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  • FIRST POST
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 1,117Posts
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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 42
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Feb 18, 8:41 PM
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    redofromstart
    I was tempted to put random things on his form but I am not that mean. I just hope I remembered correctly what he said in the car, 'fibrofog' is a real issue at the moment. Keep finding myself in rooms with no idea of why I am there. I need to write a couple of settlement agreements tomorrow which could be interesting, really need the lights to be switched on for that.

    Fluffster has stolen my dressing gown again as he crawled in to sleep round the back of me, he is still struggling to shake off the latest attack from the nasty Tom despite antibiotics and pain killers. He's clearly a bit crap at fighting, and his long hair is a disadvantage. The girls just sit back and watch him getting thumped or they squeal and run away. OH says I need a new boy kitten with a big stick and fighting paws but I am ignoring him

    jacket potatoes, peas and the leftover beef stew for dinner, was very nice and minimal effort.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 7th Feb 18, 9:19 PM
    • 12,371 Posts
    • 217,478 Thanks
    greenbee
    Have to go into the office early tomorrow. I MUST NOT OVERSLEEP.

    Particularly as I still haven't decided what to wear, and will have to do hair and makeup too. And get fuel. I need to improve my planning...
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Feb 18, 9:23 PM
    • 3,390 Posts
    • 21,375 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Poor old cat, can't be very nice getting beaten up
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Feb 18, 9:52 AM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hope you managed to get sorted Greenbee. I'm finding getting ready a lot easier now all my work stuff is visible but that's probably because I have multiples of fairly similar things so its just about colour of the day.

    HHOD, he is a lovely cat and not in the least aggressive - he left all of that to his brothers who are no longer about. Think he might have to go back to the vets again as he doesn't seem to be picking up.

    Lots of wfh work to do today but luckily feeling a lot brighter, glad I cancelled the travel today though or I'd be back to being a zombie by tonight just from the three hours of driving.

    Its very cold, might have to crack and bring the fan heater down. Still cheaper than running the central heating, and the little oil radiator isn't having much of an impact. It would help if the cats would stop using the window next to my desk as an exit and entry point.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Feb 18, 4:18 PM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Had a 'here we go'moment earlier when an email arrived from our energy supplier. You payment has been reviewed...

    Clicked into email and it has dropped by a whole 25p per month. Panic over. There is also a £59 refund on its way as our gas usage is lower than usual. That'll be since the smart meter has been in and I've realised quite how much just pressing 'boost' costs and that its better to run my little oil heater next to my desk.

    EH mentioned a 'heartier' butchers pack on her diary which reminded me that I finally tried the butchers factory shop near the diy shop last week. The mince was very low fat, and made an excellent lasagne so I will now go back for more. If I put a decent order in they might let me have some beef bones so I can make some decent soup. I like the fact that they sell chicken carcasses at 40p per kilo for stock which is better than the them being wasted. MrM sometimes have beef bones but they wanted some ridiculous price for them and I am far too mean.
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 8th Feb 18, 4:33 PM
    • 1,369 Posts
    • 7,830 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Redo , thank you for the get well wishes you have left me.

    Insomnia is something I have had for years , the coughing has kept we awake for nights recently. I do catch up eventually but always wake up every 2 hours , I guess I am used to it.

    I try to buy my meat from the butcher as it always looks better than the supermarket.
    Jan 2018 CC1 £3099 CC2 £220

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 8th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • 2,519 Posts
    • 12,004 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I used to buy organic chicken carcasses and chicken wings for pence and make great soup. They are now stupid prices so I rarely bother
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=1,670
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Feb 18, 5:47 PM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    redofromstart
    BT responded to my complaint within 24 hours, and have apologised and refunded the charges, even though the situation was not of their making

    Why can't Vodafone be the same? They caused the problems but cant even be bothered to respond to my complaint. And breathe..

    cumbria The good reasonable butcher locally shut a few years ago so now I drive an hours round trip down the motorway to the bulk buy place. After some really bad supermarket bits bought for convenience recently I am on a self imposed ban so I need to find a better option locally. The new ones are wholesale butchers who have opened a factory shop.

    DIA The beef bones in MrM are nearly as much per kilo as the stewing beef and their beef is generally poor anyway on recent experience. The lamb bones are cheaper but I am not a fan of lamb stock. Can't make good stock with poor materials, no matter how often the OS board try to tell me otherwise.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 8th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • 2,519 Posts
    • 12,004 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    DIA The beef bones in MrM are nearly as much per kilo as the stewing beef and their beef is generally poor anyway on recent experience. The lamb bones are cheaper but I am not a fan of lamb stock. Can't make good stock with poor materials, no matter how often the OS board try to tell me otherwise.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    I totally agree with you on poor materials. Rubbish in? Rubbish out
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=1,670
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 8th Feb 18, 9:06 PM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 41,438 Thanks
    MrsChaos
    What's the name of the wholesale butcher, please? We have one locally called Underwood and they also do excellent mince, although it's not as cheap as the discount supermarkets. Not sure about the rest, although the trays of chicken breast are good value.
    One day I will clear the top of the cellar steps and find space for a small chest freezer!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Feb 18, 9:20 PM
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    redofromstart
    This is the one at Loughborough - the price list isn't on line, I went in and picked it up. 1kg of 5% fat good mince was £5.24/ 5kg chicken breasts £24

    This is the price list for the one south of me. Their topside is excellent but I went originally for sausage making stuff. I did buy half a lamb years ago but was never rich enough for quarter of a cow much as the idea fascinated me.

    The rotherham underwoods would be possible for me if I combined it with a visit to the shopping emporium. I shall jot it down for future reference.

    I'd really like to find a good local butchers again but its expensive and frustrating trying new ones.
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 8th Feb 18, 10:12 PM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 41,438 Thanks
    MrsChaos
    The mince at Underwood is definitely cheaper, but probably not as lean. Chicken breasts are £20 for 5kg. They have a lot of seasoned meat and packs of assorted stuff. OH wasn't keen on their gammon steaks and I thought they were cut badly.

    If money was no object, I'd get all meat from the two local butchers farm shops - both less than 10 minutes in the car. Time to properly compare prices and quality.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Feb 18, 11:09 PM
    • 8,479 Posts
    • 45,253 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    We've massively turned around to the "not much meat but very high quality" standpoint over the last few years - as an example last night (and Sundays) cottage pies used a 300g pack of mince between them - so about 75g raw weight each, per meal, yet the flavour just shone through. Usually about half our meals in any week are meat free (not sure MrEH has noticed that the proportion has got that high...shhhhh!) This is what appealed about the Heartier people - their quality & welfare is good. We do have a local butcher but when I popped in not long after he opened his answers to my questions about where his meat came from etc were sketchy at best. No thanks.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£842.87 (12/02/18)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 9th Feb 18, 8:23 PM
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    MrsChaos
    EH - that's the way I'd like to go, really.

    DS1 would need extra meat, but he's happy to pay for quality and I'm not sure about his brother, because he doesn't eat a massive variety. Have just asked OH and left him to think about it.

    I don't enjoy buying the cheapest all the time. Initially I's struggle to come up with ideas for meat-free meals all the males would enjoy. Who are the Heartier people?
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 9th Feb 18, 9:01 PM
    • 5,218 Posts
    • 33,031 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I can't comment on meat as I stopped eating it 30 years ago after contracting listeria from a beef lasagne. I buy it for Mr SA though as he doesn't do veggie stuff or fish unless it's in batter

    Mrs Chaos the Hairy Dieters Go Veggie cookbook has some 'I miss meat' recipes that are meant to be heartier. Although to be honest I don't imagine for one minute Mr SA would be happy with them as a die hard carnivore.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £153.08
    Jan NSDs 4 Feb AFDs 1
    Weight loss 4/10LBS Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    April holiday £0/£900
    Dining room fund £150
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Feb 18, 9:03 PM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    redofromstart
    try this link MrsC, they have been in the weekly email thing a few times with hampers. 7% quidco. I've not tried them.

    Had a good play with the pensions stuff today - so that we both know exactly what we have, where and under what policy number. Feel better about plans, but also focused on clearing the big mortgage debt rather than more spending.

    That said I frittered £3 on a hot water bottle today (B&M, in a knitted cover in the clearance). I also didn't have any form of heating on in the day as a result so I think it will pay for itself in a week.

    Gains:
    £4.25 of cashback cleared
    £10 Am voucher from SB - hadn't had much this month because of no broadband gap.
    £59 credited back to account from energy providers - so it wasn't just a 25p per month reduction
    Should get £10 m n s voucher for setting up the online pension statements thing for one of his accounts

    Spends:
    £3 hot water bottle
    Food shopping (again!) but we needed milk, fruit, veg.

    Chicken curry, lentil dhal (with coconut powder made by whizzing decimated coconut in the nutri bullet) and carrot biryani for dinner. Was v nice, and there is a good tub full left over for a pingy lunch.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Feb 18, 9:11 PM
    • 3,390 Posts
    • 21,375 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I really like the sound of your carrot biryani, one I'll try making it . I love dhal too.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 9th Feb 18, 9:30 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,396 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    I like the sound of the hot water bottle! watch that the fluffy cat doesn’t run away with it!
    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!”
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Feb 18, 10:24 AM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 6,807 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Fat cat has already tried to steal my hot water bottle, either that or she was intent on destroying it through the cunning use of an innocent expression whilst playing paddy paws on it. How dare it steal her spot on my knee?

    If I get a chance to nip back I will be picking up a few more. Fellow residents have hot water bottle envy
    Actually I (well, he who can sew straight) could make some microwave heat bags instead given that we have plenty of fabric, and a kilo of basic rice is about 40p. I've got some velvet offcuts that would be nice.
    • MrsChaos
    • By MrsChaos 10th Feb 18, 11:46 AM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 41,438 Thanks
    MrsChaos
    Hot water bottles sound like a good investment! You could cover it with a thick towel and invite FC to sit on top.

    Thank you for the link. I'll have a good look, draft a list of things I'd buy regularly and compare with the local farm shops and maybe any other wholesalers/factory shops I can find that focus on good quality.

    I bought a small RTC, oven ready pork joint from Lidl recently. I didn't even try it and none of the carnivores in the house could bring themselves to eat it, because it was so fatty. I'd cooked it for hours at a low temp, according to instructions. Was only fit for the dog and cats.
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