Thursday, 4 September 2014

How to turn £20 into hundreds - week 3

Money in stocking up fund carried over from week 2 = £11
payback from dish washer tablets for week 3= £5.88
payback from catfood for week 3= £9.24

total in stocking up fund for start of week 3 = \£26.12

On offer this week
six pack of heinz baked beans now £3
Normal price per tin 68p = £4.08 for 6 tins
(I would normally use 1 tin of these a week so not a huge saving individually but since I bought 3 packs total saving eventually = £1.08 * 3 = £3.24)
Weekly payback 68p

Surf washing tablets £3 for 18 washes = 17p per wash
Normal price = 21p per wash
Since I do 2 washes a day weekly payback = 14 *21p = £2.94
Number of packs bought =3

Cat food still on special offer so bought 2 boxes of 12 sachets = £5

Money left in stocking up fund at end of week 3 = £26.12 -£9 ( for beans) - £9 (washing tablets) - £5 (catfood) = £3.12

Used 1 tin of beans from stash so 68p paid back = £3.80
Used washing tablets so £2.94 paid back = £6.20 to be carried over to week 4

Value of stock in stash:
17 tins beans = £11.56
40 Washing tablets= £8.40
44 Cat food pouches = £14.52
114 Dish washer tablets = £47.88
Total value = £82.36

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Tutorials - Gift Boxes and bags for my craft stall

Emergency packaging for my smaller items when  have run out of the more professional stuff

First up - a gift box with lid from any square of paper

Then a gift bag from any square of paper

Thinking of using paper printed with my etsy shop address...

How to turn £20 into hundreds .... weeks 2

Start of week 2 (week beginning 25th August)

Money in stocking up fund this morning is £11.76 (2 x £5.88 from the dish washer tablets)

One offer yesterday at Tescos we found the smaller trays of cat food pouches were cheaper than the bigger trays for once!

Normally cat food would be £12.99 for 40 = 33p per sachet.  Whiskas have recently reduced the overall price but also the overall number of sachets.  Looks like a better deal in your basket until you do the maths...

On offer this week though (and until the 9/9) packs of 12 sachets are £5 for 2.  This means if I buy 4 packs then the overall cost is £10 for 48 = 21p per sachet  When the offer ends at Tescos I have seen an identical offer at B and M if this is longer term then I should be able to do this again.

Now for the maths;
I use   2 x 7 x 2 sachets a week for my 2 cats = 28 sachets
28 sachets x 33p per sachet = £9.24 per week under the normal supermarket price

Stocking up fund at start of week 2= £11.76 - £10 (for 4 boxes of 12 pouches) = £1.76

Adding in the new weekly cat food pay back = £1.76 + £9.24 = £11 at end of week 2

Value of stock for end of week 2 = £6.60 (cat food) + 53.76 (dish washer tabs)= £60.36

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Turning £20 into hundreds - week 1 The Stocking Up fund

With my birthday looming at the end of this week it is as always a chance to reflect on the last year. With far too many birthdays under my belt to still be on the losing side when it comes to finances I have been encouraged to start looking again at an idea that fell by the wayside about 2 years ago as it was too much of a faf at the time. The stocking up fund.

Called "The stocking up fund" in our house it was an idea I originally came across on as the third purse system by a poster called mothership.  The idea is that you have your normal grocery budget (first purse), this buys your normal weekly/monthly stuff for your family.  You then have a fund available for buying "extras", this can be stuff you buy on special offer or as a bigger than usual pack; this is your second purse.  As you buy stuff from your second purse you build up your own stockpile.  As you use stuff from the stockpile you pay your second purse back the price you would pay normally in the supermarket out of your first purse.  Net result is that your first purse (your budget) is not any different to how it would be if you hadn't stocked up in the first place; but the stocking up fund gets replenished to allow you to get more "stock" when you see it on special offer.  So where does the "third purse" come in? The amount of money in the second purse should increase week by week and if you set yourself a limit to how much money that purse should hold then when you go over that threshold that money goes into a third purse; this money is for you to spend on a treat, or in my case stuff for the kids.

So much for the theory now for the practise...

This week (mon 18th to sun 24th august) I started with a stocking up fund of £20.  This was in the form of money off vouchers for my local supermarket and normally I would put these aside until Christmas to buy extra food for the holiday, so over the course of about 4 months that £20 would have made me £20!  I think this system (if I can stick to it!) will net me much more than £20 by Christmas.  Having scanned the websites of the big supermarkets for offers on stuff I would normally buy anyway I discovered that Tescos is offering 78 Finish dishwasher tablets for £10 - half the normal price.  So I blew the whole of the fund and bought 2 boxes.  Normally if I couldn't get dishwasher tabs on offer (and I needed them) I would have to buy the smallest pack possible and this works out at 42p/tablet.  I use the dishwasher once or (when OH is actually here) twice a day, so I am going to assume that I use 14 tablets a week, that's £5.88 on dishwasher tablets if I was going to pay the most expensive price.  By transferring this amount from my grocery budget each week my grocery budget would not be changed at all (apart from the fact is smooths out the peaks and troughs because of course I do not need to buy a whole pack each week), but it will begin to replenish the stocking up fund.  So here's the summary for this week

Stocking up fund £5.88
Stock - 71 days worth of dishwasher tabs (£59.64 worth!)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Free story book readalouds

This is a link to a site that has lots of storybooks read aloud by american actors - the funny voices are excellent.  Definitely not a replacement for going to the library or reading to my littlest one myself but as an "extra" when I'm up to my eyes in something else it is a good free resource which is a rare thing these days.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saving Money on Notepads

There used to be a time when I could have a stack of notepads, pens and other stationary and knew exactly where they were.  Then I had children over 18 months old.  Now I live in a house where I can never find a pen, sharpener or note pad when I need one.The other day i even wrote a phone number given to me over the phone on an envelope with a crayon, if that doesn't say "Mum" I don't know what does.

However, one thing we always have is sheets of paper and now I've come across this tutorial for folding them into little mini books.  No more stolen notepads as they can now make their own, and of course no more grabbing half a dozen each time I go past the poundshop to feed my six year olds addiction to "writing".

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Tinned Tomatoes versus Passata

Habits are the things that add most to the grocery bill. Chances are if you find a brand you like you stick with it rather than risk not liking a cheaper alternative. So it was with us and tinned tomatoes.  Not a brand thing, more a habit.
Before we lived in Germany and the Netherlands I would buy chopped tinned tomatoes every week without fail. But since they can be kind of watery I would also throw in a tube of tomato puree to the trolley for good measure.  When we moved to Stuttgart I inevitably tried to carry on this habit. BUT tins of tomatoes are not a German staple and they were very expensive.  As an alternative I tried the cartons of passata and found to my surprise that they were actually a better product for (in Germany) half the price and they didn't need to tomato puree boost.  Since we have moved back to the UK many of the supermarkets now sell basic passata in cartons.  Usually it is the same price or even a few pennies cheaper than tins, but of course now I'm not buying puree alongside. Probably saves me 35p on my weekly spag bol or about £18 a year.  Just goes to show trying something new can help if you are 1) brave enough to try (it's only one meal not a life sentence) and 2) not lazy and sticking to habit.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Jacket Potatoes with Leeks and Mackerel

Jacket Potatoes with Leeks and Mackerel

4 Baking Potatoes
2 Leeks sliced
2 tbsp creamed horseradish
4 smoked mackerel
lemon juice
50g butter

Bake the potatoes in oven. 
Heat butter in pan and cook the leeks for about 5 minutes, add the horseradish, flaked fish and lemon juice. Season with pepper.
Halve the potatoes and mash the top with a fork, spread mixture on top and serve.

From  Moneysavingexpert you could also use sliced spring onions in place of the leeks and tinned fish (NOT the kind in tom sauce!) in place of the mackerel or kippers in place of the mackerel.