Tag Archives: cash budget

DIY Dishwasher Detergent & Rinse Aid

Since my homemade laundry detergent has been successful I have branched out into making my own dishwasher detergent and rinse aid. I have a little bit of shop bought powder left then I will run a trial of the homemade batch.

Watch this space for an update next week 🙂

The “Rinse Aid” is simply white vinegar with some lemon essential oil mixed in and the Dishwasher Detergent is a 50/50 mix of Bicarbonate of Soda and Borax Substitute.




This weeks shopping 5th February 2014

Towards the end of last year we “found” a greengrocer fairly close to home, Im sure it was around September. Since then we have not bought any fruit or vegetables from the supermarkets. We also started using a fairly local butcher around the same time and again we haven’t bought any meat from the supermarkets since.

Yes it probably does cost a little more but there are so many benefits to shopping local. When we go into the shop they know our names, we can have a chat, the kids are encouraged to look at things and are made to feel really welcome. I can buy as much or as little as I like and the produce is always fresh.

Fruit & Veg Shopping






This weeks fruit and vegetables shop came to £14.00 which I think is great value. I got some extra veggies at the weekend and have some frozen veg so there are no potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower this week. A portion of the fruit will be used to make fruit purees for the littlest one.







All I needed from the butcher was cooked meat and some beef to make a casserole with at the weekend. Total cost £6.50







The remainder of the shopping came from Lidl and Asda and came to around £39.00. This is expensive for us but it included Baby Milk at £9.99 and as Asda had a baby event on I stocked up on some baby essentials which accounted for around £6.50. This will result in a lower spend over the next few weeks.








We did not need any toiletries or household items this week.

Total  Shop: £59.50

Weekly Budget is £90.00

Remaining: £30.50 (until Monday)

£2014 in 2014

I have decided to participate in the £2014 in 2014 challenge with afrgugalwife and other bloggers. Granted I am a month late in joining I have some catching up to do!


So the idea seems pretty simple, save or earn £2014 this year. When I actually sat down to break it down it seems a lot more than I first thought.

Here are my thoughts on how I might achieve this.

  • Savings from our weekly budget and other household costs
  • Round up monthly direct debits to nearest £1, this works out at £3.57 but we have agreed to make it £5
  • Round up our Visa Debit transactions to the nearest £1 each time
  • Try to use a cash back site for any online purchases and for car insurance etc
  • Earn extra cash by completing online surveys where possible
  • Reduce Gas and Electric consumption, any savings from our bills will go into the fund
  • Sell baby items that we no longer need, this will be a tough one and there may be tears
  • eBay / Car boot sale with unwanted household items
  • We finish buying baby milk at the end of February, this will give us a saving of £20 per month
  • Any donations we receive for eggs will go into the fund
  • “Spare” coins go into glass jars then usually end up at Coin Star, this total will be added

Change Jars

So thats my thoughts so far, of course I will update if I have any brainwaves. Anyone else participating in the challenge?

Heres the link to the update page on afrugalwife



Meal Planning Monday 27th January 2013

I thought I would share our meal plan and hopefully link up with some other bloggers to share some ideas 🙂 We ended up eating out a couple of times last week so some meals have carried over.  Sorry its late, littlest one is poorly just now 😦


  • Monday: Pork Casserole & Dumplings
  • Tuesday: Pasta & Garlic Bread
  • Wednesday: Fishcakes
  • Thursday: Baked Potatoes
  • Friday: Lasagne
  • Saturday: Chicken Dippers
  • Sunday: Home Made Pizza

We will have either salad or vegetables with each meal and normally some yoghurt and fruit or jelly for dessert 🙂

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk


I love finding things I forgot I had!

I found this blackboard in the loft and it’s great for writing down some of the jobs I need to get done. I was going to buy a white board but this saves us a few pounds


Meal Planning Monday (a little late) 20th Jan 2014

A little late in writing this but I did make a meal plan this week and am sticking to it fairly well:

Monday: Baked Potato

Tuesday: Breaded Fish & Chips

Wednesday: Pasta and Sauce

Thursday: Mince and Potatoes

Friday: Chicken and Cous Cous

Saturday: Home Made Pizza and potato wedges

Sunday: Pork Casserole

Im going to link up with At Home with Mrs Ms meal planning monday so that we can all share ideas. http://athomewithmrsm.blogspot.co.uk


Overnight Toilet Cleaner

Just a quick post to share a no hassle and chemical free way to clean the toilet.

Add 250mls white vinegar to the toilet bowl (I added 6 drops lavender essential oil)

Then add 240g bicarbonate of soda

Leave overnight.

In the morning give the toilet bowl a quick clean and that’s it done 🙂

Our 2014 Budget

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Dave Ramsey

We have sat down this morning and decided on our weekly / monthly budget for 2014. We have 2 adults and 2 young children (3 years and 10 months) so the budget allows us enough room to buy fresh local fruit, veg and meat in addition to our weekly milk delivery. We typically overspend on “other” meaning lunches out, treats etc so this year we are having a focused effort to rein it in.

Heres the breakdown:

Milk – £5 per week

Fruit & Veg – £10 per week

Meat and Fish – £20 per week – this is probably too high but we can adjust down after a few weeks

Other food and household – £30 to include snacks for children that can’t be made at home and baby milk until our daughter is 1

Eating out, soft play, treats – £20

Total Weekly Budget: £ 80 or £4160 per year

Of course we would love to live on less but we feel that this is an achievable budget for our family. The other food and household budget will reduce once our daughter turns one and we no longer have to buy baby milk. Im continuing to make my own laundry detergent and as many household cleaners as I can to reduce the amount of “nasties” we use but also to help our budget.  Our meal planning will also continue 🙂

Running a car, our 2013 summary and thoughts for 2014

Poorly children and a busy time over the holidays has meant little free time to blog. Ive been busy trying to sort out our budgets for 2014 and will do a few posts sharing my thoughts and results.

We have been a one car household for over 12 months and are beginning to notice the financial difference. Last year I set up a “Car Fund” into which I paid £85.00 per month to cover expenses. In addition to this I pay £15.00 per month onto my Post Office Budget Account to cover road tax.

For the first time this year my lovely husband has serviced the car himself and we have tried to be more thoughtful when using the car in order to get the most out of our journeys. Now that our son has started going to Nursery we can walk there in 15 minutes, up until October I had a 20 minute drive to playgroup 2/3 times each week. This has certainly reduced the fuel consumption and improved our fitness levels!


In 2013 here is our spend on the car (5 years old)

Miles: 8741

Breakdown Cover: £95

Parts for Service: £108

MOT and Pre-MOT Check: £70

Insurance: £ 220

Road Tax: £160

Petrol: £1400

Total Cost: £2053 / £171 per month


I have just renewed the breakdown cover with the AA, its cost £75.00, already a reduction from last year. Next up is the insurance which is up for renewal in February. We usually pay annually in order to get a good price. Now that we know how many miles we do I can provide accurate information at the quote stage. We are keeping the “car fund” standing order the same amount, there is a small surplus from last year which will carry over.

Does anyone else plan or save for car expenses in this way?