saving a little bit for Christmas, and 'rainy day money'. I know I could if I didn't fritter it, I was very shocked to discover how much I spent on coffees and eating out in June.

Phew...

MilkNoSugarAndAShotofWhisky Mon 02-Jul-12 23:25:00

Last month didn't go so well...not horrendous but not fantastic

I've just had the most awful mobile phone bill, £145 shock sad no idea how, paper bill comes tomorrow so I'll have to go through it with a fine tooth comb but tbh I think its a combination of the kids getting hold of my phone and calling random numbers and I've had at least 9+ VERY long conversations with a friend who's having some problems (I rang her to see if she was ok)
No idea what im going to do....its a HUGE amount if money, absolutely huge

Cynner Tue 03-Jul-12 00:22:39

Managed only one nsd last week. Have only 20 quid for rest of week. Going to lots of beans, rice, and toast going on the next 6 days. <sighs> might have to nip over to my mums for quick shop in her pants..

Cynner Tue 03-Jul-12 00:23:42

OMG! A shop in her PANTRY..not her pants..thanks autocorrect..

AdoraBell Tue 03-Jul-12 03:45:56

We bought dog food and 3 small rugs to put in the puppies' travel crates, in which they sleep. That was about, um, err, £35-ish, not sure because OH dispatched me the the pharmacy for paracetamol (£1.20) while he paid. We also had lunch out, OH was cold at home wimp and needed to get out, that was £40. Then coffee after dropping DD's off with friends, £4. Add to that £4 on the roads and it ruined my run of NSD'sshock

danebury Tue 03-Jul-12 06:55:24

Nightmare AdoraBell!

I forgot my purse yesterday - and survived.

I even made some tomato and lentil soup first thing to take in for lunch as I felt like I'd eaten so unhealthily over the weekend. Felt very smug.

Good luck everyone x

Leilandri Tue 03-Jul-12 06:59:26

Cynner that little typo has brightened my woken up super early by teething baby morning grin
adora sorry but £40 0n lunch because OH was cold?!?!?!?!??! Tell him to put a jumper on!! xx

Leilandri Tue 03-Jul-12 09:13:50

original I manage to save for Xmas in 2 ways -
1) I do a monthly DD to Park Savings www.getpark.co.uk/AgencyOnlineWeb/index.jsp so that come November I have Amazon and Love2Shop vouchers arrive in the post. I add things to my Amazon wishlist all year as I spot things then go through it and order once vouchers arrive, and from September time I make a note of places that accept the Love2Shop vouchers and what I might like to buy there. Iceland accept Love2Shop so if all else fails I can still stock up on bits for Xmas dinner etc.
2) I buy a few supermarket saving stamps whenever I do a big shop, as if I'm spending £40+ a few pounds extra doesn't make much difference. I then have these for Xmas, or if times get really tough....

I do also shop for Xmas and Birthdays all year round, if I see something 'right' at a good price I get it, and stash it in the loft. Means DS's end up with a huge Xmas as I forget bits that I have got them, but it doesn't break the bank as I've picked up pieces here and there. My mum has done this all our lives, and she has never had to put Xmas on the credit card and my eldest DB is now 37!

Originalplurker Tue 03-Jul-12 10:07:23

leilandri thanks I have one of those cards that you can charge up, I should put a little on. That each time. Gosh sometimes you just need reminding prompting.

I will look at link, it's not too late is it. smile

I'm staying in today, having a NSD.

jenduck Tue 03-Jul-12 10:07:34

Yy to buying Xmas presents cheaply throughout the year & stashing them. I also do this for any birthdays, births, weddings etc that I have coming up through the year. Saves a fortune & loads of hassle. Also, depending on the age of DC, charity shops are your friend. My DS1 had a helicopter for Easter that cost £2.99 (batteries included)- would have been £20 plus batteries at least in the shops (is still for sale now!). Charity shops also have new stuff quite often, too. My DC certainly get much nicer gifts because I buy secondhand than they would new and being 3 & 1, they don't notice the difference.

Milknosugar, that is awful! Once you have the bill, maybe you can contact your mobile company & see if they'll let you spread the payment, if you will struggle to find the money.

Cynner grin at shopping in pants!

Spent even more yesterday, but was very bargainous, so I don't feel too bad. Popped into Co-op at about 4 (when they tend to do their biggest reductions here, IME) & for £3.59 got 3 x 500g blocks of cheese (will grate 2 & put in freezer for sauces & to top pies etc), 1 pack naice ham with 100% extra free & a pack of 4 pork pies. Should have cost £14.25 smile

Today need to get yoghurts, batteries & whole milk for DS2 from Tesco & will also see if they have some more £1 jeans in the next size up for DS1 (never mind buying clothes for DS1 as I know they will do DS2 too!)

Have a good day, all

Leilandri Tue 03-Jul-12 10:39:44

Ok I have to ask (I'm bored today, can you tell!)
Wtf is "naice" ham?!?!

Jenduck our DS's are the same age (well DS2 will be 1 in August) and I completely agree about charity shops, DS1 is getting in the habit now and loves a good rummage!
Brilliant tip about grating and freezing the cheese btw, it's amazing what you don't think of! smile

FaceCrack Tue 03-Jul-12 11:20:05

Naice ham? It's MN term for posh ham. Someone found it written on a shopping list once IIRC.

I didn't make it to the shops which is only a good thing. I will just need to pay for a coffee later and then it's off to Lidl. It's just fruit, veg and a chicken that we need so should be cheap.

jenduck Tue 03-Jul-12 11:32:22

Leilandri, the Edward Bear Club we go to on a Wednesday is across the road from the bargain Co-op & 2 charity shops, one of which has a box of old tat 10p toys (often Happy Meal toys or toy cars etc) & the other has 10p books for adults & children and a 50p clothes rail. If DS1 has been good (DS2 is too little to really understand this yet), he gets 10p to spend in whichever one of those he chooses, so he is usually beautifully behaved on a Wednesday and I almost always get a new skirt or top grin

duchesse Tue 03-Jul-12 11:37:50

Not a brilliant day yesterday.
£32.40 in Coop for stuff for a meal for 3 families (mine plus two others). There's been a sudden death in the village and it's affected a lot of people.
£23 on milk and bread (and some bargains!) in Waitrose. We seem to be getting through quite a lot of bread and milk with 7 people in the house. Getting 1 more person on Friday when my little Spanish girl arrives, then 2 more on Saturday when my little French girl's mum arrives for a few days. They leave, then 2 more French people come for 4 days.

All that to say that I'm expecting to get through a lot of food in the next 10 days...

Originalplurker Tue 03-Jul-12 12:42:40

I have just been over to park savings and set up a monthly direct debit to pay for vouchers, I got the high street love2shop, they'll do nicely for Xmas shopping or January sales at least.

In the past when my ds was little I got lots of toys etc during the year and used to end up with too much stuff. Now he's older and wants more specific stuff I resist. Last Christmas I got all stuff in Argos toy sale in the September on 3 for 2, things he wanted, THEN DH casually bought skylanders when food shopping in Asda and that has been the be all and end all of life for infinity ever since [ twisted mout] well I'm determined to buy less.

As for my little dd, I'm not going to make the mistake of buying her as much as I bought for ds when he was older baby toddler. But do look forward to buying her a wooden kitchen and dolls house grin

AdoraBell Tue 03-Jul-12 13:20:26

Llilandri

He had a fleece on, and the house is warm. He's being a PITA and the only reason I went along yesterday was because of the DDs pre-arranged outing. I was so tempted to say "I'm eating at home, see ya" he really is the only man I know who keeps on splashing the cash when there is none due in. I may start calling him Hyacinth<exasperated evil grin>

roguepixie Tue 03-Jul-12 14:13:15

OK, hello ladies. Feel off the wagon completely during the last 60 days or so but am truly focussed on getting back on board with this again. It's amazing how much joining this thread focusses your mind on the job in hand.

Hello to all the newbies - it's good to have more people.

Heads up on mobile phones ... Giffgaff are an excellent 'mobile' phone company. They don't have their own airspace but sit on top of others. They offer amazing deals like 250 mins/unlimited texts/unlimited data for £10 per month!!!! DH has just changed this over and I will be changing mine when my contract ends in October. DS's phone will also go over to them. Might be worth a look.

CremeEggThief Tue 03-Jul-12 16:20:08

Thanks for the mobile phone tip, roguepixie.

£3.79 spend today, on egg noodles, milk and bus fares.

economymode Tue 03-Jul-12 17:36:07

Just found out about a website called Casabu - they do short-lived deals on stuff for kids and parents. Might be of interest to some of you? Or could encourage impulse buying - just make sure you use it for something you genuinely need!

Mum2Fergus Tue 03-Jul-12 20:58:58

Regular lurker/newbie here! Have picked up so many tips on these threads, thank you all! Had a real epiphany at work today!! Found out that Im entitled to 6% off Asda (and many other retailers) when I buy giftcards via employee benefits site. So i usually budget £430pm housekeeping but if I load all onto card I get it for £404!!

AdoraBell Wed 04-Jul-12 00:06:50

Hi Mum2Fergus and welcome

I spent £10 in the supermarket and £1 on a badly needed, but yucky, caffeine fix. Coffee vending machine while waiting for DDs to come out of school, they stayed back to make up a test but I had to pick up friend's DCs T the normal time. £1.20 on the roads, only paid one way.

lizardqueenie Wed 04-Jul-12 06:03:23

Hello, another newbie here & this is definately where I need to be (if you will have me? smile )

I'm a SAHM & took vol redundancy from my job not quite a year ago- gave me a chance to spend more time with my dd & allowed me to pay off all of my debt. However I appear to burning through the money at a frightening rate.

Have been very interested in your tips about saving money on food shopping as this us one of the household outgoings I still manage &DH pays mortgage, utilities etc from his salary.

A lot of your mention filling up your freezer so do you buy things on offer? Have tried to start planning meals so we have something each night that we do fancy which saves us reaching for the takeaway menu.

Also like the idea wink of non-spend days- does anyone else have small kiddies at home that you have to entertain? I sometimes find this is a lot of where my money gets dwindled away so trip to soft play + coffee+ parking+ oh yes I forgot we need xyz on the way home. Any tips or wise words there very welcome.

I tho k I'm going to also start planning for the week ahead with cheaper playgroups & think of other activities- so much easier when the weather is better- a whole afternoon was spent feeding squirrels & ducks in the park last week.

Originalplurker Wed 04-Jul-12 07:06:43

lizaedqueenie I'm a sahp, but my little dd is only 4mnths.

You are so right about money getting dwindled re soft play. Maybe be realistic about setting a budget forthis as I do think it important to get out. My main idea for saving money is try some playdates when my ds was a preschooler I used to do reciprocal playdates inc lunch sandwiches etc so this used to be quit nice but cheap n ds entertained and you get a bit company too.

Would your dd sit at cinema we can get tickets on some session for £1.50 and there are all families with babies. It's not as quiet as you usual viewing.

Indoor play animal pinics with play food, animal hospital give her a box of plasters, junk modelling, dusting, build a den out of duvets n cushions. Can you get free swimming?

I know this is a it naughty bu I would often take ds juice bottle anywhere we went and say if I bought a coffee I would have my kitkat for us both. I also realise now that if I don't plan my day around meal times I can all too easily end up buying a lunch when out which also messes my diet up.

mumtofergus what does your housekeeping include? I have that amount supposedly for food, petrol, baby nappies and milk.

NSD achieved yesterday, I'm out today on lunch date but have £10 in my purse I'm determined to stick to coffee and sandwich for £5.

Originalplurker Wed 04-Jul-12 07:08:30

I'm starting a money spending diary today.

lizardqueenie Wed 04-Jul-12 08:15:49

Thanks plurker some really good tips there. We do go swimming, DD has lessons & DH gets a gym membership with his work so I get to take her there too- should actually use it all a bit more to be honest- she has just started going to the crèche so I can have a bit of me time to exercise & it means the afternoon is filled up a lot better & a couple of pounds on the crèche fee.

I never knew free swimming was available though-may have to look into that as a long term option. Cinema is a good idea- I wish i done this more when she was a babe in arms but never quite got myself organised enough- I imagine by the time she is 2 she might sit watching a short film at the cinema.

Playdates with lunch are a good idea- I do tend to meet my mum friends with their kids out or we go for lunch/ coffee out & it can get really expensive. Especially if you haven't really planned & budgeted before & you just put it on your debit card.

I'm also wondering what will happen when it's the summer hols- lots of activities will be shut so keeping fingers crossed for good weather. I'm actually wondering whether to sign DD up for Gymboree over the summer -it is more expensive than normal groups like baby sensory etc & you pay monthly but it does run through the summer & will give us a regular activity to do.

Spending today will be posting a bday package to a friend at the post office!

jenduck Wed 04-Jul-12 08:32:46

Welcome Mum2Fergus & lizardqueenie smile

Lizardqueenie, how old are your DC? Mine are 3 & 1, but the 1 year old is not walking yet (lazy tyke!). So when we go to our soft play (Wacky Warehouse) we go in tots' time & it is £2 for DS1, but they don't charge for DS2. They also supply free squash, which kids or adults can drink. And there is a loyalty card which gives you every 6th play free. Also, because ours is a small one, they don't mind if you take in your own food & drinks, so it really is not an expensive outing for us. Also, ours will only take cards for over £5, so if I just take the entry fee, I won't buy a coffee as I would have to buy a load of extra stuff to make it up to £5!

We only tend to go to soft play when we are due to meet friends & it is raining. Otherwise we go on lots of trips to the park (sometimes with picnic), toddler groups (none more than 50p per family here), the library for story & rhyme time, local free museum which has interactive bits, farm when nice (ours is attached to farm shop & has ride-on tractors & slides and is free), picking blackberries & apples in local park/orchard, feeding ducks. Also meeting with friends in each others' houses works well. Also, British Gas are doing a free swim for everybody at the moment so worth checking out.

As for filling up the freezer, I often go to local Tesco/Co-op when I know they reduce items on their best before date & buy loads (often with 75% or more off original price).

Spent about £10 yesterday in Tesco on rechargeable batteries (expensive but should save in long run), milk for DS2, yoghurts, tinned tomatoes & bananas. Today have Edward Bear (50p), & charity shops afterwards (10p for DS1 if he's good) & Co-op, will look out for bargains so won't be NSD!

FaceCrack Wed 04-Jul-12 08:35:52

Quick post, will catch up tonight.
NSD yesterday, hoping for the same today!

economymode Wed 04-Jul-12 09:43:48

Hi lizardqueenie. Another SAHM here - son is 14 months old and number 2 is due early Feb if all goes well.

Personally, no spend days are a bit unrealistic in this weather for me - I can't stay at home with the boy all day so we usually go to one group or another, normally cost £1 on average. Although a good free activity when the weather is rubbish is a trip to the children's library in the city centre. A lot of my mum friends are back at work now, but we tend to have playdates on the days they're off. I've recently discovered that local churches are a good source of cheap toddler groups - I'm not religious but they're open to all.

I take £100 out of the machine every fortnight and use that for everything so I don't fritter money away on the card. Obviously, some things I buy online to get the best value but I've found that the cash technique has really helped.

As for shopping, I now do almost all of it in Aldi (just up the road, luckily) with the few things I can't get there in Coop or Sainsbury's. Oh, and poundland for toiletries and cleaning stuff.

Do.you eat meat? If so, I'd recommend eating more vegetarian dishes (I'm veggie, so biased! But husband and son eat meat, just not really at home, saves a lot on our food). I'm not saying give up meat completely if you do eat it, just try to have a few meat-free days.

Anyway, I'll shut up now!

jenduck Wed 04-Jul-12 09:55:18

I have just realised that the Santander credit card I have gives 1% cashback on supermarket purchases, 2% in department stores & 3% in petrol stations! Only a small amount, but it adds up. Will now use this when I shop in these places & pay the amount straight back when I get home. Excellent smile

lizardqueenie Wed 04-Jul-12 10:16:51

Oooh what a lovely friendly thread grin thanks for the warm welcome.

Jenduck my DD is 20 months old so definitely the right age for toddler groups etc but also quite happy just being outdoors or in a park running around. Your softplay sounds great! Whats Tots time? We have a fair few nearby- the one in the leisure centre has just been done up & it costs just over a fiver for DD to get in, plus parking at around £1 an hour. We live in South East London/ Kent border so things seem pricy, especially now I am living off an ever decreasing pot of money! Though I will be going back to work after DD is 2 and going to nursery so at least we'll have some money coming in, anyway I digress!

Taking food with you and not taking any other money other than the entry fee is such a good idea ;)

You've got some really good ideas there of indoor & outdoor activities, I think I need to start being a bit more creative and look into what we can do/ where we can go & offers that are on to fill our week up a bit.

Good idea with the freezer fill up- is it best to go in the evening to get the bargains?

Hi economymode (like your name ;) ) Congratulations on your pregnancy, hope your little one arrives safe & sound. It is hard isnt it just to entertain them yourself all day at home, different if you are having people over but just you and the DC is quite hard work, or for me it feels that way sometimes. And I'd like to think I am pretty arty/ crafty so happy to get the paints/ chalks/ playdo out to make a mess stuff.

I am with you on playgroups - I go to a local one that costs £1, no waiting list just turn up on time to ensure you get in. Its lovely, DD loves it and she gets a drink, fruit and a biscuit and I get a coffee and usually something like a special choc biscuit or mini heroes or something! All for a pound! there is also a one o clock club that I like to go to but thats a bit of a drive a way so have to take petrol into account, slightly more expensive at around £4.00 but they have some great stuff there for DD and its on all day. I think I need to hunt down some more church based playgroups, I have a list somewhere from the Family Info Service.

Great tips about the meat too, we arent veggies but not hugely fussed about having meat so can easily cut down and that should help to save on the food bill too.

And now I'll shut up after that mammoth post!

Leilandri Wed 04-Jul-12 11:24:28

Welcome mum2Fergus and lizardqueenie

I have 2 DS's, also 3yo and (nearly) 1yo like Jenduck. We have luckily just got an allotment so we spend as much time as possible down there, weather permitting. Do you have a garden? Maybe you could section off a bit for DD to grow her own things/play in mud? DS1 loves his little patch of our garden and is very proud of his sunflowers, pumpkins and courgettes that he has grown.

We do lots of sticking/glueing and painting here, lots of hand and footprints for DS2. I leave their creations to dry, and once they're forgotten about I cut out the best bits and recycle them into gifttags for presents - the grandparents love this more than the actual pressy I think I stock up on craft things in The Works, Poundland, This is It, or on Amazon.

A good website is www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/ - we love the "I can cook" recipes smile

I also take food with me, my changing bag is usually stocked with boxes of raisins, dried apricots, mini cheddars, bottled water (and a little packet of haribo for DS1 is he is good) all food that can stay in there from day to day, and just refill as needed and stuff I can pick at too if peckish
I have also moved all my beneficial store cards - boots advantage,nectar etc - into a separate card wallet inside the change bag, so I can go out with debit cards, but still collect my points and things.

A friend of mine set up a group on Facebook "Mums of xx" 6 months ago, and it now has 500+ members, all mummies from the local area. We now have regular meet ups/outings etc and I've met some great friends. We help each other out with babysitting and things aswell - maybe something you could look into in your area or set one up?

Leilandri Wed 04-Jul-12 11:26:53

*that's supposed to be go out WITHOUT debit cards hmm

Hi, I'm marking my place for some inspiration and support.
Recently bought a house and am seriously overdrawn so thrift is required. My plan is:
meal plan and do an online supermarket shop.
Prepare and then sell stuff on eBay.
Stop buying Stuff.

Leilandri Wed 04-Jul-12 12:24:12

welcome FlyMe

Have you tried Facebook for some buy/seel sites in your area? I've found it much easier than ebay - no fees, and no trips to the post office!

And yes, I would say "Stop buying Stuff" is a good mantra for thriftiness wink

Thanks Leilandri. I am used to eBay and once I grit my teeth it usually goes ok.

CremeEggThief Wed 04-Jul-12 15:56:26

Total for today- £19.55. £16.50 on a card and gift for a friend's birthday and the rest on a loaf and bus fares.

Some great tips on this month's thread smile.

jenduck Wed 04-Jul-12 18:03:09

Hi all. Not too bad a spend this afternoon. 50p for Edward Bear fees, 20p on charity shop toy for DS1 & £3.59 at Co-op for 4 pints milk, 10 f-r eggs & a tray of flapjack (had a pretty rubbish time at Edward Bear with DS1 playing up, me telling him off, him crying & then the leader, a Rev, coming up to me & asking 'What are you doing to your boys?' even though DS2 was fine. Made me feel like rubbish mum of the year sad

Also was talking to a friend about credit cards & she was going on about how she'd never had any debt & never would. Just made me feel a bit inadequate, although I know her circumstances are vastly different from mine (10 years younger & on benefits so rent & council tax paid, she tells me). We have racked up this debt, mainly due to the erratic nature of DH's work (contracts), but we are making huge efforts to pay it off (and doing better now than we have in 6 months!)

Lizardqueenie, we are in SE too (Essex). Tots' time at Wacky Warehouse is basically all day up to 3pm, when under-5's get in for £2, for as long as you like (can also come & go). As for bargains, best to ask the shop attendants, really! But usually tends to be best a couple of hours before closing.

Anyway, sorry for the moan, welcome to newbies/returnees <waves>

Originalplurker Wed 04-Jul-12 19:34:22

Today's spend

£2.15 for weight watchers bars
£7.00 lunch-date, quite filling didn't snack later or have cake while there
£95p to feed fish and buy DS a mini milk

NSD was planned for tomorrow, but DS on playdate at a soft play, keep it to £6.00 if I can.
£1.00 planned for Friday, we need squash and bread, but I think I'll wait til weekend, we have wraps, rice or pasta for packed lunches.

I'm going to check bank balance, a bit of cold reality check always helps rather than the glint to hologram on a card to two!

Originalplurker Wed 04-Jul-12 20:00:07

Bumholes there is a sale on in monsoon and I'm dying to order a handful of outfits for dd for next summer. I don't have the cash, it would be a card.

She has too much I'm not going to do it. I am a sucker for bargains.

FaceCrack Wed 04-Jul-12 20:08:04

Don't do it! I've also avoided - I do need new work clothes but am going to make do for now.

Another NsD for me but DH is in the pub. He doesn't have access to the joint account though mwah ha! We had our second meat free dinner tonight, it is saving us a fortune!

lizardqueenie Wed 04-Jul-12 20:37:21

Thank you Leilandri I think DD would love her own little patch in the garden! My dad has an allotment so could rope him in for a bit of advice to get it started. A good idea about keeping non-perishable snacks in the bag too- i did this went we went out this afternoon and enjoyed a few snacks myself.

Spent a total of £7.59 - posting package & parking. Other than that we just wandered & chatted, thank goodness it didn't pour!

Ah Jenduck sorry you felt like that, am sure the Rev didn't mean it in a critical way but maybe just said it to make humour of the situation. Big hug & glass of wine or cup of brew for you. Also everyone's circumstances are different & yes it would be lovely to not get into any debt but its a situation many of us find or have found us in. I think prior to the recession it was very easy to get into debt, I certainly left University with student loans, overdrafts and cc debt coming out of my ears. However it seemed to be considered the norm from those around me and whilst lots of my friends seemed to be sensible to pay things off quite quickly, even once I got working I found it hard to prioritise paying it all off over having fun.

Ooh might be worth me driving over to Essex- I often meet a friend there with his little girl.

Originalplurker Wed 04-Jul-12 21:46:55

<sad mouth organ sound>

Well I did avoid monsoon but after wrestling with the debenhams site I got a £100 order down to £60 with free delivery. I am pleased with bargains I have bought

DS two linen shirts and a famines t shirt
DD two rompers and two dresses

Just under £10 per item, which is good for branded stuff. I'll not feel great about this til I whip them out of cupboard next spring.

Right off to adjust budget, I'm not err doing that well really on day two, since finding this thread.

duchesse Wed 04-Jul-12 22:03:06

Spending today and yesterday:
£27 on new quilt cover and pillow cases for DS in the Debenhams sale (70% off) after he returned from university with a quilt cover that had spent a fortnight in the rain on the line and stinks unshiftably despite going through two washes

Today: £28 something at Coop. I won't have time this week to do my Waitrose bargainous shop so the few smaller shops this week have replaced that.

Tomorrow I'm off to Cambridge to take DD1 for an open day. Will have to get more diesel. Am staying with Dsis so free accommodation at least.

jenduck Wed 04-Jul-12 22:11:52

Thanks lizardqueenie, but she was definitely disapproving! I made some joke about 3.5 year olds being like that and she was all <catsbumface>. Never mind, onwards & upwards, it has helped me to rant! BTW, the Wacky Warehouse is in Chelmsford, it's the smallest one in the country apparently, has about 10 tables & 2 play areas (over 3 floors though). I love it because you can watch DC from where you're sitting. Also worth doing if you use the Dartford Crossing on an even semi-regular basis: get a DartTag. Preload it with £10 & it costs £1 per crossing instead of £1.50.

Duchesse, I love Debenhams 70% off! Never buy stuff there at full price!

DH & I both had really rubbish afternoons, so spent an extra £6 on fish & chips as neither could be bothered to cook, plus £6.98 on 2 bottles of wine, 1 for tonight & tomorrow, 1 for Saturday night when my parents have DC so we can sell at car boot on Sunday (were going to go out, but will have bottle of wine & game of scrabble, so will save money by buying wine now). Wine bought at co-op on credit card, netting me 7p cashback! Woohoo grin

AdoraBell Thu 05-Jul-12 05:20:23

Today DDs wanted to out for dinner, there's a pattern here, so I spent £8 in the supermarket and did burgers at home. Still have enough left to repeat at the weekend. I'm going to get them out if their dad's habit of eating out. Add the £1.20 on road toll and I've come in under a tennersmile

roguepixie Thu 05-Jul-12 07:10:46

Two NSD's here ... am aiming for NSD No. 3 today!!!!

jenduck Thu 05-Jul-12 12:19:01

Spent £2 so far today, on balls from charity shop for DS2's ball tent, which he was given for his birthday. Managed to resist reduced squirty cream (love the stuff!) & chocolate, so good for my waistline as well as my wallet.

Also twigged that I can get an extra £5 a month if I pay £1000 per month into an account I have (they reward you). This is not the main account we use, but I'm thinking I could transfer money in one day, and out the next. Not a huge amount, but it all helps grin

lizardqueenie Thu 05-Jul-12 13:19:35

Afternoon all

Ah Duchesse I am going to have to check out the Debenhams sale now. DH and I really could do with some new pillows for our bed so I will resist adding anything else to the basket.

Rougepizie that takes some doing- well done grin

Jenduck well if she was being like that its her problem, people can just be a bit too serious sometimes. I googled it last night so I reckon it might def be worth a trip. It would just be timing it right, as much as I love being at home with DD I do enjoy the downtime when she naps in the afternoon, so if we went in the morning she is bound to drop off in the car on the way home. Hmm, might have to make a sacrifice one day though & give it a bash. And good news with your cash bank on your account, a good way to be earning an extra fiver a month, that £60 a year counts on fingers and toes definitely not to be sniffed at.

Today I have spent £1 for a whole mornings entertainment, snack, coffee & biscuit for me at local playgroup. I love it. Also emailed another group yesterday after my decision to be a bit more inventive with entertainment for DD, there is another local church playgroup so emailed to ask if I could come along & also asked if they ran in the hols. Got a reply back today saying that they are not a playgroup but a mother and toddler group! and she actually put an ! in at the end as well. Have I got the wrong end of the stick here? isn't it all much the muchness? No reply to whether they are open in the hols or not so may just not bother with that one. hmm

Off to see my Nan this afternoon with DD so will stop off on route and buy her some flowers.

CremeEggThief Thu 05-Jul-12 15:42:44

Total spend of £14.36 today. A tenner of that was for the childminder and the rest went on cat litter, a bus fare and a peach Melba from Greggs smile.

Originalplurker Thu 05-Jul-12 16:35:50

£11 lunch (twas an emergency)
£ £5 softplay inc drinks and snacks ds ishaving a great time

louiespence Thu 05-Jul-12 20:16:27

Hello everyone, it's taken me a while to get back into this thriftiness again after my holiday!!! Spent far too much (£126) at John Lewis sale at the weekend on work clothes for me and clothes/shoes for my DS's. Whoever said "Stop buying stuff" is dead right, I need to keep reminding myself!!!

Lizardqueenie you made me laugh with your story about the woman who thinks a Mother & Baby group should not be confused with a playgroup!! How pedantic, one to avoid I think!

Today for me was £3 on some cakes to celebrate DS1s first afternoon visiting his reception class at school, and £2.29 on a Happy Meal at McDonald's as a treat for his tea (I know, I know, but he really wanted one of the Ice Age toys and we don't go very often!).

lizardqueenie Thu 05-Jul-12 22:47:28

louiespence great name btw- yeah I'm still scratching my head about that. I just think what an arse. I like the way she put do come along next week. Bugger off!

I've planned tomorrows spending £4.00 for one o clock club for dd & then creche in the afternoon whilst I use the gym but this is already paid for. Maybe £1 for a coffee for myself at the one o clock club wink

roguepixie Fri 06-Jul-12 07:10:26

No insertion fees on ebay this weekend - for 100 listings starting at £1 or more.

jenduck Fri 06-Jul-12 09:42:25

Lizardqueenie if you do want to go to that soft play, make sure to go either next week or after the summer hols, as I don't think they do tots time during school holidays. I see a theme of soft play being a spending point for many of us - blooming rain!

The £5 a month from the bank account doesn't sound much, but if I also get £5 a month for using the credit card (then paying it back straight away), all of a sudden that is £120 per year, which is one month's grocery shopping for me!

Went to Sainsbugs last week & was most disappointed with the 'service' at the cafe, so I emailed them to tell them. They emailed me back yesterday to say they had credited my Nectar account with £10 worth of points. I also have £15 off a £75 online shop, and can earn £10 worth of points on that shop too, so would make a £75 shop only £40 (and it is mainly bogofs)! I did struggle, though, to spend that much all in one go!

Yesterday also spent £1.92 in Tesco for foil, tinned tomatoes & instant mash blush

Today will probably be soft play with friend, so £2, then need milk for the weekend, so another £1.

Have a good day, everybody, let's hope this rain disappears!

FaceCrack Fri 06-Jul-12 10:24:42

Morning all, yesterday was a NSD. Today will be £10-15 in Sainsburys for bits to get us through the weekend, plus an ocado shop to be delivered on Monday to take to our caravan hol! That will be £50 ish as I have £20 off voucher.
I'm doing a night shift tonight so will probably buy an extra large coffee on my way into work. grin

lizardqueenie Fri 06-Jul-12 12:45:54

Thanks for that pixie

<eyeing DH's piles of tat & figuring out if anyone would buy them>

Drew £20 out of the cashpoint this morning to pay to get into one o clock club
& buy me a coffee.will be interesting to see how long I can make it last.

Thanks for that Jen, I think I'll prob try after the school hols. Thinking of taking DD up to London for the morning one day next week- just so much free stuff- science museum etc so would be good to do that before all the schools are broken up. A good cheapie day out. Could be another one to get you out of hassle of soft play although prob a bit more spent on travel etc.

frazzled74 Fri 06-Jul-12 13:15:35

can i join please? I tried in june and failed miserably but have now started maternity leave so i am a sahm for 9 months, I will be poorer but im hoping that i will be organised and better at sticking to my budget.

AdoraBell Fri 06-Jul-12 18:02:39

Hi Frazzled and welcome to penny pinching, in the best waygrin

I haven't spent yet, but I'll be going out soon to get a few bits. Shall report back later.

CremeEggThief Fri 06-Jul-12 18:28:57

Somewhere between £36 and £38 spent today, and approximately £30 of that was on food and groceries. The rest was bus fares. A lovely friend treated me to coffee and a brownie in Costa this morning, so saved about a fiver there smile.

Hope you all have a nice weekend.

janek Fri 06-Jul-12 21:04:42

lizardqueenie i think the possible difference between a playgroup and a mother and toddler group is that you can drop and run at a playgroup and she didn't want you to get the wrong end of the stick. i don't reckon she meant anything more by it. i am not her by the way!

lizardqueenie Fri 06-Jul-12 22:16:37

grin at Janek are you sure? Yeah I'm sure it probably was, I thought playgroup was the same though & said I'd be coming along with dd. never mind.

Total spend today £5.30 I like keeping track like this. wink

AdoraBell Sat 07-Jul-12 05:23:41

I didn't get out so only spent £4 on some veg after picking up DDs and £1.20 on road tolls. I've only delayed spending though, it negated it, will do the errands after the weekend.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

economymode Sat 07-Jul-12 08:26:58

A fairly spendy week, as MrEconomy has had the week off. A couple of lunches out (totalling £25), stocking up on Pregnacare (3 for 2 at Boots, so 3 months' supply for £8), Baby Nurofen, toddler swim vest from Chav Direct (£11), cat food (£8), Aldi (£22). All stuff we needed, well, except the lunches out, so I don't feel too bad, just shows you how things add up.

I really do have to pay my NI contribution, £25, by the end of the month. Otherwise I'll get fined...

economymode Sat 07-Jul-12 08:46:34

Oh, and just spent £19.95 on 1000 nappy liners from ebay. The glamour.

jenduck Sat 07-Jul-12 09:58:45

Not a good start to the day here. Just paid £52.95 on a parking charge from when we went into town last week sad It's fair enough, the time allowed for free parking is 2 hours, we were nearly 3, but it's so annoying!

Yesterday's spend was £2 entry to soft play + £2.25 coffee (don't normally but very rough night with DS2 so I needed it!) and around £3.50 at Tesco for Bonjela, milk, a jar for DS2 & crisps.

Need to buy a washer & dishwasher salt today, as dishwasher not been cleaning properly, this should hopefully fix it.

Have a good day all

Originalplurker Sat 07-Jul-12 19:50:12

It's not great here either jenduck, been on emergency run to tesco express and spent another £26 that's £175 since last Saturday on, I also had the softball - need to let ds run off steam and stay out of my face for a bit thing!

1 x bargain ocado, did stock up on meat and washing powder
3 x tesco express runs, inc special food for picnic yesterday.

I've spent £25 on McDonalds and a lunch out. I know this as went through my accounts this am after receiving a water bill for £90 and car tax reminder promptly checked accounts to see where i can swindle this from.

But I stand by my £75 spend on opening Christmas savings account and £60 in debenhams sale.

frazzled74 Sun 08-Jul-12 06:32:13

well ive opened a christmas saving account, better late than never! and im having a week of cooking up whats in the freezer and cupboards, Ive also put a couple of things on ebay, and bought a few birthday/christmas pressies for dds friends/dns from accessorize sale. Im going to stay in most of next week as want to tackle the house and do a spring clean before school breaks up.

louiespence Sun 08-Jul-12 08:03:07

Not doing too bad here, spent £20 on Friday, on a night out with my friends, but we had a kitty, each put £20 in, and when it was gone we stopped drinking!

Yesterday I just spent £25 at Aldi topping up a few things. We are taking the DSs to Thomasland on Monday (free with Tesco vouchers!) and so I've bought some things to make us all a packed lunch to save a bit of money that way.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Sun 08-Jul-12 08:08:46

Marking my place. Yesterday-
Had takeaway with spare change (chap was a bit sniffy at first but ok later).
Found out have been missold PPI for years though that won't of course pay for groceries immediately.
Dug heavily into savings to get out of overdraft as a result of having badly miscalculated last month's spend.
Switched some providers and saved some money.
Asked for my gas provider to refund me a credit rather than setting it off against future bills.
So all in all, a very mixed day!!

Leilandri Sun 08-Jul-12 10:06:15

Original and frazzled so glad that you've opened Xmas accounts too - I've mentioned it to my friends on several occasions and they all seem to think I'm barmy hmm I'll be the one laughing though come November, when I can go mad with the shopping, and it'll be paid for already grin

louiespence Please feedback about Thomasland. We're thinking of taking DS's next July (2013) as they'll be 4 and 2 then, as a treat before DS1 starts school.

Spent £4.33 yesterday, got bananas, strawberries, sugar for jam making, and maltesers blush Went to my mothers and she helped me to make 8 jars of VERY yummy blackcurrant jam - so that's a couple more Xmas pressies sorted, just got to print some pretty labels.
NSD planned today - the sun is shining so that means a day of laundry and allotment here.

frazzled74 Mon 09-Jul-12 14:17:28

well I spent £20 in asda today on extras needed to add to whats already in the cuboard and freezer, ive made a rough meal plan, lasagne, chicken curry, prawn stirfry,sausages and veg bake, spaghetti carbonara, pork casserole, fishcakes and cous cous, and have enough food in for packed lunches etc, so im hoping that that will be my spending for the week. Im going to have a look at breadmakers later but probably will resist buying one until payday ,unless my ebay sales go well.

economymode Mon 09-Jul-12 14:31:51

Frazzled, by all means buy a breadmaker if you want, but they're not essential - I make all our bread without one. I make a big load at the weekend and then freeze some of it. I use a recipe that only has one lot of kneading (for 10 minutes), so it's not too time consuming and faffy.

jenduck Mon 09-Jul-12 20:43:05

Hi all, hope you had good weekends. After my bad start (parking fine sad), things picked up somewhat.

The dishwasher needed a new washer, but a spare parts shop tried to sell us a new arm for £16.50. DH found a washer at Wickes for £2, saving us £14.50! I also received a pack of 20 Pampers nappies through the post to trial on DS2 (much needed as he is teething badly & getting through 6+ nappies per day atm)

Yesterday spent £20 on diesel & got £2 off £20 till spit for Sainsburys, which I will probably use this week.

Today went to soft play again (had planned strawberry picking but was too wet), so £2 entry + £2.25 coffee. Then Tesco for bread, milk, pancakes, potatoes for £4.52. Also managed to sell a TV unit on Gumtree for £15 - only cost £4 originally (car boot sale) & used it for about 4 years, so very pleased with that grin

Frazzled, you could always ask on your local freecycle re breadmaker, or look in a charity shop. It's the kind of thing I often see. Although I agree with Economy, it is easy to make bread by hand and quite therapeutic too (I was always told you make the best bread when angry, as you bash air into the dough which helps it rise)

artifarti Tue 10-Jul-12 10:21:00

Hello, can I join you smile I have two boys of 3.11 and 3 months. I have always been a tightwad careful but now I'm not earning, I'm more conscious than ever. I already mealplan and bulk buy for food but want to get serious now! Over the next couple of weeks I want to review all of our energy suppliers, insurance companies etc. as I am pretty sure I can make some big savings there. I have also dug out the reusable nappies from DS1 for DS2!

I know I have to pay £30 to some people that looked after our cat when we went away the other week and have to go to the post office but hoping that's it for today. It does seem to be the trips for bread and milk that start to add up.

Looking forward to any tips from you old hands.

jenduck Tue 10-Jul-12 12:17:12

Welcome artifarti <waves> You are in the right place here. It is such a big help to write things down, I have found, as it makes you think about what your money is going on & identify high-spend areas.

One little tip from me is to sign up to Quidco & Topcashback, if you are not already a member & go through them for every online purchase you make. This will be particularly useful if you change energy suppliers etc. I have recently received £66.50 for the new mobile phone I bought, you can get £50 cashback on AA dual membership costing £100 etc. Of course, some net a lot less cashback, perhaps only a pound or two, and it can take a few months to come through, but it is all money in your pocket!

Today should be an NSD for me, my first this month, yay! Have found 2 pairs of DS1's outgrown Clarks' shoes & wonder if it is worth putting them on Gumtree? He had 2 pairs at once (as I 'lost' a pair, my DMum bought him a new pair, then we found the old ones!), so both are in quite good condition as they only got worn 50% of the time, iyswim.

Leilandri Tue 10-Jul-12 14:58:00

Welcome artifarti smile
jenduck I use Fb selling groups and it's very suprising how many pairs of kiddies shoes are bought and sold on there - so I would put them for sale. You never know unless you try smile

Spent £2.93 today. £1 on a set of kitchen utensils in poundland very proud that I went in and only spend a pound and £1.93 on some toffees as a thankyou for my Dad, as he is helping me collect and re-assemble a chicken coop on Thursday

artifarti Tue 10-Jul-12 17:36:38

Thanks for the welcome. smile Oooh, those cashback sites are great - I do a lot of shopping on the internet. How do they work though if you are using a comparison sight to find the best energy supplier/insurer?! Can you do that.

Not a bad start today. £30 for the cat, £5.90 at the post office, £1.29 on milk. On the savings front, DP is cancelling our lovefilm subscription, which we never use, thus saving a mighty £10.20 a month or £122 a year! The reusuable nappies are also out so saving maybe £15 a month or more - £180 a year!

I have so much crap lying about but selling our conservatory on Ebay nearly gave me a breakdown...not sure I can go there again.

Vegetable thai curry is cooking which looks like it may well feed us for the next month...

jenduck Tue 10-Jul-12 18:45:20

artifarti, tbh I am not entirely sure how the cashback sites work, but I know that you get money for loads of transactions! A quick search shows that if you go on the Uswitch website through Topcashback & actually switch your dual fuel supplier, you will get £21.21 cashback! Just make sure you click on the website through the link on Topcashback/Quidco. Interestingly, if you set up a new account with LoveFilm (in the name of whoever has not had a previous account with them) you can get up to £15.15 cashback for having a free trial!

Leilandri, thanks for that. I have put the shoes on Gumtree for now & will put them on Facebook, too.

Booked DH's car in for MOT today, at the local Council MOT test centre. Martin Lewis (moneysavingexpert) says they are a good bet to save money because they don't do repairs, therefore will not invent 'problems' that your car will need fixing. Testimonials say that people have taken cars for a service & been quoted hundreds of pounds & then gone to one of these centres & the car has passed the MOT! Worth trying out, certainly. I have not driven DH's car before so am taking it on a run tonight to the chippy blush to get used to it (nervous driver, only passed 2.5 years ago!), so will spend about £2 there.

Tomorrow will be fairly spendy - Edward Bear, charity shops afterwards, treat for DS1 from bakers as he has an induction morning at 'school' (pre-school, he is currently in private nursery) & I think he will be a bit shaky as it's with new people etc.

Greedygirl Tue 10-Jul-12 21:06:35

hello everyone, not been on for a while as hectic at work and at home but have managed 2 NSDs after a very shock high spend weekend away! Ideally need the rest of the week to be NSDs, at least until Friday so planning in lots of free activities. At work tomorrow so that always helps. Hope everyone is being thrifty and saving lots (or at least not spending!)

lizardqueenie Wed 11-Jul-12 08:08:02

Hi everyone
Haven't been on for a few days, so haven't managed to post on here what I've been spending but def got me thinking the right way. Tesco delivery came yesterday- though it was late so they refunded to delivery charge £4!

When I did the online shop I swapped loads of things for own brand/ cheaper brand items so pleased about that.

Found a new playgroup for DD that costs £3.50 for up to 3 hours, free parking & you can buy tea/ coffee. But they had loads of activities going on for them & bonus it runs through the hols!!

Today should be a NSD- dd's swim lesson & then gym for me & crèche for dd in the afternoon so all already paid on advance.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 11-Jul-12 11:09:26

When I changed our electric supplier to EDF they werent doing cashback anywhere but I compared again through energylinx? and they were on quidco so I got £32 back.

If you use cloth nappies look on your local council website, they usually have a form to print out that your HV can sign to say your dc is in cloths nappies and then they give you £20ish back, sometimes more.

economymode Wed 11-Jul-12 13:27:23

Fluffy, just checked my county council website and they have a whole page on why you should use reuseables (we do!) but they have no cash incentive sad. Neither does district council. Fair enough I guess, but it would have been nice!

jenduck Wed 11-Jul-12 18:12:01

Spent a bit here today. 30p on Edward Bear club, £1.99 on eggs from Co-op (10 free-range, the best price I have found for f-r eggs), £1.50 in Greggs blush for treat for DS1 doing so well at pre-school & treat for myself blush then 35p on toy car for DS1 in charity shop.

This is OT, but just need to write it down, so please excuse me. DS1 had a 'trial' at pre-school where he is starting in September this morning, which he really enjoyed. When he came out, they gave me a pack to read, & on the back it mentioned a session they run for children starting in September & their parents! I feel very sad as I had not heard of this before today, and from something the teacher said, I think all the other children from the class have been going to it, which makes me feel that DS1 has missed out & may therefore find it more difficult to settle in. I just feel like I have let him down badly by not finding out about this - indeed, when I look it is on their website, but nothing has been mentioned to me about it since registering him just after Easter! We have been going to another, council-run, group in the school grounds, so he is familiar with the setting, but not the teachers or other children.

Anyway, enough of me, hope you have all had good & frugal days.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 11-Jul-12 18:27:12

Sorry your council doesn't give a nappy incentive economy.

Jen do you have an Aldi? They do 15fr eggs for the same price.

artifarti Wed 11-Jul-12 18:41:38

£15.90 in LIDL today which will hopefully eke out the meals for a few more days. Haven't been in there for ages so was really impressed at some of the deals there e.g. pine nuts which are a fortune elsewhere.

My council also talks the talk about nappies but admits to giving nada incentives.

jen - don't worry too much about your DS, I'm sure he will settle okay if he knows the setting. My DS1 starts reception in September and a lot of the DCs know each other from the pre-school there but they soon find friends at that age. He has just moved pre-school rooms at the nursery he goes to; I thought he'd find it really difficult to leave his friends but he seems to be fine!

StrokemyForehead Wed 11-Jul-12 19:25:37

I have found my spiritual home grin at last somewhere that I truly fit in on MN grin

I have always been careful with money but have found myself getting into some bad habits of late (mainly with the food bill) and I need to reign myself in a bit.

AdoraBell Thu 12-Jul-12 02:58:58

Hello Stroke and welcome. I'm not posting much this week, or next, have DDs off school. I'll be penny pinching again soongrin

louiespence Thu 12-Jul-12 07:08:01

A NSD for me!! Woohoo! The first in ages. Have not been doing too badly this week, £120 on grocery shop on Monday (got loads though, including 3 huge boxes of nappies that were on offer!), £8 at shop on Tues, on a gift for a friend that has been in hospital.

Was feeling quite pleased as I sold a few things on eBay at the weekend, making over £50, but one of the buyers has left me really unreasonable negative feedback today without contacting me beforehand. Apparently the top he bought, although the shop label is XL, he thinks it is more like a L! He has ruined my 100% feedback too, I think some buyers enjoy doing that knowing that sellers can't leave negative feedback any more in return!

Greedygirl Thu 12-Jul-12 08:10:48

Didn't manage NSD after all yesterday, one of those busy, busy days where you end up paying for lunch as no packed lunch made and I bought ds a McDonald's on the way home as my MIL had given him a bowl of cereal for lunch hmm and he was starving so his pester power worked! Aiming for a NSD to
day (apart from a few groceries - I don't count spending on the joint account!)

jenduck try not to worry too much about your ds, I have had the most convoluted child care arrangements for the last 2 years so that my ds can mix with some local children (as well as going to DH's work nursery in town) and now I find out that none of the children he has met there are going to his primary school in any case! He doesn't seem perturbed, at this age his friendship choices seem to be based on whoever likes Star Wars or Batman! But yes it is annoying that they didn't tell you.

economymode Thu 12-Jul-12 08:13:18

Jen, was also going to mention 15 free-range eggs for £1.99 at Aldi.

A NSD yesterday, but only because I forgot my wallet when I went to Stay & Play, so I now owe the children's centre £1. Loads of people don't pay (it is voluntary), but they provide drinks and snacks so I think it is fair enough to contribute.

Leilandri Thu 12-Jul-12 10:22:56

Quite a spendy day today.
Buying 2 bundles of clothes for DS1 off facebook for £24, but the items work out at less than £1 each for jeans, tops, pj's etc.
Have sold some things myself, totalling £25 - so I guess it is more of a swap day really smile

StrokemyForehead Thu 12-Jul-12 11:15:45

OK well today has not started well hmm popped into the library to get DS2 a book and happened to check my account and there £26 overdue charges on it <<weeps>> I have no idea how I forgot I had so many books out and that they were overdue.

I am going to count all my pennies at home and put them through the coinstar machine in Tesco tomorrow so I can chip off the majority of the cost so it does not have to come off the bank account.

I today I have spent £6.85 on toddler gymnastics session and some veggies.
Need to get petrol later too.

I am going t start looking around for free or mega cheap things to do in the Kent area over the summer as I don't want to be parting with £££ to keep the kids happy.

I also have a Links of London bracelet that my ex gave me that I want to try and sell. so that should claw back some cash.

jenduck Thu 12-Jul-12 15:56:12

Hi everybody. Thanks for the words of reassurance about my DS. Rationally, I know he'll be fine, I just want the absolute best for him (as we all do for our DC) & was having a bit of a wobbly moment! Didn't someone once say parents always feel guilty?!

Almost an NSD so far today, just a book for 20p at library book sale & a Kitkat reduced to 30p blush, but Tesco later for value rice pudding & a jar for DS2 for when my grandparents will give him lunch tomorrow (have a coupon for money off). Then Sainsburys, probably about £5 in cafe then will spend £20 in store, use £2 off coupon + £10 Nectar points, so will spend about £8.

Now just about to arrange a collection of my unwanted clothes by clothesforcash.com. If all my clothes are accepted, it should make £10+, which is not amazing, but it all helps.

Strokemyforehead is your library online? Ours is & you can renew books online (or also over the phone) which will save fines if you can't get there.

Louiespence, I can sympathise about Ebay. Had the same kind of thing happen to me (buyer leaving negative comments about marks on a top, when I had detailed these marks in the description. Ebay didn't want to know), so I have stopped selling on Ebay now & just sell at car boot sale/Facebook/Gumtree. I also found postage a bit of a pain with Ebay.

Thanks for recommendations about eggs at Aldi. Sadly, our nearest one is a few miles away & requires a car journey, whereas Tesco & Co-op are both walkable & Co-op is opposite the group I go to each Wednesday.

economymode Fri 13-Jul-12 08:32:19

Going ok here, a few odds and sods with coop vouchers yesterday but no actual money was spent!

artifarti Fri 13-Jul-12 13:50:06

Thought yesterday was going to be a NSD but ended up spending £4 on an ice cream and sandwich to cheer up DS1 when a playdate cancelled at the last minute.

Today I took advantage of the M&S uniform sale and spent £20 (saved £5 and free postage and my first cashback (thanks for the tip!) of a mighty 48p!

Also spent £24.99 in Argos on a baby monitor but that was all Nectar points so nothing in reality.

£9 in my new favourite LIDL to stock up and now hopefully a couple of NSDs.

Do baby clothes sell well? I have a million.

FaceCrack Mon 16-Jul-12 07:55:58

Morning all!

I'm back from my holidays in Sussex. It was a bit damp but we had a great time regardless. We didn't overspend either which is a relief.

I'm doing a long day at work today so NSD for me!

Leilandri Mon 16-Jul-12 20:46:16

Hiya all

Been quite spendy over the past few days blush
Spent £30 at garden centre on veggy plants for allotment, tho most were strawbs and asparagus so will get a good return for our money.
£19 in ELC in half price sale on Xmas bits and bobs for DS's.
£23 on a brew-your-own-ale kit for DH
£6 in poundland on bits for Dmum and DS2's joint 60th and 1st Bday party in 3 weeks time.
£10 in Game on Xbox game for DH hmm he did trade in £12.50 worth of old games to get a 2nd game, and we got a 3rd game free - so chose a game for DGoddaughters birthday grin
£18 in Morrisons on top-up shop, mostly for DS2 as he is eating us out of house and home at the moment little gannet so £14 was on formula, blueberries and strawbs for him shock

God - £106 in a few days.... soon adds up doesn't it?!?!

jenduck Tue 17-Jul-12 10:43:38

Hi all. Not been keeping very close tabs on spending over the weekend as been rather poorly (nasty tummy bug, nearly gone now) & I think DS2 has caught it too sad. But will try & do a summary of spending!

Friday - didn't spend anything as DH forgot to leave me his car keys to take his car for MOT hmm. Then visited family in afternoon.

Saturday - didn't leave house, me & DH too poorly

Sunday - managed energry to go to car boot sale - was very muddy! Got Fireman Sam hat with sounds for DS1 (£1), 3 x informative kids' books (about animals etc) (10p each), Buzz Lightyear T-shirt for DS1, like new (50p), That's not my Puppy book for DS2 (50p), Wiggles book for DSes (50p) & BNIP Transformers puzzle for my nephew for Xmas (£1) plus £1 entry fee. Considering the Fireman Sam helmet alone is £15 without batteries, I think we did pretty well!

Monday - DH took car for MOT (£45), which it failed. Spent £2 on new pipes to try & fix it, didn't work. Have now put it up for sale, hopefully will get decent price for it as fault very easy to fix if person has time & skills (emissions fault). DH also spent about £8 at McDonald's whilst waiting for MOT to be done (my suggestion, he's looked after me so well & I am such a bad patient!)

Have also received loads of freebies - handbag-sized Ambre Solaire (Thanks Mumsnet!), crocs for DS2, £10 Sainsbury's giftcard for doing surveys online & I'm sure there are more!

Today will be NSD as staying in to wait for Citilink to collect my clothes for cash bag - any time between 10 & 5.30 hmm I just know they'll turn up when I'm on the loo!

Facecrack, glad you had a good holiday. ALways feels better when you don't overspend!

Artifarti, tbh I have not found that baby clothes sell well online. They sell well at car boot sale, but you will get max 50p per item. The other option is NCT sales, where you can charge more, but give 25% of profit to organisers, I think. Glad you have discovered cashback grin. May only be 48p now, but surprising how quickly it adds up.

Leilandri, I am making a pact with myself not to tell DH about brew your own ale kit! We already have wine & cider in the airing cupboard, but I think he's left it too late & they're no good now!

Hope you all have a good day

economymode Tue 17-Jul-12 14:26:03

Oh, Jen, sorry to hear you and the family have been poorly. Hope you're all fighting fit again soon. I really ought to brave a car boot sale to see what bargains are to be had.

Artifarti, I too haven't had great experiences of selling baby clothes online. But others on here have. I'd try a free listing weekend on ebay or gumtree/facebook/local classifieds. Then, if they don't sell you haven't had to pay any fees.

Doing ok here. A friend gave us a sandpit the other day (they were sent two and can't get company to pick up one of them, so offered it to us:-), so I've bought a load of sand for that (£8.97 from toys'r'us). Aldi shop was around £25.

We're toying with the idea of sending EconomyBoy to a childminder one day per week, so he gets used to not having mummy around constantly. And, I'm pretty confident that having made lots of cutbacks and savings since Jan that we can afford it, hurrah!

We've both had birthdays this past week, so MrEconomy and I have some money to splash (or save). He needs some new shoes but apart from that there's nothing we need. Part of me is tempted to have a couple of hours at Bath Spa (in laws live in Bristol, so we could ask them to meet us there and have the boy for an afternoon) - I've been feeling really grotty with this pregnancy (scan next week, so I can finally explain to everyone why I've been so lame) and could really do with a treat. On the upside, I'm meant to be going to the pub on Friday night but I really don't think I can manage (been in bed by 8pm on several nights this week, earlier if I could!) so that'll be some money saved...

milk Tue 17-Jul-12 14:34:44

OMG I am having a NSD and actually sticking to it grin although it is still 14:31 and I won't be going to bed for another 7 hours!

I tried yesterday but spent £3.87 in Asda, buying loo paper, apple juice, and tomatoes.

I really need to have a no spend week but as a shopoholic it is so damn hard!

artifarti Tue 17-Jul-12 15:27:48

Well, the weekend was pretty low cost except maybe £5 a day for some snacks in the park. Yesterday just £1.20 on stamps. Today £17.35 in LIDL and £14.18 in Sainsbo's but that should last until the weekend at least.

But the good news is that by looking at our spending in the last few days, in addition to saving £120 (stopping lovefilm), I have switched energy suppliers (saving £262 a year!) and changed cat insurers (saving a whopping £336 a year!). I also stopped a charity DD (£180 a year) which seems really mean but I used to work for them and they weren't very nice to me at all so hey-ho. So that's an £898 saving before I look at the car or house insurance! And thanks to you lovely ladies I also got £55 cashback doing it. smile

Thanks for the advice re baby clothes. I think I'll probably wait until DS2 has grown out of all the baby stuff, toys etc. and then do an NCT or carboot sale. Ebay scares me grin

jen - hope you are all feeling better. I love the MN freebies too - in the last few weeks I have had Aldi nappies and wipes (surprisingly good), Garnier moisturiser and a children's book! When DS1 was a baby I won a washing machine on MN so always like to have a bash at those too. Which surveys do you do - I signed up for some but after 20 minutes of answering the same question about potato waffles or somesuch I tend to lose the will to live and give up!

economy - oooh, some time in Bath spa sounds lovely. I went there on a classy hen do a lovely of year's ago. Was v nice.

milk Tue 17-Jul-12 15:43:36

Congratulations on the savings artifarti smile

Well it is 15:43 and I still have not spent a penny grin

economymode Tue 17-Jul-12 20:22:01

Do you get invited to test products by MN? Just checked the 'product tests' forum and it all seems to discussions about the products. How do I get in on the action?

Having said that, I did get some anti-bac spray a few months ago, but that's the only thing I've ever been invited to test.

artifarti, that's good going! Yep, love Bath and the spa but not been since EconomyBoy was born - we're due a visit smile.

I need to cancel our NCT direct debit - I can't really be bothered with the bunfights that are their sales anymore.

artifarti Tue 17-Jul-12 20:53:50

Yes, I get invited to test (or to ask to test at any rate). Go to News & Events (top right of this screen) and then Product Tests and Surveys - you can sign up there. Keep an eye on the right hand bit of the screen as well, where they have current news and things - that's where I saw the children's books up for grabs.

economymode Tue 17-Jul-12 21:00:19

Thanks, maybe I'm being stupid but I can't see anywhere to sign up, it just takes me to the chat page to discuss the product tests. Will just keep an eye out I guess!

economymode Tue 17-Jul-12 21:01:11

Oops, was really thick - seen the link now blush

AdoraBell Wed 18-Jul-12 04:11:33

shock Mega spend today, took 4 DC's out, entry fees, lunch and ice-creams.
Will fess up the numbers tomorrow after I get my head around them. This is the second week of a school holiday and the first spendy day we've had that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it

milk Wed 18-Jul-12 10:52:13

Yesterday I had my first NSD grin

Today I spent £6 at the supermarket, but I won't spend any more smile

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 18-Jul-12 14:31:06

We did Dhs car insurance and went to go compare, then to the cheapest quotes own website via quidco and it was cheaper on their own site incl legal cover.

Then we got £20 cashback so he was chuffed. Took a bit longer but we saved £45 by doing this.

Greedygirl Wed 18-Jul-12 22:19:29

Hi everyone, just wanted to pop on and say that I am rubbish at posting regularly on this thread but, thanks to you guys, I know exactly what is in my bank account this month! And loving the NSDs or my new patented LSDs (low spend days!). Quidco is the next level for me, must remember to use it!

milk Thu 19-Jul-12 13:02:17

Another NSD for me grin and then tomorrow my mum is coming over so if we do anything she shall pay instead grin I might actually get away with only spending £6 this week grin

AdoraBell Thu 19-Jul-12 15:37:40

Okay, finally added up the numbers for our day out

Entry fees x4 DC's £50
Lunch £18
Ice-creams and drinks bought the day £30
Road tolls £2.40

DDs were out agin yesterday with frend's, cinema, ,lunch and snacks £30

Today I need to get groceries, will report back later

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Jul-12 17:13:56

Quidco is fab. Everything I need I check on there first, you can even get cashback for playing euromillions.

I'm experimenting taking aldi magnum ice creams out in thermos flasks. Wrapping them in ice packs didnt work. I cannot believe how much they charge for ice creams when your out for the day.

Cleaned the mark down section out of chicken for sandwiches and two rolls of sausage meat.

I have no idea what to do with two rolls of sausage meat. I'm thinking stuffing. confused

AdoraBell Fri 20-Jul-12 04:15:51

Today I started on the DD's birthday gift, 6 Harry Potter DVDS for £40. Currently have no idea what else to get, 2 DDs turning 11 in a few weeks timeconfused. I also spent £70 in the supermarket, £50 on fuel, £2 mid shopping tea and £3 on roads.

milk Fri 20-Jul-12 07:02:09

Fluffycloudland77 - please keep us informed about finding a way to take ice-cream out for the day! Have you thought about putting them in a wide tall flask, with crushed ice all around them?

AdoraBell - Amazon have Harry Potter - The Complete 8-Film Collection for £29.24 or £34.88 on Blu-ray. Would she like a digital camera? Just looked on Amazon and you can get a good one for £40-60.

As for me, I failed yesterday with my NSD sad I was so close, then at around 7 in the evening the bloody ice-cream man came by our house! So I spent £2.60 yesterday sad Today however shall be a NSD!

economymode Fri 20-Jul-12 09:02:13

AdoraBell, maybe I'm just mean, but isn't 6 DVDs worth £40 enough for a birthday present? Or maybe something homemade to go with it and a nice day with the family? This could be a chance to demonstrate that birthdays don't have to be about spending loads of money on presents...Like I said, perhaps I'm just mean!

economymode Fri 20-Jul-12 09:05:01

Ah, sorry missed that you have two birthdays to deal with. Not sure what shopping is like in Chile, but could you not get them a gift card for somewhere, then they could choose what they like? No experience of 11 year olds, but are they getting to the age where they like to get exactly what they want?

jenduck Fri 20-Jul-12 11:14:33

Hi again. Not been on in a while as still poorly shock sad, although hopefully over the worst! This has meant that I haven't spent much, though and I have lost about 5lbs in weight, so everything has a bright side!

Can't remember exact spending this week as not been tracking but definitely no more than £10 in Tesco & nothing elsewhere as not really been out.

Did pop into Tesco this morning for bread (39p), as I feel I could maybe manage a sandwich at lunchtime & fishfingers for lazy easy kids' dinner (60p). Lucky I did as I found £5.04 on the ground! This means I can put some diesel in the car to get through to Tuesday (Child Benefit) & get socks for DS1 from Sainsbury's plus more bread & milk (can use nectar points & giftcard from doing surveys). Also got some Sheba cat food to trial in post today & am awaiting a pack of Pampers & 2 men's formal shirts for DH to trial. I heart freebies! Ooh, and I have £5.88 coming from doing some others surveys & £10.80 from the clothes I sent off.

Economy, the products I trial are for lots of different sites - Tesco Home Panels, Tesco Mum's Choice, Supersavvy circle & others. I have had lots of nappies, clothes, dishwasher tabs, cat food, cleaning stuff, suncream...From MN I have had Metanium Everyday (plus got a free changing bag) & a cleaning spray. Means I get loads of parcels, which is exciting smile

Fluffy, depending on where you go out is there not some kind of supermarket nearby that sells multipacks of icecreams? Maybe not as cheap as the Aldi ones, but cheaper than cafes or ice cream vans.

Adora, what do you want to spend on your girls? How about something like a charm bracelet they can add to for each special occasion? Or a little hair bobbles/nail varnish/nice smellies kit each?

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 20-Jul-12 12:16:14

It's only DH who has an Ice cream when were out as I'm allergic to cows milk, we only need one.

My next plan is to put a stainless steel lined flask in the freezer overnight and then put the ice cream in before we go.

artifarti Fri 20-Jul-12 12:18:45

Still haven't managed a NSD here yet but today might be the day! Spent about £20 on household and grocery stuff and £15 to block book a few more weeks of a baby group I go to.

But on the plus side, I get a veg box delivered. I was going to cancel it but DP persuaded me not to as he says it makes us eat more healthily. Anyway, today they cocked up all the orders in my street and as a result they have given me a free box of fruit! Bananas, lemons, nectarines, plums, apples, peaches, pears and apricots! I have no idea how the hell I am going to get through it all even though we do eat quite a bit of fruit. Determined not to waste any though so some stewing might be in order!

artifarti Fri 20-Jul-12 12:19:40

(Oh sorry - the spending I did was all yesterday!)

milk Fri 20-Jul-12 17:50:56

I have had a NSD grin

My mum came over and took me shopping, so she paid for everything grin shopping and lunch grin My mum bought me cosmetics from Boots and Chocolate from Thorntons. My mum then bought DS shoes from Clarks, then we all went out for lunch grin Plus the weather has been great... what an awesome day smile

Leilandri Fri 20-Jul-12 21:02:31

Spent £12 today
- £6 on a work shirt from Asda for DH as pens keep exploding and ruining his shirts
- £4 on 2 wooden chopping boards (my 14 year old one fell apart last night sad)
and £2 on parking in town when I went to jobcentre

Tomorrow should be NSD, as both boys are away on a Grandparent sleepover, and I plan to get as many jobs done as possible around the house. Going to make a HUGE batch of pizza dough, and a bread&butter pud, and I might make some choc cakes too and scoff them all! grin

AdoraBell Sat 21-Jul-12 02:24:23

Milk. Ordering off Amazon, or such like, isn't so good for me here, mega import duties as well as postage charges, but thanks anyway.

Economy not mean at all, but as I have twins and t'other one doesn't like the same things it's always a bit of an ishoo. I have to get things organised to prevent OH going overboard or he'll spend vast amounts on one and then get stressed about it and try to go really cheap for the other. I try to get them to look past the price tag and appreciate the gift, but ILs others have made them very aware that this cost that much while that was much cheaperangry

Jenduck tuppence h'penhy if I could get something suitable!

I might look into vouchers, hadn't tought of that.

economymode Sun 22-Jul-12 08:23:40

If anyone is interested, you can get issues of Good Food for 5 here. You need to remember to cancel your sub after that though, as they'll take £18 for the next six issues.

economymode Sun 22-Jul-12 08:24:17

That should say issues of Good Food magazine.

economymode Sun 22-Jul-12 08:24:48

jeez, why does it keep removing the 5?! That's 5 issues for £5.

nkf Sun 22-Jul-12 08:33:03

Am very disappointed with myself. Aim for July was to get through the month without using any savings but I have. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

jenduck Sun 22-Jul-12 09:55:08

economy, did you say something about the Good Food magazine? grin Seriously good tip, thank you. Did you know you can get an online version for free, though which I think is virtually the same as the paper version.

nkf, frustrating, but don't beat yourself up too much. Do you keep a tally of every penny you spend? I try & write down every penny out & in on a basic Excel spreadsheet which helps me see where my money is going.

Almost an NSD yesterday but DH spent just shy of £8 on medicines for me which have (hopefully) knocked this bug on the head once & for all. Today will have to be NSD as have no money now at all! Did order £40 of Tesco vouchers to spend at Prezzo as it's our 8th wedding anniversary on Tuesday & my Dparents have promised to have DSes for us. Been looking at Groupon et al & you can get some amazing deals eg 2 nights including breakfast & a bottle of wine on arrival for 2 people in a hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon for £69! Very tempting...

milk Sun 22-Jul-12 16:45:58

nkf hugs! How are you planning your finance atm?

jenduck- fight the temptation!

So today is another NSD and I'm selling stuff on ebay grin I think my need to be a shopaholic is behind me (I pray).

nkf Sun 22-Jul-12 16:47:42

Thanks, Milk.
Budgetting but something always seems to happen. I guess not planning for unexpected. And not meal planning properly. The thing is I don't cook every meal so that can get a bit muddled. The summer will be better.

milk Sun 22-Jul-12 16:53:51

nkf- As for meal planning- I plan half my week of meals, then I keep stuff in the freezer for when food runs out/I cba to cook smile

And before you think I am a good saver... the only thing that is getting me through this no spending is the thought of saving up and buying something awesome grin

artifarti Sun 22-Jul-12 19:47:12

The weekend started well with a NSD on Friday but then I sent DP to buy some sausages for a BBQ and he managed to spend £23 shock and then today we went out for the day which cost quite a bit with lunch (although we had bought a rare scratchcard and won £20 so that covered some!)

Planning for a Ready Steady Cook kind of week, using up what's in the cupboard/fridge/freezer as much as possible. Does anyone fancy sharing meal plans for inspiration?

I have also committed myself to doing surveys again although I hate them! I am currently signed up to Valued Opinions (good), Annabel Karmel Mother and Baby (I hardly ever qualify hmm) and YouGov (they hardly ever send one!) Are there any other good ones?

Here's to a stingy week ahead! wine

milk Sun 22-Jul-12 20:06:21

wine to a stingy week indeed artifarti smile

economymode Sun 22-Jul-12 20:09:40

Jen,I may have mentioned Good Food earlier blush. Was having some, ahem, issues with the link!

nfk - I used to end up feeling like you, but somehow, in the last couple of months I've managed to really curtail unnecessary spending. As others have suggested, write down every little thing you spend money. And try to stick to a meal plan, although I appreciate that it's not as simple for you (house share?).

And don't feel bad about things happening that are out of your control - I had a few months like that and yes, we had to use money from savings, but I reasoned that as long as I knew that I was doing my best, then I shouldn't feel bad. It's not as if you're out splurging on flat screen TVs, designer clothes and expensive jewellery...We save for a reason and that reason is to help us out when our day-to-day finances can't stretch far enough. What I'm saying, is don't beat yourself up. Some things you just can't control.

economymode Sun 22-Jul-12 20:26:58

arti, I got a £10 Amazon voucher from Valued Opinions just the other day smile. I prefer actual cash in my account, but a voucher does mean I can legitimately treat myself.

Other good survey sites I use are Opinion Bar (give you cash and occasionally offer you the opportunity to test products (we got £15 for testing some bottles) ) and BBC Brand Impact (pay in Amazon vouchers). I've also just signed up to Nectar's survey site but not had anything through from them yet. I'm also a member of Bounty Word of Mum and Toluna but I never bother to do them, tbh. I just stick with a few and the rewards gradually add up.

milk Mon 23-Jul-12 08:01:56

Good morning grin The sun is shining grin I hope this will make it easier to not spend money, such as taking my son to the park smile

jenduck Mon 23-Jul-12 08:29:54

Morning all! Sun shining here too smile

Should only spend £1 on milk for DS2 today. Do need other bits, but not desperately & can wait until Child Benefit comes tomorrow. Also have somebody coming for a filing cabinet I am selling on Gumtree, so that will be £15 earned. Will also wipe our old Blackberries to send tonight, should get about £50 for those.

artifarti, I do all manner of surveys & get quite a good return! I do Valued Opinions & usually get £60-80 per year in vouchers (used to be Tesco, now Sainsbury's). Panelbase.net pay cash, don't get those very often but had one for £50 once. Brand Impact & Bounty Word of Mum like Economymode. Annabel Karmel (been with them a few months & just had first payout of £6 Paypal). Tesco Shopper Thoughts pay in Clubcard points, I probably get about 250 points per quarter with these (so £10 if spent on Clubcard deals) Some sites are not survey sites as such but you can test products for them for free, I am often getting nappies, cat food, cleaning stuff, clothes to test (haven't bought nappies for about 2 months atm) - Tesco Home Panels, Tesco Mum's Choice, Supersavvy circle. None of these are amazing on their own, but they all add up & are often a nice surprise when I thought I had run out of money & can claim some Paypal etc!

Hope you all have a good day

economymode Mon 23-Jul-12 09:12:04

Oh yes, had forgotten about Panelpase - had several £s off them too. Also had some freebies from SuperSavvyMe, but don't have as much luck as Jen!

Today should be minimal spend - biking across town to a park for a picnic with a friend. Although not too sure what to take for the boy who refuses to eat (teeth pain).

Happy (sunny) day, everyone!

jenduck Mon 23-Jul-12 09:19:47

Economy, my DS2 has just had a horrendous week of teething & I found one thing he would eat was jars of baby food, as I think they are quite sloppy & not much chewing required. Also easily portable. Plus ice-cream for those gums! Not sure about finger foods, DS2 prefers spoon foods, the lazy tike!

milk Mon 23-Jul-12 12:38:55

Epic spending fail sad

I'm giving up today and trying again tomorrow smile

milk Tue 24-Jul-12 07:16:05

Today is a NSD sad No where near as fun as yesterday sad

economymode Wed 25-Jul-12 08:39:08

Yesterday was a good day - just £1 on hospital parking (12 week scan appointment). Scan pics should have been £10 but because they couldn't change my £20 note into 2 £10s for the machine, they gave me a token for free, hurrah!

jenduck Wed 25-Jul-12 11:05:26

I take it your scan went well, economy? It always feels like a landmark to reach 12 weeks & a bonus to get free pictures!

Had quite a spendy day yesterday as child benefit came & needed some bits for the freezer. So spent about £17 in Tesco, but for that got meat for about 10 main meals, some cookies & croissants and a few other essentials such as bananas, yoghurts & cheese. Should only need to do top-up shops now until next payday. Also got DH an anniversary for our 8th wedding anniversary & found some Bollinger in the cupboard that we had been given ages ago, which nicely complemented our chippy pie & chips dinner grin

Have just been to Co-op with boys, but walked rather than take the car as it saves diesel & keeps them occupied for a while! Spent just under £4 for eggs & mushrooms. Will pop to Tesco again later as have ordered a water table for the boys £20 down to £9.80, did it through cashback so 45p there & clubcard points smile

Have also just received our Prezzo tokens through the post, so will hand boys over to my parents on Saturday night & go there, hugely looking forward to it! Might look for a new maxi dress at Tesco later to wear...

Hope everyone is not melting in this heat

economymode Thu 26-Jul-12 12:06:21

Yes, scan went well - thanks Jen. Due 29th January.

Now, back to money issues. Doing quite well so far - top up in Aldi yesterday for fruit and veg (£5 something).

Bike ride with son along river and through the meadow this morning (free). Probably a trip to local farm shop where they have playground and farm animals this pm (only costs what you spend in the shop/cafe).

AdoraBell Thu 26-Jul-12 23:19:31

That farm shop sounds lovely Economy and I'm glad your scan went well.

Had 3 (yes, three) NSD's here, but tomorrow I plan to blow the gift card I was given recently, I'm in need of extravagance this week. Still nothing coming in, DDs are now really learning the value of every peso. Stopped in a sweet shop after school as they have friends over and I refused to sub them. Told a blatant little white lie and said I have nothing, 3 times.

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