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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightmare AdoraBell!

I forgot my purse yesterday - and survived.

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

Good luck everyone x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm staying in today, having a NSD.

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

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

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

Cynner grin at shopping in pants!

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

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

Have a good day, all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the mobile phone tip, roguepixie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Mum2Fergus and welcome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm starting a money spending diary today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome Mum2Fergus & lizardqueenie smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for shopping, I now do almost all of it in Aldi (just up the road, luckily) with the few things I can't get there in Coop or Sainsbury's. Oh, and poundland for toiletries and cleaning stuff. eat meat? If so, I'd recommend eating more vegetarian dishes (I'm veggie, so biased! But husband and son eat meat, just not really at home, saves a lot on our food). I'm not saying give up meat completely if you do eat it, just try to have a few meat-free days.

Anyway, I'll shut up now!

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

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

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