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Thursday, 23 January 2014

First thrifty post of the New Year!

I am back! Budget Momma is back with a vengeance, sooooo sorry to those of you who have been waiting for so so long for an update. My life is MANIC. Quick update on me, then I will share some new tips & hopefully some recipes if I get a chance.

As you read from previous posts, the Challenge started in October very soon become a necessity & £25 a week on groceries was actually a bit of a luxury, how dare we, a (poor) working family expect to spend £100 a month on food, & cleaning products? Well... we don't, not any more, soon after my last post I decided I would just spend as little as I possibly could on food, cleaning, & toiletries. This meant that I might go over my £25 a week one week, but then only spend £10 the next, week, you see where I am going here?

In November a lady on the Facebook group (link is to the side>>) discovered a local butchers who did AMAZING deals, & when I say amazing I really am not kidding, I got a freezer FULL of chicken & steak for £31 including delivery, we are now coming to the end of January & we still have most of it in the freezer, the portions are huge & one chicken breast is enough for all three of us, so we have managed to seriously stretch our money. I haven't bought any meat other then reduced lamb shanks & reduced mince since November 1 of each to be precise, plus we had some bits in the freezer left over. Meat is usually one of the biggest food costs for any household & had I have stuck to my original £25 per week challenge I would not have got such a great deal, so this really paid off for us £31 for effectively 3 months worth of meat. Our 8 sirloin steaks where an add on of £1, the other £30 was for a box full of chicken delights, cluck cluck. So my freezer is full, (STILL) which is great, what's also great is that I am forever forgetting to get the meat out the freezer so we are forced to have a vegi meal at least a few times a week (cheaper all around heeheehee). For the last couple months I have just needed to top up on staple foods, & toiletries. I will list them to make it a bit easier & the approximate price I have paid monthly, I don't have the receipts to back this up, but I have swapped my shopping to Lidl & more recently Approved foods (more on that later) so it's not very expensive. I will from this day forward stop binning my receipts for you all to view in my next blog posts, it's also cheap because it simply has to be!

  • Tins (beans, spaghetti, toms, kidney beans, butter beans)
  • Bread (bought weekly)
  • Butter
  • Pasta, Noodles, Spaghetti, Lentils
  • Loo Roll, Washing Powder, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel
  • Sack of Potato's
  • Fruit & Veg (frozen & fresh)
  • Cheese
  • Milk, Tea, Coffee, Squash
Approximate monthly cost £50, I am yet to buy anything other then bread, butter, Loo Roll, Milk & Cheese this month, we are running low on fruit & veg, so will be doing a top up shop on those soon, but I am really trying to hold out until Feb. 

Out of all the Above the most expensive item was the Sack of spuds bought the same day as the Meat was delivered, I still have about 6 left! A little tip, pop an apple in your sack, they will keep fresh for ages, the last week, I have been de-rooting little bits off a few spuds but that's no big deal to me these days, a few months ago, the rooted spuds would be going in the bin, not today though. 

I have so much to say I don't know where to go next!

The thrifty me, is on a mission to keep the bailiffs away, it's a scary scary thing not knowing where your next council tax money is going to come from, but somehow we are managing to stay afloat. So first off I will explain some of the new things I have learnt & done over the last few months.

  • I have discovered Approved Foods, which is a site that sells, close to or past best before dates, as well as end of line products, cleaning, animal, fresh & cupboard foods. If your funny about best before dates please do your research :) I am not at all iffy, & I rely on good old human nature to tell me if something isn't right to eat by using the senses I was born with. Best Before is exactly what it says on the label. Approved  Foods is also. 
  • I have bought a Thermos flask to reduce the amount of times I boil my kettle in the day, I drink copious amounts of coffee & tea, I could boil my kettle anything up to 30 times a day because I boil it, walk off, boil it again, walk off, make a brew drink it , & boil it again to make another brew almost instantly after I have finished the first. I like my drinks like Lava, & the Thermos 100% lives up to its name, since 6.30 tonight (or yesterday now) I have boiled my kettle once!
  • I have bought a Thermos Style cup to reduce the time it takes to cool down, as I said I like my brew HOT but my lifestyle doesn't always understand that need for a red hot cuppa, & I am forever microwaving tea & coffee. Not any more, not once since I got my special mug! 
  • That awful awful time of the month comes upon most of my readers, that one week where we turn from the fairy godmother, to an adult female Spawn of Satan, the one thing I really really HATE buying is sanitary wear, I could spend anything from £5 to £15 per month, & what's more the sanitary wear of my choice give me incredible, horrific headaches for an entire week as well as awful mood swings, feeling unclean, unkempt, & just a big un-organised sweaty mess. I did some research, new sanitary wear of choice is a mooncup, the initial price is more expensive, but it will pay itself back in two months, it has no chemicals, I have so far suffered no headaches, I am still moody, I feel clean, fresh & have very little cramping. I like it, it's not for everyone, but I will say hand on heart that its the cleanest type of sanitary wear I have every used in my 13 years of using them. 
  • I have bought but not yet tried all the ingredients to my own washing powder! This really really really really excites me, if it works & I do it correctly it has cost £2! More details on that in the coming days. 
I have so much more to tell you, including more tips, recipes & pictures but its 03.11 in the morning so I am afraid I will leave it at that for tonight.

p.s The Facebook group is doing amazingly well, all the members are loving it & we aren't to far off 11k now! My Business page is currently closed due to horrific postal errors over Christmas that I am still rectifying & catching up with. Like I said Manic lol. <3 x