Miserly March? Make plans here...

(427 Posts)
Ohhelpohnoitsa Sat 16-Feb-13 20:37:59

I always find the credit crunch threads too late in the month so I starting this now. I get paid Monday 28thFeb and March is a looong month with a few expensive birthdays etc. I want as many nsd as possible and economising tips galore. I noticed Tesco have got 24 Andrex for £8 so that is a start. I also used click and collect today for the first time so saved £6 delivery. Help me prepare - preparation is the key to success.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 28-Mar-13 20:48:20

I am hopping over to April but will be back!

Leilandri Thu 28-Mar-13 20:45:18

Have started an Austere April thread smile

takeaway2 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:53:57

Thanks people! Will go check them out. Did my big shop for the week. £80. Gulp. But it included a big chicken. And things like olives. And a takeaway ... Doh! Friend is staying for Easter weekend and I'll need to feed her. grin

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 28-Mar-13 19:51:09

AdoraBell, Thanks, I think I might do that with the bag. We have an old fashioned cobbler near here, I bet he could have a go - nothing ventured etc. I also am like you in that I haven't recorded nsds. I think I have had a few but I need to record to be sure.,
Takeaway, I tried a free app called easy money which is good BUT I now keep getting messages saying my free trial is almost up - cheek! People on mn. seem to rate ireconcile.

timetopost Thu 28-Mar-13 15:54:27

I use iReconcile on my iPad, I love it I've kept track of everything I've spent over the last year, it's an eye opener, but I feel so much more in control. It lets you set a monthly budget for different categories of spend, so you can easily see how you're doing against your budget.

AdoraBell Thu 28-Mar-13 12:28:32

I have iReconcile on my iPhone, but I haven't really used it so I can't say if it does what you're looking for.

AdoraBell Thu 28-Mar-13 12:24:06

Ohhelp if I had a bag I liked that much I'd replace the zip, I think shoe repairers might be able to help you with that, unless you've had enough of said bag.

Filled up with petrol yesterday, school runs these last two weeks mean a tank is only lasting a week. £70 on fuel and £2 on a coffee. I have to go out today and tomorrow, so the petrol won't last, although the longer journey is more fuel efficient. Can't remember how many NSDs I've had this month, and CBA going back through my posts on here either. From April I'm going to keep a running total on my phone.

northender Wed 27-Mar-13 22:01:05

takeaway I use Expense manager which is an android app but I imagine they must do an iPhone version. It's free and I really like it. You can use as much or as little as you like of it, so I record all my day to day spends but regular outgoings are on a spreadsheet. You can categorise spending which I find really depressing helpful grin

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 27-Mar-13 21:30:36

I will have to do zome spending soon. Like Biddypop I need a need a bag; the zip has gone on mine so purse etc on show. I've had it two years though, maybe three and it was a bloody good bag - from the factory in China that makes up a lot of the designer brands. Fab quality, about £100 but used Mulberry leather and really lovely lining and furnishings - the zip was dh's fault - he styufed it full on the plane one time. Also need new work shoes, new skirt. Got to do some selling and / or a car boot sale.

takeaway2 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:54:06

Hello! Have gone AWOL for a few days as was in Europe for work. There, most things I spent on will be claimed back from co but I did spend £8 or so on chocolates.

Today was supposed to be an NSD but ended up at KFC and spent £16 as it was parents evening and rather late by the time we'd get home. Plus the DS did really well in his report!

Payday tomorrow! Haven't seen the credit card bills yet (not arrived) but am hopefully it's not a bad one.

Does anyone who uses iPhone have any recommendations for a money/expense tracker? Where you can put in everything you spend?

northender Wed 27-Mar-13 20:50:59

Our March has been disastrous from a spending pov. But, that said, it has all been unavoidable stuff and in between the big "one-off" spends I have stuck rigidly to my meal plans. We have made no more inroads into our debts but it hasn't got any worse which, this month, is definitely a victory. I'm definitely up for continuing on an austere April thread. It really keeps you focussed and motivated.

Almost a NSD today as I gave dd1 10p to buy her school paper.

Ohhelp, yes I be up for a 'Austere April', as it is so easy to fall back into quick spending with no thinking mode.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 27-Mar-13 20:32:18

ladies thankyou for keeping me on track and to those of you in the Feb thread who kickstarted me. I was so overwhelmed with runaway spending but havr brought it right back down. I just need to keep it that way. Pay day was Monday fot me so my month is up. I have managed to pay off & save this month £800 o- £300 saved from lowering my grocery bills (thanks to meal planning and savvy shopping) and £500 from my salary that normally just gets blown on bits of stuff, extra groceries etc. that does include £200 that normally goes to council tax, so sadly cannot replicate next month. I am so pleased with the start I have made. I will def join an Austere April thread if anyone starts it!!! April isto be my moneybraising month - Ebay here I come with my phil & teds extensive collection & mounfs and mounds of clothes, toys and general stuff!!

Leilandri Wed 27-Mar-13 19:45:21

NSD today grin

DH gets paid tomorrow - yay!

BiddyPop Wed 27-Mar-13 10:07:06

ALthough, I did go to the lovely large shopping centre at the weekend (DH and DD were going to the cinema), and browsed (including trying) lots of dresses, but didn't buy any. Checked out the mobile broadband offers to find the best one. And only spent money on my lunch, the Sunday papers and parking ticket.

BiddyPop Wed 27-Mar-13 09:57:31

I have had a bad month - a couple of lighter supermarket shops alright, but ended up going to a different one last weekend (had a voucher to use and also needed lots of bulk things) and spent way too much. Not even any alcohol in that!! And then got a massive (like double what I was expecting) utility bill the following day (DD goes on Monday). I can cover it - but I had hoped to knock the credit card balance down to only this month's spends this month - pay off the whole of the bill outstanding at the start of this month (I got the card in 2001, and apart from probably twice where I cleared the balance the second month rather than 1st, I have paid the whole thing every month until Dec 11 and haven't cleared it since then - I was REALLY hoping to do that this month). But am back to cash flow balancing again.

My handbag is coming apart at the seams (literally) - and I can't find a new one (I need a decent one as I carry a lot for work, my own meds as well as money, phone etc, and need to always have colouring sheets and pencils for ADHD DD to distract when out). I may go to the outlet store next week (I have a couple of days off).

And for some reason, the kitchen and planning are in chaos. I have ended up throwing out food (we're normally not bad on leftovers and throwing out food) quite a bit. I just seem to be unable to plan properly, and plans I make are being scotched by events changing around me.

DH wanted ham for dinner Sunday, so I used a joint I'd got on offer but I could have kept another couple of weeks (well within date). DD wanted lasagne on Monday (admittedly, I hadn't made one in ages), but I misjudged my mince needs and bought 2 packs - only cooked 1 and even half of that is now in freezer for another day (I add loads of finely chopped veg to stretch it but also to make sure we get lots of veg). I used more ham to make last night's dinner (mac'n'cheese - our version always has bacon lardons or leftover ham, and loads of veg - onion, garlic, mushrooms, frozen peas, pepper, courgette, and I had a handful of french beans I threw in as well). And tonight, I am using a pack of puff pastry (use by 14/3 - I'm sure it will be fine) with some HM sundried tomatoes (from last summer's garden excess) and some cheese to make a pastry bake thingy, with salad and some sliced ham on the side. And DH has been using ham for his lunches too (I am on plain veggies for salad - I need to lose 2 dress sizes in 5 weeks).

I need to get my credit crunching head screwed back on again. To clear the credit card, and to get the budget back under control as I know I am taking a pay cut in 3 months time - I know we're not in the worst situation and lots are far worse off than us, but I need to get sorted so that we DON'T get into a bad situation.

AdoraBell Tue 26-Mar-13 22:29:05

Can the squash not wait a day or two? I'm inclined to take a "tough luck" approach to things like squash when I'm down to pennies.

Roads today, £5-ish , went into town but not straight from school run.
Parking £2, that's newhmm
£9 on a moisturiser, it was actualy £49 but I had £40 on a gift card so I treated myself as I don't need anything at present.
Top up shop- DD1 asked for burgers last week and I forgot, £7 on mince and a few other bits.

Tomorrow it should be just the roads

Leilandri Tue 26-Mar-13 19:45:19

NSD today grin

Skint now til DH gets paid on Thurs, have £1.87 in my purse, and tomorrow I need to buy squash!

AdoraBell Tue 26-Mar-13 00:29:24

<scrabbles back onto wagon> hello <waves>

Had a few NSD's followed by a movie treat yesterday, just DDs and myself, no snacks or fizzy drinks and then lunch in the supermarket cafeteria. Cinema was £15, lunch £20, which bought us 3 main meals, 1 salmon and two steaks with veg, pots and salad and drinks. DDs had pudding too. I picked up the shopping too -two birds with own stone-- that came to £90 and included new PJs for DDs. Road's were £4. Roads last week, school run, we're £25 and will be the same if not more this week. Will try to catch up tomorrow.

Ladyflip

I got a whole salmon from Asda a couple of months ago and did just that I got about 10 dinners for 2 adults out of it. This week I got 1.5kg gammon joint for £10. Which I cooked and have got 15 portions of 6 slices which will save me £5 a week for the next 6/8 weeks. As dc have it for breakfast and for lunches.

I'm looking out next week to see if they have any beef or pork on offer, to cook and slice up and freeze.

Ladyflip Mon 25-Mar-13 21:32:56

Gatecrashing your thread, ladies, but thought you might like to know Tesco has whole salmon on half price. If you have a freezer, you can chop it into fillets. It works out about 1 pound per adult portion, which isn't too bad, and it IS very healthy!

Leilandri Sun 24-Mar-13 20:31:12

Haha Ohhelp I do put 'like' items together on the conveyor belt, all frozen and chilled together, tins and heavy stuff, then light stuff at the end. I bung it all in the trolley, but atleast the light stuff doesnt get crushed. I then take my time utilising the 'bench' behind the cashier desk to pack it all how I want it. I took snacks for the DS's on Saturday so they muched while I sweated worked!!
I does make me chuckle though when I go through the tills at Morrisons and they ask "would you like any help with your packing?" ... if only they knew ;)

Ohhelpohnoitsa Sun 24-Mar-13 19:13:29

Well, I cunningly got myself all prepped you see. Had lots of bags all ready & open in the trolley, had an ikea blue bag to shove the lightest stuff in (see post upthread), I loaded the conveyor really well with like items together so I could have a freezer bag, a dairy bag, a packets bag etc - like I do normally at the supermarket. Hah! Not a chance, NOT A CHANCE!!! Bet the cashier has started a thread about "a ctazy women who dared to think she might keep up with me".

Thingymajigs Sun 24-Mar-13 18:44:55

ohhelp my DP and ds2 love Aldi checkouts. They see it as some sort of race and try to win against the cashier. Most of the assistants laugh along and try to get faster but we did have one grumpy lady last time who wanted to take her time and wasn't impressed.
I have just been thinking again about universal credits and how they will affect everyone. As a carer I know I'll be hit pretty badly and have known for a few months which kick started this financial overhaul. I'm so glad I started so it won't be too much of a shock in October but it does make me angry that they take from the most vulnerable first.

northender Sun 24-Mar-13 18:29:32

Ohhelpohnoitsa I should've said, I love the idea of the checkout person on speed for breakfast grin. When I do my other supermarket shopping I find myself tutting at the slowness at the till!

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