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Dusty's Frugal Fortnights

edited 16 May 2018 at 11:28AM in Debt Free Diaries
667 replies 42.4K views
dustydiggerdustydigger Forumite
712 posts
edited 16 May 2018 at 11:28AM in Debt Free Diaries
I love MSE,so much wisdom and practical advice for someone seeking to improve not just finances but the quality of life. However it is surely a time eater,and being frugal with my time is certainly a high priority on my agenda! I spend way to much time online these days,and frequenting MSE has added another hour to the total!:D
So I thought it wiser for now to have a diary where I can post my thoughts and plans,rather than posting - however much fun it is - on lots of threads.
I will be 70 end of a,Mr Dusty is 78. We live on the guaranteed minimum income pension,and need to live frugally,because with 4 children,5 granddaughters,a great granddaughter with a great grandson due in March,plus various partners making a grand total of 14 people to buy for at Xmas and birthdays I definitely need to keep control of my finances.:eek: Plus of course saving for household needs,and all the normal expenses of running a home.
For years there was always at least one child in dire financial straits,but things thankfully have stabilized,they have jobs and are settled,and at last I can get my finances firmly under control.I have one more arg*s payment and then I am totally debt free :j
I have my bills on direct debit,and this month have set up several bank accounts for different purpose,and am starting this new year with eagerness for once (more later on various woes).Mr Dusty saves for himself,but he has family in Africa where life is extremely hard and he has constant drains on his finances.All the bills and running the house come out of my part of our income,and we arrange our affairs on a fortnightly basis. I hope keeping track of all my affairs in a mindful manner will lead to a feeling of financial security and stability - and its quite fun too challenging myself to live in a frugal way. A new fortnight starts tomorrow
I also hope to add posts about decluttering and organizing the home,about my Slimming World continuing challenges,recycling,and also about the Sealed Pot challenge,surveys,hobbies etc,and anything really that comes into my head!:rotfl:
Looking forward to improving many parts of my life! :)
SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220



  • fay66fay66 Forumite
    743 posts
    Part of the Furniture Photogenic
    Will be reading this , good luck
    Aiming to be debt free in 4 years, roughly £20k
    Had biatric surgery was 135k 2016 now 97kilo 22.1.20
    Travel plans New York 2021 New year
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    71.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Hope all goes to plan :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • edited 22 January 2018 at 12:05PM
    dustydiggerdustydigger Forumite
    712 posts
    edited 22 January 2018 at 12:05PM
    Dusty's Fortnight 22 Jan - 4 Feb
    This is a quiet fortnight really,only life and home insurance DDs,£40.
    Final Arg*s payment,will be officially debt free:j:j
    Asda home delivery today £59.07.
    Birthday Fund £20. Lots of birthdays coming up in a few weeks!
    I am starting off with a relaxed shopping/householdbudget,£160 for the fortnight.I see no point in being too strict or obsessive,that just leads to stress!:rotfl:
    This way there will be fun money for potting in the Sealed Pot etc.

    So money in ; £285 from Mr Dusty,2 weeks pension for me £69.Total - £354
    Bills and shopping fund - £298
    Excess £56 straight off to my nsandi account,for Xmas and emergency fund:T:T
    SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
    total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220

  • edited 23 January 2018 at 9:06PM
    dustydiggerdustydigger Forumite
    712 posts
    edited 23 January 2018 at 9:06PM
    Woo-hoo! Went to Slimming World this afternoon,lost 2 lb.Just missed out on my ''shiny''.I am 1/2 lb short of my 4 stone weight loss since March last year.:j:j:j.Joining the MSE Slimming World support group here has really helped me to continue in my endeavour to lose weight.
    I was diagnosed as diabetic last April,and begged the nurse to give me a year's grace to try to get my weight down enough to improve my health by diet and exercise only.I have no way of knowing how its all going since I have had no blood tests etc since then.All I can do is try to reduce my weight enough to mitigate any symptoms.I will have the dreaded HbA1C test probably in April,so I really want to get as near a 5 stone loss as I can.
    The sad thing was that when I had that test end of February last year I had well and truly enjoyed my usual Xmas binge (I usually put on about 8 lbs). Then sadly my sister passed away 2nd January,and I fell deeply into comfort eating,and put on another stone and a half in 2 months.It wasnt helped by being semi-housebound for 3 years after a stroke,a hysterectomy and 2 knee replacement ops - no exercise plus plenty of pain and depression didnt help.
    I had just started to pull myself together,and indeed had lost 6 lbs when I had the dreaded blood test,but it was too late,I had strayed over the prediabetic top level figure of 48,and into full diabetes level at 49,thereby putting myself into the clutches of the diabetic clinic for life!:mad::mad:
    I couldnt have afforded SW but my sons put the money up for 12 weeks Countdowns alternately,so it costs me nothing. Going to SW is a good motivator - knowing you have weigh-in within days helps keep you (mostly) on the straight and narrow!:D:D:D I put on 3 lbs Xmas week,but thats much less than I would normally gain:)
    SW system isnt cheap,but when you know that following healthy meals is saving you from dire consequences ie. deteriorating health from dangerous diseases, its definitely worth it in all sorts of ways.
    I'm off now to post on the MSE Slimming Through the Winter thread. We are doing a 2 month post Xmas challenge to lose 9 lbs by 4th March. This loss today makes it 5 lbs loss for me,so it looks doable!!:T:T:T
    SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
    total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220

  • lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
    566 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Just thought I'd drop in after you checked out my diary :)

    You are sounding very positive and motivated! My fingers will be crossed for you regarding the diabetes diagnosis (I love alliteration.. can you tell?!) You've made such headway I'm sure come April you will have positive news. My father recently started to worry about his health and about type 2 diabetes and he's got really interested in the idea of intermittent fasting and he's seen some good results with his weight.

    You sound very organised with your fortnightly incomings/ outgoings. I will subscribe and cheer you on :)
    Total Debt : ?? / ??
  • Hi there,lonely rat,thanks for visiting (and beanie lou and fay66 too,how rude of me not to reply!) I am trying to get my life organized as for the best part of 7 years I have been almost immobile,totally inactive mindlessly bingeing - and consequently depressed! I know I want to improve my life in all sorts of ways,but can never focus.
    I probably am metaphorically like those sad people on HOARDERS.When expected to dump their hoard they tend to pick up a paper here,then shuffle it over there and look around in a bewildered way not knowing where to start!I will do a little decluttering,then wonder what to do with my hoard of paperwork and genealogy notes,then worry about my diabetes and fiddle with my diet,worry about my inactivity and what exercise to undertake. I tend to obsess on one thing and then feel guilty about neglecting the rest.:rotfl:
    I intend to use this space to put down in black and white what needs to be done,as if I see it in black and white I will feel obliged to at least do a little bit.
    Naturally as soon as I started doing this things got in the way.Mornings are always busy with chores and cooking etc. Then Mr Dusty likes to relax and chat for an hour or so while watching news and documentaries. He then meanders off to what I call his den,where he has his telly,DVD player,radio etc,does his pools etc,and I have about 2-3 hours on my own where I come online or read.So this week of course I am busy every afternoon.Monday I had a long 1 hr bus journey each way to somewhere,Tuesday afternoon was taken up with Slimming World and my weekly stocking up of veggies,yesterday was the hairdresser for a perm,and today I need to go and do my fortnightly Aldi shop,totally run out of Mr Dusty's peanut butter (sheesh,major crime in his eyes!) and my yoghurt.Got lots of frozen berries,and no yoghurt to put them in! Catastrophe.I like to alternate between porridge and yoghurt with berries for breakfast (though since I do intermittent fasting,I dont have it in the morning,but more on that in another post):)
    10 am and am off to concentrate on lunch.I am casseroling beef for Mr Dusty,with carrots and broccoli,and his beloved roast potatoes. I will be having masses of cauliflower,mixed veg,sprouts,and Aunt Bessies carrot and swede mash (only 2 1/2 sins the whole pack ,saves a lot of working peeling and cooking swedes! Anyway,if I made my own I would use massive amounts of butter,so its better this way. :cool:
    SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
    total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220

  • I was so optimistic for the day in that last post,wasnt I? Day went downhill from there.:)
    I needed peanut butter for the spinach(Mr Dusty would die rather than eat that without it),and thought Mr Dusty would get a jar while out in the town till I could get to Ald!s.Nope,he decided that day of all days to stay home. Only recourse was buying it from corner shop or garage. Garage didnt sell it,so I had to pay a whopping £1.79 for a tiny 200g jar of Sun-Pat. I got a £2 in the change which had to go in the savings pot,so not having a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter ended up me outlaying £3.79:eek::eek::eek:
    All this because of the snow. I didnt get to Ald!s the Thursday before for my usual fortnightly stocking up of their peanut butter(only 99p a jar,everyone else £1.39 or more. I reckon I save more than £30 a year that way) and their fat free natural yoghurt which I prefer to most other brands and a few other items I like from there.
    But the annoyance didnt end there. On Tuesday Her*ns had no carrot and swede mash,the van hadnt delivered yet.So I called in there to get it,then walked the 200 yards to the Ald! store which is off from the main shops,already humping a large heavy bag of 4 packets of mash. I walk with a stick which limits the amount of stuff I can carry.
    Anyhoo for some reason Ald! mixes its smooth and crunchy peanut butter altogether. Most people prefer the smooth like me.It was nearly all crunchy!:mad::mad: Cue me lifting boxes off each other searching for blue lids.And did I say they were stacked on the top shelf?I was standing on tiptoes trying to shift heavy trays of 12 jars without braining myself if they fell. The result of it? A meagre 3 jars:( I then realized I hadnt got my jars of beetroot at Her*n,so back I trudge 200 yards to stock up on them.I tell you,4 710g jars of beetroot,4 500g pots of yoghurt,3 375g jars of PB and 6 large packs of frozen veg feels like a ton!The shopping bag was full,and so was the carrier I had to slip over the wrist of the hand using the stick.It keep banging against the stick making it judder and slip a I must have looked odd staggering along. Of course I missed the bus by a whisker,waited 20 minutes for the next,and had a 200 yard stagger home at the other end. Not a great day:(:(:(
    SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
    total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220

  • SuperMooseSuperMoose Forumite
    240 posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Hello :wave:

    Have you thought about getting a shopping trolley? Much easier than carrying bags of shopping :)


    Or one with 4 wheels. Sholley are expensive but really good.

    Aldi mixing up similar but not the exact same product really annoys me too :cool:
    Please put out food and water for the birds and hedgehogs :)
  • Hi Super Moose,the ridiculous thing is I do have one,and it comes in very handy. Unfortunately it was at the wrong time of day for getting it on the bus,after school with mothers with buggies always having the side seats,and there isnt anywhere to put it when the aisles are full of school kids,standing room only. I had meant to be out of the house earlier but was waiting all day for a delivery,and then needed to be back home expecting visitors at 5 o'clock,so had to go out in the 3.30 maelstrom!And of course as usual ended up buying more than intended :D:D Both my sons were working away,one up in Northumberland,the other down in Worcester(I am in the North East) and my daughter has a 30 mile commute home,arrives home shattered at 6.30. So the bus it had to be.Happily its not usually like that.
    Why on earth do they arrange the PB that way,s couple of times I have gone and not got the smooth at all then have to trek all around Asda for another brand costing 40p more:mad::mad::mad: Not customer service orientated at all,is it?
    SPC 2019 # 012 - House & Home Fund 2019 - £35 (+ c/f from 2018= £566) AF Mar-Nov 269 days+ Dec 19/24 Books read 2018:153 Prolific £5.20
    total savings 2018:£1992:jcard xmas savings 2018:£145:)£2 Savers 2018 - £220

  • lonelyratlonelyrat Forumite
    566 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Oh Dusty! Sounds like a bit of a disaster to be honest! Glad you made it home OK... Definitely time for the trolley next time I think. Just wallop other people out of the way with it ;) Just kidding!
    Total Debt : ?? / ??
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