Curbing the ridiculous

in Debt Free Diaries
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  • TheAbleTheAble Forumite
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    A friend has just asked me to go for a drink friday night.  Don't really want to as it is ££ but not seen her in ages.

    then 2 x packs of WW bars at £2.25 each.  Now, you could argue that the WW bars are non-essential but I'd disagree as I am trying to cut down and those will stop me eating other rubbish (and stop me buying chocolate from the vending machine at work which is 80p a bar!).

    Just bear in mind it's easy to find an excuse for everything... Go back to your first post - you want to curb this sort of stuff right? So you just going to need a bit of self-discipline and learn to say no.


    Sealed pot challenge 074
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    @TheAble you are, of course, right. On the WW bars I hold firm however - because I still need to eat.  And if it wasn't those, it would be alternative food like fruit which is more expensive (or bad snacks) - and I tend to have one mid-morning at work to stave off hunger (which I do need as I work long days).  I agree with you on the going for a drink however.

    So, I've been thinking about the whole gas prices rising thing.  We have gas in the horrid flat which I hate as its so expensive, even before the rises.  So I've been thinking of ways we can avoid putting the heating on too much when the time comes (I mean we will have to have it on sometimes as we have two very young DC so they need warmth).  Am thinking:

    * hot water bottles (for us, not the kids as too dangerous but can put ours in their beds to warm the beds up before we put them to bed);
    * electric blanket (again, kids can't have due to risk with bed wetting.  Also, they are quite expensive so I will see if can get one on a local fb group/charity shop);
    * using electric heaters instead - we have 3 or so of these already so could have one in lounge, DC1 room and our room (DC2 in cotbed in our room) but not sure if that saves anything??
    *we have plenty of blankets for sitting on the sofa - this will be fine for DC1 who will sit with us but not so much DC2 who is crawling around a lot;
    *slippers for DC1 (I have some M&S vouchers from my credit card points so can buy with those if necessary).  I may also need to look at his cotbed duvet to see if he needs a thicker one for the winter - DC2 should be fine as he has all DC1's old gro-bags which are toasty warm and can layer him up with various sleepsuits.

    Any other ideas??  One fortunate thing about this flat is that we are the middle one and it is old ladies upstairs and downstairs who are BOUND to have their heating on lots in winter which should help to heat our flat (the lady downstairs is the owner and is loaded so this is not a case where they will be having to choose between heating or eating in the winter).  I think it is scary for a lot of people though.

    It is definitely another reason to economise.

    Later today (I don't work thursdays), I am going to go through DC1's 3-4 clothes to see what he has (he was bought quite a lot for his birthday and also given a fair few hand me downs from friends) and what he needs to get him through the next six months.  Have £65 in M&S vouchers which can help but will check local charity shop first.  He already has a lovely winter coat I bought in the sales at 50% off earlier this year so that will get him through winter (and will be used by DC2 when he hits 3).  So I am hopeful it won't be too much.  He definitely doesn't need pyjamas as my parents bought him several pairs for his birthday!

  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    To be honest I think you'll find electric heating far more expensive than gas even with the price rises.

    I'd definitely be using your hot water bottles in the children's beds to warm them before putting them to bed.  Blankets on the sofa during the evening are also a good idea.

  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Went through DC1's clothes and all he needs for the moment is a couple pairs of jeans, couple pairs other trousers/joggers, a few jumpers and poss some more socks (he has 7 pairs but think he will need more).  So will have a look in charity shop Sat morning and then with vouchers if can't get what I need.  So that's not bad actually.

    Didn't order nappies in the end as we have enough for another week so will do next week.  We do need wipes so I will get those on my lunch break tomorrow.  I did order some a while back from amazon but they haven't yet arrived, so will just get enough to tide us over.

    Spent £5.76 today - 2 x milk, 1 x pack ham for DC1's lunches and 1 x pack raspberries.  All essential.  DC1 will not eat frozen raspberries and I like to make sure they get fruit in their diet.  Lunch was from stores for all of us, including DH who WFH this morning.  Dinner will also be from stores.  Will also make DC1 a pasta salad from stores (using ham just bought also shredded up) to take to nursery for his lunch tomorrow.

    Did a reckie of the freezer in preparation for shopping list this week.  Don't need so much for DH and I, but are running low on supplies for the DC
  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
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    To keep DC2 warm whilst crawling put tights on him under his trousers. I used navy blue tights for my son when he was small and we didn't have a UPVC front door. It also meant that the little pest couldn't take his socks off and throw them away while he was out in the pram. 
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Good tip @CRANKY40!

    Yesterday was not a NSD.  We needed things (all were essential) - sanitary towels (£2.85), soap (2 for £1.35 - sure I can find cheaper but that was boots and couldn't actually see cheaper), painkillers for my period (£2.79), babywipes as the ordered ones not coming until Tuesday (£0.62 x 2), and also got 2 big bottles of handwash for £1 - was pleased with this purchase as normally buy the boots 500ml one at £1 a bottle but spotted a different brand at £0.50 a bottle.

    Then there was the epic fail.  My friend had asked me to go for a drink for my birthday.  Wasn't going to go as money but honestly hadn't seen her in ages and also my friend who is away all week at the moment as his mum is dying was back and probs not seen him for 2 months or so.  So met them and also her husband who is also a friend of mine for drinks, which turned into dinner, which turned into a bill of £75 each (to be fair, they put a £33 tip for the staff).  So, to offset this, I am not going to go to a 40th next Sat.  It's not a close friend, and so I don't fee bad not going and it would have been rounds, food on way home etc had I gone there, though doubt it would have been £75.  I reckon it would have been about £40.  So in real terms, I reckon I'm down about £35

    DH has decided he wants to cook tomorrow so is adding things to the shopping list.  Hoping that this will not increase the bill by too much.  We are trying to cook properly on the weekends, so our food bill in respect of the week is cheap, and then we have nicer stuff on the weekends - usually in lieu of eating out (though not last night obvs).  We, at least, have nothing in the social diary until we go away on holiday, bar a kids party we will need to buy a small present for, but will not need to spend there.
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Ah, I forgot!  I also sold one of my books for £2 and have another being sold on Monday for another £2.  Paid the £2 and the shrapnel in my purse in at the bank - £5.32 (along with the cheque from parents) and hoofed it over to savings.  Plan on selling majority of my books this way now but need to find them first!

    Did the "big shop" which came to £62.17.  All essential (and we needed things like olive oil, dishwasher tabs, bleach as they had all run out) - bought 2 x perinaise when we only needed 1 but we use it every weekday with our veggie food and the big bottles were on offer so was better to buy now when will definitely use.

    Still need to get a few things from another shop as better quality/stuff the first shop didn't have, but should be only around another £10 (all essential)
  • BlackcatsBlackcats Forumite
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    Hi Rebecca - hope the children are feeling better and I hope you've enjoyed your usual weekend lie in 😂.  People such as your boss without kids have no idea do they?

    I reckon you might benefit from setting up some spending pots so you can spend some money without feeling guilty of justifying it.  I have a £100 a month personal spends budget that I enjoy using - this month I bought a posh bottle of champagne for a much delayed family gathering, some socks (not needed but pretty), a self care book, a notebook and some pens.  Eclectic but guilt free.  
    I've got an entertainment/eating out pot too.  I wonder if you could also have a pot for treats when you are at work - maybe a Monday morning coffee and croissant to look forward to at the start of the week? 


  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    @Blackcats - thank you - yes, I had my usual "lie in" until 0530 - ha ha!  That is not a bad idea actually.  I might look into that.

    Had thought Sunday was a NSD but then remembered we took DC1 swimming so that was £5.50.  Rest of Sunday was ok though.

    Yesterday I sold another book for £2.  Wasn't a NSD yesterday either.  Needed cotton pads to remove eye make up.  They were buy one get one half price though so got those.  Also needed a prescription.  And bought vitamins for DC1 which were on 3 for 2.  So all that was essential.  DH bought milk (but apparently also crisps(!)) and I got yoghurt for the DC on way home so that was £3.

    Day off today and we do need more milk and bread.  Going to take the DC to a free soft play at a garden centre and will take snacks for them so as not to buy any of the cakes/drinks there (the coffee there is awful anyway).  Then lunch and dinner from stores.  
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Took DC to free soft play which was, quite frankly, a disaster.  Tears, poos, moaning and whinging (and that was just me - ha ha).  Managed to buy DC1 a "tonie" toy at £14.99.  Totally non-essential and I am sure this is an excuse but they are educational and do help him to stay in his room and fall asleep.  It was cheaper than buying on internet so I went for it.  He won't get any more now until xmas but that will be highlighted when I tot up my non-essential spends at the end of the month.

    I also forward bought him an advent calendar but one with little julia donaldson books each day - again, because it's educational.  Saw it at garden centre for £14.99 but checked the price online and was £8.32 online on offer - so ordered that.  This is in place of a chocolate one (which, after I'd ordered it my mother randomly messaged to say she'd bought both DC chocolate advents!) - again, probably non-essential but will bring joy each day of december and is educational.

    DH put petrol in the car tuesday (he was nipping to his mums and it's cheaper her way) so that was £37.60 but we now have a full tank which should hopefully last a couple of weeks.  Then we needed bread, milk, potato waffles, yoo moo etc and he went a little off the rails and spent £31.33.  The only non-essentials though were a chocolate orange(!) at £2 and, if I was being critical, he bought bread at £2.29 for a loaf rather than the cheap stuff.  He did get 2 x massive boxes (18 per box) of potato waffles at £2.85 each - in the week we have 5 a night between us so will last a while as we already had a box of 18 in freezer (which he didn't know) and he got milk so we are probs good for milk until Sat/Sun.  He also bought alphabites and smilies at £2 a bag for the DC.  We probably didn't need these but we've been trying to get DC1 to eat potatoes in any form for ages and he will only eat chips when we go out.  He actually ate them and DC2 liked them so is good for mid-week quick fixes.  He bought chocolate chips so I could make biscuits with DC1 and 2 x kg packs of yoghurt for them (they go through SO much and it is about 50p a kg cheaper in this particular supermarket!).  Also 3l of veg oil.

    Yesterday I took lunch to work and DH came home for lunch so all from stores - I took one of the biscuits and managed to avoid the dreaded work vending machine and didn't go out at lunch so as to avoid the shops.  DH then informed me we had run out of both salted and unsalted butter so I got that on way home plus some strawberries for DC as I like them to have fresh fruit most days if possible.  Lurpack was on offer at £3.40 a tub and strawbs were £2.50.  

    Today is a non-working day for me - we are viewing a house at 2 but I don't think it will be for us.  Would normally pick DH up but will need to take 2 cars today as I am going to a friend's first.  She has a big bag of clothes for DC1 as hand me downs from her DS so that will save us overall.  After viewing I am meeting some friends at the free soft play.  Won't buy coffee/cake as their coffee is awful and will take snacks/water for DC.

    So overall so far, it's not been such a bad week.  We have spent a bit but some of it is forward bought food etc.  I can definitely see where we can cut down though.

    Also got a refund on something at £15.76 and my birthday present from the DC hadn't arrived even though DH had ordered it a month ago so he got a refund of £15.99.  It finally arrived yesterday but supplier has said just keep it and refund.  I also have a bunch of bras I bought (£96) last month which I need to try on and take back what doesn't fit (which might be all, but I reckon at least £50 worth).  As they went on the credit card, we've already paid for them so any refund will mean a reduction in what we have to pay off this month so that's also good.
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