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Monday, 31 October 2011

OCTOBER TARGETS – THE RESULTS!

FINANCES
I am so pleased that I managed to stick to £10 per week on food. We still have a few bits in the freezer and I think we might be able to stretch to one more week on the £10 and then I’ll re-stock.
I had to dip into the savings for £20 towards the loft hatch, which I will pay back this month.

I sold the old mobile for £30 and a food blender on ebay for £5. This will go into my savings for now until I decide what to spend it on.

We have got £400 in the holiday fund. I haven’t decided on what amounts to save into our emergency fund. I am also considering making overpayments on the mortgage – inspired by Saving For Travel. It’s a bit difficult to have exact figures as my OH wage differs each month but I will keep you posted.

HEALTH
I haven’t made it swimming this month but have been walking a bit more due to where I park to visit mum in hospital.
I’ve only had a couple of headaches which is better. We have eaten better as we’ve had home cooked meals each day. I’ve also lost a couple of pounds without trying, which is good.

HOME
The house is still a mess, but I have a list of what needs to be done, just need to do the things on the list!

FUN
I had a lovely catch up with a friend a few weeks ago and spent the afternoon with another on the glass workshop. The friend that is moving I haven’t seen as she is getting ready for their move in a few weeks as well as going to India for a family wedding – I can’t wait to see her pictures when we catch up.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My Saturday

My day started with a lie in and "free" breakfast in bed. OH had resuced some bacon butties from his work from a buffet that were going to be thrown out so we had them with a cup of tea. Sometimes we are like ships that past in the night as he works nights so it was lovely to have breakfast together. Then as I got up, he went to sleep. I did a bit of pottering, hanging the washing out etc then went to my Art from Glass workshop.

This was a free workshop run by our local council. The teacher was so good, explaining things carefully and we quickly got stuck in. We did it all from cutting the glass to soldering. Some of the things she had made where amazing, so colourfull and made from glass that would have been sent to landfill. I’m not at all creative but really enjoyed learning something new. Everyone did something different, some followed a template and made stars for Christmas decorations but we decided to do something more abstract. Here is my light catcher.




After the course I went to see mum and sat with her for a while.

Dinner was from the freezer but I had some blue cheese and rocket in the fridge that needed eating so I made stuffed mushrooms as a starter and they were yummy but very garlicky. Picture is a bit blurry.




All in all a great day and a NSD.



Thank you all for your kind words and support for my mum, it means a lot to me xx

SFT – Its amazing that you include household in your budget. I too have been using up toiletries. I wonder who could help with holiday plans lol, we have a few places in mind but undecided yet
Dannie – It has been tough but has made me really think about what to buy rather than just throwing things in the trolley

Keshling – Well done on menu planning. I agree it’s so easy not having to think each day what shall we have to eat tonight.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happiness is .....

Seeing my mum pick up a spoon and eat soup for dinner on her own.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Menu Plan

We still eating homemade things from the freezer hence there being two items on the menu on some nights as there are only one portion of each in the freezer.

MONDAY
HM pizza and salad (didn’t have the energy or feel hungry enough to make them so we had baguettes from the freezer with ham/cheese)

TUESDAY
Roast lamb/Beef stew, mash potato, HM Yorkshire puddings and veg

WEDNESDAY
Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread

THURSDAY
Roast chicken/chicken pie, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and veg

FRIDAY
Salmon and cous-cous

SATURDAY
HM Chicken curry and naan bread

SUNDAY
HM shepherds pie, baked beans and veg

THINGS TO BUY
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Garlic bread
Lard
Veg

SFT - Thanks for the much needed hugs :) You do fantastic to manage a budget of £60 each month, it would be great if we could but it would be such a struggle but I’m defiantly going to be more planned with the shopping. Does your budget include cleaning products/toiletries? We haven’t decided where to go yet, but will keep you posted xx

Christine – Thank you for your encouragement.

Saving £’s – It was so nice seeing the smile on mums face, I guess you are never to old (they are both in their 80’s) to be told off by your big sister!

Mum – Thank you for your support xx
Brought sugar and olive oil for the store cupboards. I’m really enjoying this challenge of only spending £10 per week. It has made me a lot more conscious of what I buy and I’m getting out of the habit of just putting things in the trolley. In fact I’ve put things back because we don’t need them. We still have a bit of fish left in the freezer but have used alot.

Someone won my item on ebay but the buyer hasn’t paid yet. As it is my first venture selling on ebay I’m not too sure how quick people pay. I got a cheque for £30 for an old mobile, which is going into my savings account. We have saved £400 towards our holiday next year, which is a great start. We probably won’t be able to save this amount each month but my OH got paid more than we expected this month. We have decided that the majority of my OH wage will go into the holiday fund but a bit of it will go into the bill account. The actual amount will change each month as OH hours vary. I am going to transfer the amount we have left each month (hopefully there will be some!) into our emergency fund to build that back up.

Mum is still in hospital and on Friday the Doctor asked me to go in as she wanted to talk to me. It wasn’t good news sadly, so I am spending as much time there as I can. I managed to get the phone beside her bed to work to call my mums sister, who lives in Canada on Saturday and mum spoke to her which as great. She had such a big smile on her face and laughed when her big sister told her to get her ass out of bed! The nurse’s let me go in when it is meal times, so I can feed mum. She is hardly eating but at least I have the time to try and encourage her. I made her some soup today and was very pleased when she ate some.

Meanqueen – You’re welcome anytime :) I have found some things in the cupboards I’ve forgotten about and am going to use them this month. Also have found some things I’m not going to use and have given them to the soup kitchen I work in rather than throw them out.

SFT – I haven’t been on Frugeldom for a while, but thanks for the reminder. I have found so much inspiration from there.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I stuck to the menu plan apart from a couple of nights. I was invited to friends for dinner on Wednesday. We had a lovely evening and the Jamaican themed food that my friend’s partner cooked was amazing. I also cooked something different on Friday but it was still all out of the cupboards/freezer.

I have spent £7.79 this week. What I didn’t take into account when working out this month’s budget is running out of store cupboard items. I am going to carry over the £2.72 left over from the last two weeks to go towards sugar and olive oil.

I haven’t been swimming yet this month. I’ve been at the hospital everyday to sit with mum and it’s too late by the time I get in.

I have listed one thing on ebay and have a watcher! I hope it sells ok.
The man came and fitted the new loft hatch. It is just what we wanted.

NB This should have been posted last Sunday!

Monday, 10 October 2011

I managed to stick to the £10 food budget for last week, the grand total spent was £9.49, which I’m very pleased about. I did manage to get some things from the reduced section which was great, hopefully will time it right again this week and get some more bits.

I have been through all the cupboards and freezer and have done an audit on everything we have in there. We have a lot more fish than I thought so this will be on the menu for this week. Again the only thing I should need to buy is milk and salad bits.

MONDAY
Roast chicken/pork, roast potatoes and vegetables
TUESDAY
Salmon & couscous
WEDNESDAY
Gammon/burger, pineapple, potato wedges, peas & sweetcorn
THURSDAY
Tuna steaks, jacket potato & salad
FRIDAY
Paprika chicken, savoury rice and salad
SATURDAY
Sausage casserole & bread rolls
SUNDAY
Shepherds pie & veg

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Strawberries and Onions

I dropped some strawberry plants I got from Freecycle round to a friend. I hadn’t been to her home before so it was nice to have a look round her garden and she talked of what changes she wants to make. We had a good natter and 3 hours later I left with a bag of onions to plant and some cooking apples.

Talking of cooking apples I already had a bag full, as someone near my mums is giving them away. I am just going to stew, then freeze them but would wecome any other idea’s as to what to do with them.

Mum is back in hospital after falling, her carer found her yesterday morning, she must have fallen before going to bed and had been on the floor all night. Apparently she managed to say she wanted the paramedics and to go to the “nice” hospital! I met her at A&E and they ran lots of tests. Last night we saw the doctor who went through everything. She is quite poorly, with lots of different things wrong which is worrying but she is in the right place and they really do seem to want to get to the bottom of it all.

Thank you all for your comments, I find the support and encouragement from you all amazing.

MUM
I’ve started the form, and aim to get it sent off this week.

NoSpendDays
I’ve been good so far, hope to go swimming either today or tomorrow.

SFT
I am thinking that £10 might be too little but got to give it a go. I’m sure it will lead to being more creative with ingredients and probably some strange combinations. I must get the freezers emptyed for all the Christmas Eve bargins!

Frugaldom
The prices really shocked me, it was a shame because there was some nice things but I couldn’t justifiy the cost.

Dannie
I agreed Leith is a great “pottering” area. What I did like was a lot of the charity shops were their local charities.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Well I did it, I drove to Edinburgh, nonstop on the way there. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and I’m proud that I managed to do it. There was a few delays, road works and an accident so it took a bit longer than planned, 5 hours.

We dumped the bags at the B&B an adventured out. It was quite a walk to the centre and we went to TGI Fridays for dinner. I often prefer not to go to chain places but we have been there before and everything is spot on. It was so busy, so we had a couple of drinks at the bar before our table was ready, their banana sandwich cocktail went down very well! We had a burger each, mine with blue cheese and OH with bacon. They were so tasty and meaty.

The next day, after cooked breakfast we walked from Leith, which was the area of Edinburgh we were staying in. There was lots of charity shops to browse in. I only brought a book as I did think they were all very pricey.
We had a late lunch, Chinese buffet which was ok and then back to B&B to rest and get ready for the concert.

Adele was amazing. We were near the front so got a great view for pictures if I’d remembered the camera! I liked the fact she chatted inbetween songs and explained how they came about. Her voice was fantastic, note prefect.

This was from that night

It was great to have a break and it didn’t cost too much.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

OCTOBER TARGETS

FINANCES
I really want to cut back on spending this month. I don’t think that we make too many unnecessary purchases, however our down fall are takeaways. We have a freezer full of food and I’m determined to use it this month. I am going to try and only have £10 each week to spend on groceries. To be honest I have no idea if this will be possible but am up for the challenge. All we should need is fresh veg, bread and milk.

We are having a loft hatch and ladder fitted this month which is £235. I have saved this up but would love to try and replace some of this by the end of the month from cutting back.

I have yet to venture onto ebay but hope to give selling ago this month. And also have an old mobile that I’d like to sell.

Hopefully we can claim attendance allowance for mum, which will help with paying for the careers. I have a 44 page form that needs filling in!

I also want to have some sort of plan for the next 12 months. We have managed on one salary for over a year and its just now that we have a little bit more money coming in. It would be very tempting to “waste” this but we both would like to have an overseas holiday next year so we need to sort out what we want/need to save for that and if we can save any for our emergency fund – which has been dramatically reduced over the last year.

HEALTH
I want feel healthier. I have felt so tried and have had a few migraines which I think have partly been due to stress but also think that if I was healthier might be able to deal with the stress better. I know that when I eat better, I feel better. Also I haven’t been swimming for a while due to looking after mum but I have missed it so will make a real effort to go this month.

HOME
The house is a complete mess, each room needs de-cluttering and then decorating. As mentioned we are having a loft hatch fitted which will enable us to get into the loft (we can’t at the moment due to its current location). I need to make a list of what to do and decide what to do first – there just seems to be sooo much to do.

FUN
This month I want to spend time with friends I haven't seen in a while if possible. I have already arranged to call to see a friend tomorrow to give her some strawberry plants I got from Freecycle and catch up. I also hope to go out for a curry (using a Groupon voucher) with another friend. She is in the process of moving house so we might not manage it this month.
At the end of the month another friend and me have booked on a Glass Creations course. It is a free half day course the council is running. We are also doing a rug making one in November. So all in all even though I will be out and about it isn't costing alot.

I think thats all for now - wish me luck!