I’m not sure that I could survive without my dishwasher! However I had been looking at ways to reduce the cost of running it. A few weeks ago I blogged about my plan to try dishwasher powder over dishwasher tablets. This came about purely by accident, I received a copy of Which? Magazine which had reviews of dishwasher tablets and powders.
Anyway I bought a box of dishwasher powder from Morrisons (It got a good review) and im pleased to advise that I have noticed absolutely no difference from the tablets I normally used (Aldi). The powder worked out at £2 for 1.2kg, costs around 10p per wash (less than half the cost of a premium brand tablet). I found the cleaning to be just as good and the box lasted me 2 months! I would normally use at least 1 full box of tablets per month. So thumbs up to this. Its recommended to keep your dishwasher topped up with Rinse Aid and Salt when using powder but even factoring this in still gives a significant reduction in costs, at least £40 a year for us. I have also tried the Finish Powder which is more expensive than the Morrisons own brand but still much cheaper than tablets. This also gave me good results.
Apart from changing the detergent I have been making sure that the dishwasher is only run when its full, make use of the economy program when possible and rinse the dishes under cold water before putting them in to remove the worst of the food.
Ok the last few months haven’t been that great for us in terms of keeping an eye on the finances and keeping track of spending so time for a fresh start and a renewed effort…more to come tomorrow on how i plan to make it until payday and try to spend as little as possible!!
After being out in all weather our wooden garden furniture was looking really washed out and faded. I was in the garden center and seen tins of woodstain and thought it may be a good idea.
At £15.99 it wasn’t cheap and the thought of paying that amount for a relatively small tin of paint did not fill me with joy!!
We pressure washed and lightly sanded some bits of furniture then applied the stain with a sponge and let it dry.
Ive put a picture on of the chair before and after. The table and chairs look fantastic just like new and have a renewed colour and more protection against the weather.
They cost a lot of money new and we certainly wouldn’t want to pay £300 for a new set! So I guess the £15 is a small price to pay! I would recommend anyone with wooden garden furniture does this.
The weather has been very poor over the last 2 days and we haven’t been able to get out into the garden. I thought playdough would be a good way to keep our 2.5 year old amused. I found a recipe here: recipe
It was quick and easy to make (we added extra water) and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Add a small rolling pin and some cutters and its good to go! We already had the ingredients in the cupboard so there’s no additional cost.
My son goes to Playgroup on a Tuesday and a Friday, I’m unable to get home during this time so I use it to get my shopping and get a little exercise. Up until now the exercise has been a walk around the town.
Linlithgow has a Loch which has a circular walk of about 2.3 miles. On Friday I decided that 9 weeks post baby and Caesarian section is the time to step it up a bit.
It was a lovely sunny morning and the scenery was lovely, best of all it was free here are some pictures I took on my walk. Definitely something I want to continue!
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!