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The awful feeling knowing there is not enough money in bank to pay direct debits due on the 1st

(80 Posts)
chocolatespiders Sun 30-Dec-12 12:40:08

I am a single parent (have been for 15 years) and this is the first time I feel I wont have enough money for food in January.

I work 30 hours a week in the community- I have to put petrol in my car to do my job but how can i buy petrol when I cant feed my 2 children sad

I made sure I put enough money in electric meter from December wages.

I have cancelled rent direct debit -£450 but I will go into the office and pay £350 as I don't want to get to far behind. This will allow other direct debits to go out which include water and TV license.

I have not had any child support for the last 6 months which I realise I was stupid to relay on but it helps towards everyday living. CSA don't seem to bothered when I phone them and just tend to give me false hope which comes to nothing.

What can i feed my children age 15 and 9 so they are full up and not looking for extras.

AndIfATenTonTruck Sun 30-Dec-12 14:56:04

Look up 'austerity housekeeping' blog - written by a MNer and she has also written an e-book encompassing the whole blog. It doesn't solve your immediate issue but they way things seem to be going, costs will rise more while net incomes won't, for many.

I haven't been in your situation but without distressing them can you involve your elder child (and maybe younger) in food budgeting? And in perhaps earning their own money (for their own luxuries/wants) by making things, selling stuff, doing jobs for neighbours?

Hope your ex wakes up to his responsibility soon.

runningforthebusinheels Sun 30-Dec-12 15:11:53

A lovely MNer did a £30 per week meal plan a while back - feeds a family of 4 over 2 weeks.

She didn't want it published on an open thread, but she pm'd it to anyone who wanted it. I'm happy to pm it you, chocolatespiders.

wavesgoodbye Sun 30-Dec-12 16:12:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BloominMarvellous Sun 30-Dec-12 16:18:02

Running could I be a pain and ask you to PM me the meal plan too?

IShallWearMidnight Sun 30-Dec-12 16:21:15

this website here was a bit of a lifesaver for us a while back (and i still use some of the recipes even though things aren't quite so tight). I think the pricing is a bit out of date, but it's still cheap, covers all meals and snacks, and your basic nutritional needs.

notactuallyme Sun 30-Dec-12 17:06:42

Not sure how the lease car fits in - the 40p is to cover wear and tear i think?

swallowedAfly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:13:37

honestly if you're on 30hrs a week, get child tax credits for two kids and presumably help with your rent if you don't earn enough - or you earn enough, then i i don't get how you don't have enough money to feed your kids.

do you have debts or something?

swallowedAfly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:25

better tell bitterandtwisted her meal plan is doing the rounds again grin

runningforthebusinheels Sun 30-Dec-12 17:33:03

Yes, it is indeed Bitterandtwisted's meal plan grin

Hope she doesn't mind me passing it on - she very generously passed it on to anyone that wanted it at the time. smile

I've pm'd it to the posters that asked for it.

WinkyWinkola Sun 30-Dec-12 17:42:50

Runningforthebus, may I have the meal planner too, please?

swallowedAfly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:43:50

i think she spent about a week sending it out to all the people who requested it grin she wasn't expecting quite such a response

Scrazy Sun 30-Dec-12 17:44:19

Can you ask your bank for an overdraft? I have to live on mine most of the time. You can request it online.

swallowedAfly Sun 30-Dec-12 17:47:14

i'm sorry btw i didn't mean to sound judgmental OP it's just i do wonder how people get in these situations. not from the place of naive wealth but because i've been there on minimum benefits and now live on 23hrs a week salary plus tc as a lone parent of a 5 yo and have always managed fine. mind you i don't spend much most of the time and the pasta, toast, potatoes type food people are describing as poverty food just seems like normal living for me.

maybe i've been poor for too long now! grin

CheckpointCharlie Sun 30-Dec-12 17:48:22

Ooh running could you chuck that in my direction too please smile
Feel for you OP I second calling your ex and telling him he needs to pull his finger out? What would he say if you asked him for help?

shellyf Sun 30-Dec-12 17:49:23

Please may I have a copy too?Thankyou

BloominMarvellous Sun 30-Dec-12 17:51:32

Thank you so much Running for some reason it won't let me reply to say thank you.

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 30-Dec-12 18:00:17

You can cancel gas and lecric and reset the DD for the following month.

Not ideal but will help jan.

Do you meal plan around what you have in the house?

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 30-Dec-12 18:00:58

Electric *

mam29 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:03:18

Sorry you going through tough time op.

lack of payment by dad very crap.

see if you entitled to any extra benefits.

ie tax credits, income support.

I do think there are crisis loans you can get from social/job centre,

Some months week before payday been hard but 2012 been even harder as

our veg patch dident grow,

wasent anything to forgage due to rain I live in outer city and still plenty to forage if you look.

have you got any cash to go shopping tommorow or tuesday I ask as reductions good right now.

Earlier today got 4fullbags tesco reduced shop for £8.50 including chicken fillets 80, reayd meal 49p, large pizzas 99p.
We forsee jan being tight month and next payday is 25th.
we have car mot an eldests birthday next month b4 feb payday.

I have list on frezzer and planner next 30days worth of dinners all in my chest freezer most reduced as even went food shopping boxing day.My store cupboards are full with basics as did big aldi shop last pay day.

do you have an aldis or a lidls near you?

aldis have super six deals fruit and veg which change every fortnight check their website as some as low as 39p for potatoes or fruit.

Lidls -they have some deals that start on thursdays.
the mea deals are weekend go to website stick in postcode and will tell you waht nearest stores deals are sometimes have pack lean mince for £1.34.

shop reductions
shop value lines
pound shops have odd bits

iceland/lidls /farmfoods do cheapest deal on milk.

I have been very inventive last few years.

Do your kids have school dinners or packed lunch?

possible 7 day meal plan if possible.

mon -breckfast value or reduced bread -toast or crumpet, small bowl of cereal and small value fromage frais 50 p for 6pack.

lunches-cheese-grated goes further, tinned tuna-if you have any, ham or chicken or even egg sandwiches.add value fromage frais, value apple, squash in bottle, kids dont mind value crisps hubbys more fussy.raisens shops sell bi value bag.

dinner -jacket potatos with butter , cheese and ham if can spare.
followed by yogurt or fruit.

tue breck -same as mon
lunch similar to mon.
dinner -ham anc cheese omlette or whatever else want to throw in with value oven chips.

value mouse dessert 35p for pack of 4.

wed-brekkie same-porridge maybe if kids would eat it.

lunch- see other days.

dinner-if you can afford a pack of mince or 2 and some red lentils.
passattas 29p aldis and lidls, one onion chopped. sainsburys value herb 18p.if cant afford 2packs get one pack and divide equally then add some cooked red lentils.

fry mince with chopped onion. drain off fat then add cooked red lentils, add passsata pinch salt pepper and herbs and let simmer.

once done add to value spaggetti or pastta as low as 30p a bag.
if can afford it value garlic breads less than 50p.

place 2nd half of bol mix in tub or covered bowl in fridge.

thur brekkie -see before
lunch see before

dinner take bolaniase place in saucepan on hob add some kidney beans and spoon ful value chilli powder seen it in morrisons not sure about others tesco has loads value stuff. add value rice you have chilli con carne.

pudding-tin rice pudding maybe or make up a jelly from scratch as packets of cubed jelly quite cheap.

friday-brekkie -the same
lunch-the same
dinner-if you can afford it tin tuna, value pasta and tin of sweetcorn all mixed up. to make pasta mix add grated chese if need be.

sat easier-brekkie-whatever was week day
sat lunch-beans on toast.
ad a dessert so seem like more

dinner-i really does depend what you have but if can afford yeast, bread flour, passata and value mozarella 49p. you can make base for hm pizas and make about 4-6large ones.
pm me if you wnat recipe. asdd value tomatoes, onions and ham or whatever toppings you have,. estimate cost of buyi all this

passatta -29p
yeast and flour £1.50maybe less

reckon come in at £2 and if roll think can make a few.
kids can have fun helping you make them

sunday going to sound mad but can you afford a chicken

as do roast chicken sunday lunch with frozen mixed veg £1 iceland, some value from yrkies or try making them,, potatoes and ready made gravy granules. you could do a roast for a fiver.

dont use all the meat pick off some and place in covered tub.

then on monday add value curry sauce and value rice for mondays tea.

then et chicken carcass in hot water and simmer for about hour the chicken will fall off the bone , this will make a stock which you can either use to make chicken soup add salt pepper, herbs and diced value potato and veg to make chicken and veg soup.

Or you could add to rissotto rice and make chicken and onion rissoto.

It all depends on how much you have.
how much you shop around and what shops you got near you.
what do you have in house maybe you have some stuff to make meals from.

other nice extras

value squash for kids
value biscuits we opt bourbas or custard creams about 50p a pack.
value apples approx £1
value fromage frais.-50p for 6
value tea /coffee

milk, eggs, butter.cheese.

if you have flour already you can easily whip up 12 cheap fairy cakes for lunchbox or snacks.

mam29 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:08:21

This post may be very useful £7 a week seems mad but some fab ideas and price lists and recipies

mam29 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:15:22

Latest aldi super six

Salad potatoes
Little gem lettuce
spring onions
Cherry tomatoes
All 49p

with my menu options above.

maybe make omlette chuck ins some chopped spring onions and cherry tomatoes with small amount grated cheese and serve with new potatoes instead of oven chips as works out cheaper. You could add side salad of lettuce.

If kids like add chopped cucumber and cherry tomatoes to lunchboxes. or add cheese and use as sandwich fillings

so spend £2.50 and you have a few options.
not to mention few other bargains in aldis.

I totally forot about pancakes make them as normal and add savoury fillins like cheese and ham and use as if its a wrap its very yummy or add sugar and tinned fruit and eat as a pudding.

BoffinMum Sun 30-Dec-12 22:21:36

Did someone mention my blog? grin Here are the links you need.

Crisis diet week 1

Crisis diet week 2

Stay healthy on a limited budget

Book is iPod, iPad, Kindle and PC compatible.

Austerity Housekeeping eBook £1.91.

BoffinMum Sun 30-Dec-12 22:28:56

Also the 15 year old could do a paper round, as Xenia says, and you could try to get the off bit of babysitting work if the kids can be palmed off on friends for a few hours, or for a sleepover. It's probably worth mentioning locally that you are struggling a bit so that neighbours offer to have them to free up some more working time for you. People can be very understanding.

BoffinMum Sun 30-Dec-12 22:31:29

Oh yes, and mention to the children's schools that you need free school meals, or if you are just over the threshold, explain this and see if they can wangle you some money out of the pupil premium dosh. If you don't ask, you don't get.

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 30-Dec-12 22:37:37

BoffinMum your blog is bloody brilliant. I have been on it nearly all night!

The school helped me for a short time, once with uniform and a few months school meals which meant I could make soup for tea without feeling guilty, I don't pay the full amount for school trips - just what I can afford and I'm only paying half of the £350. Needed for the annual last trip so DS can attend.

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