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2009 Money Saving Alternative Calendar

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  • I think for christmas/birthdays etc, it's worth planning ahead - it saves the stress of trying to find really appropriate presents at the last minute, and you can pick up bargains too.

    Personally i would never plan meals more than a week or two in advance. It depends on your lifestyle, but i find i have to be quite flexible - eg if i work late unexpectedly, and had planned something elaborate for tea, i quickly change it to something easier, and may also adapt subsequent meals to use that day's leftovers. Also I often buy what's on offer and then plan my meals around that, for cheapness. and somtimes you "just fancy" a certain thing.....imagine if you looked on your menu and it was 5 weeks till you could have it!

    If you do that a few times it would pretty much invalidate your year's menu, and you would have wasted the time it took to plan it. ;) I guess it depends how you do it though.
    August grocery challenge: £50
    Spent so far: £37.40 :A
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    I was thinking about going out in the January sales and getting next years Christmas presents/cards sorted and maybe birthday presents/cards/wrapping paper.....snipped

    I tried it this year. :j :j :j

    I highly recommend it as you save so much time, as well as ££££s. You do need space to store stuff, and to keep track of who will get what & when.

    Shall be doing it again for 2009 but with a better notebook instead of the tatty list I used this year.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Sounds obvious, but without going into details of each occasion, it's certainly possible to plan a budget for the whole year in advance. So you know that each month you'll have, say £80 worth of meals, even if they're not the same ones you had last month...You can then vary this up and down over the year as various events come and go - if you have a lot on in a month, the food budget may need to reduce and so on...

    Also, you could also do something to help being organised for the whole year in January, without being *so* pedantic...Get a diary, go through it and write in each occasion, then copy everything you write onto the first of that month, too - then, each month, you'll have a list of everything you need to buy that month, cards you need to send and so on. Will find nothing has a chance to sneak up on you...
  • OddjobKIA
    OddjobKIA Posts: 6,380 Forumite
    LAst jan Mrs OJ got a laod of wrapping paper at 5p a roll...and We still ahve it here now ready to use....so yes its worth it..
    THE SHABBY SHABBY FOUNDER
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Posts: 11,234 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Aaarrrrggghhhhh I can't even plan as far ahead as next week, let alone a whole year! :confused: Good luck if you can do it and feel it will be advantageous, though.;)
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
  • anniewoo
    anniewoo Posts: 469 Forumite
    I have bought half-price Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the January sales for years,my Mum used to do it too.I shall also be descending on Boots on the first day of the sales to buy reduced gift sets to put away for presents during the year.I tend to get Boots gift vouchers from various survey sites,so it won't really cost me anything if I use those.

    I only really menu plan for one week ahead,I don't think I could do it for a whole year.What I am going to do next year is buy a page-a-day diary and write all my menus in that and also my spending for each day.
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    anniewoo wrote: »
    I have bought half-price Christmas cards and wrapping paper in the January sales for years,my Mum used to do it too.I shall also be descending on Boots on the first day of the sales to buy reduced gift sets to put away for presents during the year.I tend to get Boots gift vouchers from various survey sites,so it won't really cost me anything if I use those.

    I only really menu plan for one week ahead,I don't think I could do it for a whole year.What I am going to do next year is buy a page-a-day diary and write all my menus in that and also my spending for each day.

    Snap! Thats the lines I'm thinking along. I have just got a page-a-day diary for next year - to have as a desk diary at home. I'll still be taking my standard small pocket diary round with me for social life/appointments.

    In my desk diary - I will write spending as well (divided into food and other) and use it for running home/garden/finances and body - so house maintenance tasks/dentists appointments/haircuts/etc will be written in there - so I can keep track of when they are due. It will also be useful for all those notes about what other people are supposed to have done and when, eg "refund from x firm due by now - have I had it?"/"workman due to have rung me back by now - has he?"
  • Toonie
    Toonie Posts: 1,147 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    Certain things can be well planned in advance, for instance presents and the like, but I'm not sure how well a monthly repeated food menu would go down with my partner, its hard enough to plan for the evenings food in the morning in my house, but then we do know we always have things stocked up. There are always at least three different meals we can throw together without having to defrost anything (well...maybe a bagel or some potato cakes). That sort of planning works well with me.
    Grocery budget in 2023 £2279.18/£2700

    Grocery budget in 2022 £2304.76/£2400
    Grocery budget in 2021 £2107.86/£2200
    Grocery budget in 2020 £2193.02/£2160

    Saving for Christmas 2023 #15 £ 90/ £365
  • chunky79
    chunky79 Posts: 732 Forumite
    Well here goes you will now see how sad i am:o :rotfl: . I look forward to the day after boxing day for sale shopping. I buy all my adult gifts for birthdays and xmas that day. All my cards, wrapping paper, gift tags, ribbons and bows are also bought in the sale. Then i buy my own presents with money i have recieved for xmas. I ask everyone not to buy anything when it will be half the cost 2 days after xmas. I find it more fun getting more for my money :rolleyes: :D I even have a a storage cupboard specially for it all.
    You can touch the dust but please don't write in it !

    Would you like to speak to the man in charge, or the woman who knows whats happening?
  • rosieben
    rosieben Posts: 5,010 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I was thinking about going out in the January sales and getting next years Christmas presents/cards sorted and maybe birthday presents/cards/wrapping paper.

    This has got me thinking about how much I could plan ahead....menu planning for a year? (ok menus for a month that repeat 12 times) ...

    I think its a really good idea to buy paper, cards, and any gifts you can find in the January reductions and then buy other gifts through the year as you see them (offers etc). I would have to keep a list though as I'd forget what I'd bought and who it was for :rolleyes:

    As for meal planning, I have a basic meal list (about a month's worth) and I keep the doings of that list in stock. Some of the meals are winter warmers and some are light, eg jacket potato, scrambled eggs, soup. Sometimes I work to a vague weekly plan which is soemthing on the lines of: roast, leftover, pastry, one-pot, sausages or bacon, fish, light meal. Its a simple enough matter to switch in a few warmer weather meals if I want to.

    The other thing you can do is build up a good store cupboard, which I find a great help. There are some useful threads about this. :)

    I don't think you can be too organised when you have small kids and as you say, whatever organising you do will free up more time for you to spend with family. When my kids were small my christmas shopping was mostly done by end October, all presents wrapped, cards written and grocery organised. I did have a problem one year though, when about 4 couples split up just before Christmas so had to re-write a few cards :D I know planning ahead is difficult sometimes as kids can change their minds about presents, but you could still get the stocking fillers and maybe just leave the main present till nearer the time?

    It might be more help to have a little build up of savings so you have the cash ready to cater for birthday parties etc. There are lots of options for planning. I'd be interested in hearing how you decide to deal with this, I'm always looking for new ideas :)
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

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