Still trying to stay in the black

Starting a new thread for 2021. 

Long time reader and single mum to two little puddings. I started a diary towards the end of last year as I was constantly finding myself in my overdraft. Posting on here definitely makes me more accountable and I also like reading back to see what progress has been made.

Have been missing in action with the run up to Christmas and getting some decorating done in the house. Thankfully still in the black but just. So it’s going to be a thrifty and frugal year for our wee household. 

Here we go!!


  • Well this morning my lovely dad watched the kids while I did a quick message so I paid him back with a McDonald’s breakfast. I usually just order a drink and hoover up the kids leftovers so that helps keep the price down. £9.05 spent there and then £20.01 on petrol. 

    I am adamant we are going to keep our takeaway food and Tesco shops to a minimum. Other than this morning the only takeaway I have bought so far was a box of Tim donuts as a treat with my sister who was home for the holidays. My food shops this month have totalled £16.06 but we will need to get a few bits tomorrow. I have been using up what’s in the cupboards and freezer and this has been a whole lot easier to do as I tidied and cleaned all the kitchen cupboards and can now actually see what is in them!

     I unpacked about half a dozen boxes of stuff into the shelves of my newly decorated office which has made a bit of space in the loft. Have some serious clearing out and organising to be done up there! Lots of rubbish and stuff for charity shop but also lots of things that could be of use to us. I like a tidy house and tend to just buck all the clutter up there - must improve.

    Haven’t really planned out any specific financial goals for 2021 as yet, since every time I turn round there is a bill to pay! But as long as I stick to mindful spending I’m sure we’ll get the ship steadied a bit!
  • PinkHairbrush
    PinkHairbrush Posts: 77
    First Post
    edited 12 January 2021 at 5:53AM
    Didn’t get round to posting last night as got to bed early and feel all the better for it!

    So we went to Tesco and walked despite the bad weather so a bit of petrol saved there. I spent £12.23 on some fresh bits as well as a few absolute bargains in the clothes sale. Two of these bits will do DC1 this summer and the other will do a new baby present I needed to get. 

    Otherwise it was a very quiet day and we made all our meals from stores. 

    I realised my Tesco delivery saver plan was due to expire today so I was able to squeeze in one final delivery on it for later today. Spent the absolute minimum and all stuff that will keep. Hopefully this will last us the rest of the month with only a few fresh bits to get. Hoping to keep the food shop for the three of us to under £80 each month. This includes nappies, toiletries and cleaning stuff. Trying to use up everything in the cupboards and all left overs as I hate waste. 

    There’s supposed to be some sunshine this morning so hoping to get out for a walk this morning, as well as some housework and organising/sorting. 

    Here’s to a productive Tuesday!
  • Morning pink

    Sounds like you're off to a great start in 2021. I'm trying to watch the food shop, but it's hard with 2 teenagers and hubby all working at home. Good luck with staying out the OD.
    Finally Debt Free 24/4/2023 
  • Thanks Choccygirl - food budget is always a challenge!!
  • Got a good bit of clutter cleared away into their rightful places this morning. Mostly many loads of clean washing. Also cleaned the downstairs bathroom and started clearing out under the stairs. Will get this finished tomorrow. 

    Had a lovely walk - cold but at least dry and everyone wrapped up warm. Had to get another new baby present so called in to Tesco on the way past and got a lovely two pack of pyjamas for a fiver. Running low on trousers for myself and managed to pick up three pairs in the sale for £10 all together. Bargain! 

    Just waiting on food delivery. £37.70 spent and should last us the rest of the month. January’s food total stands at 61.99 and hoping this doesn’t go up too much more! But it is only the 11th! One major thing I am doing to keep the price of the food shop down is to avoid buying Diet Coke which I love. I would usually buy a cheap alternative but it still adds up. So summoning some will power. 

    Also managed to sort through some old colouring books/magazines/stickers of the children’s. Some stuff into the bin but lots recycled in to our current craft box. We like to reduce, reuse and recycle in this house. 

    I thought one of the kids needed some new long sleeved t shirts but after a good hoak through the cupboard I have unearthed a few I had forgotten about to do us. It literally pays to know what is in your cupboards!
  • The rain didn’t let up here all day so no walk but managed to finish clearing out the under stairs cupboard - hardly anything left in it now! Have boxed up some old baby things and put them on the freebie section on Gumtree. Would be good to re-home  these and clear some more space.

    My mum was clearing her freezer out and donated a big bag of stuff which we gratefully accepted! Will help with keeping spends down on the food front. 

    All meals were made at home and other than the internet direct debit going out of my account it was a no spend day - unheard of for me in recent years!

    Have parcelled up my presents that need to be sent so hopefully we will manage a walk to the post office in the next day or two, weather permitting. 

    Feeling good about my (lack of) spending so far this month. Long may it continue!
  • PinkHairbrush
    PinkHairbrush Posts: 77
    First Post
    edited 15 January 2021 at 8:10AM
    Yesterday morning I checked out when I can renegotiate my internet services and it’s not until the end of the year. But actually I think I am getting quite good value for my super fast broadband and iPhone6s with 12G of data as well as unlimited minutes and texts per month, all for £42 per month. 

    I took my car in for its service and we made sure to take our pack lunch to have while we waited. No work to be done thankfully and what was done was covered by my service plan, so no money needed to change hands. 

    I sewed up a pair of trousers that the seam had come loose on so should get a little longer out of these. Also cleaned the main bathroom and got my parcels posted and that was £7.72 - flip almost as much as the presents themselves, even second class. 

    Had to go in to work for a while to get a task signed off which is a bit out of the way so heavy on the petrol but needs must and it’s something else off the to-do list. 

    Hoping for a productive Friday. 
  • Didn’t get posting as have been at work all night. 

    Started yesterday with a top up shop of tissues and diluting juice. The kids also managed to wangle a kinder egg out of me but everything on offer and came in at 2.80. 

    Had to fill the tank which cost £40.01 and my direct debit came out for my contacts (£11.17). Other than that I spent 5.69 on a big bag full of food from the garage on my way to work. Surprised it wasn’t more, but again most stuff was on offer. Count this as take away food in the budget and it is utterly essential for me to get through a 13 hour night shift!

    So all in all a spendy day. Cleared out another box from the roof space. You would think I would be making a bit of clearance but not yet lol. I’m sure it is bound to happen sooner or later?!?!
  • PinkHairbrush
    PinkHairbrush Posts: 77
    First Post
    edited 17 January 2021 at 6:12PM
    Not a lot to report today as was post night shift. 

    Kept the house tidy, loaded the dishwasher and put on a clothes wash. Otherwise was a quiet day all round here. 

    Got a small amount of money in and was (another!) no spend day with all meals from stores. Great!
  • Yesterday was a little more spendy than I had planned. Put church collection aside and in the afternoon got a small top up shop from Tesco which came to 6.06. The clubcard prices helped keep this amount well down though. 

    I also got some clothes in their sale for yet another new baby present I need. A three pack of onesies, a two pack of trousers and a jumper - all for £11. I also picked up a t shirt for DC1 for the summer and a pair of trousers and a jumper for next winter. Again all for £11. 

    All of this slightly offset as I returned one of the three pairs of trousers I got last week, so that will be £4 back on to my card. 

    Yesterday I also sewed up one of the children’s pairs of pyjama bottoms and the elastic on their craft apron. 

    Never ceases to amaze me how much you spend on food. Spends sitting at £70 and I said I was going to keep it under £80 for the month. Still a full two weeks to go! Possibly still achievable - let’s start with (hopefully) a no spend day today!
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