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advice re money and food ideas

(49 Posts)
mumtooo2boys Wed 25-Nov-15 09:09:44

hi im waiting for a universal credit claim to come through and just atm living of my child benefit christms has had to be put to oneside as we just cant afford it .this isnt a begging thread btw im just wondering what people would buy with the money we have we have no savings and waiting for this claim due to partner loosing job .my child tax credits have gone on to the universal credit claim i have been told to appeal and try get the money paid fortnightly but been told i dont fit the criteria you have to be vulnerable homeless etc for that to happen apparantly
Any way cb is £33.40 a week i have a 4 month old and an 8 year old
School have put my son on free school meals so thats not an issue .
I get milk tokens im just wondering what things people would buy i have to buy nappies and wipes out of it and gas and electric plus enough food for me my partner and 8 year old .
Partner has a few job interviews lined up next week as he would much rather be working i have tried to sell items but have had no luck

Thought i would get some ideas as sick of sitting here worrying we have no access to credit so thats not a option for us

thanks for reading and any ideas are welcome mainly its around what food to buy never had to do this before ,Universal credit ive been told will be paid to me just after christmas as you have to wait 9 weeks for a first payment well thats what there telling me anyway

annielostit Wed 25-Nov-15 11:05:28

Lots of ppl recommend aldi nappies, which are reasonable price. Personally when mine was little I used a flannel & soap not wipes so I didn't buy them, I even took 2 when going out, 1 top 1 bottom end. Aldi are cheap for those too.
Depending what you have foodwise & do you cook.
Basis ranges are your friends,
Beans on toast for breakfast will fill you longer than cereal as will porridge. Lidl bread is 50p beans are cheap too
1lb minced pork & beef will do a big pot of pasta sauce with a couple of jars of basics sauce or pasatta. Add some carrots onions etc to bulk it would do 6 portions with pasta rice or jacket potatoes.
A whole chicken in lidl approx £3.50 will do 2 days, a roast type meal with roasties & veg then striped legs in a curry sauce.
Shopping clever is the idea & don't waste stuff. Bear in mind things like, 5% meat is a bit more expensive but its mostly meat, but 20% is 20% fat. Iyswim. 3 for £10 meat can stretch too.

mumtooo2boys Wed 25-Nov-15 13:08:43

yes was thinking of aldi nappies at the moment ive been using asdas little angels and as for wipes im thinking cotton wool and warm water so dont need to buy wipes as such now .
yes i cook i do have some bits in im going to make a list later and see what i can make with just adding little extras if that makes sense have plenty of cereal in already so that does for sons breakfast before school.
does anyone no what times shops reduce there items was going to stock up on bread reduced and freeze it down its definately manageable but my heads a mess with everything going on i couldnt work out what to do for the best .your ideas are great thankyou smile

PurpleDaisies Wed 25-Nov-15 13:20:07

We use loads of pulses like lentils, chick peas, kidney beans etc to bulk out meals. You can get them really cheaply in the world foods aisles of supermarkets. We are basically veggie most of the time which saves a fair bit of money. Often independent grocers will discount at the end of the day or sell slightly sad looking veg cheap (it tastes fine). Frozen veg is a really good cheap way of eating veg.

Places like home bargains and b and m bargains are also really good for cheap sauces, dried staples and cleaning stuff.

I normally get the best reduced bargains in supermarkets around 6pm but that's normally when I go! Really hope things get easier for you soon.

annielostit Wed 25-Nov-15 13:26:25

Here's a link with times and a few other bits.
In regards to bread, unless it really cheap, the aldi, lidl TESCO bread @ 50p loaf & m&s £1 orange wrapped loaf is made by hovis & it lasts ages.

mouldycheesefan Wed 25-Nov-15 13:29:29

Get dp to go round all the employment agencies today, and say immediately available for any work. Go round local high St and where is advertising, eg several shops are in our town. Ring cleaning agencies say you and dp are immediately available for cleaning and ironing jobs. Put up a card in local shops offering babysitting. Don't wait for the interviews next week need to act today.

Good luck

NoSquirrels Wed 25-Nov-15 13:31:35

How much do you need to put on the gas and electric, OP? And how much on nappies?

I think you should see if you can get a referral to your local food bank for this interim period until your claim comes through. That's what they're there for, plenty of people have been in your situation so please don't be embarrassed.

Don't forget that putting the oven on will use more electric than e.g. a slow cooker - you could ask on your local Freegle or Freecycle for one?

Cheap meals that don't use too much energy:

eggs (omelettes, scrambled, poached, fried)
pasta (with a cheese sauce, with tomato sauce & tuna, or bits of ham)
beans with cheese (on toast, on a microwaved jacket potato, with a fried egg)
couscous or quick-cook rice/instant rice - serve as egg-fried rice with leftover bits of whatever you have in the fridge or freezer e.g. peas, sweetcorn

Check out the Girl Called Jack blog for really great ideas and shopping lists.

mumtooo2boys Wed 25-Nov-15 17:19:46

thanks for the link ill check that out shortly
i have been putting 7 electric and 7 gas on but may have to start putting ten on gas as i used the emergency this week so had to pay that back.
i think we have a slow cooker ill dig it out and i have a toastie machine also
my partners been and signed up with the employment agencies today they said he will get a call tommorow and hopefully he will get some work .i would re myself and cleaning but was unsure as i dont have any one to look after the baby although i could try and work around partner if he gets work ill do some ads tonight and place them in the local shop
i did mention a food bank but was told because we have child benefit we wasnt elegible this was by the rude man in the jobcentre though so ill ring up anyway i feel awful though as we are getting some money not much but it helps .

swisscheesetony Wed 25-Nov-15 17:27:53

Hit up the supermarkets when the reduced stuff comes out.

Tesco value nappies £1.40 for 20 - absolute life-savers!

swisscheesetony Wed 25-Nov-15 17:29:05

Ignore the man at the job centre, they are not the only ones who can make referrals. Can you call your hv or gp?

crabapple34 Wed 25-Nov-15 19:30:37

What an awful situation. Makes me so angry that this can happen in this day and age.
Do you have access to a market? They tend to be much cheaper than supermarkets, but I appreciate there's travel to consider.
Pasta is good. Can make a cheap sauce with an onion and tinned toms. Marmite and melted butter is also good on spaghetti, or a bit of garlic and butter.
If you have spices in your store cupboard, pulse based curries can be very cheap and you can make them in your slow cooker.
I don't know about where you live, but in my city many "pay as you feel" cafes have sprung up where you can get a hot meal without paying. Might be worth seeing if there's any near you.

NoSquirrels Wed 25-Nov-15 20:05:46

So if you need to use £17 on gas & electric (and it's just got colder, so probably you do need that), then another let's say £3 on nappies, you only have £13.40 left a week.

Please do see your GP or HV and see if they will refer to the food bank. That's really not enough to feed you well once you start to run out of staples, and doesn't cover any unexpected costs at all. Toiletries, toilet roll etc. adds up too, even if you have a stash in now.

Lots of great slow cooker threads on MN, and they don't use much electric at all. Serve stews with couscous (just add boiling water), or add potatoes to the stews, or add pasta towards the end of the cooking time, and you won't need to use any gas or turn the hob on, you'll have a complete meal already.

Toastie machine is great - you only need a bit of grated cheese if you eke it out with other stuff. We like cheese & grated carrot. Tuna melt is great, and although tuna can seem expensive it is a great source of protein and feels posher than just a cheese toast. But cheese toastie & a tin of soup (or batch cook some in the slow cooker) is a good filling meal in itself.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Wed 25-Nov-15 20:35:45

Lentil curry in the slow cooker. Always check out the ethnic aisle

mumtooo2boys Thu 26-Nov-15 09:46:31

HI well ive spoken to the jpb centre who said i would have to contact social services as our food bank is currently closed due to an issue whatever that means .i definately wont be ringing them .so we shall just have to suck it up and get on with it .partner has a job interview this morning recieved a call late last night asking him to go today.
ive been and got nappies earlier but i used my boots card i had 6.70 on there so got the nappies with that .
not really slept all night worrying but i no theres people in worse of situations than ours feel so bad on my son hes done his xmas list last night i think thats what upset me as i no we just cant do anything i did get him some lego books from the charity shop last week though so thats something.
i have an appointment at the doctors on monday as i think im suffering a little dsepression i dont no its helping posting here im of to the shops today to see what bargains i can pick up

NoSquirrels Thu 26-Nov-15 13:26:54

You're taking action so don't worry too much - if you're on top of what money you have and what you need, then that's the main thing. Hopefully your DPs job interview will go well. GP sounds like a good plan anyway, you need to look after yourself.

You can get some great little bits and pieces in Home Bargain/Poundland - I always think the stocking's the best bit and there are loads of ways to bulk that up with wrapping chocolate bars from a multipack, tangerine at the bottom, new toothbrush & bits he might need anyway etc. Get creative and write him a little letter from the elves on a long scrolled piece of paper telling him a tall tale about the polar bears breaking into the toy factory or whatever, so everyone's getting less in their stocking this year but instead there's plenty of Christmas spirit to go around ... I'd have loved something like that as a child?


mumtooo2boys Thu 26-Nov-15 14:03:47

Hi yes doctors is booked for ruling the budget with an iron fist at the moment feel so much better having someone to talk to as right now partner feels he is to blame but hes out at his interview now so fingers crossed.

Artandco Thu 26-Nov-15 14:14:06

- use flannels/ old cut up and hemmed tea towels as wipes for baby where possible.

- can also use less nappies by letting baby have some nappy free time whilst laying on a towel. Might save one a day

- look on free cycle for stuff. Often old reusable nappies on there. Great even if you just use at home or overnight so saving half disposable. Can also look on there for Xmas stuff for 8 year old. Many people get rid of stuff through there.

- look in charity shops for books for Xmas. Often 10p as so many donated. A couple will be nice for an 8 year old and cheap. As others mentioned dig around home for stocking fillers. Some fruit from bowl, sweet stuff you might have in cupboard already, maybe your has some stuff that can be regifted

- can you work a bit? Could you advertise to take in ironing or babysit or clean? If you could just do a few hours a week it would double budget. Ironing etc can be done when baby sleeps or plays.

listsandbudgets Thu 26-Nov-15 14:23:11

OP thats a horrible situation.

Call your MP for advice. They may be able to hurry things up and failing that ours at least is able to refer to the food bank. The school may also be able to help with this.

If you have a gudwara (sikh temple) anywhere near you don't be afraid to ask them for a meal. They serve up 3 good vegetarian meals a day and do not turn people away regardless of their faith. Also a lot of churches tend to have a small store of food or links to the food bank.

Try the supermarket about half an hour before closing time as you can get some good deals. Hang round the reduced shelf grabbing things if you have to (you need that reduced food so don't be afraid to use sharp elbows to get it)

I really hope things improve for you very quickly and one of you manages to find some work soon.

By the way my mum gave me one book for Christmas when I was 9 because it was all she could afford. I still have the book and read it to my children and it still means a lot to me because I knew she was struggling at the time.

UrineMikeHunt Thu 26-Nov-15 15:38:46

I know the chances of you being anywhere near me (South Wales) is very slim and I know you aren't asking but I actually have a bag of food here I was going to donate to a food bank anyway so you'd be absolutely welcome to that of you want?

It's all the same to me as long as it goes to someone in need smile

mumtooo2boys Thu 26-Nov-15 16:22:01

hi everyone .so partners been for his job interview and was offered the job there and then so pleased its something to look forward to smile the mood has lightened instantly .
i have spoken to cab re the food bank again and she has got me to apply for a council crisis grant however we will only hear back from that within 72 hours.

im going to the supermarket shortly ive left it as late as possible so i may get some reduced bits.

ive relisted all the things i was trying to sell on preloved and gumtree so hopefully they will sell .

no im not near you but thanks for the offer thats really kind of you .i dont and wouldnt expect anyone to help me in that way .

ive made some signs today and im going to nip to the local shop and ask can i put them in the window just offering ironing services and also dog walking wasnt sure about babysitting as may need to be checked for that and it would take sometime i think

Artandco Thu 26-Nov-15 16:46:12

Babysitting you don't need to be checked for if in others homes and after 6pm ie def babysitting not nannying. People often prefer sure but worth putting up notice

mumtooo2boys Thu 26-Nov-15 16:50:09

ill add that to the notice now just heading out so will post ho i get on with supermarket and asking to put this sign up

UrineMikeHunt Thu 26-Nov-15 17:02:29

No problem. I'm glad you've had some good news at least.

No-one should have to struggle in this day and age sad

NoSquirrels Thu 26-Nov-15 20:25:57

Great news on job and crisis loan. Well done to both you and your DP. When everything feels overwhelming all you can really do is keep going and try all the options, and it's really making a difference as at least now you've got some things in the pipeline. flowers

mumtooo2boys Fri 27-Nov-15 07:08:17

Yes he will be getting a call today of the shift manager to discuss a start date etc.The crisis loan hopefully i hear back by monday .
just felt sodown but the job has definately made us feel better at least i no things will get better .

i went to the supermarket and managed to get
3 loaves (reduced)
4 tins of beans
2 packs of chicken (reduced)
bag frozen veg
2 curry sauces
2 tomatoe pasta sauces
bag of pasta
got 2 large milk and a pack of apples with healthy start voucher and i had 2 left which i used to get a tub of baby milk

checked my cupboards a and i have 4 packs of noodles ds loves them
bag of rice

The only thing im struggling to buy this week is toiletries and i forgot washing powder and toilet roll

i have around £2 left think ill get toilet roll with that though

going to list some more bits for sale today aswell see how i get on


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