December debt destroying *blows the budgeteering bugle*

(481 Posts)
claretandamberforever Fri 29-Nov-13 17:53:00

Okay, so probably not much debt will be getting destroyed this month, but hopefully we won't add too much to it.

Here's the thread you want if you need to keep a spending diary somewhere, confess money sins, ask for help or have a general whinge at the cost of living.

Welcome to any newbies

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 30-Nov-13 12:46:09

Thanks for starting new thread, claret. I am in!

We started down this road (I've nc) when Dh got made redundant and then had a 40% paycut. He then lost his job hmm so now we are living off my income, which is a 66% drop in income from this time last year shock

We were lucky enough to be comfortable before and are now just above benefits thresholds.

So far I have slashed 7k per year off our spending and now thinking about making more rather than spending less. Just joined topcashback and realised how much cash back I could have got when I switched all my insurance products - £84 for my house insurance alone!! So worth a look for anyone who isn't already on it. For anyone in the know, is quidco worthwhile too or are they much the same?

claretandamberforever Sat 30-Nov-13 13:40:19

I only use Quidco so I'm not much good for asking how comparable they are to the other sites

Same happened to us, DH got made redundant in 2009 and his income went down from £1800 a month to £1100 when he thankfully got a new job. We'd used his redundancy money to pay off some loans which had been £300 a month but were still £400 a month down. These are financially scary times we live in. I try and look on the bright side and think positive that at least we are not in Syria etc.... but it's just hard when it's happening to you and it is your crisis.

I'm also really bad at falling off the wagon, stopping tracking finances and starting to treat myself more and spend dosh willy nilly then when we need some cash for road tax or car repairs, we have to resort to the CC whereas if I track our spending and question every purchase I can have some money left over.

Welcome aboard waiting (who is Peter Wimsey?) I started the thread a couple of days early (DERRRR) so we're still on the November thread but there will be an exodus over here tomorrow.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 30-Nov-13 14:24:39

Thank you - will look at Quidco! smile

Yes I know exactly what you mean about when it's your crisis. I hope things get better for you very soon We can only manage to pay our monthly outgoings by spending our savings as my salary alone won't cover mortgage plus bills and then when the savings are gone they are just trying to keep very positive and believe DH can get another job soon. Need brew and biscuit biscuit

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 30-Nov-13 14:26:15

Oh and Peter W is a lord from a series of Dorothy L Sayers detective novels - clever, wealthy... I think I'd better not let DH see this new username grin

busylizzie76 Sat 30-Nov-13 16:51:13

Hi all - sorry been a busy week.
Well done to everyone doing so well at saving and cost cutting.

I had been doing so well up until today! For 6 weeks I have managed to spend under £25 on weekly food shopping and nothing during the week, except petrol and kids activities.

Well, I have just returned from the Sainsbobs and I managed to spend an eye watering £125+! I need to justify myself!

£38.38 on food shopping: I am not planning on going again for at least 10 days (apart from Cat food)
£12.48 on toiletries (but my fav hair dye was on offer £9 for two so had to as normally would be £12 for two) plus some ibuprofen, strepsils etc. to restock due to colds.
£20 on kids birthday party gifts - DD is going to a joint party tomorrow for 5 little girls! Bought some reduced Hello Kitty hand warmers....had wrapping and cards at home already.
£34.99 - printer ink - I have an Epson and it only likes official cartridges! Been holding off getting these for ages.
£24.77 - on all of my 2 DCs stocking fillers......2 for 3 range and had a 600 points if you spend £15 voucher.

So, although it sounds bad I did save over £20 in promotions and got over 1,000 nectar points too.

One really good thing it that I now have over £125 in nectar points and I am hoping to keep not spending these in order to buy DS an ipad mini for his Xmas......he has already saved up £120 buy selling his 3DS on ebay.....frugality in training grin

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend.

busylizzie76 Sat 30-Nov-13 17:03:13

Oh further penance: We are having a frugal but lovely dinner tonight.
6 x frozen sausages - 45p
packet of batter mix - 15p
To make toad in the hole

2 baked potatoes - 70p (1/2 for each DC)
frozen mixed veg - 18p (1/4 of a packet)

So, dinner for 3 for £1.48 + electricity costs smile

CremeEggThief Sat 30-Nov-13 18:15:19

Just marking my place for now. Thanks for starting the new thread, Claret.

Another huge fan of Lord Peter Wimsey here, actually. smile

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 30-Nov-13 19:04:55

I'm here again; join every month with excellent intentions... then disappear. So far so good. For petrol & groceries I have a budget of 1000 a month. cc used for this is already at £800 with 13 days still to go to cuf off. Doesnt look good, BUT, all Christmas presents accounted for except. maybe £60 worth. My own personal account looked fairly healthy for an hour or so on payday, until mortgage & bills were direct debitted. So, getting by. However, getting by is not where I need to be. I need frugality to start saving for holiday & new flooring. So I will stick with you all this. month and next to get back in to good habits. I first joined these threads in January 2013 & there were some fabulous regulars who really gave you food for thought. I really hope they rejoin.... was it fluffycloud who made her own wash powder and ground dishwasher tablets in half!?

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 30-Nov-13 19:10:30

Can I add a tip for the next three weeks or so. Bit of retail industry whistleblowing......... supermarkets will discount heavily over the next 3 weeks on things we shoppers try and do without on the expensive run up to Christmas. So they will do good special offers, but on things they expect not to sell - so look out for wash powder, dishwasher powder, comfort etc. Stock up!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 01-Dec-13 08:25:54

Oh that is really useful info - thank you!! I'm all done with present shopping so will look out for bulk buying bargains.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 01-Dec-13 08:34:53

Thanks for that oh - will look forward to hopefully getting some bulk buying bargains smile All done with Xmas shopping thanks toReastie's threads.

So, today is 1 Dec and as DH is still out of work our aim is to spend nothing other than on food and essentials. Dm and DF have very kindly stepped in to pay for this term ds's gym tot type activity as an early Xmas present blush and other than that we are trying to spend zero on anything other than mortgage, food and bills - no soft play, no coffees, no unnecessary petrol etc etc. For days out we will be doing library, walks to playground taking own picnic etc etc.

Fingers crossed DH will get a job this month and by Xmas things will be better smile

Helenagrace Sun 01-Dec-13 08:35:23


Not too bad end to November. All Christmas spending done and we're away over Christmas so I'm not buying sweets and chocolate until we get back when it will be half price hopefully and the DCs will have eaten loads and won't want any

I overheard two assistants talking in Sainsburys and they seemed to be saying there was another 25%weekend coming up this weekend grin

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 01-Dec-13 08:46:07

Hi Helena, it's a great feeling having done all theXmas spend, isn't it? Hope they do have a 25% weekend - would be great grin

Thought I might post our free days out list, in case it inspires anyone - all really obvious but really has helped us save:

Local farm with free entry
Library (has a baby rhyme time on a Sat)
Local children's centre has a Playgroup on a Sat
Book shop - lovely children's book section and as we've bought so much there before they are happy for us to browse and not buy

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 01-Dec-13 08:55:03

Oh and blush even the supermarket is a very much enjoyed trip out for our toddler DS!!

Turnoffthelights Sun 01-Dec-13 10:55:12

Thanks for get well messages on November thread. We're all feeling better but will enjoy another day snuggled up on the sofa!

Had a bit of a panic yesterday when I checked wages on online account. It appears that I'm only £30 better off after increasing my hours (now working 28pw rather than 22) I'm holding off full on meltdown until I've checked my payslip tomorrow. This is also the first month I've bought childcare vouchers so I'm hoping the extra £30 net pay is a result of not paying tax. My worry is that extra pay has been eaten up by ni, student loan and pension. Just hoping that admin hasn't been done and actually il get double extra pay in December! If not il have to reconsider the extra hours as I won't be able to afford childcare.

My budgets for December:
Petrol - £300
Food - £200
Childcare - £300
Misc - £100

Thanks for days out ideas wimsey these will really be of value in the new year. I'm going to try to find some Saturday play groups!

I also read someone (maybe on here) say that they still treat themselves to outings but will go for the cheaper option so rather than go out for a meal with the OH, go out for tea and cake or rather than meeting friends for dinner, meet them for brunch. We'll be trying not to go out at all in the new year but this tip has really struck a chord with me.

Good luck everyone with keeping festivities as frugal as possible!

Helenagrace Sun 01-Dec-13 10:59:22

Local museums often have free or cheap family activities. We used to set treasure challenges to make walks more interesting (who can find a red leaf, a twig that looks like the letter K, a toadstool etc). We've also taken a flask of hot water and a drained tin of cheap hot dog ssusages and added the sausages to the flask and had a hot dog picnic in the winter - better if you've got a stash of ketchup sachets!

winkywinkola Sun 01-Dec-13 11:05:35

Marking place. I'm rubbish at cutting costs and really need to.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 01-Dec-13 11:25:01

I find topcashback quicker at paying out, my car & home ins payout only took 2 months.

Possiblyorange Sun 01-Dec-13 12:45:00

Have finally tone through and balanced the books (as far as possible when living in one's overdraft!) for November, so I am officially prepared to accept that December exists.

The budget for this month is just plain scary - car MOT is due in a couple of days and I am just praying it isn't too horrendous. Last service was cheap to am expecting it to be expensive as they seem to alternate.

The sum that needs making by end of Dec is inching downwards, but needs to be going quicker. Eek!

Hi all just put xmas decs up

had lovely afternoon at panto yesterday £9 lunch n £5 parking n £3.50 on a light up sword.

Realised on way home car lights not working high beams n side lights work so thinking Maybe a fuse trip to garage tomorrow

Oh n kettle is on its way out luckily found a gift card from bday i hadn't used for debenhams so that's a new kettle ordered old one best last til its delivered.

ilovepicnmix Sun 01-Dec-13 16:48:13

Hot dog and flask is a genius idea helenagrace!

Did my aldi shop and spent £35.40 as I totted up as I went round. I bought a bottle of their Irish cream for DS to give his dad for Christmas but realise I just bought the ordinary one. Does anyone know if it's ok??

claretandamberforever Sun 01-Dec-13 17:03:24

1st non-spend-day of the month grin - although DS1 will have a £10 fine to pay as he got a yellow card at football (under 17's). He's paying it, I'm not. Christmas tree's up now and the house looks all lovely and twinkly

busylizzie76 Sun 01-Dec-13 17:54:59

Happy December 1st grin
NSD number 1

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 01-Dec-13 18:08:35

I've good things about their Irish cream on here.

I can't have it due to allergies otherwise it would be used in place of milk in tea from November 1st until Feb 1st every year.

And now the microwave has broke well that's 3 things!!

Its 7yrs old n a high spec one that apparently could cook a roast in never did - next one will have a heat n defrost button!! One at work i got at same time n second hand so probably 10yrs old n is basic model still going strong

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 01-Dec-13 19:15:24

my microwave is caput too after i left a metal tie wrap on a bag i was defrosting . have used Google and have to check two fuses before i bin it. i agree though - only need a reheat button for what i use. Almost a nsd but forgot butter in the online shop. Aldi next week...

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 01-Dec-13 19:17:03

And to add to Helenagrace's idea - we do tomato soup and cheese sandwich picnics. yum wink

CremeEggThief Sun 01-Dec-13 19:47:43

NSD smile .

Helenagrace Sun 01-Dec-13 20:42:05

Aldi Irish cream is nicer than Baileys IMO.

The Aldi amaretto and the pear cider aren't bad either.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 01-Dec-13 20:50:52

Loving the idea of picnics and hotdogs - yum grin DH may become more keen on budgeting if I tell him they re on offer!!

NK5BM3 Sun 01-Dec-13 21:16:17

Hello everyone
Wow this thread is already filling up! I've not looked at the cc bills yet. Ones already in the email. The other one should come in a week or so. hmm Bad month last month as we had two cars for their mot. One car will have its service this weekend too. hmm

I was travelling alot for work last month and so did some guilt shopping for kids to make up. Sigh.

Today started Christmas shopping. Spent £73 at m&s on 3 for 2 toys - that will suit all the kids I need to buy for in the family. Primark - £63 for Christmas pajamas, clothes and socks for grandad. grin

Frugal thing I did was made lunch and everyone ate enroute to mall. That saved us at least £30. Nearest dining place at mall - one of those nandos, Frankie and Benny places!! So I don't feel so bad.

northender Sun 01-Dec-13 22:36:41

Marking my place. Bad, bad spendy weekend here blush . Need to get back on track fast.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 02-Dec-13 07:33:59

Oi, waiting PW is MINE! grin MINE, I SAY!

daydreams for a bit

Ahem. Posted on the old thread already, but had a spendy Dec 1st but most of it was Christmas pressies for family and did get some good deals so not too worried.

Am overpaying my CC at the moment, we had to put the move and the white goods for new house on it, have gotten it down from £3,500 to £1,600 since August, hoping to clear it by the end of Jan!

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 02-Dec-13 07:36:40

Also awesome blog/ e book recommendation, (I just read the whole blog on my phone last week then realised she does a free e-book of it) is A Story of Debt, it's about a girl who paid off $25,000 of credit card debt in 14 months, very inspiring!

jonbonjovismissus Mon 02-Dec-13 09:34:38

Morning everyone!
Thanks for the new thread claret, haven't been on for a while as weddings & honeymoons made frugality practically impossible but back on it now.........LSD yesterday, bought a dress for the work Xmas party from Warehouse but had birthday vouchers to pay for it so actually only cost £3 of my own money.
£60 back from selling old books & DVDs on ebay.........

Possiblyorange Mon 02-Dec-13 10:56:33


Am feeling cross this morning as I had tomorrow set aside for eBaying stuff, and have just realised I have two meetings so won't be able to do it. Am now trying to work double-fast to make more time today so I can do it.

Actually started my Christmas shopping yesterday - bought the DCs some money boxes on eBay. Luckily we're only buying for immediate family's children this year, not adults, so not too many presents to stress over, and I might even do homemade ones for some of them.

ilovepicnmix Mon 02-Dec-13 15:36:45

£3.90 on bus travel. DS's first time on a bus incredibly. Had to go to the dentist in the city centre and decided to go no pram as logistically easier once at actual dentist. Ended up then spending £4.55 in pret which I'm annoyed about but it was all bad planning really. Anyway that spend then enabled us to stay in town and go to the art gallery, which has a space for children, and then a walk round the German market. All in all a very civilised few hours.

I realise being frugal is going to get harder and harder the older DS gets and the 'i want. ...' starts. A go on the carousel was £2.50!!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 02-Dec-13 15:56:23

Glad to see how many people are also keen on Peter!! blush

Ilove, I totally agree about the age of dc - it's easy at the moment for us as DS is only 2, so doesn't mind/realise we have made serious spending cuts. He isn't asking about why we've stopped going to the soft play - for example. Though that does make me a bit hmm Silly really, because he gets to go to the little soft play, lovely playing the garden, lots of walks and we go to the playground often.

CremeEggThief Mon 02-Dec-13 16:10:37

FWIW, I think those of you with young DC will find it easier to resist pester power, as you can start as you mean. If they've never had it, they won't miss it.

So far, £1 on handmade tree ornaments at the Nursery; £1 at Tesco and 64p on a pretzel and a doughnut for Lidl. Tea will be chips from the chippy later, as I'm feeling a bit grotty. I should do the weekly shop later today, but we can get by until tomorrow. So, £2.64 so far.

Possiblyorange Mon 02-Dec-13 17:08:30

I am worried the computer game nagging will start this Christmas as the DC's slightly older cousins will be there and they have handheld games consoles (no idea which ones they are as I am clueless about such things!).

Spent a reasonable amount today, but nothing out of budget so am trying not to be stressed about it, despite making no progress towards huge end-of-Dec target in the last day or two.

Turnoffthelights Mon 02-Dec-13 17:44:32

£9.37 in Aldi. Just going to shop every few days rather than weekly to keep within £200 budget for the month.

Good news - extra pay had not been paid, will get double extra at end of December!

3frugalthings: just got inventive with a tin of cod roe (one of the randoms from my mum's cupboard) and have made a lovely taramasalata to go with a cucumber lurking in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch; after deciding to check online banking every day to really feel in control of finances realised straight away that EDF had overcharged my DD by £177! Called earlier, all sorted and money refunded, phew!; have increased childcare voucher contribution for December so hopefully extra extra pay won't be totally eaten up with tax.

I have no idea who Lord Peter Wimsey is! Love a good read though so will be searching him out!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 02-Dec-13 19:00:28

Turnoff, I suggest you start with Strong Poison, if you like old fashioned detective novels. Not the first one, but a good one. Then you can go back and read them in sequence. For the full credit crunch experience - in keeping with the thread spirit - you can get it from the library smile

claretandamberforever Mon 02-Dec-13 19:21:06

EDF had overcharged you by £177!!! That's outrageous.

Today's spends
£2.00 - lunch (bad habits surfacing)
£5.00 - new scarf
£4.26 - wrapping paper, money wallets, sellotape.

Turnoffthelights Mon 02-Dec-13 19:40:50

I know it is outrageous! All part of the watershed gas bill that got me on here in the first place, should now be sorted. I used to be really impressed with EDF because of their great customer service, answering the phone quickly etc but during this debacle they have been rubbish. Last two phone calls took 30 mins to answer!

Just had a little look on amazon at Strong Poison - looks fab! Better dust off my library card (I'm usually a book buyer so good reminder that there are libraries out there!)

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 02-Dec-13 19:45:20

£6 on a bodyshop facial massage tool
£7 on food, dh will pay me back.

Sending shoes back, too high & too tight. Free returns though.

Found out dh has a credit expert account on the joint account, he didn't realise because "I never check the joint".

I have added it up & he will paying it back into the joint. I am angry.

Possiblyorange Mon 02-Dec-13 20:10:44

Turnoff that's a hell of an extra payment to EDF! Glad you got it sorted out.

Artemis I've just been reading A Story of Debt. Was interesting, but slightly depressing as I can't imagine a time we will ever have the £ equivalent of $1,500-1,700 to put towards debt payment/savings ever in our entire lives!

I have to say I am feeling almost sick with stress about money at the moment, but in a determined effort to look on the bright side:
- My mum is visiting later this week and offered to pick me up some cheap cuts of meat from her (really good) butcher. She never lets me pay for it either, so it's even cheaper as far as I'm concerned!
- We have just realised the petrol bill will be smaller than usual this month as DH has two weeks off work for Christmas and we are only doing one trip to see family in that time so won't use much petrol. This slightly reduces the scary sum I need to make before end of Dec
- I have just received a not massive but larger than expected cheque for my birthday, so will spend half on a treat for me and put half towards essentials. Bit grim to do that with birthday money, but on the upside, it's a teeny bit less money that I need to earn this month, which is a treat in itself

Possiblyorange Mon 02-Dec-13 20:11:10

fluffy what is a credit expert account?

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 02-Dec-13 20:13:58

Credit expert allows you to keep an eye on your credit rating - for a price!!

Orange, I'm really sorry you are feeling so stressed about money. I presume you've already cut back all you can?

ilovepicnmix Mon 02-Dec-13 20:43:31

Oh possibly! Im so sorry to hear you're so stressed. Keep your chin up love. You're doing all you can x

AdoraBell Tue 03-Dec-13 01:38:29

Marking place, now going into hiding in the hope that the rest of December is too busy To find me.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 03-Dec-13 07:37:47

nsd yesterday. two in a

Possiblyorange Tue 03-Dec-13 08:50:25

Thanks for the sympathy. Everything pared back that we possibly can apart from the childcare, and getting rid of that means accepting that my current business plan isn't working and I need to forget about it for a few years until the DCs are in school and I don't need to earn so much to pay for childcare. It's a really bleak prospect, especially making our amazing nanny redundant either right before or right after Christmas sad.

I am just so upset that we have ploughed through every single last penny of our (previously very healthy) savings into something that isn't working at all, and we have to start from scratch again. Honestly, I could cry at the thought of it. I think we're actually going to have to take out a loan to pay the childcare for this month and next so we don't have to do redundancy immediately before Christmas.

GhettoPrincess001 Tue 03-Dec-13 09:09:15

I've had a no spend day today. We've had thirty five quid in our account since Friday. Payday is overnight tonight. Yesterday was a nsd until I realised I needed milk.

I put five quid's worth of petrol in the car as the 'idiot light' had come on.

Over the weekend we were reliant on my husband's wallet cash for any incidental spending i.e. newspapers, bread.

However, tomorrow the things I need to buy cannot be kept at bay any longer i.e. Christmas postage for overseas cards, few groceries, new cheap dress for job interview on Thursday. I've been unemployed since January of this year. We get by on my husband's income.

claretandamberforever Tue 03-Dec-13 17:52:17

Possibly Orange, I really do feel for you. It is so horrible to be stressed out about money, particularly when you've pared back as much as you can, and there's no where to bring any extra money from. I really do hope things pick up in the New Year for you and yours.

claretandamberforever Tue 03-Dec-13 18:03:25

£2.20 on a sandwich (third in three days, so I've bought some pasties instead which I'll cook in the oven before I go to work and then heat up)
£3.00 - aforementioned pasties and some bags of sweets.

Have to go to supermarket tonight too as I need budgie food and sugar and forgot to blooming get some this morning when I went - PAH. Oh well I'll combine it with an attempt to buy FIFA14 and GTA5 for DS's for Xmas (they'll have to share them)

EDF Bill came today - starting the winter months with a £10 debit but my monthly payments still staying at £140. This bill showed I had halved my gas usage since the same period last year but I had increased electric use (cos of the fan heater, I'm guessing).

Should find out tomorrow whether I've got that job, I really hope so, fingers, toes, eyes, everything crossed.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 03-Dec-13 18:05:37

£130 on a dressing table grin, topcashback paid the rest. I'm getting too old to kneel on the floor to do my hair. My knees hurt and it takes ages to get up.

£20 work stuff.

£10 petrol.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 03-Dec-13 18:07:05

Ooh good luck for the job.

ilovepicnmix Tue 03-Dec-13 19:12:24

Good luck for Thursday ghettoprincess!

Today I spent £7.96 on some Christmas cards and a dozen stamps. We're off to my mum's this weekend and she's going to give me some cards that she didn't use last year. I'm going to leave my family cards with her and she can hand deliver nearer to the day saving me postage. The cards I bought today are ones from DS eg to grandad, uncle etc. He's the only grandchild on my side.

Then £3 on playdoh and £1 in a charity shop for a toy car and a sesame street toy. All for DS's stocking. I reckon I've got enough wee bits for him now. No big pressie aa he's too young to expect it!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Tue 03-Dec-13 19:20:17

Possibly, I hope things improve - sending you some wine and thanks

We had some good news today. DH was sacked two weeks ago but today got a job - not a permanent job, but a short term maternity cover. He will have to keep looking for a full time permanent role - fingers crossed, but for now it is so good just to have some money coming in again smile

That's good news waiting forpw about husband finding work

we had a family day out today to a family theme park cost£17 for 3 of us inc Santa visit as term time mid wk same trip £40 at wknd!!

Got to have my hair cut on Thursday as hasn't been done since beg may always do a groupon deal hate hairdressers so any is fine cheap is good!! This time someone gave me a half price voucher for luxury salon its with the junior so £14 for wash cut n style.

CremeEggThief Tue 03-Dec-13 19:30:10

WaitingforPeterWimsey, that's great news smile.

£3.70 at the post office on some envelopes for posting off eBay items and £40.08 on the weekly shop at Tesco. Also, spent £3 at the chippy after I posted last night. So, £46.78 in total.

Best of luck to those waiting to have an interview/ waiting for the outcome of an interview.

Turnoffthelights Tue 03-Dec-13 20:01:50

Good luck on job news ghetto and claret good news comes in threes so if wimseys is the first... smile great news on husband's job.

possibly really feeling for you. Would your nanny accept reduced hours? Could you try reducing hours on your business but still keep your hand in? It sounds like you've put a lot in to building up what you've got already so would be great if you could keep some part of it going.

NSD for me. 2/31 for December!

3frugalthings: have rearranged some of our Christmas visits cutting out one of the big drives which should impact on petrol budget; have started to compile a 2014 budget folder, including dates all utilities can be switched (ashamed to admit I have never done this before blush !); OH has gone out so am about to turn off heating and lights in most of house, check that dd is snug, then will get into bed to watch a film - cosy!

AdoraBell Tue 03-Dec-13 20:41:47

Fab News Waiting and good luck with everything crossed To Claret and Possibly

NSD here and because DH wasn't around To buy coffees/lunches for clients he has a little left over from November.

I was Due To have coffee with a friend but that was postponed.

northender Tue 03-Dec-13 22:05:26

possibly I hope things improve for you soon, I really feel for you. claret and ghettoprincess fingers crossed for good job news for you both. Great news peterwimsey.

Dh and i had a Christmas shopping day today and got most presents bought. I don't think we'll quite come in on budget but I'll give it a good go!

MaKettle Tue 03-Dec-13 22:48:59

Possiblyorange, is there anyone you could nannyshare with to cut costs?

Helenagrace Wed 04-Dec-13 07:29:09

Was hoping for an NSD today but the car has a slow punctureconfused

Still no news on DH's contract extension.

Possiblyorange Wed 04-Dec-13 08:48:09

Waiting that's great news. Always much easier to find a job when you're in work, they say, so hopefully things will pick up for him now.

Ghetto good luck with the interview.

We will keep the nanny on her current hours till after Christmas, then DH and I will really sit down and go through income and outgoing and I am hoping we will be able to keep her possibly just one day a week if nothing more, so I can keep working at least a bit. We'll have to do the sums. Nanny shares very unusual round here as we are way out in the sticks in quite a poor area, iykwim.

I long for the day when budgeting software doesn't have a red number at the top of how much I am falling short of what I need to make!

Hoping for a LSD today, I have some posting to do but nothing else I don't think.

NK5BM3 Wed 04-Dec-13 09:31:45

hi Possibly
I'm not sure what line of work you are in, but I think it's always good to 'keep working at least a bit'. when my DH started his own practice, the key was obviously trying to get some business, any business. He joined 'business network international' (they are all over the UK - where we are there are like 3-4 active groups!) and they've been really good in terms of building up a referral group of people and a really active network. he's now only 2 years in his business, but it's flourishing. Not to the point that I can quit my job, but it's keeping him v busy.

2 years ago, we took the decision to lower the kids nursery to 3 days a week. It was good because it meant that the kids had some daddy time (and coincidentally he hooked up with a couple of dads from the nursery who were working flexibly as well) and they had a ball of a time, 3 men and their children. smile

it's hard, but you can make it work... fingers crossed for all good news.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 04-Dec-13 17:11:20

£15 petrol
£3 work stuff

£3.50 contact lens cleaner
79p pears.

Accidentally used Dh's paypal to buy my furniture, if he gets charged for using his overdraft I've got to cough up but I think he's annoyed I want £120 credit expert fees payed back into the joint account. I scrimp and save on so many things I'm just not prepared to let it go.

claretandamberforever Wed 04-Dec-13 17:29:51

RESULT!!!! I got the job (subject to vetting and references) so praying my financial Crapness doesn't scupper things for me.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Wed 04-Dec-13 17:37:19

Yay claret grin

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 04-Dec-13 17:37:30


AdoraBell Wed 04-Dec-13 18:16:16

Congrats Claret grin, everything still crossed for the vetting.

Need To Get a few bits Today, will report the damage later.

CremeEggThief Wed 04-Dec-13 19:10:30

Congratulations claret grin

ilovepicnmix Wed 04-Dec-13 19:40:41

Well done claret!

Was hoping for an NSD today but it was a charity cake sale so it was I was morally obliged to spend £1. Then another £2 in the dreaded brown collection envelope.

jonbonjovismissus Wed 04-Dec-13 19:52:19

Fab news claret, £17 postage for previously mentioned ebay stuff, have got most of it in the payments so only a little under, still getting the hang of ebay..........but between that and topcashback should have enough for extra Xmas food

NK5BM3 Wed 04-Dec-13 19:57:20

Fab news claret! Good luck with the vetting. I've just applied for my own job... At a higher grade. That's apparently a good thing except that it was also advertised to externals. shock

But someone in the know has just told me that the competition wasn't great and they can't beat me. That's good to hear but it depends on what happens I suppose at the interview!

My first nsd today in many weeks....!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 04-Dec-13 20:19:27

NK, whenever I've been in when they are showing prospective candidates through for interview it's usually internal candidates who get it unless someone way more experienced and qualified turns up.

You get people just trying their luck, I've seen people apply for posts they have the wrong degree for.

NK5BM3 Wed 04-Dec-13 20:23:46

Hi fluffy thanks for the reassurance. Figures crossed then..

Turnoffthelights Wed 04-Dec-13 20:47:24

Well done claret! Cheering to hear good news! Good luck for yours NK.

£2.54 tescos, £1.50 bus.

3frugalthings: valiantly getting through the tube of horrible tasting toothpaste - can't let it go to waste! Raided my 3 week old sealed savings jar for spends today as didn't want to take cash out (sorry sealed savers - my spare change is just so needed!). Got super organised tonight, me cooking macaroni DH cooking cottage pie, so we could put them into the same hot oven and only have to zap in microwave later in the week!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 04-Dec-13 21:48:25

£10 tesco voucher if you take a £1 trial with the sun. Just remember to cancel.

My morrisons £10 voucher never arrived but I did get 3 CK lip glosses.

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 01:17:44


I can't remember How much I Spent in the supermarket. Must have been around £15 -£20. Was distracted so I just checked that what I signed for was correct and then filed it under Done in my head.

Annoying about that Morrison's voucher Fluffy but the CK lipglosses are not To be sniffed atfgrin.

Tomorrow coffee with a friend.

Possiblyorange Thu 05-Dec-13 07:09:58

Yay Claret, well done!

Had two NSDs, but only because I got DH to do my posting and pick up extra food from the supermarket, so I'm not sure it really counts! Will have another one today and hopefully will earn some money too.

Feeling relieved that I have budgeted so carefully as although I am terrified about the sums I need to make, it is nice putting my spends into YNAB and seeing that at least I'm not over-spending on anything, if that makes sense.

Possiblyorange Thu 05-Dec-13 07:10:20

BTW, YNAB = budgeting software.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 05-Dec-13 14:44:40

I have just had to pay nearly £100 for my speed awareness course....sad . got 10% off the AA online shop if anyone wants it. code is DEBIT10.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 05-Dec-13 15:42:49


When you re-new next time watch out for insurers who ask if you've been on that course. Apparently some do now.

Just had a much needed haircut not done since beg may had a half price voucher n v worth it. Got given voucher to go nxt wk for free wash n blow dry n a treatment did check completly free n yep but obviously so shocked as left my vouchers behind must ring them up n see if they will post them.

CremeEggThief Thu 05-Dec-13 16:50:55

£5.72, on a hook to hang up my (as yet unpurchased) wreath and Blu-tac. My lovely friend treated me to a coffee and fried egg bap smile .

Yesterday, it was £8.49 on posting off eBay stuff, but that was already paid for £7.30 on travel, £6.30 on lunch and coffee out and £5.12 at Clinton Cards. So, £18.72 total.

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 16:54:51

Had a friend coming over for dinner and to stay the night, hadn't seen her in about a year, so had budgeted for a blow out meal- cooked three courses, red wine is currently breathing, been up since 6am getting the panna cottas to set (yes I know, it's a money forum not a whining forum but still fgrin) and she's just canx and wants to raincheck

£90-odd I spent on everything for tonight. I can eat it all myself for the next week few nights, but I certainly can't justify another £90 in a few weeks time when / if she decides she can come then

(Sad) fsad what a waste

Possiblyorange Thu 05-Dec-13 17:48:54

Oh toad what a shame! I have had similar happen in the past and it's crap, especially having set aside time and money for it. Is there anything you can freeze?

Earned about £75 today, which was nice, lopping a bit more off the scary sum!

ArtemisatBrauron Thu 05-Dec-13 17:51:05

Oh, pear fsad crack into the wine and goodies and watch something on TV. I'd be furious!

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 17:51:45

Sadly not, it's all been prepped / chopped / baked etc

Just sitting down to a whole baked Camembert with roasted garlic on the sofa with fluffy socks on and an entire bottle glass of fancy schmancy red wine fsmile

WaitingForPeterWimsey Thu 05-Dec-13 18:57:29

Toad, that is very annoying hmm I hope she had a good reason!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 05-Dec-13 19:39:07

oh poor you. very disappointing and expensive. Go to hers if she reschedules!

Turnoffthelights Thu 05-Dec-13 19:46:28

Hope you enjoyed every last drop of the Camembert toad. You sound like a lovely friend for organising all of this; good menu choice too - love cheese and pan a cotta! What's for main?!

I agree with artemis, enjoy the dinner yourself! feet up! something good on the box xx

NSD, 3/31.

ilovepicnmix Thu 05-Dec-13 19:58:30

Oh no toad! I could pop round and help you out I'm sure!

I filled up my tank today to the tune of £49.30. Bought the star to get the £5 off an aldi shop voucher. Sorry I didn't post about it but I didn't find out till this evening.

Im hoping the wind calms down as we're off to see my family in Scotland this weekend. Just called my mum and she was driving though a snow storm.

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 20:51:55

Hope all is well in Scotland picnmix and you get to visit at the weekend.

toad I've frozen baked goods before, most things will freeze. Hope you enjoyed the cheese and wine. I would also be a bit miffed, hope she had a valid reason.

Spent 3 quid on coffee and cake with friend, we shared a slice of cake.
Then 20 on undies to go in Christmas stockings for DDs.
Went into and back out of town so 6 quid on the roads in total going back and forth. Think I have to go back tomorrow as DH left the gas guzzler at the dealership, complicated situation as we need both cars but obvs need to have it there for people to see and buy it.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 05-Dec-13 20:55:08

£5 on really thick pipe insulation. Airing cupboard is now much cooler & I'm only halfway done.

<exciting life>

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 20:59:49

< sorry am in a cheese induced coma on the sofa >

Main course was Moroccan tagine with saffron couscous. It has been frozen. I've moved onto eating the panna cotta. For austerity reasons obviously fgrin

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 21:02:47

fluffy I got far too excited the day I wrapped my boiler in an insulating jacket

Tbf, it does keep the water hotter for longer so it was worth the extra spend on it

and it looks like a fat Father Christmas in the airing cupboard

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 05-Dec-13 23:08:32

Thanks for good wishes regarding my job interview. I'm currently waiting for the outcome, due next week.

Pearshaped toad - what a bugger of a thing to happen. Any way you could ask your guest to bring a dessert and/or wine when it's rescheduled ?

Now that my husband has been paid, we've paid the gas & electricity bill (including prompt payment discount), the rates (paid monthly to assist with budgeting) and I've got petrol, which I don't buy that often as I only use the car for a few errands and my husband walks to work. (Eighty five mile round trip for yesterday's job interview, but hey.)

I'm living overseas presently. There's a chain of furniture and electrical shops that's selling goods at cost price to employees of selected government departments and to all volunteers as a thank you. Woop woop ! I'm a volunteer and I can get the bed we need (current one 19 years old) at cost price ! We need a new set of dining room furniture but even at cost price we couldn't afford that and the bed. The fridge freezer has got rust on the door but is still working. So, we've had to prioritise our spending and just get the bed.

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 23:10:47

Ah, I see. Hope you enjoy the panda cottafenvy

AdoraBell Thu 05-Dec-13 23:13:55

That's a good scheme Princess would you be able To replace the fridge/freezer in a few month's time using them? I'd Choose that over the dinning table.

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 05-Dec-13 23:29:44

Adora (you're getting warmer) sorry if you are to young to get that.

Thanks but the offer ends on Monday. We would have to get the bed, the dining table and chairs, and the fridge freezer in one go to maximise on the offer. Even at cost, that will really ratchet up the bill.

We've just narrowly avoided a financial disaster recently and it would be prudent not to go asking for trouble. Even paying for the bed using our 0% credit card, when the interest free period ends in 6 months time we will have the bill to pay to avoid interest. We gambled on me getting work, well, that hasn't happened for the last 12 months. If I get a job in the future, all well and good. If we have to replace the fridge-freezer in future, we'll just have to, 'bite the bullet'. Fingers crossed that it co-incides with a sale at that time. What are the chances ? (Don't go there !)

The dining room table and chairs will just have to do. If we didn't buy any furniture, what have lost ? Nothing.

ThePearShapedToad Thu 05-Dec-13 23:31:49

Fingers crossed for a well timed future fridge sale ghetto fsmile

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 05-Dec-13 23:57:25

PearShapedAmphibian - thanks. Also, it must be the same dimensions of our old fridge freezer because the slot in the kitchen is only big enough for our current fridge freezer. That was a small miracle from when we moved into our house in 2011. However, we are now stuck with those dimensions as I don't want to destroy the cupboard space above or around the existing area where it goes.

AdoraBell Fri 06-Dec-13 01:33:22

Good luck with Job hunt/selling Princess

GhettoPrincess001 Fri 06-Dec-13 01:39:25


Thank you. I've nothing to sell. I would just wait for a sale for a bargain like most people.

AdoraBell Fri 06-Dec-13 01:54:47

Sorry, my mistakefblush

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 06-Dec-13 07:27:14

2 vouchers in the daily star, £5 off £40 spend in iceland & £5 off a £12 spend in WH Smith.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 06-Dec-13 07:33:58

Ps also in the express for the smiths one but not the iceland one & the stars only 35p.

Possiblyorange Fri 06-Dec-13 09:37:16

Phew, car got through MOT this morning without ANYTHING needing doing. Such a relief as I had budgeted £200 and was terrified it would be even more (was £350 last year shock). Now to resist the temptation to celebrate with takeaway, since we don't actually have the money, it just means I have to earn slightly less to cover our shortfall this month.

Also found out yesterday that DH will get £100 bonus plus £50 Sainsburys vouchers from work.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 06-Dec-13 14:18:32

£12.90 yesterday on drinks after work, the Christmas season is expensive!

We are going to a school play (A Christmas Carol!)and school carol singing/mince pie sale this evening, we'll have to chuck some money in a tin, say £4 but apart from that it will be a NSD.

On the plus side I am getting free posh dinner at work on Saturday (thank you for running a soccer team this term) and free sunday roast lunch at work on Sunday (thank you for taking pupils on a fun run and ice skating on Sunday)

NK5BM3 Fri 06-Dec-13 14:34:06

I'm waiting for my car's MOT. Am at the garage. And they've just told me it's not going to pass coz some lights alerting them to something which they need to check. Argh methinks it's going to be costly. hmm

Helenagrace Fri 06-Dec-13 15:11:27

A couple more NSDs this week although yesterday's slow puncture ended up needing a new tyre hmm.

I work for a charity which is recruiting for some part time flexible work from home admin / coordinator jobs. From 5-15 hours a week which can increase once you're experienced. Don't want to out myself but PM me if you're interested. They can be done mostly in the evenings if need be.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 06-Dec-13 15:23:07

Pondering selling a few bits on eBay to raise some extra £££... but put off by the new postage rules etc., also hassle.

NK5 fingers crossed it's something minor!

CremeEggThief Fri 06-Dec-13 17:08:37

£1.70 on bus fares to the G.P. DS and I suspected he might have tonsillitis, but luckily, it's just a nasty cold. And £19.51 at Tesco on food for the next few days.

Have a good weekend, everyone smile.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 06-Dec-13 17:25:33

£5 more pipe insulation <happy>

£10 draught excluders, to go with the other one dh hasn't fitted yet angry

£3 meal deal because I was out later than planned.

Good news on the mot, do any of you use the council run mot testing centres? Apparently they don't do repairs so no vested interest.

Not that the motor trade is dis-honest in any way wink

Helenagrace Fri 06-Dec-13 19:25:19

I've replied to three PMs about the jobs so do check your MN inboxes!

Turnoffthelights Fri 06-Dec-13 19:57:22

It's been four weeks since the big gas bill and joining you all on this thread. Thank you for the encouragement and ideas! It really helps to not spend knowing that I have to come and own up to it on here! For example no lunches had been made for today and I was tempted to think 'it's Friday, let's all have shop lunches' but then my December Debt Destroying head took over and I miraculously whipped up three packed lunches out of the dregs of the fridge!

But, on the other hand, tonight I've had a real emotional splurge at tesco. Nothing major, £26, but we really could have got through the weekend with an extra loaf of bread. We've had a tough couple of days supporting some close friends through a difficult situation. Won't go into details as it's not mine to share but the result for me was just wanting to buy a nice easy dinner, some good beer for DH and to generally give thanks for what we do have rather than always worrying about what we don't. Plus I get a warm fuzzy safe feeling in tesco - maybe it's the bright lights?!

ilovepicnmix Fri 06-Dec-13 20:19:39

£1 on milk. As I'll be with family for a long weekend I'm hoping it won't be too spendy. I've already paid the train ticket but we'll need to get a taxi to the station as we're going quite early and getting the bus would he too stressful. Got snacks and lunch for DS ready to take.

AdoraBell Sat 07-Dec-13 02:47:10

Turnoff Well done on helping your friends and yes, you deserve the easy meal and beers.

Spent too much in roads and parking Today, taxi service for DH and DDs

Parking £6
Lunch because I was out £8
Greengrocer's between drop offs £25, included 2 kilos of freshly shelled nuts
Dog food, again, £5
Chocolate, for tree and secret santa at school £8
Plus half a tank of petróleo

Tomorrow we're actually going shopping for Christmas gifts.

I've seen espresso cups that I want. Don't need them but I might treat myself. The ones I have were a gift from someone I now cannot stand the sight of, so they Gotta Go! New ones work out To £12 for six, might only buy four.

GhettoPrincess001 Sat 07-Dec-13 04:43:38

Purchased a double bed and a suite of dining room furniture today. Both cost about 750 quid each, a third off the full price ! All I is well.

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 07-Dec-13 09:53:46

£18 on emergency dental treatment and £15.70 on prescription charges for antibiotics. sad

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 07-Dec-13 16:11:35

Dental charges are ouch-y in every way aren't they, did they give you two different types of antibiotics?.

£7 on fuel for dh car.

£3 on washers- got the wrong sort so I will get a refund.

£86 quarterly water bill. Flushing of loos is now banned in this house angry. I just need to fit a shower flow regulator while dh is out. It's an actual reading too.

£10 morrisons voucher arrived from the sun subscription I took out for £1 & then cancelled.

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 07-Dec-13 16:20:39

yes, amoxycillin and another type which apparently mean ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL I started feeling like an Alky because they kept repeating it so often fconfused

Off to the supermarche now to get food - only need a small amount and no wine now fhmm so should be cheap!

claretandamberforever Sat 07-Dec-13 18:49:34

Haven't spent much in the last week (or so it seems, but my spreadsheet seems to say otherwise)

Grocery budget: Spent £159.28 // £190.72 remaining
Petrol budget: Spent £149.04 // £105.96 remaining
Everything else budget: Spent £88.98 // £253.61 remaining

Everything else spends have been...
Lunches at work
Some money I owed my eldest...
Nit lotion...
Some money for my BIL birthday
A new scarf...
Kids haircuts...
A Xmas jumper for DS for school theme day (Grrr)
Some new boots for me

Did buy some Christmas presents today for my mum and dad (from TK Maxx, some Paco Rabanne for £14, and a purse for £17 (which had the original £75 RRP price on it, although do these things in TK Maxx ever sell for the RRP in the shops they were originally meant for). Now just have MIL, step MIL and BIL to buy for so I will be sorting out the money wallets next week and start wrapping presents.

Thanks for the good wishes about my job, I've unfortunately used around 3 more days AL than I have accrued at current work so I'll have to try and make this up (probably 8 weeks until I leave)or else I'll have to pay it back which I'd rather not do unless I have to. I unexpectedly had to stay late on Friday night which made me 1.5 hours to add to the 1 hour time owed I already had. Only another 20 to go.

Money saving things I have done today...
1. Didn't go to the Leeds German Market as I had planned which probably saved me loads of money..
2. Updated my spreadsheet and did some financial reconciliations even though I didn't feel like it...
3. Swapped a cheese with cranberry at £1.95 for a yellow-stickered cheese with cranberry, raisins and amaretto at £1.29.
4. Savoy cabbage was 20p cheaper at Morrisons than normal

Spendthrifty things I did today...
1. Did I really need to buy a date and walnut loaf, or some 'the best' scones when there's only me who eats them....(ditto, we also could really have done without the 4 malterser bars for a quid)
2. Should have made myself known to the morrisons manager to get my 'little apology' but I didn't have the balls

things to do for Xmas...
wrap the stuff I have already got
work out how much money I need to withdraw and do the money wallets
Buy the bike for DS2
Try and find cheapest place to get Fifa14 and GTA5

Happy budgeting y'all

ArtemisatBrauron Sat 07-Dec-13 18:55:20

£40.92 in supermarket - that's for this week's food plus some extras for Christmas (soya custard for me and cranberries to make sauce, extra vegan butter, extra soya milk etc)

£16 on chocolate treats for my students fblush I can't really afford it but they are all so lovely and deserve it.

We've been trying to get the long-life stuff for Christmas each week so it isn't a massive blow in late December, it's working pretty well so far.

Good luck with making up your hours claret! DH had to make up about 20 hours recently due to time off to finish his PhD thesis, and it was a real PITA until he'd done it.

claretandamberforever Sat 07-Dec-13 19:37:40

I'm dreading it Artemis because I won't be making the time up in my normal job (secretary) which I quite like doing and would have been no great hardship, but I will have to make it up doing reception which is so stressful and my heart is sinking at the thought of it.

ilovepicnmix Sat 07-Dec-13 22:12:30

Claret - we can't live too far away from each other. I was at the German market last week.

£8 on taxi to train station. I'm back in the bosom of my family! My DS is the only grandchild so the red carpet was laid out for us. I've been given a hand knitted snoody type scarf from my gran which is pretty cool considering she's well into her 80s. Someone picked up a lovely charity shop coat for DS and an upsy daisy body warmer. I can just imagine his dad's face when he sees that as it's clearly a 'girls' item. It's lovely being looked after and cooked for.

claretandamberforever Sun 08-Dec-13 08:12:37

I've outed myself on here before anyway Picn... I live in Bradford smile smile

Turnoffthelights Sun 08-Dec-13 08:49:58

Hello everyone! Have been reading and keeping up to date. Well done all.

December Week 1:
3 NSDs
Food - £40.22 (£159.78 budget remaining)
Misc - £9.38 (spends yesterday with friend we're helping out. £90.62 remaining)
Childcare - £0 (bill at end of month)
Petrol - £0 (had half a tank left from November, will need to fill up today or tomorrow)

I've been tracking my gas and electric for four weeks now. claret I saw in November you did a quick work out of how much yours had cost for the month. Just tried to do with mine. Looks about right for electricity, used 189.4kwh costing £33.90 (multiplied kWh by unti price then added standing charge) however gas is confusing me; we used 137.5kwh over 28days, our unit cost is 3.861p and standing charge is 25p per day, I work this out as £12.30, surely this can't be right as I'm paying £64 dd for gas per month. claret I wondered if I'm reading my meter wrong! you put yours in imperial units. My meter does say kWh but are you supposed to read it in a different way? Am I reading my unit cost incorrectly and it's actually 38p per unit?

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 10:03:26

A unit of gas on my meter is 10x kwh.

And people say gas is cheap hmm

Turnoffthelights Sun 08-Dec-13 11:11:48

Ah, need to get back to the calculator. Re-checked the meter and see it reads metric. Just found a conversion online to change metric to kWh. I hope it's not 10 x £12.30!

Turnoffthelights Sun 08-Dec-13 11:28:22

Ok, new calculation done, gas usage this month £66.57! Oh my goodness. Really feel we've been cutting back in the hopes of a DD reduction next year but this is pretty spot on.

First frugal thing of the day - learnt to read my gas meter properly!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 12:00:34


It does annoy me when family say "oh gas is really cheap", its not really because of the way they calculate it.

Check your hot water tank isn't set above 60c and the pipes in the cupboard are all lagged with thick insulation. I've changed ours from 10mm to 19mm lagging this week & it's noticeabley cooler in there.

We fitted all the draught excluders yesterday and again the rooms are much warmer now. It's a new build so its already stuffed with insulation but its definitely helped.

£6.50 cat litter.

Helenagrace Sun 08-Dec-13 12:56:41

£309 and two trolleys in Aldi shockshock

To be fair that is a month's shopping and some Christmas stuff too. I've meal planned to the end of the month and we just need one joint and then bread, milk, fruit and veg.

NSD today hopefully.

I'm getting a cover allowance for this week as I'm covering a colleague's area. It'll be a bit extra at the end of Januarygrin.

I have resisted getting any new decorations this year and I overruled on a real tree as we're away for a week.

DH's tax bill looks like it might be less than we budgeted for too!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 08-Dec-13 13:38:38

Really impressed with everyone tracking energy use smile

We just had a spendy morning:

£13.50 in Morrisons Cafe for lunch to celebrate dh's new job

59p on 2 loaves of bread in Morrisons (special offer) for toddler Xmas party next week. It is a bring a dish do and we offered cheese sandwiches as these are cheap to do! Will grate cheese on and cut into pretty triangles.

Just avoided the toy shop as we will end up buying him something for sure and he doesn't really need more toys.

CremeEggThief Sun 08-Dec-13 18:22:59

£24.65, on a day out with DS.

northender Sun 08-Dec-13 18:50:02

Gas is definitely not cheap. I meter read every week or 2 to keep an eye on things.
Going to meal plan tonight to the end of Dec I think inspired by helenagrace. I'm sure we're going to be over budget by end of Jan but we're aiming to keep the over spend as low as possible.

Turnoffthelights Sun 08-Dec-13 19:02:54

Second frugal thing of the day: brought our potted Christmas tree inside to decorate - on its 4th year now!

Third frugal thing: convinced DH to have jacket potatoes for tea. He has an aversion to them. I could eat them daily!

DH spent £18 in sainsburys but this includes dishwasher tablets and a bunch of flowers. This is not a regular occurrence (flowers not dw tabs!) so I'll let that one slide!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:15:13

£3 on a bottle of beer.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 08-Dec-13 19:16:21

Good going on the baked potatoes - we had scrambled eggs!

We are not having an Xmas tree this year hmm but next year maybe we can, and family where we are spending Xmas always have a huge one, so not too sad.

busylizzie76 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:33:08

Hi everyone
Hope you've had good weekends smile
I had 4 NSDs this week but yesterday was spendy:
- £40 on diesel for car
- £200 on Dds piano lessons x 10
- £25 on groceries
- £125 of nectar points on ds' iPad mini for Xmas (he paid the rest by selling stuff)

So, was just recovering from that when I saw that my car had a flat tyre hmm so no doubt that's going to cost £75+ confused

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:50:34

Fake trees will be pennies in the new year sales.

Ours was 80% off the month after we bought it angry

claretandamberforever Sun 08-Dec-13 19:59:45

NSD for me today.

ilovepicnmix Sun 08-Dec-13 20:29:09

£1.69 today on a bottle of diet lemonade and maltesers. Went to a Christmas craft fair but it wasn't very good thankfully.

AdoraBell Sun 08-Dec-13 20:51:26

NSD at last, Spent a bit yesterday and we bought christmas gifts for DDs,

£30 supermarket plus £2 parking and £2 roads. Didn't see How much DH coughed up for the gifts. Must have been around £80- ish. And Dd2's gift To me came out if the joint account £10-ish. Oh, and DD1 weedled £40 out of DH on swimsuitsangry.

I'll catch up later.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 08-Dec-13 21:47:55

fluffy and pearshapedtoad, talk to me about this lagging.of pipes and tanks etc. Our tank has this kind of hard shell thing around it. should I jacket it as well? Have you lagged the to and out of the tank? Any other top tips . We live in a new house so these thinks have never occurred to me.

ThePearShapedToad Sun 08-Dec-13 22:04:42

Errrr..... I don't know too much what it is (I bought it, then made brownies and my male friends did the actual physical work) fblush

But it's a hard shell boiler, which feels warm when the water is hot, so now it's wrapped in a red plastic puffa-jacket type material, and it stays hotter to touch for longer under the wrapping

The pipes aren't covered no..... Never even though about covering those?? Have I missed a trick?!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 08-Dec-13 22:05:09 This sort of thing.

You need the thickest you can afford, I can't find the one I bought which was 19mm thick.

I've lagged all my 22mm pipes & now I just need to do the 15mm pipes.

If the tank is new and white it shouldn't need a jacket. It will be covered in foam inside the cover.

sureprogress Sun 08-Dec-13 22:11:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 08-Dec-13 22:12:07

Ah thanks. Yes it is white but the pipes are all there on show. I might lag them them. another job on the to do list.....

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 08-Dec-13 22:17:02

and yy to Christmas stuff being reduced in a few weeks. DM has about 10 fake poinsettia plants going up her stairs. They look lovely. She got them from Ikea last Jan for 15p each.

AdoraBell Sun 08-Dec-13 23:08:10

Claret get thee back to that store and speak to the manager, your little apology is owed and should be collected. <stern look>

Good luck with the reception stint, I used to do that and I know if it's not your thing it can feel like torture.

Princess glad you got the furniture and everything is well.

claretandamberforever Mon 09-Dec-13 07:31:36

ooooh we had a deletion! anyone see what it was?

Helenagrace Mon 09-Dec-13 07:49:23

I spotted that too claret! I bet it was one of those "make £500 a week guaranteed" "jobs"where you have to fleece gullible friends!

GhettoPrincess001 Mon 09-Dec-13 07:55:54

Adora - thanks. The money saved buying the bed meant we could afford the dining room furniture. We won't get the bed before Christmas but that suits us as it goes.

GhettoPrincess001 Mon 09-Dec-13 07:57:01

Tried to comment on the deletion but it wouldn't post. Wonder if this one will. Here goes.

Possiblyorange Mon 09-Dec-13 10:22:03

Morning! Haven't been on all weekend, busy busy busy.

Slightly spendy day yesterday - had to buy the DCs and Dsis lunch in town as I hadn't packed anything, but we shared a couple of massive hot dogs from the Christmas market between us, and I had water and smarties so only spent £7 on that. Had to pay my sis for babysitting on sat too, which was £40, but it was so I could work, which earned me £90, so it's not all bad news.

Our gas and electricity aren't terribly cheap - will be shopping around come January when we (fingers crossed) move house. The flip side is that we are with British Gas and give them a meter reading every month and pay our bill based on that reading. No DD to panic about, which is lovely. Will be hard if we can find something much cheaper but have to put ourselves at the mercy of the energy company's random DDs.

On the upside, new house is a much newer build (ours is only 1960s/70s so not awful, but has a really crap conservatory on the back which is like a heat sink) so should be cheaper to heat, and will hopefully have decent thermostats for up and downstairs so we can set the temps separately.

I have just totted up my earnings towards my scary need-to-make-before-end-of-Dec total and although i'm falling quite a long way short thus far, I have a cheque coming for some work for £130 and some cash to pay in - about £60 - which will bring me up to my week by week target, iykwim. The slightly depressing bit is knowing that I obviously won't earn over the Christmas period, so I need to have earned the vast majority of it in the next 10 days or so. Argh.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 09-Dec-13 15:16:49

NSD today - in work since 8.45 and will be til 11pm, except for run home at 5.30 to get changed and bolt some food.

On the upside, DH is making pesto-pasta- fake chicken for me to munch before I go on duty grin

Possiblyorange Mon 09-Dec-13 16:03:57

Holy crap, I have just done basically all my Christmas shopping (bar a couple of lip balms and toothbrushes for stocking fillers) in one hit. I went over budget, but I did manage to bring the whole lot in for just over £200 for main presents and stocking fillers for both DCs and the two other children (niece and nephew) who I have to buy for. Have Santa wrapping paper put by from adding it to a food shop a few weeks ago, so only have normal wrapping paper and cards left to buy in terms of gifts/cards.

This is the first year I've ever even vaguely monitored what Christmas is costing, and although I can already tell I woefully underestimated, it's good to know I'll have the information available for next year to work with and plan a bit more effectively through the year.

MIL has just offered to bring a big beef joint for boxing day meal when they come for Christmas, so am saved one little outlay!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 09-Dec-13 16:42:20

£5 morrisons voucher turned up today from the sun+ offer, so that's most of our turkey crown paid for, all of it if I can find a marked down one late Christmas Eve. Yes, I loiter in the aisles waiting for the mark downs on Christmas Eve.

Next few days will be spendy as I want to get nice champagne for Christmas & maybe cognac.

NSD today.

Turnoffthelights Mon 09-Dec-13 17:47:56

NSD but only because I couldn't get to the petrol station - will be a spend tomorrow!

I don't have a hot water tank. Is it worth lagging any central heating pipes? I have been overly excited by how well my draught excluder does its job!

3frugalthings: emergency packed lunch day again, I hate leaving it until morning but could not stay awake last night, luckily found a tin of tuna in the cupboard. Dinner has been a pasta surprise, made a surprisingly nice sauce from some bacon and spinach from the freezer mixed with a little philly and a spoonful of marmite (inspired by nigella's marmite pasta recipe). Have started to research into holiday let's for May half term. We were supposed to go with DH family this year but couldn't pin a date down; I was being a bit vague as some of the suggested places were so expensive! Luxury houses with extra rooms for each DC. I'm happy to gave our dd in with us if it works out cheaper but SIL working to a higher budget. Anyway, thought if I start looking now I may be able to find somewhere reasonable. Ideally I'd like the rest of the family to book a cottage with a garden which we can camp in! Any suggestions?! ( to sleep 6 adults, 3 children under 4).

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:02:07

You must have a combi boiler if you haven't got a hot water tank. Definitely lag exposed pipes, with thick lagging not the cheapy stuff.

claretandamberforever Mon 09-Dec-13 18:06:11

Orange Snap! This too is the first year I have monitored my Xmas spending. It's bloody scary isn't it. Am definitely going to try and start saving up for next year now. I will lower my food budget from £350 to £300, and put the other £50 aside to actually give me a challenge

Tis another NSD for me today. I've got my step-MIL's Xmas present and paid for it online with my points (I had £25 in points and present came to £21). Have got her some browny coloured eyeshadows and a shadow brush and there was a good freebie with 2 No7 products so I will give her that too.

Just got my neighbour (some leggings), secret santa (no idea who I am buying for yet) and BIL aged 34 to get something for then I will know exactly how much I have left to spend on my boys.

I'm a bit Meh about Xmas this year as DH's dentist found a white patch on his tongue in September which could be something & nothing but she wanted to refer him to hospital (routine, not fast track). His appointment at the hospital was last Wednesday and two doctors there said they "think" it's nothing but they want him to have a biopsy (routine not fast track). An incidental finding of a neck lump was also discovered so they want that ultrasound-ing. Both appointments have come through for Xmas eve (despite them being routine and not fast track so alarm bells are ringing). I tend to catastrophise so I'm now imagining it is something very sinister which will lead to him not being able to work, which will lead to us getting into financial trouble, bankruptcy, losing our home etc... (I'm actually refusing to think about the worst case scenario of him dying) so buying presents and thinking about Christmas holds no joy for me this year, and neither does looking forward to my new job as I just want to find out what's going on with DH first.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 09-Dec-13 19:01:41

Oh lord, I think all biopsies are quick partly because if they hang about and it is serious you can sue them. It's impossible not to worry though when it's your dh.

£5 aldi voucher in the mirror/daily record this week.

Turnoffthelights Mon 09-Dec-13 19:47:02

Oh claret hope everything turns out well. I too am a complete catastrophiser! Maybe it's our way of coping because when you prepare for bad news more than likely the outcome is nothing like as bad as you'd imagined. Doesn't stop the stress and worry in the meantime though. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts xx

Helenagrace Mon 09-Dec-13 21:13:10

Claret as an ex NHS manager it could be that the biopsy and scan appointments have come through for Christmas Eve because:

A) no one wants appointments on Christmas Eve

B) they've been holding appointments back in the hope that they could knock off early and some meanmanager like me has said no it's a normal working day.

C) the consultant has done the "ooh but it might be significant" thing with the referral to get it through quicker. If they say it might be it has to be treated like it is.

Possiblyorange Mon 09-Dec-13 21:39:06

Claret I'm sure it's as Helena says, try to look on the bright side that it will be sorted very quickly <easier said than done>.

Going to finish last bits of shopping tomorrow morning then back on the earning grindstone to try to rake in some money before Christmas.

ilovepicnmix Mon 09-Dec-13 21:49:24

Oh claret. Sorry to hear your news but do try and keep your worrying to a minimum at this point. Easier said than done I know.

NSD for me today. We're heading home tomorrow so I'll catch up properly then.

CremeEggThief Mon 09-Dec-13 22:37:35

Another one here to hold your hand, claret. <Hugs>

£47.21 on food shopping. £30.11 at Lidl, which is the most I've ever spent there shock. I think it's positive, as it's showing I'm getting nearly all my shopping there now. Oh, and £2.50 on 5 2nd class stamps, so £49.71 total.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:45:22

deletion was just a loan company peddling their wares.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:52:57

Someone pls yell me why I spend 80 in lidl on a normal family shop and everyone else spends 35. No wine or booze, branded beans and squash, everything else is cheap. I am going very wrong somewhere... yogurt??

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 09-Dec-13 22:53:35

I meant tell me, but you can yell if it helps

AdoraBell Tue 10-Dec-13 02:13:19

Claret sending stress busting vibes, I'm sure it's what Helena said about the timing of the appointments and at least you are not waiting months to get the tests done.

Spent about 30 in supermarket today, and 60 on DD2, not quite sure how I managed that. Must have been angry over summit, that always gets me.

Tomorrow I need to get some chocs for another parent. DD1's best mate's parents work at a company that hires an amusement park for the day as the Christmas staff do. They took DD from school and brought her back just after 10pm. There's a naice shop near the school so I can avoid going in to town.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 10-Dec-13 07:01:31

It depends how many people you are feeding though ohhelp.

I'm only feeding the two of us and a cat.

Do you meal plan.

NK5BM3 Tue 10-Dec-13 07:01:36

NSD yesterday. Claret all the
v best!!

Possiblyorange Tue 10-Dec-13 07:43:54

ohhelp how many are you feeding? I've got our weekly average down to about £65-70 including top ups, by shopping 90% in Aldi. That's for me, DH, and two DCs under 6 (both pretty good eaters, but not massively so) and the nanny's lunch 3 days a week.

Am slightly nervous about how much the last extra top ups will cost me in town today, but the nanny is dropping me in town so will save the bus fare at least. I am trying not to think of the expense of the nanny in that bus fare saving equation grin.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 10-Dec-13 19:10:46

I shop for two adults (1 veggie), two dcs 4 and 6 and a baby 1. I am not even including happiest in that shop. Do you think Aldi is cheaper than Lidl? i think I am still drawn to the brands in Lidl and maybe they mark them up.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 10-Dec-13 19:12:04

£6 on cards but will take 2.30 of that back.

95p bubble bath

£6 in homebargains.

Still waiting for my shoe refund.

claretandamberforever Tue 10-Dec-13 19:17:20

Thanks for the support and calming me down ladies. DH is quite chilled out and relaxed about it so I am going to try and be more positive.

No spend day today (another) until I go to Tesco and buy the 2 x-box games for the son's xmas presents.

Lovely wknd with my mum n brother staying did some xmas shopping Sun n yesterday we went to a farm with indoor softplay which in term time is £3 for children n adults free so cost me £3! Plus round tea/coffees at £3.60.

CremeEggThief Tue 10-Dec-13 19:31:11

£10.99 on a wreath (a real holly one), 70p on a cheese whirl and £2.85 on some padded envelopes to post eBay stuff, which cost £7.80. So, £14.54 total.

Glad you're feeling more positive, claret smile.

Turnoffthelights Tue 10-Dec-13 19:59:12

£50 on petrol, £1 on 3 Christmas cards.

3frugal things: stop, start, jiggling the petrol pump to get bang on £50.00! Haven't done that since being a cash strapped teenager! One quarter of petrol budget spent. Three bargain cards in work sale. I only ever buy special 'mum & dad' one as I know mum likes them, everyone else gets one from the bumper box, forked out £2.50 on this year's one but just bought three M&S ones rrp £8.50 for £1! That's the next 3 years sorted! Just said no to family friend keen for us to meet up to go on Santa steam train - almost £30 for all of us and dd would probably be scared stiff! Have suggested a cuppa and mince pie at the station instead.

ilovepicnmix Tue 10-Dec-13 20:54:16

That's me home after a long weekend with family. Had a rather stressful train journey home involving late trains, a small hand trapped in a sliding door and tears from both me and DS. Think I might go back to driving! £2.19 for snacks for the train. Bad planning but nevermind. I was v good and we got the bus home from town so that was £2.50 whereas a taxi would have been £8. £38.33 in Aldi using my £5 voucher. I've got my dad and his girlfriend staying this weekend so this included wine, nice biscuits etc and rump steak to make a stroganoff.

ilovepicnmix Tue 10-Dec-13 21:10:42

Fluffy - I've just signed up for the sun app to get my £10 Tesco voucher so thanks for that.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 10-Dec-13 21:52:31


The halifax £100 for switching offers still on too for those of you who don't mind switching bank accounts.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Wed 11-Dec-13 00:34:30

Total disaster with internet shop - accidentally forgot to cancel automatically generated order and we ended up with £120 of groceries when our usual spend is £60 sad

AdoraBell Wed 11-Dec-13 03:33:52

That automatically generated order sounds scary, handy if you are short on time and need it, but still scary.

Spent too much again. £60 ish on DD1, plus another £10 on DD2. Should have come off a gift card but store's system was up the creak and they need the things for Tomorrow morning. Then another £30 in supermarket and £6 parking. Blardy expensive mall but the only place I cold Get everything without running all over town.

Picnmix hope DS's hand is okay.

Claret glad you are feelling less stressed.

DDs are off on a school tríp in the morning, back Friday afternoon. I'll only need veg and food for dogs now. Other than DH's Xmas gift, of course. Might tell him To buy dog food so it comes off a different account.

DH Spent $800, can't Get my head round converting ATM, To register DDs for school next year. Soon it'll be uniforms, books and sport gear. Unless someone buys the house, in which case we'll just do that in the UKfgrin.

Possiblyorange Wed 11-Dec-13 08:47:17

Went out for my birthday meal last night, it was £35 which isn't ideal, but babysitting was free and my present only cost a tenner, so not a terribly expensive day, all in all.

I need to sit down at some stage this week and work out how much money we need to produce over the next 6-8 weeks as we are moving in mid-Jan. Will probably have to temporarily extend the overdraft to cover the rental deposit, but deposit for new place is smaller than current place, so assuming we get current deposit back in full we'll end up a few hundred up. All very huge and scary sums of money though!

AdoraBell Wed 11-Dec-13 14:08:40

Possibly glad you had a treat for your birthday and good luck with move and depósitos.

Nothing Spent so far Today.

claretandamberforever Wed 11-Dec-13 17:39:02

PossiblyOrange: Happy birthday for the birthday I have missed wine

Spends in last 24 hours....
£30 on FIFA14
£44 on GTA5
£1.75 on margarine and three reduced priced sandwiches yesterday
£1.98 on two bottles of Pepsi Max
£7.89 on Xmas and birthday Cards (ARRGGHHHHH) 11 of them I only send 'special' ones (neighbours, parents, friends not living local etc. I discovered early on in my relationship that my MIL sets great stall by 'personalised' cards and was not impressed that I just sent an ordinary packet one)

Grocery Budget: £186.99 remaining
Petrol Budget: £105.96 remaining
Everything Else Budget: £250.61 remaining

Number of days left to get through until official payday including today...20

Withdrew some money today to start putting in money wallets for the people I give money to for Xmas and not gifts....

ilovepicnmix Wed 11-Dec-13 19:42:49

Happy birthday Possibly.

£2 on bargain yogs and cheese in jack fulton. £1.08 on 2 birthday cards. £2.90 in Tesco on peppercorns and a Christmas tv guide. I wanted the radio times but broke from tradition and saved £1.50. Just about to get my feet up and my pen out!

Turnoffthelights Wed 11-Dec-13 19:53:10

picnmix I wanted radio times too! Went for the 90p one instead and am going to have a good look through later too!

£1.50 bus fair, £1.60 lunch, £2.40 tesco (flour, cheese, crimbo tv mag!)

3frugalthings: realised I needed cheese and flour but only had return bus fair on me so walked the 3 miles back from nursery, popping into tesco on the way, to spend bus fair on essentials. Got the deli counter to cut me a £1 chunk of cheese, bought value flour and went for cheap option of crimbo mag! Started sorting/filing our 'in-basket' which is overflowing! I'm sure there aren't any nasty financial surprises in there but feels better to be organised, should be finished tomorrow.

Happy birthday possibly!!

northender Wed 11-Dec-13 22:10:42

claret I have the same issue with my mil about the "Happy Christmas Mum and Dad " type cards, however our local market has a stall which does a good number in cheap cards like that so I'm heading there tomorrow.
We're on a fixed budget to the end of January and the way things are going, we'll be on the tightest budget ever for Jan grin. December just causes money to haemorrhage away, no matter what you do.

AdoraBell Wed 11-Dec-13 22:17:49

blush I forgot To actually say Happy Birthday To Possibly, sorry.

Happy Birthday Possibly cake wine.

Spent about £6 on bananas and Chicken wings for the dogs. The bananas are for us.

AdoraBell Wed 11-Dec-13 22:21:30

I was shopping with my MIL once never again and she said, and I'm quoting here, "blow that I'm not spending £2 on a card" so I stick To that principle fwink

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 12-Dec-13 05:07:56

Smug spending today: (I live overseas)

Local Department store selling all womenswear at half price ! I got five items for about fifty quid.

I got a dvd for my husband for twelve quid, it was priced at fifteen quid but it was discounted at the till.
Small discount off the book I purchased for him for Christmas as well.

GhettoPrincess001 Thu 12-Dec-13 05:11:41

I've got about two hundred quid to last until payday on Tuesday night. That includes buying this week's groceries.

We're up to date with bills and there's petrol in the car.

Possiblyorange Thu 12-Dec-13 06:44:06

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Claret I have an ongoing joke with my MIL about 'personalised' Christmas/birthday cards as she loves them and I loathe them. The result is that she goes out of her way to buy the foulest one she can find every year. At least, I think it's an ongoing joke. Maybe she just likes them... hmm grin

DH has just been paid his dec salary. Now all we need to do is not spend it in its entirety before the end of December so we can afford little essentials like food in January.

Looking forward to getting our Christmas tree on the weekend. Not looking forward to inevitable £££ price for one that won't drop needles non stop.

NK5BM3 Thu 12-Dec-13 09:48:14

so the car's been repaired - to a tune of £400 (argh). to be fair, the garage gave us a hefty discount as part of a loyalty thing, and I honestly believe went beyond what they needed to do, to discount things. It would have been at least £550 otherwise.

better news is tomorrow I'm off to do some extra work for extra pay. It'll mean trekking into London (but paid for) and it'll mean missing DS's christmas fair (not so bad a thing?!?!) but we need to do this....

have had a couple of NSDs - looking at my fridge and cupboards, I do think all I need to get this weekend is fruit.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Thu 12-Dec-13 14:36:25

Spending disaster area this week - had to go on a work lunch out for colleague who is retiring, then messed up internet shop spending £60 too much by accident. Then spent £15 on a round going out, even though I drank nothing but diet coke hmm

Was stressed until post came today then DH got an unexpected tax rebate of around half a months salary - so relieved!

Now just need to stop messing things up and be a hermit for a few weeks grin

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Dec-13 16:56:21

£5.50 in sains on Christmas bits

£6 petrol

50p the mirror for the aldi voucher.

CremeEggThief Thu 12-Dec-13 17:04:31

Great news about the rebate, Wimsey.
£6.15 on postage to Rep. of Ireland and 89p on milk, so £7.04 altogether.

Possiblyorange Thu 12-Dec-13 19:25:31

Spent a fiver today on pizza for dinner (food shop needed rather urgently! DH out doing it now) and treats to keep DC2 occupied during DC1's nativity.

peter great news on the rebate! Love it when things like that happen.

NJ5 eek, that's expensive! Hopefully the next service will be dirt cheap though.

ilovepicnmix Thu 12-Dec-13 19:36:19

£5.20 on bits in Tesco ready for my dad and girlfriend arriving. That included a few yellow sticker bargains.

I get paid tomorrow so I've just worked out my budget per week. I've got a work Christmas do coming up but that's just a curry out so shouldn't be too expensive. Thank goodness we're a bunch of boring farts grin

Hey ghetto i have £140 to last 2wks til nxt pay day n £35 a wk on petrol plus food shops n few xmas presents to get means some serious budgeting !!

Car tax due 1st Jan but have that as save some each mth for car stuff.

Turnoffthelights Thu 12-Dec-13 23:18:48

wimsey the universe is on your side today!

I really need a car pot put aside. We just had MOT in October and since then one of our front bulbs has gone. We're going to try to replace it ourselves but that means time, motivation and YouTube tutorials. What are the odds we end up at our local garage?!

NSD today and realised (again due to daily statement checking) that DH's £18 spend on Sunday was from his own account not joint (adora I don't think that counts either!) so £18 back on food budget. We've had some pretty odd dinners this week, including a half fish half BBQ chicken freezer pot luck! Il add this windfall onto Christmas spends.

AdoraBell Fri 13-Dec-13 01:28:30

Defo Turnoff

Wamsey fgrin at that rebate.

Ghetto that's good going.

Not sure How much I Spent Today but was definitely less than DHwink. Christmas gift shopping now done and I just need To Get wrapping paper Tomorrow. So, taxi £4, DH met me later and parking was on a Pre paíd card, lunch £4 - bad planning- farmacia £6 on sanpro with a small donación for a foundation that does Dr. Apptointments for poor DCs.

DH bought afternoon coffees and DD's gifts plus from GPs and aunt's/uncles back in UK, and my pressiesfgrin. He's feelling a little hard done by as thinks he's only got the 2 polo shirts he chose Today. DDs have already bought and hidden gifts for him.

GhettoPrincess001 Fri 13-Dec-13 03:04:27

eastmidlands nn - thanks, oh, ok. You've put my 'money left till payday' into perspective. Despite me spending 140 quid on groceries. (Still got a few more to get, will get smaller amounts of deli meat and no small fruit juice cartons 'till after payday). We've got 60 quid to last us until next Tuesday night's pay roll run.

Although, I have got my husband's Christmas presents now. I'm going to tell him that the fifty quid I spent yesterday on clothes should be part of my Christmas present. He's keen on me having something to open on Christmas Day. There's a book I've asked for so if I get that as well, then I will be happy.

GhettoPrincess001 Fri 13-Dec-13 03:08:11

Adora, thanks. This particular Department Store where I live overseas has periodic sales. Once a year in December they mark down all their womenswear to half price. Further discounts on already marked down clothes too.

claretandamberforever Fri 13-Dec-13 08:08:49

yesterday was another NSD but DH did put some work petrol in. I'm off out tonight on my work xmas do so it will be quite a high spend day today

Iamnotanugget Fri 13-Dec-13 14:48:50

Hello to everyone. I have been keeping up with everyone but not posting as it's been too depressing. I've nc as it felt like time for a change.

Pay day today and 4 weeks until our household end of year. I gave up work after having dc2 so we have been living off 1 salary for 11 months. It's been tight at times but I think we're going to end the year debt free but without having put a penny into savings. To be honest, I'll be very happy with that.

Food is being delivered today. Hopefully I've got everything we need for the month except fresh fruit & veg and milk. I'm planning a weekly trip to Aldi as their Super 6 is fab this month and they do organic semi skimmed. I could have saved the delivery fee but I had a voucher that covered the cost and no impluse buys.

Staying in with dvd tonight. Park, flask and packed lunch tomorrow. We're out in the evening but it all pre paid. Sunday may be a trip out using our annual pass before it expires, packed lunch again. This is the worst month to keep to a tight budget. As someone said earlier you just haemorrhage cash.

Possiblyorange Fri 13-Dec-13 15:52:01

I'm not going to admit to you all how pitifully little I budgeted for Christmas (I am a bit blush about my insane optimism) but suffice to say I am £312 over budget, with still a couple of bits and the tree to buy! Will be amazed if I come in under £400 over budget. Insane. I just can't believe how much I used to let slip away on odd bits and bobs at Christmas, as I have actually been semi-sensible this year compared to previous years. I daren't even try to work out how much we must have spent last year on Christmas.

Iamnotanugget I know what you mean about haemorrhaging cash!

Looking on the positive side, we have plenty left in our food shopping budget for the rest of the month - about £350 - so shouldn't go much over budget on the food front, as the turkey and most of the other meat is already bought, and I know relatives are bringing lots of booze.

DH's work Christmas do tonight, but I'm driving and they are quite good with wine on the tables, so shouldn't be too expensive a night. MIL is babysitting so no costs there either.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 13-Dec-13 21:25:10

Possiblyorange - at least your eyes are now wide open . Set up a Christmas account and start saving monthly for 2014. Thats what I did a few years ago. Then shave your food budget by as much as you can in Jan Feb and March to try and claw back the overspending. I will be doing the same. Car service light is now on too sad

CremeEggThief Fri 13-Dec-13 21:43:50

£26.something on postage to the Rep. of Ireland, sending family gifts! shock
They're all getting vouchers next year...

ilovepicnmix Fri 13-Dec-13 22:02:11

NSD for me.

shock at your postage cremeegg. I've got a mug to post to oz and I'm wondering how much that is going to be.

GhettoPrincess001 Sat 14-Dec-13 00:47:15

Please don't get me started on overseas postage charges. I live overseas and have sent a box to my Dad in Britain with his presents of clothes in it. Sixty quid's worth of clothes cost about forty quid to post, including the box they went in. He's a 3XL size so when I wrapped up the 2 t-shirts and 2 sweatshirts they were larger than average parcels.

Tax Duty was extra again on arrival in Britain due to the value of the gift/s. I didn't know that, I thought it was all taken care of in the cost of posting. My Dad got cross and, in a letter to me, threatened to send the parcel back to me. (Don't go there - just don't). He had enclosed the correspondence from the UK Tax Office requesting the not quite twenty quid payable. I paid it from my UK bank account so the could get the (goddam) parcel. He also started ranting about, 'Christmas is cancelled'. Mostly because of the cost of things and, 'not paying 50p for a card'. What ? It was just rant, rant, rant.

Twenty quid in a card next year methinks. Well, that's what he sends to my husband and I respectively, for birthday and then Christmas. So, I think I'll do like wise for him. I can do without the aggravation and him being ungrateful.

Although, fair's fair. The twenty quid each he sent to us. I've converted it into local currency and, as expected, we will purchase still and sparkling wine with it for Christmas.

AdoraBell Sat 14-Dec-13 01:39:40

Had a bit of a spendy day Today despite my plans.

Bit of food for weekend, Monday and dogs - £20
Gift wrap for DDs £2.40

Then DH called To say the car has gone wrong so can I collect him, from the City. So after collecting DDs from school tríp coach I Spent £1.60 on the road in and £6 because I realised that DD2's stocking isn't as full as DD1's, so got a few moré socks and knickers.

Then we had To eat because neither DH ñor I had had a chance To eat lunch and by 6pm we were Starving. He paíd for that. After eating, birthday gifts for 2 parties this weekend, classmate and boyfriend, plus the things I can only Get in the supermarket in town came To about £60.

Iamnotanougat Well done on staying in the blackfgrin

Ghetto I just don't post anything form here unless it's urgent, like medical insurance claim forms, and then it goes by DHL because I can't rely on it arriving other wise. Very annoying.

Can't see who is out on the works Christmas do tonight but I hope you had a nice evening.

Turnoffthelights Sat 14-Dec-13 05:12:22

Morning all! Up mega early after being woken up by DH coming in from his works-do extremely late. Wouldn't usually mind but am going to London later on this morning - I hate falling asleep on the coach!

Hello nugget. I'm fairly new to posting on the thread and have found it invaluable for keeping me focused on family finances. I love the idea of 'household end of year'! Are Aldi super six the same all over the country? I'd find it really useful if someone can post what they are when they see them. Would really help me to meal plan!

£14.67 on lunch out with family yesterday afternoon.

Turnoffthelights Sat 14-Dec-13 05:30:52

Just answered my own question by the magic of google! Super six are parsnips, carrots, maris piper potatoes, sprouts, clementines and lemons. On offer until 31st December (do they not change every week?) perfect for Christmas dinner! Think il make spicy parsnip soup next week and mash with sausages. Only need to shop for meals til Thursday as on Friday we're away for our first Christmas stint!

Iamnotanugget Sat 14-Dec-13 07:24:06

Turnoff I was up moments after you due to the delight that is ds shouting 'Mummy, sun' at his gro clock. Although it's still early it's actually about an hour later than he was getting up by slowly, slowly changing the wake up time. Our aim is to eventually get him to sleep in until 6 low ambitions when you're a parent!

The Super 6 usually change every 2 weeks but things have been on offer a bit longer this month. I love this selection. It's not exciting but stored correctly all these items will last ages and can form bulk of loads of meals.

I can honestly say that running my household finance like a business is without a doubt the dullest most useful thing I've done to sort out our accounts. I have a budget for everything, including 'paying' me and dh pocket money monthly. I keep track of spending monthly, quarterly, half yearly. Probably takes about 90 minutes per month on average but if it means I don't have to go back to work until it suits us then it's time well spent.

Possibly I hope you've had a good night out.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Dec-13 09:30:39

Don't forget you can parboil, roast for 10 minutes and freeze potatoes and parsnips.

I'm doing our Christmas Day dinner ones later today. I buy goose fat off amazon because I do roasters at least once a week in the winter and it works out cheaper that way than buying teeny little jars off the supermarket.

Turnoffthelights Sat 14-Dec-13 09:45:11

nugget think I'm most put out that dd is away at grandparents - wasted lie-in! I did manage to have a couple more hours sleep after a cuppa and mooch around downstairs so feeling more refreshed now. I actually think if I had charge of DH's earnings and gave him a monthly spend I could probably make it stretch for all of our household finances! Haven't quite got to that point yet, we're slowly getting on board to budgeting our joint finances!

fluffy a friend of mine swears by this! Says it gives her a totally stress free Christmas too as she freezes then in disposable trays and pretty much everything is done. I'm making room in my freezer by eating all of the random-ness so may try this next week!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Dec-13 09:55:56

Ooh you could do one with stuffing balls too!

Fail safe stuffing recipe;

500g sausage meat in the big tube (£1.19 in Aldi)

One onion chopped in a food processor

One slice bread grated in the food processor

Two teaspoons dried sage

One teaspoon dried parsley.

Mix everything together, mould into balls, cook in oven for 25 minutes while the turkeys resting.

Ghetto shock send a gift card next year.

Just got great deal of boots alot of sanctuary and soap n glory sets are 25% n 3 for 2 n online the 3 o2 comes off before 25% so i got 3 sets at £12 each originally £16 for total of £20 free delivery to store £20+.

CremeEggThief Sat 14-Dec-13 16:17:29

£71.53 total on posting my parcels.shock shock shock. This doesn't even include the cost of various jiffy bags and mailing boxes. Only £10.40 of that was for the U.K., so £61.13 to send 2 mailing boxes, 3 large jiffy bags and 1 medium jiffy bag to the Republic of Ireland!

Luckily, I had the money as an extra in my PayPal account ( as I've made about £450 selling on eBay over the last two months), but as I said earlier, vouchers and gift cards all round next year!

Apart from that, £20.30 between Lidl and Tesco and I'm treating myself to cheesy chips from the chippy for supper later, now everything's wrapped and posted!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:58:58

£45 on a mirror off eBay.

John Lewis are flogging all the baubles. Nothing I like though.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 14-Dec-13 19:09:46

fluffycloudland, what do you do with the roast pots & parsnips on the day then, really hot oven for how long? perusaded dh we hardly need any shopping so I can empty the freezer ready for christmas and left overs! Actually its partly because i cant be bothered to go shopping as I am decorating. Also trying to keep spending low low low before my big delivery next sunday and then all the fresh stuff on Tues or Weds. Looking forward to the January thread. Some BIG focus needed from me. Thread really busy last January - I think it hit 1000. smile

claretandamberforever Sat 14-Dec-13 19:10:07

It was my Xmas do last night, quite a low spend £23.80 including taxi home so not too bad. Had already paid for the meal back in October.

£5.38 on a sandwich meal deal for me and my youngest

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Dec-13 19:11:49

Oven at 200c, tray of hot fat.

Put the parsnips on last and cut them in chunky pieces, or the thin bits burn like no ones business.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 14-Dec-13 19:22:33

thanks. So still preheat fat as normal then drop in the potatoes. I am cheating big time with parsnips. I adore (shameful admission alert...) Aunt Bessies Honey Roast Parsnips. They are the only frozen raost thing I like, cant abide oven chips, roast potatoes, wedges etc. But honestly, the parsnips are just lovely. I like to follow Nigellas domestic goddess & christmas book but parsnips..... I am cheating. wink

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 14-Dec-13 19:25:32

Actually, you know how there is that christmas bargain thread, anyine know if there is a sale bargains thread? or wiuld that corrupt us all too much? I know most supermarkets will have half price beef this week as noone buys it now. Buy a bug joint and chop it and freeze.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 14-Dec-13 19:28:49

oood my usual typos in there!!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 14-Dec-13 19:29:29

cant even get that right. oooops not ooodangry

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 14-Dec-13 19:30:30

Yep pre-heat the fat.

Hotukdeals is brilliant for the bargains, I didn't "get" it at first but now I use it every day.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 14-Dec-13 19:31:57

Nugget, I totally agree about doing finances with proper accounts. We were living comfortably this time last year but two redundancies and many months out of work for DH had meant we've changed our lifestyle beyond recognition. Today we spent £4 in Sainsbury's cafe on coffee/cake as a treat. That is extravagant for us now grin

I've managed to save 8k per year net roughly by cutting stuff out and swapping all insurances etc and it has meant we can keep the house and have not gone overdrawn. So glad I started sorting everything out.

ilovepicnmix Sat 14-Dec-13 21:11:38

£24.97 on a 1st birthday present, a Christmas present for DS's keyworker at nursery and Christmas present for my dad's girlfriend.

I am wondering if supermarkets will have any amazing reductions on boxing day. Do they even open on boxing day?

Reckon I'll try the roast potato trick!

NK5BM3 Sat 14-Dec-13 21:12:29

£73 at asda as got the FIL a whiskey which is cheapest there (sainsburys was £10 more than asda!!). Plus cheese and port (and the cheese was on a deal which got us a slate cheese board if we bought 3 packs (at £1 each!!) so I got 6 packs of creamy blue and creamy white cheese and 2 slate cheese boards for £6?!
Mad. And some clothes for kids... Will prob try and wrap them up.

ilovepicnmix Sat 14-Dec-13 21:36:36

That is mad NK5. Was that a yellow stickered number or just an ongoing offer? Might pop into asda tomorrow.

GhettoPrincess001 Sun 15-Dec-13 03:54:56

FluffyCloudland77 - yep. Although it will be cash rather than a gift card as I live overseas. Cash will be easier for my Dad to understand, he's something of a troglodyte, bless him !

Yes, I realise cash should not be posted. However, I'm really got going to go through the hair shirt performance that I've just gone through again.

NK5BM3 Sun 15-Dec-13 08:33:42

Picnic - nope not yellow stickered. Just a deal. The cheese was on rollback (?! I don't usually shop at asda so have no idea!). The brand is castello and it's £1 for a semi circle of cheese.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 15-Dec-13 13:06:04

That cheese and slate deal was on in the week.

£37 in aldi
£10 petrol

We had planned Sunday lunch out but period pains are epic. They are going now so hopefully it's John Lewis later for free cake and tea.

Might buy baubles.

ilovepicnmix Sun 15-Dec-13 14:04:21

I had a word with myself and convinced me that I do not need cheese or a cheese board even if it is a bargain!

Today should be an NSD as im yet to leave the house and think we're just popping to a friend's house later.

Ememem84 Sun 15-Dec-13 16:08:56

so far have monumentally failed. This month we will be spending £5k on re-doing bathroom and bedroom (tiling, new shower, toilet, sink, wardrobe built in, carpet, paint...). We had the money saved so it's not all bad. but still. eeeep!!

Ememem84 Sun 15-Dec-13 16:11:28

WE have however raided fil's allottment, and I have made soups, and pasta sauces for the freezer. have been walking into work to save on parking and petrol (tank has lasted almost a month now), and we have done a lot of the easier bathroom stuff ourselves. ie the painting, the ripping it out, the sanding down etc. nails are ruined. but i didn't have to pay someone else to do it.

tomorrow should be a no spend day. we have things to get from b&q but have tiles to return so should be able to ue the refund money. grin)

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 15-Dec-13 16:24:30

We have just had a very spendy day. Just went to nearest town where there is a John Lewis so DH can buy me an Xmas present using the JL vouchers we got for our wedding (I asked him to do that, in keeping with the new frugality).

We ended up spending much more for lunch than we wanted to - £40! Then £4.40 for parking and £6 for drinks/shared cake. Plus petrol there and back.

So if he'd bought it using cash at our local town we would actually have spent less and still have the vouchers shock

Making note to self next time to encourage vouchers to be spent online!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sun 15-Dec-13 16:25:32

NK that was a very good deal smile

Turnoffthelights Sun 15-Dec-13 18:00:43

Hello everyone, it's been a busy weekend! All doing so well as this time of year just screams 'spend'!

So went to London for friend's birthday. Spent much more than last extremely frugal trip but friends were really understanding - cooked food before we went out and breakfast at home this morning, arrived at the venue early enough for happy hour cocktails and was treated by friend and also my lovely friends clubbed together to buy me a new dress which they gave to me when I arrived as they figured I haven't been buying myself anything new recently due to frugality (so true! Am really bowled over by such a nice gesture). I spent money out of my personal account rather than joint and didn't write down my exact spends but roughly - £22 drinks, £16 taxis, £3.50 on a card and about £10 on snacks, drinks and mags for the coach trip. About £50 in all. Not brilliant. I'm justifying it to myself though that a) i haven't been out on a works Christmas do and b) the arrangements were already in place before I started seriously cutting back so hopefully I can avoid similar spends over the coming months.

£40 petrol in car on Saturday morning.

Turnoffthelights Sun 15-Dec-13 18:23:02

Oh and £5.01 on a few bits, milk, bread, eggs etc to get us through to tomorrow's shopping day.

Went into town today used jl vouchers for free tea n cake shared one piece n wrapped the other n brought home!!

Afternoon at friends house n late lunch of bread ham cheese there. Children had fun playing which is always a plus

ilovepicnmix Sun 15-Dec-13 19:15:09

What lovely friends you have turnoff.

I did manage an NSD today and reckon I can avoid supermarkets until next weekend. I have my Christmas do on Friday and have borrowed a top from my friend to wear. I was tempted to treat myself to something new so I'm pleased I didn't. I haven't really bought any new clothes to speak of in a few years as I'm only recently back to my pre pregnancy weight.

Iamnotanugget Sun 15-Dec-13 19:42:26

Quite proud of myself as although I have spent it wasn't much. £1.98 on snacks & drinks for Saturday night and a few quid on treating Dd to face painting today. I also spent £4.80 on a couple of presents that Father Christmas is giving my ds at his plsygroup Christmas parties.

I have in my purse the exact money for entry for all of these parties. I'm really determined this month.

Whoever it was thst went to London. I think you fid exceptionally well and your friends sound lovely. Glad you had a good time.

AdoraBell Mon 16-Dec-13 03:27:42

Turnoff sounds like you have fab friendsfgrin

NSD for me Today.

Turnoffthelights Mon 16-Dec-13 07:14:22

Very fab friends! But if I hadn't been encouraged by advice on here to be totally honest with them about my finances they would have been none the wiser. Really pleased I told them (not just for the dress and cocktails!) but because I realise that by being straightforward it's much easier to plan outgoings without feeling the pressure to conform.

Possiblyorange Mon 16-Dec-13 08:56:37

Oh my goodness I'm traumatised by my Christmas over-spend. I really am attempting to be very sensible but it is just impossible not to spend if you want a turkey/tree/anything for DCs to unwrap (and they have under £100 each spent on each of them, including stockings). Still need to buy the nanny a present and get some candles, napkins etc for Christmas dinner table. Am going to scavenge a tablecloth from my mother's when we visit (she has tons) so I don't buy a crappy one which is a complete waste of money.

Turnoff I'm so glad telling your friends about your money situation has been a good move, it's a reminder for all of us that being broke isn't something we need to hide behind or pretend isn't happening.

DH and I need to sit down one evening this week and work out everything we need to spend in the next couple of months, as we're now moving the first week of the new year. Our costs will go down about £400 a month when we move (which doesn't mean we'll suddenly be rich, as our basic living expenses are currently more than our income, even with major frugality), but we have moving expenses, so think we'll need to take out a loan/overdraft extension to cover the deposit until we get the old one back and the odd bits we'll inevitably need to buy, and the shortfall in my earnings for the past month or two. Hate the idea of taking out a loan, but we basically can't carry on without getting into debt one way or another, and a loan is lower interest than anything else, as far as I can work out.

Possiblyorange we have decided to have chicken not turkey or beef which we usually have and will have a free range chicken rather than a cheap turkey.

Our rabbit has been unwell £150 vets bill yesterday n £100 today but hopefully all sorted he is 8yrs old n other than routine stuff only second vet visit was a tooth issue n has never had teeth prob before. Not insured as with an old rabbit excess on insurance plus mthly payment outweighs any benefits for us.

Bbq sausage casserole tonight enough for 2 adults n toddler plus my lunch tomorrow with freezer load for Same again

just checked freedom indoors n need to do one in garage but some weird combos for nxt mth i think

10kg bone in whole gammon being delivered tomorrow was £32 n order ages ago n husband will cut into lots joints

msmiggins Mon 16-Dec-13 15:47:52

I have just made two claims to my ban- one was for PPI claim ( I didn't even know I had paid it) the other was for being missold a current account.

The bank uphelp my complaints on both issues - it took 2 weeks in total and they slipped a nice £3300 into my paws!!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Dec-13 16:51:22

turnoff you must have been a good friend if they did that for you.

£8.43 today in the bodyshop after cashback for two hand creams and a free face cream delivered for free. The codes 19809 for free delivery over £5 and 50% off, ends tonight.

I've been looking at the cashback apps for groceries, I think we need to get on this because it seems like you can get free food on some items. I need to research it more though.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Dec-13 17:15:31

Hotukdeals reckon a £5 aldi voucher will be in The Sun this Wednesday, valid until the 24th December.

ilovepicnmix Mon 16-Dec-13 19:11:34

Msmiggins that is amazing!

Today I have spent £10.05. £4 on choc and sticker books from pound world and then £6.05 on lunch out.

Tonight I need to do my cards so I can catch the second class post. I hate writing cards.

Thanks for the tip off re the aldi voucher fluffy. I have one in my purse valid till xmas eve but am wondering if I should do two shops and really stock up. I am finding these vouchers a bit addictive.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Dec-13 19:17:11

Do it of you have space. No point wasting £5.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Dec-13 19:17:28


Turnoffthelights Mon 16-Dec-13 20:15:00

possibly just get yourself through Christmas -you need to enjoy it and keep it as low-stress as possible, especially as you're moving first week of January! Is everyone in agreement that December is the worst month for being frugal? Yes! You'll get yourself back on track in the new year / new house. You've probably saved loads on previous years it's just that it seems like more because you're keeping track.

Ok, December tracking...
Petrol: £90 spent, £210 remaining
Groceries: £63.45 spent, £136.55 remaining
Misc: £28.15 spent, £71.85 remaining
Childcare: £0 spent, £300 remaining

Feeling like I've cheated a bit as I used own account for London weekend. I do keep about £80 of my wages a month for personal spends, phone, presents etc. from January I will track personal spends as another budget.

Possiblyorange Mon 16-Dec-13 20:27:13

Thanks turnoff. I know realistically I'm being more sensible than in the last, just can't believe how much we must have spent in previous years!

We have a viewing on our current house tomorrow. Fingers crossed it goes as the sooner a new tenant can move in the less rent overlap we have to pay.

jezzasjockstrap Mon 16-Dec-13 20:57:34

I'm one happy bunny tonight.
Had insurance and breakdown renewal quote - £575!.
Went onto Top Cashback and got identical cover for £340. With £50 cashback.
What's not to like?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:44:36

Well done. Nearly half price!.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Mon 16-Dec-13 23:17:02

Not sure which pp told me about this , but as I haven't seen it on this thread yet, I must tell you. Join petrolprices. com. they send you an email with the best petrol prices in your area. i now know that if I had filled up near work rather than near home I would save about £4 per tank = £10 a month =£120 per year = £1200 wasted in the ten yrs I have worked there. From now on I am filling up. near work, not home! shock

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 16-Dec-13 23:28:40

Oh help, it might have been me! I've posted that before - it is really scary how much you save smile

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 16-Dec-13 23:31:21

Christmas savings (easier for us as DS is only 2 so won't notice):

We haven't bought a tree. Bit hmm but we are saving.

Going to family for long Xmas week so haven't bought any treaty food for home - they will have it all there and we are taking nice presents for them!

AdoraBell Tue 17-Dec-13 02:24:52

Too tired To catch up, will do so Tomorrow. Spent Today, horrendos amount.

Iamnotanugget Tue 17-Dec-13 06:20:29

Couple of quid on playgroup yesterday, planning to do the same today. Sainsburys had a few reduced bits so I spent £10 I didn't need to but I've topped up my gift cupboard for parties that dc get invited to so saving long term.

Ohhelp, thanks I'll look at petrol, we made all the 'big' savings ages ago but as I keep trying to explain to dm, if I shave £5 per month off this bill, £7 off that and £2 off the other then over the year we've got enough for a small family holiday. So every little does help.

Helenagrace Tue 17-Dec-13 07:18:12

Just realised my last post didn't actually postsad!

Going ok here. I am resisting the Christmas twitch. I looked at the Christmas present piles yesterday and thought they looked small. Then I remembered that the children have got a kindle each so of course they looked small as last year they had lots of tat more, smaller presents.

Had a few NSDs and my lunch out on Saturday cost much less than I expected.

It's the outlaws golden wedding on Saturday. They put "no presents" on their lunch invitations. I really hope they meant it!!

claretandamberforever Tue 17-Dec-13 08:13:12

Hello all! I can't seem to get near the laptop to post these days!

Have spent loads on groceries this week
£14.42 in Morrisons on Saturday
£72.84 in Farmfoods yesterday (I actually remembered to take my vouchers with me and saved £7.50 as it was over £80)
£22.74 in Tesco yesterday
£12.00 - secret santa present in Next (and they ripped me off as I bought a small gift box at £1.50 but it went through the till at £2. It's too far to take it back just to complain at 50p)

But I won't have to buy any main meal / snack food until pay day, will just have to do top-up shops, pop, milk, cereal that kind of thing. I also bought my Christmas meat and although I spent a lot, it cost less than a turkey crown would have done (£9-sum on a 'finest' gammon joint which was half price, and £6-sum on a half leg of lamb which was yellow stickered). I'd already decided we weren't having turkey this year anyway so had to act quick when I saw those meaty bargains.

So, budgets are:
Kids stuff: £110.45 remaining
Groceries: £58.80 remaining
Petrol: £95.96 remaining
Everything else: £202.65 remaining

DH then reminded me his mouth might be in too much pain to eat on Xmas day due to his biopsy so he's asked me to go and buy some boil-in-the-bag fish in parsley sauce that he might be able to manage with some mash.

2 weeks exactly to payday. My bosses have told us that they're not paying us before Xmas this year which is okay by me but a few of the others are fuming. It also means we get our Christmas bonuses after Christmas.

DH has been told his Xmas bonus will be paid in his next wage but hasn't had a wage slip yet so no idea how much it'll be. I'm hoping it will be enough to have paid for the Christmas presents that I've put on the credit card. Only a few more presents to buy this year. The kids pile is scarily small to say how much I have spent!

Working til 8.30pm tonight as I volunteered for some extra hours, and 6.30pm tomorrow but it means with the extra hours I can have a full day off before I leave. Still haven't had my vetting passed and although they did tell me it would be 4 weeks I still can't relax. I'm holier than thou when it comes to character and family members but it's the financial stuff that I hope doesn't hold me back.

Have a nice day y'all

claretandamberforever Tue 17-Dec-13 08:19:47

Oh and MIL has bought us a £50 Asda voucher as our Xmas present. So I'll save that for next month's groceries as DH's road tax is due at the end of Jan so I'll need to save up for that.

Possiblyorange Tue 17-Dec-13 09:23:07

Well done Jezza, that's a great saving!

DH got given a £50 sainsburys voucher as part of his Christmas bonus (which was £150 total, so not amazing compared to last year's, but better than nothing), so I'm planning on putting that towards the big Christmas shop on Thursday.

I also have £500 of cheques to pay in from working, which I haven't actually got time to get to the bank to pay in! Might have to ask the nanny to pop into town for me tomorrow. Need them to offset enormous rent and nanny salary bills which both need paying in the next few days.

ilovepicnmix Tue 17-Dec-13 20:08:12

Im very jealous of all these Christmas bonuses. If I get a chocolate Santa I'll be lucky.

£2 into softplay now that DS can walk. £5 on lunch there. This afternoon I posted my cards but I already had a dozen stamps. £6.05 on postage to oz, a big card and a spare half dozen stamps. Next few days should be NSDs other than milk.

AdoraBell Tue 17-Dec-13 22:09:44

I miss Christmas bonuses. Miss working too but that's another story

Used my just-over- a-fiver in Néctar points To Get olive oil and snacks. I wasn't going To spend any actual money as yesterday's supermarket tríp came To £170, included office bits for DH, gifts between DDs which they are paying back, but it still stung To sign the slip. Also used what was left on a gift card To let DDs buy bits and pieces of costume jewellery.

DDs have a friend over this pm, not being collected úntil 9-ish so will eat with us. I think we'll be doing a lot of entertaining at home this summerfwink, just can't afford the tríps out they expect want.

Creme Is there not a store where your rellies live that delivers? I've only Spent an afternoon in Dublín so don't know the Repúblic very well, but do departamento stores deliver on líne orders like in UK? Would save you on postage. Same for Ghetto, that or a voucher for a departamento storefwink.

Helenagrace Wed 18-Dec-13 07:12:23

Managing without much shopping this week as we're away for a week from Friday. Despite my monster Aldi shop the food budget looks really healthy.

My boss rang me yesterday to offer me some extra work. Even better she hinted that there might be further promotions for me in the future grin. I love my job!

claretandamberforever Wed 18-Dec-13 07:48:36

Yesterday was another NSD for me.

Possiblyorange Wed 18-Dec-13 09:48:31

I need inspiration please, what can I make on Christmas Eve for 7 adults/3 children that won't be expensive but will feel like a treat? I was originally planning on making fish pie, but (a) it's expensive unless I make it really mean on the fish and (b) a few of the people coming are slightly fussy eaters, and I don't want to make something expensive that gets rejected. I don't mind if they turn their noses up at budget food! I want it to feel festive though, and it needs to be filling as most of them are going out for an early lunch, so will be hungry by dinner time.

Possiblyorange Wed 18-Dec-13 09:48:41

4 children, not 3. Whoops.

Iamnotanugget Wed 18-Dec-13 14:44:16

Possibly if I'm cooking for a crowd I usually do this It may not be festive but it's cheap, it can be prepared in advance, minimal washing up, doubles up easily, healthy before the big splurge and served with value rice and tortillia chips always disappears. I make it fairly mild and put a bottle of tabasco on the table. Sometimes I'll put cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc on the table too.

I'm trying to avoid the shops as they're too busy and will just tempt me. When I am buying though I'm using my last few nectar etc points and any vouchers in my purse.

Turnoffthelights Wed 18-Dec-13 17:17:51

Yeah for loving your job helena! Promotions or not it's a good feeling to not have the 'oh crap it's work' feeling everyday. In terms of frugality it feels like getting money for something you enjoy!

Good question possibly. I wanted to ask for some similar advice about puddings which we have been asked to provide this weekend. Can be made or shop bought but want something that feels festive. I agree with nugget, chilli (meat or veggi) always does well for a crowd and works out cheap. The last time we hosted Christmas we cooked shop bought, but luxury end, pies with mash veg and gravy. Let everyone choose which pie they wanted pre-Christmas which made it quite fun and avoided fussy eaters. We weren't counting pennies then though so not sure how frugal the pies would be with all your guests.

We had a big spend last night - blummin baby photo calendars for all the grandparents, great grandma and one for us - eek! The pride that comes from having a gorgeous little one is pricey! Think we spent over £50 on 6 calendars and postage blush !

Ouchy on the calendars remember our toddler first xmas did photo books but signed up as new customers to loads photo companies using various emails n got these free with postage around £6-9 n had sent direct to family members subsequent yrs have been pic in a frame this yr erm we haven't got around to photo type pressies!!

Rabbit been unwell still n back at vets today another op tomorrow he is 8yrs old so not sure he will lash much longer but got to give him a chance.

ilovepicnmix Wed 18-Dec-13 20:18:29

I did a brave thing today and opted out of my work lottery syndicate. Please don't let them win now haha! I was then given £10.80 which was my share of the winnings pot at the mo. I was chuffed as wasn't expecting that. However I later felt obliged to buy two charity raffle strips later. That was £2 and then £1 on milk.

ilovepicnmix Wed 18-Dec-13 20:22:18

Oh and 40p on a Sun to get my Aldi voucher.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 18-Dec-13 23:10:32

for christmas eve how about fajitas? fun, social & can get. most of it done ahead if time.
Other than that I like the pie & pea supper idea. Very retro.

Possiblyorange Thu 19-Dec-13 08:49:15

DH has suggested butternut squash soup and homemade bread, as apparently his parents have an aversion to eating early with the DCs so we need something we can reheat easily. I'm in favour as it's cheap! Although slightly miffed we won't all eat together.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Dec-13 17:08:47

My pil are a bit odd with eating. I offered a yorkie pud with a roast once and they recoiled in horror saying it was too much to eat.


AdoraBell Thu 19-Dec-13 17:23:10


DH and I went To a wedding, when he was still the BF, and we Stopped for perol but he didn't want To delay so didn't buy a lottery ticket. A Lucky someone didn't have To share their £9,000,000 win that weekend, because we didn't put our numbers onangry.

I may, dependíng on transport being available, pick up fruit juice, cream and dog biscuits later.

Hey rule in my house is u eat at the time we eat no messing around.

Rabbit has gone downhill didn't return to vets for op as he wouldn't survive it he isn't in pain so going to let him slip away quietly - syringing liquid food into him 3 times a day but he isn't eating.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Thu 19-Dec-13 17:26:59

£3 on soft play
£4.50 on coffee today

Free parking though as all machines were out of order!!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Dec-13 17:30:40

Poor rabbit. You must be so upset.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Thu 19-Dec-13 18:11:10

Night nanny x posted with you - so sorry about your rabbit sad

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 19-Dec-13 18:17:01

Credit card cut ocf point yesterday. Ladt months statement comes in at £1440. We budget £1000 and dmil owes me nearly £200 of it for dh's birthday/christmas present so I am only 250 over. ONLY! However, apart from christmas day, our dec food spend will now be low due to leftovers & eating out at pils, dps etc over the next couple if weeks. petrol also rsduced considerably. so I am hooing to cime on the January thread saying my cc cut off was less that £750. Need to get right back on track after Christmas - no more crappy lunches at softplay centres. I will invite my friend here and cook for us once a week. I meet her weekly at softplay. Where else
can i cut back. do you lot have heating on low all the time or off and on a couple of hours a day? Will have a think where my money goes then plan some reductions.

AdoraBell Thu 19-Dec-13 18:21:11

Sorry about the rabbit.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Dec-13 18:22:16

The energy saving trust says its best to only put heating on as and when you need it. It's become a well established myth that its cheaper to keep it on low all day.

Any utility companies you can threaten to leave and get a discount? Sky? Virgin media? Bt?.

ilovepicnmix Thu 19-Dec-13 19:28:30

Sorry to hear about your rabbit eastmidlands.

Oh my goodness adora. Im surprised he went on to become dh! Im still in for the next two weeks so fingers crossed.

NSD for me today. I've just cancelled my Sun+ subscription so hoping my Tesco voucher arrives. Did you sign up fluffy?

Work Christmas curry tomorrow but I've paid £5 deposit and have budgeted another £40. Hoping I come home with change. I just need to be strict with myself and not go on for drinks after. Don't think I'll be tempted as my sofa will be calling me.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Dec-13 19:32:25

I signed when it was morrisons vouchers, took about 3 weeks to arrive

Possiblyorange Thu 19-Dec-13 21:52:12

Fluffy that is the kid of thing my mother would do - she always gapes at me if I dare to have more than a single slice of toast for lunch, perhaps with a bit of tinned mackerel for extra excitement. hmm grin

Nightnanny how sad about your rabbit, I hope he slips away without any distress.

Am feeling artificially poor as have just paid rent and nanny salary and still haven't had a chance to pay in two cheques which will bring in £400. No idea when I'm going to get time to before Christmas at this stage.

Did the big Christmas shop today - £143 in Aldi (I have NEVER spent that much in there! Literally couldn't fit any more in the trolley) and another £122 in Sainsbury's, but a combination of Nectar points, emptying the change jar into the change machine and DH's £50 voucher from work meant I only actually had to stump up for £46 of the £122, which was rather nice. I should only have to buy a couple of things like brussels sprouts and cream next Monday (and pick up the turkey, but good old MIL gave us money for that). Considering I'm feeding 7 adults and four children from the 23rd to the 26th/27th (staggered leaving times), I'm not too disappointed in that. It would have been an awful lot more last year.

Got an amazing huge ham in Aldi, bone in, 4.3kg, for about £13 or £14, which I thought was brilliant value, as it can come out and look impressive for several big lunches (crucially Christmas Eve and Boxing Day) even for DH's big eating family. Do we think it will be ok to slice and freeze anything we don't eat by boxing day? Am planning on cooking it on the 23rd. Was thinking whatever's left might be good for throwing in pasta bakes etc, even if it's not very exciting in sandwiches defrosted? Have never frozen ham before.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 19-Dec-13 22:01:53

Yep, slice and freeze the ham.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 19-Dec-13 22:39:21

Ham does freeze well, I learnt this trick in a frugal thread earlier this year. Cant believe how much i wasted before these threads. Turkey freezes well too & cheese - my butcher told me that last year. adding to everyone else's wishes for eastmidlandsnightnanny (possibly a neighbour of mine as also in the e. m.), hope the rabbit dilemma reolves sooner rather than later. Poor you.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 19-Dec-13 22:43:01

Good thinking Fluffy - will threaten to leave sky. Been with them for at least 17 years so they had better show me some respect in the form of a good discount!! Taljing of frugal (or not) something I collect has just been offered to me at 50'/. off. I dont NEED it but would love it. 50'/. off something that appreciatrs in value too. ooooh I am going to be corrupted. sad shock

AdoraBell Fri 20-Dec-13 01:31:07

So my few bits turned into £25 worth of top up, Meh - it means I don't have To Get things at the weekend.

Possibly I was shock at your Christmas shopping úntil I saw How many you are feeding and for How long. Not so bad after all.

picnmix I remind him occasionaly wink

Thankyou everyone rabbit passed away yesterday evening i was in bed but husband sat up cuddling him haven't told our toddler yesterday tried to explain to him yesterday but he said where's he going then so don't think he fully understands.

Last day of work today til after xmas so looking forward to the break

CremeEggThief Fri 20-Dec-13 09:17:47

Aw, so sorry to hear that news, nightnanny sad thanks.

Possiblyorange Fri 20-Dec-13 11:52:51

Adora I was shock too until I worked out the number of people! I will feel a bit hard done by if there aren't lots of leftovers though (although DH's family are greedy buggers, so I'm not holding my breath grin).

Last bit of Christmas posting to do this afternoon, then off my to my parents for the weekend so won't be spending much all weekend and on Monday, apart from cheap haircuts for the DCs and picking up the turkey.

Turnoffthelights Fri 20-Dec-13 13:59:31

So sorry nightnanny, poor bunny xx

I feel in a constant state of panic at the moment that some financial catastrophe is going to strike, maybe because this is the first month I've worked to budgets and although they're going ok I'm sure there are lurking spends!

Had two such panics this morning...firstly checked my wages, again to see if extra hours are working out financially, and it appeared that I'd basically earned a pittance! Second disaster was that both headlights on the car went last night, convinced myself it was some huge, costly electrical fault and that we'd have to get it fixed by some cowboy trader in order to leave for Christmas festivities later on tonight! Both have worked out ok; I've inadvertently bought a lot of childcare vouchers so I've received less cash pay but will have more to put towards January nursery bill. My nursery budget of £300 is just to pay the cash balance after childcare vouchers so this will come in under budget. And best of all, my lovely mechanic was available last minute and has replaced both bulbs (no electrical fault) for £20! Ok so our 'everything else' budget has only about £10 left in it but I'm pleased with that.

Will have some costs later this afternoon as need to go and buy our contributions to this weekend's visit - some drinks and deserts - hoping to still have £100 left in food budget for next week.

Thankyou all.

Told our toddler bunny has gone to live in the stars n he said what in an aeroplane so i just said yes if u like

work all Done now so rest time

ilovepicnmix Fri 20-Dec-13 17:43:07

That's me back from my Christmas do. Just call me rock n roll! The meal only came to an extra £15 and my manager bought a round of drinks. I went on for one more drink but that was bought for me as it was just a diet coke. I then got a lift home but gave £2.50 towards parking. So lots of change out of my anticipated £40. Im very pleased.

Think I might do some wrapping now as I don't have DS and it feels too early to veg in front of the tv.

AdoraBell Fri 20-Dec-13 17:52:37

Sorry about the bunny nightnanny, toddlers tend To struggle with the permanence of death, but he'll Get there, especialy as you haven't told him bunny went off on some kind of adventureous holiday.

picnmix great result on the Christmas do costs.

Don't think I need To Get anything Today, but Tomorrow I need To Get a small gift for a classmate of DD2.

Possibly most things can be frozen if left overs are a problem, but as you are feeding greedy buggers I Doubt you'll have much left overfwink.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 20-Dec-13 17:53:40

I'm so sorry about your pet rabbit East, it's a horrible experience when you lose them.

£6 on wine and bread in aldi. Aldi have started marking Christmas cakes down. They have a lot of Christmas cake in our local one.

Husband came home with some bits from Christmas festivities at work wine leftover cakes crisps n fruit. His secret Santa present made us laugh a xmas pud think they had forgot as aldi is across the rd n it was from there.!!

Husband still at work til xmas eve so got friends over Mon n doing a little xmas party for children n xmas eve think will do cheap children cinema show n then church christingle in afternoon

AdoraBell Sat 21-Dec-13 03:38:53

NSD Friday, need moré food for dogs.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 21-Dec-13 08:04:48

East, they may have forgotten but its a good pressie - beat waitrose m&s etc in good housekeeping tests !

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 21-Dec-13 08:14:04

Purse seems to be leaking - got ham turkey pate petit fours etcetc from m&s yesterday - £117. Turkey really is ridiculously expensive (everywhere). Got to do big grocery shop on line today for delivery tomorrow. Christmas stuff & normal order probably top £150. Have been frugalish this yr so buying lots of lovely stuff to celebrate - good selection of cheese not just cathedral city and so on. once that is done, nsd til 27th hopefully . maybe one softplay visit . Enjoy the anticipation ; my dcs seem very excited today!

Free range fresh turkey under £40 in aldi we r having free range corn fed chicken instead.

Tesco have rib beef half price from butcher counter.

Just done last of food shop at aldi

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 12:11:19

I saved the morrisons vouchers the sun sent me, I've got £15 off them so I'm hoping to get a small free range turkey from them.

Turnoffthelights Sat 21-Dec-13 13:39:28

Contributions for family weekend came in at about £40 so around £120 food budget left and refilled car (again!) with £60 so £150 left of petrol budget.

Last £10 of everything else budget gone as I realised when we arrived last night that I'd forgotten toothbrush and knickers - emergency town dash required this morning!

CremeEggThief Sat 21-Dec-13 14:19:18

About £105 between Tesco and Lidl on food shop yesterday, although there's probably enough until New Year! Just need bread sauce and trifle now, my little luxuries from M&S, some fresh cranberries, and of course, milk and bread, but all can wait until Monday.

NSD so far today smile.

AdoraBell Sat 21-Dec-13 14:45:28

We'll be buying dog food later, birthday gift of chocs has been diverted from the Christmas pile. For actual Christmas shopping I will need fresh veg and salad which I will Get Monday or Tues. Oh, and ice cream too.

claretandamberforever Sat 21-Dec-13 15:03:29

Haven't been on for a few days but in those few days I have managed to spend a metric fucktonne of cash (but mainly on the credit card)

Remaining budgets are...
Kids spends £81.15 remaining
Everything else: £185.18 remaining
Grocery: £17.10 remaining
Petrol: £95.96 remaining

So that's not too shabby as there are only 10 days left to payday. Whatever is left will have to get paid onto the credit card to pay for the Christmas spends, as much as this will kill me.

Grocery budget took a battering this month but I did buy Xmas dinner (at least £20), and there is a takeaway in there too.

DH got a £1000 pre-tax bonus which is about £666 after tax (woo) but I don't want to spend it on anything until we know for 100% that the biopsy he will be having done on Xmas eve is normal.

Xmas spending was well over target. I had hoped to bring it in at £500-£550 but it's an eyewatering £648.50 with someone still left to buy for, and two people we usually buy for, who we didn't buy for. I could cry!! Probably only £100 of that was not on the credit card. I've spent roughly £220 (ish) on my boys each and bought for 22 other people (plus the one I still have to buy for)

Anyway - my plan for next year is...
Keep my grocery budget at £350, but any underspend can go into a Christmas account or I can buy stuff throughout the year.

God, just remembered DH's road tax is due at end of January, it really is relentless money grabbing isn't it?

Off to read back through the thread now

Possiblyorange Sat 21-Dec-13 16:27:13

We're at my parents this weekend and having a beef rib. Tragically (wink) the rib was about twice the expected weight so they're probably sending us home with plenty of leftovers for the freezer, hurrah!

NSD today, think it's my first of December!

Hope you are all enjoying the Christmas build up and not feeling too financially stressed.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 19:09:59

Rib of beef envy

Right, I've been looking into this shopitize app and I think it's a good idea.

You download the app, it tells you which items are on cashback if you buy them, you scan your till receipt and they pay you in BACS or paypal.

Eg, twiglets are 50p cashback in asda & sains & morrisons. In asda though they only cost a £1 though.

Sometimes though the offers overlap with the mysupermarket apps ones so you get free food.

NSD. Big shop tomorrow though I've got my £5 aldi voucher.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 19:14:48

Free maltesers in sainsbos, cashback is £1 for 120g, in store they cost £1.

I have a food allergy so I can't have them angry

WaitingForPeterWimsey Sat 21-Dec-13 19:15:11

NSD - miracle grin

AdoraBell Sat 21-Dec-13 19:21:31

£34 in supermarket, mucho food for dogs, cream- 6 small long Life packs- strawberries, alcohol free beer for DH, cans of tuna and cup cakes plus decorating paraphanalia for DDs. Too hot To buy ice cream so will pick that up on Monday morning.

Also envy of your rib of beef and left overs there of Possibly

Fluffy it's a wind up, isn't it, when you can't eat things like Maltesers?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 19:28:53

I bet free maltesers taste even better too sad

AdoraBell Sat 21-Dec-13 19:34:57

It's probably all the nearly out of date ones that have been left in the sunlight between stores, all the fats in the chocolate have risen To the surface To give that horrible white spot effectfwink

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 19:45:57

Yes that's it, and the centres have gone chewy too.

northender Sat 21-Dec-13 20:30:26

Will catch up properly later. I've done all shopping now but fruit and veg, meat and cheese which I'll do on Monday. Have enough food to feed an army but shouldn't need to buy much now for about 3 weeks if i manage it well.

AdoraBell Sat 21-Dec-13 21:07:07

Oh yes, Defo chewy and nasty in the middle, have a glass of wine instead, any of that cheap Chilean stuff from Lidl left?

North Well done.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-Dec-13 21:26:59


You're all very organised, I've got a Xmas pud, custard, a Rioja, a bottle of cheap champagne, a bottle of malt and a bottle of scotch.

Dh bought the booze.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 21-Dec-13 22:17:03

All done here too. set my dad up to fetch fresh bread for the soup starter and the evening sandwiches. Nsd today, hopefully tomorrow too. Done the main shop online and have no idea of how much it will actually be - in terms of how many bags full, where i will put it etc. It was 10 degrees here to today so I cant keep stuff in the garage or outside like I sometimes do. As pp said, should be enough to feed us for at least 2 - 3 weeks if I freeze leftovers and get creative with rice, noodles etc i.n the coming weeks. Feeling reaxed about it all. sadly Dh been a grump today and that has rubbed off on me. Theres only so much negativity one can take without grouching a similar response. Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow in this household !

Iamnotanugget Sat 21-Dec-13 23:07:14

I did my shopping yesterday. Everything is being kept chilled/frozen so should last. I even bought loads of milk to freeze as I'm determined not to go back to the shops until the chaos is over.

Fluffy we had a box a free maltesers last night. Generally I don't use that app as the offers are for branded goods and even with the cashback store brand is still cheaper. However, if you check regularly you can get some bargains. A few weeks back I got a 4 pack of Andrex for 56p.

NSD today, hoping for the same tomorrow.

AdoraBell Sun 22-Dec-13 00:25:47

Well I was all originased and sorted, then DH Opened the naice bottle of wine instead of the perfectly aceptable white that I told him To open and now everything is Ruined. Ruined I tell you.

<calms down and adds naice vino To shopping list for Monday morning>

ilovepicnmix Sun 22-Dec-13 09:24:19

Morning all. Did two shops in aldi yesterday as my brain couldn't cope with two lots of adding up as I was using my £5 off vouchers. And I ran out of bags. The first shop was for food and I bought loads of meat including a huge beef brisket I'm going to bung in the slow cooker in a mo. Came to £35.02 using my voucher. In the evening I went back and did booze and chocs for people I'm visiting on Christmas day. DS is with his dad, from midday onwards, and I didn't want to travel to my family without him. I was planning on spending the day alone but now I've taken up an invite from a friend. Will be weird but then it's been a weird year since I split with DS's dad. The second shop came in at about £36 but include a bottle of champagne and two bottles of fake baileys.

I put £40 in my car but ex has said that his plans have changed and he'll bring DS back today which saves me a 4 hour round trip and all that petrol. I'm delighted!

claretandamberforever Sun 22-Dec-13 10:06:39

Morning all!

December is my worst month of the year for birthdays! DH is one of six siblings and four of them have birthdays between 1st December and 1st January - UGH - and they're all the 'money in a card' type of birthdays. SO, today's spends so far
£20 in a card for SIL (age 22) and at Uni
£10 in a card for SIL (age 27)

Last night DS1 cadged £5 off me as he was going out for something to eat with his friends (although this is coming off what I owe him for his trainers) and DS2 cadged £2 off me.

Budget remains the same as yesterday with the exception of the 'everything else' budget which is now only £138.18 * weeps *

Turnoffthelights Sun 22-Dec-13 16:43:09

claret all my significant birthdays happen between September and Christmas! I on the other hand have a (convenient for everyone else) June birthday! P.s. Fingers crossed for hubby's appointment on Tuesday xxx

NSD today. Lovely hosting from family. Just watching Nativity now whilst waiting for a roast duck dinner!

My parents have decided to arrive at ours on Christmas Eve rather than tomorrow. Leaves us with a dinner gap to fill. We've just been given some lovely posh linguine as part of our pressie, any ideas for a celebratory supper for 2 welcome. Was considering splashing out on some prawns to go with but how to cook?

NK5BM3 Sun 22-Dec-13 16:50:49

Haven't checked in for a while. In the last week of work I had several NSDs due to being at work and bringing lunch in. Did the last shop yesterday and we are all good to go. Packing for trip up north now to spend Christmas there. Half and half about it. Hate travelling during this precious time as the house is a tip and could have done with some chill out time but I guess at least we don't have the faff of cooking and more cooking. Just hope the in laws are prepped for feeding my kids - they (inlaws) are notoriously bad for eating on time or even eating regularly (I'm not saying we need to eat at 8/12/6 but they can skip meals and seem to feed their other grandchildren aged 5!!!)

Give me strength. grin

Happy Christmas all! X

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 22-Dec-13 18:05:33

£44 big shop in aldi.

£5 fresh turkey in morrisons (thank you sun+ vouchers)

£6 fittings from b&q.

Helenagrace Sun 22-Dec-13 19:37:56

Couple more NSDsgrin

No more travelling for us as we've arrived at my mums where we're staying until Boxing Day.

Food shopping tomorrow - mother doesn't believe in online shopping - so it'll be queuing down the aisles for me!

ilovepicnmix Sun 22-Dec-13 21:09:35

NSD for me today.

CremeEggThief Sun 22-Dec-13 23:04:55

About £29 on sushi for lunch and travel, on a planned day out and another £11.70 in Waitrose (instead of M&S) and a cheeseboard for £13 in Fenwicks, so about £53.70 altogether.

AdoraBell Mon 23-Dec-13 02:41:49

NSD Sunday.

I know it's a bit late in the month, but I've just opened my CC bill and it's way, way worse than expected. It's £518, but there is another £120 to be added from my present twitch the other day.

This is an awful lot of money...

We also owe my mum £15,000. £5200 to B&Q and £2600 to nationwide credit card. I had reconciled these in my mind that they are all 0%, and my every day credit card was zero.

Except it isn't anymore, and I don't know how to pull us back...

Can I think of a plan and come back? I know it's late in the month, but I can't go into Christmas not with a plan! I like plans, which hopefully will stand us in good stead!

WaitingForPeterWimsey Mon 23-Dec-13 09:05:24

Woodburner, can you transfer your balances to other 0% cards?

Is there anything you can sell on eBay?
Maybe return Xmas presents you are given and get credit vouchers to use on other people's birthdays during the year?
If you have bought a lot for some people maybe return some presents for cash (like a de-twitch!)?

Can you make any more savings from spending going into the new year and use those savings to do a standing order to your dm?

How long do you have to pay b&q?

claretandamberforever Mon 23-Dec-13 12:43:00

Do you have anything you can sell on your local FB selling page?

Just had a little xmas party for toddler n his friends 4 little ones n 3 adults one brought sandwiches n the other crackers n juice n i did lots little bits n had part baked baguetres for adults n did prawns or gruyere cheese (35p reduction grated n frozen no one noticed).

Lovely time had by all n glad we had planned it in as crap weather here n don't fancy the shops.

ilovepicnmix Mon 23-Dec-13 13:51:30

That sounds lovely eastmidlands. My DS will wake from his nap soon and I've no idea what we'll do this afternoon.

This morning I spent £8.75 on wee pressies for my admin at work. However, I used an m&s giftcard from my birthday. £3.50 on carpet cleaner from Wilkinsons.

I'm testing knorr pots for mn and my 'hamper' arrived today. It has 20 pots in it and various recipe cards. Im well chuffed!

Been doing some research

The B&Q debt is on 0% until feb 2015, and the nationwide card is 0% until September 2015, so there is plenty of time to be dealing with those.

At the moment, I'm paying £50/month to the nationwide, which won't clear it before it goes to 15.8% sad so am going to need to find more money to throw at that one.

The B&Q one is paid by direct debit, £160/ month and that will be cleared at the point the 0% runs out - was our new kitchen.

I don't think I would get another 0% card, I only got the nationwide one as I am an existing customer...

But I reckon that January statement will be somewhere around £750, so I'm aiming to pay this and make the same again over the next 12 months so no Christmas hangover on the cards next year!

All the twitch gifts have been handed out, but I was given £50 love to shop vouchers by work last week, so I will be able to get some new clothes for myself, which are urgently needed, without making the credit card balance any worse.

I might be able to sell some stuff, I have an old sewing machine, but most stuff in our house gets used until it's fit for junk. However, my youngest baby is now 1, so I can start selling off her clothes and baby toys, which even if I only get £50 it's a start!

AdoraBell Mon 23-Dec-13 15:19:15

Just got my last minute bits £70-ish. Incluyes lot's of expensive ice-cream, chocolate, little stocking fillers and a replacement naice vino.

Shouldn't need anything else úntil after the weekend.

Claret hope all goes Well Tomorrow with your DH.

Can't see now who has the naice linguine and prawns, but my fav is a light tomatoe Sauce with fresh toms and the prawns on top. Or, like a cabonara but prawns and Lemon zest with Lemon juice poured over.

Damn! Forgot lemons this morning.

Picnmix we have had a do not alot afternoon xmas films n rubbishy junk food deffo beats going out in this weather.

Possiblyorange Mon 23-Dec-13 15:55:36

Afternoon! We are back home and preparing for family to descend.

Have just made macaroni cheese for those coming tonight and what I thought would make enough for tonight and some leftovers is actually enough for tonight and two full meals in the freezer, so I'm calling that a win grin.

Have also discovered I have no lunch guests tomorrow, when I thought I had three, so am also saving on what I had planned for that. At this rate we're going to have enough leftovers for half of January!

Woodburner it sounds like you at least know what you owe and to who, which is a really positive start. Sit down and do a real genuine budget (using previous bank statements, not what you think you 'ought' to be spending) and see how much you can throw at the highest interest debt first. Minimum payments on all else until the highest interest one is gone. Don't apply for another 0% until you really have to and your credit might be good enough to get one (DH and I went through about six in succession when we paid off a big debt a few years back).

Possiblyorange Mon 23-Dec-13 15:59:53

Oh, and ideas to use up around 40 eggs? Have been given loads by my mum's friend and had already stocked up...

You can freeze eggs. Separate and whisk, then freeze as yolks and whites. If you can't find anything else to do with them, but make sure you know how many you are freezing - I usually do 3 or 4 whites together and 3 or 4 yolks together and label them, then you can defrost the right amount.

AdoraBell Mon 23-Dec-13 16:39:24

I would freeze the eggs, seperated as suggested, in the amounts you are likely To use. So, x egg whites for a pavlova, x yokes for a carbonara, x To use as omlettes etc. Make it part of a meal plan for January.

CremeEggThief Mon 23-Dec-13 16:56:06

£15 on a mini manicure and pedicure. Thank goodness the salon's just round the corner, as it's been lashing rain all day long here. Still, perfect excuse for curling up all afternoon smile.

We do something called mash potato thing with obviously mash potato boiled eggs bacon onions mushrooms n shredded cabbage all cooked mix together in casserole dish with grated cheese on top bung under grill to melt the cheese we prob use 1.5-2kg potato 5-6 eggs 200gm bacon 1/4 savoy cabbage 2 med onions n 250gm mushrooms n enough cheese to cover. Its delish n i now want some

beware uses lots pans to get down to one casserole dish but then the meal was created by a man!!

ilovepicnmix Mon 23-Dec-13 19:07:32