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Dec--k--(ember) the halls with discount holly,

(207 Posts)
economymode Sun 02-Dec-12 15:06:52

New thread, complete with tenuous title, to help us keep track of finances this month. Come be a Scrooge with me!

AdoraJingleBells Sun 09-Dec-12 01:50:11

Today I spent £20 on Lego set, birthday gift, and £15 on veg and fruit juice. OH surprised us by suggesting taking DDs to the cinema, £20, they loved it. Roads were £2.40

Yesterday was just roads and a coffee on the school run. Had to pick DD1 up after a party so that doubled the road costs, £5 in total and £2.50 on a large coffee.

Tomorrow will be a spendy day, dropping both DDs at the party then OH and I will shop for gifts from the ILs. It's far easier and cheaper for us to shop here rather than them sent gifts, which may not arrive.

Congrats on those mince pies and the magazine economy

roguepixie Sun 09-Dec-12 09:43:53

fluffy - can I ask...what is the 'laundry gloop'? I am intrigued? grin

2Old - what a lovely thing to do. You have gone straight to the top of the 'lovely things to go at Christmas' list' smile

Adora - love the '^large^' coffee. I soooooooooo understand grin.

Well, it's doing top-up food shop today and then the delights of the ironing board are beckoning (oh, be still my fluttering heart grin). Next week will be spent doing more cleaning and tidying in an effort to get the house under control. I am a bit of a magpie whilst DH is a spartan so we tend to clash...must admiit, his way looks better and makes cleaning easier too confused

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 09-Dec-12 12:08:19

Laundry Gloop off the money saving expert site;

Laundry Gloop

Equipment req.

1 v. large saucepan (stockpot is ideal)
1 wooden spoon
Bucket or similar v. large plastic storage container with lid.

For the gloop:

1 bar of ordinary soap, finely grated (c. 100g in weight if you are wanting to grate up unloved mini soaps that have sat in the bathroom for years.)
8 oz (250 g) washing soda
8oz (250g) borax or borax substitute (not essential but stops gloop from foaming and acts as deodoriser)
9 litres hot water.
A few drops of essential oils (not necessary, but adds a bit of scent)


Grate the soap as finely as you can. Old, hard soaps seem to grate the best.
Put grated soap in the large pan and add one and a half litres of boiling water. Bring this to a simmer on the stove and stir until dissolved. When the soap has dissolved, add the washing soda and borax together and stir until this is fully dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow this to cool SLIGHTLY then pour into a bucket or other large receptacle, pref. one with a lid.

Add up to 8 litres of hot water, pop lid on and allow to set in a cool place.

Mine took about eight hours to set.
When set, it will look like blancmange.

To use:
Add a small cupful directly to the DRUM of your washing machine (not the dosing drawer) with the laundry.
If you have v.smelly laundry you may wish to add a scoop of Oxy -clean type granules to the dosing drawer.

Each washload will cost me about 2p, I calculated. It would have been 1p if I hadn't used the borax.

The borax is actually borax substitute - there's no need to order this from the States, it's made in the UK by a company called Dri Pak. They do mail order.

I havent used borax as I didnt have any. Someone on the frugal resoloutions thread said to use a deoderant cap as a measure.

I'm going to use it on once worn stuff and towells etc.

It cost me £1.17 to do and I have about 7 ltrs of it.

CremeEggThief Sun 09-Dec-12 16:56:00

Sounds intriguing, fluffy. Have you tried it yet?

NSD today.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 09-Dec-12 19:58:08

No, not tried it yet. I only wear stuff once so I thought for things like my stuff and towels it would be ok, DH's works shirts go through the mill so I will try it but not be too upset if it's not as good as the aldi powder.

I'm sad enough to note down each wash in blocks of 5 too so I know cost per wash. Yes, the winter nights do fly by with me around.

£3 on JL baubles for the tree (half price) and £15 petrol. £42 for food shop in Aldi.

Pets at home are doing a loyalty scheme for those of us (and the lurkers) who have pets. 10% off first purchase but havent read all the pamplet yet.

I need to research chick crumb for cat litter, I'm sure someone on the litter tray section said chick crumb can replace litter and is cheap.

roguepixie Mon 10-Dec-12 07:19:52

Now I have another question fluffy ... what the heck is 'chick crumb'? Not that I have a cat but all these strange and wonderful things are so interesting (I know, I am totally sad) smile. And fluffy, are you a one woman 'good lifer' grin? I am in awe of your 'make it yourself' attitude. Could you not do a double scoop wash on your DH's shirts?

I need to go to the Post Office again today to post off the majority of my Ebay sales - did really well last week. I have the unsold items on again as it was a free listing weekend but that will be the last one before Christmas.

Spent £75.00 on top up shop yesterday, so not so much top up as major ... it did have a few things for Christmas as trying to spread the load rather than buy everything in one go. Am really cutting back this Christmas so am doing much better than usual. Will only need to buy some veggies later on in the week.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 10-Dec-12 09:03:54

Afaik, chick crumb is a corn based feed for baby chickens, it clumps when wet and is flushable but is cheaper than cat litters. It seems to be comparable to "the best litter" or somesuch brand. The cheap litters dont absorb well so one wee fills half his tray not a nice little clump like with the more expensive litters.

We have an animal feed place near us so I can see if they have any.

No, not a good lifer I just think soap is such an old recipe and yet we pay loads for it in the supermarkets. I could double scoop for the mucky wash.

Should be a nsd today, pil want me to switch their landline so I will be researching that, primus is cheap but gets bad reviews for internet but they dont need internet. I cant find any bad reviews for land line.

Mum2Fergus Mon 10-Dec-12 10:20:39

Morning all ... been v busy weekend so just catching up! Car gone this morning and money in the Bank-happy days! Pick up my wee runner at some point today. Also have a few big Ebay items finishing in the next few hours so that will keep me busy for a bit!

This laundry gloop - is it okay to use on kids/baby clothes?

Hope everyone is well?!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 10-Dec-12 11:56:49

I think it's only wool and silk you cant use it on but I use Alur from homebargains/poundshop/asda for that. It is just bath soap and soda crystals after all.

My bottom sheet from The White Company has a hole in it! a big patch has gone bare and now it's a hole. 300tc and I only bought it the year we married so only 2 years ago. So trip to TK Maxx to replace that, then we need to find the reciept for it as it should last longer than that. I can try and return it. I dont want store credit though, strangely gone off them now.

Fergus, so glad you got rid of the gas guzzler. You'll notice the difference when you fill up and get more miles out of it.

Nothing worth having on the freestuff sites this morning. I got a coupon off one of them for £3 off an Isle of Jura malt whiskey so thats fil pressie sorted.

Mum2Fergus Mon 10-Dec-12 13:28:16

And the savings keep rolling tax now £66 instead of £ now less than £200 instead of £550 (Im also due a refund of nearly £290 too!)... happy days!

Spending this afternoon documenting finances in anticipation of mortgage meeting with Bank in the morning!

Bakingnovice Mon 10-Dec-12 14:43:19

Mum2 fergus I'm trying to find home insurance too. Am hoping to go via topcashback. Any good deals?

CremeEggThief Mon 10-Dec-12 18:04:40

£5.50 today- £3 on dairy and £2.50 on bus fares. Good news about the car and eBay, mum2fergus and rogue. smile

Hope you find the receipt, fluffy and let us know how you get on with the gloop!

Mum2Fergus Mon 10-Dec-12 19:28:32

Mine was car insurance Baking...ended up going with Bank I work with...10% discount and a voucher for a free MOT.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:51:07

Aviva was good for my car ins, I went via quidco as they had the highest cb amount and the lowest quote. They have sent me a leaflet offering 50% off house insurance and 20% off that for having car insurance with them so I will be trying to use them for the house cover when that comes up for renewall in March.

£3.35 on marked down sirloin joint. No new bedsheet yet, cant find receipt angry

You dont mind paying for quality when it's worth it, I thought I'd still be using those sheets when our 10th anniversary came round but already one sheet is threadbare. TK Maxx has some lovely bedding, christy and dorma, designers guild.

I had no idea anyone would be remotely interested in laundry gloop.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 10-Dec-12 21:35:20

Hi everyone, I've been AWOL with poorly children. DS1 has been off school since Wednesday and is still really poorly, bless him sad

The upside is that we've been stuck at home a fair bit so lots of NSDs.

Mum2 well done on the car sale, and good luck for tomorrow and the mortgage meeting!

rogue well done on Ebay!

DH still doesn't have any work lined up, although he is on some shortlists and will hopefully hear about a couple of interviews this week. We are doing well on this month's budget and should be able to save about £600 extra into our emergency fund.

Tomorrow should be a NSD, and probably Wednesday as well.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 10-Dec-12 21:37:42

Be careful with Christy and Dorma, I don't think the quality is as good as it used to be. We have some Christy towels which have got loads of loose threads, and I had to ditch a whole set of Dorma bedding after only a year because all the elastic went in the bottom sheets, and the poppers on the duvet covers would no longer do up.

We've got John Lewis bedding now, which is going strong 4 years on.

roguepixie Tue 11-Dec-12 07:05:20

Fluffy - I second Alibaba's John Lewis recommendation. I buy my bedding from them and have only just replaced a bottom sheet that wore through after approx. 12 years!!!! It does wear very well. The duvet covers and pillow cases are still good to use. A fitted bottom sheet is somewhere in the region of £18-22 from John Lewis but is really does last for years. You may get a better price in the upcoming sales?

Thank you also for the gloop recipe. I find all these things really interesting. I don't have cats (am allergic) but had never heard of crumb - thank you for the explanation.

DS is off school today - he got a whack across the hand in hockey yesterday and now can't move his fingers. Looks like they may be broken! Am seriously pissed off - not with him but the timing - he has a bake sale today in aid of a local charity, he has a concert coming up this week which I now need to chase the teacher for information about...poo!

Mum2Fergus Tue 11-Dec-12 15:50:19

Sooo, mortgage approved in principle this morning smile Solicitor has copy of home report and we've discussed/agreed initial (and possibly cheeky lol) offer. Waiting to hear back from her now. Had a few Ebay sales paid for and picked up...gutted I missed the free listing weekend as Ive loads still to list. Approx £100 in Paypal ac at minute, intend to let it sit until we (hopefully) move then maybe a treat for new bedding smile

Weekly shop today too...stayed under £50 budget and had a total of £17.43 using vouchers, happy with that!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Dec-12 16:02:34

Good luck mum2Fergus, It's torture waiting to hear from estate agents.

CremeEggThief Tue 11-Dec-12 18:13:19

Ooh, best of luck, mum2Fergus!

Fluffy, I think of you as a bit of a scientist, as you always seem to have a project or experiment on the go! grin

Ali, hope everyone feels better soon.

Almost an NSD here - ran out of tape whilst wrapping, so had to dash out for some. £1.25 from our lovely, cheap newsagent.

Leilandri Tue 11-Dec-12 20:30:08

Found you all! grin

Well done everyone on savings this month - cars, insurance, gloop... so inspiring.

We're doing ok so far this month, and I am loving having had some wages paid in.
Have a small stash of nice food squirrelled away for Xmas now, which is cheering me up as for a while it looked like we'd be lucky to have bread and water for Xmas dinner! hmm

AdoraJingleBells Tue 11-Dec-12 21:25:39

NSD here, DD2 has been off school. She has my cold and has soldiered on through the end of year exams, last one was yesterday and she decided to stay put this morning when I went to wake her. Which put paid to my shopping trip. I need to get a gift and toothpaste tomorrow now.

So, just roads today, double because of picking up after a party, 6 quids

Ali best of luck for DH's interviews. Mine is just keeping the bills paid at present, didn't need much persuading that DDs have no need of a fancy new phone just because it's Christmas.

Fluffy hope you get a refund on those sheets .

I'm just a tad pee'd off with the school, having spent money on clothes and shoes specifically for the drama presentation it turns out there's no time for a drama presentation, I can't find the right brackets on this pc but I am angry faced.

roguepixie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:05:16

Adora ... here's a angry for you. That is just so annoying. I am angry too - bought rugby boots for DS to play in house rugby and now it's cancelled...knowing him his feet will have grown by the time it's re-scheduled.

Ali - sending lots if lucky wishes to your DH for interviews.

Hello Leilandri, I do that to.

Helenagrace Wed 12-Dec-12 08:38:26

Hello fellow scrimpers!

I've so far managed to stay within my food budget. Went to Asda to buy some chocolates for Christmas and spent less than I thought I would. Need to do an Aldi shop this week. Lots of NSDsgrin

Looking for a job as I'm fed up of working for myself. It's lonely and I work better with other people.

We have a mortgage in principle for a buy to let mortgage for our Lancashire house. If we can rent that out we'll have an extra £700 a month which will make a huge difference. We have, however, decided to try to save most of it. We're managing with living frugally and realise how much we've wasted in the past blush. The future will be different!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 12-Dec-12 09:05:48

Helena, I am exactly the same, I cringe at how much money I've wasted over the years and how we would be in a much better position now if I had lived like this since leaving home.

Adora, I dont suppose you can take those costumes back either can you? I have always thought of south american countries as cheap places to live compared to countries like Switzerland or the UK but you seem to get charged for everything out there.

I'm making new draught exluders today, Draught excluders #1 are 2" too short and we have draughts so I'm going to cut up my old white company dressing gown and wonda web it to make extra long ones. I do like to have a little project going. My feet are freezing sitting at this table.

NSD yesterday.

Roll on the new year sales for christmas cards and wrapping paper! card factory here I come. <sharpens elbows>

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