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  • FIRST POST
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 10th Dec 17, 8:23 PM
    • 137Posts
    • 1,724Thanks
    Katieowl
    No Magic Money Tree....
    • #1
    • 10th Dec 17, 8:23 PM
    No Magic Money Tree.... 10th Dec 17 at 8:23 PM
    ...is my new Mantra!

    Following the price hike in Lloyds bank charges, I am being super uber careful not to go into my OD if humanly possible. We are making lots of jokes about taking one for the team, but what do you do if you need to cut back hard and you are already the most frugal person you know :/ ?

    I've started an Excell spreadsheet, and I'm logging all my shopping in various categories, so far the only pattern that's emerged is that the dogs eat more than we do
Page 6
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 29th Dec 17, 6:22 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Well I sort of do that anyway, I've made a cake and four doz mince pies today! I don't tend to sell from the freezer (apart from my GF bread) I've been collaring my regulars and asking if there's anything they want me to bring the following week. Don't think many of the regulars are on FB TBH. We all kind of rely on the overall marketing for the market.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 29th Dec 17, 6:56 PM
    • 15,859 Posts
    • 43,891 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I'd favour going for a "couple more meal things" - something that would just have to have some sort of veggies put alongside it and...bingo....there's your main course for a dinner meal.

    Say portions suitable for 2 and then it would do for a couple on the one hand or a single person to have two days running on the other hand.
    *******************
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 29th Dec 17, 7:30 PM
    • 14,911 Posts
    • 142,640 Thanks
    mardatha
    Katie - what about meals for the ill or housebound? I'd love that here but there is nothing.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Dec 17, 7:45 PM
    • 12,637 Posts
    • 220,331 Thanks
    greenbee
    Sounds like you need to a. have some 'order forms' on the stall so people can write their names and requests down for you and b. do a survey/wish list/suggestion box to see what other things people would like.

    I used to sell frozen meals to my work colleagues in one of my early jobs as an attempt to supplement my income. I'd take orders before the weekend and then arrange a weekday to bring them in when they'd bring their cold boxes etc. I think some of them were living off what I made... others were just using them for when they had people over and wanted a big casserole or something easy. Mind you, most of them didn't cook...

    GF, veggie/vegan etc. means you're a prime source of food not only for regulars who eat that way but for people who have guests who eat this way and aren't sure how to cook for them. Do your labels include the information that the food hasn't previously been frozen and can/can't be and how to defrost/cook?

    What about preserves that you can make at quiet times/from gluts to sell later? (You've probably thought of this already).

    Mar's idea is great, as long as you have a way of delivering (and frozen might be the answer for that - weekly delivery on a specific day different to market day) and you'd have to charge a delivery fee and/or work with someone else who is also delivering locally.
    • culpepper
    • By culpepper 29th Dec 17, 8:06 PM
    • 3,912 Posts
    • 7,284 Thanks
    culpepper
    On hols in Cumbria this year, we saw a stall with tray bakes and it was all written out for allergy sufferers so I could see at once which cakes we could buy that I could eat (dairy intolerant), which had nuts, which had gluten. If we had lived there, we would have been back every weekend.
    None of the other stalls was as informative and many of the cafes aren't either.
    Some cafes don't even know whats in their offerings or whether the cakes they have made are made with dairy free 'marg' for example.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 29th Dec 17, 8:34 PM
    • 15,859 Posts
    • 43,891 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    GF, veggie/vegan etc. means you're a prime source of food not only for regulars who eat that way but for people who have guests who eat this way and aren't sure how to cook for them. Do your labels include the information that the food hasn't previously been frozen and can/can't be and how to defrost/cook?
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Seconded on this thought - those who are struggling to find ready-prepared (but healthy and in accordance with their tastes) food in any restaurants/cafes in your area would be glad of a "meal out" when they couldnt find anywhere to have a suitable "meal out" that's actually out iyswim. So - something genuinely home-cooked and healthy and a bit "special" that they could just add some salad or something to. A sort of equivalent of Marks & Sparks "meal for 2 for 10" sort of set-up and all people had to do was have their own bottle of wine in their home. Mind you - if you were able to supply wine that was organic and/or vegan = bonus time.

    Also it's surprising just how many people (and even owners of catering establishments) actually think it's acceptable to give a vegetarian, say, a roast dinner minus the meat element in this day and age. I'd read about that happening to some - but thought that attitude was in the history books by now - apparently it isnt. There are still people out there that will say "Wasnt it good of such and such eating out place to do a 'roast minus meat' and make vegetarian gravy to go with it specially for the vegetarian". Oh really?
    *******************
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 29th Dec 17, 10:39 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Katie - what about meals for the ill or housebound? I'd love that here but there is nothing.
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Mmmm funnily enough I have pondered that one! Need to make some enquiries!
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 29th Dec 17, 10:42 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Seconded on this thought - those who are struggling to find ready-prepared (but healthy and in accordance with their tastes) food in any restaurants/cafes in your area would be glad of a "meal out" when they couldnt find anywhere to have a suitable "meal out" that's actually out iyswim. So - something genuinely home-cooked and healthy and a bit "special" that they could just add some salad or something to. A sort of equivalent of Marks & Sparks "meal for 2 for 10" sort of set-up and all people had to do was have their own bottle of wine in their home. Mind you - if you were able to supply wine that was organic and/or vegan = bonus time.

    Also it's surprising just how many people (and even owners of catering establishments) actually think it's acceptable to give a vegetarian, say, a roast dinner minus the meat element in this day and age. I'd read about that happening to some - but thought that attitude was in the history books by now - apparently it isnt. There are still people out there that will say "Wasnt it good of such and such eating out place to do a 'roast minus meat' and make vegetarian gravy to go with it specially for the vegetarian". Oh really?
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Even more shocking how many serving staff just blink at you like you asked for a side of woodlice if you ask what the GF options are!
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 29th Dec 17, 10:44 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I really appreciate all your input here by the way! I've got next week off, so hoping to have a good think and dredge through the cookbooks for idea. Will go armed with a few new signs I think.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 5th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I submitted my monthly online meter reading a few days ago.....and I've just had someone out to read the meter I said they would if it went down didn't I?
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 5th Jan 18, 3:47 PM
    • 14,911 Posts
    • 142,640 Thanks
    mardatha
    It's nice to give them a shock isnt it lol
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 8th Jan 18, 1:57 PM
    • 12,637 Posts
    • 220,331 Thanks
    greenbee
    Great news

    Keep that Rayburn earning it's keep!
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 9th Jan 18, 8:57 AM
    • 19,360 Posts
    • 87,163 Thanks
    pipkin71
    I buy meat from the local butcher for my dog - I can get a carrier bag full of lamb's hearts and ox liver and various meat scraps for 5. I chop all this up in batches in my food processor and mix it with cooked rice and beaten eggs (including the crushed egg shells) then bake it all as a number of meat loaves. I then slice these into thick chunks and freeze them - it makes enough to last a month and works out cheaper that tinned wet food. The dog loves it, and the happy side effect is that it has cured his windy bottom !!!

    It's a bit of a faff to do, but I only have to do it once a month so it's not so bad.
    Originally posted by C J
    I will give this a try, after our next visit to the butchers. Meat for the dogs is an expense and although I don't intend changing their meat based diet, adding something else that might work out a bit cheaper, is worth considering
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 9th Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I will give this a try, after our next visit to the butchers. Meat for the dogs is an expense and although I don't intend changing their meat based diet, adding something else that might work out a bit cheaper, is worth considering
    Originally posted by pipkin71
    I haven't had chance t get to the butcher yet but mine are loving having the meat stretched with rice and veg. I've been pouring hm broth over the rice and most of the veg are the cheapest frozen mixed veg. They think it's real treat and that they are getting human food! Also, neither of them have lost or gained weight in the last month!
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 13th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Well, nearly half way through Jan and I thought I'd update. The spendy spread sheet is a marvel. Made two purchases so far this month, both Rayburn related....a four bar radiator drying rack, which fits on the chrome rail perfectly, meaning I can dry a few things while I'm pottering about in the kitchen, rather than dragging the drier in (3.00 Wilco) and a replacement thermometer for the oven, because I broke the other one (3.90 Ebay)

    I've had a couple of good hauls at the cash & carry earlier in the month which have really pushed the food bill down. I also discovered that one of them sells almond milk, nearly 50p a carton cheaper than Mr T (can't bear the Aldi one) so bought a case of that. I still can't work out the difference between the ambient one and the chilled one as the dates on them are similar. Project for tomorrow - compare cartons in my hand - it doesnt matter because its so cold where I am storing it, it can pass for fridge.

    December's spendy spreadsheet threw up that I was spending a few more pennies than I needed to on GF stuff for me, I'm not supposed to be eating it anyway, so that is well down this month as I am getting back on my low carb diet.

    I've done audits of all the stores in the house, just the last freezer to go, and we have tons of food in the house!!! I should easily get through Feb without buying much more than bread/flour for the guys, and milk and fresh veg.

    I have a pile of rice and grains to use for the dogs and also found a couple of things deep in the permafrost of the freezer they will enjoy (a salmon head and tail ) I'll need to get Raw food for Bizzy in about a week, but we've also had LOADS of eggs from the chickens, so they've had a couple of eggy breakfasts which were very popular.

    This week we both submitted our tax returns, and I've just phoned my actual figures through to tax credits. It's very discouraging when the bloke on the phone says HOW MUCH??? and you feel like saying to him, mate it nearly blooming killed me, I'm doing my best!!!

    Anyway...onwards and upwards. I'm still not in the overdraft and Xmas is behind me, we're all still fed, bills are paid and there's food in the house, so that's something. Better than a lot of folks that's for sure.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 1st Feb 18, 5:09 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    Well its the 1st Feb so time to start a new spendy breakdown.

    Just printed off the one for Jan so I can compare side by side with December, Jan has improved headings....

    Non food spends for the month were: A drying rack in Wilco and two washing up brushes, a replacement oven thermometer from Ebay, Loo rolls from Bookers, 3 bags of coal from CCF (although N has also bought coal) delivery charges for online shops, batteries and ibruprofen 44.79 Total - a very LITTLE over December, but all absolute essentials.

    I've only used the tumble drier a few times, very recently to deal with a load of dog related stuff that needed dried quickly. The rack has paid for itself many times I'm sure and I will be interested to compare this months electric with last!!! I'm loving the Rayburn oven very much now, it does so lovely tender moist chicken, and we do eat a lot of chicken!

    Shaved over a tenner off 'my' food stuffs, bought no GF bready types stuff am feeling better as a result. Now I'm 100% certain the almond milk in the chiller in bookers is actually the ambient one they just happen to have put in the chiller, I can buy more next time.

    Also slashed the masters snacks over a tenner over the month LOL they aren't too deprived though because I've had a few good reduced finds in the bakery section.

    So the food spend for the month was 189.84 - I had loads of meat in the Freezer though. We've continued to not waste a scrap of food, even if we've had some rather mix and match dinners.

    Dogs however are very expensive

    Still not in the overdraft and we've no council tax this month or next. Just as well as work has been very quiet!
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 1st Feb 18, 6:30 PM
    • 14,911 Posts
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    mardatha
    Well done Katie Owl!!
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 3rd Feb 18, 10:03 AM
    • 3,393 Posts
    • 20,734 Thanks
    purpleivy
    DOn't worry about your income looking low if it genuinely is low. It doesn't matter that you aren't paying tax if you don't earn it!

    I have a home based business doing garment alterations. I never used to claim a portion of the house/phone use for my business, as I didn't have that much income. I then realised if I didn't start to add stuff in,
    it would look strange to the authorities. A few years ago I got a dedicated mobile,
    A couple of years I added on use of a room. Now I'm approaching paying tax,
    it keeps me out of it. If it's an allowable expense it goes on the tax return!

    I'm not earning enough to pay tax so no, because it will only make my earnings look worse :/

    I only put things in drier that will all be done at once, forever telling OH not to stuff towels in too. I strung a small line in the 'laundry' read lean to shed round the back that houses washer and drier, and I throw some stuff up there to dry off a bit, or hang DS's hoodies before airing them indoors. There's no heat in there, but it's dryish, and because it has a poly carb roof its sweltering in there in the summer, that's been a boon this year, dodging the showers. I have felt drier balls too. I do think they help.

    It's going to be the electric that has to move downwards isn't it? I can't see any other savings to be made really.
    Originally posted by Katieowl
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 3rd Feb 18, 10:11 AM
    • 359 Posts
    • 3,240 Thanks
    mummyjane
    Katieowl, we raw feed our two dogs and find it cheaper than processed. I spend approx 25 a month and that feeds two spaniels well. Lots of garden centres/farm shops sell raw now and so maybe shop around. What are you feeding her? Could they both go on raw if its cheaper? x
    Groceries Challenge 2018
    Jan 202.95/400, 8 NSDs
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 3rd Feb 18, 9:43 PM
    • 137 Posts
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    Katieowl
    I can't do raw with bones and stuff, I'm using the little frozen cubes which I know is not the cheapest method, but it's the only way for this particular dog as she couldn't deal with lumps of bone. Also with a food business I'm very wary. This just goes straight in the bowl and is eaten! I spent the same on the dogs food as I did on ours this month
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