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  • FIRST POST
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
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    redofromstart
    <<<out of cheese error>>>
    • #1
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    <<<out of cheese error>>> 31st Jul 17 at 7:37 PM
    New name, new diary, new approach! I regularly read, and sometimes post, on the diaries of others but haven't started one myself as it is such a public thing to do. Anyway I need to stop drifting and get our finances back on track before we run out of cheese.


    Family is:
    Me - PT, self employed, bit of this bit of that. Currently on a PT contract with a few months to run.
    OH - generally works as a consultant and has a famine or feast income. On a rare direct employed contract at the moment
    DC - two boys


    Biggest challenge is a huge mortgage, taken out in the days of huge lending and post retirement mortgage dates. Stuck on high SVR as we haven't managed to both be in secure employment at the same time for years. The plan was to overpay and reduce the term but life got in the way a lot.
    10 years of chipping away at it may mean we can now try to remortgage but the barriers are two debts that I need to deal with so that they do not impact on affordability.


    Debt 1 is a student loan, £840 left at £94 per month - 1.5% interest (maybe?)
    Debt 2 is a 0% credit card, £2500 with over a year left to run. This is a carry over from the last famine, and has been reduced from a total that was closer to 15k.


    We do have a couple of months mortgage in savings, but that is the 'emergency job switched off fund' and is generally untouchable.


    OHs works full time and his wages cover the mortgage, and basic outgoings. Its up to me to generate the income for overpayments and debt clearing . I have to work round the boys as we don't have family local or any childcare in place.


    This diary is to try and keep me on track, before the big red lever turns the mortgage off. If we can remortgage, even with reducing the term to his retirement date, it knocks £200 a month off our payments which is a huge amount of leeway next time the famine hits.
Page 43
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 10th Feb 18, 1:13 PM
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    greenbee
    He who can sew could make some nice hot water bottle covers and you could get some without covers Microwave heat bags don't stay hot as long.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Feb 18, 1:22 PM
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    redofromstart
    MrsC my OH just refuses to eat pork, or chicken on the bone now that we don't need to. He is on board with the plans, but takes the view that food should be a pleasure, not a chore. I agree with that, but mine takes the form of not eating.

    Greenbee it was £2 for an uncovered one, so £3 for one with a knitted cover was quite reasonable. He did the boys the heat bag covers yesterday but is now busy making practice rucksacks. I ordered a 50m roll of curtain lining which should arrive this week so that will be the next project.

    Two heat bags made, and very much appreciated by the boys - especially as it is now snowing. Its so cold that the small joint of beef I got out to defrost last night was still frozen at lunchtime.

    I've been meaning for ages to have a go at making my own stem ginger in syrup so did a trial run yesterday. Will taste test later and see if it is something I would do again.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 11th Feb 18, 4:32 PM
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    greenbee
    Should I post you my old backpack (and my curtain and blind measurements...)
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 11th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
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    doingitanyway
    I've been meaning for ages to have a go at making my own stem ginger in syrup so did a trial run yesterday. Will taste test later and see if it is something I would do again.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    OMG sounds gorgeous. Let us know how it went...
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=795
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 11th Feb 18, 5:35 PM
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    MrsChaos
    Yes please to sharing the stem ginger results. DS2 loves ginger covered in chocolate, but it's a rare treat, due to the price.

    True to form, all of us like chicken apart from OH, who barely tolerates it. For DS2 it depends on the texture of meat and DS1 isn't keen on anything on the bone. I don't mind some pork and beef dishes (pulled pork, stew), but the meat has to be very lean and well done. I dropped on a RTC free range chicken in Lidl yesterday morning and it's currently cooking. Hope it's nice.

    I agree that food should be a pleasure, but at the moment it has to stay affordable, too. I called at one of the butcher's farm shops yesterday - a family meat and potato pie (DS2 didn't like the meat...), 2l milk, 3 or 4 large carrots and 500g mince for £10. The pie was £4.40, so the rest quite expensive. They get the milk from a local dairy, which is why I quite like to buy it.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th Feb 18, 11:13 AM
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    redofromstart
    We have a farm shop within walking distance but the F&V are very tired and they buy their meat from the butchers that I go to. Milk is tricky, we use at least 2l a day and it drives a lot of my food spends.
    Anyway, MrL for milk first thing (see what I mean!) and on the way my windscreen wiper fell to bits. £16 in H on replacement and fitting.

    I've got an order to collect from the new butchers at lunchtime and then a visit to the quacks at 4 so a busy day of nothingness. I need to return the £8 edging strip to the diy shop next to the butchers, the 30p pine quadrant strip did the job and is actually more durable so that's a win.

    The butchers said if I give them a couple of days notice on future orders they will save me some beef bones for stock

    Stem ginger in syrup - love the stuff but at £3 a jar it isn't a regular buy so I had been meaning for a while to have a go at making some. I wanted lots of syrup as well as the ginger itself.

    I have a tub of odds and ends of peeled ginger in the freezer. RTC or ends of fresh bits that have been leftover. The internet says to freeze it overnight as it helps change the texture, and I would agree with this as I can tell the difference between the bits that came from the freezer and the fresh bit from the fridge.

    I di a mix of two recipes, this one and this one from my Vegetarian Option book - the ginger syrup is steps 6 & 7.

    I chopped the peeled ginger into big cubes - it shrinks so don't go too small. I covered it in water, up to the boil and then simmered with the lid on for an hour. I then took out the lumps and put them in the fridge for later, and used the cooking liquid and took it up to 350ml with water for the next step. Rather than mess about grating ginger I used a couple of blocks of Taj frozen ginger (85p for a big bag from MrM) together with the zest of a lemon. I took that mixture up to the boil for a couple of minutes and then left it to cool for a few hours. I sieved out the bits which gave me a strong ginger/lemon flavoured liquid. I added 450g of white sugar, and then heated it through until the sugar had dissolved, then gave it 20 minutes to make the syrup, then added the ginger lumps and gave it another 20. I ended up with one jar of just ginger syrup and one jar of stem ginger lumps in syrup - both with a real kick to them. It was a little runnier than I wanted so would tweak the water sugar quantities but the ginger flavour in the syrup is excellent, much better than the commercial jars. I will make it again but will keep an eye out for a good deal on the ginger to do it with.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th Feb 18, 11:22 AM
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    redofromstart
    Fork Biscuits
    Purely in the interests of testing it out I made some ginger fork biscuits. OH loves the nostalgia of fork biscuits, his granny used to make them. I like the simplicity of them and the fact that you can flavour them how you like.

    Basic mix is Cream 4oz butter with 2oz sugar, then add 5oz SR flour to make a dough. Roll tea spoon sized amounts into a ball and pop onto your greased baking sheet. Use a fork to flatten them which leaves pretty lines on the top. 15 mins at 160 fan.

    I did a half mix and used brown sugar, a teaspoon of powdered ginger with the flour and some finely chopped ginger from my jar, and then used a spoonful of the syrup to pull the dough together. They made lovely short textured ginger biscuits, which sadly all got eaten yesterday.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th Feb 18, 9:39 PM
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    redofromstart
    DIY store refunded the £8 back to the gift card so that is stashed away for another day. Makes a change from things going into the 'might be useful one day' grave yard of the garage. Collected the butchers order, and was very impressed with it. I need to break it down into portions and freeze it but I ran out of energy before I ran out of jobs.

    Made bread for the boys today, first time in a while after a few bad batches which I had put down to cold kitchen. Lovely silken dough, and a great batch of bread. The only difference was a new pack of yeast - MrL finally have it back in stock.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Feb 18, 8:52 PM
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    redofromstart
    Busy day, work then home to do some tidying as DS1 (who helped) has a friend coming over tomorrow. Biscuits made for them to snack on, and then of course he had to have pancakes this evening. Still need to do the bathroom but will do that in the morning before we pick him up.

    Scrubbed the back hall wall and noticed the plaster is going flabby so probably needs replastering sooner rather than later. Luckily OH can plaster so its just another job for the very long list.

    Dinner was jacket potatoes and new butcher sausages - they were excellent. Even I liked them and I am not a fan.
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 13th Feb 18, 10:19 PM
    • 4,857 Posts
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    in need of direction
    i love nice sausages
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £78,892.61, target £65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today £4,075.43 target £5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund £3.5/5.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Current weight loss10/32 by 28 feb 2018
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Feb 18, 10:33 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
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    Seasidegal58
    ..... so do I. - I now have sausage envy as well as pancake envy (after reading inod’s diary!)
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 13th Feb 18, 11:19 PM
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    MrsChaos
    Sounds like you had a busy few days. I've done a fair amount of tidying and cleaning in the kitchen and now actually enjoy doing something in there. Fork biscuits tomorrow, I think, and maybe the ginger.

    After sorting the cupboards I've noted that I won't need to buy any black peppercorns for quite some time and we have a lot of herbs and spices. Then I went to the company shop, where herbs and spices were reduced to 10p, so I exercised restraint and only bought 9. Fork biscuits might end up cumin flavoured. I bought some from an Indian supermarket once and loved them.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 14th Feb 18, 8:18 AM
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    doingitanyway
    Yum. Jacket potatoes and sausages.
    When I finally get an oven jacket potatoes are one of the first things going in
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=795
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 14th Feb 18, 4:07 PM
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    mummytogirls
    Boo to the replastering but at least DH can do it Redo!

    Hope DS enjoys having his friend over today xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6069.37 - 02/01/18 - 73.80% paid off
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th Feb 18, 8:50 PM
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    redofromstart
    MrsC - I like the 10p bargain spices, I would have stocked up too.
    DIA I love crispy jacket potatoes, has to be a good variety though, not nasty tasteless estima. Used to like the vivaldi ones in MrS but not seen those for a while.
    Seaside/INOD, really good low fat sausages are a rare pleasure
    mummytogirls thanks, DS and his friend appeared to have a good time in that I hardly heard a peep out of them. He is not known for his social skills so really pleased I could facilitate it. The school is fed from quite a wide area and he has no local friends sadly.

    Made the boys pizza for lunch which used up some elderly mozarella from the freezer.

    Odd day otherwise and I ended up eating some many lots of biscuits which wasn't very sensible given my IBS problems.

    Dinner was sweet potato wedges, corn on the cob and fried chicken. I did have some (before Greenbee nudges) so now I feel disgustingly full.

    For someone who doesn't often eat much I do talk about food a lot Sorry, I don't mean to make people hungry.

    Two weeks left on this project, and then no income for me At the moment I wish I could wave a wand and move forward those two weeks though, the pressure really peaks as the project goes live.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 14th Feb 18, 8:57 PM
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    greenbee
    I've been eating biscuits too. And feel slightly sick.

    Must pack and work out what time I have to get up tomorrow. Stupidly early probably.

    ETA 6.30am with hair done, make up on, bins out and brain engaged. Better get packed and into bed!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th Feb 18, 9:02 PM
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    redofromstart
    Greenbee, 6.30 - ouch! I'm on my travel day and with no school run to do I could go early and clear some of the really urgent work that didn't get done today.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 14th Feb 18, 10:31 PM
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    greenbee
    Early start sounds like a good idea for you too. Do you want a 5am alarm call?!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Feb 18, 7:18 AM
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    greenbee
    Hope work went OK. My insomnia has got beyond a joke so was up bright and early at 3.30am yesterday and at work well before start time. Full-on day yesterday but my early(ish) night resulted in a 1.30am wake-up, and with no book I spent several hours getting bored before it was light enough to go for a run. Airport hotels aren't ideally situated for interesting running either... but hopefully I'm all set up to stay awake through today's meetings now...
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 16th Feb 18, 8:11 AM
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    MrsChaos
    Hope yesterday went well and wasn't too stressful. Did you manage the early start?

    We went to Sheffield and found school shoes for DS2, but no coat yet. Meadowhell tonight, I think. I also saw a something in the sales in Debenhams that would work for the family event in May - could just do with a size smaller, so I'll have another look tonight.

    More cleaning (kitchen, bathroom) and admin today, but I'm struggling to get going. Maybe breakfast will help...
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