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    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    • 111Posts
    • 300Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Quids in for a Limited Time
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    Quids in for a Limited Time 2nd Jan 17 at 8:11 PM
    Hi. Let me introduce myself. I am an old time user and lately a frequent browser. There is me, my husband & my two kids age 17 & 15. I have £56,000 owing on my mortgage which is on a tracker rate of currently 1.14 which is really good I think. I do make the odd overpayment on it as it kinda gives me a happy feeling the same as say buying a new top or dress does but tbh I think I would be better off putting any spare money in a savings account in view of the rate.
    To be honest though much as I would like to clear the mortgage as soon as possible, there are other things that I would like money for such as home improvements and driving lessons & a car for my daughter. So this is going to really be more of a savings diary than anything else. If anyone wants to join me that would be great but my main reason for doing this is I hope to keep me focused.
    I have added up all our incomings and outgoings and in theory we should have loads left over every month for savings but the reality is we actually don't! We don't have any debts & do have a small amount of savings but its a bit of a mystery where the money actually goes so I have also started a spending diary to establish that! Life has been good the last year as my ex-husband has been paying maintenance which he never did previously so last year we had our first foreign holiday in six years and we have had a much better social life than we were previously able to and the kids have been able to experience some new things.
    I am aware however that as some of our money is maintenance paid from my ex-husband that will be ending at some point soon in view of my children's ages - hence the title of this thread.
    Thanks for reading so far!
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    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 30th May 17, 9:22 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Hi Karmacat, thanks for posting. Yes there are some branded goods in there, partly due to taste preference and partly due to the need for gluten-free. My son's dietician has always told him he does need gluten-free oats due to the risk of cross contamination from ordinary oats plus its only for flapjacks that I make him occasionally. Thanks for reminding about that list of food I had though as there are still some things on there that need to be used!

    The month isn't quite over yet but I don't envisage that things will change much between now & then.
    Food costs were £546, eating out & takeaways were £88.50 (I McDonalds, 1 meal out for 2 and 1 takeaway for 4) and clothes / shoes remained at £28. I've been thinking about setting a budget for food next month, nothing to drastic but maybe £500 or £450 if I am feeling really brave. The huge spends are probably partly because I don't actually set a budget I just spend as & when I need to which to be honest is quite frequently partly because of using a variety of different supermarkets so its when I happen to be near them.

    On a happier note we have now booked a holiday abroad but not until October half term. I paid a £300 deposit on it this month and still had £150 left at the end of the month for savings. £350 savings for June has already been put away. Just need to book the airport parking and remember to get the visas. Yesterday I sorted out the insurance and remembered to go via topcashback.

    I also need to sort out a new house and content insurance which I will also go via topcashback for, make a trip to Makro for some chicken and mince, make some meals for the freezer, see if I can work out my petrol spends from my bank statements, book my DDs driving lessons and try to post a few items for sale on ebay which I haven't used for a while.
    • Skint yet Again
    • By Skint yet Again 30th May 17, 2:56 PM
    • 2,916 Posts
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    Skint yet Again
    Hi Maiden Mum thanks for posting on my diary I thought I'd pop over and return the favour and see how you are doing.

    How exciting a lovely holiday to look forward to and well done on the savings & using cashback sites

    I think reducing your food spend gradually is a good idea rather than going cold turkey. I find meal planning and making a shopping list helps but even I have gone over budget this month. Its a lot of work isn't it and sometimes I just think sod it I'm fed up and just chuck anything in the trolley.
    Aims for 2017 -
    1. save as much as possible. spend as little as possible but still have a social life !
    2. no takeaways !
    3. shop once a week - no "top-up" shops - no unnecessary spending !!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Jun 17, 2:22 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Feeling a little stressed! I have been to six supermarkets in the last 2 days and have already spent a whopping £292! This was because it can get so manically busy when I am at work so took advantage of it being half term and also stocked up on bulk purchases. Makro spends for example were £93.22 but this did include chicken breasts at £19.99, chicken drumsticks £11.49, kitchen towels £10.69 diced turkey meat £8.26, 3 Dettols cleaning sprays for £3.75, a big bag of pasta for £3.99 and low fat mince at £9.44. A few days ago I had this vague idea that I would join the Grocery challenge on the Old Style board and try6 to reduce the monthly spends to £500 or lower with also a weekly limit and there doesn't seem any point doing that now!
    I did manage to cook the turkey yesterday and that made a curry for last night and tonight and half put away in the freezer plus off to make lasagnes for the freezer now with the mince although not sure if I can actually freeze the made up lasagne if it has the uncooked pasta sheets with it?
    I also spent about £70 on clothes yesterday and £90 on new bed sheets (which were desperately needed) so all in all a very spendy few days, After this weekend, time to reign in the spending big time!
    • Thisgirlcan
    • By Thisgirlcan 2nd Jun 17, 3:47 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Hi Maiden Mum! I've just read through your thread and I think you can definitely save where the shopping is concerned.

    We have a similar income to you but outgoings are balanced differently (our mortgage is £1200) and have 3 children (though young, I appreciate teenagers eat a lot more!) but we are still buying nappies & formula and although he is small he easily eats a small much as the other two haha.

    I think a good exercise for you to do would be to list everything you have - your last freezer list would get at least 22 meals for example - and see if you can avoid supermarkets (sounds hard but hear me out lol). I know that when I step into a supermarket I spend money - I buy things we don't need, that look nice, I just fancy this and that and various non food items!

    So now I do a freezer shop, usually in the Sainsbury's yellow sticker reductions for meat, fish, bread etc. And then I do a store cupboard shop at Aldi, pasta rice tins etc. I crazy meal plan. I have my fruit and veg delivered twice a week ish from a local place and I buy my milk at the corner shop.
    I know it's a bit different with your son's dietary requirements but I really think if you can sit and get organised with this you'll free up a lot of pennies! I probably step into a supermarket twice a month unless I need something specific and then I am really strict.

    Have a bit of a challenge, see how long you can go just eating what you've got in the house and I bet you'll be really surprised!

    Oh and I've not frozen uncooked pasta sheets but I make mine up in the foil containers, cook cool and freeze. Although I have got a lot better recently at freezing left overs instead of them sitting in the fridge for a week and being thrown away haha.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 14th Jun 17, 4:18 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Quick update - food spends are now at £429 so far for the month and will probably be going to Tesco in the next few days to stock up as I have a £7 off £50 voucher to use Life continues to be a bit manic and I would so love to have a day of calm and peace and quiet!
    Thank you Thisgirlcan for posting, that was kind of you. Do you have a diary yourself? You certainly have a big mortgage payment. Well done you for managing such a large payment every month on a similar income to me. Mine will be dropping soon which I am dreading.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 5th Aug 17, 4:28 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    A bit of a gap but a quick update will be given. Life is still rather manic and basically no progress has been made on the attempt to reduce grocery shopping at all. I am bored to be even writing this myself but for the sake of at least keeping a record for myself I will do so. July grocery spends were £607, eating out costs were £57, clothes were £6 (underwear for me) and petrol was at least £82 but quite possibly more as I may have missed one spend right at the end of the month.

    Freezer check not yet done but cupboard stock check shows these items;
    Tinned new potatoes
    Tinned Sardines
    Salmon paste
    Pineapple chunks
    Kidney beans
    Butter beans
    Cannellini beans
    Black Eyed Beans - 2
    Mixed Beans
    Coconut milk
    Small tin of Chickpeas
    Passata carton
    Tomato puree - 3
    Green Pesto
    Custard - 2
    Pack of Brazil nuts - BB 09/2017
    Free from oats
    1/2 bag of normal oats
    Garlic & coriander naan breads
    Bread Sauce - 2
    Packet of meatballs in tomato sauce
    BBQ pulled pork mix for slow cooker - BB 04/2018
    Oyster & spring onion Blue Dragon sauce for stir fries - 2
    Sweet Chiili & garlic Blue Dragon Stir Fry sauce
    Packet of red lentils
    Tamari soya sauce
    G/f Worcester sauce
    Schwartz Fajita Sauce mix
    Loyd Grossman tomato & chilli sauce - 2
    Bag of long grain rice
    Bag of Basmati rice
    Tins of tuna - 26!!!
    Tins of sweetcorn - 10
    Tins of chopped tomatoes - 9
    Tins of baked beans - 4
    Jars of Hotdog sausages - 2
    Jar of salsa
    Rogan Josh sauce
    Butter chicken sauce - 2
    Balti sauce - 2
    Cheese and Bacon sauce
    Xmas pudding
    Tins of tomato sauce - 3
    Spagetti pasta
    G/F spaghetti pasta

    There we go. There is obviously cereal, plus biscuits, crisps, drinks, crackers, fruit etc.

    It's pretty rubbish but it is what it is. At least I am keeping a record of what I am spending & I have lots of friends who have absolutely no idea what they spend & at least I have done a store cupboard stock check. DD's 18th birthday weekend away trip has been done & mostly paid for, her driving lessons have started and our family holiday in October has been fully paid for. Hey ho, lots & lots of room for improvement & onwards & upwards I hope.
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