Over the last week I have been “de cluttering” the house. So I have went through most of the bedrooms and decided what we use and what we don’t. The items have then been split into several piles. 1-Items I can sell on eBay etc, 2 – Items for charity shop, 3 – items to go to the local recycling centre.
So far one car load has went to the recycling centre textile bank or waste, I’ve sold a fair amount on eBay and used that money to buy a new battery for my phone (rather than buy a new phone) and there’s more ending on eBay today. These proceed s will go into the “new shed” fund.
The end result is that we have more space and less stuff lying around that is not used or needed. It makes house work easier too!
I’d like to add that negotiating is not something to be avoided or feared – it’s an everyday part of life. Leigh Steinberg
Our contract with our landline phone and broadband is coming to an end soon so I had been doing some research into alternative providers and packages. I made a shortlist of 2 companies and made contact with my current provider informing them that I wanted to cancel my contract when it expires.
They offered me an “incentive” to stay with them but it was not attractive to me and involved reducing the services I receive to achieve a reduced monthly cost…I was not impressed and reiterated that I had found alternative options which gave me the same usage allowance at a lower cost. Therefore as my current provider offered no incentive to retain my business then I was going elsewhere.
Next I was offered a reduction in price which matched the best alternative price I had found so this made me happy. I then asked if they offered any discount if I paid my line rental upfront for the year, this is not something that the company advertise but it turns out that they do offer a discount which amounts to £56.00.
So in summary over the next 12 months we will be saving ourselves £14 per month compared to our current package. This amounts to £168 per year plus the £56.00 saving on line rental giving a total saving of £224.00. It really does pay to do some research and negotiate.
We managed to do the big food and household shop for April with a toddler and a 3 week old plus me (recovering from a c section)! I have done a meal and lunch plan for the month based on the food we already have in the house and freezer. In addition I also decided what I wanted to bake this month so I knew what I needed to buy meaning there should not be so many additions to the weekly shopping lists.
We went to Aldi armed with our list and got some other items in Morrisons. Aside from not needing toilet roll this was a pretty big shopping list and included laundry detergent and several other household items and toiletries! Here is how the spend broke down:
Household Items: £15.22
Baby Milk & Kids Stuff: £12.68
Total Spend: £96.50
Delighted that we came in below £100.00 this month even with baby milk. Aside from this the only food we need to buy is our weekly top up shop for fresh items. Breaking my spend down into the different categories also helps me to see where we are spending money. I put my shopping list into the Asda website and worked out (roughly) that the same list would cost me around £118 so thats a saving of £21.50.
We are aiming for 12 No Spend Days in April. Due to our daughter being in hospital for a few days the first week of the month is a bit of a write off
A good start to the month!
One thing I like about the longer / drier days is being able to dry my laundry outside. Nothing beats the smell of sheets that have been dried outside!
We have had some really nice dry weather over the last few days so I’ve been on a bit of a washing rush! It just saves trying to get clothes, towels and sheets dried in the house and means not having to use the tumble drier! I’ve also learned to fold the laundry when I take it off the line therefore reducing the ironing pile – happy days
Well we had an eventful easter, our baby girl ended up being admitted to hospital on good friday with broncholitis which had been caused by the cold and flu virus. She is only 3 weeks old so ended up being admitted and put on oxygen and tube fed until she got over the worst. Luckily she responded well and got home on Tuesday, we are very grateful to the hospital staff for looking after us so well. Im just catching up on all the finance bits and hoping to do an update post tomorrow!
Apologies for the lack of blogging lately. I gave birth to our daughter on 11th March and life has been pretty busy since then. Anyway im just starting to catch up on things and hoping to get back to updating the blog on a regular basis.
DH has been in charge of the finances for the last couple of weeks and I have no idea what he has been up to so im basically writing March off, I thought I may have to do this! Tonight I have written the meal plan for the next 4 weeks and have made a shopping list. The new month starts tomorrow for us so its going to be a fresh start!
I took out a trial subscription to Which inorder to read reviews of a couple of items we are looking to buy and I got their magazine through the post, its actually quite interesting reading. One of the articles is about Dishwasher Tablets and Dishwasher Powder. I had not realised that there was such a huge cost difference per wash so this month we are going to try out the powder and I will keep the blog updated with my thoughts on this.
March Week 1 is over so heres our update. The weekly cash budget is now £45 (was £50)
- Number of No Spend Days 2
- Money spent on top up shop & Milk Delivery £15
- Money spent on eating out £12
- Money spent on misc items £18
- Money left out of weekly cash budget – 0
- Car use, we used the car 5 days out of 7, travelled 116.2 miles and it cost approx £19 in petrol. The car was used more than it has been in previous weeks mainly to get tasks done before I go into hospital.
- Meal Plan. We have stuck to the meal plan that we had
So in summery not the best week but not the worst either. We stayed within the new cash budget, no surplus but we didn’t run out either. We knew this week would be busy with payday and various other things to be done before I go into hospital and the new baby arrives. We are also now getting our milk delivered, this costs more than buying it from the shops but we feel that its important to support the local farmers and business buying this way.
Running Totals for the month: 2 No Spend Days, Surplus from weekly budget £0
This will be my last blog post for a wee while as Im going into hospital on Monday and DH will be in charge of the finances!
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever”
Its Mothering Sunday this weekend and we decided that this year we would make something for our Mums, we had thought about what we might like to get them and nothing inspired us, the decision was made to make them a box of biscuits each and a gift from our son.
So we bought a couple of cupcake boxes and today baked the biscuits. Each box has Stem Ginger Biscuits, Chocolate Smartie Cookies and Iced Biscuits. We are really pleased with the results and will be giving them to our mums tomorrow. I’m not sure if the cost is cheaper than shop bought (probably is) but hope that our mums appreciate them!
It was a nice thing to do together as a family Our son has also made a present for his grans, paper mach piggy banks, Ive posted a picture below and will do a separate post on this
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” Dr Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
March is here and its going to be a very busy and interesting month for us. I am due to give birth to our second child on 11th March and will take some time to recover after the Cesarean section so my blogging may be limited for a wee while!
We have had some lovely sunny days and its been nice to be able to do simple things like tidy the garden, hang the washing outside and play in the garden with our son. Now that the days are longer our chickens are laying more eggs and we are getting 3-4 a day which is great.
Today we done the big food and household shop for March. I have done a meal plan for the month based on the food we already have in the house, there is one week where we will be eating home made freezer meals but the majority of the months lunches and evening meals are planned out. We went to Aldi armed with our list and got some other items in Sainsburys. We did not have any butcher meat to buy as we bulk bought in Costco last month, there is no toilet roll or washing detergent either but I needed a few toiletries and some make up items as well as baking ingredients. Here is how the spend broke down:
Household Items: £5.43
Nappies & Baby Wipes: £9.06
Total Spend: £89.73
I had said to DH that I would love to come in under £100.00 this month and we did so I’m really pleased. Aside from this the only food we need to buy is our weekly top up shop for fresh items.
We are aiming for 16 No Spend Days in March.
A good start to the month!
You can’t really escape the news today about profits being made by energy companies….is it ethical that they can make that much profit yet so many of their customers are struggling to pay their bills? Funnily enough we got our quarterly bill today!
We are not with one of the “Big” suppliers and are happy that we get a fair deal from our current supplier. We have made a real effort over the last 12 months to reduce our bills and energy use. We submit a meter reading each month, switch lights off if theres no one in the room, don’t leave appliances on standby, the heating is on a timer and the room thermostat is set at 16-18 degrees. We pay £42.50 per month for Gas and the same for Electric, this was actually reduced from £54 per month for each the previous year. We have also reduced our overall energy consumption by over 500 units and still have a warm, dry house
We got our quarterly bill in today and were a bit shocked at the usage and bill, its come in at £329.00 leaving us with a debit balance of £100. The usage for January seems high so all we can do is keep an eye on this. DH is sure that the thermostat is faulty so thats getting replaced and we will keep submitting our meter readings on a monthly basis. The payment will remain the same for now at least