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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 8
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 7th Sep 17, 9:51 AM
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    doingitanyway
    Take it easy today if you can. Play in the garden at least some of the time

    You do great with using what you have food wise.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,490
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Sep 17, 10:10 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Mmmm the curry sounds lovely - and budget friendly too! Sounds like today should be a day for a nice mix of doing the essential stuff and playing in the garden, with a degree of "taking it easy" thrown in. Definitely pace yourself though.
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 11-09-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Sep 17, 6:07 PM
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    redofromstart
    Two trips to the tip, lots of metal and rotted wood gone. Patio much better.

    c£85 spent, windscreen wipers, school trousers (don't ask!), petrol and c£14 on food, RTC stuff (2 whole chickens, more veg, bread) and milk which was needed. I watched the skim milk slide out of the bottle into my tea this morning and knew that today would have to include spends.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 7th Sep 17, 7:06 PM
    • 12,212 Posts
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    greenbee
    Well done on the tip runs!

    I managed hairdresser, tights, lip brushes, eyeliner sharpeners, black leggings and a quick impulse buy of a new dress for work next week as everything else is rather snug.

    Didn't get the rest of the strimming and mowing done, so I need to deal with it while recovering from jet lag next week!

    My first batch of bulbs has arrived. two HUGE boxes I can hardly lift!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Sep 17, 8:55 PM
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    redofromstart
    There is a lovely great empty space on the patio. It'd just fit a nice hot tub...

    Anyway, boys had pasta, cheese and veg. We had the green curry, was alright and a fast lazy meal.

    Tedious 8/10 (hurrah! Usually behind at this point).
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Sep 17, 8:49 AM
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    redofromstart
    Lots of walking yesterday, 22k steps and my feet hurt.
    Tedious done.
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 9th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    mummytogirls
    Morning Redo,

    Just caught up with the rest of your diary (started reading last week and then work got in the way ). You do so well with using things up out of the freezer, I need to get better at this. Did use up some corn on the cob dated March from the freezer yesterday .

    Have a lovely weekend xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6936.45 - 04/09/17 - 70.99% paid off
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 9th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    doingitanyway
    22k steps is amazing
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,490
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Sep 17, 11:18 AM
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    redofromstart
    I usually do somewhere between 10 and 12k, so this hurt. I did a fast trot all the way round the city centre for four hours, OH was working away so I had put my approach trainers on and borrowed his parking permit. There are some really pretty bits of the city and a lot off things have been done since the Richard 3rd stuff was about. I did go into TK Maxx to admire the bed linen but luckily the 800 count bedding was the wrong size or I might have strayed. Filled my car with cheaper fuel and nipped into the stupidmarket for some reduced bits.

    We found a site that sells pretty log fired hot tubs. OH now wants one. Man brings fire, makes womans aching joints feel better.

    Monday DS1 has to make a meal for a teenager that meets the government criteria for a balanced meal. He is waiting for me to think of something. I'm looking in my cupboards and trying to think of something that works with what we have, even if he will not eat it. Couscous and stuff maybe. Or yucky pasta.

    Veg box people have sent me a 15 off a 30, plus my bank is offering me 20% cashback on them so I am tempted to order a box and a dairy pack as it works out about the same as stupidmarket with the discounts.

    DS2 came home from school with two of last years lost jumpers. Lost last September. I know this because I number them as well as marking them! I hope they still fit. DS1 on the other hand has to have a book bought for English on Monday but he isn't sure which one it is, and also has a letter about a trip to the theatre for lots of money. Its during half term week and we are away so he can't go. I looked to see how much it would be for just me and him to go and it is £70
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 9th Sep 17, 11:31 AM
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    greenbee
    Can you get DS1 yo make his meal out of stuff that none of you eat and you should really get rid off? Or stuff that's free from the garden?

    Nettle soup
    Couscous and berry salad with a herb vinaigrette (had something similar with quinoa on the plane)
    Stewed plums


    Not sure what the protein element would be though. Rabbit maybe?!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 9th Sep 17, 11:31 AM
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    doingitanyway
    Is the veg box A&C? They have good offers...
    I used to have one fortnightly and I ate better....
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=4,490
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • debtfreeoneday
    • By debtfreeoneday 10th Sep 17, 9:03 AM
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    debtfreeoneday
    Just saying hello, will read through some posts when I get chance, but will subscribe!
    DFW (08/08) £64,346.53
    Credit card debt: £3,346.29 over three credit cards.
    MFW (01/15) £118,031.21 £95,324.07
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Sep 17, 9:17 AM
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    redofromstart
    Not sure what the protein element would be though. Rabbit maybe?!
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Mole? I can't even send him with nuts which would be simple.

    You do so well with using things up out of the freezer,
    Originally posted by mummytogirls
    Its scarily empty, 'only' 4 chickens left...

    Is the veg box A&C? They have good offers...
    I used to have one fortnightly and I ate better....
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Yes, I used to have one weekly, and then swapped to one from the milkman then stopped when the first cash famine hit. Wasn't great at actually using the contents. Greenbee may remember the pictures of my fruit mountains on Facebook? Its a lot more flexible than it used to be in terms of veg swaps so it might work better. Worth a try anyway.

    Hi debtfreeoneday, thanks for posting

    EH - the box let me swap in two types of mushrooms, they used to be really lovely fresh ones too so pleased with that.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Sep 17, 9:58 AM
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    redofromstart
    Yesterday I got some flavoured pork steak (pennies!), bit of chorizo and handful of prawns out of the freezer with a vague plan of making jambalaya but OH exercised his right of veto. He doesn't like 'stodge' or pork very much so I cobbled together a stew:

    Sliced an onion and started it off in a casserole dish, added cubes of pork, chipotle chilli flakes, and lots of smoked paprika, and the peeled, used chorizo. Gave it a few minutes to brown then added a glass of wine and let it sizzle for a minute, then added a tin of tomatoes, teaspoon of sugar, a chicken stock cube, half a tin of water and some butter beans. Up to bubbling, then lid on simmer for an hour. Added sliced peppers, a tin of potatoes - chopped in half, some mixed herbs, more paprika and a pinch of saffron (not essential but I have lots). tasted it to check for more chilli flakes but it was fine. Back up to bubbling, lid back on for another half hour simmering. It made a really good deep spicy tomato and butterbean stew, and the pork was tender enough by then. It'd work well in a slow cooker I think. We had it with nice HM crusty bread.

    I also made scones, but DS1 ate those. He also had three bowls of cereal, plus usual meals. Growth spurt presumably.

    Freezer is scarily low, its a big six foot chest freezer that lives in the garage. There's a lot of veg in it so its not empty empty but very few meat units now. Lots of frozen white fish so need to start thinking about what I can do with that.

    Store cupboards are also unusually empty - no tinned toms for example - but I do have lots of long dated barts spice paste jars from 15p shelf clearance, and some mini tins of coconut milk to go with them. No bread flour, no baking powder. A meals worth of pasta/rice/couscous.

    Fridge is bad. Cheese needs freezing today. Milk may not last till the morning. Have enough butter for breakfast. Tumbleweed hides behind the condiment jars when you open the door......

    Tomorrow I will crack and do a proper shop.

    Today we have lamb shoulder from the freezer. No potatoes, and not a lot of fresh veg either.
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 10th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    mummytogirls
    Morning Redo,

    The stew sounds lovely. We are not pork fans, I wonder if I could use the same base for a different meat?

    You are doing so well with running everything right down and using everything up. Will you do a massive shop tomorrow?

    Have a lovely Sunday xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6936.45 - 04/09/17 - 70.99% paid off
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Sep 17, 11:18 AM
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    redofromstart
    Morning Redo,

    The stew sounds lovely. We are not pork fans, I wonder if I could use the same base for a different meat?

    You are doing so well with running everything right down and using everything up. Will you do a massive shop tomorrow?

    Have a lovely Sunday xx
    Originally posted by mummytogirls
    Thanks! I usually use chicken to make it. Doesn't need cooking for as long that way either.

    I'm not sure what my plan is yet, I don't want to buy things for the sake of it, but nor do I want to end up paying village co-op prices for things I have run out of. I think I need to plan meals based on what we do have left and work from that but I hate doing it. More likely is that I will have a fit of petulance and throw everything in the trolley and then live with the inevitable regret and self-loathing .
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 10th Sep 17, 11:20 AM
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    mummytogirls
    I know the feeling Redo

    Going to try the recipe with chicken, sounds delicious xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6936.45 - 04/09/17 - 70.99% paid off
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Sep 17, 7:37 PM
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    redofromstart
    Currently on target for trolley filling frenzy. I couldn't make the fridge/cupboard contents work for DS1 for his cooking, so had to buy Feta in the village. £1.75! Its under £1 in MrL. We usually have at least one pack in the fridge but of course I have been running things down. Anyway he is doing roasted veg (fridge bottom) couscous with chickpeas and feta, which meets the criteria. We typed it all out and then it got sat on by two wet cats in rapid succession so now reprinting a clean copy. Good job I saved it.

    Took the dogs for a walk and realised the wild damsons are finally ripe, 2 kilos picked ready for jamming. Checking the fridge for emptyish jars I realised I had some sunflower spread hidden away which meant I could make some biscuits. Not enough eggs for the DS1 requested Bakewell tart so we made Bakewell biscuits instead. I think there are three left that he is saving for supper

    We adapted bero jam blobs, adding almond essence with the egg, and some flaked almonds mixed in and sprinkled on top. Next time I will substitute some of the flour with ground almonds. A soft biscuit, half way to a cake but very nice. It also used up the last of a jar of bramble jelly which gives me another one for the damsons.

    Quinoa and roasted veg salad made for packed lunches. Go me
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 11th Sep 17, 11:51 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Yum food as always - I should always read your thread after lunch Redo - I always end up hungry! Good mushroom swappage too - that sounds like my kind of veg box! (And my pal's just sent me a text message involving cheese - THAT's not helping!) Oh jeez now another pal is talking about cheese on toast - for goodness sake!!

    Excellent work on getting the fridge and freezer attacked too - I HAVE to go through our freezer ready for next week's meal plan I think - it's full to bursting but I have lost all grasp on what is in there to make a meal. I need some weekends at home as weekday food is different to weekend food in our house - if i watch what I eat on weekdays I can nosh more or less what I like at weekends which suits me fine!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Sep 17, 4:00 PM
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    redofromstart
    Sorry EH - hope you found something to eat

    I did do the food shopping, vague mental list, no meal plan

    Need to work out the numbers and update the spreadsheet, as a lot of it was for the animals and I have split them off into their own budget this month.

    No bargains and nothing bought for the freezer. Actually the fridge doesn't look much better than it did before I went in terms of obvious food. Store cupboard restocked - tinned food and baking stuff.

    DS1 hates roasted veg, well, nearly all veg actually. Its lovely hidden in huge lumps in couscous apparently and he has eaten all he made as an after school snack

    I'm looking at the uninspiring remains of the fatty lamb and trying to think what I can cobble together for dinner for OH and SS. Maybe shred it in the food processor and make shephards pie, or fry some cubes off in curry spices and make something biriani ish.

    A whole 20 minutes of tedious done, and I need to do at least an hour of ironing. Not the most productive of days, not even sure where the time went.
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