Tag Archives: What I do to save money

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.

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Month of Organising – Getting Started

 

Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up

A.A. Milne 

I have decided that February is the month in which I am going to have an organising blitz, my husband is already taking refuge! I do find life easier when I can find things and everything is “sorted”. A little effort now should free up my time giving me more time to play and do fun things with the little ones.

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Since we had a dry day yesterday I took our son out on his scooter, there’s a cycle path close to the house and the railway line runs alongside it, he loves trains so its a winning combination!

 

 

 

 

How am I going to plan?

Time (and energy) can be in short supply so my idea is to spend anything from 15 minutes to an hour each day “sorting” something out. That way it’s not taking up too much of my day and I won’t dread doing it.

This weeks achievements

Our spare bedroom is a bit chaotic, it’s the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff and its the room that we put of doing anything about, I guess that we all have one of those places!  There’s no bed so it is mainly used for books, filing cabinets, the ironing pile, sewing machine and that kind of thing. I spent an hour on Wednesday filing paperwork and tidying the bookcases and it already looks better. I will try to spend another hour next Wednesday doing some more.

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I have also been refilling my cleaning and laundry supplies this week. A couple of weeks ago I found some large labels for 29p a pack and have been using these to label the jars that I keep my supplies in. I had previously just written on the jars in pen but this was prone to rubbing off so I’m much happier with this now. As each jar needs refiled I will add a label.

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We were given several calendars at Christmas, one is in the kitchen with all of the family info on it and I have used the other to make a note of the renewal dates for household and car insurance policies and contracts. If I was being super efficient I could add reminders to submit meter readings and other things…..hmmm maybe next week!

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The final bit of organising I have done this week was I have made some “bread mixes”, I was making bread and weighed out most of the dry ingredients into tubs so the next time I make bread I only have to add yeast and wet/fresh ingredients.

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I have a few ideas about what I would like to do next week, hopefully I can make some more progress. When I am busy at home I’m not shopping or spending 🙂

£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!

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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

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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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pennywisemummy/579834042093107

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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 😦

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  • 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

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Our Weekly Housework Schedule

Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door. —Marcelene Cox

Housework, nobody likes it but its got to be done. I try really hard to keep onto of it and am beginning to realise that a little regular effort goes a long way. We have some tasks that are done every day and others that are done on a weekly basis.

Some days I just didn’t know where to start or I got rather fed up of trying to remember which tasks I still had to do. I made myself a schedule, boring I know but it means that I now have a list of what needs to be done each day.

Please do not think that I spend all day cleaning, far from it! I like to spend as much time as I can with my family during the day so most of the list is completed when our son is at nursery in the morning or when our children are in bed. Our house is certainly lived in and is by no means pristine!

I should also point out that these tasks are in addition to the housework that we feel needs to be done each day such as wiping work tops, sweeping the floors, loading / unloading the dishwasher etc.

Heres a screen shot of my list, Ive linked to the attachment so you can download and amend as you wish 🙂 Hopefully it works! Please let me know if you decide to use my template and how it works for you.

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13th February 2014: Updated laundry days to Monday and Thursday to ensure that the machine is as full as possible.

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

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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

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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!

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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

2014

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?