Energy Price Cap announcement: Watch Martin Lewis explain what it means for your electricity and gas bills this winter

I can't sail the seas forever!

in Mortgage-free wannabe
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  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    46.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    Use this format and don't mix month and annual do everything as a a monthly average cost.

    You have listed more than your income already and that's before you add in things like holiday, car replacement fund

    Start a sending diary.

    The food store is not that big <1month worth but a good start for the shop cheap/discounted eat what you have strategy.

    If at home more look to finding when your local shops reduces stuff, most of our meat is bought 1/2 price or less, we find Waitrose has the best discount/quality.

    Remember your food is for the days you don't eat out so is very high per day if you eat out a lot.

    Separate food and alcohol(skews food to much), I also think that household stuff cleaners etc. should be separated for the groceries but they are usually quite low.

    Consider adding lines for the eating out social and the theatre/shows and budget for them separate from general social

    If traveling to the shows add any fares to that bit of the budget.

    The more you break down the categories the easier it I to find the cutbacks if needed or make choices.

    If you have a lot of discretionary spends it becomes quite easy to cover unscheduled expenses you just cut back.

    look t everything you spend and ask is it good value.
  • Runders wrote: »'s been a good day today :) I managed to have a NSD. My friend did ring me earlier to go to the pub for a G&T, but instead I invited her here and we sat in the garden drinking the G&T I already have at home.

    I'm also going to swap my bank account over to First Direct this evening. The £100 bonus can then be added to my monthly OP once it comes through, and I'll open one of their 6% Savings accounts.

    I have taken a stock of my cupboards and freezer, I actually have more than I thought:

    ~ 250g Macoroni
    Whole Wheat Spaghetti
    ~500g Wholewheat Penne Pasta
    ~200g Penne Pasta
    ~200g Cous Cous
    1Kg Easy Cook Brown Rice
    ~300g Risotto Rice
    3 x Jars of Green Pesto (It was on 3 for 2)
    Hot Oat Cereal
    1Kg Plan Flour
    500g Self Raising Flour
    200g Wheat Bran
    Icing Sugar
    Dem. Sugar
    Golden Syrup
    2 Packs of Ryvita
    Balsamic Vinegar
    Olive Oil
    Sesame Oil
    Dried Porcine Musghrooms

    1 Whole Chicken
    2 x Chicken Breasts
    3 x Sausages
    1 left over portion of Chicken Fajita
    6 Tortilla Wraps
    2 x Lightly Dusted Haddock Filliets
    1 Plain Haddock Fillet
    1 Salmon Fillet
    2 x Fish Cakes
    2 x Sirloin Steaks
    1 Beef Mince

    It seems I'm not just a hoarder of toiletries!

    Well done on inviting the friend over, that will have saved a few quid.

    Looking at your food stores there is a lack of vegetables potatoes/fridge stuff. Assuming you have a basic stock of these I can see quite a lot of meals

    Steak and chips
    chicken fajitas
    fish, veg, parsley sauce (several times)
    toad in the hole
    pesto and pasta (3 times)
    carbonara of some sort
    macaroni cheese
    spaghetti Bolognese or lasagne
    Grilled chicken, saladcous cous
    fish pie
    mushroom risotto

    You also have things for breakfast and you don't mention what you do for lunch.

    I agree with getmore4less, you do not have a big food store and if you can break down categories it is easier to see what can be reduced.
    House purchased November 2013
    Original MF Date: January 2045 - £104,400
    Current MF Date: April 2030- £48,719. 75
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    46.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    Another tip with the SOA/Budget
    It can be very good idea to normalize(total) spends on an annual basis.

    This gives a clearer picture of what stuff costs relative to each other.

    On the eating out(and takeaways), if sometimes it is because you don't have something to cook, think about things that are quick and easy.

    We like to have a stock of fairly decent Piza in the freezer and a few extra topping around to pimp them.

    For a quick meal it quicker than ordering a takeaway.

    You seem to like pasta so a few ready sauces(home made just make more) in the freezer can make it really quick to knock up a meal.

    If eating out of the freezer, good idea to transfer the evening meal to the fridge in the morning especialy meats so they are ready to cook and don't need defrosting.
  • gallygirlgallygirl Forumite
    17.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
    Chicken breasts topped with pesto.
    Salmon topped with pesto.
    Pesto stirred through rice.
    Pesto added to boiling water with couscous.
    Pesto with all the pasta.
    Pasta, mushrooms and pesto.
    Tortilla wraps spread with pesto with anything added.
    Pesto added to more pesto.

    I like pesto :o.

    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    :) Mortgage Balance = £0 :)
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
  • minijluminijlu Forumite
    9 Posts

    Sorry about your back :( hopefully it starts to feel better soon but how exciting to have the opportunity to look over everything and have the time to make changes.

    What kind of plans do you have for your house?

    Food wise (where are the vegetables?);
    Haddock Risotto
    Mushroom Risotto
    Grilled Salmon with a pesto top and rice
    etc. Its quite a good basic list (I also love pesto)

    You talk about the Virgin media going up soon - is this because it's the end of the contract? If so I'd imagine you can negotiate a discount or get something cheaper elsewhere?
  • RundersRunders Forumite
    292 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Hi all,

    Sorry about the absence. I've been getting nosebleeds and headaches due to the weather and just didn't fancy looking at a computer screen. However, I am feeling much more clear headed now.

    Gallygirl I am with you on the pesto! I'll eat it on pretty much anything. Thanks for all the food ideas everyone :) Some ideas for me to go on and build a meal plan for next week, how exciting!

    Minijlu, Thanks for stopping by. As the veggies etc. at sea have to last so long (min of 4 weeks), I generally tend to buy fresh on the day I want them at home. Nothing worse than a 4 week old floury apple as the only fruit around. However, now I'm going to be on land a bit I figure I'd better break the buying on the day habit. I don't have to eat those floury apples for along time now!

    Lots to do on the house, it had bad woodworm which wasn't picked up on the survey. However the place has now been sprayed/fumigated. I've already replaced the boards in the back box room, I'm going to restore the floors in the 2 bedrooms, and I need to replace all the boards in the two downstairs rooms. I'm also replacing the old skirting as it's badly damaged in places and I'm taking out the fake picture rails which have no space for a hook. I say I, I'm paying my friend to do it. I can't wait for the floors to be done downstairs so I can finally have a sofa!!! I'm going to paint the finished box room next week, I've never ever painted before, so wish me luck!

    My virgin media goes up for the last 6 months of my contract, but I will deffo try to re-negotiate or cancel after the contract finishes. I'll probably get an areal installed and have freeview if I am honest.

    I don't have any extra money to put into my OP this week, I had a few purchases to make. I did shop around and make sure I got the cheapest deal though. I bought a small mouse sander for fixing up some old chairs and tables etc. So I spent a couple of days sanding away, and now I just need to prime and paint them. I'm going to use the paint tester pots that I bought and only used a small amount off when doing wall swatches, fingers crossed they turn out okay.

    I'm going to count my penny pot tomorrow and put that towards my OP. I put all my change that is less than 50P in it each evening.

    Hope you all had a good week!
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • PushkinPushkin Forumite
    795 Posts
    Hi Runders - interesting diary and very interesting life I think you have with the off shore work - probably sounds more glamorous than it is :cool:

    I think others are giving sound advice regarding cutting costs but I wanted to offer a suggestion from another angle. I buy whatever I can through a cash back website, have got cash back on theatre tickets, ferry tickets, hotel bookings, new hoover, car breakdown insurance cover etc. It's all stuff I would have bought anyway and its a bit of a faff doing the research as it doesn't alway make sense to use it. However since Sept I've had just over £100 back - just makes me feel a little better.

    I appreciate you want to reduce your spending but I think it's about control and planning and as you have said you still want to have a social life.
  • RundersRunders Forumite
    292 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Hi Pushkin,

    It definitely sounds more glamorous than it is, you are right! For the last two years I've been ticking off the slightly more dangerous African countries, so I'm quite happy to have my feet on the firm stuff for half a year.

    The cash back sites sounds like a great idea, I'll have to do a bit of research into that.

    Thanks :)
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • RundersRunders Forumite
    292 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Oh Lordy! My money saving went right out the window yesterday in a grand and swooping way.

    I had a 2 and a half year old mobile phone, it was doddery, slow and generally frustrated me. However, we have been to nearly all the continents together and it was my trusty companion whilst I was on a tiny island in Tanzania, acting as a torch and connection to the outside world. So I decided we'd muddle on together and I'd save the money of a new one. Fate had other ideas...I dropped it for what must have been about the 1000th time, and this time the screen smashed. So there goes money on a new phone, a whopping £350 on a new Samsung. I use my phone a lot, so wanted one that did all the stuff my old one did but at a more reliable speed.

    Unfortunately this is not the only beating my savings took. My neighbours on one side have affected me since I moved in, unfortunately they also happen to be the ones who my kitchen etc looks across to in the row of terraces. Long story short, but they didn't respect my privacy, he was commenting on things I was doing in my kitchen and then would shout at me through the kitchen window to get my attention, they wouldn't give me any peace if I was outside, so I installed a 6 foot fence along my garden. They weren't keen on this as he still wanted to be able to see into my garden and know what was going on etc. :mad: Anywho, as I've mentioned before he just leaves overflowing ashtrays in his garden next to the fence and the ash is affecting my newly laid patio, it also bloody stinks!!! I don't want an ash tray for a garden :cry: They also play their TV loudly all day, I hear it when I get up and it's still on when I go to bed. The ash tray and the noise combined are getting me down, so much so, that I have considered selling. I've spoken to them about the TV before, but it's just gotten gradually louder and louder again. So yesterday I'd had enough and went and bought a Bose MiniLink speaker at £170 quid, oh my it was bliss. I put radio 6 on, thanks to that little beauty I couldn't hear their TV over the top, just the soothing sounds of Jazz and Blues, Hurrah! So to celebrate I went and bought an £8 steak and a bottleof prosecco and had a decadent evening, I'm not ashamed to say that I drank the whole bottle myself..hic.

    I've been onto the council this morning exploring my options for the ash tray and noise. They can do something it seems, but I am going to talk to them again before I go down that route. Just a bit of respect for that fact as a non-smoker I don't want his ash all over my garden would be nice. His ash tray is right next to the bin, why he can't empty it every now and then I don't know!

    Sorry this turned into a rant, I think I just needed to write it down and vent. Won't happen again.

    And back to being good on the money front!
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • RundersRunders Forumite
    292 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Hello all,

    Hope you are all having a good Wednesday.

    I had a bit of a number crunching spurt late last night and worked out a new budget for whilst I'm in the office. If I can stick to it, then I'll make some nice savings and OP progress.

    I also totted up how much I have OP in total so far: £612.73
    I have decided to set myself a goal of a total OP of £2500 by the end of the year. I already make a monthly £150 OP, so from July onwards that will come to £900, leaving me an extra £987.27 to find.

    I counted out my penny pot last night and have £11 to put towards my OP at the start of July. I'll head to town and pay that into the bank later on, resiting the urge to stop for a coffee on the way will be my test for the day.

    Tonight I am going to make up some meal plans and get a few things on ebay. I've a list of jobs as long as my arms to do, so I am hopping to get 5 or more ticked off today. I am a Queen of procrastination though.....

    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
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