Money, money, money.

I spend all my time at the moment it feels, thinking about money. Saving it, raising it, earning it, spending it. It’s partly because of this challenge, and partly just because money is tight, and we’ve got four children. I don’t have a pension, or college funds for the children, and if we have a rainy day I guess it will just rain.

So, two strategies under consideration. Looking at every penny currently spent and making sure it’s spent sensibly, and looking at every avenue for raising money too.

Lots of little cut backs still available, even though we’re pretty frugal already. I’m definitely going to try making our own yogurt, I figure uht milk and a vacuum flask will be a reasonable outlay there and is, as I understand it, all I really need. And the cloth nappies need to come back out, that’ll save another 6 or 7 pounds a week. I’m a bit nervous about how I’m going to get them dry, I might have to get the terry squares out as they are most likely to dry on the airer in the kitchen. In this weather tots would have to either be on the radiator or the tumble dryer.

I’m not sure if I can cut a lot more of our food bill without it adversely impacting health. I already shop at Lidl and Aldi with top ups from the coop. Wondering if getting back into baking our own bread would help.

Meal planning is definitely good.
Breakfasts are scrambled eggs for me and littlies, cereal for the other two.
Lunches are sandwiches or homemade soup. Broccoli and stilton, 4 portions for £2 and that was only because coop only had vintage stilton, nearly twice the price of the normal stuff. Lentil and onion comes in at about 60p for three portions.


Monday: roast chicken, roast potatoes, baked beans. £5 for 6 of us, plenty of chicken left for sandwiches for next few days.
Tuesday: homemade beefburgers, probably in bread buns, with leftover beans and miscellaneous veg. £3 for 6.
Wednesday: fish and chips, our luxury meal and my night off. Is £10.20 for our order.
Thursday: homemade pizza. Cost is around £3 depending on what toppings I put on.
Friday: toad in hole. About £4 I think, again depending on what veg I chuck in with it.
Saturday: spag bol out of freezer. Costs around £2.
Sunday: jacket potatoes. Cheese, ham assorted pickles. £3 maybe?

On top of this I buy bread, yogurt, fruit, biscuits, tea, coffee, etc but my weekly shop this week for 6 came in at £65 and there will be around £20 extra. I’m going to start keeping track of exact costs to see if there’s anything I could be doing better.

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. Have you read Elaine Collier at Mortgage Free In Three. She blogs about her projects to pay off her 126,000 mortgage in three years. It’s very interesting and she has a good system – she aims to find 100 ways to raise 1,260 pounds (this is extra to her regular monthly income). It’s fascinating.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted…Israel Election Day 2013My Profile

  2. Wow, really thrifty. If you could afford to buy one, I find a breadmaker is a great investment and the bread you make is cheaper and better by a mile than what you buy. Also , Lakeland sell yogurt mix and it is really quick, easy, free from nasties and economical to make. I have some economical ideas on my blog posts too.

    • We have a breadmaker but for some reason it was just making bricks, the loaves weren’t rising properly at all. Must get it sorted. Thanks for commenting, I’ll check out your blog.

      • I agree that a bread maker will save you a lot as a loaf costs about half that of a store bought one. Try it with a pre-mixed pack. If it still makes a brick bin it. I have a Panasonic which is fab, but friends swear by their Argos one.
        The other way to save is shopping at Aldi or Lidl. Our coop is very expensive for not such good quality.

      • We found that Tesco’s strong wholemeal flour was making ‘bricks’ too, if you get a quality flour (like Allinson) there is no problem, wonderful bread, has put me off Tesco flour.

    • Try freecycle for breadmakers, as it seems that quite a few people think they’re a fab idea and then lose interest. My tip for breadmakers, however, is to use it to knead the dough and then pop the dough in a bread tin and bake in the oven. This is because most breadmakers do ‘tall’ loaves and if you pop in a 600g flour mix to knead and then take it out into a decent sized bread tin and bake in the oven you get a longer loaf which is more practical for a larger family (unless you have a *posh* bread machine like the one Kris had – and probably still has).

      You could do away with buying yeast if you maintained a sourdough starter.

      Yoghurt is reasonably easy enough to make and if you want some kefir I could send you some, somehow.

      Slowcookers/crockpots are great for cooking cheap cuts of meat. I will do a whole chicken in one and then it feeds us for a couple of more days – especially if I put the carcass back in the slow cooker to make stock (making your own stock is a good idea for a good healthy base for stocks and stews).
      NinnyNoodleNoo recently posted…A belated recap of 2012My Profile

  3. Wish I was a frugal blogger with some top tips but alas I am not. I hope you find some way to make money a bit easier.
    Mrs Teepot recently posted…Movie Monday: Apartment TourMy Profile

  4. The journalist Lucy Tobin has been in the media promoting her new book called ‘Ausperity’ (clever) and while I haven’t read it, it does sound good. Might be worth a look for more ideas. I’m sure your topic rings familiar with many readers, hun, and . Also, a cookbook I’m fond of because it really extends the idea of meal planning to the max called The Kitchen Revolution by Sykes, Russell and Heron. And my slow cooker does great things to simple, cheap ingredients. Is there the seed of a regular thrifty linky here?

  5. If you email me jax with your afdress I will send you a copy of my latest eboook 100 easy ways to eb a thrifty family My current comp is to win a £150 tesco voucher that would help!

  6. We did the Asda Tesco compare on last week’s bill and it was 25% cheaper in Asda and that was just on the lines they could compare! I only buy basics so it is fruit, veg milk eggs all the raw ingredients not the luxuries so watching where you shop does really make a difference.
    Coombemill recently posted…Mums on TourMy Profile

  7. Personally I’d ditch the luxury chip night. Asda smartprice oven chips 93p and 4 battered fish fillets 85p. Saves you nearly £500 a year. If you must chippie, do it once a month? (and if you want a night off from the kitchen – and who doesn’t? – get DP or one of the kids to put the oven on!!)
    And if you can get the breadmaker working it will save you loads. Personally I decided making yogurt wasn’t worth the faff, since we can get 500g in Asda (smartprice, again) for 65p.
    I think most savings aren’t to be made on food, though (unless you have been completely extravagant before). Check insurances, utilities, etc – shop around!

  8. Thanks for joining in!
    Mrs M recently posted…When customer services goes GOOD!My Profile

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