Do we have a Frugal February thread yet?

(917 Posts)
MrsDeVere Tue 29-Jan-13 18:49:50

or Frugalbruary if you will?

If there is, point me too it. If not, do you want to join?

I had planned to not spend at all next month. Looks like I will be paying out on two rather big things so its even more important I rein in the wasteful spending.

This is my first frugal fred so I need some help and I know that a lot of you are really good at this sort of thing.

Anyone interested?

Mum2Fergus Tue 29-Jan-13 18:56:36

There is now! Evening!! Let the frugality commence...I (Solicitors willing!) move house w/end of 22 Feb so all systems go in terms of planning. Have been Ebaying lits and have almost enough in Paypal to cover removal costs...however really need to stick to my weekly cash budget.

Got car back today and all repairs covered under warranty...result! Still eating from freezer/cupboards and thats going well too smile

MrsDeVere Tue 29-Jan-13 18:59:34


Well I have behaving like its still Christmas all month blush
I am always like that in January. I have a few birthdays including my late DD's so I do quite a lot of comfort spending.
Now its time to stop!

I tried to ebay but I have to verify my account first. I sold a few months ago so is this a new thing? Its vair annoying but I am sure I will work it out.

What is your weekly budget if you don't mind me asking?

MrsDeVere Tue 29-Jan-13 19:00:48

Well done with raising all the dosh btw!

TinyDiamond Tue 29-Jan-13 23:25:42

I'll join in too. I've been on the January nsd thread it really motivated me. hoping for the same for Feb we are saving for our wedding and honeymoon

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 01:42:42

I'd like to join too pls. DP and I are going to NYC on 16th feb for 10 days (inc travel) so rest of month I'm trying to stick to NSDs and LSDs ( low spend- not drugs!) grocery shop aim is £40 per week inc top ups of bread and milk. No travel or random expenses expected until the day we leave. At most, we will go to the cinema kids club (£1 per child)

Will take a lot of will power!

Marking my place.

I'm in. Crazy Pup has to go to the vet tomorrow for a sore, puffy, hairless and itchy red eye setting us back at least £60. As of next week I have to tighten out belts to be able to meet the rent, internet, phone etc payments.

TicTacSir Wed 30-Jan-13 03:18:31

Hello all... count me in, too!! £650 vet bill this wk. need an emoticon for generally feeling frazzled, skint and exhausted

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 09:36:38

Hi Frugaleers! I won't be on much today because I am work. Be about later smile
Gird your loins for tomorrow!

I've decided that for the whole of Feb I am going to write down every penny I spend so I have to be honest with myself where the money is going. We are spending a fair bit on the house on the next few months (we bought house in need of significant refurbishment) so I really need to keep on top of the finances.

MooMooSkit Wed 30-Jan-13 14:22:20

Chazs great idea, I will be doing the same, i'd like to have a good couple of hundred left after februarys rent comes out to put in the savings!

ThenWeTakeBerlin Wed 30-Jan-13 14:28:48

Brilliant idea Chaz I've slipped out of the habit of doing it and I need to start again!

It was the best thing for keeping my finances in order.

PootlePosyPerkin Wed 30-Jan-13 14:42:03

I'm in. After a £1200 garage bill this month, the bloody thing has developed yet another problem (different parts and, to be fair, the garage did warn us that more things may go wrong before fixing it last time) - so it's off to the scrap yard (well, being eBayed as spares or repair) and I have to go car shopping at the weekend sad.

Definitely a bread & water month for me. Although bread's actually quite expensive blush.

Lovecat Wed 30-Jan-13 15:01:50

I'm in. Although I have a weekend away on Friday (which is why I need the rest of the month to be a cheap one!). We need several things doing on the house (roof leak, gutter repair etc.) so I have to stop spending money and start saving it...

Great idea to write everything down. I do it for what I eat and it makes a huge difference.

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 15:32:19

Me too.

We are beginning a major drive to be mortgage free by 40 (72K ish outstanding, want to move to a little cottage in the rural Irish countryside in a few years and be able to afford more babies so this is The Dream). 6 years of living frugally is the plan, who knows what it will really be like though!

This is my last month of SMP too and planning to save it and the children's benefit and then live on dh's salary for the next three months.

Having a NSD today, intend to have at least 3 a week, even more if I can. Who is wise about how to stock up a cupboard for this? What are no brainer savers that anyone can recommend? I have the housekeeping ability of a gnat, it is very new to me so all tips very welcome!

LivingThings Wed 30-Jan-13 15:37:19

Would love to join too. I seriously need to curb unnessary spending (food/groceries mostly). Good idea about the list Chaz - will try that as would help to see where im wasting most. Got car tax at end of month too grr!

Morebiscuitsplease Wed 30-Jan-13 16:03:02

Feb & March give us a little slack as no council tax to pay. smile

VariousBartimaeus Wed 30-Jan-13 16:10:29

I'm in.
I started noting all our expenses in January just to check that the budget I'd planned on mat leave still worked.

Double effect - saw where the money is going and made me stop and think before I spent anything because I didn't want to have to write it down!

My main aim is to just really consider each purchase. For example, I wanted to buy a new winter coat (current one has loads of holes in the lining and I've never really liked it). Decided to wait for the sales. Then I realised that we're TTC this summer, so next Winter I won't fit into any coat bought why not wait until the Winter after (so Winter 2014) before buying a new coat.grin

I'm in! To cut down costs, we are moving at the end of February. The new place is smaller, but will be much less to run. We are moving an apartment block, but as we are ground floor, we will still have a lot of outdoor space. I plan on doing a lot of container gardening this season.
It also comes with access to a full gym, so that will save money and excuses about getting strong and fit.
We are using up everything in the freezer, fridge and cupboards before moving, so we may end up with some really odd meals! grin
I love the idea of writing down all spending, I have trouble sticking to it though blush so I may need some encouragement there (or good old fashioned ass kicking).

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 16:24:36

Hello again Frugaleers (I KNOW if I keep using it will become a real word grin)

I took lunch today so have not spent any money. I also thought Frugalruary started tomorrow but it's Friday innit blush

Oh well.

I have a dream. I dearly want a static caravan (don't laugh). I want to save enough to cover site fees for a few years so we can buy the van without worrying about the upkeep.

So I am hoping to get back into the habit of frugal living. We are on a fairly low income so I am not extravagant but I still buy loads of stuff I don't need. Shopping is a comfort thing for me too so I really need to drop that habit.

Do we need a list of our goals/dreams/aims to keep us motivated? Long term and/or short term?

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 16:27:21

thunks I can recommend Love Food Hate Waste for tips on food and leftovers.
That might help you with your store cupboard and save you buying when you might already have what you need in. It gives info on portion size too so you don't waste.
We hardly chuck any food away now.

If you google you should find it smile

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 16:29:12

I think I will go through my emails and unsubscribe from all the shopping ones.
I can never resist a bit of online bargain shopping late at night when get one of those bloody 'SALE NOW ON' emails.

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:06

thunks - are you already in Ireland?

No real storecupboard work required if you can keep shopping to once a week Just buy milk with long date, and freeze bread to keep it fresh. Plan meals with fresh veg for few days after shopping day, and use frozen in the last few days. Im currently planning to keep shopping to once a fortnight. My new freezer is small so no real scope for freezing many meals. However, there is only two of us atm and our dinner meal plan is:

Shopping day - Pizza & pot wedges
Wednesday - make a basic beef and lentil mince base (onion, carrot etc) and make enough for 2 nights of each :
Bolognese & pasta
Chilli con carne & rice
Lasagna & pot wedges
Stuffed peppers

Roast potato dinner
Chicken curry (using curry paste, frozen peas)
chicken fajitas (using frozen sliced peppers)
Dinner at mums x 2

Lunches for me is soup, dd has school dinners in week and soup or beans on toast

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:29

roast potato dinner? I meant roast chicken dinner!

ulcombebird Wed 30-Jan-13 16:45:52

I'm in as well. I spend a fortune on eBay. It's become a real habit that I need to break. I love the idea of writing down what you spend, just so I can see how many clothes I buy for my daughter!

I'd love to be a Frugaleer, too. Can I join please please?

We had a very no-spendy January as we were all ill and not in the mood for shopping and I am so pleased with how much we saved over the month. I am normally a massive fritterer of money but we need to put some savings away for various bits and bobs so I want to save on the basics.

I've been through my freezer and have twenty five dinners left so won't need much this month. Twenty five dinners! How the hell did that happen?

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:50:13

I'm in, I want a tv for my bedroom and new hallway, kitchen and bathroom flooring so need to stop wasting money.

Does anyone else find they end up spending money to save money? I bought a thermos keep warm cup to have on the bus stop instead of my usual £2 latte but the cup was a tenner and I still need to use my own stuff so ok in 2 weeks it will of paid for itself but it's still spending in the first place. I could always wait till I get into work and have one for free!

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 16:52:56

Years ago when I worked in Camden.
I wrote down my spends.
I worked out I spent £40 per month on COFFEE!

Writing down stuff does help with the daily frittering.

I used to save money by going to charity shops. Until I worked out I was 'saving' about £60 a month in them hmm

Does anyone else find that sorting and clearing helps with non-spending? I find I get a similar sort of buzz from it.

NicknameTaken Wed 30-Jan-13 16:53:49

Can I join in? For the last month I've been writing down my daily spend, and it's consistently more than I expected. Those bloody M&S dine-in for two offers derail my food budget. It's made me a lot more conscious about the savings from bringing a packed lunch to work though, so that's one good thing already.

One of the benefits of having a massive spending habit over a number of years is that one (ie me wink ) can find almost anything at the back of a cupboard somewhere in the house.

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 16:55:54

InNeed yes I have been guilty of that in the past. Sometimes it is an excuse to spend without feeling guilty grin

You have to be careful not to fall into that trap and only buy what you really need to save money.

Like you say, you could have just gone without the coffee and saved that way.
Its something I am really watching this time. My first thought is usually 'oh I will need a new pen and pad and some sort of filing system and some storage and recipe card holder and.......'


bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 16:56:13

You will have the thermos cup for a long time, so its a good investment. Also good for picnics. It helps keep you warm in these cold mornings and you can refill it for free before leaving work each day smile

MDV - I think thats a great goal to have. Been looking into those myself and nearly fell over at the price, plus caravan has to be a certain age or wont be kept on site! Would rather like to do a renovation job on one and just have it in the back garden but the last thing I need is more storage and another "project"!

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:56:48

I do that mrsD and thats not counting the weekend ones with cake grin I find it easier to think it's a tenner a week but yes your right it's £40 a month!

I grabbed a load of boxes from work so this weekend I'm going through my 3 massive built in cupboards, hopefully it will give me the juust bought something new buz!

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:58:03

bluecarrot I have a thermos flask for picnics, I could even take that with me but I wanted a cup blush

chasingtail Wed 30-Jan-13 17:02:14

Can I join?? Have just forked out a kings ransom on teeth braces and need to claw back at least £3k asap.

Am determined to spend as little as poss during Feb but not looking forward to prospect of half term in a few weeks!

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 17:11:17

All welcome.

bluecarrot Wed 30-Jan-13 17:22:39

I bring a big thermos of tea when I drive anywhere - in town I go back to the car for a cereal bar and a cup of tea half way through a shopping day. When travelling I like it as an excuse for a break in long journeys. I like to randoly stop in forest parks for a dander if we arent in a hurry so a picnic already in the car is great smile

When I just have my handbag, I carry a reusable bottle of water. HOwever, I read about the flylady bottles keeping hot drinks warm. Im going to the states in a few weeks and VERY tempted to buy two (one for hot, one for cold drinks) I know I will get moneys worth...

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:49

I've done new backpacks, flasks, bedding for all the beds, wall decals for the girls and DS2's Birthday and Christmas presents already this month. I also bought really big X-mas decorations for next year blush

I have however, given up smoking and am determined to e-bay all the stuff that's beginning to make my cupboards look like something off 'The hoarder next door' whilst eating the freezer stocks down to nothing by the time we move in June.

Do I qualify to join even if I keep buying for Birthdays and Christmas?

Lovecat Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:34

I need to ebay DD's outgrown clothes. Usually I pass them on to my sister for her little girl but now they're 7/8 they're pretty much the same size (they're 10 months apart so to begin with she had everything off me) so I can flog it off. Just need to take photos of the bundles and organise it all. I've never sold on Ebay before, is it as straightforward as it seems?

VariousBartimaeus Wed 30-Jan-13 17:54:47

oh I have a tip!

We weigh our rice before cooking it. We worked out how much we'd normally have, and now whenever we cook rice Dh and I say how much we want depending on how hungry we are (although I did discover once when DH was away that I don't usually get my whole portion because I did my normal amount and had way too much! grin)

So no left overs. We do the same with potato and I keep meaning to do it with pasta but I do my portion by putting the dry pasta in a bowl first and DH does it by handfuls hmm

I'll join! Need to save money to afford some building work on the house. Three birthdays in our house in January so its been expensive, but Feb is for saving. Have been really ruthless with the food shop- look through all the cupboards before going shopping to check I don't have something or an alternative already.

Meal planning for Mon- Fri and then when I go to the supermarket on a Friday I go straight to the "discounted shelf" or look at the meat/fish which is being cut back last thing on Friday and base a meal around what is on offer.

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:05:14

I'd like to join in! On mat leave and have expensive month with birthdays, MOTs, car tax looming. Very crap at not spending but since mat leave its all got a bit more serious. We dont laugh get the money out of the bank and stuff it in envelopes marked for petrol, weekly shop, coffees out, other expenses, etc, and then when it is gone, its gone. There's always a certain amount of exchanging envelopes at the last week, but better than previous habit of the last week of the month going on the credit card.

chasingtail Wed 30-Jan-13 18:08:20

lovecat get thee to eBay! I have sold a mountain of stuff and while, yes it can be a bit of a faff photographing and listing, you soon learn and it gets quicker.

You'll be amazed how easily children's stuff sells ( be realistic about the price ) and even though I've not made my first million, it gives me a buzz to see those few pounds come in smile

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:45

Lovecat just take the best photos you can and price to sell. If you have branded stuff don't be scared to flaunt it.

Easter weekend everyone. Supermarkets are actually shut on Easter Sunday so there are splendiferous bargains to be had on the Saturday evening. Blueberries at 10p for 200g last year-and they freeze!

fuzzypicklehead Wed 30-Jan-13 18:22:07

I'm in. I know I can cut some spending if I just get organized...

ifso Wed 30-Jan-13 18:25:12

like this thread

how do you actually save the money - ie do you put it in a jar, or a savings acct a start of the month? i usually have several NSD's throughout the week, but never actaully take money and squirrel it away for these days i havent spent anything iyswim

i like the envelopes idea madamegazelle i may start doing that too

chasingtail Wed 30-Jan-13 18:27:13

madam I think putting the money into envelopes sounds v sensible!

I've tried loads of time to budget and have done the MSE budgeting spreadsheet, but there's always unforeseen expenditure which seems to blow the whole thing out the water.

ifso Wed 30-Jan-13 18:30:25

or, at the end of each day would it be best to transfer online the exact amount i didnt spend that day directly across to an online saver acct?

or weekly or something? I just dont want to keep having hard NSD's without seeing the cash i have actually saved iyswim

MooMooSkit Wed 30-Jan-13 18:31:58

What i've been doing lately is writing down every meal for every day of the week and sticking to shopping lists when i go food shopping. Plus cheap meals to so buy a 750gram pack of mince thats cottage pie and spag bol for us in one week so two meals sorted. Always buy spag bol sauce thats on offer as i'm crap at making it. I don't stick to brands either lately, i used to only get certain thigns like catherdral city cheese now its whatever is on offer at the time.

Swapping brands to. We have a biscuit tin in our house and used to buy mcvities biscuits, fox's etc when tesco basic biccies like bourbons and custard creams taste the same.

I do like a drink to and i do believe your allowed a treat but stopped getting smirnoff vodka, changed to a cheaper brand, mixers i'll make sure i buy bottles of drinks in offers etc.

Silly things like that do add up my problem is days out with littleun and things like soft play and a lunch out, the zoo, all adds up! roll on summer lots of free things to enjoy like the beach, picnics etc

ifso Wed 30-Jan-13 18:34:05

library has been a lifesaver for us recently - loads of free dvds and a naice place to go to if we need out!

ifso Wed 30-Jan-13 18:36:09

moomooskit totally agree with you about the biscuits - own brand taste exactly the same! Also own brand nuts and popcorn seeds last ages to cook at home in a saucepan instead of individual packets of popcorn. Good to bag it up into freezer bags for DCs when going out and about

Badvoc Wed 30-Jan-13 18:36:38

Won't be a frugal feb for me sadly...conservatory roof needs replacing..only £3.5k sad
On the plus side I have sold my ds2s pram - got £50 which is a pretty poor but better than nothing.
Also trying to e bay some of ds2s clothes but don't seem to be getting much interest..
Waiting til end of feb to get my hair cut - will have to wear a hat til then smile
Am going on a. Diet in feb and of course it's lent from 17th so the season for self denial!! smile not something I have ever been very good at, sadly.

DoItToJulia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:54:51

Can I join?

On maternity leave, so frugal is the new watch word!

I am making all of our bread by hand as I can't believe how much a loaf costs! If I buy sainsbury own make bread flour, and use the cheapest unsealed butter and own make yeast I reckon it costs 40p.

Also making cakes etc instead of filling up the snack drawer. Ds has gone on to school dinners so I don't have to buy so much on he supermarket shop. This is where my money goes!

Mind you Sainsburys have a huge box of fairy washing powder for a tenner, half price. I spent a small fortune in there yesterday as I have tried to stock up on the stuff I always use that was on offer. We do aldi most weeks, with a top up shop monthly at one of the big four. I also use a local greengrocer to buy spuds in huge sacks.

The last thing I need to tackle are our outgoings. Need to consolidate two personal loans into one, check we are on the best gas and electric tariffs and our mortgage deal ends in March, so going to shop around for a new one!

Phew, didn't mean to write an essay....

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:21

See I can be really really good with money but I get bored and sad by not spending, so I go OTT and do a huge clothes shop or redecorate a room, new towels and bedding all round ect ect because I love shopping and buying new things and all the money I have saved disappears.

I can save for something easy enough, but having savings just doesn't work and something big always breaks down once I have a good amount tucked away, last time the washing machine and the fridge/freezer went within a month of each other.

Slippersox Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:51

Count me in.We've started writing down what we spend from the smallest purchases upwards.Previous efforts to budget and save just involved us looking at the direct debits and larger spends but when we got flu at New Year and didn't leave the house for a week plus we realised just how much we fritter away and how many impulse purchases we make.
I was always popping into town or to the supermarket but have been planning meals and shopping ruthlessly, and actually enjoying it.
Been baking cakes in batches,making soups and casseroles to freeze and enjoying my lovely cosy home more.Realised I have books on the shelves that I impulse bought and never got to read so no more glossy mags that are just full of flyers and adverts anyway.

GirlOutNumbered Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:08

I'm in. Trying so hard to make a meal plan for the week and think that an online delivery is worth for £4 as it stops me from impulse buying things in the shop.

For my household cleaning things I go to our local 99p shop, it's amazing what you can get in there. Have started baking biscuits for snacks and the heating is now off for the year.

TinyDiamond Wed 30-Jan-13 19:49:27

My No spend day target for feb is 17. Shorter month too so eeek! I am going to write down and plan my spending now so I can hopefully stick to it

chasingtail Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:02

Wow, heating off? shock Respect!

ProphetOfDoom Wed 30-Jan-13 20:02:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 30-Jan-13 20:15:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:40:30

Can I join?

I have just realised that ds's latest drugs (legal, I'll have you know) are going to cost the running costs of a small country. So as of now my monthly budget is being reduced by €144.

Even completely stopping wine won't pay for it.

cuppateaanyone Wed 30-Jan-13 20:40:37

Dh and I are terrible at this so I have decided...
All new work clothes to be brought from eBay.
Meal planning and online shop with a list.
Am using thermos mug and drinking coffee from home.
Breakfast biscuits instead of my usual Danish
Nice Heinz cuppa soups in the bag if I run out of time for pack lunch making
We don't do takeaways or eat out generally (maybe once a quarter) so that's ok.
What next ?

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Wed 30-Jan-13 20:45:49

cuppa you sound like you'e doing really well already. Can you sell anything on eBay for extra cash?

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 20:46:04

Someone suggested a ten day food plan, so I think I will go with:

My ambition is a week in the sun somewhere this summer. I'm wondering about trying fly/train/campsite. I haven't been abroad for years.

pixiestix Wed 30-Jan-13 21:08:26

I would like to be a Frugaleer too please grin

I am already food planning and trying to cut down on the amount of "stuff" we have, but I've been largely unsuccesful at cutting down on any of our pretty massive debt. If I can shift a few £££ worth then we can start trying for DC2 in earnest, which is a pretty motivating goal!

thunksheadontable Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:41

Blue carrot, not in Ireland, in a 2-bed semi-d in a scratty area of a major Northern city, dreaming of living somewhere like this mortgage free. Who knows if it will ever happen, property prices etc are so unstable but it is what we are aiming for now at least. I really desperately want at least one more child and I am happy to live really basically but at the same time I want a countryside lifestyle for my kids and for them to live near their family (dh's family lives in Ireland and have a farm he could work part-time on and all his family have kids the same ages as ours). That's the dream..

Mrs DeVere, will look up that book! Just what I need, thanks!

mikey9 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:26:08

Here is one we use (sorry for the loong one - stick with it....):
We have swimming for the boys on a Weds so got into the habit of FnC (Fish and Chips n Haggis) picked up on the way home - not the ideal I know but a nice change from our healthy stuff. That was two Fish Suppers (Fish and Chips) and a Single haggis (Scots for no chips) This works out at £14.50 per week - or a mahoosive £480 over 40 weeks!!!!!

Now the boys like it (and so do I - we get great fish and haggis up here) so didn't want to drop the option completely so now we do FnC alternate weeks 1 and 3 - drop to 2 fish suppers (£11) - we buy a big haggis and cut into 4 - freezing three portions for the following three meals (only about £4).

....and we make Pizza for the other week. This is simple - home made (double portion of Pizza dough in the breadmaker - costs about 70p for enough to make 6 large baking tray size pizzas (and the bases are as close to any I have had in Italy!!) - we make all six up with a variety of toppings (with the mantra less is more on toppings - with a good smear of home made tom sauce) - and eat three between us on week 2 and freeze the other lot for eating on week4 (which was tonight) - hot oven for 10 mins - and perfect with some olives and fresh toms/cucumber - and almost as good as the fresh week. I almost rpefer Pizza week now.

So now over the same 40 weeks we are spending £220. - Yes we could cut it out compeltely and save this bit too........when it gets really tight we will.

MavisGrind Wed 30-Jan-13 21:32:49

I'll join in too if I may? I'm already pretty good at bugeting (all annual bills for example are divided up into 12 and money put away each month for them so no unexpected suprises) however I have a small OD I want to pay off and I would like to get a little cushion of savings.

I think I can't cut back any more but when I check my account there's always something I've bought which I could have done without.

If I can get into the habit of living frugally, happily, then I can start making a dent in the mortgage!

ComradeJing Wed 30-Jan-13 21:46:25

Yes! Joining the Frugaleers.

I'm aiming for 10 NSDs this month. I tried for 15 in Jan and had a big fat fail. I also over spent by a HUGE amount on our budget which I'm really annoyed about. It also really surprised me how often I'm frittering money away.

Our goal is to be debt free (apart from mortgage) by July and to start saving beyond that. The biggest problem is we have moved into a new house and we have purchases that we need to make for it.

I'm going to start ebaying old children's clothing and stick to budget this month.

mikey9 Wed 30-Jan-13 21:49:20

Beg or borrow (or even buy!) a Panasonic (these ones work - reliably and consistently - tested by us and family over 10 years) Breadmaker.

My before going to bed job is to put a loaf on - ignore all the twaddle you have heard about it being a faff - get it organised on a tray with containers for the ingredients and a measuring spoon the follow:

Put Container on Scales
1 tsp yeast from packet
425g randomly mixed flour - 50% white plus anything else
Handfuls of pumpkin, poppy and or sunflour seedss
Knob Butter
210ml water
(this takes a whole 2 to 3 mins!!!!!)

Set for overnight bake (5hrs)
Wake up to fresh loaf.

I have made one per night for the last 7 years or so (nearly 2500 loaves) - latest cost (inluding 1kWh or electric) is approx 70p per loaf for an organic quality loaf of our choice of ingredients - saving over £1 a loaf (prob nearer £2 saving over an organic quality one).

£365 per year saving anyone........

And it makes excellent nan breads to go with home made curries and pizza bases too.

chasingtail Wed 30-Jan-13 21:54:45

Mikey - do you have to use strong bread flour or will any flour do?

cuppateaanyone Wed 30-Jan-13 22:02:57

madam we have a few bits, not much as old clothes and toys go to hospice shop, friends or nursery, but reckon we have enough for a car boot when it's warmer.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 22:23:25

I must investigate these breadmakers and buy one tomorrow, while it's still January

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 22:27:28

Yeouch, maybe not - the cheapest Panasonic I can see is €160. That would buy a fair bit of bread.

I love using my breadmaker - mine has a delay button (maybe they all do) so you can load it up at night and have hot bread in the morning.

My only problem witt it is a) it's hard to slice and so the bread is really thick which I love but my slowly spreading waist doesn't, and b) it's so tasty that I am tempted to eat far more than I would usually

I now buy the teeny tiny wholemeal loaves, which is cheap for the three of us and healthy, but so small that sandwiches look like they were made for a special Dollies Tea Party.

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 22:36:37

I am starting a "which breadmaker?" thread.

Watch everyone ignore it grin

takeaway2 Wed 30-Jan-13 22:43:49

May I join? I was lurking in the January and in previous threads and this is my first post on credit crunch.

I usually have NSD in the weekday as I bring my own lunches. DS who's in reception was also having packed lunch every day for January. We've also been v frugal with shopping.

Today the first credit card bill came (I always pay them off but I use them for points like nectar etcetc) and it was £400 less than last months! V pleased. I know last month was Christmas spending but still. And going through the bill, it could have been £235 less if we hadn't bought our vacuum cleaner. So I'm pleased as it may mean that if we are as frugal and careful and not go out for meals etcetc, our credit card bill could go down another £200. smile

I have to recoup the flights I've paid for for the summer! £2500 long haul to visit family.

BoffinMum Wed 30-Jan-13 22:57:12

Marking thread.

mikey9 Wed 30-Jan-13 23:18:51

Chasingtail - we do buy Strong White flour in multiple bags - if you know you are going to stick at it then it is investmenet up front (we get 3 months supply in!!) - thena dd Malted, Wholemeal etc. whatever we fancy throwing in. The key is fresh packeted yeast (if that isn't a contradiction).

Maryz - yes Panasonic may not be the cheapest but we have run one daily for 5 years..... -£150 vs £365 saving per year. - Only a 4 month payback time...There are cheap breadmakers but put simply - there are also breadmakers that don't work. Everyone we know who uses/has used a Panasonic seems to have a good experience.

Does nothing for a Frugal February unless you buy one tomorrow.....(We have an SD254 currently - don't worry about a "Raisin dispenser" or other fancies...).

Sorry for the slight Hijack towards breadmakers but to most of us these kind of savings are well worth it. Why not start in February ;-)

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 23:21:34

That's [[ this one] more or less is it mikey?


Unfortunately ordering it tomorrow would really feck up the February visa bill and probably defeat the purpose grin

GhettoPrincess Thu 31-Jan-13 01:24:56


SpringyReframed Thu 31-Jan-13 05:11:30

Marking place as need to save up for some flights.

mikey9 Thu 31-Jan-13 07:01:27

Yes Maryz - that looks like the latest version of the same. - And only £94....These are also a good ebay buy as they seem really robust (i.e. go on for years) - and like many kitchen items - some people buy them swept up with enthusiasm - then don't use and sell. Don't know how much they go for but plenty of very low starting prices [Smile]

VariousBartimaeus Thu 31-Jan-13 09:29:15

Do NSD count if they're on a Sunday? <hopeful>

We never spend on a Sunday anyway though so it doesn't help the overall budget but does help me feeling better smile

My main weakness is that I hate shopping but have discovered online shopping for DS' clothes. Makes it too easy to buy stuff for him.

chasingtail Thu 31-Jan-13 09:32:05

My first dilema of the month is my nephew's 7th birthday next week. We have been banned from buying toys/clothes as apprently he still has too many from Xmas sad, so need to get him something that he will like and appear brilliant without spending too much money IYSWIM??

Other problem is I have a broken ankle so can't drive at the moment and look around shops.

any suggestions on a great but cheap pressie??

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Jan-13 10:01:56

It's not exciting but Argos vouchers are my fall back.
They tend to be appreciated specially for close to Christmas birthdays.

My dcs get them and we tend to spend them on outdoor toys when the weather improves.

Depends on expectations though. Some families feel a bit slighted because they think they show lack of thought. My family just breath a sigh of relief now we have all establishe we are dine with them grin

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 10:04:00

Chasing tail- cinema voucher? Soft play area voucher?

GirlsonFilm Thu 31-Jan-13 10:05:59

Can I join?

January has been a very hard month financially and we really need to get our fiannces in order. We bought a house last year aka "the money pit" and overspent on our renovation budget by £££££ (I wouldn't dare write it down shock))

I've used freezer stuff in January along witha teetotal(ish) month to try and keep the shopping down, but now need to focus on minimising spends with 15 NSD and a 'frivolous' budget of £10 per week for the month.

I've got some baby stuff to ebay, but the Dcs need some new clothes so that money will disappear soon enough.

chasingtail Thu 31-Jan-13 10:07:45

I'd be thrilled if my DCs were given Argos vouchers, but BIL lives in a naaaice part of London and dont think they 'do' Argos.

Guess I could give money, but that leads to the whole "how much" debate. How much would you give a 7yo - would have to tread carefully, keeping frugality in mind, without appearing stingy. Nightmare!

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 10:12:28

Which best buys are Panasonic sd 2501 ( dispenser) and 2500 ( identical but without dispenser)

How about something like this

If you order now you could still be in time for the free supersaver delivery.

chasingtail Thu 31-Jan-13 10:53:22

Chas brilliant! Ordered and on its way. thanks

NicknameTaken Thu 31-Jan-13 11:29:07

Oh, the joy of payday, even if my entire salary is already more than accounted for.

Had to whack two large-ish sums on my credit card - instalment of fees for a postgrad course I'm doing (£600+) and instalment of large legal bill (£500 - ex taking me to court over child residence issues. The full bill looks like it will be around £12k).

Council tax, childcare, new passport for DD (necessary as we visit family in Ireland fairly often), sob, sob. Apparently I'm due to lose housing benefit soon, not because my income has gone up, but because councils are having to put the squeeze on. If I permanently gave up eating, I'd still be in debt for the forseeable future.

Anyway, this week I put in an application for a better-paid job, so fingers crossed for that.

NicknameTaken Thu 31-Jan-13 11:31:16

A small thing in the scheme of things, but I wasted so much money trying to get passport photos for DD(5). Every time we went near the photo booth, I'd ask if she needed a wee, and every time she said no. Every time I fed the £5 in and told her to pose, she'd suddenly and urgently need the toilet. Three times in total we did it, and three times I ended up with a photo of her tearful and writhing. In the end I gave up and am sending the least-bad photos in.

anklebitersmum Thu 31-Jan-13 11:34:35

shmaltzingmatilda we are vodaphone at the mo for our contract phones. £17 per month, 500 mins, unlimited internet & texts and the smartphone itself. 2yr contract BUT voda replace phone if it breaks within the contact time at no extra charge. They also do better than good deals for the teens sim cards as we're contracted.

iYawn Thu 31-Jan-13 11:53:42


Mirage Thu 31-Jan-13 12:31:13

I'm in. I've had no work since the end of November.Now I'm a good manager,but it is hard to save when you haven't actually got any cash and aren't spending in the first place.Work picked up this week,but the garage have just rung to say that my car needs £££'s spending on it to get it through it's MOT. Add in a vet's bill,dentist bill,Brownies fees and car tax due next month and it doesn't look like things will improve.

I'm not buying any more food for the time being,we can live out of the freezer and cupboards for a bit. I've just darned my holey socks so they'll last a bit longer.I did an ebay session last week and will do another this weekend.I normally sow some seeds this time of year and sell the plants outside with an honest box-that can be surprisingly profitable for very little effort.

I'm in.

Have overindulged in online shopping while up all night with newborn. Need to cut it out now or I will bankrupt us!

I use amazon for some of our groceries especially things on subscribe and save as you get an extra 10% if you sign up for it (you can cancel it and still get discount).

I get my bread flour delivered that way and it works out loads cheaper. Anything to save me entering a supermarket even with a list one thing ends up sneaking in, and those one things add up.

NSD here smile think I'll be able to manage 2 of these a week as DD and I don't generally leave the house on Mondays or Thursdays and they tend to be massive housework days!

MarinaTheMarvellous Thu 31-Jan-13 13:59:25

Here is a tip - don't let the puppy chew up your son's retainers - £48 deposit and they will let us know if we can get it back or not.... shock

DownyEmerald Thu 31-Jan-13 14:02:33

I bought my Panasonic breadmaker on ebay. It was 80quid. Not one of the latest models, not far off. It was a been-sitting-in-a-cupboard-unused one. I had a Kenwood but had to replace the bread pan twice in a year (they aren't cheap). The Panasonic is much better made.

Lovecat Thu 31-Jan-13 14:07:58

We're still in January, right? So yesterday & today won't count...

It was a NSD up until 5pm, whereupon we got a phone call from the local animal rescue. We had been home inspected and approved, but had been advised that there wouldn't be any kittens available until March at the earliest.

Then they rang and said they'd rescued a mother and 5 kittens from beneath a shed and would we like to look at them... Oh my goodness they were cute! We came away with the mum and 3 girls, having failed to convince DH that having six cats would not make us crazy cat people ( sad ) and consequently today I have spent £££ in Pets at Home on food, litter and other cat-related tut.

But I don't care. I have cats!!! grin Austerity begins tomorrow...

I've been trying to cut down on the family birthday presents since Christmas. We cut out Christmas presents for adults a few years ago so just buy for the family children, DH and my parents. But this has turned into a bit more money spent on adult birthdays to make up for it.

So, my usual budget is around thirty pounds per adult or child blush and I want to get this waaaay under twenty without looking like Mrs Stingy. So, bearing in mind that almost every bugger that I buy for has a birthday in the first months of the year, we have been bought something naice but inexpensive and I have <drum roll> ... been making stuff.

I can knit, crochet, bake and sew (like a fifties housewife, me wink ) but I have always thought that no one would like my old homemade crap but actually, so far everyone has been pleased.

So one present was a for my brother who likes travelling - a lovely coffee table book full of photographs of iconic journeys (ten quid in a sale) and some Bailey's fudge that I made. Another brother had a dvd set that he wanted (eleven pounds) and an ipad cover wot I sewed.

And so on. I'm actually a bit chuffed that they like them and my equally crafty sister in laws have all fallen on the idea and want to make things too (and they are really good so I'm looking forward to some lovely stuff for MY birthday grin )

Thingymajigs Thu 31-Jan-13 14:33:24

I'm in.
My NY resolution was to be careful with money. I'm trying hard but I'm still not finding spare money to save.
It seems that I spend a fortune on food but can never cut back.
I've bought chicken breasts from the market which are cheaper, bigger and should last us a month. 8 for £10.96. I'm also going to make salads every day instead of buying pre-prepared versions. Instead of constantly buying food I'm going to make do with what we have and use it up because I hate the waste of an out of date product. I also found a supplier online for the super expensive cat food we have to buy which we've bought in bulk. Lastly, I will yet again attempt to meal plan. This is so difficult but I'm determined.
One last food shop tomorrow and then only milk, bread, fruit veg and cat food allowed until next month. Well, that's the plan.

Snowgirl1 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:58:55


chasingtail Thu 31-Jan-13 15:10:51

Thingy Im going to try and do similar with our food shop. I've never been able to properly meal plan (am in awe of people who manage to only shop for what's on their plan & then actually prepare said meals).

I have 2 under counter freezers stuffed full of random food and so will make concerted effort to make meals accordingly and NOT go shopping. let's see how long that lasts hmm

Ladyflip Thu 31-Jan-13 15:39:24

Can I join? I used to be really good at this when I had two under three at nursery and my salary only covered the childcare. As they have got older and we have had vouchers, then school etc, there has been slightly more money which seems to have disappeared through my fingers. I have very little to show for it, except some new clothes!
I am now working a few extra hours a week and don't want the money to just disappear so am determined to keep track of where it goes and how much I spend on crap.

I also want a new car so will need to save hard for it!

ethelb Thu 31-Jan-13 15:57:50

DP's JSA finished at the beginning of Jan (as did our housing benefit) however he is not due to be paid for his new (freelance) job until the end of Feb, so things are pretty tight!

Doing the cubgrub challenge and giving up booze for lent but crossing fingers that no unexpected costs appear!

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 16:01:53

Ok then, I'm off to Lidl.

Bearing in mind I'm in Ireland, how much to buy food for 2 adults and three hungry teenagers until, say, Monday?

Thingymajigs Thu 31-Jan-13 16:05:53

chasingtail it is so difficult. I think mostly because the kids suddenly ask for something different and I never know how many we might have for our main meal a week in advance but if I'm really strict I think I can do it. Back to the no nonsense approach of "you get what you're given."
Just thought of two other things we'll need to buy throughout the month. Hopefully I can just buy them and walk out of Tesco with no extras.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 31-Jan-13 16:27:29

Think I will join in with Frugalbruary as I am pregnant and we need to get our finances straight!

This month I will:
a) Keep a schedule of everything I spend all month (and try to get my DH to do the same.)
b) Sell some old clothes and other bits on ebay to try to raise some extra cash for the savings account.
c) Stick to my monthly spending money budget so I can reduce my overdraft by £200
d) Make sure the money from not having to pay the council tax this month goes into the savings account rather than on a meal out!

daffsarecomingup Thu 31-Jan-13 16:28:42

marking my place. have just gone through my receipts, which always helps me reign in my spending.

specialknickers Thu 31-Jan-13 17:08:44

Had a bad start to the month already, have just upped Ds's nursery time to 3 mornings a week because I'm pregnant and knackered! That'll be around another £125 a month that ill never see again... Eeek.

Will try writing everything down though and next week we need to renew the house insurance so I might shop around for gas and electricity and broadband / phone deals as well.. You never know.

Dh and I are already on a mini economy drive, started last year. So far he's stopped snacking on chocolate and coffee at work and brings in home made muffins and coffee in a thermos instead. That, plus bringing in sandwiches saves a tender a day, or £200 a month. Pays for the odd takeaway and meal out!

We also gave up our phone contracts and just use giffgaff pay as you go. The savings are immense. I used to spend around £50 a month with virgin mobile (how? Never could work it out) bit now the bill is the same every month - £10 including all the phonecalls / Internet / texting I could ever use.

Be interested to steal hear everyone else's tips!

multitaskmama Thu 31-Jan-13 17:13:50

1) Sell children's old clothes that are in good condition on ebay.
2) Buy staples from Lidl/Netto
3) Switch car insurance if due to cheaper provider
4) Check outgoings from bank statements and cancel and unused DD's gym etc
5) Buy household items on offer eg Persil liquid on offer at Asda at the moment
6) Walk where possible to save on tube/bus
7) If possible, buy reduced stuff from supermarket towards end of the day
8) No takeaways, but cook at home and give kids a treat by making homemade burgers etc

thunksheadontable Thu 31-Jan-13 17:13:55

Maryz, I have been asking my "mammy friends" online, all of whom are in Ireland and most seem to say a weekly shop is in the region of 100 euro, which seems a bit steep to me.

Would anyone here care to thrash out what to buy for a MONTH to include some okay dinners and some store cupboard trash, want to spend about £60 a week maximum and less if I can manage it. Our aim is to give up shopping for anything but essentials for Feb... just not sure what to put in the pantry and I have just cleared it of lots of old stuff so it needs a bit of a restock (e.g. I have no flour or lentils at the moment, need some packet sauce stuff etc).

I am going to put together a list later and will be back with it but in the meantime any thoughts gratefully received.

At present in my pantry eg dry food only I have:
Tinned tomatoes (2 cans)
Stock cubes (loads, all different flavours)
Rice (tall mason jar)
Pasta (3 tall mason jars)
Pearl barley
Bicarb of soda/baking powder/vanilla essence (that sort of thing)
Onion bhaji mix (???)
2 tins Mushroom and tarragon soup
One tin of chickpeas
2 tins kidney beans
3 fajita kits
tons of spices and herbs
a few curry pastes and sachets of seasonings eg for shepherds pie
2 Lloyd grossman pasta sauces
3 jars of pesto from Aldi
Noodles - egg, rice and super (!!)

Feel there is a lot more I could have in here... but what is most frugal, versatile and good for a meal on a budget? What are your go-to

thunksheadontable Thu 31-Jan-13 17:14:33

cupboard ingredients to jazz up leftovers or make "stone soup"?

planestrainsautomobiles Thu 31-Jan-13 17:17:45

Just spotted this thread - DH had the 6-monthly 'chat' last night about our finances being out of control. Its true, they are .....not in a 'not paying the bills' type way but just constant spending. I'm terrible for clothes, clothes for the DC, meals from Cook or M&S, extravagant presents, etc. The big expense at the moment is my DS birthday which is this weekend so would love to join you all. We need to rein in spending and start saving for rainy days.

Not sure I could really do a NSD but I can't really justify that comment, more just that it sounds really difficult.

I'm going to start with completing a 'spend diary' daily and keeping an eye on this thread for good ideas on saving money. I can get obsessive so will try hard with this rather than lurking on S&B!

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 17:25:29

Why not make a list of things you normally eat and see where you can make cut backs there- premium to value range etc? is a great site for balanced meals but its not monthly shopping but you could adapt it /make in bulk and freeze.

I posted a fortnights menu plan for me and dd up thread, my monthly ones are all on the laptop ( dd using it ATM) but aren't much different tbh.

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 17:25:47
AphraBehn Thu 31-Jan-13 17:26:31

Ooo-er Lovecat

Last night I had a dream that I rescued a cat and 5 kittens from my garage and took them to the animal rescue (in a wicker basket). I got a (dream) phone call on the (dream) drive home saying that the rescue had found a home for all of them hmm.

If your kittens are black then that is v spooky.

Sorry to everyone else - I know other peoples' dreams are dead boring! grin

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 17:41:13

Planes, NSDs are not hard! You just need to be more creative smile I hate spending money smile

Maybe you should have a think about why you spend it. What are you trying to buy?

HearMyRoar Thu 31-Jan-13 18:06:10

What's going on here, it's not even February and this thread is already huge!

My tasks for this month are:
1) sorting the bills. I've got the OK from my landlord to change suppliers so I just need to sit down and do some comparisons.

2) putting the jumperoo and cot on eBay.

3) do 10 nsd and actually remember to record and count them this time.

Surely that's not too ambitious smile

specialknickers Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:40

Oh and another thing I do: order all the store cupboard groceries online from waitrose. Delivery is free (unlike sainsburys) and if you only buy the Essentials range tis cheap but still great quality (never tried asda's/tesco cheapie range so can't really judge, but everything we've had from there is surprisingly rather nice). We buy veg from a local green grocer, only when we need it and meat from the butcher. Not the cheapest option, but again, the quality is great and I'd hate any more of our local shops to shut. We make everything from scratch (ie I give ds organic yoghurt for pudding with fruit and honey in it. Way way better than petit filous IMHO and much cheaper!) - I'm always amazed at how expensive prepackaged food costs...

ProphetOfDoom Thu 31-Jan-13 18:22:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

planestrainsautomobiles Thu 31-Jan-13 18:27:26

BlueCarrot you've really got me thinking! I can spend money very easily without even batting an eyelid but having just read a few posts here I've realised that I could make a big change fairly easily.

ivykaty44 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:34:06

I am cooking vegetarian Indian food this month, as I find it is cheap and I have a good selection of spices to start with. Added to this a cubboard full of green and red lentils, tins of chickpeas and a good selection of pulses and beans to use.

I scour the internet for dishes, make pilaf rice, chickepea curry and service with a salad of onion, tomato and cucumber, usually I will cook 3 dishes and then we can have this two to three nights running - so it cuts down on cooking and washing up.

Fruit salad for pudding.

I make my own humus using one tin of chickpeas and one desert spoon of tahini add spices and sprinkle paprika on top, dd's make wraps with this and add tomato and sweet chilli sauce. Make wraps with cheap cream cheese and chopped cucumber also for a change.

I make my own bread and drink soya and have a milk man - this stops trips to the supermarket to top up with bread and milk and spend a tenner.

my fall down is lattes out and I need to cut back but don't know how....

I want to buy sumac? can you get this online?

GirlOutNumbered Thu 31-Jan-13 18:52:47

Sainsburys stock sumac, but if you struggle amazon stock it.

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 19:05:34

Right, I'm not going to Lidl again.

They had stationery in the specials section hmm.

There is no way I could feed us all for €100 thunks. Staples are just soooo much more expensive here than in the UK. And if you buy any luxuries at all (shampoo, wine) the price is even steeper.

ivykaty44 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:08:07

GON - thanks, I had looked in Sainsbury but could't find it, I was looking in the spices should I be looking else where?

anklebitersmum Thu 31-Jan-13 19:27:20

SchmaltzingMatilda I have a Sony Xperia and it's good. I used to go for Nokia only but this one's easy to use and pretty robust too.

We've been with Vodaphone for a number of years (mainly due to coverage and cust service) so I always ring and negotiate..let them smell that commission wink

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 19:34:02

Do you have an aldi near you maryz ?

£17 a month seems a lot for a phone contract. How many minutes /texts/data do you need? My phone contract (without phone) is £6.90 a month. I bought my phone outright so I can change when I want.

If anyone needs inspiration / a giggle / a shock look up extreme cheapskates on YouTube. It a TLC series. Some seem v sensible to me but others are a bit much.

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 19:36:49

I could try aldi, I suppose, but all the specials distract me there too blush. At least in Tesco I know which aisles to avoid and have my shopping down to a fine art.

Phone is expensive here too [sigh]. In fact everything is. Don't even start me on the cost of tv hmm.

bluecarrot Thu 31-Jan-13 19:50:12

Oh, I didn't realise! (never been in one- I'm in co Antrim and we don't have them here.) I was in a lidl today though, for second time ever.. Didn't NEED anything but mum was going so I went along with a list if things I saw recommended. Will all come from feb grocery budget. I noticed quite a few things more expensive than tesco so you still need to shop around (if it doesn't cost more in petrol to ferry you around) but will maybe go there next time I need a big shop, armed with tesco list inc prices. It's on the way to tesco anyway. I have a £7 off £50 tesco voucher though.... Oh... Tricky!

Can you do a shop when you are a rush elsewhere so you don't have time to nosey?

chasingtail Thu 31-Jan-13 20:19:16

DH has just announced that the materials for work he's doing on our bedroom have cost £250 more than planned.

So, not even Feb and my attempts to budget are yet again blown out the water.... Excellent angry

MavisGrind Thu 31-Jan-13 20:34:39

Checking in to see how everyone is doing (before January is even out!)

I took my money out the bank for the next week today. I'm going really hardcore this month - £100 per week to cover childcare (£35) petrol (£30) and food for me and 2 small/fussy dcs. On top of this I have some school lunches to pay for and a birthday meal out.

It will be a tough month but at least it's short.... grin I'm going to see how it goes but if I can do this through to the Easter hols then my OD will be paid off and I'll have a couple of 100s in the savings pot.

Does anyone do online surveys? I don't think I can make any more saving so am looking to increase my income. I know surveying only brings in a few £s here and there but I thought I could multi-task in front of the tv.

Any experience out there fellow frugaleers??

Voldemortified Thu 31-Jan-13 20:39:52

Nickname I fear this advice may come too late but if anyone has to get passport photos for children, use You take the photo yourself, upload it and the site tells you whether or not it complies - and then they send you the prints - and I am fairly sure the whole thing is under a fiver.

For all those would-be bread bakers out there, I make all my own bread, every day, and I work 4 days a week and have two DDs - honestly, it doesn't take masses of time - I would really really recommend giving it a go by hand - I used to have a breadmaker but I never use it now. The bread I make myself is way better. I get 16.5 kilo bags of organic flour for £15 from Shipton Mill - if you club together with someone else you won't pay for delivery.

Am going to try to be more frugal this month. Have stumbled on this thread after an asos binge and am seeking redemption. blush

MrsDeVere Thu 31-Jan-13 20:42:43

I am getting ready for tomorrow.
Does anyone else feel that if they are doing frugal they have to do getting fit, eating healthy, being organised and keeping on top of the housework too?

Or is it just me? blush

MavisGrind Thu 31-Jan-13 20:45:41

Well MrsDV if you mean; can't afford to use the car, can't afford to eat much and selling everything so you can see where everything left lives then yes it does <ignore mention of housework>

mikey9 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:46:49

Quality food does have to be expensive
We seem to manage to feed 4 of us relatively cheaply - but we refuse to skimp on the quality of our food - most of which is organic and quality - but we do buy in bulk every three months or so.We have a cash and carry wholefood supplier (Highland Wholefoods in Inverness) where we buy things like trays of tinned tomatoes (12 per tray), green lentils, chick peas, mixed beans, kidney beans, baked beans etc. bags of red lentils, flour (5 x 1.5 kg bags or even 16KG sacks for breadmaking), popadums in bags, tortillas (for you own fajitas and wraps), olive oil and sunflour oil by the gallon, cereal and porridge oats by the 3kg bag etc...Loo rolls, dishwasher tabs, ecover wash up liquid (5 litre bottles etc)
As with most cash and carrys you get a bigger discount the more you spend so I do a three monthly shop WITH A LIST - and text a few friends and get the things they need too. Yes it comes to >£250 every 3 months but we all get 20% discount for good quality food.

Support Local Food Suppliers
We get a local veg box every two weeks and local cheese/bacon and a good quality chicken every month. We also get our milk delivered - it may cost more but less trips to the supermarket - as many have stated - helps keep the bills down as it removes the chance of impluse buying....

8-16 meals from one chicken!!
The Chicken is roasted one day to do a ROast Chicken dinner for 4 of us. The following day chicken meat goes in a Chicken and mushroom Carbonara. We usuallyhave enough left for sandwiches too - or with onions, peppers and noodles makes yet another meal for 4. The carcass and any bones is boiled to make stock (which we freeze - usually two portions) and any remaining meat raked off the carcass goes into the last portion as a base for a soup (see below)

Normal Soup
Our kids have been raised on what they know as "Normal soup". This comes from the Scottish/Dutch side of the family where veg have always been a big staple in the diet. Onions/Leeks fried off, couple of big handful of dry red lentils (mix in and cook a bit in the oily onions) - and the key bit - several grated carrots, half a turnip - diced plus any other left over veg you have kicking about (broccoli, parsnips, cabbage, sprouts, whatever). Add stock cube to boiling water or stock from above (veg, chicken - we use a big pot of Marigold Boullion - 1 sml tsp) - mix in and bring to boil, then simmer for an hour (or stick on top of woodburner for nearly free cooking!!
Huge pan/pot of soup to serve at least 12!
Blitz a portion with in the whizzer for the kids - serve with bread and eat yourself either lumpy or whizzed (I like a mixture of both) .
Freeze the remainder in 2 big yoghurt pots (those 1 litre greek lidl ones are great for this) - and have two more lunches from them.

Last one for now - honest! - Tins of green lentils or mixed beans pad out almost anything.
If you are making a mince based tomato sauce/chilli or a meaty curry - then add a tin of one of these to pad it out/make it go further. If you are cooking for an hour or two -the flavours infuse nicely, the lentils or beans give a good texture and you use half the you can freeze one or two portions. I make a big Lamb curry - basically Rick Steins recipe (ish) and add a tin of lentils and a tin of chick peas - this makes one portion to eat now (big portions for 4) and two portions for the freezer.

mikey9 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:50:18

Of course I meant Quality food doesn't have to be expensive....dohhhh

mikey9 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:54:18

Thought of another one - we want to pay out mortgage off a.s.a.p as we no doubt will have to help the kids if they want any form of higher education (10 years time max then) so - our mortgage debt is written up on a whiteboard in the kitchen - with the slogan "WANT OR NEED" written below it.

Everything you plan to buy has to be tested against this.....with an eye on the BIG NUMBER i.e. how much you are trying to pay off.

Becomes a bit of a game - but concentrates the mind if you are up for the challenge.

takeaway2 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:55:05

I've had four NSDs! smile I bring lunch to work, with my can of coke which I buy in cartons from the supermarket so it's something like 30p rather than £1.80 or whatever extortionate price they charge, and a pack of crisps. Sometimes fruit. I refuse to spend money at work.

Voldemortified Thu 31-Jan-13 20:55:55

My kids love something we call "sunshine soup". It is basically sweetcorn chowder, and it is cheap to make and convenient as well, since we always have the ingredients. Fry some snipped up bits of bacon till the fat renders a little, throw in a chopped onion, sweat for a bit, add a diced large-ish peeled potato. Then add 350ml chicken stock and 400ml milk, and bring to a simmer. When everything is tender, add about 200g sweet corn from the freezer, and whizz up after another 5 mins or so. It really is rather yummy.

amazingmumof6 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:17:49

blue carrot what's wrong with roast potato dinner? sounds yum!grin

Ardouin Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:03

To stop spending without thinking, some days I just don't take my purse with me.
Then I'm sure there's no stupidly expensive latte on the way to work (our coffee machine is not that bad!), no stupidly expensive sandwich for lunch (I make sure I bring my own then!) and no stupidly fattening crisps or impulse buy on the way back from work.

nappyaddict Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:44

I'm interested but how do you not spend at all?

I mean I can understand if you have massive freezers full of food but we have a tiny 2 drawer freezer underneath the fridge and then what about fresh food like fruit/veg/bread?

And what about filling the car up, bus/train fares etc?

ProphetOfDoom Thu 31-Jan-13 22:10:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 31-Jan-13 22:15:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have a weakness for coffee and I don't like instant much so my compromise is to have one of these work.

I probably spend about £6 per month on ground coffee but if I bought the same amount of coffee from the staff canteen it would cost me upwards of £40 per month.

ivykaty44 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:07:34

next year I can change my phone and I will get my dad to get my phone as he has two contract phones and one is for my dd2 - she has a blackberry curve with insurance, 600 mins, unlimited text and 500mg of internet for £11 per month.

Insurance alone is £8 and that is better than a lot of sim only deals - I don't know how he does it?

StainlessSteelCat Thu 31-Jan-13 23:12:52

Hi, am also joining in this! Have just sat down and worked out family finances in detail - not quite to the penny, but certainly within a few pounds. As this is due to me not having work I was expecting to have and three children (2 preschoolers) needing childcare continuing if I'm to get more ... well, it's not pleasant reading.

So I've read the thread, feel thoroughly inspired and I aim to end the month no further in the red than I'm starting it. Including a scary MOT, car tax, my 40th and DD's 4th birthdays. hah.

Good thing we like beans grin

GiraffesEatPineapples Thu 31-Jan-13 23:17:49

I would like to join too please - christmas hangover still lingering! I was on a similar thread sep-oct and found it really motivational, then christmas was on the horizon and I let it slip... Did manage to sell some bits before christmas and haven't abandoned all the good things I learnt last autum so lets hope I get back in the zone! Organisation is key - I waste money by being disorganised and forgetting to pay bills etc

One word of warning I started looking on Hot deals uk and money saving expert in the lead up to christmas, the problem was that I couldnt resist the amazing deals and probably ended up spending even more money!

mikey9 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:21:05

Join the ongoing cycle revolution...even just a bit.

Can you cycle to the shops (save a couple of miles of fuel for the car or the bus fare).
Can you cycle to work...? My commute is 15 miles each way an although I don't manage it as often as I would like - when I do I know I have saved nearly a gallon of fuel (£6) or the train fare (£3) and have done over 2 hours of gym work.
What about cycling in the woods with the kids - free trip out, take a picnic in the car - kids love cycling and it is a skill for life.....

If you haven't got a bike - try one of the bike recycling projects around the country (we even have two in the highlands) or beg, borrow or share one

ComposHat Fri 01-Feb-13 00:14:11

Frugal Februry can go fuck itself.

Hot on the heels of dry January, is it a conspiracy to make the most the most miserable time of the year even more unbearable?

Next year I intend to spend January as pissed as a newt and then blow whatever is left on the most frivolous things I can find.

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 00:54:27

For those looking to renew mobile contracts look up If you type in your details (contrast phone) it will analyse your bills and make recommendations. THEN sign up to topcashback and see if the provider you want offers cashback.

That's how I got 12 month contract (5000 texts, 200mins, 500mb data) for £6.90 pm plus £44.44 cashback. It's def worth spending an hour researching carefully.

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 00:54:48
bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 01:11:58

nappyaddict - if you are talking about the No Spend Day challenge then what most do (on MSE anyway) is they "spend" the money one day a week/ month by dividing spending into separate containers.

Let's pretend you so the grocery shopping every Monday. On Sunday you work out how much you will need for kids clubs, bus fare etc. all the essentials for that week. On Monday you withdraw it and put it on a purse/ envelope etc and that's the money "spent". Then every day for the rest of the week you aim to have no unplanned spending .some people aim for one NSD a week. I'm aiming for an average of 2 spend days a week from here on in (except while I'm on holiday) and if I think of something I need in between Mondays shopping and Saturdays family day, ill just write it down /put reminder in my phone or just get creative using what I have at home.

I'm also adjusting to a tiny freezer ( after my 6ft one died last month) and its weird not stocking up on random stuff because its on offer but really, it holds a tub of ice cream, a bag of chip, box potato waffles, 2 pks frozen veg, some ice cubes and a cool pack. We won't eat it's entire contents in a week.

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 01:17:36

As for survey sites, try consumer pulse, pinecone research and Toluna. KANTAR research offer things you physically do like scanning products you buy. Not everyone's cuppa.

I use a swag bucks tool bar for searching and it earns points. You can do other stuff to earn points too but except for the first week I signed up, I haven't done anything yet still managed a few amazon vouchers out of it.

Could also sign up for freepostcodelottery. There's no catches- just check after noon every day to see if your postcode is a winner. Chances are slim but they are 0 if you don't play. It the most exciting part of my afternoon. grin

I need to join in, my hours have been cut at work and I need to save money badly!
I'm considering online shopping as I'm weak and can't resist offers in the supermarkets. Anyone any ideas which of the supermarkets is the best for online shopping? We have an Asda and Tesco locally - I don't think Morrisons do delivery do they?

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 03:30:06

Supermarkets tend to have offers to entice you into shopping online with them ( inc cashback site deals for your first shop) so you could try both and see what you think? Our local tesco is doing click and collect service as well. If they would give till spits that could be used online as well as in store I'd def do online more often.

I find asda cheaper overall but petrol costs negate the savings for me.

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 05:04:31

Ooo can I join? I'm pretty good at NSDs as work from home so rarely go out to spend. But we are in the red by £500 month ATM and I need to get this sorted, we're renting which is extortionate but moving is not an option right now. I need to look into cheaper deals, my phone contract isn't up for about 18 months but gas/electric could prob be switched. The car insurance gets compared every year at renewal time anyway.

I need to be better at cooking from scratch which will make a big difference to the budget although normally only spend around £100 at Costco, £150 big asda shop and then £100 incidentals a month. So £350 for 2adults and 2 dcs age 8+6. Ds2 is tiny and bf so he's free although my appetite is huge. I can prob save a lot by cutting out junk food and then I could fit back into my clothes and not have to buy new

I am taking dcs to the kids am cinema on Sunday but including parking that's less than £10 (and if I can convince them of a homemade snack box instead of a bought one it will be £4). But that is only every 2 weeks at most as XH has the big dcs every other weekend.

I need to sort the pile of crap stuff that needs charity shopping/ebaying and get it done. I have also taken to letting the dcs chose their treats from pocket money. £5 a week goes into their bank accounts. So far this has been used as their own spending money for holiday in oct. and since then they're back up to £85 each. They want to do a day gymnastics camp in feb half term which is £25 each for a day shock so they are paying out of their pocket money. It just means I don't have to find the money. They also 'pay' for their after school clubs with this money, which works out around £20 a term each. Again it's money I don't have to 'find' (it comes out of the child maintenance XH gives me in a seperate account to my current account so I don't 'see' this money.

Sorry for the lengthy post am ill and up feeding ds2.

Anyone think of anything else I could do?

Thingymajigs Fri 01-Feb-13 06:31:42

isthattrue we are also attempting to cook from scratch more this month. I don't think it always makes economic sense but sometimes it does like for example with using left over chicken for another meal or bulking food out, using left over veg for soup or if we already have the ingredients.
I'm buying some herb plants and other ingredients today so I have the extras to start a lot of meals from scratch.
Does anyone know an easy way to find a good gas and electricity contract? We have never bothered to change from the meters but I hear it could be costing us more.
One thing about online food deliveries from supermarkets- I find that they don't pick the items with the longest life which can lead to more waste and difficulty with storing if you have a small freezer.

takeaway2 Fri 01-Feb-13 06:49:20

Nappyaddict - my no spend days are really no spend. So lunch is brought from home, with drink, fruit whatever (obviously this is all from big shopping trip). I drink water or get free coffee from work at other times...

It can be done. When I do make a lunch appointment that meets at the food places around work it can cost nearly £10 (sausage mash eg £7, plus coke or juice (1.50?) and a cake or crisps (1)). Too expensive. Even the soup option is about £4!

Ladyflip Fri 01-Feb-13 07:06:58

Just wanted to share a tip with you. It didn't really occur to me that it was a moneysaver til I was peeling the potatoes last night. We buy potatoes 25 kilo sacks for ten pounds. Works out at 40p per kilo, whereas Tesco cheapest it 78p. They are dirty so they keep really well and last us about 6 weeks. You can buy them from agricultural merchants, farm shops, market stalls etc.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 01-Feb-13 07:18:50

Hello everyone, I've come over from the jan thread.

I'm just place marking.

Helenagrace Fri 01-Feb-13 07:50:06

Signing in from the judicious January thread.

I need to change mobile suppliers. I have an iPhone on contract with Orange but, now we've moved, I have really poor signal at home. The phone is fine so ideally I need to get this phone unlocked and pick up a SIM only deal. I need data though - mumsnetting on my phone is the only thing keeping me same while I sit and watch endless trampolining / hockey / beavers / guides etc.

I'm a bit nervous if getting the phone unlocked in case it gets damaged.

I thought about looking at giffgaff. What do I do about the unlocking though?

Morning all those who are noting down their expenses this month

Write it down, no matter how small

And if you are me - get the end of the month and go "How the hell did I spend so much on ....shock"

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 08:46:00

And good morning to a wet and cold February grin.

Am about to steel myself to look at my bank account - most of our Direct Debits go out today, so I can weep at how little is left. At least there's a breather from council tax for a couple of months (although any saving is negated by annual home/contents insurance premium due next week).

One tip I did pick up was to keep all receipts and put in an envelope labelled with the month. At the end of the month, just seal the envelope and file. Previously having thrown away most reciepts I am now staggered at how fat the envelope is & how much gets spent on nothing at my local co-op! Certianly gives some perspective and motivation to cut back.

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 09:02:10

Definately NSD today as am tucked up in bed ill as long as I can resist online shopping and I think I can manage that as we do not need anything!

Good luck for the first day of Frugalbruary everyone!

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 09:03:14

Gah!! TV license gone out today - £145 shock

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 09:09:58

I've not been able to drive for the last 6 weeks due to broken ankle, so another Mum from school has kindly been taxiing my DCs to & from school.

Am now out of plaster and want to give her something as a thank you present (especially as she wouldn't take petrol money). Do any of you lovely MNs have any ideas on what I could give her/her husband which would express my grateful thanks, without breaking the bank?

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 09:25:19

chasing could you offer to babysit for them? I know I'd appreciate a chance to get out with DH minus dcs. And is free for you!

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 09:25:55

Can you take her kids to school for a while? Bake a cake/bottle of wine? What about offering an overnighter at your house for her kids if they get on with yours?

CremeEggThief Fri 01-Feb-13 09:40:40

Hi, from the January thread too. Marking my place. <Waves at Fluffy and Helena>.

chasing - haven't had time to read whole thread, so please excuse if I'm repeating or have missed the point. For a 7-year-old boy, I'd suggest a homemade science experiment or two. I made my 9-year-old nephew and my 5-year-old son science kits for Christmas and they loved them. You don't have to do a whole kit though - Google or look on Pinterest for experiements like CD hovercraft, diet coke and Mentos experiment or Alka Seltzer lava lamp. Excellent site of kid's science experiments at Then get the bits together and give with printed out instructions.

Another favourite thing was a pen that writes in ink that is only visible in UV light with a small UV light on the end of the pen. V cheap from ebay and the boys had a lot of fun writing secret messages and rude words with them. If the pen's not enough on its own, maybe with a magnifying glass, notebook, homemade fingerprint powder for a spy kit.

13Iggis Fri 01-Feb-13 10:05:54

Yy to Thingymajigs re the online shops and short-life goods. Following advice from new year thread, I have been menu planning - planned a fortnight's meals, ordered online from Asda, and when delivered found lots of things (spuds, cauliflower, carrots, that kind of thing) with only two or three days life in them according to packaging. Cue me cooking and freezing vast amounts of food, which my teeny freezer can't really take.

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 10:21:05

Right as I'm hauled up in my bedroom I will tackle my 'too small/not used/too worn' pile into seperate piles and start to eBay the stuff worth ebaying.

Voldemortified Fri 01-Feb-13 10:48:14

For the fashionistas among you, I have just seen (in the course of spending too much money on the damn site) that asos have a new thing called asos marketplace, where you can sell your old clothes. Unlike ebay it is free to list - you pay 10% commission if you sell. Having had a quick look and not understanding the bizarre look the yoof of today calls fashion I think you could pretty much sell anything - even DH's stuff - provided you could get a young enough model to pose for the photo.

DH is today taking out a wodge of cash so that we eliminate the use of invisible money, otherwise known as debit cards. We're also going to write everything down that we spend. We've done it before and it is joyless but effective.

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 11:27:48

Thanks Girls (apologies to any male 'frugeleers'!) for all your suggestions on the present front.

It has made me realise that you can say a simple thank you without making overblown gestures such as spa days / cases of wine (which is what I originally had in mind). My hold on reality in terms of spending seems to be so tenuous these days I have no sense on what is truely appropriate and realistic hmm

Will make a cake, with a bottle of fizz & offer to babysit smile

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 11:31:53

Remember thanks to you too. Lots of ideas for birthdays!

specialknickers Fri 01-Feb-13 11:34:10

helena giffgaff are brilliant, deco give the. A try. All the info you need to swap our number is online. I use my iphone all day long and it's never cost less than a tenner month. Switching mine and DH's phones over last year saved us nearly a grand.

Any local phone shop should be able to unlock it for around £10.

specialknickers Fri 01-Feb-13 11:34:49

Defo, to deco. Bloody iPad.

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 11:53:43

3 listings drafted on eBay, am I roger in thinking evenings is the best time to end listings still? It was when I used to sell DVDs but this is baby/kids stuff so maybe different?

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 11:54:35

grin god knows who roger is <ahem> right in thinking

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 11:57:45

I find evenings is the most profitable time to list eBay items, as more people are likely to have the time to be looking.

Sunday evenings around 8/9 pm are prob the best of all (IMO) - kids in bed, settling in for Call The Midwife grin

Bejeena Fri 01-Feb-13 11:59:52

Ah lovely post, have enjoyed reading. I actually wrote a longer reply yesterday but somehow the post disppeared angry maybe I did something wrong.

I have always been into frugality, more for the effect on environment than the cost, but hey saving money is also something I am most certainly not opposed to!

In all honestly I am pretty sure I have 3-4 NSDs a week anyway. I cycle to work and don't pass any shops on the way it is an effort to go to a shop so I don't find myself just popping in.

For next month my challenge to myself is to try and run my chest freezer down I always buy things on offer to cut costs down but recently have got it a bit choc a bloc of things. So will be using those up first!

I am also pregnant so will be looking for lots of cheap and environmental friendly tips for baby things. Am already going to go for cloth nappies and homemade baby wipes.

Also love making things, crafty things, knitting etc.

More than anything I hate waste in the world!

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 01-Feb-13 12:54:09

I too have decided to take a proper look at our spending - financially we're ok but that just means that I've become utterly lazy and spending way over the odds for everything.

So, over the last month I have saved:

At least £40/wk on food bill. I plan meals for entire week ahead and shop online with Waitrose. Was using tesco but paying £6.50 for delivery so saving that amount as Waitrose is free delivery. Also making sure I have absolutely everything I need as popping into a supermarket even just for milk meant I would come out at least £30 lighter because things would just catch my eye!

Negotiated a much better deal for phone/broadband. Had been on wrong tariff for years and subsequently paying £90/month shock Have got it down to £18 and yes I do feel sick at how much I was paying previously.

Car insurance due for renewal in April, online quotes are coming out at around £400/year cheaper shock

Electricity - we're tied in until April but again, can save £400/year once we can move.

It's crazy how much we'll be saving each month and I plan to squirrel it away for Christmas and a holiday.

MrsDeVere - static caravans. Don't go there. Unless you can afford the site fees and never need to hire it out that is. We bought one nearly 5yrs ago on a Haven site. With them, the van needs to be under 7yrs old to rent it out through them so we bought a used van which was a year old. It cost us £30K and we put down probably £8k deposit. We were given all the spiel about rental income would cover site fees etc. the reality was, only by renting van out for all the school holidays (ie when we wanted to use it!) could we come even close to covering the fees. The finance on van was costing us £300/month an we only got to use it about 5 weekends per year. We worked out that each weekend there was costing us £850!!!!!! Add to that, the utter arseholes that our van was hired out to would think nothing of smashing holes in the walls shock, bleaching sofas, letting kids draw on furniture, putting unwashed saucepans back in cupboards... The list is endless and we had to pay all repairs. Even a replaced lightbulb meant an invoice for £7.50! We were paying all that and still needing to top up the rental income by £1000 a year to cover site fees as you also have to pay all gas, electric, rates etc on top.

We gave up in the end and halfway through the finance period handed the van back (teeny small print meant we could, we were offered about £6k from hopton for it and not allowed to sell any other way, thank god DH spotted the clause) and breathed a huge sigh of relief! We now go there a couple of times a year as kids love it for about £100/weekend!

Of course, you may know all this already but it has become my mission in life to prevent anyone wasted their money on places such as Haven!

NicknameTaken Fri 01-Feb-13 13:02:27

Voldemortified, thanks for the tip about passport photos. Too late this time, but will remember for next time!

There are so many great tips on here - it's going to take me ages to look through them all.

I did my usual weekly food shop and spent £65 this time, which isn't bad for us. It still includes DH's favourite soft drink and DS's Beano but I am trying very hard to do the trick of going down a level on everything (eg. Value yoghurts instead of Tesco's own) and it has really worked so far. Nobody has spat anything out in horror yet, anyway grin

economymode Fri 01-Feb-13 13:23:18

Another January-er jumping over to the Feb thread.

2nd baby was due on Tuesday (still no sign of the blighter) and will have MA for 9 months. But after that we're back down to one main salary and my pitiful freelance contributions. And an extra mouth to feed.

Oh, and EconomyBoy is due to start pre-school in Sept, but won't qualify for his free hours until Sept 2014 (he's a May baby so just misses out on starting before the summer hols next year). I'm planning on saving some of my maternity allowance each month to help towards the cost of this.

Thankfully, nappy costs won't be too high as our first is in washables and we have enough for two, easily.

Hoping to crack breastfeeding this time so we don't have to spend a fortune on formula as we did last time.

When are you due, Bejeena? To be honest, we did fairly well with our first after my maternity pay ran out and I went over to freelance. I rarely buy any new toys or books for EconomyBoy (charity shop all the way) and don't go overboard on activities, just the usual playgroups that cost £1. I do find it hard to find clothes for him in charity shops, so usually look on ebay or in H&M/Sainsbury's, which are cheap and good quality. Have you got a children's centre nearby? Mine has been a lifesaver - stay and play sessions, baby group when he was younger, the chance to meet people. And all for £1/session or free.

Bejeena Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:54

economymode I am due late August. I have set myself the challenge of not buying anything new for the baby, apart from nappies, mattress etc. until at least after it is born. I figure I am going to be given quite a lot of things and will probably have way too many clothes. Plus luckily I have lots of close friends and family who have had babies in the last year or two and they will be looking to pass or sell things on.

Frugal living really is a lot of fun when you get into it. Also we do have the issue of being without my salary once maternity pay runs out. The cost of childcare is quite high where we live, so going back to work is not going to be solution on the short term so I will be a SAHM. However am sure being at home is going to help me plan more and save cash smile

economymode Fri 01-Feb-13 13:46:37

I know what you mean about the cost of childcare - going back to work wasn't an option for me, hence why I do some freelance stuff.

If you are planning on having another child and you do manage to do a bit of freelance stuff (even if it's just adminy stuff, or selling crafty things), then it's worth paying your NI Class 2 contributions, even if you're not earning enough and can exempt yourself. This is what I did and as a result I am eligible for the full amount of maternity allowance (c £135/week for 9 months rather than the lower rate). And it counts towards my state pension.

Check out Gumtree and the like for children's stuff. We bought most of our stuff second hand from there and other local sites (and ebay). Don't think we bought anything new, except the nappies, mattress and the odd item of clothing.

Lemonylemon Fri 01-Feb-13 14:02:34

"Gah!! TV license gone out today - £145 "

Chasing For next year, can you change from a one-off payment once a year to paying over 12 months? For the first 6 months, you'd pay £24 something, then for the next 6 months, it works out at £12 something... which would free up some cash.....

SoftKittyWarmKitty Fri 01-Feb-13 14:08:12

Hello everyone, am joining from the Judicious January thread which was really motivational.

I need to spend as little as possible as I've got credit card debt to pay off. I usually go overdrawn every month too, just after the 1st which is when my DD's come out, but it looks like I'm going to stay in the black this month. I've even had some car repairs done this week but paid for the bulk of it with £80 cashback from Top Cashback and some eBay sales. I've got more eBay listings ending this weekend too, and I'm going to scour the house for more things to list grin.

Someone was asking upthread about unlocking iPhones - as far as I know you can ask your phone company to do this for free as long as your contract is up. I bought a second hand iPhone 3gs off eBay about a year ago and I asked the seller (nicely!) if he'd unlock it for me, which he did. I'm on Giff Gaff - I used to buy a goody bag each month then realised I'd be better off on their PAYG which I'm now on. I put £10 credit on at the start of Dec and only needed to top up two days ago, so that's an average of £5 per month. To be fair I don't make many calls or texts but I use it for the Internet every single day. I can't believe that at one point I used to pay £25 per month for my phone contract! Never again.

My dad gave me the Aldi vouchers from his Daily Mirror so I'm off there this weekend.

stormforce10 Fri 01-Feb-13 14:15:44

Can I be a frugaleer?

I've got lots of things to spend money on this month - birthdays and half term spring to mind so need to drastically cut back elsewhere if I'm going to stuff another £200 into my savings account towards kitchen.

The evening meal is going to suffer. I've started another thread on which I intend to ramble on about my 28 day challange to use up my stockpiles and only spend £28 on evening meals all month. I know I can do it hmm I think hte first week will be easy enough but I suspect I'll find it harder as the month moves on.

Otherwise this looks like being a spendy week. we need washing powder, nappies, school trip money, baby food and the usual bread, milk and fruit top ups (I do not know what happens to fruit in this house I come home weighed down, blink and its gone.)

I am aiming for 10 NSDs this month which I think it fairy realistic given the challanges half term is sure to bring

PostBellumBugsy Fri 01-Feb-13 14:34:19

If you are looking at mobile phone packages, I couldn't recommend GiffGaff more. I pay £12 per month for unlimited data, 250 mins & unlimited texts. DS & DD have the £5 per month package for 60 mins & 300 texts.

I have saved a fortune swapping to them! Some people are put off by the lack of customer service, but they have a great online forum with loads of hints & tips. I've managed to unlock all of our phones & transfer numbers and do all sorts of things that seemed tricky & complicated but were actually very easy in the end. smile

bluecarrot Fri 01-Feb-13 14:51:55

And you can earn credit for giff gaff iirc? By answering questions on the forum?

thekittchen Fri 01-Feb-13 15:23:04

I am participating in Frugal February and blogging about it. Check out my blog, for tips on saving money on groceries and fun ways to reuse leftovers!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 01-Feb-13 15:35:02

helena when dh unlocked my phone O2 did it for free. They gave us a code to put into it and that was it.

I'm sure Costco do branded formulas cheaper, just in case BF doesn't work economy.

£3 today in Aldi on paracetamol, Jaffa cakes, bread, pop and crisps. Approved food have my fave Xmas puddings so might be more later.

redbobblehat Fri 01-Feb-13 16:00:15


nappyaddict Fri 01-Feb-13 16:52:07


I thought you weren't allowed to spend any money at all for the whole of February!! I was thinking how does that work unless you have a massive freezer for meat and milk, grow your own vegetables and only go places that are walking distance!

I see now that you are allowed a budget for groceries and a budget for travel. That I could do. The one thing I would struggle with is meeting up with friends. Most of us don't drive so rather than taking it in turns to go to eachother's houses it is easiest to meet up at our nearest town or shopping centre which means you have to at least buy a tea/coffee from somewhere.

northender Fri 01-Feb-13 17:21:16

Another from the January thread smile. Marking my spot. Will catch up properly later

HearMyRoar Fri 01-Feb-13 17:52:39

It was my mum's bday last week so took her for lunch today which ended up being £54 for 3 of us. Not the best start to the month.

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 18:27:20

Just pondering on expenditure:

1) does it make more sense to pay for school dinners (£2.20 per day x 2) or send them with packed lunches? They moan about having school dinners but then I find half their packed lunch uneaten (and I only give them what I think will actually get eaten). My thinking is that if they have a proper dinner at least its more filling (but really I don't know how much of it gets eaten)

2) Does it actually pay to do an online shop? Everytime I do one I seem to spend loads but not actually have that much to show for & am then popping to local shop every other day for top ups. How can I make an online shop really work??

mikey9 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:59:56

Give up the TV (licence).....legally.

Do you really NEED to watch the same as everyone else at exactly the same time as them....? Isn't that just a bit inconvenient - and wouldn't it be better to watch stuff when YOU want to.

It is legal to watch "non-live" iPlayer. ITV Player, 4OD etc. WITHOUT a TV licence. We did this 5 years ago - and have only watched online pre-recorded stuff since. (They don't like to advertise this fact and try to make it confusing - but it IS the case).
For a year or two they will send you threatening letters but if you aren't watching live TV then there is nothing to fear.

Also - if you only watch pre-recorded videos (Charity shops up here do them at 10p each!!) and there are plenty of films we still haven't seen and the VC contyains the same folm as the DVD, BluRay etc. VCRs are typically available for pennies or free on Freecycle if you moved to DVDs when the industry decided you should.

takeaway2 Fri 01-Feb-13 19:22:59

I think it would be brilliant if we didn't have to spend at all!! smile But yes I think the idea is that even if you don't spend 2-3 days at a time, you'll feel better and it's another day closer to payday or whatever.

Today I did a shop and spent £60 odd but had a £5 voucher so that was fine. Didn't buy everything on my list and so am going to aldi to get the rest, for a small party tomorrow too. Hoping to get it for under £20!!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 01-Feb-13 19:35:06

Mikey9, what evidence did you have to give the licensing people that you don't use live broadcasts anymore?

I cancelled mine yesterday but they couldn't think what on earth I could do to prove it. So I have no licence and no refund.

Voldemortified Fri 01-Feb-13 19:40:51

chasingtail I too have struggled with the whole online shop thing. But I have almost got the balance right now. For me, if I can stay out of the supermarket, I tend not to buy things I don't need. So, I get my meat online from Donald Russell (I go for the offers and buy in bulk, and it is very good quality), I get my milk, fruit and veg in a regular weekly delivery from Riverford, I make my own bread (as I said before I get my flour in bulk from Shipton Mill and buy with a friend so we don't pay postage), and I go to the supermarket for the other stuff. This means that most weeks there are things I can make as I always have the fresh veg and a freezer full of meat - and DH doesn't have to get milk on the way home and buy lots of other crap because he has no self control and can't resist a 2-for-1 deal on anything.

mikey9 Fri 01-Feb-13 19:55:54

Fluffycloudland77 - we certainly never have given them any evidence (it isn't your responsibility to prove you don't - it is theirs to prove you do!!) - have just repeatedly told them then just ignored their threats which have stopped for some years now.
The Licensing site indicates they will refund 3,6, and 9 month periods. I would go back to them and ask for the refund with the webiste in front of you.

We even still have an old skydish and aerial stuck on the chimney and the house is wired (prev owners) throughout for sky (I think...?).

Quite simply - the bottom line is we don't watch live TV - so they are not able to prove we do - however hard they try.

AdoraBell Fri 01-Feb-13 20:31:17

Hello, can I join your lovely February thread please? I'm also from the January ganggrin

Had a spendy day,

House fumigated -£120
Lunch out with DDs due to fumes in house -£15, that was local so no road tolls.

Don't what the weekend holds, my badly twisted ankle might curb
activities tomorrow. Sunday we're collecting OH from the airport, ankle permitting. Oh, and I forgot to seal the dog food before the chap sprayed so that needs to be binned and replaced angry. Bags are only half full.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 01-Feb-13 20:50:20

Oh Adora, you are having a rough time of it aren't you?

What does the fumigation kill?

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 20:52:54

Well my NSD was ended by DH ripping his work trousers (where they were thread bare so no way of repairing) so I've had to order him new ones, although its on my next account and doesn't need paying until the end of the month/early next month.

But I was good DH offered to go buy Chinese for dinner as I've been ill but we had some left over pork in the fridge so I made pork stir fry and egg fried rice (never made the rice before) and it was just as good if not better than the takeaway! smile so overall I feel today was a win.

Badvoc Fri 01-Feb-13 20:57:50

Chasing tail...I find I spend less shopping for food temptations!
I use ocado and have a delivery pass so it coats me £6.99 per month to get a delivery whenever I want (there are cheaper ones if you are happy with mid week dels etc)
I live in a village so paying the £6.99 is less than I would cost in petrol to the nearest town.
I spend £60-70 online and top up at the co op when needed = £100 per week.
I would love to get this down but don't seem to be able to ATM (4 of us to feed so I supposed £25 a week each isn't too bad...)
I have been buying quite a lot of clothes for the dc on e bay lately...they are both having a growth spurt ATM and I can't afford new clothes.
Have had some really lovely things actually...designer even! smile
Just heard that my cousin is getting married in the summer and whilst I am delighted for him smile I am dreading the cost..that makes me sound awful doesn't it? sad
New clothes for me and dc (dh has loads) and a gift and travel....argh.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 01-Feb-13 21:06:22

There's a book on amazon called the takeaway secret, all the recipes for things like currys and sfc.

It gets very good reviews.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Feb-13 21:09:28

<hangs head in shame>

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 21:14:43

MesDV what did you do? I'm sure it's not that bad!

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 21:16:47

Thanks fluffy although I normally just get recipes online when I need them and save them in the notes but on my phone if they go well so I have them to hand.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Feb-13 21:18:18

I got on the tube about 3 minutes early thus missing off peak. Because I was chatting sad
I bought a trackie for DC5 because its bright blue and cosy and he looks so cute in trackies sad
I popped into Boots for painkillers and they are selling off their Time Delay stuff for half price so I stocked up a tiny bit sad


chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 21:20:32

MrsD what's happened???

IsThatTrue Fri 01-Feb-13 21:27:21

Chin up mrsDV tomorrow is another day. smile

Tomorrow my plan is to take dcs to the park if it's not raining and them back home for lunch and homework in the pm. Then cinema sun where I have already saved £4 as I've convinced them a homemade snack box is infinitely better than buying one there grin trying to work out if I should put the cash from savings like that into a pot to mount up, or leave it in the current account, what does everyone else do?

chasingtail Fri 01-Feb-13 21:42:10

true for the foreseeable future any 'non-spent' money gets left in the current account as we have an overdraft of about £500 to clear. I long for the stage at which I can actually save some money!

Chin up mrsd only the 1st today, you have the rest of the month to keep at it smile

AdoraBell Fri 01-Feb-13 22:22:43

MrsD we all have days like that, you're not such a terrible personwink

Fluffy the fumigation deals with most things really, but my main issue is ants millions of the fecking things last year we had them coming out from under an internal wall. We also have a dangerous spider here.

AdoraBell Fri 01-Feb-13 22:25:17

True I would put the savings in a secret pot because my OH would fritter it.

Breadandwine Fri 01-Feb-13 22:37:31

Well done to all the breadmakers on here - making your own bread really does save you money!

If you have a breadmaker, great, use it daily!

If you don't have one, get yourself a food storer from Poundland, put the ingredients in and mix them together - don't knead. Leave it overnight, then, in the morning, at a time that suits you, take out the dough, shape it and put to prove. When it has risen, bake it.

Time taken - about ten minutes in the evening to begin with, and about the same in the morning.

There are loads of recipes for different bread-based products here - pizzas (80p each), Chelsea buns (25p per batch), pain au chocolat (less than 5p each):

Oh, and when you make your pancakes over the next couple of weeks, make 'em with s/raising flour and water. Cost approx. 1p/pancake (versus around 10p for the traditional ones) and you can't tell the difference!

And I'd forgotten about the 5:2 'diet' - eating less than 500 calories on two days a week and normally on the other 5 will not only cause you to lose weight - it'll save you 20% on your (adult) food bill.

This has been my experience on it over the past 11 months, with many links about the science behind it:

There have been 11 threads about this WOL (Way Of Living) on the Mumsnet Diet talk forum. Here's the current one - there are literally hundreds of women (and the occasional bloke) reporting that they are successfully losing weight on this regime. And they're all saving money on their food bills!

Over 10,000 posts on the subject since last August speaks for itself!

Best regards, B&W

gerbera123 Fri 01-Feb-13 23:29:07

I really need to keep an eye on my February spending as i start a new job in March. I'm excited and happy at going back to working outdoors. I think i need to budget more.

jaynebxl Sat 02-Feb-13 06:56:43

Roast potato dinner would save money!

jaynebxl Sat 02-Feb-13 06:57:34

Hmm sorry ... Was replying to a post on page 1 there as I hadn't seen the following NINE pages!

roguepixie Sat 02-Feb-13 09:15:27

Found you!!! Another Judicious January-er here, thought I'd lost you. Hello to all January oldies grin and hello to all Frugaleers here smile

Have scanned the 10 (!!!!shock) pages already here but will go back over it all more carefully later.

I'm in I need to pay of holiday insurance and last bit of holiday plus powerchair rental while there before can even think about spending money

So that's a frugal feb/march/April /may/June /July and August and not told dx about holiday either so hard explain why not spending

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 10:09:30

Well despite big efforts in January I am worse off than before thanks to the tax bill. I am feeling a bit demoralised, tbh.

IsThatTrue Sat 02-Feb-13 10:21:57

boffin maybe trying to think that if you hadn't made such an effort you'd be even worse off would help?

chasingtail Sat 02-Feb-13 10:43:03

Boffin the way I try & look at it is that I didnt get into this state overnight and its going to take at least several months to get back to a level playing field.

I know it can be really de-moralising when it seems you're not making any headway but hang in there and keep posting smile

Helenagrace Sat 02-Feb-13 11:44:09

Oooh breaking news!!! We MAY have found tenants for the house in the north. It would mean we'd be subsidising the house by about £250 a month instead of £750 a month. This would make such a lot of difference to us.

Hoping it all works out!

Saturday is the only day we buy papers so not an NSD here BUT the outlaws are here and they're very good at suggesting we "pop out" for lunch and then leaving us with a big bill. Not this time! Bread in the breadmaker, homemade soup on the hob, cake in the oven and they can jolly well eat here.

We're going out for a walk this afternoon so I'm taking a flask and some cake.

They are not going to derail frugalruary!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:48:19

Excellent news Helena.

CremeEggThief Sat 02-Feb-13 11:54:17

That's great, Helena. Fingers crossed!

Munchkin08 Sat 02-Feb-13 12:05:24

Hi just read the last 10 pages!! And am in.

Really going to try to spend less as really want a holiday this year. There's me, DD 16, DS 13 & DD 3. Since having last daughter and splitting from husband I have been a lot more frugal. I have hardly bought any thing new for my youngest - I have been lucky as all my friends give me lots of clothes, but have also bought lots off eBay, and charity shops and also buy the next size shoes off the Clarks website when they have a sale - she has everything much more than the older 2 had at a fraction of the cost. I now really buy anything including food unless it has been reduced and far from feeling poor feel I am living much better - just sorry I wasted so much money in the past!!

Will keep watching to get better at it x

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 12:15:33

I suppose that's true, but I've got into this situation by my going to work outgoings having been higher than my salary for absolutely ages, so it's feels a bit soul destroying from time to time.

chasingtail Sat 02-Feb-13 12:35:19

Boffin I know what you mean - I stopped working over 2 years ago, yet that fact doesn't seem to have filtered through to my spending brain.

I have managed to squander a £12k redundancy payout on pretty much nothing and still continue to spend my non-existant salary. ENOUGH! angry

MavisGrind Sat 02-Feb-13 12:35:55

Morning all! Checking in although not much to report. I have some birthday money to spend and although I know I could put it against my OD that somehow seems really depressing so have decided to buy a new wallet with it (old one is properly knackered anyway!) to try and inspire myself to fill it <tenuous link to frugality>

However, my DM chickens are laying like demons at the moment so if I can base our meals around eggs we'll be quids in!

chasingtail Sat 02-Feb-13 12:43:55

And while I'm on a roll grin, what makes me really cross is that I never used to be like this. Before DH/DCs I used to be really frugal and would save like a demon.

Am sure it's psychological... stuck in a job I hated, stressed by juggling work and running a home/looking after family. Spending was a way to reward myself. But I no longer work, so have neither the stress or the salary so need to rethink my attitude towards spending.

OK, introspective mutterings over!

takeaway2 Sat 02-Feb-13 12:43:59

Was going to have to spend money getting other bits at aldi but dh went so haha it's still my NSD! grin Spent the morning making chili con carne, and baked 2 cakes (little people's little friends coming round for a play). Oh and made fried noodles for lunch.

After a mini rest I will endeavor to do something with sausages and some of this food will go towards the start of the week's meal.

IsThatTrue Sat 02-Feb-13 13:02:47

Well I'm not going out so a NSD for me although DH has a friend coming over and we normally have takeaway, I wonder if I can convince them to let me cook instead?

Making another batch of soup today for this weeks lunches. Sweet potatoe and red lentil today I think.

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 13:11:02

I haven't spent any money so far.
But I haven't left the house.
Or done much else really smile

pixiestix Sat 02-Feb-13 13:15:59

Ugh, I've spent about a hundred pounds so far this month - all stuff that was needed but it still makes me feel a bit queasy. I should be able to have at least 2-3 no spend days now until Thursday so I will be desperately trying to claw back some frugality.
About £180 left until the end of the month, if I don't want to use my credit card sad

Thingymajigs Sat 02-Feb-13 13:16:14

Does it count if DP shops instead of me? Because if it doesn't then every weekend I manage two NSD's.
Right, my meal plan has been done for two weeks. It was so hard having to work out who would be at home on what days and match that with suitable meals and then check we had the ingredients etc. but it's done! I've also wrote lists for the next three Mondays to match with the ingredients needed.
Today we are using up some cheese and pasta for a Carbonara. Already I can hear complaints but I'm standing firm, one meal for everyone. Oh, we also used up some Demerara sugar for flapjacks so that's pudding sorted this weekend.
I'm thinking of buying a food processor/liquidiser to make our own smoothies because Innocent ones are extortionate.

Dededum Sat 02-Feb-13 13:30:22

Been lurking - looking for the inspiration to get stuck in. We are terribly wasteful and leak money all over the place. DH earns a good salary, but this is quite recent and he is over 50, so we need to sort ourselves out.

I have just increased the mortgage so now overpaying by 800 pounds, now need to trim so that we can manage this and hopefully increase the overpayment.

DH is doing his expenses at the moment and has found stuff he hadn't charged for. Now he is looking at his telecoms bills to see if they can be trimmed.

I don't have expensive tastes but need to trim our excessive food bill. About 800+ a month for 2 adults / 2 kids blush. My only other regular spend is parking (about £20 a week), can't really trim it without cycling but for health reasons can't do that.

Have already ebayed some things, at the moment ebaying a £200 voucher for Toast clothing. It was an unwanted gift, it's only on £26 at the moment and ends tommorow.

DH is behind this so think we can do a frugal Feb together. Think that is the key for both people to be behind it.

TyrannosaurusBex Sat 02-Feb-13 13:45:30

Dededum Toast do really great sales with up to 90% off, you could spend your voucher then and sell all the spoils on EBay. I used to do that when I actually had money to spend in the sales!

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 14:15:32

Can you get a season ticket for parking dededum?
Dont be blush about the food bill. It is a lot but easily done, even by people on lower incomes than yours.
Looks like that is probably the best place for you to start though.

I got my OH to do the shopping online. I always buy too much if I got to an actual supermarket. I will spend £100 before I get out of the clothes and household section blush

I am also getting my milk delivered now. Its not any cheaper but it saves me picking up impulse buys when I nip in for milk.

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 14:17:17

Saturday is usually take away night. NOT TONIGHT.

That £20 a weeks adds up to £80 a month! shock. For food I don't even like.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:26:07

I haven't had a takeaway since I checked the hygiene score for Dh's favoured takeaway.

No hand towels.

No soap.

Chips defrosting in the sink of the staff loo.

No hot water.

Dh thinks I'm a geek for looking for the hygiene ratings.

TallulahTwinkle Sat 02-Feb-13 14:27:29

I desperately need to be frugal, am going to read this whole thread!

NicknameTaken Sat 02-Feb-13 14:49:08

A nice financial surprise today, which makes a change! I'd complained to my bank because I spent six weeks chasing them because I couldn't get access to some of my account info online. Got letter this morning saying they were crediting my account with £50 plus received a hamper with wine, chocs etc. So smile internet bank, I love you again.

Actually, I would recommend them if anyone is thinking of changing banks. My rent goes out three days before my salary reaches my account, and they free £500 overdraft is a life-saver. I used to be with Halifax and pay a fortune in overdraft fees.

I'm on my own at home for the weekend, as DD is with exH, so I'm eating some strange combinations of food that needs to be eaten up. Lunch was a kind of riff on salad nicoise - raw cabbage and cauliflower with tinned anchovies, two hard-boiled eggs and a mustard dressing. Satisfying if rather...pungent.

NicknameTaken Sat 02-Feb-13 14:50:44

Oh, and a NSD yesterday. Today bought newspapers and a choc croissant for breakfast, so £3.50. Well, 2 choc croissants if I'm absolutely truthful...

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 14:55:01

I tried to check hygiene ratings but I think the site was crashing after 'Food Inspectors' grin

Thanks for reminding me!

AdoraBell Sat 02-Feb-13 15:26:33

Tsk, there's alwyas one isn't there, checking for hygiene issues wink

What is it with some people and their, erm, lax approach to bacteria? I don't do take aways either now.

I'll report back later, not yet decided whether to go out and get things.

Dededum Sat 02-Feb-13 15:29:16

Thanks MrsDeVere - think I will just sell the voucher, I have loads of watchers so sure it will pick up at the end.

the parking is for Uni, in town and when I go to yoga 4 times a week. So season ticket not avalable

The food is the killer, going to really push that one back. It's tough because DH works from home so we have to lots of snacks in AND of course I'm not a good cook and really don't enjoy it!

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 15:37:16

I hate cooking too.
Meal planning is your friend.

One of the worst things about cooking is thinking about what to make. Get a months worth of meals written down and its like half the work is done already.

I don't know why I put it off so much. It saves me a fortune and saves me no end of stress.

Witco Sat 02-Feb-13 15:38:42

Marking place! Lack of discipline results in wasting money every month so this month I am going to be organised,

Dededum Sat 02-Feb-13 15:40:44

I know - I have stacks loads of food. Try and buy the kids nice things and they don't et, just want pasta, sausages etc...

Meal planning sounds good. Should give it a go... Think I will have a go and see how I get on.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 02-Feb-13 15:48:49

Organised does lots of sheets you can print out for meal planning, freezer and cupboard lists etc. Some of them are really useful. Some are a bit anal, even by my standards.

Mumsnet do a food planner too and moneysavingexpert do loads of cheap recipes in the grocery challenge section in the forum. Some people on there are hard core on their grocery bills.

Making my own soya yoghurt is my next project. I need to eat more healthily, I've eaten two packs of Bourbon biscuits and a pack of Jaffa cakes all by myself this week 5 bags of crisps too plus a whole pizza last night.

NSD, so far.

Wolfcub Sat 02-Feb-13 17:38:14

Marking my place. Two weeks food shopping and meal

Wolfcub Sat 02-Feb-13 17:40:34

Don't know what happened there...two week's worth of shopping and meal planning done today hopefully there will only be milk for home and work to buy next weekend

specialknickers Sat 02-Feb-13 17:41:39

Frugal February blown already. We've just bought a car for 7 grand... But. In my defence, we really needed a new one and we could have spent more than that. We've got a vintage camper and a very fancy bike to sell and we're banking on the sale of those to cover the cost of the much more practical (and cheaper to run) new car.

I've just spent the afternoon getting it insured. I'm gobsmaked at how varied the quotes were... Cutting a long story short, I called one of the cheapest providers on a compare website and knocked nearly £50 off the price, whilst adding way more cover. Don't trust those sites anymore. Will do the same for the home insurance next week and see what we can save there...

CremeEggThief Sat 02-Feb-13 17:52:17

£4.29 at the Co-op on posh crisps, a paper and a bottle of cider. Thought wine would be too much after a week of feeling so poorly, but wanted a small treat, now I'm finally feeling better. Today was my first day without any medicine smile.

My online Sainsburys order came too. £48.something for the week, so will just need bread and milk now. Oh snd some frozen Quorn chunks for my casserole, as Sainsburys were out of them.

Fluffy, I'm looking forward to a whole pizza tonight too smile.

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 17:57:32

We saved over £50 a month on household insurances earlier this year and I saved £10 a month on my car insurance!
It's worth looking at.
I sort of meal plan...have started buying a large bag of potatoes rather than buying them as and when. I do bake, but tbh ATM it costs less to buy a Victoria sponge than make one!
So for a week I would plan on one pasta meal, one fish meal, one chicken meal, one pizza Type meal and a roast dinner.
Dc go to pils for tea 2 nights per week so only have to work on 5 dinners per week.
Also, i have stopped buying brands (apart from Heinz one in this house will eat any other brand!) but Tom sauce, mayo etc...the own brands are fine.
Also cleaning products, the co op own brand is great.
I can get a large bottle (nearly a litre) of non bio gel ATM for £3.30!!

ethelb Sat 02-Feb-13 18:52:35

woopsy went to the pub grin

however, made loads of marmalade for about 70p per jar and it will make brill Mother's Day presents (our Mum's like that kind of thing) so lets just pretend I spent the Mother's Day pressie money at the pub!

Does anyon ehave some good printable for Valentines and Mother's Day cards btw.

(In good news my Not on the High Street shop has made some good sales today so life is looking up!)

ethelb Sat 02-Feb-13 18:56:56

BTW have you seen this thread?

I am doing the cubgrub challenge until DP gets paid.

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 19:05:07

I have a lot of posts about cheap menus on the blog if you need them. The crisis diet plus feeds a family of four for about £45 a week, and is pretty healthy.

Crisis diet
Crisis diet week 2
Crisis diet plus - with entry level organic veg box
More money savers to try
How to reduce your food bill even more

The Ebook has masses of cheap recipes in there as well.

ethelb Sat 02-Feb-13 19:07:46

Thanks @boffin is the ebook yours?

Thatsinteresting Sat 02-Feb-13 19:09:02

I'm coming over from the January thread. I've spent £32.08 today and that's my food shop for the week. I'm determined to make it work. I was doing ok last week but then popped in for milk and, well that was another tenner gone. I've got enough milk now, it's in the freezer so I have no excuses.

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 19:13:53


HearMyRoar Sat 02-Feb-13 19:22:30

£7 on eggs, hot chocolate and yoghurt today.

Am trying to work out if I can manage a nsd tomorrow but my brain is too frazzled to think that far ahead.

Leilandri Sat 02-Feb-13 19:40:27

Ahhh I see some familiar faces on here now that it's February! waves!

Spent £6.35 in Morrisons on milk, bacon and doughnuts blush
NSD today smile

mikey9 Sat 02-Feb-13 19:56:40

We usually don't have a pudding - the kids get a couple of spoons of Yeo valley palin yoghurt (they have never really known the expensive individual ones!!).

For a quick easy warm pud though - I do what we as kids used to call "Cornflour" - or White Pudding.
It couldn't be simpler - (for 4 servings)
In bowl or jug
2 tblsp (fully heaped) of - guess what - Cornflour
1.5 tblsp sugar
Mix like making custard with a little cold milk

Boil 3/4 pint milk
Pour onto cornflour/sugar mix - stirring as you go - if you got the quantities right it will thicken - in the bowl - if not - pop back in the pan and heat though till it does.

It is very simple - the kids love it (milky sugary and thick! - what is not to like - DW hates it ;-)
Cost - I recon at the most 30p all in (7.5 p each!!!!!)

In case we sound too extreme - I also do a cracking sponge pudding in the microwave (jam, golden syrup etc on top 2 SR flour, 2 sugar and 2 butter + 1 egg for 2 mins - or douple it for a big un) as a treat some weekends.....

ethelb Sat 02-Feb-13 20:00:52

@boffin it looks amazing, I will have a peruse. Great reviews you have got too!

BoffinMum Sat 02-Feb-13 20:13:49

Glad you like it! grin

BTW I've got a home made yoghurt recipe on the blog. You can strain it to make it like Greek yoghurt, and you can also make yoghurt cheese by leaving the whey to drip out all night. Then you can use it instead of butter, and it's delicious on toast with apricot jam.

Sparrowp Sat 02-Feb-13 20:16:42

Oh I hate these sort of threads, they give me heartache.

CraftyBec Sat 02-Feb-13 20:17:01

I'm in. Started recording all our spending last month, which helped to see where the money is going. DH set up a shared form on Google which we can both access and add to. So far our expenditure doesn't exceed income but we're still paying off Christmas so need to save somewhere.

My main extravagance is food - not eating out or takeaways but I love baking, and spending on eggs, butter, sugar etc all adds up. We do save money by baking our own bread though. Have recently bought a slow cooker and that is working well for low cost, low effort, tasty meals.

Trying to curb my bargain hunting, charity shop habit. And planning to cancel the load of mail order catalogues that clutter up the living room and tempt me into spending. Have already stopped most bargain tempting emails from the same companies.

Watching thread with interest for tips and motivation...

Sparrowp Sat 02-Feb-13 20:18:56

Crafty bec, yes - Ive done the budget and we can afford everything for a normal life, just no food.

Sparrowp Sat 02-Feb-13 20:19:46

On the other hand, Im really glad the government has cut the minimum wage in half, and is strongly enforcing promoting working for freee.

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 20:39:15

I was going to list on Ebay last week but found I had to reverify my account or something <annoyed>
So I started the process tonight. I usually avoid any flippin admin. I have to wait a couple of days for paypal to deposit a few pence in my bank account.

Then I will start selling everything not nailed down.

Its a shame boy's clothes don't sell that well. DC5 has lots of lovely Gap bits he has grown out of.
I have loads of frocks to sell off. Even if I only get a couple of quid per item it adds up.

NSD today for me. OH went out and bought some baking potatoes but as we usually have a takeaway I reckon thats ok.

I did a hmm at him for buying hula hoops because they were on offer.

I have been turning lights off and unplugging things all day. No point in doing things by halves.

TBH I am pretty anxious about what the next few months will bring with all the changes in tax credits.

We got into very bad habits when DD was ill. Not thinking, just buying. Living for the day I suppose. But its been a long time and we have to stop.

Not that we are big spenders really. But I have always been anxious about money. We are in such a vulnerable position. Best to be careful.

<brings thread down>


Sparrowp Sat 02-Feb-13 20:44:04

Yes, sell everything. Or just throw it out of the window. Makes no difference really.

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 20:49:04

Mrsdv...if you have any boys clothes age 4-5 or 5-6 I would be interested!! smile
Had some nice things for him from e bay this week.
I have been very naughty today sad I got some money from my pils for Xmas (£40) and I just out it into my bank account as I was very overdrawn in December.
So today I bought myself £35 of box sets on amazon for myself. Feel very bad. For spending my own Xmas money!
Dh went out earlier and bought a cake and some choc for me smile it's been a rough week tbh..mum is ill and not getting better and her op could be months away yet sad
Mrsdv (hugs)

HelgatheHairy Sat 02-Feb-13 21:02:05

I'm in. I've joined a few challenges before on the MSE boards but sometimes they're a bit extreme. Think I need to ease into this gradually. I live in Ireland, and as Matyz said earlier, things seem to be more expensive here. Do quite a bit of shopping in Aldi and think their meat is quite good but always end up going to Tesco for the few bits we can't get at Aldi and spending another €70! It's Me, DH, dog (on special prescription food €75 a month), and cat. And in 6 months baby.

thunks is it Killarney you're thinking of moving to?? Its a beautiful part of the country, I live bout 30 mins from there. Was walking the dog round Muckross House today.

MrsDeVere Sat 02-Feb-13 21:16:58

Sorry badvoc those are the clothes he is going in to (despite not being flippin three yet!) smile

Sorry about your mum sad
worry always make me want to buy stuff. OH always looks anxious when I have a bit of a trauma. I know he is thinking 'oh crap what is she going to bring home now!'

Lucky me, I have some JL vouchers and some New Look Vouchers so if I get the urge at least I can buy something or use them for birthdays.
I spent some of the JL vouchers on friday and asked for the change in vouchers.

Did you know that even if you spend a tenner out of a fifty quid voucher they will give you cash back in change? shock
They looked really surprised when I asked for the vouchers instead

<too many 'vouchers' in one post>

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 21:19:59

Thank you. She will be ok once she has the op (hopefully)
I know what you mean re worry = spending.
I am the same.
The run up to Xmas was pretty stressful ergo the dc got some very...erm...eclectic gifts! smile
Lucky you with the JL vouchers.
I love John Lewis!

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 21:20:49

Muckross house is beautiful!

NewYearsEvelyn Sat 02-Feb-13 21:29:21

I have to join here as we are currently having a buttload of house improvements done. Husband and I are, mostly, debt averse, so are keen to pay the money we're borrowing back over the next couple of years. Got to start cutting back on my expenses to facilitate this process so I can start buying new things for my lovely new kitchen/dining room/wet room (once they are built). Am currently sourcing all sorts of things on the net so I can bring our costs down.

HelgatheHairy Sat 02-Feb-13 21:39:17

badvoc it really is. We tend to take the dog there on Saturdays as there's so many great walks we can go on.

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 21:41:29

We stayed in ballyheigue (sp?) for 2 summers a few years ago.
(I am half Irish)
Loved it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 21:43:49

Hello hello - another one over from the January thread smile

I've just been back through last months budget and we managed to save £500 from our usual spending - we did bought no wine, didn't eat out once, only one takeaway and all days out were free ones (we have NT membership and swim for free with our gym membership). I'm a bit stunned, but we were being v.careful as DH had no work - he is self-employed.
So that money is now put aside to get the plumbing fixed, shower wall was leaking onto the landing, and we start again this month.

Yesterday I spent £116 on grocery shopping, there were a lot of store cupboard and cleaning bits in there so that will be the most expensive shop of the month by some way.

Today we spent £3 on apples and bread, and £20 on a bit for DH's car that we want to sell soon. Bloody thing is a liability and takes loads of tinkering and money to keep it going.

Helga MSE scares me, and I think people on there can be very judgemental. Not everyone either wants or needs to pare things down to the absolute minimum and I've seen people slated for spending which is deemed 'unnecessary' by popular/regular posters. The principal of the site is brilliant though.

Badvoc Sat 02-Feb-13 21:46:02

I find MSE scary too.
I once got told off for - horror of horrors - buying soap instead of making it from bits of old manky soap!

Dededum Sat 02-Feb-13 21:49:23

MSE would destroy me if they could see all our frivolous spending!!! Better stay away.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 02-Feb-13 21:57:12

Badvoc - yes that is precisely what I mean! You soap-purchaser, you grin

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sat 02-Feb-13 22:27:04

Just in case it's of any use, I've been using an iPhone app called Account Tracker which is brilliant. When you first download it, you input your account balance, direct debits, income etc and tell it the dates that income/expenditure go in/out of your account, then it forecasts a few months ahead so you can see where danger points will be. I check it daily and update it with any ad hoc spending. It's really helped me to spend less in January - for the first time in as long as I can remember, I'm not overdrawn after my DDs have gone out. I also use HSBCs Fast Balance app, and I reconcile the two every day.

IsThatTrue Sat 02-Feb-13 22:30:19

NSD for me today.

My mission for tomorrow is to only spend the £4 on the cinema trip (3x£1 tickets and £1 parking) with the kids, no extras, but to pop round the shops to check in on the quidco app to earn myself some free pennies. No shopping needed this week, I got a chicken out of the freezer for tomorrows dinner (leftovers should do curry on mon and stock for next weeks soup). I made this weeks soup earlier so lunches are sorted.

PeigSayers Sat 02-Feb-13 23:06:43

Helga thats funny,I also live near Killarney and often walk the dog in Muckross alsohmm. I desperately need to reign in also as regards spending.I find Aldi brilliant..easily do a weekly shop for 5 of us for just under 100 euro,including lots of german beer and dogfoodgrin. I used to go to lidl but find Aldi far better for meat,cheese,bread etc.They do far more Irish produce than lidl and find I can get almost everything there bar one or two things I get from Tesco.Entering Tescos is my main problem-I now have to make sure I have very little money on my person going in there as I find if I get a few ' extra bits ' I suddenly have a bill for 70 euro at the tillshock.

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 23:22:14

Dh' s family is from near Farranfore so Killarney, Castleisland and Tralee all possible. My family are in Cork city and county so Killarney would suit me best I think. It's just jobs that are the issue.. we wouldn't get the same sort of jobs at home so we would have to go back mortgage free. I am a speech therapist and also nearly qualified as a counsellor with some adult education experience and a dyslexia/teaching reading qualification so I think I could make some money through private work but Dh is a civil engineer so would have to go back on the farm or retrain... want to go now really but not an option!

AudrinaAdare Sat 02-Feb-13 23:26:18

I love the £2 coin idea and have been saving them since I read it. However I keep getting tempted to count them and if know how much I have that defeats the object so have had to invest in a Beatrix Potter money box. It was only from eBay but still hmm

thunksheadontable Sat 02-Feb-13 23:26:45

Oh and day 3 of NSDs for me here... calculated have spent 140 on monthly shop and reckon will get 21 meals out of it without too much serious scrimping and did that in Jan.. hoping not to go above 240.

HelgatheHairy Sun 03-Feb-13 01:25:17

peig if you ever see a woman and man walking a Golden Retriever who tries to jump on you/your dog, I'm really sorry! We went down to the abbey today

thunk I'm about 10 mins from Farranfore. If I had the choice between those 3 locations I'd definitely go for Killarney. It's just so beautiful. Is there no work for civil engineers? Sorry, don't know much about engineers, is it connected to building? DH was a carpenter but went back to college to do software development.

HelgatheHairy Sun 03-Feb-13 01:29:09

alibaba Badvoc I once got eaten alive on MSE as I 'confessed' to buying a magazine and a coffee. You'd think I'd killed someone the way people went on. I was just there for a few tips on moneysaving as we're not in debt but it scared me off posting for a while anyway!

AdoraBell Sun 03-Feb-13 02:34:18

My turn to confess, took DDs to the movies and bought cinema snacks - how do you think that would be received on MSE Helga grin

Sooooo, dog food to replace stuff I poisoned, by not sealing the open bags prior to fumigation -£70 on the puppies, £40 on adults dogs.
Weekly shop - £70, will need more veg/salad/fruit midweek - ish, bought a lot of meat and fish for the freezer.
Roads £2.40
Cinema, with snacks £25
Dinner out £18, due to having snacks we shared 1 meal between the three of us. We only had the dinner becaused we'd effectively skipped lunch and the film ended at 6.30. In terms of planning and meals it's been a mess of a day.

Tomorrow there'll be road tolls and parking for the airport, maybe a coffee, but no need to eat out.

Monday, I'm not leaving the house!

AdoraBell Sun 03-Feb-13 02:49:54

Helena FX for your potential tenant and good luck with curbing the outlaws spending ^your money^shock

Badvoc Sun 03-Feb-13 08:41:13

Well I need to buy a chicken today for lunch.
And a pud.
So about £10 I would imagine.
Not buying any more clothes on e bay this month for the dc...think they have enough til summer now.

Helenagrace Sun 03-Feb-13 08:42:53

I beat the inlaws' spending! I even enjoyed the cats bum mouth when they said "shall we go into the cafe?" and I said "we won't but you go ahead". Normally they leave us with the bill.

I've hidden all the spare bags of coffee beans so there are only a few out (they can get through a whole bag in a weekend)!

We had a message from the estate agents when we got back from the beach yesterday and it sounds like the would be tenants have been in and paid a holding fee and paid for all their checks so it's looking good!

I've got a second interview for a job on Tuesday. I get to wear heels and go to London on the train and be a grown up rather than just mum!

Should be a NSD today.

This frugal living is quite addictive isn't it? Is anyone else looking at things and (at least mentally) going "how much??? Bloody ridiculous!"

I'm so angry with myself now for all the money we've wasted over the past few years.

Dededum Sun 03-Feb-13 08:57:53

DH said last night - "shall we get a curry" - I frowned and muttered prawn salad.

All good but then he went into the kitchen and used both the prawns but also the scampi, which was earmarked for another meal. The work continues!

chasingtail Sun 03-Feb-13 09:00:21

Yay Helena! I agree you do get a buzz when you feel you're starting to get a hold things.

"Well jel" about the heels/London combo - back in the day I used to relish some grown up, working woman time.

Thingymajigs Sun 03-Feb-13 09:39:29

Yes Helena. I keep tutting at the full price items my DP comes home with. (It's mainly my food spending I'm trying to manage so DP's minor weekend spending isn't important.) I can't believe how much I've wasted by not planning ahead. I'm starting to view Tesco as my arch nemesis. I'm determined to walk in there tomorrow and only buy the things on my list.
DP is not on board with shopping at Aldi. I can't believe he's a food snob. He lived off Findus Crispy pancakes and nuggets before I met him. I'll drag him in next week and show him how much we could save.
We've found our old blender so we can make our own smoothies now. My 12 yo loves them. Today is my second NSD this month.

MavisGrind Sun 03-Feb-13 09:45:17

Morning all. Should be a NSD today and tbh it should be NSD on Mon/Tues/Wed too as I'm at work.

My issue is not so much about having to cut back, but being able to generate more income. I already meal plan, only use cash which is withdrawn once a week, budget for all my annual bills with monthly squirrelling away into a savings account... I really don't think I can spend any less so I need to earn more!

pixiestix Sun 03-Feb-13 10:27:05

NSD for me today. It should have been a NS weekend but I blew it yesterday on a £50 block of kids activities for DD. A one off payment, but if I was honest with myself one that we really can't afford.

Thanks for the pointer to the organised home website Fluffy. It looks really good and I have just printed off a whole sheaf of forms!

Munchkin08 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:29:23

MavisGrind yes def need to earn more!

Total spend this month:

Home Bargins £20 toilet rolls etc
Tesco £60
Pocket money £20
Continental shop £9
Fish & chips £6

Not planning on spending until next Tuesday - going to Costco !!! Will try not to buy anything I do not use regularly - my excuse they told me to go there on Super Scrimpers!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:41:13

The olive oil from Phillip berio is on offer in Costco from Monday, £10.99 for 5 litres. Lasts ages and so much cheaper than even Aldi.

Munchkin08 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:43:03

Thanks I need Olive oil x

LargeLatte Sun 03-Feb-13 11:01:57

De lurking to share the joy of a blade of lamb I bought in Sainsburys yesterday. £1 reduced from £4.82.

Wanted to check here with the frugal experts - what's the correct procedure for on date meat? Ok to freeze same day? Ok to cook then freeze?

There was a joint of beef reduced from £16 to £6 that would've fed us for a week. Didn't get it as wasn't confident about what to do with it.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:07:14

I usually get pork products which are more prone to going off IMO than beef, I either slow cook on the day and then freeze or freeze on the day and cook it at a later date. I even do this with sausage meat for making into stuffing.

I love markdowns but don't get to go very often as we live too far out to risk a wasted trip.

pixiestix Sun 03-Feb-13 11:12:41

I would do either Latte smile

stormforce10 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:18:34

I freeze on date meat the day I buy it - either that or cook and eat it. We're not dead yet.

We had 2 of dd's friends round yesterday. W.e made fairy cakes and did painting and gave them lunch. A lovely day and above all CHEAP albeit messy. We managed a NSD phew

Roast chicken dinner today. DD is busy doing her homework - book review, 6 learning spellings and maths. DS is fast asleep (he's allowed he's six months ) dp has gone to help his friend with filing his late tax return. No one is spending money or at least if DP is is I don't know about it grin

I don't like MSE either. I once asked for advice about the best place to buy a nice dress for DD to wear for a wedding and got advised to buy some fabric in the market and make my own. When I said sewing was not my strong point I was told I'd soon learn if i only put my mind to it. I didnt dare admit I ended up with something pretty from TK Maxx. MSE is a frightening place!

LargeLatte Sun 03-Feb-13 11:20:07

Thanks. I'll be near a morissons later at closing time so will see if I can make some more savings. Really need to cut back on food bill. This thread is really helping.

Cutandstick Sun 03-Feb-13 11:42:36

De-lurking - just sent back my prescription prepayment for a refund now I'm maternity exempt - should sav £90 on that this year... Also looked at my current account fees - if I go to the next one down I save £4 a month... Not much I know, but it'll add up and I don't think the added benefits are even worth that. Just written down monthly expenditure that goes out before food etc - and feel slightly sick!

MrsDeVere Sun 03-Feb-13 12:03:17

I had a look at MSE. I have heard the tales of how rough it is on there.
Great ideas though.
The style of the site is awful! Its like it was designed when websites came out of a kit and it has never been updated!

But Mr Lewis is a hyperactive, shouty chap so I suppose its a bit like that grin
I get the emails sent to me but I find them confusing and complicated. They are like the website, the virtual equivalent of bright neon, flashing signs and kalxons.

You have to give them credit (pun) though. Really dedicated, generous with advice, people on there.

I read one of the diaries. He didnt seem to get slaughtered even though he owes over 300k and in his first few weeks was still buying wine (half price) and going out to eat a couple of times a week. confused

I am going to lurk.

PeigSayers Sun 03-Feb-13 12:28:46

Ah flippin heck Helga...I'm 3 miles from farranfore on the main tralee/killarney roadshock<<looks out window for man,woman and frisky labrador>>

PeigSayers Sun 03-Feb-13 12:37:11

Same here Thingy I have gone from loving Tescos years ago to now despising it.angry
I feel very smug when I see the price of stuff there knowing I have got the same things for half the price in Aldishock.

AdoraBell Sun 03-Feb-13 13:10:53

Well done Helena, I particularly like the way you dealt with not eating outgrin. I'm lucky in that my ILs don't visit us here, but when we were in the UK OH had to be the host with the most, but only with his parents. Drove me nuts until I stopped buying stuff if I knew they were coming. I know that sounds mean, but he would leave us with not enough for the next in order to show off to mummy and daddyangry

Can't see who was asking now but I would also freeze or cook that meat on the day I buy it, and beef lasts much better than pork.

I'll up date when we're back from the airport later.

stormforce10 Sun 03-Feb-13 13:39:59

this weeks meal plan picked from the 28 meals I've got planned for February

Monday chick pea curry, rice and naan bread
Tuesday Chicken and veg soup with bread (freeze left over chicken for stir fry or curry)
Wednesday ham and cheese omlette, salad and new potatos
Thursday chilli con carne, totillas salad
Friday pasta in tomato sauce with chirizo, olives and sun dried tomato
Saturday fish fingers, chips and beans
Sunday roast lamb (from freezer) leeks in cheese sauce, mixed veg, gravy, roast potatos

I think we have all the ingredients in stock. We need milk, bread and fruit plus 2 birthday presena, cards and wrapping for party dd is off to next weekend. Otherwise hoping for a lowish spending week.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 03-Feb-13 13:42:03

MrsDV - I've read that guy's diary - he was trying to lose a massive amount of weight too I think?
The diary threads do seem to get left alone, it is the Old-Style Board that has the scary people on it! Some of them (the diary threads) do come over as somewhat enabling though.

Latte I would have bought that beef and either cooked it right away and either made it today's meal, or used it for sandwiches/stir-fry etc during the week. Or I would have frozen it to use at a later date. I always use things I've defrosted immediately anyway, so there would be no danger of forgetting it was on date and leaving it defrosted and raw in the fridge for a day or two.

Today was going to be a NSD, but we had to buy a birthday present for SIL, £24 including gift wrapping and delivery. I have got a nice card here already which we can use.
Tomorrow should be a NSD.

Dededum Sun 03-Feb-13 13:46:56

Was going to be a NSD but DS1 has nasty fever / throat thing so had to go out and get some custard as he can't eat solids. Then succumbed to Sunday newspaper. But going to be stuck at home again so need some head space.

Zorra Sun 03-Feb-13 13:54:00


Hi all! V proud today, just paid an additional £1,000 off my loan :grin: I worked out that I was leaking money by not claiming things back (work expenses, costs I can claim from health insurance, some redundant direct debits). Spent late December putting it all together, added a bit more saved from a low spend Jan, now very happy to have achieved something! I am moving back to the uk for maternity leave in March and really have to scrimp for it to work, so feel at least on the right track.

MrsDeVere Sun 03-Feb-13 14:06:24

Well done Zora!
You have just reminded me to follow up my petrol expenses at work.

My old boss never got round to putting me on the system and now I have a new boss. It wasnt so bad at first because I was not doing many visits. Now I am and I really need to get my petrol money!

Thanks for the reminder. I am on it on Tuesday!

MrsDeVere Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:16

I have just noticed that no one has used the work Frugaleer for a while hmm

Come on now people!


twentythirteen Sun 03-Feb-13 14:24:52

Ooh, what a good idea. I have actually written in my diary for each day that this is no shopping month - food excluded, which became NSTM (no shopping this month) as a reminder, how sad is that! I have become wasteful, I have enough stuff and am only just recovering from an overdraft that took me ages to get on top of so I would really like to get on top of needless spending.

In this vein I also decided it would be betetr to have a planned food shop rather than an unplanned one but ended up spending about £20 more than I normally would, argh!

Dededum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:27:05

I don't think I've earnt the title Frugaleer yet! More Frugaleer Jr or Frugaleer in training.

VitoCorleone Sun 03-Feb-13 14:30:26

Just marking my place, will have a good read of this later.

Ionasky Sun 03-Feb-13 14:59:56

So i got cheap coffee beans from waitrose and noticed as others have mentioned that the essentials range looks like good value, anyone have any particular favourites from that range? Massive credit card bill to payoff...or cheap coffee beans recommendations (10.26/1 kg). Can't give up coffee completely...

northender Sun 03-Feb-13 15:01:44

Blimey this is moving quickly!
Dh and I sat down last night and for the first time, filled out a spreadsheet with all our spending on, all income, all debts etc. It's scary in a way but a relief too. At the end of each month we'll be able to review it and see how much we're pulling it back. We're fortunate to have relatively secure jobs and a good enough joint income but I think we had just got really complacent with our spending for quite a long time. Not madly extravagant at all, but enough over a long time not to realise what was happening. At least we're headed in the right direction now smile

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:27:11

£40 in Aldi and Sains. Bit more than usual but incl things like sprinkle sweetener and body lotion I don't need but will need eventually that had money off vouchers in Aldi.

We just need fish fingers as I forgot to check the freezer for frozen fish and their cheaper than fillet fish.

IsThatTrue Sun 03-Feb-13 15:30:14

Well I managed to stick to my £3 at the cinema. We packed up the lunch boxes with home popped corn (Bought in bulk at Costco), 2 small treats from the cupboard, a cheese string (also in bulk from Costco although I think I'll stop buying those and cut some cheese cubes up and bag them in the fridge every few days, that's got to be cheaper) and some orange juice.

Tomorrow should be a NSD, I have enough milk and some bread in the freezer to get out for tomorrow, and other than ds2s injections we're not planning on going out anywhere, so I shouldn't get tempted.

pixiestix Sun 03-Feb-13 15:31:03

Stormforce your meals for the week sound lovely!

RedLentil Sun 03-Feb-13 15:52:54

Thunk - putting a word in here for Cork. We live a few miles outside Bantry, and it is a great place to be.

HelgatheHairy Sun 03-Feb-13 16:16:12

peig I'm on the Tralee side of the Tralee/castleisland road!!

HelgatheHairy Sun 03-Feb-13 16:19:14

HOPING for a NSD day today. We got really close yesterday but ended up getting a takeaway. We have nothing out for dinner though so not sure what we'll do. We used to be really good with meal planning but I'm 13 weeks pregnant and having 'issues' with eating anything that's not popcorn, toast, rolls or mushroom soup!

ChristmasJubilee Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:05

Oh! Can I become a frugaleer please. Had a fairly LSD today. Took money out to take ds3 (6) to soft play but he wanted to go swimming - we pay for the leisure centre monthly so no outlay. He wanted an ice cream on the way out, £2.60, so took him to Aldi and bought a box. Spent £9.65 so would have spent less getting the posh ice cream but got bits for the freezer. Cheaper day than soft play.

Will have dinner money x 3 tomorrow but otherwise plan to spend nothing until Friday.

BoffinMum Sun 03-Feb-13 18:21:35

NS weekend here, mainly because I am too knackered to do anything!

takeaway2 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:38:00

Spent money today. Doh. hmm Went to church. Put some money in the tithe. That's fine. Then went to m&s to return some of dd's tights which went all wonky after one wash. They agreed it was bad so gave me money back. Yay.

Then got tempted by a skirt that was reduced, (£21), and a thermal top (£14). But my old thermals were looking v thready. Oh and 2 rolls of christmas wrapping for 50p each! Had lunch at home, then off to kids birthday party (bulk bought lots of presents that looked expensive from the works just after Christmas. Paid less than half price for a truck load of them!). Had McDonald's on the way back (£13).

It's ok...I usually have NSDs when I'm at work which will be the rest of this week... smilePacked lunches here we come!

13Iggis Sun 03-Feb-13 19:04:00

Very excited to report NSD for me, though I think dh bought some stuff.
Trying to go out without purse, it seems to work!

PeigSayers Sun 03-Feb-13 19:17:14

I'm on the Killarney side Helga.Small world eh? Quite a few of us around it seems. Hi Redlentil-Go the ' Irish Frugaleers '. (sounds a bit like one of the rousing rebel ballads)grin.

AlwaysReadyForABlether Sun 03-Feb-13 19:21:30

bluecarrot that billmonitor site is amazing! I've just tried it and it's found a new contract for me at £7.50 per month compared to the £25+ per month I'm paying just now. I'm not due to renew my contract for another few months but I'll definitely be going back and doing it again when it is due.

HearMyRoar Sun 03-Feb-13 20:13:35

Spent £11.40 at sainsbury today. I'm out for lunch tomorrow so that will be £6ish at most. Planning a nsd for Tuesday though.

Finally put the jumperoo on eBay and it is already at £51 with 6 days left to go. Yay! grin

MavisGrind Sun 03-Feb-13 20:20:49

A NSD here today and another 3 or possibly 4 this week if I can manage not to spend anything on Thursday.

I've made a big batch of soup which will do my lunches all week and have made a banana loaf for treats. I'm quite lucky that my dcs are fussy eaters as it means we get through a lot of pasta!

IsThatTrue Sun 03-Feb-13 20:29:02

Just listed 4 bits on eBay, shall draft some more listings later tonight and list them tomorrow. The eBay iPhone app is really simple for listings.

Leilandri Sun 03-Feb-13 20:34:44

NSD here today. Spent the day at home with both DS's and my friend's little boy too, as she had to work. Gained a box of chocs as a thankyou smile
Dinner was toad in the hole, roasties, cauli cheese, broccoli and sweetcorn. All from freezer/cupboards smile

Going to spend the day with my cousin tomorrow, so will take box of chocs as lunch contribution! Will pop to lidl on way home for some fruit/veg. Should be about a tenner.

Great news about the house Helena hope it all goes through smoothly.

Thatsinteresting Sun 03-Feb-13 21:45:39

We had toad in the hole too but ours was with peas, carrots and mash. Only used half the gravy as only dh has it so the rest went in the freezer as it's a faff making it and I'm guessing we'll be have the same meal in a week or two as I go through the stuff in the freezer and the sack of potatoes.

I've deleted all the interesting apps from my phone to stop me 'just looking' while feeding ds or sitting with him as he drops off. I think I'll save a lot.

I've realised I could do with some mushrooms but even with those I think food shop this week will be under £35. leilandri how is your food budget working?

I'm using washing gloop but the whites are starting to look dull/grey. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Good news about the house Helena

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 03-Feb-13 21:53:47

Twice the amount of gloop and don't press the quickwash button. Mine are ok, I wash them at 40 but years ago I read whites need double detergent because otherwise dirt isn't lifted out properly.

Failing that homebargains do whitener sachets 4 for a £1. I use them every so often because my work uniforms have navy trim on them.

stormforce10 Sun 03-Feb-13 22:01:25

NSD so that's 3 out of the 10 I'm aiming for this month

Tomorrow is mum and baby group so a couple of quid in the pot. Then I'll buy the birthday presents I need (no idea what) and pop into the card factory or similar for cards and wrapping paper.

I don't think we need anything else until Thursday by which time we'll need bread and milk

I am gently fuming with dd who left a brand new packet of ham out of the fridge and the cat ate the lot. that's £2 down the drain (or at least in the cat) Looks like we'll just be having cheese omlettes on Wednesday rather than ham and cheese. Never mind, still going to try to go without doing a food shop other than those thigns this week

AdoraBell Mon 04-Feb-13 01:40:59

Quick up date, will read through later.

Picked up misery guts OH, £2.40 on roads, £8 on an English language magazine for me and a snack for DDs, £60 on petrol.

I plan NSDs for tomorrow and Tuesday at least.

Thingymajigs Mon 04-Feb-13 08:04:51

stormforce that must be so annoying. I once had to abandon an entire packet of salmon after my cats got to it.
Unexpected NSD for me today as ds2 is off school with a cold. Not being able to get to town made me realise I don't even need half the things on my list anyway so I have crossed them off.
Couple of things that might help someone:
Pet owners, if you seem to be spending far too much on pet food/supplies then you might want to try Cheapest prices I can find for the products we buy like Purina 1 Sensitive (one of our cats has a very delicate stomach so all three eat this expensive food) and okö cat litter. We buy in bulk too which cuts out delivery costs.
And I'm just browsing right now. Some great advice on switching gas/electricity/mobile/broadband suppliers and top ISA deals which I'm thinking about atm.
Thanks to the poster who pointed out the organised home site btw. I have printed off the 'monthly meal planners' and 'favourite recipe' sheets.