InDiAnNa's Grocery and Finance Thread
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  1. #1
    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Default InDiAnNa's Grocery and Finance Thread

    Righty. I'm still a relative newbie to the site, but I'd like to follow example and start my own thread where I can keep myself accountable and document my new frugal skills. Grab a cuppa before reading on, it's long!

    I have set myself challenges and budgets all of which I'll keep track of here.

    A little history: I am a heavily depended on veterinary nurse for a large company, but in July I was hospitalized with a so far unexplained neurological condition which has caused me to lose most of the feeling in my arms, hands, legs and feet. Due to many other factors of this condition and the high level of responsibility my role carries, I have not been back to work since July, and it looks set to stay this way for quite a while.

    Having gone from living on two decent salaries (future DH's and mine combined), we're now struggling a little on just his and my extremely low sick pay (about one quarter of my previous take home monthly pay). We had to give up our previous rental property and move into a smaller, cheaper place. Now we are properly settled there, I'm giving myself a boot up the bum and 'getting sorted'.

    FDH pays the majority of our monthly expenses for rent, groceries, internet and landline (all other utilities are included in our rent), and I use some of my sick pay to slowly pay off my personal debt and into our savings.

    Here goes:

    GROCERIES

    My budget for groceries, tp, toiletries, pet food, everything per month is 80. That's for the three of us, me, Craig and Martha the cat.

    I have made a meal planner for November, starting today as we have been visiting family this weeekend. It's here http://h1.ripway.com/Francoise/menu ... november.xlsx if anyone wants to take a look. FDH and I have fairly complex food intolerances that don't follow normal patterns so while I understand that some of the stuff we eat doesn't neccessarily seem very healthy, I've spent 21 years tailoring my diet and we both have no problems with it as far as intolerance goes.


    FINANCE

    I've joined the $*** in 100 days challenge, and we will be saving 1000 in 100 days (from 10/30/2008-2/6/2009). Mainly I'll be doing this by putting spare change into a nominated savings account, also the 20 per month I shaved off my previous grocery budget of 100. 40 per month from my sick pay will also be going in there.

    My debt will be steadily paid off in small amounts. Thankfully FDH and I have no joint debt, it's just mine that needs to go. I am aiming to pay off 55 from my overdraft and 25 from my ccard each month,coming from my sick pay. I have two monthly outgoings from those accounts - 42.50 from overdraft for my mobile (this contract is up and won't be renewed in Jan), and 8.99 from ccard for online game subscription (I'm not giving this up, this game is my little luxury so I don't go loony).

    40 from sick pay will also go into a high interest saver I have, which is where I plan to keep my inheritance and add to it periodically for our house and wedding fund.

    Sig is up to date with current balances.


    SO FAR FOR NOVEMBER:

    • 50.25 spent on groceries, delivered a couple of days ago
    • Meal planner started today, about to go and defrost beef for dinner
    • Money allocated as described, but need to go and pay in spare change to savings account tomorrow


    I'll try and keep this thread updated as much as I can, might throw in the odd pic or two here and there to keep it interesting! For starters, here's us!



    (please kindly ignore the belly on my darling husband-to-be!! )

    Any tips gratefully received and pondered, wish me luck!
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Food intolerances always crimp the budget, don't they? Ugh. I know the feeling.

    I am really looking forward to following your journey!

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    Good luck to you fellow European!!!

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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Well, I wish I'd known how much easier life is when you have a meal planner stuck to the fridge..!

    No faffing about with 'what do I cook?!', just easy look at the menu and get on with it. Brilliant. So we had a lovely roast beef dinner, from a joint I stuck in the crockpot and froze a week or so ago.

    Lunch was easy too, again just looked at the planner. For those who might want to follow it, apart from the supper column, where meals are like this: Salad/Ham sandwich, the first choice is for FDH, the second is for me, it's not a toss up between the two for both of us. We have different tastes and needs so this will work well I hope.

    I love meal planners. Official. Must tell my mother. Although she will scoff at me. Mum is not at all frugal, in fact she is very extravagent but credit where it is due, it is all paid for in cash.

    Crumpets and orange juice for breakfast in the morning. Yum.
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Breakfast didnt go quite as planned

    FDH woke up feeling really ill (probably delayed effects of being spoilt food and drink wise by my in-laws this weekend!!) and so didn't want any breakfast. So I ate alone this morning. Gah.

    Just been to Iceland (great UK frozen food store http://www.iceland.co.uk), and spent another 28.95, which brings Novembers grocery spend to... yikes 79.20. A grand total of 0.80 left. Think I spent too much at the beginning of the month on the delivered shop. Thankfully we do have plenty of food, the only thing we might run out of is fresh veg and milk. So I'm going to bottle and freeze some of the milk I just bought.

    I have a huge batch of chicken noodle and sweetcorn soup on the go in the crockpot, which smells delicious.

    Tomato and cheese pasta bake for dinner tonight, which I'm looking forward to. We love pasta in our house, probably a bit too much!

    Martha is looking longingly at the beef joint I just got for roasting. She knows a treat when she see one!
    Last edited by InDiAnNa; 11-03-2008 at 08:06 AM. Reason: my maths is terrible!
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Registered User chevy_chick95's Avatar
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    doing great!!
    Mom to Duramax
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    Registered User mrsmac62's Avatar
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    Way to go Indianna! You are doing well with the unique challenges you have. The meal planner sounds like a great idea, I tried the link but it didn't work.
    I'm on an invalid benefit, I have good days and bad days but make sure on the good ones to always include food prep for the freezer, it really saves time and energy in the long run.
    Not being able to shop around for groceries would be hard, but I guess if they are delivered you can't make impulse purchases!
    Living in London in your circumstances is a real challenge. Good on you for joining FV and taking charge of your life

  8. #8
    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmac62 View Post
    Way to go Indianna! You are doing well with the unique challenges you have. The meal planner sounds like a great idea, I tried the link but it didn't work.
    I'm on an invalid benefit, I have good days and bad days but make sure on the good ones to always include food prep for the freezer, it really saves time and energy in the long run.
    Not being able to shop around for groceries would be hard, but I guess if they are delivered you can't make impulse purchases!
    Living in London in your circumstances is a real challenge. Good on you for joining FV and taking charge of your life
    Thanks mrsmac62. I'm working on the meal planner link, I hadn't realized that it wasn't working so sorry for that. I'll need to change the format it's in, I'll post the new link once I've fixed it.

    Due to my poor health, us not owning a car in London and lack of a local ASDA (the store I do my main shop at cos of great prices and quality), the small delivery charge of 4 is WELL worth paying. I could never carry as much home as I get delivered, and it would cost more than 4 in a taxi! And yes I do have to stick to a list as I do it all online. I shop at Iceland too, that is slightly different as in you go to the store, shop as normal, and then request same day, free home delivery at the checkout.

    Today is a good day as you say, so I have a loaf baking in the oven, had a pork shoulder joint in the crockpot overnight, and now have the beef joint in. They'll be carved up and frozen in portions once they're done.

    The pasta bake went down a treat last night, was very yummy. Homemade sauce and crispy cheese is always a winner!

    Chicken fillets, veg and potato waffles for dinner tonight, maybe with some veggie soup to start with.

    No good news really on the finance front, apart from the unexpected 2 I found and put towards the 1000 in 100 days challenge. Some of that total is in spare change, I am going to go to the bank to pay it in today so it can help towards gaining interest.

    I have bought some black and amber wool to make my FSILs Chistmas present (a bumblebee cushion), plus some bigger needles to try and make knitting easier for me at the moment. I do have to admit that was all paid for on the ccard (as bought on Ebay with PayPal), but it came to a total of 7 which is no more than what I would pay for them on the high street in cash. I plan on replacing that money as well as my usual payment of 40 when I divide up my next sick pay up at the end of the month. I also can't access the money in savings at the moment so ccard was the only way to go really. Thank goodness I have a preferential interest rate on it as I am a premier account holder at my bank..

    When I go into town, I also have to get more wrapping paper as I ran out today (busy wrapping gifts ahead of time in a feeble attempt not to panic two days before Christmas Day!) Luckily, where we live we have LOOOOAADS of pound shops (exactly the same as dollar stores for you US guys )so I can get a roll for 1 no problem.

    I wish the UK did better coupons and vouchers for things that I would actually use... SIGH. The only things that are ever in newspapers are for things like top brand washing liquid ( 1kg box now only 3.99!!!!!! Thanks but with grated bar soap, no name powder and soda crystals I get 2kg for 1.30....), and ready meals (yuck), and other top brand, mega bucks products that we'd never use/ eat. BUT then you'll never find a coupon for FDHs favourite cologne either! That's expensive! Why doesnt' the same theory apply?! Oh yeah. Cos we'll use it that's why!

    I want to try and find a bottle of that cologne (Ferrari Black) and a black fitted mens shirt for FDH for Christmas, but I think he may have to wait until Feb for his birthday for those. We'll see.
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Registered User mrsmac62's Avatar
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    I feel envious of our US cousins too when it comes to coupons. I buy fairly plain things, fruit, veges, meat, flour. The coupons are always for packaged food that I hardly ever eat, and toiletries etc that I don't use either! I do occasionally buy tinned fruit & things like baked beans for my emergency kit, aka stockpile. we are encouraged by Civil Defence to have at least 3 days worth of food, water and medicine packed and ready to go in case of earthquake. One due any time!

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    I too love my meal planner, even though it does nt always work out. Great job on the savings so far.
    Katy

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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Smile New meal planner link

    ** FIXED THE LINK FOR THE MENU PLANNER**

    Here it is, it's now in Microsoft Word 97-03 format rather than from Excel.
    http://h1.ripway.com/Francoise/india...ernovember.doc
    For some reason I couldn't just copy and paste it so I had to copy out the whole thing again!

    Again, where there are options like this - Salad/Ham sandwich, or, Sausage/bacon,peas+mash, the first option is for FDH, the second is for me.

    So tonight, FDH will have sausage, peas and mash, and I will have bacon, peas and mash. The sausages are in the crockpot now, and smell lovely.

    I went out to town yesterday, but didn't feel up to walking to the bank (another 1.5miles) so the spare change isn't in the bank just yet We will keep adding to it though, and I'll take it when we have a bit more.

    I managed to get 3 rolls of lovely wrapping paper for just 1! I was happy with that. While I was in the pound shop, I also found Christmas lights, a book for FDH, fluffy socks for FSIL, and a smiley face cushion for my mum. All for a pound each of course! I'm very impressed with the book though, it's the biographies of David Walliams and Matt Lucas along with the story of Little Britain, and the RRP in the inside cover is 18.99!!! Definitely a total of 5 well spent in that shop.

    I'm slightly bothered about how unsuccesfully I handled the first month of sticking to a strict grocery budget. Can't believe I only have 0.80 left...The milk is going down a bit too fast for my liking, so I dug out some millk powder I had in the back of the cupboard, prayed it's not too stale and mixed it up with some water and the milk we had left in the fridge. It tastes ok.We do have some in the freezer too.

    Been looking up how much Ferrari Black and a black formal shirt for FDH would cost, and it's looking to be at least 60 for both. I think he will just have to wait til his birthday for those, gives me a bit of time to save cash for them.

    Yesterday, I cleared out the bed I have in the yard. It was all overgrown with non-poison ivy and weeds, so I cleared it all, trimmed the ivy right back and it looks much better. There is one stuborn large well rooted ivy vine at the end of the bed, just growing under the garage, and I simply CANNOT pull it up. I don't really want to go out and spend loads on weedkiller, does anyone have any idea on how to get rid of it? Tempted to nuke it by spraying it with loads of hairspray and setting it alight...No of course I've never done that before, to anything, ever... Only thing is, it started raining so hard, I left all the ivy trimming, weeds and rubbish in the middle of the yard cos I was too cold to carry on, so I have to clear that today and wash the yard down. Gah.

    If anyone knows what veggies I could plant in the bed at this time of year and how to look after them, I 'd love to find out!

    I am patiently waiting for my wool to arrive so I can crack on with the November Needle arts challenge. For Christmas I'll be making a bumblee shaped cushion for FSIL and bumblee dishclothes for 5 others (Thanks Lady_V!) My new needles have just been delivered, but have no wool so will just have to be patient.

    I have an overflowing basket of clean laundry to put away today, must face it at some point!
    Last edited by InDiAnNa; 11-06-2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: spelling
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Indianna... were did you go?? looking forward to an update!!!!:clappy:
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  13. #13
    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Red face Sorry!

    Quote Originally Posted by chevy_chick95 View Post
    Indianna... were did you go?? looking forward to an update!!!!:clappy:
    Sorry! Have kinda got bogged down with stuff the past few days, been totally unfrugal also, and just haven't got round to updating...

    Fairly large piece of news... FDH announced out of the blue to me and his parents that he wants to go back to university full time next September to do his Masters degree. Eh?! WTF?!!!! I had no idea he had been looking into this, as he was going to be doing it alongside work over three years by going to college one evening per week.

    As my future as far as health and being able to work is pretty uncertain, one plus of him doing this means a guaranteed salary increase of around 20,000 per year in any job he might get. As a main part of his role is redundancies and associated court hearings, his job prospects are pretty good in this financial climate as companies desperately need competant, highly qualified HR personnel to help downsize the general staff population...

    However, it does mean us relocating out of the city, and possibly having very, very little money coming in for one year (Sept09-Sept10). Yikes yikes yikes. I have 10 months to prepare for this and the panic is setting in already!

    SO. By investigating rent costs in the different areas that he's looking to study at, I've worked out that we'd need a minimum of 9000 saved in order to live without either of us working. UH OH. That's probably not do-able to be honest, but I reckon with the 1000 in 100 days challege (finishing beginning of Feb), and then continuing to save afterwards, that we can save 3000. So that'll help a bit. I also want to up my stockpiling for tinned and dry food, and toiletries and cleaning products so I can try and get as close to a years worth of those. I have checked what I already have in there, and most stuff is in date til Sept 10.

    But in order to do this, I need to increase the monthly grocery budget back up to 100 a month again. I was finding 80 a month a little bit tight anyway, and had already gone to 85.60/80 anyway, just on essentials like milk and butter. We have also diverted from the meal planner a few times, mainly in the morning when FDH didn't feel able to eat what was on the menu. I have tried to make sure that we swap for something else due to be had later on in the week and then have what we missed on that day instead.

    And that's not the last of the spending either :doh:

    My trainers have been patched, glued, mended, polished til the cows came home, and I had to face facts - they were dead. I wear them every day all day, even when I was working, so for them to last 18 months they've done pretty well. As my condition means I don't feel my feet properly, I wanted to get the same style again as they offer very good support for my feet and stay on well too. Trouble is, they cost a minimum of 50 new! So I checked Ebay, and managed to find a second-hand pair, really barely used for 13 including postage! They arrived yesterday, and fit perfectly. Money that I don't have that had to be spent, but I'm glad I got a good bargain out of it.

    The wool for FSILs Christmas present STILL hasn't arrived. I'm really cross seeing as I paid for 1st class postage 10 days ago! The Ebay seller isn't responding to my emails either. Grrr. I have started with wool I had left over from other projects but unless it arrives pretty soon, I won't be able to join in the November Needle Arts Challenge

    I went to visit the doctor a couple of days ago to give an update on my condition, and I was signed off work for yet another 6 weeks, which takes it until just after Christmas. Work are being supportive so far, but I really do get the feeling that they will let me go soon. I was relied upon very heavily, and they will need a permanent nurse to take over that role, certainly seeing as I'e been gone since July..

    Will update sig just now so balances are accurate and current.

    Any advice from those that have been in the position of DH/DW/DSO going back to eduation and giving up work gratefully received!
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

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    Registered User mrsmac62's Avatar
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    Well you've got an exciting & nerve wracking time ahead!

    Knowing what you're challenges are means you are already halfway there. I gather fdh has options as to where he can study? Hurrah for the internet! You can research rents, living costs, transport etc.

    While you can afford it, stockpile your staples like rice, pasta, dried beans, tinned fruit; whatever is allowed on your eating plan. Plus loo rolls and skincare.

    If you have the funds, buy socks & knickers!

    Learn to cut your own & fdh's hair.

    If people want to buy you gifts, ask for money or gift vouchers.

    Google scholarships. All sorts of random organizations offer help, which can be for accomodation & transport.

    Hope it goes well for you both!

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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    Wow, I am so bad at keeping this thread up to date! *must try harder*

    Well I was on my own from Friday night til Sunday night as FDH was at a stag weekend. I won't even mention what kind of state he was in when he got back, OR how much money he spent OR for that fact what he spent it on...!!! I tell ya, he's a lucky man to have such an easygoing lady in his life!

    I did barely anything all weekend, and it was GREAT. Caught up on my online game, got lots of rest, chatted to my mother lots, and just generally had some peace and quiet. Didn't spend any money either! :clappy:

    Went up to Iceland today to get some more essentials Spent 12.90 on:

    1kg frozen broccoli
    I tub margarine
    6 pints milk
    12x part baked dinner rolls
    1 loaf bread
    2x blocks cheddar cheese
    1 tub single cream for soups
    1 bag sugar
    1x cucumber
    1 tub cherry tomatoes

    So my new total grocery spend for November is 98.50/100, which leaves me enough to get some more milk which is the only possible thing we cold desperately need.

    I'm a bit disappointed at the way I've handled the gorcery money this month to be honest. Feel like I spent too much in some areas, too little in others, and haven't added to the stockpile at all, which was the whole purpose of upping the budget to 100 monthly again. Sigh. I am going to do better next month. Much better.

    Personal debt is remaining about the same, although the wool I ordered off Ebay didn't show so the seller refunded my payment. 5.18 back onto the credit card! Although I do still need to finish FSILs Christmas present so will have to get wool from somewhere at some point.

    We received a cheque from our landline provider. Turns out we were in credit with our account at our last home, so I have a grand total of 6.06 from them to put towards my overdraft. I guess every little helps...

    FDH has said to me tonight that if I want to, I can put more money towards my debt paying this month instead of making my usual contribution to our joint expenses. I will probably put a very small amount in our joint acount, say 50 which will cover half our groceries, but the rest of my sick pay will go to paying more debt, and into savings.

    My cell phone bill is frustrating me. I can't buy out of the contract, and I do have a great deal which means I pay a fixed amount each month, but each time I put money towards paying off the overdraft, a month later that payment gets swallowed up by the phone bill. At last the contract is up in January and I won't be renewing it.

    My best friend is coming to visit on Friday! I am really REALLY looking forward to seeing him, I only get to see him a couple of times a year now, we used to live streets apart before I met FDH. We plan to show him the nightlife in our favourite haunts, but luckily as both the boys in my life are true gents, this lady won't be buying any drinks! And if I can help it, they won't be buying toooo many We have put money aside for when Mike comes to visit, he doesn't have much of a fun time in life as he cares for his elderly parents so we want to make sure we have a lot of fun when he's with us.

    Think I might inventory my current stockpile soon, I want to be sure of just what we have and what we don't.
    Me, Indianna - 21
    Future DH, Craig - 25
    DD - 14 weeks
    DChatte, Martha- 16


    DEBT FREE!
    House Deposit Fund - 10,000/15,000
    Wedding Fund - 330/12,000
    Emergency Fund - 325/1000
    Personal Savings - 125/1000

    500 in 100 days Challenge - 325/500 (ends 02/06/2009)
    Lose-a-pound-a-week Challenge - 6/15 pounds lost
    Menu Planning Challenge - 2/28 fortnightly menus completed and followed
    Grocery Challenge 100/month -
    BUSTED/100 for January
    62.35/110 for February (upped budget as 100 not realistic!)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

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