Sunday 7 October 2012

#FQstoptober week 1

Hey gang, if you are new, please say hello :-) also if anyone fancies becoming my follower 53 I'd right like it a lot! I've been at 52 forever!

Well, thanks to a blog I look forward to reading everyday, I'm doing my best to take part in a different kind of Stobtober. Nothing to do with tobacco but with cold, hard, cash.
Read all about it here >>>>

It's a fabulous blog written by a really fab lady. She's won an award for it!

I made a suggestion for the twitter hashtag #FQstoptober on the inspirational Frugal Queen's Blog. Go on Twitter and see!! She used it and hopefully a few more tweeps will join in! I've already made a new friend on there! Follow me - I'm rachelradiostar - I tweet wittily.*

*I am probably only witty in my head where only I am chuckling.

So, the ONLY money I plan to spend this month is a reduced household budget.

Because of the filthy, rotten summer we've had, I have a freezer full of meat, which, because it was not scoffed, in the garden, with friends, family and wine will now be scoffed, in the house, just us three ( I HATE THAT ) with mash and beans and a brew.

So I really need to only buy/source fresh fruit,vegetables, bread and milk. I can and will bake some bread but I don't have a cow so have to buy the white stuff . I hate the fact the farmers are being diddled but I always keep my eyes open for a Billy bargain. The £1 milk for 4 pints will do nicely.

So in all this week I have spent about £120.

Whoooooaaaaa Froogs, if you are reading - this was my " normal " monthly big shop and I do not plan to go again till November! I quit doing a big weekly shop a while ago. Since I started working full time. Sometimes I'll do an online shop if I get emails with vouchers off delivery etc.

I think that's a fair amount for a month. For a teenager with the stereotypical hollow legs syndrome. Even when he was a small boy, he was starving. Never just hungry. I could probably cut this amount down - something I'm going to try!

Included were some bargains! Infact EVERYTHING I bought was reduced. We have very creative meals sometimes in this house, I can also make a lamb cutlet stretch so you'd think it was off a giraffe or something long of leg!! I also needed stuff like dishwasher salt and vinegar. I needed to top up my baking cupboard. Ok I confess that the little Dr Oetker jelly diamonds reduced from £2.50 to 40p a tube were not necessary, but they'll make my cakes look cute! I also needed to get those one offs you seem to run out of at the same time.

NB. RE Dishwasher salt- it's not good on chips! It might LOOK like posh Maldon Salt but I'm pretty sure it will kill you!

Also having read some blogs and comments on her blog, how we are all fretting and asking 'WWFD' as in What Would Froogs Do, makes me chuckle!
( I am justifying my jelly diamonds knowing she would have probably put them back!! )
Bargain of the week in Sainsburys was the Outdoor reared pork. Already slashed to half price BUT they'd reduced it all again short dated. I stocked up - and giggled at the boy complaining he couldn't get anything else in the freezer - with different cuts, including a nice big shoulder joint that will do for Christmas! I do like buying meat from happier animals. I do think they taste more delicious if they've frolicked in a field, with the sunshine on their upturned snouts now and then.

The One at Uni just rang. Her and the flatmates share the shopping and spent £11 each this week. They plan their meals for the week and take it in turns with the cooking. Each set of frantic parents dropped them off four short weeks ago with 'Feed an Army' sized bagfuls of essentials. We provided her with £80 worth of pasta, rice, porridge, peanut butter, hot chocolate, tea bags, coffee, washing powder, cereal, cling film, washing up liquid etc. My sister sent a parcel of pasta in sauce type meals, soap, shower gel and soup. One set of Grandparents are going to load up a supermarket card for her, but they were waiting to see which one they'd favour. So far it's Mr Morrison who will be supplying her every need! But she also had sourced the local market for cheap fruit and veg. They are having curry tonight!
They are a good group of girls.

Big spend alert confession but it doesn't really count in to #FQstoptober....

If you recall my HG was suddenly made redundant last October and for four scary weeks, we were at the mercy of £63 a week Job Seekers Allowance.

He got a new job not long after, self employed, which in turn gave me a new, highly stressful UNPAID role of Sodding Accountant. The title comes from having to do the Sodding Accounts.
Against. My. Will.

But his redundancy payout has sat unspent. At first, it was to bail us out should we need it. After a year of work, I think he relaxed a little. Using some of it, we agreed he should spend it on something he REALLY wanted.

He bloody deserved that redundancy money. Everyday leaving the house at 6.30am, working outside in all weathers, for some outrageously rude and pig ignorant people, often not coming in till after 7 at night- all for a right corrupt pair of bosses who ran their business into the ground knowing full well they would be up trading under a slightly different name the next day.

But that rant is for another day. I'm glad he doesn't work for them anymore and I don't have to false smile at them anymore.

In any other circumstances we'd never be able to afford or contemplate buying what he had his heart set on....

.......A great big swanky pants TV.

Indeed I am blogging this on my phone, wearing a pair of 3D glasses.

I had said the old one would do till it died. However, the people off Corrie had been replaced by aliens. Alan Titchmarsh wasn't just green fingered anymore and ALL of the politicians were from the Green Party. Yes. The colour had gone a tad doolally.

So we did our research, looked at them in the shop, looked up online for cheapest possible price. Ummed and ahhed about it a bit longer. Bit the bullet and went and got it.

It is a beauty. The one we had been watching for a few years was a 'new to us bought off the Driving Instructor' wide screen TV, you know, the ones the size of a small bungalow.

It's incredible, how the advance of technology is so visible these days. That Wide Screen TV was top of the range in it's day.

We bought the TV.
I harassed the shop assistant, I tried my best to get an extra 10% off, ( he did point out it was discounted already ) or a free George Foreman out of him. To no avail. He did give me a card for £20 for free films that he wasn't supposed to!

We brought it home. The mood shifted. The testosterone levels were palpable. I made myself scarce, I texted girlfriends for support. *I* read the instruction booklets as the HG and his sidekick unpacked cables and remotes and bits n bobs. There was much connective activity and tadaaaaah it was switched it on and it was magic!!

I think of this as something he's waited 20 years for! We've always 'managed' and 'done without' etc and to some extent we still do. Most of the benefits families I work with have had TVs like this, bigger and better for YEARS! But for once, he got something he really wanted and it felt good.

We just watched The Avengers in 3D and it was chuffing brilliant. This TV is actually quite frugal. It's A+ energy rated. We are all sat in one room. No lights on. No heating on! Win!

So... In one week, despite shelling out for a TV I'm actually under budget, so what I have left will go in my savings purse.

Bring on next week. I am going to hobble to work on my crutches. The fridge and freezer is well stocked for all our meals. The daughter is coming home for a weekend in a fortnight. I cannot WAIT to see her. I miss her so so much. The girl/boy balance in the house is all out of kilter! Because I'm on my phone the photos of my bargain pork will be at the end!

How have YOU all done with our no spend month so far?


  1. So no more fifty quid mid week top ups then. Matthew is DYINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG to see your new TV. He even asked if we would bring popcorn har har
    Feeling a bit sorry for your soon to be decorated Xmas tree, it will feel a bit sad that it won't be source of light and heat with all the bulbs you have on it!!!!

    1. I'm going to have to re think tree position! No more expensive mid week top ups! If o need bread and milk, I will buy bread and milk!

  2. ChippyChin from Twitter7 October 2012 at 23:35

    My mind is buzzing. I'm trying to work out - is there a vast price difference between produce over in your neck of the woods and mine? Produce is so damn expensive here that it has become a luxury item. I want my produce back! I want healthcare! I want live where I can see castles! So don't freak out when you walk out to work and I'm sitting on your porch. ;)

    1. I think the biggest freak out will come from the fact someone built a pitch on the front of my house !! From whereabouts in this expensive World do you hail?

  3. ChippyChin from Twitter8 October 2012 at 07:40

    The west coast of the USofA. Some call it the Left Coast. ;) I just call it very-expensive-to-exist- land. House prices, gas prices, medical-anything prices, etc, etc... but the biggest crime would be the fact that it is most expensive to eat healthy. If they can create it out of high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oil, it's cheap. If it's fruit, vegetable, or meat, it's out of range of the poor. If you want an educational movie and want to know why the US is overweight and seemingly trying to kill itself with this stuff, watch a movie called 'King Corn'( ). You're sorry you asked that simple little question now, huh? ;) Sorry. :)

  4. There bing! #53. Yours is the first blog that I've ever officially followed. I've only regularly read two, ever, and yours is included in the count. :) I'm a 'nibble and run' sort. Commitment-phoebe? ;)

  5. Wow, then I'm honoured you chose mine to be first! Hope it's not downhill from now on!

  6. Man, I'm so old, I read clear to the end about your market run & TV purchase when I had already heard about it! And I was interested the entire time!

    BTW, thanks a lot, I'm sure my husband will have TV envy & we'll be asking Santa for a 3D TV under the tree.

    (But really, REPOSITION THE TREE? Maybe D could put the TV outside til Epiphany??)

  7. Hi Rachel, I just looked Frugal Queen is a great site. Hubby and I are in massive debt due to things beyond our control last year. Taking it one step at a time. Starting to feel that there is hope.


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